Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Goals

WHEW! Been a long time since I've jotted down our Homesteading Goals! Now that we have our "Forever Home" we can do many ideas we have just dreamed about and we are pretty excited. The 1st year here was more of a tidy and hurry kind of time. Mr. Awesome was a flurry of tools and ideas to get the house secured and livable so we could move in last year in April.

We spent many months just bouncing ideas off each other of what we want to see developed over the next year. So we came up with these for this year! Every idea is still in flux and I'm mingling some personal goals for myself as well.

2017 Goals-

1) Mark out the garden and use our entire homestead as a "Food forest". Now this will be a continual developing idea that won't just be for this year but for the years to come. Mr. Awesome thought it would be neat to have a Herb/Kitchen garden as you come up towards the house.

2) Green house that can be dual purpose if we want to have animals in at various seasons.

3) My dream small business Gypsy House that is portable to take to Fleamarkets. Not sure if we will also do a Tiny house as a Vintage market out on our property.

4) Fence in larger garden area- Doing this now!

5) Mulch around where we have existing plantings/trees- Working on this now

6) Chicksaw- portable chicken (feathered birds)

7) Tire Duck pond

8) Small pond in back of property with possible water generating feature? That is still up in the air. We don't have running water so not sure if that part will get completed.

9) Plant more fruit trees/garden yumminess!

10) Order 1 pkg of Bees- DONE! They will be coming in April! Also, order Mason bees

11) Chicken/Animal Run

12) Sheep- Well we are thinking those maybe in the future instead. Cost wise right now it's not doable

13) Order chicks or buy from Animal auction

14) Can more! Last year I didn't do so well. I'm pretty tired when I get home from work and I work 6 days a week. This means on my 1 day off I don't feel like doing ANYTHING!

15) Save more seeds. I saved quite a bit from last year from our garden and a dear Woman on a Homesteading group sent me some to get us started last Spring.

16) Now something more personal- Read 100 books! Or at least as many as I can. I read my Bible every year, I try to do so at least twice a year. I did read about 48+ books last year, not counting books I read to Mini Man.

17) Learn to make Soap

18) Make more of my own Tinctures

19) Take Herbalist course

20) Finally publish my book

21) Write/Publish a few Ebooks

22) Work on getting Affiliate and Ebay things listed

23) Attend Lyme meetings- I am not thrilled about driving in the dark and the meetings last into the evening hours.

24) Continue to work on growing some sort of business that I love and enjoy

25) Get Roof repair done or at least maybe a bandaid

26) Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!

27) Find someone to finally clean and inspect our Furnace

28) Seal around windows

29) Gravel driveway

30) Telephone poles in yard for various projects

31) Finish painting indoors

32) Sleeve and inspect chimneys

33) Make Concrete bird baths

34) Finish lap blanket

35) Fix my Amber necklace. The clasp broke a wee bit ago and I miss wearing it!

36) Make more Sage sticks to sell

37) Dry more herbs and flowers

38) Go to Aquarium, Turkey Run, Museum

39) Visit some folks on my Guest Post list

40) Figure out how to edit my videos

41) Host a webinar

42) Find wild Honey bees

43) Meditate more

44) Have a once a month Date Night

45) Work on sewing projects/Craft projects to sell

46) Spray mildew off house

47) Organize our closet

48) Molding around bedrooms

49) Take out tub in bathroom and replace

50) Move kitchen sink and replace faucet

51) Front entry way remodel

52) Remodel Mini Man's bedroom

53) Seal off hole in attic/shorten handrail

54) Patch hole in ceilings in bedrooms

55) Tear out drywall in Peanut's bedroom/insulate

56) Hang light in Peanut's room

57) Figure out electric issue upstairs and put in ceiling fans

58) Aquaponic system for kitchen herbs

I will add more to the list and again it's these are ideas not set in stone. I'm excited! We saw our 1st Robins in the yard. Come on Spring!

So what are your plans?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Guest post: Someone I think you should know... My Family

Before I go any further in my Guest post series I have to share these amazing people, who at some time in my life stood by me, lifted me when I was down and loves me unconditionally.
These people are my tribe…

My Mom had rough spots throughout her life, especially when she was 17 years old. She became an unwed pregnant Mother. She gave birth to a Girl who decided it she was going to come out with both feet running. Yes, that was me!

She had struggled as a single parent, while juggling some schooling and work. She supported me with the help of her Mother, Father and siblings. She would meet a man when I was about 2 years old that swept her off her feet.

This started a cycle of heartache for my Mother and later abuse. She was finally able to free herself as well as my Sister and I. All the while I don’t believe I ever heard her complain. There were many times I saw her cry silently but she would still shoot us a smile that would make the brightest sun’s rays seem dim. She remains the most important person I admire for her strength and courage.

My now Stepfather came into the picture. We were so used to chaos that a normal life seemed weird. Not any yelling, no one beating her or me. Just normal, this of course was weird for me, especially being uprooted from my friends and moved to a new area, I grew defiant. My Stepfather handled me the best way he knew how. He talked to me. Many moons later he became not just a Stepfather but Dad.

After some rough years, bad choices on my part and later my own abuse story unfolding my family watched from a far, helpless and discouraged. My family down the road would become an amazing team helping with my now ex-husband. Call me Master: My story of escaping my abuser

They showed me love that was greater than I ever could imagine besides the Lord’s love for me. 

Now my younger Sisters Amanda and Ashley are powerhouses all their own! They are feisty and courageous from their personal inspiring stories of things they have been through. I have gotten permission to share more about that in future posts!

This tribe grew more in strength as my extended family, including Amanda's Husband, Kevin whom filled in as a male figure when my kids needed that support. Many others in my family graciously (My Cousin, Debbie) offered help however needed during a very turbulent time of leaving. 

Not too soon after Terry (a.k.a. Mr. Awesome) came into the picture filling me with confidence, love and for the first time in a long time safety!
He filled a spot in my life that I was sure was devoid ever letting myself love again not only this I felt broken after years of conditioning. And,  I certainly hadn’t thought to find someone so soon after leaving my abuser. Terry has been my backbone when I couldn’t find mine. He stuck around even after I warned him of my baggage (Later I coined my Springer Saga).

My Girls, Jessica and Alex are wondrous to me. After all they went through I am not surprised at what a bumpy road they are having. They have battles of their own from depression, suicide to PTSD, Postpartum (My oldest Daughter, Jessica) and more. Yet there is a fire that keeps them going.

I do know a lot is impart to the strong tribe they have around them that hasn’t given up on us.

You may be thinking, "Big deal you have family to support you, so?!"

After talking with many people I have discovered my supportive family is not common anymore. Some are on the outs with members of their family for various reasons and they don’t have this magic I have been blessed with. 

Without this tribe I don't know where I would be right now, thank you! I love you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Guest post: Someone I think you should know- Kristal Slager

Mr. Awesome had encouraged me to reach out to those that I have been inspired by.  There are so many people that are in my own tribe that have successful businesses, as well as those that champion for a variety of Causes or those that changed their lives dramatically because of some sort of serious issue.

I soak up positive stories like some people soak up the sun. I am encouraged, uplifted and amazed at the challenges or obstacles these people have overcome. 

I will bring you people that I pray impact you as much as they have impacted me over the next year and maybe longer! 

I worked with Kristal, well; I worked in the same building we were on different teams. The times we interacted were filled with banter and fun ribbing on one another. I still have a fondness for a super adorable Cupcake bag she has.

I didn’t see her for a bit and kind of keep to myself with the rumor mills that run around workplaces. I happen to overhear a conversation between a few co-workers and was sadden to hear that she was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer and she wasn’t well enough to keep working.

A dear Friend had started a Facebook page called Praying for Kristal. The page is filled with support, prayers, and love.

I kept tabs on the group as well as on her personal page, I was inspired how she didn't seem like some person just waiting to wither away! I became deeply encouraged by her faith, courage and strength on her journey.

She shared some intimate moments but always gave glory to the Lord. I found out recently her journey started with her mammogram in 2010. There was a lump found on her right breast. She quickly had that taken care of and remained free of cancer for many years.

Fast forward to a few years, she developed back pain so severe that she could only find some degree of comfort by sleeping in her car or chair. She had seen a doctor whom informed her she pulled a muscle and later that she had Degenerative Arthritis. He provided her with comfort measures and sent her on her way. Time is passing and her back wasn’t getting any better. The Doctor kept giving her the run around, cortisone shots and offering physical therapy.

She was to the point where she couldn’t walk. Work and just getting around was becoming too extreme. After 2 years she was no better than when she first saw her doctor. She needed to take matters in her own hands so she consulted another physician.This doctor ordered numerous tests that her other primary caregiver hadn’t done!

She received her results the afternoon of her testing. The results sank in immediately.  She has incurable, inoperable Stage 4 Metastasized Cancer. There are 23 tumors in her spine, 3 in her groin, 6 in her Liver and scattered throughout her body.This is why she was in so much pain with her back!

She was/is being treated with radiation for 2 series. She will be on Chemo for the rest of her life and starting on a new series of radiation on her legs as it has spread.

After her diagnosis she gave her Cancer to the God and considers herself 100% healed! She recalls looking out the windshield, telling the Lord she couldn’t do this! She told the Lord to take it! It’s much bigger then what she could handle and she was not willing to have Cancer in her body. Finding a hair color was big enough but this?! This was too much!

With this she never took it back. She says when we have a problem we give it to God, if we keep praying about it then we didn’t really “give” it to Him. We told Him about it but keep praying on it rather than casting all your cares upon Him.

When Kristal faces doubt or challenges come up she prays for wisdom, strength, a positive attitude and how to talk to others about Jesus. She wants to give glory to God!

Even though some folks would grow negative, bitter, depressed and upset, she continues to share how much God loves her in the waiting room at the doctors or while waiting for her Chemo treatment. She wants to share when God has done for her! During this time some of her relationships have grown closer, yet some grew further apart as her faith grew and she began to witness for the Lord.

She turns everything over to God, sometimes she forgets and frets over silly stuff and then it clicks to give it all to the Lord. She quotes scripture for solace and give thanks to the Lord: 

I lift up my eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help…

Blessed is the man that walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor sitter in the seat of the scornful but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in this law doth he meditate day and night…

She has many favorite verses but Nahum 1:7 is her favorite: The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him

I had asked her what words or encouragement did she think should not be said at this time. She says that she has explored her options for and says please don’t offer but appreciates it.Within the first week of diagnosis several well meaning folks suggested that she try:

Dandelion Root
Acid diet
Greens only
Or that she travel to Mayo Clinic.

Kristal says it seems when they make suggestions it makes things a bit awkward and has to tell folks “Thanks but no thanks”.

Throughout all of this she thanks God for giving her a wake up call to live!  Her adventures have included visiting friends and family and being invited to speak at a Women’s group. She is also invited to lunch much more before her diagnosis, it’s been wonderful to reconnect and to connect with loved ones!

To learn more about the Lord and this God loving Woman she can be reached on Facebook Kristal Biggs Slager and Facebook page: Praying for Kristal 

I hope her story has inspired you as much as she has inspires me!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Guest posts soon!

I am super excited! Well, at this time I am calmed down more then I was earlier. πŸ˜„

Under the advisement of my supportive partner, Mr. Awesome, I created a list of influencing and inspiring people that I admire in various paths of life.

The idea was to reach out to them and let them know what an impact they had on me and perhaps they would do a interview or just give some sagey advice.

None of this is for us to profit from but to share their stories to spark a fire in you like they did for me! Most importantly I want to give back to the Community by sharing. πŸ’–

So I stopped procrastinating, bit the bullet and contacted almost all of them + the dozens of folks on my FB circle. All but 1 so far have responded with a YES!

Yes, you heard me right!

I was floating all day! I called my Sister, Mom, told my Pastor's Wife (I asked her to share in a Guest post as she is an AMAZING Woman!) and of course Mr. Awesome!

I posted a YouTube earlier and here it is! I don't know how my video's stop with me looking silly or goofy.

Hope you enjoy our Guests! They will provide information of websites, product info, and contact info (If applicable).

I can't wait! Have a wonderful night.

I believe in you...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What the heck have we been doing?

We lost a few loved ones in 2015. We lost chickens, ducks, guineas, our bees over the past few years from predators, Mr. Awesome, sickness, giving to friends or selling at auction.

We didn't go away on our great School bus tour (Did I mention this previously?) We are still renovating the bus but...

I found myself bedridden towards the end of 2015. After brief battery of tests and tears I found out that I have Lyme Disease! I walked with a cane for a few months but after a IV Antibiotic for 10 days and several courses of Antibiotics for the past year I am better. I did have to quit my job in 2015 but had to go back to work in the Summer of 2016 after our nest egg went down to non-existent. SADFACE!

I'm still not 100% with my health but am working on it!

I found a part time job working for a hotel. The hours are great but I still have a nagging in the pit of my tummy telling me I'm not doing what I need to so my heart sings.

I am struggling to figure what that is since I... Look there's a chicken!

Just kidding! I am passionate about so many dang things that I'm not sure where to go. I wanted to get my business idea- Legacy Antiques & Estate Sales off the ground but am not sure if I am really physically up to doing it.

I still do flea markets, had a Hoard sale in November, started a FB page for my business. Love healing/energy work (Reflexology)! Haven't done any Doula work though I did see the birth of my 1st Grandbaby! My middle Daughter had a beautiful Girl! A month later Mr. Awesome's Daughter welcomed our 2nd Grandbaby, a Boy!

I know right?!

In March of 2016 we also bought our FOREVER HOME! We are so excited! We love it!

This year we plan to put Permaculture plans into work. I created a Youtube channel, Instagram account and will be having some Guest posts from small business owners that inspire me. I'm not sure how often I will do this. I was kicking around doing so Weekly or every other week.

These will include businesses that are related to beauty, health, restaurant, photographers, antique dealers and more! I'm super excited! If you are interested in a Guest post to plug your business drop me an email or snail mail. I'd love to work with you!

Can you tell I'm ready to kick 2017 in the butt?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Post from 2012- I was BRAVE! & Eat, Drink and Get Married!

I was brave! I wanted to live on the wild side and throw caution to the wind!

What did I do? 


Rockin pink hair I have always wanted?

Radical new clothes?

Nah! I bought and used a Pressure Cooker! TEEHEE!  I admit I was so nervous! I had images of Looney Tunes cartoons of the thing blowing up on me running in my head the whole time. I read several books on canning, something else I'm new to, and felt confident and brave enough to actually fill the darned thing. I don't have a Frankenstein monster of a cooker, like these. That is too intimidating for me just starting out. It's much smaller no bells or whistles. 

I cut, scooped, peeled, blanched and seeded what I needed to. I was pooped when I was done. I made sure Mini Man and the dog were at a safe distance before I turned on the stove. Then I waited patiently for the darn thing to start dancing to start timing it. Unsure whether to start my timer before the top started wiggling. Of course I grew paranoid if I heard or saw the top moving or not. I saw steam and figured it was time. (I didn't see that in any of the books GRRFACE!) I managed to stay alive, no burns, no fire dept called. All my bottles remained in tact and looked so lovely I might add! The girls gave me a big compliment at how pretty everything looked like in the jars. After everything was done I had to admit it was neat but a lot of work for so little jars. 

 We still have a great bounty that has been coming from this little garden! I am still in awe! I have had several gardens in the past but this one is different. This whole experience here on the farm with my family is different. I won't go into details but over 4 years ago I would have never dreamed of such happiness and good times!

 This is today's haul! I know I'll have more tomorrow! I actually can't wait! Like a kid in a candy store everyday is a wonder and very peaceful time in the garden.
I'm going to tackle Pumpkin next! And yes I will walk on the wild side and use my canner again!

Chicken count is remaining at 9! YIPPEE! Hope to keep the Fox family at bay with Coyote Urine. Yes, as gross as it sounds but if it works then Horray!

Eat, Drink and be Married was a success! 
 May you never steal, lie, or cheat, but if you must steal, then steal away my sorrows, and if you must lie, lie with me all the nights of my life, and if you must cheat, then please cheat death because I couldn't live a day without you. 
Cheers~ Leap Year

 My sister made these adorable birdseed hearts for favors! She also created Microwave popcorn bags and below so cute chick cake pops that Kalven found yummy!

A special thanks to the wonderful lady and her crew that came out a day 
early to help start the celebration! 
GIGGLE! Love ya Chelle!
 Thanks to Ms. Ve for all her help setting up tables with Brian!

 Jessica and Jennifer played beautifully for us! 
And Mike and Justin worked the doors keeping out the Riff Raff. Just kidding. They were very good ushers!

We felt very blessed to have so many shared our day with us! 
Thank you very much to Brian, Cathy, My Mom and Dad, Sister Ashley, Lee and everyone who brought yummy food, good company and wonderful memories!

Post from 2012- The chicks are coming!

Sorry for the fuzzy picture...
Oh my gosh! I was so tickled to see 8 little guys swimming around in they're shells out of 9 that I put in the incubator is AWESOME! I was amazed and of course I'm a big sap, so I was teary eyed! I'm such a nerd.

I even texted my family to let them know they will be Aunts and Grandparents to a few feathered chicks. HAHA! Thank goodness my family tolerates my silliness!

So, praying everything turns out alright with these little ones that we will have a new flock of little one's running about soon! Now, of course I have an itch to try another breed if all turns well with these little ones.

Of course the girls are doing a wonderful job with laying eggs. So far, production is at 4 eggs a day. I never realized how often I do not eat eggs! They are piling up rather fast in the fridge! I hear a baking day coming up in the next day or so.

My canning adventure was fun and a neat learning experience. I almost hate to pop the jars open because how pretty they look! We have spaghetti sauce, salsa, pumpkin (Which my darling Sister Amanda did for me), Acorn squash, stewed tomatoes, and a few other things. I am glad our garden is small this year for the practice. BRING ON SPRING! I'm already itching for next summer!

Our harvest went well considering the garden size and I was pretty pleased with it!

From June 2012 to September 2012

Acorn Squash- 12
Pickles- 2 lbs
Cantaloupe- 2- I was disappointed at that number
Roma Tomatoes- 1lb
Beefsteak Tomatoes- 2 lbs
Cherry Tomatoes- 1 lb
Corn- 10 ears
Hybrid corn-
Broccoli- 1 lb
Cauliflower- 2 ½ lbs
Turnips- 8
Radish- 6
Zucchini- 12
Strawberries- ½ lb
Kale- 1 lb Rabbits/Chickens
Carrots- 6 mini
Green peppers- 2 lbs
Leaf Lettuce- 1 lb
Pumpkins- 14
Cabbage- 3 heads Cabbage worms- Chickens loved them!
Gourds- 50+
Herbs various- 2 lbs
Potatoes (Yukon Gold/Red/Idaho)- 1 lb
Onions Variety- 2 lbs
Garlic- 6 heads small
Peas- ½ lb
Green Beans- ½ lb

The game plan is to expand and plant more and space out the plantings better. We were blessed to have some free veggie plants at the end of June but they didn't fit so well in the garden and it was like Melons Gone Wild in the garden! Not to mention the pumpkins had a mind of their own. 

It was fun! On occasion a very happy chicken would fly into the garden and nibble on something yummy but for the most part a lot of insects and moths made homes in much of the cabbage and some other veggies. I'm pretty pleased! 
I sold enough of my pumpkins and watermelons to make my seed money for them back! YEA! Really anxious for next year! Did I say that already?