Through Finger Tips

…a journey towards homesteading


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The browned grass is on full display from the picture window. It’s so windy in the Midwest, the leaves have choreographed dances with gusts and they seem to be getting tired day in and out. I keep telling myself, “Only two months”. Today marks 55 days left until the Spring equinox. Yesterday, that sweet spring smell was in the air. Taunting.

I am now 25 years old, as of January 18th, and was gifted a french-press from my parents, herbal tea from Matthew and the wee one, and some cash (tea money) from my grandfather. I hear there’s a dandelion necklace awaiting my neck, per my beautiful cousin.

jasmine tea steeping and spent. A french press full of warm herbs

jasmine tea steeping and spent. A french press full of warm herbs

Early last week, for a mere second, I heard the brass mail slot clank open and sounds of raindrops fall to the floor. My ears perked and even though I’d never heard that sound before, the noise sounded familiar. Popping around the corner from the bookshelf, right below the mail slot, was a yellow padded envelope. Quickly, I ripped the top off, rushed into the living room and dumped the contents onto the floor immediately. They were all there, PLUS ONE! Our heirloom seeds arrived within 3 days. This excitement was similar to the joy most people feel on Christmas morning. When the babe slept, I spent the cherished nap-time reading the back of each seed packet.

what an abundance

what an abundance

The garden plans for this year are being laid and little seedlings will be turning to sprouts in the sunlight, soon enough. Stacks of egg cartons are leaning as they wait to be used as planters. I’ve been slowly saving bits of my pay for garden renovation. The growing season will surely gift much experience regardless of the yields. Luckily, I’ve a green thumb.

Now, this hasn’t been a well kept secret, but I’m sure most of you may not be informed. Matthew and I are nose-diving into a 5-year-plan. Planning for what you might ask? No. Not another wee-one. Actually, something equally as time consuming and exhausting: A new lifestyle. A homestead.

Shortly after Matt and I met, we spilled our innermost guts. He was let in on my dreams of living in an earth-form home, I was let in on his dreams of being self sustaining. It’s no wonder we’ve meshed and decided to spend our lives together. After a couple years of chattering about things we wish we could do, but won’t ever have the space/finances/sanity/time for, we’ve decided to do it anyway. The process is endless, and much like deciding to have a child, this is something a person cannot ever be fully prepared for.

my my, how she loves him

Our hopes are high, but why not? The possibilities are endless. Chickens. Goats. Sheep. Rainwater collection. An acre of garden. Herbs on top of herbs on top of herbs. It’s dreamable, it’s doable.

Hope for warm days.
-L-


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To Re-purpose is Reaping Purpose

When my family is in need of an appliance, clothing, fabric or gadgets, you’ll often find us stowed away in the farthest corner of a thrift store. Looking over previously owned items is partly zen for me. Touching a coffee mug and finding any cracks or chips leads my mind wandering who previously held and possibly chipped the lip of this mug? Who decided it was worth discarding for the use of another? Many of the items I use daily I’ve found on the shelves of thrift stores or  tables in garage sales. I may even go as far to say, about half of the items we own, have been previously owned by another person.  I take pride in this, because I know that I’ve reduced the need to create these items new. Those shoes I bought at Goodwill didn’t come new from a factory, because I didn’t need them to be new for me to enjoy their use.

In recent months after the move to our new home I have been going as far as re-purposing items for use rather than purchasing previously owned items. This reduces the waste footprint my family may have on our earth, and I’m keen to it. That old scarf I once used as a breast-feeding cover makes a great front door curtain. The previous life of our mail-box was once a baby formula container. One of the most charming planters in our window once liquored me up into a good night, as a pint of vodka. Giving a new purpose to old items that are regularly donated or tossed to the landfill fills me with an almost overabundance of satisfaction. And lets be honest, using a two 6-pack’s as a silverware divider is genius.

bouleydouble
Yesterday as I was planning an organizational chart for our kitchen, I came across my stack of tea cups with broken handles. These cups were a gift, and they’re patterned beautifully. They’ve been so cherished, I’ve stashed them away rather than discard them, but there had to be a better use for them. Luckily they will be gaining a new life, as succulent planters after holes are drilled in their bottoms. Every week I’m finding new use for items, and I love it.

windowplanters

Have you re-purposed anything recently? What has been your favorite item to re-purpose? A list is growing on my kitchen wall of to-do’s and want-to-do’s! I need more! I personally, can not get enough glass jars. A shelf and a few boxes worth aren’t enough. Most of them haven’t been given a new life, however the possibilities are endless.

door collage

To re-purpose is genuinely to reap purpose…and how ever so fulfilling.


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The Hunter’s Moon is on it’s way, October 18th’s the date. This moon is also often recognized as the Blood Moon or the Late Harvest Moon. September and early October, the fields have been harvested and Game will come munch the fallen grains. The deer will be fattened, and my Native American ancestors would have been looking forward to storing meat for the long winter ahead. The bright moon makes it an ideal night for hunting.

The cold lunar months are rolling in. This means crockpot season. Speaking of, this coming year will mark my 5th year of vegetarianism. What a nice mark. Yesterday was grocery day, and Matteau craves warm, steaming bowls of hearty goodness. He’s lovingly slipped into a more herbivorous lifestyle, benefiting from a cleaner way of eating. I suppose you could consider my house a “lacto-ovo-pescitarian” home. This means, we eat everything BUT meat. And we actually DO eat fish meat/shellfish and things of the sort.

Eviebug follows suit and enjoys our household diet as well. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind feeding your child different food than you feed yourself, simply because of their age (excluding nuts/unmanageable foods).  She eats curry, smoked salmon, falafel, couscous, you name it. And she simply loves it. The different textures and smells make the bug bounce like crazy in her chair. Today she managed a tuna sandwich all by herself today. Both hands on the prize.

Before Matt could have a fit of hunger I ran to Pinterest for the most delicious vegetarian dishes, and find a cheesey veggie stew. I consider recipes really nice guidelines for things that might taste good, but could always taste better. It simply seems impossible to follow a recipe step-by-step, because, what if you’re pretty sure celery salt should exist where it simply doesn’t in your recipe? To the sweet, sweet sounds of the The Shins, in goes the vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock. And why only a cup of carrots? Definitely 4 whole carrots, shredded, not measured. Why measure when you can eye-ball? And only cheddar? I’ll go ahead and add Monterrey Jack and Romano simply for my sanity. After 3 hours it was perfect. A light tawny brown, but hue from yellow, with flecks of dark green broccoli florets and a few strands of orange carrots at the top. Completely perfect, and settled, for taste. It became hard for us both to leave leftovers for the next day, when stew’s at it’s best.

Along with vegetarianism, recently, I’ve transitioned onto the greener side of life. I lay no claim to being super-eco-friendly, however, small steps matter. It’s been about 4 months since shampoo has touched my scalp. Really. Four whole months. I’ve not a thing to complain about though. No oily hair, no dandruff, no buildup.  The less I shampoo, when I ask my hair to do something, it generally complies. I’ve joined, what some may consider a movement for “No-Poo”. I came across this method of scalp/hair care a few years ago. It seemed quite interesting, that you could not use shampoo or conditioner on your hair yet still have very clean and manageable hair. It seems our good friends in advertising and marketing have convinced us for years that we MUST buy shampoo and conditioner to keep from being gross mats of hair. Truly, they’ve got us ridding our scalp of the necessary oils it needs to be healthy, replacing them with man-made chemicals, then taunting our scalps to overproduce the oil it actually needs to be healthy. Wash, rinse, repeat. They’re doing a great job of it. Every time I’ve mentioned my methods outside of the home, the strange looks fall upon my head.

To clean my hair I use a simple solution: 2 tbsp baking soda: 1 cup warm water. Pour slowly on the scalp and let it dripdrip to the ends. Massage the scalp slowly for about a minute, and let those head-oils soak up. Rinse that shiz out. 2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 cup warm water. Dip ends of hair into the cup, and soak 30 seconds, then pour the rest over your head. Rinse thouroughly, immediately.
This has worked wonderfully, and has restored my natural curls that I’ve lost due to the evil hair straightener.

With all this hair talk, we’re forgetting it’s hat season. October has brought it’s lows, and they’re hovering around 40°F. This makes for the coziest mornings, but dyingly cold nights for my table-top garden. These last 2 years, I’ve collected an array of succulent plants that eat up the summer sunshine. This week, I heard them shivering in their little clay pots. ‘Tis time to move them in. They’re now nestled against a window ledge in the family room. FishieFace doesn’t seem to mind the new plant-stand/jungle gym. She’s barely touched it. It must blend in with the wall.

October’s calling me to organize my home, for a long cold winter ahead. No one wants to rot in a cluttered home when the weather is a drag. The windows cannot even be thrown open to bring in the smell of the warm jet-stream. Organize seems a Four Letter Word around the Moore-Geckley house. LittleBug must empty the bookshelf at least twice a day, and no less. But regardless, this house will be more settled towards the end of the week. I’ll even let you into my home, for proof.

obligatory baby and kitty photo

obligatory bugbaby and kitty photo

Remember, the dinner we eat tonight                               was but that of the sun just months ago.
-L


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Autumn Swept Us Up.

Dancing foliage and marigold yellow sunlight is definitely in the atmosphere. It’s a spectacular fall day. Every single not-stuck window in our house is open as much as it can be. The recent harvest moon was even bright. And the cold, crisp mornings? The windows may not be open as much, but you bet your fanny I’m freezing out the living room, specifically so I can curl up in the fuzziest of blankets  and let the steam wafting from my mug warm the bottom of my nose.
It is Autumn.

Because the weather has been gentle with us, I meandered to unkempt corner of the yard in search of…anything. This overgrown, wild and uninhabited corner is known as my garden. She was a beaut’ to begin with, alas the young Doodle Bug of mine requires an extreme amount of attention, and isn’t fond of playing in the grass.  The tilled soil, so fresh, has turned to hard packed ground with crunchy weeds reaching for the sky out of the canyon cracks. Somehow this jungle has provided my family with quite a few delicious bunches. Squash, eggplant, peppers, roma tomatoes, lettuce.  After the recent gully-washers I had a sneaking suspicion there may be a small surprise awaiting us.
…and there they were.


No matter how unkempt and late in season, she was determined to impress me, and for this I am thankful, Dear Garden.

With the seasons turning and churning, one may expect plants to begin to whither with these chilly evenings. The greens surrounding my home have seem to taken on a personality of their own. Determination. With bushes still blooming and mushrooms still popping, I couldn’t help but snap a few.

fleurs

While the weather has it’s head on it’s shoulders as of this week, LittleFish and I have taken advantage of the last of it. She rattles the glass door, asking me to let her at it. I could have. I could have opened the glass door and have her find her way down the sidewalk to the edge of the grass, to tumble off of the curb.
Instead, we explore the park.
Walking the short distance down the parkway, she sways her legs with excitement. Not a care in the world she has, besides of course, embarking on the journey of the Parkway System. I pop the wheels of her stroller cart onto the grass and take the bumpy jaunt to the edged off sea of woodchips. She is in awe. Mobs of loud, grimy children are on all sections of the playground. I eyeball an empty tunnel and we’re off. It’s almost a race to get to this tunnel before a 5 year old crawls inside and sets up fort for the next 10 minutes. And the jubilant Bug Baby is thrilled. Into the tunnel she goes. Back. Forth. Back. Forth. Back. Nothing gets old. It can’t, it’s all so new. Being mobile and now, in a land of fun and tunnels, not to mention swings. Oh the swing.


At this very park (if weather permits) we will be celebrating Bug Baby’s first birthday. It will be enjoyable to have family, friends and more family gathered to surprise Ms. Evie. Luckily she has no problem stealing the spotlight and soaking up every bit of attention she can get. It will be a full day, a full day indeed.

And with this milestone, it allows time to reflect on what’s become of myself. From January 2012 as of current, my life has been ever changing. Priorities, professions, relationships, my very own body. I’ve experienced: 9 months of morning sickness, the Pregnant Waddles, a few ER visits (dehydration), a 36-hour-opposite-of-my-birth-plan labor,  two new jobs, two big moves, 40 pound loss, motherly experience gained, the most dapper of gentleman has morphed into a meticulously caring father in front of my eyes and Evie, herself. So much to absorb, I need a 6th sense.
I suppose I’ve had a hard time taking time for myself to be me, even though I’m not sure exactly what I’m becoming.
If nothing else, one hell of a Renaissance Woman.


May your arrows fly straight                                                 and your aim be true
-L


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…and so it begins.

Welcome
This, blog/journal/recollection collection/notepad is where you’ll find me. How often is unsure. I’ve got to catch the hang of it and find my jive. Don’t worry now, it most certainly will not be forced nor painful to read through.
I’m on a journey and I’m opening a window for the world to watch me through. I’m growing warmer and shifting everything I’ve known about myself into a contrasting version of the old and new pieces I find every day.
Now let me introduce the lead characters in my life:
Myself
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You’ll learn plenty about me. No ramblings

The man and the babe
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His name is Matthew, affectionately Matteau. Hers? Evie. Booger. Bubble. Little fish. Ploper.
I’ve been blessed with a handful of love, a dash of charm and a grain of adoring babbles.

and this one
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Ishmael. He’s a good guy.

Now back to the grit. I’ve come a long way this past year, and lost 40lbs as of the current. The relationship Matteau and I share has blossomed into something wonderful, whilst nurturing and teaching the little Bubble. He’s head over heels with her, and my heart is full each time I see him watching her ever learning move.
This adventure we all call “life” is ship-shaping up into a continuous piece of art. I’m more whole each day.

Being so delighted to share, I hope you choose to return in the future as you are now welcome in my home/life/mind. Please accept this invitation and don’t worry I’ll still be here if you show up late. I’ve always been a fan of the late arrivals.

Happy trails to you                          until we meet again.