A Quick Update

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Things are finally getting back to normal around here.

Darci made a full recovery from her accident. We had her in for a check up and they noticed a growth on one of her ears that had a lot of abnormal cells so they decided surgery to remove it would be best and send the sample in to check for cancer.

She had her surgery this week and we received the results today. Luckily the tumor is benign. Poor dog. Escaped death twice in 2 weeks. Phew. Now we can go back to some sort of normalcy around here.

Thanks to all that sent good thoughts and wishes!

I’ll try not to be so neglectful of the blog 😉

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A Little time out

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I have some great stuff I want to share with all of you and I promise the posts are coming.

On Monday our Boxer had a serious accident. She suffered life threatening injuries and is still not completely in the clear.

We are doing our best to make sure she gets the care she needs in order to recover fully.

The next few days are going to be hectic but I will try to have some fun info on vermicomposting for you all within the next week.

🙂

Goodbye 2014 and Hello 2015

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While most people have already reviewed their 2014 year..I as usual am late to the party. Chris has been sick in bed since the weekend and both of us have been up most nights, him coughing and I listening to the coughing and keeping the fire going. We did however sit down and reflect on our past year. 2014 was quite a busy year for us…neither one of us remember another year in our lives that we did so much.

Year 2014

-We decided we were going to take the plunge and move to the Pacific Northwest.

-Chris left his 9-5 office job and took a position working remotely.

-We put our suburban home in Indiana on the market, deciding to sell it ourselves rather than use a realtor.

-Chris traveled to Iowa.

-Started this blog 🙂

-Started working with a realtor in the Washington area to find our next home.

-Proceeded to show the house for 2-3 months, sell and donate 1/2 of our material possessions including our 2nd car.

-Chris traveled to Texas twice.

-Sold our house..packed ourselves..our things..and Darci into a U-haul and made our voyage across the country with no home waiting for us.

-Rented a small studio townhome for 2 months while house hunting for the perfect land.

-Fired our realtor.

-Both Chris and I went to Texas.

-Finally found a home, which came with a whole new set of stresses.

-Chris went to Texas again.

-Inherited a giant 2nd dog.

-Celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary.

-Moved in and immediately got a flock of chickens.

– Cleaned up the property and started making plans for our homestead.

-Tested out a small herd of troublesome goats for 2 months.

-Chris went again to Texas.

-Embarked on the journey that was collecting and prepping firewood for winter. A complete project all on it’s own.

-Starting winterizing the house and out buildings.

-Built a chicken tractor and dog house.

– We joined a new congregation and made some great new friends.

-Chris went hunting and got our first deer ever!

-Chris traveled to Kansas City.

– Our clothes washer, water heater and fridge all broke and had to be replaced..within weeks of eachother.

-Kept working on the house. (a project that is still on going.)

-Tried to get in hiking, camping and fishing trips but found little time.

-I battled sickness almost the entire time we have been in our new home, including a fun e. coli infection!

– The work is still continuing.

Get the picture? Things were crazyness for us. In a good way. We did so much and accomplished so many things we weren’t sure we ever would. 2014 was a fulfilling and blessed year for us. We learned so much about our visions for the future and did something most people only dream of doing. We are so grateful to have had the opportunities we did and can’t wait for the next 50 years of crazy busyness. 2015 is really going to be the year of getting our little homestead up and running. We are excited to share the things to come with you!

Cultivating Gratefulness

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I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a kind, warm and caring friend. She always invites me into her home, makes coffee and takes time out of her week to spend hours with me. During our visit, she opened up to me a little. Our conversation hit me like a ton of bricks. I take A LOT  for granted. And it’s not just me…but almost everyone at some point or another doesn’t stop to be thankful for something. I, like many others, find myself complaining and stressing about the little things rather than stopping to enjoy everything I have. I won’t deny it…we are all guilty of it at some point. I wake up healthy in a house too big, I have a closet full of clothes and a warm meal on the table every night. I have a husband that loves and provides for me, the bills are always paid and we have savings in the bank account. I don’t even think to stop and be grateful for that everyday. That’s not to say I am not thankful…because I am..but I often forget these things when my day goes rougher than I would like.

My dear friend struggles to make ends meet and has really been down on her luck…yet her and her family are grateful and humble. They devote much of their time and energy into others and are grateful for what they have. It’s really a beautiful thing.

I learned a lot from our short conversation and brought it back home to Chris. We both have been really focusing on how fortunate we are and how we want to give back.  We are choosing going forward to be more present and thankful each day. Too often we get caught up in the simple things and forget how lucky we are to be alive.

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I challenge you to be more present and grateful in your daily lives.

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MIA…again

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Buying a house, moving across country and trying to maintain a routine is hard. Like way hard. I’m not going to lie..I forgot I hadn’t posted for a while. :/ my bad. Anywho I have a lot to share..and I will..but for now I just want to share some down time we got this weekend. If you can’t tell we LOVE being outdoors, so much that we get cabin fever if we don’t get to go for at least a walk in nature everyday. Well living in a studio apartment w/ a loft for the past month and a half does not help the situation..it only exacerbates it by 100. Chris, Stephanie & Darci..all crammed in a small space ALL day EVERYday. Don’t get me wrong..we all love eachother but we’ve gotta get out & breathe. 

Lately we’ve been going to Bear Lake..which is this great spring fed lake that Darci adores swimming in. Unfortunately the experience is ruined. We all know that humans are nasty nasty creatures right? No? Am I alone in thinking this? We destroy our oceans, pollute every smidge of nature, cause forest fires and destroy our bodies just to name a few. Well the disgusting people that visit Bear Lake are no different. People chain smoking and dropping the buds on the floor, trash including beer bottles left everywhere, left behind dog doodoo, and people making out & spitting in the water! What the eff…people are gross. Our last visit was enough to make us leave 5 minutes after getting there. Who wants to go out in nature and smell the fresh..cigarette smoke?! Ugh…so we decided to make a trip up to Bead Lake which is an extra hour or so drive but oh so worth it.

Bead Lake is in The Colville National forest…and it is gorgeous! FOREST PEOPLE! Sorry for yelling 😉 It has beautiful hiking area and some people…but very few…oh and best of all no trash everywhere and the smell of fir and pine trees not cigarettes. Yay. We’ve seen a handful of deer and we even saw a bear. Yep he ran right across the road in front of our car. That was priceless. So we hiked..and Darci ran a lot..and we swam in the cleanest water i’ve ever seen…and we caught crawdads just to practice..want to see pictures? 

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look at the color of the water!

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Our Swim Spot..it was so clear you could see the bottom perfectly!

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Darci Loves Swimming..she ran down and hopped in right away!

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Crawdads..we caught with our hands & released these..too small to eat!

 

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SO happy outdoors

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My Family ❤

Isn’t it gorgeous out there? 

I’ve got some recipes to share with you coming up…i’ll try not to be gone so long. We move in next Friday! Less than 2 weeks away. Woot.

*S

 

 

 

Texas Ranting

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Hey all!

Things have been crazy here…trying to do the home inspection, appraisal, research etc. On top of it all Chris had to travel to Texas for business and decided to take me along.

I’ve been watching crappy cable television all week…eating garbage and now I have a cold/flu. Woot. I thank my dietary choices of the week for my immune issues..my own doing..can’t complain much. Oh and because all of my homemade beauty products are in glass jars and bottles they are a no no on the plane…so i’ve been using toxic shampoo and lotion. Luckily I found a small bottle to bring my oil face cleanser along.  😉

Oh did I mention i’m in TEXAS?! YUCK! Sorry all y’all Texans..I can’t hang. Humid..flat..dry..crowded..no and thank you. I will say the people I have dealt with have been very hospitable. So there is an upside to Texas, that good old Southern Hospitality. 🙂

I’ll have more to say when I’m back surrounded by my mountains in Washington…until then.

Sorry for my Negative Nancy attitude!

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Why Darci is on a Raw Diet

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First let me say I am not a veterinarian, so these are strictly my opinions and I am in no way telling you what you should do with your dog but I am offering my viewpoint on what I feel is the healthiest diet for our pets.

Yesterday evening I sat on the grass in the small yard behind our Townhome rental while Darci chowed down on dinner. A worker that was doing some gardening for the complex walked by and said ” Hi Pup” and Darci looked up at him with a huge raw chicken leg quarter hanging out of her chompers. The look on his face was one of confusion and intrigue. “Is that RAW chicken she’s eating?!” was his exclamation.

YES WE FEED OUR DOG RAW MEAT AND BONES.

This is not the first time we have been approached with questions surrounding Darci Pants’ diet. You name it worry, confusion, disgust, curiosity we’ve seen it. People have expressed worry that she will get sick, they’ve asked if she’s getting all of the nutrition she needs, and of course what if she doesn’t like raw meat? The answers are no she will not get sick-dogs stomachs are made for raw meat, yes she is receiving optimal nutrition (better than any bag of dog food) and too bad she will eat it anyways because she is not the pack leader and that’s what she gets (besides, she LOVES her raw diet). While we like to pretend we don’t sometimes..we like Darci (ok fine maybe love)..we want her to be healthy and balanced so we would never do anything we thought was detrimental to her health, just as we would not sit around while her health went down the drain.

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I’ve worked with animals quite a bit, especially dogs and cats, in both a veterinary setting and a grooming setting. I’ve watched thousands of companions struggle with allergies, abnormal bowel movements, unhealthy weight, poor dental health, poor skin and coat health and many other conditions that seem to be becoming a regular occurrence among our furry friends. These pets are being diagnosed with human diseases just as often as we are. It’s baffling and honestly quite appalling. What do you think the rate of diabetes occurring in wild dogs such as wolves is? I can bet it’s slim to none. We are making our pets sick, just as we are making ourselves sick with processed foods!

Domesticated dogs are direct ancestors of wolves. They share DNA. Wolves are carnivores. They do not require fruits, veggies and definitely NOT grains. The meat they eat is not cooked before being consumed. Wolves have thrived their entire existence eating nothing but raw meat and bones. Look at the beautiful wolf-lean, strong, full of life and captivating. Why should dogs, their ancestors follow a different diet?

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The answer is they shouldn’t. Dogs need raw meat, raw bones and organ meats in order to survive. That is the diet they were meant to eat. Darci has proved that to be true. Before going raw she was on a conventional diet of packaged dog food. Her first food (the one Chris had been told was good before I came along) was packed full of grains, and veggies and heavens knows what else. Darci was also plagued with Diarrhea, red runny eyes, smelly ears and skin allergies. We decided to switch her to a grain, corn and soy free food in hopes of it clearing up some of these issues. Her allergies improved slightly and her bathroom habits improved slightly, but not enough for us to feel comfortable with her level of comfort.

Then the lightbulb came on! Chris had fed his previous boxer a raw diet and had done a lot of research on it. He remembers Yuna being in great health, never any allergies or bathroom issues and her teeth at age 10 were impeccable. The vet couldn’t believe it. Why we didn’t do this before? I don’t know…blame it on being newlyweds-shameful :(. So the next thing I knew I found myself portioning and weighing out raw meat, bones and organs according to Darci’s weight and throwing raw eggs(shell on) in her bowl every week. And guess what? it worked! Darci’s allergies are gone…no more dry flaky skin and runny eyes (with the exception of the occasional sleepy goop), her coat shines brilliantly, her ears are clean and her poo? Amazing…barely any, almost no odor and it’s firm and basically will disintegrate on it’s own. Plus for us! Her teeth are pearly white and we don’t anticipate having to clean them ever since this diet keeps them clean and healthy. It’s really been amazing to see the drastic improvements in her. The vet recently checked her out and she has actually gained a pound and he said she is in fantastic health.

So yes it takes a little more time to weigh out her meals and yes I make special trips to the farmer’s market to score on great liver, heart and other organs, and yes she eats outside in the grass and I wipe her face down after each meal but she is healthy which makes it so worth it!

These 2 sites go into the benefits, science and how-to’s: Raw Fed Dogs and Raw fed. I used these sites to figure out how much meat, bone and organ Darci needs in her diet according to weight. She eats organ meat 3-4 times a week, and about 1 1/2 pounds of raw meat and bone a day. She also gets a raw egg,shell on, every Monday ( which she gets really excited about). Dogs need a certain amount of protein, raw bone and organ meat for the proper diet. And Yes the bones have to be raw and cannot be weight bearing bones from large animals. When cooked bones become brittle and splinter making them a hazard but raw bones are soft and easy to eat and bones too large and hard can damage teeth and become dangerous. So while it took a little bit of prep work and time in the beginning I now know exactly how much she needs to eat, what kinds of bones she can eat and i’ve got a super easy system down. Another plus is we are spending less money on her food now than we were with pricey packaged garbage!

Here’s what her typical meal looks like..

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So if your dog struggles with health issues I strongly urge you to check out raw feeding…it’s really quite amazing. Whether you are disgusted or intrigued I urge you to read those 2 sites, they really do make sense!

*S

House hunting, GOOD dinners and Outdoor play

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House hunting has been really exhausting…probably because we are still living in EST even though we are now in a different time zone..or maybe because we have yet to find that dream home..or maybe it’s because we had a bad realtor that we finally had to dump. I’m not sure but we are tired. So this weekend we decided we needed some fun time. We went swimming at Bear Lake with Darci and had a blast.

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Then we decided to go for an hour hike…yea it was 100 degrees out but what the heck..without the humidity it wasn’t SO bad and we pulled through like champs! Even Darci 🙂

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Then we decided it was way too hot…so we went swimming in the river to cool down haha. Darci went right in!

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So that was our fun off weekend! Now we are back to house hunting..we found one we loved loved loved last night. We are also really optimistic about the one we will see this evening…I think it will come down to those 2. Keep your fingers crossed for us 😉

OH! I made a new recipe again..and guess what?! it didn’t suck! It was quite delicious…and easy. The meatballs were the new recipe..i just threw together some cinnamon spiced yams and sauteed collard greens to go with them. We chowed down on that after all of our outdoor fun. Yumm.

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I also found these new delicious snacks..both paleo friendly and a good burst of energy. I try not to buy stuff like this too often and prefer to snack on fresh fruit and veggies but once in a while it’s a nice treat.Try them..they rock!

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I hope you enjoyed my terrible food photography and ramblings!

*S

We have arrived!!

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We did it…we made it to Washington!

Finally…

The journey here was nothing short of eventful. It seems like one thing after another just kept happening. First…the day before we closed we were supposed to get our Uhaul in the morning so we could pack it up to be ready to leave at 9 am the following morning. Well that didn’t happen. We didn’t get it until after 2pm. We stayed up until almost 2am packing that night until we finally opted to get a few hours of shut eye and wake up early to continue. So we got up at about 5:30 in the morning and went straight to work..no breakfast..no coffee 😦 just work. We were both sore(mainly me) and cranky. Not fun to move when your like that and Darci tried to help of course!

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Chris ended up going to the closing and I stayed behind to keep working on packing since we were so so behind. Finally we finished and got on the road around 1 or so and we said goodbye to Indiana.

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The first day was not very beautiful scenary..and it was long! We made it to Albert Lea, Minnesota and didn’t get in our room until 1 am. We saw a pretty sunset though. Darci got her own Queen size bed in the hotel..haha what a goober!

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The next morning we woke up feeling a lot better than the previous day and got on the road at about 10am. All was good until I said we are making good time we should be getting to the next hotel at a decent time and have some down time. Well..then we heard a noise, something that didn’t sound good. A car pulled up and flagged us down to stop. A tire had popped and shredded on the tow trailer carrying our car! Ahhhh… I believe we were still in Minnesota and had nothing to look at but tall grass and the smell of manure lingered in the air. It was freaking middle of nowhere Minnesota.We ended up waiting for 3 hours just for road side assistance to get there and ended up losing 4 hours after the whole ordeal. To top it off we had to stand to avoid chiggers and keep Darci on a towel. We also didn’t realize how hot it was because of the lovely breeze and we fried! Great..4 hours lost and now we are burnt to lobster red.

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After that the drive got a bit better in South Dakota. At first all of the lush buffalo grassy hills with no trees were kind of pretty..then it got kind of creepy. haha. BUT..we saw our first mountains in the distance! yay. I always took seeing mountains in the distance for granted when I lived in Cali. Well when you move somewhere where there are no mountains and just sky..you realize just how great they are to see. Needless to say I got so excited I almost peed. JK JK. Lesson learned: those of you that have mountain views..ENJOY THEM! Take them in..they are beautiful! The 3rd picture you can see mountains! woot! We arrived in Sundance, Wyoming that evening..late..I don’t know what time..too many time changes. All I know was we didn’t get to sleep until 1:30 am Eastern time( Our time) Sundance was nice and small. The people were friendly and Chris even met a wonderful lady at the gas station that went home to bring us back vinegar for our sunburns. So sweet!

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Day 3: We get on the road early..ready to start our day. We make it out of Wyoming and into Montana. We are so excited to see Montana! All is well then the check engine light comes on in the Uhaul..and we smell a burning smell! What the eff?! We call Roadside assistance again and manage to make it to a gas station in Billings, Montana where it’s freaking 94 degrees out. Luckily Billings is a major city so we only waited about and hour and a half. A nice gentlemen said the Uhaul may have overheated a bit but the sensor was broken so we should be fine. Woohoo. We continue on. It was pretty in Montana…and we made it to Butte, Montana for the night. Except the check engine light came on again just as we arrived. ughh..we called to have someone come look at it that evening and proceeded to get eaten alive by mosquitoes while waiting. I must have 30 bug bites on me right now. 😦 So now we are sunburned and covered in bug bites. great.  The Uhaul guy confirmed that the sensor was just broken and reset it. Butte was quite nice..it was cute and cozy. Darci got another Queen bed to herself again in the hotel and we all crashed pretty hard that night.

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Day 4 we were pretty psyched to only have a 5 1/2 hour drive and were super excited to see the rest of Montana and Idaho. We were in no way disappointed! Missoula Montana was amazing and Idaho was breathtaking. We fell in love with Idaho and may end up settling down there. Couer d’Alene was like heaven and the lake took our breath away. I took so many pictures and will only share a few, but they do not do it justice in anyway!

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Now Idaho

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I had to get some Uhaul pics of us 🙂

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Chris did ALL of the driving. I have such an amazing hubby. And Darci slept on my lap pretty much the whole time! We made it to Washington and our townhome was inaccessible..couldn’t find the manager or anything so that was our final bump in the road. Luckily it got fixed and now we just have to start house hunting. Oh and unload our Uhaul into storage..which will be done later today. Phew..glad that’s over. Now onto the next journey..finding the perfect land…

Welcome to Washington!

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