Avalanche Lily’s Bedside Book Pile

I’ve had another busy week of homeschooling, re-organizing the house, and several days of fun outdoors in the snow, so I haven’t done as much reading as usual.

Here are the current top-most items on my perpetual bedside pile:

  • Today, I finished watching Volume 3 of the Homesteading for Beginners DVD series. This particular DVD covers cooking with long term storage foods, home canned meats, vegetables, and self-raised dairy products, in great detail. Erin Harrison is very down to earth, warm and friendly as she demonstrates, with easy-to-follow steps, how to cook her all-natural recipes. As you watch the video you feel as though your right in the kitchen with Erin and her five children. The only sad part is that we can’t partake in the tasting of all of those wonderful foods they are making. Erin’s videos make me want to get outside and get my gardens in and get myself into the kitchen to do more cooking and canning. I highly recommend these videos! They are wonderful to watch with your children. You and your children will learn so much from Erin and her family. You’ll want to watch these videos over and over.
  • I’m more than halfway through reading The Rancher Takes a Wife. It is a sequel to the book Grass Beyond the Mountains, by Richard Hobson. (Which I reviewed in a previous column.) Rich is an excellent writer. He has given me many chuckles in his accounts with working with his cattle, horses as well as his relationships with his bride Gloria and his fellow ranchers. One lesson that women can learn from this book: when participating and helping your husband in his line of work, obey his directions! It may save your life and keep you from too many heart-pounding incidents. (Rich’s wife Gloria almost got herself killed on at least three occasions by angry cow moose protecting their calves, because she didn’t obey Rich’s command to get down and be still and quiet. Instead she used her own judgment, leapt up, screaming and began running away. A mad mother moose always charges creatures in motion when protecting her young. Luckily, their dog Bear came to the rescue each time and warded the moose away from his people.) These books are a bit survival-related because it carefully illustrates how, in order to operate a cattle ranch 200 miles from the nearest town, one has to plan very carefully for food, tools, clothing and cattle needs for four to five month stretches of time between provisioning trips to town. Rich had some very good descriptions of their shopping trips from which preppers could glean. Some of the conversations between Rich and his fellow ranchers remind me of the relationship that James Herriot had with his boss Siegfried Farnon, in the All Creatures Great and Small book series. I am enjoying Hobson’s books. If you’re interested in cattle, horses, dogs, wildlife, ranch life interactions and stories of people testing their stamina then you’ll enjoy them, too.
  • The next item on my reading agenda will likely be Joel Rosenberg’s nonfiction book Epicenter 2.0: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future.