Monday, April 11, 2016


When we moved here almost two years ago, due to my health issues, our income was reduced dramatically.  My husband took an early retirement, so his pension was not what it could have been if he had waited another eight years, which was our original plan.  However, our plans are not always God's plans, and I am fully convinced He has a reason for everything.  We knew immediately we needed to trust Him to take care of our financial needs.

In addition to having faith that God would provide, we knew our lifestyle would change with the reduction of income.  In order to be able to get our small farm up and running, we had to make a commitment to debt-free living, including not having a mortgage. This meant a fixer-upper rehab on a budget, along with doing most of the work ourselves.

Living debt-free has required a change of thinking on my part. When I had my web design business, if I wanted something new for our home, I just went out and bought it.  Now I have to be more thoughtful about my purchases. I am learning that I can't have all the things that I want.

Yesterday, I was lamenting over something I saw on a decorating site online, which  I felt I just HAD to have for the house. God clearly brought me back to my senses this morning.  During my quiet time, He  led me to these scripture verses:  

1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV)

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 

My biggest weakness, in terms of spending, is that I love decorating and all things home.  I have been an HGTV junkie for a number of years.  When we first moved here, due to my EMF sensitivity, I couldn't tolerate having a television in the house, so we were without one for quite sometime. As my health improved, I am now able to tolerate watching a small television,.  Most recently, I started watching HGTV again  I find myself drooling over some of the home makeover shows.  

Lately I have found myself looking at our home more critically.  I have definitely noticed a difference in my attitude of contentment now than when I wasn't able to watch television. God has shown me through scripture that if I continue down this path of discontentment,  I will eventually pierce myself with many griefs, as 1 Timothy 6:10 suggests. 

After giving it some thought, I know we made the right decision to paint the dark wood paneling in our home, rather than replace it. I am content with the laminate floors and countertops, which do look nice.  Our home doesn't have to be an HGTV show house.  When I go to bed at night, I can sleep peacefully knowing we do not have credit card balances as a result of our home rehab.  I am content with our new home in the country and appreciate God's loving guidance through His Word.


Linking up with Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Healthy Homemade Granola

This homemade granola is a staple at our house. It's filled with healthy fats and is lower in sugar than commercially-prepared granola, plus it smells wonderful while it's baking in the oven! We enjoy it as a sundae topping using iced coconut milk, along with organic maple syrup.


  • 3 cups organic, gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup organic unsulfured, shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp. organic ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup organic nuts, such as walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup organic seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic dried fruit, such as raisins or cranberries

Preheat oven to 325° F   Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the above ingredients, EXCEPT the dried fruit. Transfer mixture to cookie sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Turn granola with spatula and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding dried fruit.  Store in an airtight container.  These make great DIY gifts; simply add to a canning jar and decorate top with fabric, ribbon and a label.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chopped Fruit and Quinoa Salad

  • 4 cups organic mixed greens (I use Nature's Promise spring mix along with several organic kale leaves.)
  • 1/2 organic orange peeled and sectioned
  • 1 organic Granny Smith apple, cut into sections
  • 6 organic strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh organic blueberries
  • 1/4 cup organic walnuts
  • 1/2 cup organic cooked rainbow quinoa
  • 2-3 tablespoons Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)

In a large stainless steel bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the blueberries and cooked quinoa. Chop using a meza luna. Add blueberries, cooked quinoa and dressing after chopping; mix well.  Makes 2 servings.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Annie's Naturals organic honey mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoons herbs de provence
  • 1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Combine the above ingredients; refrigerate reminder in a tightly-covered container.

One of my favorites for lunch.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016


It seems like yesterday we moved to this beautiful, rural mountain area from Massachusetts.  It's been a long road with my EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity).  It is nice to finally be able to tolerate the computer in short intervals to begin blogging again.  I am also glad to be able to live here in WV away from the cell phone towers and wi-fi.  I feel so blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful area!  We fell in love with the property when we found it two years ago.  It has everything we wanted to homestead, including 18.5 acres, a one-level home, several outbuildings, a pond, a workshop with a root cellar, 21 sugar maple trees, three grapevines and a large hayfield.

Our dog, Jamie, enjoying a warm fire during the holidays
The interior of the house was dated, but the home had a fairly new roof, siding and windows.  We updated the home's interior, and I will post before and after photos in the coming weeks. We redid both the kitchen and bath, replaced all of the flooring, faucets and light fixtures and painted every dark-paneled wall throughout.  In addition, we finished the mudroom addition the previous owners started, and updated the front porch with a beadboard ceiling and painted the floor. We installed a vintage reproduction screen door between the kitchen and mudroom and also one at the front door.  They remind me of the screen door on the Walton's, complete with that sound when you open and close them. We also added a stone hearth to accommodate our wood stove, which heats the entire house. We bought one with a glass front door, so we could enjoy the ambiance of the flames. During the colder months, I love having my morning coffee in front of a warm, crackling fire.

one of last season's daily harvests
One of the best things about living in the country is the ability to grow our own organic vegetables. Last season, we had an amazing garden.  We added a small greenhouse to our property and started the plants from seed. We then created a 48' x 48' fenced garden area and planted carrots, potatoes, pole beans, zucchini, crooked neck squash, cucumbers, peppers, onions, tomatoes and pumpkins.   The soil is very rocky here in the mountains. After removing the rocks, we amended the soil with compost from our compost spinner. We look forward to starting our plants from seed in the greenhouse in a couple of weeks.

Onyx and Cissy
We've been slow to add animals to our homestead. We plan on adding chickens and a couple of goats in the near future, once some accommodations have been made to the outbuilding we plan to convert to a barn/chicken coop.

The most wonderful part of living here has been the peacefulness.  During the warmer months, I love waking up in the morning and throwing open the front door.  You can hear the birds chirping and the sound of rushing water from the stream across the street.  The air is crisp and fresh, without any hint of the smell of automobile exhaust fumes.

I am also currently studying to be a Master Herbalist and have five more classes to complete. Looking forward to studying out on the front porch in my rocking chair soon!