Saturday, November 30, 2013


This morning it was -4 degrees here.  So cold that even while out to do the morning animal chores the tips of my fingers were uncomfortable for a time.    When I jumped on the back of the rubber bucket to break the ice and water splashed on my boots, ice immediately formed on my shoelaces and then trying to undo them with aching fingers after coming inside was nearly impossible. 

The wonderful part about the cold is the skating.   Friends are over.

 In between preparing lunch and snacks for everyone, tightening skates, putting wood in the wood stove, Mike and I continue to work on our business.  I wood burn and package.  Mike heads down the basement to get some hooks done.  

This life of ours is a series of compromises.  With seven children (which yes we did choose to have a large family) we need a certain level of income to support the basics - our mortgage, keep our old Suburban running, some clothing - specifically shoes as the rest I can usually find at thrift shops, and some other random bills.  But the biggest expense for us is food.  This is a topic I am passionate about - about working towards growing and raising our own and what we cannot (which is the majority but we do a little more each year) we try to buy locally and then finally organic if I can make it work financially.  

 But, I make compromises constantly.  

Keeping up with every one's needs and the needs of our business, time is sometimes at a premium.  So for example, today we had homemade chocolate cake with frosting made of local organic cream (yum!) but the hot cocoa, boxed from the general store.  I know how to make cocoa from scratch.  But I have not had the time to source and purchase the organic powdered milk, organic cocoa, etc.... 

During this holiday season when our business is busy, I will continue to make compromises because for this season snatching moments of time with each other will be more important than being caught up in making every meal from scratch or making every gift by hand.


  1. Best hot chocolate recipe; 2 scoops sugar, 1 scoop cocoa powder, and milk in a mug, microwave for 1 1/2 minute, stir. You can also heat on stove top in a pan.

  2. Amen, dear. Do what you can, and remember to find some moments of peace!
    Love to you and yours.

  3. Time with family is most important. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and now the home is quiet once again until they all come back for Christmas :)
    Have a beautiful day!

  4. I think the fact that you realize that you are making a compromise is what is important and that when the timing, money, is right, you will make the choice, purchase, that fits better with your beliefs. My husband and I try to eat organic and local first and if that isn't an option, then we buy organic from the grocery store if we can afford it. Organic dairy is a really important topic for me, so I chastise my husband for buying the non-organic cream cheese that I am eating on my bagel right now, but it was a big grocery day buying lots of staples, so organic cream cheese wasn't a priority this week. Just knowing that you should be buying local organic cream over the factory farmed hormone treated stuff in the grocery store is a positive.

  5. You can only do so much, and your family (and the means to support them) is the main thing. I get my cocoa and hot chocolate mix from Equal Exchange (fair trade and some organic products). When you have time after the holiday rush is over, you may want to check out their website.