Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She's got skillllllls, they're multiplying...

::Sigh:: I've spent less time on the computer lately because I've had the energy to get up and move around and therefore less time for posting blog updates. Ry went hunting to WY at the beginning of October. Moo had her birthday at the end of October and we celebrated at the local aquatic center (with a pretty cool pool). I'm back on track with my regular life, it feels. Slow and steady. Just the way I like it.

Ryan and I went out last Saturday and sat at the bookstore together because it was cheap and we both enjoy it. He grabbed a cabin making book like he always does and we started to discuss more about our dream. I confessed that sometimes it feels like we're "doomed" to be at our house forever. He helped me realize a couple things; I feel like that because I'm no longer in charge of the budget (HALLELUJAH) and don't see our savings getting bigger and secondly it really will happen. I feel a new burst of, "Yes it IS possible" and therefore feel inspired to keep going with my quest to learn a bunch of skills to help us live a more simple life.

I'd like to get us to a place where we are saving money on our grocery budget but we're not compromising on the quality of the food. I'd like to do as little processed/convenience food as possible. After doing the CSA this summer it was very, very (and multiply that by a hundred) apparent that its not enough to garden and get local produce. Its not going to save you a single penny if you don't know how to use it. Ry mentioned that he was still waiting to see where the savings was going to start kicking in for all the extra stuff we did this summer. Maybe its just a satisfaction thing, I don't know. Or... maybe I would have spent double and instead, because we did the farm thing, I was able to stay right in budget (or maybe a little over).

My goal this winter is to concentrate on the food aspect of our lives. I'd like to stock up some homemade goodies so that when I hit fat-and-pregnant-whale-can't-move stage we'll have good meals tucked away and be familiar enough with some other staples that its not considered work to do them. I plan to find recipes that we'd actually eat and then store them in my recipe program for next year. I'm realizing that my food goals are falling under the label of wholefoods. Searching for "whole foods cookbooks" or "homestead cookbook" or even "farm to table cookbook" at the library brings back a lot more options that I actually like and would use. I've picked over 3 cookbooks and entered in all the recipes I see us actually eating. I'd say my collection is on its way.

I'm also going to wait and see if I get the pasta machine for Christmas, if not I'm going to have to spring for it myself... because I want it THAT BAD. I borrowed my sister's electric one and holy crap it was amazing. I think I'm going to stick more closely with who we'd like to be eventually and go for the non-electric one... but I anticipate being able to make just as awesome pasta with it. That and a tortilla press. That's what I really want. I am trying to stay away from gadgets, but without these two I don't think I can commit to putting the effort into rolling out either of the doughs to have it actually make a dent in our food bill. I can however live without the yogurt maker... I made my first batch tonight and I am shocked at how easy it was. Tomorrow I'm going to set aside a starter for the next batch and then experiment with flavoring it. Do you know what equipment I used? A saucepan and Ryan's thermos that he used to take to his security job. RIDICULOUS. I mixed some today with strawberry jelly and both the girls ate a TON of it. I also made my first batch of homemade crackers. I'm not too pleased with it because I couldn't get the dough thin enough for my preference. I read that someone rolls their cracker dough out with their pasta machine which only made me want a pasta machine even more. I hate feeling the wanty-wants around Christmas time. It makes me feel greedy and superficial. Oh well.

So that's what the not-consumed-with-children portion of my brain has been thinking about lately. The totally-consumed-with-children portion of my brain has been trying to reign in my impatience and subsequent adult temper tantrums that seem to very promptly follow a certain two-year-old's struggle with obedience. She's a good kid but MAN I have been convicted regarding impatience toward her. What you are at home is what you really are. Its easy to pretend to have it all together while out in public... but does that really matter when the little person who is forming her thoughts, behaviors, and standards by mimicking my behavior can see through the facade? I pray that she will see my imperfection and be able to connect it to my necessary, sincere, and sadly frequent apologies.

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