Archives for category: Simple Living

I know – doesn’t seem possible right – but the problem is the bottoms – I only have two pairs of pants and one pair of shorts that fit me – and they have been rubbing my baby belly and making me itch like crazy. I also have two skirts and one dress (that might fit me until next week).

Normally this has been working just fine for me, I mostly wear the skirts unless I am going to work, however…

We are going camping on Friday. I know I must be nuts – 6 1/2 months pregnant and camping – that is what air mattresses were made for!

I don’t want to take the skirts or the dress camping for obvious reasons – I have limited clothing and I don’t want to get these pieces covered with bug stuff, sunscreen and campfire smoke.

Are pajamas appropriate camping gear?



Managing the influx of baby stuff – this is my new challenge.

One of my friends has a baby that is going to be a year old this month.

She has offered us a bunch of baby things.

I am reluctant to take it.

Except that I know that a bouncy seat can be a life saver when I need to take a shower and no one else is home.

A changing pad is very handy when the baby is tiny.

And seat so baby doesn’t fall over while having a bath is handy.

We are trying for a minimalist baby from the start this time.

I still have a lot of baby clothes from Trace and I think we will not need to buy any clothes for a long time unless it is a girl – in which case I will sell some of the boy clothes and buy some pink and purple.

How much stuff will we really use and how much will we be able to do without and how do we keep people from giving us gifts that will not be used?

The challenge has begun – does anyone have any suggestions?

In the process of moving to a smaller space we had some extra furniture, there were a few things that we were able to sell, and a few things I was not sure what to do with.

What should we do with:

An old matress, still in good condition – but could be about 40 years old as it came with a bed from my grandparent’s house.

A big old desk that no one seemed to want when we tried to sell it – it was River’s grandmother’s

A cute little old chair that needs the seat re-cained and new glue on all the joints – I have had it for years

A little rocking chair – some doggie teeth marks on it, but sturdy

A small table  – less than a foot square – tall and a bit tippy honestly

A pretty, new cabinet that I had purchased from Target about 2 years ago that just doesn’t fit in our space anymore

What we did:

Everything except the little rocking chair and the cabinet went at the end of the driveway – and would you believe that people took all of them – every single one. I hope they really enjoy them.

I decided that I would paint the little rocking chair – I think a nice eggplant color and give it to my grandmother for her birthday for her porch – she needs a couple of little rocking chairs on the porch to replace very old ones that people can’t really sit in any more without risk of hurting themselves.

The cabinet – I have posted it on Craig’s List a couple of times – no bites – I kind of want to make a little money on this one – I bought it for about $130 and I feel really bad spending the money on it and not having it be useful for us – I may have to change my perspective and just let it go.

The porch which had become the storage unit – was so crowded – it looked horrible – dark – crowded and dirty and it is the entrance to our home.

River and I both felt a sense of relief when all the STUFF was gone!

Ahhhh – space – light – sunshine – air – so good to have you back!

Trace can’t wait for summer – for the end of school. Every day is a bit of a struggle.

“But I don’t want to go to school today.”

“Trace you only have six days of school left.”

Seriously – now we are having a struggle with this. Pretty much all year he has been great – amazing how the end of kindergarten is coming up and he already can’t wait for summer! I am wondering if by the end of summer he will be ready to go back to school to see all his buddies.

I was hoping we would have a pretty tame summer – but it isn’t looking too good for that.

So far we are:

Visiting my cousin and my grandfather – one weekend

A small friend reunion – at least we don’t have to travel for this one!

A baby shower for my best friend in Mass – so a weekend trip for me and Trace (believe it or not we are also invited to my great aunts 80th birthday this weekend and a friend’s wedding – go figure)

A Fresh Air kid from NY city coming to visit us for two weeks

A camping trip with Trace’s best friends

Grandma coming to visit

River’s dad coming to visit

My grandfather’s birthday

Ummmm – will we have any weekends to just hang out and relax – to float down the river and go fishing – I don’t know – time to look at the schedule and decide what is going to have to go so we can relaxxxxxxx.

Welcome to summer – I always anticipate 10 weeks of calm and it never happens – maybe this year I will learn…

It is noon – so far I have…

1. Sewn a pair of curtains out of an old sheet that came from my grandmothers house in preparation for River’s mom coming to stay with us for an undetermined amount of time (she has been in the hospital for over two weeks and can’t go home by herself yet) I have had the sheets for about seven years and they still smell like my grandmothers laundry I don’t know what she used in the laundry – but every time I smell the sheets I think of my Nanny.

2. Put a new elastic in a pair of hammy down pajama pants for Trace.

3. Patched two pairs of Trace’s pants – they boy manages to get holes in all his pants at the moment I think he has one pair of jeans with no holes and a couple of pairs of sweatpants that he wears as a last resort because they have no pockets. All his other pants – holes.

4. Picked a bag of greens for some friends that came over today to help River move the chicken coop to a shadier place in the backyard – we think the chicks will be far more comfortable in the new spot under the trees.

Now I am ready for a good book, a nap and some food – fresh greens anyone? Yum!

We ate the first greens from our garden the other day and they were delicious! I am so glad we decided to have a garden and I am really glad we went with the square foot gardening plan because there is so much less to weed. Seriously – we barely have to weed. At all. Which has always been my biggest nemeses when I have had small gardens in the past. They turn into weed gardens – great if you are a weed looking to take over the world – not so great if you are a tiny little vegetable trying to grow into food.

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We have planted almost everything outside at this point only a couple of things remain in the house as seedlings and they will be planted shortly. We spent about $76 on seeds that should pay for itself many times over in produce – especially if we end up with all the tomatoes we are hoping for! We have 20 tomato plants in the ground with 15 for round two to go in a little later to keep the growing season longer – come on BLT’s and spaghetti sauce! Each plant should produce about 25 tomatoes each – yum, yum, delicious!

River did a great job starting all the plants and keeping it all straight – next year might be my turn for that – yikes – I hope I do as well as he did!

In our effort to simplify our lives, we, of course, made it more complicated first. We decided to divide our house in half going from a little over 2100 square feet to about 1100 square feet of living space.

We had this big playroom,

that Trace never played in.

It is now our main living space: kitchen, living room & dining room – and it is just right – we love hanging out in here – anyone who is on the couch is still part of what is going on in the kitchen – because  – everyone always wants to be in the kitchen!

Trace’s bedroom is closer so he plays upstairs or brings a bin of cars down and plays in the living room.


It is a really bright, cheerful space and it feels comfortable, warm and just right for our family.

We are making the other half of the house – with the original kitchen into a two bedroom rental unit – income baby! I still have some things to remove from the other side of the house – pictures hanging on the wall mostly, they will slowly make there way to the new space if I think they are necessary, but so far – we are all so happy with our space and couldn’t imagine anything better!

Or maybe I should rephrase that: River has been busy –  I have been lazy.

River has finished our raised garden beds – with the exception of one that we need a little more vermiculite for. They look great! The trellis’ are on them where necessary and they have some fresh seaweed on top of them that will leach nutrients into the gardens as they dry up and get mixed with everything else.  River gathered the seaweed from the river by our house the other day – he took the canoe out and filled it up – filling the back of the truck with the rich seaweed to grow our veggies!

The faucet came in for our new kitchen and it has been installed, but the water is not hitched up yet.

We have been doing a lot of cooking on the wood stove since it has been cool and the wood stove has been going anyway. It is really fun to cook in our new space, another fun aspect of cooking in here is that Trace can reach the top of the wood stove without standing on a chair (which always scares me a little how they have to lean in a little to reach – balance not always being perfect) so he is learning how to flip pancakes with the best of ’em! We have made pancakes (many of them), crepes, mashed potatoes, grilled cheese, stir fry, and more spaghetti sauce for pizza (yum)!

We finished reading the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen as a family – it was fun to read together and it gave Trace many opportunities to tell us how he would do things if he were in that situation (and he had a LOT of ideas!) One of my favorite things to do is to read together whether we are all reading our own books or reading and listening to each other it is a calm restful thing to do.

So now – onto other things – I will keep you posted on our garden progress – it is almost time to plant spinach and other cold weather crops outdoors – I can’t wait!


This past weekend was great! I organized my new pantry – it looks very pretty with all our canned goods lined up and pretty.  We got a table that we bought from a friend home and it fits our new space perfectly! Our new living space is so perfect for us – none of us want to spend time on the other side of the house because this side of the house is so comfortable!

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We also transplanted our rhubarb plants and River has been doing a lot of seed starting. We can’t wait for green things to grow in the garden!

Enjoy the week!

We made our raised garden beds this weekend! With River’s patience, I learned about power tools and I must say I cut a pretty straight line with the circular saw – not bad for a first timer! We have them nailed together and they are ready to go in place…as soon as the appropriate areas are cleared for them. We have to clear the areas in front of the house. Right now there are lots of day lilies, what my dad calls sneeze weed and a few other flowers. Our rhubarb is also in this area but will soon be in a new raised bed all its own down in our field with a healthy dose of horse manure to increase production. (How the rhubarb ended up in the flowers is still a mystery to me – my dad might know the answer…)

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We are currently gathering the ingredients for our soil, a blend of peat moss, vermiculite and compost.

We have had a bit of a conundrum about the vermiculite and the peat moss as both of these are non-renewable resources. Most peat moss comes from bogs in Canada that are being depleted faster than they can grow back. We have decided to get a little at the store and to harvest our own locally so the moss will have a chance to regenerate. Since these are raised beds with bottoms that will not be walked on (very important not to crush your soil!) – the soil can be used forever while only adding a bit of compost to the beds each time something new is planted. We know that the peat moss and the vermiculite will have a long life in our garden growing veggies for our family so it will not be wasted.

On Monday while Trace and I were at bird class, River started seeds for broccoli, cauliflower, spinach,  lettuce, swiss chard, cabbage, kale, mesclun, onions, arugula, parsley and salad greens.

Trace can’t wait for peas so he can “pick ’em and eat ’em right in the garden”. I agree peas are a fan favorite around here!

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