Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Last night I could not sleep. As I sat up with HBO keeping me company, I watched a documentary called Gasland. The more I watched, well, shock is the best word. I am not sure if I was naive, or just a busy mom who fell for the 'clean natural gas' marketing crap, but I was in for a rude awakening.

Add to my worry when I see- that our property sits just inside the red zone. Maybe it is because I could picture myself like Josh Fox, having received a letter offering cash for drilling rights. At first glance it would be tempting to consider the offer when you have some acreage (since I fell for the 'clean fuel' one-liner).

Well, now that one takes the time to think about it, it makes complete sense that drilling in the same earth we drill for water, could easily contaminate our water supply. Why was this not brought to light before? Maybe it was and we didn't take notice. Or maybe it wasn't, and we should be thanking Josh for bringing this to our attention.
If you haven't seen it, watch it. A major eye opener.

Gasland by Josh Fox



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sheltie puppies

Our latest sheltie puppy. He is a sable singleton out of Jazz's daughter Charm and UKC CH Moonstruck Simon Sez. He is darling and looks to be a nice small size. This was the first time I really tried the litter box training puppies method and I have been amazed to see how easy it was and how well it worked! At three weeks old the puppy was literally going out of the crate to find his litter area and then back in the crate to sleep. Wonderful!
He will be available this coming week as a pet or even a potential performance/working sheltie.
Contact me at javared5@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Little dreams accomplished

Two things I have been dreaming of for a long time became a reality this week. We added a small room to the back of our home and I finally have my wood front door. Just today I finished sanding the fir door and rubbed on the stain. I began by sanding with steel wool and then moved to fine sandpaper. After removing all dust I applied a golden oak shade of stain. I have been admiring it all day while waiting for it to dry. What a wonderful week!

Eta: After drying for more than 24 hours I applied the first coat of Spar Urethane in satin finish. Next I will sand, wipe down, and apply a second coat.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How to make strawberry freezer jam

This week we were working on making our favorite- strawberry freezer jam. It is easy- just a few steps. And oh-so delicious. You can make it too.

This is making freezer jam with the Certo recipe. Start by measuring about 4 cups of cleaned and destemmed strawberries. Watch out for bugs and cut off any bad spots. Discard any mushy berries.

Four cups whole strawberries crush down to approximately 2 cups-measure after crushing.

A square cardboard quart strawberry container is about 4 cups- and will make about 3 jars of jam (give or take).

Only a few supplies needed-

Mixing bowl with spatula
Potato masher- we like using the metal thingy first and then move to the black jobby-do if you want your jam smoother.

Canning funnel
Small bowl & tablespoon
Jars & lids

For each bowl/batch-

Strawberries - 2 cups crushed
Sugar - 4 cups
Lemon Juice - 2 Tablespoons
Pectin - 1 pouch (there are 2 pouches in each box)

Starting to crush (the 4 cups whole strawberries-measure out your 2 cups after)

After crushing add in the 4 cups sugar. Mix in very well and let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally making sure to scrape sugar off the sides of bowl. You want all the sugar dissolved.

In a separate small bowl mix 1 pouch of the Certo and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice. Mix with spoon.

After the 10 minutes is up and it looks like the sugar is well dissolved, add in the Certo mix. Stir very well for 3 minutes, again making sure to scrape the sides.

Ladle into jars. Wipe off the rims before placing the lids on.

We like the wide mouth pint jars. These use the wide mouth lids. You can also be even greener and use pickle/relish jars, ect.

Make sure jars are freshly clean.

Let sit out on the counter for 24 hrs and then freeze.

Illustrating the types of lids-

A canning lid and ring.
A plastic storage cap lid.
A reused relish jar.

We love the plastic storage caps for in the fridge after you open your canned goods.
Remember, this jam recipe must be stored in the freezer and refrigerated after opening.

Hello! We have decided to begin chronicling our adventures in the forest while moving toward simple living.
My name is Sherri, I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we have three great sons. We live back in a forest that has been in my family for many years. My mother Pam and I have been looking forward to starting our first blog.

We love to talk homeschooling, DIY landscaping, gardening, shelties or border collies, herding, canning and recipes, simple or frugal living, prepping, raising chickens, life in the forest, vintage Ford Mustangs, or the always entertaining antics of the kids.

Welcome to the forest!