Who Wants to be a Homesteader? 

Hey Everyone!

This morning as I was putting the dishes away, I had noticed that there were some ripe raspberries out on the raspberry plants in the backyard. 

So I went outside and picked them. 

And then ate them with the salad I had….


I sure do love Oregon berries and locally grown produce. It’s even better when they come from your own backyard. I am all about modern day homesteading, and growing a lot of your own food. I wouldn’t mind living on a farm or ranch, and raising a lot of my own produce, as well as chickens (layers and meat chickens), pigs (for food), as well as stocking the freezer with fish (salmon, cod, etc), caught here on the west coast, venison, elk, maybe a moose. I also want to have a good supply of freezer jam made from local berries, as well as canned jams and jellies. I definitely want to try at some point in my life, black currant jelly, elderberry jelly and fireweed jelly. 

I know canning, preserving, gardening, and farm life is hard work. I love working with my hands and seeing the product of my efforts, and being in the kitchen as well as outside. I also know that berry bushes scratch up your hands, arms and legs. I know that it takes a while to pit pie cherries before you can them. 

I was raised in the city, and raised eating grocery store food 99% of the time. Now that I am older, I am way more conscious of where my food comes from, how it was raised, what it was fed, what it was given (hormones, antibiotics etc), and honestly all of that grosses me out. I have tasted fresh caught salmon, and locally grown vegetables, and chicken that I saw where & how it was raised and honestly all of that tasted so much better than the grocery store food. 

Since I developed food intolerances and sensitivities, I am all about clean eating, as well as knowing where my food comes from, and how it was raised. 

At the end of the day, I would just as soon spend a day working hard outside or in the kitchen doing something to provide food for myself and my future family, whether it be to eat right away or preserve for eating in the colder months when fresh food is scarce. 

The more I can do for myself (of help my future husband with), and the less I have to rely on the mainstream grocery stores for, the happier I would be. I am also sure the more fresh, local, natural foods (as opposed to processed) I can eat, I know my body would do better with. 

That is my ultimate goal, to raise more of my food myself, live on some acreage, and be more self sufficient (including learning how to sew). 

Learning to live a more Frugal lifestyle 

Hey Everyone!

If anything, the past 11 years, has taught me how to live a more frugal lifestyle and how much “fluff” and extras I really don’t need. 

While having to be Dairy Free, generally Gluten Free, and generally Egg Free, that costs more than your normal grocery haul would, unless you shopped solely at new seasons or Whole Foods or some place life that. 

I have been learning how to live with my food intolerances and live a frugal lifestyle. 

That is one of the things I am wanting to do, is live more frugally, and do as much as I can, myself. I definitely prefer doing my own canning. While I would rather spend a bit more on buying local fruit and vegetables and canning my own fruit, pickles and jams as well as doing freezer jam. I have been learning the value of not having cable tv, or even hulu plus or Netflix. While it is nice to have some movies and some series of TV on DVD, I have learned the value of a hard days work. I am tired of being stuck in the city, where it isn’t as easy to get out side and work with my hands and be productive, as gas prices are climbing, and it is so expensive to live in the city. I honestly don’t miss having Netflix and Hulu. 

I am also trying to spend my time more wisely, and not waste my time on computer games when I could be knitting, or reading books. 

While I do have a list of yarn and knitting things I would like to accrue, I am trying to work through the yarn I have. The needles and swift I would like would be useful for more than one occasion. 

I am also trying to reduce my Scentsy budget to something more reasonable, like keeping a few bars of my favorite year round scent, one or two summer scents, a couple fall scents, and one or two winter scents, and not have excessive amounts of any one scent.

Books are one “luxury” and pass time, besides knitting that is worth while that is more of the enjoyment of it. 

Learning how to live a frugal lifestyle is important to me, and while I would live to live in, or near a small town, I really don’t want to more than a couple hours away from Portland. This is on the sole basis that my bakery is here, tea and tea shops are plentiful here, and Bob’s Red Mill is here. Not to mention the Gorge isn’t all that far away, to go get fruit to can, or Sauvie Island, or other farm stores that would carry pickling cucumbers, dill and garlic to can garlic dill pickles. 

I have been realizing that I don’t need as much stuff as I once thought I did. 

You don’t need the fastest internet, or all the cable channels, or a wall full of dvds, or the most expensive car or house, or best vacations to live a fulfilled and happy life. Honestly, I prefer the feeling I have at the end of the day when I have worked hard and am actually tired, or spent the day with those I care about, or played a board game with good friends, or watched the sunset over the ocean, or sat around a campfire at night, away from the city lights and saw all the stars in the sky. There is so much more to life than having to have all the latest and greatest, or the biggest and best. 

Life is so much more than being focused on the material things. Yes, having a comfortable house is nice, but so is making memories with friends and family and taking joy in the simple pleasures. 

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of eating out. I would just as soon grill up some burgers or salmon on a summer evening, and make some side salads, and a homemade dessert, and enjoy dinner on the back patio or in the backyard, and have a fire in the fire pit in the back yard once the sun goes down, over going and sitting a restaurant for however many hours. That is part of my aversion to city life, I always feel like I am having to go somewhere and do something, and spend money left and right to have fun. I am the type who prefers sitting at home reading a book, and some of my best and favorite memories involve sitting around a campfire with friends having a good conversation. 

As I get older, and I learn more about who I am, I definitely feel like I live in the wrong era. I feel like I belong in a by gone era, where women did more Homemaking and living off the land. While I really don’t want to give up indoor plumbing, running water, electricity, modern appliances (and refrigeration), there is something to be said of the country life. You know, having a freezer full of chicken meat that you raised yourself, as well as ham, pork chop, bacon, pork roasts and such that came from pigs you raised, fish that you caught (and some that you also smoked yourself), as well as venison, maybe some moose, and elk. Not to mention some homemade freezer jam, as well as a pantry that is well stocked with home canned fruit and pickles, as well as the gluten free and shelf stable dairy free necessities. 

Homesteading Goals

Hey Everyone!

Being able to be a homemaker, has something I have definitely felt strongly about for a while now. Not just a homemaker, but also being able to do some modern-day homesteading / urban homesteading.

Homemaking is more than just keeping a house clean and tidy, and more than just having dinner on the table for a man at a certain time.

To me, it is also about being able to take care of my food intolerances in the best way possible, and make more of my food from scratch, as well as being able to obtain the best product possible to take care of my body. I also want to do more in the way of growing my own produce, and what I can’t grow, or would not be as efficient to grow on the small scale, purchase from local farmers who have grown what I am looking for. Like it would be more cost effective for me to purchase the cucumbers (and dill for pickles), cherries, peaches and pears (and apples until the apple trees I want to have are mature enough to produce enough apples to be able to make pies, and applesauce), to be able to can and eat.

Being able to cook, bake and can from scratch is important to me, and it is a part of history that has been greatly lost over the past 70 or so years.

Having developed food intolerances as an adult has definitely helped me appreciate knowing have to cook, bake and can from scratch. I am better able to take care of my body, and not be dependent on others to take care of my needs.

Besides just homemaking & homesteading, I want to live a more outdoorsy life. I would love to do more hiking, traveling, and knitting.

My generation, of young women, have been taught that once you graduate from high school you go to college and have a career out in the business world, while that isn’t a bad thing if that is what you want. At the same time, among my peers anyway, the art of homemaking, cooking & baking from scratch and canning has been lost, and few of my peers know much about it. Why should they when there is all the processed garbage labeled as food is so readily available to them, that is quick, easy and cheap. Why work for your meal when someone has combined all the right chemicals and called it food for you so all you have to do is a few very simple steps.

I am no expert when it comes to homemaking like my grandmothers, great grandmothers, and women before them did. I definitely want to continue learning more, trying new recipes, can a lot more food, make more jams and jellies, and help preserve this for future generations. I don’t want girls to just read about it in a history book, I want them to be able to meet people who still know how to do all of this, as well as find blogs, and vlogs / youtube videos about it, so they can learn about it if they are interested.

Healthy Eating is Taking Shape

Hey Everyone!

Today, being my day off of work, went out and ran errands. My errands included, but were not limited to: Bob’s Red Mill, Fred Meyer, New Seasons and Safeway. 

For breakfasts this next week, I bought what I needed, but didn’t have for DIY home made cranberry almond clif bars, using almond butter instead of honey or peanut butter, and I added some puffed rice cereal to it as well. I was surprised at how easy it was to make, and how good it turned out. 


For dinners this next week, I made spaghetti, using organic tomatoes and tomato sauce as well as a pound and a half of antibiotic free, hormone free, ethically raised, free range, yada yada yada, chicken. Yes it was a dollar more a pound than the stuff at the large chain grocery store, but it is also about as close I can get to doing it all myself – which living in the city doesn’t afford me. I noticed that this chicken that I bought not only tastes better, but is a better texture than the large chain grocery store ground chicken. If I had the means to raise my own chickens and do it all myself, I totally would. 


I also picked up some gluten free & dairy free bread to try, with my lunches. Yes, I had picked up a single orange, I had had plans for it, which I ended up not doing, yet anyway. 

I am really working to get back to being on the gluten free band wagon 95% or more of the time. I always feel better when I am. 

I realize that being as hardcore eating as natural as possible is totally sustainable while I live in the city. I am preparing myself for the eventual fact that if I am able to make it happen where I am able to live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, it is going to be a lot harder to keep it sustainable. I am definitely going to have to find a way to stick to being gluten free and dairy free, that’s not an option. I just realize it is going to be more difficult than living here in Portland, where living the gluten free, dairy free lifestyle is so common. 

Sticking with a 100% dairy free and avoiding gluten as much as possible, isn’t easy. Though anything that is worth doing, is never easy. I can’t imagine my life now if I weren’t dealing with these food intolerances and sensitivities. Yes I am pretty much OCD about kitchen cleanliness and washing my hands pretty much every time I touch something in the kitchen. I am this way, because I know what it is like to have food make me sick, and it taking my body a week or more to get back to normal after each run in. It’s not pleasant. 

I wouldn’t trade having food intolerances for being normal any thing now. Part of my love of homemaking has grown out of having developed food intolerances as an adult and sharing what I have learned with others. 

The Art of Homemaking is being Lost

Hey Everyone! 

Where do I begin on this? I am going to just dive in, and hope it makes sense. 

While we, as a society and culture have come a long way in gender equality, there is still a ways to go in closing the pay gap and all that goes along with equal opportunities for women. I am not against equal opportunities for women where we can hold our own with men. 

That being said, the Art of Homemaking has been lost in the process. Growing up, even on the subconscious level, I was taught I could do anything I wanted to, except be a homemaker, that I needed a career and making something of myself besides ever being a stay at home wife and mother, even if that it what I wanted to do. While I want to be able to have my own source of income, and contribute financially or take care of myself financially. 

I grew up learning how to cook from scratch, doing some canning, and preserving of food, as well as knitting from the time I was 10. As a teen, I found it odd that my friends and cohort were off playing video games or other things when I was learning how to cook, because I wanted to. Not all that long ago (2 or 3 generations before me), grew up learning how to cook, keep house and so much more. 

My main point, that I am trying to make is while not all women are supposed to be stay at home wives, mothers or be able to cook a traditional Sunday meal or holiday dinner from scratch on their own (we all aren’t Donna Reed, Julia Child, or Paula Dean), or be the stay at home types, that’s okay. But don’t demonize it for those women who want that kind of lifestyle, and telling young women and girls that they can do anything they want except being a stay at home wife and mother, or really learning any kind of domestic arts is doing them just as much a disservice as telling them they can’t do anything else they set their mind to. 

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize the disinterest I have in being a part of the rat race that is Corporate America. Yes I currently have a job, and I spend 40 hours a week doing work for a large corporation, because I need an income in order to pay the bills I have. 

What have I learned in the almost 11 years that I have been out of high school? I have learned that I love history, especially women’s history and history of the American West. Put the two of them together (especially they way of life women had on the frontier, and living off the land) back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While I know a lot has changed and improved since then (like having indoor plumbing, electricity, and internet), but some things haven’t, like the need for food, heat, and shelter haven’t. 

I am the kind of girl who prefer making things with my own hands, being outdoors and going on adventures. I also enjoys cooking from scratch and having a home of my own to make homey and welcoming. 

Off Grid living and Homesteading have begun to make a resurgence. While I am not one who wants to go the whole 9 yards, I am one who wants to find a balance between living 100% on grid, buying all my food from the mainstream big box grocery store, and not thinking about where my food comes from and what all the processed food is doing to my body. 

Having spent most of my life living in the Pacific Northwest these issues have been around my whole life. Now that I am an adult and have food intolerances and sensitivities, and really just want to know where my food comes from and how it was raised, as well as wanting to use more renewable resources, living a semi off grid life with enough land to grow a garden. I also want to continue being close enough to be able to purchase locally what I can’t grow or it wouldn’t be feasible or cost effective to grow myself, in order to make jams and can others for later. 

Trying to figure out how to turn my passion for homemaking and living a more natural life, while still earning an income to support myself is what I am still trying to figure out. 

The life I am Working For

Hey Everyone!

I have been writing posts for a while about how I want to live a more natural lifestyle, live Semi off grid, grow my own food and know where it comes from and all that Jazz. 

All of that and then some is the life I am working for. Growing up I was just another city kid who didn’t bat an eye at the food at the grocery store, or question how it was raised and cared for. I didn’t question what I put in my body until College, even then it Wasn’t like it is now. Now that I have food intolerances and sensitivities. The whole having to reword my brain around food has made me want to learn more about how to live a healthier life, and know what I am putting in my body, and where it comes from. 

I have loved fishing and being outdoors since I was little, I have always lived that kind of thing. After visiting my cousin in Canada 4 years ago, who was raising chickens for food at the time, was another bite from the homestead bug. 

I also grew up helping my mom can fruit, and pickles. So that is a skill I learned young.

All of this from growing as much of my own fruit and vegetables as I can myself, and what I can’t grow (or isn’t feasible or realistic to grow myself), purchase from local farms. I want to be able to can in the summer and early fall, as well as put chicken that I raised, and fish that I caught in the freezer for winter, so that the only food I need to purchase from the store is dried fruit, nuts, coconut almond milk, oatmeal, flour, and items I can’t get from my backyard or local farms. 

I also want a couple of goats for the fun of it. 

I am wondering is some of my issues are related to the quality and types of food that I am eating and is available to me, and maybe if I had eggs and fish that I gathered or caught myself that were raised in the wild or on a natural diet and had part of their coop outside where they could get fresh air and sunshine if I might have different results, and feel better over all.