Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Took a short bike through the woods out back. Hard to find the trail at first, what with the grape vines in the way. But here's a couple pictures for y'all. About walked through the Web of an orb weaver spider. Couldn't get a snap of her though because she was fairly small.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Reigning in

I know a few years ago I was hoping to have a full size market garden and a small herd of cattle for meat.  I have now scaled back from "hopeful farmer" to "optimistic homesteader." I'll learn to can and otherwise preserve garden bounty. Chickens are definitely in the future, but for eggs. We'll use the farmer's market and maybe a CSA membership for meats and things I don't feel like messing with. But my plans are very much scaled back now. I just want to be able to provide for my family.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

more reasons I want to homeschool

Really wonky things going on with the standardized testing being implemented in the state's public schools now. They dropped one testing platform and have decided to launch another that no one really has any idea about. Even the principal at the boy's school is saying that they don't know how to prepare for it other than to teach everything and teach it well. Which I suppose isn't really a bad thing, but the problem is that no one knows what to expect because the tests haven't even finished being written, from what I understand.

Fundraising for things like painting classrooms and new playground equipment. I'm cool with selling wrapping paper or cookie dough for band or art, because they're seriously underfunded in the grand scheme of things. But, for general fundraising? Leave my kid out of it. And don't put so much emphasis on the prizes for the kids that sell the most junk. Makes the kids who can't sell that much stuff feel out of place at best.

Lack of individualization or even suppression of the individual in the school setting. Wacky hair? Nope. Funny clothes? Nope. Bending gender stereotypes by boys playing with dolls or girls playing with Tonka trucks? Can't have that. It's a system of indoctrination and not one of intellect.

Focus on testing and achievement, and not on actual learning or ability. I think the CRCT was dropped because the schools had started teaching to the test more than anything else in the weeks leading up to the testing.

Wrong socialization. My son needs to learn to interact with people at, above, and below his age. Schools lump kids in with other kids of roughly the same age and the kids then begin to believe that those are the only children they can interact with. So, they don't learn how to interact appropriately with adults or older children unless they have siblings.

So, there's some more reasons I want to homeschool. I'd also like to send him to private school, but that's not gonna happen because I'm not spending $15k a year on tuition and still have to fight traffic both ways to get him there and home. There's only one non-religious private school in the region, and that's about 45 minutes away from here in good traffic. Plus, there's no guarantee he'll be admitted anyway. Thus making the small sum of $400-$700 for a complete curriculum much more palatable. Also, there's a very active, giant, inclusive homeschool support group in the area, in addition to smaller ones in the more immediate area.

Friday, August 29, 2014


One of the things that people don't really talk about when they mention homesteading is that you can't be out of shape to do it. Sure, there are people who do it anyway with the help of motorized machines like lawn tractors or gas tillers. But, even then, you need to be in at least some kind of shape. (I maintain that round counts as a shape, in this sense. Not practical in homesteading, but still.)

Let me take a moment to apologize to any regular readers if this post sounds familiar. I only keep a short memory of what I've already written.

Moving on...

So, as I'm still doing final cleaning on the apartment, and panting after just a few minutes of moderate work, I'm thinking all this stuff. It generally winds up consisting of "Oh, God. I'm so fat!" This repeats about every 2 minutes while my mustache beads up. But, the question then becomes, how am I going to maintain a garden and possibly chickens in a tractor if just a good house cleaning is kicking my ass?

I know that as things progress, and I incorporate more activity, I'll be better able to do the activities over time. But, right now, it's so overwhelming that I don't even want to start. Kind of like how I keep winding up seeing my weight loss. I try to see it in little steps, but I keep getting scared by the bigger picture. And I know I need to exercise, not just to lose weight. My feet are getting stiff and my lower back is beginning to ache. And I'm certain it's not due to age; just due to years of inactivity.

I remember a post I made a few years back where I talked about being the girl who could carry a 50 pound bag of feed from the back of the Tractor Supply store to the register and not needing help loading it into the car. Now I would probably have to stop at least twice to catch my breath. So sad.

Anyway, since things are still in general upheaval with the house while we settle in, and the building of garden beds likely going to wait until spring at least, I may as well use my mountains of free time (following the turning in of apartment keys) to focus on myself.

I'll probably start by finally doing my laundry. And not just hand washing a couple pairs of underwear in the sink, either.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Look! Pictures!

Here's a couple pictures for y'all. Pool isn't green anymore and I'm making good progress on the now blue room.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Progress all around

Making headway with the non profit I'm trying to start. Got some more of the room painted. The sheepdog whistles my mom sent showed up and took a bit to figure out, but I think we've got a good start. We're getting estimates for a few things around the house and weighing the pros and cons between having the jobs done and doing them ourselves. And I'm still pining over a washer dryer set.

Things will probably get really interesting here after a couple of months have gone by and I've started growing things and whatnot.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


It's just before 7 am. The sun is just starting to make its way into the sky. And I have had 6 hours of sleep, broken up by letting the dog out or telling him to stop licking whatever part happens to itch him this time.

My poor dog. I wish I could justify the expense of a full allergy test. Even though he's been on the expensive, hypoallergenic foods for months now, he's still itchy. His seizures seem to have subsided, though. So there is that. I need to take him to the vet again, and not just because he needs more heartworm preventive.

We're very nearly done moving all the stuff from the apartment to the house. I think just one or two more trips and everything will be relocated. That makes me happy.

Also, have started unpacking things here at the house. Got some totes for the boy's stuff in his room, but didn't get enough. I think I need a few more. And a small book shelf. Then hopefully I can get the rest unpacked and the boxes made gone fairly quickly after that. Don't need places for bugs to hide.