Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just Real Quick

I know I am suppose to to be on blogger and a farm vacation but I wanted to say Howdy to two new readers of Modern Day redneck and brag a little on the farm.
Welcome to Lynda at http://thekingsplus2.blogspot.com/
and to Papa Toney over at http://papatoneys.blogspot.com/
Thank y'all for for hitting the follow button while I am out of sight and out of mind. I will return to my normal blogging in a month or so so in the mean time there are plenty of good blogs you can read in my side bar.
Thank y'all and again, welcome.

Here is a quick Farm update. All but eight chickens are gone. All but three goats are gone. All but two geese are gone.
It is quiet here on the Mini Farm.
Even in this heat the gardens are producing about 30 pounds of food every three days. Our shelves are overflowing with canned goods, our freezers are packed with produce. This is no vacation! We are canning almost every night.
OMG, how many ways can you put cucumbers up. Lets see, Dried Cucumber chips, Sweet pickles, Bread and Butter pickles, Dill Pickles, Sweet Relish, Hot Sweet Relish, Sweet Pepper Relish, Dill Relish, Hot Dill Relish, Cucumber Cole Slaw, Cucumber and Onions and I know I am forgetting some.
It is the same with everything. I tell you what folks, the secret is the shade. I am loving it.

Pigs, the pigs are gone. We got the first one back last week and he yielded 70%. The one inch pork chops I grilled over the weekend were to die for. Rich in flavor, Sweet and Juicy without adding anything to make it that way. Home grown pork is the way to go if you don't mind the high price and trouble it takes to get it on the table.

That's about it. The camper stays loaded, The fishing poles have are being used, the wife and kids are all healthy and happy, Life is good my friends, hot but good
Stay safe over the holiday weekends to come and I will talk to you then.

I'm out,

A Song We Should All Be Singing

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day Weekend With The Kids And Wife

Buck creek, Lake Ray Roberts Texas

My New Fishing Pole At Buck Creek
Boppie At Buck Creek

Spending The Day At Lake Bridgeport, Texas 

Date night with the wife, Concert in the Park, Aubrey Texas

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

See Ya On The Flip Side

Sale, Sale Sale, At least that is what the Craig's List and Facebook adds read yesterday morning. By bedtime last night, 1/3 of the animals were already sold. A couple of dollars under premium price and you have yourself a sell. I told the wife who is handling all this, do not sell anything if we will loose money. It is too counterproductive and that ain't gunna work.
I am hoping by the end of the weekend we will be down to the remaining animals we are wanting to keep just for the homestead.

Here is the way I am looking at it. I know you can never be prepared enough. I know that you can never prepare for every thing that may happen. I also know that homesteading is a full time job.
All I am doing is trying to simplify the simple life. Instead of selling three to five hundred chickens a year, I am wanting to scale back to having just what I need. Same with the goats, geese and whatever else comes through here. I should not be pushing myself this hard to live simple, It's stupid.

Call it a midlife crisis, an epiphany or whatever, but living the simple life should not kill you. I already have what I need set in place for survival. If you work as hard as I do to live simple, it's not working. I look around and ask myself, what else do I need just in case I need it. I am at the point of creating things I might need instead of building the things I have to have. The one project I still don't have the way I like it is the outdoor kitchen. If the worst happens, I do have an area I can cook all my meals outside now but it is not a full fledged kitchen. I can work on that as time allows.

I still plan to garden, can and preserve for the winter. I still plan to continue to blog in the future and to build smaller projects when I see fit. The one thing I am changing is to free up some time to live while I still can.
Instead of blogging about my losses due to the heat or how I cant afford my next project because my feed bill is killing me, I want to blog about how warm the water is at the lake, how many fish I caught, how many miles we covered hiking that day and what we saw on the trail. 

If you don't understand like some of the emails I have gotten asking why, then let me put it to you this way. I have lived this way my whole life and only until I started blogging found out other people do this for recreation. I don't have a city house to escape to during the week and only come back to the farm on the weekends. That is not what I want, but I am tired of working till dark during the week and working sixteen hour days on the weekends just for simplicity. Call it burn out, Call it what you want.

So, I am going to take some time off, have fun, relax and do what "normal" people do. (That's funny right there)
My email is moderndayredneck@gmail.com if you want to stay in contact.
I will be back in a few months with some of the How-To books ready to go and hopefully a new focus and direction.
Thank everyone for their continued support and being a part of Modern Day Redneck. You are all like family to me and I hope to hear from you.
Come see me sometime. 

Saying all that, I guess I will see ya on the flip side. Stay safe.



Monday, June 11, 2012

Ebbs And Flows

My Giddy Up Go was busted for most of the weekend.

I did get to spend a little time out on the lake chasing Sand Bass until my buddy's boat broke down and left us stranded on the water for about three hours. Either way, I was still on the lake fishing.

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing. My definition of relaxing and yours might be two different things though. My relaxing consisted of fence mending, mowing and gardening. Plus we had chicken customers coming and going and also gave a tour or two of the Mini Farm. Thank goodness I just mowed.
One of the ladies on one of the tours had a very graphic vocabulary so to speak. Lets just say she liked the "F" word, a lot. It was funny. "Those chickens are so "F"ing cute", "This garden is so "F"ing amazing", or the best one of, "You people are so "F"ing cool".
My head was so "F"ing big when she left I could barley get through the door.

I have decided to move forward with the How-To books and will get the first one done whenever it gets done. I don't want to set a date for me because that would be added stress I don't need, but it will happen.

I am also at a cross roads on how I do things here at the Mini Farm. The goals I set a couple of years ago are getting further away day by day. So I am thinking on just letting those goals go and create some time for the wife, kids and myself to have some fun.
What it boils down to folks is that I am tired. 
I guess I can be a CSA when I get older.                  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Rain Days Are Still Productive

With the rain this week it has been tough to get much going. We needed the rain and I am thankful for it. I am also glad it came slow and easy this time instead of the way has been.

Even though I did not need it, the time off from work was welcomed. The wife and I took the time and got busy in the kitchen putting away some of the garden stuff.
She forced me into making two cases of pickles yesterday. I say forced because I do not like Dill pickles. So the way I figure it, being that I helped on the Dill, she has to do some Bread and Butter for me.

We also put up several bags of Green Beans, Squash and Tomatoes.

The peppers are all being dried right now. We either leave them in slices or grind them down almost to a powder and store them in the pantry for future use.

I also picked some Sweet Pumpkins yesterday so the wife can make me a homemade pumpkin pie. I hope that happens this weekend.

I don't have a clue about what I am going to do this weekend. I guess I will let whatever happens, happen and go with the flow so to speak.
I do know that it's date night tonight so I think the wife is wanting to try out a new Chinese Buffet place that just opened up here in town.
That makes me wonder, the last time I was through town I did not see as many stray cats running the roads as I usually do, hmmmm.......
Oh well, put enough BBQ sauce on it and it will taste just like chicken.       

I also wanted to say thank you to everyone on the input about the books. I think I will start the first one on the Hand Powered Washing Machine this week.     

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tell Me What You Think

I've been thinking..........

 I know, I know, yes it does hurt, A LOT.

No really, I have been thinking on my next project. The solar laundry room is in full go and I will be done with it as money allows. I still need to put a shade over it, build a folding station and restructure my clothes lines in a more user friendly configuration.
Being I am half way though with that project I need to start thinking on my next build so I can have it figured out by the time I need to start it. The problem is I can't come up with nothing.
Of course my project list is still several pages long, I just don't know what I want to start on, if any.

My work shop has been at the top of the list for a long time now. It is always shuffled down because it is such a massive cost and time consumer. Even with collecting scrap and crap, I will still need to purchase a lot more materials to accomplish such a huge undertaking.
I am thinking on just saving up and buying a completed building. I have waved the cost and I can get a bigger bang for my buck if I did. The one problem with that will be time. It will take over a year to save up for it meaning there will not be any extra money for other projects.
I don't know, I'm conflicted.       

On another thought, tell me what you think about this. 
I have been bouncing around in my head about writing up some illustrated, step by step how-to books on the projects I have built here at the Mini Farm.
I just don't know if it will be a big waste of time or if there was enough interest to make it worth it.

If you don't mind, tell me what you think on this and any pointers would help.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This Little Piggy Went To The Market........

Of the two feeder pigs, one has met it's destiny today. The soul reason for him to live was to provide food for us. He actually turned out to be a cool pig. 
We got him up to about 230 pounds. I did not want him any bigger because of the quality of the meat. Anything above 250 and you get more fat and it cost more to process. 
All of the meat will be cured and smoked right here where he was raised. 

Here is the cost analyses:
Pig - $50.00
Feed bought -  $107.00 (not including scraps from the gardens and the kitchen)
Processing - $85.00
Total invested = $242.00 or $2.20 per pound of processed meat. 
(Prices are as close as I can get from calculated estimations and some record keeping) 
This also does not include man hours and about 20 gallons of water a day.

I got one more pig to go. Her date is at the end of the month, but I don't know if she will be ready. I might have to keep her one more month.    

I pull this bucket of vegetables from the garden every two days.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wish Me Luck

Being we had a couple of rain days this week I am to work tomorrow. Working on weekends may be fine for some people, but I am too busy to waste my weekend Mini Farm time on a Job.

I will be missing out on the oldest girls (BEB) special dinner preparations. You see, she fancies this guy and wants him to meet the family (the whole family). I am not to keen on the whole thing but what do I know. Every word I say about it, all she hears is "Blah, Blah, Blah." My mouth moves but nothing comes out, at least it seems that way.

So this special dinner she is making up is something a little different. A few times a year I like to step outside the box of the normal and do something out of my comfort zone. Being I made the menu, I intended to be there with her, but work has stepped in the once again. I should make it home in time to start the cooking. All she needs to do is get it all ready.

This is what's for dinner,

Indonesian Chicken with Mango-Peanut Salsa
Grilled Ginger-Sesame Pork Steaks with Pineapple and Scallions
Grilled Eggplant with Chilies, Peanuts and Mint
Parmesan Crusted Green Tomato Gratin
Grilled Southwestern Potato Salad
Squash Casserole
Hawaii Sweet Rolls
Ginger-Molasses Cheesecake

All from scratch, all homemade.

So wish me luck either on the dinner or not hurting the boy, your choice.