United We Stand

 

 

winds blow

seasons of change

athletes training in action

patriots day

help already present

running INTO the melee

Forgetting differences

We all bleed the same

Just there to help

What do you need?

What are you?

American…indeed!

When I want to only hear nature, this is where I go

Free to fly!!!!

WE often read of things that are going on in our country that diminish the pride in America.    Loss of choices in what is grown and how it is grown.  Cover-ups by government entities for folks in high places.  Crime in our cities.  Bullies in our schools.  Most of this is either government attacking US or we as individuals are treating one another badly.  Why do we allow this?  Why do we DO this?

This week, an obvious attack on US as an entity of united we stand.  Again, without hesitation, hundreds run into the melee of danger and horror offering any help to any person without thought to themselves or any of the things that so often divide us.   As a country we come together when we perceive an attack is being made on us.  In the worst of times we do show our best sides.  Our character that makes us proud to be American shows wonderfully under dire straights.   So what do we need to do to “come together…..right now”, on some of the most important issues we face in our country today?  Our food and the right to grow it, consume it, sell it, and protect it for future generations is being challenged.  Our personal safety, in our homes and out amoungst our communities is not secure.  Based on what I read, it appears that our leaders and the government would like to make it so we have even less ability to protect ourselves and our homes.  They are buying up ammunition and there are lobbyists working day and night hoping to take away our right to bear arms.

Yes dear, yes dear, yes dear.  Pumpkin is learning early!

Yes dear, yes dear, yes dear. Pumpkin is learning early!

Diana and Thelma taking a stroll

Diana and Thelma taking a stroll

Feeling the breeze!

Feeling the breeze!

Yet, there is no money to provide care for our mentally ill.  They are left to roam the streets and live life the best they can.  The general public does not understand mental illness.  They have a picture in their mind of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.  They do not understand that mentally ill does NOT mean they are dumb or illiterate or unable to carry out a plan of action if they so choose to, even if their reasoning and rationale is very tilted.  Many mentally ill people are of extreme high intelligence.

In spite of the serious challenges we face as a nation today I still think we live in the best country on earth.  I also believe we are united when we start looking at the similarities instead of pointing out all the differences.  It is obvious when we join forces and work together….the job gets done!

There really is no point to this except my own personal musings regarding our nation the week of the Boston Marathon Bombings.  Oh, and of course, to share some pictures with you!  They have NOTHING to do with what I wrote about.  They have EVERYTHING to do with own personal life.  Enjoy!

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Moving Day!

MOVING is something I have way too much experience at. Seriously. I am not a military brat either. A couple of my moves have been because I was seeking change. But most of them were because of life circumstances deeming it the only option. Let me try to list the various moves I am aware of or can remember:

Hospital
Grandparents house
Duplex on A street
House on Delrose Drive
Duplex on 7th and N or something like that
Apartment in Beaverton by McDonalds
Apartment in Beaverton that were gray
Apartment in Aloha by the train tracks (went to the BEST school there for 3 or 4th grade)
Place in Lincoln city (yuck)
Grandparents
Apartment in Newport
Apartment in Santa Clara
House on 16th street
House on Peidmont
House in The Dalles
Apartment on 16
House in The Dalles
House on 19th in FG
Apartment in FG
House in Hillsboro
Garage in Cornelius
Grandparents
Apartment in Springfield
House at MP 27
House on Partridge Way
Grandparents
House in FG
House on Piedmont (across from house I lived at in middle school)
House on Lawnridge
Apartment on Centennial
House on M st.
Apartment off Harlow
Apartment on Gateway
Duplex in Springfield
Arlington, WA
Centennial apartments (same as before)
Parents
Basement apt off Wilson St.
Apartment in S. Salem
Apartment in W. Salem
At a friends
House at Murphy
Barn apartment where I am now.

Hey…if I didn’t miss any it’s not as bad as I thought. Only 41 moves. The move to House on 19th was my first move as an adult!

What have I learned about moving? Get rid of it if you don’t use it or love it! I have trimmed down what things I MUST have with me to a minimal amount especially in the last 5 moves. I spent years collecting and trying to save or keep. Now, I can look at so many things and so easily say…I don’t need it or love it or want it.

Basics needed: A place to sleep that is comfortable and warm. I am very fussy about my bed. Water and food. Warmth.
Things that make it nice for me: Decor, friends, fresh air, being in the country.

There are various levels of safety in my coop.  The red gate keeps the dogs out, the locked gate keeps the predators out and now there is a wire wall to keep the babies seperated from the big girls.

There are various levels of safety in my coop. The red gate keeps the dogs out, the locked gate keeps the predators out and now there is a wire wall to keep the babies seperated from the big girls.

Today was my girls 4th move in 8 weeks. They started out wherever they were born, then moved to the Farmer’s Coop, then to the little brooder I had for them, then down to the big brooder with M&E’s group. Today, they are moved into the coop! They dont’ have complete freedom in there yet, but it is their new home where they will be for as long as I live here at the barn.

The little girls are safe from the big girls here, but still able to be near enough that the big girls get used to them and vice versa.

The little girls are safe from the big girls here, but still able to be near enough that the big girls get used to them and vice versa.

The babies are now housed under the poop board.  The big girls still can get to their roosts and nests!

The babies are now housed under the poop board. The big girls still can get to their roosts and nests!

Here they are, checking out their new digs!  Eating and drinking are most important, aside from being safe, which they are!

Here they are, checking out their new digs! Eating and drinking are most important, aside from being safe, which they are!

When I moved the girls today, I made sure they had all that they needed as well as a few things to make it nice. The have a clean coop that protects them from the elements. There is a water source and food source available. They have some colorful feed bags to look at. They have one another. They have dry bedding for a place to sleep. They can be entertained by the big girls coming and goings.

I think they have a pretty good situation for their integration with the rest of my flock. For the next few days they will stay in their little place in the coop under the poop board. I will open it up and close the door to the coop and let them run around in there for a couple hours each day, while the big girls are out free ranging.

Checking it out and fluffin it up

Checking it out and fluffin it up

Their move was so easy. I created a safe place, put the waterer and feeder in there and then hauled them in two armfuls of chicken love! I can’t wait for them to have freedom to roam the hills like the big girls do! 🙂 That is where all the best parts of living here are! Moving day was the easiest ever. I sure hope they are happy in their home!

Cleaning the coop and Making Yogurt!!!

ON my motorcycle ride I pulled over and got this lovely shot of Mt. McLoughlin and the valley along Stagecoach Rd.  Such a pretty day.

ON my motorcycle ride I pulled over and got this lovely shot of Mt. McLoughlin and the valley along Stagecoach Rd. Such a pretty day.

Life has been good for me lately. I have been up and able to do some activities every day for a week! I enjoyed a wonderful motorcycle ride last Friday. Nearly 80 miles of beautiful countryside. Lots of blossoms and lovely aromas to enjoy. Spring has definitely SPRUNG!!!

My boyfriend got the “best boyfriend ever” award on saturday. He drove out here to the farm and mucked out 6+ months worth of eww and poo from the chicken coop!!! I don’t know about all of you, but my past has not included many men that would do “crappy” jobs like that for me. Not only did he haul all that out of there, but he did it with a smile and cracking jokes and being attentive to me all at the same time. I am impressed! When he got near to being done, he says “honey, I know I”m not going to get it as well as you would, so I’ll let you do your pretty stuff”. We’ve only been dating for 6 months and he’s already figured out that I am a bit OCD about cleaning. He also made and installed a poop board for me after asking me where and how I wanted it done. Sure am glad I met this guy!

I used the deep litter method with excellent results.  I had not cleaned it since I got the girls in October!

I used the deep litter method with excellent results. I had not cleaned it since I got the girls in October!

My Silver Laced Wyandottes are now 8 weeks old.  Still not sure if both are pullets.

My Silver Laced Wyandottes are now 8 weeks old. Still not sure if both are pullets.

So I got in there with the Basic H, my homemade orange/lemon vinager spray bottle and the hose! I scrubbed and hosed and scraped and scrubbed some more. When it was to my liking I sprayed the whole thing with the Vinegar mix and let it just set. Then, I wallpapered with feed bags. Just to cheer it up a bit! I am hoping to make some privacy curtains soon for the nesting boxes. A bale of straw and some pine shavings in the nests and the girls were happy to get back in there. The babies will be joining them in another week or so. They are 8 weeks old today!

This is Pumpkin and Peggy.  It is very obvious that Pumpkin is a roo!

This is Pumpkin and Peggy. It is very obvious that Pumpkin is a roo!

Sunday I slept in and missed church. It was ok, I just put on some praise and worship music and had my own church right here!!! I am so grateful for my salvation!!!! After I got ready I headed into town for my meeting. The afternoon was spent with my guy and his son doing some shooting up Spencer Creek. Sure is some pretty country up there.033

On Monday we took a road trip to Salem to do some business and I was able to see a friend there, then we stopped in Eugene and had dinner with my brother and his girlfriend on our way home. It was our first road trip together and we both enjoyed one another’s company!

Yesterday I spent some time hauling the last of the wood down from the splitter area and stacking it. I have 1/4 cord left to last. Hoping we have no large dips in temperature. I also started cleaning up a bit of debris that has collected around the barn. I am ready to start getting things looking nice for summer.

I made yogurt today. I had said I would post instructions for making yogurt. I have 2 pints “brewing” in the crock pot right now. Here is how I did it…it is so easy!!!

1. Sterilize jars in the dishwasher or oven. If in the dishwasher, I always run a second rinse when canning or needing sterile jars. In the oven, place the jars on a cookie sheet, not touching each other, in an oven that is preheated to 225 degrees. Leave them there for 10 full minutes. They can stay in longer, but need 10 minutes for certain.

Milk in the saucepan and heated to 110 degrees.

Milk in the saucepan and heated to 110 degrees.

2. Set up a crock pot with about 2 inches of water in the bottom and put it on low.

3. Pour your raw milk into a clean saucepan and heat on low until milk reaches 110 degrees. I sliced a vanilla bean down the center and scraped out the insides into my milk. When milk reaches 110 degrees stir in 1 Tblspn. *yogurt culture per cup of milk used. I use a whisk and try to get the lumps out by stirring well.

Sliced bean down the center and scraped out the insides to put in the milk.  Saved the pods for use later...maybe for cleaner.

Sliced bean down the center and scraped out the insides to put in the milk. Saved the pods for use later…maybe for cleaner.

4. Pour the warm milk into your jars that are fresh out of the oven and then lower them carefully into the water in the crock pot. My water was at 115 from being preheated on LOW. I turned it to the WARM setting and put the lid on. I will check it periodically and if the temperature is much below 90 I will turn the crock pot back up to LOW until it gets back up to 110 degrees. You don’t want it higher than that tho, and don’t let it drop much below 90. Ideally having it stay at 100 degrees for 6-24 hours is best. I will leave mine overnight as I did before. After it is “set” cover and place in the refrigerator to cool.

I saved this starter from my last batch.  The starter MUST have live cultures to be used.  I had originally used Nancy's plain yogurt, but this was from my last batch.  The whey is fine to use!

I saved this starter from my last batch. The starter MUST have live cultures to be used. I had originally used Nancy’s plain yogurt, but this was from my last batch. The whey is fine to use!

The jars filled with the mixture and placed in the crock pot and kept at 100 degrees for 6-24 hours or until set!  Then refridgerate.  Yum

The jars filled with the mixture and placed in the crock pot and kept at 100 degrees for 6-24 hours or until set! Then refridgerate. Yum

I added the vanilla bean because I like it. I did not add any sweetener of any kind because I prefer to drizzle a lil maple syrup over it if I decide that’s what I want, but if I decide to use it with baking I don’t want added sweetener. Use your own discretion. I really think this is a slick method! Easy peezy! I hope it works well for you.

This yogurt was so delicious!  I can't wait for my new batch to be done.

This yogurt was so delicious! I can’t wait for my new batch to be done.