Country Living Series

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday roundup

Time once again for our Friday roundup, in which we post what incremental steps we took toward preparedness and self-sufficiency.

And what did we do this week?


Zip, zilch, nothing. It's just been a crazy-busy week and nothing, but nothing, got done.

The most we can say is this: (1) We moved our herd down into the field for fresh grazing...

...and (2) we had a calf born this afternoon to Dusty, a little heifer whom Younger Daughter named Adina (Dina for short) -- more on this in a separate blog post.

Hardly anything that could be claimed as preparedness-related.

I'm hoping you all have had a more productive week than we have!


  1. Nope. Spent the week doing day job stuff, making toys for rich people. Better luck next week!

  2. I bought fishing gear, something I haven't done for years. The bad news is that Zebco is no longer the low price high quality product I once knew. The standard Zebco 33 was once the dependable starter kit for fishing. The combo I got today was jammed when I got it out of the box. Now I have to break down the reel and probably replace the line before I can use it. Lesson learned...ALWAYS do research on your purchases. Even the brand names you used to trust can be bought out and put on useless products, something I could have found out (and did) in ten minutes of online research. Thanks for all your blogs, I look forward to your new posts.

    1. My first rod and reel were a Zebco 33. I'm sorry to hear it's no longer as high quality a product.

      I'm singing the blues over the expensive new Kenmore cook stove I bought a couple of years ago. It's an attractive looking, energy-wasting piece of junk because of the inferior way it was hecho en mexico. Dangerously inferior actually. Replacement parts come from the same plant, with no guarantee of correction or improvement.

      No more Kenmore appliances for me, I'm afraid. That's always been a go-to home appliance brand for me, because it's always been a reliable brand built to last, but it looks like those days are over.

      I'm making do with it for now, because I'd be hard-pressed to re-sell it in good conscience.

      Let us know how your Zebco 33 works out for you, ok?

      A. McSp

  3. Me, me! I made a huge pot of green chicken chili and canned 9 pints. Canned 14 quarts of asparagus. 15 pints of carrot cake jam. Dehydrated 2 loads of carrots and one load of cinnamon apples. Picked up the wood cook stove and started the cleaning process. Tended seedlings. More to thrift store. More organized. Phew!!

  4. I did manage to pickle some jalapeno peppers from the garden. Ordered six #10 cans of freeze dried sweet peas (can't seem to grow them!) and another 50# of oat groats. Added 36 more rolls of TP to the stash. Today I will be picking up the 2 mulberry trees I ordered last month. For me, it's all about food!

  5. Watched the onions rot in the ground from the daily (light but persistent) rain that has left the soil soggy. Even the ones that had blown down and been pulled in an effort to save had a 50% rate of spoiling. The potatoes will probably go the same way. So much for a lot of our storage food. The chard is completely bewildered by the alternate cold and hot days earlier and now the rain and is starting to bolt three months ahead of the usual time. Haven't even been able to plant blackeyed peas. The squash is being destroyed by borers. The tomatoes won't ripen. The peppers are too small and are damaged by who knows what. We're reminded of how many people starved from crop failure when their own crops failed. Maybe we can still get something to grow after it dries some, but the summer growing season will be too hot before long. We'll just have to hope that the fall is kinder. Also have had an invasion of rabbits--what next!
    Since I was trapped inside, I cleaned a lot of stuff in the closet in the master bedroom--floors, baseboards etc. Also re-folded the clothes that stay on the shelves and were disarranged as a result of trying to get out the things that were wanted (always on the bottom of the stack!). Other closets will come later if the rain keeps on.
    Checked the arrangement of stored food and made sure that the oldest was at the front of the shelves.
    Worked on sewing and needlework projects normally saved for evenings.

  6. Hey, the cattle in your picture seem to think you did useful stuff in moving them to fresh pasture!
    We had wet, heavy (!) snow here in Colo. followed by tree limb disasters, power outages, etc. So......ordered one of the Sunferno phone/tablet chargers. Used some very handy canned goods to fix a good supper sans electricity. Good to see an end to drought, but so sad to see so many broken trees.

  7. Some weeks all that happens is too keep all the plates spinning (old Ed Sullivan show favorite). Yup, just kept things from collapsing, but that positions one for the next week where a breakthrough can occur. Now back to figuring out why our chest freezer is swinging about +5 to -15 F, when it used to sedately sit +/- a couple of degrees above/below zero F...

  8. I finally ordered straw filters for each of us (since they were on sale at the best price I've seen in two years). They arrived today. Other than that, I got 50 strawberry plants planted, and still have 25 left to go this year. We really need a total of 200, so I'm not done yet, but there wasn't any way I was going to get a fourth hugelkultur bed finished before it would be too late to plant them. My taters are all in, except for a dozen leftovers that I'll probably just get annoyed and eat. Adirondack Blues are fun mashed. Other than that, all I did this week was mow and weed, which isn't prepping but still needs to be done. And I decided we didn't have the $1400 necessary to buy the alfalfa seed for the fields right now, so that's off my list as a failure, but there isn't anything I can do about it. The kitchen needs a new floor worse than the fields need to be seeded. That is all.

  9. We've had a productive week. We picked up 30 quail to use for breeding stock. Canned about 35 quarts of green beans. Dug part of our potatoes, about 150 lbs. Put 8 yds of wood chip on the garden where it was getting thin. We were given quite a few logs last week, so we split about a cord this week. Love this time of year. Busy but so rewarding.

  10. Well. I'm glad to know I'm not the only ones that happens to. We had a very very late frost this week and lost our tomatoes and some squash. Our potatoes lost some leaves as well. We got our application in to the local cash and carry type place. I got the rest of the potatoes in, and some more green beans. Really, that's it. We were able to harvest some lettuce and radishes for fresh salad stuff, but not much else here.

    Learning in NY

  11. Well, while I was away, my daughter DID remember to buy the 20 lbs. of chicken quarters I had asked her to get. 49 cents a lb. is totally unheard of in my area. Going to roast them, then debone and can, and make broth to can from the bones. 20" of rain this month, and it isn't finished. I don't even want to talk about our poor onions, mush - just mush!