Friday, April 30, 2010

My First "Official" Book Review!

I love to read.  I used to read a lot of fiction and devour everything an author had if I liked the style.  These days, my time is taken up reading non fiction in the form of research and discovery.  For my health, and that of my family; and for learning new skills.  I recently visited the publisher's web site of a book I had just finished-to see what else that author had written.  While there I learned of their "blogging for books" program and decided to apply.  The first request for a review arrived by email recently, with a preview of the first chapter of the book.  I dilligently read, taking special note for a review.

The first few pages really made me stop and think.  I was tempted to quit reading and forgo the review based on just a few pages, but I kept at it and saw a bit of a change.  Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt IS radical if it can shake me up with just a few pages.  It was the topic of conversation at the dinner table, in which my husband noted that it really had affected me.

The author asks two questions.  Do I believe Jesus? and Will I obey Jesus?  The simple answer of yes came to my mind before examing the Scriptures Mr Platt has used to define radical faith.  At that point I had to decide if I was willing to accept Mr Platt's interpretation of those Scriptures-was his definition really what is said?  That's for the Holy Spirit to decide, so I'm listening and waiting to see what He has to say.

Jesus's disciples gave up everything to follow Him.  Family, home, career, comfort, stability, everything they held dear was set aside to follow Jesus.  Am I willing to do the same?  Are you?  One passage mentioned the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he must do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus's reply was to "go and sell everything and give to the poor, then you will have treasure in Heaven.  Then come, follow Me."  The man was not willing to do so.  Had he been willing, do you think Jesus still would have required it of him?  I immediately thought of Abraham and Isaac upon reading this.  Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, but was not required to once the act of obedience was shown.  Would this have applied to the rich young ruler?  Does it apply to us today?  If we're willing, yet are not led to, is that obedience?  What characteristics are used to measure willingness?  If God called me to serve as a missionary somewhere in Asia, I'd go, but perhaps not joyfully.  I think about what they eat there and it's not on my list of enjoyable foods to eat.  But knowing that God called me, I'd know I'd be taken care of, so I'd do it.  But as far as I can tell, He hasn't called me there, so I'm staying put!

Having only had access to read the first chapter, I'd say this is one book I'd like to explore, just to see where the author takes  us.  He mentioned something that I do firmly believe is amiss in America.  Two headlines in a major church related publication, one large touting the $23 million raised to build a huge, ornate church.  The other, smaller, noting the $5000 raised to help Sudanese refugees.  Yes, there is something wrong with that picture!  Beyond writing this post, what am I personally willing to do about it?

You can request a free copy of The Radical Question by clicking here.  You can also download and read the first chapter here.  If you do, please come back and share your thoughts. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blogging Bee #2

I tried this about a month ago and was going to do it every week, then didn't-I think the next one I wanted to do was more involved than what I had time for, or something like that!  This is from Amy at Homestead Revival:
The Blogging Bee is simply an opportunity for bloggers to share what they gleaned from reading other blogs during the week by writing about it on their own blog. It could be something new you leaned or simply just a great idea that you'd like to share. Besides passing on good information, it's designed to recognize other bloggers. Thus, the reason why you post links to their blog in your write up.
There are three steps to this fun event:

1) Write a post telling something(s) you learned or liked this week from another blog that is worth passing on.

2) Grab the graphic above, add it onto your post and link back to Homestead Revival. To do this, just click on the title above, copy the URL, and link it or embed it in your blog.

3) Come back and add your name and your own URL to Mr. Linky below.
My favorite's this week:
  1. Amy had a post about processing chickens the day after my husband volunteered to help a friend that has never done it.  Tony processed our Thanksgiving turkey, but beyond that he's never done it either!  The photos and basic steps will be helpful!
  2. Polly gave me good instructions for making Chevre with all of our newfound goats milk.
  3. Kat has been inspiring me with many of her posts, but this one was probably the most influential so far-how to have some purpose in our laid back attitude for summer!
So that's a blogging bee! Just do the same over at your own blog, add the graphic, link here, and come back and add your URL to Mister Linky below. I can't wait to read the treasures you've found!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Udder Amazement

Pun TOTALLY intended.  OK, so Claude is almost 11 months old-6 months past freezer time in my book.  Since that's Tony's job though, I didn't push.  Until Claude started pushing me.  Monday he rammed the back of my leg with his horned head and left a nasty little bruise.  That's when I issued the ultimatum.  Claude is gone by the end of the week or I stop milking.  Claude left yesterday.  I showed up to milk today and poor Annie had such a HUGE udder she was walking bow legged.  I usually milk her 2nd, but in her condition had pitty on her and did her first.  I didn't bring enough food to entertain her while I milked her out, so I didn't get it all.  Molly's udder seemed a bit fuller too.  My estimation from how full the pail was, was close to a gallon.  I was a little off, but I got 5 pints where I've been barely getting 2!  Plus there's probably another quart left between the two of them.  Time to go to twice a day milking and taking more food with me!


Annie-Claude's mom and first place winner for most milk at a single milking!

Molly-my prancer-dancer.

I Made Ketchup!

I know that shouldn't be so exciting...but it's one more thing I did for our family that didn't depend on consumerism so much.  And no corn derivitives.  Here's what I did:

4 lbs tomatoes
1/2 C vinegar
1/4 C sugar
1/2 ounce salt (rough measure)

I cooked the tomatoes in the crock pot until they could be smashed.  I removed as much liquid as I could and put the rest thru the blender to smooth it out.  In the crock pot I put the rest of the ingredients and stirred til the sugar and salt were dissolved.  I added the tomato mix and it's simmering now-lid off-to let any more moisture cook out.  It tastes a bit salty, so maybe less salt.  It looks like it will yield about a quart.  I don't plan to give it a hot water bath.  I think the vinegar, sugar and salt will preserve it until we've used it all.  It'll be kept in the fridge too.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why Eggs from Free Range Poultry are Better for You

I've tried three ways to copy the article here so you can read it, but as you can see it won't paste. It's an interesting article though. :-)
Take Action with the Grassroots Netroots Alliance

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's for Dinner Tonight?

I've been trying to be more pro-active with that question.  I've printed a blank monthly calendar to fill in dinner plans for each night, also trying to use what we already have.  It's been helping, but I need to get out of the rut of the same few options, so I subscribed to The Homemaking Cottage.  I spent an evening on the couch with my laptop perusing the Recipe section while my son watched movies.  This one sounded like a good option for nights when I won't be able to spend time cooking.  Although I have a tendancy to adapt recipes to our needs and what's on hand, so mine was a bit different.  It's in the crock pot now, I'll have to leave a comment about how we liked it. 
Someone gave us a couple of spaghetti squash, so I used one instead of noodles.  I split it and placed it in the crockpot with water for a few hours on high.  It might not have needed that long, but I was doing other things.  Then I oiled the crock pot, scraped the squash into a bowl and added the eggs and paremesan cheese.  I used ricotta cheese and spicy Italian sausage.  I forgot to buy sauce (hey, I had 3 preschoolers in the cart!) so I used diced tomatoes, drained.  I layered everything and topped with a bit more parmesan.  When it's almost time to serve it I will put the shreeded cheese on top.  If I had really been on the ball I would have put some bread in the machine.  Oops!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Look what I found!

This time I'm the one that found where those rascally chickens have been hiding eggs!  My son usually finds them, he's got a closer view of the ground.  This time I spotted the secret nest.  Of course they haven't laid an egg there since I found it Saturday, so we'll have to continue our search missions.  The log for the daily gathering looks a little odd, since we have 12 hens and I gathered 18 eggs.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Fitting End to the Day

I had every intention today of doing a post "picturing" my day.  I took pictures of a few of the events that happened this morning, with plans of continuing that into the afternoon.  My son and I ended up at the creek playing and I didn't have the camera, nor could I leave him at the creek to come get it, so we missed those.  We were going to snuggle with a movie for quiet time, but I noticed at 1:51PM that I had an appointment to donate blood at 2.  So much for resting! 

I arrived at 2:04PM and they were behind.  It would be at least 2:30 before they could get me in.  This is a blood mobile, so there wasn't even a place to sit down.  My husband had forgotten his appointment at 12:45, but came when he heard I was running over for mine.  We stood around talking and I let him go first because he needed to get back to work.  Son and I waited in the car.  At 3:10 they called me for my turn.  Preliminary questions are asked and my finger is poked to check my iron level.  12.4.  It has to be 12.5 to donate.  Try again.  12.2.  OK, so instead of quiet cuddle time with my son, we spend an hour and a half waiting to find out that I can't even donate.  Oh well, at least that helped move the schedule along-the next person didn't have to wait so long.

Internal debate now becomes whether to skip milking the goats and just go rest (hey, my blood iron level is low, I have a good excuse for being tired!) or do I delay the rest I was seeking and do what needs to be done?  Milking won.  We got everything ready and headed over to the pasture.  We had extra ripe bananas to give them for snacks.  They each got 3 or 4 before we even went thru the gate.  Molly was extra stubborn.  Started prancing WAY before usual and still had food.  I wasn't going to let her win this time, but I didn't have any supplies there.  I took the old knife I use to stir up the food and tried hacking through a piece of rope to tie her back legs.  She was on to me.  She got belligerint and so did I.  The whole milk stand ended up on its side.  Took her away and brought Annie in.  SHE started in with me too!  She's usually the mild mannered one that lets me do whatever I need to do.  I got what I could from her and quit before she could step in it and really make me mad.

Oh yeah, one of the reasons that Molly was so agitated was because my son wouldn't quit hollering to me from halfway across the field.  We irrigated yesterday and he was running through it.  That would have been OK, but I didn't want him to get his clothes wet and thus the inside of the car muddy.  He did anyway.  Walking abck to the car (on the opposite end of the pasture) he chose the muddiest path of all.  Yes, he is a boy.  I forget.  I also forget what a tom boy I was.  So I gave up my nap to milk the goats, got about half of what I should, and a muddy child to boot!  And still no camera.

Alright, driving home I chose to change the course of the events and attitudes and took son out to the goat pen here at the house to feed raisins to our new goats.  I forgot to take the camera again.  But that's OK because as I plugged the cable in to upload and prepare this post, it stopped working.  It beeps like it should, but never uploads.  I'll have to try again later.  Isn't that what I should have expected today?

  1. Cut my thumb while cutting pineapple for breakfast.
  2. Tried to mow lawn with riding mower-battery is dead because ds turned the light on and left it.
  3. Decided to do as much as I could with the gas push mower-the ignition cable came all the way out.
  4. Late for blood donation and then didn't get to donate because of low iron.
  5. Fiasco with the goats.
  6. Pictures won't upload.
Seeing the good when I can:
  1. I got to laugh with my son while playing with the goats.
  2. I got to laugh again watching him play in the creek.
  3. We got to see Daddy in the middle of the day.
  4. We got to see 17 geese and 2 ducks hanging out at the pasture in the irrigation water.
  5. We are in pj's at 6PM!
  6. We will snuggle and watch movies tonight and maybe even order pizza in-Daddy is working late.  Oh check out why he's working late...
  7. Tony builds carbon fiber cello's for a living.  This is the detail work he's doing on the current one that the customer is paying a premium to have.  Each of those diamonds and squares is hand punched and placed.  Yes, he has talent and patience for tedious work!
    As I got up to get my phone and transfer this picture, I saw one of our baby chicks laying in an awkward position.  The kitten had got her with her claw and she didn't survive.  Maybe I should just go to bed now?!

My Favorite Blogs This Week!

I've been having so much fun reading these great blogs that I haven't written my own!  Here's what's been keeping me from writing my own:

This one sparked a lot of comments about food at Homestead Revival.  She also hit a nerve with this post about routine and flexibility.  A good nerve.  :-)

This one is from a friend that lives nearby, but is moving soon.  :-(  The Ultimate Blog Party banner took me on a few rabbit trails!

Aren't these photos gorgeous!  These gals encouraged me to follow through with an idea I've had for a number of months-you'll see it in the comments.  She also wrote quite a nice description of the early hours on her homestead.

I think we all need this reminder!

And isn't this cute?

If you're like me, you'll see something at each page that interests you and takes you to another blog or web page that takes you to another, and on and on!  I hope you enjoy this list!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello Friends!

I think of my blog much more often than I actually WRITE in it lately.  ;-)  I've been having so much fun reading everyone else's that I haven't made time to write in my own!  I have a plan for my next post, and maybe I'll actually get to it tomorrow!  There are several photo posts I should add too.  Like the new goats we got today.  One mama and month old doe, and a yearling that's due in June.  Or the beautiful trees along the creek-all leafed out for summer.  Or the bushy vine that grows over the hen house that's about to burst into a gazillion blooms.  So thanks for being a follower and hang around for more to come!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Need Something from Pampered Chef?

My mom is having a book party, so I'm helping her spread the word.  If you need something, go here and follow the prompts to shop online.  The hostesses' name is Myra Sullivan.  Your purchase will be credited to her party and the items will be shipped directly to you!
Thanks for taking a look!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cat Bird

Click here to view these pictures larger

Homemade Crescent Rolls

OK, so when I read the recipe and title I thought I'd end up with the flakey style rolls you can get from a can, but with natural ingredients and made from scratch.  Turns out that crescent just refers to the shape.  Bummer.  Warm fresh rolls from the oven were still yummy, it just wasn't the texture we were hoping for.  I used a basic dinner roll recipe from the book, Bread Machine Magic, by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway.  We took pictures...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mommy Telesummit

Once again, as I read one blog that lead to reading another, etc, I found this site called 30-Minute Martha.  Wanting to know more, I subscribed so I would get a reminder to read it.  Click here to see what I read today, and see if it's something you'd find useful too.  Good night!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Easter, in Pictures

Click here to view these pictures larger

Food and Faith Challenge

Tony and I have recently committed to being part of the solution to this country's food problems by NOT participating in the problem!  It's not something we can complete overnight, so it's a work in progress.  Maybe because that's our focus, or maybe because it's the focus of a lot of people right now, there are a lot of blogs dealing with leaving the mainstream food market.  This post looks like a good way to keep the issues forefront for us and I want to share it with you.  Let me know if you choose to participate!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Learning to Sew

I just heard from a friend of mine that she is willing to teach me to sew!  YAY!  Progress toward reaching one goal!  Our date is Tuesday, April 13th.  I'm not sure what we'll be doing, but I'll be sure and post of that experience.  Thanks to Amy at Homestead Revival for her cloth napkin tutorial as the impetus for making contact with this friend.