This is Really Happening!

Oh, my gosh! It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, but when you read this, I think you’ll forgive me and understand!

We are buying a real homestead farm-in-the-making! Did you catch that? For reals, WE ARE BUYING OUR DREAM!!!

For those of you not in the Western Washington area, picture an idyllic, rural community, where the horses slowly meander on trails  with their riders sitting Western on their backs; where the trees are as abundant as the bee hives; where huckleberries grow red and prolific on the cedar stumps of timber harvests gone by; where the spring waters flow clear and fresh over loamy ground. If you can picture all of these things, you have pictured our new homestead! We have been blessed with 10 acres of farming paradise, just waiting for cultivation.

Which, in other words, means that the land is SEVERELY overgrown. Yay for back-breaking, hard, ceaseless work!

We know, however, that it will be WORTH IT! We left all of it in God’s hands, and said from the get-go that if it was meant to be, He would make it happen… AND HE HAS!

Both the Mr. and I have felt that this is truly what we are supposed to be doing, and God has shown us that we are correct. We are so close to closing – just days, now – and are ready to begin this expanded chapter in our lives.

Those of you who have hung on with my infrequent posts will know that we have chickens and previously grew a garden. This year, we added a breeding pair of Standard Bronze turkeys, a Khaki Campbell (drake, currently, but we hope to get some ducks for him soon), & a Muscovy drake (again, we want ducks for him!).

The garden has been a bittersweet endeavor… I planted some tomatoes (which are doing GREAT with all of the hot weather we have been having), peppers, potatoes, peas, and strawberries, but with our imminent move, I haven’t put any other plants in the ground. We’ve got some beans, squash, pumpkins, and lettuce in pots. No clue if they’ll actually produce anything worthwhile…

At least, on the new homestead, we’ll be able to harvest TONS of blackberries for jam, pies, and maybe even dehydrating. One of the *ahem* benefits of having 10 overgrown acres, I suppose!

So, in closing, we ask for your prayers for our new homestead and the magnificent abundance with which we have been entrusted.

I really will update as we get settled into our new homestead and dig into farming, 100%! Watch for either a name change for this blog, or a link to a completely different one soon. With the new adventure of a real homestead comes real jobs, chores, and challenges. We want to make sure that the blog reflects what we have going on.

Oh, SOOO Busy!

Well, I have to offer up an apology… It’s been awhile since I’ve posted! I’m so sorry! The end of summer came too quickly, and I’ve been glued to the kitchen lately, making jams, pickles, canning beets, making (accidental) chutney – but it’s tasty! – and, of course, baking, canning, and cooking zucchini EVERYTHING!

Then, there’s also the fair, heading back to school, and our new flock: meat chickens.

So, here’s the low-down: check the Nourishment and Preserving pages  for the canning/preserving and baking I’ve been doing; check the Organic Gardening page for updates on our home-grown goodness; check the Keeping House and Living With Spirit pages for how the new school year has started here; and check the Animal Care page for details about the new peepers.

Thanks for sticking with me while I get into a new routine!

A More… Complete… Introduction (Pt. 1)

Just me

Just me

As I sit down at the computer to enter this post, I am looking out my bedroom window. The sun shining on the vegetable garden is brilliant and warm, and I can’t help but think I AM SO BLESSED. Just the fact that I am able to grow some of the food that sustains and nourishes my family is a MIRACLE. That those tiny seeds, with the help of my hands and some compost, would become nourishment for our bodies is AMAZING… So, the first thing you should know about me is that I tend to wax a little poetic from time-to-time.😉 I just can’t help it when I can see these wondrous things happening all around me! I feel so FULL, if that makes sense.

Now, for that more complete introduction I promised: My name is Cresta. I am 40 and am still learning so much about living this life. I tried doing things my own way for a long time and found that hardship was what that brought me. Now, I’m trying to do things God’s way. I am learning what that is as I go, but I’m finding more and more that if I just shut up and LISTEN, things tend to go a lot better! I am beginning to experience true PEACE in my life, I think, for the first time ever. It feels good.

My husband, Jason, is a truly amazing man. He is my anchor in this tumultuous ocean called Life. He works so hard for our family and comes home at the end of the day exhausted, but still willing and eager to have the kids climb on him or crawl into his lap. I think that if he had his way, he would be a full-time farmer. We are working on that! We have been married 12 years, and, though we’ve definitely had our ups and downs, I wouldn’t trade a single day. Every day, in some way or another, I am reminded why I chose him. And, during those times when I’m frustrated because he left his dirty socks on the floor AGAIN or didn’t put his dishes in the dishwasher AGAIN, I can still see through all the STUFF to the heart of this man, and I know that I live there.

We have 5 kids – 4 together and 1 from his first marriage. My stepson just went to boot camp for the Marines. My husband is a former Marine and is very proud! Our 4 are just the way I planned it from the time I was a young girl: boy, girl, boy, girl. I always wanted 2 boys and 2 girls, and that’s exactly what I got! Our oldest son – 11 – is creative, artistic, sensitive, and has the tendency to fly into fits of rage when he thinks someone is doing an injustice to him.:-/ Our oldest girl – 7 1/2 -loves ballet, is sharp as a tack, and has amazing executive management skills. Ahem. Our youngest boy – 5 1/2 – is a monkey. ‘Nuff said. And our youngest girl – 3 1/2 – is an adorable stinker. Yep, that’s our family! I would love to be able to say that our children are always obedient, use their manners every time, and never call each other “Idiot,” but I would be lying. I can say that when my kids are with other people that aren’t family, I hear reports that they have such great manners and are so polite. Whew! At least we’re doing something right!

We are all working on a 5-year plan to purchase 5 or more acres on this lovely island we call home in the Puget Sound of Washington and build our true Homestead. In the meantime, we are renting a house on an acre and a third and are doing the best we can to make this our temporary homestead.

Now, about Paleo… I have had issues with digestion, fertility (Yes, believe it or not, at one time I was told I couldn’t have children! More about that in another post…), and other miscellaneous things my whole life. I eliminated gluten from my diet in 2007 after reading an article about gluten sensitivity. It helped tremendously.

However, when our now 11-year-old son was born, he had soooo many issues with feeding. I was exclusively breastfeeding him. In fact, he wouldn’t take anything but the breast. That was fine with me, but he would nurse, and then a few minutes later, would projectile vomit all over me. I tried everything – propping him up after feeding, simethicone (yuck), feeding smaller amounts at one time, and, finally, the Elimination Diet, as suggested by Dr. Sears, which seemed to help, but was really restrictive and not something I could continue long term. I gave up on that before it was time to reintroduce allergenic foods one at a time. Mom fail, I know. I just couldn’t handle it.
Terrible time to stop, I know, but I’m going to have to make this “To Be Continued…” My kids are begging for food, so I guess it’s now snack time! Part 2 to follow; stay tuned!

Pictures From the Homestead

Welcome to the Homestead!

Hey, Neighbor!

Thanks for stopping by! Coffee’s brewing (or wine’s chilling, if you prefer), so grab a cup, sit in a comfy chair, and relax! I hope you enjoy my musings as a fledgling homesteader and the many different facets that entails.

Here are some of the things I plan to be blogging about as time goes on:

  • Organic Gardening – successes and failures, seed-saving, pest and weed control, favorite seeds and sources
  • Preserving – successes and failures, canning, dehydrating, freezing, cellaring
  • Animal Care – successes and failures, chickens, dogs, cats, more animals as our homestead grows
  • Crafty Things – successes and failures, sewing, gifts, home decor, scrapbooking
  • Nourishment – successes and failures, Paleo-inspired recipes, heritage recipes, locavore tips and ideas
  • Healthful Living – successes and failures, essential oils, herbs, taking care of family and myself
  • Living with Spirit – successes and failures, thoughts on God, Jesus, abundance, soulful practices

Do you see a theme here? “Successes and failures” is the aspect of these topics that I listed first. Why? Because I know there will be both, and, as a newbie, I want to share what we’re learning, as we go. I would love your feedback, insights, advice, sharing of your own experiences… In this crazy, modern world, connections are so important to feeling human, even if we are aiming for a simpler life!