Thursday, December 9, 2010

simpler living (my rasp and nippers)

The last couple weeks we've been having trouble with the Internet connection and I've been kept away from the blog. We have limited options for connection here and our first choice ended up being painfully slow....amazing being an hour from a major city! Thankfully our second choice seems to be up to snuff and I'll be able to manage the new Etsy store check in here with more ease.

Around the homestead we've prepared another garden bed employing the Lasagna method. With this method you don't have to work the soil at all, or remove existing grass. It's our first time doing it this way and if nothing else it was a fun way for the kids to help out. There's been plenty of winterizing and carrying water to frozen troughs. Luckily this grey settling in for winter was punctuated by a night of partying with old friends till the wee hours...we need some of that every now and then! Filled with cheer we're ready to continue through the winter months ahead.

Another focus around here has been learning new skills. We enjoy this effort to live closer to our food and to connect as a family through our connection to the land. I hope this choice is open to anyone who wants to explore it no matter what their financial situation - that it's not just seen as a luxury. I think there's a stirring in many of us that feels uneasy about letting the years pass saying,"I'll eventually have the time." If you're honest with yourself and keep simplicity the goal you have a good chance at making a new way now. I'm stumbling and strengthening as we take small steps to escape the work-spend-consume treadmill, it's a hard thing to unravel, but we're already enjoying time together as a family that we've never known.

There are many things we've had to address, but one thing that makes an immediate impact is cutting out paying for services whenever possible. This means mastering a few new skills. My skill for the month - learning to trim hooves. I thought I would always employ the services of a farrier, but I started to wonder if I could do it myself.

I've watched farriers at work since the age of five and I spent years reading through my
Official Manual of the British Horse Society. With some more training I felt confident I could cut this bill out of our budget. Big A brought home the rasp and nippers I'd been eyeing at the Tractor Supply Co. and I'm now doing successful pony trims. Anything more complicated like shoeing or corrective work I would need help with, but for now we're set.

What new skill have you learned that has helped the family budget?


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