Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Thursday Night Post

Sure been seeing a lot of depressing news these days. Besides steadily rising gas prices (it's now $3.149 per gallon for low grade unleaded in our area) and war in the Middle East, I was checking out some more NAIS updates. It's not looking good for homesteaders and small independent farmers. Seems almost like a conscious effort to run everybody out of business. I'm sure not liking what I'm seeing. Who would ever have guessed things would ever have come to this in America. Can't imagine what people are thinking. One could conclude that when we start seeing our freedom slipping away it might have something to do with the overall spiritual condition of the nation as a corporate whole. Why should God continue to bless a rebellious people?

Earlier today I got my regular "Food Chain Release" from and saw that on Saturday they will air a program which could shed some light as to what's happening in this country in regards to the disappearing family farms. Rather than try to reiterate what it said I'll just copy it and paste it below.

In 1930, the United States had 6.3 million farms; in 2000, it had only 2.1 million. Some say the 27 million people who lived on those farms were deliberately forced off in a Stalin-like purge. This leads one to ask, “What did happen to all the farmers?”

This Saturday at 9AM Pacific, the Food Chain with Michael Olson hosts Thomas Pawlick, author of The End of Food, and Cyrill Vatomsky, host of the Embassy of the New World Order radio program, for a comparison of Soviet collectivization and American consolidation.
Log on to listen live or delayed, on your radio, computer or IPOD

Topics include why Stalin purged the family-scaled farmers of the Soviet Union; why they were also forced off the land throughout the Americas; and what impact their loss might have on the security of the food chain.

Listeners are invited to call the program on their local station or log them to the Forum page at (Look for #504 Stalin Redux?)

Though the topic may be somewhat depressing it looks like it's going to be a very illuminating program.

But on a brighter note our cousin Jerry emailed us some humorous musings about the heat wave that is being felt in much of the country even in our lovely North Woods of Wisconsin.

It's Soooo Hot!

The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
The trees are whistling for the dogs.
The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
Hot water now comes out of both taps.
You can make sun tea instantly.

You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
The temperature drops below 95 F (35 C) and you feel a little chilly.
You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.
You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.
Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"
You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.
Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
The cows are giving evaporated milk.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Burdensome Stone

"This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares:
I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will hurt themselves." Zechariah 12: 1-3 NIV

In light of the current happenings in Israel and the surrounding area's I am reminded of this yet future event. As the times draw nearer it would stand to reason that the stage is being set just for such a thing. Even though current Israel is still in the dark concerning it's true messiah, God has not forgotten His promises and Christ will one day return and then all Israel will be saved, much to the blessing of the entire planet.

It is my belief that things will get a whole lot worse before they get better. Like birth pains we will continue to see the signs of the times getting closer together and with a lot more intensity. This is in no way depressing news to me because there is a great light at the end of the tunnel. Once Christ returns all things will be set to rights. The curse will be lifted and the earth will be restored to garden of Eden like conditions. "Every man under his vine and under his fig tree..." as stated at the top of this blog.

The ultimate future is one of peace and super prosperity. The earth and everything in it will finally be at peace. To me that is cause for great optimism. We can experience personal salvation right now through faith and trust in Jesus but with the salvation of the Jews will come the salvation for the earth. That's my hope and belief.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

One Man's Trash Another Man's Treasure

As I've mentioned before and if you keep up with this blog you know that besides homesteading we have our own trash route. It is our main source of income. Pretty much the only money we get from the farm is the sale of chickens and eggs. And that is just enough to pay for itself. So, if you don’t count the labor that goes into it you might say we get our meat and eggs for free.
But, back to the trash business. During last weeks Energy Fair I went to a workshop called “Stuff You Can Do With Junk”. The young people who presented it showed us some interesting and clever ways to take items that you might ordinarily throw away and turn them into something you can continue to use. We have come up with many of our own ways to reuse and recycle discarded stuff ourselves.

When trying to live a more “basic” lifestyle being thrifty isn’t just a fun and entertaining thing to do it actually becomes something of a necessity. Since we don’t make that much money at our business all the good stuff that gets thrown away always gets set aside to see weather or not it is something we can reuse or recycle. And when it turns out to be a good find we always feel it is a blessing that comes right from the hand of God, either for us or someone else who can use it. So recycling all the stuff seems to go right along with our values of trying to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us. Many times He gives us not just things we need but, also things we like and enjoy.

For instance last year a man threw out a black bear hide complete with head and feet that he had stored in a freezer in his garage until he could get a chance to have it made into a rug. Well, little did he know until it was too late that his freezer quit working and everything in the freezer including the fresh bear hide had gone bad. And boy did that hide smell terrible. I encounter lots of bad smells in the course of my week and I can tell you with all honesty that a rotting bear is something better left alone.
Anybody who knows me is aware of my tendencies be a bit of a pack rat so naturally my wheels were rolling as to how I could salvage something from our customers unfortunate loss. It was a beautiful hide and was a crying shame to have to throw it into the dump. But, the smell was just down right awful. So I thought well at least I could salvage the skull.
My Dad happened to have a pair of disposable rubber gloves on hand for a painting project he was doing so I put those on and promptly went to work on that bears head. The thing had one of those smells you could almost taste so if I could have figured out how to breath through my ears that would have been fine by me. As I pealed off the hide I was quite taken back by how much muscling was all around the head and jaw. There was no doubt this was a very powerful animal and by the looks of those heavy muscles I found an even greater respect for these magnificent creatures.
There are several ways of removing the flesh from a skull one of them being to cook it off in boiling water. But, in this case I didn’t want to go anywhere near any of our cooking utensils with that smelly head so I buried it. Our friend Ken told us about how to do that sometime ago which is a method I have used to clean various skulls. If you leave it in the ground long enough the worms and bugs do the work of cleaning off the flesh. In this case I left it in the ground all last year and just got around to digging it up a few days ago.

Bear skull and table.

Judging by the wear on the bears teeth it was an older one and it even had a broken left fang.

So there it is in the photo which happens to be on a table that I rescued from the landfill. I saw that table and didn’t think we would want it in the house but, I thought, hey why not use it as an outdoor table by our fire pit. We never have anything to set our drinks or smores making supplies on so it worked out great.

Earlier this year our friend Kristine told us about the idea of taking an old mini blinds and making garden markers out of them. I regularly get mini blinds in the trash so this year we are loaded with markers. We should never forget what we planted. All you do is write on them with a permanent marker and there is plenty of surface area to write other useful information like, when it was planted.

Here are some that we cut up that I set on this lawn chair which is another garbage find. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the chair.

The marker in use. Made from a mini blind.

Here are some other recycled items. Empty laundry detergent containers make great grain scoops. This one has been in use for about 8 years. An empty apple juice container is what we use to water the rabbits with. We have to replace those once in a while especially if we forget them outside in the winter and they freeze. And of course we always have a never ending supply of 5 gallon buckets. People throw those out all the time.

And we are also blessed with things to spruce up the yard. The concrete goose was also something saved from the landfill.

Americans throw out an awful lot of perfectly good stuff. If a person wants to take the time and doesn’t have any hang ups about using “trash” there are literally tons of things you can save from being tossed into the landfills.

One idea I heard from the Energy Fair was to take old windows and make them into picture frames. Now, for some reason I have a fetish about windows and it almost pains me (no pun intended) to destroy them, so one of these days I think I’ll dig through some of the ones we have laying around and see if I can come with a suitable one to make a gift for Kelli. The older the window the better. I like the ones with wavy glass. Those ones kind of take you back in time before everything became so cookie cutter perfect.

The past couple weeks have been full with family and friends and we even had back to back guests in the cabin. My Aunt Marcia from Florida was here with her daughter Colleen, they left this morning . Our friend Pina is here right now. Pina is originally from Italy and usually treats us to her authentic Italian cooking. She is a great cook. Today we had authentic American cooking, brats burgers and hot dogs over a gas grill. Also Kelli’s sister and her kids helped us eat all that food.

Come to think of it today has been about as full as it gets. Local friends and neighbors Bob and Lenore came to borrow our trailer so they could go get hay and stayed for awhile. Then two friends Joanna and Dan’s wife Stephanie came up to bring my Mother in-law flowers for half scaring her to death from a pulling prank phone call last night while we were gone. We were down watching fireworks in Rhinelander. Actually Stephanie pulled the prank all the while being coached by Dan and Joanna’s husband Phil. They thought we were home but, it was just Kelli’s Mom and Pina who were here. Anyway I won’t go into the specifics but we all had a great big laugh about it all.

People sometimes joke that we are running a commune here. My parents live here in their own house. Kelli’s Mom is with us and Kelli’s sister Doreen lives in a camper right next to where we live. Kelli’s other sister Karen lives less than a mile down the road with her family. Then throw in cabin guests and more friends and family and you’ve got quite a bunch of people. So, I can see why there’s the jokes. But, to me when it comes down to it, that’s all that counts. Being surrounded by people you care about. Material things come and go but eternity is for people.

Until Next Time