Category Archives: Family

Hummingbird Summer

Summers dry rainless days and nights with it’s full sunshine and heat has arrived.

Springs cooler weather flowering plants are gone.
Few plants in my tiny part of SW Oklahoma flower in the heat and dry of summer. It will be late August before the cooler season fall blooming flowers suddenly pop in to full bloom. Till then my hummingbird feeders will supplement the hummingbirds food needs.

I only have 2 feeders. Each holds about 8 ounces (1 1/2 cup) of sugar water. At present I have enough hummingbirds visiting my feeders to consume 16 ounces (3 cups) of sugar water every 24 hours. Making fresh sugar water and refilling feeders is an every morning project.
This routine will continue until cooler weather fall season flowers are in bloom and the hummingbirds will be less dependent on a supplemental food source.

Several pair of Ring Neck doves, 2 pair of Cardinals(redbirds) and 1 pair of Redwing black birds that come to feed from a cake pan filled with black sunflower seed several times a day seem to be happy to shell and consume sunflower seed. At present they are consuming close to one 13 ounce coffee can full of sunflower seed everyday.

Luckily I can purchase 50 pounds of sunflower seed from my local farmers coop store for about 1/3 the price of 50 pounds of seed from places like Atwood’s, Lowe’s and Home depot.

Like pigeons, dove are ground feeders and prefer to feed from a feed tray placed on a large flat landing platform.

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Save Hundreds Of Dollars On Your Food Bill – Buy In Bulk ….. Pt-2

Produce packaged in large tin cans may cause storage problems after being opened.

When I find produce on sale in large 1/2 or 1 gallon size tin cans at a really low price I bring it home and spend a little time ‘re-packing’ into smaller more useful size jars. For me that means using pint size jars.
Any produce packaged in tin cans not consumed in one or 2 meals may become a storage problem. What do you do with a 1/2 tin can of pickled peppers?

Pack hot sterilized jar(s) with peppers. Fill jar to within 1/2 of the top with boiling vinegar, seal. Allow to cool to room temperature, check to see if jar is sealed, then store in refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer term storage process your jar(s) in a boiling water bath for 10 or 15 minutes. Allow to cool, check to be sure your jar(s) are sealed and move them to a cool, dark place in your pantry.

Hint: When repacking discard liquid from the can and use fresh white or cider vinegar rated as being 5% acid content.
Customize your repacked produce. Add 1 o 2 peeled whole cloves of garlic in each jar.
Add color by adding a few carrot or red and yellow bell peppers sliced length wise.

Nuts packaged in large cans or bags or fresh shelled nuts will benefit being repacked in small more useful size containers. Store out of direct daylight in a dark cool place in your pantry.

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Save Hundreds Of Dollars On Your Food Bill – Buy In Bulk ….. Pt-1

Buying foods in large size containers or better yet buying in bulk is a real money saver. You can often buy a 10 pound bag of dried beans, rice or peas for the same price as a 1 or 2 pound bag of the same produce.
The same applies to large containers of coffee.
I often find 35-38 Oz containers of brand name coffee on sale for the same price as a 13 Oz can of the same name brand coffee. However coffee is sensitive to being exposed to air and those nifty plastic coffee containers are not air tight after being unsealed.

However before you run out an buy 25 pounds of dried beans you must do your part to be ready to place your bargain priced foods into long term storage.
The same rules apply whether buying large bags or bulk buying.

Sunlight, exposure to air and warm/hot temperatures are not you friends.
A glass container with a tight fitting lid also works well keeping insects and rodents from contaminating your food supply.

Soak jars over night in soapy water to make removing paper labels easy. Scrub jars with a green scrub pad to remove any residual glue that remains. Wash the inside of jars well.
Once air dry give them the smell test. If you still detect any aroma in the jar, wash them again.

To minimize food being exposed to light, affix a piece of 1 inch wide masking tape vertically from near the top to near the bottom of the jar. Put the jar lid on tightly and paint the jar(s) the color(s) you like.
Some people color code jars, white for rice, green for beans and brown for coffee. Anyway you see where I’m going with this color coding system.
If you are more talented than I, you can paint labels on your storage containers.
After the newly painted jars have air dried for 24 hours remove the masking tape. This sight glass will allow you to visually see what produce is in the jar as well as how much produce remains in that container.

The darker and cooler you pantry the better and longer you can safely store dry produce.
This also applies to noddles and pasta products.

Look and advertise for Free 1/2 or 1 gallon jars with lids on Craigslist.com
FreeCycle Advertise for free items you need.
Be sure you advertise for jars with lids.

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Survival tools in the 21st century

Once upon a time:
A mans survival tools consisted of a clean well oiled rifle.
Keeping your powder was a top priority.
A sharp hunting knife to dispatch food items like large and small game, wild birds of differing sizes.
You could skin a rabbit, clean fish or slice a carrot and homemade bread.

Sign of the times:
Last night I discovered that even more important to my survival than my $700.00 well oiled rifle or my $300.00 hand made hunting knife was my $1.50 can opener!

The only food I could access was 3 fresh eggs, sour pickles in a jar and a few hot chili peppers in some kind of zip top can.

The lesson learned here is Always Keep A Spare Can Opener near by.

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Summer Solstice Happiest Day Of The Year

Plants are more connected to the summer solstice than humans. Plant cells contain microscopic amounts of phytochrome, a light-sensitive pigment that actually enables plants to reckon the length of daylight.

When the length of daylight the “photoperiod” falls below a certain critical level, the leaves of a maple tree spontaneously start changing colors. The result is a breathtaking spectacle, especially in New England.

The behavior of animals is strongly tied to the length of daylight.
For instance, when the photoperiod reaches 12.5 hours of sunlight per day which in the U.S. happens in late March the gonads of male and female hamsters instantly begin revving up. When the photoperiod falls below 12.5 hours of daylight in mid-September, the reproductive machinery begins shrinking and slowing down.
Now was that hamster information useful information?

Length of daylight which maxes out on the summer solstice also triggers many other important animal traits and behaviors. Everything from the color of animal fur to the timing of animal migrations.

Scientists have also come to learn the huge importance of daylight to our own mental and emotional well being. A recent, experiment evaluated the emotional content of tweets from 2.4 million people worldwide for nearly two years.
Researchers found that, all other things being equal, as the length of daylight increases, so does a person’s general level of happiness.
Everything else being equal, therefore, the summer solstice is arguably the happiest day on Earth.

The perfect mindset for participating in all those over-the-top solstice celebrations.

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Summer Gardens June 2018

Welcome to a snapshot of summer in my tiny part of Southwest Oklahoma.
Many triple digit temperatures days, south or southwest winds with long periods between rain events.

National Weather Service 3 day forecast.
May 31, Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Southwest wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
June 1, Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Heat index values as high as 108. South wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
June 2, Sunny and hot, with a high near 102.

I can’t wait for summer to arrive in another 20 days, that’s when the really warm dry weather arrives. 🙂

Happy Summer Gardening

Beet Root makes any meal special

If your a fan or maybe not of beet roots this pickled beet recipe will add a new twist to salads or as a side dish to many meals.

What you will need.
1 – can small whole beets. (well drained)
1 – pint canning jar with new lid and screw ring.
1 or 2 cloves (no more than 2)
1 whole garlic clove (optional) Do not crush. mince or slice
1/2 cup 5% acid vinegar of your choice (white, cider or wine vinegar)
1/2 cup distilled water (tap water will work)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your canning jar.
Bring enough water to cover your jar to a boil and remove from the burner.
Place you jar in the water to preheat.

Canning mix.
In a small pan add vinegar, water, cloves, sugar and salt.
Bring to a boil, remove from heat an stir until salt and sugar is dissolved.

Packing you jar.
Remove your preheated jar from the pan of hot water.
Pack with small whole beets and garlic clove (if used).

When vinegar mix comes to a boil remove from heat and very carefully pour hot vinegar mix over your beets.
Leave 1/2 inch head space in your jar. (add more vinegar as required to fill canning jar)
Cap jar and tighten jar screw ring.

Allow beets to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours before serving.
Pickled beets can safely be kept sealed up to 3 months. Consume within 1 month after opening jar.

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Something for ‘almost’ every gardener

April was an unusually cool April for my tiny zone 7b garden.

60 degrees F is kind of, sort of the magic soil temperature needed for many garden vegetable seeds to germinate. It was the last week of April before we approached the 60 degree soil tempeture.

May arrived and my soil has warmed to 71 degrees F and it is still a month until the start of the summer gardening season. Leaving plenty of time for most gardeners to plant summer and fall producing vegetable gardens.

I’m happy with our bamboo project. We planted bamboo in a well contained garden plot about 25 feet long by 12 feet wide near Christmas time 2015 and I have been concerned that I wasted my money on two 6 inch pots of bamboo. However after 2 summers of putting down a good root system this spring bamboo canes have jumped up and some canes are more than 11 feet tall and still growing taller everyday.

I invite new visitors to my tiny blog to search my previous posting. At sometime in the past I have information about almost every vegetable from A – Z as wells as info on raising chickens, rabbits, composting and water saving irrigation ideas.

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Backyard flock of laying hens are good for your health

Nutrition journal guidelines for egg consumption eggs make a healthy, affordable and tasty meal. Research has revealed just how many eggs is safe to eat in a week.

Grandma said “eat your breakfast biscuits with butter, jelly or jam, gravy, maybe a few slices of bacon or sausage patty’s as well in addition to your healthy 2 egg breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.”

Good news for lovers of a frittata or scramble, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found there were no adverse effects from having as many as 12 over seven days.

They discovered that even participants with type-2 diabetes did not suffer adverse effects from eating a diet high in eggs such as inflammation, cardiometabolic risk levels or raised glucose levels.

Eggs particularly the yolk are high in fat, they are full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy omega-3 fats. The yolk is packed with nutrients, so there’s no need to opt for egg-whites only.
Eggs do not significantly raise cholesterol in the blood, the Mayo Clinic reports, and people who replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs have been found to eat fewer calories over the day.

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Penn State University said being outdoors is to dangerous for students

Penn State University’s 98-year-old Outing Club whose mission is to “experience the outdoors in every possible capacity” is no longer allowed to go outside because the college deems it is too dangerous.

PSU’s offices of Student Affairs and Risk Management determined the Penn State Outing Club’s activities of backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and trail maintenance as too risky for Snowflake and Buttercup students.

Is this the end of Gardening as we know it?
When did the great outdoors become to dangerous for Snowflakes and Buttercup students?
This is just another glaring example of the wimpy sissified generation of university age students be unleashed on America by a bunch of ignorant and often stupid far left leaning liberals.

Snowflakes and Buttercups beware of the attacking butterflies and hummingbirds. Stay indoors and be sure to avoid dangers associated with being outdoors, things like fresh air, sunshine and walks in the woods and parks.

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