Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whole Lotta Shakin'

I just made butter! Yep, real butter from raw Jersey cream. I've been wanting to try it for ever so long, but one reason or another, or intimidation, prevented me. Well, Monday I got a delivery of fresh milk and this morning it was either shake the cream back into the milk, or skim it and give it a go. You can guess which I chose!

I skimmed the luscious cream into a quart size jar, screwed the lid on, and commenced shaking. Pretty low tech, eh? I figured it would take 20 minutes or so. About 8 minutes in, I decided I might as well make it into a workout of some sort, goodness knows I need the exercise. So I began walking around the house. All of the sudden, liquid started oozing out from under the lid. I rushed to the sink, took the lid off. Lo and behold, there was a glob of butter in the jar! I transferred the butter into a bowl and finished by pressing the buttermilk (now that is real buttermilk!) out and draining until no more came. Voila, Sweet cream butter! And it only took 10 minutes! Tasty, too. :)

I am no longer intimidated by the thought of making butter. ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Search Refined

This really is an interesting process, searching for land. Never having done this, or been close to anyone who did, we had no way of knowing exactly what all was involved. Just one more reason I started this Blog, to help others researching the idea themselves! ;)

Each week our preferences become more precise and the search is thus refined. We began searching the listings in a four county range. Huge, I know! Based on what is available, price, general topography, county building permit requirements and/or restrictions, etc, etc, etc, our focus is now down to two counties, Ferry and Stevens. Although, there is one lovely parcel in Pend Oreille county. We'll see, I am awaiting more details on several listings from Rachelle. Pus, I found a couple more new ones I've yet to show Tom. :)

The search continues...

Thursday, March 5, 2009


To laugh is- to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is- to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is- to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is- to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before the crowd is- to risk their loss.
To love is- to risk not being loved in return.
To live is- to risk dying.
To hope is- to risk despair.
To try is- to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love - live. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he has forfeited freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

author unknown

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Information Overload!

Yesterday was certainly one for the Blog! I spent a few hours on the telephone with two Realtors trying to find detailed information on properties that passed the first cut. The first lady, although helpful with a good sense of humor ("Cheers to the Beers"), didn't have an agent close enough to the preferred property locations for our liking.

I moved on to a Windermere office recommended by a new acquaintance in the Republic congregation, Michele. An agent named Rachelle Ramsey greeted me warmly. She was very helpful, very patient with all my questions, and new to real estate so we are learning some things together. Two lengthy conversations ensued during which Rachelle looked up 17 property listings! Looks like we now have an agent. ;)

It went something like this: Good access, NO access, snowshoe in 2 miles. Year-round creek, wet meadow, developed spring, drilled well, water unknown. Timber Class, Open Space. 20 acres, 24.91 acres, 30 acres. Corners flagged. Partially fenced. Level, rolling, sloped, steep. Partially cleared, heavily timbered, pasture. Tax i.d.#, water rights. That's about the time the red light, "Danger! Information Overload. Do Not Proceed. Complete Mental Shutdown May Occur!" began flashing before my eyes! And I thought the information collected from the various county Building & Planning Departments was a lot. Yet, even this is nothing compared to what's in store as far as our straw bale house blueprints go! However, my saving grace there is Tom. Other then the over all floor plan designing and basic elements, the technicalities and engineering are Tom's department completely. Fortunately, it's one of the many areas he shines!

At the end of the day, and 1/2 hour past Rachelle's normal quitting time, I might add (she's terrific!), six properties were crossed off "the list". This afternoon she hopes to have answers to more of my questions, to further narrow down the choices. Here we go again!