Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Homefront

This has been a typical Saturday in "Little Shouse on the Prairie".  Everybody has been busy about their tasks, both work and play.

After a leisurely breakfast, Sir Knight, Master Hand Grenade and Miss Serenity hit the wood deck and split a huge pile of firewood.  We have taken to stacking it in our wood hut (built with cattle panels) rather than the sunroom because spring is in the air and our sunroom will soon be arrayed in its summer finery.

While the older set worked on firewood, Princess Dragon Snack and Master Calvin spent their morning chasing ducks through puddles and shooting arrows at hay bales.  I think they got some target practice in with their sling shots as well.

Maid Elizabeth and I washed dishes and cleaned the house.  It seems as though there is more mud on our kitchen floor than there is outside!  Keeping up with the floors in the springtime is a never-ending chore - oh!

After morning chores, we got busy having fun.  Fun for Sir Knight usually includes something to do with guns, so he and Master Hand Grenade lugged in ammo cans and 5 gallon buckets full of brass and began processing it so that they could reload.  Most of the brass had been tumbled already, but it still needed to be sized, decapped and trimmed.  When you're dealing with hundreds of rounds, it takes a looong time!

Inserting sized brass into case gage

Checking the back

Checking overall length

Press in the lower position, adding a new piece of brass

The Dillion press performing two functions at once - sizing decapping in the first stage and trimming in the third stage

Advancing the press so that we can do it all over again

Lubing the cases (we actually do this first)

Men at Work
Maid Elizabeth mixed up a couple of batches of play dough for the littles, who happily occupied themselves all afternoon, armed with nothing but a rolling pin and a few cookie cutters.  She also made some "sparkles" out of sugar and food coloring so that we can decorate our next batch of sugar cookies with a little "bling".
Edible sparkles

Cooking play dough

Ready to play

Princess Dragon Snack creating...

And Master Calvin

Me?  Well, I spent the afternoon in front of the computer working on a cookbook.  I keep thinking I'm getting close, only to remember that I wanted to include this, and this and this recipe!  I do think I'm about done with recipes and I am just finishing up sections on cooking on a wood cookstove and hospitality, and a few odd recipes on wildcrafting and homestead medicine.

That is what is going on on our homefront.  How is your weekend?

OH - and remember to set your clocks forward this evening!

Play Dough
1 C. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. water
1 T. oil
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
15 drops of food color (optional)

Cook all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes or until mixture forms a ball.  Remove from saucepan and let the play dough rest on the counter for about 5 minutes.  Knead the dough until it is smooth and blended.   Cool completely.  Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Edible Sparkles
1/4 C. granulated sugar
Food coloring (as much as needed to make the desired colored)

Mix the sugar and food coloring until the color has saturated.  Spread the sugar in a pie pan and bake in oven at 350° for 10 minutes.


  1. After a nice sabbath rest, a busy day tomorrow. Finally getting the root cellar burried so it can be a root cellar. The green house is warming up and the seedlings are growing inside. Candled turkey and chicken eggs in the incubator tonight, and most are showing signs of life. Shearing sheep will continue tomorrow with my son who is here to help. Then there is fencing, spreading compost, chopping wood and one ever said living the 'homestead' life was easy! Shalom!

    1. Hi Judy:

      I have been trying to find a town/county in the Redoubt or even in small rural towns in Southern states with a significant Jewish presence, but haven't been very successful. There don't seem to be many Jewish preppers, which is disheartening because if anyone should understand to trust G-d and carry and gun (and distrust the government) it should be us. I was really happy to see your post. Do you have any links or any advice?


  2. I remember reloading with my father when I was young, under age 5! Seeing that brought back images! :) here at our place everything is soggy and wet so I can not work in the garden so all I did was household things like clean, laundry, cook and decorate. I awaiting anxiously for your

  3. Enola,

    My husband and I went for a ride to look at a few properties up for sale in the countryside. Returned home where my husband washed all the animals beds and blankets, while I prepared a nice stew for dinner. I made several different batches of cookies (I will post on my blog, probably tomorrow)and some lip balm. Finished up our laundry for the new week and planted more vegetable seeds in my portable greenhouse. Our son, went to work today, it's his 3rd day on his new job since recovering from surgery. Tomorrow, I will go to church, my husband will be going into the big city for work and our son will be working on his truck.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  4. Enola,


    Today I got some help with some wheather stripping I needed to do in the house from a friend who is retired Navy. A nice level headed chap that is as calm as can be. He said he was buying special .45 colt ammo to use in case bad guys in black body armor break down his door and try to take his guns. That suprised me becouse this guy has no attitude whatsover, I did not see that coming.

    Reloading is not practical for me at this time. I do not have the time and with the scarcity of critical components makes it a black hole for money.

    Oh' Yeah' I was on that blog you mentioned "mountain gorilla" blog/website Enola you can also send me some of that soap that you threatened to send to that gentlemens wife to "wash his mouth out with" My only vice is four letter words, lots of four letter words. If I had a dollar for everytime I said the dreaded f-word, I could pay off the National Debt. at 20 trillion dollars. My logic is this, with all the perversions in our society, drugs and alcohol abuse, stuff that would make residents of "Sodom and Gomorrea" blush' I figure four letter words are pretty low on the list. I do however "no longer" use the Lords name in vain.

    One more thing, weapons and group standards.

    I have no group so I have no standard.

    This is my primary list.

    M1A (long range)
    AR-15 18 inch barrel preferred with full length gas system. (Mid Range)
    AK-47 (Short Range) CQB combat. No one likes the AK, but it always works not matter what. If bad guys are in your house, The AK will never give you a miss feed or Jam when your life is on the line and you have no time to fool with a miss feed.

    I also use four foot long crescent wrenches (oil field tools) screwdrivers, beer bottles (I saw a Marine get ten stiches when a friend of mine popped him in head with a bottle of San Miguel beer from the Phillipines)

    Use whatever you got to win the battle. First rule of war. There are no rules. Cant find a good weapon. Poor out your wifes purse, odds are you will find an aresenal of items that can be used as weapons.

    Also to win any battle, think like Texas Redneck.

    General Patton once said' give me a room full of West Point gradutes and I will win a battle.
    Give me a room full of 'Texas Aggies" and I will win the war. (in reference to Texas A+M Corp of Cadets in College Station)

  5. Capt. Crunch,

    Check this youtube video out:

    Christian Comedian Brad Stine, "Christians don't have curse words."

    Funny stuff! And I agree with him, "sometime ouch just doesn't cut it!" : )

    Take care,
    TX Rose

    1. Hey Anon,


      I know cussin is not good, I dont condone it. I should not do it to begin with, but if I luck out someday and find a good Christian woman to 'set me straight" I will try and stop altogather. Men tend to act better when we have a reason to act better.

  6. Enola,


    I got a bunch of American Eagle one once coins at $33 each today at the gun show. Im making friends with a local coin dealer. I sold some 19th century coins to him that were not silver awhile back and he returned the favor and I got silver at only four dollars over spot price...good deal.

    Cases of 55 grain 5.56 at $1000.00. I saw PMAGs but I had no interest in the price, I got a life time supply anyway. Lots of other over priced stuff including rifles.

    I did fall in love with another M1A.

    The serial no. is in the 8000 range (No Joke) Springfield Armory with TRW bolt, old school M1A, pure early 1970's American Steel from American Steel Mills.

    (I know Sir Knight may be drooling right now) I think the serial no. was 8236 I wrote it down. I will research it. I need to raise $2200.00 for this baby.

    If I had choice between this rifle and the perfect wife, I don't know what I would do????

    I got the gun dealers business card, maybe I will sell my current M1A (serial no. 163XXX ) to help raise the cash. (Hey John Jacob Scmitt, wanna buy a tricked out M1A???)

    I'm a sucker for old M1A's

    The old stuff is always the best!

    One last thing, maybe If I get this M1A rifle Enola, I gotta give that new baby a name. Maybe we can have a "Naming contest" to find a name for my "new" old M1A.

  7. Wish I could reload but don't yet have the equipment....however am very much looking forward to the cookbook!

  8. I canned two loads of bacon and one of garnet sweet potatoes. Today I hope to do another load of bacon and sweet potatoes. The downside to this, is that each load was only 4 quarts, and my big canner sits unused.

    I would like to let my choices be a cautionary tale for anyone who is in the position of purchasing a new cooktop or stove. When we built the east wing addition onto our cabin, we invested in a solar system and spent a lot of time researching our choices for appliances that would go into our home. We managed to get a 30" single wall oven on clearance for 1/3 price of a new one. It has a convection feature which saves time and thus saves us watts. My husband and I really wanted a dual fuel cooktop, as we may not always have the ability to get more propane. We couldn't find one, so we went with the newest technology to us, induction. I read a consumer article online that rated all the current models and the top rated model was on sale for less than half of big name brands, so we bought it. I can now get a large pot of water to a boil rapidly, but we all know better than to flash fry the bacon! The problem with this cooktop is that your cookware must be magnetic. No problem, my cookware is mostly Griswold cast iron and a couple stainless steel pots, along with my water bath canner. The PROBLEM appeared when I was faced with canning. Canners are aluminum, aluminum is not magnetic. I finally found a stainless steel pressure cooker/canner, made in Spain, that will process four quarts or seven pints. It is finicky. It takes just as long to reach pressure as the big ones (because you can't just turn up the heat and get it up there without causing siphoning of the jar liquids). Instead of canning at 13 lb pressure, I have to can at 15 lbs, leaving my food slightly over processed. It takes just as long to depressurize. So for the same amount of time that I could be processing 7 qts in the 22 qt. Presto, I get four quarts.
    This cooktop is pretty, it is shiny, it is sometimes useless, especially in one of my most important tasks.
    To make matters worse, I found out that I could have purchased an induction hot plate to use everyday and had a gas cooktop put in for less money.

    After canning, we went to our 4H club meeting and then rushed home to dad, who had gotten home from work and needed a nap before getting called out again. The daylight was long, the sky was clear and there was a sensation of warmth, so I dug into the freezer and pulled out steak. I cooked some onions wrapped in bacon, some peas from our garden to go along. We ate big! We then discussed emergency grid down protocols and helped him walk through the order of making sure all energy hogs are off, as we often have space heaters going when the sun is shining and the panels are kicking out juice, but we know we can't leave them on when the power goes off and we must think of future days of cloudy skies and no production to charge the batteries. First thing, was to make sure his flashlight was on his night stand or otherwise at arms length distance away. Later, Dad taught/reviewed CPR and emergency procedures for fire, as well as interviewed son on what he thinks he can do in case of TEOTWAWKI. Reviewing his skills and knowledge helped him to realize how much he DOES know and CAN do, as he is sometimes unsure of himself. We pretended that we weren't here and the forest was on fire and Uncle that lives next door was unconscious. We laced the review with lots of laughter. For language arts and typing this week, I am going to have him make an outline of his checklist for energy conservation and one for medical and fire emergencies. Integrating subjects in homeschool is near and dear to my heart, LOL.

    My husband was given a momento by his ROTC students that has a plaque that reads: Ask me a question, I'll tell you a story." I guess after all these years, that has rubbed off onto me as well...sorry this is long.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    1. Side Track Susie,


      I gotta hand it to ya' your working on that canning stuff. As a one man operation (and a guy who hates cooking) all I can do is stock up on stuff that is ready made, or stuff from the Mormon Cannery.
      Also, Im stuck where Im at seven miles from the Gulf Of Mexico, and one mile from a large Salt Water Lagoon.

      Sounds like your pretty well set up.

    2. And this is Spring Break! Where all the young and dumb hit the beaches of the Gulf to drink, party and show all they can show!

      I alway thought "Spring Break" or actually "Easter Break" was a break from school so the youngin's could help get the crops planted! Silly me.

  9. Thanks, Captain Crunch!

    If you hate cooking, you should really learn to do some canning. Then, you can make large batches of chili, ham and beans or chicken soup, then can the left overs. Then you can just heat it and eat it down the road.

    You'd still be a manly man, LOL. After my dad, "yes, sir Sergeant Major", retired from the Army (I was 15) he used to garden and can like a fiend. Tomatoes, lots of tomatoes. Aside the juice he make to drink, they were the base for spaghetti sauce, swiss steak, chili, and even went in the navy beans. I think we pretty much lived on tomatoes, green beans and corn with whatever. He's 83 1/2 and still grows tomatoes and peppers.

    However, with your new job and all those hours you are working, you can get ready made or buy from the Mormon Cannery. We are a long way from one of those. Besides, canning and dehydrating are my MOS, just ask my husband, the other "sarge".

    The sun is shining on the new snow, the panels are kicking out the juice and the canner is gently blowing steam.

    You are right, I am a very spoiled woman.


  10. Hey Anon,


    I avoid spring breakers at all cost. I used to surf for many, many years. I rode a 9'6 Longboard. I've seen it all on the beach, nothing shocks me anymore.

    What is really drives me nuts are classy respectable woman in dresses. I think many men are burned out on sex. If we see a classy woman we hone in on her like "Bee's in the hot summer sun targeting a five gallon bucket of Kool Aid"

    That's funny, comparing a woman to a five gallon bucket of Kool Aid...thats very Redneck too:)