Saturday, December 15, 2012

What has happened to our world?

On 12/14/2012 a young man aged 20 killed his mother. He then stole her car and drove to a nearby elementary school and killed 20 children and 6 adults and then himself.  These children were 6 and 7 years old. Children who have not lost their baby teeth yet, who were just learning to read with ease, and tying their shoes by themselves with great pride are now, dead. And why? Will we ever know why?

What makes a young man so angry. Angry at total strangers that are just starting out life.  Over the years we have experienced more and more of these mass shootings. We see them at schools, movie theaters, malls, and places of employment... you never feel safe.  I am so thankful my sons are home with me every day and I never have to worry about sending them off on a bus never to see them again. I do however have to live life, go to the store, the library, museums, and other public places. I am always watching for the exits, places to hide, and counting the people in the room. What has become of us?

There is something happening in the brains of our children that is creating the epidemic of violence, rage, hate, and disconnect with humanity.  Some say its video games,  the internet, TV, the music, or all of the above. Could it be the lack of the family unit in today's youth or could it be the lack of attention children feel they are given?  Maybe it is the food we eat, the medicines we are all taking or the water we consume.  There are those who believe these are all factors.

Whatever it is we need to find its source and stomp it out. It needs to be destroyed before it destroys us. Banning guns, making schools resemble prisons, and having stricter policies in place will not stop these things from happening. The only way to stop these things is to fix the wound that is in the hearts of the people. Fix this aliment and not mask it with a aspirin. Humanity is sick and its crying for a cure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A little birdie told me

This year for science one of the many things we are study are birds. My wonderful Aunt and Uncle got us a bird feeder for the new home. A couple of weeks ago Carlos loaded it up with seeds and we have had non stop traffic ever since. We have had to refill it already!  We mostly see Chickadees but there is a Red Headed Woodpecker that comes around, a few Cardinals and a couple of birds we have not yet named.

Some mornings I will take the dog out to do her business and I will find squirrels hanging off of the feeder or on the ground below waiting for something to do drop. I find them adorable but they are maddening to Isabella, she wants to eat them. They scatter rather quickly when she shows her big grey head.

                      The Chickadee seem to be our most popular bird.

This is our woodpecker who seems to take off every time my camera comes out.

This Chickadee found home on the bird feeder Isaiah made with our homeschool co-op at our TREC class on the Peninsula this fall.

At my old house we had birds of course but never took the time out to actually watch them. It has been a real pleasure feeding them, watching them, photographing them, and learning all we can about the birds in this area.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Chicken Fail.....

Good Grief! I give up! I soaked my chicken parts in Buttermilk and Hot Sauce. It sat in that mixture all day... getting happy! I then used Spike (you can get it at your wholefoods) seasoning to my flour. I got a pan of oil nice and hot. Floured my chicken all up. Cooked it for about 7 mines on each side, sat it on paper towel and then when they were all done frying I placed them in the oven for about 20 minutes. RAW! Bloody RAW Chicken.  I surrender Colonel Sanders! I surrender!

If at first you don't succeed...

There are some things I have yet to perfect that are homemade. Pancake mix and Fried Chicken are two of them. Bisquick makes such amazing pancakes! How can I compete? I have tried several recipes and they always turn out super heavy, more like a brick than a pancake.  I want that fluffy goodness!!!!  I always ruin my fried chicken, its either super burnt on the outside and raw inside or mushy outside and cooked inside. I cannot win. I want to make crispy, golden, Paula Dean level fried chicken!  Today I tried a new recipe for my pancakes and OMG I did it! It does need tweaking (it did not make enough so I need to double it) but fluffy, sweet but not too sweet, flavorful, and golden! I am going to share the recipe. No photos this time.

Now if I could find that right fried chicken recipe.

1 cup of flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup of milk
4 tablespoons of butter
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon of sugar

First sift together all your dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle. In another bowl mix the egg yolks  , some of the milk (a little over half) and the butter.  In your mixer add the egg whites and sugar. Whip until it gets light and fluffy, add remaining milk and mix. Add your white mixture to the rest of your pancake mix by folding it in.  And there you go!  The kids wanted chocolate chips in theirs but you can leave them plan or add berries!

Friday, November 30, 2012


Just sharing another blog I am apart of and a radio show that's coming to you all soon!  and

For the love of food

Sometimes home cooked meals are not 100% home cooked. I sometimes take pre-made things and make them into my own creations. The other day I was at the store and saw a bottle of Dinosaur Sauce Mojito marinade and a light bulb went off. I had a chuck roast at home ... so what if I took that marinade, blended in a few chipolti peppers and a spoonful of tomato paste?!? Then visions of shredding that amazingly tender beef came to mind... and this was my Creation....

Here are our players:

Why hello there happy roast!

Ok so i cheated some more.. but man'o'live those were some good red beans and rice!

Its shredder time...

Final product... You can put on what you want, peppers, tomatoes, onion, avocados, cilantro, or a little lime juice... whatever trips your trigger...

Now we need a smell -o- vision link!!!

Always starting over

Every home educating day is a day of discovery and change. I am constantly trying to find a way to inspire them to learn. My youngest suffers daily from the scars of school. I am trying to help him over come those scars without creating new ones. I feel like he "should be" doing this or that. I question myself and my approach. I am scared that I am not doing the right thing and I am responsible for his future... what if...if I screw it up?

Every day I am finding ways to encourage learning. Not to encourage school. True pure curiosity and learning. I want them to yearn to soak up everything they can. I will not lie though when my youngest tells me he cannot read that, or he forgets how a y is made, or cries because he cannot do either of those things... I doubt myself, I cry , I worry, my heart breaks.... We are all learning here, even myself... I am learning to have enough confidence in the both of us to get through the fear.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life is forever changing

For years now I have gone back and forth about going back to school. I never finished high school but do have my GED (good enough diploma). My children are getting older and I may want to go back to work some day or even go back to work soon part time however living out here and not have a degree has seemed to be a stop to that. I have tried opening my own business and that never took off, I do write from time to time but it never pays, I have tried child care in the past but honestly I am getting to old for that lol, so what do I want to do and how can I learn how to do it in a short period of time.

One of our local colleges offers a nursing program that is only 2.5 years part time. With a nursing degree I can do many things, work with newborns, work in an senior living center, the hospitals, doctors offices, schools, do home healthcare, management, and the list goes on. I had thought about teaching and social work but both of those fields require a BA and the jobs are hard to find.  So nursing it is!

I started some courses that I need in order to get into nursing school. Aglebra 1 , Biology, and Chemistry. Thank God I have a soon to be 14 year old son who can help me! I am excited but nervous at the same time. I think its a great choice and we will benefit from it as a family later.  Just another road in my journey!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Frankenstorm, not so scary after all

We got a trick on our Halloween. While it was windy and rainy, it was no worse than any other fall storm. It has rained here for over a week now. Frankly I am over it. Northwestern PA did not get the impact of the storm like folks did in NJ and NYC. My heart is aching for those people. Most without electricity, heat, and food running low, it is becoming a more desperate situation every day. Many of them have not prepared for such a huge disaster. With gas impossible to find at this point, and no way to generate electricity, they are living off the grid and they have no idea how long it will be before they are back up.

I feel this was a lesson well learned for all of us. We take for granted the TV being on, the ability to flush a toilet, popping something in the microwave. When it is all gone how to do we get by, semi-comfortably? Part of our move out here was to prepare. To prepare for anything, weather related disasters, economic collapse, a Mayan calendar prediction, rapture, whatever it may be. I do not feel prepared right now and that frightens me.  I am looking forward to spring (unless the Mayans were right, then we are doomed) so I can have a huge garden, buy my chickens, find my maples for next winter, stock my pond, and other preps to get my homestead on track. I think it is vital to have your own food supply and to be aware that this grid is temporary and go away at any minute. It is my job as the home maker to insure we have ample supplies to get by if need be.

Our prayers are with all of those who were affected by this storm. I hope you are all safe and help is on its way to help your families. May you gain wisdom from this terrible event and realize those of us who prepare are not crazy, we are wise to the fact you cannot trust mother nature, you never know when she will send one of her storms your way.  Blessings!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frankenstorm...aka Hurricane Sandy

As Halloween is creeping on us so is a horrible storm. A storm worth of the holiday and its adopted name Frankenstorm. It is due to hit NJ, NYC and make its way inland. It is such a large storm that we will even feel its effects. We should have around 6 inches of rain and winds of at least 40 miles and hour and some gusts up to 70. To prepare I made sure I baked plenty of goodies, made soups, purchased beans and other dry goods, and bought some fruits for snacking.  We got enough gas to last us several days for our generator. The husband and my oldest son brought in all the lawn chairs and other possible projectiles into the shed. We have plenty of batteries, flash lights, and candles. Our home is pretty well insulated. Even though we have had nights falling in the 30's we still have not had to put on our heat so we are praying it stays that way.

But what does this mean for Halloween? I am not sure. I would assume the two parties we were planning on attending will be rescheduled. I am certain there will be no door to door trick or treating this year. This horrible weather is going to last all week. It certainly will be spooky with little lighting and a lot of time on our hands.

Let's all pray for those on the coast. Let's all pray for those who are in the surge areas. And let's all pray people are prepared! We have had plenty of warning. I hope everyone stays warm, healthy, and safe!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who knew ?

Who knew that some day I would be making my own laundry soap.  The scene went something like this; Isaiah and I are in the kitchen grating soap. My dad walks in and asks what we are doing. I tell him that we are making laundry soap and he looks at me like I am crazy. I respond with a "hey its much cheaper this way"  he laughs and says, ok whatever.  Below  are the step by step directions on how Isaiah and I made soap.

First we grated a bar of soap. I did use the Fels-Napa soap because it is for laundry stains but really you can use any bar soap.

Put your grated soap in a large pot. Fill a gallon jug with water and add that to the pot as well. Cook until the soap dissolves.

Add one cup of washing soda and (If you do not have washing soda here is a link that will show you how to turn baking soda into washing soda add one cup of Borax to the soap mixture you have in the pot.

Bring this to a boil. It should start to thicken up a bit. Once it does turn off your heat and add one gallon jug of COLD water.

Using a funnel makes it easier. I did start with a ladle but that was taking forever. I used a small saucepan instead, that worked much faster.

There is your final product! It has worked wonderfully.It smells great! I will warn you the texture is totally different than what you are used to. Its not a nice pouring liquid. It is like the texture of slime that your kids would make. But it works and its cheap, that's what matters. I spent around 8 dollars for my soap, borax and washing soda and I can use those about 4 more times (I am guessing).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get in the kitchen!

Every day I try to make some thing new. The other day I tried to make pretzels and well, it was not pretty. So I wanted to try again and success!!

Here is a link if you would like to try and make them.

I also made some caramel and chocolate popcorn last night. The kids were very pleased! This week I want to attempt to make my own laundry soap with the hope it will save us money.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Who would plant that tree with the prickly things?

Fall has shown itself here in the Northwest and there are changes happening every where. Our pond that is usually hopping with excitement is now quiet. Our green full trees are now orange, red, yellow, and thinning. 

One of those trees really caught my eye last week. Falling from this tree were these round, prickly, balls. I am a city girl so I of course had no idea what these nasty little balls were, until I cracked one open. It is a chestnut tree!!! I love roasted chestnuts and now they are FREE! This tells me there is so much on this land that I can use. As a city girl I never thought twice about where those chestnuts came from and I was happy to pay the price to buy them. Now they are priceless.

Getting in the Groove

Although I have only been in this house a month I feel like I have been here my whole life. Everything is coming into place. I am home caring and tending to my family. My sons are both home learning, living, and enjoying the opportunities that are out there without school (We are now cyber schooling Caden, the new school was not working and we had to make it right). My husband has never been happier in his life and my dad sleeps better here then he has slept in a long time. This tells me we made the right choice.

I am a constant eye sore on facebook. I have been told I can be a little annoying with my political post, comments on education, and my constant need to inform my viewers what I am making for dinner. However there is a group of people who really enjoy my rants and have been asking for my recipes. I recently made some amazing cupcakes this week. I found the recipe on Pinterest. I will give the link here so you can make these tasty little creations yourself.

I will try post every now and then homemaking ideas, recipes, and other things I learn along the way.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mama Guilt

I am currently suffering from a horrible fate most mother have felt at least once in their parenting journey, GUILT!  I wish I could call Caden every hour of every day to ask him how his school day is. I keep checking the clock hoping the hours will pass by quickly just so I can see him walk in that door.  My heart is breaking for him. It is breaking into a million sad hard to swallow pieces.  I never felt like this sending him to his old school, not even his first day.  He wasn't sad when he started there, he was nervous but never sad, not like this.

This move was more then wanting to be outdoors, closer to nature, 4 wheeling, and chickens. It was about not having to struggle to keep up with "The Jones's", it was about a more manageable home and life, so I do not regret moving. I love this house. What I do not love is the sadness, the anger, and the distance I am feeling from my son. I know its temporary and this will be his new normal but until that happens I will sit at home and watch the clock, waiting for him to be home.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Arrival

Paradise .... Or so I like to call it. However one of the mates in my crew want to scream mutiny and jump ship. My oldest son, Caden, is not happy about some of the changes that have happened because of our move. Time heals most things and this will not be any different. My youngest though feels inspired by all the nature around him. He proclaimed today that he wants to create a blog of photos so he can ask people what these new found flowers and other wild life may be... Could you maybe answer one of Isaiah's questions?  Maybe this will inspire him to research and answer them himself.

I have been very busy putting things in their place, hanging laundry (oh what a wonderful pleasure that chore is) and home educating my youngest musketeer. From first glance it looks like we have always lived here, until you peer down in the basement at the land of boxes. Day by day a new one will empty and find its place in the burn barrel in my new rural setting.

It is fair time in this small little town of Albion, Pa. It is so important to these people the children had a half day of school so they could get ready for their fair. Our new neighbors are a part of the tractor pull and many of the children at my eldest son school are getting ready their livestock and crafting skills. This place is centered around football, school spirit, and the fair. It truly reminds me of Mayberry... and I love every inch of it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Exodus

Today I was packing my son's room for our move. I had a basket of laundry to take to the basement. While I was down there I glanced at the wood shelving I have in my laundry room. You can see the pencil marks defacing the white paint . Those marks represent the growth of my sons since we moved in this house. (I never measured our daughter because she was done growing when we moved here)  And each of those marks tells a story, but just part of our story. 

As we make our exodus from our current enslavement of consumerism and convenience we are still sad leaving this place we have had many memories. We need to keep on writing in that book of life, writing wonderful moments shared together as a family.  I dream about them at night as a lay in bed with my husband. He is already well off into sleep but i lay there wondering what this new home has in store for us. 

I tell my youngest son that a home is where your family is, it's not a place. I tell him this for two reasons, to comfort him and to comfort myself. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where there is fear there is excitement. Where there is excitement there is longing. I currently fearfully long for our new life. I am ready to burst at the seems at this point. Nine days and counting until closing. Visually, nine days seems like a never ending hallway of doors. Behind each door is a new adventure and I cannot wait to open them.  At night when I lay my head down to sleep I envision where the couch will go, where my books will displayed. I see myself in the kitchen canning, teaching, and creating.  I see my husband taking our dog for long walks in the woods and our sons catching frogs near the pond.  For today I just have to stand at the beginning of the hallway with the first door and wait patiently to open the next.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Sitting on my cement porch gazing at my backyard I noticed my view is a brick house behind me and my fence.  With only nineteen days left before closing I reflect that the brick wall will no longer be in my eyes view. A new view is on the horizon for me, and my family.  Later this evening I took a hot bath with bath salts and lavender oil, a glass of wine and some Henry David Thoreau in my hand. I am currently reading Walden and Civil Disobedience and it totally fits my life right now. His journey into the real is a resemblance of ours at this time.  He says " I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not , when I came to die, discovery that I have not lived." A natural life is calling to us,working our land, keeping our home, teaching our children, and truly living.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I have always felt like life was phony. That it was almost like someone else was intervening and pulling strings.  However every time I was outside, at the park, near the beach, taking a walk in the woods, life felt different.  I am cutting the strings that move us in many ways. We want our food to come from our home or near it, we want to make things with our hands instead of buying them, we want to be able to be self sufficient. My husband, Carlos, and I have been sweet hearts since I can remember. We started our little family very early . We have grown up together. He is super handsome, strong, sweet, and a part of who I am.  Now we are packing up out little family and moving out to the country, closer to nature, closer to the warm air, the crickets, the bullfrogs,and the amazing natural planetarium of our own in the sky above our very own land. This blog will be a journal of our journey and I look forward to sharing it.