Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Stove

Well my mom removed some of the rust on the stove and then gave up and applied the blacking. Most of the stove is fine except that around the chimney there is still a lot of rust and it looks very yuck. It doesn't help, I guess that my mom is the antonym of "perfectionist" and I could almost be the synonym for "perfectionist."

Thanksgiving is coming up. Every year each of us children take turns cooking Thanksgiving Dinner (when we were younger, we had a little help from mom). This year it's my sister's turn. And so of course she gets to cook. Every year it was her turn she would start to cook but then would run off and abandon the meal before the turkey was even warm. My mother would then be left to cook by herself and so she would enlist me and together we would finish the meal. This year (after slaughtering tradition; she got a ham instead of a turkey!), she announced that all she was supposed to do was plan the menu and that we were the ones that would cook. Excuse me?! So now that she has abandoned even a pretense of responsibility, my mother will now be cooking. And that most likely means pie with no sugar.... :*(

Sunday, November 16, 2008 and Sherri Dixon

So today I've been looking around on for updates since I've last been on the site. There are only a few new articles but that's okay because this site has literally dozens of other articles on everything from goats to gardens to "we did it" stories. My favorite author on there is probably Sherri Dixon. She has a sense of humor that I love. Look at these articles by her: The Unsung Benefits of Homesteading, The Unexpected Menace, Barn Cats, Keeping the Homestead Dream Alive, Paying Attention, Drawing a Circle in the Sand: Teaching Awareness to a Consumer Society, Hair-Raising Homestead Haircuts, (Living in the Sticks) and the Single Girl, Acronyms to Live By, and Livestock Guard Dogs.

Other Articles by Sherri Dixon: Don't Quit Your Day Job, Black Thumb: Helpful Hints for the Cultivationally Challenged, Raising Chickens from Scratch, Homeschooling for Homesteaders, Natural Building Colloquium, Gotta Get Ger, Farm Dogs: See Spot Work, Successful Transplants: Uprooting Your Urban Offspring, The Importance of Being Surveyed, In Defense of the Weedlot, Mice: Scourge of the Homestead, Using a Midwife, Dairy Goats, For Sale By Owner; Needs a Little Work, Earth Stewardship 101: Part 1-Part 2, and Cutting the Utilical Cord: Part 1-Part 2-Part 3.

Other Helpful Articles: "The Ideal Country Home" by Gene Gerue.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hi! My name is Gemini.

I call myself Gemini cuz most of the time I feel like two or more different people and/or personalities contained in one being. I am sixteen. I am homeschooled right now but have been to various other schools: public, Montessori, Charter, etc...and I am a grade ahead so I graduate this year. I L-O-V-E books and may have read more books in the twelve or so years since I learned to read (I taught myself to read around age four or five) than your average adult will in a lifetime. I am fascinated by the occult and dark stuff. I love all kinds of music and can usually find something I like in every genre (even rap and metal and hard rock...shhhh, don't tell. The people who know me would never believe you). I love the Barnes & Noble in the mall (I even have a membership card; ten percent off!). It's like a huge library where you get to keep the books (and it has a café).

I want to do the homesteading thing someday. I am sixteen and trying to decided what to do with my next 60+ years. And I love animals and growing things and the Earth so it all works out. I want to live in Colorado. I chose this state out of the fifty because: a) it's in the Rocky Mountains (well, the western side, anyway) and I want to stay in my home terrain, b) it has four seasons (I don't know what I'd do without my snow) c) it has decent homeschooling laws (I want children someday and I want homeschooling to be a viable option), and d) no red dirt (well, tere is red dirt but not everywhere...I despise red dirt), e) the only other state that fit the above requirements was Idaho, but I chose Colorado as my first choice because I like the sound of the name and there's a lovely song (actually more than one) by John Denver about it (shallow, I know. Idaho still gets "runner-up," though).

I have yet to visit Colorado to confirm it as where I want to live, but I am going to try and do a road trip this summer through Western Colorado (where the Rockies are). I keep dreaming that I visit but it never quite turns out. Last night I dreamed I was going to visit and somehow ended up in the top of Idaho visiting my friend's girlfriend. So weird.

I am still torn between careers: author, veterinarian, and actress.

My homesteading resumé includes: the majority of my first six years of life on a ranch, watching my dad slice up a butchered goat (he also dehorned kids as well as adults), flocks of chickens three and a half separate times, helping dress butchered chickens, bottle-feeding kids (baby goats, not people!), several gardens as a child which I planted, watered and promptly neglected, horseback riding on several occasions, watching my mom de-skin tomatoes, feeding goats and horses and dogs, watching my mom can string beans and pureéd apricot (which we never ate), cooking, cleaning, etc since I was a toddler (my mother never could function very well, so I got to be mom...big burden for a baby), etc...

As a child I loved Louisa May Alcott's books (especially "Little Men" and "Eight Cousins" and "Under the Lilacs"), The Little House on the Prairie series (favorites: "Farmer Boy" and "Little House in the Big Woods"), Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys...all those good ones. My favorite playacting was what I called "Farm." I would go with my imaginary brothers to go bring imaginary cows in from the imaginary pasture. I loved fire-building and I liked to wash my doll clothes in the sink and iron them with a flatiron. I longed to live at Plumfield. I also liked playing "George of the Jungle" with my friend. I would be Ursula and my best friend that was a boy was George. And sometimes we roped our younger siblings into sidekick roles.

I once mad a "nest" in the reeds of a tiny dried up pond and a "nest" in some big bushes. Both nests I pretended to be an eagle. I liked to catch frogs and froglets and keep them. I have had numerous cats and loved them all.

My Grandma was my champion and protector until she died. Then I had to fend for myself. My life has been full of both dark times and times of joy, but I am grateful for what both have taught me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pumpkin Pudding

Update on the Pumpkin Pudding. It works better if you wait until the pumpkin mixture is warm and then stir in the cornstarch a little at a time. And I doubled the recipe when I made it this last time and used 1/3 cup of cornstarch and I am pretty sure that's not the equivalent of twelve Tbsp of cornstarch. I have a suspicion I might be using too much cornstarch, but I don't know how much cornstarch, so if anyone wants to experiment with the recipe, feel free to improve it however you want. Just two requests: post a link back to my blog as where the original recipe was found and also please post your improved recipe in the comment section so I can try it. Thank you.

P.S. I just had a thought. The egg whites would probably mix better if I mixed some of the pumpkin mixture in with it and then added that back to the main pan...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pudding and Braces

As of this moment, my mother is outside removing rust from our woodstove so she can put "stove blacking" (that's what she calls it...I think the can has a different name) on it. Then she wants to hire my friend's dad (who is a builder) to install a stovepipe. Then we'll have a woodstove again! I miss keeping warm with fire. This electric heater business is so wrong.

Doesn't the picture make you feel warm just looking at it?

So far, I have been making good on posting regularly. I am quite proud of myself for getting to three posts. I daren't make any promises to continue, though, because I have this thing where when I feel obligated (to myself) to do something, then I put it off indefinitely. So sad.

And yesterday I got the braces on my bottom teeth put on. And they hurt! Why? When I got my top braces put on, it didn't hurt at all! And when I got my expander put on it was only painful for a few hours...oh well. At least after this I'll have straight teeth. I have been subsisting on pudding lately. I keep trying solids but with little success.

Vanilla Pudding. 

This is a pudding recipe from a cookbook my lil sis has. 

  • 1/3 cup sugar (I use unrefined dried can sugar in place of regular white sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk (I used Silk soymilk...and a lil' extra cornstarch to aid the thickening)
  • 2 large egg yolks (save the whites for the Pumpkin pudding recipe that follows)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. In saucepan mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over med heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for a minute.
  2. Gradually stir in half the hot mixture into the egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir for another moment. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
  3. Chill pudding for an hour or until chilled. Store covered in refrigerator. 4 servings.

Pumpkin Pudding. This is my very own recipe for Pumpkin Pudding. It could use some refinement in texture, but it tastes really good.
  • 4 eggs separated, plus the egg whites left over from the above recipe
  • 1 (29oz) can pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, and 1/2 tsp cloves)
  • 12 oz soymilk
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Place egg yolks in a large pan. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and milk separately. Using a wire whip, mix in cornstarch. Stir over medium heat until it boils. Continue stirring until it thickens to a pudding consistency. Remove from heat.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Mix with wire whip. Stir in butter and vanilla. Heat over low heat until mixture is throughly blended.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled or overnight.
Mexican Goulash (another recipe of my own devising)
  • 1 box prepared vegan taco filling
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
  • taco sauce (to taste)
Mix ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Serve warm.

Friday, November 7, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama

I posted a comment on this blog: Patterico's Pontifications. The comment says:

I was glad to find someone trying to find some good in Obama. There wasn't a lot there, and it needed to be backed up with actions, but it was still nice.

Also, I find the whole discussion in the comment section absolutely fascinating. There are so many diverse opinions. It's enlightening.

For myself, I will give Obama a chance to set this country on its feet again. From what he says he wants to do, it isn't likely...but if he were to ever try it, his corrupt politician skills would guarantee it would happen. :) He could promise everyone whatever they wanted. He could make them believe they will actually get it while he did some good. Sadly, he doesn't seem to be using his "talents" for good.

And I still haven't decided whether Obama is actually a decent, misguided fellow or a evil man...or something else entirely. Still we shall see....


Two posts! It's a miracle! (And a record...) Here I'm posting some interesting links:

BookCrossing, The USDA's National Animal Identification System (NAIS), more NAIS news, even more NAIS, Family Farm Defenders, National Novel Writing Month, Finding a "Pick-Your-Own" Farm, Human Implant Tracking Device, Local Harvest, Site for Food and Wine Lovers, Message in a Bottle, Groovy Green, Natural Soap, Providing Books for Children, Bargain Books, Blogathon, Preparing Natural Food, Homestead Helpers, IDK What to Name This One, Solar Power, The Modern Homestead, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, and Get Rich Slowly.

First Post

I only seem to be able to post one post per blog before I forget I even have one. Oh well, maybe this blog where I detail my ideas for sustainable living will be different.