Monday, September 23, 2013
All Things Fall
Fall brings many different emotions to different people. Some morn the warmth and strong sun of summer, others can't wait to see summer go and welcome the colors! Here in Maine we have beautiful leaves, fields of orange pumpkins and crisp days. Fall is my favorite season hands down. This is what our fall is going to look like this year:
Finish canning. I started canning in August and have canned mostly foods from local farms and friends gardens who have traded for eggs. When I have finished I will share my list and totals and how I store them. Just so you know, I love canning. It's hard work but it's instant gratification as soon as you line up those beautiful jars and step back to see your food insurance policy.
Start on Christmas presents for friends and family. This is something I struggle with. I hate gift giving. Not because I am a crab but because of the message it can send. I feel like if I don't give them something perfect and meaningful that the recipient will feel I cheated them therefore I must not care much. Untrue, but it's so much pressure! Once I had kids I decided I need to really explore Christmas and how our family wants to celebrate not just follow my extended family's deep seated traditions. It's a touchy subject, but my first baby step that I am starting this year is that I will only be giving gifts made with my hands. I might need to do a separate post on this! To be continued...
Buy and raise meat chickens. Lord and money willing, I would like to buy 25 meat chicks and raise completely organic for slaughter. We have reduced or grocery bills to around $75 a month and that has consisted of a lot of sale chicken of all kinds and not organic. And, it bothers me. So, I did some research (of course!) and crunched some numbers and we should be able to raise these 25 birds for about $1/pound of finished chicken. Then I will have a freezer full of chicken for the winter and I can cross that of the list until spring when we do it again!
Homeschooling. This is our first "official" year homeschooling though I have been teaching Puzzle Boy the basics as he has grown. He knows his colors, can count beyond 20, knows his letters by sight, has improved his speech and is learning sight words. This year is kindergarten and I prefer to use this year to experiment with different types of learning and have fun! We school 3 days a week and are part of a co-op that meets all day Fridays. Our basic goals for the year are to start reading, start simple math, work on social skills (like stranger smarts, how to ask for help without mommy, working it out with friends), learn our states, homestead skills and so much more! Homeschooling is unlimited!
Build that house! Oh gosh, don't get me started! But, we should have walls and a roof by November. Perhaps moving in around Thanksgiving? Remember it won't be finished! Just needs to have hot water, hold heat and be functional.
Split wood. After discussing it with my parents, they have agreed to let me borrow their wood cook stove that came from my great-grandfather's home. I am so excited! Not only will this save me on propane cost for my cooking but it will also save a little on heating fuel as well. Cook stoves are not famous for heating but they do throw enough to help a small well insulated house. Plus I am nostalgic and like the idea of waking up to start a fire and set my percolator on the top to make me amazing coffee. It's been a dream for years.
Fall can be busy and slip right by. Winter is so long here, preparing for it is necessary not only physically (like firewood and buttoning up the house) but also mentally. I need a winter game plan! Fall gives me time to ease into winter and decide what I want those short and gray days to look like.