Monday, July 20, 2015

E.coli Came To Town

  There is a very specific reason that I haven't been posting much lately. And that is that I've been sick from drinking contaminated water. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I felt slightly "off" on Wednesday, spiked a fever by Thursday, and basically have more or less been a fixture on the couch since then. Missouri has been experiencing a very WET summer, complete with lots of flooding. I guess this flood water somehow got into my county's water supply... And now ALL of it is contaminated with E.coli. Yup. Thing is, I didn't know this until Saturday; and apparently all the town's had put down a "boil order" on all city water just the day or two before. While I definitely don't have E.coli, I am for sure feeling the effects of drinking bad water.

  Not having access to news is usually a great thing in my mind; keeps my stress levels down. LOL. But, I could see how it would be very handy to know what's going on in the town when we suddenly have to boil our water because of an E.coli breakout!

  This whole thing has been a bit of a shock for me. Things like this always seem to happen to "someone else", in "some other state". And yet here we are: my town alone has almost 30,000 people; and none of us can use our water unless we boil it first. For the record, boiled water tastes horrible. My husband assures me that it's better than water with iodine tablets in it, but that really doesn't make me enjoy my boiled water any more. 

  And then with the problem of now boiling all water, I'm going through my day thinking, "Wait, how do I wash dishes now? Can I still do that with tap water? And what about taking a shower?? Or doing laundry? Surely laundry will be fine, being washed in yucky water, right???" 

  It's a mess.

  I've been reading through a library book that's half about preserving/stocking food to be frugal, and half about preserving/stocking food in case of an emergency. Now, I have to admit, that up 'til now, I've been skipping over the emergency section. The idea of storing jugs of water made me think of my mother who stored multitudes of jugs in our spacious bathroom closet, many years ago... And then dumped every single one of those jugs out years later because they never got used. This E.coli thing is probably the first emergency/disaster I've experienced (and thankfully a mild one to start with!), so up until now the idea of "prepping" seemed like something for folks who really think zombies are coming. And yet now... Here I am, wishing I had been smart and stored away bottled water, disposable plates/bowls/ utensils, and bottles of hand sanitizer. Live and learn, folks. Live and learn...

  But if nothing else, this crisis has at least opened my eyes to the fact that emergency preparedness is a good thing, and need not be taken to a crazy level. 

  And now, methinks I need a nap. Being sick is no fun guys; stay away from dirty water.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How Hard Can It Be To Write An Essay?

 Apparently very hard. Or at least when the essay is only allowed to be 200 words long. Yes guys, I'm referring to that essay contest to win the goat farm down in Alabama. I had all these wonderful ideas for my essay submission, but then when I sat down and started writing, I realized just how hard it is for me to write SHORT essays. I can do five hundred words easily. One thousand words is even better. But only two hundred?? Gaah, it's killing  me.

  But I'm still trying. I'm stubborn that way. 

  I had thought about giving up at one point, but my morale was greatly boosted when someone made the mistake of telling me to give up now because, "You're not good enough of a writer anyway..." and "It's a pointless contest since there's no way you'll win."  *Enter dramatic music.* (I don't know what kind of music, but it needs to be dramatic.) I was mad. Insulted. Determined more than ever to enter the contest. On the outside I was perfectly cool and polite, on the inside though I was roaring with indignation. Such is the way this girl ticks... I flat out never argue; I just annoyingly decide that I'm right, keep that opinion to myself and basically tune the other person out until they're done talking and we can all go our separate ways. Growing up with ten siblings taught me the art of keeping my mouth shut. 

Now sure, that person is right for the most part; my chances of winning are something like 2,500 to 1. But there's still that ONE chance. And in the end, the way I see it is like this: If the good Lord wants me to have that goat farm, then it doesn't matter what I write; it'll happen. And if I'm not supposed to have that goat farm, then by Jove it won't happen! Simplistic of me? Possibly. But hey, you sleep better at night with simplistic views such as this. 

  But views aside, one does still have to write a 200 page essay to enter the contest... And this seems to be my Waterloo.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pinterest Link Up!

  After what -- almost two years? -- I'm finally bringing the Pinterest Link Ups back! This week's round is short, since I'm still trying to get the hang of it again; but I feel like I found some pretty good stuff this week. :) Enjoy!

1. DIY Fodder System! {Courtesy of Rina Marie Blog} - I REALLY like the looks of this system, and have a hankering to try it out!

2. Why You Should Consider Keeping Quail. {Courtesy of 'The 104 Homestead'}  - I've been thinking about trying quail out for YEARS, but have yet to do it. This article is making me think I should give it a go...

3. Growing Mushrooms In A Laundry Basket. {Courtesy of 'Milkwood'} - This article doesn't give specifics on getting your mushrooms started (great links to be found on Pinterest!), but I was so tickled by their pictures of growing mushrooms in a laundry basket that I had to share! I'm totally buying a spare laundry basket next time I go to Walmart!

4. Make Your Own Dog Food. {Courtesy of 'Home And Farm Sense'} - For those of you out there who are thinking about switching to real food for your dogs, this is a great starter recipe. Whenever I had dogs, they always got raw/real food diets and the difference in their health was amazing!

Friday, July 10, 2015


  The trailer for the 9th season of Doctor Who is out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If my husband was here, he'd probably have to endure me squealing, bouncing around the house, and shaking his shoulders in agitated excitement. But since he's not here at the moment, I shall instead share my excitement here!

 Just a few more months, and then the season will be out! It seems like a painfully long wait, but it's coming... Oh it's coming.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I Want A Dairy Animal

  I've come full circle. I'm ready to have a dairy animal again. Granted, there are a few obstacles in the way, like the fact that I live in town, no longer have ANY of my equipment, and have very little in the way of livestock-buying funds right now. But those are all minor obstacles that I have answers to, for the most part.

  No, the biggest issue for me is not where to put the critter/s (have two places available) or some such dilemma, but rather what kind of dairy animal to get! Goat or cow?? I really want a cow; financially, she would be the better option since I could easily sell and trade the extra milk. But... Cows are expensive, and I would need something like a Holstein/Jersey cross, or a Brown Swiss, since those are the two breeds I can generally tolerate milk from (for those into milk and all that, I have to have a cow that's specifically A1/A2. Any other kind is not nice to my stomach.). Jersey cows are abounding on Craigslist right now, and fairly priced. But I can't have a Jersey. *scowl* Oh sure there are some "HoJo's" and Brown Swiss for sale, but with the Swiss' averaging $3k, and the HoJo's around $2k, it really is frustrating to not be able to buy a little Jersey. Harrumph. Actually, I could buy a Jersey. But I'd have to pasteurize ALL the milk just to be able to drink it. Maybe I should go that route? I dunno'... To me that kind of defeats the point in a sense, as I'd really like to have access to raw milk. 

  Ok, so maybe a couple of goats? Go back to the old days? Well, I could. And might. But I wouldn't be able to sell or trade the milk, since people around here prefer cow milk (and trading milk for meat/veggies/fruit is a big reason why I want a dairy animal!). But at least the goats would be affordable. Or would they? If I got goats, then I'd suddenly need special fencing, a killer electric charger, really good shelter so the fussy ladies don't get wet, expensive hay.... But at least I'd know for sure that I could drink the milk. 

  Sigh. It's complicated. I think this post is becoming more of an incoherent rant. Sorry. I've been thinking about this so hard, for so long that I think my brain is just about fried.

 Anyway, feel free to throw in your two cents if you like. In the meantime, I'll keep scouring Craigslist.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Know Your Bees

  I found this cool, free poster online today and liked it so much that I had to share it with y'all! These are the seven different kinds of bees you can raise, and a line up of their pros and cons. I wasn't super familiar with the Buckfast breed, but now I'm thinkin' I need to look into those ones... Sounds like they might be a bit better than the traditional Italian in many respects. 


Monday, July 6, 2015


   This is Ellie. She was one of the two cows that I milked for a year while interning. She and I had a very healthy love/hate relationship going. In other words, we liked each other at a distance. When it came to actually milking her, she had no problems with kicking me repeatedly in the shin, and spilling the milk. Nobody knew how old Ellie was; not even the vet could figure it out. Alas, dear old Ellie apparently wasn't immortal... She gave birth to twin heifers a couple months ago, and then died three days after that. I always try to put fresh flowers on her grave when I visit the farm... Because I'm ridiculous and sentimental in that way.

 Ellie, I don't miss you kicking me. But I do kind of miss your presence in the barn. And the way you were terrified of kittens. That was funny.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Price Slash on Consultations!

  If I may, I would like to direct y'all's attention to the top of this blog real quick... Up on the top bar is a button that says "consultation services". If you've never clicked on it before, I would invite you to do so now (and why haven't you clicked on it before now!?!?!?!? Just kidding...). If you already know what's there, well, go there anyway. Refresh that memory.
  Point of interest today is that I slashed the price of the consultation services by 50%. Kaboom! No particular reason for it, other than maybe hoping I can scare up some spare cash (which will most likely NOT be used to try and win a goat farm. Promise. Sort of. It's like a 78% chance that I won't. But I might use it to save up for a cow, because I want one. But that's another story.).

  Ten bucks is a good price for a huge email that probably has more information than you really needed. Seriously, folks. I talk too much when it comes to agriculture...

Write An Essay,Win A Goat Farm

  I'm not really sure what my logic is behind sharing this, seeing as it will reduce my chance of winning if I actually enter... But nonetheless I am sharing anyway.

   Folks, I have just learned that you can win a $350,000 goat farm in Alabama, for the price of $150 and the best essay you done ever wrote. I kid you not. The writer in me really, really, really wants to enter. I told my husband that if I find a spare $150 before the deadline, then I just might have to try it. Hey, I only live 6 hours away from the place, so it wouldn't be that bad of a move. LOL. 

  Here's the link with the rules, particulars, and pictures (their milk parlor and creamery is to die for! Eeek! The horned Saanens are kinda' giving me a raised eyebrow, but hey... Whatever floats your goat.) CLICK HERE FOR LINK.