We are working toward a more simple life. It is early morning pictured above, the sun has not made its way to lighting our day.
Charles is still in bed and I am preparing to make homemade tortillas for a breakfast meal. Living a more simple life does not mean laying around, it does not mean there is less work, it means life is calmer.
Making tortillas is such a simple thing to do. Today we carry a lot of modern baggage that keeps us from doing the things that are important.
I keep trying to improve what I can, our diet, clutter, fixing those things that we just tolerate because that is the way it has always been. With a little time and effort it can be more functional.
I love the mornings that I have accomplished a few things before daylight. It feels that life is good.
I remember the sounds of when I was a child and my mother would be quietly preparing for the new day while we were starting to wake. I would lay there and hear her quiet footsteps and sounds from the kitchen and then the smell of breakfast.
My daughter said that she remembers laying in bed and hearing me walking around the house early in the morning opening the windows and hearing the birds and our little bird called "LittleJo" tweeting. I have always opened the windows early in the morning to exchange air.
After living my childhood it became my time to be the keeper of the home and rise before the sun.
I enjoy being the one that is quietly walking through the home before the sun has peeked through. When the aroma of breakfast cooking starts moving through the house it awakens the senses and the family.
I am older now and I do not always beat the sun but when I do it feels like it will be a good day even if it were just me here I feel that somehow the house knows. A house without life is just a house.
We need water, food, necessary clothing and shelter. This is what is most important.
We find home when we make those four things priority.
The extension of our home is found in the garden. It can be in a potted plant, a balcony to grow herbs or small vegetables. It can be a full yard or acreage. It can be an allotment or community garden but it does us good to get frequent doses of outdoors and dirt under our nails.
It all starts with a seed or a sprout or for sweet potatoes a slip. If we do nothing we get nothing. We do not live on a farm, we do not live on much land at all and yet we grow fruits and vegetables and herbs in pots and what ground will grow a garden spot here on our small city lot.
We recently tore down a large wheelchair ramp we built many years ago when we needed a wheelchair ramp for my mother. Over the years leaves and dirt accumulated under the ramp. It was thirty feet long and we left it up because our little dog Katherine, had spinal surgery but each year a few boards would need replacing then the rails needed to be replaced and so on. We decided it was time to remove it. So for the last few weeks we have been working on this area and have torn away the decked front porch going out over the step and all of the walkway was covered in dirt, leaves and weeds underneath this long wheelchair ramp.
The last two weeks we have been working to restore it to how it was. We are still working on this area and also planting a new herb bed along the walkway. Our home was built in the year 1960 so it is a more modern home for our more vintage life but this is our home.
It was also time of year to wash the windows and the facial boards across the house...
Time to clean the window ledges. We completely missed our spring cleaning this year due to the covid virus because everything seemed quite off at that time. We have not finished the sides and back of the house, it seems we are much slower now but even if we are slow we can still make progress.
Now fall is here the spring and summer flowers have gone or are fading but the fall flowers are getting ready to bloom and this is so exciting. As far as the flowers go, I try to plant mostly spring, fall and summer perennials so when one season of flowers fade away the next season is emerging.
Heirloom Chrysanthemums are full of buds about to open... I felt like I might have been overwhelming my blog posts with pictures of Blackeyed Susans this year but these Chrysanthemums may be even more beautiful. :)
And I am happy that last year I added another variety of mums to some of the raised beds because these are ready to open too.
This feathery area is full of a mixture of summer and fall plants including the ferns from asparagus.
There are still the summer Zinnias and other flowers that are making their last big push.
All the while the lemons have been working all year to make it to a mid to late fall harvest.
They are starting to turn yellow but still have weeks to go..
Back inside I have been working on learning how to cook with a less gluten flour..
I made some maple syrup / cinnamon muffins. Charles was happy to sample these muffins. I am still learning my way and am trying to prioritize what I do make since the flour is expensive.
I love to simmer stock or broth in the morning and then strain it off and let the broth cool. Depending on what I am cooking that day I will save some for that day and freeze some for later and sometimes I pressure can it to make it shelf stable for the pantry. I use what I have to make the broth but mostly I make a basic chicken stock using bony parts of chicken or a whole chicken, onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns and salt.
This particular day I used it to make a chicken noodle soup and I cooked some of the smaller sweet potatoes that we harvested and added them to the top of the soup for some extra fiber, vitamins and minerals and a good way to use the smaller sweet potatoes after harvest.
I did not plant many sweet potato slips this year because I waited late and did a last minute planting to at least have a small harvest so I am happy that I did and next year I hope to plant many more than this year.
This is what has been going on around our home, We keep working through removing the clutter, repairing the things that need repair, working our way to using less grid, studying history, journaling all things related to home and enjoying the time we have with one another.
I asked Charles if he could tell me how he would describe the feeling of home. He said happiness and knowing there is no other place he would rather be.
I understand that the situations of today that many people have lost their homes, apartments, places they resided, that times are very difficult for many people for all kinds of reasons.
I have lived long enough to experience the loss of a home due to fire, the loss of a home due to hardship, the unexpected departure from a home due to a job change, a unexpected move due to a job transfer and many other moves that were expected.
Life is full of change and often we have start over's. Sometimes it is because we wanted a change and sometimes is is not something we wanted but when we allow ourselves time to grieve and then get our new perspective we start over. We dig up those flowers and herbs and move those potted vegetables and make it home again. We can find happiness after starting over and sometimes even find some things better.
I feel that the place we reside starts feeling like we have found home when we find peace and happiness when we are at home, when we no longer feel overwhelmed with debt and are living below our means so we can keep it this way.
Each day we work towards a more simple life and I feel good about this.