Sunday, November 22, 2015

No news is good news

Not much to update here.
Baby boy is growing and starting to bounce around and L-bug is losing her baby fat and becoming her own little person much to her parents' dismay. She spontaneously breaks out in song and dance often, babbling her own language (while also trying out new words instead of just signing them), reads fervently to anyone who will listen, loves to "help" cook/clean/collect eggs, pats mama's belly while crooning "baby" and giving it kisses and snuggles, and tears around the house tackling the dog who just adores this but pretends to get offended. I have truly enjoyed every stage of her growing but at just over a year and a half, the level of entertainment I get from her has reached new heights. She is SO much fun. She is discovering paints and crayons and homemade play-dough. She is crafty! I purchased a Learning Tower off craigslist and now she is counter height to everything I do. She wants to press the button to the food processor, click on the blender while I make crepes or smoothies, stir whatever she can, and help while I do the dishes.

We are also learning she is a cautious watcher, wanting to investigate things before jumping in to the activity. When meeting new children, instead of just throwing herself into the mix, she will stand back, observe, soak it all in (you can almost see her gears churning as she fits it all together) and then jumps in when the time is right. She isn't overly scared or timid for sure, but just watchful.

For example, the other day at her 18 month pediatrician appointment, we arrived early and hung out in the well-child area. There was only one other child there with his mother. The boy was about 2yo and all over the place- trying to open the door to outside, running around in the sick-child area, climbing over everything, while the mother was oblivious to him chatting away on her phone. I sat down on a chair with L-bug standing at my legs watching him intently and quietly, her head resting on my knees. At one point the boy climbed up on the chair next to us and proceeded to stand up in the chair. L-bug promptly drew her head up sharply off my knees, stepped toward the toddler, stuck her pointer finger in the air at him and commanded "DOOOWWWWN!" as she glared at him. That kid dropped to his butt in a heart beat, stunned. I couldn't contain my laughter at her bossiness, woooweee that kid had it coming but I didn't think it was my half-pint that would deliver it to him! I didn't know whether to scold her for being a little bossy-pants or give her an attah girl for telling it like it is and knowing right from wrong.

I think she'll do just fine as a big sister.

Other than that, nothing real exciting. We weathered our first snow storm on the homestead. It was a pretty big blizzard but we hunkered down out of the cold, made sure the chickens were comfortable and protected, and chilled out in front of the wood burning stove. I've been trying to gather a plethora of indoor activities for her when the snow really hits hard and sticks around. Having the art easel, paints, and crayons have all been great but one thing I discovered while on a recent trip with her to a pumpkin patch/kid's country amusement park was just pure genius. Two words: Feed Corn. Put 25lbs  (cost approx. $8 for a 50lb bag) of it in a huge under-the-bed-type Tupperware bin, add a few cups or scoops to play with and you have yourself an indoor sand-box. It has delivered hours of relatively clean fun. I have it in the kitchen on our hardwood floor, away from any floor vents, so if any corn escapes a little sweeping is all I need to do. Genius.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Sheep Says Baaa and the Cow Goes Moo

As you can tell, we are working on animal sounds with L-bug. She is walking all over the place and starting to form out some words. The sign language has been amazing in communication and we laugh every time we hear someone make a comment (internet, in the store, etc) that sign language inhibits speech. This girl has a LOT to say and although it is mostly babbling, I have a feeling that once she can make the sounds into words she is going to be quite the chatter box! Her hands are a flurry of activity signing several words together then sometimes pointing to what she is signing. "mama, bug over there. A butterfly. Look!" Yes she signs all that! Once she learns a new sign she uses it appropriately whenever she gets a chance. It's so cool.

The homestead is coming along. We have done a ton of updates and personal touches to the house and property which just adds a little bit more of "us" to the place. It's wonderful. We're about to add a beautiful cast iron wood burning stove in place of one of our pellet stoves. We learned the hard way that pellet stoves, although super cheap and functional, need electricity to run which totally sucks when the power goes out on a snowy day. Plus with our treed acreage we have a ton of fallen wood that would be great for heating our house. We will keep the huge pellet stove in the basement that heats the whole house but a wood burner with a cook top is going in our living room for function and beauty.

I ran my first 5K in a very long while and didn't suck...too bad.

And finally, we are working on extending our family and are extremely excited about it. We know with fertility issues in the past that this isn't a guaranteed thing and each step of the way is laden with hope and worry but with God's grace we hope to have another set of tiny toes added to our family next year. Please wish us luck and pray for us that this dream can be a reality. We need all the help we can get.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Embrace the Poop....

I absolutely love this article and I couldn't agree more. From The Prairie Homestead.


#1. Girl....I thought I was the only one whose manicure never lasted beyond a day because of the picking.


#2. Most days I love being productive, although I admit there's those rare occasions where sitting still on the back deck enjoying a mug of coffee in the peace and quiet of baby's naptime that is golden. I will never have the urge to stroll the mall. I feel like a hamster in a cage there.


#3. Fresh. Warm. Tomatoes. That is all.


#4. I can't stress #4 enough.


I love making homemade things and producing things from the land. It is such a rewarding feeling but not one that is meant to sing from the mountain tops "look at me! Aren't I so wonderful!?" It's one thing to buy "X" from the grocery store for a buck fifty but it's an entirely different thing and feeling to spend hours laboring over something that your own hands make. Even if it takes several tries until you get it perfect. Take for example my last weekend canning session. We have been participating in Bountiful Baskets and last week I bought an extra huge flat of blueberries in which I proceeded to water bath can several batches of blueberry jam. Three different kinds in fact. There was Basic Blueberry Jam, Spiced Blueberry Jam (actually I think it was called Citrus Blueberry but Spiced seemed more fitting), and Summer Solstice Jam (which combined cherries, blueberries and cherry liquor! swoon). It was time consuming and frustrating when two out of the three batches didn't gel quite right. For some reason, every time I try using liquid pectin I have geling issues. However, after all was said and done I had one batch of amazing blueberry jam and two batches of perfectly delicious blueberry syrup for waffles or fruit on the bottom homemade yogurt! Sure, I could have bought blueberry jam but you just try and find blueberry jam with chunked cherries and cherry liquor in it!


As Cowboy will attest, I too am terrible at folding laundry and I loathe ironing.


"We’re just doing what makes us happy, and we aren’t trying to make anyone who isn’t into our lifestyle feel poorly about themselves."  


Absolutely.


#5. I still remember our first egg. It was Martha's, our Easter Egger. My parents were visiting and my mother had gone out to the coop to feed the girls. She came in all excited and made all three of us gather together to go see our first egg. That morning we fried it up next to a store bought egg then ooohed and aaahed over how golden-y and plump it was next to the drab lifeless watery store bought egg. We dubbed our eggs "happy eggs". 


#6. See #4. Stepping back and looking at our stocked pantry of homemade canned goods makes ya nearly want to cry with pleasure. 


#7. Little House on the Prairie is one of my absolute favorite shows/books. I do adore that free-range lifestyle but no, I would not wish to transport myself back to that time. That was seriously hard survivalist work and not done for mere pleasure like it is now. I like my hot showers, flushing toilets, and running water. I enjoy not having to hand scrub clothes and beat the dust out of rugs with a broom. I like doing what I do because I can not because I have to. Plus people got sick and had to take gross stuff like castor oil and cod liver oil, not to mention the ordeal they must have had to go through when their monthly lady business came about (no thank you to scraps of fabric). 


8. A-men. I just had this conversation with one of my coworkers tonight. I got the "how could you live so far away from everything? I'm not sure I could live way out there." I tell Cowboy nearly daily how much I love where we live. It is so quiet and peaceful. The wildlife is plenty and the stars leave me breathless. Why wouldn't anyone love to live out here? 


9. Being that we don't have any livestock or major poo-producing animals beyond chickens and a dog I don't have a ton to add to this but I used to muck horse stalls when I was younger and I "get it." I would clean the stalls of an entire barn in order to earn the boarding of my horse. It was hard work. Really really hard work. Currently my compost loves the chicken poop, so yes, embrace the poop (and the dirt under your nails). 


10. I find it laughable how some people can get so annoyed if you don't call them back right away. Modern technology has skewed our ideas of relationships in so many ways (I'm talking to you facebook) and enforced our "I want it right now" impulsive mentality. Remember the days of rotary dial phones attached to a long cord? If you didn't answer the phone, it was no big deal and people understood. I dislike how the convenience of a portable cell phone means people come to expect it attached to you like another appendage.  It's not personal, I've got things to do and life to enjoy. If you want to talk, come on over... 




Wednesday, June 10, 2015

First Time Mothering Product Reviews

So as my daughter turned a year old, and I sat here bawling at the notion that she is already growing way too fast for my liking, I decided to take a moment to recall several gear and products I tried and either tossed into the failed category or adopted as must-haves. Remember, this is just one person's point of view. There may be things I list that I couldn't live without that you scrunch your nose at with a sarcastic "really?" or something that I deem as " absolutely pointless" that completely saved your day from turning into a disaster. So chill....

Angels Sing Category:
Fisher Price Deluxe Booster Seat - this seat is awesome and convenient. We have carried it into restaurants and to friend's houses. Totally portable, easily washable, and compact. The only downside is it uses up a chair at the table. No biggie for us. We bought two off Craigslist (oh how I love thee): one for our dining table and the other we keep in the car. It's worth its weight in gold.

The Potty Pail- life. changing.
I love this thing so much that when we were in transition between houses I didn't have it hooked up and I panicked. My mom, Nana, was staying with baby and me while Cowboy was still at the rental. I asked her "What did you do before Potty Pail?" as I held up a very poopy diaper. She replied nonchalantly, "I hand washed them." Wait, What?!? I tell you right now. If you are cloth diapering get (or if you're handy, make) a potty pail.

Diono Easy View Back Mirror- Yes, when I got my car seat inspected the fireman told me mirrors can be dangerous as a projectile and also as a distraction but I still love my mirror. I have it attached to the middle seat headrest and she sits behind me. I peek at her no problem if I tilt my rear view mirror ever so slightly. I don't feel she distracts me and I'll take the projectile risk since everything else in my truck could be considered a projectile.

Diono Pacifica- this car seat is expensive, it's a mammoth, and it totally rocks. I take my baby's safety hard core serious. That is all.

Infant Optics Baby Monitor- It's cheap and extremely effective. I've had no issues with it and find it's well worth the $100 I paid vs the more expensive ones.

Halo Swaddles- my baby needed them. She had a high startle reflex that would make her toss her arms out and wake her every 10-15 minutes. Swaddling her allowed her to stay calm and fall asleep. It was a life saver. Some babies need them, some don't. I felt Halo delivered the best product out of the other swaddle companies.

Ergo baby carrier- Easily one of the most used pieces of baby gear I have bought to date. She LOVED this carrier and fell asleep every single time when we were out and about. A naturally mellow baby, she mellowed big time in this while people watching and enjoying being close to mama. Simple to put on and take off by self, super comfortable, and easily adjustable to swap wearers if Nana wanted to carry her. I attached Target Eddie Bauer owl teething pads around the straps for her to drool on to her hearts delight.

ASL Baby Sign Language books. This one was great and there are a handful of others. We started early but it was more to get us as parents used to signing and remembering to speak and sign. She started picking up on it before the age of one and is flying through the signs now. She still babbles and "chats" but she is able to communicate her needs through signing. I firmly believe we have avoided a ton of frustrations due to lack of communications by using sign language. She is able to tell us not just when she's hungry but what she is hungry or thirsty for. She can tell us what she does or doesn't want and what excites her. It is amazing to share this with her and help her learn things into this world. I am amazed at her wide vocabulary already and I do not feel it impedes her speech the slightest.


Don't Bother Category:
Shopping cart covers- Save yourself the car space, the money, and the hassle of this useless puzzle of fabric, elastic, velcro, and/or buckles and just buy a baby wearing device such as the Moby (kind of a pain of the butt if you are needing to take on and off frequently) or (my favorite) the Ergo. Carry that child around as you shop and you'll have the most content baby ever. I got frustrated trying to pack in and pack out that cover and found if I think a cart is that nasty that I can't wipe it down with the store's sanitary wipes then I probably shouldn't be exposing my child to that cart. Besides, I love wearing her around and she loves it too.

Shoes- Until they are walking or crawling (got to protect the tops of those tootsies) around outside and getting into things needing foot protection there's no point in putting shoes on little babies. Even for looks, it's ridiculous so stop it. I have TONS of shoes I ended up getting rid of because her feet are just too chubby to try to force into shoes. Barefoot or socked is great and helps the child learn how to place her feet correctly. I'm also a shoe minimalist in terms of trail running so my opinion on shoes runs deep. As soon as she started trying to walk/crawl especially outside and on our wood (splinters?) deck, Robeez shoes were the way to go hands down.

Food Feeders- Food enclosed in a type of net, these feeders help baby experience new food without the risk of choking. This seemed like a great buy as she liked it with frozen breast milk, however she only used it a small handful of times. Its not that expensive but I just feel in hindsight it probably wasn't needed.

All the electronic "Vtech" plastic craziness of loud singing toys that are out there now. Seriously, my daughter gets excited playing with board books, spatulas, and a bin of ribbons.








Reviving Cast Iron

I cannot believe how excited I am about this. I just completely resurrected my entire collection of cast iron cookware from lifeless pealing cracked gross souls to beautiful glazed newness! It was so easy I cannot believe I have put off doing this for over a year. It's been many years now that I had completely transitioned from stainless and non-stick (blah) to cast-iron. I only use stainless for my saucepans now and they get used mainly for boiling pasta water and simmering tomato sauces. I am a total cast iron convert and have never looked back.

I had read so many places that the only way (other than scrubbing like heck with steel wool) to revive cast iron is to take it to a machine shop and blast the crud off. I had already tried steel wool with an exhausting amount of elbow grease and even resorted to using a chisel to chip it off. The other day I was searching online for a machinist near me when I came across a blog about using the self-clean feature on your oven. Wha-what?? I researched further and found the pros and cons on different methods using the self-clean button. This is what I used and holy cow it worked beautifully! I wish now I had taken before and after pictures.

1. Scrub your cast iron with hot water and soap- don't worry about the no soap rule this is the exception.
2. Dry and set cookware upside down on oven racks. Do NOT place foil or anything else along the bottom of your oven- every site I read that had people do this ended up with aluminum foil melted and baked into their ovens. One lady had aluminum pieces permanently etched into her brand new oven bottom. The crust and crud on your cookware will disintegrate into rusty soot that can later be easily brushed or vacuumed out. No worries.
3. Close your oven and press the self-clean button. Mine automatically set at 3hrs.
4. Get ready for a lot of iron-y fumes and smoke (if you've ever accidentally left your cast iron skillet on a hot flame you know the smell I'm talking about). Make sure you are doing this on a day you can open your windows and keep your kitchen well ventilated. I set up a stand fan blowing out my back door.
5. In 3hrs, let your oven turn itself off and allow cast iron to cool completely.
6. Once cooled, run under warm water with a steel wool briefly to get rid of any lingering rust spots. This should take just a light scrub. Rinse and dry immediately then place on a burner to dry thoroughly. At this point you can clean out your oven. I just used a hand brush and dust pan to scoop up the soot at the bottom, then gently wiped the interior (not really needed) with a wet cloth.

Now to season your cast iron.

You just stripped your cookware in steps 1-6 so now you have to season your pans in order to use them without everything sticking. I know, I know...so many steps and it is time consuming but hopefully, if you do it right, you'll only need to do it once. Some people online have argued against stripping your pans as setting them back to "new" is not desired since now you are starting from scratch on the possibility of having an awful sticking mess with everything you cook. The answer = season your pans well and cook on them a whole lot! Cook bacon, brown up some ground beef, etc. The more you use them the better the seasoning will be which will turn them into a thing of beauty.

7. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat your cast iron with a film of oil. I used Crisco but just about any oil will do.

***The lesson I have learned through this entire process is to make sure the coat is lightly applied (You can go slightly heavier on the inside but the outside has to be extremely light). Take a paper towel, dip in oil, and wipe entire pan down inside and out, then take another towel and take another swipe to clean up any drips or over-applied spots. My initial fault many years ago was that I got way over excitable seasoning my pans for their first times and thought "more is better". What happened was as I continuously cooked with the pans, all the baked on oil I had excessively slathered outside of the pan became burnt and further baked on creating a monster of ugly scaly hard-as-nails crust. It was a nightmare and every one of my pans suffered from my over-zealous application. So, LESS is more and remember, you can always season multiple times if the first application is too thin. Which it won't be....

8. Once oven is heated, place oiled cast iron upside down in oven on racks. This time, it is totally acceptable to line the bottom of the oven with a sheet of foil. Other ways are to line each rack with foil or place foil on a baking sheet and put under the cookware to catch any oil drips. This is fine because you aren't getting the oven temp above a bazillion degrees to melt the foil.

9. Close oven door and set timer for one hour. After hour is up, turn off oven and leave cookware in there to cool completely.

10. Remove cast iron and stare at your handiwork. Isn't it gorgeous?? Now go cook on them!!!

To clean with every day wear just rinse under hot water and a good stiff nylon or similar brush. No soap. Though many people do use soap with no adverse effects I find soap unnecessary and counterproductive to the use of cast iron. Immediately dry and place on a burner to thoroughly dry. Once dry, immediately coat the inside lightly with your choice of oil. My oils tend towards bacon grease, avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil but pretty much any oil will do. Store in a dry spot. If stacking, use a paper towel where pieces touch to prevent rusting. If you do notice rust, just rinse with water, scrub with a little steel wool then re-coat in oil. Worst case you'll have to do steps 7-10 again.

Okay, I feel the need to mention this since I read of two people's events while using this self-clean method. These two people's self-clean feature set their cast iron on fire. Yep, on fire. Neither individual suffered any negative effects of this. Their ovens were fine and so was their cast iron but it scared them pretty bad and they were writing their story to warn others. One person drew up a chair in front of their stove and sat there with a fire extinguisher clenched in their hands until the oven turned off and unlocked the door. So proceed with caution. My experience was nothing but good and I had no fires.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelions aren't just for hippie headwear! I remember when I was a little kid I used to sit out in fields of dandelions while playing outfield for our t-ball team, pinching off their blossoms and making dandelion chains by inserting the skinny end into the thick large end. Then I'd hang them on my neck or around my head and dance around.

This past week, KT and I got together to make dandelion jelly and it was so delicious. It tastes very similar to honey!!! She rounded up her kids the night before to pick dandelions on her acreage while Nana picked some from ours. The whole gang, husbands included, sat around our table deflowering....wait that doesn't sound right....de-blossoming? We haven't found a word for what we did without it sounding utterly wrong in so many ways.


Well, what we did was pinch the blossoms aggressively at their base and roll between our fingers. That releases the petals from the stems. The goal was to get as little green anything in with our yellow fluff as possible.



Once that was achieved KT took the petals home and steeped them in hot water making dandelion tea. The next morning she removed them from the tea. Together, while managing to wrangle three young kiddos at the same time, we finished the jelly.




Recipe courtesy of Simply Canning.com

Making Dandelion Jelly with Powdered Pectin
  • 3 Cups dandelion tea
  • 4 1/2 Cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 box powdered pectin
Add dandelion tea, lemon juice, 1 box of pectin into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.  Add your sugar and bring back to a boil.  Continue boiling 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and fill half pint jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Process in a water bath for 10-15 minutes depending on your altitude. Let sit for 5-10 minutes with heat off before setting on draft free countertop covered gently with a towel. Do not disturb for 24hrs. Check seal at that time. 
**Pick at least 10 cups of dandelion tops as you need 4 cups of petals in the end to make the tea. Pour boiling water over petals and let steep overnight. Strain petals with cheesecloth or coffee filter and discard petals into your compost. Add additional water as needed to achieve 3c. of tea. 
Next time I think I would steep more dandelions for a stronger flavor but overall it turned out perfectly. 
After this I proceeded to get my jam on and made Aprium-Pineapple Jam (with a touch of apricot schnaaps....yummmm) with natural pectin. It was fabulous. My next endeavor is Caramel-Apple Jam and also Bourbon Bacon Jam. 

Today was a bee-u-tiful day on the homestead. Sun shining, warm but with a gentle breeze, laundry swaying, chickens dust bathing, and baby digging up stones and flowers in the dirt. Love.....



I love love love the bonnet. We have five that Nana made for her in gorgeous calico fabric. Because Cowboy and I always put on our cowboy hats when we head out the back door, she has now found it unacceptable to leave the house without her bonnet on. She insists, signing "hat" and pointing at her little bonnet which is kept on a hook by the door. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Home, Home on the Range

11 Things I have noticed about country living:

1. You MUST always have one hand high up on the steering wheel while driving. This is to give a short wave at ongoing "traffic" as they go by as it is considered terribly rude not to (rude = city folk).

2. Traffic is usually the one to three trucks you may encounter while driving back country roads.

3. Forget about even considering washing the mud off your truck. It is absolutely pointless. For evermore the color of my truck is brown. Not galaxy blue, but dirt brown. Don't sweat it, so is everyone else's. Invest in windshield washer fluid.

4. When you see a Mercedes slowly navigating the dirt roads you know without a second thought that they are out-of-towners. The only luxury vehicles you see are suped up trucks (or tractors) and nobody drives slow.

5. In the country we don't have stop signs, only yields.

6. Our mail lady drives a jeep.

7. Not only do we have wandering neighborhood dogs (not really a big deal most of the time) but we also have rogue loose horses and nobody freaks out.

8.  I can sit out on my deck (front or back) and watch the deer graze my land or hang out sleeping in the meadow most days.

9. If I have to drive into the city for anything (groceries is usually the case) I sweat profusely and swear at all the traffic and rude people. I hate it. Thankfully most groceries can be picked up on my way home from work at 5am...best.grocery.getting.time.ever!

10. I tend to sigh a deep breath of relief as soon as my tires leave the black top and hit dirt heading home. Home sweet home.

11. We have a gorgeous Browning 22LR hanging on our cabin wall next to the back door. How cool is that?

Bonus #12. It is SO quiet at any time of the day/night and the stars are AMAZING. I can't stress that enough. Amazing....the kind of amazing that hits you in the gut, knocks your breath out, and makes you instantly think of the wonders of God.


The family is doing great, we're mostly moved in, and the little one has so much room she has been crawling and walking (with assistance) all over the place! She has also started using sign-language to communicate. She is such a fast learner and it amazes us all how quickly she is picking up the signing. Her favorite thing is watching the birds at our living room picture window and signing "bird". Then she'll crawl over to the back french doors and sign "chicken".

 ***oh, before I forget, funny story: 2 weeks after moving the chickens in the middle of the night from our old rental to the new property we drove back to the rental to finish up moving and cleaning. In the mailbox I found a note: Please Get Rid Of Your Rooster! I started to get mad but then immediately broke into a laugh. I texted my friend and fellow homesteader KT who texted back "Your chickens have been gone a long time. Silly city people!!" My thoughts exactly. I love love love living in the country. No stupid rules, no people badgering me and my lifestyle, no one to tell me I have too many chickens or an illegal lovely rooster,

 I don't know how to say this without sounding off my rocker but our chickens are so happy! Seriously happy. We contemplated for quite awhile about allowing them to roam free as our neighbors lost almost their entire flock to coyote and fox. The predators are vast in our part of the country and we didn't want to lose our girls. After much debate, and leaving them in a decent size run for several weeks, we decided to allow them out while we were outside. That turned into "as long as the dog is out with them". Now the dog is out with them most of the time but there are times when we'll bring him in for a rest and still keep the girls roaming.

 We know the risks and are willing to deal with the consequences by allowing them roam time. We only let them out to the run in the early morning and if we are going to be gone from the house we lock them back up. But, seriously, I can't relay to you how happy these girls are. There is so much pine straw and stuff to scratch around and dust bathe on the homestead. They have dug up our garden and literally tilled it for us. We found an old compost pile and shoveled it's contents out onto the garden where the chickens promptly took care of mixing it all in for us. The earth is a rich chocolate musty soil. It's beautiful and I can't wait to plant seeds (after I build a strong fence to ward off our neighborhood mule deer). They'd also found a section of the corral that must have been used to muck the stalls out as there was hay and manure in a mound. They have since leveled that mound and are still working it all over the land. I'm still pondering which animal is going to occupy our corral: goats, pigs, alpaca, horses, donkey?? Cowboy is wanting a donkey to help haul stuff around the property. I'm not so sure I'm ready for a donkey as it's non-producing. I think I would rather goats or something. I have always wanted a dairy cow but that's a heavy commitment too.  I'm consulting my bee-keeper father and also reading up on bees for next season. I had wanted to start this season but getting the house in order and focusing on family growing is top priority. As an easier task, this season I'm thinking of ordering a couple turkeys to have for the holidays that we can keep with our chickens now that we have two coops. Yes we loaded up the coop we built from the rental property and hauled it redneck style in the back of our truck to the new land!

 This week Nana and I are going to be canning homemade dandelion jam with KT from the dandelions in our meadows. I'll make sure to take lots of pictures and let you know how it all turns out.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Change is a comin'

Holy cow has time flown, 10 months!

 I apologize for not keeping everyone updated like I said I would but priorities are priorities. L-Bug is sleeping throughout the night with two good naps during the day, however even with all that sleep I still feel like a zombie. Seriously, even after a decent night's sleep (I occasionally have to pop back in a pacifier or tuck a warm blanket around her shoulders during the night) I wake up feeling like I could sleep another eight hours! I am eternally exhausted. During the day she is very active trying to crawl and she is SOO close! She gets her butt up in the air and tripods then ends up pushing her arms out and sliding backwards. This produces a shout of frustration as she finds herself wedged under the couch or stuck in the corner of the room. She is determined though (I love this little bear!). I think by the end of this week she'll be crawling for sure.

 Well, news is thick in these parts of the woods! Not only are we starting to get our brains wrapped around the notion of preparing to put our snowbaby girl (baby#2) in shortly but.....drumroll.....we are buying a house!!!

Not just any house but a beautiful log cabin with a huge chunk of acreage tucked in the damn-middle of nowheres. I.GET.TO.LEAVE.THE.CITY!!!! I am beyond excited. It has a chicken coop and a horse barn/corral on it. The land is amazing. I am still stunned. When we first walked the land, it was getting dark and we stopped at the edge of a gate. We were so impressed with the property at that time. The next day we walked it again with some friends and realized we had only walked a very small portion of the land! The majority of the property was beyond that gate into a heavily treed section. Our jaws dropped. My dream has always been to live in a log cabin: beautiful exposed ceiling beams, curled up on the couch near a wood burning stove, or standing out on a deck overlooking our land while enjoying the morning sun over a steaming mug of coffee. **sigh** My dream is about to be fulfilled. Also, our little girl will grow up in a small back-country town like I did: 4-H, tractors and trucks, cowboys herding cattle down the roads, woods to play in and build her imagination, and much much more. I so can't wait to get her her very first cowgirl boots. On top of all that our very good friends will be our neighbors as their land (same large acreage) butts up to ours and L-Bug will have a BFF who is 4 months older than her. Relocating to our house comes with a large lifestyle change as Cowboy and I both got brand new jobs to boot. Things look like they are changing and it's most definitely not a bad thing.