Self-Sufficiency Series

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welcome to new readers!


I seem to have a lot of new readers all of a sudden. Welcome! Perhaps you'd like to know a little more about us.

We are a family of four living on a twenty-acre farm in north Idaho. That photo on the masthead? I took it from our front yard early one morning a few years ago. It gives you some idea of the kind of terrain in which we live. This is farming country, and I'm proud to call many farmers our neighbors.

We like to say we're doing the three H's: Homesteading, Homeschooling, and Home Business'ing.

By homesteading, we try our best to be as self-sufficient as possible in terms of growing our own food. It's hard work - trust me. We raise Dexter cattle, which are a dual-purpose (milk and meat) breed and we put a steer or two in the freezer every year.


We also have a Jersey cow, and through her generous output over the last couple of years I've learned to make all manner of dairy products such as cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, and cream cheese), butter, yogurt, etc. We also keep chickens for meat and eggs. We're in the process of putting in a wheat field. We garden and raise fruit.

By homeschooling, of course it means we homeschool our kids. We have two daughters ages 15 and 13, and two finer young ladies can't be found. (Okay, maybe we're biased.) We strongly feel it is our responsibility to raise and educate our children and train them up to be decent, intelligent, moral, respected members of society. So far so good.


By home-business'ing, it means we have a home business which has been virtually our sole support for eighteen years. We make hardwood drinking tankards. Like beer steins, made of wood. (Hey, someone's got to do it.) Before anyone asks... yes, at last we have some retail tankards available.  You can see our selection by clicking here.


We're a fun-loving, close-knit, somewhat goofy family who is happy as can be to live out in the country. Oh, and lest we offend anyone right away, you should know we're politically conservative and Christian as well.

My husband insists I mention that I'm a columnist with WorldNetDaily.com and RegularGuy.com. I write a monthly article for The Crafts Report Magazine, and I'm a regular contributor to a number of rural publications (Backwoods Home, Backhome, Grit, Countryside, etc.).

I welcome you to read about our triumphs and failures, our successes and screw-ups. Not long ago a neighbor commented that this is one of the most honest blogs she's ever read... and since she lives nearby and knows us very well, she ought to know. What she means is, we tell the plain unvarnished truth of life in the country. The good, the bad, AND the ugly. I thought that was one of the nicest compliments I'd received in a long time.


So pull up a chair and set a spell.  I hope you enjoy your visit.

103 comments:

  1. Thanks so much Patrice for filling we newbies in. I just subscribed yesterday and I know I am going to enjoy your newsy, interesting blog. Love the photo of your place. It's breathtaking.
    Kathie

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  2. I'm also one of your newbies, so thank you for the introduction. I already knew that I liked your blog, but now I like it even more since I "know" you better! It's so reassuring to discover that like-minded people exist in this world.

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  3. It sounds like you are living the same kind of life as my family - homeschooling, trying to be self-sufficient, raising our children in a conservative Christian home, only we are in the rural south instead of in Idaho. Our dream has always been to one day relocate west to an area with more families like ours. I'm interested in knowing if you have always lived out there, or if you relocated to your area.

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  4. We've lived in Idaho for seven years. Before that we lived for ten years in semi-rural southwestern Oregon (just north of Medford). Before that (yuck pitooey) we lived in the Sacramento, CA area. We've spent the last couple decades slowly migrating north. We're not hot-weather people and I simply cannot handle heat, so the cooler climate of north Idaho suits me *much* better.

    - Patrice

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  5. It all started yesterday, when I searched "Tattler lids" on HomesteadingToday.com. The link to your description was posted, I got sucked into your blog, & have been reading every chance I get for the last 24 hours! :) I've made it back to this post (so far) & thought I'd say hi. I had an "ah-ha!" moment when I was reading the "my life" section of your website. I kept feeling like your pictures seemed so familiar, then I read about your article being published in Countryside. Ah-ha! I remember your pictures & your story! It all came back to me. My husband & I are living near Portland, OR, saving up to buy our glorious chunk of forever land. It very well may end up being in your neck of the woods. We have family in Spokane, can't afford land in OR, and fear this area becoming completely Californicated. I think our homeschooling libertarian family would fit in well in ID & have long fantasized about it.

    ANYWAY. I said I was only going to say "hi" ! ;)

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  6. Welcome, Aubrey! We hope you'll be a neighbor soon. I wrote for Countryside for about two years. What a fabulous editor Anne-Marie Belanger is!

    If you do end up in our neck of the woods, I recommend buying land in Idaho rather than Washington. It's probably cheaper, but at least for us the deciding factor is that the homeschooling regulations are not as tight as in Washington. We are freer to educate our children how we wish by living in Idaho.

    Good luck - stay in touch!

    - Patrice

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  7. Thanks, Patrice! I agree, homeschool laws seem much better in ID. I hear gun laws are better as well. And honestly, I am so goofy, I'd prefer ID simply because I don't want to live in the same state as liberal Seattle. lol Can you tell I am trying to escape?

    I can't wait! This *being patient* while we save & prepare to buy land is nearly a full time occupation for me. :)

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  8. I stumbled across this from Rawles website. I love this. i wish we were neighbors! Your place is beautiful! I esp. enjoyed the info on canning bacon ends. My freezer is also topped out and I need to can some of the stuff in there. Right now, I am finishing up on applesauce. Tomatoes done. We have a year round cottage at a lake that is all propane and has a hand pump on the well and a woodburning stove that will heat the house and I can cook on it. I keep a lot of my stash there. Also attempting a garden in raised beds with mixed results. Love the website and your photos. Carol Mc

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  9. I'm not a newbie but this really helped to remind me about you and your life as I learn. Thank you for the new Welcome!

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  10. What a nice bunch of new people!

    Bill Smith

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  11. Well done Mrs! And it's good to see so many new readers discovering your site.

    Aubrey, as much as I'd like to have you for a neighbor, I think you're taking a wise approach to your northward migration when you look to bypass Washington for Idaho.

    I live on the northern edge of the peninsula, where it's stunningly beautiful and the neighbors are few and mostly conservative, but the fact remains that we're a state that, for the time being at least, is utterly dominated by, well...let's call it Seattle politics. UGH.
    But for us it was a good choice, as my husband was born and raised here and his folks are thrilled to have us nearby. And I was so grateful to escape the nightmare that my native home of California had become that I can honestly say, blue and liberal police-state politics notwithstanding, it's great to be here.

    If it weren't for the home schooling issue I'd say come here and help us take our state back, but in all truth, Idaho would likely be a better choice for your kids' sake.

    Anyway, I think of us all as neighbors, and am really grateful that Don and Patrice provide this place for us to "gather." Now if we could just get her to tell us what she really thinks...LOL

    A.McSp

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  12. I'm not a newbie, either, but it was fun to read the "sum up" of your family's story. I was thinking, if I stopped by your house as often as I stop by your blog, I'd wear my welcome out pretty quickly, ha! Thank goodness for the internet (and the archives!). :)

    Birdy (in central CA)

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  13. Golly, after reading all the hate speech about California, I think maybe I should not come here anymore. Snivel, snivel.

    There are millions of Californians who think as all of you do, but we are outnumbered by liberals and morons. I say "morons" with all due respect, mind you.

    Fact is, most of the liberals in this state came from some other state or some other country. We conservatives have tried to stop that trend, but we couldn't. So, we do the best we can under the adverse circumstances. Another couple of facts so you will better understand our situation: 55% of the population is comprised of "minorities" and 20% of the population was not born in the USA. If the "minorities" make up the majority, are they still considered minorities? Yes, according to the Federal & State governments. And therefore they can get many benefits and exceptions that the rest of us can't or don't get.

    My hope is that you folks will not forget about the conservatives living in California and how difficult it is to be a California conservative. Please pray for us, don't hate us. Thanks, from a 4th generation Native Californian of the rightwing kind. I stay in my state because I want to restore it to greatness, I will not abandon my once-Golden State.

    Patrice, your new Welcome Button is another great feature of your blog. Nice work. One question, though, why no pigs? Get some pigs, I've got a hog-scalding pot if you want it. Just let me kmow (and tie up the dogs) and I'll be there next June, delivery free of charge and so is the hog pot.

    Anonymous Patriot
    California - USA

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  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQv-sdMCClQ&feature=player_embedded

    Patrice, Please watch this when you get time. I am subscribed to your RSS feed. Thanks for what you do.

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  15. Patrice,

    I live in Boring outside of Portland, OR. We homeschool as well and have stepped into the self-sufficient life style as well. We only have 5 acres but we started a garden, 23 chickens,40 or so fruit trees and are currently building a barn for our soon to be Jersey. I have learned a lot from you and yes I too use a bread machine. SSHH!! but I let it knead and then I bake in the oven. It turns out much lighter. Lisa

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  16. Hi Patrice,

    my name is Cleber from Brazil. I´m writing this note now just to tell you how powerfuly God is speaking to us. I am rejoicing in Him for finding this website. Later I will explain the details. I´m so excited that I had to write it right now. We are homeschool parents of three and just moved to a little city with seven thousand habitants. I was talking to some friends last night about living a simple life and going back to simplicity. Finding this website just now means a lot to me. It is like a confirmation. I want to keep in touch and learn from your family. My e-mail cleber@andradenunes.org

    Thank you and may God bless your family.

    Cleber

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  17. Welcome Cleber! I'm delighted to have a reader from so far away join us! Good luck in your journey toward simplicity, a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

    - Patrice

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  18. I was wondering if you had a place to sign up to receive emails of your blogs?

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  19. Thank you for your honest, truthful commentary. I enjoy them immensely. Keep up the good work. I want to bless you as you have blessed me with your articles.

    Thank You
    God's Blessings
    Peter

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  20. Thank you Peter! And welcome.

    - Patrice

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  21. Lol! I found you tonight on my favorite site...WND! You are now in my favorites list also. Thats the way I say it..."so be it". Best wishes to you and yours.....coming from Oregon City, Oregon

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  22. Greetings from an opinionated housewife in England. Great blog!

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  23. Patrice,

    I couldn't find your email but thought you would want to see this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRmgI_WXff0
    Austrian Ewald Stadler addresses Turkish Ambassador

    If only we had some men of backbone in our legislature to stand up like this gentleman!

    Thanks.

    Diane in TX

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  24. Hello from a fellow rural Idahoan, somewhere between Priest River and Spirit Lake. I found your blog via a forum where someone posted your garlic thread.

    Homesteading is a slow process. Never enough time or money. It's an ongoing process. Made ever more urgent via the actions of our government.

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  25. Hello, fellow Idahoan! Glad you found us.

    - Patrice

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  26. Patrice,

    Hello, I found your blog this evening and can relate to your conservative politics and Christianity - a doubly politically incorrect position these days. My wife and I had homeschooled our 2 boys (13 and 11) through 5th grade for the same reasons. We also live in the country, although close to town in Illinois.

    I have been enjoying some of your blog posts. You have a really great site! I also read a few of your articles on WND and enjoyed them all. Keep up the good work! I will be reading more.

    From a Christian, Constitution loving, 2nd amendment promoting, Tea Partying, politically incorrect engineer.

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  27. Gotta love those Christian, Constitution loving, 2nd amendment promoting, Tea Partying, politically incorrect engineers! Welcome aboard.

    - Patrice

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  28. Patrice, even I'm a long time reader, I just noticed your "welcome" page. Of course, after reading your posts for all this time, most of what you mentioned above was quite clear to me, but it was nice to have confirmation. One thing is for certain, you have opened my eyes about rural living and all the hard work it takes to make it successful. And based on all of your post, I would guess you consider you and your family successful. While my family and I could not be considered rural, we do live in a small town close to Puget Sound. I have taken some of Don’s advice about the “go-bags” and have started to build them. Very much in the early stages, but as a recently retired military member, many of the items he mentions were already on hand and packed, ready for a deployment. Now that I don’t have to worry about deploying half way around the world, I can concentrate those efforts for emergency purposes.

    Best wishes and God Bless

    Rob

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  29. Sounds like you're doing fine, Rob! Glad you found Don's advice to be useful.

    - Patrice

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  30. Patrice,

    I don't know how I found this blog but I think you and your fans are total nutballs. Your poor kids...how are they ever going to function in society?

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    1. Seems to me, that all those kids in public schools are learning all the currently accepted values, and they aren't functioning so well in society.
      Maybe you should give this a second thought, but maybe it wouldn't do any good after all.

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  31. Funny which comments are anonymous. :P

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  32. I can answer that question. Your children will be just fine! My husband and I worked at Mt Rushmore summer 2009. The homeschooled children that visited were intelligent, respectful, very courteous, interesting to talk to & interested in everything. They went directly to the bookshelves. History books. Can you imagine that!:) They were well spoken on various topics and more then willing to talk to adults. They were EXCITED about being at Mt Rushmore and about learning. I was totally impressed with the character of the children that came in that were homeschooled. And I have to say that I was unimpressed by a great number of the other children that came in. All I can say to all of you homeschooling parents - WEll DONE. Keep up the good work.

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  33. Another N. Idahoan ..new reader .. will be back to read more.

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  34. Patrice, I just enjoy your blog and articles so much. You always express my own feelings, but much more eloquently than I ever could. :-D Love to have you for a neighbor, but I can't take those COLD Idaho winters. The coastal Washington rain doesn't bother me a bit! LOL!

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. I just came across you blog. Fine job! It looks like we're neighbors. We live on 40 acres in northern ID too.

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  37. Well I don't agree with the whole article becuse welfare does give peoplea place to live food to eat and free health andother insurance and just make babies and to get it you don't have to work or pay a dime. but as far as social security I have worked hard all my life and paid into social security so I think I deserve it unlike all these want to be americans the Goverment let come here and collect the american peoples money. One final thing don't you ever compare God to the trash in the government they are a disgrace to God but he will have mercuy on them if they ask for repentance.

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  38. Aw, doggoneit Patrice! It's all your fault! I'm not new to your blog; I've been hanging around here for a while, but this seemed the most appropriate spot to drop this comment. I started a preparedness blog of my own a couple of years ago. (I'd give anything to say it was also about rural living, but alas, for now we are city dwellers.)Went like gangbusters for a very short while, but fizzled. (several reasons) But being an ardent fan of you and your site, I'm starting to get the itch again. At first I thought, well, Patrice has got this stuff so well covered (along with some of the other blogs she links to) what's the point? How much of this stuff can there possibly be room for? But I'm finding the comments I post on your blog are getting longer and more numerous. I'd like to think something I add might be of some benefit to you and your readers, but rather than "getting it out of my system" it just whets my appetite. As I'm sure you can attest, this is a simple fact of life for writers. So, I'm thinking of starting up again. I'll let you know what happens. And without question I will be adding a big, fat, prominent link to Rural Revolution!

    Jeff/Tucson

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  39. Anon 2/5 10:16 a.m., you might want to re-post your comment under the correct heading: When Gov't Replaces God (http://www.rural-revolution.com/2011/02/when-government-replaces-god.html). That way, your opinion won't get misplaced. (Unfortunately this blogging program won't allow me to move comments around otherwise I'd do it myself.)

    Jeff/Tucson, good for you...!!!! Keep up the good work.

    - Patrice

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  40. I love reading your blog, I found you while I was researching once a day milking. We live just an hour north of Medford, so that was a neat thing to learn! We have been looking at moving to Idaho for some time now, and feel like we are really getting close to being able to actually do it. Anyway, enough rambling. :)

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  41. Welcome Charley! We used to live outside Gold Hill, which is about halfway between Medford and Grants Pass. In many ways we miss it but I'll admit the summer heat used to get to me (I'm a cold weather person). Good luck with your moving plans.

    - Patrice

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  42. Found Rural Revolution today, Easter Sunday, 2011. Orange Jeep Dad said it - HOOKED! Linked RSSFeed to My Yahoo top of page. Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly! Can't wait to start reading the archives!

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  43. Welcome, Chris! Glad you found your way over to our neck of the woods.

    - Patrice

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  44. Greetings from NE WY. You GO Girl! Top notch communique! Found this blog via WND. I'll be back. What you share brings hope and balance in a time of decline. Humor and truth CAN go hand in hand...it's a simple thing that has been dismantled.

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  45. Hi Katherine! Glad to have you aboard.

    - Patrice

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  46. It was great meeting you today Patrice! I enjoy your site ... great stuff here. If you're interested, I write a book/product review blog for The Paperhouse called Reading with Joey at www.booksatthepaperhouse.blogspot.com

    As we talked about earlier, Alex and I would love to have you in for a book signing. From the bit I could overhear during your interview, your book sounds wonderful. I wish you all the best and look forward to reading more of your stuff here!

    ~ Devon Barta

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  47. Thanks, Devon! It was fun meeting you and Summer. I look forward to working with you.

    - Patrice

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  48. Just the place I've been looking for. Are there many farms such as your's for sale? If so, how does a fella go about inquiring about them? Are the farms expensive?
    thanks again

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  49. I've been following your blog for a few months now, and just took the time to read your "Welcome".

    We are actually considering a move to Idaho, and would love to discuss a recent article, made known through a call-in Christian Talk show on CSN Christian radio.

    The person shared the article concerning China being interested in land in Idaho, and that China had already purchased around 30,000 acres south of Boise with plans to build industry and a self-sufficient city. Do you and your husband have any information regarding this, we cannot tell if the author of this article is just an alarmist or what? The whole "idea" that China is "buying" Idaho sounds a little out there. Do Idahoans have concerns over this, or is this man inflating a situation that is just normal, for example, there are other foreign companies w/ industry in America, is this simply the case here? Or something more? If you have any insight we would greatly appreciate it. I have a link on my blog where I can be contacted privately if you have time to respond.

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  50. Hi Mrs C:

    I do not believe the info regarding China owning land in southern Idaho is "alarmist" in the sense that I've heard the same thing from reputable sources. We're in north Idaho and frankly get most of our news from over the border in Washington (specifically Spokane) so I haven't heard much from mainstream sources about this (nor, frankly, are mainstream sources likely to address it).

    Whatever the truth about the issue, I wouldn't let it discourage you from looking toward Idaho as a potential home. We are at least a ten or eleven hour drive from the location they're talking about, in essence a little less than halfway across the country distant from it (north to south). To that end, however, I would urge you to consider moving toward the northern part of the state, which has the dual advantages of being less populated as well as less expensive. (Less desert-y, too, though that's not true of all areas in southern Idaho.)

    There are anti-Constitutional things going on everywhere. Despite the issue with China, Idaho is still considered one of least regulated states and has an enormous amount of people who believe in personal responsibility and individual freedoms. Just something to consider. Let me know what happens!

    - Patrice

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  51. To begin with what is a url?
    Now Don Lewis your answer to alex was totally not out of hand,more stand up and tell it like it is needs to happen.We too own a small farm in Wisconsin and work at non farm activities to make some cash.
    Thanks for standing up to IDIOTS
    Jack

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  52. I'm only 19, but my uncle showed me your blog a couple weeks ago. I very much agree with everything I've read on here, and I appreciate everything you post.

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  53. Welcome Troy! I'm pleased you found us.

    - Patrice

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  54. Hi Patrice -

    I couldn't find your email, but I wanted to forward this to you:

    http://news.yahoo.com/behind-poverty-numbers-real-lives-real-pain-151738270.html

    I believe the article is written with the intent to make us feel sorry for all of those in poverty. However, it had exactly the opposite effect on me - I am very sorry to say. In all but one of the stories I was able to find at least one, if not many, examples of what you define as poor choices leading to bad things. What I am likely to do with the article is to print it out and share each story with my children and see if they can identify the poor choices. There's the risk of making them insensitive to real needs, but I hope that in actuality it will help them identify how to help people out of these messes in EFFECTIVE ways. This is just another example of our not educating the next generation in ways that really matter. It makes me SO ANGRY that people end up like this and seem to be utterly unaware of how it happened. And now we've created a whole generation of people who don't know how to pass the right choices on to their kids. If people made good choices then we could concentrate on helping the people who truly had random bad things happen to them.

    And why have I had to become so bitter?

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  55. An interesting read, Anon 10:34. The "elephant in the room" no one wants to see is to what extent long-term poverty is caused by poor choices. I'm not talking about temporary setbacks such as unemployment or medical difficulties. Those happen to everyone. But long-term chronic poverty is frequently caused by making bad decisions -- having children out of wedlock, doing drugs or alcohol, having a bad work ethic where people show up late, dress inappropriately, etc.

    That said, in this economy I have a lot of compassion for those who are struggling. Much of the economic buffeting people are experiencing is caused by winds of change far beyond anyone's personal choices or actions. The best we can do is hang on for dear life.

    - Patrice

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  56. Googled, "canned bacon" and found your web site. It is great! I put in favorites.
    Mike
    West Branch, MI

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  57. Thank you and welcome, Mike!

    - Patrice

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  58. Found your site last year via Survival Blog and now can't let a day go by without checking to see what you and your beautiful family are doing.I also canned bacon bits after your article, would not have thought of them on my own !Keep up the great work and don't let the trolls get you down .


    Dee, Southeast Arizona

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  59. Hello Patrice.
    I don't know if you have ever heard the story of Johnny Lingo and his 8 cow wife. Our pastor shared it with us during our online bible study yesterday. I thought you might like it. Here is the link.
    http://www.biblehelp.org/cow.htm

    Ken, Pennsauken NJ

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  60. Hello Patrice
    Good Job on your Book.
    I enjoy your Blog.
    I check you blog everyday for new info and pic, Barn sure looks good, I also follow you friends blog Enola Guy.
    Carlos, Detroit MI

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  61. Thank you, Carlos! Glad to have you as a reader. We've been working some more on the barn, I'll post some pix shortly.

    - Patrice

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  62. I am so excited to have found your blog! It proves to me that my dream in life can be a reality, it gives me hope!
    Thank you!
    Katie

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  63. Welcome, Katie! I'm glad you found us.

    - Patrice

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  64. Hi Patrice - Just read your article in Backwoodshome.com regarding raw milk. LOVED IT!!! Found your blog and fell in love. You are an inspiration - My husband and I are trying as much as possible to go back to our roots. We have about a 1/2 acre garden and can/freeze almost everything from it, grow and store our own fruit. We raise chickens for both eggs and meat as well as raise registered berkshire pork. Short of a cow, we have a good start! LOL. We actually don't live that far from you (Twisp, WA). Enough about me, my question was, do you know the nutritional difference between home organic pasteurized milk and commercial pasteurized milk? We are getting raw milk from a friend and my husband has a concern with raw milk and the kids drinking it. I figure even if we get raw milk and I pasteurize it at home, it has to be better than commercial milk. Any insight would be great! Thanks so much -

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  65. Patrice

    I could not find an e-mail address on the blog but I just had to send you this: http://thelook.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/30/10270632-drop-crotch-jeans-hot-or-horrible

    Add this to your fashion reviews....it is a hoot!

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  66. Patrice

    I found another hot fashion item for use around the farm while playing basketball. I am sure many of your readers will be on the waiting list for this one!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/06/adidas-releases-cowboyboo_n_1325033.html

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  67. Patrice

    I thought this site might be interesting to your single readers:

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/29/pf/doomsday-dating/index.htm?source=cnn_bin

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  68. I looked for a way to contact you - is this the best way? I am probably blind to your email address :)
    Anyway, today only (I think?) an interesting looking kindle book is available from Amazon. It is entitled "Farming as a Spiritual Discipline" and is by Ragan Sutterfield. He has a few blogs also. I have not read the book but I downloaded it today to read on my computer later. I though possibly you or your readers might find it interesting.

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  69. oh, and the url in case it works is:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00845UKFI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00845UKFI&linkCode=as2&tag=jdskindle-20

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    1. Thank you! Looks interesting!

      - Patrice

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  70. Just found your blog today. What good fortune! Hubby & I have spent quite some time deciding where to "make" our home. Just this week we (finally) made the decision of that Idaho is the place for us. We are now just comparing certain locations for our final landing spot & will be heading back to Idaho later this month to check out the outskirts of the CDL area. Your blog has appeared in our life at the perfect time!

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    1. It's a little dry and brown this time of year since we haven't had rain in a month, but I think you'll find it beautiful nonetheless. Happy hunting!

      - Patrice

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  71. Hello Patrice..we are also conservative and Christians, so it's great to know that your blog will be like no other. That's refreshing. I learned about you through my husband since he subscribes to the Whistleblower magazine and daily goes to the World Net Daily site. I saw an ad for your book The Simplicity Primer in the whistleblower. I eventually got in on my Kindle and couldn't put it down. I've purposed to read any and all material you publish so I'm very blessed to have found you. God works in mysterious ways, for sure. We'll be homesteaders within the next 6 to 8 years, on close to 18 acres in North Texas, so any and all farming, homestead advice or reads interest me a great deal. I love your blog and hope to learn a lot more about the homesteading life. Blessings your way to you and and your family. Thank you for all that you do and write about. You've inspired me to look forward to our older years living on our acres of many unknown surprises. Have a great week!...Alicia

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    1. Glad to see you found your way here, Alicia. Now start a blog and document your progress, hear?

      - Patrice

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    2. Yes Ma'am, I will. Have a great weekend!

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  72. Hi Patrice,
    I started following your blog early this year. My wife and I have learned quite a bit just reading your entries. We live on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada's in the high desert. I see you would rather avoid the kind of heat we have here. My wife misses the afternoon rain showers she was used to in the mountains where she's from. I've started a wordpress blog and would like to follow you there. Not sure how that's done though. Any ideas?

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    1. I've added you to my link exchange (reciprocal linking is always appreciated). The link exchange operates on a scrolling basis in which blogs with the most recent posts scroll to the top. So to stay visible on the link exchange, I urge you to post frequently. Your blog is lovely so far, I wish you luck!

      - Patrice

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  73. Found your site through another blogger, and I believe it was through Lisa Bedford's articles that I found you. You site has made me laugh, especially when it comes to canning. Only those of us who take the time to make the mess understand the reward. Enjoying all the different articles you have posted.

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    1. Thank you! And welcome.

      I met Lisa in May when we were both speakers at a preparedness expo in Colorado, and you never met a nicer person.

      - Patrice

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  74. Just became an instant fan! I am in northern Idaho as well, Lewiston. We have been preppers for awhile now, just became very serious when we bought the "anti zombie tank" huge 1969 motor home last summer. I am interested in dehydrating my own food and am a constant learner in the art of being prepared and aware. Currently looking into building my own solar panels among other stuff. THANK YOU for such an informative place to learn!
    mindy

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    1. Welcome, Mindy! Glad to have you aboard.

      - Patrice

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  75. I have your book, The Simplicity Primer, in my bathroom and read a page while doing what needs to be done at the time. I just discovered you have a blog...noted on the back cover! What a great discovery!
    Lynn...from Pa

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    1. Welcome Lynn! I'm happy you found us.

      - Patrice

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  76. Just found your blog, really enjoyed the grow your own wheat article. Also read that you were going to try growing navy beans from store bought beans, how did that turn out? I have thought about doing the same thing. I am looking forward to reading more from the past. Bill from upstate NY

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    1. Some grew, most didn't. I suspect the ones that didn't were mostly due to birds -- robins have a bad habit of plucking the tiny fresh leaves of new-growing beans, which dooms them. This year I'm going to net my beans when I start growing them.

      - Patrice

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  77. Hi Patrice! I'm new to comments, have been reading the blog for about a month during down time at work & finally had a chance to log in on my home computer. I would love to be living your lifestyle. Have 4 1/2 acres in the west county of St. Louis, MO with 2 horses, 3 dogs & 4 cats. I'd have a cow and chickens but we're part of a subdivision that doesn't allow it. I may pretend ignorance of the "rules" though and get some chickens soon. I started a small garden this year & plan to expand it next spring. I love reading about your family doing the things I wish I was doing.

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    1. Welcome, Jeanne! Sounds like you're doing an excellent job despite being in a subdivision. As the saying goes, bloom where you're planted. Glad you found our little cyber-home.

      - Patrice

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  78. Hi am a new reader also, although not sure how much I will read since there is no option for email subscription and no easy way for the few ways to read blogs either. So am at a loss. Thanks for looking into this if you do.

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  79. I was really excited to find your vinegar project. Can't wait to make some berry vinegar from overripe blackberries. I am not a homesteader (except in one of my past lives)...more of a suburban hippy. However, I didn't get too far in reading before I was saddened and felt like I was back in a public middle school. I live in California and actually love the place...and may be considered moronic as some of my opinions may be considered too liberal. I will limit my future conversation and will simply thank you for your writing.

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  80. Thanks for the Info - writing from South Africa
    Found your site by accident looking for info on Pressure canners
    Will read some more when I have more time
    Dave Manley

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  81. I love your site. Just found it last week. Spouse and I just bought 10 acres in your state. Can't wait to flee California (orig. from Arizona). The goal is next spring. Have experience with rabbits, chickens and turkeys but look forward to trying a couple of beef cows next year. The house is little but the barn big. I want to print out ALL of your site but will keep it book-marked instead for future reference. Look forward reading your entire site.

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  82. Happy New Year!

    I live just outside CDA - glad to have found you.

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    1. Welcome Clair! Glad you found us too.

      - Patrice

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  83. Hello,

    I really like your blog and your views on home schooling. My wife and I are really interested in home schooling our sons down here in Southern California but we're not sure where to start with choosing a curriculum, etc. Any resources or advice you or your other readers could give would be really appreciated. Thank you for all you do!

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  84. I just discovered your website after reading your "Bread and Circus" articles in Whistleblower mag. Raised in the Lewiston, ID area. Actually, I will be visiting my family there later this week. I am soon retiring to North Carolina. Blessings. Jesus is wonderful

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  85. I just today discovered your blog from a friend's post on Facebook In January my husband and I moved from a town home in Southern California to a house on 20 acres in Northern Idaho. Our dream is to do exactly what you are doing, so I'll be sure to check in regularly!

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  86. Hello! Thrilled I found you! I live outside of Boise in Caldwell in a historical area. Corner lot, .3 acres, huge house, not huge backyard. I found you when I was looking into finding big gardens in small spaces and caught tire gardening. I have much to do and learn before the new growing season begins. Can you help me towards a first timer reader for me to follow? I'm not even sure when to start gardening! Kathy

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