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Quote of the Day: Brett L. Markham

December 14th, 2014

“Home food production is an important proficiency that contributes positively to the physical and financial health of the family. Along with this, it provides and important physiological and spiritual boost by reaffirming our connection with nature and nature’s laws, reconnecting us with our ancestral roots, and providing the feeling of competence that comes from ensuring the supply of a basic necessity – food.”

Brett L. Markham (Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre)

pigs 1
Today is the day for our piggos to go to Iceland. It’s a somber day, not a day we look forward to and a day that is difficult to talk about. In fact it takes a week or two of preparing yourself mentally for what happens on this day. It’s not easy, but we feel like it best honors our pigs and the lives we tried to let them live. It brings us peace knowing that they don’t have to take a trailer ride or spend the night in a strange place. They can have a peaceful end in the place they feel at home. Peaceful for them, not peaceful for us.
pigs 2
We are happy knowing that they led happy piggy lives, rooting and wallowing, running and eating, snorting and being with another of their kind. It was especially nice that the last week has been warm so they could spend their last days happily rooting in the woods, exactly what pigs relish doing.

Friday Favorite: FaceTime

December 12th, 2014

Technology is pretty amazing, it can enhance our lives in so many ways. I mentioned earlier that we did the 12 days of Maine Christmas with our nieces & nephew. Their FaceTime wasn’t working for a few days, not we’re back up and running. It’s so much better to be able to watch all of them trying to guess what’s inside the box.
chatting with the kids
Being able to video chat is one of the great things about the times we live in. It’s so nice to be able to see someone face to face while talking. The introvert in my hates talking on the phone, but I don’t mind video chatting at all.

Do you use video chat to keep in contact with loved ones far away?

The Snow Can Fly

December 11th, 2014

We’ve already had two big snowstorms this year. One dumped 16-18 inches, the other dumped 12-14 inches. We were totally unprepared for the first one and didn’t even realize there was going to be that much snow. That was way back on November 2nd. The second snowstorm hit on Thanksgiving morning and delayed our travel to Ohio until the afternoon. Unfortunately for both of these storms our plow truck was out of commission.
plow truck 1
The poor thing was in the shop getting a new fuel system and getting the carb rebuilt. With a truck as old as this one, finding parts can be a challenge. Luckily we have a great mechanic that likes a challenge.
plow truck 2
Earlier this week, we finally picked up the old red truck and it’s running like a top. Hopefully the plow will go on this weekend and we’ll actually be ready for our next snowstorm. We’re also hoping to get some snow this weekend because we want to feature this fabulous vehicle on our Christmas cards.

Have you had any weather recently that you’ve been totally unprepared for?

Sending Holiday Cheer

December 10th, 2014

I love Christmas card, I love to get them and I love to send them. We have yet to get our photos taken for our personal cards, but I’ve been working hard on the Christmas cards I mail out for work. I usually mail out around 500 for that and roughly 100 for ourselves personally. The result is that I spend a lot of time during the month of December working on them.
Christmas card
This year I printed our cards for work, I found a sweet little nativity stamp on Esty to use on them. I took them to Ohio and my nieces helped me fold them and stuff them into envelopes. All I have left to do is address and stamp them and then I move on to our personal cards. I’m waiting for a snow so I can take the photo I’ve been planning. My mailbox is starting to fill up with cards from family and friends as well. I’m always happy to see how much everyone’s kids have grown, Christmas cards are one of the beautiful things about the holiday season!

Do you send out cards to family & friends? Do you enjoy receiving cards?

Freezer Soup

December 9th, 2014

I’m a cook from scratch kind of person and I really hate producing food container waste. Thus I have all sorts of wide mouth pint mason jars in my freezer filled with all varieties of ingredients. When I’m cooking I often double or triple a recipe and freeze some. I do the same when preparing individual ingredients. Thus I can make a pot of delicious soup with ingredients from my freezer is only an hour and it will taste like it has been simmering all day!
Soup 1
Yesterday was the perfect soup day, but I was busy running errands and working until about four. No problem, I went to the basement freezer and came upstairs with: chorizo, black beans, red beans, green peppers, sweet corn, chicken stock, and spinach. I pulled onions, carrots, and garlic from the pantry along with a few spices and a soup was born. I love using wide mouth half pint mason jars for freezing because with only a minute or two submerged in warm water the contents will come out quite easily. They defrost quickly in a pan on the stove and are the ultimate homemade convenience food.
Soup 2
In about 30 minutes I had a delicious pot of soup, a big one to eat on all week for lunches. Some of it will probably end up back in wide mouth jars and in the freezer for when we need a bowl of soup in minutes. Best of all, it’s healthy, mostly homegrown, and best of all there was not one can or package that had to be thrown away!

What’s your favorite quick meal during the cooler winter months?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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