Author Archives: heatherhomestead

Why I Decided To Blog

Day Three of the Zero to Hero Challenge, which was supposed to be the other day, but I missed it, was to post about why you decided to make this blog and what inspired you.I can sum it up in three words:

I’m not lazy.

I love my family dearly, and goodness knows i can be as loath to get out of bed as the next person, but while they don’t intend to, there is this suggestion in my family that I’m lazy. I don’t think they intend it that way. They know how hard I work at school and such, but they are very physical people, building sheds, making things, digging out tree stumps and such, and there are some physical things I just can’t do right now. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever be able to do it, that I’m not working on my abilities, just that I’m limited.

But one thing they like to say is “Oh, you have an excuse for everything.” or “You wouldn’t know what to do with a full day’s work.” It’s teasing, but it still bothers me. 

This leads to an idea that I won’t stick with something, so when I suggest something like trying to become more independent and self-sufficient, and homesteading that they just think it’s yet another one of my ideas that I’ll drop in a week, I mostly formed this blog so I could share my ideas and track my progress with this endeavour while exploring my faith closer to nature, and get support and help from it, rather than “Oh, why don’t you just give up now. You’re not going to finish anyway.”

I don’t want anyone to think I’m being harsh on my family, or that they don’t support me in things. They do. This is not the first scheme I’ve had, and not the first one I’ve thought of and then stopped. They have good reasons to say and think those things but sometimes that kind of history is the last thing you need.


Labels & Such

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So, I joined the “Zero to Hero” challenge oping it would help me keep up with my blog. Unsurprisingly, the first challenge is an introductory challenge, wherein you’re supposed to talk about you and why you blog. The thing is, I always have trouble defining the “Who Am I” bits. it’s all rather bullet points and I always feel like people don’t get a feel for who I am. That’s the thing about labels, no one fits their labels, even self-appointed ones perfectly. Heck, while trying to apply for insurance today, I spent twenty minutes trying to figure out whether to click “disabled” or not. I don’t collect social security or anything, but I can’t drive and I was delayed with every milestone growing up, spent loads of time in physical and occupational therapy, the labels don’t fit comfortably.

So, me. I’m a 26-year-old heathen woman, living at home, going to night school to try and find a job, and trying to become more independent and self-sufficient while trying my hand at homesteading. Doesn’t sound that hard, right? Well, it’s harder in the middle of rural Pennsylvania when you can’t drive, there’s no public transportation and you’re more likely to see Amish buggies than sidewalks. People don’t realize how hard it can be when you can’t just jump in a car. I dare you, darling readers, to think about how you would get from every Point-A to Point-B tomorrow, if you couldn’t drive, had no public transport, and no sidewalks. It’s not easy. 🙂

As for why I blog, I have many reasons. It keeps me motivated if I have things to share, so I’m less likely to fall behind and never pick it up again than the dozens of private journals I’ve started over the years, because there are readers. It also helps me feel less isolated, especially in winter, where just walking across town is dangerous. It’s hard to make friends when your town is small and you can’t just “go see” a friend really easily. It’s also nice to have a way to connect to the heathen community, especially since I can be (unbelievable to those who know me) very shy, I actually found out there’s an organization in Berks County, though I’ve never been able to go to anything or meet any of them, because 1. shy and 2. night school Monday-Thursday.

So…that’s why I blog. I hope it wasn’t too boring.


Happy New Year!

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It’s the new year, and I have resolution. As well as the usual resolution to lose weight and get stronger, I’ve also resolved to take more care and update this blog more frequently and be more frugal. Oh, right, and finish cleaning the house and tend the garden. Okay, maybe a bit more than I thought.

So far so good, though! I’m nearly finished giving the house a complete once-over, which is a miracle with everyone we’ve had visiting. I also started planning out the garden and everything I want in it, but I feel as though I’ve still got loads of room to cultivate. Anyone from Pennsylvania or zones 5 and 6 have any suggestions for crops?

In other news, I bought my first Mjölnir pendant,I have been trying to find an Irminsul or triple horn for ages, but haven’t had any luck. So, yay new shiny jewelry. I am only slightly annoyed because none of my many chains fit it, so I had to lace it with some random cord, but still! I was a little worried about it, since I’ve never felt any kind of draw to/from Thor, but as a symbol of faith, I think it’s okay? Any thoughts from heathens of wordpress?


The Products of a Season

We got a call from the butcher’s today, and Da picked up the result of his first crossbow hunt, the doe he almost missed out on. This means that my addiction to jerky no longer has to be fed through stops at the corner shop, as five pounds of venison jerky are now in my grasp. 

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Since I don’t have much else to talk about, I’ll tell you the story of how Da almost missed this doe. So, my father’s been hunting since he was a kid. He quit archery when his shoulder started giving him trouble, and moved on to rifle and in-line muzzleloader. However, the places where you can hunt with those in 5C are pretty much hunted out, because the game commission wants money and there’s been a lot of development. So, my Grandmother went in for half with Da on a crossbow for building her new shed. Da fired the thing twice in the store, then took it hunting on a family friend’s property.

The second day he went hunting with it, he fired at the doe, and she continued to run around for a few hours. Da got disgusted around lunch and went home, only to get a call from his friend a little later, telling him he forgot his deer. Turns out, he had hit her and didn’t realize it. When he left, she had probably just finally laid down to die.  

Pure luck and some good friends that he had meat to pick up today, but I am glad for it. That’s meat in the freezer for the winter and a little less to worry about.


Falling Into Place

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So today began my special project for my winter break before classes resume: getting the house absolutely tidy and doing away with all the clutter. It’s harder than it sounds, with Da working ten hour days, me only at home three days a week tops and two cats, one of whom loves to jump on mail or anything else and throw it on the floor. Progress was made in the living room, and I am exceptionally happy with it.

On the garden front, spoke to Da again, and he said I can have as much of it as I like. Turns out, he feels how little the garden has been producing has been in part due to him trying to work full time and keep up our house and my grandmother’s without any help. I pretty much have permission to take over the entire garden. They still don’t think I’ll so it, but it’s progress none the less. Sometimes I feel as though things fall into place like clicking into a puzzle. It helps encourage me even more knowing I might take some of the pressure off my family.

Snowed a little today, and the muscles let me know how they felt about it, by tensing in my neck and pushing on a pinched nerve that gave me a migraine that had me wincing most of the day. Hopefully, tomorrow will be warmer and less painful.


Getting The Fire Going Again

I really let this blog lapse, and I do feel dreadfully about it. I just got terribly overwhelmed with real life and trying to be more responsible, that I let this responsibility lapse. Winter is always rough for me, since it makes my entire body ache, and the snow and ice we get here makes me either mince around inch by inch like a newborn calf or fall flat on my face. (I usually choose the former.) It’s also a sad time or me, especially in December, because my mum’s birthday is the eighth, and even though she’s been gone ages, it still stings. Same with my paternal grandfather’s birthday, ten days later. Even if he wasn’t a good man, I still cared about him. Throw school on top of winter, and I was glad just to keep functioning. I am back now, however, on this Mother’s Night. It’s funny, Yule and Mother’s Night always make me feel my lack of fellow heathens more keenly, probably because it’s right in the middle of the worst time of year for me. Still, though, progress on.

I ordered my 2014 seed catalogs tonight, and I am very excited about it. I did get my father’s approval to have a bit of garden, so I’m planning and plotting (pun intended) for that, and waiting for the cold to go away. I don’t know how much garden I’ll get, but I figure I can still work in his and my grandmother’s as well as my own. They don’t think I’ll stick with it, so all the more a challenge to me. Let it never be said I backed down from a proper challenge.

And let’s hope I can get in the rhythm of posting again!


So Many Apples

Between two houses with multiple apple trees we are inundated with apples! So that meant while I was baking this morning, everyone assumed it was because of too many apples and not the stress of my school term ending and a major final on Wednesday, a paper on Tuesday and all the last minute chaos. This gave me a break from people worrying that I’ve been pushing myself too hard.

(I can’t be pushing too hard, there’s so much left to do!)

So, I made apple crisp. I might pick out some of the nice apples this weekend and set them aside for Idunn in thanks. Pretty sure she would support the idea of apple crisp for dinner.

Tomorrow will be officially one month since I started this blog, and like the Slytherin I am, I have plots for the tiny milestone. (Hey, every milestone counts, right?) Hopefully they’ll work out and I can share something neat with all of you.

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