Monday, October 31, 2011

Being Prepared

Wow, what a weekend. The things you think about when you don't have electric or may not have electric. So we only flickered as the storm hit but other family members are still without power. Some family members thought they could use their gas oven but soon realized it had all electric readouts and ignition. Church was canceled because they did not have electric to run lights or the furnace. I quickly heated up some soup from my stock of quick and easy mixes in a jar I made up about a month ago for the winter and/or emergency. We enjoyed our soup as we listened to our large oak tree out front crack and loose some of it's larger limbs. We are stocked with candles, warm clothes and easy meals that can be made on our Coleman or Holland grill if need be. We don't have a heat source though and our freezer would thaw after a few days. I also had a problem after working in the crazy weather Saturday morning. I was soaked till I was done and had to put the clothes in the dryer because with all the moisture in our ground I can't dry clothes on a rack in my basement right now because they don't dry fast enough and smell mildewy. So this learning experience helps me to take note for our future home since we would like to be debt free and off-grid. That Vermont Bun Baker is at the top of my list for heating, cooking, baking, and heating water. I can also dry clothes inside if I had to. I will post later some other neat things I found to make life more comfortable without electric.
    I pray all of you are warm, well fed and safe.
My meals in a jar
I took regular recipes and made them so they have no MSG and no preservatives.
I also have next to them some organic broth and organic chicken in a can from Trader Joe's incase
I don't have time or the power to cook the meat. 

My spices and premixed seasonings that make a quick meal of oats, quinoa, rice or beans into a delight.
I got the recipes for the mixes from the book Outpost by MaryJane Butters and they are also in her book MaryJane's Ideabook/Cookbook/Lifebook.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Preparing for Transition

What if someone told you that you may be temporarily living in an RV with your 2 kids.... homeschooling them, crafting with them, and having just plain fun for months... what would you take? What in your home is worth paying to store? Well that may just be our situation at some point in the next few years. I am seriously being led to pair things way down and streamline life. Just about the time you think you have things cleaned out you find more things you NEVER use. Now I do like to hang on to practical things like canning jars, fabric, books, and a few sentimental things but a lot can go. I only have one bin left in my attic to go through and a basement that needs a second going through and then I should be good for storage. Makes me grateful to be living small already.
    Why an RV you ask?
Well my husband and I did it for 5 months when our landlord at the time wouldn't go month to month and we were looking to buy a house. We bought a 27 foot RV for a little over $2000 and sold it for the same price 5 months later. It is a great way to transition from one situation to another and save a little over renting a place and being locked into a month to month or a year lease. Also the kids see it as an extended vacation. As long as there are trails to hike, lakes to kayak, pools to swim, fields to fly kites in(we fly rokkaku and stunt kites) and camp fires to make mountain pies over we see it as an adventure.
Something else to ask yourself; how often do you get outside to do things you always SAY your going to do? Like hiking a certain spot, fishing, laying on the grass looking at the stars for hours, catching lightening bugs, or sitting around a camp fire? When we did this for 5 months it was the best time of our lives. Very little bills, free time to spend enjoying God's creation all around us, more time to help others, and less stress. Now mind you this works best during spring through fall and we are looking to move north so it is temporary at best. The nice thing is we can pack our favorite things to make it home. It is nice that things like ipods, laptops, and Legos are all small. Here are a few pics from our last trip that are inspiring us to do this as a transition..... maybe you want to do the same some day.
Great Pond, ME

On top of Bald Mountain

Bald Mountain, Maine

Blueberry fields starting to turn red in fall

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10 Good Things... or more

I like Amanda Soule's 10 things she posts on so here is my version.
Roasted fall vegetables(beets, parsnips, squash, potatoes, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes in walnut oil)
Leaving the windows open
Watching the squirrels be silly(we could sit at the window all day)
The garden and the market overflowing with yummy fall produce(need to stock up)
Red leaves falling
De-cluttering once more and finding treasures
Finishing up the last of the canning and seeing the shelves full
Working on Christmas gifts
Planning new knitting projects
Snuggling up with my family on a windy evening

Oh, here are 10 more... I can't help myself
Homemade hot cocoa
Telling stories of days gone by
Letting go of THINGS
Quiet mornings with the Lord and my own thoughts
Fall fairs
Remembering last week sitting staring at the stars at night and the sunrise over the lake in the morning
A basketful of apples and pears
Friends and family that love you because of who you are and despite your flaws
A new writing program that everyone is excited about
Kisses in the morning

God is good. Blessings don't get lost as easily when you write them down. I think writing them down and declaring them is another way we say thanks to God for these times in our lives. Here are some photos to go along with my thoughts. Now you go share ten good things too!
Our CSA pears, peaches, and apples galore

Working on Christmas presents

A Red Waddle Pig at the Common Ground Fair Unity Maine
I love the harness... they are little hard to catch otherwise

Love and memories tied up in one little flower... 

You have to love our area with it's 4 seasons 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Learning to Live Fully Today

While we wait to see what the Lord will do next in our lives we continue to live one day at a time. Isn't that what it is really about... we don't know what tomorrow holds so we just live each day to it's fullest. Don't get me wrong I do plan things like meals, my pantry, and schooling but so much just happens and you have to be flexible. It was hard coming back from a state that is void of bill boards and urban sprawl. But friends made it easy to come back to fellowship. Even though we did not find THE house we always get an education that was well worth the trip. It was beautiful too. It was a time to take a deep breath next to my dear husband and appreciate all God has given us. Learn to live fully today because tomorrow has enough worries of it's own. I am sorry that I don't know how to work our camera well enough to take a picture of the beautiful stars at night with the milky way right down the middle but here are a few during the day.

Parks Pond Campground in Clifton Maine