Saturday, January 3, 2015

Beginning a New Year

Welcome 2015. 

I Gladly welcome in a New Year.
I have never wanted a year to be done, and gone, and put to rest, as much as I did the year 2014.
The hardest part for me, personally, in keeping up with the blog was writing during the hardest times. I naturally go silent during troubles or changes. And this year was filled with some whoppers- like hospital visits, near death experiences, 4 separate surgeries, and cancer scares. We lost a lot. We learned a lot.
When I read other people's blogs they present perfect worlds, perfect solutions, and pretty places. I cannot keep up with that. I have to say with sincerity, the world is not a perfect place  and being a blog writer during hardships is difficult at best. I am sorry for long absences and I am grateful for every reader I have. Thank you so much.

That being said, I have to admit- I learned a lot in 2014.

We gardened a serious yard garden for the first time ever. I loved every minute of it.

We canned everything from that garden that we didn't eat right away. I dehydrated herbs like basil and made my own seasoning mixes. I made my own infused oils for both cooking and health (like garlic oil and Calendula oil.)  Fresh salsa was on the menu often. It was wonderful experience for all of us.

As for homesteading, the experience of canning and prepping my own was amazing. I became more of a Prepper than I ever had imagined. And I am so glad I did! I have always thought it wise to stash something for an emergency. My naive mindset was to set to prepare for something big -like a disaster: an earthquake, or a storm.  But I never realized that that list should include personal disasters- like sudden illness, unemployment, and loss.  The list of what could go wrong goes much further than that; but my point is more to make it known that events can occur at a blink of an eye. And preparing ahead of time is smart. I am so glad we did. That stash of items not only got us through- I am making it again as soon and as fast as I can. And I urge others to do the same. Don't wait for the disaster to occur. Give yourself at least a small reprieve from the stress by knowing you are able to provide for your family-for at least a day, or a week. Longer if possible.  The traumatic events causing the need- are enough to go through!  Ease the burden by being able to at least provide for your family for a small window of time. It helps so much, the benefits are immeasurable.
 (I plan to write more on this in the future.*)

During the year, I had some family who visited. We were sitting on my back porch- surrounded by my homemade wind-chimes, my plants and flowers, boxes of herbs growing healthy.  I'd just walked up with my little 6 year old niece from giving her a tour of our garden- her mouth was full of my wild lettuce I'd just let her pick on her own and taste. Her mother reprimanded her- "don't eat that! It's not safe!" to which,  I laughed- "It's as safe as it gets- fresh from the garden, organic, all natural and ready for salad." At this point, my mother in law looked around and bluntly observed, "You are such a hippy."  And that one personal remark struck home. I was flat out called a hippy. At the time I laughed. Never thought of myself as such. But it struck home.

I have thought of it a lot this week. I am. Only they do not call it hippy so much anymore- crunchy, yes. Ha! But I got to thinking of the all natural things I reach for- and the list is amazing. They say if you try something new for 3 months, it becomes habit. I have done that and more- in the two years. A fact that was proven to me this last October when we suddenly found ourselves packed to move to a place that wasn't ready. With everything in boxes, unprepared and unpacked- we spent 1 night at a hotel with nothing. We purchased dinner on the fly and I grabbed 1 box of baking soda. Yes, baking soda. With that box we all had instant toothpaste, deodorant, and bodywash,  and I could wash my hair..... I figured for emergency get through- I'd covered my bases pretty well! LOL  But just looking back on it now- I have to laugh- who does that?!! LOL - me- my hippy self, and I. (grin) guess she called it right. :)
What else do I do?

When faced with bug bites, I grab Lavender essential oil. lavender-for-buggy-bites
When I have a stuffy nose I use peppermint essential oil.
- If it persists, I make ginger tea.
For shampoo, body wash, and bath soap I mix coconut milk with castille soap. diy-homemade-body-wash
I make my own toothpaste from coconut oil, Bentonite clay and baking soda.
I make my own deodorant. 3-diy-all-natural-deodorants
I make my own lotions, and face cream. simple-natural body care
I use witchhazel for acne.
I make my own house cleaners. diy-cleaning
I make my own laundry
I make my own body sprays.
I make my own lip balms diy-homemade-lipbalm
I cut my own hair.
I use aloe as a detangler, and to stop frizzy curls.100% natural detangler
I eat Real food.
I make my own fruit roll ups.real-food-snacks-fruit-leathers
I make homemade yogurt.
I use raw local honey for allergies.
I mix raw honey with lemon juice and cinnamon for a homemade cough syrup.
If I'm in pain, I take turmeric.
If I need energy I grab a spoonful of coconut oil.
I take ACV for heartburn.
I use vinegar and baking soda to unclog drains.
When I run out of garlic powder or onion flakes, I dehydrate more.seasonings-dehydrated-vegies

And the list goes on...
In trying times, the list expanded and was confirmed and reaffirmed and necessary. My point is, I proved to myself to be true to what I have written. I proved to myself to be true, and do practice what I preach (so to speak). That acceptance for myself, of myself ,was more valuable than any resolution I could make this New Years.
 I am what I am. Crunchy, and Hippy and still learning -all rolled into one. With this admission, I am happy to roll onto a New Year with freedom to move forward, Happy to be who I am. :)
Thank you so much.
Happy New Years! - Janey

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