Click on the image for more information.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Out of Phase With the World

It's been a weird few days. I feel like I'm not quite in sync with the rest of the world and I can't put my finger on why. I have this nagging feeling that I forgot something important or left something undone.

First, Facebook blocked both me and Greg from logging in. It was acting funny Friday, constantly jerking me out of my timeline and resetting itself. By Saturday, we couldn't connect at all.

Then it was the goats. Friday, they picked at their food. Our goats never pick. They eat every pellet as if it were their last and if we walk by their pen, they bleat at us as if they're starving. For three days, they've been silent. Other than not eating, they seem fine, but it was unnerving.

Saturday, I opened a fresh bag and they ate most of what I gave them, but still left some. They were happy to eat leaves and sunflower seeds. Maybe they were bored with their feed, but all of a sudden like that? I don't like not knowing why my animals act strange.

To complicate things, the person I normally buy hay from called and told me she wouldn't have any more this year. Now I have to hustle and find another supplier. The goats can't go without hay.

Friday, I borrowed Greg's car and I was stranded in town, missing my yoga class. It turned out to be nothing (the shifter wasn't exactly on Park so it acted like the battery was dead). Had I reached Greg in time, he could've told me his trick for getting it to work again, but alas, we missed each other. By the time he called me back, my schedule was shot.

The chickens are eating their eggs again. They're in molt so I've been giving them more protein, but it hasn't stopped them from eating their eggs. The goats won't eat, and the chickens eat too much. My homestead is topsy turvy.

Even my appetite is strange. Like the goats, nothing appeals to me. I'll eat a little and push the rest away. Not that that's a bad thing for me! Ha! Missing a few meals wouldn't hurt me in the least.

We were invited to a party over the weekend. I really didn't want to go. I felt unwell and a little tired. I even took a nap which is unheard of for me. I whined about going but Greg guilted me into doing the right thing. I put on a brave face and powered through it.

All in all an eventful weekend but nothing that felt right. I can't remember ever feeling so out of phase with everything around me. It made me feel anxious over nothing in particular.

Have you ever felt out of sync with the rest of the world? Was it just as disconcerting for you?


Did you get a chance to see the Super Moon eclipse on Sunday? It was pretty neat. Who knows if I'll be around for the next one in 2033, so I wanted to be sure to see this one.

Our skies were a little cloudy but it was clear in the area around the moon. It really was red too. It made me think how our ancient ancestors must've felt to see the moon 'die'.

Friday, September 25, 2015

LASR Needs Your Blurbs

I was approached by Long and Short Reviews the other day to see if I'd be willing to blurb a book for them.

I don't blurb books as a rule. Much as some of my friends think I throw some influence, (partly because of my cheeky confidence) in truth I feel other people do this better than I would, especially since I don't write anymore.

Still, that doesn't mean I can't ask my blog readers to come forth and blurb a book if they're so inclined.

If you'd like to read a book and have the chance to blurb it, contact me and I'll put you in touch with the Admin staff at LASR. I was offered a paranormal romance, but I'm sure they have plenty of other genres.


Have you ever blurbed a book? Has your book ever been blurbed?

I think it's a great networking tool and another way to introduce new readers to your name. You might be doing something good for the author you're blurbing, but it's also putting your name out to a potential new set of readers too.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pantry Attacked! Oh, The Horror!

That summer cold knocked me flat for a solid week. Worse, was that sinking feeling when you find yourself throwing back Nyquil cocktails just to keep going. Deep down I knew a quick recovery was futile. I was doomed.

This is the first sickness in 15 years that I didn't have to manage alone. Husbands, I've discovered are very handy.  The dogs were sweet too. It's funny how they know when you're not feeling well. 

There's something about getting sick that:
1. Makes me think of all the things I have on my to-do list.
2. Drives me into purging mode as soon as I feel better.

On Sunday, I attacked my pantry. I have a wonderful, big pantry, but it was time to whip it back into shape. It had begun to look like a catch-all for every little thing, and I was having a hard time keeping track of my staples. 

Because it's a long drive into town, I try to keep my pantry and fridge stocked. Most of my grocery runs are for fresh vegetables and anything that goes on clearance. If I wanted, I could go for weeks without hitting the stores, but I'd miss fresh veggies. My summer garden is all but spent.

I've started the fall garden which is looking great. I'll share some of the details on the next State of the Homestead report.

Back to the pantry. Even a small pantry can increase your ability to save money on food. In the early days, I started small, buying a few extra cans of whatever went on sale. I'm fastidious about checking expiration dates. And while I sometimes "try" something new, I generally stick to the things I know we'll use regularly. 

Loyalty cards: In the US, many grocery stores offer loyalty cards. Kroger, my local chain, regularly sends me coupons and freebies. I may not always use the coupons but I always grab the freebies. Even if I don't use it, it can be donated to a food pantry.

Double down on holidays: In the US, you are guaranteed some great food prices right before major holidays. Set aside a little extra cash to use in November when grocery stores have their biggest sales on baking supplies, turkeys, roasts, and frozen foods.

Freeze it: Every box of baking mix, flour, rice, or pasta goes straight to the freezer for two weeks. I don't take chances with weevils which you'll find in almost every package if you don't use it up quickly. Food distributors can't help it. For the record, weevils aren't harmful, but I still don't want to see them.

Use Glass: I retired nearly all my plastic containers years ago. Although glass is heavier, I find it easier to clean and disinfect. Plastic tends to absorb the smell of whatever was in it last.

Go in with a friend: Those big warehouse stores are great for large buys. If you can't use up a whole bag of flour or sugar, divvy it up with a friend that way you both save.

When I lived in an apartment, I dedicated one bank of cabinets to food. I stored my pots and pans in the dishwasher because I never used it. Big Reveal: This is the first year (in 40) I've used a dishwasher regularly. 

I know most people can't live without a dishwasher but it was only me and Greg and I felt it unnecessary to use the extra energy. Now I'm just busy. Easier to load the dishwasher and go on to another chore than do them by hand.

So how about you? Do you store food for more than a couple of weeks? Are you lucky enough to have a pantry? Do you use a dishwasher, or ever use it as extra storage?

What tips do you use when buying in bulk?

Because Melissa McClone reminded me...

If you want more tips on grocery shopping, try this book: smart grocery shopping

Saturday, September 12, 2015


I was only planning on being off last Monday for the holiday, but the sudden onset of plague has forced me to take off a few more days. It started out as a sinus headache, but now it's a full blown sore throat and general overall ache. The drugs have only made things worse. So there I am. Rock and hard place.

I hope to feel better soon but if I don't I'm not going to waste time suffering.  Might as well put that medical insurance to work.

At least I got many of my projects done before I went down. Still a few things left undone, but not too many.

Greg is taking care of the animals and me, so my only job is to recover.

Hope all is well in your world. If I missed your blogs I'll try to catch up next week. Meanwhile, pass the tissues.