6 am (Eastern Daylight Time) on two different mornings this week. Each morning as I walk up the driveway I turn and look back it our little Idlewild farm-ette. The sight fills me with awe and joy. I can’t believe we get to live here, take care of this land, and in turn be nurtured by it.
It has been 22 years since we looked at this strip of corn field. Looking at it today I have trouble remembering how truly dead the soil was, how you could still see the rows of cornstalks even the next year, how the water would run off the land in sheets, and how nothing would grow. We tended it patiently and it has responded with a jubilant riot of growth. Each year the recovery becomes more apparent.
We are turning our attention to restoration and retirement. This land has always been our retirement plan — and this land if finally ready to fulfill that hope. The annual garden (1000 square feet of planting space), the perennial plantings, the woods, and even the “grass” are all something to behold.
We brought in 2 rabbits and 5 chicks this year. Next year we hope to double those numbers. I’ve been spending a few minutes every morning gathering grass/clover/weeds and drying it for rabbit hay. It seems to be working. It dries well, a vivid green, and I’m storing it in breathable bags. With luck, it will signal a transition to homegrown feed.
Cost of garden supplies + seeds this year: $78. Harvest in May = $40. Harvest June 1-15= $40. Garden supplies and seeds are repayed and all garden produce is now profit.
- The Resilient Farm and Homestead (B Falk)
- The Stress Solution (R Chatterjee)
- The Raven Boys (M Stiefvater)
- Assault & Pepper (L Budewitz)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the tomorrow’s election. It is hard not to when it feels like the whole world depends on this next election.
Here is why I vote — because I love God and that means:
- Love neighbor —
- dignity and equality for all
- healthcare for all
- taking care of our elders
- educating our youth
- keeping guns meant only to kill humans out of schools, clubs, yoga studios, places of worship, etc.
- Love creation —
- clean air
- clean water
- safe food
- regenerating our soil
- keeping plastic out of the ground, the air, and the waterways
- encouraging renewable energy use
- discouraging burning of fossil fuels.
- Because if I don’t vote it is the same as saying the status quo is good enough. It is not.
- I have a pre-existing condition.
- My son has autism.
- My husband is a USAF veteran.
- My daughter is a CNA (long-term care facility).
- Some of my neighbors are farmers.
- Some of my neighbors are addicts.
- Some of my neighbors are teachers.
What I’m reading: Harry Potter 3 in German, Cherringham #12, The Celtic Way of Prayer
What I’m listening to: Arthur
What I’m watching: Doctor Who, The Good Place
What I’m learning in Welsh:
- yfed–coffi, llaeth, te, cwrw, dwr,
- bwyta–bara, cennin, selsig, pys, cig
- Dw i’n hoffi coffi.
- Dw i’n bwyta selsig a bara.
- Dw i’n yfed llaeth.
- Dw I ddim yn cwrw.
- Dw I and Dych chi :: dw i’n and dach chi’n
What I’m thinking about: The enormous consequences of the status quo.
Please Note: I no longer recommend this program. The reasons are legion.
On March 4 I began to prepare for my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program. It starts tomorrow, so I have had 3 weeks of practice. Here is an honest look at how I’ve felt over the past 3 weeks about varying parts of the program.
*How is IF?
- 3/9/18 — I am going to hurt somebody this morning! I woke up knowing today was not just IF but a Low Macro day. Then I couldn’t find the strainer for the teapot so my herbal tea wasn’t “just exactly right” and my daughter made delicious homemade cherry turnovers (my favorite) at 9 am. 11 am seems so far away. So very far away.
- 3/14/18 — I’ve got this IF thing. A couple cups of water, a cup of herbal tea, and I’m not thinking about food all morning anymore. Well, I still think about it, but it isn’t all consuming anymore.
*How is Carb Cycling?
- 3/10/18 — One week of prep/practice and I think I understand the flow of the days. It should make next week a bit easier. I am learning to be hungry and be ok with that.
- 3/18/18 — I’ve got the routine and I understand the numbers. I’m developing some meals that work for the different days.
*How is movement?
- 3/6/18 — Who the heck thought up a Bulgarian Split Squat? They need to be illegal.
- 3/12/18 — I really enjoy the long LISS after an intense HIIT.
- 3/14/18 — I was able to do my whole strength training with the heavier weight.
- 3/23/18 — Jumping from a 10 pound to 20 pound kettlebell might not have been a good idea. I think I need to step it back to a 12 or 15 pound first. Good Lord, my biceps and triceps are hurting!
*weight loss? inches lost?
- weight loss — 3 pounds
- I have definitely lost inches.
- Abs — 2 inches smaller
- Hips, waist, Bust — all 1 inch smaller
- upper arms, thighs — both 1/2 inch smaller
I still have lots and lots of questions! Mostly my questions concern the correct amount of calories and how to set my macros.
Reading: Die Dritte Hand (German), The Nature of the Beast (Gamache, L Penny), At Home in the World (M Guenther)
Listening: A Wrinkle in Time
Watching: Krypton, Timeless
6 January 2018
Holy Day: Epiphany
Chalking the Door
A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 18.
- The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
- They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.”
- The “+” signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year.
Dreikönigskuchen–3 Kings Cake
- 4-4 1/4cups flour
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 1/2 tsp orange zest, thinly stripped
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest, thinly stripped
- 1/2 cup raisins, cherries, cranberries (whichever your family likes best)
- 1 whole almond
- 1 egg, beaten with 1Tbsp water
- 1/8 cup apricot jam
- 1 Tbsp hot water
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together all ingredients except for the almond, egg wash, and coating.
Once a soft, smooth ball forms, set it aside to rise until doubled in bulk. About 2 1/2 hours. Be sure to cover it and place in a warm spot.
Divide the dough into 8 Pieces, one a little larger than the rest.
Roll each piece into a ball and arrange the 7 smaller balls around the slightly larger one on a sheet pan, forming a flower.
Let rise another 30 minutes, then brush with the egg wash.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Prepare the glaze by mixing the apricot jelly with a tablespoon of hot water.
Bake the rolls for 30-40 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
Brush with several coats of apricot glaze and sprinkle with the coarse sugar
Once the bread is cool enough to handle, poke an almond into the bottom of one of the rolls.
Morning Office: Psalm 46, Psalm 97, Matt 12:14-21
Vespers: Psalm 96, Psalm 100
Weather: 14-23 degrees F, sunny, waning gibbous moon. Sunrise-Sunset = 8:00-5:35
Reading, Watching, Listening . . .
Celtic Book of Days, Commonwealth, Every Earthly Blessing
Star Trek: Voyager (rest time) and Fringe (family time)
Harry Potter 6 (as I fall asleep)
LL Bean Duffle, small
This bag is a true carry on size. It could easily fit under the seat (along with a purse) or in the overhead bin. While this bag seems much smaller than the medium bag, I was amazed when the exact same packing list almost fit in this bag. The only things that didn’t fit were the Turkish Towel and either one sweater or one pair of pants. The towel could be squeezed into my purse though.
What I fit into the bag: (Cool/Warm weather)
LL Bean fitness dress x3
shoes: sport sandals
LL Bean perfect pant/capri x2
LL Bean small organizer/toiletry bag
I also had a purse with:
IPhone, charger, stand
solar battery pack
Klean Kanteen insulated bottle
Snack: apple slices and nutrition bar
normal purse stuff
Wearing: LL Bean perfect pant Capri, t-shirt, cardigan, and trainers
It’s been a very quiet few weeks. We reached that point where everything we’re doing to prepare for our journey is little steps. Each of us has a few areas of our personal stuff where we just aren’t willing to let go until the time is nearer.
The yard work is now taking enough time that we aren’t getting house repair projects started, completed, or even thought about. Although I must say, the outside looks amazing! The garden is mostly planted and we’ve had some great salads and tasty strawberries. The blackberries are really flowering, so we should have an abundance of fruit soon.
We’ve signed our home up for 100% wind energy. To help lower the bill and be better keepers of the planet, we’ve been working on making some changes. These changes will also help us when we take the next step of our journey.
Here’s our week 10-13 list:
- solar chargers for iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and other “microUSB” type things.
- solar lights (two so far, adding a couple each month) for each person and room.
- analyzing our water consumption and attempting to get it within sustainable levels for our primary goal
- We had a bit of a financial set-back, so our numbers look about the same as the last check-in.
- Trying new natural personal care products. Akamai so far is the winner! They have a 3-in-1 bar (soap, shampoo, shaving), a toothpaste, and a skin fuel (mix of oils) that are amazing, priced well, and minimal packaging. My lip balm is from Hurraw. That leaves me only using regular mascara, SPF tinted lip balm, and contact solution.
- Making plans to travel a bit: Scotland and Eastern Africa are my goals. If we sell the house and have enough saved, I’d like to see both places before settling into a new life. So now our “A Family’s Journey . . . will include some bit-time dreaming about traveling.