Jerusalem has become a cup of trembling…. Buckle your seat belt!

Serious considerations

natsab

israel-and-the-palestinians-united-nations-mapIt is hard to understate the enormity of recent happenings regarding the fate of Jerusalem.  I am still trying to process it all, but I do think it safe to say that we, mankind, have crossed a threshold into prophetically uncharted waters.

If you have not heard, on Kislev 23, 5777, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334 that condemns any Israeli activity beyond its 1967 borders.  Further, the Resolution gives teeth to the international body to begin using lawsuits and eventually military action against not only Israel, but any who would side with her.  According to the enforceable text of the Resolution, the Old City, the Western Wall as well as multiple Jewish suburbs around Jerusalem now belong to a non-existent people group commonly called ‘Palestinians.’

The political intrigue leading up to its passing is an interesting study in multiple characters. 

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Getting Ready

One would think you could just pull in and start with tillage for planting crops as part of my fescue elimination project.  Alas, that isn’t true in my case.  Since i had subdivided the 120 acres into 6 paddocks with 2 wire hi-tensile electric wire, all this had to be wound up and stowed for replacement after 4 years as per my plan.  Old fence posts and wired had to be pulled up and stacked for burning when time allows and entrance gateway had to be widened.

 

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There’s been a 16 foot gate here for longer than i’ve been alive, although this is a new gate i had installed about 5 years ago.  But, 16 foot opening is far too narrow to pull in comfortably with big equipment, although you’d be amazed at what a skilled driver can get through!
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So, this is the new look – set two new corner posts and hung two 16 foot gates.  Very professionally done by Jim Fitzgerald.
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HUGE thank you and shout out to North Central Missouri Electric Coop for quickly removing, not only the lines from the transformer to the meter pole, but also my farm lines from the meter pole to windmill pump. About an 1/4 of a mile’s worth. While i did the ground work of chaining the pole to the front end loading, Dallas pulled the posts. Afterward, i dragged them to a burn pile with my Gator.
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The electric company removed the wires from two tall poles which were on my property.  Our little tractor had to shove a bit on the pole, then really hunker down to get these poles pulled up.  As you can see, they are buried quite deep.  Instead of burning these poles, they were cut to length and used as the corner posts for my new gateways!
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Old fence left over from who knows when still across the pasture with wire buried and tangled.  What a mess but at last we prevailed.
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Here are half the posts from that fence.  These will all burnt in a pile.  Would make good firewood if they weren’t full of staples and wires.  The corner posts were too heavy for me to lift into the bucket, so we just used the tractor to pull them ’round to the burn pile – it wasn’t far.
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An old home built load out chute we drug up out of the middle of the pasture.  
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With most posts pulled up, Dallas is building me a low water crossing while I pull the remaining posts to burn pile and roll up another half a quarter mile of hi-tensile wire.  Weather is perfect for working but I’m about out of steam!

 

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I bet you were wondering how I can roll up 12 gauge hi-tensile electric wire.  The key is this spinning jenny from Powerflex Fence.  Don’t do this without a spinning jenny  Notice the rolls of wire I stored nearby; ready to roll back out after the 4 year renovation.  All told, I rolled up a bit more than 2 miles of hi-tensile wire and pulled some 140 fiberglass posts.  Many were 1 inch and were easily pulled by hand.  I hauled them all home and have them stored on a pallet in the barn.
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Here you can see the old hand strung electric line from way up at the barn down to the electrified pump.  It used to be run only with the windmill, but there is not enough reliable wind to make that very viable.  Anyway, those were the posts Dallas and I pulled up.

Dallas and I did this in a couple days of remarkable weather in November!

Cheers

tauna

The First Step Closer

Son, Nathan, has begun a blog – it’s different than mine. Follow along if you like.

Enter Wonderland

My feet clamor for release almost as loudly as my backside cries for relief from its suppression.

Last weekend was supposed to be simple: move out of my apartment, retrieve my sister from the airport, then fly to Atlanta for a predeparture orientation. What fun would it be if everything went to plan?

Friday morning, as I packed my car and prepared to depart for KCI to get my sister, a winter storm blew in. Storm-ologists knew it as Winter Storm Decima. Those traveling knew it as the reason roads and airports across Missouri were shut down. The rest of us hunkered down and wondered if hell was freezing yet. I had already handed over my apartment keys, so I was trapped in Maryville without a bed. Fortunately, my good friend Tom offered to let me crash at his place overnight, then I would hopefully be on my way on…

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Submission and Authority Part I

A very thoughtful article deserving review.

GRACE in TORAH

Ezer Kenegdo and Submission (1 Peter 3:1)

How do we reconcile the role of the ezer kenegdo as a helper that opposes with 1 Peter 3:1?

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.”

man_vs_womanOne of the points of proper Biblical hermeneutics is called “The Synthesis Principle”. This method explains that the best interpreter of scripture is scripture itself. A passage must be examined in relation to its immediate context (the verses surrounding it), its wider context (the book it’s found in), and its complete context (the whole Bible). The Bible does not contradict itself. In other words, good Bible interpretation relates any one passage to the total content of scripture. This careful process ensures that one has the “whole story.” This lessens the possibility of someone taking…

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Site Inspect for FAMS

Dallas is not a good bathroom cleaner upper. Probably never will be, so occasionally, i can no longer stand the mess and start scrubbing. I don’t mind, he takes out hay for me when it’s too cold to live, manhandles gates i struggle with, and does lots of other jobs that are getting harder and harder for me. ANYWAY, here’s about as clean as one can get cheap Mustee brand shower panels after being used for 5 years. Took me about half an hour, scrub brush, cloth, Soft Scrub, hot water, and tooth brush to get this clean. However, as a former travel consultant and group air coordinator, i had the opportunity to participate in a few FAM (familiarization) trips. On FAM trips, we are paraded to various hotels, restaurants, etc in the hopes we would book their properties (they are paying for this FAM), so we learn to scrutinize. Looking at this shower, what would you check to see if it was clean?

Nothing can be perfectly clean, but there is definitely a minimum standard to be maintained to show respect for your paying guests. (this is our home now and no longer a guesthouse)

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Here’s the mostly cleaned shower.  If you were doing a site inspection for a hotel, where would you look?
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The bottom of the shower curtain.
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Run your finger or a cloth on all horizontal surfaces.
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Note the difference between the cleaned edge on the right vs still dirty on the left.
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Check the top of the curtain rod.
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Inspect corners and the BACK of the frame panel.
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The soap dish should be scrubbed.

E+ Fescue History

Not even going to bore you with a long history of a specific grass – I don’t even want to read about it.  Given the little dab of history i’ve uncovered that was already known about toxic endophyte infested tall fescue, E+ tall fescue being sold as a wonder grass in the early 1940’s must surely have been one of the most duplicitous marketing schemes ever played on the American farmer.  And we fell hook, line, and sinker for it.  Now planted and still being planted on at least 35-40 million acres across the midwest and southwest United States.

Tall fescue has good attributes – it surely does.  You can overgraze it, trample it, burn it, freeze it, mow it, dilute it (with other forages), plough it and it will come back year after year even stronger yet.  But, as i have shared earlier, that persistence is purchased with losses in the health of livestock and decimated wildlife forage and habitat.

As evidenced by the following documents, I suspect we could keep digging backwards in time and discover that at least one cultivar of Tall Fescue has been wreaking havoc for many, many years.

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These two pages are scanned from “Forages,” a 1973 college level curriculum.   Note that the New Zealand worker reported his observations in 1913. (on page 300)
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A page scanned from “The Clifton Park System of Farming and Laying Down Land to Grass” by Robert Elliot.  Quoted here as seeing in a book already written as to the New Zealand species of tall fescue containing ergot.  (we now know that it is ergovaline produced by the fungus endophyte which is hosted by the fescue plant)

Beef Jerky

Lots of recipes, variations, etc, but here’s our favourite.

While still partially frozen, slice trimmed strip steak in 1/4 inch strips.  Put those trimmings in a small pot and later add enough water to cover, bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for an hour or two.  After water has cooled, pinch off any meat bits and throw fat strips to the dog or cat if you don’t like them (the fat not the dog/cat). This is great beef broth for veggie soup base.

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Put lean strips into a larg bowl or heavy plastic bag that doesn’t leak when closed.  After the strips have fully thawed (may need to pour off more blood at this point), then prepare the seasonings and pour into meat.  Stir or massage  until strips are coated in the seasoning mix.  Cover bowl or bag and place in frig for 24 hours.  You may want to place the bag in a deep dish or something, just in case it leaks a bit.  Stir or massage meat strips a couple times during that 24 your period, just to mix it up a bit with the seasonings.  This recipe can accommodate 2-4 lbs of meat.

Seasoning Ingredients:

  1. 4 oz liquid smoke (i use Wright’s)
  2. 1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  3. 1 tsp Real or sea salt
  4. 3 tsp onion powder
  5. 1 tsp black pepper
  6. 1 tsp garlic powder
  7. 1 tsp cumin
  8. 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, i don’t use it – my husband is allergic – and it makes the mix pretty ‘hot’ (picante)

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After 24 or so hours marinating, preheat oven to 160°-175°F and place strips in a single layer on a cooke sheet that has a raised edge so the liquid seasonings don’t run off the pan.  I scrunch them in close together because i don’t want any more pans to wash than i have to.  Plus the meat will shrink considerably whilst drying.  However, today, i’m going to try lining them with parchment paper and see if that affects drying time.  Definitely should make cleanup a LOT easier.  Actually, i think i’ll try a side by side test of just placing parchment paper directly on oven rack and one on the tray.  Hmm – will let you know.  But for sure i’m not going to place the strips directly on the oven rack as many recipes will say to do – that’s far too big a mess to clean those racks!

Now the key is to dry them to the point your family likes.  The thicker slices take a little longer, thinner ones less.  Do you like jerky crispy?  then cook it a bit longer, chewy, a bit less.  So, just check it after a couple hours, then every hour or so.  One thing i’ve discovered is that the jerky will dry out a bit more after you removed from the oven, so allow for that before leaving it in the oven too long.  If the meat is completely dried, then you can likely store it at room temperature – no problem.  We typically like ours with a bit of moisture so it’s more chewy, this requires refrigeration.

I’ll update this blog entry with the results of my drying test

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

Update – I decided to line my stone pans with aluminum foil.  No doubt this causes longer cooking time for the jerky (6-7 hours at 170°F).  But cleanup was so easy.

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4 lbs of sliced strip steak, marinated and ready to slow cook for jerky.