I am so excited about my new soap display my husband built for me! The best part about it? He made it from reclaimed wood that we had right around here. The only money we had to put into it was for the blackboard paint, (which, sadly enough, had I looked, I would have realized we already had a partial can) and some hardware. The wood and the window frame were all reclaimed. Oh, and those crates? Can you believe that I picked those up at an Amish auction back at the beginning of Spring for only two dollars for a whole stack?! Love frugal building projects. Now, if I could only convince him that uilding me a gypsy wagon would be as cheap and easy as this...
Meet Cassie. She joined our family a little over a month ago. She was nearing her due date when we brought her home and since has had a baby girl, Clover. How exciting it is to be milking a cow again! Every gallon we bring into the house to drink or to turn into cheese or yogurt or to churn into butter, brings so much joy to my heart.
We may only live on only a few acres, but it is so good to know that even this little plot of land can help us come closer to achieving our homesteading goals. I have to shamefully admit, I have had issues with contentment of where we live. I desire to be more out in the country with lots of land to farm, but God just has not been ready for us to be there yet. A few years back though, I received a book for Christmas. Barnyard In Your Backyard. It changed the way I looked at things. I never thought we had enough space for our homesteading dreams, but in reality, we were not utilizing the space we had very efficiently! We dabbled here and there with farm animals, had a wonderful Jersey cow that we milked for almost 4 years, but then out of my own foolishness, (I thought we should travel more. Seriously, I struggle with contentment sometimes...) we sold her. It was a decision that I have regretted ever since. But, things seemed to fall into place, and here we are with Cassie and Clover. Our stagnant homesteading dreams have been revived. More posts on what we will be doing with her milk to come!
Our family began construction of our wood fired pizza oven a little more than a month ago. It has been such a fun project that we all have been involved in. Today, we were able to set fire into it and create our first pizzas! If feels so good to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Especially when what you really want is instant gratification, but you are doing a project where that is not an option. Even the baking process was a lesson in delayed gratification. We had to build up a good, hot fire in there and let it burn for some time before we can push the coals back and start baking the pizzas.
It wasn't until two weeks ago, that we really got to see this process in action (somewhere other than on youtube that is). We visited a village that was set up like it would have been in the 1800's. Inside one of the houses we toured, there was a lady baking in the wood fired oven. She was so informative and told us all about how they work. We were eager to get back to work on ours after watching her in action.
After all this time, this was a beautiful site for us all tonight. It was quite nice in our bellies as well.
You ever find some crafting feels relaxing, but other crafts are just downright therapeutic to your soul? That is how I feel about spinning.
As I sit at the spinning wheel, I know that there is going to be a transformation. Not just the typical transformation of wool becoming yarn, but a transformation in me as well. There is a bit of a meditative quality to the rhythmic turning of the wheel. As it turns, I enter a state of calm. A place I don't always let myself enter on a daily basis. When I have entered this meditative state, that is where the magic happens.
As the wool draws out, I am able to draw out all that has been weighing on me for the day. I relax my mind and let the thoughts flow, good, bad, all the emotions right out. Stress starts to fall away.
The wheel turns, the wool winds. What was once a bunch of dirty fluff with bits of hay and seeds and such, has already went though transformations to become the nice clean fluff with bright cheery colors, that I hold in my hand. It is now winding up to become something that I can put to to another use. But that is a transformation for another day.
Today, it is just me and my wheel. The results might not always be perfect. In fact, it never is. But in the end, it becomes something new, something beautiful with all its quirks that gives it its charachter. Something with infinite possiblities. Kind of the way I am afterward as well. My transformation isn't perfect. I don't come out if it with all my problems gone. But when I am done with my spinning, I have a new outlook on the world. It no longer feels so stressfull. I am ready to tackle things I have put off. I feel like I have infinite possibilies. All thanks to today's therapist, my spinning wheel.
Ok... maybe I make it out of my pajamas a bit more often than most days. But many days, that feels like it is just about it.
Please tell me I am not alone in this. I have all kinds of wonderful things that I have learned. Things that will improve my family. You know... when I actually get to it.
For instance, I love to can. I really, really do. But the problem arises that when it is the season for canning, it also coincides with the beautiful summer/ end of summer weather. Why would I want to spend my time canning when there are so few beautiful days left? I think to myself, "Ok, let's go swimming/hiking/bike riding/ insert some fun summer weather activity here, then I will do my canning tonight.” But by the time night gets there, I am too worn, so it gets pushed to the next day.. and on and on like that. Next thing I know half my tomatoes are rotted.
I vote we move canning season to the winter. Like right now,the snow is coming down out there. I am feeding my woodstove like crazy. Hello! It would be a perfect time to be canning! Heat the house and preserve food. Win win! Now if I could just keep everything preserved until winter... Oh yeah, can them in the summer. (It is a vicious circle I tell you.)
And then there is our homeschooling. Planning for the year, I have visions of medieval castle building and catapults and acting out Shakespeare. But then I get to this time of year and look at what we have accomplished, and well..let me put it this way. The neighbors are in no danger of having any boulders crashing through their windows. (Although there have been some impromptu cardboard castles. I do need to throw myself a bone now and then, and even though I didn't organize said castle building, it happened and was fun.)
Then, of course, there is my kids' health. Years of studding homeopathy, herbs, and essential oils, so that I can have the right remedy for each ailment. But when they do get sick, I am generally so tired out from staying up all night with them, for my brain to kick in on what remedies I need. Generally, they are past said sickness by the time I think "Oh yeah! I should have given them this!" Too little too late. (Plus side. Every time they get through it by their own immune system, their immunities just get that much stronger...Right? I think it works like that or at least it should).
I could go one and on. I got a spinning wheel, I don't use nearly as often as I would like. By the time I clean off my sewing desk to sew on, my time has passed that I could do that. I spend so long warping my loom, that by the time I get to weaving my head is onto my next activity. And the list goes on and on.
I tell you. It can be dangerous to see/ hear/ read so many wonderful ideas that so many people do. Everything I see, I think " I can do that!"
I have decided that I am going to DO more. I am going to take a break from finding things to learn to do, and just start DOING. And involve my kids with this too. I see them get so many great ideas that they never follow through with too. I think they caught that bug from me.
I hope you join me here every week, as I do the things I have built up supplies and know how for. I will also love to have you share your things that you plan and plan for but never do. There are others out there who do this.. Right? I hope so. We can stop learning and start doing together! (Ok, don't stop learning. That is not good. Just slow it down a bit, ok?)
I am going to blog about this at least once a week because, well, blogging is one of those things that I have a bajillion pins on Pinterest for, but finally just getting around to doing it.
~Here is my first project I am posting for this. I have been looking at this hoodie in the book, Sewing Clothes Kids Love for quite some time now. I have just been waiting for the right knit fabric to come along. Well, while I was out shopping the other day, this fabric popped right out of the shelves at me. I knew right then, it was time to get this hoodie made! Blocked off a couple hours after I got home with it, and by the end of the day, this sweet little lady had herself a new hoodie!