Thursday, March 26, 2009

On Being Self-Sufficient

Lately I have added many books to my library.
I have either been lucky enough to find them in the thrift shop or I have ordered from Amazon.

This latest book has me in AWE.

John Seymour's Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it.

It is honestly worth every penny and a trillion times more.
We are trying to slowly transform our life into one of which we can be thankful for.
I'm trying not to pull the rug from beneath anyones feet. Really I've tried to do it slowly.
It began with adding in organic foods on occasion, then weeding out the processed ones......then buying only all natural whole organic foods....changing our soaps, shampoos, make-up, hair products, etc..... raising our own organic garden, herbs, and free range chickens.
Even the fabrics I purchase to make clothing are Eco-friendly.
I admit I'm a fabric junkie. I'd lay down and melt on a bed of hemp, soy, bamboo, linen and hempcel fabrics.

Back to my point....I am so glad to say we are nearly there. Self-Sufficient.
Next fall we will be able to say we grew nearly everything that crosses our plates.
This brings my heart great joy.

I've sort of stumbled through motherhood. As an only child and someone who spent much of her time alone when younger...I knew I wanted a large family, but I've never had all the answers. Never will.
Love and respect..understanding and patience. Kindness and an open mind.
That's what I do know.
Always feeling this hunger to learn. My kiddos have it too. We are so blessed.

Now if I could just get hubby to stop buying corn dogs ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Fever

We have been so busy lately. It's pretty much spring and we have so much to do.
Plans for a hoop house are becoming a reality.

I hope to have enough to build it in a month or two. This would give the ground a bit of time to dry up.....if the rain ever stops, lol.

I will take pics of the process. It should be rewarding and great fun, as well as useful for growing veggies, of course. ;)

My dear friend claims it has been raining for like "TWO YEARS!!", heheh.
This is outside my back door......wet wet wet...who wants to go out there?
At first I did, but then after working in it...I changed my mind, that was of course after I caught a cold.

It does seem so these days, but we need that rain, so bring it on.

I've been a bit heartbroken that I can't work in the yard and garden as much as I would like, yet I've made up for it with thrifting and knitting.

The most simple things brings me joy.

Oh and the little ones and I have been baking up a storm.
The last few days we have made breads galore.
I think the favorite so far is banana pineapple chocolate chip bread. YUM.

Since I've been spending so much time indoors I have felt the urge to sew.

Later this week I will do a tutorial for a yoga waist knit skirt and maybe a pair of yoga pants as well. I will see if I can sweet talk my hubby into helping me and find a way for you to download my self drafted patterns...

Being frugal has not been as difficult as I feared.

After going through my closet and pulling out many things to donate, I also noticed a few things that I have never worn, but remembered the reason I was first drawn to the particular item.

SO...I took them all down to my sewing room and altered them. Voilà! I have new clothes, woohoo. I must say this is the most impressed my husband has been with my sewing, lol, being the worry wart about money.

It's spring break and my teens are away with the grandparents. It has been much more relaxed around tension and hormones raging in one way or rollercoasters of emotion. It's easy to be young at heart with these little ones. They bring me to life.

P.S. I can't figure out which is smellier(a word?)...teenagers or baby chicks....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Chicken Lady

You know the lady down the road with all the cats, oh say twenty or so.....well I have her beat.
It's chick time. We started out with seven chicks and now I think we have LOL. I'm telling you I do not know how this happened.
They are just so sweet and precious and we do need them for the eggs.
This is how it started.

4 ameracauna
2 black sex links
2 rhode island red
2 leghorn
2 silver laced wyandotte
1 golden sex link
4 black australop
2 black jersey giant
2 barred plymouth rock
1 amaracauna being chickiesat and one banty the same
23 noisy, fluffy, sweet, hungry, poopy, loving little chicks.

This is our rooster. He sorta looks like a road runner, ya think?
He's tiny, but loyal. His name is Junior and he's an old english red pyle banty.

I had big plans for this weekend. Unfortunately it rained....and rained....and did I mention that it rained?
I am surprised my whole house didn't float away.
This Oregon weather takes some getting used to. Regardless of the rain, we worked outside. I wasn't able to get the garden rototilled or the herb garden planted, but I was able to do a few small things on the list.

Me looking quite the drowned rat, happily working in the rain.

Hubby and the kids accomplished the most.
They cut down a fallen tree and hauled the limbs away and a friend helped hubby to build a new compost enclosure.

New compost area. It's done now, but it was pouring by the end, so no pic today.

I have little to show and nothing exciting to tell you, but I'll get there.
The sun will have to come out of hiding eventually.
As for me I finally kicked the flu and have spent the last day or so
pouring over greenhouse and chicken tractor plans.

I'm learning much from these two lovely ladies

Our seedlings are coming along. The squash is in the lead.
A few seedlings disappeared. My eldest tells me the little guy was picking them early while I was working outside today.

I kept the kiddos in, not wanting to keep this flu bug going.

Hope you have a wonderful week.
I'll be singing in the rain for at least the ten day forecast.

This one thinks he's a puppy. He rolls on his back for tummy rubs and chases you around.

A quick short long story of why I'm where I am.

I spent the last three years dying and living in a place that I didn't love.

There seemed to be nothing but ignorance and stubborness, almost as if we were raised to know nothing and just nod in agreement with those who also knew nothing.

My whole life I have felt that there was something missing.

I didn't have access to whole organic natural foods or the way of life and acceptance that I was longing for. My family and friends didn't support me.

I have five children. My oldest son is in remission from ALL Leukemia, in his sixth year and cured.

Three years was plenty of time for me to lay there in bed and contemplate my future or lack thereof. I couldn't foresee a future at all. Today I get so excited over our future that I feel breathless and giddy. There is so very much that I want to learn and experience. SO much I want to do to help this earth and to return the kindness I have been shown.

I'm getting ahead of myself.
I encouraged my husband to help me make the change of life.

We left a place we have known all our lives, he left an extremely stable high paying job, and we moved to Oregon.
It called to us for far too long and we had to heed the call.

I was still very ill when we moved. We had somewhat given up hope. I think I had seen every specialist known to man at this point and been given the same bad news by all.

I gave up. But then I didn't.

We tried a doctor here and what do you know, they figured it our right away and I'm healing everyday.

SO here we are.
I'm in love with this area, we have access to farms and farmers markets and organic foods and sustainable living in every form.
I have moved my children out of suburbia and I'm slowly making changes so as not to completely pull the rug from under their feet.

We are weaning them off of video games and tv, and all the other fun things that kids do, instead of going outside and living.

TV and video games were sort of drilled into my son when he lived in the hospital, but he is the one more willing and excited than the other kids. Perhaps he really has a desire to live and do so in a way only a child can. ... With everything they have, including the childlike wonder.

We have already had adventures and been exploring on our property and we've found wildlife and insects, reptiles and furry things..... it has truly been a blessing.

I'm not thankful that I was ill for so long, but I'm thankful I came here.

I love my family and I love being alive. I will do everything in my power
to raise my family(and animals) in the most healthy way and with all the love I have to offer.

This is Lucy. She is my favorite. I hold her in my hand and I sing to her.
She always falls asleep.

I need to head off to bed myself. I've been staying up far too late.
It seems I find the most peace and quiet during these hours and I can read blogs for hours, learning, absorbing, but in the morning I feel the lack of sleep.
I can't handle that quite off to bed I go.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Raining it's Pouring

and hailing, and snowing, and hailing again and then snowing, heheh.
The sun is teasing me, peeking through the clouds, then disappearing....
I am itching to get outside and plant my garden. It's time to dig into the sweet rich earth.
However.....I have the flu...yep. My children are so very generous. They share each and every little virus ;) Yes, sweet little darlings.
For now I sit in my house gazing out the window with anticipation, tea tree oil on my ears and a bowl of steaming eucalyptus water on my lap.
In a little while I will go back to my chair in the corner near the bookshelf and pour over the seed catalogs and my organic gardening magazine. I will lose myself in the stack of books on composting, biodynamic gardening, seed saving, preserving, etc...... as my littlest one sleeps nearby, fighting the flu himself.

Here are some great resources for seeds, tubers, etc...

One of my sweeties, the nuturing one

Monday, March 9, 2009

A sigh of relief

Finally. As I dip one little toe into the blogworld to test the waters I breathe a sigh of relief......"Ahhh...home at last"

I've had all of these ideas, creativity, adventure, laughter, tears.......I've had it to share with you for all of this time.
I've finally found my way...

Now on to the story that is my life...