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Reawakened dreams

Since I was about 24, I’ve wanted to live on a homestead. It’s been dream for nearly half my life, and one that’s been out of reach for most of it. I’ve tried to make my home a bit more “homestead-y” wherever I’ve lived, but I’ve never actually had much land to do anything with. Still, I was undeterred and tried to grow some of my own veggies and actually use the land a bit. But it never worked out because there wasn’t much to be done with a patch of grass.

That is likely changing soon.

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Holidays

Grief and the holiday season (2020 edition)

Due to the fact that I’m a Jew, and I am still coping with grief, I have an incredibly complicated relationship with this time of year. Last year, the holiday season was horrible. I was bombarded with Christmas greetings and music and messages and, more than once, I ended up in a puddle of tears because of the memories of my childhood and the people – my brother, my father, my paternal grandparents, my mother-in-law – that have all died in the past four years. Add to that that I literally had a Salvation Army bell ringer yell at me because I didn’t wish her a “Merry Christmas” back, and I simply couldn’t handled it. I made a vow that in 2020, I would not be subjected to the onslaught of Christmas cheer and memories that were too painful to enjoy. For months now, I’ve been making plans to ensure that I didn’t have to get anywhere near a store between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

The thing I hadn’t planned on, though, was that in a year, I would change. I would heal. I would feel better.

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In the kitchen

Fresh greens during quarantine

I’m avoiding going to stores. Given I’ve got an auto-immune disorder, I’m diabetic, and I’m on several medicines that reduce my immune system to barely anything, the thought of going into stores right now makes me itchy. Thanks to my food storage and weekly porch deliveries from Smith Brothers Farms, I don’t have to go to the store very often. But the one thing we often need is fresh greens. I use a lot of kale in soups, we eat salads, and fresh spinach is always great to have on hand. Avoiding stores means that when we run out, it’s not easy to get more. Thanks to Chelsea from the Little Mountain Ranch YouTube channel, I have found a solution that is working wonderfully.

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camping · In the kitchen · RVing

Let’s talk RV food storage!

Our beautiful, peaceful campsite in the evergreen forests of western Washington.

In continuation of my previous post about home food storage, I’m going to now post about my RV pantry.

First of all, deciding what to keep in our RV pantry is challenging. We keep our RV on our site in a private campground, and it’s 30 minutes out through miles of working forest and along the curvy road following Hood Canal to the closest restaurants and/or grocery stores. Luckily, I have a huge pantry in my rear kitchen, so I have plenty of room with which to organize. But WHAT in the world do I keep in it?

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Family · Holidays · Jewish Life · Judaism

On grief and Jewishness during the holiday season

I’m not going to lie – this Christmas season was hellish for me.  For one, I obviously don’t celebrate the holiday and when it’s shoved down my throat everywhere, I get irritated. Anyone who says there’s a “war on Christmas” and that people don’t say “Merry Christmas”  anymore has never been a Jew in December. I used to respond with, “Thanks, I don’t celebrate it,” but now I just smile, nod, and walk away. It’s not my holiday, it’s not something I believe in, but I know people are just trying to be kind and spread holiday cheer so I move on. It’s not a battle I feel like fighting. 

But mostly, this season was horrendous because I used to celebrate Christmas and so many of my childhood memories are wrapped up in the holiday. Now, when I think about those memories, I think of my father and my younger brother and the spike of pain that stabs me through the heart is almost unbearable. At every turn, I’m reminded of loss this time of year. It makes for dark times during a dark period on the calendar (at least in the Pacific Northwest!) Continue reading “On grief and Jewishness during the holiday season”