Monday, September 28, 2009

What I am Collecting

Barber Dimes

Barber Dimes were minted from 1892 to 1916. Barber Dimes were very popular, replacing the 55-year old Seated Liberty design.

You can learn more about The Barber Coins at Barber Coin Collectors' Society

Well..... The last name of Barber of course!
And we wanted to start collecting some silver and gold coins. Gold Coins are a little out of price range right now. So I started collecting these dimes when I found out about them.

So far my source has been e-bay. There is nothing like winning an auction!!

So far, I have coins from 1892, 1898, 1909, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916.

These coins are really cool. Not only because the name but because they have been around for so long. When I got the 1892 coin, I got kind of lost imagining all the places that coin been and wondering how many people have held it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What I am Reading

My New Favorite Magazine

Hobby Farm Home celebrates traditional farm life with modern flair. Articles include cooking with home-grown produce and farm-raised meat, the d├ęcor of the farmhouse, reviving farm traditions, and the handmade creation of objects—bringing the farm indoors. Hobby Farm Home inspires, educates and entertains those who want “true country living.”
What You Can Expect in Each Issue:
Lessons Learned: Sentimental, moving accounts of farm life. Each essay presents readers with a poignant portrait of rural America.
Garden Grit: Gardening enthusiasts pick up practical, seasonal tidbits for growing. Also included are quick peeks at garden accessories, decorations and beneficial insects.
Garden Home Solutions: P.Allen Smith, a professional garden designer and television personality, is the author of this popular Q&A column.
Farm Fetishes: Reports on the latest trends in farm-inspired antiques and collectibles. Articles range from converting old tubs and wheelbarrows into flower beds, to attending flea markets, auctions and yard sales.

Country Fare: Features tips, recipes and inspirational words for those looking to get the most out of their hobby farm kitchen.
Home Clinic: From farmhouse maintenance, to decorating and rehabilitating, this department appeals to lovers of home improvement and interior design.
Nature Calls: Contains ideas and activities for enjoying the great outdoors.
Animal Talk: News, advice and products for animals around the farm.
Feature Articles: Each inspiring issue features articles on cooking, crafting, home decor, gardening and the great outdoors.
Wanna subscribe? Click here: Hobby Farm Home Magazine Subscription Page

20 Simple Steps To Being More Independent

20 Simple Steps To Being More Independent

-Buying an ounce of silver a month
-Build a compost bin or a worm farm
-Plant a few permanent producers
-Put together a 7 gallon tub of storable foods
-Find out what committees your congressmen is on and call them about something not in the news
-Learn to identify 6 edible wild plants in your area, try cultivating 1 or 2 of them
-Learn to make wine or mead
-Learn to make bread
-Learn to make biltong
-Learn to make one new meal a month from storable and/or fresh items
-Learn to grind and use ground wheat
-Take a good quality firearms training class
-Learn to reload ammunition and cast bullets from lead stock up some components
-Build a simple green house
-Build or buy a solar oven
-Gain basic construction skills (volunteer if you have to)
-Start a blog or write a book
-Take a 15 minute or longer walk alone daily
-Create your vision

Monday, September 14, 2009

1 year ago today

Today is the anniversary of Hurricane Ike visiting Ohio. I thought it would be fun to revisit a post I made during this natural disaster

This was the event that really got Matt and I into prepping or becoming survivalist....which ever way you look at it. We really have done alot since last year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Survival
The remnants of Hurricane Ike went over our area on Sunday. The Storm that rolled through had Category One force winds. There wind gust from 35 mph to 89 mph. Reporters are calling it a "Dry Hurricane" because we got all the wind but no rain. It was the weirdest thing I have seen in a long time. The wind was so strong it was tearing leaves off the trees and just shredding them. The air was full of debris and the trees behind our house were bending and swaying in an alarming way.

Our power went out about 3 pm on Sunday. The Storm died down around 7 pm. We did a check of the house and we were blessed not to have any damage. There are many houses around us that have shingles torn off their roofs, siding and gutters pulled from the house. So we were lucky.

We turned on the Radio and Matt's portable radio from work and started hearing about all the damages and issues in the area. There were more than 250,000 people without power in the area. 2 Million people without power in the State of Ohio. We realized we were in an actual survival situation not just a few hours without power.

From there ,we went into survival mode. I am pleased to report that all the preparations we have made, all the kits we put together, all the food we stored came in very handy during the 27 Hours we were without power. We were lucky to have water and have hot water because our water heater is gas powered.We decided that we were not going to go out unless necessary. Not only to keep the traffic off the streets but we were concerned with civil unrest too. And sadly were were wasn't long before there were reports of robbing, vandals, loiters and fighting. This is what happens when you are unprepared. If you do not have the essential survival items in your home you are putting you and your family in danger. Who would have ever thought there would have been a Hurricane in Ohio. But it happened.

Around 9 pm Matt got a call from his Grandmother. She was finally able to reach us after her phone service was down for a few hours. She has COPD and takes 2 breathing treatments a day. She was late for one of her treatments and was starting to have difficulty breathing. She needed power to take a breathing treatment and she had none. Matt packed up and went over to his Grandma's. I stayed home to watch the house. He was able to get her a breathing treatment by having a power inverter that takes power from your car battery and converts it so you can plug in household items and use the power from your car battery. We are going to suggest to Grandma that she purchases one of these inverters to have on hand in case of emergencies. Grandma was not prepared for an emergency so Matt had to go out....find a open store and get her some supplies. Luckily it was early enough in the emergency that there were supplies left. He got Grandma squared away and came home.Then we just settled in for a long night.

We both didn't sleep well. We were up late listening to the radios and up early the next morning. Our biggest concern at this point was what to do with our food in the refrigerator and freezer. We were discussing our options when Our Neighbors next door came over to check up on us and offered us use of their generator. We plugged in the Refrigerator for a couple hours and then the Freezer for a couple hours. So that Crisis was taken care of. Matt helped them with some issues they were having at their house and then we settled in.......... getting ready for another long night.

Then our Friends Bob and Jeany called and they had no power and no water because they were on well water with an electrical pump. They wanted to take shower and get some water. So we decided to have a "We don't have power, let's eat up all the food that is going to go bad " Party. They came over and another friend without power came over too. They all brought food from home that were at risk of going bad. We had weird combinations of foods and meats but it was food! We cooked and warmed food on our charcoal grill. We ate, hung out in the candle light and played board games. Then the power came back on!

You don't realize how much your rely on power until you have none.All in all Matt and I fared well in our little Survival Mode Trial. There was really nothing that we thought of that we needed but didn't have. Which makes me happy. That tells me we did a good job preparing. Now we just have to restock what we used during the Storm.

Since then ,we have become Shower Central. Several of our Friends have come over and taken showers at our house since they are still without power. We might even have some guests here soon. My Mom and Dad are without power and might come and stay with us for a couple days.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Storing Baking Ingredients

Key Points:
The ingredients in Step 7 are all the necessary fats, oils, sugars, milk, and miscellaneous that you need to put food storage meals and recipes together.

Purchasing these items when on sale, then rotating through your stored supplies can save you time and money.

Find ways to use these ingredients in your everyday cooking, start learning how to make things from scratch.

Determine the quantities of each food item you will need to store.

Fats and Oils:

Salad Dressings can be store bought and stored, or you can make your own oil and vinegar-based, or mayonnaise-based dressings with items you have on hand in your food storage. Be aware of expiration dates on store bought salad dressings.

Cooking Oil such as canola, or vegetable oil can be used in most bread recipes. Unless they have been specially treated, *unopened* cooking oils have a shelf life of about a year.

Shortening has a longer shelf life than oils, it is reasonable to expect an unopened metal can of shortening to have a shelf life of eight to ten years if kept reasonably cool, particularly if it has preservatives in it.

Mayonnaise can be used in baked dishes, pasta salads, salad dressings, and much more. Although it isn’t necessary to sustain life, it sure makes things taste better. Mayonnaise has a shelf life of 2-3 months.

Peanut Butter provides protein and monounsaturated fats (the good fat). Peanut butter has a shelf life of 6-9 months.


Powdered Fruit Drink comes in many different flavors and can be used in daily use and in times of emergency as stored water can have a funny taste. Powdered drink mixes can be stored for up to 3 years if unopened.

Brown Sugar can be used in many baked goods and even some bread recipes. It can be stored up to 6 months. Be careful to seal it tightly between uses if you have opened your sugar .

Molasses and Corn Syrup are used as sweeteners in many recipes. Store according to your families needs. Molasses may be something you have never used, nor ever will use. If this is the case, don’t feel the need to store it.

Flavored Gelatin is used in molded desserts and salads and to thicken cold soups.

Granulated Sugar is used in almost all food storage recipes and is very important to store. Sugar has a shelf life of 20+years.

Honey is another sweetener found in a lot of food storage recipes. Honey is more expensive then sugar and usually acts as a substitute for sugar in breads. Some people feel it is healthier to use honey than sugar.


Nonfat Dry Milk is much cheaper then regular milk. To make your nonfat milk taste better, try adding 1 tsp of sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla to a gallon.

Evaporated Milk can be stored in cans, or made from nonfat dry milk. To make a 12 oz can of evaporated milk from dry milk, mix 1-1/2 C. Water and 1/2 C. + 1 T. Dry Powdered Milk and blend very well.


Baking Soda, Salt and Baking Powder are used in most recipes and if unopened have indefinite shelf lives.

Active dry yeast is the form of yeast most commonly available to noncommercial bakers, as well as the yeast of choice for situations where long travel or uncontrolled storage conditions are likely.

Instant yeast appears similar to active dry yeast, but has smaller granules with substantially higher percentages of live cells. It is more perishable than active dry yeast, but also does not require rehydration, and can usually be added directly to all but the driest doughs.


Dedicated Sleepers

The Beagles are very dedicated sleepers.
They will let nothing get in the way of gettin' their sleep on!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Matt found some podcasts relating to homesteading and self sufficiency on iTunes.

We have down loaded them and have been listening to them faithfully. They share a lot of good information and Matt and I have used several of the ideas heard in the podcasts.

The Survival Podcast
Podcasts available on iTunes and the Website

The Self Sufficient Homestead
Podcasts available on iTunes and the Website

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What's for Dinner- Sweet and Sour Spam

I store some Spam in my Food Storage. I am always looking for Spam recipes. I found one today and I am going to give it a try for Dinner. I think I will throw in some stir fry veggie mix to add some vegetables to the recipe

Sweet and Sour Spam

1 can SPAM:
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ginger powder:
1/2 to 1 cup apple cider, white, or red wine vinegar:
1 can chunk pineapple: save 1/2 cup juice
1/2 to 1 cup ketchup:
1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar:
2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup water:

1) cut the spam into 1/2 inch squares and add to frying pan.

2) Add onion, garlic, and ginger powder

3) Remove spam from heat when all sides are crispy brown.

4) Add apple cider or red wine vinegar, cubed pineapple, ketchup, and brown sugar.

5) Bring to boil, reduce heat, and let simmer 5 minutes.

6) Add spam.

7) Add 2 tbsp cornstarch to 1 cup water, mix, and then add to sweet and sour mixture. Sauce should thicken as it returns to a boil.

8) Serve over rice.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What's for Dinner- Hearty Hodge Podge Soup

Hearty Hodge Podge Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 can minestrone soup (not condensed)
2 cup baked beans or pork and beans
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

In soup pot, brown ground beef. Drain and return to pot.

Add remaining ingredients and heat throughly

Another recipe I found that is great for using and rotating my food storage.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What I am Reading



A photographic homage to humanity's most shared tradition.

Wayne D. King

52 pages

Premium Paper

50% of proceeds, after production costs, to be donated to Project Laundry List!

There's something warm and comforting about a wash line on a beautiful day. It is a timeless image that speaks to us of days gone by and days to come. It is a metaphor for our connection to the earth and our shared humanity."Washday" is a photographic essay that captures those moments and puts them on your coffee table. More than a conversation piece, it is an invitation to engage one another in a dialog about saving the planet and about those rare moments when a small experience - the smell of fresh sheets, the warmth of the sun, the flapping of clothes in the breeze - can serve as a joyous bridge connecting each of us to one another through a shared experience and the hope that connection can inspire.

Wayne D. King is an accomplished photographer. His images are a celebration of life, blending the real and the surreal to achieve a sense of place or time that reaches beyond the moment into a dreamlike quintessentialism designed to spark an emotional response. Using digital enhancement, handcrafting, painting, and sometimes even straight photography, King takes the viewer to a place that is beyond simple truth to where truth meets passion, hope and dreams.