Monday, July 25, 2011

Celebrating the Little Things

I'm not gonna lie.  This pregnancy is really taking it out of me.  What I've realized is, every pregnancy really takes it out of me, but normally I push through the nausea and exhaustion.  Which would lead to worse nausea and exhaustion.  Perhaps I'm finally learning my lesson with baby number five.  Still, when there are hillsides to weed, chicken coops to finish, garden beds to prepare, orchards to put in, and a homeschool year rapidly approaching, it's hard to stay still.  I love doing all of the above, which makes it even harder to be so sedentary.  It got to the point to, as I read others' beautiful blogs filled with tales of new bee hives, bumper crop gardens, and livestock additions, I felt sad instead of the usual excited, so-happy-for-them feeling that usually washes over me.  Could I possibly be... feeling sorry for myself?  Oh dear me no.  That must be remedied.

In an effort to put an end to those doldrums, here is me, choosing to celebrate what is happening in our little homestead, inching along a little slower than planned...

After gathering all the supplies for making goat milk soap and cheese, I had to go back on my offer of goat-sitting for my friends for anther month.  My husband's crazy schedule does not make him available if ever I need to skip a milking.  As sad as this made me, it did allow for another friend who is also interested in getting dairy goats to look after them, an opportunity I was so grateful for, and I'm glad she gets to have it now, too.  The cheese and soap ingredients won't go bad, and I'm sure my friends will share some milk when I'm ready for it.

There might not be a pool or pond yet, but I'm taking great delight in watching the kids thrill to the sensation of a good ol' fashioned hose spray (a new daily ritual).

We had several sad, dead oaks on our land, but through my husband's hard work, it has translated into a hefty wood pile, which is a comforting sight when our only source of heat for the not-too-distant colder months is the wood stove. 

There is no vegetable garden this year, and I won't deny that that fact hurts, but I was surprised to count eight herbs growing quite profusely right outside the kitchen.

Our new-to-this-season raspberry canes produced no berries (I'm thinking it has something to do with needing more acid in the soil than I gave them?) and the tiny blueberry bush definitely doesn't produce enough for even one pie, but it does put a twinkle in my kids' eyes when they walk by and pick a handful of juicy morsels as a summertime snack.

There might not be an orchard yet, but our big, bush-of-a pomegranate tree is ornamented with many little, growing fruits!

Remember the grape vines I worried about because I pruned them so late in the season?  Well, they grew.  A lot.  And I never trellised them. *sad face*  But there are many clusters of grapes!  We don't know if they're table or wine yet.  Does anyone know how to tell by looking at this picture of them?  It seems like they need a little more time to ripen on the vine (although there are a few raisins).

Our first pullet started laying!  The one and only white egg layer, the California White, is leading the brood.  Aren't the eggs so cute and tiny when they first start?

Oh.  And not to forget (because I tend to)?  I'm growing a baby.  And I'm pretty happy about that.  The most happy about that.  So I'll rest now.  And be thankful for what I do have.  For what's to come.  A sweet, amazing little life will be here before we know it.  And I look forward to that orchard and those garden beds to be put in place in their own good time, but the time is not right now.  Now?  It's nap time.  And now?  I'm okay with that.


  1. Yes. I definitely needed to read that RIGHT NOW!!!! As my last fb status is all about throwing everything in my house away because I'm tired of picking it all up all the time... Lol. Divine timing, if I do say so myself :)

  2. I am really glad I started following your blog, and just so you know, I think you are pretty awesome.

  3. Life just hasn't gone according to our plans this first year on the homestead. But we just keep working and trying to rejoice in the good. And remember we've just been here a few months. My first priority in work has to be for the kids. The baby will only be a baby a little bit longer and the boys are already getting so big. We don't want to miss what really matters. Even if there end up being no veggies either.

  4. i am sorry about the nausea. i so understand you on that one (not now, but when i am pregnant). you amaze me how you get so much done as a mommy anyways... you will be back to your old ways before you know it.

    my recent post: want to know what i have been reading?

  5. I am so amazed at how much you know about herbs. That you can recognize them when they just come up on their own.
    I might guess 'white' grapes. I'd want Thompson Seedless myself, but I don't know if you can tell by how they look. Maybe taste one?
    Congratulations on your chicken egg!
    I've heard that slowly nibbling a dry saltine cracker can help with nausea.
    Good luck and congratulations!

  6. Your raspberry canes will not produce the first year. Your berries for next year will be on this years growth. They will drop their leaves in the fall and get new leaves and blossoms next spring. The following year the old cane( the ones that produced fruit)will need to be cut out of the patch and the cycle continues. You will be able to tell which ones are the old cane as they will be dead and snappy. The stalks from the previous year that were new and had no fruit will be the canes that produce. Normally the better they are watered the better they will set fruit.

  7. That sounds challenging where you are in right now. Keep going!

    Following your lovely blog. You may also visit (Momma's Lounge) and meet more mom bloggers (add blog here:

  8. Thanks for the helpful input! I remember reading about no fruit the first year forever ago. The gap between reading about berries and planting them is too wide. I think it's time for a refresher course. :)

  9. Well, the lavender and rosemary were already on the property, but I planted the rest. I was just surprised the herbs added to eight. I hadn't stopped and counted them yet. :)

  10. Happiness for sure. :)

  11. Katie I am so happy for you. This is delightful!

  12. Just recently found your blog and have really been inspired that you guys are TOTALLY debt free! My husband and I were convicted about debt and we have only one debt left: our mortgage. Unfortunately we became convicted of this AFTER we built our "dream home"on our "dream site". He lost his job last year due to the economy and now we are trying to get a family business on it's feet, so needless to say, we are making no headway on paying it off early. I have been toying with the idea of taking the equity in our home and buying another one outright. I would love to know what you would have for pointers for us. Right now we are just talking, but I keep coming back to the idea of just getting rid of ALL debt!

    Congrats on your pregnancy, by the way. We had our fifth baby almost a year ago! (we also homeschool our munchkins!)

    Nic @

  13. We had berries once and found that they produce a lot every other year.

  14. Hi Katie, I found your blog a little over a month ago and have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your entries. My husband and I lead a church in Southern California and are passionate about teaching this way of living and eating to our church.

    I'm commenting because I was wondering if you buy products from a website called Tropical Traditions. The owners are dear friends of ours. We were having dinner at their house tonight and telling them about your blog. He said, "I think she is one or our customers." Anyway, I was just curious if it was you. He said, "Some pastor's wife in Redding is a customer of ours." It is a great company!

    Look forward to reading much more from you!

  15. HI there! Yes, I would be that pastor's wife in Redding. :) We love Tropical Traditions! Nice meeting you! :)


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