Welcome to the journey,the tale and the saga of our Suburban Homestead.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Once in a Blue Moon.


This New Years finds us with a Blue Moon.I am not to sure if there are omens that apply but here is my New Years wish.
Once in a Blue Moon is a phrase some use to express something that only comes along once in a great while denoting a special something.So with this in mind I think of the coming year and I hope it is a Once in a Blue Moon Year for one in all.Filled with good things that are rare and special.
As we slide into the New Year my attitude for the coming year will be , this year is a special one.I am dead set on that thought,if I have enough determination,positive thought and fortitude it will be. Lord knows this past year has been one wild ride leading us to grow and find strength when we did not think we could so really how could things be anything but better?
I'd like to thank all of you readers for reading along and coming back to check in with us. The coming months will be busy here, like Spring the homesteading work will return and we hope you will too.
Here's a toast to the New Year may it be filled with greatness,rare treasures,hope and love.
Cheers!
Chance, Rois, Issac, and Sol Dahms

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reply to comments- magazines

I am enjoying the conversation that is going on in the comments box,it is good and has me full of thought.
Although most of us do not consider ourselves consumers we still do consume goods. Goods of choice that fit our own criteria.
Seed, animal feed, sewing notions,yarn,canning things,books and the supplies we all need that we ourselves can not produce that enable us to make and create.
Many choose to seek out the small local crafts people,farmers and ethical businesses in our own communities.It is a way to start a change in our world,our economies and the minds of others. We are already doing this,talking about it,voting for changes, leading by example,slowly we are making a difference. The people of the United States spoke up and there is now a four season garden at the White House.Eyes are opening.
So why could there not be my dream magazine? Sure the magazines sitting on the stores racks are about being a consumer and the companies who advertise within the pages support this way of thinking. But if a publisher looked around they would find plenty of smaller producers of goods out there to advertise.The small guys who are over looked and need the money more than those big box stores do.The companies we still shop with.Would it be so bad to see an advertisement for canning jars?
I am daring to dream here. I tend to go against the grain when some one says "Oh,no that could not be,happen,could not work or some such thing." Hrafinstaad is a dream no one thought possible yet here we are doing it.I won't live my life in a box,thinking outside of the box is what keeps me going and dreaming.
So with the hopes of continuing the discussion I pose this question: If there was my dream magazine what kinds of advertisements would you support? What products or companies would fit into the non-consumer life style? HA! I am daring you to think outside of the box folks by pairing advertising and non consumerism.

Rois

P.S I know I know buying a magazine goes against the non consumer's thoughts but put up with me for a moment.Personally I feel a good magazine with lots of worth while information is like buying a book.And like a good book I keep them.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kitchen Gardeners International: What’s a home garden worth?

Kitchen Gardeners International: What’s a home garden worth?
I found this through an email we received today. It's a topic of conversation here around our house and thought it might interest all of you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Magazines part 1

I have been working on this posting for awhile now.The thought came to me while standing in a long line at the store one day. The gears in my head started to roll and I was left thinking." Well how about that? Although I love magazines I no longer buy them why is that?"
Like I said I love magazines,the glossy paper,bright photos of all sorts of temptations and the random bits of information they house. But their charm is gone and to tell you why let me start at the front door of my life.
Let me be self centered for just a moment and start with myself,the first magazines I turned my back on were "fashion" magazines,it started one day as I nursed Issac as a brand new babe.Someone had brought me a pile of magazines to read as I sat nursing Issac, should have been good right? Not so much.In this glossy tome was an article about how horrid it was to nurse your baby,that was just the beginning of it I won't go into the supposed damage it would do to my looks,intelligence and sanity. Not wanting to wake the now sleeping baby on my lap I did not throw the magazine across the room. And not wanting to be called a litter bug I did not throw it out the window.It did end up in the trash were it belong. Yes the trash, those were the days before curbside recycling and the days when women were getting arrested at the local mall for nursing in public.
Later on I did come back to "fashion"magazines once my postpartum hormones had settled a bit,it was still no good. The only times my body was going to be bone thin was if I was recovering from a bad Crohn's flare up, going through all of that hell just to be that thin was not my idea of beauty. There is just no allure to puking my guts up and curling up with pain all in the name of "fashion". And when would I ever need any of those clothes?Could you see it? Me who rode a bicycle for transportation peddling along, in the rain with 6 inch hells and a long flowing gown? I have seen it done here but it was for one of the many bike rides we have here for some fun loving reason or another.(Portland may be the only city I know of that hosts a naked bike ride,don't worry it is legal here and funny to see.) As for the make up, here in Portland women just don't paint on two inches of goo to look good,it's just not part of our culture I guess. Again flying along in the rain on my bike I'd end up looking like Tammy Fay Baker crying for the T.V camera. Now let that camera pan around to the curb outside of my front door.
If I stood at the curb and faced my 1,1oo square footed house I would see our humble suburban homestead, the lawn we are slowly but surly removing,my artistically inspired front porch and the gap that my beloved and much missed plumb tree once filled. There are a few shrubs planted at the foundation of the house,our little apple tree,my mock orange and the leaning blue spruce tree. Sounds fairly suburban right? There should be lots of magazines to fill me with inspiration and the pockets of the local home improvement stores right?Magazines with names using the words cottage,small,creative,home,garden, that pledge to teach you how to live in a small space with style and elegance.
I bought it hook line and sinker for the first few years we lived in our house. How does one go about living in 1,100 sq ft when you are a growing family of four, who have more hobbies than any hobby store? There were lots of articles titled something like "How to live in a small house." I admit I bought the magazines,the glossy paper was so bright and shining, the story line promised to make my life better and the treasure hunting raven within me was awed by the whole package,oh so bright and pretty. I'd flip open to the pages of my desire and read some thing like the following.
"Meet Bob and Sue Smith they live in a lovely 2,400 square foot home in the suburb of Milknhoney." 2,400 square feet! That's not small! That's not a cottage! That is a full sized house with full sized closets, two bathrooms and a kitchen the size of my front room.
The story goes on from there, " Bob and Sue recently remolded their outdated kitchen with a modest budget of $20,000." Hello? Thats nearly half of a years income in my world.
Two years ago we remodeled our kitchen. Over a summer Chance and I ripped out a wall,moved plumbing,put in the cabinets, painted, hammered and nailed. It took us 6 months of planning to come up with our kitchen design.In that time we poured over kitchen ideas and collected a stack of remodeling magazines. Did we use any of the ideas we found? No for two reasons. The first we had $3,000 cash to spend and we were not going to go over our budget,remember we are Chance and Rois here not Bob and Sue. We did it and came out with $85 left which we used to buy a new backdoor that did not leak like a sieve. The second,We really don't think ANY of the plans we saw we planned for people who cook the way we do. Yes there were some beautiful to look at kitchens but no room for cooking. The kitchens that really made us laugh were the ones who's counter tops were covered from end to the other with kitchen themed knick knacks,walls covered in plate collections and ornate wood work.My only thought with those kitchens was."MMM greasy kitchen dust all over those million little things." Why would I want to spend my days cleaning all of those things? Oh I know they must have a maid.
Ok lets flip to another article there must be some writing with in that relates to my modest home and life. "How to organize your "cottage" ". Now here I have gleaned a few tidbits that have been the savior of my sanity. Everything MUST have a purpose and a place. Clean out closets and drawers a least twice a year to avoid clutter build up. Both of those are good but again the products the magazine wants you to buy to achieve an organized home are for Bob and Sue's not Chance and Rois' budget.
Spending $700 to build a closet organizer is right out.No matter what our closets are so small that Fred Flintstone would feel right at home. I spend hours cleaning them out and folding things in a way that Martha may or may not be proud of just to have everything come tumbling out the next time the door is opened. Wait, Sol's closet can't even have a door, it all just comes tumbling when you open his bedroom door. Sigh,I tried, I really did.
Next article please."How to Green your home in 10 easy steps." This one is one of the most frustrating and as outdated as Bob and Sue's old kitchen. I am already doing those said ten steps and more but want to do more. There must be something I am missing I always think. The media makes living a green life style into hard work and time consuming. A false propaganda,lies all lies! Recycling,Reducing and Reusing are so part of our lives now we don't even notice that we are doing it any more.It has become so simple; then the media's propaganda slips into my mind. "This is too easy,there's no work to it I MUST be missing something." But according to those 10 steps I am not.In fact we are doing steps 11 through 15 that the article left out.
The media tells us that there are 3 "R'S" to recycling and living a green life but that is a myth there are actually 7.
Rethink,Reduce,Repair,Recycle, Refuse,Reuse,Redesign. (from Food not Lawns by H.C Flores)
In between the covers of all of these magazines are lots of pretty things and authors telling me how to place them in my home just so. I want to fit in right? I want a lovely welcoming home right? I want.. right? Not really. I don't want to live in the boxes these magazines offer all glossy and perfect. Yes, I live in a cracker box sized house but I don't live in a box. I suppose if I had to live in a box I'd choose a planter box because there is life and growing there to keep me happy. But I think of our home as a treasure box filled with things that hold memories, joy, purpose,warmth and things to come.
The homes in the magazines show me no life being lived. Where are the crumbs,the dust bunnies,finger prints,pet rodents in their smelly cages or unwashed dishes? The un-mopped kitchen floor? Only un-mopped looking because as soon as you mop someone comes in with muddy muck boots or the chickens invite themselves to tea. Where do these people LIVE?
In our neighborhood there are 3 floor plans of 2-3 bedroom homes with 900 to 1200 square feet of plain and quickly built home. My neighbor Mrs K and I have for years now wondered where are the magazines for people in our neighborhood? Who has money or floor space to live the way they do in the magazines? And frankly I don't really want to but dream of a publisher who would see this void.A publication that went one step farther or one step down may be more like it. Truly small homes done with equally small budgets and an eye on the 7 R's. I want a progressive magazine that is keeping up with the times, how to do it yourself and moves you and it's self forward. Articles that start out with step one but then keep coming back to the topic as you move along on your journey.I know the basics of keeping chickens in an urban setting,don't consider them any thing but live stock so what are the live stock point of view issues that can come up with chickens? How can I remodel my kitchen myself,for a small sum of cash and I do mean small ? I want a magazine that rolls the words cottage,home,farm,mother,small scale,garden and urban into awe inspiring glossy photos of the new urban farm life that is rolling across our globe. Yes, yes I know there is a new one out there looming for my attention,the title promising farm and urban inspiration,I saw it and left it behind. I majored in art you see and I want a bit more style.I am not a home grown kind of girl. Take Frieda Kahlo and stir in Laura Ingills Wilder that's more me. That is what I want in a magazine,canning jars with vivid colors.

Rois

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the 20th of December ......


On the 20th of December my lovely hens gave to us...4 Brown eggs. Such a thoughtful gift,one we will savor in the middle of the winter.It has been many weeks since our hens graced us with eggs.I am hiding today's eggs away for Christmas morning's breakfast. We are all hoping there will be a few more between now and then to add to our morning festivities.
This evening Chance and the boys made our latest Dark Days of Winter Dinner.We are a week behind due to a round of the flu and Chance has been working extra hours.
Chance was inspired by Issac's confession that he LOVES Chance's fresh pasta.This evening Chance brought both boys into the kitchen to help him.I really wish I had not been on the phone to my Dad at the time,I missed some great photos.

Dark Days Dinner a la The Dahms Men.

Lamb and Potato Raviolis with a Browned Butter Garlic Sauce.

Lamb from a local farm who's name I have forgotten.
Potatoes the last couple from our local farm store
Herbs from our garden
Pasta dough made from our 170 mile bag of flour and local eggs.
Butter from Tillamook Oregon,not organic.
Garlic from the farm store.

Chance got creative this evening by taking a small bit of lamb and grinding it into sausage meat.He then added fresh herbs,minced potato and garlic.All three of my guys were lined up making the raviolis in a production line.Chance then made a Brown Butter Sauce with garlic to pour over the top of the pasta.It was very good but we all agreed it was a little too rich between the lamb and butter.Next time we make this dish we will make a vegetable based sauce for the raviolis. The boys made plenty of the raviolis so we were able to put enough for maybe two more dinners in the freezer.
Both Chance and I believe it is important the boys learn how to be independent and how to work.Once the boys finished making the raviolis with Chance,Chance made sure the boys helped clean up the mess.Our number one rule in the kitchen is "Clean as you go".It makes life easier in the long run.



In my last quick posting I mentioned I was going to write about reading magazines and the give away I am working on, but I was so excited to share that the hens left us a Christmas present and then remembered the Dark Days Dinner needed to happen today that I have put my magazine posting off. I also can not say much about the give away until I finish the project for it. But I am coming back to both shortly.
I am pretty sure I won't have time to write until after Christmas Day.We are preparing for a houseful of family, friends and our four footed nephew Nico, cooking, baking, cleaning (sorry boys.) and dancing to holiday tunes.If I can't come back here before the big day,we wish everyone a happy holiday season filled with blessings,family,light and great cheer.
Chance,Rois,Issac and Solomon

Friday, December 18, 2009

I am here really I am

Just a quick note to say I am still here and playing catch up after a weeks worth of the flu.As soon as I find my way out from under the cookie dust and have a moment I'll be back.I'll hint at this tho' reading magazines and a give away from yours truly.
Rois

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cheerful things

Our local pond is frozen ,here's Chance standing on the ice.


Baking Sugar Cookies,the first round.



Issac getting some Boy Scout Awards.


Sol's school band,he's 5th from the left back row.


Our friend Hugin visiting in the kitchen.


Our vintage Christmas village.


Our silver tree before we decorated it.


Dreidels and our snowflake snow globe.
(We honor both holidays.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Chores

I was thinking that homesteading had slowed down for us with winter settling in but it has not,we are just doing different things these days. The chickens still need our care,there's wood to stack and split,spring planting to plan and as always food to plan for.
We have had a nasty cold spell here the past few days.I really should not complain about it, farther east of us it is well below zero and snow is falling in great amounts.The cold has added new chores to my list. When the weather is so cold I have to make sure the chickens are well cared for.Chickens are always thirsty beasts, with the temperature below freezing I have had to go out a couple times a day to give the ladies some hot water.They seem grateful for it, just like us a warm drink on a cold day is a good thing.Also birds burn an amazing amount of calories with the added cold they are working harder to burn those calories to stay warm. I am mindful of this in the kitchen and I am making sure they get every scrap I can come up with to add to their feed.I have also resigned to having no eggs until spring.First molting and now it's freezing cold there's not much hope of eggs. On a side note regarding eggs and this group of hens, Chance and I will be selling the younger hens closer to spring.We want to go back to the Aracunas that have been more dependable layers for us.We talked about eating the young hens but thought if we could sell them we could use the money to buy new chicks.
The wood stove....that's a story of love and hate for me.I love the warmth it gives us but there's some issues. When you come into our front door BANG! right in front of you is the wood stove all of 4 feet from the door,smack in the middle of one side of the room.Why it was put there is beyond me. Not very stylish but we live with it.And then there is the dust the stove creates.This time of year I could dust twice a day making me a half of a step ahead of it.
Then there is the wood pile which really is Chance's domain.Chance loves to cut wood.I love watching him do it,he has a gracefulness to him as he swings the axe over and over. Sol hates the wood pile and would chose any other chore to do if he can help it.Issac is mellow about it and just gets to work. Once the wood we have is cut and stacked we have to be sure to keep a tarp over it ,living in the soggy NW your wood can quickly become soaking wet and useless.And once you have cut and stacked a winters worth of wood you will be sure to safe guard your hard work.
Once we start to use the stove full time we keep a wood hoop filled on the front porch for ease.Tromping out to the wood pile out back when it is wet and cold or like this week freezing is not fun.We tuck the wood hoop under the eves to help keep the wood dry and cover it when it's wet out.
Ideally we would have 4 chords of wood for the winter months,this year we started with almost 3. In the past we had more connections for getting wood for free but I think more people are holding on to their wood or selling it.If the winter stays so cold we will have to buy some towards spring.
Our spring planting plans are rolling along.We now have a stack of seed catalogs sitting on our nightstands.Do other homesteaders read them selves to sleep over seed catalogs,cook books and the like? We are getting a good idea for what we want to plant.We need to start mapping it all out on paper.Some time soon we will spend some time in the garden areas working out the map. One thing for certain is the back yard garden area will be set aside for winter crops that will need covers.We were thinking this would look a bit tidier,our neighbors don't mind what we are doing here but for ourselves we want the gardens to have form and function.
Food, food, food but not foodies just cooks. I am keeping my eye on the price of oranges,it is coming down.As soon as I think they are the cheapest they will get it will be time to try our hands at making Marmalade. For the past too many years we have said to ourselves."This is the year,lets make Marmalade." So far we have not.The past 2 winters we have spent at the hospital with Issac leaving us not focused on anything but the moment.This year is the year. I'll have plenty of time the week in between Christmas and New Years. I could even get a boy or two to help me. I can't wait I LOVE marmalade on toast or vanilla ice cream.
Once we listened to a radio program about why space aliens would look more like blobs than people.It had to do with environmental reasons more than anything.But they also talked about what other living things here on Earth share genes,we share genes with Oak Trees,who knew? Today I feel like a tree whose sap has slowed with the cold so I am really feeling the connection to the oak trees. (Since we sometimes burn oak in the wood stove is that a bit morbid?Like burning a distant relative?) I do need to get to work though so I think I'll do some Christmas baking,that should do the trick to get me going.Warm oven, spices in the air and lets not forget the sugar I swear I absorb through my finger tips as I frost a million and one cookies.

Rois

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oh Fire Gods


Oh Fire Gods why have you forsaken me on this morning of record breaking cold? When winter has painted my windows with icy patterns of lace changing the views of the outside world. On a morning when my feet are frozen cold along with my finger tips and nose.
I brought you offerings to feed your consuming flames.Offerings of the bones of my beloved and gone plumb tree,twigs of apple and logs of a once swaying poplar tree. Shreds of paper fed to you like prayer flags flapping in the wave of your heat.
Yet you will not come and grace my hearth,leaving my loving sacrifice smoldering,gasping for life's breath and cold so very cold. Taunting me like a coy temptress so close but denying me the warmth of your breath. Denying me your crackling laughter.
If I danced upon the hearth stones and sang your praises would that woo you to flame? I could beat on a drum or shake a rattle in my frenzy,anything to see your glowing self.Shall I light some candles and set them at your feet?
Maybe the tiny flame of the candles burning will inflame you with jealously. Sending up a roaring rush of heat to warm my nose,toes and entwining your hot jealous fury between my fingers bringing them back to life. Leaving you to burn and brood within the stove all the day long.Muttering and crackling over the pitiful flames those candles dare to burn.
But,I am a more tender soul than that,no need for jealous rages or hot tempers here upon my hearth.Let me be the temptress sweetly coaxing you with whispers of my breath blowing charms into your ears.Feeding you with loving patience.Luring you to rise up and return to me.
Like the spider said to the fly "Won't you come into my parlor and stay awhile?"

Rois

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dark Days of Winter Challenge dinner #3 And more

This weeks Dark Days Dinner is a pretty good one. We were able to wrangle together the last bits of some of our summer growing along with a few choice things from with in our 150 mile radius.There is one side dish not with in the radius but is organic.
Here is our menu:

Grilled Chicken - feet traveled about 10,it is one of our own
Flour Tortillas- Made from our 170 mile wheat,50 mile butter
Tomato Salsa- Using the last of our hanging tomatoes,home grown onions and herbs from our
garden.
Shredded Cheese- Left over from our first Dark Days dinner.
Steamed roots and zucchini- from the farm store 10 miles and our own garden/freezer.
Homemade Re-fried beans- not local but organic. We felt the burritos would be lacking with out.

This past week has been a up and down week here.We found out that Sol dose not have Crohn's Disease an up.The first down Issac will need to have his Gallbladder out some time in the coming months.Second down the doctor bills are piling up fast leading me to call the school to see if they can find us some help.That was a humble moment but I will ask if it is for the boys and their well being.
The ups came after I threw my hands up, let go of struggling and put my faith to the test. I am now happily employed! I was not finding anything and had thought I would wait out the holidays before I resumed my search for paying work but, some where in there I had an Ah Ha moment.I put the word out to a few people that while unemployed I am available to babysit figuring it would maybe bring in a few extra dollars here and there,every little bit helps. I now have not one but two regular jobs.The first is one day a week I will be a nanny to an almost two year old boy who lives right across the neighborhood from us.The second job will be 3-4 part days a week working with my young friend Emily who is 17 and is special needs.(there is not a term for for what she has but close to Autism.) I have known Emily and her family for a long time now and have always enjoyed Emily.Strange I know to enjoy the company of someone who can not communicate with you but we just click and some times I feel a deeper communion with her that is beyond speaking.Saturday Emily and I giggled all through lunch a thing that her mother says is rare so I think we are on a good start. The final ups to all of this is both jobs are VERY flexible and the pay is way more than I was seeing through job postings. Letting go is a wise thing when things are looking bad,it takes a deep bravery,is scary as all heck but trust in it you will be ok no matter what faith guides you.
Now I am going to do something I said I was never going to do,I would keep it as a guarded treasure to covet. I am going to share with all of you my Great Grandma's recipe for Dark Secrets a family favorite Christmas Cookie.I really only said I would not share it when my step mother, who was straight out of a story book, wanted it and was going to change it. Change it! Then it would not be what it is a light moist bar with a chewy layer of dates and walnuts on the bottom all rolled in powder sugar.
If you can get them use Black Walnuts since they have the best flavor. For the Dates some years I use the whole pitted Dates and chop them some years I use the pre-chopped Dates kind of depends on time and money either will work. They freeze well,I made ours today and they will be a temptation calling from the freezer until Christmas.

My Great Grandma Berg's Dark Secrets.

Preheat your oven to 350
Oil a 8x8 square pan or if doubling a 9x13 rectangle.
Baking time- 35-45 minutes

3 eggs beaten
1 C walnuts chopped
1 C dates chopped
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons flour. Yes only 5 tablespoons.

About 1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar for rolling.

Mix in order.The batter is all egg but don't worry.I also don't recommend using a mixer of any kind for these,the dates and nuts make it difficult. Pour into your pan and bake.


The timing on these is something to watch.Just about the time you think they are ready to burn they should be ready to pull out.You are looking for a deep golden brown crusted top.And when you test the cookies like you do for a cake the knife or whatever you use should pull out with a bit of moist not wet batter on it.
Now you have to move quickly, be sure to set up your work area while the cookies are baking.As soon as the pan comes out of the oven run a knife all round the edges of the pan to loosen the cookies.Now cut in the pan so you have 2 inch or so squares.Quickly roll the squares in powdered sugar and set aside to cool.You want the cookies to be hot when you do this so the sugar will stick.Sometimes bits of the dates and walnuts fall off as you pull them from the pan,you can do a repair by gently pressing the bits back into place.Cool or at least mostly cool if you can't wait and enjoy.
Dark Secrets were my first round of this years Christmas Cookies.I still have Lemon Melt Aways,Sugar Cookies,Gingerbread Cookies,something Chocolate and one more something I don't know what yet. Our tree is up,the lights are glowing and the house is starting to smell like the holidays as well.Perfect combination considering winter has rolled in with it's icy breath.
What are some of you making for the holidays?
Rois

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Whew!

I just wanted to update all of you,Sol's blood work came back showing he is healthy as can be so there is (at this point) no need for further testing for Crohn's,Whew!
Rois

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dark Days of Winter Challenge #2


I have not actually planned out a dinner just for the Challenge. It's one of those weeks where we need to eat up what we have on hand.And between the holiday left overs and a birthday dinner here over the weekend there has been no time or need for something else.
I suppose since tomorrow night we will end up eating a dinner from our own stock pile it could end up being pretty darn local.I am planning on baking one of the chickens we butchered here at home,you can't get more local than right out your backdoor, served with some of the roots we bought at the local farm.So there it is my offering for this week.
Chicken- feet traveled 50
Root Veggies- miles traveled around 10.

Chance and I have been talking about this challenge and the affordability of it.Sometimes we just can't afford to buy organic sustainable foods in the quantity we'd like.Between me not working outside of home and a mountain of medical bills cash is tight.Some days I just have to be able to have enough to feed our family.
But as some of you know Chance and I have a plan of multiple years.We are working towards being more self sufficient urban farmers. As seed catalogs start to come we are using them to help us map out the coming years plan of more garden beds for fruit and veggies.Not only are we working on more but we are working towards a four season garden.Our dream is to be able to grow more of our own food so we can have the organic produce we want saving us money to purchase what we can not provide for ourselves.
Indoors we have also been working towards a more independent sustainable life. It's not only the way we eat that we are working on but the way we look at things in general.
One of these points came to light just recently and I am proud of us for accomplishing it.I noticed that over the past few months it is taking us longer and longer to fill our outdoor garbage can.We are now up to a month to fill the can which has led me to request a smaller can.We will be saving money and helping the planet. I think our efforts to buy items with less packaging and being super aware of what we are throwing out is showing.We have a system here for how "garbage" is looked at. Can the dog,chickens or cat eat this? Can this be recycled either at the curb or re purposed? Not much makes it to the compost due to the chickens but we do ask that question too. Would someone else find this useful? And this time of year do we need this paper for kindling?
We have also looked at what things can we make for ourselves that normally we buy. Chance started two kinds of vinegar this past weekend with this in mind.Chance had read a blog entry about making pineapple vinegar and amazingly we had one as a treat here at the house. We also had part of a bottle of wine left over from the holiday dinner so he started some white wine vinegar as well. So Chance recycled some left over things to help us along on our journey.
The holidays are coming which is hard to believe since it has been so mild here.This evening we are decking the house for this festive time of year.Soon the house will smell of holiday treats baking and be filled with Christmas cheer.
This week is all about doctors appointments for both boys.Sad to say young Sol is having tummy troubles and the doctor wants him to be tested for Crohn's as a precaution. Don't ask me how I feel about this yet,not going there as of right now,it's filed away until I have to face it full on.Say a prayer that it is just a passing thing and the tests come back showing nothing. No matter the outcome I will carry it.My children are a gift from above and to quote my Midwife "God would not have given you this child if he did not think you were the right one for the job."
Rois