Here comes February

It’s blowing my mind that it’s already February. Anyone else feel like time has picked up it’s pace for 2015? I know I do.

I was in the local Dollar Tree (I have to admit, it’s one of my guilty pleasures) yesterday and noticed that in addition to their Valentine’s Day offerings, Spring is, well, springing, in the stores here.

I picked up a bag of potting soil and was so tempted by all the seed packets they had. I really want to grow a few edibles this year, but as tempted as I am by all the veggies, what I really want to grow is herbs.

For those who don’t know, herbs have been a passion of mine for a long time. I love to cook and the idea of snipping off my own live plants appeals to me.

Of course, I blame this obsession on my sister-of-the-heart, TimberLeaves, and her mom.

Growing up, TL’s mom was probably the closest thing I had to a positive female influence and I always thought she was beautiful and cool and interesting. She played the guitar, there was always a glass jar of sun-tea brewing on the back steps, she had an herb garden and there were always delicious smells coming from her kitchen. She was a powerful influence to an unloved child, although I’m not sure if she actually realized that. (Now I think I should write her and tell her).

I remember visiting her, probably 10 years ago now, and we got to talking about her herb garden. She has a chocolate mint plant that tastes like a peppermint pattie. She would walk around and pinch a leaf here and there letting me smell and taste the fruits of her labor. It was a magical experience, especially hearing not only what foods they were good in, but some of their medicinal properties as well. It fanned the flames for me and I vowed to one day have my own herb garden and use what I grew for cooking and making medicine.

I’ve studied herbology off and on over the years and even though most of my studies were of a more religious nature, I did pick up a lot of information on medicinal uses as well.

This is the year I actually want to start growing herbs. I’m sure I’ll end up with some peppers, green onions, a tomato plant or two, etc, but herbs is where I’d really like to focus since fresh herbs at a reasonable price are hard to come by around here.

Are you itching for green and growing things yet? I know I am!

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Communal Living ~ Us and Them

Although CB and her family live in a double-wide, not a camper or tiny house, the way we live together here tends to take on a very communal aspect.

While I don’t recommend trying to live like we do with just anyone, with the right family/families, I do believe it can work.

Last year CB’s husband planted a vegetable garden. I intended to get out there and do some work in it myself, but I had a lot going on. He was out of work due to some health issues and seemed to enjoy it, so I let him have at it.

This year, however, I think the garden will be left more to me since he’s now back to work.

Either way, I intend to plant an herb garden to help out and do my part like I wanted to last year.

The garden isn’t the only place our families come together to help. CB’s husband has a truck and he’s usually willing to help out if you need something hauled.

Paul is a fixer and can often be found fixing not just our stuff, but theirs as well.

I baked bread for both families the other day and will do so again today. I also help them get Kid #3 back and forth to school since she can’t be dropped off this year until 30 mins after CB has to be at work.

If one house runs short on something the other has, we loan and trade back and forth. That’s how the baking bread happened. I was short on flour, CB loaned me some, so I made her a loaf of bread, too.

Basically, whatever resources we have between our houses is gladly shared back and forth.

In this way, our lifestyle here seems very communal. Of course, there are more hard-core definitions of communal living, but this light version seems to work for all of us and it helps lighten the load and stress on us all knowing that we have others who are there for us when we need it.

Because of the system we have in place here, we continue to feel very blessed every day to have another family that cares so deeply for us. CB and her family are a blessing we’ll always be thankful for, and we strive to be a blessing to them in return.

This brand of communal living isn’t for everyone, but for our families, it works beautifully!