Sunday, January 28, 2018

Why I walk barefoot in the rain, in the winter

Wind ripping on my scarf, rain pelting my face, clad in snow pants and heavy rain coat, I make my way gingerly along the trail in my bare feet.  Since it's January and I haven't gone barefoot in months, I don't have callouses yet, and I step carefully over sharp rocks and broken shells.

Despite the cold and sensitivity in my feet, walking barefoot feels good.  I need contact with the earth right now, because I crave grounding and comfort.  I always get this when I'm out in nature, but I'm experimenting with removing the layer of insulation on my feet after reading the book "Earthing: The most important health discovery yet!"

The book is very fascinating and talks about how putting your naked feet (or hands or any other part of your body) on the ground every day can improve your health in dramatic ways, reducing inflammation and helping people sleep better.  It has to do with the electric charge of the earth affecting your body.  I won't explain it here, but read it if you are intrigued.  I've been doing this for a week, even when it's almost freezing, and it feels great.

So after I received some horrible news from my dentist and being terribly upset, I cancelled all my plans and headed west to Bowman Bay, one of my favorite places in our area.  Usually visited by many people in nicer weather, this time it was deserted - thankfully, because I didn't want to deal with people staring at the crazy woman walking barefoot in this weather.

Can you see why I love this place so much?  Ragged cliffs, sandy beaches, eagles (can you spot the eagle in the picture above?), tide pools, awesome views, salty air, twisted Madrona trees, shells, sea weed... What else does a girl need?

Shifting gears, but still talking of beautiful things: my son and his baking.  My 13-year-old boy is on a cake-baking-trip.  He does it all himself, without any help from me, except the occasional "Mom, where is the vanilla?", or a panicked "Oh, my god, Mom, we are out of butter and I need one more stick for the frosting. NOW!!!"  

So I help him search or call the neighbors to borrow butter, and then I take photos of him.  I can't eat the cake because I don't eat refined sugar, but I sure help him admire it and show it off.

Talking of creativity: I'm up to my ears in fiber.  Wool fiber, that is, not the dietary kind.  My project "From Sheep to Sweater" is moving along at a rapid speed, all the spinning is done, and I started knitting!!!  

You guys, you really should go to my membership page and become a patron, so you can watch the movies I made about the process.  It's so fun! (And it's worth the $1 a month).

Also, I'm gonna put up a tutorial and recipe on making the awesome lotion bars below (sooooooo easy!!!), so you can make some as Valentine's gifts.  It will be on my membership page soon.

I'll leave you with different scenes from our week.  

The first one shows Eva, Steve and Yoda relaxing after a long day of doing firewood.  Eva's reading is really taking off, so we have her read to us while we spin, knit, cook, or relax.

The second picture shows the sunrise when I pulled into the kids' school parking lot.  If you're stuck in school all day, you might as well be in a beautiful location.

The last picture is from Chuckanut Drive, on my way back home from Bellingham.  We live in a gorgeous area, don't we?

How are you doing?  How are you keeping yourself grounded?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Time urgent!

I'm just popping in with something time urgent: I'm part of the Back to Basics Living Bundle, but the incredible deal ends Tuesday night. It only costs $39.97!

You'll get:

  • 59 eBooks, Courses and/or Videos
  • $529.85 Retail Value
  • 92% Discount, meaning it costs only $39.97
  • Bonus offers (coming soon)
  • Money back guarantee
  • This offer goes away Jan 23

Get it now <---- Click here

Here are the categories of the bundle:

These are all things we do here at our homestead as well, and learning to do more: 

- Cooking from scratch, 
- do it yourself, 
- food storage, 
- frugal living, 
- gardening, homesteading, 
- natural parenting, 
- natural remedies, 
- preparedness, 
- natural living.

Here are the book and course titles:

  • Artisan Bread – The Art Of Sourdough
  • Batch From Scratch
  • Delicious Dandelions: A Recipe Collection
  • DIY Homemade Butters with Herbs, Nuts and Fruit
  • Heritage Cooking
  • Kid’s First Homestead Recipes
  • Make Maple Sugar in 3 Simple Steps!
  • Never Buy Bread Again
  • Homebrewing eBook Package
  • How to Make Gouda Cheese at Home
  • Hot Process Soap Making
  • Make Your Own Vinegar for Pennies
  • Natural Soap Making How-To And Recipe Book
  • Canning for Beginners
  • Food Storage Made Easy
  • Freezer Meals To Feed The Hungry
  • Homemade Dried Fruits & Vegetables
  • Pantry And Food Preservation Planner
  • Your Shelf Stable Pantry
  • Electronic Budget Worksheets
  • Handmade Gift Planner And Organizer
  • Rags to Rugs
  • Rural Hobby Turned Business
  • Edible Landscaping in The Desert Southwest
  • Get Growing: Five Easy-to-Raise Vegetables
  • High Performance Gardening
  • The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil
  • Homestead Management
  • Honeybee Tales
  • Keys To Successful Homesteading
  • Modern Homesteading
  • Pasture Raising Livestock- A Beginners Guide
  • Pioneering Today – Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way
  • How To Make A Profit Homesteading
  • Provident Homesteading
  • Raising Chickens Naturally
  • Joyous Home Journal
  • A Heart Of Gratitude – 30 Day Thankfulness Devotional
  • 31 Days to Simpler Living
  • Back to the Basics: Small Space Living
  • Dreams From God, A Glimpse of the Future
  • Everyday Gratitude Journal
  • Green Your Clean
  • Mom’s Quiet Time Journal
  • 9 Easy Steps to Homeschooling
  • How to Afford Homeschooling
  • Parenting Your Differently Wired Child
  • Preschool: At What Cost?
  • Your Homeschool Blueprint
  • Zero to Hero Nutrition: How to Actually Get Kids to Eat Healthy Food
  • 100 Essential Oil Diffuser Blends
  • Edible and Medicinal Flowers
  • Going Herbal
  • Herbal Teas for Winter Health
  • How to Handle a Crisis
  • Living Off Grid
  • The Guide To Primitive Survival Traps
  • The Modern American Frugal Housewife Book #4: Emergency Prepping
  • Your Own 72 Hour Kit Plan

Get it now <---- Click here

I’ve been getting a ton of questions about the Back To Basics Living Bundle. Because it’s only on sale for only a few more days, I wanted to send you my answers in case you have the some of the same questions.

Over 59 resources is a small library, how will I even know where to start?

The reality is that you probably won’t use every single resource in the bundle. Heck, you might not even find every one valuable (after all, we are all in different seasons of life). The thing is that it only takes one book–one connection–for you to start seeing real change (for example, start saving money by sticking to a budget) and for that change to be long lasting you probably don’t need more than 3 or 4 eBooks on any one subject. 

There are many resources in the bundle that if you bought them on their own you’d spend more than the price of the bundle (in some cases lots more). Yes, it is a small library for you to peruse at your leisure, or you can take advantage of our step by step getting started guide that will help you figure out the resources that are relevant to you right this minute. Then of course you have the other resources when you get to another phase of your getting back to basics journey.

How do I know this bundle is worth the money? After all I’ve seen a lot of “throw-away” eBooks floating around and they’re not worth my time to read them.

I know what you’re talking about. I’ve seen those books too and wondered why the authors even bothered to take the time to write them…

Last year over 1,800 bundles were sold. So the thing is that if the books were garbage the word would be out, but that isn’t the case. Actually, there are a ton of people asking when the bundle will go on sale again. There are even people asking if they can still buy last year’s bundle.

The Back To Basics Living Bundle team have a lengthy selection process that actually starts at the end of January for the following year.

What if I buy it then find out I don’t like it or I can’t use it?

While I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it, and the return rate last year was barely measurable, you don’t have to worry, because there is a 30 day no questions asked guarantee. That’s how sure the Back to Basics Living Bundle folks are that you’ll love it.

What is with the short time frame to buy this bundle? Don’t marketers use this “buy now” stuff as a “marketing gimmick”?

This is a great question!! Because yes, there are a ton of online marketers ready to take your money and they want you to buy “Right Now”. The bundle is actually on sale for a few days so you don’t have to buy right this second.

But here is the scoop as to why it’s a short sale. The authors of the resources do not usually sell their products at this deeply discounted rate. That’s why I keep saying it’s 92% off the “retail value”. And for good reason, these are top notch resources from authors living this lifestyle. 

But once a year for a very short time they all come together for this extraordinary sale. They do it for a few reasons. Number one is to help you. Let’s face it, the back to basics living lifestyle is not about getting rich or acquiring fame. That’s not what these authors want or need. The number one reason they wrote these resources was to help you! It’s really that simple.

And by being in this massive group effort once a year they are able to get the word out to more people!

What are bonus offers? How do I use them and are they any good?

I’ve seen those offers for FREE products but then you have to turn around and pay a large shipping and handling fee. Yeah, some bonus offer, right? These bonus offers are not like that. They are products with a low shipping fee or coupons for a percentage off of a purchase. And you’ll know how much you pay before you order. No hidden fees.

The Back To Basics Living Bundle bonus companies are well known in the back to basics movement, and have usually worked with Jennifer and Bill (the bundle team) on their own website. So they are carefully vetted to bring you the best offers.

If you take advantage of just half of the bonus offers the money you save will easily cover the price of the bundle, and you’ll be supporting companies that support the back to basics movement.

I think that does it for questions. If you can think of any more don’t hesitate to email with a question. To me this is one of the easiest buying decisions of the year! But do mull it over and check out this page to learn more. But don’t wait too long, because I don’t want you to miss out!

Get it now <---- Click here

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Floating on the river, firewood, biking, and other great ways to feel good and connected to nature

My windshield wipers couldn't keep up when I drove the kids to school this morning.  Dark, pissing buckets, and urgent need for coffee characterize January days in the Pacific Northwest, especially where we live: butted up against tall mountains, where the clouds get trapped and dump their load.

So when the weather turned unseasonably warm and sunny for a few days last week, we took full advantage of it: Namely, splitting and stacking firewood, getting urgently-needed exercise on the bike so we are not as terribly bitchy as some of us have been so we live longer, and rafting the Sauk River.

First things first: Rafting the river.  

Our kids are part of the Glacier Peak Institute (GPI), a local organization who in their own words "empowers youth, community and ecosystems to prosper and cultivate a shared resilient future through action-based education".  What this means is that they take kids out (for free) into nature, hiking, biking, rafting, and working outside.

They offer curriculum-based activities, after-school programs and summer programs.  Again, it's all free, it's awesome, and you should totally check them out if you are local.

On Martin Luther King Day, we joined the GPI and Sauk-Suiattle Natural Resources people to help them count eagles on the Sauk River.  Our whole family saw eagles, got wet in some rapids, and enjoyed a great day on the river. 

We really needed this down time in nature.  These past two months have been so intense, with friends passing away from cancer, other close friends being diagnosed with other serious illnesses, tragedies happening in our community, and dealing with head lice.

Yes, head lice.  As I've been learning, this is actually quite common at the public school the kids go to.  Now, I have said before that I admire lots of the teachers and their care and dedication for the kids in our community.  But when I called the school in horror after discovering we had lice, they said it's super common at the school.  I was pretty upset because I knew that some of our kids' friends had head lice two weeks earlier, but none of the parents were notified by the school.

Knowing that there are parents in our school district who can't properly feed their kids, or wash their clothes, let alone be vigilant about lice, I can see how the kids just re-infect each other constantly.

This thought and all the laundry, vigilance and stress is burning me out right now.

When this amount of stress hits, there are few things that help me as well as exercise does.  In this weather, I'm not getting enough of it, but when the sun came out, I hopped on my bike for a two-hour ride.  And when I was done, I was actually smiling.  Itchy head and all.

If you want me to write a blog post about how to treat head lice naturally, let me know in the comments.  The over-the-counter chemical stuff doesn't work well, because the critters built up resistance to it.

Another great way to get exercise around here is splitting, hauling and stacking firewood.  We are clearing a small patch of our land to build a small cabin.  This means cutting hemlock and alders, and since we heat our house exclusively with wood, it also ensures years of a warm house.

The boys are involved with this firewood work, and so am I.  Who needs a gym if you have to deal with firewood?

Other ways for me personally to stay healthy involve spinning and knitting, since this makes me happy.  I'm starting a project called "From Sheep to Sweater", and you can follow it on my Patron-only site here.

I started with white wool and hand painted it, which is a fancy way of dyeing.  Now I'm in the process of spinning it into yarn, and after that's done, I'll knit a sweater with it.

You can see a taste of the process on a Facebook live I did to demonstrate it.

Okay, wrapping up here, I'll show you a few more things that happened this week:

First, I'm on the front page of the Concrete Herald, our local newspaper.  Fun, eh?  It's me and my fellow homesteading blogger Melissa, and the article is about how we both teach self-sufficiency and resiliency.  It's fun how the article goes into some explanation of my life coaching, since that's part of being resilient. 

Next, there's still a lot of brewing going on at our house.  Steve just started making ginger mead, settling in nicely next to the wood stove.  And I keep making Kombucha, fermenting it a second time with juice and ginger for extra fizz and zing.  I'll teach you how to do this here.

I'll leave you with a picture of me trying to do yoga.  It's hard around here, since either the little fluffy dog wants to perch on top of me or the big dog wants to do downward dog with me on the mat.

Have a great week! Watch out for an email very soon for an exciting announcement!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Our class and retreat schedule at our homestead for 2018

Here at Marblemount Homestead, we teach and inspire people who see things differently.

You're fed up with the status quo consumerism pop culture. You want to live a more wholesome, sustainable, healthier, happier life and be more connected to nature.

We're here to help with teaching skills, inspiration, community and holding your hand. You're not alone.

Come on over to our side of the fence, where the grass is greener!

We are excited to announce that we scheduled our classes and retreats at our homestead in Marblemount for this year. I know some of you want to plan early, so here you are.

Click on the titles to find out more or to register. These offerings can fill up fast, so do it now to reserve your spot. Space is limited in all of them!

Steve and I love teaching these skills, and we can't wait to meet you!

1) Bow making course, March 3rd, 2018

​​​Learn the basics of making your own traditional all-wood bow. A roughed-out board stave will be provided, as well as all the tooling and instruction to have a tillered and shootable bow by the end of the day. Basic archery and shooting instruction will also be covered. 

The price of this class includes the stave and a matched high quality bow string. You will go home with your own bow, ready to make more for your family and friends!

Photo credits for the picture on the right of Steve shooting the bow: Concrete Herald

2) Kids Summer Camp, July 15 to 17, 2018

Are you worried that your child spends too much time in front of a screen?
Are you concerned that (s)he is disconnected from nature?
Do you want your kids to have positive, inspiring role models to teach them exciting and useful skills?
Are you annoyed that your children don't want to eat healthy food and wish that they could work in a garden, harvest and collect their own food and help prepare it with experts to guide them?

We can help you and your offspring, because we specialize in connecting kids with nature, where they spend quality time with us adventuring and learning new skills. We incorporate our homestead, gardens and animals with time spent in the wild, where we live at the edge of the wilderness in the Upper Skagit Valley.

3) Adult Homesteading and Wilderness Retreat Weekend, August 11 and 12, 2018

Slow down, connect with nature, unwind in gorgeous scenery, learn homesteading and wilderness survival skills, eat healthy, farm-grown food, connect with like-minded, earth-conscious people and ask us questions about homesteading and wilderness skills.

We are offering our homesteading and wilderness skills weekend camp to teach you new skills and empower and inspire you to live a more self-reliant, wholesome, simpler and healthier life.

We hope to hear from you soon.  Honestly, these classes and retreats fill our own souls, and we know they fill our students', too.

And remember, these classes can fill up fast, so sign up now!

PS: Please share this if you know someone who is interested, or if you want to attend with a friend!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Homesteading in Paradise December 2017 Highlights

Every month, I compile the highlights of our homesteading life in a little movie.

Although there's not much active homesteading going on in the winter (such as gardening, livestock, canning etc), we still try to be as self-sufficient as possible.  No matter what season it is, we always do a lot of cooking. 

In December's movie, you can see how much our children are involved with that chore!  And there are some gorgeous scenes of our beautiful Pacific Northwest, since we are outdoors as much as we can.

Watch the movie - CLICK HERE.

Hope your 2018 is going well so far!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

How to stay (or become) sane in the new year

The year 2017 was hard for many.  Since I'm an empath and transformational life coach, I listen to many people's stories and support them through intense changes.  My personal life has been ripped apart touched by lots of deep changes this year as well: friends with cancer, deaths of beloveds, supporting kids who just lost their mother to murder, transitioning my own kids from homeschooling to public school - to name just a few.

I can feel the tremendous positive potential for the year 2018, and I've taken steps to make it so.  I'd love to share my strategies for keeping sane, and I hope you'll find some of them helpful in your own life.

Go to nature

When things are hard for me, I find refuge and sanity in nature.  Of course, I'm lucky because I step out of my front door and find myself in moss-covered stomping grounds with towering cedars, scenic rivers, and plenty of wild animals to keep me on my toes.  

But even if you don't live in beautiful wilderness like we do, you can step outside and find nature.  How about putting your hand against a tree, even if it's surrounded by concrete pavement, and feeling the essence of this living being?  How about feeling the wind on your face, or watching a bird in the sky, or enjoying the sun or rain on your skin?  

A couple of days ago, we celebrated New Year's Day by driving to Fidalgo Island, hiking, mountain biking and canoeing.  There's nothing like a day in the cold to make you feel alive and grateful!

List all the things you are grateful for

There's nothing like gratitude to lighten your mood.  Even if it's really, really hard for you to align with the goodness of life, there must be something you can put on our list.  Do you have a roof over your head?  Did you eat at least one meal today?  Did a stranger smile at you and make you smile back?  Do you appreciate an animal in your life that loves you unconditionally?  Are you alive?

We lit a humungous fire in our backyard at New Year's Eve, and as I ate a great meal and drank homemade apple cider, watching my kids dance around the flames, you bet I counted my blessings.

That morning, the power went out, and we didn't have electricity to grind coffee, so my husband pounded the beans with a hammer.  The coffee was awful.  But wouldn't you know it?  Our friend gave us his antique coffee grinder, and all is well in our universe again.  Yes, I'm grateful for coffee.

Get yourself some exercise

Don't hate me for this one.  My friend Bo, a single guy without kids or any responsibilities, always used to tell me to exercise when he saw me being depressed or sleep deprived and juggling infants.  I wanted to punch him in the face, yelling that I was too tired or didn't have the time to exercise, since I'm not a single person without kids or a job.

But guess what?  When I did find the time to get on my bicycle, or fit in a hike or run, I did feel remarkably better.

Don't tell Bo that, though.  I'd hate for him to think he was right.

Honestly?  Even if you don't feel like it, get your body moving.  Dance, jog, hike, ski, run, bike, chop firewood, clean out the goat barn - whatever.  Do something to get the blood and thus the feel-good-endorphins flowing.

The other day, I felt definitely depressed.  But it didn't rain that day, and the sun finally came out, so I dressed myself in wool layers and hopped on my bike.  One hour of pumping my legs in the cold, cold air did wonders.  I was a different person when I got off that bike.

When we went to Fidalgo Island, we paddled in our canoe, all five of us with the little Foofy dog.  So fun, so good for the body, so good for the spirit.

Spend time with people you love

I happen to like my kids.  And my husband is my number one person in the universe (besides my best friend Lindsay, that is).  So I make it a priority to be spending time with these people, doing fun things, connecting, playing, bonding...  

You gotta realize that you are not alone.  Whatever you've been feeling, others are feeling it, too.  You are not crazy.  These are intense times.  And it's okay to feel psycho.  Don't let anyone tell you any different.

So go spend some quality time with your loves.  Be silly.  Eat outrageously good food.  Tickle each other.  

Here's Steve and Kai, pulling kelp behind the canoe.  I don't know why Kai is looking so grumpy.  I think he was pulling my leg, since he was happy the whole time.  Then again: you never know with teenagers.

Below is Luke's dirty face after splattering mud all over himself while mountain biking.

And this is Eva, my little adventure buddy who wanted to go biking me with me in the snow and biting wind.  Crazy chicken, this one.

And here we are in Bellingham, on another adventure involving beautiful scenery and mountains of food.

Hire a life coach, which means: me

We can't become ourselves by ourselves.  Forget the whole lone cowboy on the prairie fending for himself or herself.  We all need support.  And it helps to get support from someone who is trained and experienced in looking at what's holding you back, why you can't get what you want, and partners up with you to reach your intentions.

It's doable, yo!  You can get what you want, but you have to look at the underlying beliefs that keep sabotaging you and then evolve them and establish new patterns.  

I'd love to help you.  You can book a free session with me to see if this work fits for you.  I only have ten free sessions available, though, so book it now if you want one!

If you're scared of this step, head on over to my website to read the testimonials from people who I have coached.  Their lives have transformed and changed for the better - in huge ways for many.

I'm sending you much love for this new year!  May it be better than ever!!!

PS: Part of taking care of yourself also means taking care of your body.  I wrote a post about natural cold and flu remedies on my Patreon page here.  

Click on the image to download my free ebook and to join my mailing list

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