Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Paths, Pandemics and Everything In Between


    Hello my readers I have not visited with you in awhile. Like so many Americans right now O Wise One and I sit here in our home during a world wide pandemic. We have locked the gates and pulled the front blinds and resolved ourselves that something has happened that we never could have imagined.

    Long ago he and I made choices. We chose to live our life simply and quietly. We chose to accept those things beyond our control. We are proud of our gray hair, laugh lines and stooped shoulders. We chose to grow our own food, to live not letting things like fashion and Hollywood set our choices. There are no designer jeans in my closet or thousand dollar cell phones on my bedside.  Just a rotary dial phone, a wind up alarm clock and a 50 year old bible. We find great solace in the little things. Snapping beans on the back porch together. Sunday rides through the country. Planting seeds and watching our food grow and then preserving it. We live this way not because of overwhelming political or religious beliefs but because we just enjoy it that way. That is what we know and draw comfort from. We enjoy each other and have for many decades now. We vowed before God in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer till death do us part. That devotion has never waned. 



    For years I shared our experiences and what small wisdom we had collected in our lifetimes on this blog. After moving I continued for a short while but eventually just had problems keeping up as I have aged. With O Wise One now 70 and myself not far behind. We have slowed down considerably. My eyesight isn't what it used to be to edit all those pictures. I now suffer from bouts of vertigo which have greatly slowed me down. But I still garden with the help of a walker. I still can extensively, dehydrate and freeze the harvest that we produce in our own garden. I spend time knitting, crocheting, quilting and still sew some of my own clothes and many of my household linens. 




    I left this blog up because I wanted you all to be able to draw on the knowledge I have shared with you. Learn from my mistakes and continue to be self sufficient. I want you all to know the joy of sitting down to a meal and know most of what is on this plate is the result of your own hard work. You planted it, or harvested it or preserved and prepared it. I want you to be able to sit and make a blouse. Make a pillow case. Quilt a bed cover. But most of all I want you all to have the peace of sitting in your home in the middle of a pandemic and being able to say. I'm okay. My pantry is stocked, my garden is there waiting to go. My fruit trees will bloom. I can lock my doors and be okay.



To the younger generation that read this blog. Learn from all that is happening now. Remember. My husband and I are in the high risk category and know that if we get this virus it will be very dangerous for us. But I wanted to leave a post to let you all know how proud I am of you all. All of you that have planted the gardens and canned the food. All of you that have embraced this lifestyle and let my husband and I have the pleasure of getting to know many of you. Of letting us into your lives. You are a community. Preppers, homesteaders, survivalists and housewives. Help each other, teach each other but always remember the feeling of relief at being self sufficient. That while people are fighting over silly things you enjoy the comfort of a full pantry and garden. Not from hoarding but by the hard work and dedication of living a lifestyle maybe a little different than many.



Pass on the recipes and the gardening tips and the knowledge. And to you all be safe. I pray for the suffering and dying all over the world. My heart is breaking for you all. Keep the faith. Be strong. And when it is all over the sun will again shine. The birds will sing and maybe we will learn this lesson. Maybe walk a different path. Be brave. Dare to be different. 


                                        Blessings from The Holler
                                        C Q and O Wise One










40 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting today. I read your blog faithfully and often wondered how you and your family were doing. I kept you listed in my blog reader and was sooo happy to read your update! Bless you for the teaching...and you made it so interesting! You take beautiful pictures...but if they are too difficult, I'd certainly welcome new posts with only words. Thx!

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  2. It is so good to hear from you again, and know that you are still doing well! I was an avid reader of your blog when you were active, and I still occasionally visit when I need advice about gardening or preserving.

    Stay safe! And thanks!

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  3. So good to hear from you. I, too, wondered how you have been. I enjoy your blog still, from time to time.
    Glad to hear you are doing as well as can be. Praise God. :-)
    *hugs* and God bless. ♥

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    1. Hello Linda. Good to see you still here. Stay safe

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  4. I was so bummed when your last post's ended...I loved them and looked forward to and savored each and every one of them...I looked up to you and O wise one!!! I myself haven't blogged in over a year...This pandemic has brought me back to my own blog today and imagine my surprise to see your post!!! I needed this sweet blessing today...I read it out loud to my husband and didn't make it through without crying...Thank you for the legacy you leave behind on this BLOG.. it is a treasure for your family and to those of us who truly looked up to you!!! THANK YOU!

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    1. Such kind words bring tears to my own eyes. May your husband and family be blessed with health during this terrible time and find peace and hope within each other.

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  5. CQ - I SECOND the post above! I have checked your blog so many times and worried if you and your family were ok. So relieved to know you are still there doing YOUR THING! :)

    Interesting how in these strange times, we are all looking at resources we trust and can rely on. Blogs like yours are a complete WEALTH of knowledge. I feel like it should be curriculum taught in public schools! I learned so much from you but also enjoyed the posts. I enjoyed learning about gardening and seeing all of the fascinating things you were working on. I receive so much inspiration still from your blog!

    I also posted to my blog today (after a very long hiatus). My own family suffered a devastating house fire last year. We lost the house and most everything in it but the things we lost the most were our little chihuahuas. My husband and others tried valiantly to save them but never could get far enough into the inferno to find them in their hiding places. We are grateful still that that our human family, my husband, me, and our daughters, were safe but for us - our little dogs were equally a part of our family and losing them divided our lives into before and after. It has taken me a year to really find my own self again and to create a new normal without our home of 20 years and the memories inside. This strange time of quarantine has called me to action, however. I may have a purpose after all!

    These are trying times,but are times for learning. Your post is straight on. Young folks need to remember and learn how to take care of themselves without relying on others - to any extent possible. I have seen so many folks posting on Facebook about cooking, baking bread, crafting, playing games. The human spirit is still there and is not lost after all!

    I was so very excited to see your post and to know that you and your family are ok. Obviously you have taught us all well and we are so grateful for the shared knowledge you gave us. My heart sang with joy as soon as I saw your post.

    Wishing you and your family the very best, peace and good health.

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    1. First of all Gina I am so sorry for your loss of your fur babies and your home. I am thankful though that you and your family are safe and unharmed.

      I have gotten so many emails in the last week asking questions about things on this blog that I quickly realized that people are coming here looking for this information and skills. I think that this pandemic may have reawakened that "human spirit" that you speak of.

      Be safe and healthy

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  6. Oh goodness!!!! How nice to see your blog pop up in my email today! I'm so glad you are both doing well. I've missed our porch swing "chats". Life has changed much for us since we moved to the city to be near our girls and help with some of our grandchildren. I can't seem to grow a garden at all in this hot place. But now my garden consists the 2-legged varieties and I am content, mostly, though Ivy misses my canned green beans. My nurturing had been spent mostly on the newest grand who was born 3 years ago with complete kidney failure. Many months we all lived crammed into one room at the Ronald McDonald House but he is doing very well now with mommy's kidney. He still requires lots of care and I'm blessed to be able to continue to be a big part of that. With his parents in education and soon to go back into the school to begin visual classrooms I wil once again become "Teacher Nemo" to the 2 little boys (Nemo is my gramma name.) So I will rely on the farmers market again this year and prayerfully be able to get some beans canned again and break out my dehydrators as well.
    I've thought of you and O Wise One over the years and am so happy to hear you're both well. Blessings to you.

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    1. Cheryl congrats on the new grand and I will keep him in my prayers. I am up to 7 grands now. We have indeed been blessed that they are all healthy but rotten :) If you can't grow it in your present situation there will be lots of local farmers markets and small neighborhood farms that sure can use your business right about now.

      Stay safe and healthy

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  7. Hello! I don't know when I subscribed to your blog, but your post popped up! So glad it did, it is like a breath of calm, soothing, fresh air. I am so happy for you and your husband that you are content in your own little piece of heaven on earth. Yes, I know here is not our eternal home, but we can love and enjoy what God gives us while we are here. I'm going to look around here at your blog and enjoy the peace. I am so proud of you and your husband for all you do. I like what you wrote that there are no designer jeans in your closet or expensive cell phones. Ha! I often think how exhausting it must be to try to keep up with the Jones'. Thank you for your beautiful blog here.

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    1. Welcome Joy there is always room here for a new face. Pull up a rocking chair and browse awhile. There are absolutely no advertisements here. The only thing I am selling is a healthy life, self sufficiency and peace. Happy to have you and stay safe

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  8. I was delighted to see your post! I was actually just revisiting it the other day. I let my preserving slide, and look now this virus mess. I'm a busy homeschooling mom so it's not always easy to find time, but need to get my stash back up. Not getting caught unprepared again. I ran out and got things before it got bad, but want my home canned things in place from now on. Thank you for leaving your blog in tact so I can go back and read it. Glad you are doing well!

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    1. Hello Lynn. I know how homeschooling can be. I homeschooled both my daughters. Glad you were able to stock up when it mattered. Stay safe and healthy.

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  9. So wonderful to hear from you! And I'm grateful that you leave your blog posts up to share your knowledge....A voice of a teacher to the events of today. While I'm in my mid-50's, you never know everything. And I feel its up to us to pass on the knowledge that is lost in today's world.

    And thanks to your post of long ago....I stitched up another batch of fresh dishtowels!

    Cherri

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    1. Love it Cherri. You should post a picture for me. Stay safe.

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  10. I was thrilled to see a post from you. I was sad, but understood when you stopped posting. Having vertigo once, I know how awful it is. I thought of you and your Dad every time I made your tomato, bacon gravy. I have moved and lost some of my recipes, so I will get that recipe so I can make it again! Hooray!! I can't wait to make it. Stay safe and God Bless you and yours, Darlene

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    1. Darlene enjoy that gravy. Daddy would so approve. Hope you and the family stay safe and healthy.

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  11. The very BEST read of the day. Thank you so very much for popping into our lives and letting us know you and OWO are still doing what you do best.
    I am just one of many who learned to much from your advice as I set up my own gardens. A simple THANK You is all I have to offer..

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    1. Sending Love and hugs from the Holler. A simple thank you is a breath of fresh air sometimes.
      Blessings, health and happiness your way.

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  12. So good to hear from you!! Do stay well.

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  13. So happy to see a post from you!! I have been checking your old blog about once a month, wondering about you and yours. I still rely on a lot of your canning recipes. I hope you will keep posting when you can. Vertigo is terrible!! I suffered with it about four years ago and was miserable all summer. I certainly feel for you suffering with dizziness and nauseous. This pandemic has created an opportunity to spend quilting and planning our garden and just sitting still,listening to our Lord.

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    1. Happy to see you too Gwynette. I will try to keep it up. Vertigo has taken it's toll. Woke up one morning and just fell. Hit the oak night stand and ended u with a concussion, skull fracture and the entire side of my face and both eyes turned black and blue. Scared the heck out of everyone. I am still on a walker and trying not to fall again. This condition is indeed awful though. Lots of quilting time though and I am going to garden if I have to crawl. Blessings to you and yours.

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  14. What a nice surprise! It's good to see a post from you! My 91 year-old father died right in the middle of this so we packed up, leaving Missouri, and headed for Texas. My husband is retiring in less than a year so we'd already bought a house down here. We'll stay until all of this blows over and then head home for the final stretch. I'm concerned for the world, but am at peace in my little part of heaven knowing I've done everything I can to prepare

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    1. Katzcradul so nice to hear from you old friend. So sorry for your loss. Missouri will be empty without you. Who knew we would both leave? I share your concern for the World but like you am content in my own little corner of it. Try to stay safe. Love CQ

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  15. I was looking for a buttermilk pie recipe today, and I spied your web site in my favorite bookmarks list. This happens every now and then, and I always click on the link to find what I need, and I'm always hoping to see you back online instead of that "2015" post!! Yay! You are here! I'm happy to see you and hubby are still around and taking things day by day. I live a life very much like you and it always felt like "home" to come to your site. May our good Lord shower you with blessings - you are His good servant.

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  16. I was so happy to hear from you. It was like hearing from a dear friend. My husband and I are like you. For years we lived on 8 acres in Idaho, raised all of our own food organically, hunted or raised our meat, cut and heated our home with 6 cords of wood each year. When it finally got to be too much we retired to 40 acres in Nevada and have tried to adjust to the foods we can grow here. We have been able to camp more, plus I have found a wonderful group of friends who enjoy quilting as much as I do. Our home is much smaller and it is much harder to grow things here but we have adjusted and dearly love our beautiful mountains and wildlife that surround us. Thank you so much for your letter and I am praying your vertigo goes away soon. Your friend in the country Teresa.

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    1. Teresa I have never once regretted downsizing. It was time. I miss the farm but I would not have been able to do it justice and keep up with all it takes to keep up a large house and property. This has been an adjustment for us also but a good one. Stay safe

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  17. What a happy surprise this morning, so good to hear from you. We are well in Utah, I am staying in, pantry is stocked up and I am planning the garden. Think I will increase it. One grandaughter wants to learn to garden and can. We will see how that goes! Glad you are still plugging along despite some health issues. I have been blessed with good health and ability to still do most things I love to do at 78. Take care of yourselves and stay in touch once in a while with us.

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    1. Enjoy that garden Grandma and that granddaughter. Stay safe

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  18. I have been thinking about you and this blog a lot lately. What a refreshing surprise to see this post today. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for leaving the blog up. I have referred back to it many times over the years and I had missed you and your kind words. When this all started a few months ago, I knew I was prepared in part to you. Again, thank you so very much.

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    1. OMG Liz what kind words and I do hope that I have indeed inspired people to be prepared for what life throws at us all. Stay safe and come back often

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  19. Like the others I’ve followed your blog for a long time, also checking to see if you’ve posted anything new. Two weeks ago I checked again to get some easy pickling recipes I could do with some radishes I had and was so happy to see the blog still up. Today I’m planning my garden which saddle has been an after thought the last couple of years and to my surprise you posted. Thank you for the update, this brought a lot of joy to my day. Your blog and recipes taught me how to do things I’ve never done before and because of it we are better prepared than some during this time. Stay safe, god bless and I hope to see another check in soon from you.

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    1. Good Luck with the garden and thank you for the kind words. Stay safe

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  20. I found your blog after you stopped posting. I keep coming back once or twice a month for recipes, how-tos and inspiration. You have taught me much. I hope you can post again even if only occasionally. Stay safe.

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