Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where I started....

We’ve made the effort for years to live frugally, simply. But, in the meantime, we still managed to rack up some debt. We always planned to someday soon buy a place with some acreage and plant a huge garden, but the state of the economy and its effect on our personal finances has left us owing more on our home than it could ever bring, if we could sell it at all. In addition to that, we have not progressed far in paying off accrued credit card debt. Of course we knew better than to use credit cards, but we used them with the assumption that our incomes would remain steady or continue to grow, and they would be easily paid off.

So, what now? For years, I have been reading and learning how to live green, how to live frugally, I’ve studied lots of theories on nutrition and learned to cook from scratch. I grew up on a farm. My parents did the best with what they had, which wasn’t much. My dad is a bit of a renaissance man who can do just about anything and has done just about everything. He’s built homes, farmed (and all that entails), fixed cars, tractors, boats, and airplanes, not to mention wells and pumps and furnaces. When I was a sophomore in high school, he went back to school (he earned his bachelor’s in horticulture when I was a baby) and earned his J.D. He has now been practicing law for over 20 years.

My mom also taught me self-sufficiency and nurtured in us creativity. She was very young when I was born, 17. She worked hard alongside my dad. If anyone ever made me believe that women could do anything, it was her. She carried five gallon buckets full of feed to the pigs, held squirming baby pigs as my dad, um, castrated them, hung laundry on the line, cooked meals from scratch, and baked pies that were works of art. She is an artist, has always been, I suppose. All through my childhood, she was always creating something, painting, forming lumps of clay into incredible sculptures and pots, and later, taking up woodcarving. She made us elaborate Halloween costumes and piñatas shaped like animals and cartoon characters from papier-mâché. There were always art supplies to be found and used, something I took for granted until I was grown and realized that not everyone grows up with access to clay and paint and papier-mâché . When I was twelve and my youngest sibling was 8, she had my baby sister. I don’t remember her slowing down during her pregnancy. She gardened and mowed the lawn(we lived in the middle of nowhere, LOL) in a bikini at 8 months pregnant. She nursed my baby sister until she was nine months old, when she came down with mastitis and received the bad advice from her doctor to wean. I mention this because I was old enough to remember and really have learned about parenting of a baby and infant. She started college the same year I did and has been an art teacher now for over 12 years.

Now in my 40th year, I have been married to my sometimes reluctantly green hubby for 14 years, and I am a full-time mama to four beautiful children, two boys, ages 11 and 8, and two girls, ages 5 and 2. While this blog will have little to do with child-rearing, I imagine they will come up. I teach college-level English online part time from home. I, with my husband's help, am working to make us as self-sufficient as possible in the face of limited budgets and resources. I want to share with you our success (and failures) in this adventure.

1 comment:

  1. NOW I get what a "homestead" blog is!! I'm rolling up my sleeves, ready to share and learn!