Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Catching Up

First... I'm still here! It may look like I've abandoned ship, but I'm just below deck getting things in order. Seriously, it's just that I'm trying to get caught up on a few things from Christmas while getting the kids launched back into school this week. Add to that a few changes we've made for one of the girls, another one taking off to care for her grandmother for a couple of months, constant snow to contend with enjoy, completing the annual household purging... I'm sure you can imagine how busy things have been!


I know that all of you are just as busy. You're mostly moms, grandmas, college students, wives, sisters, employees, domestic engineers... Can I just say "HOORAY FOR THE GIRLS!". Guys are pretty awesome, too, but I just wanted to give a shout out on behalf of the women today for the hard work they do day after day, and all because of L.O.V.E.

Second... I want to thank all of you who took the time to leave a comment of encouragement as I make this change. You have made it so much easier for me to transition... THANK YOU! I'll admit, once I really made the decision in my mind, I knew it was the right choice and I had a great peace about it, but it could have gone the other way if it weren't for such an awesome community of friends cheering me on.

I hope those of you who are new will take a few minutes to read some archived posts... there should be a few. {*smile*} And for all of you, I'd love to hear what God has put on your heart for 2013...

What is your number one goal for the new year on your homestead?

For me... I want to finish my Family Herbalist course from Vintage Remedies. Lord willing, this is going to be the year of Herbs and Healing! Despite living fairly close to the land, we've had some health issues that need a little more care and attention. I'm sure the problems would have been worse if we didn't eat as well as we do, but some additional TLC is needed and I'm excited to explore the world of herbs that God has given us for our benefit.

So... now it's your turn. Type away... I'm all ears!


41 comments:

  1. First, congratulations on your decision to blog on your own terms, so to speak. I always enjoy your posts and lovely photographs, and will look forward to your posts however frequent (or less frequent) they may be.

    Personally, I don't have any huge, specific goals for 2013, just small, specific things like "put up enough kraut to last a year" and huge, non-specific things like "sew more often."

    May I ask what this photograph is? I just searched back through some earlier homestead posts to see if I could identify the structure, but no luck...thanks :)

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    1. Hi Quinn, that's our chicken coop, or Hen Hilton as we fondly call it; my husbands love for building things definitely paid off for the fowl around here! You can see in the picture he's still working on a second enclosed run on the other end. We've had to leave the light on at night because we have had so little sun as of late, the hens have stopped laying altogether. I've never had pullets quit laying their first year, but everyone in the area is having the same problem.

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  2. Thank you for the shout out!
    I'm so glad you are going to work on health this year. Best wishes on your course work.

    We are working toward moving out of state and finding our forever home.

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  3. Garden! Garden! Garden! We will be refining our garden and eating more intentionally from there. Trying to shrink the grocery bill & eat healthier!!
    Be blessed Amy, you have so many amazing articles, I'm glad for a chance to catch up as my life is slowing down alittle bit. Can't wait to savor the informative pages.
    Laura

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  4. Streamlining. Choosing those projects that are the most important to us and doing them well (instead of spreading ourselves too thin). It's possible to create a "rat race" on your homestead. Stress shouldn't be part of the harvest:-).

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    1. I love that line, Jane... "Stress shouldn't be part of the harvest". That may be my new slogan for 2013!

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  5. Amy,
    I admire your lifestyle so much. I use your words & posts as inspiration daily. I will praying that you accomplish your goal this year. As for mine, it is to become more deliberate in my actions & making my dreams come true. For so many years, I wondered, "is this what God wants me to do?" Then one day in prayer He spoke to my heart & this is what He said to me. Unless He's given you a specific thing to do (& He'll let you know loud & clear), He dosen't care what we do as long as we do it for His glory (& it lines up with His word of course). So this year I'm going to be deliberate...I'm going to deliberately make things happen for the glory of God in my life. Joy, Love & Peace to you & yours in 2013 :O)

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  6. Wow, where do I begin with what we were faced with at the beginning of 2013... first, our homesteading drastically changed when Hubby took a job 'on the road'. Our homesteading dream is on hold at the moment. Second, we are facing a very serious heart condition in Hubby. We were told there was nothing that could be done this time around. Basically, it's a matter of time. Hubby's not even 58 years old. I guess you could say that my goal for this year is to try and eat as though we were living close to the land and homesteading. It's difficult and has proved to be a challenge as I try to find markets and healthy grocery stores in unfamiliar territory (we lived in Florida and are now in Nevada) while living an a fifth wheel (lack of storage space).

    We have also changed our diet to a gluten-free/Paleo diet. I am in the midst of researching the health benefits of this way of eating and after only a couple of weeks Hubby has improved greatly with no more chest pain and only a few occasions of shortness of breath. I attribute that to the diet as well as the many prayers that are going up for him.

    I wish you the best this year as you seek healthy, natural ways of healing. It can be done. Our God designed our bodies to heal themselves if given the right fuel. Hubby is a perfect example of that. His body is growing new veins around the area that is blocked. Amazing! God is good!

    Well, I've typed away as you said...

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    1. Gone Country... thanks for the encouraging words. My husband has Parkinson's and I believe we can find some solution that will at least help with the symptoms and allow him to remain productive and less stiff and achy. Praying both our men defy man's expectations and God uses them for His glory, whatever that may be!

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  7. With my role of mother changing - due to kids growing up - you can't stop it. I plan to focus more on my folk art and antique business. I want to try to do a show or market closer to Milwaukee or Chicago. People have always said I would do so good down there. I never really felt I could go and leave the girls. So, my husband wants to come too, it will be fun and romantic. Blessing from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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  8. Yes, girls are awesome! Even so, we can do only so much. Who's going to take care of things if we overdo it and end up sick? That ALMOST sounds like the beginnings of a plan for a sick day. :) This year, we are continuing our search for a more homestead friendly place to live and raise our own food. My girls and I will be learning more about knitting, crocheting and sewing. I hope to can/freeze/dry more this year. I signed up last week for the Family Herbalist class through Vintage Remedies and am looking forward to learning about the medicines God put here for us. With all that, there might be a few things that we have to let go or do less frequently.

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  9. I wish I lived on a homestead... I live near a city. Someday maybe...

    I am cleaning the house for the new year. Changing up my decor style (simplifying) and trying to cook more from scratch again. I have been super sick so it is a slow process.

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    1. Bloggymom,
      Homesteading is as much of a mindset as it a location/circumstance. We too live in the burbs on a small lot, yet we have been able to build a small garden with 296 square feet of planting space in a year's time. I started with just a few raised beds and simple plants I knew how to grow. Our city will also allow hens as long as they are contained and not a nuisance--I am hoping to add them this spring! I long for acreage one day, but am finding that I can homestead right where I am until then. You can too! Blessings to you!

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  10. Our number one goal is to get chickens and livestock for our homestead.

    And learn how to care for them. Which is why I read all the blogs I read.

    Blessed New Year to you all!

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  11. I hope your time spent on "real life" will inspire you many more posts!
    My goal this year is to get chicken, this spring :) Probably 3 or 4 I hope. We have a garden, but nothing near a homestead! (something like 2300sq/ft)
    goal number 2 is to grow a specific heirloom purple cauliflower :)

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  12. For our family, 2013 will (Lord willing) be the year of buying that first homestead. Next month actually. The Lord is providing a chunk of money that is making it possible and we'll have access to it in February. For several months now we've been searching online, but in just a few weeks we get to actually go look at some of them. :)

    After that begins the longs list of dreams I have for this year. I posted about them here: http://babychaser.com/2013/01/homestead-dreams-for-2013.html.

    Glad you aren't gone for good! I look forward to hearing how your time focused on home is going!

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  13. My number one goal is working on simplifying, organizing, and inventory what I have and what I need to make. Life has gotten crazy and I need to get centered on what is important so I can take care of them better - my kids! Thanks!

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  14. Hey Amy!

    Oh man we have lots of plans for this year. We've only been in our new home two months and our itching to set up our garden.. our coop.. everything!

    God bless!

    www.ourfrontporchview.com
    Pursuing simplicity & contentment by living naturally.

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  15. Our goal is to FINALLY complete the remodeling of our home. We've been working on it off and on for the last 10 years and are now coming into the home stretch (kitchen/dining room). Of course this doesn't mean that the redecorating will ever be done :) We are now going to focus more on the outside of our home: the landscaping and adding more raised beds to our garden. I want to focus on growing enough to can as well as eat fresh.

    We currently have 2 chicken coops, one for the "bigs" and one for the "littles" (bantams). Our thought is to rehome the littles and keep only enough bigs to keep us in eggs, perhaps narrowing our flock down to one or two breeds instead of the multiples we currently have. Don't know how that will go because I am awfully attached to some of our ladies.

    I have also picked up my knitting for the first time in a couple of years and want to continue that, as well as start sewing again. I'm thinking I will focus on aprons (I've inherited some vintage patterns) and repurposing the HUGE stack of jeans I've been saving for years.

    Bless you and your BEAUTIFUL family.

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  16. My goal is to finish the last of the raised beds in the Garden of Eatin' and make progress towards adding chickens to our urban homestead. So good to hear from you again! Blessings!

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  17. The snow looks gorgeous, I wish I had snow like that right now to contend with :)

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  18. I'm glad you are going well Amy! My number one goal....hmmm... I did post about our goals & then about our plans, but my number one goal would have to be trying to get everything running a little smoother. You know how every year you are learning new skills & you are adding them to your daily list, but I think that as we get better at them we need to work out smarter ways of doing them ( that's what I'm trying to do this year).
    Have a wonderful day
    Blessings
    Renata:)

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  19. Hi Amy, we will be inheriting the family farm real soon. It has been in my sweet mans family for 150 years. We are going to be the 5th generation to own it. The farm has run down over the last 20 years. It is workable now, but we have lots of plans for the different buildings to have new roofs put on, new pens put up for the livestock, paint the "Big Coop for the Girls, fix the summer kitchen, and build a greenhouse where we have cleared the land! Major cleaning up of old equipment that can be moved off the farm and recycled. We plan to enlarge our garden and then we will be deciding what to do with the 80 acres of farm land. It is a very exciting time for us at the age of 60 and 65. We have farmed for almost 40 years along side his parents....now it is our turn. We will be dedicating the land to the Lord when we get the deed. We know that He will give us a straight path and help us with our desires and needs.

    Thank you for letting us write down our goals......it just got my little heart a little more excited!!!!!

    Hugs from our farm to yours sweet Amy!!
    Linda

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    1. Excited for you, Linda! Thanks for sharing.:-)

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  20. My goal? To believe in myself. Simple, but not easy.

    Thanks for all that you do.

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  21. I really want to clear out clutter. Go through the stuff in the attic and only keep things I love and can use. I have kept things thinking that the kids will want them someday. Well, they are in their mid 20's with their own families now so it's time. It's been fun passing along some of their childhood things to their children. Don't want to stop now, I'm on a roll! Where I work, we have a thrift shop. So anything they don't want I just take to work and donate.

    Thats it! My goal for 2013! The way I see it, it's a weight loss program! Stuff that is weighing me down is out of here!

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  22. Hi Amy!

    I am new here and very thankful for your posts! My goals for 2013, to continue to live simply, to take joy in my relationships in my home and spend more time with my husband, (he is turning 60 this year).

    I will be praying for your dear husband and all of your family's health.

    Blessings,
    Your sister in Christ,

    Maria Ricci
    Los Angeles, CA

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    1. Thank you, Maria! And welcome... so glad to have you here!

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  23. Welcome back! Thank you for the update and all that you do! You are an inspiration. Hope your bees are doing well. I checked in on mine today and one hive at half the candy board. Do take a peek if you have a warmer day, you might just be surprised! Thinking of you and your family. Happy New Year to you all!~Melissa

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    1. Thanks for asking about my winged girls! I'm about to post on this, but I went out to the garden the other day and the hive had nearly toppled over!! Wet ground from all the snow caused the legs to sink in the ground, so we quickly remedied the situation and got it stable. Then my daughter opened the hive and checked on it... still plenty of candy board and they were clustered down below. I'm a bit concerned, but hopeful. We have a sleeping bag around it but adding hay bales tomorrow as temps will be dropping to 16 -19 degrees for several days! Sounds like yours are doing well... so glad to hear that!

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  24. Hi, Amy. I am a new reader here and have been browsing your archives and love them. I was wondering how you went about getting started on changing your family's eating habits and learning about herbs? I have taken a couple of beginner oils and herbs classes but thats all. We dont have alot offered here. What can I do to learn more and how do i get started improving our fast food loaded ways? Thank you so much for helping a newbie. Btw, I envy the snow....wish we could get some of it!

    Blessings,
    Jeanie in KY

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    1. Welcome, Jeanie! If you'll go over to the right sidebar under "Archives & Topics," you'll see one called "Food Journey". Click that and start with the bottom post and read up. This should help a lot!
      Best wishes as you transition your family!

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  25. I just wanted to say I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! I recently found it in my search for Christian Homesteading blogs!! So thank you for all that you share! You really do change lives with this ministry! And I 100% agree with putting your family first! God will bless you abundantly for keeping your priorities where they belong! :)

    My #1 goal in homesteading is to put in a raised bed garden this year. We've tried in the past but our land is all gravel and nothing grew well except the weeds! LOL

    My #2 goal would be to get some chickens, but hubby thinks we should only add one project at a time so not to overwhelm ourselves. But I've got the "Chicken Itch" LOL So well see what happens come spring:)

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  26. So glad to see you back for a visit. This year I chose a word to focus on; VISION. I've heard others tell about how a word for the year has brought insight and direction to their lives, here goes with my turn. Over the the last week it is acting like an under-tow for how I'm living out my days. For example, I had a bag of onion sets to plant. In years past they'd just be poked into the ground and the rest of the garden planted around them. This time that question nagged at me; What is the VISION for the garden this year, before I could get them in the ground. Now I just need to put all the thoughts down on paper so that the vision isn't lost in the forward motion of time. I think this is going to be a good plan to work with this word all year. It will bring the change that resolutions don't seem to be able to complete.

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  27. I have enjoyed your blog for years! Thank you so much for having it, regardless of how much or little you are able to contribute! I actually admire more your stronger dedication to your priorities of family and homesteading over posting all of the things for us to learn... we learn most from example and knowing that you are busy being the wife, mother, and homesteader you post about is most inspiring :) Hopefully that came out right!

    My priorities in this year on our homestead is simple, beautiful, organization. I feel so, so burdened to get this house organized, simplified, and yet warm, welcoming and beautiful. I need all the help I can get!

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  28. Our #1 priority is to finish what we've started...so many unfinished projects around the place. Like you, we're dealing with some health concerns/problems currently and so are hoping to expand our herb garden and grow more of our food (including getting a milk goat, Lord willing!). Thanks so much for all the encouragement to be found here in your archives, Amy. May the Lord bless you and your family with all the time you need to focus on the things He's put upon your heart to accomplish and give your attention to. In HIM, ~Lisa :)

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  29. I'm excited to make some garden beds this year - like real garden beds, not pretend/using the flower beds/mixing things together beds. Love that hatchery and seed catalogs are coming in the mail! Time to dream... I mean plan! Cheers!

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  30. Hi! Just found your blog tonight and am enjoying reading some articles. My major goal for this year is gardening. I have had a couple of small raised beds and some container plants, but not a lot of success. We built a compost pile this fall (just expanded it to 3 bins) from scrounged pallets and now I need to work toward a garden that will actually cut our food bill and allow me to can some for winter. It's a start!

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  31. Wishing you the best in your herbal adventure. Have you ever checked out bulkherbstore.com? They are fantastic and have a lot of great information on there. :) Every time I've ordered from them, their herbs are excellent. I am not affiliated with them at all, but I do love the quality they provide.

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  32. I have been reading your blog for the last 2 years and it has been a blessing to me. I am sad that the blog will be changing but on the other hand I applaud you for knowing when it is time to change things. Your family & time with God are so much more important. May you be blessed in all that you do. But, as for me, we just moved to another state (from a warm climate to the Northeast) and are renting right now. We do have a few acres so am planning to have my first garden and, if we are allowed, want to try our hands at having a few chickens. I, also, love the healing power of herbs and hope to take a few classes locally and expand my knowledge and use of them. I pray to have our own little homestead one day. Many blessings to you, Dawn

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