Good morning and welcome to our new readers. I spent a long, lazy weekend catching up on things. I visited my favorite blogs (love the new picture Amy @rock cottage) and checked out the blogs of some of my readers. The problem with this is they link to new blogs which link to new blogs which link….. and they are all the kind of things I love. Woman, mostly, writing about homesteading and food and preparedness. I will confess I got a bit lost and found that a couple of hours had gone by but I had so much fun. I was writing down recipes and ideas for future posts and preparedness tips.

I have another kid down with the flu. My 18 year-old foster child has it and she is one sick puppy. I am so glad to be ready for this with elderberry cough syrup, lots of herbal teas, chicken soup in the pantry and fever reducer in the medicine cabinet. We live a good ten miles from a pharmacy. I like to be ready should one of my kids wake up in the middle of the night with a raging fever and sore throat.

Did any of catch 60 Minutes last night? They did a segment on the risk of cyber attacks bringing down our power grid. It was a truly frightening scenario. I would  hate to find myself needing to can more than two hundred pounds of meat from my freezer. I am still debating the wisdom of getting a generator. Bruce thinks we should get one and I am on the fence. A generator is loud and needs stored fuel and is really only a stop-gap measure at best. Still, it would buy us time to get the freezer food canned or dried or jerked. I don’t have enough jars at this time of the year to can it all anyway. I have only an extra 180 jars at my low point although I empty a few more every day as we eat up the food. I could come up with another 30 or so if I transferred my dried food to plastic containers. I am trying to get rid of all the plastic food storage containers in my house so that won’t be an option in the future. I store cases of lids and rings and I have two canners I could put to use. So much to think about.

If Jackie is well enough to leave for a few hours today. I want to take advantage of the fabulous weather to pick more apples. We have been making both pear and apple cider every chance we get. I have been reading in the Little House books that they used to press cider in the fall and have it all year. They kept it in barrels in the cold basements. I am thinking about trying that. The worst case is that it gets hard or turns to vinegar. I don’t care for hard cider but I am sure I could find a home for it and I use a lot of vinegar. We are finding we are drinking a lot of cider which gives me more milk for cheese making. I read in another one of the Little house books about making hard cheese. They make it sound so easy and I would not even have to butcher a calf for the rennet. I have lots of that. Bruce could make me a press. The cheese stored in the cold cellar too. 

I am looking to do a book list. Could you all recommend you favorite books? I am thinking of books with a preparedness or homesteading bent. I love first-person accounts. I could get things started by telling you that I got a copy of Sharon Astyk’s new book, Independence Days. A word of warning. Don’t start it when you have things to do. You will not want to put it down. I know she is planning another book on adapting in place. I can’t wait. I am nearly through with the Little House series and I need some good reads to get me through the long, cold winter.