Changes

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I’ve blogged. You can catch up on previous years at www.homesteadinmyheart.blogspot.com Blogger is acting up, and I forgot that I had a wordpress account, so here I am now. I got caught up in living my life, and writing about it fell by the wayside. I’d love to promise regular updates with spectacular content from here on out, but I think it’s safe to say that’s probably not going to happen. I love blogging, but I love living my life too. If I have to choose, living definitely wins out. Who knew that three kids could keep you so busy? That said, I really do love blogging and as my life is taking a turn for the bloggable in the near future I hope to get back into writing more frequently.

So we’re moving soon. In like a month or two. CRAZY! My husband is going back to school for his masters in Physician Assistance, and we will be moving to Yellow Springs, a really cute, really small, liberal hippie town between Columbus and Dayton. And even crazier? I just put an offer on a house. We had no intention of buying for the next several years, but there really isn’t a whole lot to rent in such a small town, and my hunting turned up that we could buy a house the size we were looking for and our mortgage would be about the same or less then renting. So I applied for a loan and got approved, and started house hunting. And I found this:

It’s small, to be sure. But it’s bigger then where we are now, and the kitchen is to die for. The inside is nicely remodeled with tile and laminate flooring, the space is well used, the garage is huge, the basement is finished, and did I mention the kitchen? I pee my pants a little thinking about cooking in this kitchen. It’s not huge, but it’s very well laid out and about a thousand times bigger then my current “kitchen” (if it can even be called that – ugh).

In addition to the kitchen being divine, the yard is superb. The lot is almost ½ an acre. And the house is situated right in the center, so there is ample front and back yard, and a nice huge driveway with a turn around. I hate backing into a busy road. Nothing is for sure yet, we have to get our offer accepted and then the inspection process and the loan underwriting. Part of me is terrified that my pre-approval was a fluke and once they take a good look at our finances they will end up denying the loan, but we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. I’m already planting apple trees in my front yard in my mind. A medicinal and culinary herb garden will go by the kitchen. There is tons of space for a vegetable garden in the back, and the owners used to keep goats, so there is a great little fenced inclosure that I would probably stick chickens in for now. Yay for fresh eggs!

So this is a huge step in the direction of a working homestead. A kitchen to actually cook in. Room for a real garden. Chickens! And possibly even goats eventually. It will be my goal to document my process here as my homestead moves from my heart to reality. This should be an adventure. But if life gets in the way and you don’t hear from me for a while, rest assured that I am living my homestead, even if I’m not writing about it.

UPDATE: The offer was accepted!! No need to dicker and negotiate, I made a fair offer and they took it. There is still a lot that could go wrong as we have the house inspected and the loan finalized, but we are well on our way to owning a home!

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Wine I Like

I know absolutely nothing about choosing wine. I usually go by price and the picture on the label. So when I find one that I particularly enjoy, I want to be able to find it again. Tonight I enjoyed a very nice Pinot Noir. It was pretty sweet, which is why I liked it. Brad didn’t like it as much at first, but any wine is better than no wine, and by the time the bottle was finished he seemed to like it just fine. It was

Romanian Legacy, special reserve – late harvest Pinot Noir, Murfatlar 2008. I have no idea what most of that means, but there it was, written on the bottle.

Waiting for Baby

It’s amazing how time flies. My baby just turned 4, and my newborn just turned 2. My boys are getting so big. And so am I! We’re getting down to the wire, with only about 5 weeks left before baby girl makes her arrival. I know I haven’t blogged in about 7 months, but it’s not because I haven’t been busy.

The garden this year was an exercise in futility. As soon as I got pregnant, the mere thought of eating anything green sent me running straight for the porcelain god, so my garden went largely untended, and my good neighbors made use of what little it did produce. So I spent my summer sewing, knitting, crocheting, and puking. Here’s a little of what I accomplished while avoiding my garden:

This is the first think I knit for the new baby, before we knew if we were having a boy or a girl. This will be the first thing she wears. This yarn is so soft, it’s a lambswool/angora/cotton blend and absolutely lovely.

These longies are from the LTK Picky Pants pattern. My all time favorite longies pattern ever. The pocket on the back has a cabled owl, it was so cute I had to knit it up.

My first ever skirty. This pattern used a really neat technique for attaching the skirt ruffle. It’s done with yarnovers instead of picking up stitches, so it attaches seamlessly and has the same amount of give as the rest of the soaker. The hearts are duplicate stitched.

White recycled fleece diaper cover. This was from a thin fleece pullover, so it’s two layers bound in FOE.

Green soaker from the Curly Purly pattern. I love this yarn too, very soft wool. I’m afraid it’s going to felt pretty badley just based on the feel of working with it, but hey, it’s a diaper cover. So it’s not a big deal.

Some newborn fitted diapers. The white ones are bamboo velour inside and out, the others are cotton thermal outers and cotton velour inners. These are my own pattern, and if my sister ever sends me the dozen I made for her baby back in February, we’ll be all set for our newborn diapering needs. Once baby outgrows these we’ll switch to prefolds and covers.

Some new wetbags. Two full sized drawstring bags for home laundry, and two travel sized zippered bags for the diaper bag.

The baby blanket! I’ve crocheted a baby blanket for each child as soon as we found out the gender. With two boys already, it was fun to do something lacy and pink for a change.

Here’s a cute little holiday outfit for her. She better make an appearance before Christmas, or I’m going to be a very big, very grumpy mama.

And one last little outfit. The pants are my own pattern, and I love how they turned out.

So things are pretty much put together for this birth. We’re just playing the waiting game now. I’m trying to get most of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving, just in case. The holidays are full of so many fun activities, hopefully I’ll be a little more active on this blog, at least until the baby is born.

Great Expectations

Drum Roll Please!!!

I’m Pregnant!! That’s right, number three is decidedly on it’s way. Only 4 weeks along, I still feel fine. Two or three more weeks to go before the pukies set in.

My goal over the next few weeks is to menu plan and double batch so I can feed the freezer for days when cooking would put me over the edge. Things that double batch well:

Chili
Cassaroles (with GF pasta)
Soups: chicken potato
Beef and rice
vegetable tomato
bean and bacon
Southwest chicken black bean soup
Salsa slow cooker chicken
Pot roast
Beans and Rice

I also need to finish up the sweater and baby blanket I’m working on for my nephew (who’s two months old already!!!) so I can start working on things for this baby. I need to make:

about 2 dozen new born diapers
baby blanket (I’ll start this at 20 weeks when we know the gender)
soakers/longies for winter baby
I’d really like to knit/sew some outfits too.

Man, 9 months really isn’t long enough!!

Going Raw for a while


As you read in my Green Smoothie post, I have recently been discovering the power of veggies. This is a big step for me, as for the most part I hate vegetables. But I’m willing to do some work for the benefit of my health, so I am embarking on a 30 day raw trial. Today is day 3. I’m already seeing weight loss, and I really feel great. I love my green smoothies, I can handle a salad, and I adore fruit so it’s not like I don’t have anything to eat. I’m also eating nuts and seeds and sprouts. And I’m trying new vegetables. Or at least I’m going to. I mean, come on. It’s only day 3. After my 30 day trial, I feel I will probably shift back toward a more Traditional Food approach with a high raw percentage, but for now I’m enjoying this experiment and watching the numbers on the scale fall. This may be a pretty new concept for a few of my readers (I see you, Mom and Dad) so I’ll try to answer some of the most common questions about the raw diet.

First and foremost in most peoples minds is where do I get my protein? The answer? From veggies. Most importantly, leafy greens, which I happen to like. (Mom, quit rolling your eyes, I really do like them now.) For more on green leafies and their amazing protein content, see my Green Smoothie post. The other thing about protein is that the average American gets way more protein than is really necessary. And this in itself can be harmful to your health and disease causing. Take a look at the cow. Now that is a huge powerful muscular beast. But he doesn’t eat meat and drink protein shakes to put on all that muscle. He eats grass, and that has all the protein needed to support that animal in his growth and muscle development.

B12 is another common concern of the meat eater for their vegetarian/vegan friends. In truth, people really need a very small amount of B12. And it is stored in the body so daily intake isn’t required to get appropriate amounts. Since until two days ago I was a die hard carnivore, I am not too worried about my B12 levels during this 30 day trial. If I were to become a raw vegan for life, I would probably add some nutritional yeast to my diet (even though it’s controversial in the raw food circles) or take a supplement.

I’m logging my daily food and feelings here so stop on by to see how I’m doing. I’m keeping Homestead In My Heart on it’s urban homesteading theme, and I’ll try not to drag my raw food journey into it overly much.

Welcome to my blog

This is my blog.  Please come in and make yourself at home.  Leave your shoes by the door if you don’t mind.  Can I get you a cup of tea or a glass of water?  Once your shoes are off, feel free to put your feet up.  Let me introduce you to my family.  My husband Brad is the love of my life.  I met him in my senior year of college, and knew at once he was the one.  We were engaged within six months.  He’s my hero, and it doesn’t hurt that he worships the ground I walk on.  Owen is our oldest.  He just turned three last month.  He as the sweetest heart you’ve ever seen in a three year old.  He’s my big helper.  He was a happy surprise, and we were thrilled when we found out we were pregnant with him.  Connor is my little one.  He just turned one.  He has the biggest most beautiful eyes I have ever seen, and his smile can light the darkest of rooms.  And we have a cat named Gwenyvere.  Brad hates her, but she was part of the deal when we got married so he deals with her.  I think she goes out of her way to piss him off though.  Evil cat.  (I still love her, and she’s soft, so she’s got that going for her.)

Well, that’s the family, and we’re all happy to have you as our guest.  Ever since I’ve become a mother I’ve wanted to raise my kids close to the land.  I want them to grow up understanding where our food comes from, and how our actions impact the earth.  As my dream of land to roam on is still several years away I  am striving to implement the urban equivalent.  I do my best to cook from scratch, eat local, use environmentally friendly products in my home, avoid consumerism, and simplify my life.  In this blog I want to document our journey as we strive to make green lifestyle choice and mindful decisions about our home.  Hopefully you will learn something new, teach me something new, and we’ll all leave better people.

Namaste