I have compiled all of my writings from the last 6 years into one place. You can find me now at Seeking Simplicity


A lot of things have happened in the past year +. I have a new blog located at http://www.seekingsimplicity.org/farmjournal and a brand new one at http://www.2lezfishfarm.com

I hope to “see” you all there!

Flying Monkeys

watch for flying monkeys

June 4

We live on a small and relatively quiet road. The speed limit on our road should be 40 (curves, narrow, and hills).  However, like all county roads in our county, the speed limit is 55. This means that people actually attempt to go 55 or faster.

I have spoken with our local authorities about putting up signs that state “Slow, Children at Play.” It seems that those signs are no longer legal to use, as it indicates that children have permission to play in the road. Hmmmm.

So, I decided to put up signs on my own land. I figure if they are funny and memorable, people may think and slow down. Or, if nothing else, they will slow down simply to see the signs. This  sign (Watch for Flying Monkeys) comes from a picture I took of SuperS who was swinging from a rope in the front of our house. Yes, he appeared like a monkey. I thought it would be perfect. With a little design magic, I created a sign and posted one on each side of the road — as people approach our house / driveway.

As soon as I put up one sign, an elderly couple passed our house. They slowed down and I saw them chuckling. I am now waiting for more indications that this first sign worked. The next sign I plan on making will be “Entering Munchkin Land. Proceed with Caution.” After that, I need to get off the Wizard of Oz theme and think of new clever signs to make. I think if I rotate these bi-weekly, I may get people interested in slowing down, simply to read the signs. I would! Of course, my 15 year old thinks I’m a dork, but others seem to think these signs are funny. So, I will continue.

Today I weeded the upper garden (I love my hoe)  and cleaned the house. My sister is supposed to be arriving this evening. We have not seen each other for about 4 years. We had a falling out after our mother passed away and my father remarried. I am looking forward to this visit.

It was sunny and warm. No clouds and little wind. I hope it rains soon!

Signs of the Times

This is this has been utterly ridiculous. Every time that I try to login I get booted out. The connection is so slow here that I think I may have hand crank internet connection….  It has taken me two weeks to be able to login here. The connection doesn’t actually take 2 weeks. I simply get tired of waiting!

Anyway. All around us we have been noticing signs of things getting worse. The other day I woke to hear my husbands voice (for real — he was here. I was not daydreaming). He was speaking to sawmill after sawmill. For the past few years we have purchased  our wood, slab wood, from sawmills. The wood was great — it was the leftover pieces from milling. We weren’t cutting down trees and were burning waste. Each of the sawmills that he called were closed. One local sawmill told us that they had not milled since January. There is limited construction taking place. This means no need to mill wood. It run this means no wood for sale for burning. This was the same tale told by all the sawmills around us.

We decided to go to our old house (on the market but not sold) to move part of our wood to this house. We pulled up and noticed that the pile was markedly smaller. Someone has been stealing out wood! We loaded a lot of it into the truck and stacked it at the Amish house.

The same day we read in the newspaper that someone stole 4 solar panels off of a neighbors house. You have to remember that we live in a sparsely populated area. Thus a neighbor is anyone within 10 miles or so. Well, this neighbor was only about 2 miles away. Someone crawled onto their house and unhooked the solar panels and stole them.

An Amish friend told us about people starting to steal chickens. A friend of his lost over 100 chickens in a few month period. The place is predator protected, but not human protected. I know that there are a number of people around here who are unemployed or underemployed. It is assumed that some people are becoming desperate.

And to top it off, we received a notice that our propoerty tazes were going up 30%. Odie called to inquire about this. He learned that our state is in such deficit that taxes are going up for everyone between 15-30%. This is the way that the state will be making up some difference. Uh huh. We’re taking on the debt!

Other than that, I am continuing weeding daily. I can’t believe how fast the weeds grow! Our strawberries are coming in and I ate the first juice warm strawberry the other day. It was wonderful! I have been cooking almost exclusively in our sun oven. I have learned a lot.

Have there been any interesting occurrences in your neck of the woods? Have people been responding to this economic crisis?

Falling Dollars

May 24th

This morning I made a great breakfast of cornmeal+ rye waffles and scrambled eggs. The kids devoured everything.

Odie and I are trying to decide what hard goods we should get before the dollar tanks. I hope we can go over a list when he gets home in a few days. This time he will only be home for 4 days, which is disappointing, as last time it was 8. A week seemed to be perfect — we all got into the groove together. I finally felt that we were acting like a family. The 2-3 day visits were simply that — a visit. A couple days to party, but not to have a real family life. It was not “normalcy.”

The house is in terrible disarray at the moment and the kids refuse to clean their rooms. Well, Z-man is refusing to do anything that I ask of or tell him to do. I don’t know what to do anymore.  Some have advised spankings, some have advised grace, some have advised removing privileges, and some have advised ignoring his behavior. He has some behavioral issues and now is very defiant toward me. He will listen to Odie, but if I say a word he turns off his ears. it can be so difficult!

E-girl, on the other hand, although she doesn’t do all of her chores, she has adopted the role of a country girl.  She takes on any chore that happens to do with the animals. Feeding or watering? She’s there. Rescuing stray chicks? She does it before I notice. I am impressed with how well she has adjusted and seems to love it.

Mad-town is a typical 15 year old. She does enough to skate by (barely), but seems to count the days until she can move back to the city…. If she only understood that the city may not be the same city in a few years….

Mount Laundry is now finished. Well, it was — until I found that the kids had taken the clean sheets from the house and used them to build forts in the dirt outside. Yup. More laundry.

Anyway, I worry about hyperinflation. I think I worry about that more than peak oil at the moment. There may be oil, but will our dollar be able to buy it? Will our dollar be able to purchase anything? Is hyperinflation looming? What things are in our future? This past year has been interesting and frightening to watch. It makes me want to be more prepared — planting extra, choosing items that will last long term, and living more simply.


Yukon Golds poking through

Today I weeded the upper garden and walked through the lower. The lower has a bundle of activity! I love watching things sprout through the ground. It makes me feel a sense of awe at the miracle of life. From a tiny seed comes so much.

Weather: hot (upper 70s) and sunny

Dinner: tortillini with garlic and olive oil and salad (olive oil and balsmic vinegar dressing).

Rainy and cool

May 23

Today started as a cool and rainy day. The laundry was still on the line, despite my protests that it needed to come down before the rain fell. Oh well, I guess that the rain water will soften the laundry. Seriously though, this has got to change. Hello children! Laundry and rain ….

E girl has a friend staying for the long weekend. We are excited to have another person here and to show her the new excitement of our lives.

Dinner: Beef stew (potatoes, celery, carrots) and homemade bread

And It Rained

May 22

Yesterday I was frantically tilling and planting the garden. The forecast predicted rain. The rain didn’t come. So, today I carried water to the upper garden (yes — up a hill) in order to give my seeds a nice start. There is no rain predicted for at least a week. Then at 5:00 this afternoon the drops started to fall. And for about 2-3 hours it rained. It rained and rained. I was thrilled that my gardens could get the much needed moisture. I was simply sad that I spent time carrying water when I could have waited. Oh well.

I have never been a farmer. In fact, I was barely a gardener. A few years ago, I couldn’t seem to get anything to grow. My husband can attest to the quality of dead houseplants and the botched vegetable gardens. Three years ago, when we decided to simplify our lives,  I decided to get serious. I dug up the back and front yards and planted vegetable and perennial gardens. I had success, but still relied on the farmer’s market. The following summer we moved to a farm and I planted a rather modest vegetable garden. We moved into the house in July. I did not get a garden in until late July. We had a beautiful harvest, but it was still short. This is my first year growing from early season throughout the year. I may be taking on more than I can handle (especially with our lack of reliable running water). However, I have hopes that I can get enough food to feed ourselves for a year.

This is the upper greenhouse (on the hill). In the foreground is a trawberry field.

This is the upper greenhouse (on the hill). In the foreground is a strawberry field (white flowers). The greenhouse is approximately 30x20

The greenhouse tomato plants are beautiful and large (mid calf).

Greenhouse behind the house

Tomatoes in the Upper Greenhouse

This is the little greenhouse behing the house. Currently full of spinach.

This is the little greenhouse behind the house. Currently full of spinach.

Today I watered the greenhouse plants as well as the gardens.

Laundry was placed on the line. The  kids didn’t take it down before the rain. Let’s see how long it stays up this time!

School: Z-man took a spelling test and worked on grammar, E-girl focused on vocabulary and phonics, and Mad-town took another Science test.

Dinner: Friday night is Pizza night! We are having our neighbor 21 year old and his fiancee over for pizza. They have done so much to help me, and I wanted to do something for them.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.