Welcome to our Homestead

Welcome to Rocky Oak Homestead™

A quiet, peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of everyday living in a world on the brink of insanity! A place where we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Well, hello blogland!

Yes, I'm alive and doing well...Not sure why getting back to blogging has been so hard for me other than my time is being spent elsewhere..but hopefully I can figure out a way to fix that!

So what's going on with you all? Things are quiet as always around here...my youngest daughter is due very soon with our 4th grand-child, 3rd grand-daughter... we are excited! Spring has decided to to hold off I guess in these parts, it's frustrating as I am so ready to be outside playing in the dirt...when I'm outside in nature I am in my element! The goats we bought in December are doing well, the kids are growing and getting big...I have a buck on deposit and will pick him up the end of May or first part of June..

It's been a long journey the past years...but it's been good and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...finally! Grieving is hard and there is no time limit like we like to believe. People will say well, it been a year or however long...I always wanna say "and why does that matter.? See, i've learned grief is ongoing, it doesn't stop when you want it to, or wish it would, as a matter of fact...I don't believe it ever stops, we just somehow learn to live around the loss of our loved one...I think we grieve indefinitely and sometimes the grief is more intense than others...We do learn to do life differently without that person or persons but they’re always in our hearts, thoughts and lives to some degree...and because of that grief is too...

When I decided to stop homesteading I had it in my mind I just needed to "get over" all the loss we had suffered in the last 5 years..I thought I needed to time to "grieve" and when my grieving was done I could pick it all back up...but as I said, I have learned grieving doesn't end... I also learned life does indeed go on...I will grieve as I continue on my journey of life...when those feelings come up I just need to take time and feel them, process them and keep moving forward...

In order to move forward I must actively engage in those things that define my life...such as homesteading...in past months i've been stuck..stuck in thought and hope....hoping this grief would just magically be gone one day and when it wasn't I began thinking something was wrong with me...there is nothing wrong with me..my grief process has been normal....What isn't really normal(for lack of a better word" is my thinking...thinking this would all go away and I wouldn't grieve anymore after a certain time period had passed...

A lot of time has passed and I still cry from time to time over all the loss...but its ok...And it's time for me to realize that it's ok for me to still enjoy life and all things I used to love...I think I did need a break from all the stuff we had going on...I did need time to process all that had happened and to find me...I needed to time to figure out if what I was doing was really working for me, as person and woman...the answer I found was yes and no...Lord! why can't things just be cut and dry..LOL...Homesteading is my deep passion...but doing it on the scale I was trying to do it on was not working...So when we pick it up this time, it will be on different terms...a few goats, a dozen or chickens..and the bees...that's enough!

I realized in my 'down time' that if I spent all my time working I wasn't really living...Farm man and I want to travel even if its just short trips...we are making that a reality now...its been nice...

We are still not involved in organized religion and doubt we ever will be again...we have made our peace with ourselves, what we believe and with those that hurt us beyond words...albeit way different than before, it is working for us...

I look forward to sharing day to day life here with you all...I have no specific direction to take this blog in mind...it will simply be a collection of thoughts, lessons and what our life is like on Rocky Oak Homestead hope you all will join me!...Stay Tuned!


My new little buck to added very soon! No name yet.




Happy Homesteading,

~Kris

Monday, January 1, 2018

Well, we made it another year! I am so grateful. I woke this morning with a sense of hope...not sure I can adequately explain it but I just feel free! It’s like I have carried around a backpack full of bricks for a very long time and today they were gone...the heaviness is all gone...I had vowed a few weeks ago that I would leave the past the behind in 2018 and begin again, I can't go back and change anything....People I loved passed on from this life, the president is president regardless if you like him or you don't, our world is in the shape its in and the only way to change it is to be change...Each person has to want to make a change and when each of us personally change, change will happen collectively...I vowed to be better...a better person, a better friend, a better gardener, a better mom, a better wife...etc...I just want to be better...period... 

We have a lot of hurt in past 5 years of our lives here at Rocky Oak...it negatively affected us a whole...we spent a lot of years being and doing what we thought were the right things for the right reasons...but one day, in an instant, with some very ugly and harsh words from someone we loved and admired, trusted and looked up to...we realized we were not being true to who we were....we were living a life based on what others had told us our whole life was the right way...we grew from infants being taught and told "this is right and this is the only way"...for some maybe it is...for us leaving the organized church has been such a wonderful thing and has allowed us opprotunity to find what we believe and meet some wonderful people in the process...It has been freeing...We love our new found freedom! No longer in bondage of a legalistic way of life...Ahhhhh! its nice!


This year I just know is going to be awesome...I am excited to see what life has in store for us...We have so many plans we would like to see come to fruition, not only for

our little "homestead" but in our personal lives as well... but we will not fret if they don't....Joy and learning is in the journey, not in the destination!....I am going to embrace the journey this year and quit getting in my own way...I am going to take life as it comes and quit resisting....Something I have learned in my studies over the past couple of years is this...Change isn't what brings us saddness...its resisiting the change that brings us saddness....I believe it was Thich Naht Hanh that said that...Oh my did it speak volumes to me...I have always been one to resist change...and by doing so I got in my own way of happiness....This year I want to just enjoy the journey wherever it takes me...I want to learn in the process and be in the moment to savor all of life...My friend that passed was a busy woman...going here, going there, doing this or that....but never really stopping to touch life...just to breathe and take in all the goodness life offers...I want to feel, breathe, touch life and have no regrets...I am an outdoors person...I love nature...I love exploring it...photgraphing it...feeling the breeze on my face...I love lying in my hammock and looking up at the wonder of the heavens...I close my eyes and breathe deeply and thank the creator for life....OH! I can't wait for spring...Even this winter I have enjoyed more than previous winters...While I detest the cold, I know its a necessary part the cycle of life...I keep my bird feeders full and I daily I stand at the window and watch the birds come up to the feeder and get their tummies full...I love seeing the cardinals....I smile each time I see one and remember my dad and my friend...this morning when I saw 4 cardinals perached on the grape vines, I smiled...I didn't feel saddness that their journey on life was over, I felt joy that I had the time with them I had...they both taught me some of lifes greatest lessons...I am truly grateful.

I am so looking forward to what 2018 brings to us...I look forward to sharing it here, with you all...See ya soon!

Love, light and peace,
~Kris

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017 Year End Reflections,goals and lessons learned!

Every year I like to reflect on what I've experienced, but more importantly what lessons I learned from those experiences...It has been another year of learning for sure!

I lost my dad in 2016 and that was very much a learning experience for me, I found what unconditional love truly meant and what a wonderful thing it was to forgive someone who was really never sorry for what they had done to you...I learned it brought me peace to forgive...

In 2017 I lost my best friend of 21 years...it was the biggest thing I faced...In many ways it was harder than losing my dad...A relationship with a best friend is different than a relationship with your dad...My best friend had been there for so much in my life...the ups, the downs, the good, the bad and ugly as they say...We met when were both foster parents, we adopted our girls close together, we both suffered health issues, we had issues with our children(gasp! they weren't perfect...LOL...sarcasm intended) and we lost our parent within 3 weeks of each other, her mom...my dad...10 months later I lost her...still not sure how I feel about it all...I have struggled alot...I've struggled trying to figure out how I feel...it all happened so fast...she was sick for awhile but she had an autoimmune disease so it wasn't out of the ordinary for her to feel ill at times...in May we talked on the phone and she was feeling a little nauseous and tired...by mid May she was being diagnosed with pneumonia and no matter what meds they gave her she just wasn't responding...she had had breast cancer 4.5 years earlier but apparently that was of no merit to the docs( arrrg!) finally her pulmonologist decided to do a scan...On June 2nd my best friend was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to her adrenal glands, her liver, her bones and her lymph nodes....she was struggling to breathe the last time we talked by phone..I was in shock! I couldn't even cry it was like the world stopped spinning...and I just sat there...in silence...in denial..she opted for no chemo and her journey ended July 29th, 2017...I miss her more than words can express...I cry now...I dont't have a best friend anymore...I don't a friend to call up and say hey guess what....I don't have a friend to share those funny little memes with I find on facebook...I don't have friend to confide all my secrets in anymore, all my fears, ask all my questions to...share my journey of life with...I miss her...part of me died with her..Life will never be the same...I wonder if I will ever find another friend that just accepts me for me...my weirdness and all?...A friend that calls and we talk forever and work on solving all the worlds problems and a friend that can accept I am a deep thinker and I'm not much on small talk...Theresa, my friend used to tell me that she told her husband I was such an intellectual...LOL...I laughed...still do...but she valued my opinion, the way I saw the world, she valued and understood i'm not a people person and love being home and that I love silence...she didn't fault me for loving critters more than people...LOL...we didn't see everything the same...but we accepted and loved each other for who we were....she was the wife of a Baptist preacher...I at one time was the member of a very legalistic type church/cult...I then began the study of buddhism and she just accepted I had been very very hurt and she just loved me through it she didnt tell me I was sinner destined to hell, she ask me what value I found in my studies...I LOVED that!...She was a republican, I was/am and independant...We somehow found common ground and could discuss such things and still be besties...God knows how much I miss her...she's gone now, but she will never be forgotten....

Lessons I have learned:

  • Be quick to listen and slow to speak and you might learn something new...
  • Don't hold so tight to your beliefs that you fail to see the value in others beliefs...
  • Don't hold so tight to what you've been taught that you are unable to learn something new...
  • Just because someone doesn't believe like you doesn't mean their belief doesn't hold value...
  • Just because someone else's life journey is different than yours doesn't mean their journey is wrong...
  • Accept yourself for who you are, don't change to fit in...You are fine the way you are...
  • Tell those in your life you love them....you might not have tomorrow...
  • If someone in your life brings in drama, conflict and negativity....let them go, don't let them bring you down!
  • If someone can't accept you and wants to change you...they have a problem not you! You are created the way you are and its ok!
  • Spend less time judging others, hating others, and being mean to others and more time loving, learning and working on yourself!
  • It's a well known fact what you hate in others is usually a reflection of things you hate in you...Mediate or pray spend time alone and ask yourself the hard question as to why you hate a person or group of people...Be willing to look at yourself and realize you are the problem not the other people...if you can handle those people move on, but don't belittle, hate and abuse them...You will be happier and so will they!
My 2018 goals:
  • Blog more
  • Love more
  • Be kinder
  • Meditate/pray more
  • Feel more confident in who I am and what I believe in
  • Do a bit of traveling even if its just day trips
  • Realize my power comes from within not from outside sources. IE: family, friends, government etc...
I am truly looking forward to the new year, new beginnings and being the best me I can be...I am so ready to let go of the baggage and just embrace all of life and find the good more often than the bad...in those things and people that I truly struggle to see the good in I vow to let them go....I can't change others I can only change myself and I'm working hard at being real and true to who I am...I vow to no longer waste time on things and people that can't accept me for me and I vow to be the best version of me possible! Life is short, I'm getting old and we can't turn back time...

I leave you all with this quote:

"Around us, life burst forth with miracles - a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, raindrops. If you live in awareness it is easy to see miracles everywhere.--Thich Nhat Hanh

 Look for the good and the miracles in 2018!  It will change you!
Kris 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Got my "homestead groove" on again!

So, life has again changed here at Rocky Oak as does it for everyone out there from time to time. Dreams change, goals change and with that life changes...Even back to the name Rocky Oak Homestead here on my blog!

I have posted about my last daughter leaving the nest and starting  her own life, she is enjoying her newly found freedom and Farm man and  I are expecting our 4th grandchild in April. I love my empty nest and I'm not suffering any "syndrome" from my children moving out...LOL.... but I do find I get bored. I don't drive much due to the neuromuscular things I have going on so I am home most days. While that's fine because I am such an introvert and require lots of alone time to recharge and just be I do find myself needing something to do.. Since 2000 farm man and I have "homesteaded" we have consistantly had critters to look after...as you all know that changed a couple of years ago with my illness taking a turn for worst and my dad passing away...then losing my best friend of 21 years to cancer...been a rough road to say the least!

My days are very uneventful and while I like that because I am not a 'drama' kinda gal I missed having something to occupy my time....so...over the weekend we purchased 3 goats!  A doe and her 2 doelings....

I am not sure of breed, and it doesn't matter to me, I am not able to milk any more nor do I have the desire to,..I just needed something to do...I have enjoyed just spending time out petting them and it gives me a sense of joy knowing they are out there...They are still warming up to me...I find they like me much more if I take them a treat of carrots or raisins *Smile*...

I am going to begin making soap again and finding my groove...Life has been really tough the past couple of years and I have fallen victim to depression I think...I feel it lifting and its time to find my new normal.

Homesteading is just part of who we are, we won't ever be as big as we once were as we both are not in the health to handle that much again...I think goats are good...I still have my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as well and they bring me much joy....We will still garden and enjoy life at a slower pace...I am learning the art of mindfulness and it is awesome!

I am looking forward to once again blogging about "homesteading" albeit smaller than before...stay turned as I get my "homestead groove on again" đŸ˜€

If anyone has any ideas of what breed these may be, please share! Meet Fayth(doe) Hope(little one that looks most like mom) and Charitee(Little brown one)...I'm thinking nubian/something(s)?

Be Mindful~ Kris aka "The homestead Lady"



Thursday, October 19, 2017

The changing of life


Hello all! 

I know I keep saying I will begin blogging here again and I am hopeful to get back at it. In the meantime here's our happenings...

We have sold all the pigs at this point...all we have left is the dogs which we will keep....no chance they will leave...Life is different for sure...I spend my days quietly here at home keeping the house and figuring out my new normal...its not been easy...17 years of homesteading was a long time and we had an established routine and now....well, it's all gone...I'm not sad at all.... it's nice...we were tired...the peace here is amazing...Farm girl has moved on to begin her life a couple towns away and is happy...My home is quiet and peaceful...I love it!

As I look around the world and see the chaos and hear the things we hear through various sources things are certainly disheartening...sometimes downright scary...it's funny though...here, at Rocky Oak its like a whole 'nuther world...the peace...safety...and security I feel here....Don't get me wrong, I know things can change in an instant but right now this place is my refuge..so much has changed over the years, but one thing hasn't changed and that is that we are still very much prepper's...I guess we feel its just in our blood to be prepared...The more that happens in our country the more concerned and motivated we become...I feel for those that just haven't or can't seem to get the prepper mindset...Yes, we understand things happen and preps can be wiped out in an instant...nothing in our world is certain...things happen...but everyone can do something to prepare for natural or other induced disaster. Hubby and I have been through many hard times in our 27 years of marriage, so we understand the need to have a little extra on hand...It's just who we are as people.

For many years we used homesteading as a way of preparedness...we raised our own meat, milk, and vegetables...but it became all to apparent to us that the money we were spending on the critters was really not cost effective...and not just that....the sheer volume of time spent was overwhelming...there is certainly something to be said for the old ways...no doubt...but for us, it became to much...we were spending way more money, time and energy trying to create a way of life that was long gone...oh! don't get me wrong, we loved it and we learned so much, but at the end of day it just wasn't meant to be..There are so many ways to "prep"....and for use we choose to simply use store bought foods...we can buy bulk meats and dehydrate them for longer shelf life..same with fruits and veggies...we will still garden in a more manageable way that works for us..We all have to do what works for us!

I thought when we decided to sell out and live differently it would be so hard....but it wasn't...it was freeing...When my dad passed last year it changed me and I realized I didn't want to be tied down with all the ideals and notions we had...we spent all our time working and it just came to a point we ask if that's all life was....work...we concluded life was meant to be enjoyed as we only get a little while here on earth to make it count....

I want to make what time I have count...I want it to count not only for me and hubby but we want to make a difference in the lives of those we meet...We want to bring a sense of joy, peace and contentment to the world...we spent so many years in a church that taught division, hate and non-acceptance that we wasted so much energy and life...we hurt people not on purpose but we believed what we were taught...its all so sad to us now...I spend my mornings in quiet meditation, reflecting and letting go of so much baggage I carried for so many years...I am learning to find peace with me and with others...Seems I look at life so different than I did a few years ago or even just a year ago...I take the time to literally stop and smell the flowers around me....I take time to notice the breeze...I look up to the clouds and smile as I see them floating lazily across the blue sky...I take notice of the birds and how they are content just sitting on a branch filling the air with sweet sounds as they tweet...I notice the spiders creating their web homes and doing so with such elegance and perfection taking pride in each strand of web they spin...they make it count...I sit and rest my feet on the grass and close my eyes and truly feel the coolness and I am thankful for the moment...Mindfulness is my new norm...so much in our lives are lost to the hectic days and lives we lead...rushing here and there...worrying about this and that...we are so busy that days pass and turn into weeks and then into month and years...one day we wake up and realize we have more life behind us than we have before us and we begin to take a hard and honest look at what we have done...many of us realize we have worked it away, worried it away or simply just spent so much time trying to find who we are or being what others think we should be we just wasted the time way.

I have realized over time...peace and happiness only comes from within...we don't find happiness in a lifestyle, a church, a job, other people....we might find pleasure in those things..pleasure is momentary...happiness is longstanding...peace is found no matter what the circumstance if we are happy within ourselves...When we involve ourselves in all the negativity the world throws at us we tend to look for pleasure to ease the pain we feel...when we have real peace and happiness in the very core of our being, those things will not shake us...we can simply take a moment, breathe and be grateful for what we have discovered within...Each day I wake up grateful for another day to make a difference, somehow...even if that difference is in the life of a simple bird that has found food that I have put out in a feeder...it truly is the simple things that can have the greatest impact in our world...so as we move forward here at Rocky Oak Haven we are learning to be mindful and find the peace in the changing of life...

Until Next Time...
Kris