A Year

I just realized this evening that I’ve been blogging for a year and three days now! I’d been thinking about doing an anniversary post on the actual day, but with all that’s been going on I forgot all about it, and the day came and went without any fanfare.

If someone had told me 13 months ago that I would happily have maintained a blog for this long I would have thought they were crazy – what on earth would I have to talk about for that long? – but it’s easily become one of my favorite hobbies, and I still have lots on my mind! Aside from serving as a cooking/gardening journal, it has sparked a love of photography, and has connected me to like-minded friends from all over the world who I learn from and am inspired by daily. Amazing!

I took this up almost as a form of therapy, if you can believe it. I was going through a bit of a blue period this time last year, and I thought that keeping a journal of all of the things that I loved and was interested in would help me focus on the good things in my life. Who would have thought that looking at the “mundane” aspects of my life through the rosy lens of a camera could have such an effect? I firmly believe that making this shift toward actively focusing on what’s important to us has played a huge part in getting us to where we are now; within 6 months of starting this blog, we had embarked on the early stages of finally achieving our lifelong goal of a “house in the woods”. Now that I certainly wouldn’t have believed a year ago!

I’d like to say thank you for choosing to spend a little bit of your day with me in my tiny corner of the internet – I feel like I’m able to share a side of myself here that I don’t often reveal in “real life”.

Since this sometimes feels a bit one sided, I would really like to get to know you better, and would love it if you could spare a few moments to tell me a bit about yourself. What part of the world do you hail from, what brings you here, what do you do for fun? Do you have kids? Grand kids? Pets that you consider kids?

Don’t be shy now…

31 thoughts on “A Year”

  • Congrats! I’ve been reading you since last fall. I think a link from Phelan’s blog took me here.

    I love reading about your thoughts on homesteading in the city and living gently on the earth. I also like your posts about parenting, photography and all the garden talk (actually I drool over the gardens you westcoasters can have!).

  • Ok, I didn’t really answer you. I’m in Ottawa and I have two kids. I like to cook, garden, knit, read and play videogames. I try to live lightly on the earth and build community wherever I am (but it’s not easy).

    I’m not much for blogging myself but I really enjoy seeing the webs that form and how it’s all entangled. It’s exciting when someone posts about a blog they recently found and I go to myself: “Oh! I’ve been reading that one for a while!”

  • Hi, my name is Susan and I am a gardening addic…um, I like gardening. I have a brown thumb, but I keep trying. I am thrilled when my husband or my granddaughters pick something right out of my organic garden and eat it. I want my granddaughters to see where food comes from and how good homegrown food tastes. It also gets them to try foods they wouldn’t normally try because they like eating what they pick. I like to hear about others that are trying to live a less consumeristic lifestyle. Reading the blogs of other people that are being more consious of the consequenses of their lifestyle on thier own spirit and the earth helps me feel like part of a like minded community and helps me to be less influenced by the conspicuous consumeristic lifestyle of most of Southern California. Here, if you don’t own certain cars, wear certain clothes, have travertine floors and granite countertops you are not successful yet. I am a 52 year old college senior. I am married. I have two adult sons, 2 granddaughters and a little girl Parsons Jack Russell. My husband will retire within the next 5 years and we will move out of state and build a strawbale home that is capable of being off the grid. I want to insulate myself as much a possible from the economic decisions my government makes that are pro big business that seem to make the little guy poorer and poorer. I hope by then my gardening skills will have improved and I can grow some of our own healthy food. (ungenetically modified with actual nutrients intact)

  • Congrats!

    I just found you recently. I’m from West Allis, WI and have been slowly changing my lifestyle for a while now to live and eat more naturally.

    I love to cook, garden (alas I’m an apartment dweller for the time being), and play with my camera.

  • I am next door to your blog (previous) on the homesteadin’ unschooling blog ring. I am so surprised that blogging sparked your interest in photography as your pictures are beautiful and you seem to really have known this skill for longer. You give me hope, knowing that. I think you’ve been to my blog (you once left a comment) so I won’t bore you with my bio. I agree that it sometimes easier to express parts of myself in this community than IRL.

  • I love your blog. You have some incredible insights and yours is one of the several I visit every day … sometimes more than once just to make sure I don’t miss anything. It’s hard to believe that your blog is only a year old. You seem like you’ve been doing this for a long time ;).

    I live in southern, suburban Maine with my husband and three children. I have two adult children and an infant granddaughter. We have a menagerie of pets which includes six urban chickens. We spent the first ten years in Maine dreaming of our “homestead”, and finally decided last year that this place IS our homestead ;). We’re striving to learn to live lightly where we are and hoping to live more sustainably. I am inspired by your Riot for Austerity project.

  • Yeah!!! A whole year is awesome! And to be perfectly honest, I think you have a great blog–visually stimulating and your posts are great–not too long, not too short, interesting, positive, inspiring, fun. And I enjoy the homeschooling blog as well!

    Me? I am in California, Southern California. I have 7 children at home that I have raised–4 my husband’s, 2 mine and 1 ours: ages 28, 22, 20, 17, 16, 16 and 7. One dog named Buddy and one kitty named Bugsy. Some to have about 5-10 chickens when our chick coop is built!

    I have been blogging for almost as long–I needed an outlet, a way to be heard. You can imagine with such a large family that one can get lost in the shuffle LOL I left message boards as they were so controlling and drama filled and negative; blogging was liberating in that I could say what I wanted or needed and if someone was touched or moved they responded–no pressure.

    I have made some wonderful friends and met some truly intelligent individuals whom motivate and inspire me daily, whom make me laugh and cry, and whom inform me and make me think.

    I have also found parts of my lost self through blogging and that has been an amazing feeling!

  • hi!

    i just found your blog so i’m not one of hte lurkers! i live in sussex in the uk, work as a lawyer in anti-social behaviour, have an autistic son and a husband with kidney disease. i love gardening and would love a simpler life but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. your blog looks fascinating so i’m looking forward to coming back!

  • Happy Anniversary!!!!

    I’ve loved getting to know you this year. Your blog is always the first read of the day.

    Love the new header. I’m thinking I need something new…

  • Happy Blogiverary. I have been blogging a month yesterday. I am interested in the same things as you seem to be, and I have 4 kids I have always home schooled and my philosophy in that has been toward un-schooling. We are on 7 acres near Edmonton and we have pets and will be getting donkey’s today and chickens sometime in the future. I have a large garden and do lots of preserving and I love to cook and bake.

    And I love your blogs. They are great.

  • Happy blogiversary! I started my own blog as a form of therapy, and it just took a life of its own. I’m in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I’m just getting back to weaving after a long hiatus. I have turned my urban backyard into a vegetable/flower garden and produce a lot of my own food. Really into Slow Food and simple living in a big way. Six cats, might as well be kids. Love your blog!

  • Hi, I’m Pam, I live in your city and stumbled across your blog while google-searching for something in Vancouver (can’t remember what!) I have a daughter and another on the way. I work full time but am seriously considering a lifestyle change after this baby arrives…..your blog inspires me! And your photos are beautiful!

  • Congratulations! I’ve been reading your blog for about 6months and really enjoy it.

    And your choc chip cookie recipe (with the addition of macadamia nuts – i can never leave well enough alone) has become a firm favourite here. I know it by heart! Those cookies have cheered up a few blue days.

    I’m in Australia – husband, no kids, no pets (except worms – composting kind)

  • Hey, congratulations. Has it really been that long? Well, not much about me you don’t already know ;-). I must admit, this blogging thing has been fun…quite a ride.

  • Happy Blogversary! I too began blogging as a way to stay focused on the positive in our everyday life. It also began as a way I could “talk” about my playing farmer and not bore the people we know. I am the black sheep and what is most important besides my family is my lil’ homestead.
    I have been reading you blog for so long I am not sure when or how I discovered you- or if you discovered me first -via I found you by a comment- LOL
    Either way you quickly became one of my daily reads and smile. Heres to another wonderful and happy year of blogging ** cheers**

  • I live in Michigan and will be unschooling my 2 toddlers. I came to your blog probably about 6 months or so ago through Phelan’s blog list I think. I enjoy gardening, cooking and simpler living. So it’s no wonder really why I enjoy you blog! Congrats!

  • I came upon your blog through the homesteadin’ unschoolers blog ring. I love the term “free range” when applied to living, learning, parenting. We are enjoying a free range summer. I love to read about cooking, gardening, homeschooling, living more with less. Love your photos. I can’t believe how much blogging has changed my life. I didn’t know I had so much to say! Everyday I think, what could I possibly blog about today, then magically a thought appears, or a photo-op, and feelings flow, words come forth. I am more like the person I want to be thanks to my blog – writer, photographer, artist, gardener, thoughtful friend, in-the-moment momma. Looking forward to reading more about you!

  • Happy Anniversary! I found your site through Phelan’s link too. I love the homesteading blogs because they give me a glimpse of a life I’m just not suited for. Maybe if I had taken a different turn in the past, but I don’t see myself being able to manage it all. No, I’m more suited to supporting the local homesteader by buying their yummy milk and eggs and veggies, oh my!
    I live in McPherson,KS with my hubby. I love to knit, read, craft, and watch scifi, fantasy programs. I also just started my blog, only a dozen posts up so far.
    I think I like it!

  • good for you cheryl! i love to visit you, gather up and prepare your many recipes, they all are superb… follow you on this homesteading path as i feel we are on a similar path, you being a couple years ahead of us, which is wonderful because i am learning so much as i watch your family plans unfold. it also seems likely that i’ll be homeschooling my daughter this coming year, so i’m very thankful for all that you share in that area as well. i also think you were the first blogger to link to me on their side bar when i started blogging 7 months back, i don’t know if i ever properly thanked you for that, so thank you kindly! πŸ˜‰ looking forward to another year!!

  • I have no idea how I found your page originally, but I’ve been reading you for a while now.

    You make it all seem so easy and effortless, but I know that isn’t the truth.

    Your posts are well written and inspiring. You exude a calmness I wish i possessed. I come here because I truly enjoy reading your words and looking at your photos.

    Happy anniversary. And many more.


  • Well, since you asked us to, I’ll show my lurker face & say “hi!”. πŸ™‚ I can’t recall how I came across your blog but have been reading it since I began my own blog several mos. back (I was on Livejournal for years before that).

    I’m a homeschooling mama to 3 plus one in the belly, living just outside Portland, OR in suburbia, working our way towards purchasing our own land. I am completely obsessed with sustainability, small farms & farming, & simple, healthy living.

    Thanks for sharing your blog with us all!

  • I am new to your blog. I followed a recommendation by Colors of Dawn who is a good friend of mine. My name is Kim and I live in Northern BC. I have 2 kids, a son-13 and a daughter-nearly 8. They homeschooled with me for 3 years, but have returned to the school system due to struggles with my health. We all loved our time together homeschooling! I like to garden, and I am an artist who is constantly creating. I enjoyed your post and will come back again.

  • Congratulations, Cheryl. I really enjoy your blogs as well. I don’t often comment but I pop in and love to read/see what you’re up to. πŸ™‚

  • Congrats on your First Year! Your blog was suggested to me by a commenter on my blog when I started talking about wanting to get a “piece of country living”. They said you were “living the dream”, so I came over here and have had it bookmarked ever since. I live in BC and have 2 kids that I’m unschooling. I’m inspired by your lovely photos, your recipes, and your gardening skills. I’m also very envious of the new home you are building, and excitedly following along, living vicariously through you until we can do the same.

  • I have no idea how I originally found your blog…but I love it and read it regularly. I am originally from the Burnaby but now live in northern BC. I used to be a nurse but am taking a break from that to stay home with my three little ones – Joel (5), Chloe (3) and Samuel (10 months). I share your love of cooking, gardening and living lightly on the earth. I love the ideas I get when I read your blog…especially your cooking ideas. I am also greatly encouraged that there are others out there like me who are striving to live more responsibly. It’s funny that you started blogging as therapy…I read blogs as therapy! I have gone through quite a discouraging year (with postpartum depression) and find it uplifting to find other women out there who are moms and trying to live simply with old-fashioned values. So thank you for your blog…it has been a great encouragement to me!



    PS – I love the house plan you chose. My husband and I also dream of building a “little house in the woods” someday…and I have your very houseplan tucked away in the back of my mind…perhaps we will get there one day too. In the meantime I will enjoy watching you build your dream πŸ™‚

  • Hi Cheryl, Congratulations on reaching a year! I found your blog through a gardening blog and I am so glad I did. I love your blog; it’s interesting, thoughtful and beautifully presented. I also try to live as “green” as possible on a budget which is something we have in common. I also love the Vancouver area which we visited about 5 years ago and I love hearing about the region on your blog.

    I am a part time working mum of a beautiful boy aged 2. I live in rural England in a tiny house with a tiny garden. I like gardening, hiking, camping, crafting, thrifting and photography. I dream of my own patch of land somewhere and being self sufficient but am stuck in the commuter belt for the time being! I can’t wait to see how your new home develops.

    Sorry this comment is so late – I was away last week. I thought I would join in anyway!
    Ruth (from England)

  • I’m a pretty new reader, living on a gulf island. We are trying to move towards letting our 2 young children be free range, but I’m a bit of a control freak so learning to let go, which is often what my blog is about. We also try to live lightly, I’m into gardening and wildcrafting and other things. Your blog is interesting and I’ve added it to my links to make it easy to return regularly πŸ™‚

I would love to hear from you!

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