You know how they say, "The third time's the charm..."??? Well. This is my third go at this blogging thing. I am really perturbed at myself for the lack of discipline I have shown in getting new content on the website.
Last year, I finally just threw my hands up and gave up feeling bad about it. Now, I am ready to begin again.
And I have a goal of getting a new post up once a week--hopefully each Wednesday.
I am really hoping for some small victories early on.....I am hoping I can mark this off my to-do list every single week.......
So, for the first post of the year, I wanted to share our story. I wanted to explain how we got here and some of the why's.
Every homestead or farm has a story. This is ours.
We were an “average” family. Living in the city our whole lives, eating Little Debbies and drinking Dr. Pepper.
Then we had kids. Three of them. Little girls. Three sweet, little girls in less than two years.
That, my friends, will change you. And it changed me. When I became a Mommy, I became more aware of what we were consuming. I thought a little bit more about what I cleaned with. I changed from clorox wipes to clorox anywhere spray. I know…..I really knew how to make the jump into healthy living!!!!
Then my middle girl got to where she was having food allergies. Not all the time, and not to a lot of things. But every now and then she would have a few whelps.
I became more conscious of what I fed her.
I began a VERY slow journey of changing how we ate. Changing what we ate. I slowly phased out more and more processed foods.
Then, there was the last straw.
I was making dinner and decided instead of making the alfredo sauce, I would finally use up the jar that I had bought quite a while before. It had been in the pantry for several months and I decided I should just go ahead and get rid of it. So we had dinner and a movie—Willy Wonka and Fettuccine Alfredo. The perfect Saturday night for our family.
Then she started complaining...."she" being the middle child I told you about earlier.
“Mama, I am really itchy!!!”
So, we stopped the movie. We turned on the lights. She was one big whelp. Her arms, her belly, her legs. And it was going up her neck.
Just thinking about it gives me anxiety. We got her EpiPen ready for action and monitored her breathing closely. The nurse said she should be okay as long as her breathing was fine. We gave her benadryl. We waited and watched. While we were watching her condition, I looked at the ingredients to see what in the world would have caused such a bad reaction.
Modified Egg Yolks.
Now, I have already told you that I am a city girl. I didn’t know much about chickens and I didn’t know much about eggs (back then I didn’t…I have gained quite a bit of knowledge of those things now…). But it sure was curious to me as to why you would want to modify an egg yolk. I mean, those things are pretty much the perfect food as is—why you wanna go and mess around with that???
Shelf life, that’s why. If you mess with an egg yolk enough, it becomes twinkie-like and shelf stable for YEARS.
And after just a bit of research, what I found they modify it with is an ingredient also found in snake venom.
You may want to go back and read those last two words again. Snake. Venom. Because there’s nothing weird or scary about inserting snake venom into my child’s diet. I mean, that just seems totally……UNNATURAL AND RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!
And that was the catalyst that I needed to move us toward natural living.
It started slowly. Slow movements toward a more natural way of life.
Making my own bread. Making my own pudding. Making my own brownies.
Then I tried to have a garden. Total fail.
Then we built a raised bed. That went a lot better, but it wasn’t much to write home about.
Then we decided…
<<It's at this point in the story where I need to take you aside for a minute and explain something--when I say “we” that is the total royal use of the word because I have been dragging my poor family along on this journey…but they ARE coming around slowly. Maybe I should just stop saying we and be real about this whole thing.>>
Anyway.....Where was I??? Oh, yeah. I remember now.
I decided that I wanted chickens. Which was pretty unfortunate because we lived in a subdivision. With an HOA. The sort of HOA that sent letters for leaving your garbage can near the road for longer than 30 minutes. And you better not even THINK about having weeds in your flower beds. Or leave your garage door open. So, as you can see, the chicken thing was just not going to happen. Not in the subdivision.
So, we did what any forward thinking, sane couple would do.
We sold our house.
And bought 14 acres of uphill forest land.
And moved in with my parents.
And then moved into a leaky travel trailer.
And built our own house on the aforementioned acreage.
And nearly killed ourselves working too hard.
Then we got tougher.
Then we finished the house.
And.........Then we got chickens.
On February 24, 2018 I finally got chickens! Baby chickens. Six of them. They were the cutest things I had ever seen! They were all supposed to be girls. I paid more for just girls. I didn't want to deal with the consequences of boy chickens. Don't ask me how TSC knows if they are girls or boys when they are a day old. I have no idea. But I do know that I paid extra for GIRL chickens.
Four months later, I finally accepted the fact that three of them were roosters.
It was August before I got any eggs.
By November I had had to butcher two of the three roosters because you can’t have three roosters and three hens.
Me. The city girl. Butchering chickens.
Mind you, three years before I could not stand the thought of touching a whole chicken from the store…But there I was, butchering, processing and eating my own home grown meat.
I have learned that, obviously, there’s a lot more than just gathering eggs when you have chickens.
And I have learned that the farm life is a “learn the hard way” kind of life.
I have also learned that life on a farm is the most satisfying way to spend your time.
I have squealed with joy. I have cried myself to sleep. I have hated guineas. I have loved guineas. I have pampered a sick chicken just to watch it die. I have pampered a nearly dead chick to bring it back to life. I have lived the roller coaster. And I am so glad to be here.
I have learned how to do a lot of things on my own. Things that I never thought I could. Things that seemed too hard a year or two ago.
I have pushed myself to the point of tears because I was so exhausted. I have tested my limits and learned that I am tougher than I thought I was.
I am still no good at gardening. I let weeds grow and I don’t remember to water stuff and I let the chickens get into the garden. But I can grow okra. And squash. And tomatoes. And I will do better this year, because I am surely not giving up. Not now. Not after I have lived this way.
This year, the good Lord willing, will be a better year. I will be stronger. I will be tougher. I will be smarter.
I love this life. I have loved the journey that brought us here. And I find joy in every new step of it.
Now, it’s onward and upward.
Because we have added a dairy cow to the mix.
And she’s gonna have a baby.
Then she’s gonna give milk.
And I have a lot more to learn before then.
Thanks for coming along on that journey with me! I hope you will share yours with me! Comment below or send me an email! I look forward to hearing about what has brought you to where you are!
HELLO & WELCOME!!