Monday, July 24, 2006
About 5 yrs ago I was making my own cards and a friend said, "Not for nothin, but you should see what these ladies are doing". She was talking about her neighbor ladies who were using rubber stamps from Stampin Up. I went for a visit to see what all the fuss was about. Well I was hooked. About a yr later I wanted to have some of my own art turned into stamps so I hired a seasoned stamp maker, Don Grover, to do some custom work. Upon collecting my stamps I said," I should find out how a person goes about doing making stamps". He said to come over and he'd show me how it worked. He was great. In the end he sold me some equiptment, hooked me up with his wholesalers and set me on my way. Considering he was trying to run his own business this was VERY generous. So- I was on my way. When 911 happened I was providing day care for toddles 50 hrs a week and I was fried. I realized that day that life is way too short to be miserable so I quit my day care job and went into the rubber stamp business full time. Now I have realized my dream of owning my own little shop in my home as well as an Ebay store, Etsy store and successful web store. I have about 1500 of my own designs and I do lots and lots of custom work.
The Baha'i Faith
Our Family is Baha'i. I converted to Baha'i 12 yrs ago. I was raised going to Methodist and Presbyterian churches. Though we went to church pretty regularly throughout my junior high and high school yrs we didn't practice much at home. It was just something we did on Sunday. All the while however, I had this amazing friend, Lauretta. She was being raised Baha'i in a huge family. All of her friends were Baha'i. Through the many yrs of hanging out with Rett I got a healthy dose of the Faith. Even with these forces in play, when I was 19 ish I would confidently say that I didn't believe in God. It was after the birth of my first daughter and a separation from her father that knocked me on my butt that caused me to question my beliefs. I began looking around for the 'right' answers. I started visiting churches on Sundays. I figured Christianity had to be the 'right' choice. After all there was a church literally on every corner in my town. I did this for about two yrs. I settled into an Episcopal church as they had provided 'moms day out' gatherings each month. So- it was one Sunday morning in the middle of services there that I stood up in worship along with the crowd and was bopped on the head with the realization that I was a Baha'i! Yep. That's how it happened. I went home and called my dear friend, Rett, and asked "how do I become a Baha'i ?" She about fell out of her chair! :)
As a result of this conversion, I met my current husband. He was brought to the Faith through his first wife and had long been a Baha'i. He was also the only other Baha'i in my town. So we met and the rest is history.
After all these yrs I still love the Faith. I have had my ups and downs spiritually. The reason the Faith is so dear to me is because of its drive for Unity. Unity of all the world's religions, unity of the human race, unity of the sexes. You don't have to hate anyone to be a Baha'i. Its ok to love. You don't have to be perfect either. As my husband says- to become a Baha'i doest mean you have reached a destination (perfection) but rather that you agree to get in the car and go for the ride.
In this months Mother Earth News there was a large add for the Baha'i Faith. Here is the official site for the United States. www.us.bahai.org its worth checking out.
So for this season I have put up...
30 pints of zucchini relish- my aunt Helen turned me on to this delight- we planted the zuc last yr .
55 pints of navy beans, black eyed peas and black beans- I buy them dry and make them up all at once. I know I could just make them as I need them but I am too much of an impulse cook for that. They work out to about 15 cents per pint.
52 pints of jam- strawberry and blue berry from U-pick farms and rasberry from the produce auction in PenYan. They work out to about $1.45 per pint. I pay about $3.29 for a comparable product at a local market so that's a deal.
69 qts of salt potatoes. These were from the auction. I way over paid but they worked out to .75 cents per quart anyway. Not too bad.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Great Goats! Goats where my first choice following chickens for a homestead animal. I chose several Saanen does to start us out. What an adventure! We learned soooooooo much from the goats. We learned to milk for starters. We learned hoof care, coat care, how to build a decent fence. We learned how to assist in birthing. That was great for all of us. We learned how to give shots and to castrate and band horns. The fresh raw milk was just awesome!!!
Rabbits! I love rabbits. We have 5 does and a buck and varied #s of babies at any given time. I think they are a delight to watch. The kids and I built our rabbit/ hen houses and run. We have soggy land so the plan was to get them up off the ground. We created the building from recycled barn wood and economy 2x4s. Cheap. One of the pics show the project half done and one shows the buildings painted barn red.
Home steading is my way of life. Money drove the train for me. After creating a family of 9 I found that it was too hard to live life in the middle. Ya know...soccer mom, kids in lessons, fancy tags on their shirts, two incomes etc. It kind of came to me all at once after yet another finacial struggle...that with 7 kids we were living kind of an 'old fashioned' life style. After all, its not really the norm to have beyond 2-3 kids these days. But, we were trying to stuff ourselves and these kids into the rat race box and it just wasn't working at all. So one day I decided to make a plan. It started with a few chickens.....otherwise known as 'free' eggs...and it went from there.
Here are our very first chicks. I was freaked right out that I had to buy 25 chicks all at once! BUT, I figured that if this crazy idea didn't work I could always put a sign out front that said, " Free Chickens". These ladies have since grown up and most have moved into the soup pot.