Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Shootist" is a Go

For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath, the wait is over!   "The Home Schooled Shootist:  Training to Fight with a Carbine", Joe Nobody's latest offering, is now available on Amazon.  For those of you who's weapon of choice is an AR-15 or any other carbine, this is the book for you.

You can order the book or view the updated video.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Good Deal Alert/Book Review

A number of months ago I was sent a book to review called "A Simply Homemade Clean".  The author sent it to me thinking it might be up my alley and I must admit, it was - however, it was buried under a pile of other books awaiting reviews and only recently made it's way to the top of the pile.

Wow!  This book is a must have!  Not only does it address the needs of folks who want to simply their lives, it is also a necessary reference book for a prepared family.  "A Simply Homemade Clean" strips away the unnecessary fluff of commercially produced cleaners and directs people to look to their kitchen cupboards for everything they need to clean their homes, their clothes and their bodies.  Not only are the ideas presented in this book simple they are incredibly economical.

Just to give you a little taste - here is a bit about "A Simply Homemade Clean"...

Simplify. Save Money.
Two things that seem pretty elusive these days, huh? Not so!
Would you like to rid your home of commercial, toxic products but don’t want to pay the price for the ‘all natural’, ‘organic’ products that line the shelf? Learn to make your own! Create everything from your own laundry soap, to homemade dryer sheets, antibacterial spray cleaners, potpourri blends, fabric softeners, calendula salve, homemade ‘Vaseline,’ handcrafted Eucalyptus Chest Rub . . . even tips for the outside of the homestead and much more!
A must have for those looking not only to simplify, but to cut that grocery bill down, create a healthier environment for our families, and revive the art of making our own!
A Simply Homemade Clean eBook is available now through August 31st for just 99 cents!!
If we knew how to make our own cleaning products to replace the toxic, commercial ones . . . would we? Would we put forth the effort required?
The desire to make my own products stemmed from the frugal, self reliant side of me. I wanted simple; homemade; natural. Remember the definition of simple is NOT ‘easier.’ Living “simply” in our times, means making a deliberate choice to differ from the mainstream of today’s societal norm. My desire changed over to sheer determination, when one of my children was diagnosed with a myriad of allergies, chemical sensitivities, and asthma. After much study and research, we were determined that we could not have those products in our home, they are useless (when God has provided all we need to make our own) and harmful to everyone in our home. Join me, as I show you how to easily make your own natural, homemade, handcrafted products that are not only less expensive but truly better for our families, our home and God’s Creation.

Now comes the Good Deal part of this review.  "A Simply Homemade Clean" was originally $10.95 (softcover)  and is now being offered for 99 cents (ebook/PDF download) through August 31st!  It is worth every bit of $10.95 so 99 cents is more than a screaming deal.  You can get a copy of the book by visiting or clicking on this link.

This book is essential for your preparedness/simplicity library - and now, with the price drop, is a perfect time to buy.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chocolate Drop Cookies

What follows is a family treasure.  This recipe has been passed down for generations in our family - the original recipe having been modernized relatively recently, by my Great Grandmother.  These cookies are a part of my heritage.  They were a coveted part of every Christmas Plate my mother presented to neighbors.  They were at every family reunion, every special tea party and occasionally made their appearance to entice the appetite of someone who was under the weather.  These cookies are a taste of our home.

A couple of weeks ago, dear friends came over for a quick visit.  Their eldest son, who is heading off to college, enjoyed a Chocolate Drop cookie or two (or maybe three or four) and asked if, please, could he have the recipe.  Never one to deny a recipe, I told him it was probably on my blog.  After conducting a quick search, I found, to my horror, that the recipe had never graced these pages.  And so, I made another batch of cookies (so that I could take pictures - not because we wanted to indulge you know!) in order that a certain young man would have this recipe at his disposal.

One thing I must tell you, is that a requirement for making Chocolate Drop cookies is frosting them on the bottom.  Yes, you read that right - the bottom must be frosted.  My Great Grandmother, my Grandmother and my Mother all frost their cookies on the bottom (as do I, of course).  Really, when you think about it, this makes perfect sense.  The bottoms are nice and flat and imminently spreadable.  We frost the bottoms of every frosted cookies we make, be they Chocolate Drops, Sugar cookies or whatever else catches our fancy.

And so, without further adieu, Chocolate Drop Cookies....

Chocolate Drop Cookies
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter (1 Cube), softened
1 egg
1/2 C milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C flour
6 T cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cream the brown sugar and the butter.  Add egg, milk and vanilla extract.  Beat until smooth.  Add the flour, cocoa and baking soda.  Mix thoroughly.  Drop by teaspoon full onto a greased cookie sheet (or a cookie sheet that has been well seasoned).

*The batter should be the consistency of a thick cake batter.  Thin with a little more milk if too thick.

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
Mixing the butter and brown sugar
Adding the flour, cocoa and baking soda
The batter should be like thick cake batter
Drop by teaspoon full onto baking sheet
2 T melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T milk
2 C powdered sugar
3 T cocoa powder

Mix butter, vanilla and milk.  Add powdered sugar and cocoa and beat until thoroughly mixed.  Add milk until spreading consistency has been achieved.
Pouring melted butter into the mixer
Frosting should be spreading consistency
Serve with a lovely cup of tea (coffee will do in a pinch!).

Remember to frost on the bottom

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Obey your Elders

Maid Elizabeth found this on a site she frequents.  Sometimes young bucks need to be disciplined by their elders!  I have the feeling these young men may think twice before they try breaking bad again....

Friday, August 17, 2012

Here's to Texas

Captain Crunch - this is for you and all your Texas brothers - thanks for keeping the rest of us in line!

The Coyote Story


The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A
coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor's dog.

The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie "Bambi" and
then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is
natural.In the process the Governor is bitten by the coyote.

He calls Animal Control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the
State $200 testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it.

He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State
$200 testing it for diseases.

The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases
from the coyote and on getting his bite wound bandaged.

The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a
$100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals.

The Governor spends $50,000 in state funds implementing a "coyote awareness
program" for residents of the area.

The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies
and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.

The Governor's security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The
State spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special
training regarding the nature of coyotes.

PETA protests the coyote's relocation and files a $5 million suit against
the State.


The Governor of Texas is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote
jumps out and attacks his dog.

The Governor shoots the coyote with his State-issued pistol and keeps
jogging. The Governor has spent $0.50 on a .45 ACP hollow point cartridge and about $500 of his personal money on his gun.

The buzzards eat the dead coyote.

*  I'm not sure who authored this little piece of bittersweet humor, but if you do, please let me know so that I can give proper credit!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Everyday Living

Summer is an extraordinarily busy time of the year as we prepare for the long winter months.  We fill our days with gardening, canning and wildcrafting (among the normal household and business busyness).

I have to admit, August is one of my least favorite months.  It is hot, hot, hot.  And, it is filled with canning - everything from green beans and corn to tomatoes, onions and peppers.  Now, don't get me wrong, I like to can.  But, I really love canning when it is all over and the jars are lined perfectly on shelves.  My favorite type of canning is fall canning.  In the fall the wood cookstove boils along, warming the house at it cans our food.  If the kitchen becomes unbearable, we just open the door and enjoy the bliss of crisp, cool, fall air.

But, I am getting ahead of myself.  Now is the time for summer canning, which means standing before the stove watching the pressure gage, damp with perspiration.  Today was just such a day.  Green beans are in season so we must "make hay while the sun shines".  We prepared 60 pounds of beans (1 pound of beans yields roughly 1 quart of canned vegetables) and had a yield of 59 quarts/liters.  We used a combination of Weck canning jars and Kerr/Ball jars with Tatler lids.  I love using the Weck jars for green beans because of the huge opening.  It is by far larger than a standard wide mouth jar and so filling the jar with whole beans is a snap.  By the time I got to the narrow mouth Kerr/Ball jars, I had been reduced to cutting (gasp) the beans so they would fit in the jars.  All in all, I would say we had a very productive day!

Knowing that we would be peddle to the metal all day, I planned an easy, quick meal for dinner.  Chicken Fajitas are perfect on a hot day (and did I mention quick?) and particularly tasty.  They do require a bit of cutting, but the effort is well worth the work.

Chicken Fajitas
4 T canola oil, divided
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 medium green pepper, julienned
1 large onion, cut into rings

Flour tortillas

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and seasonings; add the chicken.  Seal and turn to coat;  refrigerate for 1 - 4 hours.

In a large skillet, saute peppers and onions in remaining oil until crisp-tender.  Remove and keep warm.

Discard marinade.  In the same skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat for 5 - 6 minutes or until no longer pink.

Return pepper mixture to pan; heat through.

Spoon filling down the center of tortillas; fold in half.  Serve with cheese, taco sauce, salsa, guacamole or sour cream.

*I always double this recipe.

Sauteing peppers and onions
Browning Chicken
Ready to add salsa, sour cream, or whatever floats your boat!
I hope all of you are enjoying summers perfect bounty.  We truly are blessed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Catechism on the Constitution

Many years ago, when Maid Elizabeth was just beginning her lower education, Sir Knight and I purchased a book titled, "Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States, For the use of the schools" by Arthur J. Stansbury, 1828.  It is a concise little book that leads children through a simple catechism, making it better able for them to understand the magnificent document that is our Constitution.

Having always had an interest in our government in general, and thinking I knew quite a bit about the Constitution and the men who drafted this singularly spectacular treatise of human liberty, I was taken aback by the information presented in this little work.  It was simple, straightforward and easily understood, however it's pages contained an understanding of our Constitution I had never known.

Here are a few excerpts from this commanding little book.....

Q69.  May ever the President of the United States be thus impeached and punished?
A.      Yes.  In this free and happy country no man is so great as to be above the law.  The laws are supreme; to them all persons, from the President of the United States to the poorest and the meanest beggar, must alike submit.  This is our glory.  Let every youthful American exult that he has no master but the law; let him mark the man who would change this happy state of things as an enemy of his country; and above all let him remember that as soon as he himself breaks the law, he becomes himself that enemy.  Whoever violates the law helps to weaken its force, and, as far as he disobeys, does what in him lies to destroy it; but he who honors and obeys the law strengthens the law, and thereby helps to preserve the freedom and happiness of his country.  In some governments it is held that "the king can do no wrong;"  here we know no king but the law, no monarch but the constitution; we hold that every man may do wrong; the higher he is in office, the more reason there is that he be obliged to answer for his conduct; and a great officer, if treacherous, is a great criminal, so that he ought to be made to suffer a great and exemplary punishment.

Q133.  You say Congress may declare War; can they raise Armies; that is can they hire soldiers to fight for our country?
A.        They can; and pay, clothe, and feed them, at the public expense.

Q134.  Can they make a law, setting apart money enough at one time, to pay and support the army for more than two years?
A.        No, not at one time; lest a wicked Congress might, by keeping up an army, remain in power beyond the time for which they were chosen, and so destroy the liberty of their country.

Q135.  Why was the time limited to two years?
A.        Because every two years a new Congress may be chosen.

I highly encourage you to seek out this gem of a book.  You will be shocked at the wisdom of our forefathers and stunned by their desire to leave freedom to their posterity.  As a freeman, you need to know who you are, and how your government was designed - not to rule you, but to serve you.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Let us Reason Together

When I was in school, a majority of my classmates had little or no interest in current events.  Oh, big things like what pop star had a chart topping single or who was winning the Super Bowl peaked their interest, but little things, like what was happing in Chechnya or who was really to blame in the Iran-Contra affair left them glassy-eyed and limp.  When I would start talking about Lt. Oliver North or bleeding-heart liberals, they would roll their eyes and say things like "She's a nice girl, but strange".

Not only were politics off-limits to my classmates, religion was as well.  When I would ask if Christians had to live by Old Testament Law or if they were governed by Grace alone, my friends would laugh and say "who cares?   What are you wearing to the dance on Friday night?"  I just didn't get it - they didn't seem to care about the things that I thought were most important in life.

When I became a mother I wanted to pass my vision, my passion, on to my children.  I wanted them to seek God and love Him.  I wanted them to know what was going on in the world and to stand up for what was right and good.  I wanted them to be able to reason - to make their case - to be engaged.  And so, I started thinking about how I became engaged.  What I discovered startled me and changed my entire view on education and parenting.

When I was very young, my parent became Christians.  They were good friends with another couple that were new Christians themselves.  Our families would get together frequently and our parents would talk.  No, they did more than talk.  They would pull out their bibles start turning pages and talking a mile a minute.  "It says we need to...", "Yes, but over here, it says this...".  Pages turned, thoughts were exchanged, excitement filled the air.  I sat, listening, mesmerized.  My parents were passionate.  They genuinely wanted to know the truth.  They genuinely wanted to do God's will.  They were true seekers.  As I listened to my parents and their friends, I was engaged.  Here was a group of adults reasoning together, and we, their children, longed to be a part of this great thing. Never, in children's church or youth group had I been so effectively engaged than sitting in my living room listening to my elders.  If I had a question, I would timidly, quietly ask.  Immediately pages flew and my dad, my mom and our friends would seek God's answer.  They would explain verses, help me understand the meaning.  They made me want to know.

I came to find out that I was not the first child to be engaged by reasoning with their elders.  Jesus, when he was twelve was found in the temple reasoning with the elders.  He wasn't hanging out with a group of his peers, talking about their latest happenings, he was engaged with the elders of the land.

My dad has always been politically aware.  During our evening meal, my parents would often talk about what was going on in the world.  Not only did we discuss current events, we discussed how those events lined up with scripture.  We talked about the morality of any given situation and discussed how God would have had us handle the situation.  My brother and I reasoned together with our parents.  Their take on political and religious issues weren't relegated to dusty books filled with dates and useless information, they were alive, relevant and engaging.

Do you ever wonder why our population is spiritually bankrupt and politically apathetic?  Perhaps it is because we have never reasoned with our elders.  Perhaps the only reasoning we do involves mass media and an agenda driven educational system.  Perhaps our reasoning skills revolve around an Xbox and an Ipod.

Sir Knight and I frequently discuss the state of the nation, moral issues and religion.  We question, we search and we dig deep.  When we are in the midst of a rousing conversation our children are glued to our side.  They have questions.  They have ideas.  They have input.  Because we talk about all of life, they are aware and engaged.  They would much rather discuss Middle Eastern relations and Israel's place in the world than they would major league sports.  They hunger for biblical answers to the modern problems our world faces and desire to know how they fit into the grand scheme of things.  They love to sit at the feet of their parents and reason with their elders.

As parents and elders we need to engage our children.  We need to reason with them day and night.  We need to talk about what is going on in the world and seek after the truth.  We need to engage our children in the history we are making.  The greatest education comes not from books, facts and figures but from the young reasoning with the old.

And so I say....Come, let us reason together.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Something to Think on....

"Honour, justice and humanity call upon us to hold, and to transmit to our posterity, that liberty, which we received from our ancestors.  It is not our duty to leave wealth to our children:  but it is our duty, to leave liberty to them.  No infamy, iniquity, or cruelty can exceed our own, if we, born and educated in a country of freedom, instilled to its blessings, and knowing their value, pusillanimously* deserting the post assigned to us by Divine Providence, surrender succeeding generations to a condition of wretchedness, from which no human efforts, in all probability, will be sufficient to extricate them; the experience of all states mournfully demonstrating to us, that when arbitrary power has been established over them, even the wisest and bravest nations, that ever flourished, have, in a few years, degenerated into abject and wretched vassals".

            (from the Resolutions of Committee for the Province of Pennsylvania - 1774)

* Pusillanimously:  Lacking courage; Cowardly.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Home Schooled Shootist

I'm so excited - Joe Nobody has a new book coming out called "The Home Schooled Shootist:  Training to Fight with a Carbine".  This time, he tried something new and shot a video featuring a number of the shooting exercises he explains in his book.  What a great idea!  It gives you an idea of what the book will cover and a real life view of how the exercise should be executed.

If you have a carbine of any configuration you should check out Joe's video - just the 2 minute segment will challenge your shooting ability.  I'll keep you posted on the release date of "The Home Schooled Shootist" so that you can add it to your preparedness/self-defense library.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Citizens and Sovereigns

I see it so clearly in my minds eye.  Thatched roofs, billowing smoke with flames lapping, ready to consume the pitiful mud and waddle hovel.  Cruel faced men sit astride fierce mounts, demanding obeisance from cowering peasants.  These are the dark days before the dawn of liberty.  In this world, men and women are little more than chattel, owning nothing.  Their labors are not their own.  They toil bitterly for their meager existence, knowing their sovereign may require the fruits of their labor without notice or cause.  Their lives are fodder for the nobles who take great joy in exercising complete power over their subjects, both for personal gain and for the twisted pleasure of wreaking destruction on helpless peasants.

The Dark Ages were called dark for a reason.  Society was hallmarked by a great chasm of classes - the masses worked for the betterment of the few and the few tyrannized the masses.  As we stand idly by, our world is growing dark once more.

Our constitution was written to govern free men.  The wording was concise and specific.  The preamble begins "We the people of the United States.....", not "We the citizens of the United States".  It was worded thus to keep men free.  The difference between "People" and "Citizen" is the difference between serf and king.

It is noted in Law Notes  If you claim you are a citizen of the United States, then it is strongly implied that you are subject to the laws of the United States.  On the other hand, if you are one of the People, then it is legally implied that you are a legal king, with a sovereignty superior to that of the United States, and subject only to the common law of other kings (your peers).  In short:  the People are superior to the government; the government is superior to the citizens.  That is the hierarchy.  

As a king you "are entitled to the rights which formerly belonged to the King by his prerogative."  You can do what you want to do when you want to do it.  You have your own property and your own courts.  There is no limit as to what you may do other than the natural limits of the universe, and the sovereignty of a fellow sovereign.  You should treat the other sovereign in accordance with the Golden Rule, and at the very least must never harm him.  Your sovereignty stops where the other sovereignty begins.  You are one of the owners of the American government, and it is their promise that they will support your sovereignty (i.e. they have promised to support the Constitution and protect it from all enemies).  You have no allegiance to anyone.  The government, your only [public] servant, has an allegiance to you.

As a Citizen, you are only entitled to whatever your sovereign grants to you.  You have no  rights.  If you wish to do something that would be otherwise illegal, you must apply for a license giving you special permission.  If there is no license available, and if there is no specific permission granted in the statutes, then you must apply for special permission or a waiver in order to do it.  You only allegiance is to your sovereign (the government), and that allegiance is mandated by your sovereign's law (the government, though not absolutely sovereign, is sovereign relative to you if you claim to be a citizen of the sovereign.

The framers of our Constitution wanted us to be our own sovereigns not peasants serving a tyrannical master.  They wanted us to be self governing noblemen.

We have given up our right of ascension.  While we turned a blind eye, the very people we entrusted to safeguard our sovereignty usurped our position and appointed themselves noblemen and princes - the rulers of the land.  And we were relegated to Citizens rather than Sovereigns.

The thatch is burning and the noblemen sit astride fierce mounts demanding obeisance from cowering peasants.  We have been thrust into the darkness.

Now is the time for you to decide.  Are you a Citizen or a Sovereign?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Raspberry Orange Conserve

Every year, we put up numerous jars of Raspberry Jam to last us through the winter.  And every year, we run out.  We love jam.  We eat it on toast, on biscuits, on scones.  We add it to cookies, slather it on crumpets and pair it with peanut butter.  We are, in fact, jam snobs.

Raspberry jam is our favorite, although Blackberry jam and Huckleberry jam rank high on our list.  This year, I decided to try my hand at another variety of preserved berry goodness. I made Raspberry Orange Conserve.  The main difference between jam (preserves) and conserves is the number of fruits used.  Jams are made with only one variety of fruit at a time and conserves are two or more fruits combined.  In order to stretch out our Raspberry jam (hopefully to make it last until next summer), I decided to transform our simple Raspberry jam into a decadent Raspberry Orange conserve.

A portion of our bounty

After making a  number of batches of basic Raspberry jam (to appease those of us who like the simpler things in life), I decided to try my hand at something new.  Looking through numerous canning cookbooks, I failed to come up with a recipe that exactly suited my tastes, so I decided to use a basic recipe and tailor it to ingredients I had on hand.  The results were spectacular!  Wow!  Raspberry with the tang of orange is a perfect combination.  To add even more interest, I added a handful of walnuts to the conserve, making it wonderfully suited for scones and biscuits.

Oh, now I'm thinking of all kinds of other combinations - Cranberry/Orange, Blackberry/Huckleberry - this could be fun!

Raspberry Orange Conserve
4 C raspberries (washed & crushed)
2 C orange pulp (peel, discard peel and pith, liquefy in a blender)
1 box pectin (or 6 T bulk pectin)
8 1/2 C sugar
1/4 C nut meats (optional)

Measure the raspberries and orange pulp into large pot.  Add the pectin and stir well.  Begin heating berries on medium/high heat, stirring frequently.  Bring to a rolling boil (cannot stir down boil) and add sugar all at once.  Stir until sugar dissolves and bring mixture back up to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, add nut meats.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Ladle into sterilized canning jar, cap off and process for 10 minutes in a water bath.

The raspberries crushed and ready to go
Orange sections
After the blender
Orange commingling with raspberry
Adding the nut meats