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What better living means to me

I hope everyone knows that I have no opinion or judgement about what you do, how you live your life, what food or entertainment you consume…Free To Be You and Me, with that said…

I was at a party last night and made a comment about how I eat what ever I want from Halloween to our Anniversary on the 3rd of January.  It’s like free space in Monopoloy.  I said it for a couple reasons, the first being, I make jokes.  And second, I think people get all freaked out about AMAZINGLY GOOD FOOD, limiting themselves to just “just a sliver of pie” and a “smidge of eggnog”. I hate putting limits and restricting myself.  To forbid is to encourage!  At this party a friend said “what about better living by choice?”

It’s the second time I went to a party with this person and the second time he commented on food.  It might be his thing.  Last time, as I ate perfect little circles of salami he commented on how processed and fatty salami is, and I said “I know and so delicious!”  I do not kid myself into thinking something is good for me, or healthy.  If it tastes good I am eating it.  Not all of it, but I am not going to deny myself good tasting food because it goes over some made up guideline.

Better living for me isn’t just about food.  It’s about choices, read a book or watch TV,  make dinner or go out to eat,  play a game with my kid or get on facebook.  We all make choices daily.  Some choices bigger than others. Job, kids, investments, but most choices are little.  In the case of bad food choices, I allow myself something I really really want even if that means I am going to suffer the consequences.  French fries, PERFECT example, I know fried food is a trigger for my rosacea, 4 days after eating fries my nose would turn red and swell, eventually in my 60s I would look like W.C. Fields. But you know what, sometimes I just want some damn fries.  99% of the time I make the right choice, I pick what is going to be best for me overall, 1% of giving in allows me the strength it all the other times to say no.  This leads to more time between the 1% mistakes.  Because I have to REALLY want fries to deal with my nose for 2 weeks.

There are a million choices and you can drive yourself CRAZY trying to do them all, you can buy local produce, but most local farmers can’t afford to be certified organic. In that battle local beats organic.  We buy all our chicken and pork from a farm that uses non gmo feed, but we still eat store bought food made with GMO, but only grow from non gmo seeds.  Fast food, slow food, organic,low spray, no spray, gmo, non gmo, factory farm, home grown; it is up each person to decide what is of value, what is important to you.  And my attitude is do what you can, when you can.  And if today is a day where you eat dirty food* cause you can’t swing making dinner or would rather spend your energy doing something else, that’s okay too.   Little changes might snowball into something bigger.  We didn’t start on this journey thinking we were going to own chickens for eggs one day, or have our end goal be local/self-sufficiency with our food.

What is Better Living for one, doesn’t dictate what it is for another.  We are all on our own path.  I am here to encourage, support and share what we do, hopefully it helps someone feel like the little change they make today could lead to bigger things!

*I refer to fast food/pizza as my dirty food.  I am not proud of it, but still like it occasionally.

I passed!

The moment we left the farm last Sunday after chicken day my focus became passing my pharmacy test.  When I started my new job in a March, I knew I had to pass this test to keep my job.  6 months flew by and I decided I would just take it, ready or not.

Boomer and Madigan were on their own for food.  I had chili and spaghetti sauce in the freezer, pizza crust were baked so when I got home at night, I would have time to study.  After giving everyone a hug, I would really just study.  No tv, maybe 5 min of Facebook.  I lived on jalapeño cheese bread and baloney sandwiches.

Yesterday I took my test and passed, Thankfully!  I felt good about my answers, but knew I had missed about 8 answers out of 50.  I work in a retail pharmacy so flow rates, or which ventilation hood, vertical or horizontal, do you use to mix chemo drugs are not things I know.   Once I hit finish, I knew my fate was sealed…I either have to study two more weeks or I have passed and I get to keep my job.

i could have kissed the woman who told me I passed. So how does one celebrate?  If you are me spend the day in the kitchen making a ham dinner!


I consider myself lucky…here are a few reasons why

Being able to have chickens and a garden, that produce more than we can eat ourselves, so we can share with friends and family.

I have been able to see a family of deer jump 6-8 feet in the air to get over fences.

I saw a wild turkey with her babies.

Walking out to the chickens hearing the yard buzzing from all the bees.

Giant praying mantis, fat worms and all sorts of bug that are creepy but means that our garden is healthy.

I walk slow enough and quiet enough to be able to see a herd/warren/kit of baby rabbits feeding.  I think that one has made me realize just how lucky I am.  Who is lucky enough to see that?  I am never rushed when I go out in the morning, I have time to look, hear and stop to see the nature all around us.



another storm…

Another branch of the tree comes down.


We were trying to figure out how we were going to be able to get this taken care of.  The last two times Boomer’s dad or brother came over and handled it, but they are both busy or out of town.  We went out of town on the 4th, and both had to work today.  We couldn’t figure out a time when we were going to be able to get this taken care of…what with us needing a tall ladder AND a chainsaw.

When I was out weeding that potato bed, the neighbor asked if he could help up with the downed branch.  I said YES!  So when boomer came home the men went out and got to work.


Feeling thankful for good neighbors!

DEER: Payback time

Remember back in the summer when the deer topped all my tomatoes? I don’t know if I posted that I had a coworker come over during our short hunting season. With as many deer as we have in the back yard, I sometimes think I need a gun and a hunting license. The problem is I don’t know if I like deer meat. Dexter came over and got a deer. He did all the work, and brought some meat for me to try.


He also brought some cooked meat in a gravy that his wife made and it was SOOOO good. Not gluten free, so ALL MINE!

Consider yourself warned deer…I like deer meat, I know where you hang out and I really like my tomatoes.

This is me


I don’t know about you but there are a million pictures of me where I look terrible, frumpy, mad (I do suffer from RBF), old, tired but Madigan took this picture of me, when I was tired and hair not washed, just working on her halloween costume. It’s one of only a few pictures where I think, yes that is how I look and I like how I look. Maybe it’s the photographer, it’s hard to look grump and mad when your awesome kiddo is taking your picture. Or maybe it is that I am happiest sitting in the living room with my small family, doing crafts.

Now to see if the DMV will let me change the picture on my license.

We have cows…

next door.

When we first moved here I would always take note of the closest cow. How far we were from animal agriculture. The winner is next door!


That is on the other side of our driveway. Our Neighbor AC said he was going to bring 30 head of cattle to the property, and they arrived today. I was so very excited. As if I got my very own cow.

Having cows next door makes owning my own cow, a less CRAZY idea. Not this year or next, but maybe, one day.


We have decided we can’t get this house

One of the things I am working on in life is even though I might be afraid and uncertain about things, I need to trust that others do know what they are talking about and have my best interest at heart. As much as I love the property and think the upstairs of this house is charming and perfect for us, we can’t buy it — as is or not. My father in law and brother in law went and walked around the place yesterday and they were concerned to say the least. Zach, who has bought a few houses and fixed them up was positive it could all be fixed, but the amount of time and money would be prohibitive. Boomer’s dad Jerry was just concerned about the whole place, the age and the estate wanting to sell it as is. Here is a pictorial of the concerns.

Open cictern and oil storage over the open cistern

Plumbing–is it original/does it work?

Needs a new roof and gutter system

The wiring in the house might be inadequate for the needs of a modern home

And this looks like water damage and is the only room without a bunch of stuff on the floor.

Oh and there’s always this crack

And this

And in case I forget (when I think back about this house, with delusions of grandeur) the open cistern.

Now with all that, I am sure you have concluded that this house would not be a good choice for us too. Oh but how I want land. This is only the second house we have been interested in, maybe there is another house we will like a few months from now. (sigh)

More pictures

The fireplace and floor in the living room.

I feel very comfortable with the clutter on counters. There were so many little things left in this house, knitting, sewing machines, canning, it feels like the life that the owner had is like the life I want to have.