April 12, 2013
My husband and I were sitting on the dock this evening just after sunset. A large blue heron landed in the water to our right and we watched it walk ever so slowly along the shoreline, stopping now and again to nibble a minnow. When it passed the dock, it flew off with a resounding, “squawk”. It struck me how awesome this moment was, how awesome to be a part of God’s kingdom on Earth. What a beautiful moment in time to just sit and observe.
How many times in a day, a week, a year, do we get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget to just sit, listen, and observe? People so often surround themselves with so much stuff, so much to do, so much to see- do they really have anything, see anything, do anything? Do they know God? I think that is one of the reasons why our path brought us here to Texas- to remember why we are even here in the first place- to love….to listen…..to learn…..to remember who we are….to know God…..
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/mothernaturephotos/4380172895/”>Elliotphotos</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
April 9, 2013
finding happiness, Texas
Well, life has taken so many crazy twists and turns this past year. We found ourselves becoming more and more unhappy in West Virginia and yearning for the life that we have always dreamed of. We decided to take a short hiatus to East Texas. What a blessing it has been to spend our days walking on the beach, playing in the sand, and enjoying the outside time with our son. It has made us all the more resolved to find our land to build on. We have slowly begun to refine our dream and have decided that our small homestead should include animals as well as a garden. We have dabbled in ducks, and hope to expand to chickens, goats, and maybe a pig! It has been so fun to take this time to dream big and make plans. Our gardening will suffer this summer as a result of being gone for the Spring, but we will still try to plant when we return. We are still not exactly sure where the road will lead us, but we plan to return to West Virginia with new purpose to get out of the city and continue our homestead life on a bigger chuck of land! Happy Spring!
December 12, 2012
Well, our land in Alaska is under contract and we have been discussing why exactly this makes us sad. It makes us sad even though we know that selling that land will allow us to buy our homestead land somewhere in the Lower 48. We have finally identified the difference between our experience in Alaska and our experience thus far in the Lower 48. The places we lived in Alaska were sometimes remote, sometimes not, but there was a pervasive feeling of remoteness, maybe because the state itself is cut off from the rest of the country. As a result, people banded together, and everyone made their own family out of the people around them. Few people actually had blood family, so we learned to make our own families. We had dinner nights, we had game nights, we had pajama and movie nights. Holidays were never lonely and the people we went to church with were also the people we called our friends. Maybe it was the winter darkness that brought us together. Maybe it was the cold. Maybe it was the distance from everything else. I don’t know the reason, but it was different. Since moving down here, people don’t seem to need each other the same. People don’t help each other the same. People don’t need to make their family out of strangers because their families are close by.
As we move into this next chapter in our life and begin to look for where we want to buy land, I know what we are going to be looking for. We will be looking for a place that we can we go that the environment, the circumstances, or the geography forces people to live as they lived so long ago- as a community of people joining together, not solitary people simply occupying the same space.
December 4, 2012
Who in the world would have thought that I would be mowing the lawn on December 4th? The first year we lived here I was picking Brussels Sprouts in the snow!!! What ended up being a small project ended up being a much bigger one, as is customary on our little urban homestead! I went out to try and take back the duck house from the weeds. Little did I know that this seemingly simple project would turn into a complete yard mowing project! When our son was born, we had two ducks that we got rid of because we were completely overwhelmed with being new parents and did not know if we could take care of the decks as well as we should. Haha! How could we not have known that the sucks would be the easy ones to take care of!! So, after almost a year and a half, we are bringing ducks back into the yard.
My second reclaiming project this year has been to take the garden back from the weeds. While our son was busy growing like a weed, our garden was being taken over. I think that we have finally completed our project and our garden is finally ready for growing more food instead of weeds!!! We have also planted 20 trees along the fence to provide a privacy barrier and spent most of the fall weeding and mulching the 110 foot section. Here is our progress on the duck house, the fence row, and the garden…. And here is to a wonderfully random warm December day!!
The next project will be to get a load of wood chips from the city so that we can add some more weed barrier and/or mulch!!!
December 3, 2012
Life After Boy, Musings
I had such good intentions when I began this blog…….. and then I learned about life with a toddler! I have so many unfinished posts, so many unfinished thoughts, and so many unfinished projects. This year was not a good year for the garden, but I guess that is okay since we were busy growing a human! It brings me such joy, though, that one of his first words was tomato, particularly referring to the tomatoes that he helped me pick in the garden! He already knows where the strawberries come from and delights in going to the garden with me for a walkabout. Even though we are not on our ‘homestead’ and are instead on a little lot in the city, it means so much to me that he knows where most of his food comes from and he wants to be involved in helping me each day.
My main goal for this month is to plant the garlic- late again! This year we will plant much more than last! I am still undecided how we will start our plants this year as we have had mixed success with starting things from seed. The first year was stellar but we sprouted everything in the dining room at 72 degrees! The basement is much cooler, and I have had a difficult time with germination. Perhaps this year I might put plastic around the growing shelves to create a little mini greenhouse environment.
I will try to be better at writing- if only a short little blurb.. No one is expecting a novel, and it is important to document our travels to the good life, because I know that most of the travel is the journey itself!
May 24, 2012
All Things Garden, Musings
Oh my! It has been so long since I have posted anything and yet so many wonderful things are happening in the garden! I had all of these gran intentions, of course, about posting every week, taking pictures of my progress, and then I realized that life with a baby just isn’t as productive as I thought it would be. Well, actually, let me rephrase that… Life with a baby is EXTREMELY productive with things like naps, giggles, crawling around, experiencing a million things for the first time….. It is not so productive when it comes to things that I get up in the morning planning to do!!
Thankfully, I have clocked enough garden hours that the garden almost continues without me. The potatoes are already as high as the fence, the onions are swaying in the breeze. The garlic is reaching for the sky, the rhubarb is calling my name. The artichoke is spreading its beautiful leaves and the strawberries are calling all slugs in for a berry fest. In the greenhouse/porch, the peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, brussells, lettuce, etc are growing stronger every day. The basement holds it own treasures with emerging cucumbers, okra, pumpkin, and watermelon.
Most of my Spring has consisted of taking back the garden…… from the weeds. That is an entire post in and of itself. The garden is starting to look like a garden, though, and I should be able to eat peas soon enough! The first year that I gardened seemed so intimidating. I was anxious for everything to grow, to survive, to thrive, and now it seems to come so much more naturally. I won’t say that it comes effortlessly, but it is becoming a part of my existence in a way that makes it fun, not burdensome.
Today we took a walk in the yard, my son and I, and he babbled away excitedly while examining the strawberries. It makes me happy to know that he will grow up eating, growing, and appreciating the bounty of the garden.