Posts tagged homemaking skills
An Unexpected Turning of Tides
 

I have become wary of laying out plans for the future, because not only do people hold you to those plans, and the plans rarely go as planned, but setting expectations also creates room for disappointments.

So I’m learning more and more to have a loose idea, but to expect inevitable variations to occur.

Life is forever evolving, and often is not so straightforward as to abide by our mathematical planning on calendars and calculators.

Tiffany Davidson Homesteading Blog Washington State

Tiffany Davidson Eric Smith Washington State Homesteading Blog Travel Blog

We were moving along at full speed, making money, putting it back to prepare for a cabin build in Spring of 2019 on our new land.

Last Autumn, we arranged for a vacation to surprise loved ones in Kentucky for the holidays. Eric arranged work in KY, and his employer here in northeast WA had no problem with him leaving for this time, promising not only would his job be here when we returned, but that they would provide winter training since we’d be arriving back in the dead of winter (Eric’s route is, WAS, through the mountains of northeast WA and British Columbia, with plenty of steep mountain grades - terrifying in a car, let alone a huge semi truck hauling 100,000+ pounds).

We arrived back to our home in WA in mid-January, Eric set out to work as scheduled, despite that commute being 1.5 hours one way, through icy mountain roads, it was the price we were paying to live in this wilderness we so love.

Work went as planned for a couple of days, then as a winter storm fell over the area and mountain passes became treacherous, Eric reached out to his managers to schedule the day of winter training he was promised.

One manager speedily rushed him through a tutorial of putting chains on the truck, in the parking lot, amidst a blizzard, and the chains ended up being on backwards(!) and they claimed this was winter training.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photography

The disappointment set in and now we were in a pickle. NO way was he going to drive without winter training, not only to protect his own life, but the lives of others out on those roads.

Days went by where he was loosely made to believe that he would get training at some point, until eventually his managers turned condescending and unprofessional, all the while we were in a bit of a panic because Eric’s paycheck was suddenly… not happening as expected. With every week that went by, thousands of unmade dollars also went by, and the pressure was on for me to take on more clients to keep us afloat so that we wouldn’t have to tap into our emergency savings.

When Eric persisted with his employers, asking: “why not just send ____ with me as promised, for ONE day of winter training, and we can all move on as planned…?” the response given was that they “didn’t want to endanger TWO lives!” — so you can imagine the frustration of all of this. We live in a place where going out and simply getting a new job isn’t exactly… realistic. So there we were, our second income just completely removed from the equation, in the middle of a snowy icy winter, totally unsure what the next best move was.

Tiffany Davidson Washingtons Last Frontier Homesteading Blog Rural Living Photography

I’ll save you the details of weeks of despairing and worrying and thinking and more plans-that-didnt-go-as-expected and the decision had to be made…

The decision to move.

I can’t tell you how difficult it was to decide this and to set our jaws about it.

All of our efforts for the past couple of years have been to get to this place, this northeast WA wilderness, and be able to live comfortably in it.

What a sobering realization that: we still are not ready.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer Homesteading Blog

To live a good life in this land, it seems you must either be born here, marry into a family who was born here, be very wealthy, retired, or getting some kind of regular check that does not rely on the local economy.

Or you can work online, which is the route I have taken, but Eric is still reliant upon the local marketplace for his income.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer Homesteading Blog
Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer HOmesteading Blog

So we have moved!

The place we’ve chosen to move to is a place that stole our hearts last year when we visited, and it’s a place that - despite being much more populated than the northeast portion of the state - still retains a rugged and remote feeling (especially on the western side).

We are living on the Olympic Peninsula, and we have every intention to enjoy this place wholeheartedly for the myriad of natural wonders it has to offer.

Tiffany Davidson Washington State Photographer Homesteading Blog Olympic Peninsula
Tiffany Davidson Olympic Peninsula Photographer

What about our homestead plans in northeast WA?

They remain. But they have been slowed down.

This year, we hope to achieve a fenced-in garden area and to get a dowser out to the property to check for water availability so that a well can be dug. Maybe more will get accomplished than that, but those are our goals for 2019 on the property.

Just a few months ago, our goal was to have a cabin built on the property in 2019, but that can no longer happen.

Building a homestead from scratch with cash takes time. And it takes being closeby. So our plans are definitely delayed.

But who knows what the future holds. I have a lot of projects underway, and in my line of work it’s sometimes difficult to predict the payoff amount and timeline. So perhaps the homestead development will move faster than we could possibly foresee at this moment.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m learning that for my own life, loose ideas work better than concrete plans.

So this is a surrender of sorts, and a letting go and letting life unfold as it does.

Tiffany Davidson Olympic Peninsula Photographer Homesteading Blog

I’m certain that in a few years, I will read back over this post and smile to myself, having never could’ve imagined the way that things ended up unfolding. And that awareness brings me a certain sense of relief and humor :)

“How wild it was, to let it be…”

Tiffany Davidson Travel Photographer Olympic Peninsula Homesteading Blog
 

Welcome!

Tiffany Davidson.JPG

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany


INSTAGRAM:


Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


You might also enjoy…

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Should-less Sundays (and My Wild Huckleberry & Maple Scone Recipe!)
 

Sunday morning I made the mistake of checking my email soon after waking. I know better, but I did it anyway. And of course, there were a couple of emails from clients needing me to do things, and of course, I felt my people-pleasing strings tug at me hard to fulfill, to satisfy, to fix

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But [ah, years of deep inner work does pay off] I was able to gently remind myself that today is Sunday and no, today was not for work and meeting demands and shoulds. In fact, how about we just designate today Should-less Sunday? What would that look like? 

Maybe instead of putting check marks next to words on a to-do list, we just quiet these busy minds and let our bodies guide us today, effortlessly gliding between one thing and the other, following the invisible tug of the things that nourish us.  Approaching the day with a curiosity and setting aside the planning mind, "Here's what we'll do today..." can be saved for the other 6 days of the week, can't it? 

Swimming sounded nice, but did we really want to drive all the way to the swimming hole, on this hot day (we don't have air conditioning in our vehicles)? I'll develop a new recipe today, I thought, but even these enjoyable scenarios were shoulds - I was catching onto myself. 

With constant awareness, I meandered through the day, letting the minutes unfold as they did, rather than reigning over them. (My husband was very pleased with this new approach).

The irony of it all? I accomplished plenty that day. But, the way I went about it and experienced my day was drastically different. If I had to pin a word to it, I'd say presence was the key differentiator. 

Moving from minute to minute with no plan, I still ended up:
cleaning the filter on our air purifier to get it good and ready for this dusty summer that's upon us, I handwashed some linens and hung them to dry on the taut new paracord clothesline Eric hung for me, I began a new wild sourdough starter using rye flour grown here in Washington, practiced hand-sewing, and delved into the art of sun-dyeing with natural dyes. That evening, after yoga, we enjoyed a delicious dinner by candlelight and then (because my mind wasn't allowed to tell me I should not do certain things) we enjoyed the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones (any other night, I'd decline saying there are other things I ought to do with my time). 

Oh, and I created a new recipe...

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Dear reader, this is not just any ol' recipe. This is hands down, the best scone recipe we've ever tasted. Eric went on and on and on with each bite he took (with enough moans to make a gal get that certain cock in her brow!), so since he isn't here to toot my horn for me, I guess I'll have to do the honors. 

I wanted to use some of the wild huckleberries we've been foraging lately, and I'm not big on sugar, so I opted for organic maple syrup instead. You must promise me that you'll try this recipe. Please. And if you don't have wild huckleberries, no problem, just use fresh blueberries or wild berries from your local landscape. But most importantly - enjoy, enjoy, enjoy (and be grateful that we have these amazing things called tastebuds!).

 

Wild Huckleberry & Maple Scones

Ingredients:
3 c all-purpose flour (I use this kind)
1.5 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 sticks grass-fed butter (6 oz.), cold
1 c wild-foraged huckleberries (or blueberries)
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c raw milk (or grass-fed whole milk)
4 TBSP maple syrup
1 egg + 1 TBSP maple syrup (to brush over scones before baking)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and sea salt. 
Cut in butter & incorporate into dry ingredients using fingers until combined, making sure that pea-sized pieces of butter remain in the mix. This is an essential part of getting the scone to feel scone-y. Here's a good demonstration of how to cut in butter if you aren't familiar. 
Add berries to mix, gently combine using hands. 
In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice, raw milk, vanilla, and maple syrup together, then pour over the dry mixture. 
Using a fork, toss everything together gently, making sure to work the dough as little as possible until a dough ball forms. This prevents scones from being too dense. 
Roll to 1-inch thickness, cut out individual triangle-shaped scones and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. 
Brush tops of scones with a mix of 1 egg & 1 TBSP maple syrup. 
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 
 

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Enjoy, in joy. 

x Tiffany


 

Welcome!


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My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany

INSTAGRAM:



Disclosure: This website uses affiliate links, meaning: at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. We only feature products that we believe in and use ourselves. Your support means the world to us and allows us to host this website.
So thank you :)


MORE POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

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Following The Berries
 

Life has been pretty low-key around here this last week, as we settle back in from the Olympic Peninsula trip and brace for the dry summer here in the Inland Northwest, which has been felt making its entrance the past few days, dust & heat on its shirttails. 

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I'll just cut straight to the chase and tell you: summer is my least favorite season. Heat, in general, any temperature over 70 degrees F, takes from me. It plays out like a legitimate mathematic formula, where every increase in degree removes a percentage more energy and creativity from my spirit. I blame it on northern European DNA, an ancestral lineage of northern coastal people, but I don't recall being so put off by heat until my mid-20s so it could just be hormonal. (Isn't everything?)

Give me snow, cold, overcast, mist and fog any day.  Which is one of the main reasons I moved to the Northwest in the first place, but Inland Northwest summers are scorchers. The interesting bit, and how summer days here do differ so much from the Kentucky summers I grew up in, is the humidity factor. 

Humidity is typically so low here in the summer months, meaning UV rays are the real culprit. If you can get out of the direct path of the sun, the temperature drops significantly because the air around you isn't full of moisture to hold the heat. I know firsthand that in a place with humid hot summers, like Kentucky's, there is no escaping the heat. It consumes you. No shade tree will change things. But here, nights and days are drastically different. Many nights, sleeping with windows open, I wake chilled and snuggle ever closer to my furnace of a husband for comfort, and most mornings call for long sleeves, pants, and socks until roughly 10AM. From there, until about 7PM, ick. Give me shaded forests, cold mountain lakes, indoor tinkering, and Breathe oil on everything. But thank goodness for the evening respite. 

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I guess I write all that in a state of mild dread, since our local forecast shows this being the last mild and overcast day in the foreseeable future. So, here we go! The rest of July, August, and most of September will be hot, dry, and if anything like last summer - smoky. Then back into misty and overcast for a month or two, and finally - full on winter. Winters here are very predictable: snow begins falling in December and keeps falling until March or April. No melting happens during that time - what falls turns to snowpack and it's not unsual to measure snow on the ground in feet, not inches. And we love it! This winter I'm planning to start cross-country skiing through the forests, and I have some ideas brewing that revolve around proper hibernating in an inspiring way... stay tuned.

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Despite not liking heat, I do love summer, because summer means blossoms and pollination and fruition. We plant people can hardly stand ourselves - planting seeds like lunatics (I don't have an actual garden this year while we exist in this transitional phase, but my container gardening situation is turning out to be more fulfilling than expected) and foraging all our spare hours away.  

Last night began the huckleberry frenzy. If you've never tasted wild huckleberries, I'd tell you to imagine the tastiest blueberry you've ever had, and then add an extra note of deep purpley grapeness on top. That's how a huckleberry tastes. When it comes to foraging sugars off the landscape, they're my favorite - hands down. And with a husband who eats a giant bowl of berries (usually blue) after dinner each night, the more berries we can gather, the better off we are. 

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During huckleberry season, we can be found in the forest almost every evening, hunkered over with a basket beside us, beginning at the lower elevations and moving higher as the season progresses, following the berries.

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From the daily bounty, we'll each have a bowl full with yogurt, and then freeze the rest.  

It feels really good, dare I say natural, to forage nourishment from the land you live with, but I have to say you do forage a lot more than that, my favorite: quiet contemplation. Gathering huckleberries seems to build space for inward reflection and housekeeping of the psyche to unfold.  A space that feels different somehow from the quiet moments found inherently in day to day life. I think there is something to be said about interacting with nature in this way. Beyond just taking a hike through a landscape, when you forage you are included in the landscape. As humans were for hundreds of thousands of years, until just recently. For my own life, these interactions are vital for a kind of growth and inward expansion that I haven't been able to mimic in books or conversation. 

I've just begun a book that expands on this notion, I believe, so hopefully I'll be better suited to write more on it later. 

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Other projects happening around here this week: attempting to make my own wild sourdough starter, making a small batch of sauerkraut until I manage to unearth my big proper crock out of storage, more and more and more broccoli sprouts of course, planted more zinnias, lavender, and tomatoes, still on the hunt for wild elderflowers, finishing up an embroidered folk banner and pondering how I want to go about displaying it on the wall, and of course my usual work. Oh, and quarts upon quarts of nettle, jasmine, and peppermint tea - my favorite summer teas. Served cold. 

What are you up to?

x
Tiffany

 

Welcome!

Beautiful blogs to read, best blogs, blogs to read about life, blogs about lifestyle, read personal blogs, interesting personal blogs, natural living ideas, natural living blogs, life in washington state, what it’s like living in washington state, washington state bloggers, washington state travel blog, inspiring blogs to follow, inspiring bloggers, inspiring bloggers on instagram, best personal life blogs,    Tiffany Davidson, Eric Smith, Washington State, Living in the wilderness, Living off grid, Homesteading bloggers, Off grid living, Homesteading blogs, Live in the woods, Leave city for country, Moving to the country blog, Make money online, off grid living washington state,    Make money from home, Work from home, Back to the land, How to live off the grid, How to live off the grid in the woods, Best careers for living off the grid, Live rent free, Living debt free no mortgage, How to live without a mortgage or rent, Lifestyle design, Northwest    Washington state, How to live a simple life and be happy, Off grid homestead, Living off grid income, Full time income off grid, Most remote places lower 48, Largest wilderness areas lower 48, Farthest point from a road lower 48, Most rural towns in usa,, Most remote places in lower 48, Most isolated places to live, How to go off the grid with no money, Best places to live off grid    How to buy land with bad credit and no money down, Self sufficient homesteading, Self sufficient living, wilderness gardening, garden in the woods, cottage garden, survival garden, wild gardening, kitchen garden, pacific northwest, inland northwest, where to buy off grid land in america, where to live off grid in america, where to homestead in america, building off grid homestead, off the grid living ideas, best careers for living off the grid, off grid income, make a living off the land, make money living off the grid, make money on the homestead, off grid income ideas, full time income off grid, full-time income homesteading, make money online, digital nomad, digital peasant, make money blogging, full time rv living

My husband and I are working to build a Nordic-inspired homestead in the Washington wilderness slowly with cash and no debt. You can follow the journey here!

I write about:

  • wilderness living

  • our homestead journey

  • health & wellness

  • adventure travel

  • cozy homemaking

  • wild food foraging

  • DIY & craft projects

  • making a living online from home (or anywhere)

  • natural living

  • my own recipes from scratch

  • and much more


My hope is that you will find some nugget of inspiration here.
Thank you so much for stopping in & please come back often. The kettle's always on...

x Tiffany

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wilderness living, daily life, foragingTiffany D. DavidsonBeautiful blogs to read, best blogs, blogs to read about life, blogs about lifestyle, read personal blogs, interesting personal blogs, natural living ideas, natural living blogs, life in washington state, what it’s like living in washington state, washington state bloggers, washington state travel blog, inspiring blogs to follow, inspiring bloggers, inspiring bloggers on instagram, best personal life blogs, beautiful homemaking, cozy homemaking, wintertime online workshop, homemaking skills, hygge winter, winter cozy, inspiring lifestyle, living close to the earth, winter traditions, self care during winter, winter self care ideas, Tiffany Davidson, Eric Smith, Washington State, Living in the wilderness, Living off grid, Homesteading bloggers, Off grid living, Homesteading blogs, Live in the woods, Leave city for country, Moving to the country blog, Make money online, off grid living washington state, Make money from home, Work from home, Back to the land, How to live off the grid, How to live off the grid in the woods, Best careers for living off the grid, Live rent free, Living debt free no mortgage, How to live without a mortgage or rent, Lifestyle design, Northwest Washington state, How to live a simple life and be happy, Off grid homestead, Living off grid income, Full time income off grid, Most remote places lower 48, Largest wilderness areas lower 48, Farthest point from a road lower 48, Most rural towns in usa, Most remote places in lower 48, Most isolated places to live, How to go off the grid with no money, Best places to live off grid How to buy land with bad credit and no money down, Self sufficient homesteading, Self sufficient living, wilderness gardening, garden in the woods, cottage garden, survival garden, wild gardening, kitchen garden, pacific northwest, inland northwest, where to buy off grid land in america, where to live off grid in america, where to homestead in america, building off grid homestead, off the grid living ideas, best careers for living off the grid, off grid income, make a living off the land, make money living off the grid, make money on the homestead, off grid income ideas, full time income off grid, full-time income homesteading, make money online, digital nomad, digital peasant, make money blogging, full time rv livingComment