Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Scarcity

Blessings Darlings!

The Chubby Hubby is home from his business trip and visiting his mother (at this time she's NOT going into a nursing home).  My barely-there garden is peaking, at 2 pounds of beans and 4 cucumbers a week.  The weather has cooled down to merely summer from the incredible heat and humidity of this last July.

As is always the case after CH's summer trip, we're broke. We'll have to take money out of his IRA to pay bills, and the Spawn will probably be buying all our groceries.  Luckily, they are understaffed at work so he's getting more hours than usual.  Unfortunately, since he was at work for 15 hours last Friday, he's been hit by a summer cold and been out sick today and half of yesterday.  I have the cold, too.  My sinuses are like Dr. Who's Tardis - they may SEEM normal, but I assure you that they are far far bigger and more swollen than you can see from looking at them from the outside.  They have swolled to house size on the inside.

Did you know that there is a Chinese dish that uses cucumbers as the vegetable?  Well, there are probably several, but I'm referring to Bon Bon Chicken Salad.  I'm making that for dinner Friday night.  Because that's the veggie I have the most of.  Tomorrow will be .... probably a pork or tofu stir fry with bean sprouts and cabbage and a carrot for color.  I sprouted the bean sprouts myself, of course, and grew the cabbage.  I did not grow the carrot.

I'm trying to figure out a way to afford high-quality 'facial tissue' to get us thru' the cold.  I just don't think it's ethical to head to the store that has it on sale, use the coupon that requires we buy two packages of 3 packs each, and then return one of the 3 packs.  That way we'd end up with only the one 3 pack we need, and use the entire coupon on it.

If I don't spend any of the house money on food, or pay the credit cards, then I can afford car insurance.  I'm very glad the garden is peaking now!

Sorry about all the whining.  I'll be more uplifting and discuss puff pastry based treats sometime soon.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Blessings Darlings!

No offense to either all y'all or to Eban Pagan - but I'm multitasking here, and writing this blog while in one of his Webinars.  This one is on how to create an information product, specifically how to find a profitable niche, create the product, and into to how to reach your audience.  Given that his first, and so far most profitable info product was "Double Your Dating", using the pen name David de Angelo.

Combine his first title with my planned post on buying corn, and that equals the title of this post.  It might not make sense to you, but it clicked for me!

So, that done, let's talk corn. I headed over to the feed store this week, in order to try to fix some holes in my food storage.  Since none of the local farm and feed stores carry wheat, I grabbed a bag of corn.  BTW, the corn was already amazingly expensive.  Yes we all know that there is a drought and this years' corn crop is trashed, but I figured I'd be getting a bag of LAST years corn, so the price wouldn't have gone up much yet.

I was wrong.

Not only was the price for the 50 pound sack of feed corn (which I'm planning to use to feed me and my family) already $12.80 instead of the $8.00 I paid last year .... but as I prepared it for storage (in food grade plastic tubes with great lids, adding carbon dioxide gas to displace oxygen, instead of easily permeable but thick paper bags) I LOOKED at the corn.  And the quality is BAD BAD BAD.  At least 15% of the kernels are brown or black and NASTY.  Not stuff I'm going to choose to eat.  I've never run into this before in feed corn.  Before it's always been really high quality.  I'd take a cup of the kernels, pick a FEW nasty ones out, give 'em a quick wash, let 'em dry, grind them, and I'd be baking corn bread.  This stuff is going to be more like ... well ... uh .... Like cleaning lids of cheap marijuana from the 1970's.  The seedy cheap low quality stuff.  Stuff you'd lose 1/2 of by the time you got the stems and seeds out. 

I may make a video showing the corn and cleaning it.  In my copious free time, eh?

Yeah, I'd feed all this stuff to livestock.  I admit I'm pickier about what I feed my family and myself.  I'm quite sure that you are, too.

Just a word to the wise.

Frondly, Fern

Monday, August 13, 2012

Superficial Conversions

Blessings Darlings!

The Wild Hunt recently featured a story about a woman who had been a Pagan artist, who has now gone back to Christianity and is calling her Pagan time as being demon possessed.  Which brings up the whole topic of folks who, having converted, then go back to their original religion.

Do you ever get that gut-feeling, when interacting with a 'convert' of one or another type, that they are going to end up going back to their original religion/philosophy/system?  I've run into that rather a few times.

Like, WAY back in the day when I was running the Off Brands Religions  Icons and Iconoclasts BB on Prodigy.  One woman there had a screen name of "X-Mormon".  She posted a lot (as in, as much as I did) and most of her posts were about how she was, yes, an EX-Mormon.  Not that much about what she was now, so much as 'debunking' her old Mormonism, which by this time she had left 5 or more years before.  But, as you might have guessed, well before became, let alone before MSN bought it, she was back in the fold of Mormonism. It wasn't a surprise to me, since so much of her time was still being spent with her in relationship, negative tho' it may have been, to Mormonism.

Now, I'm not saying that when a person converts that they lose their ethnic heritage.  Only the original High Priestess of the coven I'm now in didn't pick up on me having been raised Jewish - and that's likely because she was so focused on my more-recent 10 years in Ar nDraiocht Fein Druidism. OTOH, I'm neither at war with Judaism nor trying to make over my Paganism into the same form as the Judaism I grew up in.

But sometimes you get to know folks, and you just have a gut feeling that they are going to go back to their milk-religion eventually. I can't even put my finger on the reasons I feel some folks I know are going to do it. Often it involves having to analyze everything from that original worldview in some way, but not always.

I'm going to have to puzzle this one some more, I think.

Frondly, Fern

Friday, August 10, 2012

Survival Calories

Blessings Darlings!

You already know that I encourage all y'all have a survival store of food (and water) in your house so you're covered for emergencies like the recent power outages, or snowstorms, or whatever.  So I saw a link to an article on "A Year of Food Storage for $300 for a family of FOUR !! " and had to check it out.  Here's the link:

And ..... if you relied on that for a year of food for 4 people, you'd starve.  Never mind the lack of vitamin A, C, Calcium, etc - I sat down with a calculator and the USDA nutritional database and worked out the calories.  If you made the soup out of it that she recommends, and carefully rationed it so each batch fed 4 people over 2 days .... each person would get 415 calories a day.  Okay, she says to add a table spoon of oil (not included in her 'to buy' list, or priced in), that would raise the amount of calories per person per day by 13. 

Anything under 900 calories a day is considered a starvation diet .... for a sedentary person.  In a survival situation while you MAY be hiding in a bunker .... if you're going to be making this long-simmered soup you're going to need fuel for a fire and water.  Cutting wood and hauling water, while very Zen, take a heck of a lot of calories. 

In response to some of my objections, one woman said she lived for 40 days on only V8 and vitamins.  Sure, it can be done - it would cause some real harm to a growing child. And a friend of mine says he lived for 3 months on just mushrooms and cocaine.  You can be pretty sure he wasn't felling trees during that time. 

Short term you can get away with that, if you aren't doing much physical labor.  A sedentary adult woman burns 10 calories a day per pound of body weight, a sedentary man about 12, just to cover basic body functioning.  If you sit on your butt all day AND have a good layer of fat, you can fast a good while. But in a real crisis situation, you're going to be working HARDER, since you won't have electricity and all our electric-based slaves.  Find and haul water. Find, chop, and haul wood. Have enough wood to cook the soup for an hour or two (chickpeas take rather a while to cook).  Eat. Clean up - more water and fire!  Care for your garden, by hand. Fence your garden, by hand.  Expand your garden, by hand. Forage for wild foods.  Wash clothes by hand.  Wring clothes by hand.  Dig latrines.  Knit. Repair clothes. Preserve food if you have a surplus - going to build a solar dehydrator? Etc. Will you be building or rebuilding houses, or roads, or digging out collapsed buildings to find either survivors or supplies? Could be.

More calories will be needed, not less.  Back in the day - looking at serfs in England - each adult male would eat two pounds of bread a day plus anything else they could get.  Two pounds of wheat alone would be 3700 calories. 

Frondly, Fern

Monday, August 6, 2012

Food Freedom!

Blessings Darlings!

With the Chubby Hubby at the Microchip MASTERs conference, the Spawn and I are enjoying eating all the foods CH isn't fond of but we ARE fond of.

We're starting, at my son's request, with the lentil/vegetable soup.   I'm glad that the weather is a bit cooler, it would be hard to face hot soup if it was near 100 degrees still!  We're going to have cold potato lentil salads, too.  We'll cook a big batch of quinoa, and have that lots of ways, too - cold, mixed with roasted veggies, hot topped with grilled veggies and leftovers, etc.  Pizza!  Not that the CH doesn't like pizza, of course.  CH just insists on MEAT on his pizza.  We're happy with just a good sauce, a bit of cheese, and lots of fresh basil.  CH HATES basil.  We'll probably do vegetarian lasagna, too.

Oh, if anyone's thinking of robbing us while the CH is out - remember, the Spawn is in his 20's.  And I'm not all that helpless.  Consider that your warning shot ... all other shots will be directly at you.  Just sayin'.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Staff of Life

Blessings Darlings!

It's Lughnasadh!  Let's talk wheat!

SOME writers are fucking morons.  One posted her article on a Prepper list I'm on.  She went on about how the drought trashed the winter wheat crop.  Except ... it hasn't.  The crop has been harvested a bit early due to the drought (no rain slow downs), but even Kansas, HARD hit by the drought, had a great winter wheat crop.  Winter wheat in the US finished being harvested in the middle of July.

I think that the author can't tell winter wheat, which was planted late last fall, from spring wheat which was planted this spring.  Spring wheat IS likely to be affected, but it's a far smaller crop than the winter wheat is.  Spring wheat is just beginning to be harvested now.  I've never lived in an area that grows any.  Here the rotation is corn one year, beans the next followed by a fall planting of winter wheat the second year, then harvest the winter wheat and plant beans year 3. 

Corn and soy beans ARE going to be affected, of course, as will all the things with those crops in them, from vegetable oils to meat to soda.  Prices of 'veggies' might rise 5% due to increased cost of irrigation, but amounts of them shouldn't be affected much. Local veggies and soft fruits are going to be more price-competitive with supermarket ones.

Still, in the US we spend a WAY smaller percentage of our income on food, so we're going to be hit far less than most other countries.  Without imported grains, there will be famine.  People will die.  Rulers will be overthrown.

Buckle up.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What just happened?

Wait.  How did this happen?

I left my desk, business cordless phone in hand, to go up to the 3rd floor and exercise in the bedroom where the exercise bike is, you know the whole 'new month/new goals' thing.  Yet now I'm down in the basement at my desk again, phone elsewhere, no exercising done.

Let's see.  I entered the bedroom.  I sighed, remembering that I have to get the Chubby Hubby packed for the business trip he leaves for WAY too early on Sunday morning.  I moved a TV table over where I exercise, put the phone, timer, and TV remote on it.  Then ... hmmm.

Then I went into the closet and got out the suitcase I'll pack for him.  I stood it upright by the window, since if I lay it down the cats will sleep on it and cover the dark-green material with grey and white cat hair.  I started stacking his underwear on top of it.  He doesn't have enough clean undies right now to pack for the trip.  I took the full laundry hamper out of the closet.  I wondered what shape his company-name embossed collared shirts were in.  I discovered that 3 of the 4 have stains that may not come out but I felt I should TRY to get the stains out.  I took the laundry hamper and shirts to the laundry room on the 'middle' floor.  I pre-treated the stains. I started the washer, filling it partially by buckets since the cold water hose needs replacing.

I came back down to the basement, and asked the CH what color Microchip shirts he needs for this year (he needs to wear THEIR shirts when he teaches classes).  Apparently this year is a Blue Shirt year, which seems FAR safer than the red shirt years.  And I THINK he has two blue shirts.

I walked from his office to mine. I sat down. I saw that my phone isn't here.  Where is it?  Oh, yeah, upstairs .... because I set off to exercise .....

Frondly, Fern

PS - I was most of the way done with the tags on this (last step before posting) when I had leave my desk to fill the washer again for the rinse cycle.