Saturday, April 16, 2016

Gardening under Pecan trees

My Hugelkultur Key garden under the Pecan trees.
Years ago we bought our property that had a lot of pecan trees, we were told by the Texas Agriculture center that we shouldn't plant anything under the trees that it would not grow.

Determined we planted anyways with hit and misses today this is what our garden looks like above:
Yes its true some things can't grow under the trees, but that's because its too shaded and needs more light like tomatoes.

We tried digging but we would hit thick roots. We were also told the roots would kill the plants and might be toxic we decided not to go that route...., however we have made a Hugelkultur key garden pictured above which is filled with pecan limbs, sheep manure and good old dirt on top and it seems to be doing fine.

Aloe Vera, carrots, onions, lettuce, basil, rosemary, tarragon, oregano, lemon verbena, flowers, sage, parsley, sunflowers, garlic chives, chili's, mulberries are all things I have grown so far successfully.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Basic Couponing

Check out this basic coupon holder I love that you can put wrap it around your shopping cart. 

I prepared this document for my Women Preppers group its the basic on coupons, I was really into it awhile back but got busy with other things so sort of let it stop, but now I noticed my containers are getting empty tooth brushes, soaps, deodorant, razors etc so its time to get busy again. Couponing does take some time, the more time you give it the more you will save.


This is the easiest way to start off couponing, yes there is a lot of other ways on savings you can learn all that too, but this is the basic's to get you started. 10 cents here 50cents there it all adds up in the end.

1. Collect the Sunday coupons, ask your family, friends, neighbors for theirs never hurts to ask especially if they don’t use them. Look in recycle bins. There is a few ladies that have access to coupons you might find them thru friends or Craigslist or coupon groups they can hook you up for a small fee, yes its suppose to be illegal to sell them but it happens anyway thank goodness.

2. There will be Smart source, Redplum and sometimes Procter & Gamble are the main coupons, mark on the front of it the date that they came out.

3. Go to sign up its free, don’t go anywhere else on the page later you can do that it will get you confused, hit “Grocery deals” Then “Your state” then the store you want to go too. Later you can try the other stores to see who has the better deals

4. It will tell you on percentage what you will save from 100% down. I usually buy fom 50% on up I consider a good deal and will stock up on the items. S is for Smart Source and R is for Redplum, PG is Procter & Gamble go to the date it says and your coupon will be in that one, cut out.

5. Things to remember – If your coupon is for $1.00 and your item is on sale for 90cents they are not going to give you 10cents back and it might be a problem if it’s the only item your buying so I would advice to buy something else too you need, to offset it. Also Target online, Walgreens, Family dollar and Rite Aid also has their own coupons so check those out too.

Other ways to save, start a grocery price book, this can be a notebook, on your computer, on your phone write down the normal prices of items you buy all the time and compare it with other stores, this way if you see a deal you will know you are getting a better deal or not.

If you see it a product on sale and you use it a lot this is the time to buy it now. Rotate, rotate even on shampoos and soaps.

Good luck and happy savings. 

If your looking for a bigger coupon holder try a binder with inserts.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Our new quail cage the eggs roll out, automatic water

We gave up on the rabbits for a few reasons, 1. its too hot they wont breed in this hot Texas heat having to put out ice cold bottle of water for them to lean on was a pain 2. Not a fan of rabbit meat. Dont get me wrong if something happened and I had nothing else to eat I would gladly consume rabbit meat in a heart beat thinking it was steak :)

Quail have been so easy to raise, they are cute, they are tasty! You can eat the quail eggs too! We have been raising them for about a year now or more got a batch of eggs from a local boy in San Antonio bought ourselves an incubator with a battery back up a must if your into Preparedness like us and hatched out our first set of quail.

Eggs are pretty tasty I prefer my chicken eggs over quail but they are ok to cook with I dont have any trouble selling or bartering them either. My daughter loves the Chinese recipes that have quail eggs in them, hubby just likes to boil them and cook them in with some bacon grease and a bit of seasoning....yum

They lay pretty much all year round so thats another plus, they make these odd sounds at night that could be a downer for people who live in the city, its mostly the males that do that so if you can only keep a few it wont be so much of a problem.

The chicks are so tiny they do this adorable play dead thing on their side when sleeping with their legs sprawled out, they are fast got to watch it they run faster then a lil mouse! When we transport them from incubator to their brooder we have to be careful they have popped out so fast and ended up on the ground at a full run.

Later as they get older the chill out and are easy to handle, hubby says they are easy to butcher too we just did a batch not long ago we have it in the freezer and we ate some, talk about some good eatings! Its got to be one of my favorite poultry meats now.

I really recommend having quail my favorite are the Texas AM yellows/whites...but we mostly raise the coturnix here is a link to Back Yard chickens with the subject of them if you are considering raising them.

Friday, October 16, 2015


If you didn't notice I had on the side a small link section for Prepping, I just added more onto it recently so take a look if your interested mostly basics. My family got into "Preparedness" yrs ago it went along the lines of homesteading it just sort of merged together, hubby always knew about it and was gently leading me to be more prepared, it wasn't until I read the book, "One second after" by William Forstchen that I got really scared that I wasn't prepared enough.

Its about an EMP (Electronic Magnetic pulse) happening in the United States. what if, then I started thinking of all the smaller things that could happen, how really prepared was I? ....breaking down in a car, losing power because of a storm, losing a job, to bigger things that could happen like financial collapse of the USA, earth quake on the west coast, train derailing near us with chemicals that we would have to evacuate etc...

I started inventory what we had, what we needed and started buying, bartering, flea marketing everything else I did a lot of researching. Am I completely done Preparing? Heck no, but I am more prepared now then I was yrs ago. I have a more peace of mind now. A few yrs ago I saw first hand what panicking and no planning could create as the hurricane Rita was coming down on Houston they did a mass evacuation from the city, Cars stalled everywhere, gas ran out along the hwy ways, people got stuck, every store within 10miles of hwy got bought out on most everything, especially water, food, diapers, meds. Every hotel near us was booked, and I do mean even the smaller run down ones were taken up, I just couldn't believe the craziness of it all. 

Prepping has gotten a bad rap thru the years thanks to Doomsday prepper tv show, it has brought some crazy people out in the public eye, but it also opened some eyes so I can't say the show was that bad, we actually learned a few things, plus I know now to say, "We are into preparedness" rather then "We are preppers" I dont know what it is but people understand and are calmer about the first more then the last statement. The movement has taken off especially after Katrina, where there was so many people huddled in that stadium waiting for the government to come help them, FEMA nearly born didnt do so well, big eye opener for many folks, it has become a lesson in history for any one wanting examples of Disaster relief gone bad. 

The Gov even suggest for you to have at least 3 days of food prepared for emergency, I really think they should up that to a pay check worth of food at least. I have heard of so many story's where peoples food stash has helped them when they have lost their jobs for a few months. Being prepared is not stupid, its not being crazy, its smart. Even the boys scouts motto is be prepared. Do you have water in your car? A first aid kit? Does your family know where to go if you lose communication via cell phones? If you lost your job now do you enough food to last you till you can get another? Lights go out in storm do you have candles, lanterns flashlights handy? Do you have extra cash on hand in case you cant access the ATM machines. How prepared are you?

Here is some helpful links to get started you can always buy them locally but if you already have amazon prime you can get free shipping for it.

Basic first aid: I have found this to be one of the best "Basic" first aid kits out there keep this in your car, diaper bag, office desk.

I have one of these in each of our "Get home bags/Bug out bags" they use these in third world countries to drink water, I recommend researching it but love this straw.

Waterbob for the bathtubs I have two of these, If your pipes might freeze or your water will be turned off while the fix leaks, what ever emergency this waterbob fits in any bathtub which will give you fresh water to drink or at least flush your toilet

Emergency foods for your "Get home bag, Bug out bag or first aid kit" Its good to have around can tolerate extreme temps so you dont have to worry about it spoiling. I have one of these for each of our bags.

If you want more food for longer term try mountain house just in case bucket, its good on price and has some good reviews.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


 Hubby and son

We are lucky to have an awesome bartering community near us, once a month or it varies depending on the weather, we meet up and barter stuff we made or any extra stuff we have on our farm with other individuals from all over the San Antonio area.

The Human Path school in San Antonio is the one that sponsors it recently they moved to a down town location which is closet to us to get to now. We have a lot of fun, meet like minded folks, talk, learn, make connections, barter some awesome stuff, herbs, meats, nuts, honey, home made aprons, hats, walking sticks, home made breads, cheeses, tinctures, jellys, salsa's the list goes on.

The art of bartering is lost on some folks its cute to see some new people trying to barter for the first time, I have always thought it was easy but to some folks they get really nervous about it. For now I barter what I think is fair but if it came down to really having to barter for our lively hood I would probably be more skillful on getting the best deal.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Using Television & movies to teach

Using Television & movies to teach:

If your like the many americans who subscribe monthly to cabel or satellite each month for entertainment, why not use it to help teach your kids? Many of y'all don't even realize the many shows out there that can help teach and your already paying for it!
Examples on main ones I love and use:
The main ones to help you is
  1. A&E television Network: Each weekday morning the A&E Network offers commercial-free, copyright cleared educational programming. These programs cover a variety of topics suitable for grades 4 and higher. Along with this is a email schedule of upcoming events and a snail mail year calendar of programs. They also have lesson plans for some of the shows.
  2. Art zone Featuring Art, Music, Film they do have realvideo outputs you can watch on your computer
  3. Biography Channel: Sponsored by A&E network has the same great discussion, calendar, and classroom study guides. Great information on famous people throughout time.
  4. Cable in the Classroom: Cable in the Classroom represents the cable telecommunications industry's efforts to use cable content and new technologies to improve teaching and learning for children in schools, at home, and in their communities.
  5. Court Tv: is an education and public service initiative targeting middle schools and high schools, which also offers resources for colleges and law schools. Their goal is to help young people make responsible and positive decisions.
  6. Discovery School: Designed by teachers for teachers, this award-winning series keeps the learning styles of elementary-age children in mind. They have online lesson plans that go a long with the shows so you don’t have to prepare anything. Also have Animal planet, Discovery kids, TLC.
  7. Disney Lesson plans-A great place with all your favorite Disney characters
  8. Fit Tv-From exercise listings, to how to stay healthy with food recipes this is a great way for the whole family to stay healthy.
  9. Foodnetwork: One of my favorites shows is “Good Eats” he takes food to a science great entertainment to watch with the kids.
  10. History Channel: Packed with show time calendars, discussion groups, and study guides for the famous history channel
  11.  KLRN: A great tv site with shows such as Liberty kids for younger kids, History detectives for older kids, Statue of Liberty also for older kids
  12. NASA Channel: Provides real time coverage of agency activities, missions and educational programming to teachers and students.
  13. Nickelodeon: Mostly fun kid cartoons and game site. I do like The Wild Thornberry shows of a young homeschooler that travels the world with her family.  Great for watching it then look up the country they were at and the animals they saw for geography and study of animals. There is also Ozzie and Drix for the study of the human body.
  14. Nick Junior: Programming for preschoolers. A great place to have the little ones watch as you teach the older kids. Blue clue, Dora the explorer, Max and ruby.
  15. PBS This station has some great learning videos. Weekend explorer is one of our favorites great for geography  Check out their listing for movies on science, history etc.. I have also seen Cyber Chase kids on this channel this is a great show to watch for kids learning math
  16. Scie Fie In the Class room If your kids love watching the Scie Fie channel why not use some of them to help you teach.
  17. STAR: Although they show it on the Television there is a course fee for the books and manuals.
  18. Travel Channel part of Discovery channel but I thought I would list it separately. Great place to study geography check the tv listing to find out what’s showing. Not all is suitable for kids so check out that guide before switching to that channel  
  19. University House: The Universityhouse Channel provides a new way to bring education home. Showing on the DISH Network The Universityhouse Channel offers you a variety of educational programming, from K-12 instruction to accredited university courses. Enjoy these stimulating programs and courses in the convenience of your own home.
  20. UCTV: launched by the ML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />University of California to provide the public with informational, educational and enrichment programming that draws upon the vast intellectual, scientific and creative talents of the University of California .
  21. Weather Channel: The Weather Classroom is appropriate for grades 5-10 each program airs commercial-free and copyright clear for educational use

Video & Online Video feeds/Webcasts:

Explore tv:  Tools for teaching many different webcasts

Reading Rockets: Webcast videos on teaching your kids to read. This is a great learning tool for teachers.

Research Channel: They have a library of over 3000 of webcasts

Video Placement Worldwide:
This is great for groups of 25 or more especially for a coop groups or Homeschool group.

Some Suggestions on how to use movies for unit studies:
1. Reading: Find out how Actual the movie is from from the real history of the event.
I have found out even if the movie is not accurate you can go over the real history facts with your children. Do a research on what really happened. For example "Black Beauty" the movie only shows some of Beautys Masters read the real book to find out who were the others. My daughter was excited to find out who else had owned Beauty and started reading without being asked. Now that's real inspiration.
2. Geography: Grab your globes its time for geography. Check out the location of the movie your watching or going to watch. Get a heads up before you watch it so your kids can get an idea where its at even if it is pretend "Hollywood studios"
3. History: History lesson time, find out the era in which the movie was suppose to be and find out other events that happened around that same time. If in another country find out who the current leader was in that year. Is about a real person? Learn more about this person and why they have become famous. Have the kids skim over a biography book to find an interesting knew fact about the person that they didnt show in the movie.
4. Life learning lesson/bible: What did you learn from this movie, friendship, enemys, greed, happiness, trustworthy, betrayal, hope, sadness, lost, honor ect. What is good and bad about each one? Discuss bible lessons associated with each one.
5. Writing lesson: Have them do a small paragraph or book report on what they did and did'nt like about the movie and how they would change the ending.  
6. Math: While math is one of the hardest things to think of when applying to any unit study it can be done with a little imagination.
Depending on the age of your child and what they are studying that semester incorporate it into your unit study math. Examples
Scavenger hunt: Keep note of things that you see a lot in the
movie and when your child sees it have them write it down. They dont have to be accurate only when they do the math. Then at the end of the movie they can add them together or subtract or multiply.
Miles: Did the main character travel places? Find out just how far he traveled with a little geography help then add it all up. For the older create and ask them Problem solving problems like how long did you think it took them to get to destination.
Are you learning about graphs? Do a graph on something on the movie.
Can you add fractions anywhere in the movie
Problem solving problems Use the characters and events in the movie to do this.
Arts & Craft/The Arts: Do a craft that is will remind you of the movie, study the Culture of the time event, costume, and the foods maybe even create your own dish to eat at the same time your watching the movie. Try something new!
Stop the movie! Dont be scared to stop the movie to discuss a topic that you are learning about, it may be entertaining and the kids may think its a free day, but it is after all school time.
Prepare early: If you know the movie your going to do prepare everything before hand if you can. I had this problem because we would watch a movie and I couldnt prepare a lesson plan till days, weeks later and a lot of the movie is already forgotten and not fresh any longer. 

Lesson Plans:
Need help making a lesson plan for your Educational Movies

Teach with movies has a small yearly fee but everything is laid out for you.

Awesome Library: Movie introductions some with scripts
This is most likely for the older kids but this is for Asian films. Has lesson plans and movies guide
If you need help remembering the orginal book this site is one of the oldest Ebooks out there that is free  "The Gutenburg Project"

Thanksgiving themes try
For younger-
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving-this is a classic
Rugrats: The Santa Experience/ A Rugrats Thanksgiving
Rugrats: Thanksgiving
Mouse on the Mayflower
This is America, Charlie Brown
Disney Pocahontas
MayFlower: The pilgrams adventure
The Mayflower Voyagers
The Patriot


Most of these videos you can rent at maybe your local blockbuster, Hollywood videos, or your own library for free! If they dont have them there ask for a interlibrary loan from another library. Some you will have to buy or rent monthly for instance

*One of my old time favorites is “Eyewitness videos” these can be controversial because of the evolution content in some of them. I like them because I can show both views to my daughter and son. I think its better to discuss this when I am with them then later in life when they are alone. They have a wide variety of themes like The Sea, Mammals, Guerillas, You can buy them brand new but I would suggest what I did and buy them used at (Click on the logos below to find them)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bartering/Selling Post

I live near San Antonio Texas: If your wanting to barter or buy- this is the page to see what I have listed. I will do occasional snail mail buys & sells depending on what I have at the time:

Currently I have:

Lamb meat: 2 lbs & 3 lbs boneless Roasts, lamb chops. $8 a pound (will not ship)
Pecans: 1 lb bag $8 a pound $12.35 for shipping min 2 lbs max 7lbs
Honey: Local Texas honey. Half pint jars $5
Homemade Salsa
Eggs: (Seasonal) Will not ship
Turkeys: (Seasonal) Will not ship

Looking to barter: (If you have this)

Pure maple syrup from your trees
Walnuts (not the black & must be shelled too)
Almonds from your trees