Showing posts with label Urban Homestead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Urban Homestead. Show all posts

Monday, October 07, 2013

a family dinner by any other name

Selfie in Sweden, pre-kids
After graduating college, Nate and I embarked on a journey as a newly minted family, leaving behind our home state for adventures in the uncharted beyond. Moving away from our families of origin was exciting! Graduate school and moves to the Midwest, the US capital, and across the Atlantic Ocean opened our eyes to different and interesting ways of thinking and living.

Along the way, we became parents. Welcome to the best learning experience of all! While we were thrilled about our growing family, we also encountered our share of challenges and foibles. None of our friends had kids yet, so we navigated the choppy new waters solo while they smiled and did their best to understand the dark circles and panicked voices. Without family in town to assist us, we floundered quite a bit on just what to do with our new bundle of joy. We relied on our nanny to tell us what and when to feed Vivi. I chuckle to remember how we browsed stacks of parenting volumes promising new and different ways to achieve better results, as though she were a new iGadget instead of a person.

Although advice was still only a phone call away, the temptation of “the unknown better” beckoned louder. Eschewing family secrets for propaganda, we replaced the village with pop science. Whereas pride in continuing our families’ traditions was once the goal long ago, shiny-new-object syndrome stepped in and took over.

Unfortunately, our manic pursuit of novelty did not improve our lives. The promise that the latest parenting trend would solve our problems didn’t deliver. We were paralyzed by choice and growing dizzy from the pendulum of polarized philosophies. Put simply, we were not happy parents.




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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

methods of conserving water: a gardening season primer


I'll never forget my first lesson in conserving water. I was at summer camp, and our head counselor stood in front of the group and explained how we could use less water when brushing our teeth by turning off the water when not using it. As an adult who has been doing this practice most my life, it seems so elementary as to require no explanation, but I remember feeling astonished at this news as a child. Oh, right, I don't need to run the water when I'm not using it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm canning! {UFH challenge update #3}

If there's a month that will stand out from the rest of the year in terms of what I've learned on my Urban Farm Handbook challenge, I'd have to say it's August, which was preserving month. My preserving experience is chugging along into September, and I thought you might like an update on how my adventure is going (more UFH challenge updates are here).


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

homemade room and linen spray

We are moving in a few weeks. I don't want to get into too much about it now, lest I jinx the process, but sufficed to say there are lots of cleaning and arranging movements happening around here. Hence all the talk of purging. I've also been getting this house ready round the clock for new potential renters to come check it out.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

spicy pickled carrots: {UFH challenge update}



This year is roaring by at top speed; I daresay it's the fastet-moving year of my life, and the omniscient they say that life only starts moving more quickly the older you get. Sheesh. I love that this blog gives me a chance to document all that happens around here, as these days I can't be relied on to remember it all, and I suspect (ala the wisdom and wit of Nora Ephron) that my memory will only get worse too. While conducting my mid-year time-flying assessment, it occurred to me how long it's been since I updated y'all on my Urban Farm Handbook challenge. Not since March?! Whoa baby.

Friday, August 17, 2012

learning about life and death through chickens: {guest post}


I'm thrilled to have a guest post today from Kassandra. Her ability to change what could have potentially been a disastrous experience with her family into a positive one is an inspiring story. I only hope I can be half as insightful about my own family moments. Be sure to read through to the bottom so you can see her bio and her discount offer to Ranger readers!
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At 6am on a Tuesday morning, I went outside to answer the call of nature and saw that nature had called in a totally unexpected way during the night. Our backyard was suspiciously silent, and as I peeked around the corner I noticed a chilling sight. The night before there had been 10 lively three week-old chicks. Now, five half-eaten chicken filets, and two whole dead chicks lay on the ground. We never found any trace of the others.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

cukes two ways


Are the cucumbers rolling in where you live yet? I opted to plant zucchini and squash in my tiny garden instead, but I may plant cucumbers in a second round. For now, I am enjoying the bounty of inexpensive picking cukes at my local farmer's market. I went a little overboard in my purchase last week so had to come up with creative solutions for using them, IE. I FINALLY MADE PICKLES!! How have I not done this before??

Saturday, July 21, 2012

did you read? {3}: sustainability edition

Hey, remember that series I said I'd start writing back in February, then posted twice and kinda forgot about after that? Woops! Best laid plans and all that jazz. It's all good because I'm coming back at ya' with another post today, and I hope to make the series at least a monthly thing, since I've actually been reading quite a bit of worthwhile material.

If I haven't already smacked you in the face with this little bit of 411 about my life, 'tis the year of the urban/suburban sustainable homestead. Here are some of my favorite reads in that genre...

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

jewel weed: natural poison ivy treatment




I have been using jewel weed to treat poison ivy since I was a child. I learned about the plant at summer camp as a Native American folk remedy, and it quickly became one of my favorite plants to identify because of its tell-tale leaves that look silver when placed in water.

Friday, April 20, 2012

rabbits: the ideal home-scale meat

I invited some fabulous bloggers--and fellow home rangers--to write guest posts on The Lone Home Ranger for this entire week during Vivi's Spring Break (called "April Vacation" in Beantown). These lovely ladies will be bringing you features focused on healthy, natural, and simple living. Enjoy!


Today's post comes from Chandelle over at Chicken Tender. Be sure to read through to the bottom of the post to see her bio and link to her blog. I've also written a few of my own thoughts about her post. 



(N.B.: This is a post about raising rabbits for food, so there is some minor discussion of animal slaughter).

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RABBITS: THE IDEAL HOME-SCALE MEAT

Several years ago, while living in a dumpy apartment in Salt Lake City and dreaming of greener pastures, I read the book Farm City, by Novella Carpenter. Pored over it, more like. Here was a lady without much money (like me), without land (like me), without a family history of farming (like me), who somehow got it into her head to be a farmer (also like me), and carried it out despite the obstacles, with a severe wit and a willingness to Dumpster-dive to feed her animals. (This last part was not like me, not yet.)

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