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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tarantula Videos

This is a tarantula that MMB found crawling on the skycastle, I can live with big spiders hanging around as long as they STAY OUTSIDE!




Wretha

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A Dog's Life

Click here to view these pictures larger

Bug Pictures

Mountain Man Bob has done more work on the Bug, it's paint job is now complete, at least for now, that is subject to change. The other thing he has been doing is working on the inside. He removed the back seat and I was amazed to see more air and rust than metal. The floorpans are nearly non-existent. MMB cut out the part over the transmission and replaced it with a sheet of aluminum, he cut it, bent it using a piece of railroad tie for an anvil and a rubber mallet. I helped by standing on the metal as he hit it. It is nearly a perfect fit. You can see a picture of one of my favorite magazines on the new metal, Mother Earth News. You can also see a copy of the book I am reviewing (I'm nearly done James, I promise!), it's called MAKESHIFT WORKSHOP SKILLS FOR SURVIVAL AND SELF-RELIANCE written by James Ballou.

The book can be found here:
http://paladinpress.com/product/1150/82


Wretha

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Chia Pets or Survival Food?

Remember those silly little Chia Pets? Little did we know then that those strange little seeds painted on those cheesy terracotta pots shaped like animals were actually GOOD for us... It turns out that they are, they are high in vitamins, minerals, loads of fiber and it's a better source of omega's than flax seeds are. It's supposed to be good for diabetics too, I will not repeat what I have read on line in the last hour or so, it's very easy to look up. Google Chia Seeds

Sept 13, 2009
In an attempt to eat better, in the past I started out eating psyllium husk for the fiber content. Honestly it was not pleasant, it never completely dissolved in water, it was like trying to drink sawdust and it contained no nutritional value. Then I discovered flaxseed. Unlike psyllium husk, flax seed contains nutrients, and a good taste to boot. I would buy the whole seeds and grind what I wanted to eat, I even considered growing my own flax to get fresher seeds but never actually did it. I recently stumbled upon chia seeds on line and it turns out that these little seeds are not only edible, they are extremely healthy, they are even better than flax seeds, that combined with the fact that they contain so much antioxidants, they do not go rancid (as fast) as flax seeds or other seeds in this category. Of course, like anything, they will eventually go rancid, but no where near as fast as other seeds.

So I went into town last week (gasp!) with the intent on going to our local whole foods type market. Sure enough, they carried the magical seeds, I was hoping they would have them in bulk, but they only seemed to carry them prepackaged. They had 2 different jars of seeds, one was better priced than the other so that's the one I chose, Upon getting it home, I took began breaking into the jar. First I had to get through the plastic ribbon they place around the lid. Got through that OK, next was the seal on the top of the jar, it didn't come off as easy. I finally got it open without spilling any of the seeds.


Inside the jar were the tiniest seeds, much smaller than flax seeds. They were also kind enough to include a scoop inside the jar. One scoop is one serving. You are supposed to put a scoop full of seeds into a glass of water, stir briskly, allow it to sit for a while, stir again then drink. The seeds do not play well with the water, at first... once you get the clumps mixed with the water, then it becomes magical. Each seed splits and absorbs water to make a little round gelatin blob.

I tried drinking it with plain water, it didn't taste bad, or good, in fact it really had no taste. I decided to put a spoon full of sugar in it (I know, that's not very nutritious...), that made it much easier to drink. It's recommended to chase it with another glass of water. Mountain Man Bob was trying to decide if it looked like fish eyes or fish eggs, leave it up to him to come up with something that gross... A friend suggested it was like tapioca pudding, double yuck, I detest tapioca pudding! Fortunately it is really not anything like those things.

I can say that it IS full of fiber, the next day I had one of the best and biggest, well lets just say I had a good movement. ;) Sorry if that's TMI... If you are having any sort of trouble in that area, I'd say that a helping of chia seeds and a glass of water, the following day you should not have that trouble.

I just finished a dose of chia seeds, this time I added a packet of EmergenC, it flavored the chia seed gel quite nicely and it's good for me. I think I'll be taking my chia seeds in this manner from now on.

Sept 14, 2009
Today I decided to grind up the chia seeds with my coffee/spice grinder. It's not necessary to do this, but I read that it makes for a smoother drink. I just tasted the ground chia seeds and water, it's not bad, it really has no flavor of its own, I could see adding this to smoothies or hot cereals and you would never know it was there. You can also add this to other foods, again there is a lot already written about this on line, I'll not repeat it here. I will add a packet of EmergenC for extra nutrients and flavor. I just drank the concoction and it's not bad, not bad at all. :) Especially for something that is healthy.

It also turns out that it grows in desert conditions very well, it likes full sun and low water, that's exactly what I have an abundance of. 

So for a survival food and a health food, it's high on the list, it doesn't go rancid, it's full of nutrients, antioxidants, omega 3s,  vitamins, minerals, fiber and too many other good things to list here. This might come in very handy in a TEOTWAWKI situation, if we are eating out of cans because we can't get fresh foods, then supplementing that with chia seeds and chia sprouts would go a long way to making us healthier during that time. I'm not waiting though, I'm doing it now for the health benefits. I would suggest buying whole seeds, not ground seeds or meal, it's not difficult to grind them yourself, it's also not necessary to grind them at all, just soak in water, flavor if you wish and drink.

If you can't find chia seeds where you live, or if you would like to support this site, you can order them here:
Chia Seeds



Wretha

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The Mystery Is Solved

I found it! Actually found it last night shortly after the first post about the stench permeating the air. I passed right by it so many times and never even considered that such an odor could be coming from this source. What is it you ask? A bowl of garlic chive seed heads. I had cut them last week to save the seeds and keep the seeds from falling in a place where I don't necessarily want garlic chives growing.

I cut these seed heads, placed them in a bowl to finish drying and set this by the sink. Mountain Man Bob thought the seeds may get splashed by the sink and he thought I might forget about them, so he set the bowl on the shelf behind my laptop. In the process of drying, the scent of the garlic chives got stronger and stronger, eventually turning into something unpleasant, almost rancid, dead smelling...

I took the bowl outside and put it on the deck. I wanted to wait until today to decide if that was really the source of the smell and it seems that the smell is gone. I briefly wondered if I should cover it, perhaps the mice or other critters might get into it, then I realized that with the smell these were giving off, I doubt anything would bother it, LOL. I am sooooo glad that we didn't have to resort to drastic measures to get rid of the odor or worse, have to live with it until it went away.

As Lindy aptly called the game, "What in the hell is that smell?", apparently her cats love this game, I'll be glad not to play that again any time soon. :)

Wretha

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Something Stinks....

... no I'm not going political on ya, something really does stink around here. I have been smelling it for a few days, at first I thought maybe I had left something in the sink that needed to go... well I cleaned out the sink extra good, it's not there, it's not coming up from the drain. It's been fairly low key, not too bad, I could smell it when I first walked in to the skycastle, but by the time I put my stuff down, I couldn't smell it anymore so I would forget about it. Well, tonight, it is strong, too strong to ignore. I have sniffed around all of my food stocks, under and behind everything, I can't pinpoint where this smell is coming from. I smell it strongest around my computer area, that's next to the food storage, I still can't find the source. I fear it may be a dead mouse in the wall... uuugggghhhh.

We have had a few mice living in the roof, with fall and cooler weather coming, the mice are looking for a warm and cozy place to overwinter. We have some traps set out where they have been walking around outside, so far there is no evidence that they have gotten inside, I believe that possibly one is dead in the wall though. I'll talk to Mountain Man Bob about it tomorrow. If there IS a dead mouse in the wall, I'm afraid we may have to let Nature take its course and allow it to mummify, hopefully this is the stinkiest it will get (crossing my fingers and pinching my nose). Getting behind this wall would be an all day job, we would have to take down all of the food stocks, take everything down over my computer, remove all of the shelves, then we would be able to remove the wall panels, then once we found the offending critter, the other half of the job would begin, putting everything back. Not something either one of us would be interested in doing.

We live in a pretty arid climate, hopefully the alleged mouse carcass will dry out quickly. I'll keep ya informed about the phantom odor and what I find.


Wretha

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Props To My Commentators

Congrats to my chattiest commentator, Seth! I have a new widget that shows the top 10 commentators on this blog. Thanks to each and every one of you for not only reading this blog, but taking the time to comment and letting me know your thoughts, asking questions and such.

Just scroll down on the right side of the screen (on the blog, can't see it in a reader), just below the "about me" block.

Thanks to
  1. seth (21)
  2. Mayberry (15)
  3. TexasMan (13)
  4. The Scavenger (9)
  5. The Hermit (8)
  6. Confessions of an Overworked Mom (8)
  7. Ginger (8)
  8. Dragon (7)
  9. HermitJim (7)
  10. Michael (6)


Thanks Creekmore for putting this on your blog for the rest of us to find. :)

Wretha

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Give me a shout out!

It's time for reader participation, go to the comments and tell me about yourself. Your first name or nickname, from what country, state, and town (if you wish to divulge it), how long you have been a following this blog, is this your first visit, and how you found me. If there is anything you wish to ask me, or want to know more about, go ahead and ask. :) Questions, suggestions, just let me know.


Wretha

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Poop Station

Extra Extra, read all about it! It's official, the Poop Station is up and running, read all about it here, complete with video!

http://offgridonthecheap.blogspot.com/2009/09/poop-station.html


Wretha

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