thursday thanks

7 of 8 chicks that have hatched…several more eggs remain unhatched

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

Thanking God for:

  • the opportunity to see chickens hatch. It is such a cool experience.
  • not being able to find my canner. There must be a reason I shouldn’t make dill relish today?
  • P being able to poop again, and for the wisdom to figure out it was a [cows] milk allergy.
  • being out of the woods with my morning sickness. Now just waiting for the burst of energy that comes along with the second trimester.
  • getting to meet with my midwife on Monday.
  • the wisdom imparted to me by my parents.

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

while I was away

Hello Monday!

We got my computer this weekend, and being able to blog again really feels like having an old friend back.

Here are some things you’ve missed while I’ve been away!

Our garden has taken off! If you ask him, Joe will tell you that it’s not much, but this garden is quite substantial in comparison to what we’ve had in the past few years. Currently we have growing :

  • Indian corn (good for cornmeal!)
  • wheat
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • peas
  • beans
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • brussel sprouts
  • eggplant
  • summer squash
  • cuccumber
  • 2 different varieties of melon
  • huckelberry
  • parsnip
  • a variety of different herbs

Today we got a new goat, Rosie May, who is currently still in milk! So starting this evening we will be milking 2 goats at once!

I feel enormously blessed in the goat department. From our point of view, Joe and I feel so under prepared and ill equipped to raise these beautiful and generous animals. Over the past year, we lost two goats. One was an unexpected and strange death, and the other was lost to sickness last month. We felt like terrible goat owners for not knowing enough to catch it in time. However, we have been blessed with generous friends who were willing to bless us with replacement goats for the 2 we lost, and we have been plunged into the world of milking!

I have found milking to be one of the most soothing things for me to do. I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I do. Our new mother, Belle, is a little feisty in the stand, and we’ve lost a couple of pails of milk due to her either kicking or planting her foot in the bucket, but I have learned to just keep a watch out for the hoof and be faster than her in pulling the pail away. Aside from that, she and her kid are very very sweet.

This month Piper:

  • started walking!
  • got to go to her first parade for the 4th! She was absolutely fascinated by all the sirens, cars, and marching bands.
  • turned 1-year-old last week! She had her first taste of cake and frosting, and she absolutely loved all her gifts!

That’s all for now. I hope to share with you a look at a few things that are exciting me lately, and also hoping to share some big news in the month to come (fingers crossed)!

thursday thanks

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

Thanking God for:

  • Piper sleeping a really good nights sleep for the first time in 2 weeks
  • Piper getting her good naps back too
  • a new milking stand
  • painting work for Joe all this week and into next week (if you’re looking for a good painter, contact me).
  • tax returns
  • dirt cheap flight to Kansas next weekend for my BIL’s high school graduation
  • new clothes
  • fresh motivation today

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

thursday thanks

avocado and banana – P is not a fan, but avocado is highly beneficial so we will push through it. *sigh*

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

Thanking God for:

  • the determination to learn the skills of making things by hand
  • motivation to get things done this week (cooking, cleaning, sewing, knitting)
  • bravery to try new things
  • sunshine & rain
  • afternoon tea
  • inspiration from others
  • personal trials that build character…eventually.

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

self-sustainability for everyone #4

As a treat, I’ve decided to have my husband do the self-sustainability posts here and there. That being said, I will turn my blog over to him!

Being Resourceful / /

Bam! So working toward self-sufficiency isn’t about every single aspect of your life instantly being self-made/self-taught/self-awesome. You’ll spend a lot of time drawing off of others’ experience and knowledge. You’ll find yourself trying to acquire the tools and materials necessary to make your homestead productive. To put up fences to keep your animals in, or to keep other animals out of your garden. Seed boxes for planting and transplanting. Tools for cultivating or for storing up firewood. You’ll find very quickly that it’s not so straightforward and minimalist as your reading of Thoreau might have led you to believe. And that’s when you go, “Oh crap…”

In The Fat of the Land, John Seymour proposes that we are at a tremendous disadvantage living in this last century not having been part of the peasant’s economy. We no longer have the peasant’s inheritance of the tools and experience necessary to carry out farm life or to produce our own wares and goods. Instead, many of us are just now turning from a very “safe” notion of work and livelihood, and trading it for an entirely new definition. One that we are ill equipped for. One that, if we are truly going to call self-reliant, cannot so heavily depend on the retail economy we’re used to. So how do we approach this overwhelming need of redefining, re-equipping, and re-learning?

You start with what you do have. And while I do mean that in terms of taking stock of the tools and resources you do have, I also mean starting with your mind. I mean, I’ve been researching and collecting tools for a few years now, and I’m still not milling my own lumber, or making my own clothes. But you have to do what you can right now in order to get anywhere. And only now is it becoming clear to me, if you want to be self-reliant, you have to start by sharpening yourself. Not with building a log cabin, but you have to start seeing things differently, and thinking differently. You have to be resourceful. Wouldn’t it be better to have a shower stall flipped upside down with 4 lovely porkers sleeping inside, instead of no bacon come winter just because you don’t have a perfect barn? Try to exploit what you have available, or what you find in your travels to accomplish the tasks you have before you.

I don’t know if you can effectively homestead without being resourceful and adaptive. Or maybe it would be better to say, I don’t know if you can effectively homestead without becoming more resourceful and adaptive than you were when you started. I came into all of this as green as you can imagine, and I’m definitely not the most handy person you ever met. But when you pick up a new goat, and she slips right between the strands of electric fence an hour before you’re supposed to be in to work, you have to get creative. This life just demands that flexibility of you, and after you screw things up enough, you start to adapt. You start to do, instead of waiting around to have all your ducks in a row. (Seriously, read The Fat of the Land. It might inspire you to just start doing something with what little you already have, and get you on the road to bigger and farmy-er things.)

This whole way of life is one of stewardship, and though that does mean tending the earth, caring for animals, and providing for yourself and your family, none of it happens without exercising the mind. And while gardening, beekeeping, milking and all that stuff are fairly obvious ways to work toward self-sufficiency, being creative and seeing new purpose for old things or new ways of doing things can be just as important. Being able to recognize the assets you have rather than focusing on what you don’t have can be liberating and encouraging. I’ve spent a few years now neglecting to take time to search out and see those assets, and as a result I’ve tied my hands on numerous occasions, instead of getting them dirty, and making progress toward said gardening, beekeeping, and milking.

Thoreau did offer one bit of advice which I think we can run with. He said never to take a job that required a change of wardrobe. I find that relevant, because there is a romance to the “country life/simple life/farm life.” And there are lots of fun new toys to acquire and learn to use. It’s fun to wear that new outfit. Be aware, though, that it is easy to think you’re just gonna wake up one day and be cruising around on your tractor, and after you come in from your perfectly planted fields and orchards, the smoke will be gently rising from the chimney of your wood fire cook stove and you’ll come in and your wife will have your pipe filled with your favorite tobacco. So, naturally, you go out and buy a tractor and a pipe. But I say to you, do yourself a favor, and forego the tractor, and start with the practical. Learn to tie knots. Start patching your clothes. Start making grocery bags or baby hats from old tee shirts. Start collecting pallets. Get on pinterest so you can find all the magical uses for said pallets (or if you’re a male, find a girlfriend/wife so she can, and you can glean ideas shame-free). Just develop a sense for what assets are already available to you, and run with them. Discern between junk collecting and asset building. Understand also that I am not proposing you go out and make a fool of yourself by trying to homestead all half-cocked. There are a lot of things to consider, but when you do make that decision, find creative and resourceful ways of making your place productive and awesome. You’ll find a new sense of accomplishment and mastery when that frankenstein project you’ve been piecing together from scavenged materials works out.

A couple of good books to try and get your hands on (check your library) are:

The Fat of the Land by John Seymour

Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World by Kelly Coyne


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!