Every Minute, Every Hour, Every Day

Hi everyone!

Last time I posted, I talked about what I had been through since mid November of last year. Things were extremely difficult and I went to a very dark place for a while. Thankfully, with the love and support of my friends and family, I was able once again to return to the light.

I began thinking about my life. Literally from day one. If I wanted I could chronicle it, I have every diary I’ve ever kept since I was 8. What would I call it? I don’t have an answer for that yet, but I do have a revelation.

No one wants pain. No one wants to have to go through emotional, physical, or legal battles. However, every choice we make in this life is part of something bigger. You can call it God’s plan, you can call it fate or destiny. I like to think of it as a fortress of sorts, every stone placed by a Great Architect.

Ever since I was little I dreamed of a sort of pioneer life. Nothing too rustic, I will never give up running water, but I always saw myself in the country. A garden, since I’ve always had a garden, chickens, maybe even some goats. Working land has just always been in my mind. As I grew older the desire grew with me, but the reality of actually attaining it grew dim. These things cost money and in this day and age, even just a livable income can be difficult to come by.Growing older meant prioritizing. I never forgot my dream but more important things had to come first.The other night I was sitting on the couch and I realized…I’m here. I have it.

I actually have everything I dreamed of.

I live in a little brick house in the country on a half acre. I live with a man I love deeply that I met in high school. I have a garden started, and we have plans to fence in the yard and put in a chicken coop.

We have land to work.

When I look back on everything, there is so much pain and darkness. But every single choice I’ve made, every single one since day one, has put me where I’m at right in this moment. Nothing in life will ever be perfect, and I know in the future there will be ups and downs, arguments and make ups, and I can tell you with confidence that I genuinely look forward to that future.

Why? Because all that pain I went through helped me achieve my dream.

Remember to take pain in stride. It exists to help you grow, and in truth we never stop growing. I don’t want to give the impression that I will never go through pain again. The point I want to make is that there comes a point where the pain makes sense. We stop asking why and instead begin to see why.

Be well my friends. And rest assured, as this little homestead grows, there will be many photos ❤

Stephanie

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Apartment Homesteading

Part of living more simply is self sufficiency – Growing and hunting your own food, composting, recycling, reusing, etc. When most people think of self sufficiency, glamorous images of farmhouses on acres and acres of land drift into their minds. The exact opposite of city living. But, most people don’t realize that there are steps one can take to start a more self sufficient lifestyle, even if they live somewhere as small as an apartment.

I have lived in Wilmington about a year now, and while it’s not my favorite place in the world, I have done more to increase my self sufficiency here than anywhere else I’ve lived. I live in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment and have already started making the steps and learning skills I’m going to need when I finally do get my dream farmhouse on acres and acres of land!

So what can you do to start a more self sufficient lifestyle today? Here are six simple changes to make:

1. Porch or windowsill garden. I got lucky and my apartment came with a sizable porch. So I have cherokee purple tomatoes, cayenne peppers, strawberries, thyme, basil, rosemary, lavender, and dill growing a couple feet from my front door! Even if you don’t have a large porch, many plants can still grow wonderfully in pots. My neighbors are even garnering and small orange tree, right in a pot! If you only have a windowsill, herbs are so easy to grow, and will save you money. Fresh herbs from the grocery store can be very expensive! They’re almost $5 here at the local grocery store.

2. Composting. This one may be a bit tricky for an apartment, but it’s not impossible! In a well ventilated receptacle, begin composting eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, and fruit and veggie scraps. This will help your garden, too.

3. Rain bucket. Summers in Wilmington mean brutal storms, so I have a bucket set up on the edge of my porch to collect rainwater. I use it to water my plants!

4. Canning. This is a skill I have not learned yet, but canning in your apartment is totally doable! Research the best way for your living situation, and start preserving your porch harvests!

5. Utilizing local farms and farmer’s markets. Even in cities, sometimes farmland is just a drive away, and farms sometimes sell their goods right from their land! And if not, most cities have a farmers market where you can get fresh, organic produce, eggs, dairy honey, and meat, and you’ll also be supporting local farmers! It’s a win win!

6. Recycling. In my apartment, bottled water is a no-no. But on a recent trip to a farther away beach, I forgot my water bottle and was dying, so I had to buy some at the one gas station during the long drive. While I initially felt bad, I realized I could continue using the bottle afterward. I poked multiple holes in the lid and now I use it as a watering can! Reuse and recycle constantly. I have three bins for plastic, aluminum, and glass that I regularly take to the recycling center.

Here are some shots from my porch:

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Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, and Spearmint

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Strawberries!

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Basil, Goji Berry, Dill and Peppers

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Closeup of my peppers

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Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

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Eggshells are really good for tomato plants!

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This is my recycling area. It’s a bit cluttered right now but we have aluminum, plastic and glass.

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And my rain collector. It’s empty now, we have a heatwave going on and I’m keeping my plants hydrated, but a storm is probably on it’s way! They usually are.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! If you’re in my neck of the woods, please stay hydrated and don’t stay out in the sun too long. Be safe!

 

I’m still here!

I promise I haven’t forgotten about my blog – I’ve just been really busy trying to organize my life and money. I haven’t had much time to record everything I’ve been doing, but I’ll report in now!

My porch garden is still small but after a few tribulations, it seems to be growing well. My basil is shooting up like a kid having a growth spurt, and my thyme and rosemary are as fragrant as ever!

I’m trying to use less paper towels and more washable rags/sponges. Sure, it takes extra time but trees are more important than the convenience paper towels give me. I’d rather have cleaner air.

I’m getting back into the vegetarian groove. Commercially packaged meat is gross and dirty and full of fear and hormones…I’m planning of writing a post more in depth about my feelings about meat, but for now, I’ll just say that the meat found putrefying in grocery stores is unappetizing and makes me want to cry.

I’ve been using this website called FreeRice. There has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not FreeRice actually donates rice to the hungry, but after some research, I personally believe they do the good that they say they do. You answer questions, and every time you get one right, 10 grains are donated through the World Food Programme. Click HERE to try it out! and if anything, you’ll at least learn some new things.

That’s it for now. I’m eating kidney beans sauteed with soy sauce and sriracha. Because I’m poor and I love beans.

More soon! Much love and light,

Stephanie