Making a living vs. making a LIFE

It has been busy this week. I am trying to start a business. It began with an idea that I have been running around in my head for a few weeks. I haven’t made any actual transactions of business yet, but I have met a few farmers and had a few emails of interest. For now, I’ll take that as a sign to proceed. But today is Sunday and I am in town and not doing any work. I am having my day of social interaction and getting my spirit fed.

So grateful for the beauty I SEEK that God always provides!

So grateful for the beauty I SEEK that God always provides!

I had a few new things this week. I love having “new” experiences at this time in life. In fact, I was thinking about all the new things I have done in the last year. My 50th year of life has had me doing more new things than I have in years.

This week’s new things included:

1. Drinking raw milk from grass-fed cows. I don’t remember ever having milk that didn’t either come from the milkman (yes, when I was 5 I remember the nice man who brought milk in glass jars), or from the store. That in itself is a big deal for me. The fact that it didn’t irritate my gut, the way milk has for years, was nothing short of a miracle. I ended up drinking an entire 1/2 gallon of milk in 2 days. That’s a big deal for a gal who LOVES milk and hasn’t drank a glass in over a year because of lactose intolerance and IBS. I may have found a cure. I did use 1 pint of the milk to make some homemade yogurt. Another gallon is ordered for pickup.

I love this stuff!

I love this stuff!

2. Making homemade yogurt. It was pretty simple. I haven’t eaten any of it yet, but I made it with the raw milk, and am hoping it is as delicious as that fresh milk was. If it is good, I will definitely do a blog later with the instructions, because the way I did it was pretty slick…if I do say so myself.

3. Meeting with farmers. I went out and met with farmers. I asked them about their farms and their productions and their hopes for ongoing sustainable organic food. I heard about their hopes and their dreams, their challenges. I picked up little tidbits about their families. I asked them how I can promote their farm and the foods and goods they produce to families that want fresh healthy locally grown food. It was a great day. I only took a couple of pictures and this little sweetie holding one of her hens said what my day was about. Farms, food, friends, community!

This sweet cherub was helping her parents show off their free range chickens.  Adorable!

This sweet cherub was helping her parents show off their free range chickens. Adorable!

4. Fermenting vegetables. I have made sauerkraut with my dear friend up north a couple of times. He taught me how his grandfather taught him who had been taught by someone before that…if you get the picture. There was no recipe. It was a rhythm and a taste and a big mess!!! Making big batches of Kraut the old way is fun! I also made a batch of my own this last fall. It’s not hard. Did you know that lacto-fermented vegetables are so good for the gut. And I need good things for my gut. I had seen beautiful jars of “Garlic-pepper infused” vegetables at the local Grower’s Market. I decided to give it a try. I read a couple of articles, watched a couple of “how to” videos on U-tube. Then I started chopping and layering. I think they look lovely. I will let you know in a week or so how they turned out. I also did a crock full of slicked and diced cabbage with a little onion and garlic in it.

Pretty colors and good for the body!

Pretty colors and good for the body!

5. I also have been gluten/sugar-free all week long. Lots of juicing!!! And I made gluten/sugar free brownies for a treat!

A recipe I found by following one of the local CSA's blogs.  It hit the spot.

A recipe I found by following one of the local CSA’s blogs. It hit the spot.

6. Putting up a greenhouse – I already covered that, but it was a new thing.

So, those are new things I’ve tried just this week. Over the last year, new things I’ve done include; learning to ride a motorcycle and buying my own motorcycle; growing a garden for food; canning; re-purpose old furniture; raising chickens; raising baby chicks; farm life; countless new recipes and cooking creations; driving a BIG motorcycle (that wasn’t mine and I only did it once). These are just the things that come to mind right now. I love doing new things and trying new things and hope to learn until the day I no longer am here on earth.

Many of the new things I try are to make improvements with my health. I am always trying to heal my body. Some ways I do that are through food and nutrition. Some of the new things are to stretch my mind and find things to enjoy in life. I spent years and years working and just taking care of all the chores of life. Today, for my health, I know I need rest and relaxation. I must have creative outlets. Recreation is necessary for my mental health.

I am trying to find a way to be self-sufficient within the limitations my body currently puts on me. I am hopeful that I will continue to have more energy and more strength as I find new ways to eat and heal myself. I am seeking a life that is not just about working to make a living, but rather a work that is about making a wonderful LIFE!!! Time will tell how this all works out. For now, I will take it a day at a time, like I do all things.

At Wildlife Images.

At Wildlife Images.

Grateful for home and all I have in my life.

The Columbia Gorge is so picturesque!  :)

The Columbia Gorge is so picturesque! 🙂

I was gone from the farm for a week. I traveled to Northern Oregon to see my daughter and grandson, and my eldest son and his family. It was a wonderful trip. Mostly at home and low key. Our weekly highlight was that my daughter entered a cake decorating contest and won. We were very excited for her.

The winning cake...Jonah and the Whale!

The winning cake…Jonah and the Whale!

I was home for one day and then back to town for an overnighter at my friends who I am providing care for once a week. I have been tired. A stuffy nose and some post nasal drip are indicators that I am battlings some bug again. Dratted all.

It is such a welcoming site to have these animals come running to the fence to greet me on my walk.  Always makes me smile.

It is such a welcoming site to have these animals come running to the fence to greet me on my walk. Always makes me smile.

I’ve been brainstorming all week about a business idea I’m hashing out. A CSA delivery service that is personalized by a weekly ordering system. I think it could be a valuabel and viable community service. I just am not sure if I got it up and running and at became really busy…woud I have the strength to do it.

The blueberry bushes have some nice buds popping out.

The blueberry bushes have some nice buds popping out.

That is what has kept me from working the last 2 years. Pain and not having the strength and stamina on a consistent basis. It is frustrating to say the least.

The girls have a forage festival on the hill.

The girls have a forage festival on the hill.

I saw my Nurse Practitioner today. I had to go in for a visit in order to get my perscription refilled. It is somewhat frustrating that I had to pay for an office visit for a medication I have taken routinely for over 2 years now. Yes it is a controlled substance. Yes they are operating a business and have policies around such things. But for someone with no insurance and no income, it is a challenge.

Thelma, my pretty month old Silver Laced Wyandotte.

Thelma, my pretty month old Silver Laced Wyandotte.

The good thing is that their clinic is considering expansion of services and they would like to offer some cholesterol and diabetic education and check ins. This would be done by a nurse. It would be very part time and pay would be much less than the customary base rate for this area. It is a small clinic. For me, it sounds like a dream come true. One or two days a week being approximately 4-8 hours a week doing nutition consulting and education. I think I could manage that.

40 baby chicks.  Welsummers, Ameraucanas, my 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 2 Speckled Sussex.   A nice brood!

40 baby chicks. Welsummers, Ameraucanas, my 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 2 Speckled Sussex. A nice brood!

I am reallly trusting that God is going to provide. My financial situation is getting a bit on the precarious side. By the first of the week I will have rent paid again for 6 months, my phone and insurance paid for a month, plenty of groceries in the house, chicken feed, and the gas tank filled up. If my calculations are correct, I will be able to do that for about 3 more months and then……all gone. So, I am hoping and praying and working on making these potential income earning ideas come to fruition.

Miss Donna enjoying her dust bath time.

Miss Donna enjoying her dust bath time.

I did take a couple forays around the property today, getting some exercise. Hope you enjoy the photos. I just love this place.

Pretty posies

Pretty posies