Saturday, March 25, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I've shared what I've learned about plastics. Now I'm going to tell you the other criminal lurking in your kitchen cupboards ----- cans. They are bad guys too for they contain BPA in high levels.
This is one of a cazillion articles that talks about BPA in cans.
EWG's tests found:
- Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests.
- For 1 in 10 cans of all food tested, and 1 in 3 cans of infant formula, a single serving contained enough BPA to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels more than 200 times the government's traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals. The government typically mandates a 1,000- to 3,000-fold margin of safety between human exposures and levels found to harm lab animals, but these servings contained levels of BPA less than 5 times lower than doses that harmed lab animals.
There are some companies who are switching to non BPA liners but whether they are using BPS instead is another question - some do. I do know that the acids in foods eat the lining of cans so besides BPA, you are eating metal. In my twenties a research doctor told me I was allergic to the lining of cans and to avoid them when possible. Can't remember exactly what it was in the lining that he said to avoid but I've slowly been doing just that. The hold outs are pineapple and olives. I don't use much of those two items but I keep a few on hand. I also buy oysters in the can on occasion to make oyster soup and Devil Ham for my husbands breakfast sandwich. Neither item is used often enough to probably cause us any real lasting harm. And I am trying to produce more and more of what we eat. My goal is for that to include Devil Ham and mustard so watch in the future to see how that works out.
I do know that the more acidic the contents the more of the can that is eaten which puts tomatoes up there in the high no, no level. So what can one do. Foods in glass jars is a much better choice and more and more companies are giving consumers this option. So when you see grapefruit or tomatoes in a jar, think about purchasing them instead. Now that I say that, do tomatoes come in a jar? I don't go down that isle of the store since I've started canning tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, salsa and the like myself so I'm rather in the dark.
As I was researching cans I happened upon a site http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2013/05/12-ways-to-avoid-hidden-bpa/ He wrote of there being BPA in aluminum cans, and in thermal paper receipts such as in cinema tickets, airline tickets, and receipts at stores. There is even BPA in some dental sealants and composites. It seems like we just can't avoid the stuff. Maybe we can't completely but we can decrease dramatically the amount of exposure. Maybe someday the government will ban the stuff but don't hold your breath, America is usually the last in line to do so.
Meanwhile, join me, I am changing the plastics in my kitchen, avoiding microwaving them and freezing them which increases the release of BPA. I am decreasing the amount of cans we use. I'm not throwing up my hands and saying "Everything is bad for us! I'm just going to ignore it.", which I'm sure is the reason for cancer being so high 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 2 men is just because of the fact people are burying their heads in the sand. Disease and cancer are caused from immune systems being over loaded and not fed proper nutrition. So if you want to be next in line be my guest but as for me and my house, we will work harder to preserve our health.
Our daughter is dealing with cancer and it isn't pretty. She is only 34 and the next youngest person a large cancer center has seen with her type of cancer is 47. Cancer is hitting people at a younger and younger age. Babies are even being born with it. Will you be next?
Friday, March 17, 2017
#5 Rubbermaid storage containers. Love these as the lids fit multiple sizes and they stack so nicely. I found the idea of Pinterest to use a tension rod to hold things in place in a drawer. LOVE IT!!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Fresh milk!!! I am so excited. I can finally quit using frozen. Good thing because I'm about out. Yes, indeed Belle gave birth last Wednesday. Those of you who follow Easy Living the Hard Way Facebook page know this and have seen the photos but since this is an informational post, I've got lots to teach some of you. The rest of you can tell me if indeed this has been your experience.
But first let me introduce the oldest, a lovely young doe with great potential. She was born around two in the afternoon. The hour in which Belle had her first set of twins, five kidding seasons ago. Yes, a doe will normally have her kids within a three hour window of the first time she gives birth. If you know the day your doe bred and how many days that particular doe's gestation is, then you know when to head for the barn and keep a close eye out for possible complications. This has become more and more important as the years go by and my energy level keeps taking vacations. Getting up in the night for nothing makes getting up in the early morning to get grandkids off to school much more difficult than when I was young.
That means I have a tendency when possible to cull the night kidders. Two o'clock in the afternoon is perfect and that is just when Belle's had her first lovely little brown doe.
I decided to just watch and wait. I would on a younger doe pull the rest of the kids I knew were inside if she was in hard labor and they failed to appear within twenty or thirty minutes. That or labor was not progressing along meaning a possible breach birth or two kids who's legs were tangled near the opening. The reason is if you wait too long the kids will be dead. But Belle was comfortable and relaxed and this was not her first kidding season. Experience has taught me after thirty one years of delivering kids and a gut feeling born of, been there done that's. This felt right and so I bent down and filled a bottle as she stood licking her baby. Milking stimulates uterus contractions. Sneaky aren't I?
I've learned that with older does they often have a longer labor. More light labor in the beginning and a period of rest in between kids is common. More so between the first and second kid. The third follows shortly after. Patience is a virtue with these older girls. Sure enough, a little under an hour later Belle acted agitated and pawed the ground a few times and just three pushes later I saw.....
The water bag with two feed inside. They are the dark mass just below her tail. Three pushes and out came a strapping buck. Most of the time a water bag appears first and then the feet but not with this doe. Five minutes later and three pushes, out came a little doe looking like her mother. Belle was done, she had her triplets.
How did I know she was done? Three kids is the normal max for a dairy goat. I've only had one doe have four. Four is too many since a doe rarely has enough milk for that many. Besides there are the pushier kids that hog all the milk. If left alone one or two of them will die.You don't want four. I did not expect four and besides, Belle's sides were sunk in in an empty look.
Some does take a while to pass their after birth but Belle's began to appear shortly after. This is what it looks like. No water bag, and no feet sticking out. Nope -- notice the fibrous texture though. This is the placenta and it has little buttons inside. No, not buttons like the ones on your coat but round dark red solid tissue masses that they call buttons. When I would be in charge of a mare foaling for our neighbors, I was required to count the buttons to make sure the mare had not retained part of her placenta.
I admit, I never count the buttons in a goat's placenta. I have no idea how many there are suppose to be so how would I know if they are all there? The only thing I make sure of is that the goat does pass her placenta and hopefully in one long connected mass. It should of course be in proportion in size to the amount of kids it held. If it does not come out it putrefies. Big time infection. If ;your doe fails to pass hers within twelve hours I'd head to the vet for a Lutalyce shot. It will put the doe back into labor. She'll hate you but it is for her own good. How do I know this -- experience.
Don't be alarmed, when your doe bleeds a light amount after giving birth. This can last for a few days and sometimes slightly longer in goats that had a tough delivery. To slow and stop the flow on a doe who is in my opinion bleeding more than I'd lie, I milk more frequently. This naturally tightens back up the uterus, stopping the flow. The larger the uterus size due to multiple kids, the longer it takes for the uterus to shrink back to pre-pregnancy size. If there is an infection, the bloody discharge after birth will become a more maroon color, not a red blood color. It will be thicker, and have a nasty smell to it. Then she needs a penicillin shot, a few of them.
I've taught my does to hold still without restraint in the pen and I bend over at will to fill baby bottles right from the tap. Since I bottle feed four times a day, 6 am, 12 noon, 6 pm, and 10 pm, this is plenty enough to get things cramping. With triplets, for the first few days where there is only colostrum being produced, this method empties my doe's utter each feeding. If there is extra like there was with Belle, I freeze it just in case I need it for kids born to another doe. At night I am sure to drain the doe fully before heading to bed.
At five years of age, Belle was in light labor for several days after giving birth. She did not eat a great deal or drink much. Then on the third day, it abated and her milk began to come in. By the next day she was crying for relief in the morning. "Please milk me!!"
She gave 3/4 a gallon this morning and the same amount tonight. Impressive for a Nubian on her first day of her milk coming in. Her supply will steady increase for a while before leveling off. The second morning, this morning, she gave the same amount.
Remember, the more demand for milk, the more the doe will produce, within reason of course. This means milking three times a day produces more milk than milking twice a day and of course once a day. Milking frequently will up production but if sustained over a long period of time, this will decrease the longevity of your doe. Since I was gone much of yesterday, I only milked twice. Today, I will milk three times and give this poor girl some relief as her production should be greater yet.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
In the least populated state wa....y up north,there are a great many things that you can not purchase or they are out of our price range. We have need of producing more than others simply because of our location. If you want a home produced product you can forget it. And who really knows what they are doing compared to what they are saying. Calling me a pessimist but I've learned to be leery. It is interesting how often our friends and family say, "I don't like this but since you made it I'm going to try it." It is not to make us feel better but experience has taught them that our home product and the stores seldom resemble each other in quality or flavor. The superiority is worth the effort to us.
What I'd like to know is how the title Self-sufficiency has come to be anyway connected to the simple life. Simple has nothing to do with it.
Monday, March 6, 2017
Friday, March 3, 2017
Whitetail deer can jump 12 feet up and over if desperate. I've never seen them do it but the Internet says they can so it has to be true - right? I have watched a whitetail slip between the top two wires on a barbwire fence as neatly as if they were threading a needle. This makes keeping deer out of the hay a real challenge especially when the snow is so deep making fences shorter especially when the snow gets hard and crusty. This is what we've come up with to keep them at out. A hay yard at the back of the barn where it is slightly protected against the building. The deer definitely are not jumping the two story barn so one side is next to it. The front is where the least amount of snow piles so it is simply a cow panel fence and then another four foot woven wire fence above that equaling about eight feet of height. The gate on the left is where the Otter sled and I go through. I have to duck as I'm not four foot nothing like our sweet petite eight year old granddaughter.
On the outside there is a pasture fence just a little less than four feet out. You can see where the snow has pulled the wires down. You can see that the whole fence line to the north will need a lot of repairs come spring thaw. But for now the hanging wires are just enough of a deterrent to keep the deer from leaping it and then trying to leap upward eight feet.
On the backside of the hay yard is the buck goat pen with deep, deep snow drifts. Beyond that the goat yard where the does are and the buck also in the winter time. The deer come into the goat yard to steal hay from the hay feeder but they never leap into the snow buck pen. It is just small enough to make them very uncomfortable with the deep snow. Here again we've utilized a two fence approach to keep them out. If there ever was a winter to try out our new hay yard system, it would be this one as the snow has been deep and storms frequent.
Ranchers have told me they have fed nearly twice as much hay this winter and supplies are getting short with fighting the deer for it. With a dry summer and grass short and scarce, there is not much to dig down for, for the deer. This makes the hay a great temptation. We need the moisture but it has been really hard on wildlife. Dead deer carcasses are piling up by the thousands around the county. We had too many deer in our area to start with but you never want to see this happen to them. In sympathy, we always leave a little hay outside the hay feeders for the deer that come into the yard but we can not afford to actually feed the deer any more than a small amount. The beef in defense of their hay have begun sleeping one on each open side of their hay feeder. It is every animal for himself.