DO YOU GARDEN? I am researching a book called "My Very First Garden" (about edible gardening... fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc.) and need your true stories! Do you have a good (or even bad!) memory about the first garden you ever did? Was it inside in pots, outside when you were a kid, or in a community garden? Did you harvest anything or did the rabbits get it all? Please submit your short but true story to vikkibooks at yahoo dot com by April 27 2010. Your submission implies your consent to use your story and the possibility of (minor) editing. Thanks!

CATCHUP: DEC 13 2012

I realize it's been a while since I've written here, but so much has happened.

My Tween has turned into a 16 year old with autism and epilepsy. He has some neurons that didn't form correctly in his brain (in utero) and some lesions and a small tumor.

We live out in the boonies, on a tiny 2 acres. Goats: 2 girls, 1 baby girl, 1 buck and 1 wether. Chickens: about 50 ranging from 3 days old to 2 years old, bantams and standards. Chicken varieties: silkies, cuckoo marans, black australorps, red stars, eggers (standard size and bantam), and all kinds of crosses that we hatched ourselves.

We grow as much of our food as possible but it'll be years before nut trees and some of our fruit trees bear. Loved the red raspberries and blueberries we ate this summer; we're adding even more plus yellow raspberries, purple raspberries, blackberries and currants in 2013.

Started a goat milk cheese share program in 2012 to help pay for my kid's expenses. Going well and have gotten egg and produce customers from it too.

We still have a LOT more to do but yes, we consider ourselves homesteaders.

= = = = = = =

Check out our farm's website we just started: Rosemary Ridge

Book Review: Patriots by James Rawles

I have to say that I was excited to finally have the opportunity to read the book. I read regularly and had heard much. Boy, was I disappointed.

Did it bother anyone else that Dan Fong was usually referred to as Dan Fong, and not just Dan? What did the new moms use for diaper rash? Or women use for monthlies? Or men use to shave? When they bugged out to the woods, what did they eat without cooking (the fires during daylight only would have had smoke give away their position, right?) and how did they clean their clothes? The toilet paper issue would have been a good idea to bring up in the book IF it had actually been mentioned again after 3, 4, 5 years after the crash, uh, Crunch. Almost everyone had the same voice (talked the same way), and most people don't have the financial means to do that much prepping, so how many people, really, can this book help? Introduction of new characters would give a huge backstory and very rarely speak again. As for the religion being crammed down readers' throats... 'nuf said.

I found this book to be good with basic info, but a huge pain to read. No one seemed real, and the first rule of fiction writing is to help the reader "suspend disbelief" - or make it feel real.

This book should have been just a non-fiction manual, and never been attempted as a novel. Where was the editor during the publishing process (first or last times?). No character development or plot. Very little actual setting. Internal conflict? Points of view? Geez, from a literary standpoint, this book was NOT a novel.

I realize Mr. Rawles has a huge following and is supposed to be one of the most knowledgeable and followed survivalists. That's fine. This is not an attack on him, but just a humble opinion about this book. I read it in a bookstore, over the course of several days. I'm very glad I didn't buy it. I am sorry that I wasted my time.

I have a lot of non-fiction books on many topics, from gardening to fishing to defense to survival to history to science experience to ... well, just about everything. I also have access to the web. Get the info from this book online (now, while there still is an internet), visit thrift stores and yard sales for inexpensive reference books.

Don't waste your money on this book.

Just my 2 cents worth...

Neighbor Problems CO Lic Plate 644-HCF

Have you ever had a neighbor who did things on purpose to make the lives of the people around them miserable? Noise. Destruction of property. Harrassment. And those same people, no matter what law enforcement arrives at their door step, lie about everything and get out of it?

The people who go with this license plate (I think I wrote it down right) are just such people. Sure would be nice if these people got a taste of their own medicine.

Maybe karma will bite them in the ass.

Anxiety About Our Future

Part of this is the swine flu. Part is noisy neighbors. The biggest part is that we're so ready to get our next (and last) homestead, and still have to wait another few days before we're "well-enough" to be with other people. Meanwhile, properties I had my eye on are being snatched up, and our savings is dwindling (medical costs, new brakes on the Bronco, etc.).

And I have too many blogs. So... do I combine them? Redirect to one? If so, which one? We're preparing to follow our hearts to be as self-sufficient as possible, which means a lot of gardening (ok, LOTS of trees, and some veggie gardening), taking care of animals, preserving what we get from them and living more off of what we create on that land or bartering as opposed to spending money and using depleting resources.

So... advice?

Labor Ready Charges

I've used local Labor Ready offices for "muscle" when I have things to move, and am usually pretty satisfied with them. Sometimes, when more than one person is hired, they sometimes have personality differences that makes me intervene, but for the most part, they do the job pretty well.

As to the offices, they send paperwork with the workers for me to sign, giving a range of funds they can charge, in case it goes over. One particular office never seems to get the charges correct, and often 2, 3, and even 4 weeks later, they charge extra. Even tho I last used this office, Thornton, at the end of September, an additional charge just hit me, that put my account in the negative. Gee! Thanks for giving me the heads up and saying "Look, we didn't charge enough for service date whatever, and we need to charge an additional whatever on this date." Did we get this call? No! So, gee, thanks Labor Ready for putting my account in the negative, and charging whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like.

Per my phone call today, even tho I'm hoarse and very sick with the swine flu, I expect an accounting of the entire process in the mail as soon as possible. I think your office had already charged everything correctly, and you messed it up like you did about a year ago.

Note to people reading this: do NOT sign that "blanket" form that you don't get to keep a copy of, and if you choose to use Labor Ready, I suggest you request an invoice no later than a week after service date. Examine it. Make sure they don't overcharge.
Copyright (c) 2008-2010 VP Lawrence-Williams and Doug Williams - Please respect our art, words and images. You must gain permission to use any images, words or photos on this site. Contact us first. We will determine a usage fee if appropriate. Thank you.