Visit our farm site!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I think I am finally recovering from Christmas. I feel sort of worn thin. I'm mostly an introvert and i am beginning to honor my need for quiet alone time to function. Work has been busy ( thank god ), but man am i burned out on work and people in general. I am dreaming of a whole weekend to be 'off duty'. I did play hooky today anyway, DH was gone and i was on call for work, so the 'chicks' and I watched Lord of the Rings trilogy ALL day. A good fantasy escape!

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

A couple more 'chicks'

I can't wait to get my girls out of the suburbs! E is 10 and she was my inspiration for my 'screen name' HickChick! She is a hick and proud of it! She is a voracious reader-currently reading the Return of the King - she wanted to re-read the series before we rent the DVD's again! (Lord of the Rings is one of my all time favorites-thanks Dad for reading them to me when i was little). She is artistic, introverted, and a complete animal nut -basically a mini-ME. I picked up a Foxfire book at the library the other day, but didn't get to it before E did. I found her reading about dressing hogs, then she took the book with her to school to read on the bus! How cute is that?

L is 6, she is the baby of the family, a drama queen-- no make that princess. She is our instigator, our little dynamo, our talking a mile a minute-never still kid. She is also an animal nut-and can't wait to have a barn cat and a pony! (I'm sorry honey-you knew all about this when you married me!) She is not as bookish as E but has this amazing spark of curiosity.

They are far from perfect-stubborn as mules at times- that must be their fathers genes :)
I wanted to introduce them, because I have invited them to post here-hickchicks -plural.

Off to go shovel again...winter serves to make spring sweeter.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


After reading Sharon's article on the giant ponzi
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 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.

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

Feral People?

I've been the opposite of a sheeople a feral person?? There must be some middle ground! A sheep follows blindly-going where the herd goes, doing what the herd does. A feral animal trusts no one and has no socialization skills. to undomesticate ones self??
K :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Woody!

The story starts like this: I was on call last weekend and I get a call from a very concerned pet 'dad'. It seems his german wirehair is walking bowlegged, is very painful and has bloody stuff' dripping from 'you know where'-no he couldn't name the anatomy-I mean come, on it's a penis say it with me! This combination doesn't sound good so i agree to meet him at the office. So of course he sends his wife with the dog. The prepuce does look very swollen and hard, so I sedate him for a better look inside. The poor guy had a chunk of wood stuck up there approx 1 inch x 3 inches long along with a laceration on the penis. I fix him up and she just looked at me with a smirk and said 'I'll just tell him that his dog had a WOODY'. I'm still laughing about this! How is this for dinner table conversation Phelan? K

Monday, December 15, 2008


This weekend I actually got to TALK with my husband! It was the coolest thing :) So often we share the house and sleep next to each other without really connecting. Usually if I have the time/inclination to share with him, he is as crabby as a bear OR vice versa (usually vice versa!). I guess the stars were right for us this weekend. Ha ha, how sad. He has some very cool ideas and is a great 'out of the box' thinker. It was really great to just share ideas and realize we are still on the same page.
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

Deliberate Life

I did it again, overboard on buying kids gifts-at least it feels that way right now. They have so much STUFF already, their rooms are overflowing with stuff not played with. So why do I need to buy more stuff for them. Because I can? Because it proves I love them? So I don't feel guilty about the things I'm not giving them--namely my time?? I guess right now we have more money than time so I give money. Well, live and learn and box up the unplayed with things and give to salvation army or goodwill. Since the little one no longer believes in Santa perhaps next year we can take a little trip instead of buying toys.

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

Catch up time

It has been a long time since my last post! There have been alot of things going on--mostly between my ears :) I have been working out 5-6 days a week and it is both depressing and empowering. Depressing because at one point in my life I had lost nearly 50 lb and was lifting weights like a fiend-to the point where I was considering entering an amateur body-building contest. Now here i am again-nearly 40 with 50+ lbs to loose-but now with 2 kids, a business and a husband to care for ( he thinks he is self sufficient but he is not --haha). Empowering because I AM doing it. It is very hard to care for myself before others but I am getting the hang of it.

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