My Interview for Wild Women Wednesday

Emmmmerz is doing a monthly feature on her blog where she interviews a fellow military mama blogger. Her goal is to get to know her fellow bloggers better and build a community.

She recently interviewed ME 🙂 I feel so special. Go check it out! And leave a comment to show her some love! If you are a military wife (or even if you aren’t) you  may want to follow her blog to see more of her interviews and learn about other military mama bloggers!!

A house, An Acre, and BIG PLANS!

Earlier this week I told you all about our moving adventure but what I REALLY want to share with you is our new house and land! Well new to us, the house is actually nearly 140 years old. I absolutely love it. There is even a stone on the front with the year it was built! There are a couple of additions over the years that make it even more unique.

We are on one acre and are making plans for what we are going to do first with our land. We plan to make the most use of our little piece of earth as possible with hopes of some day buying additional land to add on. For now we feel like we have quite a bit to work with.

One of my favorite features of the house is this wall which was originally the outside wall but they left it exposed when they added on this side of the house.

We are also enjoying the wood stove, although it throws off the thermostat so the upstairs gets really cold!

We knew there were fruit trees on the property. So far we have found at least 7 fruit trees but we have no idea what type they are. We met someone at church who had looked at the house in late summer when the trees still had fruit and she said there were quite a few trees including apple, pear, peach, cherry, walnut, and apricot-maybe more. We are excited to see what grows this summer. We have also found two grape vines. None of the trees or vines seem to have been tended to recently so we will have plenty of work to do this summer cleaning up and learning to care for them!

We were also surprised by a small building with a fenced yard on the property right next to the house. We didn’t notice this building in any of the pictures or videos our realtor sent us (yes we bought the house without seeing it in person first – big risk but I think we made a good move!). With a little bit of cleaning and improvements, we think it will make a good chicken coop and yard (I can’t let the chickens completely free range because the road we live on is relatively busy and cars are going FAST). We hope to get chickens in early spring, hubby even thinks we may be able to get them sooner but I’m not sure I want to tackle chicks when it is still cold out.

We also hope to get rabbits and bees this spring and start a small garden. Next on the list are goats and turkey but those may be further down the road.

We also have this pond we can’t decide what to do with. It is inside the fenced yard where the kids play which makes me nervous. It is bigger and deeper than it looks. We have thrown around the idea of a few ducks or tilapia in it but we are leaning toward filling it in.

We have already added our first farm critter. Leia is an Akbash/Anatolian shepherd mix we found at the local animal shelter. She is a bit thin (no surprise there) but is beautiful and sweet. While she is a livestock guard dog by breed we got her as a companion to our current dog Luke and a general farm/house dog. (Yes, Luke and Leia, we are nerds). Having a second dog has already noticeably helped his separation anxiety.

Our New Dog

As we make improvements and bring in animals I will be sure to document our adventures here! Hopefully you can learn something along with us and maybe get inspired to do some small scale farming of your own. Or just laugh at our adventures and inevitable mishaps.

Do you have a farm? Chickens? Other livestock? A garden? Share how you homestead in the comments. I’d love any tips you can share!! 

I will share some of our “farm adventures” via live video on Facebook or Periscope so make sure to follow me there and on Instagram for “behind the scenes” type pictures that might not make it to the blog! 

My Journey to Crunchy

Not sure what “crunchy” means? Read this post first!

Let me tell you a bit about how I became the “crunchy” individual I am today;

I was not always crunchy. Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper were staples of our diet for the first several years of our marriage. And I’m not even going to get in to how many Dr Peppers I drank (possibly still drink) daily! I was not crunchy at all.

There were little seeds planted along the way….

Like when I got diagnosed with hypothyroid and wanted to avoid medication. But I did end up taking the medication.

Or when I heard about the dangers of cleaning products and switched to more natural options.

But it really started when my oldest was three and I was pregnant with my second. At this time there were a couple of different issues in my life that started me on the path of more natural living.

First, my then-three-year-old was exhibiting some odd behavioral issues. Some were very ADHD like and others were just strange. Second, I was pregnant. I didn’t really know how I wanted the birth to go but I knew I wanted it to be much, much different than my first birth.

When we started noticing difficult and odd behavior from my daughter we discussed getting her evaluated by a doctor but we really didn’t want to give her medication at such a young age. Since we were planning on homeschooling we didn’t really feel that it was necessary at that point. So I started researching alternative ways to “treat” ADHD. I stumbled across the Feingold diet. I was much too overwhelmed to do the complete diet but I noticed that artificial dyes and certain preservatives seemed to be a big NO-NO. So we cut them and noticed almost immediate change. (I say immediate because it felt like it but in reality it took about two weeks to really notice and even then it had been gradual and we could only really tell when we tried adding it back in). This made me a believer in diet having a profound effect on behavior and brain function.

As I was exploring birth options someone mentioned the local birth center. I wasn’t sure about this. Did I really want to give birth outside of the hospital? Was it even safe? Could I do it without an epidural? Am I OK with not even having that as an option? It seemed scary but I wanted different, so I called them. Unfortunately they were full for my due date, but they put me on their waiting list. I started researching birth options and trying to figure out what I wanted. At an appointment with my original OB I asked her two questions; 1. What is the earliest I can leave the hospital after having the baby and 2. What options do I have other than an epidural that will allow me to walk and move around? Her response to these was to roll her eyes and sigh. Yes really. She told me I could leave after 24 hours if I wanted but that the pediatrician probably wouldn’t “let” me take the baby until 48 hours and maybe more if it was a weekend. She also told me I could have a “walking epidural” and then added “but it will still hurt if you do that!” I left her office in tears. The next day the birth center called and told me a spot opened up for me!

This is only the beginning of my story. Becoming a patient at the birth center was the beginning of an education in which I was introduced to new ideas about not only birth but other aspects of life. I learned to question the things that went on and into my body and to make choices to be as healthy as possible. I learned to look into the effects on both myself or my family members and the environment of the things I used. Everyone is different and the choices that are right for you and your family may be different than the choices that are right for mine but we should all be fully aware consumers. The birth center empowered me to question everything and make choices that are not always popular.

What exactly does “crunch” mean?

I use the term “crunchy” for myself on a regular basis. Let me try to define that a bit for you. Be aware my definition is how I believe the word fits me, others may use it in slightly different ways.

Crunchy: Closely related to the term “granola.” Someone who attempts to live life in as “naturally” as possible. Since I am a “crunchy” Christian I attempt to live in a way that is as close as possible, within our fallen state, to how God originally designed us and the world in which we live.

Some of the “crunchy” things I do:

  • Eat whole foods from organic, natural, local, and/or sustainable sources
  • Choose animal products from animals raised in the most natural and healthy ways
  • Use cloth diapers
  • Breastfeed
  • Natural birth
  • Use reusable items instead of disposable like reusable zipper bags, mason jars and cloth napkins.
  • Recycle (or repurpose or upcycle)
  • DIY (everything from vanilla extract to dishwasher powder)
  • Use natural treatments for illnesses, ailments, scrapes etc when possible

 

While I believe this natural lifestyle is good and healthy for myself, my family and the environment I have to be very careful not to make it an idol. We still must exist within the place, time, and culture we find ourselves in and that sometimes (often) makes a totally crunchy lifestyle impossible.

Embrace where you are, do your best, and give yourself lots of grace!

Click here to find out how I found my way to this lifestyle!