Haircuts, a rooster, food, and springtime.

Vera had been begging me for a haircut for the past couple of weeks. I stalled a bit to make sure she was serious. She kept at it, so I gave her a sweet little chin-length cut. I'm not trained at hair cutting, and so it's always a little rough around the edges. Not to mention, cutting the hair of a wiggly kid is just… a challenge. But I'm improving. I'm grateful that I don't feel the need to be good at something as a prerequisite to doing it. I can suck for a while- that's fine with me.

I left the room for a second and came back moments later to find that Vera had cut some of Asa's baby curls off. I knew this day was coming. We've gotten plenty of "Oh, he's got a mullet! Bahaha!" kind of comments in the recent past. I kind of can't wait until they grow back… although there has been talk of a baby mohawk, so we'll see what happens.

Happy babe.

I finished it off for him, and miss Vera and I had a serious talk about scissors and baby brothers… 

She was a little upset but was ultimately understanding and pleased that they both got haircuts. My saucy girl. She's almost four. FOUR!

Pippin, my favorite orange peep, is a rooster. No mistaking it. I thought it was the smooth black one, but nope. Pippin is a full blown roo. We have to get rid of him, unfortunately, but I'm hoping we can find him a home. Not nearly enough meat on him to make him worth a kill, and I don't want to kill something I'm not going to eat. I wish we could keep him. He's such a beauty.

We're trying to get out every day, just to be in the fresh air and outdoors. We're doing pretty well with this, and the weather has been really mild and nice.

Parsnips. It's like buried treasure at this point in the winter. I wish I had planted more of them! Next winter I don't plan to have any empty raised beds… Ha!

Dried chili peppers from two summers ago that I just haven't used fast enough.

I decided to stick them in oil for a few days, and then I'm going to turn them into a garlicky hot sauce. Jeff is completely in love with this hot sauce that a local woman makes, and she's all out of it until next year. I'm going to try to recreate it for him, or at least make something comparable.

It's a challenge these days not to want to go out to eat a lot. But, I'm determined to live really frugally in this area, and so I'm challenging myself to use what we have. We decided that we'll go out to eat twice a month. I like it. I plan to really choose where we go and not do it on an impulse. Any savings from all this will go straight to the land. We have incentive to try and pay down principle aggressively, as that will enable us to split the property up and put several acres in our name. Anyway, below I've pictured rice soaking with dried summer squash from the garden. 

We're coming to the end of our frozen veggies, too. A few beans here, a little broccoli there. I have to remember how much better we are doing than in previous years. I mean, we've still got plenty of canned veggies and meat, and lots of stock. I'm sprouting again, to get us our greens. I'm also starting a project that will greatly enrich our diets, which I'll share with you soon. I regret that I didn't plant more greens and hardier vegetables. I won't be making that mistake again.

I have been craving freshness and non-local things. I have decided that when we feel like we need a little extra something, we'll buy something to enhance our meal and keep things interesting. We have a great little Mexican market nearby, and they have good salsa and cheap guacamole. It seriously made my day. These were pork tacos made with sourdough crepes, and the addition of salsa and guac were so good! It's amazing what little things can keep us feeling satisfied. Also, $7 at the local Mexican market versus $25 going out to eat is a better deal for us right now.

I'm definitely feeling the cleansing power of spring. I'm making a point to burn beeswax candles each night, because they smell like heaven and actually help to improve our air quality indoors. I figure, if we're stuck inside all the time through the winter I might as well try to keep our air clear and healthy. 

Imbolc is today. I'm not that familiar with the holiday/rituals, but it feels good to me this year. I'm loving learning a little more about earth-based rituals and traditions. Anyway, "Imbolc"- the word basically means "In the belly", referring to birth and springtime and all that is to come. I love that, because so much of my life feels full and expectant. Just like waiting for the birth of all these good things, I feel the calender turn to this new month and I've shifted along with it. I am planning and cleansing and nesting. How are you all feeling spring?

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