for the love of yarn!

A friend came over last week and lent my mom and me her swift and ball winder. I cannot tell you how excited I was that she even offered! I have so much yarn and hate so much to wind it all by hand. Mom and I went right to work getting out all of our stashed yarn wound.

It is so satisfying to see my yarn all prepped and ready for knitting. It has motivated me to get out of my knitting funk and to get busy!

This yarn is Serenade. It is super soft (70% cotton, 30% angora) and will be knit into two pairs of socks for a friend in exchange for a pregnant goat. I’m so excited about this trade! I already have the red pair on the needles ūüôā

This stuff is called Mohair Ragg and it comes from my LYS (local yarn store), The Spinners Warren. The woman who owns the place has her own sheep farm and this is some of her farm spun yarn – mohair and rag. ¬†It is super soft and a bulky weight. I think Piper will be getting a few sweaters as I got 3 colors of this and 3 skeins each. The best part about this yarn is that it was free! Yes, there was a section of her store with yarns she was actually giving away! I couldn’t believe it!

On the agenda for this spring: Learn to spin on your spinning wheels, Nicki!

¬† ¬† ¬† *¬†Spinner’s Warren¬†49 Foxes Ridge Rd¬†Acton,¬†ME¬†04001 (no web site available)

from the kitchen

There are a lot of different waffle recipes out there. Some are temperamental, and some have strange exotic ingredients in them. I, however, find that the simplest is the best (at least for me).

That being said, sometimes I like to get creative. Most recently, I noticed that I had a lot of buttermilk and whole wheat flour I had sitting around that were crying out to me to be used up, and this is what happened:

Basic Waffle Recipe: Tweaked / /

Mix in a large bowl:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk 1¬ľ c. buttermilk
  • 3 ¬†Tbsp. vegetable oil cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Stir in and mix until blended:

  • 1¬Ĺ c. flour¬†¬†¬ĺ c. all purpose flour & ¬ĺ c.¬†whole wheat flour
  • 1¬†2¬†Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ¬Ĺ tsp. salt

Heat waffle iron, and brush it with butter or oil if necessary . Put in enough batter to just fill. Close and bake until steam stops and the waffles are crisp, tender, and brown.

They were light and delicious! A recipe tweak well played ūüôā

thursday thanks

Taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, no matter the circumstances.

As my little one refuses to fall asleep tonight, I thank God for:

  • Piper surviving this long in her short life
  • sisters who live close by and are able to properly administer the Heimlich Maneuver
  • friends coming to visit
  • a friend lending me her ball winder and swift (!)
  • family outings
  • sleep training that is harder on mama and papa than on baby, but well worth the work

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you

catching up

Oh boy! A lot has happened this week and I am so behind on posting it all!

Here’s a glimpse into our week so far…

Piper enjoyed some tummy time

She did not enjoy some mashed avocado

Her new friend came over to play, and mama also got some company!

and finally papa and mama took her to the library.

How has your week been?

self-sustainability for everyone #3

make it homemade / /

This should be a no-brainer. To be self-sustained is all about doing it yourself! There are so many things that can be made at home. Just take a look at Etsy to find out!

I understand that it can be intimidating to do something yourself for the first time; especially when there are ready-made things out there that can be had right away for a price. However, there is nothing so satisfying as making something yourself and seeing/using the finished project made by your own hands.

Taking on and learning a new skill is good for your self esteem, for your brain function, and for your home. Maybe this week you could start researching something new.

Soap Making
Wood Carving
Beer Brewing
Bread Making
Cheese Making
Basket Weaving

There are so many things that can be learned which are forgotten arts that everyone used to be able to do. ¬†There are free tutorials, recipes, and and YouTube videos for these things all over the internet.¬†What have you always wanted to do but haven’t had the courage to try?

You can do it!

good morning

Papa had to do some errands this weekend, so his girls begged him to take them along.  Piper is never so happy as when she is riding in the car!

Her taste in music now includes

Florence and the Machine
Shane & Shane
City and Colour

I’ve been trying to get her to crawl, because I know it’s important for babies to crawl before they walk, but she is constantly trying to pull herself up onto short furniture. When you hold her up by her hands she is putting one foot in front of the other to move forward. She also hates tummy time, so I have to endure her wails if I am to teach her to crawl. Motherhood may be rewarding, but boy is it tough!

we like music!

Piper has been really into music lately. I noticed that she would turn her head to listen to the theme music from the BBC series Larkrise to Candleford which I recently finished watching.

This morning the little missy was being a little cranky pants which no amount of toys, clapping, or tickling could appease. But then I played a video from one of the blogs I frequent which featured music by The Black Keys, and she went from meltdown to glee! She shook her hands, kicked her feet, and started “singing.”

Needless to  say we scrambled to find if we had anything by the Black Keys on our computer (sadly only one song). Joe had 3 cds, but my computer has decided it no longer wants to rip music. Such a bummer, but oh well!

I think I will spend the weekend experimenting with the different music we have to see what she likes.¬†So far she doesn’t seem to really be a fan on Fleet Foxes. Sad times. Maybe on monday I’ll have a list of things she likes and dislikes!

thursday thanks

Our new goat, Mae!

Taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, no matter the circumstances.

I am grateful for:

  • a celebration of my husband’s birth
  • a baby finally sleeping through the night!
  • friends who are willing to lend a helping hand
  • our new goat
  • beautiful unseasonably warm days in the middle of winter
  • naps

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God concerning you

self-sustainability for everyone #2

get out of debt / /

Joe and I made a decision when getting married, that we would not bring debt in with us. He paid off all of his college loans before we got engaged and I didn’t have any. Neither of us have ever had credit cards at all.

We tried taking out a loan for a home right before our wedding, but we felt really uncomfortable about doing so. As it turned out, you need to have ongoing debt in order to take out a loan without a co-sign so we weren’t able to do it. (there is something wrong with your culture’s state of mind when you have to be in debt in order to go further into debt).

The Bible teaches this:

¬†‚ÄúNo one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew¬†6:24

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for¬†he who loves¬†his neighbor has fulfilled the¬†law.” Romans 13:8

Most people are going to spend their entire lives paying off debt because they would rather have something before they can afford it. They took out a loan for their car, their house, their wedding, their kids college, etc. and all these things have snowballed into an abyss of paying back debt. They are slaves to money. Are you?

Pay off your debts! If you are to be free to live the self-sustained lifestyle, this is the very first thing you must do. How can you be sustaining yourself if you are too busy working for the harsh slave driver that is debt? Get out of debt – the sooner the better!

First of all, pay back everything you owe

  • car loan
  • home loan
  • college loans
  • credit cards
  • friends and family
  • Santa Clause
  • other

You may have to make sacrifices to find “extra money.” This is a great opportunity to get incredibly creative!

  • reuse & repurpose
  • don’t spend money on things other than necessities
  • don’t buy “new”
  • shop clearance
  • sell things you don’t use/need
  • etc.

Make sure you have emergency money in a savings account, and then whatever else extra you have should be dumped into your debt. Make above and beyond the minimum payments!

Then, when you finally have everything payed off, start saving that money. Rather than taking out a loan, or using a credit card where you are charged interest and end up having to pay more for something than its face value, put that money aside, or invest it in hard assets. When you have saved enough to buy what you want, you won’t have to pay the interest on it. I wonder how badly you will even want it once you have waited and saved for it? Will it finally be worth it, or will you have better ideas for the money you’ve saved?

Joe and I have chosen sacrifice over debt. Instead¬†of living in our own home on our own property, we rent a tiny one room apartent above my parents garage, and we only have one vehicle. ¬†The drawbacks are that we have to go back and forth between our home and my parents’ because we share a shower, oven, and washer/dryer; we don’t have separate bedrooms with doors to close and keep out noise; we can’t really have much company if any; I can only do my grocery shopping if Joe’s home or if my mom takes me, and can rarely visit friends. But the benefits are that we can use my parents 5 acres of property to grow a garden of as much food as we may need,¬†we can keep any animals we want while Piper gets to live close to her grandparents, aunts, and uncles; I also get a lot of help with the baby.

These are the sacrifices we have chosen to make in order to stay debt-free. Yours may be completely different. I just know that it has made us think very differently about how we use our money. It has also made the decision to become self-sustained all the more easy to work toward because it is becoming more and more a necessity.