Making Margin

This blog post may seem off topic to the hobbies to homestead norm. It may seem like it is coming out of nowhere, and to be honest, it kind of is. Moving has opened up my eyes even more to the anti-social society we live in. We had neighbors so close where we use to live, but hardly spoke to them (except Jerry of course, we couldn’t help but talk to Jerry J)

Now we live on 8 acres, our next-door neighbor is a farm field away, and the other is across a grassy field. They are much farther than our previous neighbors.image

This brings me to my point; my husband had a neighbor stop by the other day. She invited us to the community center for a Christmas program. We are going to a community event,

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This little lady is now home safe!

because community is important. We had a dog show up on our property the other day, so I got to meet the neighbors as I sought to see who owned the dog. It is amazing how people just want to connect as the next-door neighbor invited me in and wanted to know a little bit about us. People are important.

 

I used to think I had no room in my week to get together with people, more than I already was. I didn’t think we had time for dinners with friends, and family or extra time to spend at a friend’s house. I now realize, I have a lot of time, and that time is freed up because living on the farm we are minimizing our technology.

We now live in a world where we are ruled by technology. Technology is how we “interact” and feel connected, but we are not truly connecting at all. (The irony of a blogger writing about the horrors of technology really is not lost on me.)

We moved to the country, and in doing so we realized we do not need internet. Not only is it expensive for satellite internet, it was unnecessary. We can check things on the internet at the library (where we are purposefully seeking to use the internet), or at work on our breaks, etc. We do not need internet. So we have gotten rid of our internet. It has been freeing. I am not constantly checking facebook or instagram or pinterest. I am not waking up in the morning or going to bed and thinking I have to check social media to see what is happening. I am free from the bondage that the internet had on me in. It is amazing to think about the time wasted and the moments we have missed out on due to internet.

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Monday, my husband came home and we sat at the dinner table for TWO HOURS! Why? We were enjoying catching up (I had worked the weekend and we hadn’t seen much of each other that weekend), and we were enjoying just being with each other. Honestly, our dinnertime used to look a lot different. We would plop on the couch and eat as we watched a TV show, or we would sit at the dining room table and scarf down everything and then go to our computer or phone for the evening! WHAT A WASTE! Now, maybe we are the only family out there that does that, but I doubt it. I doubt it when we go to Thanksgiving and everyone is on their phones taking pictures, and it all being about the social media photos. I doubt it when you go to a friend’s house and they sit on their phone the entire night instead of connecting with you. I doubt it when you pass people in restaurants glued to their phone. I doubt we are truly connecting.

So what am I doing different? I am making margin. I am making sure that when I am with people I am intentionally with them. I am making sure that when I am on the internet it is purposeful and not just “getting lost” scrolling through facebook. I am seeking out ways to be intentional, because now that there is margin in my life, I can be so much more intentional.

How purposeful are you being with your time? Do you think the internet is a huge distraction in your life? Are you glued to your phone or social media?

Try for a week to forget about it all. One week! Could you do it?

Moving

Hey everyone!

I have been absent for two weeks due to moving and all the craziness that happens with that! I am hoping to get a blog post out this week but no promises! We just moved into the new house and are now in the wonderful unpacking phase! So please be patient with me but as we get to our homesteady projects you better believe that we will be documenting them!

First one is to make a new chicken home to get our ladies through the winter without having to worry about predators! I will continue to keep you updated as we move forward!

Hope you all are having a lovely fall! What fun projects are you doing this fall?!?

Next chapter in life?

If you didn’t know my blog’s tagline “Getting a blog started about my homestead journey from our 1/4 acre home to unknown possibilities.” Well this tagline may have to be changing soon. We officially have an accepted offer on our house, and the last bit that has to get done is the finance contingency for the person buying our house (which the appraisal happened Monday)! This originally was exciting on its own, but now we are even more excited because we have had our offer accepted on a house in the country!

Continue reading “Next chapter in life?”

Love Me Some Hippie Dippie Festivals (Part Two)

Mother Earth News Fair was a two day event. Sunday was as exciting as the first day. I went around to the different booths, and saw many speakers, and even like a total hippie dippie groupie got a book signed!

The first speaker I saw was Cody from Wranglerstar. He is a youtube sensation who talks about modern homesteading. His talk that day was on the importance of vintage tools. He discussed his top five categories of vintage tools he looks for (crosscut saws, axes/hatchets, chisels/slicks, bits/brace and draw knife/planes. I basically brought all this knowledge back to Tim, as I honestly thought the talk was going to be on vintage (gardening) tools.

The second speaker I saw was Eliot Coleman! Yep I was pretty excited!2016-07-10 11.32.32Mr. Coleman talked about how to be able to do a winter harvest. This involves a bit of infrastructure with moveable green houses, but it also takes knowledge of what can take the cold-certain varieties of vegetables (ex. red oak leaf lettuce, nepali carrots, etc.), when to plant them to get them to maturity before the extreme cold, what needs double coverage, etc. It was amazing to see the different types of green houses he has had, and used, it is crazy to see the mass production that comes in the middle of winter for them, and it is amazing to see how creative he is.

He showed us a new tool he came up with (it is basically a hoe but it won’t damage plants because it is not sharp).

After his talk, I ran up to get my The New Organic Grower book signed like a total fan girl…and guess what…He was cool enough to do it for me!2016-07-10 12.39.01

Then I had a couple dud talks, just to be honest. The first was on growing 35-40 plants in 2 sq ft but it was mainly talking about growing veggies on walls, which I have no interest in. The second dud talk was healthy soil, plants and people. That talk was about obviously keeping fertility because the fertility in soil will produce better nutrients in the plants, which feeds our bodies better.

My last talk was so fun! It was put on by Gianaclis Caldwell and it was on making butter! Do you know how EASY it is to make butter?!?! All you have to do is take room temperature heavy cream (store bought, locally sourced, from pasteurized milk, from raw milk, etc., it really doesn’t matter), put it in a canning jar, put on the lid and rock it back and forth until it becomes a chunk in a little bit of liquid. Pour the butter into a chilled bowl, drain off the liquid and squeeze liquid out of the rest of the butter, until the butter is at the constancy you want. Last add some salt (if you want) and WALAH! BUTTER!!! ALSO! The liquid you poured off is buttermilk! Pancakes anyone?

I went around to the different booths and found a couple that I really need to tell you about! The first is The Soap Nut Lady. She was giving out sample bags that included a dishwasher pod, a laundry pod and soap nuts. I have only tried the actual soap nuts by adding them to water and then washing my tub, which was a disaster zone.

The other product was a fermented food for animals product that I am waiting to try this winter and I will let you know more about it then!

Hope you enjoyed this little write up of the fair, and I hope that one day you will choose to go the fair whether you are a small time homestead or a big ol’ farm! Lastly, if you haven’t seen my Facebook page there are three videos that were posted yesterday that are a bit fun (braiding garlic, checking out pollinators, and harvesting lettuce seed) so go over and check them out!

Love Me Some Hippie Dippie Festivals (Part One)

This past weekend, my husband and a few friends attended a festival in West Bend, WI. The festival is called The Mother Earth News Fair. It goes over all sorts of topics at the workshops like gardening, self sufficiency, eating real food, raising animals, making real food products at home, etc. I figure since we were lucky enough to attend the fair, that I should share some of the things we learned.

Continue reading “Love Me Some Hippie Dippie Festivals (Part One)”

When Procrastination Hits

I started my year off very ambitious, got my calendar all set, the seeds all started, things in the ground (on time or early), but now we are at the end of June and that umph is already starting to wain. Well now we are a little behind on the calendar that was planned, but I am playing catch up this week.

Continue reading “When Procrastination Hits”

What is that thing?

On Sunday (1-10), I posted three pictures of my family working on a “special kind of something” on Facebook. I had people guessing at what the heck “that thing” could be. Well here is the answer…it is a BROAD FORK.

So what is a broad fork? Continue reading “What is that thing?”