Tag Archives: Homesteading

Night Light Philosophy.

Every night, when the lights go out (and sometimes before) I begin to hear little noises…. And see shadows darting by. Yes. I have mice. Not the pet kind that strange people PAY for at the pet store. Wild ones. They come from unknown lands. And they scamper about, resisting the urge to investigate dabs of peanut butter I casually leave out. Gift offerings we will call them. Thank you gifts perhaps. “Thank you for romping around my 200 year old house, carrying on a timeless tradition.” What is the solution??? Snap traps, don’t work. Live traps, empty. Boxer on standby, I think they have an arrangement of some sort. Dryer sheets under the stove, I think they use them to do their own laundry. Get a cat? Ummm, another dirty critter romping about my house? Pooping in a box and creating fur babies and hair balls??? No. That was a loud NO!!! I have been contemplating ordering that survival sling shot I’ve been wanting for a long time. Fear that I will bean myself as the pellet ricochets off the front of my oven stops me everytime, seems risky to life and limb. It is time to get downright creative. They just might be livestock. We eat mostly organic foods, our dog eats overpriced wild bison and sweet potatoes, and they also enjoy a selection of seeds and grains in our pigeon food. Although my family thinks my talking about wood chucks and raccoons with a culinary slant is strange, according to my research they are traditional table toppers, not to mention hats, scarves, coats, and decorations. I like meat. Mice are made of meat. Seems logical to suppose I am doing a great job as a mouse rancher. And baby, its round up time!!! I have been doing some preliminary research, looking up recipes and the like, and I am not the only person who looks at them as a food source. Check out this well written piece: http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/03/eating-mice-can-be-rather-nice.html On the other hand, with a 9 year old boy who eats eggs by the half dozen only to start looking for more, how many mice would it take to make a meal??? This conversation has come full circle for me now. I can see no practical value at this time in mouse ranching, or would it be mice ranching…. Hmmmm, sounds weird. It is time for a bit of night light philosophizing. My favorite time of night. Have you ever read the book Feldman Fieldmouse by Nathaniel Benchley and Hilary Knight? It is unfortunately out of print but you can pick up a copy on amazon for pennies. It is an awesome story. Feldman is a mouse of dreams, he dreams of organizing a huge mass of mice to join together in the light of the full moon to dance with wild abandon. He and his nephew Fendell pull it off. Feldman unfortunately is eaten during his dancing delirium, but you may get swept up in the moment like my kids and I did and find it terribly romantic and exciting. You may never look at mice the same again, especially in the light of the full moon, or during a bit of night light philosophizing! Really, when you boil it all down, kids are messy, dogs are messy, and the mice are by nature obsessive cleaners (think Cinderella, duh!). They are doing me a favor. Thank you mice.

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Save money the green way: Garden!

I just closed the freezer door on eight really full bags of green beans. You read that correctly, we will be having green beans from the garden eight times this winter. You know how I like to break things down and really know what I’m doing, so here goes!!! My dad picked a five gallon bucket full of green beans for me to process this morning. This evening, after about four hours of carefully removing strings from the beans, washing them, and chopping them, I blanched, ice water bathed and bagged those beany babies! I am going to estimate the value of my bean bags at $3 each.  That means I just “saved” $24!!!  Dude! How much am I reeling in per hour, seeing as “homesteading” is on my job description right along with duck husbandry, surviving offspring, and schooling the natives!?! By my calculations I just made $6 an hour!  That’s awesome!!! Oh wait, I forgot my overhead.  Gotta subtract the $3 for the pack of organic bean seeds, and I have absolutely no idea how many hours my parents, my husband, and I put into reclaiming the garden and putting up the bean tipi’s and planting. If you removed taxes from my “earnings” I would be truly sunk!  With any luck, we will enjoy an Indian summer and another five gallon pail of green beans to destring.

I actually just discovered this post sitting in my draft pile, half done. Now it is at the tail end of December and it is even more ludicrous! To bring you up to date, after freezing my eight bags of beans, we had green beans for dinner only to find that Princess Piper cannot properly digest green beans!!! At this point in time, I am willing to agree with my mother and proclaim 2013’s garden an epic fail. However, stay tuned for my grandiose plans for 2014!!!

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