Feb 232018

I’ve not really written in a very long while. I mean a very long while…Obviously.

So much. Just so much. I have struggled with so much. I go back and forth with depression. We didn’t have internet at the house for a long time (nearly 2 years) because we just couldn’t afford it. I had to get a part time over night job to help make ends meet for a while. That was so hard. Here I was, writing a blog called Created for Home and I was having to work outside the home. Then, we couldn’t get the house in town sold, finally got a renter for it, and hubby lost his job at the university due to budget cuts. He was blessed with an incredible new job with a way better compensation shortly after that test of faith. We have internet at the house again. Real internet. I’m no longer having to help supplement the income with an overnight job.

I’m still dealing with issues. I always will. For the longest time, I felt like I had nothing worth saying. I was taught that from an early age. That no one cares. That I don’t have a story or words to help others. That I shouldn’t even try. I still struggle with the voices of my past telling me what I can and can’t do. What others will think of me if I try. It’s hard to sometimes shut those voices up.

I still struggle with the fact that I had an outside job for 7 long months. I let my house go. I did the bare minimum with schooling the kids to get by and survive that. It was a long and hard 7 months. I did learn a lot about myself and people and management styles (or lack of real management…). I learned what I’m fairly capable of (I worked overnight at a local donut shop cleaning, frying donuts, decorating donuts and picking up people’s slack. I’ve learned that two people can do crazy things when tasked with prepping 200 dozen donuts by themselves along with operating the store and regular supply on top of it.) While part of me misses adding to the income, I don’t miss that job. I’m glad to be back home, where I belong. It’s been six months since I got to quit, and I’m still dealing with the insomnia from being awake all night long multiple nights a week, getting back into routines with housework and homeschooling, plus I’m learning how to balance it all with HubbaHubba’s new job which allows him to telecommute frequently.

I fail. I fail often. I regained weight I had lost 4 years ago. I’m back on working that off thanks to Trim Healthy Mama. I’m relearning routines, finding new ones and always learning how much I matter as a human. It’s a never ending process. That learning to live with the hand the past dealt me and being a better person because of it. I’ve not really talked about my upbringing before. I’m working on being able to share it. But I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t been through it. A person redeemed, dealt mercy and grace and an understanding how to relate to others who’ve also been abused.

I suppose I should start regularly writing again. With the desire to start writing again comes the desire to rebrand Created for Home. Since we now live on a small acreage, I want to expound a bit. More like Created for Home….Schooling….Steading…Keeping. I have plans for future income streams from the land. I can write about our (mis)adventures as we branch into a bit of livestock (we have chickens and ducks currently. Debating an alpaca or two, goats, pigs, geese, quail and turkeys). Planting a massive garden and branching out into selling herbs locally, perhaps cultivating mushrooms and having beehives and even branching out to aquaponics. I’m studying up on the different things we could do with our land and deciding what the best way to utilize it will be for us.

I’m not making any promises with the future of this blog. I know it needs a complete redesign. I need to update that header drastically (It is missing the youngest after all, and she’s going to be 4 this year…). But this is a start. A start for something new for me. Hope you stick around for the ride.

Happy Thursday

 Crazy Life, family, Frugality, Gardening  Comments Off on Happy Thursday
Sep 202012

I can’t believe we are nearly through week week 4 of our second six week cycle of school already! Where has the time gone?

I also can’t believe that a week from this coming Saturday, the Bugs is going to be six! How did that happen so fast? We just brought her home from the hospital!!!!

We were gifted with a dehydrator a while back and I have used it for the first time this past week too. My first foray into dehydrating was chili peppers. We now have our own chili powder. It took way less time to dehydrate them than I thought. And yes, I knew to do it outdoors as opposed to potentially pepper gassing ourselves in the house. Right now I’m dehydrating some peppermint. The house is starting to smell minty. Later today I’m also going to dry up some oregano, basil and sage. I also need to get a loaf of bread in the bread machine. And then I should get ready to throw supper in the crockpot. We’re having beef stroganoff tonight.

Well, I should get the girls started on school. I delayed the start today as I’m waiting for the tech from our internet service provider to come check out why our connection is so wonky. I wasn’t wanting to interrupt school for when he arrived, but I don’t want to delay it any longer.

Hope you have had a good week!

Exploding Tomatoes and Lessons I’ve Learned Through Gardening

 Faith, Gardening  Comments Off on Exploding Tomatoes and Lessons I’ve Learned Through Gardening
Aug 092012

This year I convinced my husband to let me have a garden bed. You see, we were given two four by four raised beds last year and we were going to plant then. Our plans got waylaid by the tornado that hit the weekend before we could get the plants (yes, I realize it was running late, but we didn’t have the money until then). So, since our summer was spent working relief, we didn’t get it planted.

This year, we nearly didn’t do a garden again. It was getting close to too late to put on in and we had several conversations about it and we never ended up on the same side together. We finally agree to go for it, but we would only do one. Well, we ended up with enough compost, manure and fill dirt for both so we ended up planting both. It was going to be great.

bright yellow tomato blossoms

I watered and weeded, took care of my plants (5 different tomatoes, a bunch of peppers, herbs and then watermelon and cantaloupe). I didn’t harden the plants off so they ended up sunburned. Yeah, learned my lesson there, so I had to build tents over them until they got more acclimated to the back yard.

Things were looking good. The plants were growing, the tomatoes were starting to get blossoms on them. Then something ate a rather large pepper plant down to the base stem and halved it’s height. We figured it was the groundhogs as it was too large for a little rabbit to consume in one evening. After that, I plant marigolds in with the vegetables and things seem to be going well.

A Serrano Pepper ripening on the plant

The hot peppers start really producing. And I mean really producing. I am not sure at all how many serrano peppers we have picked off our one plant, but it has been quite a few. We pickled three jelly jars of a mix of banana and serrano peppers. We then made seven pints of extremely hot salsa.

Then the drought and heat hit.

It got too hot for my tomatoes to set new blossoms. We haven’t had a good rain storm in a month and a half. Things started to wilt and dry up. Aside from my hot peppers. Those are thriving…

We get the baby watermelon and cantaloupes transplanted into the garden and they take off growing like weeds with the watering and epsom salts they were given.

We wake up one morning and I go to check the garden and something ate one of my watermelon plants down to the dirt. By this point, it had vines about twenty inches long. I transplant my last watermelon. Three days later the other big one was eaten down to the dirt. The following week, two of my three cantaloupes were eaten down to the base stems from being more than a foot long with beautiful leaves. I have one left with a bud on it.

I have had several peppers that get just about ripe and then start to rot from the inside out because of the heat.

Last week, I discover that one of my Cherokee Purple tomatoes finally looked ripe. I reach my hand to pick it, and I am immediately covered in ants. The tomato, larger than a softball, ripened then basically exploded on the vine and the ants had eaten a third of it overnight. A few days later, I discover one of my Arkansas Traveler tomatoes that was fine when I was out that morning did the exact same thing. I didn’t know that tomatoes could explode like that on the vine…

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about me, but I’m rather a control freak. Just ask my husband (I don’t try and control him. I know that isn’t my place biblically). I like things to go as planned. However, gardening this summer hasn’t gone by my plan at all. Through it all, I am reminded that honestly, we as human beings don’t really control a whole lot. We can make decisions, make plans and sometimes they go the way we want. However, we truly don’t have the kind of control we think we do. We can’t control when our hearts stop beating. We can’t control what others think of us. We can’t control the effects of our decisions. Ultimately, God controls it all. From our first to final breath, the weather, everything. I am reminded of that every time I’ve been out to the garden. It isn’t lush, it isn’t producing a bumper crop. Yet, God is still on His throne and knows all about it. He will see us through. We just have to seek Him and His ways and do our best to honor Him with our lives. That’s all He asks. For God has plans that we have no clue about. Plans to prepare us for future work, plans to refine us to make us more like Him. Jeremiah 29:11 is quite clear. And even if the time seems painful, it is ultimately for our good. Not just in gardening, but through all of life.

Are you in a season right now where it hurts? Are you being reminded that you really aren’t the one in control? Remember, that even though it hurts right now, God is preparing you for so much more.

Jul 072012

I hadn’t know of the Garden Challenge until I saw it on Twitter tonight. If I had, believe me, this was my first year gardening and I would have joined in (probably…If this gardening adventure had turned into a total failure, I’m not sure I want the public embarrassment of having to admit it).

Our first cherry tomatoes, still green, tiny little ones.

We planted two four by four raised beds this year. In one I have five tomato plants (a cherry tomato, Cherokee Purple, Mr. Stripey, Arkansas Traveler and Pink Brandywine) along with a host of hot banana peppers and two peppers that lost their tags before I got them planted thanks to the Bugs’ attempt at trying to be helpful (they are either Tabasco or jalapeno). In the other plot, we have a red sweet bell, green sweet bell, Thai hot pepper, Serrano and then the other remaining Tabasco or jalapeno and watermelon and cantaloupe. We have basil and oregano growing in a pot on the back porch and attempted to grow lettuce in an old wash tub, however, it has been way too hot and they stopped growing after they sprouted. We also tried some sunflowers, but I directly planted them into the ground and the squirrels found them.

Our first Serrano pepper. It was nearly 8 inches long!

It got really hot here the last few weeks so that the tomatoes refused to set blooms except for the cherry tomato (we got our first five off that this past week. The eldest and I stood out there and ate them right off the vines, they were so yummy). Our hot peppers are extremely happy though. We’ve harvested close to twenty Serranos off the one plant and it has even more buds! HubbaHubba has used them in omelets, hamburgers and made three jars of pickled hot peppers. He is extremely proud of his pickled peppers. I am proud of the fact that he pickled them mainly on his own with his intense aversion to the smell of vinegar. All three of the jars sealed up and we are waiting for them to be good and pickled before we start to eat them. I can’t wait to try them as all the pickled peppers at the store contain sulfites, of which I am very allergic to.

3 jelly jars of pickled hot banana and Serrano peppers

We can’t wait until the tomatoes start to ripen (the like six we have) to make some homemade salsa. And tomorrow (Sunday July 8) we are harvesting a lot of the basil to make some homemade pesto sauce for our wedding anniversary. We both love pesto, but hate the extreme price of it. Our local Aldi had pine nuts as a special buy this week at an extremely reasonable price so I grabbed some. We’re both looking forward to celebrating a wonderful 7 years together and what I pray is many more until we’re both old and gray.

The girls have loved watching the garden grow. Every time a new pepper is formed or a cherry tomato is ripened, they come running into the house yelling “It’s a miracle Mom!!!!! Come and see!!!!” I love their excitement in watching the plants that they helped plant grow and produce wonderful food for us to eat. This ties in so nicely as we are going to do botany this next school year (which starts for us on Monday, too hot to do much else, may as well get ahead). They are living what they will be studying in science this year. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.