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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Blog Like a Pirate Day"

For a (mostly) complete list of fighting to take back our urban homesteading terms, similar to the one I posted yesterday, visit The Crunchy Chicken. She was still adding it as new links came in late last night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I yam what I yam.....

I'm a gardener. I raise small livestock. I can. I sew. I do all things primitive, and I do it on a scant more than a tenth of an acre. Then someone comes along & tells me I can't anymore. OK, so I'm not not allowed to garden, raise small livestock, can, sew or do primitive things, but now someone wants me to rewrite MY history, rewrite my blogs, rewrite MY notes & call me something I am not.

Last week the urban gardening community was attacked. Attacked as only BigAg can do. Attacked in a way that SCREAMS Mons
anto. No one knows why because the attackers were such an inspiration to the urban community. They forged a bond & relationship with so many other small scale homesteaders & then they turned on us.

These.... um *cough*..... people trademarked a commonly referred to phrase (among MANY others, most of which are also common phrases). Instead of trademarking it in reference to their property &/or works, they started out saying the phrase(s) couldn't be used anywhere, anytime, for any purpose unless the phrase was credited directly to them, yada yada. After the uproar, they started backpeddling. I sure hope they continue backpeddling.

I'm still reeling from the fact that this is like saying I can't call myself a Mom. I AM a Mom, damn it. It's like saying when I had my children that I couldn't say I was "Giving Birth." Telling me I can't call my lifestyle.... that I've lived for a few years now..... A lifestyle that has been around for DECADES..... maybe centuries.... An Urban Movement. A community of homesteaders working with what they've been given, which is little......

In case you can't read between the lines...... I AM AN URBAN HOMESTEADER, and the dervaes family can kiss my green thumb, my big fat pressure canner & my chicken's asses!

Visit some more of the blogging community to see what they have to say about URBAN HOMESTEADING!!!

Grow & Resist

Krista & Jess

Moo Said the Mama


Heather's Homemaking

There are so MANY other GREAT bloggy links, but as a homesteader (of any sort), we are always perpetually behind. And I am behind.

I am amazed at how quickly & tightly the URBAN HOMESTEAD community came together. I am blessed to be an Urban Homesteader!

LA Weekly says....

SF Weekly says....

And if you haven't already, show your support by joining us on facebook as we take back urban homesteading!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where the dirty clothes gather....

Staging a home is not only hard & tedious work, it isn't cheap. The first shelves I hit when shopping for the house are clearance racks. I thrift weekly these days to find a score. I scour Amazon in hopes they've knocked down the price on a wish item I've placed in my cart. Craigslist has become a hot spot on my web browser. I've always been one of those "think outside the box" gals, but when you're staging a house, it brings on a whole new meaning. And it still doesn't come cheap.

Another project I can call complete is the master bath cabinet. It was a very dingy white, and quite some time back, we had a mutt that thought everything was her own personal chew toy. Including the cabinet doors.

A couple weeks ago on an out of town venture, Hubba found the doors we were looking for. I'd been looking for a bit in town (and online) to no avail. They've been sitting in the master loo, leaning against the wall since. Until yesterday. I gussied up the strength & started the work. First I had to remove the doors & clean up the hinges. I taped off the walls & floor with tape & newsprint paper. I painted. I painted the cabinet base (sink base?). I painted the doors. 2 coats per side. Today I rehung the doors using the same hardware. The hardware was still in darn good shape. I bought a package of those cushion-y things so the doors don't slam shut.

What a difference!!! I am so psyched!!!

Then I ended up with 2 doors. One in perfectly good shape & my wheels started turning. No spinning..... And I decided we were in need of more wall art.....

Here is the dingy door.....

I filled in the holes with some drywall mud. Dry wall mud & I have become thick as thieves these days. No for real. Like lifelong besties.

I sanded the mud after it had dried & set to painting it. I was going for an aged look, so I used some leftover paint from when we redid the downstairs. It's an off-white, kinda cream colour. True Value something or other. True Value & I are besties these days, too. Anyhoo, the name of the colour began with a C, but please don't ask me the rest of the letters, because I can't remember, and I'm not going out to the garage tonight to look. Capital, maybe.


After a base coat of that True Value paint, I went through my craft paints & found a khaki type colour & black. I decided to try it as a glaze. I watered the khaki one down & found a rag. What's the worst that happens? I hate it & have to re-coat it in Capital(?).

I dipped the rag into the paint & started swiping, being sure to go over the wet paint with the dry side.

Then I added a little bit of the black.....

Rinse. Repeat. Except I didn't rinse anything. Just follow along, ok?

Dry time.....

Then I was ready to tape off the outside part of the door for the part I have been dying (or wanting) to try for oh so long. See, about 2 years or so ago, I bought chalkboard paint..... 2 years ago. I finally tried it.....

I will add 2 sawtooth hangers to the back of this for an on-the-cheap wall hanging for the dungeon laundry room.

If you've enjoyed this project, stay tuned to see what I do with this one:

As promised (though it took me awhile), door number 2 can be found here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pumpkin Farina

1 cup farina
2 cups milk (or non-dairy alternative)
2 cups water
1/4 can pumpkin (about 4 oz)
1/2 t cinnamon
2-4 T sweetener (suit to taste)

Bring water & milk to a boil. Whisk in farina reducing heat to medium-low. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Simmer about 40 minutes or until desired thickness whisking often. If your farina gets too thick, you can add more liquid.

The peanut gallery said this is the "perfect" amount of pumpkin. We made pumpkin rice cereal once & the pumpkin was overkill. They all drooled & asked for 2nds. The peanut gallery consists of 3 boys ages 14, 10 & 7.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Life Lately...

I wasn't sure what to title this post, but it's been several months in the making. We've been so busy around here lately, so many new things, so many changes. The end of last summer, I took on a very part time job. I also decided that when my daycare girl went to school, I would no longer be watching children on a long-term/permanent basis. School began the end of August & my hours at my job increased. In November I began another rep job. December brought an unpaid promotion to Hubba, where he took over the department in which I was working. Policy states that family cannot work directly for each other, so I put in my notice, and as of now, I am just working my rep jobs.

This is totally ok, though, as we also decided to put our house on the market. Repairing, redecorating & renovating a house to stage for market is a full-plus-overtime job, and it can be very overwhelming. By leaving my job, I have freed up 20 hours of my week. The kids are so happy to have me home again, too. It was surprising that even my teenage boy was unhappy with me working. He dealt with it, because he is old enough to understand, but he thinks me not working there anymore is like sliced bread, LOL.

I've been logging some of our progress on facebook, and you can view the pictures here.

Christmas was an amazing time. We spent it, just the 5 of us, at home. The boys were amazingly spoiled. We got a Wii for the family & 2 of the boys got a PSP & a Nintendo DS Lite. Keenan celebrated his birthday a week ago, & he also got a DS for his birthday.

This past Saturday I went to a freezer cooking class, aka Once-a-month-cooking (OAMC). Everyone I told about the class ahead of time laughed at me. Apparently I don't need cooking classes. I know I don't need it, but I had this fluky moment of "I WANT to do this." It was my first Saturday as a "free woman." I used the class for many reasons- weaning off of having something to do on Saturday, fellowship with like-minded people but mainly for inspiration. See, I love OAMC, but hadn't done it in a while. Knowing the overwhelming things happening in our lives right now, I went for inspiration. We need freezer meals right now. We need to know that there are meals ready for us just as quickly as pizza would arrive on our doorstep.

Sure enough, the inspiring part kicked in, and this past Tuesday I added 16 family meals to the freezer, along with 9 individual meals for Hubba to take to work. I love opening the freezer & seeing so many wonderful options in there. I love opening the freezer & thinking- tonight we will NOT order pizza.

So now I've freed up a couple of things to help with our transition- 20 hours a week & a few meals for the super busy days. We have so much to do. Some days I walk around in circles, because I don't know where to begin that day. One of our biggest issues is storage. When staging a house, you can't have boxes stacked everywhere. 2 of the storage properties I've called are full, and another hasn't returned my phone calls. Another place I was looking into, I found out, has horse stalls (more or less), so there's no privacy or security (yeah I thought "HUH?" too!). It's time to think outside the box on this one, and I have a couple plans.

So that's what's going on here in a very.small.nutshell. I don't have a lot of time, so I'll sign off with this for now, and I hope to "see" you all soon!