March 7, 2016

On Books, Food, and Being Intentional

Pickled Beets

There are a bunch of things I should be doing right now, but my immense talent for procrastination is flexing it's muscle.

It's a cold and rainy day here in So Cal, which is rare and I'm enjoying it so much. I love hearing the sound of the rain pattering right outside the window. I think it's a good day for blueberry muffins.

The last time I went to the library I picked up two books by Sharon Astyk - Making Home, and Independence Days. I devoured Making Home and now I'm doing the same with Independence Days. Two wonderful books that talk about being a less consuming household, more intentional in how you live and your place on the earth, and preparing for emergencies, but not in a doomsday sort of way. Very practical, a little snarky, and delightful.

While Making Home is more about living lightly and intentionally, with a small focus on emergencies and preparedness, Independence Day is all about being prepared (at least food-wise) for whatever life may throw at you. And even though the whole message is "be prepared", she offers it up in a way that makes sense - Don't stock MREs for "the Big Crash", just change the way you buy and cook food to accommodate storing it and having it available if something happens. It makes no sense to just have dry beans on hand. You have to change your cooking to include those beans on a regular basis.

These books have been such a nice reminder for me, and have kind of kicked my butt back to where I was a few years ago as far as buying storable foods in bulk and cooking from the pantry, rather than my fridge (or fast food).

Trying to bet back to making all of our bread.
I'm now working on getting an inventory of what we have, what it would take to feed us for an extended period of time if something happened, and researching my options for buying in bulk again, but this time from more sustainable & local sources.

I began doing this at the beginning of last year a bit, and I'm so thankful I did because we had stores when Ben lost his job. Now it's a matter of using what we already have, and filling in the gaps.

I know it sounds weird, but I've really enjoyed Ben being without a "formal" job. It's been so fun to see how creative I can get again. And it has helped discipline me to get out of the laziness I had adopted so easily. Life is more complicated in some ways - mainly in that more work is required when it comes to growing, cooking, preserving, etc. -  but it also seems a lot more simple now. And I love when life is simple.

February 18, 2016

The Road To Here

It's been 13 months since last January (duh.). That's a long time since I last blogged, and a lot has happened.

In the past 13 months we acquired chickens, rebooted our garden after a year of not caring, had a whole lot of discussions about how frustrated we were with things, and how life had been so much more fun when we were "poor" (by society's standards) and we made everything count.


... Aaaaand then Ben lost his job in October. We are currently in what we have affectionately called "Operation: Plot Twist".  And the funny thing is... I have been so excited about it.

Ben has been without a job these past 4 months. Part of it by choice - we wanted to take some time off for family and refocusing. And now, as he has been looking and his industry is all but dead in this town right now, it's not quite as "by choice" anymore, but we're rolling with it.

I love seeing how all these things were put in place to help us through this stage.


Those chickens provide wonderful little orbs of (mostly) free protein.

The garden has given us a small amount of fresh veggies, and hopefully will give more this summer.

And our attitudes of wanting to "go back to the way things were" kind of prepped us for this, mentally.

I am loving the challenge. The challenge to not consume as much, to make things work again, to not just run to the store because I had become SO lazy about... Well pretty much everything. To get my entertainment from yarn and the library again, rather than going out. To cook from scratch again with what we have, and not eat out as much (again with the lazy. Oy.).


And my favorite part is seeing the little blessings, how God is providing. Like an unexpected tax return. Like Ben being called by his former boss to help finish shutting down the shop for a week. Like the little orders for Bumblewood that trickle in. Like our sweet, wonderful older neighbor who showed up with pounds of potatoes, beets, cabbages and turnips just because he loves our boys and likes to feed us.

The bounty is amazing, despite the lack of normal employment. And I'm so thankful for this little adventure.

February 15, 2016

Rebooting Life

Hello friend. Long time no see!


I think it's time to revive this little part of my life again. I feel like I'm blooming again after such a long time of being stuck in the cold and dark.

The last year has been so busy. So, so busy. And there has been so many Big Things taking up my brain and time and life.Trying to do everything, but not really being able to do anything and finally...

I broke.

I had spent so much time focusing on the things that I thought I was supposed to be focusing on, and had lost all the things that I used to love. The things that made me, me.

I spent so much time on Bumblewood, that I wasn't knitting or reading, I wasn't cooking or baking. I wasn't doing all the things that made me start that adventure in the first place. I spent so much time trying to keep together the things that were falling a part that I wasn't looking at the things that were amazing and beautiful and wonderful. 

There was no balance, and I fell off the scale and lost myself.

Well, now - I'm Back! At least, I'm getting there.

The drive is back. The passion for the things I loved before. I reasons for why I was doing what I was doing.

So here I am, writing again. But with a bit of an attitude change:

No demands. No trying to make it perfect. No schedule.

Just sharing what I feel like sharing, when I feel like sharing it. Going back to documenting our journey as it happens, and not trying to keep up with the self-imposed demands and deadlines. I thought about starting new, because I felt like this space wasn't pretty enough. But there is so much life here, so many stories and so much history, and I decided it wouldn't be fair to my past self to hide it.

Because life is messy. And I'm learning to embrace it.

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