Are you ready?

Are you ready for a natural disaster?  I know that I am not, I know that my home doesn’t have enough food or water to sustain myself, husband my son, let alone our dog, two cats and 10 chickens for longer then a day or two.  Living in Oregon, we are just several hours away from the ocean and just hours away from sleeping volcanos… yep we’re fucked if the earth finally decided to crack wide open, or spew hot ash and rocks on us!  The ring of fire is a wonderful, yet slightly scary place to call home.

 

I am trying to just be a responsible parent/pet owner/ adult here and I am starting to plan out and think that I should get ourselves organized a bit just in the event the “big one” comes.  But really we all should think about being more prepared, not in a crazy underground bunker way, but have enough food, supplies to last 3 days until who knows when.

Have you ever thought what if the bridges were unsafe to travel over, would my family be okay? Would we have any access to food, water, medical help, and my answer is nope, not even close…  I want to go more in-depth with this topic, and what we are doing to make sure that we will be okay in the event of an earthquake, or severe weather… government lock down?

I created this Pinterest board to get inspired and get a few ideas of what to put in an emergency kit.  I will be posting weekly on this subject, and sharing what we are doing to get organized in the event of a disaster.

On a side note I feel I need to say that I am just a normal mom who might worry too much, this is something I think about at night…

Where have I been?

I haven’t made a post in a long time, I feel like coming out of the woodwork.  I was busy this spring, and have been busy this summer too.  During this past spring I started taking a look inward to what I want and don’t want in life.  It was like I woke up one day and just decided that some things needed to change.  I joined Beach Body for a few months and lost a little bit of weight, and that was cool.  I am still working on health and fitness, but not with Beach Body, just on my own.  I know that if you want to change you can do it for free, not with shakes and huge payments, and get rich scams.  Currently my fitness program has been idle, my motivation has been slim to none.  The weather has really been a drag, and I have felt like an absolute slug in all areas of my life.

Our little one acre homestead is proving to be a lot of work to fix up.  It took us until the end of June to figure out how our irrigation water worked, so our field was bone dry and no garden this year, next season though it is on!   I did however plant a few plants off of our back patio, I have fought off the aphids ever since!  We finally have our first zucchini growing, we have got a lot of them, but once they get to about 3 inches in length they turn yellow and die.

I haven’t reread my last few posts, I don’t think and I don’t think I am going to.  If I do read what I spoke of in the past I know I will discourage myself from blogging.  This is just me chit chatting with you and letting you know what’s new and what not.  I know we have worked on a few projects since last March, and are in the middle of a few projects right now around the house.  Our chicken coup is working out great, or chickens are doing well, and we are still getting eggs.  We have added to our family, we adopted two kittens a few months ago.  If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen pictures.  We were on the fence for so long about getting a kitten or a cat, and we went with a brother and sister pair of kittens,  Little John Paddington and Miss. Kitty Marshmallow, we figured that they would grow with our 2 yr old and grow to be comfortable with us rather than adopting an older cat who might not be so forgiving of little kids.

This summer we have enjoyed spending time in the creek and swimming, drinking cool beverages, backyard camp outs, family get together, and just doing fun quick little family outings.  Trying to soak all the summer in…

I and my husband have some business ideas we are starting to work on, that we have brainstormed about, and that has led me back to start posting again.  I will be helping him launch his business (Will post more as the time comes) and I am going to start working on a story I have been writing off and on this last year or so, I also will be creating artwork for this story and I am so excited about all of this and it is a HUGE leap of faith, so we will see where this little adventure takes us.

This morning I started cleaning up my work space that I have neglected for about 4 months.  My desk became the place for the stuff you just are not sure what to do with went to die.  You can now walk to the desk, and I put a chair in front of it… so I guess you can say that things are getting kinda serious around here?  If you would like to see images of all the things I have done over the last 3 months please feel free to check out my Instagram account, and follow me so you don’t miss out on something cool.

https://instagram.com/apple.and.thebear/

 

More Blossoms are blooming

Just a few update shots of things starting to pop out in the yard.  Click here to see it just two weeks ago.

Blum tree in blume
Plum Blossom
Cherry Tree
Cherry Blossom

pink blossomI am not sure what exactly this little flower is, maybe an almond?

Periwinkle
More periwinkle
white flowers
White flowered shrub

FeatherWe found a feather in our yard today!

bulbs
Lilly of the Valley

How to make Buttermilk

I was in search for a muffin recipe this week and came across this one, for pumpkin bran muffins.  I made a special trip to the store and made sure that I had all of my ingredients, but of course I forgot the buttermilk.  Buttermilk is one of those things that I just don’t buy because most recipes only use just a little bit, and then your stuck with a cup or so left over, and what do you do with left over butter milk?

Maybe this is common knowledge, but I just discovered all you need to make buttermilk is, milk and vinegar or lemon juice.  That’s IT!

How to make Buttermilk
Homemade buttermilk ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 tsp vinegar

Mix 1 cup of milk with 4 1/2 tsp vinegar (or lemon juice) let it sit on the counter for 15 min or so and you will have instant homemade buttermilk!

*note* If you do happen to remember to buy buttermilk for your cooking you can pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it.

Here is a link to 66 yummy buttermilk recipes, YUM!

 

Disappointment

Marrigold Chamomile Seeds
Seeds I had saved for the 2015 season

Last fall I had saved these wonderful seeds.  I had the seeds tucked away with other seeds I had saved, I had even planned on sending some to a friend… to my disappointment when I took a peek at my seeds several days ago I noticed they all had molded over.  All of these beautiful little flower seeds moldy and sad-looking.  I wish I had an after picture to share my horrible surprise.

Looking back on how I dried them it shouldn’t have been a shock that they got moldy.  I think that I didn’t let them all dry properly before I put them in a bag (obviously).  It’s okay, I still have morning glories and dill I can plant saved by family… and dried properly.

And on the bright side I get to shop for more seeds and plants! Spring is a month away!!

Bulbs and Blossoms

The air is filled with a sweet smell of blossoms about to burst,  I wish I knew where and what plant was making such a wonderful aroma, the smell is really quite indescribable.  We have had warm 60º weather with lots of sunshine the last few days.  The grass has grown a foot in just a few days, and the maple bugs are out in full force it seems.

Our chicken coop is coming a long, we hung the doors for the chicken yard and the hen-house this weekend.  I  am crossing my fingers that we will finish the coop this coming weekend, and I will give you a chicken coop tour after then.

I hear that the back east they are having blizzards still… All I can think is how lucky I am living on the west coast (the best coast is what “they” call it).  All I know is that moving to where we are living now I have seen less fog, less clouds, less mud, more rain, more sun.  I believe moving just 11 miles away out of the valley was the best thing we have ever done.

Here are just a few pictures of the visions of Spring I am seeing, more signs have popped up after taking these.  More funny mushrooms, more blossoms, more bulbs, bugs, and birds are singing their songs to the trees.

Filbert Hazelnut Tree Oregon
From my Filbert tree (Oregon Hazelnut)
Blue Periwinkle Flower Vine
Periwinkle
Iris Bulbs
Iris along the pump house
Tree Blossom
An apple blossom?
Tree Blossom
More apple blossoms?
Backyard in Winter
Part of the side yard with periwinkle vines growing like mad along the fence line.
Plum Blossom
Future plums!
Flower Bulb
A sweet lone crocus bulb in the middle of the front yard.

Flower Bulb Feet Rainboots Pacific Northwest

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13127223/?claim=aab5cyv9gfx”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Moss and Mushrooms

This weekend I walked around the property looking at the plants starting to wake up from their winter nap.  This last week we had a bit of rain fall mixed in with sunshine and spring is really starting to show its self, even if it still is a little over a month away.  I started to take pictures of the moss growing in the trees, and the mushrooms that are starting to get with the program.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey Tail Mushroom Moss and MushroomsI had never heard of Turkey Tail mushrooms, but that is what these are, see they look just like turkey tails!   I am not a mushroom expert, so I will say I am about 75% sure that these are in fact Turkey Tail mushrooms.  Turkey Tail mushrooms have been linked to help improve the immune system in people who have breast cancer, good to know?  Walking around looking at the trees on our land I have come to realize I think a few of them might be dead, because they don’t have any buds on them yet, and all the mushrooms and fungi growing is quite impressive.Mushroom

Tree Bark
Tree scars
Fungi
Fungi

Do you see the face, I didn’t even notice it until I was looking back at the pictures I took!  Woodpeckers have done a number on most of the trees around our house, and whom ever lived here before had no clue what they were doing when it came to caring for the plants and trees.  Many of the trees have scars and healed over scars from someone taking an axe to them and just hacking into them partly.  Mushroom statue

Future home of a fairy house
Future home of a fairy house

A few weeks ago I was cleaning up an old flower bed and I found this cement mushroom berried in the dirt.  I thought I might paint it and turn this little hollow in the tree into a fairy house.  I think my son might enjoy a little spot in the yard where magic might exist.Green Moss on tree bark

The moss
The moss

I hope where ever you are the signs of spring are starting to show themselves!

Feeling like spring

Just some snap shots of my last week or so.  Enjoy!

Holiday Pointsettia My Poinsettia flowers are still doing amazing sitting in the window.  I have never had much luck keeping them alive longer than a week or so, I am feeling quite proud of myself for keeping them in good spirits this long!Tree Blossom Snowdrop flowerThe flowers, bushes and trees are starting to awaken from a short winters nap this year.  Pollen has been blanketing my car on a daily basis, however I welcome the early signs of spring.

Reflection of a beautiful sunset in the window
Reflection of a beautiful sunset in the window
Fence post hole digging
Fence post hole digging
future chicken coop
future chicken coop

Pallet Chicken CoopMy pictures for our chicken coop are not the best, but we have been making progress the last few days while taking advantage of the beautiful weather.

Yardart
Starting to decorate the yard?
Firepit
Fire pit!

Everyone should have a fire pit.  Eventually we plan on making this a little bit more permanent, more rocks, gravel and the metal ring will be gone.

Cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls

And my domestic self made a batch of cinnamon rolls, that really hit the spot!

 

 

 

First New Moon of 2015

Giraffe

Today is the first new moon of 2015.  Something I have done for the last 5 months now is setting my intentions for the month ahead on the new moon, I also do it on the full moon.  I will typically write down in my note-book 5 things I am grateful for, and then 5 goals I want to focus on for the month.  I can say that in the last 5 months of doing this my life has changed dramatically, by just focusing on taking baby steps to a bigger goal.

Between today Tuesday, January 20 and Wednesday, February 18th these are my five goals:

  1. Refocus on my blogging efforts
  2. Reorganize my routines
  3. Redefining myself and this blog
  4. Renew my soul
  5. Revitalize my mind

Blogging and moving do not go hand in hand.  I learned that it was impossible to stay on top of daily and weekly social media duties, cater to a two-year old, and move.  Not to mention doing it all with Christmas happening at the same time, it was silly of me to think I could be wonder woman and do it all.  With that being said, I am committing my focus keeping this space current with the happenings of my life.

My daily routine has been non-existent as of this last month.  I have had some health issues and it’s been hard to focus on the things I need to do.  I have a doctor’s appointment next week so, I will up date you on what I find out.  So, yes some new health blog posts are on the way. Got to get the mind right and the body will follow.

With keeping health in mind I plan on adding some new focus to this space of mine.  I will be talking more about body, mind, and soul.  Just the things I enjoy that make me feel happy.  I’m excited about sharing more about who I am as a person.

Every January I get Spring fever and start spending a little more time outside, going on weekend nature adventures.  Oregon has a lot of waterfalls so, I would like to visit a few before Spring officially comes.  Nature truly renews my soul, and my mind, I feel complete after spending time away from society, and the troubles of the world.

Here are just a few pictures of what I have been up to the last two weeks.

We went to a nature preserve

Giraffe Rino Bad ass goats zebraI attempted to be domestic

Banana bread
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Soup
Ham and Bean soup
Sprouts
Sprouts

I tried to sprout radish, red clover and alfalfa seeds, but they ended up getting fuzzy so I tossed them out.  I am not sure what I was doing wrong, or if it was the seed it’s self?  I bought a special sprout jar and everything, but no luck… yet.

I tried to decorate.SticksI am attempting to force these twigs into blooming for me.  I want to know what kind of bush I have growing by my front yard gate, I am crossing my fingers for Forsythia!

Mantle Decor
Still waiting on a fireplace insert
Alter
My little studio alter space

And lastly my husband finished dry walling our laundry room.  After moving in we discovered one of the pipes for the washing machine had been leaking, and that lead to a moldy soft wall that needed to be dealt with before it turned into black mold! EEK!Work

new tv
My husbands reward for all of his hard work moving, a new TV

 

2015 Homesteading Goals

I walk around my yard and I have no idea what is what.  The trees are bare and stand like ghosts.  December is a silly time to move into a new home, it’s cold, damp, and you literally have no idea what is growing in your yard.  With that being said, our first year here my goals are simple for 2015 and are mainly about our home and taking care of a few outdoor projects.  Here is my list of my top 20 things I would like to see done this year.

Backyard in Winter
Backyard looking into our pasture

 

Indoor Projects:

  1. Finish Laundry room
  2. Lay down new flooring in laundry/mud room
  3. Find a hutch or buffet table for all of my china
  4. Knock out wall so our fridge fits where it belongs
  5. Buy a fireplace insert and redo the mantle
  6. New windows
  7. Window treatments
  8. Update bathroom
  9. Finish hall closet
  10. Decorate the house

Outdoor Projects:

  1. Dig up and move 3 incense cedar trees that are growing too close to garage and driveway
  2. Set up our chicken coop so our chickens can come live with us
  3. Fix patio flower bed
  4. Trim fruit trees
  5. Remove blackberry, ivy, and other vine plants
  6. Tree removal
  7. Build new raised garden beds
  8. Fix fencing
  9. Find out if our irrigation pipes work
  10. Re-seed front lawn.

Looking at my list it doesn’t seem like much, but considering we are a family on one income, it is a lot, and I know it will take us all year just to do these projects.  I am learning that homesteading/farming and just being a home owner is hard, but just as rewarding.