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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Walk with me.

This weekend I have found myself reflecting back on a hard time in my life that became such a huge part of who I am as a person.It was the spring I turned 20,I spent 2 months in the hospital very sick with my Crohn's disease.I was so sick I nearly died and gave my self the nickname " Auschwitz Annie" because that was how thin I had become.
But that's not what has been on my mind.I've been thinking about a woman who used to come and sit on the couch in the hallway outside my room.This lady came every day and sat there quietly.It seemed odd at first.I always thought she was looking at me in all of my misery.I knew I looked like death,was she staring at me? You see, I always liked to leave my door and curtain open so I could hear that the world was still going on out side of my room.It made feel like I was still part of the world.If I closed the curtain and door she wouldn't be looking at me but I would lose my link to world as it were.
After weeks of laying in bed I was finally able to get up and prepare to try to take a walk in the hallway.Outside my door sat the woman,she greeted me with a smile."I am so glad to see you up.You are so young and I wanted you to be ok again.I have been praying for you with my Dad who is down the hall." A total stranger praying for me,that was awesome.It was then I set the goal to walk to her Dad's room.I was at the farthest end of the hall and he was at the half way point but I wanted to say hello to him and say thank you for the prayers.
It took me a few days to make it there but I did it! I got to thank both the woman and her Father.But this weekend as I think back about what a motivation they were to me,it gave me a big goal to inch my way down that long hall.That walk changed my outlook so much.
Once I had reached the man's room I learned that the maternity unit was at the end of the hall and out a door.There were little new babies down there,life at its start and lots of joy.That was my next goal to reach the window of the nursery to see if there were any babies there to see.I made it several times and only saw babies twice but they sure made it worth the walk.
Finally one day I went out into the hall to sit on the couch out my door.There was a big picture window there with a view of a school yard across the way.There was a huge Willow tree starting to leaf out,green grass and children playing in the school yard.
By this time the man had gone home so I longer walked to his room to say or wave hello but I had a new motivation to get up,the kids playing,running,swinging,just being kids full of LIFE were outside that window.Play time on the playground became a huge deal to me.I watched them every day.It gave me hope of returning to my life and that things were still out there.
So it all started with this woman making me squirm and wanting to roll over the other way so I could avoid her looking at me.But there she was greeting me with a smile and deep wishes for me.She started a chain reaction that was more important than she could have known.Maybe her prayers were answered but in a way no one knew.I did get better so yes prayers were answered but did anyone know that she would start this chain reaction that is still with me today? Still to this day I can set goals that seem rough,make me want to squirm and roll away but need to be done.I can do it,in my own way,in my own time and with my own rewards. I can do it,whatever it may be.

It would be great to tell the woman thank you again.Thank you lady sitting on the couch for making me squirm,for motivating me to get up and get going.

Rois

P.S  I would also like to thank my every present companion during this hospital stay "Walter" the I.V pole.Thanks for all of the waltzing we did,the walks and no tears when I left you all alone.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

L is for Links

 Just a few links to share for now.

Potato Project .......Now why do I grown my own food and buy organic?

Remember the number 8 when shopping for groceries.Why? Read this super easy tip.
( I have yet to explore the website this link is from,don't blame me if it is odd stuff.I just wanted the tip I posted.)

Glad to know I am not the only one worried about there being fewer bugs. I think adding some bug habitat into our garden projects would be great.

My local readers most likely know this Portlander's work already.Awesome Urban Farming themes over here.

And you really should follow this French Gardeners blog.It's total eye candy.Don't worry the posts start in French but then at the bottom it's in English.


I had the flu last weekend so I was able to stock pile these for sharing. Issac is the last one of us getting over this yuck of a bug so by the weeks end we should all be rolling along once more.

Other than that we have had interesting weather here that made me late for work twice this week.Snow,No Snow,Heavy Rains,Winds.My Dad is now on flood watch and has no power.I can't reach him by phone and they won't let us get close enough to go get him.Hopefully he is safe and got his horses moved.Wish him luck.
I am going to close because this is starting to sound like a country western song,all I need to add is the story of the dog my Dad gave away coming back to his house after 6 weeks. (Really,that happened just a week or so ago.)

Rois

Sunday, January 8, 2012

DIY Instant Oatmeal

Today had the feeling of the start of our starting over around here.It's good to be back and feeling more at home.Happily working hard and for ourselves.

Last night Chance and I went to the book store to look through the books that pertain to our vibe of homesteading,gardens,food,building and nature.We have been gifted a gift card to Powell's Books and thought we might find something to add to our library.Nope,no books for us last night.

Instead we had a great planning session sitting on the floor of the book store.We mapped out what we wanted to do and how to go about it.Once home we wrote it all down and added in some pricing we could do via the internet.Now we have a check list to work from over the next many months.
Today Chance started in on the first phase of some of the outdoor work needing to be done.He started to clear out the random bits and piles of things we no longer need.Once we are done with this we will have a blank-ish slate we can work from.

There's a couple of areas we would like to re purpose and put to better use.Which includes moving the compost bins.Why we put them near where we sit to eat is a mystery to us.The bins don't stink but seeing them makes some dinner guests squirm.

As for me I was indoors today getting things ready for the work week.Most of that was mundane chores but I did do one project I saw a while back.I made our own instant oatmeal.Issac loves instant oatmeal (gag me) but I won't buy it for several reasons.A.It is over packaged.B over priced C.full of crap if you don't pay the extra for organic (organic processed foods are foolish at our house.) so he has been out of luck for a looong time.

Here is the link for the article I read for DIY Instant Oatmeal. I did not follow all of it.I never add salt to oatmeal so that was left out.And I wanted a more grainy oatmeal instead of the pastie stuff instant can be so I left out the powered oatmeal.Finally I left out the dry milk since we will be eating this at home and can add real milk if we want it.Once I know we like it I will experiment with adding other grains and dried fruit or nuts.

There is a second link on the recipe links page that breaks down the costs of making your own that I did not agree with. I paid $1.57 for the organic quick oats,almost a pounds worth The amount of brown sugar and cinnamon I used was small and very little cost.I figure I filled our 2 quart jar for around $2.50.Much cheaper than a box of organic instant oatmeal,no crap in it and the only "garbage" it created was the paper bag I brought the oatmeal home in.(The paper bag will either be reused to death or composted.So no waste there.) By adding in other add ins the cost will go up but I buy them anyway so in evens out in my book.

Issac is one happy kid and swears he will eat oatmeal every morning because he loves it if it's instant.Ok,kid just eat your breakfast and go to school already.

Can you believe this? I have yet to even open the seed catalog that came the other day.?!?! Really,I have not but it is Sunday evening and the days work is done.I can settle on to the couch with the catalog and enjoy the rest of the evening picking out more seeds than we have growing room for.
Oh dear..the first episode of season 2 for Downton Abbey a PBS series I LOVE starts tonight.The seed catalog will have to wait.

Rois

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sweater,Yarn & Samsara.

The last time I was here was July 21st,that was a bit a go wasn't it? At the time I thought I wanted to move my blog to Wordpress but you know what? Blogger feels like home so I am coming back here.

The last several months have been rough for us as a family.We found ourselves needing to just close the doors to the world so we could work through it all,to feel all of the roughness of what was going on,to sort through it all and figure out what to do.
The last four years have been like being tangled up in an itchy,too tight sweater.You know you put on a sweater and think "oh,this is fine.It's a bit snug and itchy but it will work out." but then you try living your life wearing it.There are spots the rub you raw,and places that ITCH in that maddening way. You try to reach out and you find your sleeves are pulling above your elbows they are just that short.Then you wonder if you will get a rash from the sweater,well,if not at least it may lead you to a nervous break down in the classic Chinese water torture kind of break down.
You wiggle,squirm,pull and tug to get it to stop.Did I just say stop? Stop...and stop is what we did. We stopped and looked at this itchy too tight sweater called life.We needed to sit with the sweater and feel it.Breath it in and work on moving it along.Sit and sort through the different parts and put them in place.While sitting there feeling all itchy and strangled we found a lose thread and pulled.Slowly we pulled,life twisted,turned, spun and things started to ease up.
Now we find ourselves with this ball of yarn that represents the past four years.It's a rainbow of a ball,it's not all itchy.There are the soft silken spots that are the good things,family,friends,health and growing.Silken spots that carried us through the rough parts.There are strong parts.Well, because the past four years didn't kill us,what does not kill you makes you stronger after all. The tender quiet spots from deep within our hearts,that have changed how we see the world,given us sharp eyed vision for what is important.
Winter days are upon us.Days spent indoors waiting for the light to slowly return to us.Days we are spending drafting a new pattern to weave and knit our ball of yarn into a new beginning.Seed catalogs will arrive soon.The garden will call and out the door we will go.
Thank you to all of you who are still here.Welcome to the 3 new followers I managed to acquire while I neglected this part of my life.It's a quiet time of year for big projects and news may not be too exciting for a few more weeks.But I am here again and happy to be back.

Rois
*****Samsara  here is a link just in case.