24 January 2013

Resolutions

Good Afternoon.

Today I will be revealing a little about my New Year's resolutions.  In the grand scheme of things I am hoping to change my lifestyle a bit (LOT).  Every day seems to remove a little more "city" from this girl and add a little more "country."  For those who aren't "schooled" in WoodsFam history, here is a quick background.  Brian and I married in 1997.  We have three children.  We have lived in four different states and one other country, thank you Air Force.  We've been Blessed to see so much of the world and we take things away from each place we live/visit.  We are Catholic, Catholics who have a hard time making it to mass.  No excuses, it's just how it's been lately.  I am a SAHM and have been since the birth of our first, Kyleigh.  We have learned to cherish our privacy.  We enjoy time with family and friends.  We are looking forward to Brian's retirement and the next stage of our lives...full time hobby farming.  We have been on this little nugget of land (20 acres) since May 2011

As for the first of resolutions I am working to maintain this blog on a regular basis to record our history.  To share with any and all who wish to read.  I appreciate you all and thank you for taking time out of your lives to read a little about mine.  It's also a way to keep family and friends up to date on our little world.  Our family and friends are spread out, really spread out.

I am looking to have a more "natural" lifestyle, resolution #2.  It can be called many things; homesteading, hobby farming, sustainable living, etc.  I am interested in all aspects.  I am especially interested in reducing our "footprint" and learning to rely on ourselves and our land.  I am not a "survivalist" nor do I see zombie attacks in my future.  I like the idea of having a well stocked pantry, a healthy garden, happy children and animals and much more.  I am interested in so many things.  I have so many ideas.  I have so got to start somewhere, babystepping like "Bob."  Since we are so far north I have focused on things I can do INSIDE the house.

Inside the house it's saving money and DIY plans.  I have been making my own laundry detergent for about four months now.  It is simple and it works for us.   I use a powdered "recipe" which I have thrown together after much reading, researching and questioning online.  It smells good and works even better.  I NEVER thought I would leave my Tide, I LOVED Tide.  I also stretch my liquid fabric softener.  I don't remember where I saw the idea, sorry, but you just soak a cloth (I use old socks), in the softener then wring out and let it air dry and it's good for a LOT of drying cycles.  I use vinegar for my softener in the washer as well but the store bought helps with the static we have in our winter home.  I am tweaking a dishwasher soap "recipe" but its not quite there yet.  We have well water which is extremely hard and leaves spots all over our dishes.  So far I can only use the Finish tablets and rinse aid.  I use baking soda to scrub my tub and sinks.  I use vinegar for cleaning and mopping.  I made my own liquid hand soap, another I need to work on as this one is a bit on the drying side for me.  No smell of onions or garlic are left after washing with this soap, Yay!

This week I have taken the plunge and started working on making bath soap, shampoo, conditioner and face cleanser.  There are so many ideas and "formulas" online so I am sorting out and just going with my gut.  Today was the first day I used the shampoo/conditioner.  I'm really hoping it works well because we have a lot of hair in this house and shampoo is getting ridiculously expensive.  ~Did I mention I am a tightwad?~  I'll report back on the results of the hair at a later date.

Also on the list is resolution #3, more healthful eating.  It's a goal of mine to grow as much as I can here on our land.  Vegetables, fruits, herbs, meats and more.  I have a small area of raised beds and I was able to get  a little bit of veggies this past summer.  I didn't take care of them as I should have, I accept the blame.  I am hoping to do a better job of it this year and expand in the years to come.  I would like fruit trees/bushes and maybe one day I'll even have grapes...we have a perfect area for them.  As for meats and such, we have poultry for now.  We don't eat our birds, we are gonna have to get over that but the kids won't quit naming them all!  We do use the eggs and I've realized just how much I've come to depend on the ladies.  The turkeys and the ducks are just pure entertainment for now.  Eventually we would like to get pigs, goats and a cow.  Oh, we do have bunnies but they are not for consumption.  ;-)  Nor is the horse...lol

With having all of the "food" items, I will need to learn to preserve everything.  I have canned before but I'm not great with it.  I will certainly need more schooling there.  Also, smoking meats would be useful.  I am the family jerky maker...hehehe  and with the fall animal harvesting we've done, I really need to figure out sausages and such for the venison.  Good Lord, I don't know how we'll get that out of the freezer!

So, there you have it.  It's the first installment of my resolutions for 2013.  I'm a work in progress just like the farm.  There is always something new to learn and I like learning.  Every day is a new opportunity for us...

Carpe Diem

~Ash