The Weekly Digs #42

by Becky
Published: Updated:

*I wrote this post earlier today and then left it for a while. Sometimes it feels so good just to write things down and then you get to debate whether or not to actually post them. I shared a lot of personal things here and feel the need to erase a lot of this! But I’m going to be try and be brave and not edit and erase.

We’ve had so many miracles happen over the last few months. But first, I need to give some background. Last year, we started the ball rolling with hunting for a new homestead when some friends of ours were going to sell their 12 acre home and land.

We weren’t ready to buy their house but we knew that it had the potential to turn into a possible deal when we were ready. We toured their place which had a lot of the things we were looking for but decided it would be best to see some other properties to judge it against.

Then it snowballed from looking at a few places to seeing just about every property with acreage in a 30 mile radius that was available. It was both fun and then discouraging after not finding anything near what we needed. A few weeks ago we really decided to crack down and do some work on our own house so we can be ready when the right place does come along.

It was a little bit of a reality check as we came to terms with how much work our house needs in order to get the most from the sale.

After we added up all the costs required and I saw the number and started to worry that we would never be able to move (an unfortunate side effect of dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression is my mind has a tendency to jump to worse case scenario).

I couldn’t wrap my mind around how we were going to have the money to finish all our house projects without completely depleting our savings for the new property.  And yet all the while, both Cameron and I kept getting the feeling we are on the right path and moving to a farm is the right thing for our family. I felt so conflicted.

But recently, we’ve had some divine intervention and really amazing blessings happen to us that will move us towards accomplishing our goals. One miracle was that I was able to sell a lot of my artwork. I have several paintings that have been for sale at a gallery in Texas.

It’s almost always touch and go with selling art, some months you sell a lot and then you’ll have a dry spell for a while. I had only sold a couple small ones earlier this year and then had 7 months of no sales.

 A painting of my daughter in progress.. I really enjoyed putting the flowers from my garden in this one. A painting of my daughter in progress.. I really enjoyed putting the flowers from my garden in this one.

In the past two months, the owner has sold 14 of the 17 paintings I had in the art gallery. In the ten years of being a professional artist, I’ve never had that many sell at once. That same weekend the owner told me of all the sales, I also sold a painting on my art website. (By the way, if you like art and want to see some of my work, just click HERE. HAHA!)

The next miracle was that Cameron was able to get a side job cutting down trees around the home of a friend from church. This served two purposes. One was that Cruz was able to come along and help him work. This was important because over the fourth of July Cruz’s bike got stolen right out of our front yard. It was a $500 bike that he bought with his own money. Cruz had worked for over a year to earn the money to buy the bike.

After it got stolen we decided that if he could earn half the money for a new one, we would pay the other half. Cruz has done little jobs here and there for us and for neighbors but still didn’t have enough to get a new one. The tree cutting job allowed him to work alongside Cameron hauling wood off while Cam cut. And now Cruz has enough to get a bike again.

The other part of the money earned, along with my recent art sales will help us finish the rest of the house projects. We’ll be replacing our home’s 30 year old carpet, doing some wallpaper removal, painting and a bunch of other updates over the next few months.

My hope is to get the bulk of it done before spring hits. After Spring all my extra time goes to the garden. We feel so grateful for these miracles that will help us be able to get to a farm much quicker.

In the garden:

  • Planted Amanda Hershberger onion bulbs. They are multiplier onions.

In the kitchen:

  • Packed finished kimchi from the crock into quart jars.

 Ham and bean soup Ham and bean soup

I’ve had some requests for talking a little more about what our dinners consist of this time of year so I’ll share that too. Here are some of the dinners we had this week and I’m just sharing the details on vegetable part of the meal because that is what we try and do from our garden alone. Obviously there is more too these meals than just veggies but I hope it help you grasp how we use our fresh garden food and all the preserved garden food.

Chili– In chili, I use canned tomatoes from the summer. I also soak some dehydrated bell and jalapeno peppers and beans and they all get simmered and cooked over low heat.

Chicken Stir Fry with bok choy– Garden carrots, bok choy and napa cabbage were used in this.

Smashed sweet potatoes with grilled chicken drumsticks and fresh garden salad– this one is self explanatory :).

Chicken salad sandwiches– I made homemade croissants and in the chicken salad the vegetable I used was celery. I used the entire celery including leaves. We add pieces of lettuce when we made the sandwiches.

Lemon Chicken pasta– this is a favorite of ours that uses preserved lemons (not from our garden but preserved by us), garlic, and then I throw in a bag of chopped frozen kale.

Pizza– We make the crust from scratch. Cameron has a pizza oven that works wonders. We add prosciutto, mushrooms (I don’t grow mushrooms…yet) ;), red onion from garden cold storage,  and bell peppers that we rehydrate before adding to the pizza. We use some canned tomato pizza sauce from summer.

Ham and Bean Soup- onions, beans, garlic, frozen kale, and carrots from the garden are the vegetables used in this soup.

I hope you find that little dinner rundown helpful as you try to make the most of what’s in your garden and what you’ve put up for the year.

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