Friday, October 31, 2008

Thank you for all your kind emails and encouragement! I sure appreciate them all. I appreciate your questions also and will do my best to answer them. You can always email me at I get emails daily but it may take some time to reply!


October 30, 2008

I took a hot bath in a very large plastic tub, you know, the one you store the Christmas decor in... Yuhp, that one, the BIG ONE! I heated 2 water bath canners of the water on the woodstove and poured these in the tub with about 2 water bath canners of cold water. It was very pleasant! I took the bath in the dark with a gas lamp right in front of the woodstove late tonight...

I am waiting for some big epiphany here like, "WOW we should never have done this" but I am finding it really has not been an adjustment... I know its because GOD is driving this thing...

the laundry department

I cut the cord on my heavy duty iron and I set it on the woodstove to get it hot and iron the clothes... Here I am stirring the laundry... I use the mop bucket wringer for my wringer. I won't fib, I have gone to the laundry mat for large loads but dried the clothes on the line... I can get by longer if I do a few small loads a day...
lets just say living without that gasoline wash machine is GETTING OLD but I am not complaining :) too much

October 31, 2008

you can find more info on purifier here

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008

Today is our oldest child's birthday... WOW! What a blessing...

If you would have told me me 15 years ago today I would be living on a 40 acre amish farm, off grid, I would NEVER have believed you... If you would have told me 15 years ago today I would be expecting baby #6 I could have only hoped it would be true as I have always wanted a large family... I will tell you society pressured us for a while to be status quo on family size but hubby and I finally became more mature about that and followed the Lord's leading... (more on this subject possibly at a later time)

15 years ago today we lived in a 900 sq. ft house on a horribly busy 5 lane street! Traffic was posted at 45 mph but everyone went at least 60+ it seemed. Our bedroom window was about 12 feet from the street on our 100x100 lot. We knew then we wanted land as hubby had grown up in a large open space on some acreage. I just did not know how or when we would get "there"... I had dreams as I held my newborn that day of a life free of noise, busyness and for her to have some great wide open spaces with some animals and nature!

We are here. It took almost 17 years to get "here". It did not happen overnight at all. It took 17 years of marriage and owning 5 homes but we have arrived "here"... Some comment, "Wow, you guys sure like to move A LOT"... I just think to myself (while keeping it to myself) that if I had not "moved a lot" I would not be "here". It was worth EVERY move to be "here". I am not saying that each decision may have been the best financial move in our early days of marriage, some were great gains financially, some not so much. It took a lot of changes and chances to get "here"...

Albert Einstein ( I believe it was him) once said that "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again". If I would have stayed in the first home on the 5 lane road for 17 years, well personally for our family it would have been utter insanity...

I encourage you today to not let insanity get the best of you. I encourage you today to pursue your dreams with the Lord's leading, whatever those dreams may be... Life is to short to stay the same forever... Life can be a huge adventure depending on what you do with life...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008

pictures and movies still coming... updating blog at the library with a 1 year old is well,

and move to current date

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008

I would have never considered our children to be up with pop culture or the latest fads as they have always been home schooled. But, they do not live with their heads in the sand either. I do find it very interesting to find some recent changes with them as they seem so comfortable in their own skin even more here! They seem less interested in impressing others or fitting in as small as these things were before.

My soon to be 13 year old came downstairs with a "house on the prairie" type dress today and was excited to wear it and I never suggested it... I found out she had laid it out the night before to wear!

My 15 year old daughter has ditched the subtle make up she used to wear most days...

my 9 and 7 year old have embraced their new overalls from the local farm store...
They play outside a whole bunch together and it is going well!

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008

two books I could not live without!

Lighting has NOT been an issue at all! Between 2-3 pretty oil lamps, 1 gas lanter in the kitchen dining area, 1 in the family room and a few here and there it has not been an adjustment! It does seem we go to bed earlier though with the darkness. The time change happens this weekend. I believe I heard somewhere that the amish do not subscribe to the time change and I will have to ask them that next time we see them.

I have missed balancing my checkbook every few days on line and checking election news. But, I can report to you that I finally have all my C- size batteries for my Busch radio so I do feel back in the loop, a little...

I seem to have more time here to "love" and enjoy my family. I find that rather odd as I actually have more work to do. I think it is because I find we are doing the work together... Yes, we get irritable too as we are together BUT... I had a wonderful stainless steel BOSCH diswasher before and now we all have conversation while we are doing the dishes together. We talk ore as we hang our clothes on the line or as we take them off the drying rack by the woodstove.

I have still fallen short it seems as I am a bit cranky at times. I tire easily at the age of 37 as I enter the 2nd trimester of pregnancy of another blessing... The move was interesting also with lots of 24 hour morning sickness... I have been nervous I have been overdoing it as of late and have lost a few pounds but I am very happy to report that I heard the miracle of the babe's heart beat today. Praise the LORD! 160 bpm...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008

daughter reading and writing a letter...

Went back to the "PALACE" to get another small load of things... I can honestly say I did not miss it. I can honestly tell you though I really appreciated the utter beauty of this wonderful home. I remembered so many fond memories of our life there.

My husband put so much blood, sweat and words :) with his hammer into this home. He made a sticky log cabin into a mansion with his very own two calloused hands. I know he did this for our family and that makes me emotional when I think on that part of it all...

The completed project from beginning to end in 2004 took only 6 months to add over 2,000 sq. feet, 100% finished! I know this is for 2 reasons, #1 God was driving that project and #2. We did 90% of it on our own and I must add one of my most favorite Thoreau quotes here: "The man that goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready". If you have ever waited for a contractor you will understand this!

A few pieces of my heart remain at the palace... The passing of 2 sweet babies lives snuffed out to early... The joy of bringing home a perfect and healthy newborn baby boy and much more. To much to begin to write on paper...

Yes, I missed the memories but walked away knowing these memories are still with me and can never be taken away, no matter where my domicile may be... And because of that, I can leave the Palace behind...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

October 25, 2008

Ok… some frustration and stress seems to be mounting. The windmill was working and suddenly another part needed to be repaired. I do not understand most of this windmill stuff but I do understand while it does not work I do not have running water :) so, what more do I really need to understand. Fortunately we have 3 more wells. 1 was just dug a few years back. If worse comes to well, you know, I guess we will have use that well next! I have been trying to encourage my husband as he has been fixing it every night when he gets home from work and all. He seems to be getting frustrated but the most frustration about the windmill happened this morning. Yesterday he went all over town looking for part for a 1920 windmill and he finally found them. This morning he ran to get one more thing and I asked the kids to clean out the van for me and bring things to the burn barrel. They obediently brought all the trash to the burn barrel and burned it…

When my husband came home we started to try to do the windmill repairs and he started to look for the parts in the van to the windmill we had bought the day before… well, he could not find them… they were apparently in the burn barrel…

It has been raining which makes it much harder to crawl into the windmill pit also. Freezing rain in fact today.

Some of our basic needs real quick to make life simpler around here:
Carhartt coats and pants
1 warm pair of pjs for each child
All white tube socks to be able to bleach and all kids can wear them or all black socks so they do not show dirt!
1 good pair of work boots for each child

I realize why the amish do not have 5 different pairs of shoes and numerous fashion changes. It makes life much easier not to have all the extras! When we go to town, I promise you we won't look like total morons but at home we just might!

The kid should wear the overalls while outside and hang them on a hook in the back hallway when not in use.

Have a good coat for outings but work coat for outside, etc.

1 pair of pjs to be washed every few days.

The socks all matching would alleviate the problem of whose socks are whose etc…

Yesterday went to visit Dorothea Jorgensen Comden and saw photos of Agnes. This is a local author who wrote all about the area right around our farm from the late 1800's. These books put the Little House Series to shame so far! I am not kidding you! I will post a link to them soon so you can order them.

We went to an amish store and found a water purifier and looked at wood cookstoves also.

Ate at the local café for all you can eat shrimp. It was good but the turned gross quickly.

Part of the frustration, I need to get in the Word more… in all the business, I have not read my Bible…


Kim from

If Walls Could Talk!

Please email me your address to:

and I will send out your package next week...


Thanks for playing...

my computer is still on the fritz! keep following, I had to pop into the library to draw a winner and post this. I have been journaling daily so keep checking back for the updates next week. sorry to keep you hanging!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 22 continued and October 23, 2008

girl's "new bedroom" 2nd harvest organic raspberries

Oct 22 (some of this may be repeating some details but read on)

Today the well was acting up. It started after 3 pm after a trip with the children to Herschberger's Staples Store. V's store is a small staples store on her 3 season front porch. Everything from mason jar lids in bulk, to organic hand cleaner, cocoa and cereal. Basically everything for baking, etc I bought peanut butter for $1.45 and found that a great deal especially while only about a mile away. She is an amish woman in her late 20’s early 30’s I believe with 4 children.

She remembered me when we came and inquired about windmill parts with her husband before we bought our farm. She seemed to know quite a big about me. One amish lady once had told me the amish grape vine is the quickest thing around and I am starting to believe her. Anyways, she wondered how it was going w/o electricity and mentioned she had seen our lanterns at night as she took the buggy by. I told her it was going much better than I thought and that I liked it. She said “well see how long it will last”. I bet we are the talk of the amish right now. That’s ok… I think they think we are just pretending. Although I do say this w/o pride or haughtiness but I will say she does not know the resolve I have as well as Matt to see this through. We are enjoying this journey and God is driving this thing!

We came home and whipped up some no bake choc. Pnbt. Cashew with goats milk cookies. We realized we were out of milk so we had to (the kids) quickly go and milk the goat. Back to the well. It started that the pressure was down when returning to put groceries away and I noticed it was harder to wash my hands. Mind you, I had 2 meals of dishes to do yet! I bypassed the well problem to get supper started. I had wanted to make buttercup squash in the oven but I had not used my 1920ish magic chef oven alone yet and I was to nervous to light it. I thought, let me try the top of the woodstove for giggles. Well long story short, in my water bath canner with a small amount of water I cooked 7 squash in about a hour. Then I thought, I can make apple cobbler the same way! So the kids went and milked the goat and picked about 12 mac apples off of our very own trees. I took a 9x13 and set it on a small rack and put our raw honey, fresh goats milk, organic oat meal and cut up apples on the stove and mixed well and covered the dish. In about 45 minutes this was also finished. I was impressed! I really didn't need a gas oven anyway it seems!

I took tuna patties and fried them on top of the magic chef stove and boy the meal was great! The kids woofed the entire meal down and I kept matt a plate of the goodies on top of the wood stove until he would come in. remember I still do not have water at this point and the dishes are really adding up… after 630, then 730 the one lantern ran out of white fuel so I am down to 1 oil lamp and a candle on the inside. , I AM GETTING ORNERY,... Then 830… 930 and finally 1030 I told matt just to come in and eat his dinner as it was becoming 1 with the plate on the wood stove… He finally came in and told me he would have to get parts after work the next morning as well as lantern fuel. Fortunately I had saved 1 large kettle of clean water for bathing, etc.

We slept very good that night.

October 23, 2008
Today was a sunny and warmer day. We looked forward to doing some errands today and I wont fib to you that I took 3 loads of laundry to the laundry mat to be washed but dried on the line at home. When we got all the way to town I realized I had left my large shop list at home… I was getting frustrated but then I stopped at the local library to get my new card and boot up my lap top. I booted the laptop up and it just kept looping around and around! Ugh! More frustration. Then when I returned home I realized I had only picked up 4 c size batteries rather than the 6 c size I needed for my bush radio and now I would have to wait longer for news and radio. Oh well, I will learn to remember better and It was a great day anyway.

I should go, I hear that water to the windmill running! Dinner tonight will be beef and potatoes… cooked on top of the woodstove of course!


So, here I am... Drove into town to post all the word docs I have journaled daily since the move and when I get to town and get to the library my computer will not boot up!!!!! argh!

I have so much to tell you! It is going very well and I have lots of posts to share from word to blogger but they are trapped on my computer and due to time restraints, I cannot nutshell it all... Soooo, I hope you can wait just a few more days. I plan on updating frequently. I will have hubby take laptop in to work for me and that will work. I am journaling daily and have lots to share!

Stay tuned! This new life if more exciting than I ever thought!

We are off to an amish lantern part store next! But for now, we stopped into the local library...

THE DRAWING WILL BE POSTED who the winner is next week if I cannot get to a computer, but I will choose the winner this October 25, 2008.

oh yes, I cannot get the pictures off of my camera to even post 1 photo either! But I have lots of photos and mini-movies to show you.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008

Today was productive! Back end of house swept, outhouses redone (that means we shoveled the uck), compost buried a full cord of wood stacked, wood brought into house, front porch cleaned up and more!

Went to Hershberger's Staples Store and bought lots of staples, price very reasonable. Peanutbutter only $1.45. Made no bake chc pnbt cashew cookies (milked the goat for the milk in the cookies) and making tuna patties (onion, cream cheese, corn meal egg fried and place in squash) for supper in 7 buttercup squash. And fresh well water. All supplies came from Herschbergers store.

We cooked the squash right on the wood stove in a canner today and it seems fine.

It was a quiet day. Matt came home 445 to continue to fix the well (it has been leaking)
Put up a sign for wash machine and pioneermaid cookstove on mill board. We subscribed to the Milk News today. It is an amish news of things for sale and goes around to each farm and the milk truck drops the news to us. Only $8.10 a year! Checked the board for weaners at micelles farm but she will not be home until after 6 pm tomorrow eve. Hoping to get a mom and dad pig to have our own. Just found a pregnant sow in the milk news for only $100, we will check it out!

Found things for compost pit but will install tomorrow. Read all about Sacajawea to Ruthie today and babe and all kids played in large maple leave piles. The best thing about today is I have read lots in my The Encyclopedia of Country Living Book. (GET THAT BOOK TODAY!) I could never have done this move without my Bible and my trusty Encyclopedia of Country Living Book. I could live foerver if these were the only 2 books I ever read again!

Did I tell you it is SO PEACEFUL HERE? I have been playing my auto harp and reading to the kids so much and loosing track of time! More official school back on next week but I dare see we are learning much more now than from a stack of books could ever tell us... Didn't I already write that?

Leaving off on 10-22. I am not sure I want to come back to society and the pressures. People are just more laid back up here for sure! I love the feeling that I do not have to fix everything right now. Some people may not understand this. There is a feeling of great dread when I think of returning to the old. I do not neccesarily care what people may think, but for some reason I do feel an inner pressure to perform as I already had. I never felt though that this what I did previously was an act before but I just now realize that I do not have the drive to be that any longer. I feel comfortable in my own skin, my own life, who I am. I am not sure if this comes with age or experience or my walk with God, but I feel as if it is a marriage of all 3 properties. I have a long way to come but I sure am happy where God is taking me...

People just seem to do what they want to do here. For example a guy just opened a small fur shop to create deer skin leather gloves and I think its neat he did not have to ask the township #1 to do it, and #2 to put a sign up… all those rules are really just for the birds… His deer skin glove sign doesn’t bother me in the least, rather I think it neat someone is pursuing a dream even as small as it may be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 21, 2008

Start at OCT 18 first

We are slowly getting settled in. I have to tell you, going without electricity has been easy. SERIOUSLY! We have the lanterns for lights, and it really has not been a huge change. I really just wonder, “why we have not done this sooner?” We just do up the dishes immediately and always have a hot kettle of water for dishes and other things.

Like I thought, the laundry has been a challenge. That gasoline powered washer will be purchased quick like :) The clothes line is no biggey for me as I have used it already. We are installing an 8 foot inside retractable clothes line by the wood stove today, but we are currently using a drying rack(s) by the stove and it has been ok… Its only been 3 days and I have done 2 loads of laundry daily just to keep up.

The bathing has been fine also. I will post a photo of the bathtub soon.
Refrigeration would have seemed to be a large issue but this time of year it has not been. We have an uninsulated pantry and I have stored lots of food out there to keep it cool as it never seems to go above 50 degrees. Obviously I cannot put frozen stuff out there but we didn’t bring any of that here yet. We will do that in the next few days and I had been winding our freezer down for this reason. I will have to can those tomatoes now! We eat fairly fresh anyways so it has not been a problem. Summer would have been a different story. We will have the ice house set up when our pond freezes and we cut ice.

We have seen occasional amish buggies going to and for by our home and its neat to see them. While outside you first hear the clippity clopping and then we look and sure enough, It’s a buggy. The amish are going back and forth to a feed mill and small dry good store down the road. We can also purchase from these stores. Their pricing if VERY economical, cheaper than things we buy now and it makes sense to obviously support the locals as it would be 10+ miles to the nearest big grocery store. We have always been advocates for shopping local and I encourage you to be also!

We plan on going to town once week for library (wi-fi and books :) and then larger shopping and so forth. I will try to plan our Dr/dentist appts on that day also. It seems to be a great way to get things done and saves on gas money, etc. When we have a planned day to go away the other days we get our work done around here as we know “the day” is coming to go and have fun. I will make an easy supper that evening or maybe even bring home pizza or something.

Sunday will also be our day out for church and so forth, and I always take a big fat nap on Sundays! I take the day of rest on the Sabbath pretty seriously. NOT for religious reasons, but think about it, GOD mandated an actual “day off” from work, so I am taking Him up on it! :) It is nice to know there is one day to really not have to lift a finger. It makes the other 6 days of the week seem less laborious.

Things we need to get done today:
A compost pit started for kitchen leftovers etc.
A burn barrel area for trash and get a fire going
Hang the retractable clothes line in the kitchen
Bolt 2 dressers to the wall for safety with toddlers…
Fence in the chickens and turkeys better. I like the free range idea but the other day one chicken was on the front porch and when I opened the door she almost came in! Not my idea of free range!

On another note, we still have lots to do at the other place yet. We have lots of odds and ends to move here. I haven’t needed these things yet though so it makes me wonder do I really even need them?

The goats and calf are doing great. They seem so happy! Lots of open grassy areas for them! I looked and they were all running together, CUTE! The other bird passed away this AM. I don't think she could live without her mate and I am sure she couldn't handle going without electric also...

The day starts out like this:
Someone goes and starts the pump to the windmill. Water is already on the stove from the night before and we turn in on to start boiling it for baths and a separate pot for coffee. Make breakfast, kids do animal chores, get hubby off to work and remind him to take sleep mask battery to charge it, etc. Devotions, clean up breakfast, inside jobs and then we will do school (although we have not started that yet as this week we have off to get settled in BUT we have learned MUCH more than a stinking text book could teach us anyway :)). Then the afternoon will be more leisurely but some outside jobs will be done and then supper started. Obviously there is more to it, but I have been asked how a typical day goes around here. The schedule is always being tweaked to make the most of it but we do not make it a ball and chain so it buries us. But, a schedule is good because you only do what is on the list that day and when your work on the list is finished, your jobs are done. I find that freeing…

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 18, 2008 the first night

I am not a writer but wanted to tell you my thoughts in this journal like style... Start here and move up the screen for the story...
We started moving on Friday October 17, 2008. We packed the truck with the biggest items and left some other furniture to stage the house we were leaving behind.

We moved in and slept our first night on m rd. on Baby's 1st birthday. With much help from P and the gentle giant, my hubby, we got pretty settled in. We moved large items as we had help, some clothes and necessities. This would be one load of many to come. Matt threw his knee out pretty good. We are getting older to move all this. It seems older anyways from when we moved some of our earlier homes. We look back and this was the coolest move we had ever made. Most moves seemed to be on the hottest days of the year and a few good friends of ours that helped can attest to that!

We loaded George and Sylvie and Isabelle the goat into the horse trailer , the cat with the birds in a cage and the dog in the cab of the truck. The chickens had already made the journey about a week before as well as the turkeys.

The animals made the journey well but we did loose one bird immediately upon arriving, the parakeet flew out of the cage and never returned. I am fairly certain he could not stand the thought of living without electricity...

Once we started setting up house things already seemed homey and cozy. I was glad the week before I could wash all of the hardwood floors and dust so we could move in to a fairly clean house. We put all of our books in the guest bedroom as we need to make shelves. We have lots of books, I have about 4 times as many that have to be moved yet.

We got fairly set up, the bedding on beds and beds in bedrooms and set up were a top priority so the children could find their nest and feel at home in the new surroundings. Ruthie seems most affected by the move as this home she is moving from is the only home she has ever known as she has lived there from 18 months on. We were sensitive to this and tried to have some extra love (and much patience :) dealing with this little sweetheart.

After unloading the trucks Matt had to drive p back to the shop so the kids and I had chicken noodle soup in mason jars as we had not brought the bowls load here yet. The hot soup seemed so soothing as the house was fairly cold with no heat in it. It was interesting getting noodles out of the bottom of the tall jars when the broth was gone. Yes, I forgot the silverware load also. We will always remember our first night drinking this hot soup for the tall jars.

We could hear the dog barking beneath our feet during the soup time. We found that rather odd. Especially when we could hear the cat snarl and growl. The cat had found a way under the 2 ft crawl space under the kitchen and so the dog followed as well, now 25 feet into the crawl space, under our feet (I told you this house was nothing like our other one right :) ) We knew we would have to get both of these animals out of there or we would not be able to sleep that night. It was already after 9 pm and we were all very tired (mom getting a touch ornery) and it took quite a bit of convincing to get the dog out of there. We did finally, after about 15 minutes, get the dog out of the crawl space and the cat eventually followed her.

It was cold in the house! We all had winter coats on and we sat on the makeshift couches under down comforters and talked. We were getting closer as a family already.

We froze to death almost with no heat and at 400 am matt got up to light old woodstove and it worked fairly well. We will hook up the other wood stove coming up. Thank God for the stove that was here, it made everything feel more homey.

I didn’t sleep real well, I kept waking up to see where I was...

a small movie of the mainfloor inside...

Hey, the babe was only up twice last night so yeah!!! we are moving the big stuff from the upstairs today...

moving photos

lots of traffic on the way "up" here is the main floor family room/living room area (the baby grand will being going where the playpen is :) )

below and above, I will have to change the camera settings to include lantern lighting :)
above looking toward the dining room and then the kitchen area. That black stove will be replaced with a wood cook stove eventually. plus to the right of this photo we have another woodstove to be installed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

for some, this is the only home they have ever known...
they took this on their own... I was impressed they were not kissing the TV goodbye!


I will still be updating this blog from the local library or local WI-FI joint!

The Gentle Giant's take on the move...

some will not remember living with electricity...

changes along the way... and the free giveaway!

Yesterday we started packing and I got rid of:

2 crock pots

2 roaster ovens

a microwave

3 telephones

an answering machine

numerous lamps

coffee pot (we have used a French Press for years anyways, this was in the back of a closet)

toaster oven
potpourri warmer

CAPPRESSO Coffee Grinder

9 radios between us!!! (WASTE)

We are keeping 3 radios, one for the kitchen, the center of the home (my antique BUSCH RADIO, cannot part with that and it runs on batteries, a similar radio to the above photo, a HIS KIDS RADIO, and one radio with a cassette player)

A FAN***

More electronics going today. We have a cool battery pack to run my hubby's CPAP machine on and I can use that for a few small gadgets like a hair dryer, iron, oh yes, the flat iron for teenagers :).


We are packing more today! THANKS PETE! More to get rid off. I have been doing lots of bedding laundry...

Took a hot bath in my beautiful antique claw foot bathtub last night... thinking I will have to redo this set-up somehow...

We are moving the wood stove up north tonight. Nights are cold now and even cooler up there. We had a hard frost last eve. Temps last night went down to the 30's...

More updates coming with some live streaming video, maybe...

Don't forget to sign up for our free giveaway and tell your friends all about it! One week left to sign up! Read about it HERE!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

my new washing machine...

outhouse #1 cleaning day... The hat is just in case bats are out during the day :)... This will be one fear I must conquer like, today

I would love to redo our loo like this one... I have gotten lots of questions about the move so I will attempt to answer some of them here. Everyone has been real encouraging too! Bless you! We appreciate the encouragement.

Regarding the bathroom:
We have 2 outhouses. They are not pit outhouses but composting buckets and sawdust. You go and then you cover with wood shavings. When bucket is full you dump in a humanure type composting pit away from wells, the house and your other composting pile. This compost pit is different than your garden composting pit obviously. But you do have use able compost afterwards for other things if you so desire like perennials, etc. We have done lots of research on the "living-loo" and you can find more about that here, but I should warn you the book is full of a lots of crap :)! HA! I want to redecorate our outhouses to look similar to this other picture above. I have a sweet antique ironstone chamber pot with lid from the 1800's. This will come in handy during the wee hours.

Regarding showers and bathing:

We have a huge wash room in the back of the house with a well pump, drain, large cauldron to heat the water, etc. This is where the laundry will be done. We have additional water (cold water only in both of these areas) that runs to the kitchen from a holding tank high up in the barn (gravity fed to the house). To fill the holding tank we have to either hook up our 6 horse Honda type motor (like a lawn mower motor) under the windmill to pump that water to the tank or have the windmill head fixed (we are doing that) to run off wind power. The engine is gasoline powered and runs about 20 hours on 1 tank of unleaded gas. Either way, its a win win for us financially.

We will have to heat all water for baths at first. Don't worry, we will still be very clean people. I won't lie to you though, Sunday I checked the church locker room shower to see if the showers were use able :)... KIDDING.

We will eventually create a "Green" shower to heat water in a black tank outside and hook up a shower that will be gravity fed. We should be able to use that about 5 months out of the year (the warmer months) and then baths the other months. But for now we will heat the water on the wood stove or propane stove for baths. I want to redo a bedroom to make a bathroom set up and have a claw foot tub with a small hot water in the bathroom run by propane or wood eventually for the winter time baths/shower. In that room we will also have a composting toilet. Some of these "improvements" if you will, must wait until our other home sells. For now we are using the farm exactly how it has been used for 20+ years, the Amish way, and it works just fine! The Amish have been real helpful showing us the ropes, etc. They plan to help us get settled in once we arrive.

Again, I believe laundry will be the biggest challenge for this family of 7 and counting... I was graciously left a wash/rinse tub by the Amish. They did use a gasoline powered wringer washer which hooks up to that same motor I mentioned above. That is a goal of ours, quick like, as I believe that will be easier with the gasoline powered wash machine. I am used to hanging clothes on the line and by the wood stove currently. But for now, I will use the tub. I have a large wringer from my industrial mop bucket.

Regarding "THE BOOK":
Oh yes, I will be writing a book! In fact, I have started documenting the journey already and have lots of neat things to tell you about the initial stages of this decision with more of the story on the printed page... Stay tuned...


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

making goals a reality!

click to enlarge photos

Hubby and I have had a dream for sometime. We have always wanted a larger farm, a real farm! We have felt much peace and the Lord's leading on this... Anyways... Since May 2007 we have been on this journey and felt the hand of the Lord... The economy tells us to get out of the rat race... We finally put our place up for sale this June... AND.... drum roll...

We purchased a 40 acre farm yesterday! CLOSED on it! YUHP! ITS REAL and its OURS! This farm is about 55 minutes from our current home, north... It has:

a 100 year old farm house (white with a green tin roof) (nothing like we have now :) )

a 100 year old barn with two huge lofts to put the hay in (some fresh hay in the lofts already)

a saw mill

a work shop
a few bats in the barn

2 chicken coops

a windmill

2 silos

a cottage

another horse barn for the cottage
ok, quite a few bats in the barn... :)

the original corn crib

a 5 acre pond with 2 docks!

a small pond with Canadian geese

small hills
no bats in the house!

Did I tell you 40 ACRES!!!

9 fenced pastures!

a dairy parlor (in the barn, its a milk house)

a carriage house/shed

100 year old large trees

5 established apple trees!

a large established raspberry patch

a tool shed

3 established pear trees

and real root cellar

did I tell you 40 ACRES!!!!

and more!

Whats the big deal about the announcement????? you say???


Please continue to keep our other house sale in your prayers. We know the ecomony right now but we know God led us here not to leave us...

Come along with us on our journey living off-grid! I will be updating this blog from the local library starting in a week or so :) I am not naive to know this will be a huge challenge although, we have heated with wood for some time and embraced a lot of these ideas already... I think laundry will be the biggest of the challenge! If that's the biggest challenge, I think we can make it...

this song is just to appropriate for the new adventure!

TURN up your speakers!

My heart beats, standing on the edge
But my feet have finally left the ledge
Like an acrobat
Theres no turning back
(Chorus) I'm letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
Losing control
Of my destiny
Feels like I'm falling and that's what it's like to believe
So I'm letting go
This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone
Giving in to your gravity
Knowing You are holding me
I'm not afraid!
Feels like I'm falling and that's what it's like to believe
Feels like I'm falling and this is the (NEW) life for me!

You are invited...! turn off playlist at bottom of page before watching

updates coming on this new adventure, you won't believe it!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

a great giveaway!

Ok, here is the deal farm folk! I have a free WONDERFUL farm gift basket exclusively just for you! The basket includes our homemade laundry detergent, cherry salsa, raw honey, some farm wares and more! You can automatically be entered once into the drawing by signing up to follow this blog on the right hand side bar. The three current followers will be entered right now.

You have more chances to win by this:

Put a post on your blog about Eclectic Culture Farm and link to this post here. You will then be entered 5 more times into the drawing so you have a chance to enter 6 times if you become a follower. Leave a comment under this post with the link so I can check your listing.

If you refer people here that would be great for me too :)...

The contest can only be for the continental USA. I will pick a winner on October 25, 2008. I will then post you as the winner and you can privately email with your name and address, etc. and I will ship your package UPS ground.

Thanks for playing! Please spread the word about Eclectic Culture Farm!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

yesterday's canning bee! applesaucer!

The bee went great but slow... I love the new pressure cooker. I can can 14 quarts at once! My water bath canner could just do 7-8 quarts at a time. I am loving the new cooker. I was a little nervous using it so yesterday did seem to take more time, but there is a first time for everything. I originally purchased the pressure canner for canning meat and vegetables as required for safe canning, but you can use the pressure canner for fruit too and I was itching to try it.

We canned 14 quarts of apple sauce and had about 5 quarts left over and those 5 are gone. The great thing, all 14 done at once. I just used the last cup on my morning mush and fed some to the little babe, but have 14 pretty quarts on the shelves. We still have lots of apples left to put in the root cellar or make into cider.

The applesaucer was a mix of 100% organic Macintosh (one of my favorites), Red Delicious (my least favorite apple) and Golden Delicious apples. Did I mention they are from our own orchard? We have about 7 very established apple trees on the property, as well as, 3 well established pear trees, a wonderful grape arbor and tons of established raspberries! We have a nice chestnut tree too.

I will admit the hardest part was washing all the apples and cutting them up. I then put everything but the core in a large stock pot and cook down the apples. When the apples are cooked down I transfer them to a food mill and turn the apples to a mush substance. I then store all of the finished applesaucer in a warn and lightly greased large roaster oven as I wait to put all the hot applesaucer in jars to can at once. We feed all the seeds and skins to the chickens and goats, as well as the cores of the apples! They love it!

Oh, about those tomatoes... I never took them out of the freezer so they did not get canned. But, after the day yesterday I am glad to say that I did not attempt those also. I am still planning to can tomatoes, beets, carrots, and venison (when a deer is harvested) in the next few days... pictures coming!

Monday, October 6, 2008

this helped me learn more about pressure canning!

we interupt your scheduled day to say

THAT we will be canning applesaucer (my daughter's interpretation of the word) and tomato sauce ALL DAY! I WILL have plenty of photos and all to show later as I am currently setting up the garage for a huge canning bee!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The pressures ON!

Hi everyone... I am so sorry I have not posted much lately! SO much going on here! I have a pretty big announcement coming up here in 10 days or less so hold on to your overall skirt and keep checking back!

In the meantime here on the farm. I am just about ready to can all of our tomatoes! I have been picking all of them throughout the season. I read the greatest tip in Mother Earth News (even if you are a suburbanite, this is a great resource and I encourage you to order it, I got a subscription for $10- a year and plan to keep these in my library as they are timeless) about canning tomatoes. Rather than canning a few quarts every other day as they ripen, pick them when ripe. Then wash them. Cut the top and bottom off. Put in a freezer bag and freeze. When you are ready to have a canning bee, thaw them out the night before either setting on the garage floor in the bag (which I will have to do because I have so many) or use your kitchen if you do not have a tone of tomatoes. Now you are all ready to go with your recipes. My theology always is this: "If you are going to trash the kitchen, be sure you give it your best effort" SO, with that being said, you have 1 day of canning all of your tomato products rather than every other day 4 hours of canning! Its good to be making about 6 loaves or more of bread on this day to utilize all that warmth in your kitchen too! The kitchen already is messy anyway, some bread loaves won't hurt!
Last week I purchased an All-American Pressure Cooker! I am so excited to use this on my tomatoes as well as start canning all of our meats! Deer season is in full swing. We have gone from years ago paying for processing our deer to finally this last 3 years cutting our own and freezing (change never happens overnight folks). Now we plan on canning all of the meat to get the cost of electricity of the freezer out of the way! I cannot wait. Here are the specifications of our pressure cooker and this book will come in real handy too! Oh yes, we plan on canning all of our chicken meat too. I will never be adding salt to any of these meats so in essence I have 100% canned organic meats, sodium free...
We pulled the front garden beds this weekend of the plants that had frost damage and put compost straw mixed with chickie and goat poo! Should be great dirt for the Spring!
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