Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I'm in the process of attempting to move from Blogger to Wordpress hosted on my website.  I think I've got it all figured out and Lord willing it will work.  Being a computer idiot savant is not the easiest thing in the world.  Anyway, from this point on I'll be continuing to blog at

Till next time, Blessings.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Goose Eggs and Free Firewood


I don't have anything especially interesting or educational to write today, but if I don't keep up the habit it will be months again before I post.  Procrastination has a way of stalling out productivity.

This morning I was blessed to do some homeschooling with my granddaughter.  Oran, my grandson who just turned 3, has become especially interested in his sister's schooling.  I made him 6 flashcards - A, B, C, 1, 2 and 3.  He had them mastered within 5 minutes.   Lianna and I fixed a bit of breakfast for ourselves: cream of wheat and scrambled goose egg.  We started with the cream of wheat and used the making of it as a math teaching tool, then she asked if we could have eggs also.  I said "Sure" and she told me that she really liked goose eggs best.  We've only this year started eating our goose eggs.  I decided it was no use for the geese to lay them only to have them freeze before they got around to sitting on them, so I decided to try to use those that were laid before warm weather came.  I've found them to be outstanding.  One goose egg makes 2 ample servings of scrambled eggs and they turn out especially rich and creamy.  Just don't overcook them (the mistake most people make with scrambled eggs.)  Here's how I make scrambled eggs:

Melt real butter in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet so there's about 1/8th inch in the bottom of the skillet.  Match the size of the skillet to the amount of eggs you're cooking. (For 2 or 3 servings I use my 6" skillet.)  Turn the fire down to medium.  Whisk the eggs until the yolks are well distributed in the whites, but not completely blended.  Add a little milk and whisk in.  Pour the eggs into the hot (not too hot) skillet and LEAVE THEM ALONE!.  Yes, I just spoke strongly but it's the most important thing to do to not end up with a big mess in your cast iron.  When the edges start to set up, gently fold them to the middle with a fork.  Continue this gentle lifting and folding until most of the egg is soft set.  You can see when the sticking stops.  You may have to turn the fire down low if they seem to be cooking too fast.  When most of the eggs are set, turn off the fire and continue to lift and stir gently.  Patience, patience, patience is the key to good scrambled eggs.  Once they're all set, you can chop the heck out of them if you like your eggs in small curds.  Salt to taste and serve immediately.  If you do it right and your skillet is well seasoned, clean up consists of wiping the skillet down well with paper towels. :)

My son-in-law Donald came in this afternoon with a pick-up load of well seasoned firewood that he got from a friend.  Seems the fellow had a new chainsaw and just liked playing around with it, so he sawed up a bunch of 3 year old wood just for the fun of it.  What a blessing.  A lot of it was smaller which is an additional blessing as I'm still nursing sore ribs.  Somehow in all the coughing and respiratory illness that has plagued our family this year I've managed to separate a rib.  That means where the rib connects to the sternum it's come loose.  Unfortunately, as with most connective tissue injuries, it's going to take a while to heal, but I'm blessed once again to have my daughter and her family living right in the backyard to help when my husband is working out of town.

We took a drive around a local lake earlier tonight.  The full moon was beautiful.  I have to make a trip to the city tomorrow (that's the Okie term for Oklahoma City) and I do dread it.


Till next time, Blessings.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For Today

1. The 47 pairs of shoes in my closet, to stylishly coordinate with every one of my provocative outfits.

2.  The $175,000 mortgage that allows me to live in a shoddily built home 6 feet from my neighbors identical shoddily built home.

3.  The Walmart 3 blocks down that allows me to buy poison gas/virus impregnated meat and "fine" goods from China.

4.  158 channels of cable TV that bring me not only the best in "reality" entertainment but all the fascinating infomercials I could ever want.

5.  My job that takes me away from home 5 or 6 day a week so I can pay for the aforementioned essentials. . . . .


LOL. All jokes aside, what I'm really thankful for today:

1.  The live coals left in the woodstove this morning when I got up.

2.  The piece of dry wood my daughter left on the porch for me.

3.  That my ribs have healed enough (haven't told this story 'cause I didn't want to whine) to allow me to split a bit more wood. 

4.  That none of the poultry succumbed last night to the predatory owl that's been hanging around lately.

5.  The precious rain, even accompanied by plentiful mud and damp cold.

May you all share the simple blessings I enjoy.  Till next time.



I've been offline quite a bit in the last few weeks with various illnesses and injuries in the family, but Lord willing we're ready to move on.  A few things I've been doing to "reconnect" with my agrarian heart:

Cleaning out the greenhouse and starting a few plants

Learning to draft my own clothing patterns

Having other homesteaders over to butcher excess pigs

Continuing to reduce clutter in my home

Learning to live with an apartment sized refrigerator since my regular one went out, and saving for a SunFrost high efficiency 'fridge

Things on the to-do list:

Work on expanding fencing in order to put the remaining breeder pigs on pasture

Looking forward to David welding me a broadfork to begin the process of working the garden more without the tiller

General tidying and cleanup around the homestead

Buying or building a new incubator for hatching chickens, Muscovy ducks and guineas

Training the geese to a new barn where they can lay their eggs and brood them safely.

Lord willing, I'll be able to blog more soon,


Till next time,


Friday, November 30, 2007

Covert Homesteading Tactics, and. . .

what's going on at Tabletop Homestead.

Just something I've been thinking about.  We go into homesteading with romantic ideas that sometimes just don't work out.  It doesn't mean that our desire to live simply and self-sufficiently on the land is flawed, just that our methods may be prejudiced.  For example, beautiful loaves of freshly baked bread come to mind; however, in our house they often get moldy after being only half-eaten.  But, Middle Eastern flatbreads and tortillas go like hotcakes.  The point being, adapt homesteading to your family as much as your family to homesteading, tweaking it along the way and sneaking things in that they may find that they actually love.  Don't worry about what the books and the folks on the internet forums say, do what's good for your family and what works in your locale.

We've all had one kind of respiratory crud or another for the last 3 or 4 weeks.  It started with granddaughter Lianna and a late night trip to the ER with extremely sudden onset of croup.  Next, her mother developed early pneumonia and  Doodad (my dh) came home bearing glad tidings and snot from Ft. Bliss, which I quickly caught.  Then, Oran (baby brother) knocked Lianna in the head with a flashlight necessitating one stitch, which I provided here at home, and to top it all off Lianna came down with an especially nasty case of poison ivy on her face.  Let me elaborate - her face, her eyes, up her nose, in and behind her ears, her lips plus garnishments over her arms, hands and trunk. (Her mother cringes when I pray regularly for more little arrows to fill our family quiver.)  So, hopefully all you readers will understand why I've been a little behind on posting.

My most recent endeavors have been in drying produce and, once again, cheesemaking.  This week we weaned young goats, banded the boys, and gave tetanus shots (about the only goat immunization I worry about.)

I just can't seem to get it out of the back of my mind "what if I can't get canning lids???"  Therefore, I've been trying to hone my dehydrating skills with my Excalibur dehydrator while planning ahead to using the solid glass scrap storm door I have out back to build a solar dehydrator.

Lack of a carved-in-stone plan has never been a deterrent to us, and we'll make do, learning along the way, with what God has provided. 

 Currently on my kitchen work table I have jars of dried tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms,  buffalo, hominy and winter squash.  My latest cheese experiments have centered around Middle Eastern cheeses - how to make cheese in a warm climate.  I've been experimenting with Domiati type cheese - Egyptian cheeses which are unique in that salt is added before coagulating with rennet or acid.  These cheeses are aged in whey - some in a fresh state and some after cooking in the whey yielding a mozzarella type cheese.  Though I can provide no documentation, it's my belief that the early addition of salt serves to inhibit the proliferation of undesirable bacteria in the cheese, something that is especially concerning in a warm climate.

I want to elaborate on all this in a later post, Lord willing.

Today I worked on the electric fence gate, getting an electroshock treatment in the process which hopefully was beneficial. LOL.

Last weekend we put new plastic on the greenhouse, and I've been perusing my store of seeds and the latest seed catalogs in preparation for planting.




It's not that nothing's been going on here and in my little mind, but that too much happens and I don't know where to start.  This weekend we will have guests for a hog butchering.  Lord willing I will have wonderful pictures to post.  Also, we hope (check out the Biblical definitions - confidence unwavering, trust, security, assurance) to have venison for provision provided during Dave's next leave in December.


A nicely written post on Christian agrarianism by Herrick Kimball.

I'm not saying that I will and I'm not saying that I won't, but Michael Bunker provides something to think about in his latest post.

A friend of our family is faced with a recurrence of cancer and needs prayer.  Pray for Dennis and Dory.  I can provide details in private email. 

Till next time, Blessings.


Monday, November 26, 2007

How Bad Do You Want It

The thought occurred to me this evening, as I was doing evening chores: a woman completely alone on the homestead:  Would I still want to do this if it were only me here?

David is in the city working to provide the monetary means we need to be debt free, as we believe God has ordained (him to provide, us to be debt free.)  My daughter, her husband and the grandchildren are in Texas tending to a family emergency.  I have a rare opportunity to reflect completely alone this evening.

Would I pursue this life alone?  Without a doubt, yes.  Could I have done alone what David and I have done together?  Absolutely not.  Would I hunger for Christian community and fellowship?  Certainly.  But in the end, if it all boiled down to just me, staying here instead of "moving to town and getting on cable" as we joke, would I stay? 
Without a doubt. 

No matter where you are on the journey, how do you feel about this life?  Would you do it alone?  It matters.


Till next time, Blessings.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hey Momo, What's For Supper?


It's an enchilada in a bowl, a recipe I developed myself.

Tabletop Homestead Posole

(ingredients with ** were produced here, those with * can be produced here)

**1 pound pork loin

* 1 large or 2 medium onions

**2 pints chile verde

* 2 pints canned tomatoes

* 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon cumin

* 1 tablespoon dried oregano

* 1 tablespoon paprika

**1 pint canned pinto beans

**1 cup dried hominy

1/2 cup brown rice

cooking oil or *lard



Cut pork loin into small cubes and brown well in a small amount of oil or lard.  Add chopped onions and salt to taste (helps sweeten and soften the onions).  Saute until onions are soft and beginning to brown a bit.  Add chopped garlic and saute another minute or so.  Deglaze the pan with about 1/4 cup water, scraping up all the browned bits.  Add chile verde, tomatoes, beans, spices, hominy and rice.  Add water to thin to a soup consistence (it will thicken as the rice and hominy cook.)  Simmer 1 hour or until the pork is tender and the hominy is soft.  Serve with grated cheddar or *crumbled goat cheese.

Till next time, Blessings.