Monday, January 25, 2016

Spring Cleaning in Jan.

    I really can't complain about our winter this year since it's going to be in the 50's later this week, but I am so ready to get outside & get to work. Our last 2 mts. have been so strange for Jim & I. Surgery for both of us within 7 weeks & this past week Little Chicken Chick & I were both down with the flu. Going from being very active to recooping has been very hard.
   I actually did some spring cleaning while we tried to get over the flu. I was tired of sitting & felt the need to be productive. Closets got cleaned & sorted, papers went where they were suppose to, not in my never ending pile & I started to get the tax stuff together. Our house is small so I get to feeling very cramped when we are stuck inside. If I had my way I'd get rid of half the stuff we have, but I live with two pack rats so I have to find a happy medium we can live with as a family. The next big job will be cleaning the playroom, but it will have to be done when LCC is at school. The child refuses to get rid of anything.
   So, I will start my first of several list of things to do when it starts warming up. I got all of my saved seed out so I can see what I need & I will be rotating some crops this year & planting some things I haven't grown before. The chicken flock needs to be started again & we really need to secure the coop this time to keep another flock from being killed by wild dogs. More herbs, more flowers...yes, I feel better this year so I have alot of plans & I better keep on with my spring cleaning so as soon as I can get outside I will.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey, a founding member and guitarist of the Eagles, one of the most popular and commercially successful artists of the 1970s, has died. The band confirmed the news on Monday (Jan. 18) with a statement on its website.
"Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia," read the statement. "Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide."
Frey had been battling intestinal issues that caused the band to postpone its Kennedy Center Honors. A statement from the band said then the recurring problem would require "major surgery and a lengthy recovery period."
Eagles drummer and vocalist Don Henley issued the following statement:
"He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry -- and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed. But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn't quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved is wife and kids more than anything. We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year 'History of the Eagles Tour' to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I'm not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some."
Frey was born on Nov. 6, 1948 in Detroit and was raised in nearby Royal Oak. He grew up on both the Motown sounds and harder-edged rock of his hometown. He played in a succession of local bands in the city and first connected with Bob Seger when Frey's band, the Mushrooms, convinced Seger to write a song for them. Frey can also be heard singing extremely loud backing vocals (particularly on the first chorus) on Seger's first hit and Frey's first recorded appearance, 1968's "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man."
But it wasn't long before warmer climes called and Frey followed then-girlfriend Joan Silwin to Los Angeles. Her sister Alexandra was a member of Honey Ltd., a girl group associated with Nancy Sinatra producer Lee Hazelwood, and she introduced Frey to her friend John David Souther.
It was a portentous introduction. Before long the two were living as roommates in East L.A. with another aspiring songwriter named Jackson Browne. All three quickly became deeply involved in the burgeoning L.A. country-rock scene centered around the Troubadour nightclub that started with the Byrds, proliferated with Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers and would, in softer form, dominate American airwaves for the bulk of the 1970s. But first. Frey and Souther would pay their dues as an unsuccessful duo, Longbranch Pennywhistle. The pair released a self-titled album on the short-lived indie Amos Records in 1969, but soon split up.
In 1971, fellow future country-rock superstar Linda Ronstadt was seeking a backing band and, on the advice of Souther, her boyfriend, hired Frey along with his friend, drummer Don Henley. On the night of their first show with Ronstadt, the ambitious and driven pair decided to form their own band and later recruited ex-Poco bassist Randy Meisner and former Burritos guitarist Bernie Leadon. The Eagles became one of the first artists signed to David Geffen's then-new label, Asylum. The group was an instant success, riding on the back of its first single, "Take It Easy" -- a song written almost entirely by Jackson Browne, with some lyrics added by Frey.
Via a long string of mid '70s hits like "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "Desperado," "Tequila Sunrise," "Best of My Love" (No. 1 March 1975) "Witchy Woman" the funkier "One of These Nights" (No. 1 August 1975) and the harder-edged "Already Gone" (many written by bandmembers in collaboration with Souther), the Eagles became the standard-bearers -- and Asylum Records became the epicenter -- of the California soft-rock explosion. (Barney Hoskyns' 2006 book Hotel California is an excellent history of that scene and the Eagles' role in it.) Guitarist Don Felder filled out the band's sound in 1974, and after Leadon left the following year, guitarist Joe Walsh joined – beefing up the band's sound and lofting them to even greater heights with the 1976 "Hotel California" album, which spawned No. 1 singles with the title track and Frey's "New Kid in Town," possibly his defining song. Along with Fleetwood Mac's Rumors, those albums defined the denim, drugs and decadence of the jet-setting late '70s California rock scene.
But drugs, egos and success soon took their toll, and it was some three years before the Eagles released a follow-up album with The Long Run. Spurred by the Hot 100 No. 1 single "Heartache Tonight," the album was a commercial success -- and helped bring the music industry out of a post-disco sales tailspin -- but the band succumbed to infighting and split in 1980.
Frey embarked on a successful solo career, enjoying a series of '80s hits, the biggest of which were tied to soundtracks like Beverly Hills Cop ("The Heat Is On") and Miami Vice ("You Belong to the City"). He was even a regular character on the latter show, portraying a guitar-playing smuggler named Jimmy Cole. 
But the Eagles' solo hits began to dry up in the 1990s, and before long a reunion tour was masterminded by Irving Azoff, the group's longtime manager. The tour's title mocked the acrimony with which the group split up: "Hell Freezes Over." The group continued to tour periodically -- and lucratively -- over the past two decades, releasing just scattered new material and focusing on solo works. In 2012, Frey released his first solo album since the 1990s, a collection of pop standards called After Hours.
While the Eagles were reviled as much as they were revered during their heyday -- a situation hilariously rendered in a scene in The Big Lebowski, when the title character is physically ejected from a taxi for asking the driver to turn off the radio when "Peaceful Easy Feeling" comes on -- there's no questioning the enduring quality of their hits or the freshness of their sound, particularly the keening harmonies of Henley, Frey and Meisner. But more lasting may be its success: For years the group's 1976 collection Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 regularly swapped places with Michael Jackson's Thriller as the top-selling album of all time -- and has been certified a whopping 29 times platinum by the RIAA. Hotel California is certified 16 times platinum. 
Frey and Henley were the Eagles' leaders and only two constant members, and it's difficult to imagine the group continuing without him. 
Discussing the superb 2013 History of the Eagles, Part 1 documentary with Billboard, Frey said: "You couldn't have asked for a better script for a bunch of guys in their 20s trying to make it into the music business. We were young, we made mistakes, we still make mistakes. It's the story of an American band, but it's also the story of the songs we wrote and what those songs did to [people]. We're here because everybody likes the songs."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to make Mead

How to Make Mead (Also found on Brewing page)

The process is very simple; being patient is the hard part. I will briefly explain the steps and the equipment into making mead right at home. You will be shocked at how easy this honeymooner’s beverage is to produce:

The basic equipment needed for mead making isn’t very expensive, and usually lasts for a long time. Local Homebrew shops generally have these items in stock daily. If you have any items at home already, feel free to use them. Here is the list of items that I recommend you have in order to make mead:

  • Stainless Steel Stock Pot
  • Thermometer
  • Hydrometer
  • Plastic Fermenter
  • Glass Carboy
  • Fermentation Lock and Stopper
  • Racking Cane and Tubing
  • Sanitizer
Instructions for How to Make Mead
Now the part that you all have been waiting for, the steps involved in making your first batch of mead. You will start out making sure all your equipment is clean and sanitized. Anything that touches the must(unfermented honey and water mixture) should be sanitized.

Put a gallon of water into your stainless steel pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. After boiling for 10 minutes remove pot from heat and add yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, and honey. Stir the pot until the honey and water have mixed completely. Hold the must at that temperature(around 170 degrees) for 10 Minutes. Chill the must down to 80 degrees. Take a hydrometer reading. Pitch(add) your yeast into the must, stir vigorously for 5 minutes. Place the lid on your fermenter with the air lock attached. Fermentation should begin about 24 to 48 hours. 2 to 3 weeks later(or when fermentation is done) rack mead into a sanitized carboy. Let it sit another 3 to 4 weeks. Rack for the final time into another sanitized carboy and let it sit until the mead is clear(another 2 to 3 months).
Now that you have finished making your mead it’s time to bottle. For a still mead you will need to add potassium sorbate to stabilize. Mix the sorbate through out your entire batch then bottle. For a sparkling mead DO NOT add potassium sorbate. Use champagne style bottles for carbonated mead.

Here comes the hard part, letting the mead mature or age in the bottle. Mead will improve dramatically with age. Leaving it sit for 6 months to 1 year before opening is ideal. Be patient and it will really pay off. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Grocery Ads from 1932

     While working on my Family history I found these ads in the S. E. Missourian from 1932.

Monday, January 4, 2016

What's in my Bug Out Bag

   I have always gone by the motto "Be Prepared", especially after becoming a Mom again in later life. I try to stay one step ahead of any problems (not always with good results). One of the things I do is to keep an old Army backpack loaded with what I think are things we might need if we are on the road & a problem comes up. I call it my Bug Out Bag, but unless we are caught away from the property & there is an emergency we'd be bugging in. I do not leave the house without it, especially when the weather is bad. You never know when there might be any kind of problem.
   First & foremost, my Lifestraw, 10hr Handwarmers, Paracord, Straps, Hooks & Buckles, several Flashlights of assorted sizes - including a headlight, Tools, Lighter, a very sharp Knife & Whetstone, Magnesium Fire Starter, Poncho, Tazer, Mace, Security Whistle, my Son's "Survival in the Outdoors" book, Medical Supplies, a First Aid Book, Disposable Diapers (to use as large bandages), Bottled Water, PB Crackers & Granola Bars, Blankets, Hats, Gloves, Wool Socks, a large Waterproof Pad, Hand Sanitizer, Chapstick, Ziplock Bags, Wet Wipes, T.P., Tarp & a weapon of choice.
   My Child also has her own bag that she fills with things she thinks she will need if we get in a situation. A few games & toys help. I make sure that I check everything every month to see if batteries need to be changed or food needs to be replaced. As long as we can stay dry & warm that's all that matters.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Remembering the Past ( Family Genealogy)

  I have been working on my Family Genealogy for 35 years. There was a huge mystery that it took all these years to figure out & there is still one person that has seemed to fall off the face of the earth. I may never find out about her & she is the big link in the mystery. At first I could not understand why someone would let their 4 children be adopted out, but as the story unfolded I understood much more. Times were hard, Parents die, & things were not like they are now. 1886 was a very long time ago, but it shaped the future of my Family. If you, like me have been trying to figure out your Family history don't give up. I promised my Grandmother I'd try to find out about her Family & she died long before I could get any information. My Mother is now the only one besides myself & one cousin who would know anything.
   Ask questions! When the older Family members are gone that information is lost forever. Record everything, keep notes, start folders & sub folders. Someday, hopefully, it will all start to come together. Also, there are alot of free sites for genealogy. You don't need to pay to find out about your own Family. And, one last bit of advice.....even if you think you're not on the right track, but something feels odd about names or dates print out everything. I kept going back to something I thought was wrong, but it turned out to be the missing information that sent me FINALLY in the right direction.