Saving Pumpkin Seeds

Well, here is a testament to my great housekeeping. I found 2 tiny, white pumpkins hiding on my kitchen counter the other day! So I decided to go ahead and save the seeds. Now, a word on saving seeds from anything. You will only get a baby that is a copy of the parent if you save the seeds from a fruit that is not a hybrid. If you save seeds from a hybrid, you never really know what you’ll get. If you have a Forrest Gump attitude about life, this won’t bother you. If you like to know what you are getting yourself into, only save seeds from heirloom varieties. I have no idea if these little white ornamental pumpkins are hybrids or not, and I am okay with that. It’s a bit of an experiment! If you want to learn how to save your own pumpkin (or any gourd) seeds, then keep reading!

First thing you need to do is gain access to the seeds. Gourds can be difficult to cut into because of their thick skins. Use a sharp knife and keep your fingers out of the way!

Now, you’ll need to scoop the seeds out. I like to use a melon baller because it kind of cuts through the slimy, stringy bits. Just don’t dig into the sides of the gourd. You won’t need all of the seeds, especially if you are gathering seeds from a larger gourd with a lot of seeds. If you are carving pumpkins, scoop the seeds out and save a few and roast the rest to eat!

You’ll need to free the seeds from the slimy stuff. I like to place mine in a screen colander and give them a wash.
This colander is from Ikea and it has adjustable arms on it to fit a variety of size sinks. I use my sprayer and clean the seeds as well as I can. I don’t think it’s vital to get them spotless.

I spread my seeds out on a paper towel to dry out. Newspaper works too. I leave them for a few days. You want them dry so they don’t mold in storage. On the second day, I’ll move them around to break up any clumps. This helps insure they are able to completely dry out.

You’ll want to store them safely for next year. I like paper envelopes because they can breathe. Just in case I didn’t get all of the moisture out of the seeds. Make sure you label the envelope. If you don’t know the exact variety of plant, just include some identifying characteristics along with the date you collected your seeds. Be sure you put the correct year. I put these up on one of the first days of 2018 and sure enough, I labeled them 2017. In keeping things real, this won’t be the only time I put the wrong year. Anyone else do that?

Now I just have to wait for planting time! I’ll come back and update you on if the new pumpkins look just like the parents. Seed saving is a great homesteading skill to have in your toolbox. Have you saved any seeds lately?


2018 Ready to Wear Fast

It’s always good to step out of your comfort zone with the hopes to come out on the other side better or with knowledge you didn’t have before, right? Well, I am doing just that this year with Sarah Gunn of GoodbyeValentino.com and coauthor of The Tunic Bible.

What is a Ready to Wear fast? Well, it means to abstain from buying any clothes for the whole year. The only things allowed for purchase are underwear, purses, jewelry, socks, and belts. Everything else must be made by me!

I have been sewing for years, but it’s been mostly purses, bags, and things for my home. I have recently made a few clothing times for myself and honestly, I surprised myself! Since I have began studying about how to make alterations to patterns to make clothing fit me, I can no longer bring myself to find clothing in the store that I am willing to settle for.

I don’t have a specific plan for what I am going to make yet, but I have a few ideas. I am looking forward to sharing my journey with you and hopefully inspire you to take a look at the possibility of creating your own wardrobe.

If you’d like to participate in the 2018 Ready to Wear Fast, go to GoodbyeValentino.com and send Sarah an email with your information. Edited to add: Sign up has already closed for this year. I am sorry if you missed it, but please follow along on Facebook and Instagram with #2018rtwfast for a lot of inspiration! There are 1029 participants!

Focus for the New Year

I know that most New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it far into January. I know that they are made with the best of intentions but sadly most don’t have staying power. Driving by the gym is all the proof you need. The parking lot is crammed full the first of January, but as the month progresses the parking spots become more plentiful. I wonder if it’s because we make these resolutions half-heartedly. When we have a defined reason behind our choice to fuel this change, I think the change lasts longer. Some people are able to make life-long changes. That’s what I want. I think that’s the first step. Deciding that I want this to work and putting forth that effort. Doing what ever it takes to meet that goal. This year, I am focusing on only a couple of resolutions. I don’t think that January is some sort of magical time to start new things, but I think it’s just easier with the holidays in the rear view mirror. This year has seemed so hectic and going by at warp speed. In Janaury, I am slowing it down. Sharpening my focus on what matters. Focusing on my people and our home. So what are these profound changes I am going to make? I am glad you asked.

#1 Health

I know that’s quite broad but I want to focus on a few specific areas of my health and the health of my family members. I am going to be going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. We all could use more sleep. We are going to be eating at home almost exclusively. We eat out too much and that’s taking a toll on our health. I need to loose some weight and this should help that. I am wanting to rely much more on my essential oils and clean my home more naturally.

#2 Financial Health

I have to keep a sense of privacy, so I am not going to be sharing specifics of my family’s financial standing, but I think the things I am wanting to change are pretty universal with most families I know. We want to get out of debt. We want a fat emergency fund socked away. We want to go on an amazing vacation this year or early next year. One weapon I am going to use is my grocery budget. By eating at home like I mentioned earlier, we should also save some money. I am wanting to follow Jordan Page, of FunCheaporFree.com, and use an envelope for grocery money and use her budget of $100 per person per month. For our family of 4, we should be only spending $100 a week for anything consumable in our home. That’s food, toilet paper, shampoo, etc. I have done couponing before and I don’t want to go down that road again. Instead of coupons, I am going to shop seasonally and shop the sales ad. We have an Aldi close by that has already helped our grocery budget, but I am going to be utilizing it even more. I will also have a garden this summer. I have a backyard greenhouse and I keep some herbs and such growing year round. The biggest tool will be the meal plan. I am going to have to make a plan and stick to it. I am hoping by sharing some of this with you, I can help someone else, stay motivated, and get some ideas from you too.

So that’s it. Just 2 resolutions. I am wanting to think of them more as focuses. There are a lot of things that I want to happen this year, but ultimately they can be put in these 2 categories. I may have to change my approach and adapt my plan of attack to make my big goals happen, but that’s alright as long as I don’t loose sight of the goal. I want 2018 to be the year of awakening and focus. I feel like I am just reacting to life instead of living my life. I have had enough of that. I am missing out on way too much. I have things to accomplish. Will you join me?

Merry Christmas

“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:30-33

I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

A Place to Start

It has been on my heart to start a blog for far too long. I have written many a post in my head and finally decided to share with the world. I have learned so much from people online. Many lifetimes worth of information is right at our finger tips! I felt like I owed the internets to share my experiences and such so that maybe they’ll help someone else. It’s really all give and take!

But what stopped me from starting that blog? Well, it’s simple really. The first step is always the hardest. No matter what we are wanting to start; losing weight, saving money, a new career, anything really! It’s always so hard to find our footing for that first step. What if I fall? What if I make a mistake? What if it turns out to be something different than I expected? None of that matters! The Good Lord asks us to have childlike faith and that applies here too. Think of a child at the supper table being asked to try that weird looking food on his plate. What if it’s nasty? What if I choke on it? What if…..I like it? They can fight us as if that food on their plate will kill them but we encourage them to try it anyway. Because how will you know if you like it or not unless you try it. Same goes for us grown folks too. So here I go. Trying something completely new and scary. I may fail. I may hate it. I may just love it to pieces.