1. Tearing down the house and putting it back up again was so hard! Oh my goodness I’m still exhausted..that might be due in part to last night’s mini-sickness – both kids woke up a few times to vomit a bit and then sadly drift back to sleep – I didn’t get to sleep in between episodes of sickness though, and they we awake and nestling in bed with us by 5, so yeah, exhaustion.
But the house-cleaning was a huge undertaking..that canvas roof is super heavy! We scrubbed the interior walls, aired everything out, wiped down wood, and painted the wall panels before putting it all back together again. Now Seth is painting the ceiling and rebuilding all our problematic essentials, like the door. We have a tapestry up now to give the impression of a door.
Between all the house-stuff and homeschooling, we’re insanely busy these days, hence the neglected blog..but my house is going to look amazing this fall and winter! So it’s all worth it.
2. I’m delving into a new level of homesteading this year..fermentations! We’ve made saurkraut and sour pickles before, but right now, I’ve got a kombucha SCOBY growing, beets, carrots, and onions lacto-fermenting on the shelf, pickles and dilly beans perched up beside the flour, saurkraut in the big crock on the floor, and a new sourdough started doing it’s thing on between the jars of fermenting roots. Oh, and honeys too: garlic, peach, blackberry and tulsi, basil, and rose-hip honeys in the pantry. It’s an exciting time! We’re stocking up on things for late fall and winter, trying to be more homesteady and less self-indulgent, and loving it all!
3. I’m also steeping some Fire Cider for winter healings: peppers, onions, garlic, rose-hips, the last of the bee balm, ginger, turmeric, horse-radish, and a golden beet are all chopped up and drowning in apple cider vinegar. This stuff is such a germ-killer, I can’t wait to have it all bottled and dose-able.
4. With all this fermentation and homesteading-hardcore, we’re moving as a family to a more traditional, whole-foods approach to eating. Ok, we’re always been pretty whole-food-y, but now we’re not just rejecting stuff because it looks and tastes kinda yucky, we’re building on the food-culture that naturally exists in a home with two really good cooks and lots of homegrown foods..as much as sometimes I love eating a plant-based diet – Yay Lent! – its not something that I can sustain or enjoy long term. I have the Nourishing Traditions book coming soon, and I’m digging back into healthy, sustainable, traditional foods! It’s exciting and fun so full of variety right now that I really just want to go out and refresh our entire pantry, but…
5. It’s a tight-budget season for us as well. There is so much to do in preparation for winter, and so many repairs and replacements happening that despite some awesome work, it’s a tight time financially. Not painfully tight, just one of those times that has me putting off enthusiastic purchases that will renew everything..good training in learning to want less and make do with more! My husband is fantastic at this, he always finds something to use in building something new – our goat-shed was built entirely with material we had on hand, and he’s doing the same with most of our yurt renovations! He’s just amazing! It’s actually (as dorky as this might sound) an inspiration to watch him change something worthless into something beautiful.
6. We haven’t moved everything back into the yurt, and I don’t think we will. I am in love with all the space and the open walls, I want to bring things in very, very slowly, find a home for each object and stop when the house feels done. I don’t want my house to be full of distractions and toys and little bits of whatever. I have nothing under my bed right now and it looks so good!! And the kids can play under there, Luba can sulk under there, it’s such a nice little spot right now. I want it to say nice and clean and happy. So I think this is the time to go forward with minimalism. No more half-hearted little purges, so much is going out the door forever this fall! Good-bye toys, good-bye 2nd and 3rd copies of books, good-bye unrepairable bits of pottery!
And at some point, goodbye clothes I’m only partially attached to, but right now, with 90% of my wardrobe falling in that category, I’m putting off the big-clothing-purge. Sometime before the new year though, I am determined!
7. I might take another social retreat this winter, maybe start off the New Year with one. Has anyone done this? Time away with no visitors, limited tech – I had phone hours last time, and the rest of the time my phone was off, off facebook, very intentional blogging times and essentially just a lot of solitude with my little family and Jesus. It’s seriously one of the most reviving things I’ve ever done. I really want to make it a regular practice, but I’m not sure of an ideal time. The new year seems like a nice choice…what do you think?