Have you ever wondered why you keep half the items you own? Do you really need them, are you going to use them?
Every year you hear the term "Spring Cleaning". It used to be about beating out the carpets, washing the curtains and the linens after a long winter and some people still do so.
Others however take it to a whole other level and use "Spring Cleaning" to empty their home of items they have collected that they do not use and most of these items end up in a Yard Sale.
Now lately I find around the homestead that I have so many items that we don't even use, and the clutter is starting to drive me crazy, as is the time it consumes to go through it all. At moments I wish i could just pick up and go with only what I truly need and just leave the rest, but that is not realistic so I am here sorting out the boxes of unorganized Junk that has followed me to our new home.
In order to successfully meet our goals of becoming self-sufficient and off-grid more then 3/4 of the items in my house have to go. Not only do we not use the items anymore it will lessen the amount of trips we need to take when we do find a more suitable homestead.
As I am organizing my Junk boxes I tend to wonder why I let myself become so materialized. I don't need any of this and if there was a flood or great disaster and I lost it all, I wouldn't miss any of it! Not to mention the money we could have saved if we didn't purchase half this stuff in the first place. I have also learned that having eight children means having lots of clothes, I have already given away six bags of clothing and still have so much more. So now I am just shaking my head in disappointment, if only I could be a tad more organized I would have gotten rid of this Junk long ago!
Let's hope next years Spring Clean doesn't keep me so busy and that I can get back to the basics needed!
Every Spring and Summer people all over the world load up on sunscreen to protect themselves from the Suns Rays. Millions of dollars are spent on all these different brands, but how can we be sure that it is actually safe for our skins. When you look at the ingredients listed, most of the time you cannot even pronounce the words. If we don't buy food that contains chemicals or unknown substances why would we put ourselves to risk by rubbing cream on our skin that has those same chemicals and unknowns?
Sure there are homemade sunscreens, but after checking out a few different recipes it got me wondering how healthy they really where for us, especially when you consider coconut oil and olive oil are the main ingredients in most homemade formulas. In my opinion both these ingredients although natural, attract the sun and can cause sun burn.
So what do we use? We do not use anything! Instead we protect our skin from the sun by using clothing, just as the Amish do. We wear light weight clothing that covers our skin and large sun hats that cover our face and shoulders. Sure we may look funny to some, but we are protected and do not have to worry about sunburns, nor do we worry about what chemicals we may be putting into our bodies. Some disagree with our views towards sunscreen, others understand where we are coming from, but either way we are happy with our decision and do not deal with the pain that is sunburn!
Well it seems Spring is finally here, or it is for the moment. Either way the windows are open and outdoor work has begun. In the last two days we have built a duck coop and a rabbit tractor, we have built a larger fenced area for the children to run and play and we have started planning where we are going to plant all these lovely plants that currently occupy my dinning area, as well as finding a place to hang our clothes line. I cannot wait to smell that outdoor fragrance that line hung clothing gets!
It has been a rough go so far with the disappointments that are renting but with our heads held high, we ignore the frustrations and go about our goals. My cookbook is coming along and I am on track for my goal to be self published by July! Also I am in the middle of trying to make a few aprons for myself and the girls as we needed some new ones! Began putting together a plan to save enough for a down deposit by Fall, which puts a smile on my face :) And well I am baking on the homestead as usual, only difference is it comes before and after outdoor chores now!
Heading off to the kitchen now to prepare a meal for my hungry bunch, will be sure to update you soon of our journey to be self sufficient!
Growing up we lived off store bought items, as I got out on my own I chose to learn how to can and make my own foods. I tell you in the beginning I had difficulties and had a lot of failures, but after time I became more comfortable with the water bath and upgraded to a pressure caner. I cannot tell you how excited I get to can, it gives me a great rush knowing that the food we plant and harvest is mine and even though it can be time consuming its a great joy knowing that you made it! There is no questioning the labels, wondering what they put in there that isn't listed, nor is their that tin taste that you get from the cans of store bought foods.
And with the overall cost of food in the grocery stores rising and the amount of product shrinking, I am so glad that I can and don't have to worry about paying over priced prices for items. By growing our own vegetables and canning, we can stock up on items that we like and will use, there is no waste as our animals get the scraps and its cheap! Sure you have a lot of hard labor in order to grown, harvest and can your foods but really could you imagine what our grocery bill would look like if we shopped at the local grocery store...we would be broke!
Now I know canning isn't for everyone, but I have noticed a lot of local farmers that do a CSA food program are starting to add homemade canned products into their program, and I know a few people who purchase items and get their friends to can for them, so there are other options out there!
Either way, I intend on teaching all our children how to can and preserve their foods, and hope that they pass it down to their children. It's my personal opinion that making your own food, whether you grow it or buy it locally is not only a healthier choice, but it seems to taste better too!