I hate clutter. I hate holding on the things, broken or unused, gathering dust on some shelf that I can’t reach without a step stool. I hate having to move these stupid clutterie things, to get to other things like Christmas decorations, or put away old baby stuff(which, is technically, more clutter). I REALLY, REALLY hate having to clean around clutter. So it all gets shoved into our sugar shack, or attic. And that’s still clutter. 

So when we found out that there was a community wide yard sale being planned, we talked it over and decided that this would be the perfect oppurtunity for us to get rid of some of our junk wonderful stuff. Also, a perfect oppurtunity for a blog post. 

Two birds, one stone, all that jazz. 

  1. Go thru your house one room at a time- this allows you to really focus your attention on what is nessacity and what is just weighing you down. This can be literally or figuratively I suppose. We are moving into a MUCH smaller place soon and we need to seriously pare it down.. See number three for more about that. 
  2. Price things as you find them- this was the hardest one for me, but it really is a time saver. There is no way I could get all this crap wonderful stuff ready to sell in one day. It’s just not possible. 
  3. Use this as an oppurtunity to purge- really take a minute to go thru your things and decide, am I keeping this because I use it or because I’m scared of letting go of a memory, or a feeling it evokes.  I have two dressers and a large closet chock full of clothes. This is after a recent purge over winter where I donated 2 garbage bags of clothes and one of shoes. And I’m talking the 32 gallon bags. My husband has boxes of old video gaming equipment and games. We both have a lot of extra stuff, and for very different reasons. 
  4. Be ready to go back thru multiple times- because of above, I went thru my clothes about 5 times. Every time I took out more to sell and felt better. AND I STILL HAVE A CLOSET FULL OF CLOTHES. 
  5. Know your bottom line- why are you having a yard sale? To make money? To get rid of the extra junk? I know it seems easy, but really selling stuff can be emotionally taxing. Especially if you are sentimental. Your value from memories is not the value other people see in it.
  6. Price accordingly- do not let sentimentality get involved. Price to sell this time, so you don’t have to put yourself thru it all over again.
  7. Do not let stuff back in the house. Once you have decided to get rid of it, stick to your guns and get rid of it. 

look at all these NES games! this is a collection over 20 years in the making

our mudroom, chock full of stuff to sell

more of all the stuff to sell

my hubby, sacrificing his weekend to test his vintage systems and games

Well, after talking about all this work, I have to go back to doing all this work. Here’s hoping for a successful sale this coming weekend. And hopefully, I helped you wade thru the muck and mire of your Yardsale. 

I’m very excited about the next blog post. It’s a first for me, but I’ll be posting a special chicken blog. So until that time, have a wicked good day! 

      Rhubarb in the ‘burb.

      It’s that time of year. 

      Most Mainers mark the arrival of spring with the harvesting of fiddleheads. 

      Let me be the one to say, ew. No thanks. This is not your blog.

      But, if you’re looking for bitter stalks of ruby red to delight your senses, well we are your family. 

      Now, rhubarb is an herbaceous perennial, meaning once you get a plant going, and you treat it right, which is actually very little interference, it will come back year after year. It’s stalks and leaves come first, and can get quite large. These preface a flower that once comes in, means the end of rhubarb season. It’s short and you have to get to it to catch it, but it is so worth it. 

      A lot of old homesteads have rhubarb plants that have survived even after the family is gone. We go to two different places in search for the stalks. Yesterday, we took a walk to a property owned by my husband’s uncle. There is a row of several plants, each one slightly smaller then the last. The biggest one at the beginning of the line had already started its flower. And someone had already raided the patch a little, but we like the thinner stalks anyway, so I grabbed my shears and started snipping away. 

      It’s important to note, some people do the grab and twist method- basically you pinch the stalk between your pointer finger and thumb, digging a little into the ground with your fingertips. Then, very simply, twist and pull. 

      You cut the stalk down close to the ground. Go ahead and snip the leaf off as well, since those are POISONOUS AND SHOULD NOT BE EATEN EVER. 

      Ehem. Just to be completely clear- do not ever under any circumstances eat the leaves of the rhubarb plant. 

      Also, it’s important to Not over harvest..please do not cut to much of the plant. This plant requires very little care, but when foraging a perennial it is super important to harvest responsibly so you can enjoy for years to come. At the end of the season, you can go back and clip everything down. We don’t, as they aren’t our plants and we wouldn’t want to chance destroying them. 

      Now, the best way to preserve rhubarb for when you actually use it (hello strawberry season!) is to cut it up and freeze it. 

      Give it a quick rinse in a colander, then let it air dry for a few hours. You could hand dry it with towels, but I have a lot to do and they are fine hanging out. 

      Yes I am using my stove top as a countertop. No it is not a hot surface at this moment.

      Next cut it up into uniform chunks- also not that important. They freeze and thaw more evenly, but when making jam, you end up boiling it to mush anyway. 

      Tadaa! Now we bag it with our handy dandy food saver and stash it in the deep freezer until early July when the berries come in. 

      Mmmmmmmm jam. And pie. 

      Yea! Spring! Amazingness and free food and such!

      Next blog is about our upcoming yard sale, how we prepped for it and if it was worth it. It’s a work in progress for sure. 

      Until that day, have a wicked good time. 

      A letter to our daughter on her first birthday

      Dearest izzybug,

      What a year, my darling little girl. 

      As I look up at you, standing in the living room, giggling to yourself and playing with your toy box, I am overjoyed at your very existence. I, nor your father, have never done anything as amazing as raising you. And wowzas, has it been amazing. 

      We talk about the day we had you, like it was yesterday. You, once this barely 8 lb bundle of dimples and gnomish chub, are thriving. You are, sorta, walking. You are, sorta, talking. You love music and dance with the classic grace and flair of your mama…hahaha. You love being read to, love playing with mega blocks, stuffed animals get and give the best hugs, and I don’t mind (much) when you pinch my tattoos in tiny human wonder. 

      I’m so proud of you, in so many ways that it’s hard for me to concentrate and write down what you have really accomplished this year. It’s been amazing to watch you discover food, drinking from a cup, trying to climb, learning to be gentle with the kitties. You’ve started clicking your tongue at them, like your dad and I. You love being outside, in your swing or on the grass, staring at the chickens and calling to them. You love the flower section of any store, the soft petals and rough leaves a delight to your fingers. You walked your best steps so far, trying to get some of my kiwi. You’re a little nervous around dogs, but you love people- Always greeting everyone with a smile. You love taking things apart. You refuse to eat unless you can feed yourself, for the most part. You got your top two canines in before your front teeth. Every single thing about you is amazing. Every. Single. Thing. 

      There have been some missteps, some falls, some outright failures, but those are on us, not you, little one. I hope to remember that, while you grow- to remember that you are constantly growing and learning, and we are here to guide you, catch you when you fall. 

      Gosh, it’s a little overwhelming. All the feelings, you know? We want so much for you in this life, but mostly, we want for you to feel safe, and free, to be your own person. Sometimes that can be hard, living in a small town in a small county in a large state. But I promise, your father and I will be there to support you, help you, LOVE you, for as long as this life lets us. You are our sunshine, our bug, our most amazing and profound accomplishment. You are our little girl. 

      We love you, 

      Your mom and dad. 

      I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter

      Winter in Maine is a different beast. It’s a thousand different things, some amazing, some not so amazing. Short, cold, windy days- followed by long, colder, windier nights. There’s a whole mess of holidays in the first part, and then a whole bunch of just trying to make it til Spring in the second part. 

      It can be quite beautiful, in a stark, unforgiving wilderness way, life up here in northern Maine. It can also be kinda depressing. I think, if you were to ask any single person that lives in Maine, they’d have a personal experience with the doldrums that can hit you… Usually in between January And March. It’s not every year for every person, but no one escapes unscathed. It’s just the way life is. 

      This year was my turn, I guess. It took all my energy to just take care of our kid, our house, our animals. I went to bed super early and slept as much as a parent to an under year old child can. This has always been my coping mechanism. I feel it’s a pretty good one, honestly. I feel very well rested after this winter of laziness. 

      Thankfully, I have a super supportive partner in crime, family and work environment. I made it. It’s now spring, and we have some amazing things going on- like the buying of 26 acres of land! We are finally taking the plunge and going big! I’m talking berries, orchards, bees, goats, patches of veggies and flowers everywhere… And of course, MORE CHICKENS!

      My splurge from this weekend! Currently on sale at Tractor Supply Company.

      I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep record here of our new homesteading adventure- but I’m going to forgive myself if I don’t get it all. 

      For now, we are getting ready for a huge load of work this coming summer and fall, starting with the celebration of our darling daughters first birthday this coming week. After that is our big community wide yard sale in the beginning of June- coincidently the topic of my next post. 

      So, until that time, have a wicked good day.