Is this cow pregnant?

by on May.31, 2014, under Off-grid Sustainable Eco Farmstead

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What do you think? Pregnant or not?

Last week we hired this guy who specializes in inseminating cows. Well, he agreed to come do the job on Tuesday of last week. But, over the holiday weekend, Lily and I became convinced that Cowie (the cow above) might already be pregnant. She was looking rounder than in past months and her udders suddenly started filling out. So, we cancelled the insemination to wait it out and see.

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Three days later, on Tuesday, a friend (working on our fence) called us and said that Cowie just delivered a brown calf. ??? I guess our suspicions were right!

The insemination guy who has done this his whole life had no idea one way or another. Apparently it is a very difficult thing to tell for anybody, even professionals. Cows don’t let them know. But now they know. Let it go! Let it go! … sorry, hang on… Ok, I’m back. The picture below was taken about 15 hours before delivery of the little brown cutie below.

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Cowie and the new little girl, Annie

MILK TIME
The whole reason we got cows is for the raw dairy to feed ourselves. I’ll not elaborate too much here but raw milk, cheese, kefir, yogurt, whey and butter are extremely nutritious. (If your gut is healthy enough to handle it). Raw dairy is one of the 5 foods that Weston A. Price found which provide the nutrition required to achieve perfect health, as evidenced by his research on primitive tribes’ diets back in the 1930′s.

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WORK TIME
The stanchion (the milking room structure) needed some immediate upgrades to keep the goats, sheep and other cows out while we milk Cowie. So I was out there this morning with my cordless saw and drill while Lily got us a half gallon of fresh milk! First batch! And now begins the project of separating the cows every evening, then milking her in the morning. Every morning. But wow is the milk worth it!!!

Stanchion is on the left.  The two chicken coops in the middle and the goat shelter to the far right.

Stanchion is on the left. The two chicken coops in the middle and the goat shelter to the far right.

FENCE TIME
We are also having electric fencing installed to partition the pasture into smaller paddocks. This is VERY important to keep the grazing on a rotation, so that the grasses may have time to replenish themselves. If the animals overgraze the huge pasture, their diet will become imbalanced. Therefore, we are grass farmers, really, and we let the cows rotate through the fields to eat and mow.

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OTHER STUFF
I really don’t know what people are curious about so I’m just updating these pictures for the friends who are dying to see them. There are a few people in our lives who have helped take turns milking Cowie in the past and so they’re just dying to see the new baby!

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OUR COWS
We are up to 4 now. We got Cowie and her little calf, My Sweet Cow, back at the end of 2013. She is not a big producer (1/2 gallon per day, whereas some cows provide 6 gallons daily) so we got another cow to produce too. She is Elsie, the bigger, brown cow. She is already pregnant and we’ve only had her since March or so. And now the little baby, Annie. We’ve got four girls. We will probably get rid of the goats and eat the sheep and lambs. Stick to cows for now.

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3 sheep on the left, Cowie and Annie on the right.

OVEREXTENDING OURSELVES
Yeah, so we really got into everything all at once because we’re just like that. We can’t help ourselves. Like back in college I had a pet kitten, ferret, snakes (and 14 baby snakes), mice for breeding for food… what else? It was ridiculous. haha But it was fun and I was desperate for animals in my life. I think we all are. Now with our farm it is absolutely beautiful to see our little girls giggle and hug them and just be crazy about spending time with them. Ok, I’m getting stuck in the sap here…

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WHAT QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I will start videoblogging soon and am wondering what people really want to know about… the water system? electric? Hawaii? What’s up? Comment or email or msg or whatever.

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Elsie on the left, is supposedly 2 months pregnant or so.

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JOB AND LIFE UPDATES

by on May.16, 2013, under Family Updates

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. We relocated to Hawaii! We now call the Puna area of the Big Island of Hawaii our home. It’s just our pace. Rural. Chickens and goats are allowed. Lots of hippies who live and let live. Instead of road rage we have hitchhiking. Slower, more tolerable pace of life. And we’re only 15 minutes to the ocean, which is fantastic!

WORK
As for work, I committed to a long-term relationship with North Platte, Nebraska! I will be coming and going to work in Psychiatry for the next several months and perhaps years (we’ll see how things progress). Most exciting is the fact that I opened up a CrossFit gym in North Platte! Check it out at crossfitnorthplatte.com! Of course I didn’t do it all by myself but had the help of my amazing business partner, Amy Penry. She is everything one could ask for in a partner! Hard working, kind, smart, capable and very passionate about CrossFit! And the CrossFit community here in North Platte is outstanding! Very welcoming and friendly and not afraid to give me a hard time even though we just met!

FUTURE
Ideally, I want to be free of the slavery system. This will clearly take some time but I’ve been working and planning in this direction for some time already. The monetary system is the current slavery system (which is why the founders of the USA said NO to Federal Reserve banking). It’s also what Bob Marley sang about. We are all slaves to money. So, my goal is to live off the land. When the economy worsens, people will stop wasting their money shaving their lawns and will wish they had planted food all along instead. I plan to live off the land so that I have little or no need for money, and will therefore be free to live independent of the slavery system. I hope all people soon recognize the inherent value in this lifestyle and we begin to transition away from the wasteful, commercial lifestyle rampant around the world nowadays.

PROJECTS
I am working to save capital to start other business projects. All investors know to diversify and relying on one job is fairly risky. My plan is to develop multiple streams of income so that I am not reliant on one single job to provide for me and my family. Ultimately, I want to purchase land in Hawaii where I catch the rainwater, utilize solar power, have my own source of raw dairy be it a cow or a goat or two, and have a chicken coop for chickens and eggs. Also, everything grows well there so I want to have avocado, papaya, mango, banana and pineapples growing on my land, among vegetables and herbs in the garden.

Once this is complete I will only have to pay property tax. (See, I will NEVER be truly FREE), but at least my food, water and shelter will be mine. And anyone willing to live by the laws of love and respect will be welcome to participate in our community.

CHILDHOOD DREAMS
I spent my whole childhood upset about two things. Well, not just these two, but these ones are crucial:
1 – Strangers wouldn’t say “Hi” on the street.
2 – There’s no food unless you have money.

Within the upcoming years, I will have these things for my kids. It took me many years and much learning to realize that the monetary system is a slavery system and the only way I know to achieve freedom from it is to provide for myself and others from the land, and to provide valuable services or good for others and barter (a.k.a. sharing).

It always felt so wrong to me to be born into this world with nothing, yet I am unable to walk outside and eat food in my environment. City life was ludicrous. One MUST work as a slave in some way just to meet basic needs of food, water and shelter. There was only grass, cement and the street, and the occasional dirt patch. Well, I plan to make my dreams come true for the next generation as best I can, starting with my family. And thanks to my own mom and pop for working so hard to provide for me in this system because they too couldn’t find food in the world without hard-earned cash.

THANKS!
Everyone in my life has been so supportive of my endeavors and things are finally coming together after so many years of investment and sacrifice. It’s incredibly exciting and I thank you all for your support and your prayers.

If you ever make it to the Big Island in Hawaii or are passing through Nebraska, don’t hesitate to let me know so we can plan to spend some time together!

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How I Became a Contract MD

by on Feb.01, 2013, under Uncategorized

There is an enormous “ongoing need” for doctors everywhere in this country that no one wants to be. As a result, there is plenty of well-paying doctor work if a person is flexible. As TIME=MONEY in a slavery system, I prefer Locum Tenens work (temp work for doctors).

The BUSINESS Side of Things
Regarding the business, I signed up with 1800accountants.com and arranged a meeting with a tax consultant. I was living in Chicago at the time and elected not to pay a fortune to the lawyers there. I found 1800accountants to meet my needs. Basically, I learned that the best way to get paid while a contract MD was through an LLC. And to register as an S Corporation for taxes.

So I formed an LLC through Legalzoom.com. I did my research and found that to be the best website for legal stuff. I formed Atlantis Locum Group LLC. Depending on the state you might do a PLLC, which is the same thing, but specifically for professionals. I formed my company in Alaska cause that’s where I was going for my first job. You can form your company in any state. Each state’s rules are a bit different but they all do LLCs.

I paid Legalzoom to submit everything to Alaska except the EIN which I did myself afterward. Once my company became official, I applied for the Employer Identification Number (EIN). Then I had to apply for a business license for the state of Alaska. No big deal.

THE BANK
Once you have the EIN you can open a bank acct in the business’ name. That’s the exciting part! Cause then you tell your recruiter or client that they aren’t to pay YOU anymore through your social security number. Instead they are to pay your wages to your new employer via the EIN. I am the sole owner of the company. I have one employee, me. The recruiters and clients are used to this, even though it was all new to me.

(For anyone not very clear on this concept, I basically created a new “person,” a new member of our society. Atlantis Locum Group LLC is now an active participant in our society and it has a bank account now, just like you and me. It (Atlantis) can even buy a car or property… just like a human being.)

INCOME
From then on, all my income goes into the business bank acct (linked to my personal acct). When I get paid, I simply go to the bank’s website and transfer a portion of the directly deposited paycheck to my personal account. I only transfer what I deserve for pay and the rest stays as company property to pay for its expenses. After all, my company provides travel expenses, phone service, lodging, vehicle, gym membership and health coverage for me and my family. I even have a vacation package, haha. So a lot of my expenses end up tax deductible because I have a great employer who takes good care of me.

By living on the road in an RV or otherwise (we have been living out of hotels lately), we have no mortgage or property, and few possessions. When working locums the clients typically provide housing, a vehicle and travel reimbursement. So I don’t have to pay to live unless I’m not working.

Considering that you can get a huge 5th wheel RV with 4 bunks, brand new, for $35k, you can live extremely cheap and save up money. Or if you want, live large. I’m saving to start other projects when we get to a more permanent destination.

Finding Jobs
This is by far the easiest part. Just let a few locums companies (recruiters) know you are interested in this type of work and they’ll never leave you alone! The amount of available work is astounding. I’ve registered with three companies and have spoken to about six or more, so I have lots of positions coming my way. It is even more profitable to avoid the recruiters and seek the positions directly from the clients, but this may be more difficult and more work.

Future Plans
As much as we’ve loved living “on the road,” my wife and I are finding that we have been longing for a place to call home lately. After all, we’re really into healthy food and as a result we would love to have a garden, chickens, and maybe goats.

We will soon be choosing a home base. From “home” I’ll go away to jobs now and then, wherever and whenever I want. And maybe my family will come with me sometimes. But I imagine I’ll continue to work in the rural, underserved, and better paying positions for now. This way I get weeks and weeks off at home with my wife and kids without and work-related stress between jobs.

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WOD – 21, 15, 9 box jumps, hrpu, kbs

by on Dec.28, 2012, under CrossFit

I did today’s workout at the Nebraska Athletic Club, my new gym!

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WOD: 3 rounds for time of 21 – 15 – 9 reps:
30” box jumps
Hand-release push-ups
Kettle bell swings (45 lbs.)

my time: 8:54
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I first warmed up with two 3-minute rounds of rope jumping. Then did 5×5 (5 sets of 5 reps) squat cleans with ~75% bodyweight. I’m starting back slowly on the heavy lifting cause it’s been a while. Haven’t lifted heavy since Alaska. But it is AWESOME to be back in a real gym!!!

Best of all, they have a FIR sauna! That’s Far InfraRed which is more comfortable and more effective at helping the skin sweat out toxins than a regular sauna. I highly recommend the FIR sauna. It is one of the best treatments around, but it is hardly known and very under-utilized. This is my first time using one and I’m SO amped!!!

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WOD – 8:00 Man Makers

by on Nov.23, 2012, under CrossFit

A ‘Man Maker’ is basically a pushup, a row on each side, then a power clean and then push press. Below is me doing 2 repetitions.  I used 25# dumbbells – my new toys!  So, how many can you do?  (Scale to a weight you can handle, women probably use 5 or 8 lbs, men 15-50, such that you don’t need to stop and rest).

Warm up:
3 minutes jump rope (360 jumps)
REST 2 min
3 minutes jump rope (400 jumps)
REST

Man Makers for time (25# dumbbells) in 8 minutes.

My score: 22

This wasn’t a max effort. I’ve been eating terribly, indulging in the old familiar Tastycakes and Herr’s chips I grew up with. Plus a little celebratory drinking, haha!  Happy holidays!  Im going to repeat this WOD in a few days.  And I’m back to raw eggs and milk and very few carbohydrates.

…and please try not to make fun of the ridiculous name – “manmakers!”  I didn’t invent it but it is a fun movement!

 

update: On 12/7/12 I repeated this WOD and scored 32.

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WOD – by the lake

by on Nov.19, 2012, under CrossFit

25# dumbbell snatch

15 reps right
15 reps left
12 each
9 each
6 each
3 each

my time: 4:29

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“POCONOS” WOD

by on Nov.16, 2012, under CrossFit

5 rounds for time (with 25# dumbbells):

5 deadlifts
5 hang squat cleans
5 push press
5 squats
 
* rounds must be unbroken – Don’t put down the dumbbells! Resting between rds is ok. 
 
My times (I did this WOD twice, rested a few min between):
1st – 6:32
2nd – 5:30

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WOD – “Lunchbreak”

by on Nov.02, 2012, under CrossFit

Max # burpees in 3 minutes: 47
<rest>
Clean & Jerk 3-3-3-3-3
115-125-125-145-145
30 pull-ups
<rest>
Heavy bag – 3 minutes

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Going to NEBRASKA next!!! WTF?!?

by on Nov.02, 2012, under Family Updates

Ha! HA! Why? Right? Well, I am saving up money to start my own business, so I’m seeking the best-paying positions in the country, and they tend to be where no one wants to be…

So, off we go for another journey! We’re very excited about the next leg of our journey. I have a whole month off before the next job starts, which is a much-needed break for me. We’re visiting Chicago, then heading to the Poconos, followed by some time in the Philly area. I’ll be hitting up Chickie’s and grubbing some cheesesteaks. I’ll do a lap of SWP too to show the kids where Papa grew up. I swear one of these days I’m going to make them some SWP t-shirts. Anyone else interested?

(continue reading…)

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ALASKA – So, what’s it like?

by on Oct.08, 2012, under Family Updates


It’s awesome! You really have to visit to feel what it’s like up here. Pictures don’t capture the feeling you get when the sun isn’t setting. And no description can adequately communicate how remote it feels.

I love it here and I’m kind of sad that I won’t get to see the -50F temperatures in the winter, but, with little kids, it’s not any fun at all to stay trapped indoors.

I meant to write about the summer when I arrived, but never got a chance. Now, fall is a few weeks past and winter’s on our doorsteps. The most impressive aspect to me has been how quickly the days have shifted from bright all day every day, to how it is now – the sun isn’t even up at 8am anymore…

So, “What’s Alaska like?”
(continue reading…)

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