Friday, December 2, 2011

Thinking While Working

I do a lot of thinking when I am out and about working by myself.  Today I was thinking about a blog I read last night and how fortunate this young lady was to have the family she does.  She learns from her father as well as her mother all the thing that are important for self sufficiency.  Watching her blog you can see the strong influence of her loving family and the strength of her character.

I remembered how my dad was forever telling me growing up; "Girls don't do that."  "Girls don't wear boot."  Girls don't..."  You all get the idea I am sure.  He grew up somehow thinking girl were inferior.  That is a sad thing because despite him not showing me how to do things he felt girls shouldn't do, I have learned on my own.  I don't think I do very badly either.

When our granddaughters come up I like to get them to help me out.  My hope is they learn a little something along the way and we have great fun while we are at it.  My oldest granddaughter has been helping me since before she could talk.  I still remember the time she insisted on carrying in the gallon milk jug.  It was as big as she was and it took everything she had but she did it.

The girls in my family rock.  There isn't anything we can't do.  You can teach us or we will find a way to learn it on our own.  In the long run, we will prevail.  We can cook, we can shoot, we can build.  We can even process a hog. ;)

Personal Quote

"If you are following the crowed you can not see far enough to have any idea where they are taking you.  Stand on the rise and take a good look around.  Then follow your own path." - Genevieve Strathman Snow

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Conserving Water

You can find many helpful hint on the Internet however most of them to be honest seem to piss me off. I see most of them as band-aids instead of real solutions.

It is in my opinion that in order to truly conserve water in a way that will really make a difference there needs to be a different way of thinking and a willingness to alter the way we live. We have been living as though we are rich kings and queens with unlimited resources never heading the warnings of the peasant who are warning us there is a problem. Most people just continue using and abusing resources.

"The survival rule of thumb is: 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food."

Take a look around you if you live in Texas. If you don't live here I will provide videos of some reality checkers. Ponds have dried up. Lakes have shriveled in size. Yes, we have aquifers however we have companies like Ozarka mass producing from the same aquifers we live on. (Ozarka bottles in Texas even during drought times.)

First I would ask that people stop buying bottle water.

My saying is, “If your solution effects me in a negative manner then it is not a solution. It is simply another problem you just decided to pass along to me.”

How are people to survive when companies are bottling water and ship it all over the world that they NEED to live on? It would be better to invest that money into bettering the water supply in your own area as a whole. Some argue that the company creates jobs locally. That will not do the area any good if they can not live there. They will end up having to move somewhere they can live and lastly the company will shut down and move it’s operation to a new location and do the same thing all over again.

Next I would ask you to take a look around and see what areas you use water and are they really necessary? Is it necessary to wash off your patio? Is it necessary to water your lawn? Do you really need your car washed?

Do you have a gutter system on your home? Have you thought of a rain catch system? Yes, you can buy those expensive things that are actually cheap and easy to make yourself.  A few years back we purchased a food grate 55 gal. container from the local feed store in McKinney, Texas for just $8. You simply cut a hole large enough in the lid for the incoming water from your gutter downspout. Use a screen for filtration. Add a attachment on the lower end of the container for water removal and you have a rain catch system. Simple and pretty inexpensive. We have a 330 gal. container that we plan on doing rain catch with from our barn to water our livestock. It is just finding the gutter as we are unemployed and try to obtain things as cheap or free as possible.

Other ways we conserve water:

When running the water for a shower and waiting for it to get hot we collect the water in a bucket to use for watering the animals, plants, or flushing the toilet.

We do not flush the toilet unless it is necessary. We collect the paper in the waste basket except that containing excrement. You know the old saying, “If it is yellow, let it mellow. If it is brown, flush it down.”

I also have a bucket in the garage that I use for urine. I use that for the compost pile as it helps speed up the composting process.
When hand washing we have wash water in one sink and rinse water in the other instead of rinsing with running water.

We re-wear gently worn cloths several times before washing.

We as many do have a low flow shower head but we also take shorter showers.

We never water outside unless it is for the garden or feed for livestock. I detest having to water so it has to be a need before I will consider it.

I am sure there are other ways that we conserve however they have become such a way of life for us that at this moment we can not think of other ways.


Lake Lavon

Lake Travis (Austin, Texas Area)

AgriLife Today

Please share the ways you conserve water in your own life.  I am eager to see how others conserve and maybe find new ways to do so myself.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Today was the start of a busy few days for us.  We went to my parents house about one hour south of us to help prepare for tomorrow.  My mom tends to put more on her plate then one person is capable of doing.  I have to hand it to her.  She gives it her all.  The best we can do is help where she will allow.

Tomorrow we plan on showing up early to help set everything up and eating a wonderful meal prepared with much love.  There will probably be a little over eating as well.  It is hard not to when there is so much good food.

Then we are heading to North Texas to spend the night with our children.  We are so excited.  Rumor has it they are excited too.  For years they have spent the holiday with their father.  This year they decided to have Thanksgiving themselves and invited us up to join them.  Having already committed to my parents we are choosing to do both back to back.  Fun times will be had by all for sure.

What am I grateful for?  My family. My wife, who has seen me through so much.  The one who shares my homesteading dream with me.  Our children, who love me as I love them.  My biological family who I have in the past two year either re-met or met for the first time.  You have completed me in ways I could never explain.  My adopted family who has loved me like blood.  To my friends that are more like family then friends.  My family of choice.  Most of all to God who has given me all these blessings, thank you.

Our Children & Grandchildren
(Except for the blurred out one.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day November 11, 2011

Today is the day set aside to honor our veterans. Men and women who have a calling to serve in our military. Some go to war. Some never see action. Some see to much. Some never recover. Some bring it home. Some never make it home. Some make it home in a box.

These are not the reasons for their calling. Their reasons are much stronger than that. They train to become the best to protect their fellow soldiers and their country from enemies foreign and domestic. They turn their lives and will over not only to a God of their understanding but also to the United States of America.

To those of you who have taken that pledge. I thank you for your service and sacrifice.

To name a few that are close to my heart: Bobbye Eachus, Jay Sulfrian, Amos Snow II, Leonard Strathman, Ben Branch, Rick Renshaw, John McCarty, Jack McCarty, Aaron Frame, Alec Ward, and Chris Anthony.

I am sure there are others I have missed in naming. Some I didn't name because I didn't know they served. (It is not like they go tooting their own horn.)
You all are important to me. 
To my friends, family and all other veterans who sacrificed and served our Country, Thank you.
To those who are missing or gave all.
You are not forgotten.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Growing Up in Sabine

I grew up in a small community north of I-20 just 30 miles NE of Tyler, Texas.  Our home was less than a mile from the old black school that had been closed since the end of segregation.  We use to go up to the gym to play basketball on a even surface.  Bouncing a basketball on dirt or oil top is not exactly even.

I grew up with many friends that are African-American.  Mom taught us to call them colored but they request we call them black.  Truth be told I just called them my friends for that is what they were and still are.  I learned a lot about people growing up in my neighborhood.  It was my first experience of a culture other than mine even though I didn't know it at the time.  I simply absorbed it into my way of life.

When we moved out to Sabine also known as Liberty City.  The original name was Hog Eye.  It was the first time we had land.  I had eight acres to roam.  Indoors I was like a caged animal.   I longed for the freedom of the outdoors.  The corral was our fort where my brother and I would play cowboys and indians or outlaws.  There was one panel on the corral that wasn't completely fixed to the other.  You could sit on it and bounce pretending you were riding a horse.

A horse.  That brings me to another story.  I loved horses when I was younger.  That was until my parents purchase the Shetland pony from our neighbor across the street.  We use to sit on top of that pony, her name was Penny while she stood in her shed.  The boy who owned her, my brother, and myself all could sit on her at once and she didn't mind at all.  Totally different story when she came to live with us.  Apparently she is ok with sitting on her when she gets to do what she wants but riding was a totally different thing all together.  She would buck and throw a fit.  Taking her down in the pasture just to have her race back.  She once bucked and took my brother under a bois d arc tree trying to scrap him off with the limbs.  She was a smart cantankerous one there.  I can tell you my desire to own a horse was rapidly changed.  I now love them from a far.  Oh, I have ridden them but I prefer those that do trail rides that actually don't mind a human rider.  Those feisty ones I'll let other deal with thank you.

We moved out to Sabine during my 3rd grade summer and were unable to make friends until we went to school.  That is where I met Chris Dorsey, who lived diagonally across the road from me.  He liked to ride his bike down to the neighborhood store.  I would see him pass during the summer but he never spoke to me.  I remember longing to have friends and wishing he would stop and talk.  The turd never did.

Chris became good friends with my brother and I.  Actually I think of him more as a brother than a friend.  I love him and his family very much.  Chris taught me how to play basketball, run, and throw a ball.  That first year when it snowed I got pelted not knowing how to make a snowball and throw.  Let me tell you I learned quick.  We also road our bikes all over the neighborhood.  Our favorite thing to do was go riding after it rained.  We would hit every mud puddle over and over until the puddle was dry or we were soaked.

Jason Snow, "Nothing like riding your bike through every mud puddle you could find.I lived for those days."

February 2009 - Sonja Boyd, Me, Charles Boyd, Jason, Mom, Chris Dorsey

Sonja and Charles lived down the road about 1/4 of a mile or so.  Sonja and I played some mean basketball and softball together growing up.  We had loads of fun.  As we all grew older our lives went different directions and we lost touch.  Unfortunately the above picture was taken at the funeral of Chris Dorsey's mother.  God, she had the prettiest, sweetest smile.  Such a tender heart.  Thinking of her is like a warm hug around my heart.  It is a shame we have to find each other at such and event however I know Mrs. Dorsey was smiling at all the laughter that occurred as a result.  Our love for each other had not diminished over time and we still keep in touch.  Well, Chris is not so good about it but his wonderful wife Dede is.  She is a great match for him.  I am sure she adequately keeps him on his toes as it should be.

Welcome & The Meaning of Redneck

Howdy Ya'll and welcome to my blog. My name is Genevieve.  I am a native Texan and proud of it.  

I thought I would start off since I named my blog "Eclectic Redneck Girl" with where the term 'redneck' came from and what it's original meaning was and what it means to me today.

Originally, the term redneck came from the later 1800's in southern Georgia and Alabama to refer to sharecroppers who worked in the fields thus getting a sunburned neck. They were called 'rednecks' as a term meant for hard working people.

The term was again used in the 1930's in a number of disputes in West Virginia. A large group of unionized miners marched south to Logan County, to pressure the mine owners there to allow their miners to become unionized. The union was formed due to the abusive conditions created by the mine owners and their outlawish guards who threatened workers with eviction and possible death if they joined the union which demanded fair pay.  

To identify themselves as they marched south, the miners all wore red bandannas around their necks. The publicity associated with the battles and the subsequent court cases created the term red-necks, and at that time they were viewed as the good guys in the conflict. 

Today, the term is used by comedians and commentators to refer to people who are uneducated, close-minded and racist individuals.  Unfortunately as a result people's view of a redneck is not a very positive one.

To me redneck is a way of life.  It is the southern way of living.  Being respectful and polite to others.  Saying yes ma'am and yes sir.  Enjoying a quiet evening sitting on the porch watching the sunset and the moon rise.  Loving your pickup truck like a biker loves his Harley.  Wrangler or Levi jeans and cowboy boots.

Now I re-frame from saying listening to country music because 95% of the time I don't.  I love my rock.  Mostly the only country I like is Country and Western.  I like listening to Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, (NO NO NO Willy Nelson!).  Some of the newer artist I like would be; Martina McBride, Holly Dunn, and Kathy Mattea to name a few.

My favorite song of all time would be Wildfire by Michael Martin Murphy.  The original version ONLY.  The others are just crap in my opinion.  (Warning, I have strong opinions but I am not closed minded.  I am willing to listen and possible be wrong.  Yes, I will admit it when I have been wrong.)

If you haven't heard the original version from 1975 in a while here it is:


The bottom line regarding the term redneck before I get off subject here is, I am proud to be a redneck.  Southern born where I was taught respect and morals.  

I am not now or have I ever been racist.  I was raised in a black community and my children are 1/2 Hispanic.  There is no room in my world for judgement of people.  I believe in accepting people as they are.  That is as long as they are simply living their life and not harming others.

I believe right is right and wrong is wrong.

I believe if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem for no action is still action.

Most of all I believe in being solution oriented.  Wallowing in the problem never gets it fixed so stop your complaining and do something positive to fix it.

I believe in gun ownership.  Remember there is a big responsibility in owning a gun of any kind.  Make sure you are well educated and respect this responsibility. 

In regards to hunting.  I was taught if you shoot it you eat it.  Taking a life should never be done simply for fun.  Any life!
Last but not least.  I have an Associates Degree, I am a licensed massage therapist, and a Kundalini Yoga Instructor.  Yes, now you see were the eclectic part comes in.  As you can see.  I am educated.  I love learning and I do so every chance I get by any means I can find.

So to those of you who have learned what redneck means by listening to those people in the media I ask that you take the time to get to know the real people.  I think we are pretty decent folks and I look forward to getting to know you too.

Redneck Girl by Bellamy Brothers