Category Archives: new skills

PAUL — my hopes for 2015

It has been a few week since I have had any quiet times alone, without Madigan, or a holiday, or a dinner or an event, where I could just reflect.  In that spirit, I have some ideas for 2015.

** Produce.  Produce more food on our own.  Bigger garden, more flowers, maybe try to raise a few meat birds, can more. We do 90% of our own cooking, using very little prepackaged food.  I want to try my hand at making some breads for Madigan and I.  Maybe learn how to make pasta.  Lower the number of boxes or bags of pre-made stuff.

** Appreciate. I would like to take more time to reflect, soak in, appreciate where we are, even in times of struggle.  Be more thankful for things we have accomplished, how far we have come and what we have done right.  We are fortunate in so many ways, and sometimes we forget how much we do have because we get sucked into others view of success, wealth or riches.

** Unafraid. This is all me, I am afraid of things I know nothing about.  Maybe it is because I was single so long and the buck stopped with me.  Since I do not consider myself handy, and would rather pay someone to fix something than try and do it myself.   My fear is the problem when it comes to changing out the mailbox or replacing a flapper in the toilet.  Boomer literally has to do these thing when I am out of the house because I am a super worrier NUT.  It’s not that I don’t think he can do it, it’s that I know *I* can’t.

** Learn.  Continue to learn. Read more books.  Talk with people who do stuff we want to do.  Try more things.

In addition to all that, get back to pod casting, keep a tidier home, get rid of junk we don’t need. Stay off our smart phones and away from TV.

 

chicken for the winter

We picked up our 15 chickens on Sunday

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We let them “rest” for a day or two in the fridge, making it easier to cut up. IMG_6296

I leave some whole.

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Mom got me an early christmas present, a food saver, which has made the process easier.  I am confidant that the birds will be free of freezer burn.  They could last a year or more in there, but we eat them up before that happens.  Nice to know we have food for the winter.  We have been doing this for a couple years now, and have it worked out that we are usually on our last bird end of May, which is around the time of the first chicken day.

I know people think it’s weird that we choose to spend our Sunday processing chicken.  Even more odd is how kind of bummed I get after the last chicken day.  We started going out to the farm to get more connected to our food and now we have these great friends.  I look forward to seeing everyone, talking and laughing while wrist deep in chicken guts.  Sharing a meal with folks who believe like we do in real food, humanely raised meat and supporting local farmers/business.  I am glad that I met Anna at the Grandin Market in 2011, she was the only vendor selling chicken at the market at the time.  I had done a search to find local chicken and Bramble Hollow seemed to be one of the only farms doing it at the time.  If you go saturday, there are a handful of folks selling birds, maybe you can find a farm that will let you take a tour of the farm, and eventually let you start bagging, and when someone who usually helps out on the table goes off and has a baby, you might be one of the people they ask to help you do this.  Brent and Anna are always so grateful and appreciative of us coming out to help with the work, but we talk about it every drive home away from the farm how we feel like the lucky ones!

 

Learning new skills

Mom’s visits are always a treat, fun for Madigan and a nice break from cooking for me. This year with the new house we have more room to learn skills that my mom is happy to teach. I have tried my hand at sewing before, but due to space and lack of motivation it never stuck. I don’t know if the 3rd times the charm, but mom helped me with the sewing machine I got from Boomer’s grandmother.

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She helped me make cloth napkins.
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She also got us a grill for a housewarming present. And since we are old-school apartment dwellers we never learned to grill. It was nice that mom was able to share grilling wisdom.

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Our last dinner, chicken from Bramble Hollow Farm, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes from my back yard. I love the table cloth mom made for us.

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She leaves today and we will miss her. It’s been a great visit with lots of rain, a chicken emergency and a couple of tired days. Next year when she comes back our little homestead will have changed.