Skip to main content

Paige's Highlights

1. Waste not, want not. In preparation for all the home-steading and canning and such that I'm wanting to be doing in a year or two, I've decided to start saving canning jars from the store. When I was out shopping yesterday, I found plastic Ball lids--not the kind to can, but good caps for the jars I already have, dry storage of beans and such, and good to test the jars that I'm hoping to accumulate. I'm curious to see how many I can save from the recycle bin--and spare my wallet from the cost of buying! So far, I haven't saved any of the regular jars, but I found some really yummy spaghetti sauce--without HFCS--in Ball jars! Makes for cheaper sauce than the "cheap" stuff when you take into consideration the value of the jars (~$1 each).
2. Self-repairs. Here's a great website to help with all those little things that might break. It's a parts shop for appliances and gives advice and tips on how to fix things yourself. I HATE it when things break. Dan is great at fixing things and this past weekend we managed to avoid a nearly $120 bill to replace the motors on our van windows (Maine requires fully functional windows to pass inspection). A pretty drive out in the country to a junkyard, about an hour worth of finagling, and $2 for our parts and we were able to convert them back to hand crank windows--and we now have our stinking sticker! Dan's basically amazing. :)

3. Homesteading Today. A website entirely devoted as a discussion board to various topics on self-sustaining living. They have boards on every kind of livestock, cooking, energy sources and more. I really liked the discussion on saving money and frugality.

4. Wonderful Honey. Here's an article from Mother Earth News on the benefits of honey. And despite what the article insinuates, we actually DID get taught about honey in PA school and it's uses as a wound dressing (one of the good things of "liberal" New England--alternative therapy). So, that's actually scientifically well-known about the osmotic effects on bacteria. So far, they've yet to figure out a way to become resistant to physics. I would underline their concerns about giving raw honey to babies or other people who are suffering from weakened immune systems (transplant patients, chemo patients, etc.). That botulinum toxin is nasty stuff.
5. Chipotle Smoked Peppers
. Dan and I are particular fans of peppers, salsa, and most things Mexican. This looks like a good idea and I can't wait to try it! Even better, it gives me yet another excuse for him to make me a solar powered dryer. (See an earlier Highlights for pictures of the design I like best). Poor Dan, I'm going to keep him SOOO busy when we get our own place....chicken tractors, cider presses/grinders, solar dryers, houses, workshops....whew! Aren't I just lucky that he likes building things.


Popular posts from this blog

Looking back and Looking On: 2016 reflections and 2017 dreams

The blog has been quiet these days, but we've been busy behind the scenes.  At times, it feels like I get nothing done but keeping the kids alive and us semi-fed with healthy food, but we have been steadily plodding forward.  Here's where we've been. The Year of Simplify: 2016This past year really had me getting serious about taking stock of my life-how I spent my time, what was important to me, what I actually wanted to see and bring into my house.  I was getting pretty exhausted from working my 5th (yikes!) year on night-shift, raising two small children (with a third on the way!), and having "to-do" or "should-do" lists as long as my arm.  My home felt cluttered and overwhelmed as we were in-between two places for the past few years.  The extra space between two locations hadn't reaffirmed the "stuff purge" as I felt like I always had more space.  All in all, was juggling too much; I felt overcommitted--with work, with hobbies, with to-d…

Where have we been?!?!?!

Yes, blogging land, it has been a while.There's been a lot of transition for us in our little homestead, and nearly a year ago, we returned to the suburban life for the current time.Have we given up on our dreams of wide open spaces and green acres?  Certainly not.Is homesteading still something we love or would love to do? Definitely.Here's the thing. Homesteading is what you make and how you define it.  If you expect me to be a purist, you are far from mistaken about me.  My life is far from purist.  Bits and pieces of life are combined into a recipe that is of my own making and best suited to my own life priorities and goals. Do things sometimes get a bit mis-mashed and messy?  Yes.  But it is always worth re-tweaking and making something unique, beautiful, delicious.It's all in your priorities and goals.
 For me, having a manageable sized garden and quantity of produce is high.  Along with short commutes. And less stress.  And possible early retirement.  And extra time …

Taming the Consumerism Beast: My Minimalist Christmas

As we enter the holiday season, I have consciously been trying to be more mindful of the choices that I'm making and the example I'm setting.  Unfortunately, the holiday season has become part and parcel with excess--excess food, excess buying, excess debt, excess stress.
I want to do better.
The past year or two, I've been gradually shifting towards simplification and minimizing my life.  My schedule has been too busy, my home too cluttered, and my life just too stressed. And if we're honest, the holidays are no exception. We are consumer-minded, we don't budget for generosity, and we are wildly selfish, but carefully disguise this as generosity to our already well-provided for families, friends, and children (global perspective, people). 
I want to teach my children better.  And the only way I can accomplish this is to lead by example.
I want my children to learn that Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, not over-indulgence. 
I want my kids to remember that Chr…