Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - a quick review

2011...a year filled with many great things, surprises, prizes and great friends. let's review:

- i started the year in love with jambaloney. at the start of 2011 i thought that there was no way possible to love him more than i did. boy was i wrong!

- i started the year here at the Manor. my dream of moving home to my island came true!

- i don't remember the first 3 months of 2011 very well - just some blurred images of boiling snow to wash dishes, clothes and to flush the toilet; more blurred images of pipes busting and things breaking or blowing up, 4yrs worth of saved heirloom seeds being destroyed, trucks flipping - yep it is all a real blur!

- april and may was spent planting a ton of seeds and putting them in their trays to then plant outside in late may. but the weather was so awful that most of those seedlings didn't see the light of day until the middle of june! oh yes - and building raised beds and all that came with that! poor jambaloney must have shovelled 30 tons of dirt!

- jambaloney's parents visited in june. during the worst and grayest and rainiest 10 days that anyone has ever seen. we had planned to take them sight-seeing all over the island - they ended up digging trenches and planting tomatoes!

- july saw us hitting the local events and getting out and meeting people. they were so warm and inviting and we have made many great, lasting, long friendships!

- august to the end of september - more events - more meeting of fantastic people - how awesome! and we harvested our sad, little garden - our worst harvest ever. oh but we have learned for next year!

- in september we started our blog and met a whole crew of awesome people who may be thousands of miles away but we still count them as our friends. we have learned so much from all of you! thank you all sooo much!

- october was when the "incident" occurred. for long time readers, i don't have to go into details. for new readers - i simply won't go into details. you can check the blog posts from october.

- in november i turned 41 and jambaloney turned 46. we have been giggling ever since as we love our 40's together!

- and december was about sharing time with all of our different friends - who have all become our new family! we have such great friends here...and we are soo happy!

what will 2012 bring for us here at the Manor? isn't 2012 yet but i am fairly confident that i will enter the new year loving that man more than i did last year. i love him soooo much! i also am fairly certain that after all of the trials and tribulations of this past year - that just about everything will be a little easier this year! i also expect new obstacles to come that we will have to find our way around...but such is the challenge and life of living in the middle of nowhere!

i am looking forward to a quiet, relaxing that will be filled with oops! woops! and oh - didn't plan for that! this spring we will hit the ground running with our garden! this summer is going to be filled with river days, beach days, swimming and dips! this fall will be filled with harvesting, canning, dehydrating and preserving. and hopefully this coming winter will be a time to look back and realize that we are living our dream. all of it spent wearing as little clothes as possible!

we are making miniature dinner rolls all morning to bring with our controversial chili to the dance tomorrow! and then we are off to the New Year's Dance. if i haven't made it to your blog to wish you and yours a Happy New Year...give me a day or two...i will get there!

2012 is going to be interesting for sure. and none of us knows what will happen or what's to come. but my heart is filled with happiness and hope!

and i wish all of you all of the best for 2012! Happy New Year my friends!

Friday, December 30, 2011

it's another windy day!

yesterday we had crazy wind again - 80-90km/phr (40-50mph)! the whole Manor shook all night Wednesday night, all day Thursday, all night last night and is finally down to just a dull roar now. but we didn't lose our power at all - thanks Nova Scotia Power!

yesterday we had a "flumping" day - we read, watched some movies, ate, napped, snacked and napped some more. it was way too windy to do any outdoor chores and although there are a ton of indoor chores to be done, we decided to say screw it and "flump" around together.

today we spent the day making approximately 8 quarts of chili to bring to the New Year's Dance tomorrow night. we made yummy-stick-to-your-ribs-full-of-meat chili...made with crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, kidney beans, navy beans, 2lbs of hamburger, half a pound of bacon and mushrooms. i also snuck in some vinegar with the mother in it, a large dollop of honey and several cloves of garlic. and a bucketload of chili powder. i am bound and determined to get these people here to eat more healthily!

tomorrow we will make 40 miniature dinner rolls to serve with the chili. i have recently found an awesome dinner roll recipe...the rolls come out all buttery, fluffy and light. if anyone is interested i will post the recipe on our recipe blog.

i have been trying to stay on top of everyone's blogs over the holidays...if for some reason i have missed any of your posts or haven't stopped by your blog in a while - leave a holler in the comment section here and i will skedaddle right on over.

i promise pics of the porch coming soon - it's just been too windy this past few days.

we'll be heading off to the New Year's Dance tomorrow. if we don't get a chance before then to wish you all a Happy New Year's Day...then we will do so now. Happy 2012! 2012 is sure going to be interesting...and we look forward to hanging out with you all through all of it. there is still much to be done here at the Manor, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

here's a pic of one of our beautiful sunsets from the other's wonderful isn't it?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

off to dinner!

we are off to our other friends' house this evening for is supposed to be a buffet so we are looking forward to stuffing our gills all evening. this time we are going to our friends S and D's house. they have 2 girls aged 7 and 12. it should be a really nice time! we are bringing home-made dinner rolls, cranberry-pear-ginger sauce and plain oatmeal cookies.

we have finally gotten the porch finished and to be honest - it doesn't look half as bad as i thought it would. we have a little finishing to do, give us a day or two and i will get some pics up. i can't believe that i finally have a porch!

anyway, we hope that everyone has enjoyed this past few days since Christmas Day. we have, and we are looking forward to stuffing our faces again tonight, and the New Years Dance on saturday. that should be a real hoot!

happy holidays to everyone!

Monday, December 26, 2011

a Framboise Manor Christmas!

first off - i hope that every one of you had a Christmas Day as wonderful as ours! the pic above is our Christmas tree - beautiful isn't it? we have so many beautiful trees on our land that it was hard to pick just one. and since they all come already decorated in tinsel, you have to be really selective! that's why we chose this group of 3 trees! we can see them from the kitchen window. we love that group of trees!

anyway - what an awesome Christmas Day we had! we were invited to our friends' C and B's house. we arrived at noon, were greeted at the door with hugs from our friends and their two children (18 and 19). the whole house smelled divine! we brought some home-made dinner rolls, some cranberry-ginger-pear sauce and some cranberry-walnut-oatmeal cookies. we also brought a 40 of rhum for C and B (people around here like their alcohol!). for their daughter, who loves butterflies, i dug through some of my jewelry and found a beautiful silver butterfly necklace that she just loved! i also gave her a really cool butterfly belt.

we found out last week that their son had busted his i-pod. jambaloney had recently done the same thing and because he is so good with computers and electronic stuff, he was able to find a kit on ebay to fix it. so their son got a home-made coupon from jamie to pay for the kit and then fix the i-pod when the kit arrives. he was over the moon and told everyone about it! his parents were pleased that we brought their children some little gifts that weren't store-bought and meant something to each of them. they have really sweet kids and we like them alot!

now on to the food! oh my oh my! C and B put on a spread like nobody's business. a 20lb turkey cooked to perfection, stuffing, gravey, potatoes, turnips, carrots, corn and two kinds of cheesecake! then all kinds of snacks for the rest of the day and evening. jambaloney is still stuffed to the gills! i ate a ton too - try four servings of mashed potatoes and gravey! i love mashed potatoes and gravey!

C and B got jambaloney a fancy flashlight for his key-chain --- something i have been telling him he needs forever! and they got me my brand of red wine and a box of expensive chocolates. no one here drinks wine - only me - they all think it is kind of funny! so she found out from our other friends what the name of my wine was so that she could get it for me - sooo awesome!

different people dropped in throughout the day - C's nephew, wife and baby, B's sister and mother, their daughter's boyfriend. we spent the whole day eating, snacking, talking, drinking tea, sipping wine for me, drinking beer for the rest - we never left the kitchen as the kitchen is the heart of the home here - and the hours just passed. we felt like we were with family and were just so comfortable. and warm. and laughing. and enjoying each others company.

then all of the sudden it was 9pm! we had promised to stop in at B's brother's house which is right next door to B's. we thought it was too late to stop in but B and C insisted that we couldn't leave without stopping by or they would get accused of "hogging" us to themselves. so we all bundled up and trudged through the backyard to D and R's house. thank goodness it is only a quick jaunt across the yard as it was super cold last night!

here's a pic of D's house and super awesome lobster boat. i love that boat!

so we went over to D and R's - their house was full as both of their children were home for the holidays and had brought their babies with them. we could tell that everyone had had a full day, R looked happy but tired, and the babies were going to bed. so we headed out to D's smoke shack - a little shack in the backyard where he goes to smoke when its cold. he's not allowed to smoke in the house. but there is a woodstove out there and many stashed bottles of various alcohol and needless to say a party ensued! D's son and girlfriend, and his daughter and her boyfriend, and C and B and their 2 kids and me and jambaloney all hung out laughing and telling stories until 1am in the morning! we left with C and B but the rest of them stayed and might still be there right now!

we went back to C and B's and they proceeded to fill garbage bags full of leftovers and snacks and forced us to take them home. we hugged them and thanked them and B said that we were now family - which is huge here as they take family very seriously. and they are very humble. i just called C and told her that we really appreciated all of the food and how much fun we had and she replied "Jesus Christ how many effin times do you people gotta thank someone for some dinner?!?!"

ya they curse alot here too. she then went on to say how happy they were to have us and how much fun they had as well.

these people welcomed us into their home, with their children, and shared Christmas Day with us. they made this Christmas very special. it was not about big, fancy gifts or any of that shenanigans - it was about the true spirit of Christmas - family, good food, friendship and love.

what a great way to spring into 2012.

jambaloney and i hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day. and we wish the best for all of you in the coming year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

to all of our friends!

from both of us, to all of you, we thank you for your friendship, support and advice over the past few months.

we also wish you all a wonderful, warm and very Merry Christmas! we hope that you all enjoy this time with family, loved ones and friends.

joyeux noel mes amis!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

crazy porch saga - Part Deux

so here we are still working on the porch! we framed out the front and back and put in some doors. ya - it's a clooge job but as we are just going to be relying on this thing for the winter and spring - it'll do!

so here is the front door framed out:

and here is the back door (both doors were salvaged out of other people's garbage!):

i wanted the back door at the front because it is prettier. but this is the stronger of the two doors and as we get winds howling up our road that hit this side of the house the most, the stronger door had to go on the back.

and here's another look at the side with the doors framed in:

well, it will be a porch that only a mother could love! but if i can get the boots and shoes out of the kitchen, the laundry rack out of the middle of the living room, 18L water jugs out of the bathroom AND still have room for other stuff - PLUS have a place for the ginormic seeding tray that Ted built - then i will be happy! and we will have time next year to decide whether we want to re-build it properly, or add an extension on to the kitchen, or add an extension off of the living room - whatever - we'll figure it all out then!

for now - just wait until you see what we did on the cheap to enclose this thing - teeeheee!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the Framboise Manor crazy porch saga - Part 1

first off - sorry we haven't posted in a week, nor read, nor commented on your blogs. it has been a bit of a busy week, we've been winterizing, digging trenches and working on our porch! plus we had a kitchen party on saturday night (awesome fun!) and bingo on sunday (5 and a half hours of wanting to die - bahahaha!).

anyway, back to the porch. we have a 18 X 8ft deck/step on the side of our house. if it was enclosed, it would make a great addition to our tiny house. right now, when you walk into our house, you enter directly into the middle of our cramped, tiny kitchen! if we enclose the deck, it would provide us with a mudroom as well as a place to start our seeds in the spring. here's a pic:

notice all of the trellising? that was the first to go.

some of the boards on the porch were rotten and needed to be replaced.

other spots needed some quick re-enforcement. several spots on the floor had to be jacked up as well.

then we did some framing all around the porch.

and framed two doors to put one in at each end. wait until you see what we are planning to do for the rest. it's going to be pretty interesting and we are doing it on the cheap which is always a good thing!

i'll be stopping by everyone's blogs and catching up on your posts this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the Framboise Manor monster bed!

we have a confession to make...we are bed hogs. like hogs. it is almost sinful!

however, when we first got together almost 11 yrs ago (our 11 yr anniversary is Jan 19!), i was 30 and jambaloney was 36. we had both spent our adult lives up to that point sleeping in large beds - by ourselves!!! prior to living together, jambaloney had a queen-sized futon and i had a king-sized waterbed.

when we moved in to our first place together, we tried for over a year to learn to sleep together in a king-sized bed. neither of us was getting any proper rest. i roll around in bed all night long and often end up sideways or upside down when i wake. jambaloney doesn't roll around so much...but he does have a thing about having blankets and with me rolling around so much i tend to steal the blankets. so we sat down one day and had a frank conversation - we needed 2 beds!!!

it was the smartest thing that we have ever done! we each got a queen-sized platform bed and mattress, pushed the two beds together in the middle of the room and have slept happily that way for the last 8+yrs. we each have our own bedding as well so there is no chance of someone waking up shivering all the time - teehee!

anyway - here at the Manor we only have 2 small bedrooms. and we gave away one of our beds and mattresses before we left the city. for the first few months of being at the Manor we were sleeping together on one queen-sized mattress on the floor. but at least we had our own duvets. because of the shock of getting here, near freezing to death and all of the other craziness that happened last winter - our bedroom was not at the top of the list of things to worry about.

but we eventually got around to dealing with the "bed" problem and created a ton of extra storage in the process! i told you that we are bed hogs so don't be surprised to see this:

here's a bit of a better shot:

yep - that's a hand-built platform bed that spans the width of the room. on jambaloney's side (window side) is a queen mattress and mine is a double. but as he is not a roller, we often wake up with him squashed against the window and me laying sideways across the two beds - it's awesome! we love our "bed" room....pun intended. yep it is a room full of bed! and it is also an awesome place to go and flop during the day and yak and make plans. you can find us sprawled on that monster at just about any time.

the great news about building your own platform bed is that you can choose the materials and build storage space into it - something we are severely lacking at the Manor. have a peak:

we built the base of the bed using 2 X 12s, like rafters, and then covered them with 1 X 8 slats about a half inch apart. the bed is 9ft wide and 7ft long. underneath the bed there are 8 compartments - 2 small ones of 4 inches wide on each end of the bed, and then 6 compartments that are 12 inches high, 14 inches wide and 7ft long. you can stuff a lot of stuff in a 7ft long compartment...and the compartments are big enough for me and jambaloney to climb under to retrieve stuff.

this is an excellent place to store preps! and because we don't want to broadcast our preps to the world, i cleared our preps out from under the bed, and just put some stuff there to show the height and what you can store and whatnot. we have plastic bins and buckets with lids and can store much stuff in those and put them under the bed.

yep - a monster bed and an excellent, hidden place for preps! what could be better?

(we also plan to build a headboard with shelving and shelves all around the room. we just haven't gotten to it yet!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy One Year Anniversary, Framboise Manor!

...well, we are few days late. our one year anniversary here at the Manor was actually on December 4! oh well - we are always a few days or weeks late for everything around here! so we will celebrate our anniversary today with many trips to the hottub, building a frame on our porch so that we can enclose it (wait until you see what we have been up to - it's awesome and so redneck it will make MDR blush!), putting fresh sheets on our huge bed (still need to share our home-made bed with tons of storage underneath), reading our books and a nap.

there will also be much gazing at the beautiful Framboise sky.

if you get the chance at some point today - raise a glass for us. coffee, juice, tea, soda, bourbon or scotch will all work well. we can't believe that we have been here a year already - it has been an awesome adventure and we look forward to the coming adventures!

Happy Anniversary Framboise Manor!

Friday, December 9, 2011

maybe jumped the gun a little...

oh man! the shaking, rattling and rolling...and raining began again about a half hour after i posted my last message. by 11:30pm - the power was out again! dang nabbit! but as the power had been on for several hours and the fridge, freezer, sump-pump, etc. were all fine - we weren't too worried. however, when we called NS Power and they told us that the power wouldn't be back on until 2pm today (it is 12pm right now) - jambaloney went out and got the generator set up, brought up our kerosene heater and lamps, i quickly grabbed some food out of the fridge and we set up the hotplate. we were going to wait and see how long the power would really be out before worrying about the fridge/freezer.

so there we were huddled together on the couch with blankets wearing 3 layers of clothes, talking and laughing together in the middle of the night. he had a rhum and coke, i had a glass of red wine. and then we started talking about all of our preparations for the storm and how we could handle them better next time.

jambaloney has several different sized Ryobi battery-powered flashlights and several batteries which we always keep charged. we keep a drawer filled with emergency candles, lighters and matches. we have a triple-tap RV generator extension cord that we can plug any 120v appliance into, if need be. we have our hotplate for cooking, as well as our propane bbq - the bbq also has a single burner that can be used for cooking. we always have 4 18l jugs of water on hand...and with 2 Berkey Filtration Systems and two rainbarrels - water is never an issue. we have a 2300btu kerosene heater and two oil lamps - although i don't like the kerosene heater nor the oil lamps - both put out an amazing amount of heat very quickly. last but not least - we have about 15 different places that we can go to between our two villages in the event of the power outage lasting longer than just a few days. Fourchu is on a different grid line than our town so if it came down to it we could go there, or people there could come here. and if it ever got really bad - we have friends in several other places on the island - some about an hour away - some almost 2 hours away.

some things that we thought of and talked about to better prepare us were mostly related to food. as we knew about the weather bomb ahead of time, and when a storm hits its hard not to notice - one of the things that we will do in the future is take 2-3 days worth of food out of the refrigerator and put that food in a cooler down in the basement. as well, we will be sure to put frozen freezer packs in the fridge and freezer before a storm for just in case measures. yesterday and last night all i wanted was fresh veggies because we could not open the fridge/freezer - isn't that always the way? we always keep a bowl of fruit on top of the fridge so we had fruit but of course - i wanted what i couldn't have! we have tons of canned food and whatnot but it just wasn't what i wanted.

another thing that we thought of was when we think we can potentially lose power, jack the heat up in every room so that the ambient heat lasts longer. we certainly didn't freeze or anything but we were chilled and that is not fun. the ambient heat of the house lasted for several hours last night but started to cool quickly by early morning. that's when we got our blankets out and cuddled - cuddling helps!

we always have seasonal BOBs in the house and a large bin in the back of the truck that stores additional stuff like extra coats and mitts, socks, blankets, first aid kit, food, candles, etc - the usual stuff. if it came right down to it - we could have gone out in the truck and started it and gotten warm. and there is always the Vandura (we really need to stop using it as a shed!). when not full of crap - the Vandura has it's own propane furnace and stove, as well as a sink, a fridge and a composting toilet. it is currently filled with crap but also contains blankets, food, first aid kit, etc.

all in all - the storm wasn't too bad. Craig and Stephen joked about the winds not being as bad as in hurricane country, but they were the worst winds we have experienced so far! add to that that we are right on top of a hill, with a 1000ft road for the wind to come barreling up and belt this little cottage and we sure are glad that we don't live in hurricane country!

anyway - we stayed up all night because neither of us could sleep, talked, laughed, joked, had some serious discussions, checked back with NS Power several times and did the dance of the sugar plum faeries when the power came back on at 7:42am. the crying started at 7:44am when the power went back out again! i called NS Power and the automated message said that power had been restored to our area. i transferred to a live person and as they called up our address, they could see that our power had not been restored. they said that in their best estimate we would get our power back at 2pm today. again, true to form, our power was back on at 9:45am.

back in the city, we had solar-powered hot water and rarely pulled from the city's water. we have planned since we got here to get a full solar/wind-powered set up here. we have planned to implement the first stage of that set-up this spring. there is a company here in cape breton that does free estimates and has several different payment options. being that we are on a cleared hill, we get beautiful sun most days but always have wind. we are looking very much forward to getting a full solar/wind set-up and will provide all of the details as it happens.

then we won't have to worry about power outages ever again!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

shake, rattle and roll

and that's what we've been doing ...all day! we experienced a serious weather-bomb today - as did all of the Atlantic provinces. these were the worst winds we have ever experienced - we got gusts up to 100km (60m) for several hours - it really felt like hurricane country and i don't even know what hurricane country feels like!!!

we lost our power at about 1pm...called in to Nova Scotia Power and made a report...called back for an update about 15 mins later and were told that the power should be back on by 6:30pm. and true to form, we had our power back at about 5:15. we really hope that someone at Nova Scotia Power reads this blog, as we would like to give them a big shout out! Thanks Nova Scotia Power!

the Manor shook, rattled and rolled all afternoon, all while being pelted with sheets of rain. we climbed on the couch with flashlights and read our books - we needed flashlights as it was very overcast and gray. then we went for a nap.

anyway - we had just put in a chicken casserole at 20 to 1pm and hoped that by leaving it in the oven until 2 that it might have cooked. no go! so it was sandwiches all day! since the power is back - we have another chicken casserole in the oven - we can't wait to sink our teeth into this one!

it rained a lot as well but the basement didn't flood and the sump pump is now going at a full-tilt boogie. i will try to make my rounds to everyone's blogs this evening and if not, then definitely tomorrow. i hope that everyone is well.

because all is well that ends well!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

a different kind of hellhole - a trench!

jambaloney here!

our basement (which you don't get the privilege of viewing until later ;-) leaks like a sieve. part of the problem is the fact that the concrete foundation is crap and part of he problem is the ground around the manor slopes TOWARDS the basement. in addition, the ground here is very dense, full of rocks and hard packed. so all of the water that can get into the basement, does. oh yeah, it's a moist climate we have here, and lots of rain!!!

we have a sump pump that does it's job well. last winter the pipe outside froze when the cold weather hit, i woke up one morning and the poor pump was grinding away, but not moving any water, so i bought a flexible hose to replace it and would go down to the basement every night, unattach the hose from the pump, blow the water out of the hose and unplug the sump pump...i know, i know... not a great use of time or nerves.

when my step-dad ted was here in june, i was relaying my woes to him and telling him that i hated relying on the sump pump because when the power goes out, it's usually crap weather so the basement fills with water, up to a foot + at times. i hate power outages, i am constantly checking the basement. our generator is hooked up now so i am not so worried, but is is a pain all round.

he suggested that i could dig down below the footing of the foundation and run a 3" pvc drain pipe out to drop off at the front where our driveway is. this would provide permanent, passive drainage.

unsupervised one morning, ted started the task at hand. we had a busy summer/fall so i never got back to it... now i am getting back to it. a couple of weeks ago i went out to start again, you can see the beginnings in the pic below.

ted dug down about 2 1/2 feet. my plan is to get a drainage trench dug to his level before the ground freezes for good, i should have until Jan 01. here are the tools: rock rake from my grandmother's, trenching tool that ted brought the head for with him in his visit, small shovel, pick, large shovel

i first ran a line about halfway and then began to go further, about 3 " deep:

here is another view. the hose on the left is the sump pump hose that i lengthened for the summer (previous owner left TONS of flexible pvc behind), the one on the right is our gray water outflow (which i also lengthened, it used to spill into the front yard and smelled terrific after several days of dishes, now it goes to the ditch on the road)

here they are going downhill past my first pass:

and finally down the slope of the hill at the front:

this is our driveway, you can see that the hill is pretty steep:

i went out one more day to make another pass, then it snowed 10 inches. after a couple of warm days a melting, i went back at 'er last week.

the drag about this project is the trench will be over 50' long - here is a better view:

looking down our driveway, the end of the trench will be the red circle:

back to work, fist step, pickaxe about a 10 foot swath, 3" deep:

next, use the trenching tool to gather it all up in a pile:

this tool is awesome, like an indestructible ice cream scoop with a handle. ted got it at Lee Vally Tools :

i dig the loose dirt out with the big shovel and move on down the line:

by now i have realized that the trench needs to be a bit wider than the large shovel for this to work properly, so the trench needs to be wider, it's nice and straight though!!

back at the ranch, the hoses come out of the foundation in one hot mess (that blanket is insulation, when i get this all working properly, i am going to build up the soil around the foundation, for now, it's ghetto):

i at LEAST, diverted the sump hose into the trench to get it running downhill, no more blowing out the hose this year!!!

i disconnected some of the gray water hose and put it into the trench too, when i am not working on the trench, running water will help me along:

here is a different view of the diverted hoses:

and here is a view of the overall progress so far:

not bad, but a long way to go, both out and down. this is heavy work! at least by the time the ground is frozen, all water will run downhill and no more freezing. next year i will complete the trench and install a permanent pipe that will drain the basement without a sump pump forever. stay tuned for updates!!!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

People, Food and Bookcovers or Something - an insightful, inspiring post by my friend Humble Wife

*i have the permission of the author to put up this post*

my friend, Jennifer, Humble Wife, from Double Nickel Farm, has been there almost right from the beginning when we made the switch to try and live simpler lives and become more self-sufficient. her blog was a great find for us and we learned so much from her, her family and the way that they live their lives. she leaves inspiring, uplifting, funny and wisdom-filled comments on all of the blogs she visits. she has been a beacon of light for me during several dark times - some of which she knows about, some of which she doesn't.

i would like for all of you to visit her blog. specifically, this post called "People, Food and Bookcovers or Something" - she hits on so many levels of so many things that i keep re-reading it because every time i read it, different ideas pop into my head. she writes like that all of the time. and shares her life and her family with her readers. she has insight and wisdom - and if you do read her post - please take the time to check out her archives - she has been blogging for many years!

if you are interested in reading what an intelligent, Christian, homesteading, homeschooling and wonderful helpmate/wife is willing to share about trying to be a good wife and mother while living a simple, self-sufficient life - you will love her blog. and even if you are not interested in all of that - please read this one post. as jambaloney says - she uses pre-conceived notions of vegetables in order to describe how people become boxed into stereotypes.

i really loved this post. i hope that you will check it out.

thanks Jennifer! for everything!