42 Things

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Ridiculous Chicken AKA Bird Brain

ridiculous chicken.

She has been laying eggs, but not setting, up in the hayloft.

Yesterday we blocked the entrance so today I got to witness the antics of a single minded chicken, desperate to get to her “Secret” nest.

Hanging off the side of the barn, perched precariously on dead grape vines etc. So tonight, i go to tuck the chickens in and she’s missing … looked all over for her.

Couldn’t find her.

Then, lo, what do I see?

Some feathers sticking out between barn boards… a 2 inch wide spot, she had some how managed to wedge herself into that spot and got stuck against a hay bale and couldn’t move.

At least we found her! I would hate to lose one of my Americaunas!

chubby cheeked sleek chicken awesomeness

chubby cheeked sleek chicken awesomeness


Life in Pictures

In case anyone who follows this blog is interested, here’s my instagram site:  http://instagram.com/42things

All I Want for Christmas is this Property Pt. 2

As the summer was waning we realized, we had to move for the winter.   Our summer house had windows that didn’t close and even doors that would not latch properly and only electric heat.   We would have easily been paying $4 – $5 a month for the electricity to heat that place.   Hoping against hope we waited for something to happen in our financial realm as Charlie (the guy who owns the property we want) had stated before he would not rent to us.

One morning he came over and had a crushing blow.  Someone had made an offer on the property and pretty much had it in the bag as he had the money already in hand.   We were so confused.   That was a difficult morning.   We knew that we had not just come here on a whim, however it may look to the rest of the world, but that we were lead here.   So after a few hours of crushing incredulous meanderings of thoughts and words, we realized, God MUST have something for us or he would not have brought us here.   I don’t know why we fell in love with Charlie’s place or why it feels like home to us but we have to move on.

The next morning we had found a 10 acre parcel with a tiny house to rent, great out buildings and it looked like we could eke through the winter there.   We could have chickens, there was lots of space to do stuff outside.  My office would have to be outside in one of the outbuildings but, we’d make it work.   It seemed impossible to get a hold of the owner, and he was slow in getting back to us.  But we were in a time crunch because the longer we waited we would have to be paying rent in two places for two months due to the rental agreement on the summer house.   Finally a week later with many emails, phone calls, meetings and the like we signed a year lease for the new rental thinking that perhaps this was the plan.  To just rent here and eventually we would be ready to make an offer on something better or more expensive than Charlie’s.

Two hours after we signed the lease, Charlie drove up.

“The deal is off, the guy lost his job and I want you guys to rent from me until you are ready to purchase,”  he said.

I stood there in a daze wondering, what the heck is going on?

Obviously we figured things out and we now live up here and I hope I never have to leave.   I have so many dreams for this property.

Best scenario, someone drops $250K into our bank account, on our doorstop or in my mail box and we pay Charlie in cash.  Worst scenario, we can’t jump through the hoops for mortgages, bc laws regarding “mobile” homes (it’s as permanent of a structure as any house for the last 40 yrs) and we lose the place.   We know we can afford it, we know we can make the payments, but even if the bank agrees there are housing laws here that make it really really difficult to transfer titles because of the house (trailer).

Pray for me my friends.  This is sitting heavy on my heart.  I think of it every day and pray we don’t ever have to leave.   It’s hard to hold back on the things I want to do, I begin a thought, a dream and then remember, “right, it’s not mine yet”


I leave you with a couple pictures.



All I Want for Christmas is this Land – Pt. 1

So I’m not sure how much I want to write here, it’s been a long long journey since May when we decided to move out here to Canyon… Maybe I should make this a miniseries.


Many times over the years we have enjoyed visiting the Creston Area and our great friends that live here and many times we have said “yeah, we should move here”  in that, it-was-a-great-holiday-we-love-it-here kind of way.   Not completely tongue in cheek but not completely serious either.   But we almost always wept when we left.   Somehow it always fed our souls to visit here.


May Long Weekend 2012

about 2 days into our vacation, Jeremy was plowing up a garden plot for our friends and I was lounging in a chair unknowingly getting a sunburn and drinking some lovely ale.

He walked over to me, and I looked at him and he said

“We’re moving”

I said “I know”


and for the first time we knew that this was something that was a reality, not just a theory. 


June Long Weekend 2012

There was this property that I had heard talk about that I had never seen but in the weeks leading up to this June visit I had started dreaming about and getting a strong feeling that we needed to go see it.

Well we went to see it, and I cried walking up the driveway, with it’s little grass tufts in the center and the rambleshack buildings all around.  I felt really HOME.   I had not felt that way about a place for a really long time.   At this time we were not ready to make an offer on it and contented ourselves with renting a place close to it that just “happened” to be ready for us.

So many little things aligned for our move in July.  Boxes, Trailers, people to help, Jeremy had already booked that time off way before and just… so many little things kept showing us the way.   I have never felt so at peace about such a huge change in my life.   God kept prompting us forward with little signs and gifts.  We didn’t ask for them, He just is good.

Summer was amazing, the rental was perfect for transition and for summer… it had a covered deck, a huge extra room for my office, and friends within a 2 min. walk. 


Up Next —>  We are living in our “forever home” but not owning it yet. 


The red circle is where we lived for the summer.Image


Personal Notes on 9/11

Something a little serious today.  I’m sure you can all guess what brought this on.

It was with horrible gut wrenching disbelief that my husband, my daughter and my 7 month pregnant self holed up for a few days in our home 11 years ago today.   Wondering what the world was coming to.   The scope of tragedy of the World Trade Center bombings touched everyone’s lives.

My heart goes out to every one who lost a loved one on that awful day.  My deepest sympathies, and empathy too as I’ve lost loved ones in my life time as well.

I think though, that was the beginning of a journey for me, for my family, to start thinking about the possibility, the eventuality, that we’ve come to rely too much on the governments of our nations.   That we had stopped thinking for ourselves, stop providing for ourselves, and had just followed the herd into the 21st century.

The birth of independent thinking began in me that day.  Nothing tangible, but just a spark of a survival instinct perhaps.  Also, as a Christian, bible verses came back to me about end times.

Over the next few months I was thinking, what are we doing?  We wouldn’t have a clue how to survive if these kinds of things keep happening.  We’re just sitting here either ignoring this fact, or being apathetic, or thinking that the powers that be will take care of us.   We have no skills.  What will our kids do if we die in some pre-apocalyptic event.
And thus begun our sojourn into the survivalist world.  I’ve been everywhere on the spectrum from obsessive to relaxed about learning and trying new things.  I’ve learned canning, one year I didn’t say no to ANYTHING that our neighbours got rid of out of the garden, I canned it all, I didn’t even let myself freeze anything in case of an EMP.   We’ve gone without ALL paper products, yes, all.   We didn’t even buy TP for a long time just to see if it could be done.   I learned to make soap.  I stored food.  And sometimes I did none of it, and let myself feel false guilt for not doing all the things I felt were necessary for survival.  Yes, I think I went a little crazy at times, in a frenzy to protect and teach my family.

I think I’ve come to a good balance now.   I know what I am capable of, I know things are possible that so many people in our westernized society would never dream of, and I can teach these skills to many.   Some things have stuck; I can make bread and yogurt with barely a thought now.   I am no longer scared of my pressure canner and will often get it out to preserve something that makes a handy meal.

I think as I mature, I begin to realize that so many things can be wrapped up in a few words.  Balance, Intentional Living and Relationships.   And as I mature I realize how often I go off course.   But I believe that God sent me on this journey to shake me out of my western apathy.   I don’t want this to become a preach, but more of a share.  Even before 9/11 and my quest for survival knowledge I’ve been far from God and not sure if Jesus even loves me anymore, it’s been a long long desert for me spiritually.   But I feel like this is something that God has given me to show me that I am a part of the Church, even if I can’t sit in a building every Sunday Morning.  I know a lot of my readers are Jesus Follower and a lot of you aren’t.   And I don’t know why I felt that I had to write this today.   It’s a scary thing to stand up and speak honestly about my failings, my utter lack of Christianity (little Christ) and yet to see that through it all there’s been a plan all along and God keeps bringing me back to himself through my own weaknesses and hungers of the flesh like, having control of everything and being too all or nothing, and self induced guilt.   And yet He lets me retain the dignity of things I’ve learned by making them things to teach.



Cherry Season

nothing more luxurious than having SCADS of cherries at your disposal, for free.

until you have to pit them all 😉

any hints?  any recipes?

The Original Paper Design

Something is not right.


why is the floor not all one piece?


meh, I’m too tired to do anything about it.

DIY Garden or Craft String Dispenser

If you are like me, you hate it when your twine or string jumps off it’s nice clean surface and finds the dirtiest corner to roll in when you are unraveling it in long lengths.  Or in the garden when you are tying up your vines it seems to always find the mud puddle to roll in.

So today I’m going to show you how I make my string dispensers that I can not dispense with or without *groan*

You will need:

A skein or ball of string or twine

A jar that your string fits into easily with a two part canning lid

mod podge or even white glue will work (not tacky glue)

a foam brush

a crop a dile big bite or other clean hole punching device (no burrs allowed)

a bit of fabric you love, a thin tip sharpie or other marker

a pair of fabric scissors

First trace the size of your canning lid insert onto the wrong side of your cloth and cut it out:

Generously coat your canning lid insert with your glue of choice:

And then place your circle of fabric over the canning lid insert and press it down with your gluey foam brush to get it all gluey and stuck.

The edges might be a bit of a challenge to get completely stuck down but, not to worry too much as the edges will be hidden by your canning jar ring in the end anyway.

let it dry for at least 30 minutes, and then punch your hole(s) in the fabric covered canning jar lid.  The key here is to not make your hole too much bigger than the string or it will always fall back down into the jar making it annoying to retrieve it every time.  For bakers twine I use a 1/8″ hole and for jute I use a 3/16″ hole.

String your thread through from the bottom of the canning jar insert

insert your string into the jar, place the insert on and tighten the ring… VOILA!

now you can get really creative!  use all kinds of different jar sizes and amounts of different string.  in one I have 4 different colors of twine wrapped around clothespins and 4 holes on the top … looks adorable, uses up the canning jar lid inserts you can’t reuse and is fun to make.

Thanks for reading!

If you would prefer to purchase instead of buying all the materials please contact me through either of my etsy shops noJOisaverage or 42things or through my Facebook Fanpage.

Homemade Pizza for Supper

Just to make you drool… it looks so good, can’t wait to dig in.