A little introduction

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Good Afternoon to all,

My name is Debbie, I am 50 years old and married to Bruce. We have two daughters in college. One studying Piano Performance at OSU and the other Nursing at Oklahoma Baptist University. We have lived in OK for 4 plus years now after moving almost every other year for 20 years. Our daughters were raised mostly overseas. They were homeschooled until the day they went to college. We homeschooled because of all the moves. You must have figured my husband works for the Military, he works as a Civilian through and this is are last move. We bought 280 acres (his idea) in Southeastern Ok. We call our ranch Bountiful. The first year we planted 100 Blueberry Plants (several hundred more will be planted this year). Second year we planted 300 Christmas Trees (more will be planted next year too). Then came the bee hives (9) of course we already had the girls' horses but..you can't live in OK without cattle and sheep!! We're working on a 9 year plan for retirement!!

We live in a very rural area. Rolling hills with plenty of creeks and wildlife (too much, coyotes, timber wolfs, bobcats, big cats, panthers, wild boar). We really love the land but feel too isolated and I don't really fit in but I'll give it time. It takes 1/2 hr drive to the nearest store just for a loaf of bread! Well I picked up my girls from their colleges this last week so I have them for a whole 3 months to myself. Well inbetween all their schedules, I guess.

As soon as Diane gets me my name place, I will love to join in and write. I have enjoyed reading many of your journals. I had already known a few of you from posts on the old Countryside forum.


-- Anonymous, May 18, 2002


In order to fit in here I have joined a quilting bee. It is my turn tomorrow to give the noon dinner and have the quilting party. I am younger than most of their children so this is a stretch in the "fitting in" theory of mine. I have been given orders as to what will be on the menu. You must have a meat dish, casserole, bread, salad and two desserts! I think it is a eating party instead of a quilting party. Woke up to a coyote at my back fence, dogs barking and lambs screaming. Husband ran out there and chased that coyote away but that was the end of the night for both of us. At present I am trying to fatten the lambs out and sell soon. I sell when they are 100 pounds at which time the breeding ewes get pregnant again. Husband (Bruce) is thrilled because he found two new calfs yesterday. He really enjoys the calf business but I think the sheep are losing a lot of money, I just love them is the problem. Well I must go to the post office. On Mondays and Thursdays I mail soap out. I have a wholesale handmade soap business which is starting to take off. I have been making soap for many years but just in the last few managed to get the courage to sell. I am not the marketing personality. I promise to improve my writing abilities after I read a few more of your journals to get the nack. Thank you all for letting me to join.

Debbie in OK.

-- Anonymous, May 20, 2002

Well my party with the ladies went well. My two daughters say they're exhausted waiting on everyone (nice to have my girls home)!! When my husband arrived home the ferrier was here working on our horses' hooves. He is a nice man who is also a Nazarine Pastor. Bruce was so happy to see a man. We pay him to also help work our cattle and he was needed right then. You see we let time past and hadn't sold a few calves back a few months ago and their moms had new calves yesterday which means if you do not get the older one off mom the babies will starve to death. We learned this the hard way last year. Saved the baby by tubing it with colustrum and then cow replacer milk until it was strong enough to suck off mom again. We sold his sister real quick! Our land runs through a valley and several creeks so my husband was happy to have someone other than me and Jolleen (18 year old daughter) helping. We have this Angus Bull that stares at me and I am praying for our lifes while out there. My husband is trying to convince me we have a nice, friendly Bull, but I am not falling for it! Well, dinner was easy - leafovers from my party. Hope all is well, Debbie Bountiful

P.S. Diane I will be out of town next week so don't think I left. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, May 21, 2002

I have just a few minutes!! I am trying to get ready for our trip to Lexington, Ky. My husband will stay home and I will go with the girls. We have so many animals now and really do not have any close friends or anyone that we could even pay to take care of BOUNTIFUL that we are now having to take separate vacations with the girls. This is sad because we love being together and have had great vacations as a family in the past camping and travelling. As I have mentioned before, OK has been the hardest place we have ever moved. We just can't seem to fit in and of course we have never been this rural before. Well to get ready,I needed to get sheep feed in. Hopefully my husband will not be too burned out when I return. He will have to get up at 5 am. Get feed into the lambing pens and feed the ewes. Feed the horses and let them out for the day. Let the cow dogs out for the day. Make sure the chixs have water and feed too. Also we have an indoor Basset Hound that needs to be locked up in the Greenhouse for the day. Do not trust her alone all day either. Then after getting himself ready for work and just about walking out the door he needs to let the lambs and ewes into a dry lot with hay. Cannot let them in too early because of the coyotes and can't let them onto the pasture during the day when your gone for the same reasons. Actually were having a harder time with timber wolfes they are not afraid of humans! When he gets home for work all the same chores but add the cattle. Feed the chixs, dogs and cats. It is easier when he is out of town because I already do all the chores, but I am also home all day too. I hope when I return the garden looks okay, I have taken great care of it this year and plan on doing an awful lot of canning. Also, when I return our Blueberry U-Pick will be ready to start calling our customers. I hope that turns out good this year. I hope all is well with the rest of you and look forward to reading your journals when I return. I would just like to say that I have read some and would have loved to respond I have read of Vince's stroke and I keep the family in my prayers. Debbie in Ok

-- Anonymous, May 24, 2002

I just got back from Ky. (Richmond) last night. Traffic across 1-40 was terrible with the bridge out. I saw the bridge and cried it looked terrible. I had left actually on the day it was out so had to see it twice. I live quite close to that area in Ok. Anyway, I just finished sending out soap orders (I sell soap)and turned on the computer to see how you all were and apparently it was a bad week for the forum. I feel bad, I thought this would be a place to talk and relax with a cup of tea once a day. I will pray for Diane and as usual I have always missed what has happened. I must had been doing something before when all the forums disappeared. I do pray for all and that we can still keep just this one.

Checked on my blueberries last night. Thought this would be the year for opening the U-Pick. The wheather hasn't been the greatest for the bees I guess because I don't think I'll have the blueberries I thought I would. I hope I have enough honey when we go to harvest that. The lambs are doing great though, I think I will sell the boys next month and the girls a few months later. Not back since they were born the last week of Feb. (most of them). Hubby and I will try to get a few calves into the trailer tonight to take them to auction and it is almost time to do hay. Well I hope all of your homelives and hubs are doing great. Thanks for listening. Debbie in Ok.

-- Anonymous, June 03, 2002

I can't believe it has been a month and I apolized to Diane for not posting. There has been a lot going on ie. canning, gardening, blueberries, honey extraction and so on. It sounds like the rest of you are a little busy right now too. I did stay off the internet all together for 3 weeks because of spaming which I know came from Lunscet. Kinda of feel sorry for Greenspan because I know he wanted a nice site but there are strange ones out there. I am not as scared about it now, just stayed off the forums and everything is okay now. Been trying to enjoy my girls home from college. My oldest one will probably not be able to come home next summer and a limited time for breaks. She has a full time job as music director now for a Church near her college in Stillwater, OK. I am happy for her but sad that it really is time for us to lose are babies. We live about 3 hrs away near the border of Arkansas. She has been a big help this summer and it been nice watching both girls riding the horses again. I was worried they might be barn sour not been riden in so long. My younger daughter is my vet and ranch hand while the oldest knows how to clean the house!! So..you can see I will miss them both.

Our blueberry u-pick didn't do well this year, late frost. Oh well, last year was great and maybe next will be too. We sold several calves at market and been selling hay so can't really complain. I have read a few of your latest diaries and plan on having a cup of coffee later and catching up.


Debbie Bountiful Ranch

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2002

Thanks Joni for asking about me. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. I always wanted to live rural but this is a little too rural. Husband and girls are going to a rodeo tonight. One might ride they took the trailer (I hope not). I have chigger bites from head to toe so I stayed to rest and see what is happening on the forum. Took a bath in my home lavender soap and dropped a few drops into the bath tub. It really helps with the bites. I sell soap wholesale. It sort of pays for itself and hopefully someday will do more.

I have 7 lambs left to sell. I am not sure how many years I will contiue raising sheep. I do love them but I can't let them out to graze with the cattle because of all the predetors. I even lock up my farm dogs at night because they couldn't live though the amount of wild animals out there. The county agent says to be looking out for black panthers. I had never seen one of them but wasn't too thrilled to hear about them. We generally do not travell the land on foot. My husband rides the horses or takes the tractor. Behind out property is about 15000 open acres owned by Indian Nation. All forest mountain type terrain. Our property is in the valley between two mountains (not your Rocky type, your ozark type). We have pasture and hay fields and raise cattle and sell hay. The house backs into the mountain and that is when I hear the screaming women in the trees at night!! (I guess wild cats)

Tomorrow we are going to extract the honey from our beehives. That is a lot of work. We have a hand crank extractor so it takes my husband to turn it. We (the girls and myself) will go out in the early morning and bring in the supers for extracting. We have bee suits and a smoker. The honey ought to be good this year it , the hives were sitting in the middle of our blueberry patch so I guess it will be blueberry honey!

well now I feel better. I think I will go and have a cup of tea and look at all the pretty jars I have canned so far this year. (I do love canning). Diane, I hope I have a better experience at Sam Club. We need to go in another week or so. It is a 3 hr drive so we only go a few times a year but I get all my olive oil there for making my soap and pretty much all of our paper goods and bulk stuff. I wish I could get into one of the clubs that sell organic. When I lived up North, our family was part of a club out of Madison, Wis. It was a once a month thing. The closest one would be Ozark out of Arkansas but we would have to find quite a few families to join in order for them to come here. This isn't that type of an area.

Again, thanks Diane and Joni for checking on me, it really made me feel good. You guys are great.

Blessings, Debbie in OK

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2002

Well just got back from picking up 3 bushels of peaches. They look good. Still trying to finish all the canning in the garden. I sold 2 lambs Sunday so it is getting down. I think I am selling all the sheep this next week. My husband said he is not helping me in this decision because he is wrong no matter what! I love raising sheep but I haven't the time, they are a lot of work and I doubt if we have ever made any money off of them. I think lambs are born looking for a place to die. After raising sheep you know why God uses them in the Bible, they are really dumb animals! on a good note my husband made pretty good money on some cows this week and we have a lot of hay for sale plus plenty of customers.

Well I hope all is well with you all and I plan on having a cup of tea late tonight (while canning) and read all the latest from you guys.

Blessing, Debbie

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2002

It is so hot and humid in this part of the country today. I think I am misplaced in life. I would rather have the 20 belows then the 100s. Husband says milder winters is worth the 100 summer - wrong, I can't do anything I want outdoors in this heat whereas there isn't much to do in the winter but feed the animals. Granted it is harder to feed the animals but that is all you have to do. I can't even make soap today with the high humidity. Generally it isn't a problem because I have air conditioned house but you take a lot of risk with cp soap and humid conditions as I don't make soap when it rains, this is bad because I have craft fairs starting in Sept.!

Now I have canned up a storm this year which we needed. In 1999 and all the talk about Y2K I canned enough for a year or so and we are now completely out of everything. This part of the country had a terrible Ice Storm a couple years ago and we were without all utilities for 13 days. I ended up cooking on a Dutch Oven out doors and we ate all the canned foods for lack of what else to do in life.So now this year I have had to buy all my canned fruit and tomatoes plus jams. So...I canned enough jams and fruits (mostly peaches and of course the blueberries out of my own u-pick), beans, beets peppers and onions for a good year.

Hubby and kids will be home tonight. He takes the girls on a vacation once a year as I do. With all the animals we can't seem to get away as a family anymore which I really miss. But now do you get someone to come over twice a day to do chores when it will be a 45 minute drive probably for them each way. We decided to work on downsizing the animals some this year but still you can't leave too long.

Once in awhile I lurk over in the other Greenspan sites but I doub't if I would ever post their again. It seems everytime I do I get some very weird emails. I do miss the old courtryside forum and the one that Chuck started doesn't seem to be taking off. I feel bad for him because I know he has put a lot of work into that site. So this is probably the only one I even visit anymore and feel like I have more in common with you guys anyway. I call this my tea break!

I hope all of you have a cooler week than I do.

Debbie Bountiful

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2002

Can't believe that the summer is gone and one girl is back in College and the other will this weekend. I have a matter of minutes at present to write, my oils and lye are at 115 degrees and I mix at 100 degrees so I thought I would write in the diary(SoapMaking that is). Later, after everything is mixed together and poured I will come back and read what is happening to all. Well, I think I mentioned before I wanted to downsize on the sheep business. Got the nerve which is hard because I love sheep and called a trucker. Now I think it is either God saying stay in business or I have terrible luck with truckers. One didn't show and the next didn't show but did call to tell me "my wife was mad at me and shot out all 18 tires on my truck, but we fixed things and are back together". Non the less the breeding sheep are still here and the ram seems interested. I am glad he(the trucker, not my ram) is back with the wife but did suggest that he remove the guns from the house!

How did all the canning go. I am pretty pleased with the amount I did considering all the stuff I had to do for my girls this summer and have been making soap almost daily now.

One thing that has been horrible this summer is the ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes etc... I think it has been the worst summer for ticks. Plus the West Nile disease is in OK. Had my horses vacinated for it this last week. Now that was a day. Had rabies shots for 10 animals plus all the other stuff you do with horses each year. Can't wait to see the bill!

I think we will make breakfast for dinner tonight. Hubby and youngest daughter are in town getting feed at the moment (cattle feed) and I am tired of lamb chops. We eat lamb at least 4 to 5 nites a week. We also have chixs so we always have plenty of eggs, I think eggs, pancakes with blueberry syrup (from my blueberry u- pick) sounds good.

I do hope all is well and will catch up on everything later. I need to check the temps on the oils/lye.

Blessings, Debbie at Bountiful

-- Anonymous, August 17, 2002

Good evening,

Don't you guys wish FALL would just come. Listening to the weather is getting old with the same everyday low 90s, at least it is not humid anymore and haven't been on any tornado watches!!

Both my girls will be home this weekend for a 3 day weekend. I wasn't sure if the oldest would because she has a pianist job at a Church but..the pastor of that church is so sweet and found someone else to play this Sunday in her place. I think I will stuff a whole chix with pineapple, green & red peppers and onions topped with sweet and sour sauce for Friday evening and then a Leg of Lamb for Sat, leafovers on Sunday plus a brunch with blueberries on Monday before they leave to go back to college.

Husband has several new babies "calves", it seems to be about this time every year we get quite a few. We sold several of the older ones a few months ago. Got to be careful about letting the older ones stay to long. About two years ago we didn't pull an older sibling and the mother had her baby, the baby didn't get the colustrum and I ended up becoming Mom to the baby until it got a little weight on then had to take it to the auction. Because of no colustrum and other things it was pretty well blind, very sad case and we couldn't let it out with Mom. We have a lot of preditors and it would be on a few hundred acres. So we learned the hard way on when to sell.

Sold a few Sheep and I cried. My favorite ones of course but they all had problems lambing and prolapsing. So maybe this year will be easier for me.

How do you guys all get along in the Country. I live very far out in a very rural area. It is 30 minutes to the closest town and how that the girls are away at school I sometimes wish I had neighbors. Although, between chores and soapmaking I hardly have time for neighbors!

Terri, I didn't know how to answer your question on this weeks Chat about that canning problem with the tomatoes but...I would check those canned tomatoes out. If the seal comes off real easy just dump it. I had a few problems with lids a couple years ago, it seem that all my Kerr lids were not sealing. I think I had a bad batch of them and I lost quite a few qts of tomatoes. Generally, after I can a batch of something and it's been a few days I unscrew the screw tops and pull on the lid myself to make sure it's a tight seal. I had 7 qts this year that didn't seal so I just dump them into bags and froze. Will not be as good but will use for stews or soups.

Well, my husband must get my generator back from his hay barn because we have 2 lambs in the freezer and will be putting 2 more in next week plus maybe another 2 later. It seems the electric is always going out here. We had lost it once for 13 days.(Ice Storm of 2001) We basically eat lamb....you really can't tell the difference from ground lamb and ground beef unless it is a hamburger. I have several sold but I doubt if I made any money off the lambs this year. Broke even which is good and got my lambs free (forgetting all the labor of course).

On this week Chat, we're all talking about a camping trip (maybe here to see soapmaking). Wouldn't that be nice and fun. I think one of the problems with country living is you can't get away. Everytime I go someplace I have to get back before evening chores. If we were to go away for an overnighter we would have to hire someone to do chores. Animals have to eat and if you have any diary animals forget it!!!

Well, it is 6:30 and must get something going on the stove. I enjoy you all.

Debbie at Bountiful

-- Anonymous, August 29, 2002

Well as of yesterday I became 51 years old. My girls will be home this weekend to celebrate. My oldest will have to get up very early on Sunday and drive 3 hrs to the Church she plays piano for, so..I kinda of wish they didn't feel the need to celebrate. I'm not!!!

I have bars of soap curing all over the place. We have a loft that has a 400 sq foot floor with bars covering the entire floor. Hopefully I will be able to box much of it up next week. I been having to cure 6 weeks because of the goatmilk and olive mix which takes longer to cure.

Yesterday, my birthday - went to a craft group I belong to and on the way back my van just stopped out in the middle of nowhere. I walked quite a ways until I found a country house that didn't look like a "drug lab" and she let me call my husband, who was not at his desk. I didn't know any other number to call but we just called the base and they new who my husband was and got him out of a meeting. Would you believe I was out of gas. I thought it was a man's job to put gas in the car! The neat thing was is that this woman was such a lovely person and her husband is a pastor. Not at the Church I go to but we had such a good time. I think we will keep in touch.

Well we need to do some serious clean up in our creeks. Have a lot of timber down from storms and if we do not get it out of the creeks we will have some big time problems. So my husband is going to try and take a few days vacation time and that is what we will do.

I hope all of you are doing well.

Blessing, Debbie at Bountiful

-- Anonymous, September 18, 2002

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