Thursday, January 31, 2013

I did some clean up on my blog roll in the side bar. Mainly, I felt the need to remove the survivalist blog because - wow! - that is some crazy stuff being posted. I haven't been reading there lately and when I dropped in on today's post, let's just say I started laughing when the author chose the arrival of the Beatles as the sign of America's downward spiral and continued on to blame the hippies. Seriously. I thought others would respond with mocking, but after the first fifty comments were all in agreement with the author, I knew it was time to leave.

It's been a week of getting necessary things done; not fun stuff and definitely not cheap but good items to strike off the to-do list. I sent off the paperwork to have my passport renewed. I'm not planning any trips, but I'd hate to need it and not have it available. Especially since we can't even visit Canada without out one now. Today I braved the arctic winds to get our vehicle license tags and pay the property tax on the house. While it was the last day for the tags, I could have waited on the tax for a few more months, but somehow it felt right to only have to make one trip to the court house for the entire year.

Speaking of the winds today - so cold that all the schools cancelled classes. Brrrr!!! I even ran the furnace for a while to warm up all the pipes.... And now, just having come inside after chores (chickens, hauling wood, etc.) my new viewpoint is YIKES!!! that is so cold my face is still warming up. I am not going back out there until tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brrrr and other thoughts

I saw a news item about Russia being buried in snow and thought how cozy it must be inside with all the extra insulation around their houses! We are feeling the bite of -20F (-29C) wind chills this morning and it brought tears to my eyes doing the chicken chores. I'll have to go back out in a few hours to give them more water and try to rescue any eggs before they freeze. I'm attempting to sprout some wheat seeds to give the hens a taste of green. It's not an impressive germination ratio so far but there are some sprouting.

Do you remember the old saying about there not being such a thing as 'bad' publicity? Obviously, some things are so bad that they do have a negative effect, but not in this case... Last night my son and I were watching a vlog that included a put-down against Subway for shorting the length of the subs and tasting bad. Afterwards I said 'Subs sound good' and that's what we had for dinner. Ah, the power of suggestion!

Thoughts on buying locally:  I love being able to buy direct from the source and support the locals as much as possible. Beef and lamb come straight from the farmers, firewood from the man who cut and split it himself, chicken feed from the elevator, seasonal produce from the farmer's market when available, and when it was possible I bought raw milk from a dairy farmer. The problem I have is with the local grocery store. Unless an item is actually on sale, the costs are prohibitive compared to the store near my workplace. Example: grapes are $2-3 lb in the city and $5 lb here. Now let's talk milk - because I can no longer get raw milk and we don't go through it very fast, I buy ultra-pasteurized organic. I expect to pay about double what normal milk costs but the whole point of the 'ultra' is that it can sit in the refrigerator for up to six weeks with no problem. So, what does the local store do? It prices it at well over double the cost of regular and offers cartons that expire THE NEXT DAY and ten days out at most. Idiots.

Brrr...the house is hard to keep warm this morning. Need more wood!