It’s a family affair

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Loading wood before the storm

Recently I read a fellow bloggers post explaining how to balance working full time and homesteading.  This is a question I hear often also.  How do you do it with work, school, sports, animals, gardening, property to upkeep, etc.?

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Teamwork stacking

Homesteading is a choice in this day and age and the definition has changed over the years.  It used to be referred to as Pioneering (finding land, building your home, hunting, gardening, sewing, total self sufficiency).  Unless you live in the remotest areas of the world, that is no longer possible.  Even the remote areas are starting to lose their ability to stay “remote” and you are not able to hunt the food you need to survive because of laws.

So what does it mean today to be pioneering or homesteading?  Basically it’s a lifestyle choice trying to be as self sufficient as is allowed in this world, living simply, passing on the traditions of our ancestors to try and keep the history of our world relevant in today’s world.  This is where I created my tag line “Pioneer Living the New World Way”.

Pioneer living the new world way is actually a time balancing act.  It also includes sacrifice.  Sacrifice in the way of missing out on a friend gathering as the gardens need to be planted, weeded, land worked up, watered, trees moved off trails, fruit plants pruned and so on.  When you work full time these chores may take you into the late hours during the week but you do it because it’s the choice you made when you decided to homestead.  But the rewards of growing your own vegetables to carry you well into the winter months, canning your goods to provide your family food that is clean and simple with no chemicals, making food from scratch because it’s healthier and fresh, make every sacrifice worth it.

Because it’s no longer a necessity to live this way, you have to include the new world into your life.  Our ancestors did not have this fine line to walk to live their life.  Every homesteading family does this in their own way.  There are no books in history to help you figure out an equation of old world versus new world.  So each day you try to factor in what you can accomplish on your own contributing to your self sufficiency while enjoying all the conveniences available today.

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Skies before the storm

Another huge factor in homesteading is if you have a spouse, they have to want to live that life also.  When I met the man of the house he was a hard working professional living in the city, driving a state of the art car, traveling, and enjoying the finer things in life.  I also was/am a hard working professional living in a 100+ year old farmhouse.  Together we made the choice to homestead, keeping my childhood house I was fixing up to sell for my parents, and building barns, gardens, trails, and fruit orchards.

Living the homesteading life in the new world way allows us to enjoy boating, traveling, sporting events, County Fairs, fabulous restaurants and many other luxuries while keeping up with farm work using modern machines (tractors, chain saws).

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Storm rolling in and dad moving truck to shovel driveway

Today, watching my family work together load wood before a storm hit, I was smiling at them thinking how blessed and thankful I am to be living the life we are living and hoping they will choose this lifestyle when they have families.

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All cozy in the house after chores when the storm rolled in

A happy reminder

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Enjoy your day today!!  I do not work on Fridays but have a busy day planned starting with visiting a rummage sale, cleaning the house, and canning the last batch of cherries for the season.  I will do it all with happiness (ok, maybe not the cleaning part) but the rest of it 🙂

Multi-Task Cooking

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In the past few posts of recipes I have used the phrase “multi-task cooking”.  In our crazy busy life this is one of the ways I keep my sanity.  I thought I would briefly explain how I do it and show how a quick few minutes of planning can really help you stay organized and efficient!!  I look through the freezer and plan which meats I will be cooking for dinner for 4 days.  I move them to the front of the freezer or place them in the fridge to thaw.

The picture above is from last night.  I marinated chicken in dressing for a 1/2 hour.  During that time, I par boiled Italian sausage to grill for tonight’s dinner, cooked the pasta for the chicken meal and made a quick fruit salad.  After 20 minutes the sausage was done and ready to cool to store until today for dinner.  I then put a pot of water in it’s place to boil the corn on the cob and lit the grill to preheat for the chicken.  Ten minutes later I cooked the chicken and seasoned the pasta with butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper while the corn was boiling away.  The chicken and corn were finished at the same time and dinner was served.

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Later I set up the above before heading to bed.  The kids lunch boxes and the hot meals they will have instead of a sandwich and the crockpot with all the seasonings ready next to it for the Italian Sausage to be put in before heading out to work the next morning.  While making their lunch choices I will be seasoning the sausage and getting it slow cooking.

I have hot dogs thawing and while cooking the onions and peppers for the Italian Sausage tonight I will boil potatoes to make potato salad to go with our hot dogs for Wednesday evening.

It’s like a game pre-planning and multi-task cooking.  But it’s a game I like to play because it helps me make wise food choices for our dinners, offer a homemade meal to my family, and helps me utilize my time effectively so I have more free time for my kids, gardening, riding, walking or whatever else I choose.

 

Revenge

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Going along with the drama post from yesterday this was something in 6th grade my mother said to me.  I had switched schools to a small Catholic school where most of the kids had been together since Kindergarten.  I was the “outsider” trying to fit in.  Of course the “click” of girls did not accept me.  I have a very strong personality so would never let them know it was hurtful but at home would express my dislike of the school to my parents and cry.  That is when my mother said to me “Happiness is your best revenge. It will make them think twice when they see they are not getting to you”. 

Two weeks after joining the school and acting like it was the best thing going (while cursing it out privately at home to my siblings) the “click” started losing it’s power and the girls started befriending me leaving the one “ring leader” to try and be my friend.  To this day she still tries (sending me facebook friend requests which I deny every time lol).  Happiness was my best revenge.  It also taught me happiness is a choice and when life throws you a curve you can either choose to be happy or choose to let it get to you. 

I hope whatever is thrown at you, happiness is your choice!!

Fruit or Art?

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The kids help make this weeks fruit salad.  It’s a true work of art my son said.  Best after school snack you can have.  Keeping it eye appealing helps draw the kids to it and helps moms and dads make a better choice rather than ice cream…Wait…NO.. that’s not true, I am still choosing my ice cream over this, but maybe I will skip the handful of crackers after work tomorrow and have a nice bowl of fruit!!