My Urban Homestead

Where are we going? Down a new path! The system would have us all believe that we should choose a single skill to practice and excel at for our entire life. We are all expected to participate in the rat race of life. Consuming and competing with each other in hopes of coming out on top and being happy. The thought of maintaining the same boring job for the remainder if my life is incomprehensible. Why should I accept that fate? I see so many people struggling through life. Over medicated with antidepressants and stimulants. I am choosing to not be a slave to the money! I choose to be happy everyday. Why wait for the golden years of retirement? From what I have seen, the golden years aren’t so golden after all. I am looking down the path that leads back to a simpler way of life. My eyes have recently been introduced to homesteading. There is an alternative way of living, where it isn’t necessary to slave away your life at some meaningless job. To be mortgage free, debt free, and self sufficient sounds like a dream. It is attainable through sacrifice and hard work. What is the point if senselessly struggling to pay of debt and regain a decent credit score in hopes of qualify for a mortgage in order spend the next thirty years paying for that enormous debt? Is a large house full of extravagant finishes necessary? I can see myself and my family having a happier life by choosing a simpler lifestyle. Quality of life is important to me. Material possessions won’t make me happier. Of course I can appreciate the beauty and quality craftsmanship of material things. But they are trivial and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. As I begin this new journey down the path to homesteading I will need to acquire some new skills. Skills of my ancestors such as growing, preparing, and preserving my own food. Living off my own land and being at one with nature. I am also looking forward to learning how to make natural cosmetics and pottery. I have always admired people who lived self sufficient lives. For now I will be choosing to practice my urban homesteading skills. I am experimenting with new crops for my deck garden. My husband and I planted everything from seed this year. This is the first growing season that I didn’t visit a local greenhouse to purchase transplants. We didn’t leave room for the pretty annuals that I usually surround the deck with. We have a modest size deck with a modest amount of containers for gardening in. New to me crops include leeks, onions, garlic, strawberries, lettuce and peas. We have had a very wet spring and my little seedlings have taken a beating. Oh well, survival of the fittest, right?

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I love this! Introverts are so misunderstood by extroverts! This should be mandatory reading for all extroverts 😉

Spatial Orientation

As an introvert, it’s frustrating to deal with the common misconceptions held regarding my personality type. Here’s Mercatus Center scholar Jerry Brito debunking the top ten myths about introverts:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want…

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Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Today I shared one of my favorite indulgences for the first time with my precious daughter, Reese peanut butter cups. This scintillating melt in your mouth tasty treat is a long time favorite of mine, dating back to my early childhood. My childhood was a time when peanut butter was a lunchtime staple. Modern day has eliminated the traditional PB&J and has introduced “wow-butter”! Say what? Wow-butter. Give me a break. Is it really necessary to eliminate peanut butter from public schools. Are peanut allergies that prevalent that we need to deprive all children of that satisfying protein rich, sticky, crunchy, creamy goodness. I grew up on the traditional Kraft peanut butter. I had it for lunch and sometimes as an after school snack, along with my 2% cows milk. As an adult, I made the switch to the all natural PB. No added sugar or the dreadful hydrogenated oils. I have also made the switch from white bread to whole wheat. Sure, there was the rare friend of a friend with a peanut allergy back in my day. But it wasn’t common enough to warrant a ban on all peanut products at my school. I can’t imagine my childhood without peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and Reese peanut butter cups at recess. Why are so many children developing this allergy? Is it fear, perhaps? If I’m afraid that my child could potentially be allergic, then I might raise her in a peanut free bubble in order to prevent an allergic reaction. What if I told you that keeping your child away from the potential allergen would increase the odds of her immune system as seeing the potential allergen as a hostile intruder and launching into anaphylactic shock. Any child with a sever PB allergy should carry an epi-pen at all times. If the child with the allergy is equipped with an epi-pen, then why all the fuss. Chances are that the teacher and classmates are also aware of the severety of the reaction and would take measures to avoid exposure to the afflicted child. The entire school needn’t be affected. A friend of mine is convinced that he has a peanut allergy. He has never shown any signs of an allergic reaction when exposed to peanuts and products containing peanuts. He has never been tested for allergies. However; his mother told him that he is allergic. His sister is deathly allergic and carries an epi-pen on her at all times. So, I can see where fear may have played a role in my friends “peanut allergy” but, wouldn’t it have been better to have educated him on his sister’s allergy. Shouldn’t he, in his adult years, have consulted a doctor and taken an allergy test. Tried as I may to describe to him the sheer delight that I feel when sinking my teeth into a Reese peanut butter cup. The only thing better than the PB cup is a Reese PB egg, available at Easter. The PB filling of the egg is extra fluffy and the ratio of PB to chocolate is slightly greater.
I’ll admit that as a first time mama I too was hesitant to give my precious daughter a potential allergen. Hesitant yes but, encapsulating her in a peanut free bubble? No. As I said I am an avid peanut butter lover. The nuts on their own, not so much. I consumed peanut products on a regular basis throughout my entire pregnancy, as well as while I was breast feeding. Did I outright feed peanuts to my daughter? I certainly did not. However; I did rub peanut butter on her back, neck, and arm in order to expose her to it. There was no reaction. So, when my sister in law asked if she could feed my daughter some of her hot fudge sundae with nuts, I said sure. My internal dialogue thinking that if my darling daughter did have a reaction I could blame it on my SIL and not myself and at the same time telling myself that the likelihood of my offspring having a nut allergy was slim to none. Now, I am delighted to be able to share my sinfully delicious treat of choice with my little one. I find that sharing it with her is equally as satisfying as taking the first bite out of a Reese PB cup. My second favorite chocolate bar, you might ask? Hershey skor bar! I love me some chocolate !
So, before you go ahead and act out of fear, do a little research before you decide whether or not, and when to give your child peanut products.

Unsolicited Advice

People seem to have an uncontrollable urge to offer unsolicited advice, partenting advice in particular. They are probably trying to be helpful. Unfortunately, unsolicited patenting advice usually upsets me. If I’m asking for advice, I’m grateful to receive it. Tell me what I should and shouldn’t do with my child and we’ve got a problem. I am my child’s primary care giver. I think that makes me an expert in what works best for my child. These people need to consider that their helpful advice might be unwanted, unnecessary, unwarranted, shall I go on. What worked for little Jimmy 30 years ago, might not work for little Jenny now in present day. Times have changed people. Why are people so resistant to change? We need to adapt and evolve if we want to survive. We need to be open to new ideas and better ways of doing things. Especially when there is scientific proof to back up new ways of doing things.
On another note, why must my daughter be compared to all of her relatives? She likes color X so, she is just like so and so. Or, she dances to music just like Great Aunt Martha; therefore she is just like Martha. Heaven forbid that she take after her mother, or herself for that matter. I don’t want her to develop some kind of complex that makes her think that she is like all of her crazy relatives. I hope that she will be true to herself, a beautiful, and intelligent individual, who will thrive on being different from the rest of the selfish, shallow, and materialistic plastic mean girls of the world. I want to teach her to question everything. Don’t take anything at face value. Question all of those beauty marketing schemes directed at the masses. You can be intelligent and beautiful and respect your body. Sex sells, it works well. Giant corporations have proven this with zillions of dollars that they are earning. But why do that to yourself? What image do you want to portray? Who’s respect do you value? We need to teach our daughters to respect their body, no matter the shape or size. Teach them to have good character and to be kind and considerate. We can’t control our girls or tell them not to be a certain way. This only causes rebellion. We can teach them to make informed and educated decisions. We can set good examples for them and make our own wise decisions. I have dreams and aspirations for my daughter. One day I hope that she will share some of these hopes and aspirations with me. My daughter shows great promise. She is wise beyond her time. She is advanced for her age. I feel that if I continue to love, teach and support her she will grow up to be a truly lovely person. Not some skanky bimbo with over tanned skin, over processed hair, caked on make up, covered in piercings and tattoos, crying out for attention in all the wrong ways. No education, poor body image and depression. Are these signs of parenting gone wrong? In my opinion, absolutely ! I’m not saying that I will be the perfect mother and raise the perfect daughter. I am saying that when you bring a child into this world it is your responsibility and should be a priority, to do your damnedest to make sure that you are doing your best to raise your child to be a decent person.

Owl Rescue

Hello there fellow bloggers and crafters. To all the mamas out there, how do you find time to do it all? My Mat leave is over and I have decided to work evenings and weekends for the time being. I’m having difficulty leaving my child in the care of strangers on a full time basis. This way, baby girl can be with her daddy and we save the costs of childcare. Sounds good in theory, right ? Well, being a full time mama all day and working all night doesn’t leave me with much time. I’m currently spending all of my spare time planning an owl themed birthday party for my little sweetie. It’s to the point that I’m letting housework slide and I’m seeing owls in my dreams. We are in the process of acquiring a real, live owl for the party! Yup, our local wildlife rescue centre has an over abundance of owls this winter and they should be able to accommodate our request. As long as there is a cash donation of course 😉 Hope for Wildlife does wonderful work! I’m so excited to have a real owl at the party. Sophia just loves owls and owl was one of her very first words!

http://m.halifaxnewsnet.ca/Arts-Living/2013-01-15/article-3156983/Injured-owls-flocking-to-Hope-For-Wildlife/1

If you are interested in helping out the owls and other wildlife in our area please follow the link below to make a donation.

http://m.halifaxnewsnet.ca/Arts-Living/2013-01-15/article-3156983/Injured-owls-flocking-to-Hope-For-Wildlife/1