Coffee Biz Update: I've Got the Power

You read that right. Oh boy…we have been waiting for this day for a LONG TIME. I can’t even remember when we started running power to the garage…but I am pretty sure it was last fall. Wow. That took a.very.long.time. But as of August 30th, 2014, HOUSTON WE HAVE POWER!! Big thanks to my Dad, and Paul for getting this thing DONE. Phew. My dear sweet husband can now plug in his table saw in the garage without having to run a 75′ extension cable from the house. If you can’t tell I am beyond excited about this. We have LIGHTS in the garage (no longer hanging flashlights from the rafters to work in the dark.) Doesn’t everyone work in their garage after dark…or is that just us crazy country folks?

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So…that’s big news on the coffee front too! Means we can actually power our roaster, run an a/c unit, turn on a light, and listen to music…ALL at the same time. Like whoa. Ok, I’ll stop with the dramatics and the all-caps. In case you are wondering what kind of crazy electrical set-up we gots going on out there…I might have to leave that post to the Wise One. It’s something like a subpanel with 60amp circuit, with like 220v plugs…or something. I’ll stop now, lest I make myself look entirely dumb.

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We have also finished all the insulation…eww, thanks Alex’s Dad for handling that bear of a job. Finally, we got the ceiling dry-walled. I actually helped with that. I’m not trying to brag or anything, I am just making a note that I did help. And it was hard. Really hard. Not sure my arms have ever burned so hard trying to hold something heavy above my head for that long. Someone sympathize for me, please…I know my husband won’t…He works this hard all the time! Nevertheless, ya’ll better believe I was soaking in my Epsom salts that night.

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I think that’s about the round up for this week. Power, insulation, drywall. Tons accomplished! We have been blessed with so much help…but there’s always room for more! And, we pay in beans!

What’s next? Plumbing. This is going to be a bear. (As if the other isn’t!) We have decided to do a sump pump instead of the above ground gravity fed pipe like we originally considered doing. This means digging a big trench, jackhammering part of the concrete floor, etc. Thankfully, we are blessed with talented friends and family so we are escaping all of this without the cost of hiring anyone.

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I look over these things…sometimes I question why are we doing this? For us, it has kind of been an Abraham journey. We don’t see the big picture and how this is going to go. God has lit the path only for the next step. We have big dreams for this business, but they all seem so overwhelming in light of where we are and how far we have to go. In the meantime however, we are taking steps in faith in the direction of FORWARD. The journey has taken a lot of courage, but we are confident that He who has begun a good work will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).

Check out more in the Coffee Biz Series:

Starting a Biz in NC

Water Works

Walls Up

Why I Chose Young Living Oils Series: Reason 1

I have a tendency to question everything. Literally. My husband will confirm that if you doubt me. When it comes to big decisions, I spend countless hours reading, wrestling with my thoughts, doubting, confirming, second guessing, until I finally reach a decision. Sounds like a laborious process doesn’t it? I guess, being a stay at home mom without a lot of adult conversations happening on a daily basis, I rely on my obsessive desire to learn more as my means by which I prevent my brain from going to mush. I like to research and pretend that the laundry pile isn’t growing by the minute (can I get an amen?). I admit, I am also a bad decision maker. I make decisions I regret, and then have to deal with the consequences. I beat myself up “if only I had researched more”. I really want you guys to know that I strive to be a really honest person, so that’s why I am spilling my beans here. Or guts rather…probably some beans in there too.

So all that to say, that as with most things in my life, essential oils was one of those things I majorly researched before jumping on board with a company. There are a ton of companies that sell essential oils. There is a lot of heated debate as to who is the best. I have no desire to company bash or play the comparison game. I just want to share why I love what I picked!  I have read more info and articles than I care to admit to myself. I even lost sleep over it a few nights. I guess I just wanted to be 100% I was totally convinced before I shared anything here. Ya know? But hey that’s just me. Not everyone has the “I need to read everything” bone in their body and that’s OK!! Nevertheless, I know I appreciate condensed versions of information…as does my hubby. So I am partly writing this for him…so he can know what’s going on in my brain without a huge divulge of info all at one. Let’s see if I can actually “condense” it…ya’ll know how wordy I tend to be…I decided to split the post into multiple posts for this very reason…so you don’t have so much to chew on all at once. You’re welcome. So, let’s get do this!

Reason #1: “The Known Factor”

Ya’ll know how much I love my homegrown veggies right? I mean, I do talk about them all the time on here. Or how about my failed attempt at growing wheat? My beloved sourdough? I know where all these things came from!! So, in regards to the essential oils, I am referring to this as the “known factor”. Young Living has a wonderful guarantee on their oils called Seed to Seal (really cool videos on that site if you get a chance to check it out!). Basically, what this means is that they can track the progression of the plant from it’s seed all the way to bottle of oil. They accomplish this by OWNING their own farms throughout the world. In addition, they have some partner farms that they work closely with to ensure these practices are replicated as they would be on Young Living farms. Young Living also distills all of the oils from their own farms. This is amazing. They open their farms up to the public if anyone wishes to participate in the harvest or distill of the oil.

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Young Living uses their own propriety weed and pest control using their very own essential oils, neem oil and castile soap.  I appreciate their honesty in their approach to weed and pest control. This is a subject near and dear to my heart as I struggle every year in the garden fighting off these very things! They use sustainable farming practices and treats the land and the plants with integrity. The founder of Young Living, Gary Young, is brilliant when it comes to soil composition, climate, altitudes, and other environmental factors that come into play when trying to grow plants that display very high therapeutic compounds. And the cherry on top of this?! They use worm castings for compost. Remember my story about trying that?

If you are wondering (because I wondered myself) my stance on “wildcrafted” oils…basically oils that are distilled from plants that are grown in the wild. I have a couple of quick thoughts. Wild is not always better. I never consume “wild caught” fish from China. The wild strawberries that grow in my ditch are not very tasty. That’s just me. I am not trying to be petty here. Please hear me out. I am all for wild things growing (compost squash anyone?), but unless it’s coming out of my backyard, the “wild” factor doesn’t really entice me. Here’s why.

  1. How I do I know where this wild plant was harvested from? What if it was in an area of croplands that was heavily sprayed with something? And even if it WAS verified to come from a clean area…read on.
  2. Wild is not necessarily sustainable. There is a HUGE demand for oils right now. True Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) oil originates from the high altitudes in France. There is not possibly enough wild lavender to supply the whole world with this oil. Nevertheless, there are a lot of companies selling wild-crafted lavender oil. Something just doesn’t add up for me there. Young Living is the largest grower of True Lavender. Young Living is committed to sustainability and is growing, harvesting and replanting these plants constantly. Read more about True Lavender in the article titled “The Royal Return“. That is just one oil!

This is just one of the many reasons I am really, truly happy with my oils. I get to KNOW this information! I appreciate expertise, as I am pretty sure I could never grow therapeutic lavender in my backyard! I hope you will stick with me through this series! I value your feedback and comments or questions!!If you are interested in more information visit my Essential Oils page here on the site!

Post image courtesy of Young Living. 

Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

We’re creeping up once again on that dreaded time of year…the time when school starts back and the germies start spreading around. Sigh. I think sick kids is a parent’s worst fight. I’m going to be completely transparent here…I have some serious anxiety issues when it comes to my kids getting sick. I am constantly having to remind myself that I am not in control. I have to rest in the knowledge that God has not neglected us. I am also thankful that we have never encountered any serious illnesses. I wrestle with guilt when I feel anxiety over a runny nose when I know so many parents struggle with much worse issues. My heart goes out to you who are suffering from much worse. Nevertheless, it is a struggle that we can all relate to. As moms, our children carry part of our hearts around…ok, I won’t lie…my kids carry most of my heart. I would take their burdens any day. We know that is not how things are designed though. On this side of heaven we are going to have to keep fighting. I am looking forward to the day where these worries are no more.

In the meantime however, we strive to maintain the best health that we can through our own choices! I ultimately cannot control if my kids get sick or not, but I can give wellness my best shot! We accomplish this through a variety of ways, mainly diet, healthy vitamins, natural remedies, & essential oils. One of our favorite immune boosting “vitamins” is Elderberry syrup!! So, I thought we would share this today!

First, let me tell you why we think this is such good stuff!
1. Elderberries have been around for centuries and people have been using them to treat a number of different problems. They are known for their immune boosting properties, helping coughs, colds, influenza, etc. Elderberries are high in vitamin A & C and also high in iron. The antioxidant levels in elderberries are high and thus makes them a good candidate for combating free radicals in the body. Elderberries have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries or cranberries! Want to learn more about antioxidants? I found this article helpful and easy to understand!!

2. Elderberries are high in the polyphenol anthocyanin.

“Anthocyanins have been shown to boost the production of immune cytokines. The cytokines are key messengers in the immune system to help regulate the immune response. This allows the body to defend against disease. These studies have shown the antioxidant balance of elderberry to be greater than equal doses of vitamin E and vitamin C.” Read more

Studies have also found that they anthocyanins have been effective in reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes, thus helping sinus issues.

3. And if you still need some convincing read this:

“Viruses multiply by invading our cells through their hemagglutinin spikes. These spikes allow them to penetrate the cell membrane and move in and take control the cell. Elderberry contains a potent antiviral agent called “antivirin” which helps neutralize the activity of the hemagglutinin spikes. When these spikes are deactivated, the viruses are no longer able to get inside of the cell and replicate.”
Read more

Muahahah. Elderberry Super Powers! This is good stuff. Let’s make it shall we?

Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 knob of ginger, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup of honey, local and raw if possible!

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Turn the stove off and let the pan sit until contents have cooled sufficiently.
  4. Strain the elderberries and other ingredients out of liquid. Use a spoon to mash the berries in the strainer.
  5. {Optional} Often times I will add the smashed berries back into the pan and add another cup of water and boil for 10 more mins. After that,  strain them again and add to the other juice.
  6. After juice has cooled, add desired amount of honey for sweetness. We usually use about a 1/2 cup, any more than that and it is too sweet for us to drink!  If you can source some local, raw honey that will add to the immune boosting properties as well as help with seasonal allergies!! If not, regular honey is good too.

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We take this daily during cold and flu season or anytime someone is feeling a little icky. I don’t really measure the dosage out, I just put a little bit in a shot glass and give it to the kids…probably about a tablespoon worth. Actually, we usually use elderberry syrup as our chaser for our fermented cod liver oil!

 

References (Just in case you decided you really wanted to read more…lol):

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu07/pdfs/charlebois284-292.pdf

http://www.naturalnews.com/043430_elderberry_natural_antivirals_health_benefits.html

 

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor! You knew that right? So I am not attempting to diagnose, cure, or solve any of your health issues! Please ask your doctor if you have concerns about your health! I am here as a mom sharing my story! 

Disclosure: Some of the links provided in my posts may be affiliate links. You pay the same if you were to purchase the product through my site, however, I may earn a commission of your purchase. Helps keep our garden growing, ya know? Thanks for supporting the homestead!

Coffee Biz Update: Walls Up!

We have begun! As many of you know we are trying to get our coffee business up and running. It is a very exciting prospect but one that requires a lot of hoops to jump through. We decided to take the plunge and go for it despite hurdles. We have been cleared by all agencies to begin renovation!
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The section in the upper left hand quadrant will become the “roasting room”. We have had some exciting finds through Craigslist and thrift stores and have not paid full price for anything yet! We got all of the stainless steel sinks we need (3 of them) for $30! I have found doors, flooring, countertops, & ac unit for 50% off or more. A few more things to hunt down and then we are pretty much stocked!

This past weekend we had a wonderful bunch of help and the guys were able to get the walls up and most of the electrical work done. It feels somewhat surreal. I never would have dreamed of starting and owning a business. It’s crazy! However, things just keep coming down the pipe for us that helps us to confirm that we are on the right path. We already have some prospects of small shops and stores that are interested in selling our coffee. Anyways, it’s a wild journey, but we are hanging on for the ride!
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It always shocks me how projects take longer than I expect. We have a long way to go, but hey at least we’re goin! If you want to come help give us a shout! Hey, we might even be able to hook you up with some of the good joe.

Other posts in this series:

1. Tips to Start a Business in North Carolina
2. Coffee Biz Update: The Water Works

Coffee Biz Update: The Water Works

Well we have officially gathered as much information as we need to move forward in building the coffee business. In my last post about starting the business, I mentioned the need to meet with various inspectors, etc. I won’t go into the nitty gritty but here’s where were at.

  1. We MUST have plumbing into our coffee roasting area (which is going to be a portion of the garage sectioned off by walls).
  2. This plumbing must drain into our existing septic tank.
  3. Drain to septic tank must be gravity flow
  4. 3 sinks are required in the structure (hand washing, utensil, and sanitizing sink). Utility sink in house will serve as “mop sink”.
  5. Hot AND cold water are required to the sinks.

Wham. Wham. Wham. Geeze o’ pete. That’s a lot of requirements to run an operation that basically generates no mess and uses no “utensils.” Alas, rules are rules. We are not entirely intimidated by them…except for one. The gravity flow issue. Yah. You see our septic tank is pretty far up, I guess due to the water table or something. If you have seen our backyard, you know what I’m talking about. It looks bojangled. The garage is sitting downhill from the septic tank and therefor there is no water gravity flowing in that direction. Rats. Our only option here (unless we wanted to spend like 10 grand) is to put the plumbing line above the ground. We would then bury it, but it would leave a nice hill in the backyard. Not terrible as we already have one of those “hills” from the line that comes from the house. It’s hard to explain. Nevermind, I’ll post a picture someday. For now, we can make it work…it’s just a pain in the boot.

However, we have been cleared by county zoning, the health department and the local FDA…so we’re good to move onward. We need a plumber however, that can help us connect to the existing system. Preferably one that would take coffee as payment, or perhaps a load of zucchini. Lol.

We also have to make some major renovations to the garage in order to get this all to work. So we’re now accepting applications for those who would like to donate their manual labor. Hey we might pay you back in beans.

 

Tips to Start a Business in North Carolina

Welp. That doesn’t sound like a very exciting title now does it? Bear with us. My goal is to have this information stored in someplace other than my slightly over compacted brain. Also, in hopes that maybe someday it will help someone else!

The Short: We are wanting to take our coffee business to the next level. We recently have invested a good bit of money in a larger roaster (missed that post?) and we are able to meet many more demands for coffee. We are so thrilled to be moving forward, however, we felt that in order to keep ourselves protected and be able to sell online, we would pursue making this an actual fo-real business.

This process is not unfamiliar. When we began dreaming years ago about homesteading, gardening, country life, etc it took us a long time to get here and there were many hurdles to overcome. If you missed the crazy adventure of our finding land and building a house those sagas and triumphs are in the archives. Nevertheless, there was many a things that had to be overcome in order for us to find ourselves where we are now.

Anyways. So with no further ado, let me document where we are so far. Also, please note…some of this may sound like I don’t know what I talking about. Well. I don’t. I didn’t take business courses in college…I took psychology courses. I can read people like a book, but don’t ask me business questions. So…hopefully you’ll have grace for me and point me correctly. I apologize if my verbiage is wrong.

1. Decide on a business. Haha. I know it sounds obvious. For us we have always had a passion for coffee…like we chose our Honeymoon spot based on our love for coffee (Seattle). There are many avenues to pursue the love of coffee. I mean, I could have been a latte artist if I wanted to! Or personalized coffee sleeves. Or…Well, enough…you get my point. For us we decided that the most important thing for us was to supply people with coffee that had meaning. It’s also a big perk that we can do this out of our home (more on that in a minute) and thus I can help out the business being a stay at home momma.

2. Meet with a business counselor. This was a huge resource for us! Many of our questions got answered in this meeting. In North Carolina we have a fantastic resource for small start up businesses. Through the Community College system they provide small business counseling for free. If you are in North Carolina check out the Small Business Center Network. In addition, we have an excellent compilation of forms, FAQS, and resources available through another website. These are excellent resources.

3. Decide if you want to become limited liability company (LLC) or sole proprietorship. We are going with LLC due to the fact that we are selling a consumable product and need the extra covering.

4. Make sure you are appropriately zoned if you wish to start a business out if your home. Also find out if you need any special permits. Your county zoning officer would know these answers. Thankfully for us, we are zoned for a home business and only need a $25 permit. Since we are running a food operation (yes apparently roasting coffee falls under food) we have to interface with the Department of Agriculture and FDA. I’ll admit that made me shake in my boots a bit. The business counselor gave us the contact information for our county inspector.

5. Meet with local FDA inspector to discuss what needs to get done in order to get space accommodated for business purposes.

6. Cry after you met with inspector because he gave you so many things that seem so impossible to accomplish. OK, I kidding on this one. Maybe. Sorta.

7. For us, the main things that we need to accomplish is to renovate the garage to make a small roasting room. It needs to have a sink attached to the septic system (BIG HURDLE). We also need small window A/C unit and a few other odds and ends. We are meeting with a plumber to see about the septic system tie in costs. That could be a deal breaker for us. Ah, country life.

8. Wait patiently for God’s timing. He alone knows how all of this will actually work out. In the meantime, we are not anxious about anything but asking for revelation for His will!

 

Keeping Germs Away with Healthy Home Company & Giveaway!

So this past week our house was struck with an odd case of some sniffles, icky eye, and potentially an ear infection. Bleh. I thought the weather was getting better and we were over these germs! Of course, I was a bit panicked about this recent bought of germs mainly because we have the new baby in the house. Nothing worse than a sick baby. Well, maybe a sick toddler is worse… Either way, we have been doing anything and everything we can to try to keep the germs contained to said toddler. Poor darlin is at that age where she doesn’t understand why she can’t cough on the baby or touch her germy hands in the babies eyes. She has recently learned all of her body parts and likes to point them out to you. Especially your eyes…and she likes to poke them, not just point. So, keeping pink eye away from the other family members has proven challenging. So far, no one else has gotten it. I am thankful. So all that to say that I thought I would give you a little glimpse into what we are doing to keep the germies away. Please note that I am NOT a medical doctor, and I am not giving you medical advice. Just mommy advice. K?! Doctors certainly have their place and I am not discrediting the use of modern medicine.

  1. Prayer! Lot’s of prayer! Gotta give God the credit for always protecting our family!
  2. Staying on top of regular “vitamins” (our vitamins are Fermented Cod Liver oil and Elderberry Syrup)
  3. Harnessing the power of breastmilk. Sorry guys. It’s true though, this stuff is like the #1 cure for most childhood ailments (heck for adults too probably). Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of that in supply around here 😉
  4. Using essential oils. This is a new adventure for us, but I have been using lavender oil around the eye, it reduces the swelling significantly. I used for a couple of days behind the ear along with lemon oil and Elyse is no longer complaining about her ear hurting. Score!
  5. Healthy Home Company Hand Sanitizer. Ok…so this stuff rocks…lemme tell you more!

Healthy Home Company (aka Mommy’s Club) is a brand new, fresh company making toxic-free home, body, & personal care products. I have tried quite a few of the products and they work incredibly. One of our favorites is the sanitizing foam and spray. Ok, so that’s technically two products. I’ll explain the difference. The spray is just that-a spray. You can spray it on everything and anything. To keep the germs away, I have been spraying surfaces, beds, pillows, etc. I have also been using it as a body spray…it doesn’t smell like anything and I use it after Elyse has been rubbing her face all over me. It’s fantastic to have something that is completely toxic free to use. What does toxic free mean to me exactly though? I means I can use it on a newborn, spray it in my eye, spray it in my mouth (yes, I’ve done all those). However, it is super good at killing the germs. Don’t believe me? Read this report. Perfect size for diaper bags and purses. They also sell a smaller bottle that is pocket size…good for daddies!

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The foam sanitizer is pretty much the same however, it is slightly scented like lavender and is, well, foamy! The kids prefer the foam over the spray because it is more fun to play in! I also think that it spreads further and one squirt cleans the kids hands, face, and then they rub it on their legs. The foam is also great as a waterless bath! I often rub the baby down with the foam and it requires no water to wash off. Again, completely toxic free and safe for even tiny babies. I took this stuff to the hospital when I gave birth! And it smells so delish…Alex calls it “liquid baby”…its one of those characteristic yummy smells of newborns. However, I’ve had many people stop and ask me what “smells so good” when I use in the store. So its def not just for babies! We keep a bottle in the diaper bag for times when baby wipes just aren’t cutting it. It also works great as an alternative to wipes as you can just squirt some on a rag/towel/wash cloth and use a wipe.

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There are many other products that we love, but for today I will leave you with these! So here’s the catch. If you want to get your hands on some of these products check out the site. You can order products at a retail rate, or join as a member for significant savings! If you decide you have a passion for selling these kind of products there is also a Professional Representative route you can take to earn income. As a member however, you can even earn 10% on orders made by others that you refer! It’s a win win! Contact me if you have more questions about how all that works. If you ever get lost trying to find this page, you can just click the link on the side of the blog to get access to the site!

In the meantime, I thought we would do something fun here and I would give away a 4oz bottle of the sanitizing spray for you to try!

Here’s what you need to do to enter! For each item you will earn an additional entry. You must comment and let me know you did each item. You comment will serve as an entry and one comment will be randomly selected. So, if you do all for, leave me 4 comments.Got it? (One day I’ll get one of those fancy pancy rafflecopter thingys…but not today.) Giveaway ends on Friday, June 20th at 12pm EST. Winner will be announced on blog, but also be sure to leave your email address.

1. *Mandatory entry* Comment on this post and let me know what you might use the product for.

2.*Additional entry* “Like” the Healthy Home Company on Facebook. Leave a comment and let me know you did that.

3. *Additional entry* Share this blog post with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest (Pin it button below). Leave a comment and let me know you did that.

4. *Additional entry* Subscribe to this blog (subscribe button at top of page) if you would like to hear more about these products and if the blog interests you! Leave a comment and let me know you did that!

ERICS

 

My Buddy is Here!!

I promise this is not one of those posts that leads you on to thinking one thing and then I spring a surprise on you. Like the tale of the dying sourdough  or the confession of my love. No, no…I promise this one is for real. No sourdough involved.

Our newest little farm hand…aka my Little Buddy. Micaiah Alexander Monroe was born on April 3, 2014 at 8:22am. He weighed 7lbs 13oz (just one ounce shy of his big sister Elyse!)

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Micaiah just a few hours old!

His birth was miraculously uncomplicated. Although there were a few moments where things seems to be going downhill, the Lord was so gracious to spare me from some of my biggest fears. I was blessed to have some great support from friends and my hubby. The most hilarious story however, is my lovely friend who dashed in carrying two cups of Starbucks coffee while I was mid-pushing. Even with the gut wrenching pain of well…I’ll spare you the description…I was cracking up at the scene and feeling thankful that she did indeed make it to the birth. I also have to give a lovely shout out to my other friend who arrived in the wee hours of the morning (like 4am) to help me labor and make me laugh. Cuz that’s what I do when I am in that kind of pain. Finally, my dear Sister-in-law…Even though you didn’t make it to the actual birth…because you went in the wrong building…I still appreciate your after-birth presence. It will definitely be a story to remember.

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One day old!

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One week old!

Well, I know its a short post but just wanted to get this post up before too much time passes! As it is, caring for 3 kids is proving to be very challenging…hoping I get the hang of this quickly. Stay tuned for better pics!!

Happy Valentines Day to My One and Only

I thought it would be appropriate on this day of love to share with you my affections for a certain someone. My heart is full of love for him each and every day. I thought I would share the top 10 reasons why I love him so.

1. He is so giving
2. He is forgiving
3. He never complains about not being fed on time
4. He is always rising to the challenge
5. He is so bubbly
6. He scent can take you away and make you dream of happy things
7. He smells even better when he gets hot
8. He is satisfying
9. He is enjoyable

And finally…
10. He makes the BEST pancakes.

Meet Sowie.
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I don’t believe I have introduced him to you yet. He has been maturing for a couple of months and is at peak performance lately. Which makes my life oh-so-delicious and nutritious. Like I said above, he really is so giving…making my breads rise , making my muffins, pancakes, waffles, english muffins, crepes, biscuits, facial masks (ok kidding) & just being overall a joy to care for.

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So on this Valentines Day, I want to wish you, Sowie, my beloved sourdough starter, a day of love. And thank you for providing us with lovely heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. (Which I did not capture a photo of due to how quickly they were consumed.)

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PS- In case you are concerned about me (which you probably are by now), my real true loves in my life are very secure in my love for them and are not insulted by my public display of affection for my starter here on the blog. Just so you know. In case you wanted to know. But you’re prob just shaking your head anyways. Oh wellll….

PPS- Sowie is very fertile and always has babies up for adoption in case you wanted your very own starter baby. Apply in the comments that you would like to adopt some starter.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Show someone you love them today! And I give you permission to fall in love with yeasts and bacterias.

Progress and Regress

Does it ever feel to anyone else that you take one step forward, only to be greeted with something that takes you a few steps backwards? Well, that’s life isn’t it?

It’s been a challenging few weeks around the MonroePost homestead.

After returning home from a funeral trip to Indiana we were greeted with a frozen well. The lessons you have to learn the hard way sometimes. After being without water for a day and a half, we finally got the water going again. We quickly insulated our wellhead and pipes to the well and went on our merry way. Until the following day when it happened again. Oops. Get out the hairdryer again and thaw the well. Whoops, we melted off all the insulation…re-insulate. Sigh. We’re good until the following weekend when we get a crazy snowapocalypse with 10in of show. We left the faucets running and everything, but apparently it wasn’t enough because we woke up yet again with no water. We had filled a bathtub with water “just in case” but we quickly learned that our bathtubs leaked and we didn’t have much left by the morning. Sigh again. Alex got a heat lamp and put that by the well. After about 8 hours of running the hair dryer and heat lamp on and off, miraculously we got water back. Thank the Lord! The moral of the story? Well, we are highly untrained country folk and have some serious learning to do. In the meantime, we keep the heat lamp on when temps drop below freezing and turn on multiple faucets. We are looking for a long term solution such as an insulated enclosure around the well, but we’re waiting for some warmer temps to do such project.

Want to see our snow!?!

Alas. We didn’t get power to Alex’s garage yet as that set us back a good bit with time and money!

On Baby Boy Monroe front, we determined that the only way possible to fit three car seats in my lovely Buick was to buy three new seats. After a week of researching, debating and measuring…we THINK we finally found the right seats. They are not here yet, but we are desperately praying they fit and work as we want. Cuz that was a crud ton of money dropped on them babies. My health is not fantastic, and while I won’t go into details about it all…we would love prayers for peace and wisdom as we navigate these last few weeks before lil man arrives!

So, to be honest with you, this has been a tough few months. Emotionally and financially. I am feeling a bit discouraged by it all since it means pushing off some of my “projects” for the year. Power to the garage and getting the ducks set up may take more time than we initially wanted. I am also not sure how I am going to manage to get a spring garden in as I have to be careful about how much stress I put on myself right now. So, that’s all feeling a little heavy on the plate right now.

On a happy note! I finished reading my first book on my “list”. Finished Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks! So now I am armed with knowledge, we have our coop and run plans pretty much set…now we just need a lumber fairy to drop some lumber off at our house. Haha!! 

We also were blessed to be able to trade Alex’s parents for a bigger freezer and free up some space in my utility room (we put the big freezer in the spare bedroom). So I can FINALLY get my worm composting bin set up-cuz it needed to go in the old freezer space! Hooray! I have my bins all ready, I am just on the lookout for some wigglies. I’ll do a post someday about my worm composting adventures.

So those are the exciting progresses, and I know that we will get through these tough times…as the Lord does always provide right when we need it. Thanks for letting me share my heart tonight. Sometimes it feels good just to get this stuff down on paper…err, screens. Or something like that.

Oh and hey by the way…we will be taking coffee orders soon, so if you got yourself the idea that you want some, let us know!!