Its really beginning to look like fall around here & I'm totally loving it! I love the rich beautiful colors of the leaves changing, the coolness (more would be ok!) the idea its time to start hunkering down. All in all it is most definitely my favorite season. I'm also a big fan of Halloween. Its my second favorite holiday and now that Princess Bear (PB) is getting bigger its becoming even more fun! PB had her heart set on this Good Witch costume It is really cute! No doubt about that but $45 is a bit more than I have to spend right now. A few weeks ago PB found a ghost costume that my mom had made for me or my sister forever ago. PB had a ball running around in it and decided that it might work for Halloween. I've also been going through the Halloween books & magazines I've saved & am looking for craft projects to do with PB for the holiday. Anyone out there have any good Halloween or fall crafts for me to try?
Since I took my "break" from blogging one of the things that has become a huge focus for me is homesteading & learning anything and everything I can about it. I would truly love to have a homestead to settle on with PB. I don't want to be totally of the grid just because I don't think I have the skills needed for that. This years garden was my first step in learning how to become more self sustaining. As I said the other day it was a great learning lesson. I didn't get as much of a crop as I would have liked but I learned a whole lot for next year! How to make my garden space more productive. I didn't compost this year but want to start small this winter so I have a good start for next spring. I was also told that under no circumstances was I allowed to do any canning. As it turns out I didn't have enough of anything to can other than tomatoes anyway. I've also been completely fascinated with the idea of root cellaring. My father has decided if the house stays in "order" for 3 months that we can discuss some of the root cellar options. I also want to try to set up a hoop house in our backyard to start seeds a bit earlier this year.
In this search for a more self sustaining, organic, and hopefully peaceful lifestyle I've been doing a lot of reading. In addition to Mother Earth News magazine (thanks Heather! without Heather posting about it I would have never been turned on to this great magazine!) I've been reading MaryJane's Farm, Countryside & Small Stock Journal, Backwoods Home, . There are a few other magazines I pick up occasional like Herb Companion and Country Woman but those are hit and miss. Mary Jane's Farm is great in that it has some great craft, hobby & recipe ideas. In this months issue there was an article on square inch gardening in your window sill for the winter. I'm so going to try that! I love Countryside & Backwoods home because they are mostly written by the magazines readers. People who have been there, done that and are will to share their advice. Now there does seem to be a trend in most of these magazines that I'm not on board with & that is the idea that you must learn to be self sustaining so that when the government collapses or drastically changes it is the only way you will be able to survive. I just don't see that happening. Perhaps I'm naive but I hope not. I want to be more self sustaining because I do think we're completely to reliant on everyone else for our basic needs. If there was some sort of disaster that made it so trucks weren't able to deliver to grocery stores so many people would have absolutely no back up plan. I'm not comfortable with that. I would like to have enough of my own food (including some grains) put up so that if there is a G-d forbid I'm not completely at someone else's mercy. I also like that when I grow it I know exactly what is or is not in it. I find this comforting. I've been trying to help my dad come up with some alternative heating/power sources. I think this is a direct result of being without heat for more than 24 hours last winter. I truly never want to be that cold again! I can see that having a wood burning stove as their only heat source is not something my parents want to deal with at this point in their lives. Unfortunately my dad won't look at any other options. To each his own I guess. Anyway, this is what I've been up to lately!