Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rethinking Things

I have a few seeds for my garden, and a few little shovels and things for gardening.
I have the perfect place for chickens.
I like to day dream about a donkey meeting me outside and the kids riding him around.

But, I don't water plants.  I have trouble remembering to feed the dog.  And I'm thinking I'll put the breaks on these things for this year.

I do paint though, and I'm doing more of that.

Like this:

and this:

There are more, I just don't have pictures of them at the moment.  There is one in the works and more in my head and I'm thinking that for now, this blog will be cooking adventures, painting experiments and photos of falling in love with the desert.  

I'm just not to the point of being able to parent three little people, keep up the house, the cooking, the marriage, friendships, etc AND doing things that are actually really hard to be diligent about.  Cooking and painting are a joy so, here is where they will be.  Here's to accepting ourselves as we are and not as who we will be, one day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Purple Sauerkraut

The ingredients.

I hope the color doesn't change over the 6 weeks!

In 6 weeks I'll be eating all this within about 24 hours, that is the way of sauerkraut in my clutches.  And if all goes well, I'll be making much more!  Maybe when I realize that I can have it at every meal I wont be totally addicted to it until it's gone.  Side note: sauerkraut has is supposedly a very low GI food and is said to be a 'free food' for those living the low-GI life!


I have come to see the word outsourcing as some what of a dirty word.  It's the reason I can't understand or be understood when I call my bank.  It's the reason our country has political ties with little, war torn countries that lead to things like war, and dead soldiers.  It's one of the reasons our country has a very rapidly declining amount of blue collar jobs.  It's one of the reasons the blue collar jobs we have wont pay anyone's bills.

When we lived in an apartment, I was mad that we had to outsource everything.  From playgrounds to tomatoes, lawn care to clothes drying(energy).  And when I longed for a house, I longed for a place to outsource less.  Grow our own, wash and dry our own, make our own, entertain on our own... But I wasn't raised that way.  At all.

I'm finding that it's a lot of work.  Which isn't bad, but it's tricky trying to juggle all of our time consuming responsibilities and taking up new ones.  Even the simple ones, like home cooked meals, tinkering with leaky van parts and enjoying our own sunshine.

In fact, I've lost sight of it.  I've read so many opinions about being self-sustained so we're ready for nuclear war or whatever other tragedy attacks our new frontier.  But I've never wanted to do things myself out of fear.  If I was fear driven I'd be a working mom bringing in as much money as I could - in other words, I'd go back to what I know: money and depending on it's security.

But I read a little list not too long ago about all the things we, as a culture, outsource that people didn't a hundred years ago or so.  This list included food production, clothing production, child rearing, child schooling, entertainment and a bunch of other really huge things.

Yesterday I was looking at my roasted barley coffee substitute for $6.99 a box and the pearled barley sitting on the counter and thought, this box says there are a just a few grains in this, roasted, ground and packaged.  I wonder if I could do that.  So I looked up coffee roasting on the internet.  Turns out, a hundred years ago, most everyone did their own coffee roasting and bought the raw beans (with a shelf life of 2 years) instead of the roasted beans (with a shelf life of two weeks).  This was normal, people still had time to wash clothes by hand and talk to each other.  In fact, it seems they talked more than we do now.

Today I deleted my facebook account so I'm no longer outsourcing friendship and I'm remembering why I'm here.  I didn't want to outsource my kids or my vegetables and I wanted to relearn that the best way to get to know someone, including family, is to work along beside them.