Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New great grand nephew

Our niece Steph has a new little boy. A hearty welcome to the world young man.
Our granddaughter K has had the flu this week, never fun for anyone. She is feeling better this afternoon.

Here is a good recipe from a great site.
Posted: 21 Jul 2014 08:00 AM PDT
Have you ever had those Datrex or Mainstay Emergency food ration bars? If so, you may have realized that they aren’t the best of survival rations for taste but they will keep you alive. Nuff said. And hard tack? Yikes! You may as well be eating a brick. ;)
Well, I came across this article a while back on making survival bars and I thought I would give it a shot myself to see what they tasted like. Please read the original article if you like, though, I will post the ingredients and steps below, as well as my own experience making them.
Also note that according to the original article the entire batch makes approximate 2000 calories, NOT just a single bar. Depending on how you cut it, a single bar will be a few hundred calories at most. This is about the same as the Datrex or Mainstay rations.
As for taste, they’re not bad at all. In fact, I was surprised that they tasted so good.


  • 2 cups oats (I used regular oats)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk (I used nonfat from LDS storage)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 3-oz. package lemon jello (the recipe says you can use orange instead)
  • 3 tbsp water


  1. Mix oats, powdered milk, sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix water, jello, honey in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Add jello mixture to oats mixture and blend well.
  4. After being thoroughly mixed, press into a lined (with parchment paper) 9″x13″ pan.
  5. Cut dough into bars and ensure they’re completely cut through.
  6. Bake bars at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Alternatively, you can dehydrate them at 145 degrees for 4-6 hours.
  7. After dry and cooled, separate bars and package in a foodsaver bag or mylar bag.
I choose to bake half the batch in the oven for two full hours and I would say that was just about right. The other half I choose to dehydrate for about six hours. Either way, when I was done the bars broke in half with a crispiness that tells me they were done.
I should also note that there was a noticeable difference in the color of the baked versus dehydrated bars, in that the dehydrated bars were significantly lighter in color than the oven bars. The taste seemed the same.


  • If dough is dry add water 1 tsp at a time until the dough is still crumbly but able to stick together when pressed. I ended up using about two tablespoons and that worked well for me.
  • Do NOT purchase Jello instant pudding mix. That’s what I bought the first time I tried this and it didn’t work out well. My wife laughed at for a minute or two. ;) When finished laughing, she told me I needed the actual lemon Jello packet that says “Gelatin” on it. In my defense, the box said Jello right on the front.
  • Remember, the drier the better because moisture will cause them to go bad and possibly even to develop Botulism depending on how you package them for the long term. My advice: take your time drying!!

Caloric Breakdown

I decided to do my own math and found that the entire batch made up over 3000 calories. If cut into 12 roughly equal bars that’s 260 calories per bar. Unless I did my math wrong here’s what I found:
  • Oats = 560 calories (at 140 calories per 1/2 cup)
  • Milk = 1333 calories (at 100 calories per 3 Tbsp; there are 40 Tbsp in 2.5 cups)
  • Sugar = 720 calories (at 15 calories per 1 tsp; there are 48 teaspoons in 1 cup)
  • Honey = 180 calories (at 60 calories per 1 Tbsp)
  • Jello packet = 320 calories (at 80 calories per serving, 4 servings per package)
Well, that’s about it. I packaged mine in foodsaver rolls, marked the date, and stashed them in my workshop for a while to see how they do over the long term. Compared to what you can purchase commercially made and certainly when compared to hard tack, these are winners!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Very busy weekend

The kitchen/bathroom and back porch roof is all finished with a little help from grand girl lol.
She just loves to help.

Grandson Braden was here visiting at a sons house from AZ. Hubby got to see him but I didn't :(.  Hope he had a good time with some of his cousins.

We got the meat birds all butchered and in the freezer on Saturday. We started at 5 am. Well hubby went out and got the fire going under the tub of water at 5 and I crawled out of bed at 5:30. We had gotten 98% of everything ready the night before.

All that needed to be done was to bring the knives out and cover the work table to have a clean working surface. Just 25 birds this year. Just, lol, was enough for the 2 of us to do.
We got them all butchered cleaned up and into very cold water, except one.

 I packaged up six and hubby took off to help good friends that live up here load up for their move.
We will sure miss you but hope all the best for you J and D. We know you will enjoy being by your children and grands.

Hubby came home and we finished up the birds.
The break did me good and K even got to help de-feather the last bird. She told me it was gross lol, but she wanted to help anyway.
She helped carry the packaged birds to the freezer trying to take 2 at a time but 2 were to heavy for her.

Hubby then started to take shingles off the steep roof and found the old wooden shakes underneath. They are falling apart.
 The next thing to do for the evening was to dig holes for the posts which he had already tarred the bottom of. We set the last one and got cement around it just as dark was setting in.
We will have a nice roof over the deck come fall. The deck still needs work but that will get done also.

Hubby's back told him he had worked hard come that night and Sunday and this morning. But he knows there are times he has no time to do what needs done here. So he does as much as he can.

Our sweet Lab Lizzie died Saturday also, we will miss her greatly. Lizzie and her best friend Paper. Both gone but not forgotten.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Working Vacation

Dear hubby toke a weeks worth of vacation. He is up on the roof building a new roof section onto the kitchen, bathroom and back porch part of the house. The original area was a back porch and sometime say the 50's it was turned into a kitchen and indoor bathroom and a 4x6 back porch added on out the back door. They didn't bother to put a new roof on so all that was above our heads was drywall board, porch roof plywood and then shingles. Always got the coldest in the winter and hottest in the summer. This should help immensely.

Of course this is the hottest weather we have had all spring and summer. Supposed to be 90 or more today and we never even got to the 90's the last three summers.

The rest of the roof will be re-shingled sometime later this month. There were three layers of shingles on the kitchen/bath area to take off.

Last Saturday one of our older boys was here,lol boys he is 35 :) ans his son A was here and helped reattach the deck to the house and get it jacked back up where it belonged first.
They also helped haul the gazebo frame down into the yard and hubby and I got it covered Monday night.
Large or small gardens.

I hope lots of you are trying to at least grow something in pots and buckets if you have no room for very much else. I know people who are growing things like cucumbers in pots and children's swimming pools for squash, potatoes and other things. Lettuce and spinach can be grown in almost anything.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yay Rain

Yes it rained during the night and is still raining this morning and we're happy to get it and so is the garden.

Our poultry are all doing well and the turkeys love their outdoor area. We have to close them in at night also to make sure they don't become dinner for some of the local wild life.
It has been 60's and 70's temperature wise this week but back to 80 plus next week. So hard to get used to what it's like outside when it flip flops so much. But this cool front brought rain so I'll take it :).

Our wild roses are blooming like crazy and the bees are having a hay day. I think I scared a few bees off trying to take their pictures.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Help is Great

Our son DJ was here for a couple of days. Grand daughter MJ joined him and even babysat for 2 or 3 hours last Saturday while we went into town to buy caulk to do the rest of windows that were being put in. We now have all the main floor windows in :). Out goes the old.

DJ help put the chicken netting on top of the meat bird yard. Now they can be out without fearing them being taken off with by Hawks and eagles. Even dh can walk under this.

Tomorrow we're supposed to fix up the area for the turkey's so they can be outside also.

I"m still trying to get over this stupid cold, it keeps hanging on.

We had several days of 40's and 50's and now we're back to 70's. With around 80 by Monday. So hard to get used to anything temperature wise.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bad Cold

I have had a very bad cold this week. It came on, on Saturday afternoon. Kaylee passed it on as she was really ill last week.

Dh has put in 2 of the windows that needed replaced badly. The bathroom window that would only go up about 6 inches and the kitchen window which slid on wooden pegs and had 3 layers to it and was a bear to get it open any at all. I always had to climb on the counter to get enough leverage to get it open.

New window :)

Storm window below already removed so he could measure the kitchen window right.

New Kitchen window.

Our lilacs bloomed this week.

Our new layers

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spring Wow

I guess full spring is here with us. We haven't had a freeze in almost 2 weeks and it looks like the lilacs will bloom in a few days. Even the Washington Hawthorn is going to bloom this week which usually doesn't until in June.

The poultry are all growing well and next weekend the meat birds will be moved to their new house and yard. The layer chicks will have the board taken down that keeps them in a smaller area in the coop as they are starting to fly to the top of their waterers and etc. Don't want one to fly out and not be able to get back in to the warmer area.

The garden area is all tilled and waiting for plants and seeds. We were hoping to have planted already but sometimes that just doesn't work out as we want. The last few weeks it has been way to wet and so its till now and we need a evening free to plant.

We did pick up some tomato plants this week to get a head start on those.

I cut rhubarb and made some rhubarb and rhubarb strawberry sweet stew/sauce that I canned up. (Frozen strawberries).

The spinach we let go to seed last fall is doing great in its area and I have been eating spinach for almost 2 weeks now and asparagus from the garden. We have blossoms on our fruit trees and may even get some this year :).

We didn't want to go to the expense but things that have to be done; just have to be. And that's stripping the roof fixing the slope in it on the west side and putting new shingles on it. Along with replacing the rotten fascia board, putting fascia board where none has ever been or at least gone for 50 or more years. So one very BIG project this summer. We needed all this done for at least 5 years now and it can't be put off any longer if we want a good roof for the coming winter.