Friday, April 9, 2010

Just A Week of Links...

I've been all over this week.  Mostly in the car driving to and from PT appointments.  My Google Reader has been working over-time on the cell phone.  Here are the varied...wild and eclectic...places I've stopped and read a few moments this week while waiting...

Tunisian Crochet...I love this style of crocheting, always have.  It's probably the closest to knitting I'll ever get.  I'm just strung far too tight for real knitting.  I can't keep count of my stitches worth a hoot, I drop them all the time, etc.  It's as far from being stress-easing or relaxing as I can possibly do in this life.  But, I can Tunisian Stitch easily and just as quickly as traditional crochet.  I actually think I'm a bit faster with it.  Tunisian Simple Stitch, Tunisian Knit Stitch, Tunisian Purl Stitch...I need to do it more.  I worked up a nice sized dishcloth in just the Simple Stitch last night and it has everything I love about the knitted's soft and very "squishy" as in flexible, and yet it has a nice thickness to it.  A Tunisian Knit Stitch would give it much more in the area of thickness while still being very pliable and soft -- that's my next project in the dishcloth making.  There are some really great YouTube tutorials for learning the stitches, from Crochet Me.

And in the same area as handskills and such, this great site has patterns for wonderful knitted dishcloths -- one for every State, Australia, England, the Canadian Provinces, etc.  They are just too cute to not share!

These YouTubes are just neat...GIANT Tunisian crochet for rugs, etc. (ha ha...not likely to have carpal tunnel issues with THAT huge hook!!)  Here is a JUMBO Catherine Wheel Stitch tutorial.  Just spend some time wandering the tutorials alongside the main pages of the YouTube sharings and you'll find all sorts of new, fun projects you'll want to do.

Pleasant a baby shower coming up?  She shared the cutest "cupcakes" you'll ever find!  And a paper pieced Grandma's Flower Garden quilt...I have a ton of scraps still, I would love to start gathering and putting together blocks for later.  Hmmm...

Homemade Ricotta Cheese...We use quite a bit of it around here.  It isn't all that expensive really, but hey, $3 is $3 right?  This is a great tutorial (2 there actually) on how to make your own.  Oh, if I only had a good supply of milk around here!! Still, I'm printing it off for the master pantry book.

I always enjoy reading...well, perhaps enjoy is a bit strong for it...Michael Bunker.  His writing challenges me in a lot of ways, irritates me most of the time because it's just flat out too close, and holds a great deal of PUSH to it.  I do quite a bit of studying after reading something he's shared from his perspective.  That's what good 'preaching' is all about.  Not someone else telling you what you ought to do, but someone hitting upon the top of your conscience and making it stew in your mind so you have to go study it out for yourself.  There are alot of preachers out there who simply give you their take on what the Bible says.  And there are some who give you what it says verbatim, never helping guide you deeper into what that means to you, right now, today, in your Walk.  You know which one you sit under each week depending on if you're mind is wandering to what you're doing after church or later that week, or if you're running back and forth trying to keep pace between taking notes, reading ahead and behind the chapters shared...and whether or not your Bible gets left in the car until next Sunday.
So, I like Michael Bunker.  And he isn't everyone's cup of tea and I understand that.  This sharing isn't something of a Biblical's a repost on making your own emergency water filter.  I need that sort of push right now just in case they have permanently closed the spring we get our water from.  Of course, there is a whole great series on Off Grid Living you might like to browse through as well.

Not Bunker, but still in the prepper mode, Survival Blog shared a huge listing of the 120 best books for your home survival/prepper library.

We got water Wednesday after therapy.  The lake where the spring is was closed...hopefully just for the day this week and not permanently.  It stresses too many family members when we get water at the other really good spring...alongside the main highway here, out past the hinterlands.  Literally, it's piped right up next to the highway.  To the unenlightened, it appears we collected water from a drainage ditch.  LOL...really it's a great-tasting spring with the clearest water you've ever seen.  There is a posted notice that it's been tested, too, so relax...not all ditch run-off in Mississippi is tainted :o)

For Schooling, we tracked down a ton of links for American History, the American Revolution, and just schooling in general stuff I wanted to tuck away for keeping...
Yahoo American History Directory
Early American History Movies
Awesome Library...followed this from Homeschool In The Woods great free link pages
Mr Donn: Ancient Egypt

The short-term disability is finished now.  They cut it off on the 6th and produced a quick check (sure, they can be ultra-quick at the end...) for a whopping $310.  Oh well, it's finished.  I don't have to work for the insurance company anymore, being my own case worker/go-between/leg-walker with them and the doctor office.  That's enough of a blessing for me.
Now what's next?  Well, no income, that's first in line.  Another doctor appointment this coming Wednesday (14th) and hopefully hopefully hopefully a FULL release to go back to work.  If not, well, there might be a week's vacation pay coming and then the unemployment line.  Unemployment means no more internet or cell phones.  That is just a luxury and it isn't even remotely in the budget if it drops to $235 per week (max. unemployment benefits in MS).  Without the phone/internet plan we will come pretty close to being fine as frog's hair on that little $940 a month.  It will be a bit tight yet, I won't lie, but we won't lose anything really necessary.
LOL...know what's funny?  Five years ago, when we lived in Illinois, Dewey was working Union, and we were bringing in more than that whole month pay each and every week we were so far into debt and falling apart as you can imagine.  We could not LIVE on that weekly paycheck.  Then, we move here and drop from near $37 an hour to barely $10 and have thrived ever since.  Literally cut the pay by 1/3 and still did just fine.  Bought this place using the pension funds, yes, but we've never made more than $20/hour down here until this job and his going in as Superintendent.  And it's still a good $10 or so less than his max pay back north.  We don't have bills that aren't controllable...hence that cell phone/internet cut back if needed...and I have food-a-plenty through at least middle September that I bet I could stretch a bit farther if I had to.  We don't eat like most folks...I follow several menu planners in blogland and their menu sharing is far less than what we eat.  They may be a smaller family, but that isn't what I mean.  They just don't eat big old fashioned full blown meals like we tend to.  Some share things like grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner/supper.  We eat bigger than that.  Maybe I still have a ways to go in terms of getting us on a more healthy bend here, but if I served grilled cheese and maybe a salad or such as the main dinner around here, I'd have a rebellion on my hand in short order.  We eat full meals here...maybe it shows :o)  We might have macaroni and cheese, sure, but it's a side dish, not a main dish.  There is something main with it...maybe hamburgers or hot dogs, maybe pork chops...but certainly not just sandwiches.  I guess we are just food snobs here, because there are a lot of other folks eating plain small and simple meals at their house and we just can't do it.  Dewey alone would have a fit if he worked all day (and when he does, it's hard, physical work and it's a long day) and came home to say tomato soup and grilled cheese.  He wants a stick-to-your-ribs (and stomach) sit-down meal.  Maybe we need to make some changes there?  Honestly, it doesn't bother me to go against the grain of the general populus, but still...I wonder why I'm always going against that grain.

Well, I need to get sewing today and send out those bonnets to Katie. I found some fabrics yesterday in the stash here I think will be so cute!  And I want to work up a Tunisian Knit Stitch dishcloth and see if i like it as much as I think I will.  Other than that, it's a finish day work that's still needed for the week's schedule, new reading and math work, and cleaning.  We never did finish pulling that carpet out of the last bedroom here...pulled the hallway and scrubbed the wood that was under it, but the bedroom kept getting put off.  It's pretty well loosened around the trim...just needs pulling up and staples pulled from the floor.

The goatlings came back yesterday from dehorning and wethering...we won't EVER do that again.  Never.  I may even seriously consider just keeping them au natural....with horns.  I don't have a problem with disbudding, or burning the horns off with disbudding iron:
A good time to disbud your kid is when he or she is 3 to 7 days old.  The animal’s potential for healing will be good at this time and the disbudding process will be less of a shock.   The horn bud (beginning of the horn) at this time can be felt with your finger as a piece of immovable skin fixed on the top of your kid’s head.  If you buy your kid when it is 3 weeks old, you can still disbud it, but you may need to use a larger diameter iron and leave it on longer and there is more chance of doing an incomplete job and ending up with scurs. Scurs are little, tiny horns.
The most common and recommended method of disbudding is with an electric disbudding iron.  This is a circular hot iron that is plugged into a wall socket.  The circular tip of the iron should be about ¾ of an inch to one inch in diameter.  After plugging in the iron, heat the rod until it is a cherry red color and easily burns a piece of wood.  If you trim the hair over the horn buds, disbudding will go faster and cause less smoke.  Restrain the kid in a disbudding crate or towel held by a friend.  Place the circular end of the iron over the horn buds for 10-20 seconds until you see a “copper ring”.  This will destroy the horn cells and prevent the horn from growing.

but NEVER EVER again will we dehorn, or surgically digging the horns out:
If the horns are allowed to grow on your goat for a time before being removed, you must dehorn the goat rather than disbud it. Dehorning is much more involved and must be done by your veterinarian.  The animal is  given an injection to numb the area around the horns.  Then the horn is removed using a small wire saw. This procedure usually involves a lot of bleeding.  Where each horn was, a hole is left going down into the goat’s head into its sinus cavities.  These holes can take a long time to heal.  Dehorning is done in late fall or winter to prevent flies from attacking the open holes and laying eggs in them. The eggs will hatch out into little white worms called maggots that will feed on the open sores. Gross!!!!

Never.  Just never.  Poor little guys had some good-sized horn buds there and the Vet suggested the dehorning process.  I looked over what he was using (a sort of scoop tool saw, not a regular straight saw) and he does mostly cattle, not goats, but still, a horn is a horn I figured.
Well, maybe so, but never again will I do that to my animals.  I don't care how knocked out they are, I don't care how clean the wounds are afterward, I don't even care that it seemingly isn't as big a deal to the babies as it is to me.  I've opened up their poor little skulls to all sorts of things now.  No, I never looked up anything on the actual dehorning...I knew it wouldn't be a good thing for me.  I'm too soft for animal care.  The disbudding is one thing...the dehorning is another.  Never. Ever. Again.  They can all keep their horns for all I care.  We will adjust and learn to handle them with the horns in the way.

So, I need to go cuddle and clean some babies now.

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Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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