So.. it’s been awhile..

I feel like I’m in confession a little, even though I’m not Catholic . So much has happen since my last post. Sydni and I are continuing with our self sustainability as much as we can here! I work full time now at an awesome bar and grill. I still commute!! The Rat Ride has done me well! I have also added a tricycle to our wheels. With a basket in the back, it’s perfect for the .2 miles to the grocery. Work is about .3 miles in the other direction. So everything works out great!

It’s harder the find that balance working in such a fast paced environment, even harder to not take it home. Sydni and I have started back to our yoga practice to help with that. She has really been a wall for me this past year. She understands more than I could even ask of her. 

We are doing some container gardening and we have 5 fruit trees . I’m re doing the front flower beds and plan on incorporating more edible landscaping into to ornamental already there. Slowly but surely!! It’s so good to be back down south, where you can buy a bushel of acre peas from your cousin, get a bag of tomatoes from your mom, the list goes on. I’ve got my compost almost at full rock :) Going through as much food at work prepping stuff really helps add to the heap. The worm farm is put together but not yet operational. Trying to build up some of the dirt in the back that has been barren for so long due to shade and the wrong plantings. Got some beautiful black and red elephant ears, planted because you know I love bulbs!! ivy and a little jasmine I’m trying to save. It’s all coming along :)

We are still doing all of our art stuff on the side and may have found a partner in the department which could mean big things!! She is going to teach me to sew first hand and I cannot wait!!

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Early morning thoughts..

So… What I’ve learned so far since the move.. Even though permaculture is about building your food forest on a permanent location. Name kinda says it all. Now sustainability and it’s practices, use it anywhere you go..
When we got here, I was stoked to be back, but I’ve cried over losing my micro farm several times. I miss the dirt in my garden. I miss the sweet smell of it. I’ve started no seeds. I bought 2 tomato plants with a free aphid infestation. That are potted up and sitting pretty on the dock. I think we may add a jalapeno today. I can have a dock garden :) my pear tree has no blooms, even though neighbours around block is.. :/ I think she may get some fish emulsion today. She had a banana peel the week I got here. My neighbours on closest side have 2 plum trees that are being devoured by moss, but they have blooms all over. I may go strip it today. Be awesome for some preserves! My neighbours on the other side have a lemon tree.  We have a lemon and lime coming. So we will def have more of an orchard than last time. I don’t have any of my brambles though. I can only hope the people who decide to buy our house in NC loves all we’ve done.
Sometimes I get sad knowing I’ll never have the garden or chickens here. As much as I love this family home, I still want the farm life. All kinds of animals, bees, crops everywhere! I dropping cowpeas today along fence. We still hold all our frugal practices very close. We have and want to. I never want to lose the act of humility. Doing things for yourself, not relying on others, brings a sense of that I never want to lose. Knowing where our food comes from with out paying ‘organic’ prices. It blows me away what they want for non antibiotic, anti hormone, anti real animal! Sheesh.
Once we get our routine back and Michael starts work, things will smooth out even better. Now we are waiting for his criminal background to come back so he can go take his drug test. We are hoping, HOPING, that it will be this week. It was almost 3 weeks ago Honda told him he was hired and he has still yet to start. I knew things move slower down here, that I have not forgot, but its the lack of southern professionalism that has me concerned. It seems they are flying by seat of their pants in his hiring process and we just really hope that it is not a show of the true work ethic held in that establishment. Soon though, we need all of us to get back on track with a way of life down here. Sydni is the only one with a routine! She’s doing great!! She got to go on the Jeckyl Island trip because someone had to back out and there is no refunds. So they chose her! I told her she had to be one the luckiest little girls in the world, she hugs me and smiles. As long as I’m with you, I am, she says…

Just reflective…

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Another beautiful day in paradise.. Michael got the email today from Honda HR confirming his hire. Awesome. Mom and I have been discussing our approach on things to be done on the house. Plan is coming together ;) Things are starting to hopefully come together. I stay believing..

Life in the south..

Man o man.. its good to be home. There are so many small things I forgot that come with southern territory.. Small hand waves as you pass by, the slower pace, people holding doors and still saying yes mam. Things second nature to me product of good southern raising by not just one but a community. This is what I’ve been missing. This is what I want for Sydni.. This is home.

Simplicity where ever we go… :D

Adjusting here has been a progress. For people who really had no social life, coming back to where we both grew up has brought its fair share of visitors. We’ve gotten most everything unpacked and in place. A few more touches over the next couple weeks and we should be good to go :)
It’s been really nice to take comfort in the simple things with so many changes. I’ve been hand washing dishes for awhile now, using the dishwasher as a drying rack and holder. No matter where you are, what’s going on around you. The mindfulness spent just washing a plate, a cup.. It’s the same anywhere you go. Yesterday I found myself a little tense from all the kids here.. I was filling the sink before I realized to have that relaxation. One dish at a time, one sink to the next, rinsed to the dishwasher to dry.. very nice indeed.
So we are contemplating two raised beds in the front yard. As gorgeous as the oaks in the back are, they don’t let any sunlight through. The front yard gets nice afternoon sun. I see a lowes trip soon. We visited the flea market on Sunday. Got a pineapple and bag of tomatoes. I want to go ahead and get some new canning equipment, make some salsa to start :)
It does feel good to be back.. There are a lot of little things to do around here over the next couple years, then who knows where the wind may blow us ;) I love the idea of this being our house.

Dock sittin…

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So.. a week in. South Georgia. Whatcha know? It feels really good being home. The house I grew up in yet its my generation, my time in the house. Our bedroom, which was my moms bedroom, which was my great aunts bedroom, and bathroom window looks out over the lake. It’s an amazing feeling when I get up or just walk in the bathroom for something and look out. It’s good to see my and my sisters children playing in the same places we did as children… You know, I’ve heard people don’t change, but I don’t believe it anymore. I have changed so many times so far in my life. I’m in a different place now then I’ve ever been. I feel more like the mama bear I should be. Each time I’ve lived at this house I have been a different person. I have really been reflective since we’ve come on just how far we’ve come. How appreciative and humble, especially from when I left here last. Hmmm I think we’ll go for ice cream now :)

So.. Just trying to figure it all out :)

ImageSo, wow is right.. We are going to have to start over in so many aspects when we move. It’s so scary to let go of what you already have to even embrace the possibility of a better future. The future we want is less dependance on anything store bought. And that ranges from food to clothing to gas. We started that here and now we’ll start again.

I’m losing the chickens today. Yes I’ve cried more than you can imagine over three birds. I put their whole package on Craigslist for $100 and it sold in 30 minutes. He’ll be here today. A small family with two growing children. I’m glad people are starting to realize the importance of growing it yourself. You know what goes in that chicken, the eggs are walked in your back door, fresh as they can be. Who wouldn’t want that?! And to have it all packaged up to boot! We’ll have to check ordinances once we get settled in, build a better coop and start again. Keep moving forward!! (saw it on a movie)

ImageWe found Budget to be the cheapest rental. They have a 20% off until the 28th and we’ll save around 75-100 bucks going during the week instead of weekend. So the last week of February will be our last week in Indian Trail. My stomach is doing somersaults right now!

I have already emailed Michael’s resume to my mom to hopefully work her magic!! She knows someone at the Honda dealership there in Valdosta and took Michael’s resume up there. Everyone seemed really excited about his certifications in general not just the ones with Honda. They asked all about the move, when we would be there and if he would be able to start work the following Monday. THIS COULD BE A GREAT THING!! So please everyone keep your fingers crossed. He is so worried about finding a good job in a smaller city and it working for all of us. I’ve also decided to seek employment. The house sits pretty central in Lake Park so commuting on the SS is going to be sweet. I really hope I can find something close enough and be able to work things out to be home for Syddo! Because that is really what this is all about for me in the long run. Raising her to have a different awareness on the world and I have to be there to do that ;)

ImageSo I’m really scared, nervous, excited, etc., etc. Everything is moving so fast. I think we are going to try for the yard sale this weekend. Go ahead and get that stuff gone and purge again. We plan on taking the basics, we just all have different definitions on what exactly the basics are!

Headed back down South.. :)

ImageSo, BIG BIG news folks!! We are moving to Georgia in four weeks!! My family owns a house on a small lake in Lake Park, GA. It’s about five miles from the FLA line in Lowndes county. We are so excited about this opportunity! You know around Thanksgiving, we were wanting to get back closer to some family and I seem to have the biggest lot in one place :)

The lake house was built by my great-uncle around ’74, I believe. He had moved there to become Principal of Lake Park Elementary. He and my great-aunt have been gone many years now. Their three children inherited the home until my mother bought it.. eh.. 15 years ago?? (don’t hold me to that date ;)) What! I remember working on it on my 13th birthday, so.. that means15 years, hey I was right! Mom gutted some of the house, knocked down partial walls and voila!

She just celebrated her second wedding anniversary with her husband who she now lives with on a beautiful spread of ten acres. She has rented out the house(it is still being paid for because of refinancing) and the tenants moved out last month. So!!! We are going. It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1 office/laundry room (which was my room as a teen! but when I left, mom knocked down another wall and extended her closet halfway into that bedroom and put the washer and dryer and computer desk in there :/) All brick exterior, fireplace inside, four 75 year old (at least) oak trees that had been there before the house was built. My uncle planted four dogwood trees when the house was built but only one remains living. They died from the inside out just like the Sunday school story.

So how does this help our self sufficient journey you ask?? One major factor here is community (my family and friends of 28 years) We don’t really have and never will have the network we will down there. My two parents alone know 75% of Valdosta, GA. Michael has taken a big decrease in pay and it is really affecting us here. Commuting with my bike will be awesome around the Lakes and community there. The exercise on bike alone will be phenomenal! I’m actually REALLY excited about that! But.. I will not have the garden plot I had here. And everything we have planted in ground, we lose. We are still trying to find out about the chickens. They will be in a dog kennel in the back of the Fit if I can help it :) We’ve planted 5 beautiful trees, 3 tea olives, 3 rosemary bushes, 2 blueberry bushes, 2 jasmine, 1 huge Triplecrown blackberry bush, 1 each mint, spearmint, and apple mint. I can only hope the family who moves in here next sees these as a blessing. Will appreciate the life we tried so hard at putting back into the soil.

We will definitely have to change some garden practices for the new house. Start making a new homestead :) The back yard is mostly shaded by the oaks. The front yard is your conventional turf yard. I can’t wait to get back down there to look at the grounds with a grower’s eye. I know container gardening is going to be huge for us. Can’t wait to keep you guys posted on everything. Wish us good luck, I feel this move is for a right reason and we are embracing it wholeheartedly.

We have started the pre-packing purge for a yard/moving sale and it feels GREAT! Until next post ;)

New Award! New Award! The Versatile Blogger Award

New Award! New Award!

Just when I start to think I’m crazy for all the radical changes I’ve been making, I get an award for it!! James and Terri Vance are world traveling romantics ;) Their journeys and state of mind is a breath of fresh air in some of today’s world. They blew me away by nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award! Very honored indeed, especially when I checked out the awesome people I was nominated with. Please check out their pages and my fellow nominees!

versatileblogTHE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD* shines the spotlight on bloggers who are adept at creating and handling change – whether it’s their life or the lives of others.

Here are bloggers I feel fit the bill ;)

The Better Man Project Through powerful imagery and quotes, takes it one day at a time to be a better man. And we cheer him on for it!! :)

Car Free Days is a fellow commuter family. It’s always nice to read along with someone, especially if commuting is not really popular in your area. Helps ignore the strange looks !!

Little Poppits Teresa handles her house, her children, her ‘chooks’ and anything else that comes her way. I would have to say VERY versatile :) Drop by and see what her and her poppits are up to!

More to come…

Okay 7 interesting things about us…

  1. I should have been born to carry a tune. I was born for rock and roll..
  2. Michael can fix anything.. IF, big if, he wants to. He’s like MacGyver in that sense, he just has to have the right motivation, mostly me shutting up about it!
  3. I love cupcakes for breakfast.
  4. Sydni and I both have hula hoops as tall as we are that we take to music festivals. We love it!
  5. I am working on preserving more of the foods I grow this year. Canning dehydrating, freezing.. You know the drill ;)
  6. Sydni is the smartest kid I know.. No really. I’m not just saying that because she is my child, you see, she really is always the top of her class with her class. Now talking out of turn is something totally different.
  7. Our dream home does not exceed 1000 square feet, more like 850 ;)

DIY Ammo box wood stove (part 2), Molting Chickens in an Ice Storm and Cheddar’s First Egg

ImageSo, Michael bought black high heat paint and applied 2 layers. We have burned it as is 4 times. We still need to pick up 2 pieces of the 4 inch pipe plus elbow. We want to make sure everything is going to work before we cut a hole in the side of the shed! (Between us though, I would have love to have had it done before this recent ice storm hit ;))

Our two older hens are in the process of molting right in the middle of an ice storm. They started about a week ago. We had some super cold rain at the time, so we went out inspected their coop. We stapled some 6mm plastic in some place because the wind was fierce and we knew the ice was coming. When we built the coop, all the specs we followed didn’t include them molting in the middle of Winter!! Oh No.. Improv with the plastic! I read during molting they need to be kept between 70-80 degrees. Our house right now doesn’t stay that right now. We cooped them so they would have to stay together and roost and hopefully keep warm enough. We sealed for drafts and supplies leaves and straw for their boxes and the floor of the coop. I read wood shaving are best because they actually do better at absorbing thermal heat throughout the day..

ImageCheddar, on a lighter note, has started laying!! I didn’t think she would until next month when the days stretched out a little more, but about 4-5 days ago I heard that ‘I got an egg in my butt’ cluck. At first I thought something was attacking one of them outside. I run out and Cheddar is pacing. We had our first little brown egg from her the next day :)

That’s it for now!! Send my hens warm thoughts, please and everybody safe safe and warm too!