I just read the book "Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life", by Jenna Woginrich (http://www.amazon.ca/Made-Scratch-Discovering-Pleasures-Handmade/dp/160342086X). I could not put it down and it left me wanting more!!! Jenna bought the farm she always wanted in April of 2010 and I follow her blog (http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/). She is living the life that I yearn for. She has the balance, a day job and a manageable plot of land where she can have animals and grow her garden and have space!!!! Just reading about the satisfaction she gets from doing what she is doing makes me smile, I am sure it is not without hardships, but she is living her dream. I am certainly not unhappy with my life but I do yearn for more. Most people never really live their dream. In her book Jenna says, "Find your happiness, and dance with it". I love that.
Then I ripped through "Prairie Feast, a Writer's Journey Home for Dinner" by Amy Jo Ehman, and I follow her blog as well (http://homefordinner.blogspot.com/). A wonderful read! Lots of great recipes and local, local meaning Saskatchewan. We have a wealth of resources here in Saskatchewan and most don't know they even exist, I know it was an eye opener for me! I am going to grab my friend Amy and hit the Blueberry Festival, it sounds like heaven!!! Amy Jo Ehman is a local gal, living in Saskatoon and she and her husband built a post and beam house, another dream of mine! The beauty is in the simplicity and reminds me of a time in life when "fast" just didn't equate with life. (I think I was born in the wrong era). Don't get me wrong! I like my computer as much as the next gal, and Tim Horton's, and buying gorgeous boots... but I also think we rely on these things a little too much. I am not going to become a hermit and sequester myself somewhere, in the middle of nowhere... I just want my life to be simpler.
Leigh has an aunt and uncle that live just outside of Hudson Bay, on a farm, they raise their own beef, have chickens, bunnies, goats, cats, a dog... and they have a little slice of heaven. Gloria is a retired teacher, Mo is an electrician and farmer. They have it all. A great life, a great balance. All I want to do when I go there is sleep, ha!!! You feel the change of pace as soon as you drive down the path to the farm. But when you are there, they get you out walking, collecting the eggs in the chicken coop, going on weiner roasts in the bush, or whatever else you want to do. There is no hectic schedule. They bird watch, the TV isn't on very often, there is always something delicious to eat... and no dishwasher!!! That is refreshing! You talk as you wash the dishes, you plan the next meal, you plan what you will do the next day.
Sitting on my nightstand I have "The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just 1/4 acre!" (http://www.amazon.ca/Backyard-Homestead-Produce-food-need/dp/1603421386/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b.) I haven't read it yet, but have perused it. There is a lot in there that us city dwellers would never use, but there is also a ton of other information to infuse into daily life, and lots of gardening tips! I'll let you know how it is.
My Dad was an amazing gardener, he always kept a huge garden in the backyard, right up to his 86th year, as well as any friends backyards that had some extra space. He was amazing! Not a weed in site, he worked tirelessly, slowly and efficiently, and his yield was always huge, green and gorgeous!!! I remember as a kid sitting in the backyard shucking pees for my mom, eating a lot of them too, fresh out of the garden, still warm from the sun! Friends and family always loved it when Dad showed up on their door with a bag full of veggies for them, he always shared. I miss my Dad, so much. The other day I was mulling over the fact that my new raised beds did not do too well last year, possibly due to the amount of rain we had, but most likely my soil was not prepared correctly... I thought, I'll just call Dad and talk to him about it, he'll know why... then remembered that I couldn't. And that hit me right in the face. Smack. When my Dad died, all of his knowledge went with him. I didn't take the time in my "busy" life to sit down with him and learn all that he had to teach. I always meant to. I regret that. But, it has made me realize that by simplifying things, I also have more time to sit down and learn things. It is so important to pass on life experience and life knowledge to our children, our family, our friends, and keep that knowledge alive.
I have four books on order:
(a cookbook) The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, by Ree Drummond. I follow Ree's blog, she is so hilarious! A great cook, very easy to follow recipes!!!
You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening, by Gayla Trail
Homegrown: A Growing Guide for Creating a Cook's Garden, by Marta Teegen
The Cook's Herb Garden, by Jeff Cox
Do you see a theme forming? :)