Sunday, December 6, 2009


Wow. I just realized I haven't been in here for a couple weeks.
Well, as usual, things have been busy in the Moose Nuggets Household. Not anything too exciting, just the usual stack of chores and various projects in process. With the Christmas holidays around the corner, the reality of my procrastination has sunk in and forced me into my knitting, crocheting, and crafting stash in a mad rush to finish up Christmas gifts.
Those of you who read regularly know... I'm not into the commercialism of Christmas.
And in recent years, this one especially, I have really started a lifestyle of reducing stuff in my life.
Oh, there's a lot of talk about "reduce, reuse, recycle", and a lot about reducing your carbon footprints. And I'll agree...every little bit counts. But I DO find it amusing that the pop-culture of "greenism" has us spending MORE, buying MORE. You can buy (more) green products. You can buy green bags. You can buy an Eco-Ego and feel good "saving the earth".
Wouldn't it be better to REALLY save the earth, instead of buying the illusion that we are going green?
This has taken space in my mind recently. We've been asked (over and over and over again) why we chose such a small house, such a small mortgage when our budget "clearly allows" for something much bigger and fancier. These questions are usually from the same people who have asked us in the past WHY on earth we would want to raise our own food, bake our own bread, cloth diaper our babies, or (gasp! the horror!) breastfeed past a first birthday. Most of the time, I allow people to think we are just crazy hippies, minus the dirt and dreadlocks. But the truth is... The REALITY of "saving the earth" (and ourselves along with it) is not going to be done by buying green products while we continue to be wasteful.
If I've learned one thing in life, it's that you don't waste what you work really hard to achieve.

For those that have asked... the small house is because I have discovered the secret to saving the planet. You ready?
If you REALLY want to reduce your carbon footprint... (drum roll please)
Seriously. I'm a rocket scientist. Really.

Here's more "genius":
I have discovered that you waste a lot less food when you work hard to prepare it. Suddenly the last few slices of stale bread look like a good french toast instead of trash. And if you raise chickens (for eggs or meat), not only will you know where your food comes from, they are built in garbage disposals. They LOVE people food. So do pigs, if you want to raise your own pork. (I know, I know. Just a crazy hippie, minus the dirt and dreadlocks.)

Also on the genius scale:
You can't waste what you don't own. Meaning.... if you don't buy a lot of junk, you don't have to throw a lot of junk away. Or have to find room to store it.

A secret of the universe: Your kids will not die if they don't have their own separate rooms. (Our house rule: if you want your own room, get a job and an apartment. Until then, stay off your sister's bed.) They also will not die if they don't watch television. YOU will not die if you don't know who won the Super Bowl or if you don't find out what happened after Jon and Kate's divorce.

Yes, I am full of this kind of genius. I should write a book and go on Oprah, or something.

I'm gonna babble about some other stuff now.

I hope everyone had a good one. I will say that I found myself quite "homesick" this year for family. I come from a decent sized family (most holiday gatherings include over 20 people, and that's when only the local family shows up). We had turned down an invitation to share the holiday with some friends because we wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving in our new house. With just the four of us, it was pretty small and kind of lonely. Lesson learned: Next year, invite people or accept an invitation. Or maybe fly home for the holidays.
(Although last year's trip with ONE toddler is still fresh in my mind and I am not anxious to do 20 hours of travelling with two small kids. Thanks.)

I would also like to add that it was an extremely bad idea to watch Food,Inc the night before Thanksgiving. It was incredibly informative (more on that in a moment) but good grief, J and I both had a hard time choking down the Butterball Turkey that was raised in a CAFO and most likely dipped in a chlorine bath. (For the record, all poultry commercially produced goes through that treatment. Or so says the video.)
In conjunction with Food,Inc I had also been busy reading a couple books. "Farm City" (can't remember the author's name), and "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. Both are incredibly informative about eating locally produced food. The Kingsolver book really went the extra mile. Food, Inc was the icing on the genetically modified, bleached flour cake. I spent Thanksgiving Day reading labels on the very few processed foods we buy these days, and amusing J with tirades about the cost of transporting foods and the disgusting icky-ness of how that food reaches our table.
Lesson: Read these books and watch the movie, but NOT the night before a great feast. And keep reading, because next year, I'll be harvesting my own turkey. No more CAFO meats for our family.

The real lesson that came out of these books and movie: Raise your own food when you can, buy locally as much as possible. What is in commercially grown food is disgusting, for the record.

The Christmas holidays are coming up. The cabin has a small tree in the den and a handful of decorations. Beans has been busy inspecting the stockings (hung by the chimney with care, of course!) and trying her best to wait patiently for "Tenty-Claws". You know, the fat guy in the red suit. This year is FUN. Toddlers are so full of wonder and find all the new details amazing. I have had every Christmas tree in town pointed out with a breathless, "Wow! Amazing! Miss-a-miss tree, momma!" from the back seat. Little Nugget has been systematically un-decorating the Christmas least the ornaments she can reach.

The cabin has a definite "Little House" feel to it these days. We are settling into a lovely rhythm around the house of chores and family fun. The weather has been nice the last couple weeks, allowing some outdoor time in what little daylight we have these days. I've been willing to skip nap time, if it means Beans can tromp through the snow and work out some of her toddler energy. Most outings end with an exhausted Beans, who likes to lay flat, face up on the sled and demand I pull her home for "Hot Shocolate and Mush-Mellows" when she has finally had enough. The cabin is warm and cheery when everyone is awake. My favorite time of day is evening, when the outside is dark, the inside is glowing with dim lights and wood fire, and I can sit at my kitchen table with some knitting, getting the fire ready to be dampened down for the night. I really DO feel like Caroline Ingalls in the evening time.

The winter looks promising... lots of time for projects, and as soon as I catch up on all my holiday gift making, I'll be able to turn my attention to chicken coop plans and seed catalogs.
This time of year is so LOVELY.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!


JackDaddy said...

What a great post to start the night with!!

It sounds like you had a good Thanksgiving!

Gloria said...

That sure sounds to me like AWESOME living! And, raising chickens is FUN! Use their droppings in your garden too. I grew some fab veggies that way. I also incubated eggs a few times. Wonderful for the kids to watch when they are hatching!

Life in the Heavrin house said...

Great post! I find myself on the same path. Reducing (for different reasons :>) the stuff makes for a much happier focused on the right things family. I can't wait to be able to buy a house in the country and raise my own food!

Kathy said...

Kudos to you for your breast feeding past the first birthday! I did too with my two sons and they didn't get as sick as other kids!
Your cabin sounds so warm and cozy, I can smell the homemade bread baking! I've envious of Beans' "Shocolate and Mush Mellows"! :)
You go girl! There is so much waste in this world, and you're no hippie to reuse or recycle!
Merry Christmas,

Karla said...

Happy to hear you're enjoying your new home! Happy Holidays!

Susan Stevenson said...

Hi Nicole! Just stopped by to say hello and wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!

I've posted a link to your blog in the Alaska Living group I belong to as a young lady inquired about life in Delta Junction. So, if you get an email from a Hayley, that's where she found your blog. I hope you're able to help her out with her questions about life in a small town in Alaska.

Hugs to you and yours!


hayleybritt said...

Hi! I'm the Hayley that Susan Stevenson was referring to. I have been reading your blog here and there throughout Christmas festivities (somehow I feel so sneaky doing this!). I am eagerly taking in as much as I can about Alaska since my husband recently had a phone interview for a job in Delta Junction. It could go either way at this point...we have no idea what the future holds but love the sound of your life there in Alaska. Strangely it sounds a lot like mine..minus the bears, beery picking, jam making, quaint fairs....well actually the similarities end with the references to your kids (right now mine is glued to an episode of Dinosaur Train)... BUT I would love a small town life like the one your describe. Also, I am from Alabama too! Anyway...thanks for the little window into your life there in Alaska. I am learning a lot!

christyfitts said...

That IS genius! ;-) Sounds like you have a pretty awesome life. We sure miss you on BabyFit!