Moving Towards Minimalism.

This winter, minimalism has been my goal, well that and the 9 knitting projects I currently have going… ahem. Minimalism was hard (is hard) for me at times. In the beginning I read posts from wives and mothers desperately in need of something to change in their household. They were cleaning constantly, folding laundry daily, picking up the same toys over and over…


That was, and sometime still is, me. I can so relate with the stress of nonfunctional house. At time you can feel like you have no just time for just you. 

All of it began to change when we moved, only 14 miles, north back to our home town. We had acrued SO many things I could barely breath when debating ‘where do I even begin?’ So I grabbed a trash bag and started tossing. A trash bag turned into a trailer load turned numerous dumploads, honestly I can’t even recall how many, and I don’t think I want to. Had we really just thrown all that “stuff” away? Heck ya we did!

And I have felt so much better since that day, yes it was hard and it still is. But when you take a good long pause to really think about an item:

-when was the last time I used this?

-how long has it been in disrepair?

-do I love this thing?

-does anyone I know need one of these?

And you find yourself saying I don’t remember, who knows, heck no, and definitely not to these questions, you then wonder… why do I still have this?

That was just the first step and the proceeding steps have been that much easier to take, now that I understand what we can and cannot live without. 

Since we’ve moved life is feeling, well lighter. I’ve sorted through and thrown out so much baggage from our lives. 

Socks with holes. Gone. Shoes that don’t fit. Peace out. Clothes the girls grew out of. Adios muchachos. Extra dishes and utensils. Get outta here!

Books and books upon more books? Oh of course babies you guys are staying! There’s nothing like a well stocked home library if I do say so myself. I digress. 


I even got rid of the TV from our living room, phew was I worried about that. But you know what? The kids haven’t even asked where it went. A bu-by boob tube. 

If you knew me then you would know I can be a little bit of a clothing hoarder. But I’ve learned more about myself in and out of pregnancy that there’s one thing I’ve realized about me… I like comfort. So I’ve been weeding through clothes and it feels fantastic. Sometimes I can actually fit all my clothes in my dresser… ahem. Well it’s true, mama likes her large wardrobe. But I’m learning to live with less and that makes me feel good. And less laundry piling up means I get to wear that favorite shirt more often as it is not lost away inside laundry mountain. 

I went one step farther and I took all the toys away. And the same reaction as the TV, no one noticed. Yes, some met the trash. Sentimental, speciality and learning toys have been stored and are accessible for use when the kids want. But always get put back up afterwards. I tell you it is a great feeling to walk across a dark living room not to kick or step on one toy. Simplicity people, is where it’s at. 

Over the course of this massive homestead de-clutter I have learned 5 massively helpful tid-bits that make our lives easier day to day:

1. Make beds everyday

2. Don’t do another load of laundry until all previous loads are folded and put away. 

3. Dinner isn’t finished until the dishes are clean. (I learned this from a post about homemaking like a Mennonite, now those women can run a household!)

4. Keep the dining room table clear, even if you have to do it a dozen times a day. (Since our table doubles as a home school craft area this is especially necessary)

5. Keep all the shoes in ONE area/place/room etc. trust me… assign the shoes a zone, teach your kids and husband, stop tripping on said shoes in the middle of the night.

In the end it’s all about making life more livable. Is my house clean at all times? Definitely not, but I can breath a little easier with less and the house takes a fraction of the time to clean as it used to. 

I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want to be wasting my husbands only two days off every week cleaning and folding laundry. There has got to be more to life than that. And there is! It’s outside your house. And it’s waiting for us all. 


Get outside and enjoy this world!

Peace & Love,

Q

A Blizzard and The Homestead.

Maybe this is just a test. Mother Nature, saying hey, it’s January y’all homesteaders better get your head in the game. I adore how nature never lets us feel completely in control, she is not predictable, we must ebb and flow with her rhythm whilst trying to find ours in the midst of all this beauty. 


Well folks the new year has been quite the challenge so far. Our power went out at 630 this morning. We spent the proceeding 2.5 hours running around figuring all the needed to be figured for this day ahead, and this was just the beginning.

As we gathered supplies and tools I visualized to Ireland how the oil lamps we were using are similar to that of the ones Laura Ingalls and her family used. We’re about half way through Little House on the Prairie but I still don’t think it’s sunk in with Ireland that Laura Ingalls lived in a much different time than us. So today was an awesome time to have a small inpromptu homeschool lesson on living without electriciy. Her chin dropped when I stated that Laura and her sister Mary likely never got to watch Frozen. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.


Winter isn’t such a big deal here, usually… having lived here my whole life I know what to expect. But the last few years Central Oregon has seen below average snow fall and we all got a little used to the weekend snow storms that melt away in 72 hours. Well, we prayed for snow and boy have we received. There are no days off in homesteading and that’s especially true for my love. His single income is all that supports us so days off are few and far between, even when he’s home, he’s working.


So you see I can’t help but be a tiny bit giddy he’s here with the girls and I today. Yes, our truck is so frozen it wouldn’t start… my hubs is pretty amazing at making sh** work, excuse the language but it’s true. If it’s broken he will fix it, if he can’t figure it out give him some space and he will by golly! But every once in a while things don’t go your way and you just need to sit back and enjoy the ride. He was able to save the day in other ways though, thawing the frost-free (again) and hauling countless buckets of water to my mare and our flock. What I guy I married! 


We are all safe inside, now thawing ourselves! 

Thankful the power is back, the truck is plugged in, water heaters are warming, and we shall endure! 

Peace and Love,

Q

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THE HOMESTEAD

Looking for an all natural solution for many of your families health care needs? Look no further than essential oils!

They are the bees knees and mother nature’s arsenal of weapons to fight off illness, disease, the common cold, and many other maladies you may be dealing with on your homestead everyday.

Trust me, when I first heard essential oils I was a bit skeptical. Until I used peppermint oil one day from a friend I thought they were some placebo juju that weirdos came up with. Well my gastly assumptions are usually wrong as was this one. So I had a terrible headache and along came my good friend Natalie with her peppermint essential oil goodness.

BAM! I was changed forever… with my head ache gone and a renewed energy from the brisk peppermint sensation I was determined to get involved with these magical oils.

I’m not going to sugar coat it, some of these oils can get real pricey, real quick… And only for 10 ml?!?! GAHHHHH What are we to do??!

Enroll in a wholesale membership folks! 25% off oils, PLUS opportunities to get free product monthly, AND there’s a chance I could make my own business with oils?

Yes, Yes, and YES! I was sold and if you are to, then head on over to my business site here. You can sign up to be a whole sale member like me or shop the wonderful inventory offered by DoTerra.

If you’re not so convinced let me take you through a day with the Gardner’s on the homestead and tell you how we use these 10 essential oils everyday.

Disclaimer: If you have never used essential oils I highly suggest diluting with a carrier oil for your first few uses with every oil to ensure you know your sensitivity. Everyones body can absorb these differently. A little bit goes A LONG WAY  folks so take care not to over use or waste.

  1. Lime- This morning I threw some pork in the crockpot for carnitas… OH NO! I had no fresh limes… Instead I dropped 3-5 drops lime essential oil into the crockpot. Its amazing and sometimes I like the flavor better than fresh limes, the tangy sweetness is ever consistent in the oils versus lime to lime differences.
  2. Peppermint – I like to dab a little on the back of my neck in the morning, this wakes me up and feels so refreshing. Like stated above this oil does work in the headache department, give it a try, what can you lose? When dropped into a vegetable capsule the Homestud will take this like a normal pill. It helps with his digestion and heartburn. This is why this oil is also part of the Digestive blend (DigestZen).
  3. Lavender – Diffused in Ireland’s room every night and dropped onto pillows. Also dropped into baths just before she goes down for the night, it works like a charm.
  4. Wild Orange – This oil goes in my homemade deodorant and also into the hubby’s beard oil. It works wonders as a disinfectant, antibiotic and cleanser. And don’t even get me started on how amazing it smells… fuh-get-a-boud-id! I’ll even put it in my water bottle for flavor. 
  5. Melaleuca – I commonly drip this oil into stinky loads of laundry or whatever I want to get really really clean. This oil clean basically any home surface as well. It’s easily the best combatant against mold in our home. I dripped it into the window frames and all over the window sills and the mold never came back, SCORE! (we rent an older manufactured home, the windows leak, and we’ve had issues with mold in the past) Several sites out there who bolstered the same success with melaleuca, or I may never have tried it. Athletes foot or fungus? No more if  this oil is used daily. 
  6. Lemongrass – Ok this may be my favorite smell ever, other than its fantastic fragrance, this oil works wonder on my plantar fasciitis. A couple drops simply rubbed into the soles of my feet. I also combine it with a natural un-scented all surface cleaner to add a extra cleaning kick and the aroma left behind is great.
  7. Respiratory blend (Breathe) – This time of the year the farm fam always gets cough or cold, this oil helps to relieve sinus and chest congestion with ease. I will also diffuse this in the girls’ room at night if they are feeling stuffy. Diluted with carrier oil breathe is the best substitute for vapor rub.
  8. Helichrysum – There are days we don’t need to use this super power oil, and there are day when we use it 2, maybe even 3 times. Any woman who has had the misfortune of pregnancy induced hemorrhoids, heres your solution girlfriends. Sorry to get graphic like this folks, but this is real life, I don’t claim to be anything but human. Diluted down with a carrier oil, helichrysum made my postpartum days much more tolerable, in cooperation with my homemade postpartum peri-spray (more on than later). My favorite use for this oil is as a blood stop/clot. I cut the tip of my  middle finger off a few months, no joke, it was literally siting on the cutting board… ahem. Save to say, this little yellow labeled bottle wasn’t far from reach. I simply let one drop fall from the bottle onto the open wound, no pain, no muss no fuss. It stopped bleeding almost instantly forming an almost sticky protective coating much like that of a liquid bandage. Once it was dry I covered it with a dry bandaid and went about my business. It took the pain away efficiently, the wound was healed within 10 days, and no scarring. Convinced yet?
  9. Lemon – My most favorite scent for disinfecting the air and freshening up. Drinking a warm glass of water with a few drops of lemon right when you wake is said to have huge health benefits, and when I was pregnant this was my saving grace. It relieved nausea and helped me a great deal when I was squeamish with certain smells during both pregnancies. Lemon oil will flavor food and drinks. Want a lemon for your beer but you’ve run out? This also works with lime oil.
  10. Protective Blend (OnGuard) – I use this oil on the kids and myself before we go out to run errands, it boosts our immunities and helps fight off germs. Have a toothache or sore throat? This is nature’s Oragel. It will spot treat oral pain if applied right onto your gums or tooth, 1 or two drops at a time. When a sore throat hits add this to your warm salt water gargle and it will alleviate pain from your throat and cut through the mucous. Yes the taste is a bit intense with orange, clove, cinnamon, and eucalyptus oils all teaming up for the fight, but its way worth it folks.

There you have it. And yes a whole other blog post is needed to explain the uses of more essential oils, and even the ones that are safe for your farm animals. More on that later 🙂

Whats crazier? These are just the immediate affects, when used long term the oils can positively impact your health and change your life. They can be used only to alleviate symptoms, much like I was speaking about above in my list, or that can be used long term to help treat illnesses.

I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be able to diagnose to treat anyone. I am simply a person looking for another way to treat my families minor health concerns. 

Diffusing wild orange, cedar wood andlavender while  drooling over seed catalogues.

Q