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Discussion Starter · #61 · (Edited)
Today is Monday December 9th, 2019; It snowed on Saturday the 7th. a few inches and stuck around a whole two days! Today is +8 C or about 48F and rising! It is also raining and a rain and wind storm coming our way before the temperatures drop back again. I decided to write a bit now just in case the power goes off again.

So far we have been cozy and warm in our winter trailer and haven't driven each other daffy yet! I must say I think we both are easier to get along with less stress on us than we had struggling all the time . It is kind of like getting to know the new us and falling in love all over again. Since we had only met three times before we married and then raised a family; this is really our time to have fun getting to know each other and be married with no one living with us but the cat! Just like young folks just starting out life together! We just lived life in reverse !

Bill does a lot of writing in the winter when there is less farm work to do. I set up a blog for him and wrote his articles on there. It was called A Layman's View of God and the Bible and was totally researched by him and was his and our opinions. I thought we lived in a country of free speech but this week found out differently. First I was locked out from writing and posting on our blog although the articles presently can be seen by the public. I tried to contact Word Press only to find out their number is no longer in service. I tried to contact them on the internet and ended up communicating with a robot! I paid for a year for the site and that year does not expire until January 2nd 2020. Now when I went to read the articles I posted I clicked on the place where it say "My Site" only to be told I do not have any blogs on Word Press! I figure after Jan 2nd the articles will totally disappear too.

Next I went to Face Book and wrote on my page about freedom of expression being curtailed. One person made a comment. I attempted to respond and was sent a message I could not respond because the person had removed their comment. I called the person as I know them and they said they had not remove their comment!! That means someone in administration did. Also the comment section was locked so no one could comment on what I wrote. I removed my comments after some one informed me I was being censored!

So what has happened to free speech? It has quietly been eroded as most of us don't notice until it hits us personally. To me this was a wake up call that we as free societies are very close to having what has happened in other countries possibly happening to us. We are most likely much closer to world upheaval than we realize.

Having this happen got me thinking about what will we do as this country changes the rules we have all lived by? Money will change to electronic so it can we traced. Free speech already is curtailed even in Churches. Government handouts are tied to accepting what government says one must agree too in some cases. Those who control the purse strings control the people in the country. The question is; how do we individually adjust to the changing rules to live by? I have a few thoughts about that.

First I never expected things to change in my life time to the extent freedom as we knew it could be curtailed. Like a frog put in a pan of cold water and slowly heated up, not seeing the danger until it was too late; our nations are likewise. I have a problem because I never liked being told how to live my life. I believe in freedom of expression. I may not agree with what some one says but will agree with their right to express their opinion. The exception only being if it hurts other people . But whether I agree with changes happening in the world I still live in this world but do not have to be part of it.

So for now I will curtail my opinions unless challenged and start preparing to live without money in the form of Old Age Pensions or anything else that costs money. Because I see a future where what the government does for us will depend on us agreeing to their rules and ideas.

One thing we can't escape are property taxes so if possible I plan to pay ours as far ahead as possible so at least we have a place to live. Food can be grown but you need somewhere to grow it. And it is very doable to live unhooked from the grid. Thankfully our taxes are cheap. Old house trailers are not valued highly, nor are home woodlots or farm land. So every extra penny will go to prepaying our taxes so if we end up without an income we will still have a place to live. If nothing else it give us time to see where society is moving to and time to prepare..

Some things are not to be compromised such as moral values and freedom to choose the life we want to live. Government stopped prayer in school and playing national anthems or allowing Bibles. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually Bibles will be banned altogether. It seems we are heading back into the Dark Ages sometimes.

Anyway I will keep honing my frontier skills, learning some new ones and keep an eye on which direction the world is moving in. We already decided to be a 99% self efficient we need to acquire a goat for dairy next Spring along for a pony to keep the grass down and provide transportation for DH when he can't climb the hills. We may be getting old but aren't old yet! I want to live to be least a 100 yrs. and stay around to see what happens next!? I believe we are living in times prophesied long ago and don't want to miss a thing! Before the sunrise can happen we have to go through the darkness of night. But in the end the Son will rise and shine. Better times are coming if we endure and don't give up. to be con't
 

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Today is Monday December 9th, 2019; It snowed on Saturday the 7th. a few inches and stuck around a whole two days! Today is +8 C or about 48F and rising! It is also raining and a rain and wind storm coming our way before the temperatures drop back again. I decided to write a bit now just in case the power goes off again.

So far we have been cozy and warm in our winter trailer and haven't driven each other daffy yet! I must say I think we both are easier to get along with less stress on us than we had struggling all the time . It is kind of like getting to know the new us and falling in love all over again. Since we had only met three times before we married and then raised a family; this is really our time to have fun getting to know each other and be married with no one living with us but the cat! Just like young folks just starting out life together! We just lived life in reverse !

Bill does a lot of writing in the winter when there is less farm work to do. I set up a blog for him and wrote his articles on there. It was called A Layman's View of God and the Bible and was totally researched by him and was his and our opinions. I thought we lived in a country of free speech but this week found out differently. First I was locked out from writing and posting on our blog although the articles presently can be seen by the public. I tried to contact Word Press only to find out their number is no longer in service. I tried to contact them on the internet and ended up communicating with a robot! I paid for a year for the site and that year does not expire until January 2nd 2020. Now when I went to read the articles I posted I clicked on the place where it say "My Site" only to be told I do not have any blogs on Word Press! I figure after Jan 2nd the articles will totally disappear too.

Next I went to Face Book and wrote on my page about freedom of expression being curtailed. One person made a comment. I attempted to respond and was sent a message I could not respond because the person had removed their comment. I called the person as I know them and they said they had not remove their comment!! That means someone in administration did. Also the comment section was locked so no one could comment on what I wrote. I removed my comments after some one informed me I was being censored!

So what has happened to free speech? It has quietly been eroded as most of us don't notice until it hits us personally. To me this was a wake up call that we as free societies are very close to having what has happened in other countries possibly happening to us. We are most likely much closer to world upheaval than we realize.

Having this happen got me thinking about what will we do as this country changes the rules we have all lived by? Money will change to electronic so it can we traced. Free speech already is curtailed even in Churches. Government handouts are tied to accepting what government says one must agree too in some cases. Those who control the purse strings control the people in the country. The question is; how do we individually adjust to the changing rules to live by? to be con't
Tech has become the censor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Today is December 11th-2019 What a lot can happen in a couple of days! I sure have learned a lot I didn't know, lately! Besides the problems writing I mentioned before , Microsoft locked my computer so I couldn't use it saying they detected a security risk. Not having anyone to ask questions of I did manage to access the working part of the computer and found a place to send a message to Microsoft. I explained I was locked out and asked, " Why a 73 year old great-grandmother was considered a security risk? Are you kidding me!" So this morning I turned on the computer and I was no longer locked out and also had access to my blog. I just posted a short article, Escaping This World, to see if the site works.
Here is what I learned the past few days. First in Canada new laws were recently passed to protect everyone's rights . What this means is a person must be very careful not to say anything questioning about any group of people or individuals of any kind of description. To do so might be considered a hate crime even if you are simply trying to understand. In a democracy people are free to live and do what they want within the confines of state/provincial/ municipal/ town/ city and national laws. That is a lot of laws for free people to remember!

I have also learned God is shut out at the highest court level in Canada. Freedom to express an opinion is also only free until someone disagrees with that opinion. The Bible , that Christians claim and try to follow, can be over ruled by the Court system which means the court is now more powerful than God! What applies to the Bible also applies to all other books various religions follow. Apparently the highest court in any democracy has the final say.

So my new way of living is to keep my opinions private except to say; I love and treat all people the same regardless of who or what they say they are. God made of all nations one blood. We all bleed the same regardless of what we look like on the outside. All people have feelings and desire to be loved. God still loves this world even though some people think He does not exist.

I have no quarrel with God about anything but learning the new rules in a democracy I will have to work at. I learned that computers and internet can be controlled remotely so be careful what you say on line. I am just thankful we do not live in a dictatorship yet.

Escaping getting entangled in a world gone amuck is my goal. I have always hated contention and fighting and being unnecessarily controlled. I prefer spending my life helping people when I can. Right now after the events of this week I have a pain in the pit of my stomach. My inclination is to withdraw back to nature away from people altogether, keeping life as simple as possible. to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 · (Edited)
Today is December 12th; Thursday. A day certainly can change things. Suffice it to say once again I have been kept from writing on our blog . Once again I am being told I don't have a blog! I googled the blog and it appears and still can be seen for now by the public but the posts are cached. I didn't know what that means so asked Google and found out it meant in temporary storage and eventually will be deleted. I checked several sites pertaining to religion many have also been cached. I have drawn some conclusions but will keep my opinions on this to myself. I won't be posting anymore on our blog as it will cease to exist after Jan 2nd 2020. I won't pay and re-new a web site that censors what I write. The End is in sight.

So now my focus is changing to how to survive this changing world and still keep our integrity and not compromise our values. To me that means being as independent of government as possible in our private life. We have a head start because of our farming background but anyone physically able to work can gradually work towards their own independence. There will be people who can't because of physical limitations and those people will be needing help in the future from those of us who are able to work. We never viewed our farm as just for us. It has the capacity to feed a lot of folks.

Some of our immediate priorities is making work as easy as possible. That means getting the same results with less work when it comes to gardening. This takes thought and planning ahead.

Finding the right dairy animal for our needs and draft pony. First getting prepared with fencing and shelter before bringing animals home.

Using what money we gather for things we need money for. Such as to finish renovations on our trailer; like three more windows and updating the well and digging a well at the farm. And the big one; paying property taxes ahead while we still have money. It is the one expense you cannot avoid or you will lose your home. Then there is medicine if you need it. Becoming independent requires a lot of planning. to be con't
 

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I'm sorry your blog has been, for all intents & purposes, taken away from you. The way it's happening is scary to me - no warnings, no communication, etc. I am glad you will continue to post here - your posts are among my favorites.
 

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It’s a computer or software glitch most likely, or the server has a problem. You are NOT the target of the events around you.

Don’t panic.

Huggs
 

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I had "Microsoft" lock up my computer once. Called the IT guy at my service provider. It wasn't Microsoft. It was a scam. If I had called the phone number that showed on the screen the friendly "Microsoft" tech would have talked me through entering keystrokes to ostensibly unlock it but in reality would have let them take control of my computer. Hopr that didn't happen to you.
 

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I had "Microsoft" lock up my computer once. Called the IT guy at my service provider. It wasn't Microsoft. It was a scam. If I had called the phone number that showed on the screen the friendly "Microsoft" tech would have talked me through entering keystrokes to ostensibly unlock it but in reality would have let them take control of my computer. Hopr that didn't happen to you.
I got an email like that and just ignored it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Mzgarden; Alice; Nimrod and po boy; Thankyou for your input. When I had my computer locked up by Microsoft I didn't call the number on the screen as someone else warned me about that. I did find another way to contact them but it turned out to be a "humanbot" which I think is a robot of some kind. The "humanbot" is now e-mailing me messages asking if my problem is resolved? Well the problem has not been resolved and I can't find a real person to talk to! I tried again tonight and the blog tells me I don't have a blog and I still can't access mine.

I don't know if I was targeted or if it is a glitch but I do know I got shut out on Facebook also after I wrote a paragraph about we don't have free speech anymore. Even a comment someone made was deleted but not by the person who wrote it and the comment button was disabled . My comment is no longer there either. Other than that my Face Book account is still active.
Anyway my husband writes on a computer that is not hooked up to the internet and prints the articles he writes. Then I take the printed articles and type them on the blog. I have to edit his writing for grammar and spelling mistakes so the whole process is quite time consuming. I don't mind doing it because he is a deep thinker and likes research and has a lot of interesting things to say about the world we live in. But I do mind when a person or a humanbot that is not even a person or what ever it is starts interfering with what I write for no good reason. The articles are still on the blog and today I have been getting notices that various people are now following the blog. At the same time I am blocked from writing anymore. I went to the library today and used a public computer to see if the site is visible and it is but I can't get in even with the password.

It has been about fifteen years ago that I first learned a little about using the internet and computers by trial and error. I learned on library computers but still know only basic things. I know there is no turning the clock back because technology is here to stay and is way beyond our understanding here. I can see both the good and bad of the internet but it is still over whelming. The best thing is the people I have met through the internet like friends on HT. I also found two cousins and their families I hadn't heard from in 40 years thanks to Face Book. So technology does have a good use.

Bill and I were talking today and he says he will keep writing because he feels compelled to write down his thoughts. Unless our problems with WordPress get resolved his writings may not get published. He only writes in the winter because from Spring through Fall we are too busy farming. I must have rewrote 40 articles so don't know if I can start another blog and recopy them . His research and writing and my rewriting articles represents many ,many hours of typing on a keyboard using two fingers for each of us! We are farmers not publishers !

I really do believe many people in western society are being lulled to sleep. Distracted by technology and materialism they won't realise until it is too late; that they have lost control of their lives and freedom. It happened before in history and it could happen again but this time to western society. I don't know exactly how the future will unfold. But I do know to survive in this world and keep your morals and integrity it is a good thing to get back to the basics of life and free yourself of unnecessary obligations so no can dictate what you do or how you live. to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Today is Sunday December 29th. a beautiful sunny cold day hovering around +3 C or 38F. Dec 1st was the day we buried Bill's Mother back in 2007, Dec, 13th 2002 Bill's dad died and Dec, 18th 2004 my son died. Plus many others we know left us in December. So feeling joy and getting into the Holiday Spirit is something that often eludes me. As this holiday season is winding down I am starting to feel alive again finally.
Today I looked at my few pretty things I put out for the season. There is the cobalt blue dish setting in a pretty silver colored base. It was Bill's Mother's gift passed to us years ago. In it I placed a blue crocheted doily. On the doily sits a crystal flower, a crystal blue bird and a tiny crystal angel gifted me by a sister-in-law several years ago. Some times I turn on a lamp and the reflection of lights on the crystal is breath taking!
This year I was given a red woven basket with a ceramic cookie jar full of fake flowers. The jar was surrounded by homemade ginger snaps baked by a 13 yr. old boy in our family. Each cookie was placed in its own decorated bag . In the basket I placed next to the cookie jar, a tiny pearl tree and the small china doll my grand-daughter and grand-son gave me when the were very young along with nativity scene made of china. In an antique child's chair sits two old fashioned primitive dolls my friend next door made. They too mean a lot to me.

It seems no matter how pretty and meaningful these things were to me I couldn't pull myself out of the doldrums of pass loss this December. That is until I talked to my Grandson who lives four thousand miles away! He called to let me know he and his wife are expecting their second baby June 2020! This is a little sister for their 22 month old daughter. I am so happy to have a second great grand -daughter on the way. The plan is for them to be moved back home in two years. I can hardly wait!

Expecting new life has always brought us joy on the farm. The miracle of birth never grows old no matter how many baby goats, sheep, calves, kittens or puppies are born or mother hens hatching chicks. We always looked forward to our farm animals increasing every Spring. The emotional adjustment to moving was worse than the physical work of down sizing. I think it is the since of loss of our former life.

But not all is loss as we have decided to redeem our time. Plans are being made for Spring at the farm. Our six hens are still laying faithfully after a year and half so no need for a rooster or to set a hen this coming year yet. We will need a small barn for a pony and goat and more fencing. Although we have to keep numbers of animals in check we can still keep a few. We just have to keep in mind what ever animals we keep have to be moved to our winter trailer property and we need a small barn there too. It is slightly more complicated than living year round in one place but is doable. Most important at our age is keeping the work as simple as possible and having arrangements in place for our animals care if we should suddenly get sick or die. Not a pleasant thought but necessary for peace of mind.

I see so many older people from their 60's on up to their 80's doing nothing except biding their time until they are gone. Our area is full of baby-boomers congregating at local restaurants every day with nothing useful to occupy their time. Both Bill and I don't call that living! We intend to live our lives as full as possible for as long as God gives us life. We thrive when we keep farming and when there is new life to look forward to.

We also have started attending local functions to have interaction with other people in our community. There is a local gift shop/ community center started by a retired lady that hosts musical events. The performers are local musicians and there is always a lunch to feed everyone. Many of these people Bill grew up with but loss touch with over the years. There is a small local church that has survived the closures and exodus to mega churches. Here Bill's great grand parents, grand parents, parents and families worshipped for decades. That is where I went today with 28 other people. So we are finally going back to roots for Bill and establishing new ones for me. I see life can get so busy with distractions, work, , making a living and acquiring things one can lose sight of the important things in life. Staying close to God and family and learning to make life's journey a joyous, happy occasion even in the lean and hard times is what really matters. From our home to yours; Have a Happy New Years everyone! to be con't
 

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Congratulations on your good news about your 2nd great grandaughter!
*Also sitting and eating someone else's high-salt cooking daily (and paying for it) an effective way to cut your days short. Waste of good time...
Happy New Year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Today is Friday March 6th.--I see it has been two months since I last posted here. Time sure does get away from me these days. Last growing season while preparing for winter I had visons of being snowed in with 10 ft. drifts enjoying all the beauty of a white winter wonderland viewed from the various windows of our trailer ! That vision did materialize for one day! Two days later it melted away. So has been the pattern in this southern coastal part of Nova Scotia. Some days it has been cold and sunny; others it warmed and rained, Lately it has felt like Spring. Now tomorrow we are supposed to have snow but I will believe it when I see it!. So far every major storm missed us but hit further northern parts of Nova Scotia or moved up to Newfoundland . Those poor people had more snow than ever recorded previously. Some places fallen snow reached roof tops.

In the meantime we were gifted with rain and a lot of wind! Hurricane Dorian did her thing and blew down a lot of trees , We have soft wood firewood at both the farm and at the trailer to carry over into the next winter! There was a second wind storm in February that was never labeled a hurricane but we know it was! It blew harder than Dorian and took half a barn roof down to the rafters at the farm where Bill grew up! It blew over the neighbors henhouse and knocked down trees on our properties and hundreds more in the area. There were thousands of power outages all over the province! I recall our power only being out twenty-four hours but for others it was up to week mostly because of fallen power lines bringing down wires. Now tomorrow if the storm materializes we are supposed to get high winds with snow. We will see what happens tomorrow!

In anticipation of the storm that might be we took care of business in town this morning. Then Bill went to the shore to gather rockweed (seaweed). He has rigged up a small cart for his old lawn tractor. At low tide he can drive across the rocks right down to the shore to fork the seaweed onto the cart. In years past this was what he and the horse did. Then last year with no cart that could cross the rocks he lugged the seaweed up in a rubber bushel basket thirty trips back and forth to fill the tractor cart once multiplied by ten ! In other words he was the horse!

So at least this year he can get the tractor and cart close to the shore and fork the seaweed onto the cart. The window of opportunity is closing. Usually the wind and tides deposit the seaweed on the shore in February and March. Then it goes too far out to reach until the following year. Bill has only been able to reach it three times now this year. Two day ago there was seaweed and then came an easterly wind and swept it out to sea. Then this morning the wind changed direction and the tide brought it back. These days if Bill gets one big load he has to quit and rest.

I feel badly for him as he suffers a lot with pain. It stems from an old knee injury more than forty years ago that causes him to walk slightly bent . That in turn puts pressure on a nerve in his hip and back. He has had it before in years past and it eventually goes away. However he will be 75 years old March 9th and recovery takes longer as I have pointed out to him. But an old farmer doesn't quit easily and like is Dad before him he will keep going as long as he possibly can. All I can say is he is tough! Thankfully he rests in the afternoon for a while and goes to bed early.

With farming and gardening there is a right time to do everything. Get behind and it is hard to catch up as the seasons move along. For us getting the fallen trees cut up and stacked to dry is a priority as is the rockweed. March is also sap month. Last year we tapped our Sycamore trees for the first time and it was a new learning experience. This year we have a better handle on it and again it is all about timing. It takes cold nights and warm days to cause the sap to run we have discovered. Warm days hasn't been a problem but getting colder nights hasn't happed as much.

However we have managed to get some sap. After cooking it down we have put up the
first little bit. This year we left it to cook down on the wood stove in the basement so it didn't need constant tending. Last night I sterilized a couple of jars and pored the hot syrup in and processed it in the water bath for a half hour. It sealed and we have a liter (36 oz.) in two jars. One to keep and one to use now. It is not as sweet as maple syrup but sweet enough for use on pancakes or bread. It is a pretty golden color unlike the pale sap we had last year. I strained it through a paper towel placed in a funnel before bottling it. That gets rid of any sediment. It is pure sap from the tree so not as thick as maple syrup or syrup with added ingredients to thicken it. Tomorrow there will be a lot of sap to cook down that ran today. Hopefully it will produce more jars. Like always we take what nature provides and use accordingly. Last year I had a dozen jars of syrup but it wasn't as good as what was made yesterday.

With unpredictable weather, rising prices in the stores , unpredictable politics affecting our food chain and a shortage of doctors here; I figure it is time to get back closer to nature than ever before in order to eat healthy and stay well. My goal this year is to take advantage of what nature has to offer for food including wild apples and berries, sap and wild greens, even dandelions. We have always raised animals and grew gardens but never had much time to explore what grows wild. We will still grow our gardens but now will search out wild plants too.

The jury is still out on whether to get another goat as we haven't resolved how we could get it bred or what to do with the kids if there are multiple. Bill can no longer butcher as he hurt his shoulder. It too is an old injury come back to haunt him. Not many people are left in our area raising goats so there isn't diversity necessary for good breeding. I have been using skim milk powder from a natural food store. It is not as refined as what is sold in grocery stores but is very expensive at $117. 00 for a 25 lb bag! So it will probably be the last I will purchase.

I always think ahead and am continuing to plan towards being 100% free of the grocery store if we had too. Years ago we experimented with growing wheat and hand threshing it and also grew oats and made a flail to thresh it. But then again farming and raising a family didn't allow us time to pursue those things further. With all the vegetables we can grow ; really oats and wheat are the only two grains we would need to plant.

Bill has a doctor to consult if he is sick but I don't. If I get seriously ill my only recourse is the hospital emergency or outpatients. Emergencies get priority but in outpatients one can wait three to twelve hours to see a doctor! That is because in these small towns we lack doctors. Many are old and retire or die and there are few coming to replace them. So sitting in outpatients is a good way to pick up flu and other germs. So far we have stayed well for years partly because we eat good and avoid crowded places. The latest Coronavirus has not yet reached Nova Scotia that we know of. But that is not to say it
won't. People here are being diligent to follow the same instructions as we are told to avoid the flu. Keep hands out of your face and wash your hands frequently and avoid crowded places is what I keep hearing. Having a good diet is important for keep ones immune system up to par so to ward off whatever infections might show up.

The world today has completely changed from when Bill and I grew up. Technology changes so fast we don't understand most of what we hear about so don't pay most things much attention. Two cell phones that sometimes don't work and a computer which at times does not work either is as technical as we get. We were getting frustrated and stressed with this changing world and all its complexities. Such as now when just a few minutes ago as I was writing the page disappeared and what a job to find it I had. So we will stick to the lifestyle we understand and will help where we can to teach others how to live simply. Now I will say good-night and post this before I lose it again! to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Today is Monday March 9th 2020; Today is also my husband's 75th birthday! I tease him that he is 3/4 of a century old now. I hope he has another 1/4 century left to live and be healthy! His older brother brought over Blueberry Buckle and a card for him. Our sister-in-law hasn't missed making Blueberry buckle for Bill since Mum died in 2007. She had made it for Bill ever since he was young. Now Peggy continues the tradition every year on Bill's birthday. For those who may not know what Blueberry Buckle is; there is a layer cake base, blueberry center and a crumble topping and it is delicious! Then my birthday man went to the ocean shore to haul more seaweed for composting!

There is more sap boiling on the stove for syrup and we have been checking over our seeds to see if we need anymore. One order has already been mailed in . Bill raises most of his own seed but sometimes likes to try something different. This is the month for preparation for gardening. We want everything ready and in place for when the soil warms up enough to plant. First the garden beds will be prepared and compost added where needed. About the 15th of March Bill will start his tomato plants and cucumbers from seed indoors in sod pots that can be transplanted into the garden soil when the seedlings are big enough and the weather warms. If we wait for warm weather to start plants from seeds they would not have a long enough growing season to produce. So while it is still cool weather the seedlings are started.

In the house I am making syrup and the usual cooking and getting ready to do some painting in the kitchen first. This is the month for home repairs too because come April it is back to the farm camping and a whole new set of challenges and work. One of the main ones is to build a shelter for the pony we are hoping to find. Like always we prepare a shelter first and get things organized before bringing in any more animals. Life is easier if you properly prepare whether it is gardening or raising animals.

One factor we have to prepare for is water. Who knows what the weather will be? If this winter is an indication here we have had hardly any snow which means there won't be melted snow to replenish the ground water. Unless we get a lot of rain this Spring we could be in for a drought year. But we have had years like this before and then in the Spring it started raining and never stopped until September! It was almost like turning on a water tap that wouldn't shut off!!

Because we are accustomed to unpredictable weather it is necessary to be prepared for either extreme. Planting in raised beds makes caring for the plants in weather extremes easier. Too much rain and the beds drain good. Not enough rain and they are easier to water and direct the water to the plants. Late frost the beds are covered with row cover which also works to keep out the carrot rust fly. Beds are fenced to keep deer, raccoons and other critters out. We used to plant in big fields but so doing it is impossible to control climate and animals. This year we are hoping to put in a well at the farm which will be easier than hauling water from the lake if it turns out to be a drought year. As always we find looking ahead and planning for the unexpected makes the growing season more enjoyable and not just hard work. Have a nice day everyone. to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Today is Saturday March 28th. I am in my 9th. day of self-quarantine. Spring is my hard time of year for both allergies and especially my proclivity to pneumonia. So with COVID-19 circulating I can't take any chances of contracting it. My lungs are compromised but I am good as long as I take care to avoid many things that make me sick. Bill is especially careful and has no company except if men friends drop in and stay 6 ft away from him. We don't let anyone in out house now. Yesterday he had to go to a pharmacy to fill his prescription for blood pressure medicine. He put plastic bags over his shoes and took hand sanitizer with him to disinfect before coming home . I gave him close to the right amount of money for what he needed and he let the clerk keep the left over change. I had disinfected the money and we didn't want dirty change back. When he returned to the car he deposited the plastic bags in the garbage can outside the store. Then he bought gas at a station where the owner fills the tank and Bill never left the car or touched anything. All this
is because he is trying to make sure I don't catch any flue or coronavirus. I don't have a doctor but he does and the hospital is so overfilled there is no way we would go there unless it was a life and death matter. There are about 90 cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia so far. Most are far from us but we suspect there are more locally than is apparent.

There are two kind of people here; those who take the threat seriously and those who don't and carry on with life as normal. By the sounds of the cars passing on the road headed towards town I suspect more people are disregarding the warnings than heeding them. Nova Scotia like so many places is in emergency state and we are being told to stay home. Trouble is many people are not taking this virus seriously. It is hard to fear something you can't see, feel, hear, taste or smell. It is a beautiful sunny day here today and in the high 30ties F. It doesn't look like there is anything to fear. I don't know where everyone is going because only food stores, pharmacies. gas stations are open and all are limiting how many customers can be inside stores to 3-5 people at a time. Some have put up plastic barriers between customers and cashiers. Restaurants are restricted to serving take out only.

We all knew shut downs were coming and there was a run on at local stores to stock up. We didn't get involved with that because of the way we live we shop for what we don't grow in Oct and April. So as it is almost April I only had to buy a 25 lb. bag of organic flour, oats and honey and oi, Tp and dish liquid and cat food. There was still plenty of everything else I use. All these years folks would say to me why do you garden and do all that work? We were criticized a lot and told we should be going on cruises and enjoying life! Well considering how things panned out I am glad we were home and not on a cruise somewhere when this virus struck!I feel badly for all those folks who did get stranded and some have lost their lives. Others are still trying to get flights home.

But we stand by what we have told people for years. Be able to take care of yourselves and provide food, water and shelter which are the basics of life. Everything else is extras. The Canadian government is handing out billions of dollars soon to help people and keep small business afloat. They are doing their best but where did the country get billions of dollars to spend? They are borrowing from the world bank and printing money. That can only work so long.

I have hardly any formal education but long ago figured out what it means to live within your means. Simple economics; don't spend more than your income is. The books have to balance. If your income is small then your spending has to be smaller. Have a bigger in come then you can spend more. But borrowing to live is a recipe for disaster. Most people can't afford a house or education without debt but that should be the only debt. Cars can be bought second hand until you have the cash for something better. So our government here and I suspect elsewhere is the same runs on a deficit. Nothing I can do about that but there is much we can do with our meager income.

Now I am housebound I have time to think more so went over our budget and eliminated even more things. I am down to a few essential items. Whole wheat organic flour, oats, oil and honey, butter and yogurt when on sale. milk powder and our treats dark chocolate and a few nuts. Tp, soap and shampoo, cat food and his natural herbal pills for bladder infections. Vet's Best and they are cheaper than visiting a vet. Some things on the list could be eliminated if need be. Our power bill is down because we utilize the sun coming in the trailer windows for free heat. Taxes are low because it is an older house trailer. I buy less honey now because we tap the maple sycamore trees for syrup. Our six hens laid five and six eggs all winter so they will live another year; for some they will be three and others two. Take away our power we will still carry on without it . Right now we have cut expenses down to half of what it cost to live last year. The point is you can live on less and still live good. Everybody has different incomes and things they are able to do but everyone can do something to cut expenses.

Our concern with getting older is staying as healthy as possible to avoid nursing homes. When sickness gets in those homes in seems to travel right through them. I always pray for the nurses, doctors and health care workers who take care of so many people. We do our part by trying to stay well so someone won't have to take care of us!

Well; other good things have come out of being sequestered. I have had a bad habit since I was young of biting my nails! It started from anxiety and when I was upset and become an obsession through my life. I tried to stop but was doing it unconsciously until now. After all when ever the radio is on the announcers are constantly saying keep your hand away from your face! On the internet I see the same things and wash your hands with soap and water! With these constant reminders I am conscious not to bite my nails and in just a week they have started to grow! I figure by the time this virus passes that I will have nice long nails for the first time in my life! Habit broken!

I have time to sort picture albums, write e-mail to friends, clean cupboards and paint as I get to it. I have been studying Spanish and hopefully get to French. Bill and I watch a video in the evening and watched the series Dr. Quin, finished that this winter and have been watching old westerns like Roy Rogers and the Beverly Hillbillies. I call elderly neighbors on the phone to check in on them and others who are quarantined. We don't miss cable or satellite tv as there is plenty of news on the radio. Then there is all those meals to cook, baking and washing to do . No end of things to do and we are busy. Bill writes and I write his articles on my Face Book page. I am also writing a book.

Bill has been cutting up the trees the two hurricanes knocked down so there is firewood ahead for another year. He has tomatoes growing under a grow light and replanted onion seed today because the other seed didn't germinate. Soon it will be time to move to the farm where there too I will be quarantined but will be able to go outside and walk by the ocean. There is no close neighbors there.The sea air makes me feel better.

I pray for the world as well as family and friends that everyone will find peace and not fear what storms of weather or viruses or anything else that plagues our world.
I don't get involved in politics but pray all leaders of nations everywhere will come together for the overall good of this world. I pray that the Prince of Peace who created the world will have mercy on His creation. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. Just know that God is aware of what is happening on earth. He will intervene in time to save us from self-destruction. Trust in the Lord with the confidence we will have a peaceful earth someday. We serve a God of love who cries for His creation to turn to Him with all our heart. Individually as we turn to God He will see us through the present trying times. There is Hope for tomorrow if we endure today.
to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Today is April 2nd.-2020-- Like the rest of the world we listen to the grim tallies of COVID- 19 deaths here, in the USA and other countries around the world. But sometimes we hear hopeful reports about those who get the virus and recover. But the best news is MOST people will survive this plague to live another day! To do so adhere as much as possible to what we are being told. Stay a safe 2 meters or six feet from other people when in public , stay home if you can, shop once a week with only one family member grocery shopping , keep your hands away from your face and wash, wash, wash your hands! Someone should write a song about " wash, wash , wash your hands all day long ; while washing your hands sing this little song!" It is not a lot we are being asked to do to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For most people we know it is the staying at home that gets to them. Well; get over it! Home was meant to be a sanctuary. Your safe place away from the world and all its problems. Your cave where you have a safe haven. An apartment, house or tent if it is your place of safety and contentment then it is your home. Maybe this time of self distancing is a good time to evaluate life and learn to be content at your home. It is a good time for families with children to get to know each other and spend time together and share homecooked meals around the dinner table. Self-isolating may bring some families closer together and hopefully when the epidemic is over many will keeping doing the things they learned while confined together.

My husband Bill and I seem to grow closer each day shut up together. Working so much all our married life farming we didn't have a whole lot of time to spend just the two of us ( and the cat we share) of course. It is comparable to a young couple just embarking on a life together. Like the song says; "You and me against the world" and the cat makes three! My emphasis there. I intend to make the best of this time together while doing our part to slow down this virus.

I never did make it to town to replenish the flour so taking stock there is enough to last baking two more big batches of bread and two batches of cookies. Luckily I had baked last week and have a lot of bread in the freezer. So My calculation is all the flour will be gone by the end of May if I stretch it out. That is okay because we had a bumper crop of potatoes last growing season. Now I just have to find my cook book about "101 Ways to Cook Potatoes! Flour and potatoes are both carbs so we don't need both anyway.

So just when I think I have control of our life the phone rings! " Your windows you ordered last fall are in! Can you pick them up tomorrow?" So much for staying out of town. We are not anywhere near ready to install them. Considering we don't know how many hands they have passed through to reach Nova Scotia; Bill now has to go pick them up . So the plan is to slide each into garbage bags and seal them for now. One will have to go under the bed and the other in the back room with all the other things that don't have a place of their own. By summer any germs on them should be starved to death! So one more problem solved.

One more message and this one is wearisome. My grandson in British Columbia along with is little family are coming home . One two year old and one in incubation; due in June and the dog. 4,000 miles of driving and at least five days with a child that is prone to car sickness. Worse is they have to pass through the whole country of corona virus. Unfortunately this move was in the works before the virus was known about. Once here they will be isolated along with my daughter and granddaughter where they are going too. I pray they can avoid people as much as possible and arrive safely.
This is one of those anxiety- nail biting moments that attack me when stressed! Except now if my hands go near my face I hear the man on the radio saying. " Don't touch your face! And wash, wash, wash your hands!" - to be con't
 

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For most people we know it is the staying at home that gets to them. Well; get over it! Home was meant to be a sanctuary. Your safe place away from the world and all its problems. Your cave where you have a safe haven. An apartment, house or tent if it is your place of safety and contentment then it is your home. Maybe this time of self distancing is a good time to evaluate life and learn to be content at your home. It is a good time for families with children to get to know each other and spend time together and share home cooked meals around the dinner table. Self-isolating may bring some families closer together and hopefully when the epidemic is over many will keeping doing the things they learned while confined together.
Thank you for the update and bless you for saying the above.
 
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Discussion Starter · #78 · (Edited)
Greetings from Nova Scotia ! Today is October 26th. 2020. I see I haven't had time to post here since April ! I hope everyone in the Homesteading Today Community has been staying safe and well. It has been an interesting Spring; Summer and Fall. We were very fortunate here to not have the Covid -19 virus reach us. In Halifax; 180 miles from here there were close to 40 deaths in one home care facility and some others mainly travelers bringing the virus when flying here. Two university students coming to the Yarmouth area tested positive but were isolated so the virus never spread. The ferry didn't run this year which meant we were cut off from the rest of the world unless someone had a specific reason to drive to the south shore of Nova Scotia. Where we live is really on the way to no where.---US/ Canadian border has been closed for months as has the Nova Scotia border except to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Anyone coming into NS has to self-isolate for fourteen days. Isolating, wearing masks in public, sanitizing , washing hands , not travelling, basically staying home and avoiding large gatherings seems to be working here as the virus has not taken hold in this end of the province. Isolation has just about killed the tourism business as well as restaurants, hotels and many other things. The Canadian government has been doling out money to help businesses hard hit financially. The national debt is so tremendous now I can't wrap my mind around it ! I realize most people need government money during this crisis as they are losing their livelihoods. What I can't equate is how all that money will be recovered once this pandemic ends? It will end sometime but the question is ; when? It could be months or years. We can't handle debt so continue our living simple as possible and are careful not to spend for anything but what we need.

This year has turned out to be the driest year we can ever remember in our life times at least in our area. From Spring to August we had a scant three showers and a few more since. Our well at the trailer went dry in September and is still dry as I write. Many others are in the same fix. The Lake Breeze Camp -Ground next to us has two drilled wells so we are getting water from them until the ground water comes up in our well. In August we had a well dug at the farm. We had been hauling water from the lake but Bill was having back problems and it was too hard on him. This is when saving money instead of spending it comes in handy. I was able to save most of my old age pension and used it to have a well dug. Half a year's income almost; but we now have water at the farm along with a small generator to run a pump. The first place the well was dug the excavator dug a huge hole 21 feet deep and there was no water! It looked like a desert down there. That had to be filled in and we found a lower place to dig and hit water at fourteen feet. The well is 23 feet deep. The water level seems to stay at about 3 1/2 to 4 feet. regardless of how much we use.

I learned a lot about digging wells and water tables this year and how a few years with drought conditions could devastate the farming industry. I also learned how to throw a bucket tied to a rope 21 feet down a well and bring up water! It is a bit trickier than we thought it would be! If we only needed a little water we didn't want to start the generator so Bill tied a rope to a bucket and heave ho ! Down it went 21 feet. he snapped his wrist to turn the bucket on its side but it wanted to float on the water. So he hauled it up and studied the problem a bit. He run the rope down the side of the bucket and notched it underneath and then up to the handle. So when the bucket went down the well it landed on its side taking in water! Then he gave the rope jerk which loosened it from the bottom ; uprighting it and he pulled up a full bucket of crystal clear water!

We were at the cabin all year from April to the middle of October. We came back to the trailer to mow the lawn and I had some dehydrating and canning to do. At the farm I cook on the tiny wood stove which is a foot wide and two feet long and a one burner butane burner. I wash dishes in one pan and rinse and drain them in another. Clothes are washed each day as they are dirtied. One bucket is set outside to wash in and another to rinse in. I get my chair so I can sit down to do the wash . I use Sunlight bar soap to wash the clothes. If clothes are washed by hand it isn't hard. The secret is to do it each day or two and not let the laundry pile up. If it piles up it gets overwhelming. The clothes get clean and I hang them on two folding drying racks outdoors. That way if the weather changes I just bring the racks with clothes inside to finish drying.

All the gardens are in beds now and fenced! The bean garden is double fenced on the sides deer could jump the fence. Running a fence 3 or 4 ft inside the outer fence keeps them out. We discovered deer don't like jumping into narrow spaces. The page wire fences are about five feet high. Then there is several lines of fishing line strung above that. Along the bottom of the fences we piled rocks to keep foxes, chipmunks, skunks and any other critters out. The page wire is doubled so no animals can get through the squares of fence. The wire gate is also doubled. Only one deer got in the garden when Bill forgot to close the second gate. She managed to lift the bottom of the first gate and crawl under and exited the same way.! We also discovered the fifteen varieties of beans he planted liked are drought weather this year! The harvest of dry beans was the best we have ever had! We will be shelling beans all winter.

Our main garden is also fenced with part chain link fence and part page wire all with four strands strung fishing line above it. It kept out the deer and foxes and any coyotes but the raccoons found a way in as did the chipmunks! Bill had a big bin for wood between the out house and fence and the raccoons climb on the bin and hopped the fence. We had been watching our sweet corn grow all summer. The end of August we started enjoying a few ears every evening for a treat. Then one the raccoons got in the garden and ate twenty-four ears of corn! Same happened to the grapes. This was the first year the vine we started had grapes and when they were ripe to eat the chipmunks got to them first! The raccoons we live trapped and they went to the woods. Next year we will make sure the raccoons can't get in the garden.

We did a lot of fencing to keep the foxes out of the hen yard but one did get in one day. It was a young fox honing its hunting skills but didn't know how to dispatch the chicken! Bill was not far away when he heard the hens all aflutter and squawking and came running! The fox had one hen penned to the ground but she managed to escape the fox's grip and fly over the fence! Bill opened the gate but the fox ran past him chasing the fox into the woods and Bill pursued the fox! The chicken circled back as did the fox which my husband cut off at the pass! The fox decided to retreat but the hen was out of sight. Bill spent ten minutes searching and calling the frightened hen. When he was about to give up the hen crawled out from underneath the rhubarb patch and followed him back to the hen yard.

The fox family had four babies which all grew up and moved on. One stayed as did the mother fox. I would meet them early mornings and at dusk usually on the way to the outhouse. They are not scared of us and often come near the cabin. So I started talking to them. I told them they are welcome to stay as long as they leave our hens alone! We were outside after that one day when a fox strolled by, stopped and looked at us and continued on her way! I guess she understood.
Deer are also plentiful this year. At sunrise I have seen a huge buck grazing our pasture and two big does heavy with their babies. Nature being what it is sometimes isn't kind. Bill going to the shore found the remains of a fawn probably killed by the coyotes.

Now it is Fall and the cabin is closed up until Spring. Just this week we moved up to the trailer. We wanted to stay longer at the farm but the days are so short that the nights were getting twelve hours and that is too long to stay in bed! We lasted until the end of the second week of October. Next year we hope to have a solar panel so we can have a light and a plug to use my slow cooker and will be able to stay longer . I gathered up any food I had dried to bring back with us. Then put the books and bedding in bins and garbage bags to keep them dry from dampness and in case any mice get in the cabin. I had a good swing on my swing. Bill cleaned out the hen house near the trailer and readied for the chickens which he moved last week.

So now we are at the trailer until Spring. My canning; freezing and dehydrating is all done so now things are easier with just the daily cooking and baking. I have learned new skills like on line banking and paying bills. I learned how to use Amazon and can order things for winter like flour and oil and anything we didn't grow. I love it as things are delivered to our home . Bill can't drive in town anymore and I never did drive so this service is great! I am really excited too because Bill got the last of the 13 windows put in the trailer in September. There is only the picture window left and it is good yet for now. We love all the windows in the trailer for drying beans they let in a lot of sunshine.

Then he surprised me and built a new closet in the end room with lots of shelves for storage' There is also pantry shelves which I dearly needed. Now he has been painting everything yellow which along with blue are my favorite colors! He said next he will work on the bedroom! By Spring the whole trailer should look like new! We have been married 42 years and I have never had a home that was all painted and fixed up! There was never money for paint or time because there was so much farm work to do and raising animals and children! So I am really enjoying our time now!
Isaac my cat is eleven now. He found me eleven years ago at the campground right next to where our trailer is now. He was about four or five months old when he came to live with us. He likes both indoors and outdoors. But he only goes outdoors at the farm where he is safe from the road. I let him out in the hen yard so he can explore. He doesn't bother the hens and they normally don't bother him. A couple of weeks ago he was in the hen yard enjoying the sunshine but we had a broody hen sitting on an empty nest! She noticed Isaac and came flying out of the hen house attacking him! Isaac ran for the gate where I was outside washing clothes! Before I got to him the hen attacked him pecking his head! The cat ran , dove into tall grass along the fence , shut his eyes and buried his face . When I got to them the angry hen turned her wrath on me until I reminded her I might start eating meat again if she didn't behave herself ! That hen spent the next half hour strutting and squawking ! I gathered a trembling Isaac in my arms and gently reminded him he is related to a lion and not a mouse ! He hasn't wanted to go outside since that day! to be con't
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Greetings from Nova Scotia! Today is February 16th 2021. I see I haven't written here since last October 26th 2020 ! mainly that is because there hasn't been much to write about. All the drought weather of last year left and fall and early winter rains more than made up for what lacked the rest of the year. We haven't had much winter here again for the fourth year. 6 in of snow from last week melted today when the temperature went up to 9c or about 50 f . Freezing rain today gave way to just plain rain as the temperature rose. Warm air hit the cold ground creating a steam that melted the snow. It looked like fog. I 've been reading about the winter weather in southern states and western USA and Canada. I really feel badly for all those folks who are not used to harsh winter conditions and not prepared for such events. Weather patterns sure have changed the past few years.

We got the garden out and stored, canned, dehydrated and frozen so all that work was finished by the end of October. Everything we use was stashed away for winter so there is no need to shop for anything. We only have five hens this winter so there aren't many chores to do.

I have literally been house bound for a year now . With Covid looming as a threat we stay home. I finally have a family doctor after years without one and only venture into town to keep appointments . So far I have been stuck with needles and poked and prodded just to be told I am healthy old person! The only problem is my crooked feet and one callus which prevents me from walking as much as I would like. The other problem is I am prone to lung infections which is why I stay home and avoid crowds.

The Covid virus still has not reached us in this end of the province that we know of; for which we are thankful. There seems to be about ten cases of Covid in Nova Scotia at any one time and most are spread by people who travelled outside Nova Scotia and returned and spread it. Most people are abiding by the health guidelines but there are always a few who don't and put others at risk. Making people quarantine who come into the Province and isolation really seems to deter the spread the virus. Also washing hands and surfaces does help . Since covid is not here yet where we live there is a tendency for people to become lax and let down their guard. The chief Dr for the province reminds us every few days to stay diligent and take precautions as not many people have been vaccinated here yet.

So life is moving quite slow here. We got as much repair work and painting in the mobile home as we wanted to do this winter. I spend a lot of time cooking and made homemade soup and canned it for quick meals when we need it. We read a lot and this winter have been following the Little House On The Prairie series on dvd. . Bill has his seeds sorted and has the garden all planned for Spring. He mostly raises his own seed and only buys the odd things from seed catalogs. Our goal was to make gardening and farming for self- sufficiency easier and I think we have reached that point as life is much easier than we were accustomed to.

This is the problem. All our lives we had to struggle either to pay for the farm, provide for children; fight the weather making hay, competing with wild life and establishing gardens. Well last year was the first year we didn't make hay as we didn't have any horses or goats. Animals are work even when they are beneficial. When we sold the old house and bought the trailer it gave us both a farm and home paid for so no struggle to pay a debt. Reorganising how we garden took the struggle out of the work. Instead of fighting the losing battle with the weather we work around it. Planting in beds it is easier to protect the plants or supplement their water needs and keep out wildlife.

We don't have much money but then we don't need much money to live. Money was never a goal with us and never important except for a few things we couldn't do for ourselves. We are thankful life is easier now but it takes some getting used to. We are very content with each other but just feel like we are lacking a challenge without a struggle to contend with but I am not complaining. We are thankful things are as good as they are.

I read on the internet news all that is happening in the world and so much people can't solve themselves. It will take a Higher Power than any human government to straighten out the mess leaders of nations have made. Individually all we can do is take care of what responsibilities we have to our families and people near us.

I see all the people caught in winter storms unprepared because in some places nothing like this has happened before. The one thing I have said for years and still do; is regardless of how much you have materially or financially or or don't have we as humans need the basics of life water, food and shelter. Those are the basics that everyone should know how to procure. I don't speak of those masses of people on the move fleeing violence and migrating to other countries but Americans and Canadians and other free countries. Even if you have a a more modern lifestyle you need to prepare ahead for emergencies ahead of time. If and when Covid is history and winter disasters have passed it would be wise to make sure you are prepared ahead and at all times for whatever comes next. You don't need to dwell on disasters but put things in place so if something happens you and your family will be alright.

I always told my kids as they grew up. Live within your means whatever those means are. Don't buy on credit except for a home and only one affordable and possibly a car or school tuition. Everything else you can save for, get second hand or do without. Eat well as you can and grow a garden if possible. Store non-perishable food away and water just in case power goes off and have sleeping bags, battery lights on hand. Maybe an emergency situation will never arise but if it does you will have life easier if you put some simple preparations in place.

Bill and I are looking forward to Spring and planting time again at the farm and hopefully can find another milking goat and small pony to eat our pasture. It will be good to get back and have more work to do. Covid may be with the world for awhile yet so there won't be much socializing or farmers markets or anything much this year or country fairs. But we will be outdoors and back with the deer; foxes, raccoons and other critters. The sun sets beautifully over the ocean in the Western sky. The waves can be heard lapping against the rocky shore lulling us to sleep at night. No street lights; just the brilliance of the stars overhead along with the moon lighting up the night sky. Quiet, undisturbed, free of noisy traffic we will sleep soundly only to awaken with morning sun. I am homesick for our little cabin. I need to go home. to be con't
 

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I know I've said it before, but I truly enjoy your posts. Even when you have something difficult or frustrating to share, some how you are able to do it in a calm and lovely way.

If you or Bill are seeking a new challenge (and now I'm being purely and completely selfish), sharing the detail steps you take to plant, tend, harvest, prepare and store particular things would be wonderful. Taking us along on your journey for beans or whatever would be lovely. Hoping you stay healthy and are able to return to the cabin soon.
 
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