We are moving 1 day early and I will be without internet for 4 days...
We will be taking our truck and trailer up to the property on Friday and then while I unpack and chase kids and do the cleaning that needs to get done, my husband will come back to town and pack up the rest of the old place and bring the rest up.
Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever. 2 Samuel 7:29
Rain Rain and more Rain (and some snow up at the ranch)
Four more days and we will be up at the ranch! I struggled a bit yesterday- didn't pack a single box after all my intention to get as much packing done as possible.
It came about as several comments were made about our new place, it's location, my adult children having doubts about this... just a lot of dirt being thrown about to cloud my intentions.
Later I was BLESSED to hear a message where the speaker said something to the affect that if we look at the negatives thrown at us as soil needed to set our seed in the ground, it will lose the power to stop us and give us the power to sprout and grow <3 I like the analogy and this morning I am using it to get things moving after yesterday's struggles.
So the plan today is to wash everything in the kitchen and pack all but the absolute necessities needed to get us through the next four days. I am also going to finish packing the kids room, leaving out only a couple of toys to help them stay occupied. If I can get those two things done I will feel very accomplished.
Packing packing packing! Getting everything ready to go to the new house! We are almost there! Boy I had not realized how many electronic gadgets we have until I started packing...
Most of this will never be used again, so I am donating them. I did keep the waffle iron
While packing, I have discovered some treasures that had been tucked away. I am excited that in the new house these treasures will be able to bless our family. I am really trying to discard anything that isn't needed or loved. It isn't as easy as it sounds (at least for me) since so many things trigger memories and so then I put an emotional attachment to the item because of the memory. Not sensible, but a battle I have.
Yesterday, in town, we had a flood. Most of Northern California is wet wet wet. A good thing given the drought we have had. This is really exciting for the new property. With a wet year, I will be able to do so much more this spring to get the property to the self sufficiency model we desire. Water is the most necessary thing in raising plants and animals (and children).
When I talked to David last night (he is at the property helping get things done there) he told me they had sow instead of rain. This is a good thing. God is so good!
I am trying to come up with some strategies for the food storage issues we are going to have at the new place. I think for winter we are going to be stuck with a lot of canned foods. Not my first choice, however until the issues of food preservation are resolved I am not seeing what else we can do.
Next year we will have an advantage. We will can and preserve our own foods and by then we will have come up with some sort of way to freeze foods. I am looking at a couple of different possibilities and also hoping that perhaps my husbands water wheel will supply the power to run a convention freezer. It is still a wait and see situation.
I am so excited! Even though we will be without so many things that people take for granted, I know that this move is going to be such an amazing thing for my family!!!!
Can I have one? I have decided that I would like a horse driven plow for two reasons. One it would justify having a horse (something the kids and I want) and second it allows us to plow our property with out the purchase or borrowing of a tractor and the expense of maintenance and use they require. To be truly self sufficient we need to get away from the use of gasoline and oil and this would be a step in that direction...
So the story goes if you sprinkle bentonite on the floor of the pond, it will seal. We also have to pull up the trees in the pond area and up on the dam and seal that area too.
If I have calculated correctly, if this year is the rain fall predicted, we should have a nice stable pond. Not sure about year around but at least
it will be pretty stable during winter/spring/early summer. If we get some moisture it may last all summer!
I am really hoping that this can be a source of year around water for critters... we will have to see what happens in the next few years. If it works the way I am hoping, my husbands desire to make a waterwheel that produces electricity could happen in the pond. Because as I have discovered in my research, you don't have to have a river or stream, just a constant source of water and then you can make a pump that cycles the water to feed the water wheel and make it spin.
The time is getting closer and closer! I am so excited to be moving to the land the Lord has provided! I thought this morning, in just 2 short weeks, instead of waking up to the noise of cars driving by, neighbors hollering at each other, we will wake up to the stillness of the Lord.
December 15th we are dedicating our property to the Lord. That will be a very special day! We will be dedicating our lives, our heart, our property to serving the Lord. To know from that day forward, everything we do on the property is for the Lord. Yes, it is exciting.
12 Days left!!! So excited! Later today we will discover if we will have peacocks as our first animals on the ranch... that would be rather fun. Oh sure peacocks aren't food and they don't do much but look pretty~ but pretty would be nice... They have been abandoned by the previous owners and are looking for a new home. It is a first come first get and since we don't get to move just yet... anyway it is a matter of God's choice in our lives not ours at this point.
Getting closer! I really need to step up and get to packing and getting our lives ready to move! Exciting! My husband and I were talking this morning about how our lives will be different with this move. Aside from the isolation from other people (I assure you this will not be a bad a thing for me but will affect the kids both living with us and those that are living on their own) the situation with the electricity, water, and all of that will be different for us.
Having a garden and critters learning to take care of the property.... ahhhhh so much.... and I am READY!
Paul Wheaton has a TON of info on his website http://www.richsoil.com and http://www.permies.com/
Hugelkultur is fairly simple. You dig down or lay on the surface some logs. Then cover them up with top soil and plant your garden. If you click on the HUGULKULTUR link you can read all about it.
I am looking forward to trying this method. It promises to ease water use and with the drought conditions the last few years that would be a blessing. I have also read the use of hugelkultur beds could aid in the growth of trees. Again what a blessing that would be! To be able to get some awesome fruit trees growing and using half the water one would normally use? It gets me excited! We will find out soon! I am making one hugelkultur bed this spring. Depending on the wood I scavenge from the property will depend the size of the bed...
Watch here for more to come in the next few months
23 days!!!! Today I am getting some packing done... one of the things I was thinking about as I looked around at the things to pack is that we will be downsizing a lot (this will make husband happy since my clutter gets to him) I also looked around and realized that I will also have to purchase some items for the new house. So here I want to list all the things I am going to need to create the warm inviting home I desire for our family:
12 gallons of semi-gloss in various colors for each rooms need
6 gallons high gloss floor paint
2 gallons high gloss clear varnish
1 gallon fabulous green paint for front door
1 package dry sponges
rollers and paint pan
1 qt chalk board paint
24 cans of colorful spray paint (for tires in playyard)
2 cans of glow in the dark paint (for rocks on walkway to front door)
3 sheets of drywall
Heavy drapes for 2 sliding doors in fabrics like these:
curtain for livingroom closet door
a nice area rug for the livingroom
a runner rug for the hallway
curtains for the boys room
large cast iron dutch oven
battery operated LED light for bathroom (it is very dark even in daytime)
8 place setting dish set (we don't even have a complete 4 place set)
Oh and I know there are things I am forgetting! I'll update as I recall the things I am forgetting...
Rainwater capture system
Large Pond/Reservoir Development
Koi Pond and small waterwheel development
Children's Play Area
Garden- Tomatoes, Potatoes, Beets, Garlic, Green Beans, Snap Peas, Corn, Carrots, Broccoli, cucumbers, eggplant, spinach, lettuce, turnips, variety squash, variety melons, variety of herbs
Animals- 24-36 Chickens- 2 milking goats- 6-12 other fowl
Plant 12-24 shade/wind break trees
Make adjustments to rainwater catchment as needed
Waterwheel set up for Large Pond/Reservoir
Increase Garden according to what grew best in the 1st year, add/subtract new plants maintain last years plot size
Begin Hugelkulter Garden bed set up with most water thirsty plants
Add chickens as needed to supply 24 eggs a day- add 2 female goats- possibly add a calf or lamb if able to get a bummer from neighboring ranches butcher in fall- add as needed other fowl for food source
Creation of 8 acre hay field
Plant 6-10 fruit trees
Rainwater catchment should be perfected and just need routine maintenance
Large Pond/Reservoir and Waterwheel should be maintaining well and need just routine maintenance
Garden will be expanded according to foods we can can easily to work towards self sufficiency
Huglekulture bed set up with most water thirsty plants
Fence off field area for large animals and repair horse barn
Chickens increased for maintenance of egg production and addition of ones to butcher
Add additional fowl for food source
Goat herd expanded to final size of 6 adult females and 1 adult male with kids to be traded/sold or butchered
Add calf or lamb if one is available as a bummer from local rancher- butcher by fall
Plans for a horse :)
Adjust hay/grass grown in field according to last seasons success
Plant 12-24 additional trees
Maintain Rainwater catchment
Maintain ponds and waterwheels
Add a grass hay field near Large Pond/Reservoir
Continue working on garden and hugelkulture beds for best results for our family
Maintain animals adding only butcher for the year calf or lamb
Hay field should be working towards self seeding in the next few years
The plan is that each year we will become more independent from having to purchase things from the store. It will take time and we will need to purchase staples like sugar, salt, flour always. I will be learning more in the next few years about canning and preserving so that I can take what will hopefully be abundant provision in the garden and keep it for the long winters.
Of course I know the first few years are going to be a lot of trial and error in all we try our hand at. Although I do think most things will come back from my childhood memories in short order.
I discovered this morning that we may go offline in a few days and be off until we get moved. One of the things I figured out about this whole move is that I really spend entirely too much time on the internet. If it gets turned off, I will be sad, but then I will get much accomplished!
I will be posting my list of things to get done in the next few hours. I need a plan as the time gets closer!
Tonight as we are getting ready for bed, I realized that in a few weeks bedtime routines will be a bit different. Our plan is that each evening we will run the generator for a couple of hours. Fire it up at dusk, wash and dry a load of laundry, let the kids watch a movie, vacuum the floors, and whatever else we have going on that needs power.
Once the sun is down and the generator is off the house will be quiet. Currently it seems there is noise noise and more noise with hyper-activity and chaos until everyone is headed to bed and even then there is noise, activity and chaos. The noise is in our house, outside, our downstairs neighbors, the cars driving by just a steady non-stop barrage of noise and activity.
Once moved that changes...
Entering a quiet zone... oh there is some noise. The neighbors cows, a few coyotes, and other sounds of nature. But once the generator goes off, there are none of the noises we are accustomed too. Chaos is fully self contained and activity will slow as we adjust to our quiet life.
One of the things I am looking forward to this winter, as we settle into our new home, off the grid, is beginning new traditions for bed time for the kids at home. It will be wonderful...
I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my neighbor?
Just thinking how in just 25 days we will be getting to move to our new place! Really makes life totally amazing! I am so EXCITED to finally get moved and settle into our lives off grid, being self sufficient, and working together as a family to make a home that isn't just a place to live but the source of filling most of our needs.
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat or unbleached flour 1/2 teaspoon of salt 2 teaspoons of baking soda 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 1 1/2 cups of milk or fruit juice 3 tablespoons of honey 2 eggs 1/4 cup of cooking oil
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Blend the milk or juice, honey, eggs, and oil in a separate container. Stir the wet and dry mixtures together, and add the chopped apple and the sunflower seeds.
Now, set a heavy skillet or griddle on a medium-hot stove top. When a drop of water will dance on the heated surface and then evaporate quickly, you're ready to start cooking. Coat the bottom of the pan or griddle with cooking oil, and pour in a large spoonful of your mix. Fry each cake until its edges are slightly dry and its top bubbles, then flip it over to cook the other side. (For best results, use a large spatula and turn the cakes only once.)
Serve your pancakes topped with butter and maple syrup . . . or make your own sweet sauce by adding hot water to a jar of homemade preserves until the concoction reaches a syrup-like consistency.
Using a 12" Dutch oven on top of 14 charcoal briquets or the equivalent amount of wood coals, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in oven. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, add and brown.
Rinse and drain on paper towels 6 chicken breasts and 6 thighs. When garlic is lightly browned, add chicken. Fry until golden. Add 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook 25 minutes or until tender. Remove chicken from oven and set aside.
Stir 2 10-oz. cans of chicken broth into Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Mix 1/4 cup of cornstarch with 1 cup of water and add to broth and lemon mixture. Stir and cook until thickened. Serve chicken over hot rice and spoon lemon sauce over both.
4 weeks and we are in our new home... one of the things I realized this week is that with my youngest daughter not being in school (homeschooling now) our schedules are so much different. We don't use the alarm clock any more and bedtimes aren't written in stone. We are all listening to our body clocks and what a difference it is making in the cheerfulness of the kids.
Most days the baby wakes up at daybreak and the rest of us follow within the hour. There is generally a nap late in the afternoon for the kids. They seem to crash about 4:30-5pm and sleep for an hour or so. You would think that would have them up all night but they are still asleep around 9pm. Right now we have electricity and lights/tv's are on until 9. I think as we transition over to not have electricity available on demand it will change the sleep habits again.
Prior to Edison and Tesla "lighting the homes of America" life was lived according to the rising and setting of the sun... I see that that will be part of our lives. I just wonder if our natural body clocks are geared for it or if we will find we are battling body clocks with the sun's clock?
I also wonder about the long winter evenings and what we will do without the electricity we are use to... if we aren't watching TV, what are we doing?
Singing, Reading, Talking! Crafting, Growing, Cooking! Living, Loving, Laughing! It will be awesome!