Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh the goodness...

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Today we enjoyed a wonderful meal which included this fabulous leg of lamb. The leg of lamb was gifted to us by our friends, The Reinhardt's, after we helped them move their hair sheep to the breeder. It was so delicious. We prepared the lamb with fresh garlic and rosemary....YUM It was the first time most of the family had lamb and it was really enjoyed by everyone. Even the dogs, they got the bone. This made us anxiously anticipate the arrival of our lambs later this week. Be sure to tune in for the obligatory cute little lamb pics.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!!!!!

Nothing like a good burn......

Growing up in Texas we didn't have the pleasure of a burn pile. I never knew what I was missing. I love spring clean up and the stacking up of limbs, pine cones, old hay, whatever will burn. There is something very cathartic to sitting in a chair close enough to feel the burn of the fire but not get burned...especially when the nights are cool.........or when the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers are close.

Greenhouse in action

Friday brought beautiful weather to the our little corner of the world. We took advantage of the sun and attached the plastic sheeting to the greenhouse frame. It is complete except the entrance. We will still frame in a door to allow for easier access.

We moved our starts out and they enjoyed the nice warmth of the 100 degree greenhouse. This weekend we will make tons of soil blocks and get to getting on our planting in earnest.

In eight short weeks.....

Our special delivery arrived early Thursday morning. We received our long-awaited call around 7:15 am. Terry hurried down to the Post Office and picked up this wonderful little package all the way from Nebraska.
This tiny little box contained 104 Cornish X broilers ordered from Central Hatchery. This is our first venture into meat birds but we feel very confident that it won't be our last. The meat birds take 8 weeks to make butcher weight. They require a broiler feed that has a higher percentage of protein to support their rapid weight gain. We are currently housing the chicks in a special stock tank turn brooder complete with straw and heat lamp until they can be moved into chicken tractors.
Terry will build the movable tractors from electrical conduit making them very light weight allowing for easy movement around the pasture with the Rhino. Tractors are used not only for meat birds but layers as well. It allows for them to harvest bugs, worms, and natural grasses which cuts down considerable on feed costs. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on constructing the tractors.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ever been to a Hog Hoe-Down?

Well let me tell ya, it is one stinky affair. Terry built a new hog pen in the pasture and so after work and school, it was time to move the porkers to their new domicile. The first two pigs we only thought were hard, nothing was near as hard as Patrick....our largest hog who is almost ready for butcher. He is probably 220 lbs or so, 20 pounds of stink and 200 pounds of attitude. It was a wrestling match moving them with the pig in the sled, being set on by Michael and being pulled 300 yards with the Rhino. Don't know what we would have done without the Rhino and everyone's help. It will make the bacon all the sweeter.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring finally showed its much awaited face.....

Yesterday was a beautiful day and we finally got to spend some time out in the sun. We raked, clipped, piled, chopped, and burned. It was awesome. I used muscles that spent much of the past few weeks in dormancy. Did I mention it was awesome? We started cleaning off the foundation (in a previous life, before fire it was a chicken coop) but now will provide the foundation for my new greenhouse.

The fire gave us the opportunity to have a re-do because as much as I loved chickens free-ranging in the yard and coming when I called them, I didn't like the incessant scratching in the mulch in my flowerbeds....well at least the mulch that used to be in the flowerbeds until they scratched most of it into the grass. SO, now the new coop will be located in the pasture where they can scratch and peck to the hearts content and hopefully come no-where in proximity to my flowerbeds. I hope to reclaim them and make them beautiful again, but they will have to take a back seat to gardening that will produce something edible. Hence the greenhouse.

We live in the Pacific Northwest and have a very short growing season. Old timers here say nothing is safe in the ground until after Memorial Day. I looked up the last frost date in the Farmer's Almanac and it indicated May 10th. That's better than May 31st.....I have a few starts up and running.....brussel sprouts, spinach, watermelon, cantaloupe, and some others, can't remember right now.

Terry spent his day today fashioning and securing stock panels that will provide the framework for the greenhouse. Tomorrow he will cover with a thick clear plastic sheeting. We can't take credit for this design, our friends over at Pile of Omelays. Check out their site and see the beautiful tomatoes. I'll post updated pics through the process. We also made a decision to do the garden expansion on the flat ground adjacent to the greenhouse as opposed to terracing our back hill. Should be much easier but I'll get back to you and let you know for sure.
Hope you guys are having pretty weather where-ever you are. Plant something and watch it grow and feed's an amazing experience. Pass it on.....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring where's the Spring?

Today we woke up to a fresh covering of snow...what the heck, I'm on vacation with the kids for springbreak and there are so many things that we want and need to get accomplished. Luckily after lunch, the weather cleared and made it into the 40's. No sun but no snow either. Michael worked hard at making soil blocks. We got a few seeds sown and are looking forward to getting more going this week. We are forecasted for a low of 10 degrees tonight so it will still be a long-time before our last frost. Here in Idaho we are usually safe to plant anything around Memorial Day.

Terry and Christopher cleared more bramble around the perimeter of our acreage. This will look so much better asethetically and will allow us to extend out the fencing,,,,utilizing the pasture to its full advantage.
Katlyn and I made another batch of "puppy chow" aka "dinosaur treats". Here is a step-by step of the recipe: 8 cups of rice chex cereal ( I used the store brand)
melt 1 cup chocolate chips with 2/3rd cup peanut butter and pour over the cereal
spread out the coated cereal on a cookie sheet and while still "wet" coat with
powdered sugar.

Here's to hoping you can find some spring where-ever you are.......

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A little help for my friends....

Today is Tully's birthday. He turns four and is in love with dinosaurs. Sharman wasn't available to make his cake so I volunteered. I hope he likes it but I figure it is a pretty safe bet with him being four.

I also made a basket of dinosaur treats (chocolate peanut butter covered rice chex cereal) yum.....It should be a big hit. Headed over for the party soon. I'll try to catch a pic of Tully and his cake!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Time....

Well the seeds have all come in as well as a soil block maker. That's the thing on the front right of the photo. Terry ordered it for me as a surprise. I'm ready to try it out. The recipe for the block mixing recipe is: using a 10 qt. bucket
  • 3 buckets brown peat (standard peat moss)
  • 1/2 cup lime. mix ingredients together thoroughly and add
  • 2 buckets coarse sand or perlite
  • 3 cups base fertilizer (equal parts mix blood meal, colloidal phosphate and greensand. Mix thoroughly and add
  • 1 bucket garden soil
  • 2 buckets well decomposed composg. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

I plan to mix the soil together in a large storage tub. Stay tuned to see our progress here on Bent Tree Farm. If anyone has some tips, please let them for me in the comments.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fruit Trees

This Friday we had beautiful was sunny and 40 degrees. Made us really hopeful that spring will arrive sometime sooner rather than later. I had a local Mennonite man recommended to me to come and prune our fruit trees. Terry and I have attempted to trim the trees but we really didn't know what we were doing and most likely did more harm than good.

Darryl arrived around 10:00 am and spent the entire day trimming 15 trees. He started with a small cherry tree that has never produced fruit in the almost ten years that we have owned the property. This tree for the past few years leafs out beautiful but within a month, the leaves have started to curl and then turn brown and fall off. He trimmed off a larger limb that had "brown rot".

He was very patient with us and taught all of us the basics of pruning and care for healthy fruit trees. We decided to make this investment this year with the rising cost of groceries, we want to ensure that we can have the best fruit to preserve and perhaps barter the extra.

We have 2 cherry trees, 1 Italian plum, 3 red plums, 1 pear, 3 apricot, and 5 apple. There is a very large apple tree that we have never attempted to prune that he estimates will take 2 hours to prune. He ran out of daylight and will have to come back another day to finish.

Our chore on the next pretty day, hopefully this next week, will be to spray dormant oil on the entire tree....from trunk to end of all the limbs. As Darryl explained, the dormant oil will suffocate any eggs or insects in the bark. We have never done this previously to any of our trees and we have had issues with spots on our fruit. Hopefully this will do the trick.

He also highly recommended that we put out fertilizer spikes around the drip line of the tree. We have done this previously, but not consistently.

You guys may know all this stuff but we didn't so I thought I would share. If I missed anything, leave me a comment....I'll take all the info I can get.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New friends of the farm....

Today we brought home our new additions to the farm. Meet Mr. Freezer. He is a holstein bull calf that will be fed up and butchered to feed our family. We purchased two holstein bull calves this fall that both ended up dying in the sub-zero winter of North Idaho. Hopefully, this guy will fare much better and fill our freezer.

These are our three lovely ladies. All three are bred and should kid around the first couple of weeks of April. They reportedly are easy lambers and with twins. The white is a suffock and romanov cross and comes bearing the name Lamb Lamb. The other two are suffock and southdown crosses and don't really have names so we will be open to all suggestions.

This brings the animal tally as follows:
  • 4 horses (Lena, Tanner, Hoss, and Pearl)
  • 3 cows (Gertie, Betty, and Mr. Freezer)
  • 3 pigs (Patrick, Petunia, and Spam)
  • 2 goats (Rosie and Peanut)
  • 3 sheep (Lamb Lamb, ? and ?)
  • 16 chickens

Other animals that will be coming to live on Bent Tree Farm this spring, include: pastured meat birds. I would love to have a dairy cow but that's still in the discussion stage. In order for these animals to provide for our self-sufficiency, we must grow a majority of their food. We ordered mangel seeds that we will sow in the pasture. Growing mangels is a new venture for us but through our studies looks to be a very good source of sustenance through the winter months. It has also been suggested that we plant amaranth and comfry. What are you all planting to feed your animals? Please share your successes and failures so that we can learn from each other!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bring on the bacon...

Today we were able to purchase two new pigs. They were born in December and are probably already 125 pounds.....on their way. This handsome gentleman (the pig, not Terry) will be butchered in a couple three months and the female we purchased will be our breeding sow. She will affectionately be known as Petunia.

We also took our two goats to be bred today. Hopefully it won't be too late and they will both take. They are both being bred to a really nice Boer stud. Rosie is a Nubian and Peanut is a Nubian/Boer cross.
All this toting around of the animals was made possible because we SCORED major yesterday. Christopher, our eldest son, loves to scour Craigslist. He saw a great 2-horse straight load, bumper pull. It is a 1969 model but had recently been sandblasted and re-painted. It is awesome. We paid $500.00 for it. They had been asking $1500.00 but recently dropped the price because they live in a subdivision and the neighbors were fussing about it being parked in the alley......their loss and most definitely our gain. This will help so much around the homestead. Tomorrow we will use it again as we are picking up three bred sheep....oh yea!! A regular working homestead. Tune in tomorrow and meet the sheep...our newest three to join Bent Tree Farm.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Proud of the baby.....

Today was the last game for Emily's basketball team. They didn't have a particularly winning season but she was a real contributor to the team and surely had a lot of fun. Learning to be a good team-player is a lesson that many of us can learn over and over. Homesteading is also a team sport. The sense of community and helping each other by sharing goods or knowledge is in-valuable.

Coach Jasmine and Emily after the final buzzer of the season

Monday, February 16, 2009

We are all in this together.....

I think the best part of the homesteading life for me is the sense of community. There are so many to share with and learn from. We had a blessed visit this weekend from the folks over at 2bakers4now. I was able to info with them re: long-term storage, canning, animal husbandry, and the like. It was so awesome to spend time with others who have a shared appreciation and value for the simple life and back to basic living. Thanks guys for the wonderful visit and can't wait to do it again.....I'm thinking maybe butcher time for a certain handsome

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gettin' ready for cannin'

The order from Presto arrived today!! I anxiously awaited the arrival all week. Terry assembled the new parts and I fired it up and HOUSTON......we have pressure.

Works like a charm and I will now be able to pressure two canner-fulls at once. That will be invaluable this summer when the garden is in full production allowing us to put away enough food to keep us in "free food" all winter long. That's our goal at least.

Is your canner ready to go? Now is a great time for canning up some beans of all kinds for easy and convenient use. (Check out my post a while back on canning beans and if you have any questions, just ask) Also a great way to get comfortable with your canner and the process if all this is new and intimidating. Just last year was my first year of canning and boy have I come along way. I highly recommend Ball's Blue Book of Canning. It is a must have and serves as a good guide as well as the internet. There are also many fellow bloggers who are a wealth of knowledge....I sure leaned on Kathie from TwoFrogHome to get me started. I hope I can pass on some of the knowledge she shared with me......

Free Fun...

We are blessed once again to live where we live. We can pick-up the gym key for our country elementary school and have a hot family game of HORSE for free. Our kids all attended Mt. Hall Elementary which is approximately a mile from our home. We have access to the gym as long as we watch our usage of the lights (electricity) and leave it clean. No problem. This is pic from last weekend of Terry and Martina playing a little one-on-one. This is tons of fun and helps Emily as she is playing for the Bonners Ferry Badgers 8th grade basketball team. Go BADGERS!!!! Having fun as a family is a very important value for us and being able to do so free is double value. With a large family, entertainment can sometimes be spendy but just think outside the box a little and you will be surprised what you can come up with.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stocking up.....

I haven't been to the grocery store since December except for the milk and egg run. This is one of the many blessings of a long-term food storage. I made my bi-monthly trip to the Amish-run Farm to Market Store in Libby, Mt. The above picture was snapped after all the kids unloaded the surbuban. I can't remember everything that was purchased but to name a few: a case of Frosted Flakes, a case of Captain Crunch, a case of Chocolate Peanut Butter Puff cereal, a case of black beans, a case of chili starter, a case of evaporated milk, 2 cases of peanut butter and cheese snack crackers, a flat of green chilis, a flat of diced tomatoes, 5 soy-milks, 5 chai teas, 2 cases of Celestial Seasonings Chai Tea, a case of canola oil, a 25# bag of brown sugar, a 25# bag of oatmeal, a bulk bag of table salt, a bulk bag of pepper, 2 cases of Welch's berry juice, 20 jars of white grape juice, a spiral cut ham, two black forest hams, a honey maple ham, a case of Knor soup starters, a case of mini-marshmallows, 11 cases of flavored waters, 8 jars of peanut butter, lightbulbs, 4 bottles of cold medicine, strawberry icing, cream-cheese icing, rasberry filling, cool whip, and so much more but can't remember off the top of my head. The total was $409.70. This is a MAJOR savings. I encourage you to research where you can save the most money for your grocery dollars.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Canning oh my....

Are you ready? I'm getting prepared. I have two Presto 22 quart canners. They can each accomodate 7 quarts at a time. The second one was given to me and needed replacement gauge and sealing ring. I ordered the replacement parts this morning direct from Presto. That is where I found the best price on the items as well as shipping. Are your canners ready to go? Your local extension office will most likely test your canner for free to make certain it is fully operational and safe. Take advantage of this if you need it. I would love to have an All-American canner like this but would you take a look at that price.....but oh wow to do 19 quarts at one time. With a family of our size, we rarely can in pints but that would make short, or at least, shorter work of the canning task. But I am grateful that I have the two canners that I and do and can can 14 quarts at once with them both running. Last year we purchased a double propane outdoor cooker. It sure made the chore much cooler by being able to do it outdoors. I highly recommend this set-up. It also decreased my time because the BTU on the propane cooker is greater than my indoor range.
Now is also a good time to be scouring the thrift-stores for canning jars. I also had excellent luck last year by letting those around me know that I was looking for jars. Many came to me by that way from old canning people who were no longer canning. Sure made that purchase much cheaper.
It is also time to purchase those lids and rings in bulk. You can purchase them much cheaper over the internet rather than at the grocery store. I haven't ever bought mine over the net but this year's the year. If any of you have a good source, please share with me. I'm stocking up and getting ready!!! Are you ready?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Is it Spring yet???

With all this planning, I am really getting ready to rip into all these projects. The most pressing for me is a new home for my girls. See in December we lost our chicken coop and straw-bale livestock house. We were sub-zero in temps and had practically 3 foot of snow on the ground and were trying to keep everything alive. Best laid intentions....well you know the rest. Evidently the big cow knocked over the heat-lamp into the straw catching it on fire which also ended up catching the chicken coop on fire. Thanks to our wonderful neighbors and their quick action we only lost chickens and not goats or cows. This year has been ripe with lessons...many of them things that we won't do again but also a few of those that worked out quite well. So anyhow, my girls have been living in an old chicken coop at my father-n-laws. It isn't electrified and has lots of natural ventilation if you know what I we aren't getting any eggs. We do count our blessings thou that we still have hens and they will be able to lay again when the living conditions improve. Terry and I have also been thinking chicken tractor and meat birds. Our dear friends, Mike and Kimmie, have ventured into this arena with great success. He even built a whizbang to help with all the plucking. I received my Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog this week. It takes me back to drooling over the Sears Wishbook as a kid......I want one of them all. There is a great post on meat birds today at Simple Green Frugal Co-op.Check it out. I leave you with a video of a whizbang.....

The Art of Planning

I mentioned in a couple of posts back the concept of planning. Without a plan, we will not have the success that we need and desire. I am currently revisiting my old-standby of a bound notebook. I write down everything, making lists, pricing projects, daily to-do lists, budgets, grocery lists, you name it. The reason I think it works well is because all info is centrally located, it's small and portable - easily fits into my purse and is easily recognizable if misplaced. The kids are programmed to "find mom's life". It has made life much easier for this busy, active, frugal family.

Monday, February 2, 2009

2009 Working Goals

Terry and I set down this weekend and really put pen to paper regarding several areas of our life. Not New Year's resolution but more of a conversation if what we are doing is getting us want we want or intend. I whole-heartedly recommend this type of conversation with your partner, lover, husband, children, etc. It helps to get everyone on the same page working towards the same acknowledged goals.

So this weekend we cleaned out the attic. Boy it sucked. We emptied it completely out, threw away a ton of garbage, made a huge pile to donate to the local thrift store, and re-organized the items that were returned to the attic. We did this so that we may blow in additional insulation in our attic. It currently has some insulation but not enough....we had ice on the roof sheathing...not a good sign. It will also help us in the summers. Most homes in our neck of the woods, have metal roofs to help the snow slide but they can sure heat up in the summer. We plan to blow in more insulation before June.

Last weekend we cleaned Terry's shop and the weekend before that we cleaned out the garden shed. Are you seeing a pattern here? Less is more and it is even better to know what you have and where it is kept. A perfect example was brake fluid. Terry replaced the brake booster on the suburban after it burned out going down the Continental Divide this summer on our way to Texas. He needed to replace all the brake fluid and there was no brake fluid here at home or so we thought. When we cleaned out the garden shed seems we actually had three bottles of the stuff....but of course we didn't know it. Knowing what you have will certainly keep you from spending money needlessly.

Made a "Dave Ramsey" account balance sheet of all our debts. Doesn't look great but also not horrible. We plan to be completely out of credit card debt by year end. Certainly reasonable and attainable.

Growing more of our own food will enable us to pay down more on our debts as opposed to having to spend it at the grocery store to feed us. There is a plan and now we just have to stick to it.

This is a pic of our kitchen table. You will notice the basket of napkins. This is another change we made a few months ago. I stopped buying papertowels and napkins. Cloth napkins are so much nicer and are reusable and are free. Just another part of the bigger plan.

Post your ideas in the comment section of the post and share your ideas, working goals, or your thoughts on frugality, saving money, etc. Can't wait to hear from you....don't be holding out on me now!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


At times like these it is important to be able to have coping and self-soothing skills. My self-soothing skills are different from others, although some are shared. It is kinda an individual thing. Probably my greatest self-soothing activity is loving my dogs. We are a multi-dog family and there is always one willing to cuddle and get some loving. This is a picture of our youngest, Hobbes. He is a full-bred miniature dachshund. He is a real lover and loves to give lots of kisses.
It is important to have self-soothing activities that are free or near free. I love massages but that isn't always in the budget. Gardening is also very therapeutic for me but also not accessible at this time with all the snow on the ground. Some of my "free" activities are crocheting, listening to music, taking a nap, visiting with friends, etc.
Certainly during these challenging times that we find ourselves in, we will all need something or someone to help support and nuture us. My family is my rock and always there for me. I am so lucky and grateful. I count that blessing daily. So grab your pen and make a list of all your coping, self-soothing activities.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Raising and storing food...cheaper and better!!!

Even though it is still winter with lots of snow on the ground in beautiful North Idaho, Terry and I have been scouring over the seed catalogs, gardening books, etc. and making a plan. I always tell the kids, "Fail to plan, Plan to fail". So we are modeling that lesson by planning out this year's garden. I am sure we aren't alone in this endeavor as grocery prices skyrocket. We were gifted a wonderful gardening book for Christmas by our dear friend Ligeia. It is an awesome read and has lots of really good direction and info for those gardening in the northern climates. The book recommended several seed companies who specialize in colder climate and short growing season seeds. We have made our list and drawn a schmatic and are dreaming away of fresh grown and harvested fruits and vegetables.

But since it isn't gardening season yet, you may say there isn't anything you could be canning or storing away currently. Winter is a perfect time to be canning dried beans. I use many dried beans both alone with cornbread and also in soups and other recipes. Beans can sometimes take forever to cook, or so it feels, with the sorting, washing, soaking, rewashing, and cooking. I work full-time outside the home so anything that makes getting dinner to the table quicker is a must-have in my book. Imagine have your own canned beans cheaper, quicker, and ready to take out of the pantry and use. So this weekend, I added canning beans onto my To-DO List. I canned 4 quarts of great northern white beans and currently have a big pot of black beans boiling away. If anyone needs specific info on how-to can dry beans, send me an email or a comment and I'll do my best to share.

While in the kitchen working on my canning, I kept hearing "I'm hungry". I whipped up three pans of cinnamon rolls, also using Sally's recipe. Topped off with bagged cream-cheese icing purchased from the Amish Farm to Market store. I don't know about your family but our family can eat several cinnamon rolls each and that can add up to quite the expense when there are only eight rolls to the can for $2-3 dollars each. We could easily spend $10 on cinnamon rolls and they wouldn't be nearly as good. I don't know how much these home-made rolls tallied, but I would guess between $1-2 for the three pans. Obviously this isn't an every morning breakfast because everyone is rushing to get out the door, but the weekends are just right to make this investment of time and energy in your family.
Make today a good day - invest in yourself and your family. You won't be sorry you did!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Frugal Living

We have been on the path of simplifying for quite some time. There may be more of you finding my blog by googling frugal, frugality, cheap meals, etc. It is time for all of us to really search within ourselves and our budgets as to how we can save money and be more assured of providing and surviving when things get even tougher than they are right now.

Usually on Friday mornings, I make a big family breakfast that we share around our kitchen table. There is where we share the highs and lows of the week, plans for the weekend, do-to lists, etc. After breakfast, we generally get busy on our chores and housework so that it can be done and the weekend officially started. This may sound strange, Friday,??? We have four day school weeks and so every one of our weekends are three day weekends because I also have Friday off as well Saturday and Sunday.

I start off my chores with making bread. Do any of you make your own bread? This has been a recent accomplishment for me. I was also afraid to try and fail. I told myself it was so hard. My mom didn't make homemade yeast bread very often and it wasn' t anything I learned as a child, so that also compounded my belief that I couldn't do it. My colleague from work, Sally, also raised a large family and she encouraged and taught me how to do bread. I am not nearly as good as Sally but I also haven't been doing it as long. I guess the true sign that I have mastered it, is will the kids eat it? A resounding yes. Almost as soon as it comes out of the oven. Not only is it so tastey but also saves money. I am sure you guys have priced good bread at the store so you know how much could be saved by making your own.

Another chore for our family is wood and heating with wood. We have heated our large home with only wood this year. This was the first year that we cut down trees, split wood, made kindling, and made our own fire-starters. We previously would purchase duraflame logs or fire-starters and that was such an expense but when we were burning energy logs you had to have a fire-starter to get them going. I found on one of my daily blog reads, a great home-made firstarter that utilizes waste materials that we have an abundance of around our home - dryer lint, empty toilet paper rolls, and leftover bits of candle wax.

We also have added an Alladin oil lamp. We have two other lamps (not Alladin) that I picked up at an estate sale but they are very low candle-power and make doing homework practically impossible. The Alladin has candle-power equal to a lamp with a 75 watt bulb. Much better. They are pricey, but we were able to get our economically from Ebay. If we ever find ourselves without power like friends on the east coast, we will be able to continue hopefully without a hitch.

Doing things on purpose to achieve the things for which you plan. I hope everyone will consider if what they are spending their time and energy doing is getting them what they want and/or need.