Posts from — August 2008

Good Links
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 30, 2008 - 4 Comments in WRETHA

I am always searching the ‘net looking for good, cheap, inexpensive, easy ways to DIY, these sites are right up my alley, I thought you might like them too. The first one is how to make a hay box cooker with more modern (and sanitary) materials:

The second one is how to make a minimum solar box cooker:

Just don’t try to combine the two, it’s not safe to use the materials used in that hay box cooker in a solar oven, the temps get way too hot and the materials used in the hay box cooker would off gas potentially toxic gasses, would probably make your food taste bad and might make you sick.


by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 28, 2008 - 2 Comments in WRETHA

It’s been very nice since my Dad has been here, we have been falling into a comfortable routine of eating, resting, enjoying nature and the views. My Dad brought his little dog, her name is Baby Girl, she is half pomeranian and half chihuahua, unfortunately she started going into heat the day she got here, so things have been a bit of a mess… fortunately she is good at staying put on a towel, so it’s not too bad. We do have to watch her like a hawk when she goes out, there are other dogs that run wild around here, I’m sure they know about her by now.

We had a good cookout, Dad brought steaks, big baking potatoes and a smoker with him, I sliced up some summer squash and roasted them after the steaks & potatoes were done. Wow, it was soooo good! We can’t get good steaks from any of the local stores out here, so this was a real treat. :)

Pekoe is doing so much better, her breath smells sweet, her remaining teeth look good, white and healthy, she is still coughing and sneezing quite a bit, but that is getting better too.

I wanted to let you know about a free long distance service I found on line, I have used it both for local and long distance calls, it works great, it even works with my internet phone, the way it works is you sign up (it’s 100% free), you need to give them your phone number, you go to their site, you enter the phone number you wish to call on their website, your phone will ring a few second later and you will be connected to your call, it has worked great for me. I don’t get anything for promoting this, I am doing this because this works, it’s free and you can call long distance free.
They have other free products & services on their site too, check them out.


Update on Pekoe
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 26, 2008 - 3 Comments in WRETHA

My Dad and I took Pekoe to the vet this morning, I had to have her there between 8 and 8:30 am. Once we got there, and got her checked in, I carried Pekoe back to a little room full of cages, I placed her in one, kissed her on top of the head, and left, it was hard to do, but I knew it would be for the best. They told me to come back around 4:30 to pick her up.

We drove back home and waited. Around 3:45 we left to go back and pick her up. One of the assistants carried her back to me, Pekoe looked so pitiful, she was droopy eyed, well just droopy all over. But she was glad to be back with me. We paid the bill, that one came to about $107, so all total the bill was around $200, again I want to thank everyone who donated, it came in very handy and is very much appreciated.

On the way back to the truck, I set Pekoe on the ground to see if she would want to potty, she couldn’t even stand up yet, so I set her on a towel in my lap and came on home. It’s been a few hours and she is still droopy looking, but she wagged her tail at me so that is a good sign that she is OK. I know the next few days will be difficult for her, they pulled 6 teeth, an assortment of molars and other teeth, I’ll wait for a few days (or longer) to look in her mouth to see exactly which ones are gone. The lady at the front desk said Pekoe could eat as early as tonight if she wanted to, I expect it will be tomorrow before she will want to eat. Right now Pekoe is curled up on our bed resting.


Fungi & Such…
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 24, 2008 - 0 Comments in WRETHA

Some of the fungus that lives among us… sorry ’bout that, I couldn’t resist… ;)

This one is pink, and very slimy.

This one is spiky.

Close up, spiky.

I suspect none of these are good to eat, not to worry, I’m not going to try, but they are interesting to see, with all this rain, they are popping up everywhere.


Quick Update
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 24, 2008 - 2 Comments in WRETHA

My Dad made it in yesterday! He left the DFW area about 8 am and made it in here just before 6pm, pretty good timing. I was at the store, he just drove on up to the store and stayed there with me for the hour I had left, he even got to meet a couple of the locals before the store closed. I am so glad he is here, I have missed him a lot.

It’s been raining for the last few days, we still have another month or so of the rainy season, I’ll have some more pix to upload soon of the creek running and the other things that are going on.


Miscellanous Stuff
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 21, 2008 - 5 Comments in WRETHA

My garden looks like it’s been frosted, I just finished “fogging” the garden with diatomaceous earth, I try to do it about once a week. I haven’t had much chance to do it lately because of all the rain, it does no good to try to dust when it’s raining or about to rain, it would just be washed off. I have noticed a lot of grasshoppers, though they aren’t doing very much damage, I can see where they are eating the leaves more an more. Today was a fairly sunny day so I decided it was time to do something about the grasshoppers.

Bob has been gone most of the day, out with one of our friends, helping him. I became adventurous and decided to climb up on the roof to change the angle of the solar panels. They are adjustable to face the sun, I thought it would be in the morning position, I was close, once I climbed up there, I could see that it was in a horizontal position, flat. The sun had passed high noon and was heading toward the west, so I undid the bungie cord and tilted the panels toward the west and redid the bungie cord. I looked around, enjoying the view from the roof, I couldn’t tell you exactly how high it is, but suffice it to say it’s around 3 stories tall. That’s all for my adventures today. I spoke to my Dad and he is planning on coming out on Thursday or Friday, it’s been very rainy in the Fort Worth area, so he hasn’t been able to pack the truck, once he is able to do that, he will leave out the following day, I’m hoping he will get a break in the rain in th coming days.

I spoke to my DIL today, she and the baby are doing great, one glitch though, the baby is in a breech position, butt down, so we hope the baby will turn in the next couple of weeks. Her doctor says the baby might come early, not a big surprise, I’ll just have to be ready when the time comes.

Pekoe is doing much better, she has had 4 doses of the antibiotics, Monday night she got a dose, Tuesday she got her morning and night doses, and this morning, she got one dose, today she jumped up on me and got in my face, before now, her breath was horrible, you could smell the infection and it was very stinky, it was miserable if she got under the blanket with one of us and started coughing, you would have to come up for air! This time all I smelled was regular doggie breath, it’s funny to think that doggie breath would be an improvement, but believe me, it is! I had to take a second sniff to make sure, yep, her mouth is doing much, M U C H better.

That’s about all for now, I’m just waiting for Bob to come home, I’ll cook dinner, we will listen to the radio or the internet radio and then we will go to bed. Tomorrow, we have to get the bedroom finished for my Dad, it’s nearly there, we just need to get a few more miscellaneous things out of there, clear off both decks so he can safely walk around out there.


If These Don’t Make Ya Smile, Your Mouth Is Broken…
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 20, 2008 - 6 Comments in WRETHA

see more dog pictures

see more dog pictures

see more dog pictures


Pekoe and Pasta
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 19, 2008 - 9 Comments in WRETHA

Hello everyone, Pekoe is doing just fine, she is getting 2 daily doses of a liquid antibiotic, she doesn’t fight me about taking it though I suspect it’s not her favorite thing in the world…

Now on to more fun stuff, I am always looking for easy ways to make foods from scratch, one of my favorite foods is noodles, yes, they are cheap and easy enough to buy from the store, but what if you want to make something that calls for noodles, and you are out of noodles? What if going to the store is out of the question? Well, I ran across an easy recipe for egg noodles, they are made with just a few ingredients that most of us will have around the house, who doesn’t have regular flour, eggs, salt and water??? The best part is you do not need any fancy equipment. I do own (and use) a pasta machine, one of those little gadgets that you clamp to the table and crank, crank, crank your pasta dough through, I love mine! I use it for other things besides pasta, I have been known to make tortillas with it too…

The pasta machine is NOT necessary to make this recipe. Here is where I got the recipe from and a copy of the recipe:

If you like this recipe, take the time to click on the link above and visit starrgirl’s page, she gets credit/money for each page view she gets, it’s not much but every little bit adds up, show your appreciation for the time she took to put this together for everyone.

It has been brought to my attention that the article that I copied and pasted here, might not actually be copyrighted by the author who wrote it, when she published it to Associated Content, it became their content, and even through I gave a complete link to the site and a prompt to visit it, in order to be ethical, I will have to remove the majority of this message, I will leave the recipe (re-written to avoid any copyright issues), please visit the link to see the entire message, it’s worth reading.

Homemade Egg Noodles

4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 cup of water

You will need a cutting board, a deep mixing bowl, a fork, a large serrated knife and a rolling pin. Get some newspapers or brown paper bags for drying the noodles.

These measurements are approximate, with any dough, you will need to go by the feel of the dough.

Break the eggs into a bowl, whip them with your fork, add the water and salt, mix well. Add 1 cup flour and stir until blended. Stir in the rest of the flour a little at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may not use all of the flour.

Work the dough with your hands, in the bowl or on a floured surface, add flour as needed. The dough should be firm and elastic, not wet. When the dough is no longer sticking to your hands, it’s ready.

(My edit, I would let the dough sit for a while, in the bowl, covered with a damp towel, at least 30 minutes, it will be much easier to roll out)

Pinch off an egg sized piece of dough, dip it in flour, roll out the dough on a well floured surface, pick it up, flip it over and re-dust with flour when it begins to stick. Roll it out as thin as you can get it, then place it on some newspaper or brown paper bag, the paper absorbes moisture. Continue rolling out the rest of the dough placing each circle of rolled dough on a fresh piece of paper.

Wait a half an hour, the flattened dough should be drying on top, flip them over on the paper to dry on the other side. Wait another 30 minutes to an hour.

When the dough is dry but still soft enough to roll up, take 2 dough rounds, dust flour between the layers, roll up like a jelly roll, slice the rolls into thin strips using your serrated knife. Place the cut rings back on the paper, fluff out with your fingers to separate the noodles into a single layer, continue cutting and fluffing the remaining dough rounds.

Leave them to dry for several hours or overnight. Then gather into a bowl to get ready to cook them. You can freeze them at this stage, place in a freezer safe package, use within a few months.

Cook homemade egg noodles for 20-30 minutes in beef or chicken broth, add shreds of meat to the pot, serve over mashed potatoes.

Serves 8 (+/-)

I haven’t tried this YET, I will be, a couple of things I might consider while cooking these noodles, I know that fresh pasta (not dried) usually cooks in minutes, dried pasta usually cooks up in 6-10 minutes (+/-) depending on the thickness of the pasta, I don’t know if I would leave mine to cook (fresh or dried) for 20-30 minutes, but as I said, I haven’t tried this yet, it may be hearty enough to stand for that much cooking time, if anyone tries it before I get a chance to, let me know how it turns out. :)


Pekoe’s Trip To The Vet
by WRETHAOFFGRID on AUGUST 18, 2008 - 5 Comments in WRETHA

Got up early today to take Pekoe to the vet, my friend played taxi service and drove us out there, good thing, I’m still not that familiar with the area and it’s a heck of a drive! We got there late, nearly everything that could happen, did happen… I got over to my friend’s house in plenty of time, she thought the appointment was at 10, (it was really at 10:30), she wasn’t completely ready to go yet, but quickly got that way, when we got into her truck, the gas gauge was on empty, we wouldn’t have made it out to the mailboxes, fortunately I have a key to the country store (we sell fuel there), even though it’s closed on Mondays, we got there, I opened the store, turned on the pumps, pumped the gas into her truck, on the way back in, another truck pulled up, I could hear my friend telling them the store was closed, it was the electric service coming to turn off the power to the store! Somewhere there had been a mistake and they believed the bill hadn’t been paid, I know it had, I called the store owner to let her know what was happening, she wanted to talk to him, I took the cordless phone out to him, I had to leave so I locked the door and asked him to set the phone on the porch when he was through.

We finally got going, we made it to the vet, late, but we made it. I took Pekoe inside, we did some paperwork and got right in. Talk about a countryfied doctor! His granddaughter was there, she was cute as a button! I’d say she was around 5 or 6, and sporting a bright pink cast on her arm, apparently fell off the swings at school… anyhoo, we weighed Pekoe, she weighs in at 6.8 pounds, I have always tried to keep her at or under 5 pounds, but with her age and everything, I think she is doing pretty good, she is NOT a fat dog.

Next we took her into the examination room, once on the table, Pekoe started getting nervous, the vet came in and with the help of his assistant, and me holding Pekoe by the scruff of her neck, she got all of her shots and something that was squirted into her nose (rabies, parvo, and kennel cough), the vet wanted to see her teeth, but Pekoe wouldn’t cooperate, I managed to pull one side of her lip up, but once the vet began to give her the shots, he got a good look at her teeth! She bared all of them. Next came the bloodwork, they needed to draw blood, being a long haired chihuahua, the vet had to shave a spot on her neck, the assistant held Pekoe’s head and neck from behind, by this time, Pekoe was about to go nuts, she peed on the table (I’m glad she went before we got there otherwise it would have been a real mess), I tried to calm her as best I could, but nothing was going to make her feel any better until we were out of there. The vet shaved a spot on her neck, then managed to draw some blood. The vet’s granddaughter sat in a chair just outside the door watching the whole thing, it was very cute, she is a very inquisitive and smart little girl, I have to wonder if she will want to grow up to be a vet too.

That all done, I leashed Pekoe up and went to the front desk to pay up, set the next appointment and get her antibiotics. By then, Pekoe was prancing around like nothing in the world was wrong. That trip ended up costing just under $100, we have to go back next Monday between 8 an 8:30am for the teeth cleaning part, I know once we get there and Pekoe sees the building, she isn’t going to be very happy, but at least I’ll get to take her home the same day, no overnight stay.

Right now Pekoe is sleeping on the end of the bed, she seems to be happy, the vet said she had a good strong heartbeat for a 9 year old dog. I felt like she was a healthy dog, with the exception of her teeth, and once we get that taken care of, she will have lots of years left in her. :)


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