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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Visiting new friends, fall chores

This past weekend I went to central Ky to meet some new friends that I have talked to online for a couple years. All of them homesteaders like us. I really enjoyed meeting these nice folks and learned some things along the way. Don and Sheryl came down from Ohio, they live totally off-grid on solar power. Don is a genuis when it comes to all things solar. He brought along some solar panels and set those up to charge batteries so he could show a movie on Saturday evening. Really neat.  My friend Deb and her hubby Danny came up from Mississippi and brought their camper. I slept in their camper over the weekend and as usual Deb and I sat up late talking and visiting.  She brought a bunch of 2 and 5 gallon food grade buckets to share with folks that could use them. She gets them for free in her town. I was tickled pink to have buckets. They are great for storing dry goods in the cellar. Things such as flour, sugar, cornmeal, bags of pasta and such. We cant get buckets near us and if you do they cost $5 each. Randy came to the homesteaders convention. He only lives a short piece from Rosie. Randy demonstrated setting snares to catch small game for food.  My good friends Rosie and Sam hosted the event at their place. Tony and Karen came to visit and sit around the bon fire with us and make smores.  Rick lives about an hour from Rosie and he drove down on Saturday to spend the day with us. Deb and Mark live nearby and are good friends with Rosie and Sam. They both spent the weekend with us. I had met Deb before and it was nice to spend some time with her and get to know her. She brought her spinning wheel and demonstrated spinning wool. As for me, I got talked into butchering some chickens to demonstrate how to do it efficiently. So hopefully now every one can feel a lil more confident in their butchering skills. Deb did a video of the chicken butchering process. I think she is goin to upload it to youtube and when she does I will post the link here for you all to see if you wish.  There was plenty of good food all weekend. And lots of good times visiting with friends. Rosie made a primitive cooker to cook a stew in on Friday night. It was made by putting a large stock pot in a large box. Pack hay or straw around the cooker. Remove the cooker and cover the straw with a sheet leaving the empty spot for the cooker to go back in later. Start the stew of your choice in the pot and bring to a boil. Set the pot back in the space you made in the straw inside the box, put a lid on and cover that with a heavy blanket. Let cook for 5 to 6 hours or till ready to eat. They stew will continue to cook inside the pot with heat held by the straw. A really neat idea to conserve fuel in times of shortage. I think we all left on Sunday looking forward to the next get-together.
I came home from the weekend very tired. Although we had a great time, I was exhausted. I got home on Sunday and unloaded most of the stuff in my truck. Monday I think I slept most of the day. I had a bunch of buckets in my truck that needed to be thoroughly cleaned so I can use them to store my flour, sugar and such in the cellar. Now I need to get the 50 lbs of flour out on the freezer and let it come to room temperature and get it in those buckets. I did manage to get my pantry here in the kitchen organized a lil better today too. All my jars of home dried herbs had labels on the lid but to find what ya need you had to take all the jars out to read the label. Now I have labels on the sides as well so they are easier to see. Maybe that will save some time when I am baking or cooking. If it dont rain tomorrow I hope to get my herb bed cleaned up and ready for winter. The asparagus bed and onion/strawberry beds also need to be put to bed for winter. Our weather is supposed to turn colder and wet later this week. I am just not ready for winter. I love the pleasant mild weather of fall most of all. At least it comes around once a year to be enjoyed.
Till mext time ,blessings from the McGuire homestead.


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