Bee Keeper’s Wife

Most of the animals on the homestead are mine. Or as much mine as animals can be in a family anyway. I have ducklings, goslings, tiny chicks, and guinea keets, and scraggly teenage pullets. I have goats, and Luba. Each summer, I have pigs. I’ve picked them all out, raised them up. I feed them…

Storms

The other day, the winds picked up and snow came tumbling down to cover the whole world. It was bitterly cold, the snow was icy and hard, like little frozen pellet that beat on the roof. It sounded like rain and we spent the day in the house. The fire burned hot all day against…

Selling Mediocrity: Sustainability in an age of transience

I bought insulated work gloves in mid-November. They were leather, with fleece lining and oh-so-warm. The first day we used them out in the yard they tore, and we’ve been patching them ever since. At Christmas, my parents gave my husband insulated work gloves from the Army Surplus. Gloves that should have lasted more than…

End of Advent Devotions

We’re nearing the end of the O Antiphons, the nights are at their longest, and the days are all too brief. I’ve been praying the St. Andrew Novena this month, and it’s become a part of the season. I pray it when I’m driving, when I’m washing dishes, when I’m feeding the stove. I end…

Vintage Tables and Houseplants: Winterizing the Yurt

The maples around us are bright red and yellow; Even the oaks are starting to change. The ferns are rusty gold all down the path to the beaver pond. We’re stacking wood and planning for winter’s bacon. The whole world smells of October. Inside the house, we’re shifting furniture and hanging curtains – getting ready…

Changing Habits in July

This month, I said ‘good-bye’ to Facebook. Seth and I joined together (with a joint account) when we were married in 2008. Over the years, we’ve had a careless, shifting level of engagement there, but I’ve seen it creep up slowly in the last few years to become a real distraction. And I don’t want…

How We Pared Down Our Belongs to Fit in 460 Square Feet!

When Seth and I were first married we rented a two bedroom apartment in town with a lot of space and a tiny yard. It was such a pretty place! And we filled it with all our things. The second bedroom became a pottery studio, we had a dining room with a little writing nook…

DIY Face Wash and Other Projects

I’m working on becoming the homesteader I’ve always dreamed of being. You know, the one who doesn’t sleep in her make up. The one who buys sustainable, ethical brands and mixes up her own facial products. The one who actually follows through on all these goals and doesn’t get distracted by drugstore products and pretty…

Candlemas Lights

We’ve been making a lot of candles this winter. ¬†Thanks to a generous hand-me-down from my mother-in-law – 15 lbs of beeswax! – and a recommitment to avoiding those careless trips into town for one or two things, like lamp oil, we’re been needing to just ‘make do’ for a night or two with candles…

New Year: 2018

The calendar year is new and fresh and full of anticipatory dreams out here in the snow-filled woods. We weathered our first big storm of the year, but not of the season, yesterday; and today we’re trudging through feet of fresh snow in heavy shoes – carrying in wood to pile around the stove, hauling…