Sunday, December 28, 2008
I am so inspired by all these great homesteading blogs, I really don't think I can take another year here in town. Yes I know we could 'homestead' in the current house-but I feel we need a bigger change. I need space from my job-I'm hoping physical distance will help with emotional distance as well ( to cut back hours and sell my share of the business or just cut back hours and retain ownership-that's another post!). Logically the next step for us is to list our house early spring, with the market the way it is, the house has to sell first. I am so stuck on what happens BEFORE we list. All those projects! You know -emptying closets, clearing the junk out of our finished but not used basement, fixing that dripping faucet and bathtub drain! Wishing isn't going to make anything happen. We just need to start somewhere! Kris
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
scheme which is our economy-robbing the future to pay for the present and then looking at the black hole which is my December budget (free financial software http://www.mint.com is wonderful but has left me squirming uncomfortably about our spending habits) I have realized that some big changes need to be made. I will be the change I wish to see in the world. I have been THINKING about voluntary simplicity but not DOING. So typical for me.
If the future I picture for our family is to have a chance, we need to significantly reduce our spending, period, exclamation point! We need to have one parent who can be working on the homestead for the family and not for profit. Right now I am the parent with the desire to garden and milk goats, that may change in the years to come, but I need to figure out how to do without 1/2 my income. If I can put that income into savings this winter and into spring-we would be in a much better position to sell our home and move.
The compact: to not buy anything new with certain exceptions for toiletries, kids shoes, and underwear! There is much more discussion about what is acceptable and some other details, but ultimately each family has to do what is right for them. This is my doing not thinking challenge, its a biggie but so worth while! If DH or I purchase something new I will post it here, otherwise things which are truly needed will be borrowed, bought used (craigslist or resale shopped), or freecycled. http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-years-resolution.html
Once I have the rest of the (not) budget for December, DH and I (are you reading today honey?) will look at the numbers TOGETHER and TOGETHER decide what we can do without and give ourselves assignments-can we get cheaper car insurance, phone, etc with a little effort? I will report back on our finding there as well.
On another front my fitness efforts are paying off well! I have to say this loosing weight stuff is much harder when you are looking at 40 instead of 30. But over the past 5 weeks I have lost 7 lbs and 6 1/2 inches ( 2 from the chest!). It is not a stunning amount but my clothes are loose and I feel great! I keep telling myself I need to do this so I can put up fences all day or scythe hay. K
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I also owe him a formal apology! He has been reading my blog and some of the blogs i follow, he came across my post to Gina about mother-in-laws. Oops. Just for the record my husband does ALOT of stuff around the house-he does ALL the laundry (eventually ;o ) and alot of the cooking, he will even do grocery shopping if things get too bare! So honey I am very sorry and I really do appreciate all the thing you do for our family!
I am sliding big time on working-out! We made cookies this weekend and it's like putting an alcoholic in charge of the bar! I can't keep my fingers out of them. Sigh! One day at a time! K
Friday, December 12, 2008
What is the difference between a deliberate life and homesteading? I am not living either right now. I am working hard on personal responsibility right now--ie being responsible for my health, and where I am psychologically. My next step is to be responsible for my financial fitness. We are upper middle class both earning good incomes, we could be doing a much better job saving money right now. This is the deliberate part-planning for where we want to go and taking the responsibility to make it happen. K
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Working out has really helped me to stay in the moment, I suffer from anxiety attacks sometimes-when every thing seems so out of control. I have come to realize that these episodes of anxiety are the result of getting out of the moment-obsessing about next weeks or months work schedule, or thinking about ALL the things I should do around the house-instead of thinking about what I need to do TODAY. It really takes a concentrated effort to pull back once the anxiety cycle starts but a good session on the treadmill helps alot, its a walking (and running) meditation.
We had let the land search cool off and I think some time was what we really needed. Looking at some of these pieces of land helped us to define what it is we are looking for. I think we will wait for spring and offer to buy the property next to my Dad's place-it is not for sale now but it sounds like she is considering a move. I would like to be close to my family and DH is good with that as well. We would be able to help each other-him with kids getting off the bus and we can help him as he gets older. This is a significant departure from our original ideal of building an off grid home, but instead we can consider a remodel and it has a large barn and several outbuildings !! I am at peace with this idea -it feels right.
We are taking delivery of 1/2 grass fed beef in a week or two --i am excited about beef! Sorry Dad-we love your chickens but now we are ready to mix it up a little! We also have our garage as weatherproofed as we can get it and DH is wood working again-it is good to see him happy and not bored in front of the tube! The home made christmas gift workshop is up and running again! I'll post a few pictures after christmas -sorry family no peeking!
On a sad note my worms have passed on to the big bin in the sky! We had hundreds of fruit flies in our house and they were breeding in the bins-so the bins were put outside to freeze. Maybe the worm eggs will survive until spring. ??
Thanks for reading and stay warm out there! K
Thursday, November 20, 2008
This calm centered state of mind is helping me to re-assess where we are with our search for land, or maybe I should say search for a simpler lifestyle. Yes we need to make some changes to our way of living-but do we need to have 40 (or more) acres in the middle of nowhere to accomplish this? Maybe the roadblocks we have reached are a way of fate/higher power/karma telling us this is not our path?
Our goals for this family: 1) spend more high quality time with the girls
2)Hmmm, I am stuck for what come next-the girls are the key!
3) Not being completely dependant on the industrial agricultural machine
4) Not completely dependant on oil/coal for our energy needs
5) Buying stuff does not equal happiness.
I can do all of those thing right here!
I will let go of the forty in the woods for now. The things I CAN and NEED to focus my energy on now are financial and personal fitness, not beating myself up because I do not knit my own socks, homeschool my kids or make sauerkraut! :p (But kudos to those of you who do!)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I am curious how many of you'all are affected by SAD (on a scale of 1(best)-10 (worst)) and what is your genetic background?
We looked as some more land yesterday...had two really nice walks in the woods at least. It seems that we can find land which is wooded and beautiful or land which is in crops but nothing which has a little of each! One of us will have to settle and as Tom points out it takes longer to grow a forest than to clear a field, (I guess that depends on who is pulling the stumps ;}). I am leaning towards the woods which is landlocked-it will be less expensive and then we are 100% comitted to being off the grid. Hmmm I seem to be drawn to the remote and inaccessable, what does that say abotu me?? K
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
So do I do this in degrees? or take a polar plunge? Don't worry Mom and Dad :) I am not going to throw all this education away. I love being a veterinarian, it is what I was meant to do, it is my way of helping people and I am very good at it. But a business owner -no way-it is killing me! I cannot say no, and put work before family, self, EVERYTHING.
This is so very frightening -- to give up a business which is thriving and growing. It is my whole identity! (that is so sad). To give up this financial security -or at least the illusion of security in these times. Who am I to reject the 'american dream'?
I am the change I wish to see in this world-that is who I am. K
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Finally, my bread turned out. Okay so
I am using a bread maker but I was
turning out these incredibly dense 2 lb blocks of bread and I couldn't figure it out-checked water temp, added vital gluten. My children were eating it and pretending they liked it. My dear and horribly funny husband remarked that it was bread like this that won wars because it provided sustanance in addition to being used as a weapon! It was the yeast-dead, dead, dead. Another small victory!
Sorry squirrels, sorry worm bin -no more bread for you!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The longest journey begins with a single step.
So now we are looking at just land, but where? We have drawn a mental circle around our current jobs; approx 30 minutes commute. Which school district? The girls are both in a really great elementary school program and I would love for them to stay. However, land within the district is becoming very expensive and it is really not a farm community. I feel like we would not have enough mental distance from our current lives. It just feels too close. I am also not crazy about the large number of kids in this school. The graduating class will be close to 500 kids. So now we are looking at more outlying areas. I have compared school graduation rates, ACT scores, etc and visited the school in the area we like. Again it just felt right.
We have found a piece of property which fits our needs and wants and is affordable. Wow. Now is the hard part, waiting. There are some right of way issues and we need some co-operation from a neighboring landowner before we can put in an offer. So now it is out of my hands. I have to wait for the town board. Winter is closing in around us and I really need to have something tangible to feed my homesteading dreams. I will have faith and know that it is beyond my control (and develop a back-up plan!). K