Category Archives: Life in General

Following Trends~Or Not

Standard

Hello. Hello.

So, I’ve been on Instagram (IG) for a couple months now and quickly discovered something.  There is a huge Joanna Gaines following!  I don’t have t.v. or follow their show but I have heard of them over the years and recently jumped on YouTube to check out Fixer Upper. I’m not sure if the show has inspired this white on white on antique on chippy paint thing or if it is just a common design trend right now.  Either way I’m kind of digging the simplicity of it. Part of me wants to create colorful art pieces; and I have.  But I figured I should try making a simple black and white worded sign with stained trim. And since I had the exact trim pieces already cut (from the shop counters we made) and the exact stain color they(IG DIYers) were using…. it was natural that I give it a go.

I cut some square pieces of MDF that I had left over from building the shelving in the shop. Then I just free handed some lettering. My brush wasn’t very good and left trail marks, which I’ve decided I can overlook.  I made 2 signs and one ended up with the trim drying in an off kilter kind of way. So that one is in my home and we love it. The other one is at the shop greeting people as they walk in.


I later got my printer connected to my new lap top and was able to try printing out some stencils. I went into Word on the computer and did up a few simple fonts. After I printed it as big as possible I had to enlarge it a time or two, depending on the size of my sign. Then I used the pencil shading method to transfer the outline onto the board. This worked better than I expected.  I got some new brushes and went to work.  Working on the big signs was easy but as I got to the smaller mini size.  I again had trouble. 

I ended up using a nail to push the paint around into the corners of my “it’s so good to be home” mini sign. I also had issues with attaching the trim. This time I thought I’d nail the pieces on while the glue was still wet. Hahaha that’s where things got slippery! Nails were bent, bad words were spewed and all the while I was thinking about the brad nailer that was being used at my house at that very moment. (Borrowed from a friend)  BUT instead of taking it home and trying to do it the easy way, I persevered. It’s at my house now….  (Not good enough to sell) greeting us happily when we come home.


I have since seen women grab a brush and paint free hand in all these beautiful fonts. Just. Like. That. Perfect brush strokes. I’m left thinking that I either have to realize it’s not my thing or practice my cursive skills and my painting skills.  Oh and my trim skills. And then they package everything so pretty for shipping. Ahh!  They’re all so perfect… Wants to make me pull my hair out.

So I think my current conclusion is to stop trying to live up to. …which also translates into. ..stop copying what everyone else is doing and just do what YOU do. For ME?… I think I like abstract!  😂

So I ended up with a few cute signs. And maybe I’m the only one who sees the flaws. But for right now they serve as a great reminder of the old saying practice makes perfect. And of course the one about doing your own thing.  My favorite though, has to be the quote I chose for the back of my business card, which says “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein. Love that quote so much!!!!

So,  I will try everything and enjoy every aspect of the process.

Enjoy the journey!

Just create SOMETHING!

Reassessing priorities 

Standard
Reassessing priorities 

Have you ever had a clear picture of where your life was going? But then in taking the steps to get there you realize that the journey took so long that you now have new interests?! Lol Or that the place you moved to, opened up a whole new world you never knew you could have? !

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. We moved to a small community and things are going well. I’m involved in a few things around town including my new craft business. But as we build a chicken coop and possibly a rabbit hutch, I can’t help but think about the other things I’d rather put my attention on.

We essentially live at the lake. So things like canoeing and camping are very real attainable things for us right now. I’m starting to feel like I should be fitting into my surrounding environment more. At least more than I had really expected to. I came in here with certain goals. But now reality is showing me something a little different. Different good.


I wrote in an earlier post about how generous people here have been. I have a list as long as my arm of the fruit and produce that we were given. I was so busy canning and chopping and freezing! I’m now realizing that this alleviates some of the pressure to produce ALL things for our selves. Maybe I can befriend someone who has eggs and we can barter.


**I really need to perfect my pie making skills so I have something to offer in return.**

Don’t forget I have a store to run!  I am planning to do craft classes for kids and putting together a bake sale table once a week. And I already have 2 part time jobs. So it’s been heavy on my mind that I may actually have little time and quite fankly, little interest in dealing with animals this summer.  This comes with some guilt but ultimately its a tiny piece of the puzzle.  We are also starting on our house as soon as the weather clears. Trees need to come down.  Not just for the house but for an orchard! We need to build a few garden beds and organize the yard and maybe start a fence. 

Making garden beds, creating an orchard, building a house, enjoying some summer…. these are the building blocks to creating a future in our new home. Some day there will be animals! This year may only produce kittens 🙂 and I’m fine with that! Our girls have never experienced the wonder of life. So I’m really excited for that.


I’m learning to go with the flow and take things as they come.  I’ve truly been living day to day this winter and rolling with the punches. The quickest way to be disappointed is to have high expectations. I am learning to be here and present for and with my family. Things happen when it’s time.

It’s not time for chickens of our own. We looked into it and did all the math.  It’s just not worth the trouble right now. Someday it’ll be worth the experience! And we will cherish every moment… when it’s time.

The season of goats

Gallery

My big news!

Standard
My big news!

I’ve been working on a secret project for a couple months now. Wait for it…

I’m opening a store! ! An actual one. Lol The bricks and mortar kind. It’s in a resort village, so I’ll be busiest in summer and hopefully the Christmas season. I may sell online during the off seasons. At any rate, I think I’ll be busy ☺

I’ve been dreaming of my own shop for years and all of the sudden it just fell into my lap. It isn’t quite what I was envisioning but I’m going to let it decide for itself the direction it will take. So far I’m crafting up a storm in there. I had the chance to spend some time woodworking this summer and absolutely loved it. It made me resent having to go to my day job. It’s all that I thought about! Lol. I also finally got myself a new sewing machine. That was a long overdue purchase.
My new space is small but it has “Location Location Location” on its side.  I’m right beside the museum, backing the golf course and share the parking lot with the Restaraunt. Very popular place. This quiet little village virtually EXPLODES at the seams during the summer months when everyone wants to be at the lake.

This is the view out my side window. I am beside a museum and here you can see the back of the clay oven , where they make doukhobor bread. And of course, the iconic red caboose 🙂

I’ve had some help building the retail counter and display shelves.  Now I’m waiting for the weather to warm up. I’ve been putting off my work space storage area for far too long. I want to haul out my barn wood and tackle some pallets and see if i can’t make some crates and shelving. I have a sewing corner set up and need to make all my supplies look neat and tidy.

It’s becoming real! I hung up posters and my fb page is up and running.  The shop is called Wild Flowers Craft Co. https://www.facebook.com/wildflowerscraftco/. So by all means…head on over and take a peak. Remember I do plan on shipping items in my off season. So stay tuned. I’m already planning the end of season sale and the restock before Christmas. Lol So much to get excited about!

My girls love coming to “work” with me.  They’ve made many different items that have been really big sellers. Who doesn’t want to buy from kids?! They are kinda leaving me in the dust actually.  haha

Embracing your talents

Standard

So you know those wordy signs on wood that are all the rage right now?  Well I thought it’d be great to join in and try my hand at it too. I looked into all the different ways one could possibly get words onto said wood. 

  1. Freehand. Hahaha. yeah right!
  2. Printing onto wax paper and doing the transfer thing. I bought the paper and then realized I have the wrong kind of printer. grrr
  3. Stencils.
  4. Photo transfer.
  5. Sticky letters to be painted over and then removed.

There are certainly options, but none were working out for me and I was getting frustrated. I wanted to participate darn it!

So I ended up grabbing my Dremel.(which has seriously been sitting around in its collector tin for more years than I care to admit; like 6 years 😬. Cause I just had to have it, for my birthday)  Anyway… I started playing around and came up with my style. Finally! It’s a little on the rustic side, but I live in lake country and there are a lot of people with cabins who may appreciate my “craft”.

“Home Sweet Home”came together so naturally and quickly. And now it’s one of my favorites.

I sold my favorite fish sign …”welcome to the lake”. And to think,  I almost didn’t take it off the wall to bring to the craft sale. I’ll have to make one for myself.

So in the end I am fairly pleased with how I got my letters onto the wood. It is certainly different from what I’ve seen. I’m finding more and more signs and such in big box store flyers. Yes I said flyers.  I don’t actually go to those places. But I was surprised that the health food store had signs. And really weirded out and disappointed to touch them and realize it was a paper coating to look like wood and what not. It’s sad that nothing is handmade anymore.  Makes me feel like this is a pointless endeavor. Do people want true art made by people? Do they care? Finding that market may be tough.

But there’s something to be said for passion. Maybe it’s contagious !

Blogger Awards

Standard

Okay, this post is a long time coming. I was asked to join in the fun but I’ve been busy baking bread and making plans, big plans. More on that another time. 😉

So!…This blog (Ever Evolving Mama) was nominated to take part in the…

img_0726

Thank you Misty Meadows for this opportunity! It really exposes everyone to quality blogs that we may have not stumbled upon on our own.

The Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide their link as well.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (specify).
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

This award was originally created by okoto enigma, whose blog tag line is, “…Because life is all about learning new things and having fun…” So, in the spirit of that, let’s get started!

3 things about me  

  • I am great at cooking soups from scratch but horrible at breakfasts
  • I love to bake and multi task
  • My nose turns red in the slightest cold

Here are my answers to the 5 questions asked to me by Misty Meadows Homestead.

  1. What are some of your guiding principles or beliefs?  Never stop learning and being better than you were yesterday.
  2. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again? We bought a piece of land sight unseen that was clear across the country. No I would not do it again; nor would I suggest others try this. Ha.
  3. Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up? I always knew I would be a mom. So yes got that right. Don’t remember the other things I wanted to be when little. I am not a chiropractor like I wanted to be in high school.
  4. What has blogging taught you?  That I am more of a writer than I even thought.
  5. How Would You Survive A Zombie Apocalypse? (Weird) Lots of ammo and secret food stashes?

 

Thanks again to Misty Meadows Homestead for the nomination.  You can follow her blog here: www.mistymeadowsadventures.wordpress.com

Here is the link to my best blog post: (most popular) rich beet chocolate cake

Now here’s where the fun really starts – I get to nominate 10 bloggers who I appreciate.  They don’t have to participate, but if the do, they will be asked to share 3 things about themselves and answers 5 random questions.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  2. What food are you best at or famous for making ?
  3. I’m repeating this one, cause it’s good… What has blogging taught you?
  4. Are you a traveler or rooted near where you grew up?
  5. Okay, Inquiring minds need to know…. Do you have goats!??

 

The bloggers I nominate are:

(Remember, you don’t have to participate, I just want to show my appreciation. ❤️)

 

I hope you enjoyed this. I sure did!

Camper life musings

Standard

I came across this post I wrote over 3 years ago. We had committed to living in an RV for one year. Our plan was to be debt free and explore other parts of the country on our own terms. By that, I mean NOT renting a house or having utility bills! So, how did it go? … let’s find out…

Our one year commitment
(written June 2013)

Last June (2012) we sold our house and decided to give living in a travel trailer a go for a year.
Of course, one year includes a winter! How would one accomplish the survival of this??!! With advice from a couple who have lived in their fifth wheel since 1998 and just trying what we thought might work. That’s How!

Insulated tarps, solid Styrofoam and electric heaters underneath, covered windows and slides. (ugly and alarmingly orange, but cheap and effective!) We had absolutely no problems! Broom the snow off the roof, make sure you always have power to your heat tape which is wrapped around the water hose going in and the gray water/black water coming out. We did have that pipe freeze up once, but with some brainstorming the boy and I came up with a plan and executed it beautifully. Someone was so impressed with us that he brought home pizza after work.
Things went better than expected. Five of us in a 31 ft. camper just required a little grace. When daddy is using the kitchen, it’s best to just sit off to the side out of the way. When the boy seems to be spending far too much time in his bed reading; you have to realize that there really isn’t anywhere else for him to sit or anything much to do right now. (should have taught him to knit sooner than March)
But each new move brings new people to meet and share stories with and new playgrounds to try out. We visit every new library and museum we come across. Learning the areas history and meeting some locals is all part of the experience. Living this way has certainly brought us closer as a family! That was probably the most surprising and pleasing development. Because we don’t have a ton of housework, home improvements, and yard maintenance taking up all of our time we were able to explore the communities and what they had to offer. Also; we were within 20 minutes of most things at most places we stayed. Unlike our hour drive into the city from our house and no interesting nature places to explore.

1373

squishing through the river mud

1041

Small town museum.

1077

Well, that was a year in a nutshell. We learned how very different two cities can be. Living in an oilfield city is great for making money, living in a camper is great for saving money and watching how others spend theirs was interesting. Owning brand new jacked up trucks is how the young guys show off their riches. The older business men seem to show theirs by owning horses and getting involved in chuck wagon racing. I suppose this is just our opinion and observations, please do not take offense! Such a contrast to what we see only one province over.

As emotional and stressful as downsizing and selling most of what you own can be, it is very freeing! People hold on to things and acquire more things all the time. I have learned to purge what we don’t use, need or love. Making that choice at the store and saying no to things you really like can be hard at first. And wanting to bring home something because it’s just so darn cute, doesn’t usually fly when you live in a camper. Unless of course you plan on purging each season and before any trip you take, due to weight restrictions. I tend to get rid of the old when something new comes in. So I don’t like the thought of investing in something brand new that I know I will have to get rid of sooner than later. I always have a bag for donations in my truck but lately my daughter and I have been cutting up old clothes to braid into a rug.

It’s been quite an experience! One that we may continue….

It’s that deleted post!

Standard

Look what I found in the archives… It’s that post that I deleted; about the land we bought! I wrote this 3 years ago but deleted it out of frustration, among other things. I wrote more about that in a recent homesteading post. You can find it here.

Well summer has come and gone. Life got a little crazy for us as we traveled across the country to see the land we purchase. We had made a bold decision to buy land site unseen. An even bolder decision? To go live on it! 18 acres of untouched bush and trees on the east coast. Close to the highway and to town. Sounded do-able… Maybe I could have a market garden and all the animals I could handle. Too many big dreams…

Which came crashing down the minute we turned off the highway. Although beautiful and quaint, hillbilly would be the word that first come to mind. Then came the sight of our sloping land that we were unsure of how to even get onto. Renting a skid-steer seemed the quickest way to make a dent. I was excited to break ground and ‘smell’ our land. (out west I am accustomed to that rich, deep earthy scent that invades your whole head) Well that didn’t happen here… the moist black organic matter that I expected to see from the tree roots and plant mass that had decomposed year after year turned out to be dry red soil that didn’t smell like anything but a bad investment.

Having cleared a path and a ‘yard’ space; we bounced our camper into place and hunkered down…. for the weekend ;p

The deer flies were so bad, that I just knew I couldn’t raise my babies here. We were all covered in deep itchy bites.

So between the bad soil, the bad kind of neighbors, bad bugs, and a general bad feeling about the whole thing….

We met with the Realtor first thing Monday morning.

We didn’t want to have driven all that way for nothing and thought we should give it a solid go. So we looked into renting a place in town (which we had come to love). People were renting out pieces of their house for far too much and there were no jobs to speak of. One guy told my husband “there are lots of jobs, there were 8 last week!” Ha.. not quite what we were used to.

So after much thought and discussion we realized that where we left actually felt like home after all. That was a great realization. Because where we grew up no longer felt like home. And feeling lost as adults and unsure of where to put down roots for your family is very unsettling. So we are back to the exact place we left in spring and it feels right. -for now 😉

Editors note: That place was great for a while but we still ached to have something of our own. And after researching many areas, we finally moved back to our home province….where the dirt is black. 🙂

Full timing before I knew it was a “thing”.

Standard
Full timing before I knew it was a “thing”.

Almost looks like the beginnings of the tiny house movement.

I’ve been fairly secretive about the fact that we live in an RV. Everyday; all year round. There is no sticks and bricks for us to regroup at. This isn’t our summer home. This is a full time venture. A full time commitment to living this lifestyle.  Usually “full-timing” means people are traveling from one place to another in an orderly fashion in a vacation type of quest. Staying in one campground for a short period of time or the local Walmart parking lot for a night here and there. Staying somewhere, briefly, for free is referred to as boon docking. Making your way across the country seeing the sights and keeping costs down as much as possible is the usual goal. Full timers often make there income by working on-line or workamping: traveling to a job designed to facilitate the RV lifestyle by providing camping accommodation. So there are a lot of options in enjoying this lifestyle.  We chose to work regular jobs while living in year round campgrounds.  Since we were in an oilfield area; finding this as an option was easy. But year round campgrounds simply don’t exist in most areas.  

Not pretty. But that’s how you stay warm in a camper in winter. This was our first winter and actually a very mild year. There were worse! And there are prettier ways to wrap a camper. Learn as you go.

Yesterday my husband made the comment ” what if we had u tubed our whole journey over the years? ”  I admit my first thought was ” you aren’t ashamed of how we live? ” We are very quiet people who keep to ourselves and cherish our privacy. But suddenly I thought why not Share?! In my next thought I was wondering what my true feelings were. Was I embarrassed? I remembered all the feelings that go along with such a situation. At first it was an adventure. We had only planned to stay in a camper for one year. (If we made it that long!) I didn’t even know how to flush the toilet! I was waiting for child services to show up. Seriously. Not one person we knew had ever done this. We moved to a place where it was actually quite normal but all the full timers we met were very old couples or working oil patch guys. (Turns out we were in the wrong campground! Families do this all the time in that area and often homeschool to be with the father near his job) We got through the year learning a lot about having grace and patience. When someone feels the need to pace… sit your butt down and for goodness sake,tuck you feet in! lol  We learned about spending more time outside and with each other. About going on adventures! 

Quad trails and picnics high above the river.

After taking a journey across the country and reassessing our life at the one year mark; it was still a good fit for our family so we upgraded to a brand new camper. I was proud to have showed my kids that there is a different way to live and it’s okay! In fact; it’s wonderful! I didn’t want them only seeing how the Jones’ lived. Only meeting “the Jones'”. They now know that every area of their country has a different way of doing things.  A different normal. And very different ideas about what the best local swimming spot is.! 😀  We’ve had a lot fun along way. It’s not for everybody as it sure can put a different spin on things. I suppose it’s all in how you look at it and how willing you are to adapt. There’s no room for a treadmill or 50 pairs of shoes. It comes down to basics. I still have my favorite knick knacks and one plant. I had to tweak the way I cook and I figured out how to can inside with just 2 burners going. Adapt. Go with flow.  Enjoy the ride. Live with grace and understanding. It’s all very doable. Exactly how long have we been doing this you ask? Sigh… its been over 4 years! I had hoped for a property and the makings of a house ages ago. But we couldn’t decide where to live. There are so many beautiful places but you have to consider logistics as well.  We did recently get a property but are still living in in the RV. We’ve set up a yard homestead style. It was a raw wooded lot. We’ll start building a house in spring. 🙂

Hey so does this make me somewhat of an expert then?  I might have to do some posts about how things run around here. Stay tuned!

What makes a homestead? Who made the rules?

Standard

Whoever said you needed a farm to be homesteader kinda messed me up! I fell into that trap and got hurt.

737'Spot'

When we sold our house, there were bigger dreams involved. After years of “practicing” (complete with goats) on our large lot on the edge of town, it was time to move on in hopes of saving for a bigger venture in a new community. We sold everything and set out in an RV. It wasn’t a year later and we bought an 18 acre piece of land. Just one problem… it was on the other end of the country. If you are following my blog you may have read about that trip. I deleted that post. We didn’t stay out there long, before realizing it was just too far away from friends and family. That was a very unnerving feeling for us. It would have been a daunting task trying to create a yard and build a home from scratch in a place with no jobs to speak of. We moved back to get jobs and continue our search.

 

 

I deleted that post… Perhaps out of embarrassment and a bruised ego. Maybe because I thought I would never have a homestead and it was all starting to feel like a lie. How could I consider myself a homesteader without any land. How could I continue cooking and preserving foods they way I had been, while living in a camper. We were so ready to jump in but terrified of failing. I suppose we chose to eat, so to speak. There were after all, kids to feed. So…

We settled into a four season campground, put the kids on the school bus and both worked. I no longer had the time or energy to bake cookies or bread. And there was no more bulk produce that needed canning. It felt like failure and the death of dream. I remember mourning that death. I was a fraud for blogging about things I used to do and sharing about a dream that would never come to be.

So, fast forward a few years… We are on our third camper and I am following some homesteading pages on Facebook. There is still hope. Everyone is in a different place in their journey. Some people are in apartments doing what they can for now and preparing for their next step toward further self sufficiency. This makes me feel all that more confident in who I am and in the steps I am able to take at this point in the journey, even if it is in a camper.

We have made some changes recently in the right direction. We moved, closer to family, and bought a property this summer. Once again its on the edge of a village. The same size as our old piece but very close to a lake. There are plenty of walking trails through the woods and to the lake. I have been canning more than ever before! This is huge. I’ve been given many boxes of apples, plums, raspberries, squash, tomatoes, and much much more. This community is so inviting and giving.  We’ve certainly been blessed.


We took a leap of faith moving here. We truly didn’t even know if we’d like being in the country but living in town was a strange idea. So we came with open minds and stumbled upon this wooded lot that they almost didn’t even show us. So far… no neighbors! And those trails…right down the street 2 lots over. Mr. Evolving and I have spent some time clearing an old overgrown path and there are more to uncover.  I can hear the boats on the lake from my yard and the kids rode their bikes down for swimming lessons.   I’d say it has worked out wonderfully, so far. I am back on track with the homesteading ways and couldn’t be happier. It’s been a ton of work as this was an untouched lot. Overgrown with trees and uneven ground, we’ve cleared a spot for our camper and gotten in the power(included in the lot fee), internet and septic. We still have to drill a well but hauling water hasn’t been too bad. We brought in some beautiful elk manure/soil and made raised garden beds; mostly in old tires. We worked hard as a family and watched many projects come together.  We even have the opportunity to home school after wanting to for so long. Best thing we’ve ever done, btw!

wp-image-1952188952jpg.jpeg        wp-image-891310455jpg.jpeg

Life can certainly take over at times and make you feel like there’s no way of changing things. I was upset with myself for giving up on the person I knew myself to be. I think the biggest struggle of all is agreeing, as a couple, on… well, everything! How many sacrifices and which ones? There are so many levels of this way of life. I’ve seen couples seperate because of the city vs country life debate. I suppose this unserviced wooded lot is our compromise. There are many things to consider when putting yourself in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors or services or having a true feeling of safety. We feel better informed and more mature when it comes to our decision making now. haha For now, I have resigned myself to the fact that there may never be another goat in my life. Time will tell though. A chunk of land may very well  be in our future. But for now this is Perfect!

We’ve been plotting our secret plans already… I hear Quail are quite interesting to watch!  And eggs would just be an edible byproduct;  right? !  lol For now I will wait while my sauerkraut ferments and the oats soak for morning poridge. I will crochet a new pattern by the wood stove and dream of house plans. I will continue to be grateful for where we are. And learn to appreciate the journey… however long it may have seemed and take pleasure in knowing it isn’t over.