About Me

I am a girl from the suburbs who was fortunate enough to land smack in the middle of the country.

My parents both left their farm lives behind in the "lower 48" and settled in a little town here in Alaska. They lived only 3 miles from the grocery store and I think they'd both had enough. My mother taught me to sew and cook, but I've had fun going into more depth in the kitchen.

Something I've discovered about myself in the 14 years I've been married is that I'm obsessive/compulsive about projects. When we moved into our house about 11 years ago I was obsessed with finishing the inside, painting the rooms, sewing quilts and curtains and in the summer it was landscape, landscape, landscape.

It was agreed upon before we were married that I would homeschool the kids. I'm not great at it, but I don't think I'm terrible either. Somewhere in-between. My husband now works at home and teaches the kids history. This helps a ton. I would love the obsession bug to hit in the school department, but so far it has not.

About 7 years ago I stumbled onto a little business perfect for a stay-at-home-mom. It pays just enough to make me keep it around, pays for my project "habit" and it was my main project for a few years. With the profit I hired someone to finish our downstairs while my husband was on pilgrimage to Greece. That completed our 5 bedroom home. Time for a new project.

About 3 or 4 years ago we got chickens and about 2 years ago I decided to quit being so lazy and build a bigger garden instead of the tiny boxes I'd been using and calling a garden. Growing things does not always excite me, so I have to find my middle ground. It's more of a chore, but can be quite rewarding and fun.

We don't have a lot of land, but we're learning what you can do with 2 acres, it's quite a bit. So far we have only used 1/2 an acre that includes a chicken run for meat and laying chickens, a garden plot (now needing to expand again), a milking shed and goat "run" and small hay shed, an empty field for the kids to play baseball, a compost heap, a small playground, a back yard grassy area and a large driveway. All that on about 1/2 an acre is pretty good.

My most recent, long term project began last year, in 2010. That is becoming more self sufficient. This prompted me in the goat purchase. It was one of those moments when you know if you don't do it now you just might not later. We had the room, we had the fencing, we had a daughter BEGGING, we wanted the milk, we realized there was nothing stopping us so we'd better bite the bullet. I paid for the goats on June 1st and that gave us one month to read as much as possible and get ready for two Nubian does in full milk. July 4th we got the girls and have not looked back, well, yes we have, but here we are.

This fall I enjoyed (though still a large chore) putting up as many veggies I could from our newly expanded garden that I planted FULL. I tried sticking with veggies I know how to grow and I know we like and will eat. I even blanched and froze the beat greens for the first time and have added them to a few soups.

After that I realized how poorly I was using my time and money when it came to food. I realized that if I simply purchased more food at one time I could have a mini-grocery store in my garage and when I ran out of something I could go to the garage and pick up my item. Thus creating less emergency grocery store runs and thus spending less money all together. After taking one of my paychecks and doing a large stock up at Costco I have noticed a significant drop in monthly grocery bill spending. I buy extra anytime I get any item, especially dry goods that we use. I also have stocked up on more of a variety of grains and beans and I am trying to really use them in everyday cooking. I like making huge pots of soup to put in the freezer because on days when I don't want to cook they are so perfect.

For Christmas we got a wood cook stove and this fit right in with our desire for more self sufficiency.

My latest obsession is how to put up food for long-term storage. I'll let you know how that goes.

The journey to being a "country girl" has been quite fun. I'm still "prissy" in many ways. I decline to share at this moment... I know I have a long way to go, but I know that my kids, my husband and myself will all reap the rewards.

-Written early 2011

sporting my .44 Smith & Wesson for bear protection while picking blueberries with the kids