Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The second half of life.

The summer of 2013 has been a big one for me, first I turned 50 in June, a fact that continues to boggle my mind because besides besides my body not cooperating with what I want it to do I still feel like I the same woman I was years ago. Only the new little lines on my face and the grey in my hair and the aches in my joints that I try to ignore remind me that yes indeed time marches on.

Secondly, July 16th I got married again.  After a long 4 year period of friendship and dating I knew this was a man who I could build a life with.  Together we share the plan to build a small homestead in New Mexico and to pursue the idea of becoming as self sufficient as possible.
So, the second half begins. I'm excited to see what the future holds.




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strawberry Leaf Tea

Today I did something I felt was actually blog worthy, at least in the homesteading world. I made Strawberry Leaf Tea. A project that made me just a little bit nervous.

Strawberry tea, like other berry teas has many reported health benefits, high in vitamin C, it is used to calm upset stomachs and digestive issues. As a nurse I know that many of the modern medicines used today began as herbal remedies so I am always interested in learning about alternatives from nature.

When I moved from my old house I carefully dug up all of my strawberry plants that were just beginning to bloom and moved them to the new raised beds I had set up in my new location and hoped that they would survive the transplant. They did amazingly well and produced a decent crop of berries. Here in Florida the dog days of summer are just beginning to set in and I believe the plants are done producing any more fruit but the leaves were still green and thriving so I decided to try something I came across somewhere along the way, making tea from the leaves of the plant. Before I started I tried to find information online about how best to proceed but there was surprisingly little out there but just enough to get me through the process.



I picked the leaves and washed them carefully removing all of the stems. I made sure to pull out any that looked to be wilting or damaged as I had read that as the leaves begin to decompose they become toxic to humans and can cause nausea and cramping, the part that worried me. 

Then I set them on my dehydrator racks to dry out. I have an old Excalibur Dehydrator that I bought at a yard sale over 20 years ago that is still going strong.
Anxious to see how the tea might turn out I decided to dry and handful of leaves in the microwave. Since I
do not have a tea infuser I improvised by tying the leaves up in a thin cotton dish towel ( I use these for cheese and yogurt making too) and pouring boiling water from the tea kettle over to create and infusion. 
Nothing I found online told me how long to leave the leaves infusing so I used my best judgement and decided that this pale green color was just about right. I worried that the tea might be very bitter but it was surprisingly pleasant almost citrus like. I sweetened it with a little honey and enjoyed the whole cup. It has been a little over one half hour since I drank it and I am experiencing no bad side effects so I suppose I will live and will definitely be drinking more of this unique tea blend. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Not Home Yet .

More transitions happening in my life. I am moving yet again. My oldest son and his family are out on their own again and I don't need this big house I am renting so I have decided to downsize and begin my transition to New Mexico. I still have about two years before I will officially make the move but the wheels are in motion.  The next two years will be all about getting ready to trek my horses, dogs and possessions the 2000 miles to what I pray will be my final stopping point and the beginning of building my homestead in the sun.  In the mean time I am collecting information, learning new skills and trying to organize .  
Wish me luck. I'm really ready to see this journey move in a new direction. This is not my picture , but it is pretty close to what my life looks like today. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Balloon Fiesta 2013

Spent the second week in October back in New Mexico and Colorado two of my favorite places in the world. Finally got to attend the annual Balloon Fiesta outside of Albuquerque and it was well worth the trip.   Two of my children were able to join me, we rented a car in Denver and spent some time there with family and then had a road trip down to Albuquerque.
Although we were freezing , we have thin Florida blood it was such an amazing site.

Transitions

Sunset from my property in New Mexico .     
    
Its me just sending a note out to the blogging universe to say that I am still here but have had so many things going on in my life that blogging became low on the list of priorities. It seems the longer you stay away the harder it is to jump back into it but I miss putting my thoughts into words. Hopefully I will have time soon to get back on track in more ways than one. Some of the things I need to do include revising my homestead wish list this time with the move to my New Mexico homestead in mind. I believe I can finally start the countdown to making that move, although it is still going to be a bit of  a wait Jan 2015 should be the beginning of my transition to my new home 2000 miles away where I will finally begin to build my permanent homestead/mini farm. 

With the move in mind some of the things I need to gather information and learn about include:
Composting Toilets
Solar Power
Bee Keeping
Gardening in the High Desert
Feeding and keeping livestock in the High Desert where pasture is minimal and weather and predators can be challenging.
Straw Bale Building ( Although I don't think my home will be straw bale I dream of building a little guest house using this method).
Miniature Cattle.
Heritage Breeds of livestock native to the Southwest.
Trail Riding in the Southwest.

I have a vision of the life I want and a plan for how to get there now I just need to remember to not get so focused on that dream that I forget to enjoy the here and now everyday moments that come along.