Bless Our Home

Mama Mama, Our Homely Farm

This last week and a half the tension and chaos has been through the roof. We spent a full 7 nights away from our home, 3 being on a mandatory evacuation because of an out of control forest fire, the others because I didn’t want to return with the kids if my husband wasn’t going to be with us, just in case the fire grew our way more.

The Chetco Bar Fire, it’s growing daily and is still after all this time, 0% contained, and it is waaaayyy too close to home.

So, since Javin has this week off for hunting season, we came home to check on things and clean up a bit.

While we were home we got a call that the drywaller was going to be coming, so I felt it was time we do something to really make this home ours while we had studs opened up. It was time to do something that could help bless this house and those who live in it.

In almost every room there are walls opened up and no flooring. So I grabbed a sharpie and list of bible verses I’ve had stashed aways and went to work.

The kids’ bedroom, their playroom, our bedroom, the kitchen, the kids’ bathroom, the laundry room, and the living room all have verses within them. They will be covered up, yes, but they will always be a part of the house now.

It’s actually pretty amazing how good a small project like this can make you feel even in a mess of emotions.

 

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Natural Wasp Killer/Repellent

Our Homely Farm

We love bees and are teaching our children to respect and care for them as well. I believe they are necesary for our environment, they help pollinate our food, and so much more.

And then there are wasps.

Gnarly, ugly, just plain mean!!!

We knew we had a wasp nest in the ground behind our goat’s pen, and had every intention to take care of it but got busy and realized since it was out of the way, it wasn’t high on our priorities. And then a few days ago, we were working the property, and our son started screaming and we had no idea why. He wasn’t using his words or explaining anything to us (as I don’t think he knew exactly what happened) and it finally hit us that maybe he got stung!

Sure enough, we had a second wasp nest! This one closer to the house, under a wood pile we started digging into.

I picked up Parker and ran with him around the front and up the stairs and across the deck and into the house and those suckers followed us, chasing us down the whole way! It wasn’t until we got inside and Parker was still crazy that I realized there might be a dang wasp inside his clothes!

There was.

Poor guy got a total of 5 stings, I got 2 and Javin got 1. Thank goodness little Avaley didn’t get any because it was quite the fiasco at our house for about an hour trying to calm down after the sting. The thing was, we knew Parker wasn’t overreacting because the stings hurt! They hurt bad!

Okay, Mama was officially on a mission. Those things had to die!!! They hurt my baby.

Initially my husband wanted to dump gasoline over the first nest we found but I had told him I never liked that idea. So I researched effective ways to get rid of wasps and really wanted to be as natural as possible while still getting the job done. I came across something that seemed easy enough. So we tried it.

Instructions are as follows:

Boil a large pot of water, or even two, depending on how large you suspect the nest to be. (We had no idea how big the nests were, but since we had two nests, we made two big pots.)

Right after the water is done boiling, add peppermint essential oil.

Pour the boiling water with oil directly on top and into the wasps nest and remove yourself from the area quickly in case they come a flyin’!

***Note: don’t attempt to poor the water unless the wasps aren’t swarming or flying in and out. We chose to do this whole thing just before dark, the wasps were in bed at the time.***

(In our personal experience, no wasps flew out after we poured the water.)

The next day we kept observing the area and never witnessed any wasps flying around. So when evening came, we decided to poke at the area a bit. After we saw no signs of life, we dug up the ground a bit to destroy whatever nest was left.

Oh, what a relief!!! We were able to kill both nests, and do so in a manner that did no harm to our land and without using chemicals.

That’s a win in my book!

Homesteading– A Dream, A Plan, A LOT of Work.

Our Homely Farm

Seven months so far.

That’s how long we’ve been working on our house and property. Seven, very long, and tiring months. Only recently have we “moved in”, all into the one room in the house that needs the least work.

It’s not really anyone’s fault necessarily that things are taking so long. We knew we were getting ourselves into a big project, just didn’t know how big until we dug in. (As the story goes) And to be fair, this winter was extraordinarily long. It rained from October through parts of June. And when I say rain, I don’t mean a little drizzle, maybe some showers…it poured. We accumulated somewhere around 180 inches of rain here on the southern Oregon coast. That limited us since the majority of big projects involved tearing into rot from the exterior and inwards.

Even with rain and wet weather, the entire interior of the house needed to be gutted, so there were projects to be done.

I pulled shag carpet from every single room while Javin was at work and whenever the kids could go to Grammy’s. Kitchen included. The two full bathrooms upstairs got demoed and were all 100% tile with extra mold on the inside of every wall. The kitchen was smashed and we took down walls. Our contractor replaced four 8-foot sliding glass doors, and has replaced to this day ten windows, and a full picture window door in the kitchen. We also had a brand new wood-stove insert installed in the living room, since this big house needed some dry heat with all the moisture it had collected being empty before we found it. We also had the whole kitchen re-wired, and sconces added to the bedrooms as well as the living room. For some reason in the 70’s and 80’s people didn’t build in light fixtures like they do now. My parent’s house is the same way, like a cave. And last but not least, we had the plumber move some pipes around and also plumb us in a gas line for our stove.

We were stuck at that point for quite a while. Waiting. Once the rain decided to let up and allow summer to begin, we’ve really dug in to some big projects around here.

The balconies have been rid of rot and re-framed. There are no railings yet, as we are waiting for the roof to be done. (That should be within the next week) Javin stripped the roof, and we pulled all staples and our contractor has finished any repair work that needed to be done up there. The exterior is only about half sided, because of all the replacing and repairing that’s been done, but we have the new siding in the garage. We have spent hours cutting down trees and brush and burning. Even on wet days, we burned brush. We have a round-about driveway, and when we first bought this place, it was overgrown and thick! We’ve now cut well over 50 trees down, all smaller ones. A lot of them were rotten and were a hazard anyways. The others, we will use for firewood. We actually didn’t realize how much usable land we had until we began clearing brush and trees. It’s exciting being able to see the potential our land has now.

And yet, after all of this, we still have so much to do. 

The roof needs to be done. After that, the drywall. After that, the painting. After that, the floors. After that the kid’s bathroom upstairs. Somewhere in there we also need to do the railings for the three balconies, paint and seal the water-proofing on balconies, establish some sort of make-shift kitchen since we wont have the finances to put in a full, brand new one right away. And, maybe unpack our things that have been in storage over a year now.

We will also be having our property logged by a professional, he should be here within the next few weeks. That’s going to leave a mess, since it’s now fire season and we cannot burn the heaps and heaps of limbs we will have piled. If it wasn’t for the fact that we are adamant about wanting to create a more self-sufficient life, we wouldn’t be pushing to get the property done right away. But we want our greenhouse, an orchard, a chicken coop, pigs, more goats, bees, a barn, and the list goes on! Plus, the kids and dogs need a yard or space to be able to run around and play.

Now that we have baby number three on the way, I’ve been getting a little antsy.

I feel like I can see at least a place in the near(ish) future that feels more like home rather than a construction zone. But it’s been hard to say the least. But I guess this is the price to pay. We wanted to be close to family, knowing we also weren’t going to sacrifice our dreams of creating a little farm. We new this was the route we would have to take to get what we wanted.

But the most exciting thing, is knowing that we WILL have what we have always said we wanted no matter how long it takes…three beautiful babies, the love of our family, a house that is more than big enough for us to continue to grow into, the resources to grow and produce food on our own property, and the ability to teach our children that this is what life is all about. That, is the biggest blessing. 

Photo_2017-05-27_02-01-22_PMThis is the style we are going for. We will be replacing portions of the cedar siding with horizontal hardy-plank. Both sidings will be painted the same color, similar to this farmhouse here. Decks will be tan, with walnut stained wood. Trim will be white. Roof will be dark brown. 

 

Seeking Sources for Natural Knowledge

Mama Mama, Nutrition & Good Eats, Our Homely Farm

Natural Living.

We’ve been building our natural life for a while now. I am thankful to have a husband who (for the most part) agrees, encourages, and supports my decisions when it comes to keeping our family healthy and protected. It’s taken many years, and countless hours of scouring books, websites, and asking thousands of questions to get to the point where I am now.

Where is this point exactly?

Just past everyone in the family thinking I am on the crazy side, and almost to the point of I know too much, so it just doesn’t matter what they think.

Truthfully.

The way I see it, our society has been too-far gone from natural living for too long and something needs to change. Food isn’t food anymore. Harmful chemicals infuse and attack our homes, and in turn, our bodies. Medication and medical treatment has become over-prescribed, wrongly-prescribed, and poorly regulated. All for profit. And to be honest, I truly believe that the majority of people have lost touch of knowing their bodies, and what they are capable of if taken care of.

One day I decided I wasn’t made to follow the rules, and conform to what society thought was an acceptable life. There was a yearning inside me that ached for more knowledge, because I knew that I wanted to see changes in my life, and the world in which my family and are a part of. So began the process.

One of the very first books I stumbled upon that pushed me towards a more natural life was “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston A. Price, D.D.S. At the time, I was only just curious, and I hadn’t began to scratch my itch for adjusting my lifestyle. However, within the foreword alone, suggestions were made based on thirty-five years of clinical experience that I feel are now worth sharing.

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(1) Reduce the volume of industrial effluence, including fluorides, now contaminating our air, water and food supply as rapidly as possible, through federal, state and local controls. 

(2) Ban the use of untested food additives immediately. Reduce the number of those tested, considered harmless, and approved for use to an absolute minimum.

(3) Rapidly phase out the use of long-acting pesticides and herbicides, unless proven harmless, except for emergency situations such as malaria control. Ban the sale of these pesticides for household use. Seek control of insect pests and weeds through other means, including soil improvement. Well nourished plants are most resistance to insects and fungi than deficient ones. 

(4) Warn the public that all petrochemicals, whether in food, water, air, pesticides, cosmetics, detergents, drugs or other environmental contacts, are potentially dangerous to many, and probably to all, individuals. Tell them that the least contact is best. 

(5) Give the public access to fundamental knowledge of good nutrition. If we are to survive, this must be taught in every school grade from kindergarten through college. Primitive wisdom tells us that the production of healthy, normal babies depends on optimum parental nutrition before conception, as well as during pregnancy. Breast-feeding is most important, and should be followed by a diet high in raw and unprocessed foods. Most birth deformities are unnecessary. Good bones, good muscles, attractive skin, normal endocrines, a healthy liver, good reproductive capacity, good intelligence, and good looks depend upon good food. Our people must know food values—and nourishing food is not necessarily expensive.

(6) Compost city wastes for use of fertilizers: return organic materials, minerals, and trace elements to help rebuild our plundering soil; and reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers high in nitrogen content which are contaminating our water and food supplies. Demonstrate to farmers that this approach is economically feasible. 

(7) Raise foods for quality rather than quantity. High protein, high vitamin and high mineral foods have much higher survival value than those with more calories but less essential nutrients. Calories alone are not enough. 

Dr. Price simply helped opened my eyes…maybe he even initiated my passion for living based on these suggestions, and more. I do, however, see things in a different light only in the sense that I trust God, and His creations. I do not trust man, and his intention from his creations. God created this earth with a purpose for every living thing on it. Food, fuel, family, and fixes, there is always a natural remedy.

Before I knew it, I was eager to see what others had to say. So I came across a few other [now my “go-to”] names when I have something to look up, or am in a research mood.

Dr. Mercola being the first name that comes to mind because I simply love his site. I find him both encouraging, and educational. www.mercola.com 

Katie, also known as “Wellness Mama” is a great read! www.wellnessmama.com

When it comes to building our life on our little farm, Mother Earth News is where I check first for up-to-date, organic homesteading. www.motherearthnews.com

Being a mama of two, and of two totally contrasting experiences as far as births go, I recommend reading the following books: “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way” by Susan McCutcheon and “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” by Henci Goer.

 

Recently I’ve come across the name “Aviva Romm” via social media, and I hope to dig in a little deeper to see where that leads me.

Sometimes I feel like I know too much, that if I had never began my research escapades, life would be so much easier. I wouldn’t worry about literally everything. I wouldn’t want to teach and inspire my children to live better lives, so that one day they would live in a more natural world. Sometimes the fact that there are still SO. MANY. MORE. FACTS out there scares the living hell out of me. But guess what?! I’m willing to take them on.  Being a natural mama means always researching, so you know you are prepared when tough questions or decisions come your way. And as we know, life continually does just that.

Knowledge is so powerful. And though I may not be supermom, my quest for “power” continues. And maybe you can help me with that…

What is your favorite website, book, blog, podcast, or any other form of information that relates to natural living? (Essential oils, organic gardening, vaccines and other medical pros and cons, fitness and exercise, natural remedies for athletes, homemade household products, gluten free or paleo recipes, living simple etc.)

Please comment and add your favorite source to the list! 

Simple Living in a Materialistic World.

Homeschooling, Mama Mama, Our Homely Farm

For the longest time I’ve been telling myself I need to be more organized. The clutter some days gets overwhelming. Granted, we are still in an adjustment period, where our family of 4 + 2 dogs live out of a camp trailer while we remodel our home…no matter, things are a mess.

The laundry is never-ending, I think it somehow multiplies magically while I’m not looking.

Plastic toys go off with loud sirens and songs as you kick one walking by because there is no place else to step.

Shoes, probably four pairs per family member, pile at the foot of the bed, which also happens to be our “front door” and entry.

The clothes, the toys, the shoes. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

There’s been a weight on my shoulders for a while, and I feel it’s one that will not go away until we can actually unload, unpack, and unwrap all that we have collected and that has been hiding in storage the last year and a half. I’m addition to storage, we’ve accumulated quite a bit over the last year and a half to make our lives a little easier for the time being. Stuff. Clutter. When the time comes that we are actually able to move into our house, it is going to be both exciting, and exhausting, because we are going to have to filter and sort everything.

Here’s why:

I recently read somewhere “If it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life”.  That settled with me.

The life I envision and have envisioned for myself and my family keeps evolving as the days go by and the more I learn not only about the world, but about myself. I want our family to have the knowledge of how to utilize what God has given us. I want our children to grow knowing true life responsibilities through daily chores of fetching eggs, mucking stalls, and growing their own food. I want our children to learn the difference between having what they want and what they need. I myself, I have much to learn before we all can truly see the beauty of living a simple life.

Before our first child was born, I remember my husband and I saying we were not going to allow all the plastic toys that basically served no purpose. We had hoped to collect the wooden “toys” that could be used for education, entertainment, and a teething tool when needed. (for both the babies and the puppies…poor wooden blocks)

We got the wooden toys. We also got the plastic toys.

I don’t believe we will ever truly be “minimalists” because both my husband and I were not raised that way by any means. Both sides of our family spoil our children, and it would be nearly impossible to turn down every single toy or gift they received. Javin and I also both enjoy the occasional splurge for ourselves, maybe something that makes us feel good even if we don’t NEED it. But we can try.

We can suggest to family members that we are trying to downsize our “stuff” collection, and make recommendations for more appropriate gifts. [Something to add to our homeschooling routine, etc]

We can donate clothing that is still in good shape and has more life out of it.

We can re-use or re-purpose any furniture or tools we are currently not using and don’t see a use of any time soon.

We can be grateful for having what we do have, and we can pray to continually be blessed with what we need. 

The outcome of creating a more minimal lifestyle, for both mama and children could be quite beneficial.

  • Promotes sharing and bonding
  • Promotes creativity and innovation
  • Less clutter = less stress
  • Promotes independence 
  • Promotes a more conscious life

The first thing I plan to do when we finally get all of our belongings to one location is to make a list of what makes me happy, what makes my husband happy, and what makes my children truly happy. Then, I will make a list of what we do every single day. I will compare those lists, and I will adjust accordingly. I already know there are certain things we say we want, or enjoy, but rarely use.

This goes for toys, clothing, household items, and literally everything in between. We are going to de-clutter!

For the longest time I kept telling myself I needed to be more organized. It would stress me out. Now I just realize, we need less stuff.

It may be a materialistic world, but we shall begin living more simply.

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DIY Bunny Hutch

Our Homely Farm

We’ve been wanting to begin our journey into homesteading, and it has been a long process so far that hasn’t even truly began!

We’ve been living in a camp trailer (two adults, two kids, two big dogs) on our property while the construction at our house continues. It’s been a little over 3 months now, and for 12 months before that we lived with in-laws because we hadn’t bought our house yet. Before that, we knew we would be leaving our home and uncertain as to where so we never put down full roots.

We have a chicken coop we bought over 2 years ago and it still hasn’t been put together. We haven’t put it together yet because we have a lot of logging to do, that unfortunately won’t be done probably until summertime.

There’s always a wrench that gets tossed into the works.

Being as we don’t want to miss out completely on another grow season especially, we have bought fruit trees and will be planting them in buckets because we cannot put them into he ground until we log. Most our “greenhouse” plants will most likely stay indoors and sheltered on our balconies.

We’ve been itching to accomplish something on our wish list!

So because I am impatient and impulsive I decided to bring home a rabbit.

His name is Chip.

Chip spent a total of two nights inside a smaller, travel size cage, which worked just fine until were able to build him his new mansion.

Lucky for us, we gutted our kitchen and had an assortment of cabinets to chose from for creating a new bunny hutch. (We knew there was a reason we didn’t take them all to the dump!)

The hutch literally cost us nothing but time. And alls the time it took was maybe a total of 4 hours.

Javin did a great job putting it together, as well as in a timely manner so Chip could get to enjoy it.

So how did he do it?

This is what we started with:

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There were wires running through this particular cabinet so the holes had to be filled or covered.

The doors were cut and wire was inserted.

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Legs were added to get the hutch off the ground a couple feet. We used leftover 2x4s for the legs.

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We built a ramp with little bunny steps to get to the top level using scrap from another cabinet and particle board.

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We didn’t have a latch on hand so Javin decided a piece from an old light fixture could work. For now.

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After wiping it down and setting it up with food, water, and bedding, Chip is a happy bunny. Such a fun project and finally feeling like maybe we might be on the right track!

I can’t wait until the chickens, goats, pigs, and horses get here!!!