26 February 2010

Happy Place!

I am in such a happy place today...

Who knew that blogs could be so inspiring?
Well, apparently lots of people, but not me...there are so many pretty things to look at. Why have I not looked before?!
And what I find most exciting is that I am not as wierd as I thought I was! For a LONG time I have felt like I was one of the VERY few people who did not enjoy big box stores and who preferred the handmade, making food from scratch at home, gardening, crafting. Everywhere I look this does not seem normal, I moved across country and it still didn't seem normal. But, apparently there are a LOT of people who share my loves. I am so excited! Thank you so much for all of your inspiration. I don't really have the spare time for yet another hobby, but I am finding that looking at a few blogs a day is helping to keep my smile on my face!

21 February 2010

blog inspiration

Yesterday, I spent too much a lot of time looking at blogs. I recently purchased Tara Frey's "Blogging for Bliss" (which is a great book by the way)...and after looking through the book, I decided to look at some blogs (something I have never really done). Anyway, after (I am a little embarrassed to say) HOURS looking at blogs (they can be a little addicting!) I came to the conclusion that my photography skills are non-existent. I have a simple point and shoot digital fujifilm camera and I have always wanted to figure out how to do more than just use the automatic button but have never taken the time. So, after looking at all the BEAUTIFUL photography on some blogs out there, I decided to learn something new. It is time...

 My youngest fell asleep on the couch and he looked so cute I took his picture:

As you can see, my skills are greatly lacking! So, I decided to spend a little time with my camera and found a slow syncro setting for night shots and I took some more pictures. What a difference! I am so excited! I am a little technologically impared, but have been trying to work on that. I have been thinking that I need a new camera because I am never happy with the photos it takes, I guess there is a slight possibility that the problem is me, not the camera...I still want a new camera, but I think I'll try and master this one first and then  I will upgrade, I also need to take some time to learn (or get my husband to find time to teach me), how to use photoshop. We have the complete program in our computer and my husband uses it all the time, I think it's my turn...maybe I'll actually learn how to take good photos! I love it when I learn something new!
Oh, here's the after shot...I didn't know that it was so simple to make such a difference!

19 February 2010

no sleep

last night, for the fourth night in a row, I got very little sleep. The previous three nights I had coughing, sick kids, but last night (the first night the kids slept) my hubby and I decided to have a panic attack about what we are doing, that lasted until 3:30 am.

He graduates with his MFA next month, the past six years have been about him and his degrees and now ???? what are we going to do with the rest of our lives? We have to figure out how to live without student loans, one of us is going to have to actually get a job!!! It's been awhile. He has two job possibilities, one close to here and one about a two and a half day drive away. It will probably be a month before we find out if he is successful in getting one of the jobs. But, we have no other plans. So wierd for me, I always have plans!!! The one thing that is driving me crazy lately is that I feel I have no control over my life. There really isn't anything I can do to determine where we will be. I don't like feeling out of control.

For the past few years (or maybe ten). We have wanted to settle down somewhere, get some land. I really would like to be self sufficient. Live somewhere where I can produce all my own food. The idea of homeschooling keeps popping into my brain again. (we did try it last year from March to June and it had some really great pros and a few cons but we decided to put the kids in school this year - maybe I'll write about it in another post). I have been really craving a space of my own and have been reading all the wrong books to try and get rid of these thoughts. (currently i am reading: animal, vegetable, miracle - barbara kingsolve -again, craft inc. - meg mateo ilasco, and You Can Farm - Joel Salatin ~ I have a habit of reading more than one book at a time). All good books and all making me want to buy some land and go live off of it.

two problems: 1. we have a house we are living in that has been for sale for a year and a half ~ anybody want a 3000 square foot authentic Victorian home in small town Nova Scotia? 2. no money and as previously stated a bit of student loan debt, no jobs and probably very little chance of getting a mortgage. So...somebody needs to find work and since my husband is now the educated one and could get a much better paying job than I can the task falls on him...I would like some crafty pursuit or food related. Going back to school after we had already started a family makes things a little scary, we are afraid that by the time we get debt paid, land purchased and settled in, our kids or at least the oldest will be gone, or they will be too old to appreciate the "back to the land" movement of their parents. That time is getting closer than I want to think about!

Anyway, this is the basic vision that my hubby and I have had in various forms over the past decade: get some land be pretty much self sufficient in food production - big garden, mini orchard - lots of berries! Also chickens for eggs and possibly broilers, bees, and to start wiener pigs

and lambs in the spring to fatten up for fall consumption.

Later adding more animals, jersey for milk possibly if desired. I also really would like a little farm store selling crafts, baked goods, whatever... Work all winter to make things to sell in the summer (well the baked goods will be fresh) as well as selling excess produce. Where we are there are VERY few farmers selling fresh produce (lots of farms, although I don't know what they do! they don't seem to be selling anything) possibly a bakery (in my very good fantasies I go to le cordon bleu and then open my little farm shop bakery/gift shop) I have had various other ideas but they all are pretty similar: farm/land, self producing food, crafting - basically staying home.

I am a bit of a romantic dreamer

But I do realize the work involved. I grew up on a small farm, and I have planted gardens, done canning, and one year we had chickens (while living in a cottage at my parents). I make some of my kids toys and am trying each year to make more and more things from home (I learned how to knit this christmas - finally! and have been making scarfs - practice, practice, practice) I also do some tole painting and paper crafting. I really want to make more things from kids old clothes - stuffies, quilts, bags, etc. I love the idea of recycling the clothes and making something new. I also want to learn how to make felted animals. I have been experimenting with felting sweaters and making things. I really like working with wool.

Anyway...this is probably way to long and like I said I haven't slept for four nights (which explains the babbling). Where do I find the balance between what I want to do and having to work to pay the bills "reality". Why can't my fantasy life be my real life? Why do I have to always do what is expected? Can I find a way to make it work?

stay posted...

16 February 2010

Facing Reality

So, after all good intentions to write, two months have passed. I've thought of writing, felt guilty about not writing and have realized why I haven't written. I was trying to write about a part of my life that I want to exist but doesn't really. I wanted to write about me, only me and all the things I do on my own for me.

You see, as a mother of four, the desire for some me time is very strong, but in reality, me-time doesn't really exist. Not now anyway. Not with a husband finishing a master's degree and me trying to finish my bachelor's degree and with a house to sell and keep clean (or try to at least). And as previously stated four children to raise. It doesn't really happen. So having a blog about things I get to do for myself, ends up being a blog about nothing really or a blog that doesn't get written.

My life is my family, and that is a good thing. I am very blessed to have an amazing husband who I have been married to four twelve years and four incredible children. I want to write about what is happening in my life now, not in the past, not in the future but what is going on right now, today...

Lately, I have been making sock pets (some copied from books, some of my own design)
The pigs are the only ones I have photos of, I made a really cute dog for my mom for Christmas but didn't get a picture, I'll have to ask her to take one. Anyway, my oldest son today says..."mom, I think that guy in that sock pet book must have gotten his ideas from you because his look exactly like yours!" He is so sweet, he actually took the photo (he's 7 and a budding photographer) which is why I have a picture...I'm not good at taking photos before sending them away, possibly because I am always late!

We kept the pigs, the boys actually helped make them, I was teaching them how to sew. They are so impressed with their skills. They turned out pretty cute.

I have also been very busy working on my courses and doing lots of kid stuff while my husband completed his thesis! His defense is next month...then what??? Maybe I'll write about that later.