Planning A New Plan?

For the last 18 months, we have been in planning mode.  Planning a change of job for hubby; planning the sell of our house; planning the purchase of property; planning our move to the country; planning for animals;  planning for outbuildings;  planning . . . . planning . . . . planning . . . .

The problem with all of our planning is that it really isn’t moving us any closer to our goal.  While we have certainly been busy planning, we have not been busy living on our homestead.  We’re not busy planting the trees for our orchard.  We’re not putting in our raised beds for our garden.  We’re not building a chicken coop which means we’re not raising chickens.  We’re not putting up fencing.  We’re not putting up a barn.  We don’t have goats.  We don’t have sheep.  No ducks, pigs, horses, guinea fowl, or any other animals we’ve talked about having on our little homestead.  I’m frustrated!!!  Hubby is frustrated!!!

Planning isn’t a bad thing.  For a matter-of-fact, a life change as big as the one we are trying to make means planning is necessary .  But hubby and I had to begin asking ourselves if all our plans made sense.  Was it time to scrap all the plans we had made and start all over again?  Should we keep some of the plans and change others?  Should we keep things the way they are and just wait?  Would changing the order of our plan create forward movement?

Ultimately we decided that it was time to make changes.  It was time to start planning a new plan.  We had begun to define insanity – doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. We need a more workable plan that gets us on our homestead more quickly.  A plan that moves us toward our goal instead of walking in a circle.  A plan that allows me to sooner, rather than later, begin sharing stories of the joys and struggles on our property.  Pictures of our land, our orchard, our garden, our animals and our home.   A plan that creates positive momentum.

I wish I had wonderful details to share about our new plan, but there is still a lot of discussion taking place as we are planning our new plan.  What I can tell you is that it feels good to let go of the insanity.  It feels good to look at things from a different angle and to start over again.  While the plan may change, our goal won’t change.  We will one day be living our homesteading life.  Now we just need to figure out a faster and better way of getting there.

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Today we said good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014 and I enter 2014 with some big hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

A few days ago I shared four things I’m going to tackle in 2014.  You can read that post here.  Number 4 on that list was sure to be the toughest for me, but I did quite well having spent maybe 15 minutes on the computer today, until starting this blog post of course.  And as expected, by not spending so much time on the computer, I got other things done which meant instead of sitting at the computer, I was up doing things which helped me tackle Numbers 1 and 2 on the list.

My monthly challenge, which is number 3 on the list, also went well and today’s soup meal became a learning experience as well.  I made Ham and 15 Bean soup for lunch today, but what I wasn’t aware of, is that ham and beans is a traditional New Year’s meal.  Although my research tells me a meal of black-eyed peas and ham hocks was traditionally prepared because it would feed a large family nicely and plenty to eat was believed to mean you would have good luck and prosperity.  My Ham and 15 Bean soup had black-eyed peas, so hopefully that means good luck and prosperity for our family.  Maybe a move to our homestead this year?!!!! 🙂

2013 is now in the past.  It was a year of making big decisions and learning many new things.

Now we enter 2014!  I’m very excited about what this year has in store for me and my family and am ready to make 2014 a year to remember!!

Tackling 4 in 2014

For 2013 I vowed to leave Facebook and on January 1st I closed out my account and didn’t look back.  I thought it would be much harder than it was and it was a very good change in my life for many reasons.  

Now, as 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to tackle 2014 and I have some big plans for the coming year.

Some may call them goals.

Some may call them resolutions.

You can call them whatever you like.

But here are the things I would like to accomplish in 2014.

1.  Lose weight.  Not just a little weight, but a significant amount of weight – 40+ pounds. 

2.  Exercise daily.  Not a walk around the block once a week, but a regular daily exercise routine and stick with it all year.  It pretty much goes along with #1, but I need to get in much better physical shape.

3.  Complete 12 monthly challenges in 2014.  That is one challenge a month that will improve my mental, emotional, physical and/or financial health.  This was actually hubby’s idea, so credit where credit is due.

The 1st of each month I will share my challenge of the month and then the outcome of the challenge will be shared the last day of the month.

4.  Reduce my computer time to no more than 2 hours per day.  This will likely be the most difficult challenge to accomplish in 2014.  The only exception is if I’m using computer time to learn something, such as how-to videos on knitting, quilting, making soap,  etc.  I also have most of my recipes on my computer, so using the computer to get a recipe for a meal is the last exception.  In other words, my computer time needs to be educational or productive.  No more sitting at the computer looking through Pinterest, reading news stories, checking email or doing anything on the computer than keeps me from doing more productive things in my life.  And no roll-over minutes!  So no more than 2 hours per day on the computer which should go a long way in helping me accomplish #1, #2 and #3 🙂

Ultimately, tackling these 4 things in 2014 is meant to make me more disciplined and discipline is necessary if I’m going to be a successful homesteader.



The 2014 Challenge

Hubby suggested that in 2014 we challenge ourselves and commit to a different 30-day challenge each month in 2014. Not silly challenges like eating chocolate every day for 30 days, although that one sounds like a really good challenge. Wait, I’ve successfully been on that challenge my entire life.

Our goal is to make changes in our lives that will be long lasting.  By committing to something for 30-days, that change will hopefully become a permanent part of our lives.

For example, hubby wants to do a 30-day water challenge. For 30 days we drink nothing but water. Since I rarely drink water that doesn’t include tea with agave, that one will likely be quite difficult for me. However, the hopeful outcome would find us choosing water as our drink of choice more times than not after the 30 days.

Another challenge might be walking 2 miles every day or no eating out for 30 days. Walking obviously has great health benefits and not eating out also has health and financial benefits tied to it.

We’ve come up with a few potential challenges, but would like to hear from you.  What are some interesting challenges you’ve taken on or maybe just considered?

Big Weekend of Projects Completed

A few months ago, hubby, Lili and our son Josh, used some unused landscape blocks and built a fire pit. That little project lead to a bigger project, which was to put in a patio around the fire pit. We also needed to rebuild our deck and since one set of stairs would lead down to the patio, it was almost an all-in-one project.

We finished the deck rebuild a few weekends ago, except for one set of stairs that would lead down to the patio. This weekend, the patio project was completed. The stairs have also been started and should be completed in the next few days.

Next on my backyard to-do list, is landscaping around the patio.  Something simple, but very needed.

Another project completed this weekend was the garden clean up. If we’re still here next fall, I hope to have a fall/winter garden going, but this year is about focusing on getting our house ready to sell.

This week I’m going to tackle some painting projects inside. I’ve had one room prepped and ready to paint for several days. I planned to paint it several times during the last week, but other things got in the way. If all goes well, it will be painted in the next few days. And if things go really well, I may actually get another room prepped and painted.

Overall, it has been a great weekend for finishing projects and I am looking forward to sitting on our new patio with a cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fire in our fire pit.

**Before and after pics will be posted soon.


Last night I wrote this blog post.  Our lives had gotten off track and we had lost our focus.  The realization that things are out of control is eye-opening, but it’s the steps you take afterwards that really matter.

As I do every morning, I checked my email and had an update from Marc and Angel Hack Life .

WOW!!!!  I’m quite sure they wrote this blog post based completely on our lives over the last several weeks.  Seriously, I couldn’t have described what’s been going on any better.

Nothing like a good morning affirmation that we were on the wrong track and know that we are now back on the right track.

Here are 9 Warning Signs You’re on the Wrong Track

1.  All the decisions you’ve made someone else made for you.

There are people who live their entire lives on the default settings, never realizing they can customize everything.  Don’t be one of them.

You have to live your own life your own way.  That’s all there is to it.  Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for something that makes us feel alive.  It’s your duty to find it and keep it lit.  You’ve got to stop caring so much about what everyone else wants for you, and start actually living for yourself.

Find your love, your talents, your passions and embrace them.  Don’t hide behind other people’s decisions.  Don’t let others tell you what you want.  Design and experience YOUR life!  The life you create from doing something that moves you is far better than the life you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it. 

2.  You’re only doing what you’re doing because it’s safe.

Never let your fear decide your future.  To play it too safe is one of the riskiest choices you can make.  You cannot grow unless you are willing to change and adapt.  You will never improve yourself if you cling to what used to be simply because it’s familiar and comfortable.

Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be.  The bold steps you take into the unknown won’t be easy, but every step is worth it.  There’s no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream, but this chase is what gives meaning to life.  And even if you have to fail several times before you succeed, your worst attempt will always be 100% better than the person who settles and never tries at all.

3.  You have chosen the easiest possible path.

Nothing in life is easy. Don’t expect things to be given to you.  Go out and achieve them.  Good things come to those who work for them.  Some have natural talent, while others make up for it with tremendous heart and determination, and it’s almost always the latter group that succeeds in the long run.

There is too much emphasis on finding a ‘quick fix’ in today’s society.  For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of exercising and eating well.  No amount of magic fairy dust replaces diligent, focused, hard work.

Working and training for something is the opposite of hoping for it.  If you believe in it with all your heart, then work for it with all your might.  Great achievements must be earned.  There is no elevator to success; you must take the stairs.  So forget how you feel and remember what you deserve.  NOW is always the best time to break out of your shell and show the world who you really are and what you’re really made of.  Start right where you are, use what you have, do what you can, and give it your best shot.

4.  Obstacles are all you see.

The big difference between an obstacle and an opportunity is how you look at it.  Look at the positives and don’t dwell on the negatives.  If you keep your head down, you’ll miss life’s goodness.

There’s no shortage of problems waiting to be addressed.  When you see problems piled on top of problems, and when there seems to be no end to the work that must be done in order to resolve them, what are you really seeing?  You’re looking at a mountain of opportunity.  You’re looking at a situation in which you can truly make a difference.  You’re looking at an environment where you can reach great heights by raising the stakes and pulling the reality of what’s possible along with you.

When you look at an obstacle, but see opportunity instead, you become a powerful source that transforms grief into greatness.  (Read Flourish.)

5.  You are working hard, but making zero progress.

To achieve success and sustain happiness in life, you must focus your attention on the right things, in the right ways.  Every growing human being (that means all of us) has resource constraints: limited time and energy.  It is critical that you spend your resources effectively.  You have to stay laser-focused on doing the RIGHT work, instead of doing a bunch of inconsequential work, right.

Not all work is created equal.  Don’t get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important.  Don’t confuse being busy with being productive.

6.  You have a started a dozen projects and completed none of them.

We are judged by what we finish, not what we start.  Period.

Think about it, you rarely fail for the things you do.  You fail for the things you don’t do, the business you leave unfinished, and the things you make excuses about for the rest of your life.

In all walks of life, passion is what starts it and dedication is what finishes it.

7.  You are too busy to connect with others in a meaningful way.

Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life for yourself.  Never get so busy that you don’t have time to be kind and connect with others.  The happiest lives are connected to quality relationships.  If you are too busy to share an occasional laugh with someone, you are too busy.

Truth be told, sometimes we’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are and who we’re with.  So lift your head up today and appreciate those standing beside you.  The people you take for granted today may turn out to be the only ones you need tomorrow.

Oh, and if you’re currently on the fast track to success, be sure to be nice to people on your way up, because you might meet them again on your way back down.  Remember life is a circle.  Everything comes back around.

8.  The people you make time for don’t make time for you.

Wrong things happen when you trust and worry about the wrong people.  Don’t make too much time for people who rarely make time for you, or who only make time for you when it’s convenient for them.  Know your worth.  Know the difference between what you’re getting from people and what you deserve.

Surround yourself with those who will support you when it rains, not just when it shines.  And above all, remember that people come and people go.  That’s life.  You have to stop holding on to those who have let go of you long ago.  (Read Emotional Blackmail.)

9.  You are playing a role in life’s drama circle.

Needless drama doesn’t just walk into your life out of nowhere; you either create it, invite it or associate with those who bring it.  Do not let anyone’s ignorance, hate, drama or negativity stop you from being the best person you can be.

Be an example of a pure existence.  Don’t spew hostile words at someone who spews them at you.  Ignore their foolish antics and focus on kindness.  Communicate and express yourself from a place of peace, from a place of love, with the best intentions.  Use your voice for good – to inspire, to encourage, to educate, and to spread the notions of compassion and understanding.

If someone insists on foisting their hostility and drama on you, simply ignore them and walk away.  Sometimes people will talk about you when they envy the life you lead.  Let them be.  You affected their life; don’t let them affect yours.  Those who create their own drama deserve their own karma.  Don’t get sidetracked by people who are not on track.

Next steps…

If you are reading this, smile.  Although nothing in life is ever guaranteed, you can always choose to make the present a positive, productive experience.

What you do with this moment is what’s most important, because the present is the steering wheel of your life.  The only difference between where you are and where you want to be, at any point in time, is what you are presently doing.  Your present actions can instantly steer you onto the right track.  From this moment forward everything changes if you want it to.  You simply have to decide what to do right now.

Secret of Change

Several months ago, hubby and I began having conversation about our life.  More specifically,  how we were not living the life we want to live.  This took us on a journey of change.   Not that there aren’t regular changes in life, but this was about something bigger.  It was about starting over and living a  life that would more deeply connect us to nature and each other.  It was about self-sufficiency.  It was about controlling our lives instead of letting life control us.

Then life got off course and for the last several weeks we have been living in limbo out of fear and uncertainty.  We had lost control and were allowing life’s circumstances to control us.

But not any more.  We are taking back control.  We’re focusing our energy on the changes we want and need to make so we can build a happy and fulfilling life for ourselves.  This is a good place to be.  This is the right place to be.