Yeah, But It’s FREEZING!

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32F on the nose. Brrrrr…..

The garden?  Still waiting for spring to arrive.

Chicken coop is still wrapped in plastic.  Pullets are still in my dining room.  The veggie plants are also.

Waiting patiently…

The average high this time of year where we are is 60F.  The high today might get to 40F.  Yesterday it got up to 36F.

I’m just itching to get into the garden.

Still waiting….

Has spring arrived where you are?

Isaiah 55:10-11 – For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

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How Deep The Father’s Love For Us…

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Wishing you and yours a most blessed Resurrection Sunday.

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Stuart TownendCopyright © 1995 Thankyou Music (Adm. by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excl. UK & Europe, adm. by Integrity Music, part of the David C Cook family, songs@integritymusic.com)

 

 

Prepper? Homesteader? Survivalist? Other?

A quite a while back in the social media world there was a bit of a dust up about the definition of homesteading. I crafted the blog post below of my two cents, for all it’s worth. It’s a debate that keeps coming around like a bad penny, and no surprise, it’s back…and so is my post. *grin*

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“You’re NOT a homesteader!!”

Yes, I’ve heard that and no, I’m not.  I don’t fit into the homesteader mold nor do I fit the prepper or survivalist molds either.

While many things I do are popular in these lifestyles, I kind of have my own thing going on.  I have a totally different philosophy and goal than most others.  I kind of like being different, but I also like connecting with people who share some of the same interests.

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Making slippers for Christmas gifts,  just like mama did.

I’ve always been on the frugal side.  Sometimes more frugal, sometimes less.  Much of what I do is just what I had learned growing up.  I’ve always been interested in the outdoors, gardening, camping, hiking, farming etc.  Growing up in the city didn’t give me many opportunities for them, but I really enjoyed any chance to be outside with nature and camping/hiking became and still is one of my favorite activities.

 

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Celebrating my birthday with my great-grandmother…a homemade cake and homemade party hats.

I heartily understand the philosophy behind prepping and I agree with most of it.  I don’t feel like I need to live barricaded in militarized zone with 30 years of food and supplies put up in my hidden armored bunker.  If you do, that’s fine.  I do feel, however, that as the manager of my home I need to be as prepared as possible to care for my family in what ever situation comes our way.  We live in crazy, fragile times.  But I firmly believe that the extreme form of prepping goes against what the Bible teaches.  The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, to take care of the orphans and widows, feed the hungry, visit prisoners.  It doesn’t say only do these things when times are good and stop when “stuff” hits the fan.  I will do my best for my family, but together we serve God first.

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Canning grape jam.

There are so many ideas of what a homesteader is. To some it’s living completely off grid and to others it is simply adopting a more self sufficient lifestyle where ever you might be at.  Living off the land is hard, hard work, but can also be rewarding.  We live in a small town on a small lot, and while I do a lot of things that homesteaders do, I wouldn’t classify myself as a homesteader.  But again, a lot of these things I do I learned growing up.  For example: I learned gardening…organic gardening…from my grandfather.  In the big city.  I learned to make things by hand from my mother and great-grandmother.   I learned to be frugal from my grandmother…like using old clothing (read: underwear) to mop the floors and putting left over bread that is starting to stale in the freezer to use in the future for stuffing.  When I moved out on my own, I appreciated the farmers market that was right across the street, and I found out first hand how practical being frugal was.

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The garden goes all the way to the wood fence.

All these things became very real for our family when my husband lost his job a while back.  This area of Indiana suffered a great blow with many automotive, trailer and RV manufacturers laying people off or closing.  Hubby’s company closed and sent the work elsewhere.  Not being burdened by lots of debt and having a well stocked pantry with a garden got us through the hard times when many others were going under.  Not only were we able to keep our heads above water, but we didn’t have to rely on any assistance, food or utility programs.  And even then, we were able to help out others when they needed it.  I’m not saying it didn’t hit us hard because it did.  Only now are we starting to get caught up on things that we had to put off during that time (like getting our roof fixed, replacing appliances that stopped working etc.)  But being frugal, prepared and doing as much with our land as we could, we made it through when many others didn’t.

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Curing onions in the garage.

So I guess you can classify me under what ever category you would like.  I’m not prepping for any zombie apocalypse, but for real life circumstances for my family and those around me.  I’m not living on an off grid homestead with livestock, but we are trying to live more sustainable where we are.  If you asked me what I would call it…I guess I would call it living Proverbs 31.  I’m a homemaker.  Regardless of what circumstances arise, my main responsibility is to God first, then my family and my home, and then helping others as I can.

What about you?  Do you fit the mold, straddle it, or are you an outlier like me?  Do you have a totally different opinion about what it means to you?  Let me know!

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Matthew 25:34-40 – Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Too Much Time On My Hands

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The start of our homeschool journey.

Life is good, but sometimes change is hard.

After homeschooling our son for 12 years, he has graduated. He’s now working and doing well out in the big world. That leaves me with a lot of time on my hands. I didn’t realize how much until the holidays passed.

It’s not that I don’t already have a lot to do. I’ve got the house to manage, the animals to care for, the garden to get ready…it’s all stuff I love doing.

But now I have a desire to find something new to pursue. Something I haven’t done before. Something that will complement what I’m already doing here @ home.

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The finish of our homeschool journey.

I really don’t know what it will be, but I’m praying about it and getting feedback from hubby.

In the mean time I’m working on downsizing to half of what we currently have (we have way too much stuff), getting seeds started for our garden, and planning for our next batch of chicks (hoping for Easter eggers!)

The garden this year will be about 90% heirloom seeds. The exceptions are the onion starts, seed potatoes (which I got here locally), and cabbage and broccoli seeds I had from last year. I am ordering fresh heirloom cabbage and broccoli seeds to have on hand for fall. I’m almost to my 100% heirloom though! I really have to go through my seeds and purge a lot of the old seeds I have, most of which aren’t heirloom.

Colossians 3:23-24 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

I know it’s not too exciting, but that is what I have for now.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly! Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Rain

rainyCold, snow, fog, rain, cold, snow.  It’s the pattern of spring.  Today it’s rain.  All.day.rain.  At least it isn’t all day snow.  Most of the snow has melted, except for a few piles here and there.  Today we are going to get up to a high of 58F, our low tonight will be 56F.  At least the chickens water won’t freeze.  Tomorrow our high will be 62F, but then we plummet again and our low will be 35F.  The average temperatures are starting to rise…and I’m starting to get spring fever.

greenhouseI got our indoor greenhouse set up near our patio doorwall and have all the seeds I’ve saved plus I purchased a bunch more. I used to be able to find a lot of heirloom seeds locally, but for some reason this year I’m not finding them. So I’ll be placing an order here soon at Baker Creek.  I was hoping to be 100% heirloom, I’ll probably be 95% because a couple of the herbs I bought weren’t labeled heirloom (chamomile is one), but hopefully I’ll still be able to harvest the seeds.

One thing that could put a kink in gardening this year is the possibility of a move.  Hubby has a long commute to work and we’ve been tossing around the idea of moving closer for a while now.  Circumstances have recently moved into our favor so we’ve been looking at different areas and seeing what’s available.  The idea of having a bit more land and living away from town with less restrictions is quite appealing!!  We’re not ready to move at the moment, but we could be by this summer.  I’ve been working at decluttering, but this would mean some serious downsizing.  I’m not going to move all this junk!

Update on my closet clean out.  I’m still working on it.  My problem was that I didn’t have enough basics so I didn’t get nearly as much cleaned out as I wanted, but I’m down to a good third of what I had.  I’m hoping with the purchase of a few more wardrobe basics that I can whittle it down even more.  I’m happy so far.

Are you eager for spring?  Have you started any seeds yet?  Let me know!

Isaiah 55:10-11 – “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

My Closet Clean Out

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It’s not messy, it’s not overly crowded, not even a big closet…but for me it’s too much, it’s stressful, and I need to minimize it.

Minimalist wardrobe.  Capsule wardrobe.  Call it what ever you want, that is my goal.  I want to minimize my wardrobe to just what I need.  Maybe not as minimal as a dress a day and one for special occasions like one of my online friends shared, but something that makes my days easier and less stressful.  Also things that fit as I’ve lost a bit of weight since I’ve change my eating habits.

So today I’m going to start whittling down until I get to the point I’m happy with it.  I’ve given myself a target of this Friday to be finished.  At this point I’m not even sure how much I’m going to get rid of.

I’m going to start with the clothes that are just worn out.  I tend to wear things way beyond when they should have been tossed.  Once those are out of the way, I’m going to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit anymore.  These will be the easy ones to pull out.

At that point I’ll need to go through and decide what I want to keep and what I want to donate or toss.  I think this is the point where I’m going to have to take my time and really figure out what things coordinate with what and actually build that minimalist/capsule wardrobe.   I think this will be where I need to decide if I don’t have anything suitable to keep, that I’ll need to buy the coordinating piece.

I’ve whittled my closet down before, but never really took the time to make sure what I have coordinates with other things.  I just pulled out the things that I didn’t want or need anymore, but I ended up with things that I couldn’t wear.  For example, I have a shirt that I really like, but it doesn’t go with anything I have.  So it lives in my closet never getting worn.

Anything that is still in good shape will be donated to our local homeless mission.  From there it will either be given to those in need or sold at their thrift shop.

In the end, this could be a total flop.  As a borderline hoarder, I could end up keeping way more than I need.  I could end up keep most of it.  At least I’m going to try.

Got any big projects going on this week?  Have you done a recent closet clean out?  Any words of advice as I begin my clean out?  Let me know in the comments!

Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

 

Healing…

13-12-16frost2I’ve never done this before.  I mean, pick a word for the year.  I started thinking about it before Christmas when I saw other online discussions of people pondering their choices for their 2018 word of the year.  Then as we rolled into the new year I saw people sharing their words.  I hadn’t even picked one yet and was starting to think it was silly.

I did pick a Bible verse for 2018.  I’ve done that before. That made a little more sense to me than just a word.

Psalm 73:26 – My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

The more I thought about it, thought, the more I realized I had an obvious choice for a word for 2018.

Healing.

It’s about time.

For several years I’ve been dealing with terrible joint pain that was only getting worse, and asthma that was under control became out of control.

For most of my life I have battled depression and self esteem.  When I thought I had managed to overcome it, i found that it was actually way deeper than I even knew and came back heavy and fierce.

Having been through some painful church splits and upheavals left both hubby and I apprehensive and concerned about joining a new church.

2017 was the year we really started addressing these things.

I researched and studied joint pain and asthma in 2017 and found that diet is actually one of the best treatments regardless of mainstream medicine generally saying it isn’t.  By changing my diet to a plant based diet, I not only saw a decrease in my pain levels and asthma episodes, but when I stuck to the diet I didn’t need any pain medication.  I want to get serious about sticking to a plant based diet knowing that the pain isn’t worth the cheating.  Who knows, maybe I’ll begin to enjoy it.

I know that being abandoned by my father and struggling to find acceptance my entire life has left me exhausted, discouraged, and withdrawn.  When it seemed like everyone I cared about (with the exception of hubby and son) walked away from me, all I had was the Lord.  I found He is more than enough.   While I wait on Him to restore what the locusts have eaten, I want to grow closer to and deepen my walk with Him.

We found a great church last year, but we have been a bit hesitant to actually get connected and develop friendships. We need to take a leap of faith and really become part of the body again.

2018 is the year for healing.

At least it will be the start…

Lamentations 3:24-26 – “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I hope in Him!”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Did you pick a word, quote or Scripture for 2018?  Please leave a comment below and let me know, I’d really enjoy hearing about what you chose.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re