7 Quick Takes About Moving, Classes, Appliances and Strawberry Jam

So I have been busier than I would like with taking a class in addition to my daily routine. Needless to say writing has taken a back seat to everything else that is pressing for my time. I hope to change this a bit with a fun little exercise in summarizing my week and giving some insight into the changes in our life here. I ran across this at the Conversion Diary blog, so please check them out, as I cannot take credit for this great idea!

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In roughly a month we will be moving across town and I am really starting to feel the pinch on time as well as some of the emotional aspects that come with a move. We’ve been pretty successful to date in collecting boxes, newspapers and other packing material and even have managed to get things packed despite C. and J.’s numerous attempts to sabotage our efforts! The real struggle will be to pack up our compost, chickens and raised beds and move those across town. Yes…the soon-to-be owner of our house has asked they be removed. That’s fine but I’m running in circles in my head trying to figure out the logistics. Simply put…pray for us!

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Currently I’ve survived…thrived … for the first 2/3 of my summer course. I figured I would struggle so much more and my confidence was extremely low. However, this class has taught me something I didn’t think it would. Time can really be the answer for many many things. In my undergraduate years I was lackadaisical at times about my course work. I didn’t feel the pressure I should have and didn’t push myself. I told myself that GPA didn’t matter (well I got that part right) and went on to work at a prestigious organization in DC for a few years before my son was born. Now I’ve found what I want and the drive to push myself is there. and this course is proving how a work ethic driven by desire is potent. Onward to more complex courses such as anatomy and I may just be back to edit this after that class.

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We’re going to be remodeling the kitchen in the home we are purchasing at the end of July. It’s in pretty bad shape currently and needs some serious TLC. Given that the house we are acquiring is a two family home, with out intention to rent out the top unit and live in the bottom unit, we decided it might be nice to upgrade our appliances for our unit. You know, make it comfortable for us since we plan to be in there for at least 5 years.

So off we go to check out the thousands and thousands of appliances that exist in western civilization. There are literally dozens of varieties with innumerable  perks, accessories and styles. What happened to the simple dishwasher? No now it has adjustable racks, some with baby bottle washers built-in … built-in… seriously. Then there are decibels to consider, buttons under the counter or on the door, etc. That is just dishwashers. I’ll spare you the dramatically more complex Refrigerator.

Yes, appliances have come a long way and we are just dipping our toe in the water. Decisions, decisions.

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Part of what this blog is about is us striking that perfect balance, for my family, of living off the land, providing for ourselves and still enjoying what modern convenience has to offer (hello convection ovens… yes I see one in my future…I think). My sincere hope for our family is to live healthy lives that we enjoy and don’t find burdensome. It’s a struggle! We have been working to learn more about succession planting of crops, caring for chickens in winter, canning and being good stewards of our resources over the past 3 years since becoming homeowners. So we may never have that 40 acres and mule (I know a few people who would die inside if we did!) and that’s fine. It may just not be our cup of tea, but we are learning.

I like to think of life as a journey and we are on one interesting ride. I never would have seen myself moving in this direction, let alone with my kids in tow. Joe… he always had a soft spot for this stuff! Still, now that we are moving to a lot size that is 1/3 of our current land, this whole journey is about to get more creative!

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I have to say with the onset of summer I’ve fallen a bit more in love with where we live. The Finger Lakes in NY state is just a breathtaking area. I grew up most of  my life in the south, and I’m a 7th generation Texan who transplanted to North Carolina during some formative years, and met my husband there as well.

Now we wake up to 50-60 degree temps in the morning, and not quite 90 degree days (which now feel like a furnace) and just giggle! Two southerners living up here in a sort of fairy land of you-picks, gorges you swim in at the bottom, rolling hills, and trees that have leaves which turn colors. It’s a dream come true for us geographically speaking.

Now I feel a bit like a dork, but I’ll own that.

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Did I mention how we are striving to live more off the land and soon-to-be on .2 acres of land? Ok well we are and I’m actually thrilled at the chance for us to push our limits to make the land work for us! We are about to embark on this trip into the land of intense gardening and harvesting. We already have an idea of what we can expect from our raised beds but we want to do more. Meat rabbits, meat chickens, perhaps a couple more laying hens, all sorts of veggies and fruits.

This will be great!

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We’re making Strawberry jam tonight after an amazing haul from a you-pick farm nearby! I’m am really excited.

One of the biggest challenges for us has been working down our food supply while ensuring that we will have preserved food come the Fall and Winter when we are fully settled in our new place. As of right now it looks like we will be moving preserved strawberry jam.

Yes we might be a bit crazy but seriously, nothing beats homemade. Nothing…

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