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A New Beginning

And the adventure begins.

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I am getting ready to begin a new phase in life, a whole new adventure. In a couple of months I will be retiring from a job I’ve been at for 27 years. I’m excited and apprehensive at the same time.

As I begin this journey I have a longing to go back to my roots; to learn some of the old ways to live, to be more self sustaining. I want to take you on my journey too.

 

The Quiet Life

It’s been pretty quiet here on the homestead- but, hey, that is not a bad thing. After the stress of the long hours put in at a day job, my Hunter needs a place of refuge to come home to.

I drove around our property and took some pictures of some of my favorite spots and I would love to share some with you.

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This is the most serene spot (at least to me) on our property. This picture is taken in our upper field looking down toward our house. The white building is what I have loving dubbed the “Man Cave”. The Hunter is currently working on it for his shop/business/hang out.

Originally it was built for a temporary home of the Amish family who built our home. It’s a nice size building with an upstairs. Someday I would like to redo the upstairs as a little apartment or something for when our kids come home. If that ever gets done it will be way in the future. Dreaming is free.

Deer in the fieldI get the blessing of seeing this sight almost every morning at daybreak. How beautiful is this. I love our little piece of Heaven more everyday and am so thankful that God led us here. I can be sitting on the front porch and just see deer prancing around in our front field too. We were coming home one night and as we pulled in we saw 5 young bucks in velvet grazing in our front field. We just stopped and watched that marvelous sight.20170925_140849

 

This is a sight that a lot of homesteaders will be familiar with- the black “willy worm”. In our neck of the woods this simply means that we can look forward to a harsh winter. It’s not that I want one, but we need a good cold winter in Indiana to just kill off some bugs (and to make the maple syrup flow).

 

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And here is the sign of Autumn. Our first leaves are changing. It that not a just a beautiful shade of red? Fall is a wonderful time of year. The earth is preparing for a rest, you get the cooler temps you’ve longed for, campfires to have weenie roasts with toasted marshmallows (YUMMY!!!)

And speaking of Autumn, let me share with you a recipe that has become a family favorite: Broccoli/Apple Salad. Oh, My, this stuff is delicious. You can find the original recipe at therecipecritic.com.  I’ll put measurements in but most of the time I’m eye balling it and adding a little extra of the flavors we enjoy most.

Broccoli Apple SaladBroccoli/Apple Salad

4 c broccoli florets (about 2 medium heads)

1/2 c shredded carrots

1/4 c diced red onion

2 large apples, chopped

1/2 c pecans, chopped (I used hickory nuts because I get them free)

1/2 c dried cranberries (I omit these)

Creamy Dressing

1/2 c light mayo

1/2 c Greek yogurt (5.3 oz container)

2 T lemon juice

1 1/2 T Splenda (original recipe says 1 T sugar)

1/4 t salt

1/8 T pepper

Combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans, and cranberries.

Whisk together mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.

Add dressing to salad and toss. Chill until ready to serve.

 

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Until the next time, Blessing to all.

 

 

Greetings from A Pioneer Soul

It’s been 3 months now since we’ve moved into our new homestead! Busy, busy, busy!!! We do not have everything done that we want to do, but we are pretty well settled into a routine and I have most things where I want them and where I can find them. The Hunter on the other hand is still searching for where I put things. It is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind you know.

Shortly after our move we had to restock our flock of chickens. We were hit hard by coyotes where we lived before. The young hens we bought are starting to lay and it is so good to have fresh eggs once again!! Sorry folks, store bought just does not have the same flavor and baking with fresh eggs is the best! An added enjoyment is just watching our chickens. They are such an animated creature–watching chickens is better than watching television.

 

 

I  have taught myself to crochet and have made several projects. I have 2 baby blankets going right now and just finished an owl pot holder. My main reason for learning to crochet was to make my own dish cloths. I love this type! They are heavy and I feel do a better job on your dishes and counters.

 

 

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Owl Potholder

 

I missed having a garden this year, but we have been so blessed with neighbors who have shared their bounty with us- tomatoes, corn, peppers, lettuce, spinach-plus we have hit our farmer’s market too. Oh, it all tasted so good- fresh is best!

I have tried my hand at dehydrating tomatoes and I made tomato powder out of them. I’ve never used it before but there is a first time for everything. They say you can put it in soups, make ketchup, make tomato paste–we’ll see how well I do, I’ll let you know.

It’s been cool the last couple of days here in Southern Indiana. Effects from Harvey made it here; but please remember to keep those in Texas in your prayers. They have a long road ahead of them in their recovery process, in many instances it may take years. I am thankful that our daughter and granddaughter were spared any of the devastation for Harvey went north of them.

Here on the homestead we are beginning to look to our future and planning where we want next years garden, where we want to plant fruit trees, what livestock to raise. We were blessed that we already had 3 peach trees here and we got the harvest from them this year. We made a peach pie for the 4th of July and boy did it ever taste good!! We were also able to put a little bit of pie filling in the freezer to enjoy at a later date!!

We also have persimmon trees on our property and they are loaded with fruit. I don’t know if you can tell much from this tree, but believe me the fruit is there and I’m excited to put up a good supply of pulp this year. My family loves persimmon pudding and I found a recipe for persimmon bread on another site that I am going to have to give a try.

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Persimmon Tree

Deer, turkey, squirrel, dove and fish (we have 2 ponds) are plentiful where we are now and that makes The Hunter a happy man!! One thing about it we aren’t going to go hungry.

God Bless you and keep you until we meet again!

Live life to the fullest- Laugh until your belly hurts- And love with all you heart!

 

Busy, Busy, Busy

It’s been so busy here at Woodward Wranch the last few weeks. The Hunter is completely healed from his mishap on the first paying job of our stump grinding business. I told him if he kept that up we couldn’t afford to be in business. But, all is well and our customers were quite pleased with the job that was done. Praise the Lord others have been asking about our services and we are 1 step closer to getting my husband out of his place of employment.

My sweet Momma had eye surgery, and thankfully being retired, it has afforded me the time to be able to take her to and from her doctor appointments. She is doing well, but still has several appointments ahead in the next few months. A plus to this is that we get to spend some quality Mother/Daughter time together. I so enjoy spending time with my Mom. She is a rare jewel. When I grow up I hope I’m more like her. Ha! Ha!

In just two or three months we will be moving to our forever homestead. We are so excited about this move. We will begin to live out our dream for the rest of our days here on this earth. ANTICIPATION OVERLOAD!

That being said I have began the process of paring down our “stuff”, and let me tell you we have a bunch!! Aren’t we all guilty of “hoarding” because hey, you know, someday we may need that? How many of us haven’t said these lines: “I’m going to loose weight and I’ll get back into those clothes!” or; “I need to save these containers to send leftovers home with guests!” (or for livestock scraps, or water the dog) Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that holding on to things we’ll use later is bad, cause we all need to learn to reuse and repurpose. What I am saying is that we probably all have a tendency to go a tad bit overboard.

So, I began the process in our closets (The Hunter got on board and even did his!!!!!) If it didn’t fit, no matter how much I loved it, it went; if I hadn’t worn it in over a year, it went; if it was beyond repair, it went. (That is excluding the sweatshirt I have on today that probably needs to be trashed, but I love it and I still wear it here on the homestead. Hey, a girl has got to be comfortable, right?)

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When I was finished sorting I took it out of the house that day and made a trip to Goodwill or the trash can-No waiting, no rethinking! That way I couldn’t change my mind and bring it back to my closet. That’s a step I have not regretted and you know what, I haven’t missed a thing. I’ve got one more closest to do and then to the kitchen! That will be the tough one right there!!

Before I leave you today let me give you one of my family’s favorite recipes, and I just pulled this out of the oven!

Mamaw Esther’s Zucchini Bread

                                3 eggs                                          3 c flour

                                1 c vegetable oil                        1 t salt

                                2 c sugar                                    1 t baking soda

                                3 t vanilla                                  1 t baking powder

                                2 1/2 c  shredded zucchini      2 t cinnamon

                                                            1 cup nuts (optional)

                    Mix together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and zucchini. Sift together and

                    add dry ingredients. Grease 2 loaf pans and pour 1/2 of the batter into

                    each pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

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(My son just came in and grabbed himself a piece of fresh bread and said, “That’s awesome Mom!!” Folks that is what makes it all worth it!!!!!)

I am hoping I can get more disciplined in my writing and sharing here at A Pioneer Soul. My heart is in the right place, it’s just getting it done. You never know someone someday may read this. Until the next time may God continue to bless you and keep you as you travel this journey.

 

 

Our New Stump Grinder

This is The Hunter (on the right) and his new stump grinder. The adventure begins!Alan and Alex and the stump grinder.jpeg

This is the new business we are embarking upon. The first job did not turn out well though-trip to the doctor and ended up with stitches. I am quite thankful that only a limb hit him in the mouth, it could have been the tree itself and cost him his life. So The Hunter will be on pain meds for a few days and won’t return to his full time job for a week. His spirit cannot be squashed, he’ll get “back on this horse” and ride again. I love this man and his determination.

I am enjoying my second week of retirement and have began learning to cook from scratch, a journey I’ve been wanting to go on for a long time.  I made my sweetie some diabetic blueberry muffins and they turned out pretty good. He said it was a definite keeper recipe!!!

We’ve been looking for our permanent homestead. Hopefully we have found it, we will be finding out in the next week if it will work out or not. If not, God will lead us to where we need to be.

Our precious granddaughter turned 4 this week. I cannot believe it. Since we live a few states apart we can’t just go see her, but we have now had our first experience with FaceTime-the next best thing to being there. Modern technology is amazing (although I need help most of the time, for I am a very technologically challenged! Thank goodness I have kids who know all this stuff!!

I am going to do my best to make more, and hopefully better and more informative, blog posts. I’m still a newby to this, but I will strive to have content you will want to read.

Until we meet again may God bless you Journey!

Retirement is Here

I have one full day of official retirement under my belt. It felt strange to not have to go to work on a Sunday night (which is a 3rd shifters Monday!) and to sleep when it is dark. I’ve not done that for a lot of years. I’m thinking I could get used to this.

It was nice to actually send the men in my life off with a decent breakfast and The Hunter had a lunch packed for him-yesterday and today (he will be so spoiled!) To actually cook a meal for them after they’ve put in a day at work and school was such a blessing to me. You see working 3rd you don’t get to do that very often. I would come in of a morning after work and get other things done and then have to get some sleep. We live 40-45 minutes from where we work so sleep is pretty important. (You see, the first month we were married I totaled my car because I was trying to be super-wife, super-step-mom and super-worker. It’s a long story, but just let me say you CAN’T do it all!!!!)

I am looking forward to my adventures here at Woodward Wranch and my retirement. I’m especially excited to be able to share it here at “A Pioneer Soul”, and hopefully someday someone will want to read it. We’ll see, at least I will enjoy writing it.

You will find out that I am just a simple girl, wanting a simple life-I’m not a high maintenance woman. With this blog I want to share my money saving tips, my food preservation, my favorite recipes and my favorite crafts. I know these types of blogs are a dime a dozen, but I learn from each one I follow, so I hope someone will be able to learn from me.

Until the next time, may God bless you and keep you and I look forward to our next meeting.

Dreams

For as long as I can remember I have loved to write. I always made good grades in English/Lit classes. As I grew older and began to work and raise a family this dream, as many do, went to the back burner of life. Some 40 years later my skills may not be up to the A’s I used to get in school, but I will forge on with this blog and hopefully improve with practice.

What are my dreams for this blog?

1) To encourage. In scripture we read about Barnabas who ministered along side the Apostle Paul, Barnabas means “Encourager” and next to Jesus, he is my favorite person in the Bible. As an encourager I want to spur you on to try new things right along with me. When we don’t succeed we pick ourselves up and move forward to try again.

2) To share. I will share what has worked for us here at Woodward Wranch and what has not as we travel this road to self-sufficiency. From time to time I will share some of our family favorite recipes. I may share skills I will be learning in crocheting and sewing. And entwined in it all will be my love for Jesus.

3) To have fun. God desires our life to be full, and He wants us to enjoy it, even when we have to walk some rocky paths along the way.

montana

In closing let me introduce you to one of our roosters- this is Montana. We love watching our chickens and if you want to begin a small homestead they are the easiest animal to raise. It only takes about 10 minutes a day to care for them. (Except for the times you have to clean out the coop.)

In the next blog I will begin to elaborate more on what we do here and get on with the heart of what I desire for A Pioneer Soul.

May God richly bless you until we meet again.

 

A New Computer

I am blessed to have a husband who allows me the tools to fulfill dreams. (Ladies, I have me a keeper and I know it!) My old computer froze constantly, it lagged so much it was hard to type through a complete thought. My Sweetheart says, “Come on we’re getting you a new one.” So today my family and I went on the hunt for a new computer- and, yes, we came home with one. Now I can share my homesteading adventure with you with less frustration.

We were also in the market for a roaster. We’ve wanted one for a long time, but we just never got around to buying one. Well in running our errands the other day we happened upon the perfect one and decided now was the time to buy. We got to the register and low and behold it was 50% off!!! It made this bargin shopper want to jump and shout. Tonight we have a chicken roasting and the house smells heavenly.

It takes many things to make a house a home, the most important thing is LOVE. I am thankful tonight for the support of my family as I begin this adventure in blogging. I am thankful they allow me the tools and time needed to see this dream come to fruition. God has blessed me abundantly.

Tonight I pray for you all that your home is filled with love, laughter and joy. God keep you and bless you.