Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On Working Towards Self Sufficiency

Yesterday morning's sunrise was as spectacular as any that I have ever seen.
The horizon was ablaze with oranges, reds and yellows,
while the puffy clouds above hung like pillows of pink, blue and purple cotton candy.

It just might have been the best sunrise...

What I have learned, though, is these beautiful showy morning displays
are often harbingers of severe weather.

Yesterday's sunrise didn't lie.
It preceded a wintry mix of snow, ice and rain.
What the weathermen termed a "slop-fest"!
(And that's just what we got!)

Who needs meteorologists with their fancy computer models?
Who needs up-to-the-minute forecasts when you have good Ole Mother Nature
sending you all the signals you need...
if you take the time to notice.

The sunrise and the feeding frenzy at the bird feeders

were all I needed to know a storm
was headed our way.

Another thing we have learned living this rural life is this:
A little preparedness goes a long way.
It's good to be ready for just about anything.

Our kids tease us, saying we are ready for a "zombie" apocalypse...
but then in the same breath, they say that the farm is where they will head should any emergency ever arise.

One thing is certain... we have enough food to last for months...
enough firewood to keep our house warm.
I try to always keep a good amount of gas in the vehicle,
and keep our propane tank full...
as this is what would run our generator should our power ever be out.

Antiques that we have collected over the years are all useful...

we could easily return to the "old ways"!

I try to keep good supplies of hay and animal feed on hand at all times as well.
Saturday, we will take another hay delivery...which will last us through Spring.
Hopefully this summer the weather will cooperate and I will be able to get our own hay baled and stowed.

Self-sufficiency has been one of our goals in farm life.
Obviously we are not off the grid, but it is nice to provide for ourselves as much as we can.
Our hope is to switch to solar power once the technology improves and the price decreases.

Raising our own eggs and produce, canning, freezing,

drying, and storing food has been highly rewarding...

As well as learning to make cheese, to ferment foods such as sauerkraut,

and make candles from our own beeswax.

Perhaps I was a pioneer in another life...who knows.
I was definitely born with a Do-It-Yourself spirit!

Learning to read the land and nature around us has been 
a fascinating part of our farm education.
It's certainly possible to read Mother Nature...but never to fight her!

I wanted to share with you one of Hubbs' birthday presents.
My mom bought him a fun squirrel feeder....

as we have so many squirrels that eat at our bird feeders.
Squirrels can hang from the tree and eat corn, or they may stand on the arm
that holds the "whirligig".

This should keep them busy for quite a while!

I baked cookies yesterday...
"I Want To Marry You Cookies" (recipe here)
(super yummy!)

for Hubbs and Amanda's birthdays.
"Happy Birthday Manny Bee!"

PS...There seems to be a blogger-related problem with posting comments lately.
I no longer get email notification of I must manually go into blogger to find comments
filed away...and then I can manually post them.  So....if it looks as though your comments
are not making it to me in a timely fashion...this seems to be the glitch.
It's an imperfect world...let's just embrace it!


  1. blogger comments section certainly has been acting up recently! i love that cake plate! a big storm is headed here for tonight. is it coming your way too?

  2. Oh, I love your candles! That is something I will be trying soon, although we don't have our own beeswax. It is wonderful being in tune with Mother Nature, isn't it? That squirrel feeder is a riot! Enjoy your day.

  3. The ice on the gutters looks like a frozen waterfall. Awesome!

  4. Looks like we have freezing rain, sleet and snow heading our way and hubby and I "prepped" for it last weekend. We already have a generator, but we made sure we had gas for it and it was good to go. Bought a kerosene heater, made sure we had enough lamp oil, candles, flashlights, batteries... The pantry and the freezer are always stocked, so hopefully we're good to go should we loose power. I do love seeing how you do so much from scratch and the candles are adorable!

  5. Doesn't that first picture just remind you of the "red sky in morning-sailors take warning" adage?
    You are certainly a long way towards being self-sufficient! Love all that you do.
    Love the squirrel feeder, too.
    Yes- I see blogger is back to its old tricks. It's enough to drive you nuts. xo Diana

  6. Glad you explained about the email prob :) I usually get my weather forecast from the sunset and the birds. We always have supplies in abundance...canning and freezing is so worth every ounce of time put into it. Look up Magic Cake recipe.. good way to use up some eggs and it makes a small cake 8x8 . I do have a question for you . When you pick a little of this and a little of that from the garden and it's not enough in its self for a meal how do you prepare it? Anxious to see if the squirrel feeder keeps them away from the bird feeders.

    1. We eat more vegetables than meat in this house. So, when I have just a smattering of different veggies, I sauté them together (stir fry) and add a little garlic and herbs and we eat them like that. I have found that most all veggies taste wonderful together!

  7. You are the most self sufficient person I know..You never cease to amaze me in all that you do and all that you are..Those cookies look yummy..Save me one :)...Cute squirrel picture..Love the feeder..wish I had thought of that..Happy Birthday Ryan and Amanda.
    Beautiful sunrise..

  8. You are oh so right , we are always prepared here as well , I being raised on a farm have learnt that myself ! I to listen , look and pay lots of attention to mother nature for she tells us all of the weather . Lovely photos and post , Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  9. I love Winter sunrises, they are always so gorgeous. Had a few this week in fact.

    Love that cute squirrel feeder, would love to see it in motion! Ha!

    Beautiful candle! Awesome.

  10. Love the vintage buckets and such next to the power outlet!

  11. Well, I am so happy to meet you via Penny White from Angelsdoor who lovingly mentioned you on her new post, and painted your sunscape! How gorgeous is your farm, with the creatures (love horses) and we too have squirrels that defy the best-planned birdfeeder!

    You have a rich country life, and I wish you happiness as spring rises! Anita

  12. Hi Bev,
    Yes, you are a do it yourself kind of gal.. I don't know how you manage to accomplish so much.
    I really admire you for that.
    I believe you are right.. I think you can put just about any vegie together and it tastes good.

    It was so sweet of you to come by and take a look at the painting.
    And thank you so much for your compliment, but I do think I need a bit of practice. It could be better.
    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

  13. Beautiful sunrises, and that red cardinal! I have always wanted to get a picture of the red cardinal, but I usually see the very ordinary birds around here. Bird watching is one of my favorite things to do, and I just took a picture of the California Robin.

    Your pictures are fantastic. Love that little squirrel fellow. :~)


  14. Dear Bev - I stopped over here from Penny's blog. I so enjoyed my visit. Loved seeing your sunrise and all your farm photos. Looks like you are well prepared when winter's storms come. I will stop back again soon. Have a wonderful day.


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