Tag Archives: homesteading

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.

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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?


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!


School Dinner & Problems With Pecans

Meet my dinner for school tonight: spinach salad greens with celery, carrots and baby tomatoes.

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In other news our freakish pecan trees that my great-grandmother planted circa 1940s are dropping green pods if you so much as look at them crossways. We have been told multiple times that these trees should not be thriving in our zone. We even had a tree expert stop and ask us what we did for them to thrive here.

…Uh…we’re nice to the aelfar?

Honestly, we never touched them for anything. This year however, I’ve decided to harvest them rather than buying pecans for holiday goodies. The question is so I stain my hands opening the pods or do I wait for the actual nuts to fall and fight squirrels?

Lesson? Be nice to your land and such, maybe you’ll be amazed in a few decades.


Sheds and a (Lack of) Quality Time with Dad

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So, the big project going on in my family this year is a new shed for tools and the rototiller, things like that. This being at my grandmother’s behest, however, means that it cannot be easy, oh no. My grandmother has been collecting dozens of wooden skids for months. so, rather than buying lumber, she and my father (84 and 57, respectively) decided that the pair of them were going to  rip up the skids and build a shed out of the wood.

Yay recycling! Or…not so much. This is a lot of time-consuming work. There were no blueprints, so of course, my dad had to draw them up. then he has to put this thing together, and she wants it to be weathertight and done before winter. This all sounds good in theory. Especially with homesteading and reuse and recycle and not having to pay crazy prices at Lowe’s for lumber. Saving money, woo.

However, throw in the fact that my father works ten hour days, doesn’t get home until after 5:00 at night after working in a steel fabrication plant all day and then at 9:00, has to leave to pick me up from my classes in the nearest city. All the work, therefore, has to be done on the weekends. This…has led me to be a little resentful of the shed, and let me explain why.

My mother died when I was very young. Since my dad went to work before the sun was up, I spent half of elementary school, and all of middle and high school at my grandmother’s, getting maybe an hour of time with my dad a night, until the weekends. Weekends were this free time where we could just do stuff or do nothing, because Sunday night I’d be carted back over to my grandmother’s house.

Now, yes, I am 26. I am an adult. However, I do like to still spend time with my family, and a half-an-hour a night with my dad during the week, and maybe two-hours on the weekend is making me wish I lived in Bewitched and could just wiggle my nose. My hope is that in a year I’ll have my own place, or at least a nest egg and a job with which to try and get my own place — and let’s be honest, I doubt I’ll get one within walking distance of where I am. I’ll have to move to wherever I’d get employed. I don’t know if that happens, how much quality time I’ll get with my dad, when I already see so little of him during the week. I want to spend what time I can with him, while I have it.

Of course, I can’t say this, because the work needs to get done, and all the whinging in the world won’t do anything but make everyone feel bad or think I’m being overemotional, so…I think I’ll be baking tomorrow. Bread maybe?