One Man's Ruminations About Faith, Family, and Livin' The Good Life
Fifty One & Done
I’ve made one more revolution around the sun. The last day of January was my last day as a fifty year old. Marlene made a nice dinner. Instead of a birthday cake, I enjoyed a brownie with ice cream and a bunch of candles on it, as you can see in the picture.
I won’t cry on your shoulder about getting old. I think I may have done that last year. I’m a blessed man, and I’m very thankful to the Lord. He is the source of my blessings. They all come from Him, and they are all undeserved. I don’t think a day goes by that I do not count my blessings and thank God for them.
This blog is but one blessing for me. I have an opportunity to share with so many about my Christian faith, my family, and the agrarian “good life” we experience on our little patch of rural earth.
And I get such nice letters from so many readers. You tell me how you are blessed by the ruminations of this Deliberate Agrarian. Isn’t it nice how the blessings flow both ways? Yes it is.
I bought myself a birthday present... back in December... and I’m still waiting for it. I had hoped to have it for my birthday. Now I expect to get it sometime this month.
It is not an unusual item but it is a very unusual item for me to buy myself. Perhaps it is indicative of a mid life crisis.
I ran the purchase by Marlene to get her approval. She raised her eyebrows and uttered a little laugh. I proceeded to justify my purchase. She said she had nothing against it. She was just surprised. So are my kids. So am I.
“How much?” Marlene asked me. I told her. She raised her eyebrows again. I started to justify myself again. She told me it was okay. “Go ahead and get it if you really want it,” she said. She's humoring me. (it isn't really that expensive. It's just an unusual extravagance, at least in this family)
So I ordered it. I put money down. It is being made for me by a craftsman in Virginia. That’s all I can say for now. If/when I get it, I will tell you about it and show you a picture.
My birthday and my mysterious birthday present are not the really big news around here. The really big news is that I have finished my book, Anyone Can Build A Whizbang Apple Grinder And Cider Press. I handed it off to the printer day before yesterday... forty-eight pieces of paper, carefully wrapped in a protective sleeve of cardboard, bound and tied with a length of sisal twine, the culmination of several hundred hours of focus and determination.
My self-imposed goal was to have the manuscript done by the first of February and, by the grace of God, I was able to do that. I was encouraged to meet that goal by the faith and trust of so many people who have pre-purchased a copy of the book. I’m pretty sure I’ve pre-sold more copies of this book than any of my previous books. That is a good sign; another blessing.
I gave the pages of my new book a final look before bundling them up for the printer. As I did so, I thought to myself that putting a plan book together is such a big task, and it was such a big relief to have that part finally done. I also thought to myself that people should like this new book. It delivers. The subtitle is: Simple Plans For A Remarkably Productive Home-Scale Cidermaking System.
I have purchased the domain name, www.WhizbangCider.com. You can go there now and learn about the book. You can also pre-purchase a copy at a significant discount until the end of this month (February 2009).
By the way, I asked my printer to try and have the book done by the first of March. He thought that would work out. Stay tuned.
Now I will move on to my next Whizbang project. First, I intend to provide HDPE cider press tub hoops, precut and pre-drilled, complete with stainless steel screws. These will make the job of assembling the pressing tub very easy. And I expect to also provide drain rack kits, ready to assemble. More cider products may be added in time. Photos and details will be posted to www.WhizbangCider.com when they are available.
Then there is the matter of my next Whizbang product. I will introduce you to it sometime this month. It is an ambitious endeavor for me to launch this idea with my little home shop, working part time. It will be my most ambitious project to date. I hope I can get it together by spring time. If not, it may have to wait until next spring. But I will reveal it this month. If you are serious about growing food, you will want this new Whizbang “Mystery tool.”
Perhaps I’ll just have to retire. Retire at 51 years old, from the factory job. Not so I can relax... so I can work at least twice as hard as I now do, at something I really enjoy. It’d be a Whizbang retirement. Hey, you never know. Things like that sometimes happen.
Well, I think that’s enough mystery and suspense and daydreaming for one blog.
I (Herrick KImball) have been blogging here about Faith, Family & Livin' The Good Life since 2005. Browse down this column and you will discover a rich resource of contra-industrial thought, down-to-earth inspiration & useful how-to information.
CLICK HEREto view the archive of links to past Deliberate Agrarian monthly "blogazines."
My New York Times Op-Ed Article
The Jeffersonian Solution (click the man and read the article)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 1
It's A Biblical Imperative (click the picture)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 2
We Are Not Called To Be Slaves (click the picture)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 3
Profile of a Free Man (click the picture)
Reestablishing The Family Economy—Part 4
Sage Advice For Would-Be Farmers (click the picture)
Farming 1.5 Acres...
…And Making A Good Living. (click the picture)
Goodness, Beauty & Loving The Earth
A Christian-Agrarian Missive on God's Creation
Delmar Ain't So Stupid...
Click on Delmar and read why I think he's the smartest of the three characters in the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" movie
This Man, Now Deceased, Predicted The Economic Decline of America Back in The 1950's.
Click the picture to read about Professor Walter Prescott Webb's Boom Hypothesis of Modern History, and where we are headed from here
Agrarian-Style Economic Self Defense...
I posted this to the internet in early 2008. It is still the most practical advice you'll get for dealing with the harsh economic realities that we face now and will face even more in the years ahead. (click the picture to read the essay)
How To Get Through The Coming Hyperinflation
click the picture to read the 6-part series
The Christian Doctrine of Work
Something's Missing in The 10 Commandmants as it is commonly known. (click the picture)
Have You Seen My Whizbang Gardening Book?
5 stars at Amazon. Click the cover to learn more.
Take A Short Tour Of My Garden...
Strawberries From My Garden!
Grown the "E.P. Roe Way" (click the picture to learn more)
NEW… This Book is a Must-Read for Those Who Want to Understand What Christian Agrarianism is...
…Now available in Kindle format for only $2.99. Click the picture (and read the reviews)
I Make Classic American Clothespins
click the clothespin and learn all about them.
Some Thoughts on Christian-Agrarian Community (click the picture)
A Herod Nation
Is that What America Has Become? (click the picture)
Light in Our Dwellings...
Christianity + Agrarianism = Hope In the midst of a dying industrial culture (click the light)
Rural Americans: Cannon Fodder For The New World Order
Click on Sergeant York to read the story.
Freedom Isn't Free (And Other Propoganda)
(click the picture)
Esther Stermer Was A Conspiracy Theorist!
Obviously the woman was a little crazy.… Right? (click the picture for the story)
How Free Men Become Slaves...
A Contra-Industrial Parable From The Okefenokee Swamp (click the pigs)
Have You been to The Agrarian Foundation Article Archives?
(click the picture and go)
What Would an Agrarian Monetary System Look Like?
Well, for one thing, it would NOT be based on paper money. Click Andy Jackson for some details.
Thomas Jefferson's Warnings About Government Debt (Then and Now)
Read it and weep (click the president)
How Farmers Became Slaves To The Corporate Masters
Click on the mostly forgotton 1937 book by Professor Walter Prescott Webb and learn the sad story
A Missive On The Prosperity-Driven Life
"The desire to be rich, to have an abundance of possessions and money, is the keystone of our modern, neo-Babylonian culture." (click the picture for my perspective)
Prosperity Gospel/ Prosperity Idolatry
Click the picture to hear John Piper's powerful 2.5 minute condemnation of the modern prosperity gospel
Another of my online projects (click the picture)
Have You Been To Planet Whizbang?
It's my deliberate agrarian home business. Click the beet and check it out.
NEW…. Whizbang Notes
These delightful little notebooks are a great down-to-earth tool. Click the beet to learn more.
Have You Seen The Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe I Invented?
Click The Picture For Details about the hoe and the inexpensive wheel hoe kits I sell
A Christian-Agrarian perspective (click the picture to read the essay)
I Invite You To Read My Online Gardening Essays
Click on that beautiful handful of sifted compost.
The Wife Of My Youth...
A Blessed Man's Reflections on Young Love (click the happy faces)
Eulogy For Evelyn
She was my mother-in-law. (click the picture)
Ken Badman's Good Example
Actions Speak Louder Than Words. (click the picture)
Have You Seen Leo Sprauer's Handcrafted Hop Hoe?
Click the picture to learn more.
Learn About Whizbang Bucket Irrigation...
(click the trickle valve)
Have You Read Roe?
E.P. Roe, that is. Click on his picture to read some excerpts from this remarkable Christian-agrarian author of the 1800s.
Spring Has Finally Sprung
David brought me crab apple tree blossoms and lilacs. Now that spring is
finally here, summer can't be too far away!
1 year ago
I Invented Granola Bars....
...And I Can Prove It (click on the bar)
Scott Nearing's "Horse Chow"
A Four Part Series (click on any of the raisins in the bowl)
Get The Peppermint Zing!
A sinus sauna how-to (click photo for details)
Yeoman Furniture & My New Wood Box
Yeomen don't buy furniture. They make their own. (click the picture)
Yeoman Furniture (Part 2)
Waste Not, Want Not (click the picture for the story)
My Amazing Whizbang Apple Grinder
You can make awesome apple mash, ready for pressing, in no time with this homemade device. Click on the picture to learn more
We Make Apple Cider
You can too (click on the picture to learn how)
Twelve Years Old Today
He's actually 19 now, but my prayer is the same
This is William Kimball (Him An Me Is Kin)
Click on the picture for William's Story
Click on the picture and I'll show you how to butcher a chicken
This Book Presents a Biblical Vision For God-Glorifying Agriculture. I Highly Recommend it!
The Lovely Marlene With A Homemade Whizbang Garden Cart
Anyone can make a Whizbang Garden Cart. Click on the picture to learn how.
My Whizbang Row Cover Hoop System
Finally Online as of 1/29/10 (click the pic)
Have You Seen Jax Hamlin's Chickens?
Click The Chicken!
This Blog Promotes Personal Responsibility And Traditional Concepts of American Liberty
"If a community, or a section, or a race, or an age, is groaning under industrialism, and well aware that it is an evil dispensation, it must find a way to throw it off. To think that this cannot be done is pusillanimous. And if the whole community, section, race, or age thinks it cannot be done, then... it has doomed itself to impotence."
Shooting Dad's Handgun
"I think it is important that boys learn gun safety and shooting skills when they are young. This could even be considered among the most important of agrarian skills." (click the gun)
The Christian-Agrarian Exodus of 1620
The Pligrims did NOT come to America for religious freedom. (click the picture)
Vacuum Bottle Thermos Cooking
Learn how to prepare and cook simple, inexpensive, wholesome meals (click the thermos bottle to read)
The Sermon I'll Never Forget
Pastor West was at Iwo Jima (click Mt. Suribachi)
Planting Potatoes With A Little Girl
"I must admit that four year old girls were once something like aliens to me." (click the pic)
Boys Will Be…. Warriors
Swinging homemade maces at each other can be great fun! (click the warriors)
Benny's Grandfather Was A Ditch Digger
And He Grew Tomatoes (click the Big Boy)
Backyard Poultry Processing With My 11-Year-Old Son
If he can do it, so can you. (click on the smiley face)
Another Summer Evening's Meal
This is the kind of food we dream about in the depths of winter. (click on the picture)
We make our own maple syrup. Click on the picture for complete how-to details.
Pickled Garlic Scapes
Click on the silly boy's nose for a pickled scape tutorial
"Every Bean's A Blessing, Boys"
Dried beans present an opportunity to teach important things to my children (click the beans)
I bought my sons hay hooks, and they have gotten a lot of use since I wrote this essay