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

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bliss

 Today is a gorgeous sunny day! Yes! I said sunny! So I am happy to announce I am about to put on my jeans and boots so I can walk out the door to work in the garden!
 
Rois

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade Bouillon Recipe - 101 Cookbooks

Homemade Bouillon Recipe - 101 Cookbooks: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Hey,I just found this online and want to share it with all of you.I had never thought about making my own bouillon before.And like the author of the posting says it would be interesting to tweak the flavora around based on what I have on hand.
Rois

The Great Clean Out.

    Over my days off I started on my plan to get Hrafinstaad back on track- The Great Clean Out. After looking around home I could see there was a big pile of stuff that maybe we did not need,want ,use or even know what in the heck it was.I am hoping with all of the clutter gone we can better see what needs to be done and with less junk around the day to day care of  hearth and home will be more stream lined giving us more time for the things that are important to us.
  The first phase of the Great Plan was to get the boys on board,as I said in my last posting they have become slobs around the house. Chance and I reverted to the old trick of bribing the kids into doing what needs to be done. Both boys have been asking to go to Seattle for a weekend of site seeing so our deal with them is if they can manage with minimal reminding to keep their messes picked up we will go to Seattle at the end of February.The guide line we have given the boys is " Is this the way Dad and Mom would want this space to look?" So far we are a week into the deal and all is going well. I am hoping by giving them until the end of February it will be a long enough time frame to break them of their bad habits.And what the boys don't know is we were planning a trip to Seattle any way but if Chance and I can get them into being better around the house and get a trip to Seattle out of this little white lie, I am A.O.K with it, a Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do.
  The next phase was to clean out every drawer,closet,nook,landing spot and stash spot in the house.So far we have made a mountain of recycling, a couple of trips to Goodwill and 3 boxes to be taken to the resale shop. We have made sure to ask ourselves why we have certain things,do I need this,could someone else use this and of course there were somethings that you just had to ask yourself- what? why? and then good-bye to it!
  The only room in the house left is the kitchen which will be this weeks phase to tackle.Once the house is done Chance and I will move out to my Studio/The Big Pantry,personally I think that room may need a stick of dynamite but that may be deemed an act of homeland terrorism, leading us down an even bigger path of doom than it warrants  so,I'll just roll up my sleeves and tackle it in a more peaceful manor.
  As we have gone through each room I have taken the time to do some deep down scrubbing,even going so far as to take down the blinds and washing them instead of just quickly dusting them.The rooms are sparklingly clean and very pleasing to the eye again.The clutter is gone and the things we love and cherish can once again be seen and enjoyed.
  This whole project is proving to be good on a deeper level than just cleaning.I really feel as if Hrafinstaad feels like its old self again,warm and inviting,the way we like it to be.Having things the way you like them is also so much more inspiring to be there, to keep it up and do more. I think the boys are also benefiting from seeing Chance and I working hard to get this project going.It sets the example and shows them the way. It shows them that we are walking our talk and want to go to Seattle as much as they do.
  I am going to have a gushing of motherly pride for just one paragraph before I close,bear with me I don't do this often but I am so proud I have to share this. Over the weekend Issac went to spend the night with a long time friend which has always been a good thing.The two boys went to a party where the kids were drinking and I don't know what else,Issac's friend was included in the drinkers.Issac told his friend from the get go "I am not drinking or doing anything else." Well,of course being under aged drinkers every one was to quote Issac "stupid drunk".Now comes my moment of great pride,Issac did not want to be there and called for a ride home. Issac is 16 and both Chance and I are smart enough to know kids are going to try things we would rather they did not but we have always been open and honest with both of our boys.We have always said to them "We would rather you did not do these things but if you ever find your self in a bad spot or even too screwed up to get yourself home,please call us we will get you no matter what." I am so proud that Issac made the right choice,he knows he is A.under aged.B.If he did try to drink the medication he is on would cause him to land in the ER because the two don't mix.C.Being under the influence is not for him.Good job Issac!

Rois 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Home,is where my heart  lives.




     I really am still here. Christmas was a crazy whirlwind that left me in a daze and when I awoke from the daze I realized Chance and I had been blown off  our course when it comes to homesteading.Winter is usually a quiet time for homesteading since a bulk of what we do was finished months ago but many of our daily things have gone astray. But over the past week we have slowly moved ourselves back and are finding our footing.
   I have come to realize that with me working things need a bit of reworking and I am asking myself some questions.The questions came after reading an article in a local magazine called "Portland Woman" (we get free copies at work and since I can't not read something I flipped through it.) there's a great interview with a local woman,Harriet Fasenfest who has written a book titled " A Householders Guide to the Universe."
  Personally I am over the whole homesteading book mania but I may look through her book next time I am at a book store only because I liked her attitude of "don't beat yourself up over this,you can only do what you can do." An attitude I try and voice here as well.
  But back to the questions I am asking myself.In her interview Ms Fasenfest mentions that she estimates it takes her about 20 hours a week to do what she dose,seems like a reasonable number to me.So how can I work in those hours around working? I am working the answer out still.
  I am also asking myself out of what I am doing what are the most important points.What have I been missing the most over the past several weeks that I have neglected? Singling out the most important parts is proving tricky since it all so interconnected,life here has its own little micro-environment, disturb one part and the whole thing can fall apart. I miss all of it, even though this time of year most of it has been put to bed for the winter.I can't address the gardening since that's on hold for now but what about the rest of it?  Can I let go of any of it or reassign the task to another family member? Chance is always willing to do what ever needs doing so he's on board. The boys? Depending on the task and their skill sets,their helping in new ways may work as well.
  
   I am still working it all out and will share my thoughts here as often as I can.


   Other than a bit of life tinkering life has been mellow and steady.Although the holiday season was not the way we really wanted, it was good. I am going to give all of you a great bit of holiday advice: Don't get a zombie mode inducing cold that comes with a hacking,voice stealing cough the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas-it kind of sucks and throws everything off.Which is why the holiday was not as we had hoped,both Chance and I were running so late due to the colds we had that the whole holiday snowballed on us.
  We are preparing to do some remodeling here,some new drywall,painting and general spiffing up. I am looking forward to the final spiffed up part but the invasive drywall dust part, not so much.
  I have a new schedule at work the gives me my 3 days off all in a row,which I love the idea of,so life here at Hrafinstaad should be returning to its "normal" self soon.Being thrown off course is looking like it is/was a good thing.Causing us to pause and step back to take a good look at where we were/are headed.Forward! Ever forward but never straight only because that would be dull.

Rois

P.S - Seed catalogs should start arriving soon,said in a mildly giddy voice.