About Our Homestead Project

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What IS Cordwood Masonry?

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Winding Down 2015, Big Things Ahead

Hello, dear readers! I realize that I have taken quite the hiatus from writing, but it’s all in the name of doing good things for my students and my family. Here’s what we’ve been up to! Since the last post, our little boy was the world’s most adorable Charlie Brown with his Snoopy for Halloween… […]


Permit Approved!

After months of frustration, we finally have our building permit approved and in our hands! We have an address now and everything! (I edited it out so we wouldn’t have creepy internet weirdos trying to find it, obviously). So now Mark is sitting here brainstorming the next moves with our house plans all over the floor […]


Working hard or hardly working?

A week ago, Mark turned in our heavily revised building permit with the blessing of our local building inspector. This is a LONG time coming after our county changed inspectors and the new one wasn’t familiar with our plans. Mark had spent so much time in private meetings with the previous inspector discussing our options […]


Yes, we’re still alive over here…

I’ve been struggling to summon the will to type an update for a few days now. There are many reasons for this, most of which are not very shocking. 1. School started! My class load has pretty much doubled for this year, so I’ve been spending way more of my free time either writing lesson […]

Clearing the way to build our homestead

Homestead Update: Blame It On The Rain

Things are really getting busy around here! We’re playing the musical “Ragtime” at the Commonwealth Artists Summer Theater in Fort Thomas (come see it!), Mark is teaching at a band camp, and I’m getting my classroom materials ready for another school year. All this is of course in addition to our building project…which we may […]

We paid off $24000 in debt in one year using the Debt Snowball. Here are the two FREE TOOLS we used to help us keep track of our payments. When you're in debt, your money works for someone else. When you owe nothing, your money can work for YOU. Live like no one else! #debtfree #financialpeace #debtsnowball

How to Rock the Debt Snowball and Get DEBT FREE

I find myself increasingly scrolling through my Facebook feed, looking at friends who post about how they want to be debt free or are in the process of getting there. I see those of you who are struggling with your money situations in the open, and I see friends who keep it close. I see […]

Check out this easy DIY recipe for a multi-purpose cloth diaper cream, chapped skin healer, lip balm, frizz tamer, and more! $.22 an ounce to make and way better than commercial creams!

Easy DIY “Anything” Cream

Well, the weather has been woefully uncooperative for excavation the last couple of days, so I don’t have much to report on that front. We’re using this time to work on the various permit applications, building quotes, and other items we’ll need to get done. In the meantime, I figured I’d let you in on […]


Homestead Update: The Dirt’s a-movin’!

So for all of you who didn’t see it on Facebook… We finally got to start excavating yesterday!  The sun was shining for a WHOLE DAY so, as the saying goes, our guy set to “make hay while the sun was shining”.  I couldn’t believe how different it looked when I got up there!   […]

Cordwood masonry is a time-tested green building technique that is costs next to nothing and is practical for many homesteaders. If you want to build a chicken coop, shed, playhouse, garage, or even a house out of cordwood masonry, then preparing your cedar trees correctly will make the job a lot quicker and easier. In this step-by-step guide, we lay out the exact process we use to cut down and prepare cedar trees from our property to use in our cordwood building.

How To Prep Cedar Trees for Cordwood Building

Since school let out, we have spent nearly every day working on our property prepping trees!  Any time NOT spent working on the property has been spent working on school stuff for next year, practicing/gigging, or spending time with our adorable little boy.  Or doing all of the above!   We’ve been steadily prepping our […]


Learning Fun at the Cordwood Workshop

Mark safely returned home from the Cordwood Workshop at Earthwood in West Chazy, NY. Naturally, he has learned so much and has come back feeling renewed and enthusiastic about our building project.  Some of you have seen the Facebook pictures that I shared from the Cordwood page, but here are some of Mark’s own: Mark […]

A complete breakdown of everything I take with me on a short trip using #clothdiapers

Daily Cloth Diaper Bag for Short Trips

Hello, all! So while the homestead project is cranking away, life continues on, and a big part of that for us is cloth diapering.  Little Man is gradually using the potty more and more (yay!) but he’s still primarily diapered. We use prefolds for everyday diapering at our simple little changing station (now located right in […]


Homestead Progress – April 2015

Hello, dear readers! It’s been a very busy time for us here.  The month of April is peak musical theater season, so we were busy each weekend and most evenings rehearsing for and performing in the pit orchestras for several musicals.  It never stops around here!  We also had Easter fun in there.  Little Man […]



After several weeks of crazy back-and-forth… WE FINALLY OWN OUR PIECE OF LAND!! 16.4 acres of paradise with basically everything we were looking for and the potential to do the rest.  Now we get to dig in to the real nitty gritty.  We’re so excited to share this journey with you! Take care!

The two of us are embarking on a unique journey towards living simply, economically, and ecologically. Follow us through our successes and failures as we strive to build a house with our own hands. #greenbuilding #debtfree #sustainability

This is Where Things Get Interesting

Hello, dear readers! You may have noticed a significant lack of updates as of late.  People who know us are aware of the level of crazy we have reached, and those who have read previous posts know what we dream of doing.  So all that being said, here’s what’s going on. We have OFFICIALLY sold […]

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