Thursday, September 25, 2008

mothers for liberty mid west conference

the mothers for liberty midwest conference is this weekend! i am going and demonstrating soapmaking with my mom. i've been busy all week trying to get ready, but i'm sure i'll forget something.

if you happen to be in the area, stop by and check it out, here is the info

What: Midwest Mothers for Liberty Conference

When: Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where: Senior Citizen Center 616 W. Jackson, Vandalia, IL

Theme: "Radical Responsible Mothering ... From Soap Making to Soap Boxes"

when i return home, i will post how the conference went!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

our veggie garden, beginning to end

well this was the first year for a garden. it did pretty good this year, but we will be working on the soil and hopefully it will do better next year. we got zucchini, acorn squash (they were just little), butternut squash and pumpkins. the corn didn't do any thing, neither did the eggplant. we got lots of banana pepper and hot peppers. i could've swore that i planted green peppers but none showed up. the cucumbers went crazy in the garden, i've canned just about every kind of pickle, i swear.

we did get a few green beans, enough for dilly green beans and a few quarts canned. the black beans and lima beans are more work than they are worth and would take a huge amount of the garden to get enough to last more than one dinner. we did get a crop of mutant carrots. darn hard soil. lol we started our garden in the house when it was still pretty chilly out. luckily we have nice wide window sills =)

when it warmed up a little we put up this homemade greenhouse. it is made from the frame of a portable car cover and some clear plastic. it worked well, except for the fact the wind like to "play" with it. next year we will be putting it up against the house. hopefully this will help with the wind problem and maybe help heat it too. (our house is dark brown right now, on the south side the walls get fairly warm)

we did cover our garden area with tarp to try and help kill off the grass. it didn't work very well. when we expand we will just till up what is there.

this is the garden growing mid summer. we have a deer fence around it and haven't had any problem with wild visitors (except for the free range chickens). the garden will be bigger next year. this is a picture of the herb (medicinal and culinary) garden on the berm. i planted it and harvested a little, but i want to let the plants get established before i do lots of harvesting and drying.

Monday, September 8, 2008

chicken coop upgrade

the nesting boxes have been added to the coop. we don't have any nesting material yet, but at least they're in. soon the girls should be laying and fresh eggs will be ours. the rooster has been harassing them alot lately, so maybe we'll have chicks =) this is the inside of the coop, the roost where the chickens sleep.
i raked the chicken yard. got all the yuckus into a pile to go to the bonfire pit. the chickens went right in and spread that stuff all over the minute i walked away......
naughty naughty chickens.
so tomorrow i will be out there again to rake up. i plan on moving a little faster this time.
here is the chicken coop before it was painted. we got it free off of craig's list, of courrse it was in holland, which is quite a drive from here. but it was cheaper than buying a new one. lol

compost bin

well we "up graded" out compost. it use to be just a hole in the ground out in the wood line by the barn, but not any more! Hubby found some branches out in the woods and made a small frame. we have two sides to it now, accepting compost, making compost. it looks a lot better than it did, i really like it. it's rustic but it will work.

yard clean up

so yesterday hubby and i decided to do some clean up in the yard. we had a tree that had bunches of branches that fell, yet still hung in the tree. very dangerous, i know.

so my hubby shimmied up the tree and cut the brunches down! while he was doing that i found a bee home in the ground! we had to move to a different area for a while.

we do have a pile of wood also that needs to be cut up and stacked.

we did get some done, but unfortunately the chain on the chainsaw was dull! after a while it just gave up. oh well, we'll be out there working again soon =)

pickled tomatoes

we had tons of small green tomatoes this year! so i thought i would try and can them...
so in another 4-6 weeks i'll let everyone know how they turned out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

my shield

My shield in the war to protect my family Recently my hubby was asked if he thought I would be interested in having some of my photography in a guerilla art show. His response was “I doubt it; she hasn’t done photography in a few years. Maybe if you let her put aprons in she would.” (Aprons are my “thing” right now) the girl then replied, “You’re a chauvinist”. He said “No she just likes aprons”. After he told me about this conversation, we had a little chat. We discussed that although I do have a few things in common with this girl, whole food cooking, crocheting, soap making, non vaccinating. We do them for different reasons. I do all these things for the family. We are trying to get back to the older family values, trying to be self sufficient, to be healthier. I see no problems with my role as caretaker of the home and the family. I don’t see my hubby as a chauvinist by being the bread winner. I don’t view my apron as scarlet letter. I view my apron as a shield in defending the values we hold. When I wear my aprons it lets people know who I am (a mom) and where I stand (at the homestead). It lets people know that we are a “traditional” family where one parent is home at all times taking care of the things there. There is always someone on call, so to speak. I find it very discouraging to think that another mom (she has children, they just don’t live with her) would think that because I stay at home and wear an apron I am some how suppressed/oppressed by this. It is totally the opposite. I feel freeier knowing that I am doing what my hubby and I feel is best for our family. We are not rich people, we sacrifice to live this way, but it’s our way and we wouldn’t change a thing. My apron is a shield not a scarlet letter!

here we are

well lots has going on lately, when it rains it pours. i am in the mists of starting a homeschool group in my area, very exciting! hope it all goes well, it would be nice to have support in this area. i have to get on the canning, the garden is coming to an end and i need to pick the last of the veggies it will bear. tomatoes, any squashes left and the vast amount of cucumbers i continue to get from it. i will be supplementing our bounty with veggies from the farmers market. not everything grew well this year. i have been sewing up a storm, i am trading aprons for jewelry. getting a little christmas "shopping" done. i will be demonstrating soapmaking on the 17th at the mothers institute conference in Illinois, very exciting, but i need to get some soap made! i also am making up a pattern for an apron to give away there in line with the apron revolution, very very cool. we will be starting a more structured line of homeschooling for ike soon. just because the time of year will call for it. we are looking into getting him started in wrestling and into the 4h. he really wants to show boogie woogie at the fair! we are also looking for a piano teacher. hubby and his fellow musicians will be doing a show at a coffee house in gr on the 12th. he's very excited! i won't be able to go though. some one has to stay with the boys :)