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...