Animals, Inspirational

Finding joy and contentment…

Randy and I have different lives here than we have ever had before.  We have lived 1/2 block off the ocean.  We did the subdivision, suburban life in the South.  We’ve traveled, slept in, partied, ate seafood, swam in the ocean, walked on the beach, and spent our weekends shopping and eating out.  The winters were mild and we kept a tan nearly year round.

Our life now is not quite as “typical.”  We now live on a farm which includes sheep, chickens, and llamas along with our crew of rescued dogs and cats.  Our days start around 4:00 am and the end of the day varies according to the season.  We don’t sleep in, unless you count 6:00 am as sleeping in.  Our seafood comes from a shop over an hour away and only on occasion do to the cost and distance.  There is no ocean and are no beaches within a days drive.  We try to shop second hand and seldom eat out.

This time of year we long for the beach.  We long to pack up our car for an unplanned roadtrip to Nashville, the Gulf, or Myrtle Beach.

It isn’t so easy to just pack up the car and drive away without a care in the world.

We have lots of animals that count on us to take care of them.

And we would miss out on this if we hadn’t traveled down this path.

What would have happened to her?

Or him?

Our these girls?

Or this little cutie?

Our lives may not be glamorous.

 Our lives are sometimes hard physically and emotionally.

But it is worth it!  It does matter!

We may not get to see the world.  We may not even get to see our country in its entirety.  Or stick our toes in the sand while the ocean water covers our feet whenever we want.

We just have to remind ourselves from time-to-time that our life here does matter and has made a difference to someone.  I’m writing this post for myself.  For the times when I feel like I am missing out on life by being here.  Life is what and where you make it.  I read a verse in the Bible the other night that reminded me of that:

Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord.  As long as I live I’ll wholeheartedly obey.  Make me walk along the right paths for I know how delightful they really are.  Help me to prefer obedience to making money!  Turn me away from wanting any other plan than yours.  Revive my heart toward you.  Reassure me that your promises are for me, for I trust and revere you.

Pslams 119:33-37

It isn’t always easy to be content with your life…God’s word once again brought me back to where I needed to be.  To live the life we were called to live and find joy in the lives others live that are different from our’s and seemingly more exciting or life changing.  The places they travel, the daily freedoms they enjoy, the mission trips, adopting, whatever it may be, and remember we are all here for different reasons.  We all have our place as long as we are here.  Our’s may not be the same as the next person, but it is our’s to live out joyfully.

I hope everyone can look at their lives and see your life, no matter how routine and humdrum it may seem, is important and making a difference in some small (or big) way and find joy in it.  I have had to do that recently.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!  God bless.

Around the Homestead, Inspirational

No more student loans…

Randy and I have been on a mission to pay off our debt and become completely debt free (including our mortgage).  We have reached yet another milestone in our mission.  We managed to pay off our student loans approximately 5 years ahead of schedule.  Each time we make the final payment on a loan there is such a sense of accomplishment.  We try to treat ourselves to dinner or something fun to celebrate the achievement. 

We honestly tossed around the idea of going to see the Lincoln Lawyer (Matthew McConaughey’s new movie) in a theatre….something we NEVER do.  However, there is too much on the schedule for this weekend to prepare for lambing, so we will have to do something a bit closer to home.

The best way we have found to pay off our debt ahead of schedule is to use the techniques Dave Ramsey recommends.  Pay off the smallest debt first.  Take any extra money you can to pay extra on that particular debt.  Once that debt is paid off take that payment and roll it onto the next smallest debt.  Eventually these payments snowball, so when you get to something like your mortgage, you are able to make a significant payment and pay off something that before seemed completely unrealistic before. 

With this comes sacrifices of course.  Randy and I don’t and haven’t had a car payment in years.  Which also means are cars may turn heads, but not for the reason you would like.  We try to wear hand-me-down clothes whenever possible.  We eat at home the majority of the time and cook from scratch…hence why our reward for paying off this loan is lunch out : )

What keeps us motivated is knowing once our home is paid for…when we actually “own our home”…we will be able to choose our path in life.  We will be able to choose what jobs we have based on what we enjoy, not what makes the most money.  This keeps us driven.  This keeps us from driving the car of our dreams, buying the latest fashion in clothes and shoes (mostly me, haha), and buying all the handy gizmos and gadgets we don’t really need (mostly Randy).

We have reached the point where all we have left is our mortgage.  This is so exciting for us.  We still have a ways to go before we are totally debt free.  The unexpected could still hit us and set us back.  For now we are enjoying where we are and what we have accomplished.  We will celebrate a little and then get back at it.

I’m not saying this to boast.  I’m saying this to let you know you can do it too.  It is possible to live debt free in America.  With all the employment and financial problems this country is facing, there is no time like the present to buckle down and get rid of your debt.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Current Events & FYI, Inspirational, Nutrition

John 3:16

Today is March 16th….3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  -John 3:16

With everything going on in Japan right now and the threat of radiation headed this way as early as this week I need this right now.  The jetstream filled with radiation will hit the west coast first, but will follow its usual path across the country, including Kansas. 

Here are a few great articles on what you may not be hearing via the mainstream media and things you can do to help protect yourself:

I always tell my husband I don’t want to be the freaky conspiracy theory chick, but I also don’t want to be the naive American who has no clue what’s going on in the world and just believes the media and government is telling us the whole truth and will take care of us (i.e. the Gulf Oil Disaster and Katrina).

Randy and I were fortunate enough to already have a nice supply of iodine containing supplements and foods and metal detoxing supplies on hand…thank you Natural News newsletter and store.





Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)

Magnesium Sulpate (epsom salt)

Just to name a few of the ways you can protect and/or detox from radiation exposure.  However, these are just all around good things to keep on hand in your natural health medicine cabinet and to take or use regularly for good health, which is why we already have them on hand.

Pray for the people in Japan and now for the people all across the globe who may soon face the same dangers as the Japanese in dealing with the radiation the nuclear plants in Japan have created.

Inspirational, Self-Sufficiency

Life’s Journey…

I read an interview the other day from Jim Sturgess.  He made a comment about the fact that he is the type of guy who can go to a theater, watch a movie, and leave thinking “I could do that.  I could live like that.”  That is me!  I can so relate. 

If I posted every idea I came up with, every talent I hope to master, or every hobby I wanted to take up it would be a revolving door of ideas.  However, if given a little time I could probably know at least enough about each endeavor to be dangerous.  I love to learn, and I love to read.  I’m convinced I can teach myself enough to get me started into almost anything.

This earned me the title of “flaky” by my husband.  I change ideas, hopes, and dreams continuously and increasingly drive him nuts with my new ideas.  When I start a phrase with, “I was reading today about….” He starts to get nervous about what’s coming next.

I read an article about someone moving to the Alaskan wilderness…I could do that.  I read an article about someone who lives entirely on traditional foods…I could do that.  Someone how homesteads and is self-sufficient….I could do that.  I read about someone who lives in a camper and is a real life “gypsy”…I could so do that!

So this is what my very patient and very open-minded husband gets to hear over dinner.  All the while I’m just waiting to strike a chord with him and have him say, “I could do that too.”  Although I have never really gotten the enthusiasm I’ve been hoping for out of him, he has agreed with some of my ideas and goals for us together.  I take what I can get, compromise on some of it, and throw the rest in a drawer to surface again at a later date.

I think being an avid reader is a huge contributor to this.  I don’t really read novels, I sort of feel like it is a waste of time.  I like to read books I can learn from.  I like non-fiction!  I like anything on living off the land, spirituality, natural health, traditional nutrition, lost skills (candle making, soap making, open-fire cooking, etc.).  I have time to read because I can read on my breaks at work and over my lunch breaks.  I don’t, however, have time to do most of things I read about.  I figure if I read and educate myself now, eventually I will have the time to actually do them and be all studied up on it.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get to move to the Alaskan wilderness, eat an entirely traditional/primitive diet, have a self-sufficient homestead, or live in a camper and travel the country.  I do know it is fun to dream, imagine, and think about all the things we could do in our lifetime.  If that makes me “flaky” then so be it.  I’ve been called worse I suppose.  I just hope life doesn’t pass me by, and when I’m old and gray I can look back at my life and know I lived it to the fullest.

Two quotes I came across this week:

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”

~Martha Washington (1732-1802)

“Borrow from cultures old and new and with our imaginations blend those borrowings to create new ways to live that are simpler, gentler, more generous, and beautiful.”

~William Coperthwaite, A Handmade Life:  In Search of Simplicity

Have a great day!

Inspirational, Self-Sufficiency

I Had a Life But My Job Ate It!

I Had a Life But My Job Ate It!

I saw this on a bumper sticker (online) the other day. That is how I feel right now. Randy and I are both worn out from lambing and working and in need of a serious vacation with an ocean involved or at least water and warmth of some sort. We will see if this happens in 2010 or not.

Here is a glance at my day and why I am screaming for life to slow down and allow me some downtime.

3:30 wake up to make bottles and head outside to feed bottle lambs and let the sheep out of the building

4:15 return inside to wash bottles, shower, and get ready for work

4:45 pack both our lunches and layout our morning and noon supplements

5:00 head out the door to work

5:45 arrive at work

6:00-4:30 work at a computer

5:15 arrive home, change, make bottles to feed bottle lambs

5:45 return inside to wash bottles, cook dinner (generally from scratch), and wash dishes (by hand) from breakfast and lunch

6:30 eat

7:00 clean up after dinner, wash dishes (by hand), make coffee for the next morning, and dish up our lunches for the next day, and make bottles to feed bottle lambs

7:30 head out to lock up the sheep in their building and feed bottle lambs, this also includes any doctoring that needs done

8:00-8:30 return inside to wash bottles and get ready for bed

8:30 Bedtime

8:30-Midnight Sleep

Midnight one of us heads out to check on our ewes to make sure no one is lambing or more specifically, having trouble lambing

Midnight-3:30 am Sleep

Then I get back up and do it all over again. This has been going on sine the last week in January and needless to say we are both exhausted and a little burned out. There is a little dim light at the end of the tunnel. It’s quite a ways away, but we will get there.

Spring is in the air and the warmer weather is already lifting our spirits. The thought of a garden right now is a little daunting, but hopefully I will get in the mood as the days continue to get longer and the weather continues to warm up.

I’m not whining! It may sound like I’m whining, but I truly love our life and our animals. That’s the part of our lives we do enjoy. It just tends to feel like we live at our jobs and have no time for our lives. We work twelve hours (including the commute), sleep 8 hours (if we’re lucky), and spend the other 20 preparing to leave our house and animals for the day and making up for the time we were away from our house and animals all day.

It may not seem like we are in self-sufficiency, environmental awareness, downshifting, or any of the things I’ve mention on the sidebar. However, this is all part of our attempt to become debt free and HUGE step toward all of these things. As soon as the debt is gone we hope to take our home off-grid or build an off-grid home. We will still have the expense of maintaining the equipment, but this will eliminate those electric and propane bills we despise so much.

We will get there. I have my moments where it seems impossible, too far away, and out of sight. Then I have days where it is just around the corner, and I can’t wait for it to all come together.

Here are a few things I think would help us cut costs in the meantime and free up even more money to put toward debt:

• Budget, I have set up a strict budget we HAVE to stick to in order to make this work. We will be allotted only so much cash money (credit cards for fuel only) for groceries, auto repairs and maintenance, vet and pet expenses, our farm expenses, and any other miscellaneous expenses. We will also set back money every month for those bills that come due once or twice a year; propane, auto insurance, and car tags and taxes.

• Dinners: one night a week will include eggs. These come from our chickens and are usually in great supply. We will also do one night a week soup or bean dish with salad. These are both not only easy meals, but also frugal meals.

• We are selling all the lambs born on our farm this spring and hopefully some of our yearling ewes. This will help our sheep pay for themselves throughout the rest of the year (hay, grain, protein tubs, and any other supplies needed).

• Cats: As of right now all eleven little darlings are in our pool house 4 days a week. As soon as Randy gets the cat door installed (hopefully this weekend) they will be outside kitties except at night. They can mouse instead of relying on cat food $$$.

• TV: We (as in I) watch very little TV. Once the season finales are over and summer is here, I want to get that whole setup unplugged to decrease the phantom load it is pulling 24/7.

• Utilities: I would like to unplug everything not in use, power down more, and possibly get a wood burning stove in our house to help our heating/propane expenses.

• Cook outside: in the summer this will be a lot easier. I have a solar oven I need to utilize, especially for bread baking. We will be grilling and cooking over our fire pit a lot more and eating cold foods (salad sandwiches, salads, cold rice and pasta dishes, etc.).

• Retirement: we’ve never been fully comfortable with the 401K/IRA retirement plan. We may decrease our input into these for the time being and use that money to pay off current debt.

• Land: we are still in hopes of owning land someday. We were convinced we needed 80 acres because that is the legal requirement to hunt your own land. We are now thinking we would do less than this and raise our own food and barter what we can’t raise instead of hunting.

• Pool: no idea if this is a possibility, but I would like to convert our pool pump to run off solar energy. This would be a good first step to converting our home.

• Well/Pump: second solar conversion possibility

•Limit our Kinesiology/Chiropractor visits:  take a multi-vitamin, CLO, exercise and stretch (yoga), and make improvements to our diet

These are just some ideas of ways we can trim down our monthly expenses and work toward our goal of becoming debt free. We are estimating it will take us under 5 years to become completely debt free including our home. If we buy land it will take longer, but that may never happen. We have the usual bills: mortgage, student loans, home equity loan, etc. We have managed to pay off all our cars and intend to keep enough money in savings so we can pay cash the next time the need for one comes up.

I sometimes think of all the things I would have time to learn and do if I wasn’t at work all day long. I would spend more time with my animals for sure, but I would also love to learn better photography skills, learn to crochet, knit, sew, play the piano, and possibly learn a second language. These desires give me the drive I need to forge ahead and do without now so we can hopefully enjoy all of these things in the near future.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. I hope this encourages you to strive for simplicity and to become debt free. We will work very hard for the next few years and at times I may chime in here with less than encouraging words when the going gets tough, but I know it will be worth it for both Randy and I.

*Randy just called to say, “how about we ask if your mom will watch our animals and drive to the Grand Canyon for a few days. We can rent a cabin, hike, and just hang out there the whole time.” I’m there…just pick a date!


Please Pray for Haiti…

Pray for the people of Haiti.

Pray for the mission workers.

Pray for the adoptive families.

These people need our help.  Regardless of race, religion, or what language they speak they are all our brothers and sisters.  They are suffering and what may seem like an insignificant donation to us could mean a weeks worth of clean water and food, or medical care, or shelter to a Haitian family.

Here is a great list of organizations helping Haiti.  Give if you can.  Pray if you will.

Inspirational, Parenting

Poetry…Tasha Tudor and Parenting…

I have been reading and watching anything I can get my hands on relating to Tasha Tudor.  Last night we watched, Take Joy!, a video about her everyday life.  She uses favorite quotes throughout her books and videos and in the midst of searching for this particular poem she made reference to:

I Come in the Little Things  
I come in the little things, Saith the Lord:
Not borne on morning wings
Of majesty, but I have set My Feet
Amidst the delicate and bladed wheat
That springs triumphant in the furrowed sod.
There do I dwell, in weakness and in power;
Not broken or divided, saith our God!
In your strait garden plot I come to flowers
About your porch My Vine,
Meek, fruitful, doth entwine;
Waits, at the threshold, Love’s appointed hour.
I come in the little things, Saith the Lord:
Yea! on the glancing wings
Of eager birds, the softly pattering feet
Of furred and gentle beasts, I come to meet
Your hear and wayward heart. In brown bright eyes
That peep from out the brake, I stand confest.
On every nest
Where feathery Patience is content to brood
And leaves her pleasure for the high emprize
Of motherhood —
There doth My Godhead rest.I come in the little things, Saith the Lord:
My starry wings I do forsake,
Love’s highway of humility to take:
Meekly I fit my stature to your need.
In beggar’s part
About your gates I shall not cease to plead —
As man, to speak with man —
Till by such art
I shall achieve My Immemorial Plan,
Pass the low lintel of the human heart.

~Evelyn Underhill


I found this one:

 To All Parents

“I’ll lend you for a little while a child of mine” he said.”For you to love while she’s alive and mourn when she is dead.”

“It may be six or seven years or twenty two or three, but will you ’til I call on her take care of her for me?”

“She’ll bring her charms to gladden you and if her stay is brief, you’ll
have her lovely memory as solace for your grief.”

“I can’t promise she will stay, as all from earth return, but there are
lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.”

“I’ve looked the wide world over and in my search for teachers true,
and from the throng that crowd life’s lanes, I have chosen you.”

“Now will you give her all the love – not think the labor vain, nor hate me when I come to call and take her back again?”

“I fancied that I heard them say, Dear Lord they will be done, for all
the joy this child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.”

“We’ll shower her with tenderness and love her while we may, and for the happiness we have known, now in our hearts she’ll stay.”

~Author Unknown

This last one isn’t a poem Tasha Tudor quoted in any of her books or videos.  Just one I found while I was searching this site for poems she has made reference to. 

Have a wonderful day!


A few posts and blogs…


These are a few I came across today I thought were worth sharing:

Finding Contentment

A great post about our food supply and the cruelty animals have to endure.  Something everyone should be aware of.

Resolved to Worship

Amazing pictures of a beautiful family and her love of life.

Living, Loving, & Learning

Great nutritional information.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Great recipes and pictures taking you step-by-step through the process.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Steppin’ Heavenward

 Just a wonderful and encouraging family.