Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A quick hello

Hey world!

I'm popping in to let you know that I'm still alive! I have fallen way behind in my reviews and am working hard to catch back up. Be on the lookout for multiple posts here soon.

We just moved cross state which is a HUGE deal for my family! We're chasing dreams and with this move we're a step closer to what we've been working so hard to achieve. Also our family has grown by two feet. 😊 Our newest little bundle arrived just a week ago. We're grateful for a healthy baby!!! Our homeschool year has started back up too. We're gently entering it as we adapt to life with a newborn. Our "curriculum" this year is more literature based. I'll be reviewing tons of our school books as well so make sure to check back often!!!

Well I guess this sums everything up! I shall be on my way now!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to Spin by Beth Smith

I have no idea what Beth Smith looks like and I hope I don't offend her but, when I read this book I just picture my grandma sitting beside me teaching me the basics of spinning. That is of course if my grandma possessed the skill of spinning. Beth writes in such a gentle way. It's like she is sitting there with you and not just words on a paper. Again, to sum up what I picture is my loving grandma beside me. The fact that Beth is able to draw up such a thought makes me like the book even more. 

The book is definitely a how to. It's an informative read. I wouldn't consider the book long. It's 123 pages, counting the glossary. The book is light weight and small measuring 5x7. The size makes it ideal for on the go travel. There are seven chapters ranging from Spinning in a Nutshell to Plying. Through the pages Beth teaches you how to tie on a leader, how to draft, about wheels-their parts,etc, how to card, how to join new fiber, how to master twist, how to rewind bobbins, how to measure the length of your skein, and so much more!!! For 123 pages you'll learn a ton! Of course, Beth is not afraid to encourage you to try the things you're reading about instead of just reading them. As she knows from experience, there is no teacher quite like hands on learning. In her own words, "Throughout this book, I talk a lot about sampling and trying things out - it's the best way I know to improve skill and confidence. Don't be afraid to experiment." (pg 3) 

If you're new to spinning I highly recommend this book. It will give you the knowledge you desire to know which will boost your confidence. In return, you'll enjoy spinning that much more. Seeing how spinning is a lost art but a definite need to know I can't stress enough to pick up a copy and learn this new skill. The next time you sit down to crochet or knit remember to thank a spinner. If it wasn't for them you wouldn't have yarn to enjoy your hobbies with. Thread is the exact same thing but a smaller version. Again, thank a spinner. 
They say actions are better caught than taught so here's to you Beth Smith, THANK YOU! 

Picture Malfunction

Dear Reader,

 You may have noticed that my pictures for book covers are missing. I am unsure of the exact cause behind that.  I am slowly working to replace those starting with the most recent one and working my way back. Please be patient during this time.

Also, please note that any upcoming reviews will have pictures.

Thank you for understanding.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Badlands Impressions by Chuck Haney and Dick Kettlewell

Badlands Impressions
Photography by Chuck Haney
Text by Dick Kettlewell

Chuck Haney has done an outstanding job of capturing some of God's majestic landscape. The badlands are like no other place on earth. You'll be blown away by the beauty. Dick Kettlewell does not disappoint with the information he provides for each picture. Together the two make a perfect team which makes for an amazing piece of artwork.

You'll learn a lot as you flip through the pages looking at pictures. You'll discover cottontail rabbits and learn what they like to eat as well as how often they breed. You'll see well known landscapes such as the Chimney Rock which is a "prominent geological rock formation in Morrill County of western Nebraska, or the Nebraska Panhandle, as locals know it."  Here's some more interesting information on Chimney Rock, "During the mid-19th century the Rock served as a landmark for westward bound settlers along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail." (both quotes taken from page 31 of Badlands Impressions).

The book is an amazing tool to not only learn about wildlife but also history ranging from Kansas to the Dakotas. Nature lovers will be glad that the pages are glossy. As all nature lovers know, glossy pages make it so as you don't have to worry about the occasional drool splatter as you dream of seeing such beauty in person. I'm not disappointed in the book and look forward to many more afternoons of prowling through it.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin

This book needs to come with a warning that reads, "WARNING:Will make your blood pressure rise, your eyes see red, and smoke protrude from your ears." Seriously! The war stories shared in the book are beyond ridiculous! But they serve a purpose! They show you that big government is not the way to go. That big government doesn't truly care about you or your health or your freedom. O no!!! They want to enslave you, control you, and they do this by pulling a blind over your eyes and telling you that its for your own good. They basically treat you like a baby. A silly billy unable to decide for themself what is and isn't safe. If that doesn't insult your intellegience than I dont know what will.

Speaking of intelligence, most of the bureaucrats have no idea what they are talking about! They know nothing of what makes a healthy chicken or cow but have the nerve to tell you that your small family owned farm must have a changing room with 12 lockers for compliance. Forget the fact that it's an unnecessary expense and would not be used. Perhaps you think calling the bureacrats uneducated on the topic at hand is harsh. I would repent if they weren't in favor of feeding manure to aninals. These are the folks that PETA should be outraged at! Their desire is fatter pockets not healthy animals which means healthy guts for the people  This isn't conspiracy but proven facts through more than one source; this book being one of many.

Joel, unfortunately, has had the undesirable visits from far too many pin striped suit employees. He's had to battle everything from slaughter house regulations to personal sawmills. Pretty much everything that used to be everyday life is now illegal in his home state of Virginia. One can not sell this or that without jumping through hoops. He points out that all the regulations discourage good folks from starting up a wholesome business not necessarily food related. I can relate. At one time I considered selling homemade lip balm, lotion, diaper cream, and other hygiene products along with simple jellies, breads, and other baked goods but that dream died as soon as it started. The regulations were just too much. I did not have the time to jump through all the hoops, make the stuff, advertise the stuff, and handle my other daily affairs. Oh I could have made the time but the headache from it all wasn't worth it. I tend to agree with him on pretty much everything. Basically the government needs to get out of our personal life.

The book is 347 pages long and has 24 chapters divided into 3 sections-The Past, The Present, and The Future. It covers alot of ground. I read of some things I've never heard of before and will have to definitely research furthur. If anything this book helps the small man gain the confidence he needs to rebel against a tyrannical government. A government that controls what kind of milk you can legally buy is indeed tyrannical. While I dislike the fact that Joel had these unfortunate events happen to him I think it best it was him. He seems to have the nerve to handle it. The book is inspiring at times and other times, at no fault to the author, downright maddening. It is well worth the read. Just be forewarned you'll catch a case of Don't Tread On Me fever. He ends the book with some encouraging and inspiring quotes with the last one being Psalm 35:19, 20. Joel did an awesome job with the book. I look forward to reading more of his work, many which are on my wishlist. The cover art idea was by his daughter. It's pretty darn clever.

I received a complimentary copy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Backyard Homestead Edited by Carleen Madigan

The Backyard Homestead is an excellent resource for homesteaders of all stages. If you're a beginner you will definitely appreciate it as there is so much information in it. If you're an advanced homesteader than the book will serve more as a valuable resource for you to occasionally glance over and refresh your memory with. Within the covers lies a well of knowledge. The beginning includes some handy illustrations showing you how much food you can produce on one tenth of an acre, on a quarter acre, and on  half an acre. Each map is detailed with where everything should be placed and planted. It's a great visual aid that you could totally get away with copying. And yes you read that right! You really can homestead on one tenth of an acre! Your shown how much you can get from small pieces of land. For example on a quarter of an acre you can get 1,400 eggs, 50lbs of wheat, 60lbs of fruit, 2,000lbs of vegetables, 280lbs of pork, and 75lbs of nuts. Thst's not including rabbit meat, chicken meat, honey, or other wild edibles you forage on your land. See you really don't need that much land to homestead so stop using a lack of space as an excuse. Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs for the rest of your life saying you'll become more self sufficient when you have a lot of land! Do it now! You can do it and The Backyard Homstead is your guide!

The book is divided into seven main sections. They are •The Home Vegetable Garden •Backyard Fruits and Nuts •Easy Fragrant Herbs •Homegrown Grains •Poultry for Eggs and Meat •Meat and Dairy and •Food from the Wild. Each section isn't over the top detailed but there is enough information to get you started. In the section, 'The home Vegetable Garden'  many graphs abound such as a visual on a garden layout. That is super handy for those needing a little extra help in planning where to plant things. There's info on planting dates for each part of the US, what grows best where, how to extend the season, helping your seeds germinate, and directions for making your own trellises for plants such as tomatoes. Throughout the book you'll learn how to store your harvest, recieve numerous examples of how to layout your yard so that it is edible and purposeful, how to thresh wheat, information on wheat grinders, how to butcher a chicken and carve it, what to do with the feathers, how to make maple syrup, how to brew beer or wine if you're into that, and even how to milk a goat. With each animal species the different kinds are discussed which will aid you in deciding the one would suit you better. Numerous recipes from jams to vinegars to cheese are shared. The book is a great starting place for beginners and as said earlier is a great resource for the advanced. At the end, tons of resources are shared for places to buy things, websites to check out, and other books to read. It's written in a down to earth style. You won't feel overwhelmed reading it but I do recommend having a journal close by so you can take notes. The layout is fantastic and while it lacks in details as far as how to care for animals and such it makes up for that as excellent guide to get you started. It's not meant to be a 'one stop get it all' book. But it is a 'one stop get more knowledge than you have' book.

I recieved a complimentary copy.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Adventures of Daisy Mae by Donna Myers

The Adventures of Daisy Mae is based on a real pug named Daisy Mae who belonged to the author Donna Myers. Sadly, Donna's pup passed away but her memories have not. The story starts off with the two's beginning. Donna drove to someones house and picked up Daisy Mae and the rest is history. I just love that name! Daisy Mae. It has an elegant country ring to it.

Daisy Mae enjoyed playing ball, chasing butterflies, visiting Donna's parents and grandchild, as well as hanging her head out the window. Pugs are already super cute! Can you imagine the over the top cuteness a pug with flopping ears would possess?! You're sure to get a good laugh when you read of Daisy Mae's vet visits! You'll most likely be able to relate.  The Adventures of Daisy Mae is a short cute book. It's clean so you can hand it to your children without worries of them reading something terrible. Warning: it will cause you to have a strong desire to run off and hug your fur baby. I'd say if your a pug lover or just an animal lover in general you would enjoy reading the book.

I recieved a complimentary copy.