Polyface Check-out Part 4: Heading Home

This is the 4th post in a 4-part series. Read the first, second, and third parts by clicking the links).

My morning wakeup on Sunday, October 27th, 2019 was unfortunate. All I really had to look forward to today was a super long drive, and an empty fridge. I planned on having eggs for dinner when I got home, and then going to bed…so that I could go back to my office job tomorrow. On top of that, I had originally planned on taking an hour to do a hike in the Shenandoah National Park before going home…but the sky was dumping buckets of rain on everything, so that wasn’t going to happen. 

But, it couldn’t be helped, and I was grateful for the last couple of days. Since the Salatins had said we could help with chores before we left if we wanted – and that would likely be the highlight of my day – I got out of bed right away. I immediately rolled up my sleeping bag and pulled on a dirty pair of jeans – after all, no point in soiling a fresh pair for only an hour or so of chores. Then I double and triple checked that everything was packed up for the drive home, except a fresh pair of clean clothes and shoes for me to change into.

Continue reading “Polyface Check-out Part 4: Heading Home”

Polyface Check-out Part 3: The Second Work Day

This is the 3rd post in a 4-part series. Read the first, second, and fourth parts by clicking the links).

Weirdly, it was actually easier for me to get out of bed on the second day. I slept really well the night before, and awoke feeling refreshed…even though I hadn’t actually gotten as many hours of sleep as usual. My muscles weren’t particularly sore either – I could tell that I had worked my whole body hard the day before, but it wasn’t the same as a big workout, which targets specific muscle groups to exhaustion. The only muscles that were specifically, painfully sore were my hand muscles, of all things. I guess I don’t normally grip a lot of stuff. I made a mental note to add “gripping stuff” to my workouts.

It had rained overnight, and the morning sky was still gray. I hoped it wouldn’t rain during the work day, as I dodged puddles on my way over to the main farm. Gray or not, the morning was just as beautiful as it had been yesterday, and I felt invigorated by the brisk air.

Once again, everyone met by the outdoor woodburner and the Polyface staff went over the plan for the day. Since today was Saturday and the Salatins don’t work on Sunday, there were no new faces…and a smaller group of checkouts than yesterday. Everyone who was still here was on their second work day, or was just helping with chores before leaving.

Continue reading “Polyface Check-out Part 3: The Second Work Day”

Polyface Check-out Part 2: The First Work Day

(This is the 2nd post in a 4-part series. Read the first, third, and fourth parts by clicking the links).

My alarm went off at 6:30 the next morning, and I grunted slightly. This was later than I normally slept, but I’d been up late talking to the other checkouts and hadn’t slept all that well – I never do, in a new place. 

Forcing myself to get out of my warm blankets, I climbed down from the bunk, and mustered all of my willpower to leave the warm bedroom. Although a space heater had kept us warm throughout the night – too warm, really – the late October air had permeated the kitchen and bathroom, making me cringe as my bare feet padded across the icy wood floor.

Continue reading “Polyface Check-out Part 2: The First Work Day”

Polyface Check-out Part 1: The Drive

(read THIS first)

I woke up at 5:15am on Thursday, October 24th, and completed a basic, maintenance workout. Then I made eggs and had a leisurely cup of coffee, complete with petting cats and reading the news.

So it was like most Thursdays. Except that this time, instead of leaving for work, I’d be leaving for Swoope, Virginia for the Polyface Check-out. Continue reading “Polyface Check-out Part 1: The Drive”

Announcement: Summer of 2020

So you may have read my most recent post called “Life Changes.” If you haven’t, you should go read it now because you sort of need that background knowledge to totally appreciate this post. 

This post is the Big Announcement about what’s happening in the summer of 2020.

*Drumroll please*

I’m going to spend five months in Virginia.

After that…who knows?

Continue reading “Announcement: Summer of 2020”

Life Changes

You may have noticed that this website has been a bit quiet lately. The thing is, there’s been some pretty big changes going on at the Homesteading House, and I’ve been hesitant to write about them publicly.

But I’ve done some thinking and I’ve decided the following:

  1. I like writing and I want to keep this blog going.
  2. So I’m GOING to keep this blog going – there will be recipes, gardening stuff, pictures of cats, and more.
  3. I owe my readers an explanation for what’s been going on in my life, but I also don’t want to bog down this blog or turn it into a personal journal of angst. After all, that’s not what it’s for.
  4. Changing site titles (Yep, “Hardheaded Homesteading Housewife” magically turned into “Hardheaded Homesteading House”) and cagily describing my “rural” surroundings without explaining why I’m not in the suburbs anymore isn’t really fair either.
  5. I have a reeaallly exciting project coming up, but you sort of need background information about my life to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing (stay tuned! Cool things are happening!)

I’m a big fan of transparency, y’all. Transparency is good!

So here’s the deal:

Several months ago, I came home from visiting my sister’s new baby. I was super excited because my sister had taught me how to make soap, and I was looking forward to surprising my husband with one of his favorite dinners – Guinness Beef Stew.

But wait. When I got home…my husband was gone.

Continue reading “Life Changes”

My Site Title Explained – What Does it Mean to Be a “Homesteading Housewife”?

If you knew me in real life, you would probably do a double take when you read my site title for the first time. Why would I choose to call myself “Hardheaded Homesteading Housewife” when…

  • I live in the suburbs.
  • I grew up in the suburbs, and so did my husband.
  • I went to college for a career that had nothing to do with agriculture (read more about that here).
  • I don’t own livestock (unless you count my cats).
  • I have a full-time job (outside the home) that I don’t plan to quit any time soon
  • I don’t have children (yet).
  • I have a small garden that needs a LOT of work if it’s going to produce a significant amount of food.
  • I’m not that hardheaded…okay, the hardheaded part is pretty obvious to anybody who knows me.

So what gives? Continue reading “My Site Title Explained – What Does it Mean to Be a “Homesteading Housewife”?”

Meet My (Fur) Babies & Check Out our DIY Scratching Post

Somebody drew attention to the fact that I have a cat picture on the homepage of my blog, and have shared cat pictures in my previous post (a meatloaf recipe), but never explained or introduced my cats to you guys.

So here goes.

Prepare for a fun post about cats, and little tutorial for a making a scratching post (since I didn’t want to give you guys a completely impractical post). It doesn’t really have anything to do homesteading…

Well, actually I think cats have a lot to do with “home” part of homesteading, but that’s just me. Continue reading “Meet My (Fur) Babies & Check Out our DIY Scratching Post”

My Career Story

When I wrote about vegetable oil, I mentioned that I had been involved in medical research, and that I had been thinking about becoming a dietitian. But when I shared my Irish Soda Bread recipe, I talk about being a teacher. And my site title is “Hardheaded Homesteading Housewife.” You may be confused.

So I decided to share a little bit about my career background. This isn’t a post with helpful tips or recipes or advice – it’s just my story so you understand what exactly I’d done with my life so far.

At the time of writing this post, I am 24 years old (Yup, super young), and I’ve changed my career plans many different times. But each time gave me an incredible wealth of knowledge and some really useful skills.

Childhood

If you would’ve approached me when I was five years old and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would’ve told you I wanted to be a farmer. I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books and thought there was no greater goal than to have a milk cow and grow crops.

Seriously.

Then my mom told me about how modern farming involves selling things to people and following government regulations. It does not mean that you have a little self sufficient farm where you go to town once a month to trade wheat and animal furs for sugar and coffee. I was devastated. My dreams were crushed. Continue reading “My Career Story”

VERY SCIENTIFIC Egg Taste Test!

So you read about why I think pastured eggs are better than regular eggs, and saw that although I thought there was a taste difference, some studies showed that there was no taste difference. Am I insane? Are the studies wrong? Obviously, I needed to do an egg taste taste.

BECAUSE SCIENCE.

So. Do pastured eggs taste better than conventional eggs?

The short answer:

OH MY GOD, YES. GO BUY THEM. BUY THEM NOW (read where and how to buy them here!).

The long answer:

Continue reading “VERY SCIENTIFIC Egg Taste Test!”