Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Duke Puppy

I was playing around with the manual settings on my little digital camera and thought the early morning light on this cloudy day shining in on Duke was beautiful, so I attempted to catch it.

Mrs. Reynold's Shawl

I finally finished!!! The only difference is I didn't add fringe, I'm so short I think if I did it would drag the ground. If you're interested in where I found the pattern or to make your own, check out this link for Maggie the Spy, I have to add that it drapes beautifully.

For anyone who doesn't know the significance of this shawl, it is a replica of the shawl worn in the Firefly Episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds" worn by Saffron and played by Christina Hendricks.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Ok, so it's been a while since I last posted an entry. I'd like to say that I've been interested in country living since I grew up in small town Oklahoma in the 80's and spent my days reading books about pioneer life. I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and Bess Streeter Aldrich. For the first five years my husband and I were together we lived in suburban Fort Worth. I kept talking about how much I wanted to live in the country. He thought I was crazy. In 2001 he was laid off due to the dotcom bust and we managed to hang on to our home for another year and a half. It was then that a coworker of Tony's mentioned he lived out in the country and there was a very inexpensive house for sale not far from them. So we looked into it and on my 25th birthday we signed the contract to rent the house until the sale completed just over 2 months later.

For three years I commuted 75 miles each way to my bank job while my husband started a career as a truck driver. Between the cost of insurance and gas we decided that I should quit and stay home. I've been home for over two years now and it's been a long adjustment. The first year I stayed depressed. The second year I taught myself how to crochet, garden and cook. Now in my third year I've taught myself how to knit, develop my cooking skills, and search for ways to simplify. For example, when I run out of something or need something I first try to consider if there is an alternative to me buying it. I started with cleaning products. I make my own laundry detergent and all purpose cleaners. I've dabbled with dishwasher detergent but haven't found a recipe I'm happy with yet. Now I'm working on food. If there is something I can make myself I try that option first. As I learn sewing I also plan to make our own quilts, clothes, etc. I'm currently using crochet and knitting to make things like bags, blankets, shawls, hats, scarves and toys.

I'm taking baby steps towards living a semi-self-sufficient lifestyle. In a perfect world we would be completely self-sufficient and living off the land, but it's not realistic at the moment. I do have to say that working towards being self-sufficient brings a feeling of purpose that I've been searching for. It's a great way to move away from the consumption lifestyle we've been living and appreciate the fruits of our labor.

Oh, if you are interested in learning more about homesteading here are some links I enjoy:
Mother Earth News
The Family Homestead
Choosing Voluntary Simplicity