Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak.-Jay Leno
- Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
“There is no better time than now. The time to live is now. The time to dream is now. The time to imagine and forget the past is now. The time to shine is now. The time to bleed, sweat, and determine yourself for the things you want most is now.”
Fun in a Flashback
Two years ago, I had the privilege of volunteering for a wonderful lady, Laura who runs Triangle Therapeutic Riding Center in Reinholds, Pa. Running solely as a non-profit organization, helping children who are mentally or physically disabled, she seeks for grants and volunteers. She has recently opened a few paid positions, and quite often runs fundraisers. The latest event was July 22nd (Which I missed). Every so often, I will be posting upcoming events in which we can aid in helping her continue the Riding center!
Before I was dating Matthew, who is now my husband, horses were my passion, but as many of us learned, you need to have a great respect for these beautiful creatures. I’ve had friends paralyzed from falls, kicks, tumbles, and other forms of unexpected danger. I don’t know if I’d venture to add horses to my little homestead in the future. Its very possible that I would entertain the idea.
The First Step To Homesteading
If you already are, or desire to be self-sufficient, you may realize that it takes quite a bit of energy. For energy, you need at least decent health. Homesteaders can last up till their last days if they have excellent health. Now, for some of us, back pain, hip problems, and joint aches are unavoidable. I want to share with you 10 ways to improve your health, be it immunity or bodily pain
Make sure you are drinking a sufficient amount of water. Each person’s body is unique in this aspect. For instance, my body holds water, my husbands does not. He can drink and drink and drink, and it doesn’t show. I drink sixteen ounces and immediately bloat. A good ratio of water is 50% of your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 fl. oz. a day. If you’re a bloater, slowly work your body up to that amount. When you begin to consume the water amount required for your body, you will find more energy being given to you
#2 Adequate Sleep
Some people get 4 hours, others get 9-10 hours of sleep. However, sleep is one of the most sensitive areas in our life. Too little, and you will be facing burn out. Too much, and your body craves sleep like sugar. 6-8 hours is a good amount for most individuals, however, this may be an experiment that will take a while!
#3 Vitamin D3 and B12
These are essentially the feel good, get going vitamins. If you are a person who spends many hours a day out in the sun, D3 shouldn’t be much of a concern for you. However, if you are suck in a windowless building for most of the day, you should increase your intake of vitamin D3. Minimum suggestion is 400 IU/day. However, you can get capsules with doses as large as 10,000 IU. I will take a 400 IU tablet if I spend a short time outside. If it’s rainy for more than a day, and I’m indoors, I will take a 2000 IU tablet. B12 is a natural energizer. Many people are short on this vitamin. These can be boughten in small amounts and are excellent in dissolving capsules!
#4 Healthy Diet
Weed out unnecessary sugars, fake sugars, and high carbs from breads. These are energy killers and fat producers. Eat more natural proteins from beans, fish, lentil, and chicken to gain energy. For that sweet tooth, pick up some pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries. Uncooked veggies will supply most of the vitamins your body needs. Listen to your cravings.
#5 Pain Salve
If pain still does not ease up, great pain salves can relieve the stress put onto your body. Many use Hot and Cold, Bengay, and drug store products. Another well known natural pain reliever is Pain Relieving Liniment from J.R. Watikins, which I will have up for sale on this blog by next week!
#6 Go for a Walk
Walking is very beneficial. It improves metabolism, helps strengthen the heart, improves lung capacity, is an anti-depressant, and gets you out for exercise! Hopefully, this is a routine you can incorporate into your homesteading lifestyle!
#7 Set Goals
This may seem like it has no relation to health, but it increases productive hours, which aids in increasing stamina throughout a long day. So, set a few goals in the morning and get rolling!
#8 Start a stress relieving Hobby
If being a homesteader is a hobby to you, well then, your all set. If not, try to find something relaxing, whether its reading, writing, sewing, baking, or fishing. Take a load off your feet and enjoy life between work!
#9 Think of things that bring JOY and be POSITIVE
Nothing can have a greater influence on your longevity than a happy, carefree soul!
#10 Repeat These Actions Daily
Top Ten Resources for Gathering my Homesteading Information
Whether you like it or not, sometimes you have to learn. You have to put those tired eyes in search of black words on white paper- unless you’re reading off of an ipad or computer. The sources I used to get these books range from the library, Barnes and Noble, EBay, to Amazon. I love EBay for the fact that I can get top dollar books for a really small amount of money. It’s mine to keep. However, the downside is you have to wait several days for the book to get to you. The library is free for renting books. Barnes and Noble does charge top dollar for their books, however, you also have the option of sitting at their cafe while reading the book. I usually take a whole evening or so when I approach the use of Barnes and Noble.
I won’t keep you waiting for the list of resources I’ve gathered and used.
#1 Barnyard In Your Backyard
This book covers most of your typical ‘farm’ animals. It’s a great handbook when adding to your homestead. As you start out with different species and animals, you want to have a good idea of what you’re supposed to be doing. You don’t want to go into it cold turkey and end up with sick or diseased animals. I rented this from the library, though I’ve seen this on the shelves of many other book stores. It’s a moderately expensive book, ranging from $13.95-$22.00
#2 Becky’s Homestead
Becky was an encouragement to me when I first desired to start off with homesteading and self sufficiency. I was first introduced to her videos on youtube, later to find her website. As a woman, she finds many ways to make her own items. She focuses more on raising her own animals than gardening. But what really caught my attention was that she built her own log cabin. That takes a woman of dedication and hard work!
so, in case you’d like to check her homestead out, you can visit her website at
#3 Mini-Farming: Self-sufficiency on a 1/4 acre
A perfect book for beginning homesteaders. Touches base on most aspects of gardening and gives examples of different methods. Although the instructions are brief, it gives a good overview. It helps you to know what you need to know, and you can go from there with more detailed research
#4 The Backyard Homestead
This focuses on growing better, more efficient, organic crops. Truly helpful for those who are concerned with a natural diet and aim to eat organic produce.
The Next few are some of my detailed favorites. The headers are pretty self explanatory, so with no more hesitation, I will go ahead and give you the link to these sites!
#5 How to Raise Ducks
this is a website for retrieving the ebook How to Raise Ducks.
#7 Common Sense Homesteading
http://www.motherearthnews.com (the original guide to living wisely)
#9 Vertical Gardening
As I’ve probably mentioned earlier, we live in a weed infested community. It seems that some of us struggle with taming down nature more than others. I suppose it all has to do with what we have around our home. It doesn’t matter if we pull up every last root, shovel out old soil, insert matting, and layer it with stone. These buggers are a nightmare! I’ve even done a full natural de-weeding treatment. To no avail, they march right back into existence within days.
It wasn’t until a while ago that I began talking to my father about a friend we have whose words backed up some research I had done regarding weeds. When I was planning on turning a grassed area into a raised garden bed, I read about covering the ground with layers of newspaper. Perfect, I had my answer to not growing a raised grass bed! It didn’t cross my mind that it would indeed work on weeds as well.
5-6 layers is a pretty sure amount when smothering out any unwanted greens. As we all know, newspaper sheets can be pretty expansive. Though we do not get a daily paper, we do happen to get a weekly one. Going at this rate, it will take months to cover our two infested flower beds. By asking family and friends for unwanted newspaper this process can be sped up. A full newspaper can cover a 2 ft by 3 1/2 ft area. Hence, it takes a lot of newspaper!
The best part of this project is, you can either leave it on from late fall to early spring, or simply cover the newspapers with fresh compost and soil.
It’s the Little Things
You might say I’m dedicated for posting early every morning. In reality, I’m just trying to wake up. At this time the sun is still hiding and crickets are happily chirping away. Daisy and Daffy, however, are getting their morning exercise by scavenging my house. Often times they’ll find a drug in leaf by the front door which becomes a new specimen of food. Or they’ll attempt to help me write articles for my blog, which I had to take this picture with my phone the other morning. Daffy is more of a writer than Daisy. Daisy gets distracted easily by sweatpants strings.
It has been so much fun having the neighbors children involved. I think their little comments on the ducks are the things that keep a smile on my face. The little girl ran over to ask if her friend could look at the ducks, so I gladly said yes. I was just about to bring Daisy and Daffy in for the evening, so I left her pet Daisy. Then, it was like a child magnet activated and soon all of the girls’ brothers and sisters were gawking at the little duckling. Surprisingly Daisy didn’t seem to mind. She’s probably my tamest duck. With about 5 stubby hands on her body, she managed to start falling asleep on my hand. One of the boys piped up, “Wow, her feet feel like bubblegum when you blow a bubble out of your mouth!”
Very descriptive, kiddo! Not the first thing that came to mind for me. Then, one of the little girls flopped down in the grass and sighed, “I could just watch these ducks all day”. Apparently even her mother gets quite the entertainment while she’s washing the dishes. I’m blessed to have neighbors who enjoy sharing the fun with these two footed anti-depressants.
Meet David and Carmen
The clouds were holding back tears and my car was guzzling gas, but my journey through rural Pa to pick up our two new members was more than anticipated! My husband went along for the ride so he could go to the hobby shop. We also got to meet the awesome family who owned these two beauties. David and Carmen had quite the privacy except for a few chickens that seemed to mind their own business.
However, once situated between my home and a very kind family next to us, David and Carmen hit celebrity status with our neighbor’s kids. When the little girl saw the ducks she says, “They better not swim in our pool, it has chlorine and they might get sick!”
I told her not to worry, as they will have their own little plastic pond! The next day she drew me two cute ‘stick’ ducks and I hung it on my fridge next to My husband’s little sisters drawing of our other ducks.
Our neighbor’s kids affectionately nicknamed the ducks Swimming Pool and Bumblebee. Gotta love young minds!
Top 5 Ways to get Second (or first) Hand Items for Super Cheap
Top 5 Ways to get Second (or first) Hand Items for Super Cheap
Some of these things are a give and take, depending on where you live. I chose the top 5 in my life. These proved to be most successful in supplying what I had need for. It may take a lot of patience and sometimes require frequent visits, but you’ll eventually find quite a bargain!
#1 Second Hand Shops
Goodwill is known by their extensive clothing sales. However, good crates, containers, and decorations can be found there for a low cost. Other stores like this can be found close to or even in town. Something like a ‘Reuzit’, or as I have pictured below, Parish Bargain shops by Melbourne Second Hand Shops.
#2 Yard Sales, Garage Sales, etc.
This can be a long daunting task. Sometimes junk, sometimes treasure. I’ve found quite a few planters, kennels, fish tanks, and other cages to be at these places. I always like to have an open mind when going to these places, because things can often have more than just one use. Plastic cups can make great planters for small plants if you take a little time to drill or cut holes in the bottom of the cup. You do want to know some basic prices before going on this endeavor so you don’t get ripped off.
#3 Antique Shops
Although this might be a far cry from inexpensive, if you’re desperate to spruce up your garden space or home, the items behind the name can be quite crafty! We have antique shops lining our roads in my area, so the prices have been quite low due to competition.
#4 Standing Rummage sales
These are rare, but I’ve been blessed to have one of these very close to my house. A man has a little outside shop. Nothing fancy, but always has tools, bins, crates, etc. sitting outside and goes by an honesty policy. Drop the money in the bucket and those items are yours!
#5 Reuse from what you bought
Cereal boxes, meat containers, cans, and jars are all very resourceful, and are included in the price of your goods! So why not take advantage of that empty peanut butter jar? When my mom and dad order chinese, they always save the plastic containers that the chicken comes in, either for themselves or to give to me and my husband. I often use them for packing sandwiches in his lunch.
Taking Time to Relax
Homesteading and self-sufficient lifestyles keep each participant working. Long hours are put in. Whether you’re a stay at home wife, or a man who has made that his full time lifestyle, there’s always something to do. Watering, weeding, canning, cooking, caring for the animals, and other daily chores around the home.
If you’re like me, sometimes I get too busy and forget to stop for lunch. That’s ok, life is like that. We were made to be able to work. However, its important for us to set aside some time. Maybe a whole day. A day to reflect, to spiritually rejuvenate, to spend with loved ones. For me, that day is today. Minimal work is done on this day. It’s not wrong to take care of the things that need care. Feeding the animals is important and necessary.
If we didn’t take time off, we’d be in the burn out bin faster than we could blink. Its natural to have a day of rest. So, the next time you roll out of bed exhausted, worn out, and dreading the projects ahead, pamper yourself. Do whats necessary and just quit for 24 hours.