Monday, April 14, 2008


I love the Mohawk Valley. Here I live with my family enjoying life, Central New York style. That means 4 seasons: cold, snowy winters, rainy, cool springs full of birds and flowers, sunny and sometime humid summer days, and crisp, frosty Autumns. We are a half hour drive from the Adirondacks. We like to swim, boat, hike and explore the area. We also try to find time to go to to our cabin "Loon Watch" on Hinkley Lake. But most of the time we are at home.

We live in the village of New York Mills, near Utica, New York on a 3/4 acre lot. Our Federal Style Home dating from maybe the 1840's looks like Turkey Hill, Martha Stewart's home. My Polish grandparents purchased it in 1950. They lived on one side, my parents on the other. Mom raised 6 children there. Most of my happiest childhood memories are of learning to garden at my grandparents side and delighting in finding surprises in nature; like a fossil or a flower where it's not expected.

About 8 years ago I returned home with my husband Walt and our four children: Brian, Dan, David and Katie. We're working on having a simple, more sustainable life. We raise our own food and purchase from local farmers whenever we can. I buy bread flour and potatoes in 50 lb bags, Rice in 25 lb bags and many other staples in bulk. Although my children are older, I finally am able to be a SAHM although I'm still there to support and help Walt with our Video Production Company. Once in awhile, I take time to solo kayak or hike in the Adirondacks - always with my camera. Walt calls me a "Woodswoman".

Walt and I have always been "do it yourselfers". He is handy with carpentry, electrical, plumbing and can do most repairs and remodeling tasks. Although I like new appliances, I am blessed that he is able to repair many things and keep them going for a long time. I have been working on honing and learning old fashioned homemaking skills. I bake bread every few days (except in HOT weather) and I have to say, the bread is fantastic. In fact, I do as much from scratch as possible - yogurt, pasta, soups, noodles, canned meats, jams, etc. all this and more from a small galley kitchen.

If the weather is nice I may be out in the garden (AKA "The Barefoot Gardens") weeding, planting more flowers or harvesting some vegetables. Or else I'm in the kitchen preseving the harvest, baking, cooking up a big pot of soup or pulling a chicken out of the oven. Walt inherited my Grandfathers beekeeping gear and has put a hive in the corner of the yard. Unfortunately, zoning does not let us keep chickens or rabbits.

Walt and I see ourselves as village homesteaders.We don't have enough land to grow and raise as much food as we'd like, but we can live in the village with a homesteading attitude, looking for ways to be more sustainable, and working to eliminate our debt and live happily within our means.

I leave you with some words to live by.
Have Faith in God, Love Much, Share what you have, Appreciate what you have. Graciously accept help when offered, but develop the skills to survive in times of emergency or hardship. Take time to smell roses, Never stop learning, Never stop praying.