Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today, today

Today has been one of those days. Woke up with a migraine, the kids both woke up crabby too (must be daylight savings). . . I have been fighting to get caught up with laundry and dishes today. I hung one load up so far and I did enjoy the sunshine, the wind blowing slightly and hearing the chickens eat their handful of grains and the rooster crowing. Then I came back in, did a round of diaper changes, put my son down for a nap and took my daughter for a walk to get the mail. Funny thing is (figuratively speaking) the chickens and our duck are gone.

I heard absolutely no crowing at all. My daughter was said "where'd they go?" She kept asking over and over because she likes to follow the chickens around a little bit. I sure hope they come back and the coyotes didn't  get them.

I hear the washer quit so my second load is done and can be hung up. Now the only laundry I have left is my big down comforter. Depending on how much room is left on the clothesline I may have to wait until tomorrow. My dishes are still nagging me but my headache is winning so far. Not to mention sick to my stomach. I hope we didn't get the stomach flu. Ruger has been throwing up all morning, but it is hard to tell if it is just from him teething or if he is sick. Especially because he gets flushed cheeks as he teeths AND is sick so I guess it's just one of those things.

I sure hope my day starts getting  better. Today is such a beautiful day to have a horrible headache and for normal chores to be such a struggle. Well, off to hang another load of laundry. I hope I hear or see sign of my chickens and duck.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting my Vitamin D

What a beautiful day today! It was near 50F!!!

This weekend was bittersweet as we had my husband's grandpa's funeral and burial. It was nice as we were able to see and I was able to meet extended family.

I will have to post my thoughts on the funeral later. It was one of the most incredible funerals I have ever been too.

Today it was my mission to get caught up with all the things I had fallen behind on this weekend. Mostly dishes and laundry.

I got an extra load of dishes I need to do (tomorrow!) and I got half the laundry done!!! Whoohoo!! Tomorrow I will be fully caught up on those two chores, I hope!

This week I should be able to finish moving my craft and sewing things to the upstairs bedroom. I will just leave them in the corner until I can go out rummaging and find some furniture to sew and craft on to put up there. I would like to get a treadle sewing machine too.

Well I do not have much to say except it was wonderful getting some vitamin d (sunshine) while hanging laundry this morning and taking my daughter for a walk down the drive so I could get the mail and she could see the "hawseyy" and "gote". I can't figure out how to type out how she says "chicken" except it is so cute! She says 'chicken' followed by a rooster crow. What a hunny!

I got the email today about our pullet  chicks, seems like we will be getting them the end of April! Perfect timing. I can't wait to butcher our meat birds in a few months. It has been forever since I have had a main course of meat. I'm so sick of beans and rice but this summer will be worth it! No sense in getting into debt buying meat that poisons my family with un needed and un wanted antibiotics not too mention if there ends up being a recall on meat. . . No, its not worth it to me. I will stick with grass fed meat, or raising my own :)

I have to finish preparing dinner (bacon, cheese strata) so we can eat shortly after my man gets home from work! Maybe we can even eat it outside tonight since the temperatures seem to be holding steady as of yet!

Don't forget to get your vitamin d when the sun is shining. Even if it means just staying inside and sitting in the window!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

40 years in the desert

Today as we got up the snow still didn't hit us, shortly after my husband left for work it did! Instead of the 8-12 inches originally predicted the amount predicted is now down to 4-6. I do not mind one bit! Tomorrow I should be able to hang out some more clothes!

Last night I started working on the kids memory quilts. I got almost all of my daughter's done then I can work on my son's. I figured that during my down time when the kids go to bed that is a perfect time to slowly get caught up on my projects going on! I wanted to start getting up early so I can get more things done during the day. So far so good!

Here you can see we don't have too much snow actually left and an inch or two of the ground is starting to thaw so I can't imagine that a lot of the snow is going to stick since it is so wet and packy.

I was reading my morning devo's and today I read in Deut. 8. The past two days it was like the devotional content was written specifically for me and God is telling me exactly what I need to hear right now; like He is explaining to me what is going on in life for us.

I am finally at peace with what the very near future holds. Praise the Lord for using Isaiah 61 and Deut. 8! I can say that the next two months can me considered my 'desert wandering' as I recalibrate my life around biblical principals instead of 'me'. After the two months I should be renewed with the renewing of my mind like it describes in Psalms. I can handle what is coming, not because I am a strong person, but because I am a strong person in the Lord. A few examples are Philippians 4:13, "praying without ceasing", if God is for us who(and what) can be against us?", "God is our strength and salvation" (another passage says strength and song), "There is a time for everything under the sun", "This too shall pass", "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the sheol, I will fear no evil for God is with me", and I know I have other people praying for me too "for where there are two or three gathered in my name. . . ".

Thanks to everyone praying for me during this coming time. I am willing to accept the things that are to come and I know God will carry me through and I will be able to come out stronger as I go through the fire to be refined. I guess my life kind of got out of order and swept me in the current of things but I need to stand strong and make sure my priorities are in order. I am thankful I figured that part out now so I can make good use of this coming time.

Well it's off to do morning chores before the kiddos get up!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Warming up to spring

Today we woke up to a fluffy blanket of snow. Only a few inches and somewhat disappointing since it was starting to warm up.

Yesterday was so beautiful with the sun shining, the spring breeze blowing my clothes hanging out on the line, the chickens scratching around the perimeter of the yard looking for unsuspecting bugs starting to come out of hibernation.

Yes, bugs already! I picked up a piece of old trash that was bordering the lawn and the woods line since I hate blowing trash from the road. Any way I picked this piece of trash up and underneath a bunch of little crickets were taking shelter from the snow! My chickens enjoyed them!

This morning was absolutely gorgeous, snow and all. The nice crisp morning air, the morning noises of the animals and the birds waking up, the pileated woodpeckers pecking trees talking to each other. I love the country life!

Today I am glad it is "gloomy" despite the crisp air I am not tempted to sit outside and take in a good dose of the outdoors! Instead I am upstairs in the unheated attic and extra bedroom (we have a finished bedroom upstairs and the other half of the upstairs I call the attic because it is unfinished yet) sorting out all the baby clothes. I am finding what I can dispatch and what I actually need. I have all the boy clothes done, and the girl clothes are half done. I got so cold I came back down stairs to warm up by the fire and get a cup of tea!

The kiddos went down for an early nap time since they were up absurdly early compared to their usual time.

The clothes that have sentimental value from the kids that are just "them" I am making a memory quilt from them. I decided as I drink my tea I will start on doing that. I have also been wanting to start on my jean quilt but I want to get caught up with the kids blanket first.

Once I finish sorting out the baby clothes I can get them stacked away and up pack and organize all my crafting stuff! YAY!!! Okay, double yay!!! :)

Once I get that done everything will be organized that absolutely must be organized before summer comes. I will be done with that this week if everything goes well. Then I can concentrate on getting the garden planned and figuring out when I need to start planting seeds to be ready to transplant into the garden on time!

I got a book from the library called "Put 'Em Up" it is about preserving foods in multiple different ways. I absolute must have that book in my personal collection before Asparagus starts popping up! I found three different asparagus patches around the yard! whoohooo! The one I am worried about is near the road and although it is on our property and not in the ditch like most asparagus I am hoping some cheeky person doesn't come and pick it on me so I will have to be on that! I don't mind sharing but after this lean winter, I never want to have a lean year if I can help it ever again!

I am preserving so much this year I am hoping not to have to buy normal "groceries" in the sense of vegetables or fruit from the store once my garden starts putting out. Obviously I will have to purchase red meat and staples like flour, olives, oils, things that I can't grow here basically. Well I should rephrase that, things I can't grow here since I have no room to grow my own grain. Growing corn is pushing it so I will have to do a u-pick for the rest of my corn. Which is fine, I don't mind supporting local farmers one bit! I would prefer to support local farmer than a farmer from across the us (no offense to them, it just saves money going as local as possible)!

Well I suppose, my tea is ready to drink and I am ready to get working on one of the quilts!


Monday, March 7, 2011

BPA-free plastic a myth?

My husband just showed me an article to read about BPA-free plastic still leaching chemicals. From what I gathered from the article it said while BPA isn't leached from the plastic some other chemicals are still released and no one knows if these chemicals are harmful or not since there has been no research done on them as of yet.

The only things plastic (yes, BPA free) that I still use are my kids sippy cups as I have not found a glass sippy cup yet. I found glass training cups which my daughter is starting to use at meal times it still does not replace the sippy cup for night time...

I still prefer glass over anything. Even stainless steel I feel can leave an after taste to food sometimes even in non-acidic food. That is my opinion though, and I'm sure most people do not notice a difference.\

I have been fighting a fever since last night. I have no idea what I have, maybe detox effect? Not sure but I still have to get chores done even though I am so weak from having a fever. Every time I get a bad fever I get weak and shaky. Time to get out my Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother in it!

My kids seem fine, my son seemed a little feverish last night with his rosy cheeks but he is teething his one year molars and today he is fever free.

Spring is coming!!!

Today after chores and during the kids naptime I am going upstairs to finish going through all the baby/kid clothes upstairs to determine what to officially keep, what to give away, what to repurpose and what I need for any future babies. I don't need a zillion outfits in one size so I am organizing that section.

I already went through my maternity clothes so the next step after the kids clothes is all our winter clothes (as I very slowly pack them away) so I know exactly what I need for next year.

This year when I go out to the thrift stores and rummage/yard sales I know exactly what I need so I can follow my new thrifty mantra "Nothing is cheap that we do not want/need" ~Dr. Roosevelt. He sure got that right!

I am sick of clutter. Once I get the kids stuff organized I can get all my craft stuff organized and my projects done. I am doing a denim quilt with the pockets and jeans from memorable occasions. For starters I am using the jeans my husband wore in our wedding, the jeans we wore on our honeymoon, then whatever parts of the denim I don't use I can save for patching and for other projects.

I am so excited to have my craft area set up and organized so I can get my stuff out of our living area to give us more space in the areas that mean the most! Then I can have my "mommy get away" area too that I can dedicate to my books and crafts! I can even use it for an extra bedroom if necessary! Yay for being organized! I am trying to get my organizing done in the house in the next week or two because the snow should be completely melted by then and the ground thawing out and then the hard work will be ready. Fencing needs to be put up to make a second pasture, the current fence needs to have a few posts replaced and the entire fence needs to be re-painted and the fencing replaced. A chicken run needs to be put up to keep our layers separate from our meat birds. A fence around the garden needs to be put up, garden tilled. . . Oh spring is coming so quickly and bringing so many projects I need to get organzing the house so when the warm winds bring spring I can be out there and get the work done before the heat of the summer!

Off to work I go!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Modern Frugality and the Saga of the Alfalfa seed

I was doing some searches in the library for books to help me in my search for self sufficient living. I came across this book first published in 1833 by Lydia Maria Child called "The American Frugal Housewife". I thought it to be an interesting title so I put a hold on it. When I started reading it yesterday I found what a gem it is! From the introduction it mentioned she was one of the first feminists which is interesting to me because it was written for the housewife. . . Things back then did mean a lot different than things do today!

Well some of the tips in the book really are quite outdated, she brings up many good points about being frugal. I didn't even read 1/3 of the book yet and I have already been taking notes on things I must try out and remember. I think that book is a good reminder that common sense is never outdated! Sure, times change (i.e. a feminist back then for some reason is not the same thing as a feminist today or at least it is a bigger role than what it was back then) but common sense is common sense. Common sense is priceless to have.

I think if people really followed the advice in books like this one from pre-1900's our America wouldn't have the selfish reputation it does right now. Seriously, why do people in other countries love Canadians but hate Americans? I need to look that up, I totally haven't figured that one out yet.

If you have some time make sure to look up that book, it is sooo neat!

As for the Saga of the Alfalfa seed. . . oh this is disturbing. Everyone knows how alfalfa is highly pollinated by bees, etc., right? Well now a certain giant company has unlimited (yes, unlimited) powers to produce a seed that is pesticide safe. Scary, scary, scary. I just found this out today. From what I've read it seems this certain company is trying to make it so nothing is GMO free so the organic companies have to yield and the organic certifications will become null so everything will be GMO. . . In the Bible I remember reading how near the end times our food and water will poison us. Does anyone see GMOs as writing on the wall that this may actually be coming true in our generation?

Now, don't get me wrong. I am no survivalist and I am not an anarchist nor am I an end-of-days junkie, but this is too weird and I have been considering it. The crazy weather patterns, the devastating natural disasters, rumors of wars, and not to mention our food contaminated by gmo's and our water supply (look at Indiana's problem) being contaminated with a pesticide from the gm corn.

Sad our world seems to be going down this path. One thing I know for sure is that GM food is NOT healthy and if some people want to have NON-gm food they should have the choice to refuse GM food. It is not right to force a specific type of food down people's throats but it is exactly what is happening and it is so sad. I love to have a garden to grow my own gmo free food, but if the farmers around here start growing that psychotic alfalfa then I should just give up gardening because I will no longer have a non-gmo free garden. But then that is exactly what they want. I'm thinking the bush sounds better and better to me. But out in the bush, would we be free of non gm food there? I doubt it.

Well now I have to do some more research on this subject because three sources are not enough for me, I need more. Checking off for now to look things up.

Be free, be frugal, be smart!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hava Nagila!

With all the hard stuff I have been dealing with lately I decided it is time to get my mind off the negative. Time to focus on what is good in my life!

I am blessed with a man that loves me, financially supports me and the kids, is a great dad and mechanic!
I am blessed with two beautiful, healthy kids that like to take naps yet (double yay!)
I am blessed to live in a farm house and have animals to let our kids grow up with
I am blessed to have a library close by
I am blessed to have a good natural food store close by
I am blessed to have internet in the house
I am blessed to be able to learn how to do crafty things (sewing, crocheting, etc)
I am blessed to have a garden spot and have the seeds for it already
I am blessed to have a good church close by

The list can go on. Now that I am thinking positive I am starting to realize for every bad thing that is going on, I just listed in a matter of seconds an equal amount of good things. There is more good things than bad! I get that could be for every one else out there too. Hava nagila! Let us rejoice!

Today I decided to try to make a skirt. So far I cut one piece out and it didn't turn out well. So in keeping with my positive day I decided to put it down, not think about it and save it for a rainy day this spring. I made myself some lunch (1/2 cup oatmeal w/honey, 2 small hard boiled eggs, and about 8 raw almonds-yum) and now here I sit. The kids are tinkering in their room and I am about to put them down for their nap and go fill the water trough up for the horse.

Sure, I am still struggling with the things going on in my life right now, but I am going to keep thinking about good things, like the cheesy dill bread I made yesterday, the tea I just enjoyed, the lunch I just had, the sounds of my kids playing in their room.

The skirt can wait, the bad things will pass and I am going to take the time and savor every small thing that comes my way. From hearing "mama" from one of my kids to seeing the summer birds starting to come back.
Then I can rejoice, yes the small stuff matters; small stuff matters deeply.

Hava nagila,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March is in like a lamb. . . Wait a minute, is that right?! Marching into spring either way!

Well this is pretty interesting. If March comes in like a lamb, does that mean it will go out like a lion?

Seeing my husband's Grandpa in the nursing home was sad. He couldn't talk, or hardly open his eyes. It was sad but at the same time so peaceful. As we were in the room there was a calm in there, typically when people are dying it is an awful, hopeless feeling in the room. Grandpa S's room was peaceful, he was a missionary in Africa, then a pastor at a local church for many years. I know why there is so much peace, it is because he knows where he is going when his life here ends. Peace, pure and simple peace. I have that peace too, it is comforting.

I just pray he isn't suffering as his time here on earth comes to a close. I do wish he was more alert so we could have talked to him about his experiences out on the mission field. I guess it is a good idea to talk to current missionaries and learn of their experiences as well as other "retired" (if that even describes it) missionaries.

As for other things I am going through some tough times but after reading Psalm 25 I know that "This too shall pass". That may be a trivial saying but there is so much truth in it. Plus if you have the peace I mentioned previously it is actually comforting which brings me back to Psalm 23 "yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, You are with me". This too shall pass. Peace.

As for Marching into spring I still have a lot of work to do in planning my garden as to what goes where! As the ground thaws the pasture fence needs to be fixed and painted, the chicken run needs to get put up, nesting boxes put in, the chicken coop as it is needs to get fixed, another pasture on the other side of the drive needs to get put up for alternate grazing area, pest fencing put up around the garden, Duke (the male goat) needs to get a separate pen set up, the rest of our outdoor furniture needs to get moved out of storage at our old place and brought over here to our new place. The list could go on but I want to make sure that the work is divided out and I don't give myself a time frame to get stressed out by. The work will all get done in due time, my kids need the most time; after all that is why I am a stay at home mom in the first place! :)

I am very excited about what this year will bring. In fact I do not know how to describe what I am feeling about this year right now except you know that feeling you get on New Years Day? The feeling of hope for the future? I still have it!

This is how I describe it. When you go shopping you leave one store to go to another. You have to look where you are going in order to get to the next store. If you kept looking back and kept concentrating on what was on the old store how on earth could you get to the next store? You would be stuck going back and forth. This is how our life and the seasons are. Don't look back, you can reflect back (i.e. at the last store this cost x amount of money but this place is selling it at y) but dont concentrate on it or you won't get to where you are going or could be going. Besides there is another store after the next store. Life is so exciting! It is an adventure. Or like a highway. All depends on your taste.

Well either a lamb or a lion, there is another month after this so I will keep looking ahead and know that "this too shall pass"!