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New Friends

For the most part, I am not an outgoing person.  Around new people, being in new locations, I get nervous and my brain freezes, and I have a very hard time thinking of things to say.  Having kids has made that a bit better, and homeschooling them has really forced me out of my shell.  Imagine my surprise when I realized that I have a group of new friends.  It turns out that writing has been great for my inability to think when I am around others.  Writing gives me a chance to organize my thoughts, catch my breath, and say what’s on my mind.  The people who read my posts know a little bit of something about me, and it gives them a chance to think about things to ask me.  Having somebody else talking to me gives me the chance to think of questions for them in return, and that equates to an actual conversation!  I never really thought that I’d become friends with strangers I met online, but it turns out, I did.  I’m part of a blogging group through Facebook, and the ladies in that group have been really great to work with.  Then suddenly, I realize that if I am talking about these people to others I see face to face, there is no way to describe these ladies other than “my friend.”

I have a lot in common with some of these women, be it homeschooling or homesteading, and sometimes it’s just the fact that we all blog about what we do.  No matter what their writing focus is, they’ve all been insanely helpful and friendly, and I really am grateful for that.  So why am I telling you all of this?  Well, I was thinking about it, and I thought that some of you might find their blogs interesting too.  Maybe you read along with my blog because we homeschool.  Some of them write about that.  Maybe you read because of the homesteading.  Some of them do that too.  The thing that I find really neat about the topic of homesteading is that we could all do the same thing like raise chickens, and we could all give you a different perspective, different pointers, and teach you different lessons from our different mistakes.Meet a group of lovely, like-minded ladies who are kind, caring and helpful.

So let me give you a little introduction to these ladies, and share where you can find them online.

Michelle Curren: Mid-Life Blogger

The first lady I’d like you to meet is Michelle Curren.  She is the woman who reached out to me through my blog, and introduced me to some groups for homeschoolers, and eventually invited me to be a part of this blogging group.  I really need to give a lot of credit to her for how helpful and encouraging she has been as I have been learning the ins and outs of all of this writing business.  She may be learning too, but that doesn’t mean she won’t try to find the information somebody is looking for to grow.  Maybe that’s the homeschooling parent coming out in her 🙂 Michelle lives with her husband in an empty nest on their rural homestead in the Missouri Ozarks. She writes about homesteading, gardening and homeschooling. Her blog can be found at http://midlifeblogger.com.   or at  https://www.facebook.com/Midlifeblogger/ A lot of what she writes is to help encourage homeschooling mothers, like me.  She shares great insight and wisdom, especially for the young/new homeschooling parent.

Michelle Visser: Souly Rested

Michelle Visser is another one of the lovely ladies in my group.  She is a New England homesteader and the author of Sweet Maple: How to make maple products & bake with them. Naturally.  She’s a wife to her high school sweetheart, mom to four daughters, and an ardent fan of all things maple-flavored.  She is blessed to live in an old farmhouse, by a mountain lake, on 14 acres of boulders, pines, stone walls, and Sugar Maples. The floorboards creak, the barn roof sags, the lights and water are not always guaranteed to work, and the land is rocky and unforgiving. And yet it is perfect her because it has proven to be the perfect place for her family to start living a more sustainable life, focused on simple joys.  She’s learning that simple joys require hard work, so she likes to remind herself that her labor is not in vain (I Cor. 15:58) and she tries to stay souly rested (Jer. 6:16). She is especially excited to have been a presenter for the 2017 Back to Basics Living Summit this September.   If you like all of the homesteading projects that we do, learning about our chicken keeping adventures, you’d probably enjoy learning with her as she and her daughters have a dairy cow that is in milk for the first time this year.   I also had the pleasure of helping her test a few recipes for the cooking chapter in her new book (Sweet Maple), and I can’t wait to order my copy when it goes to print!  You can find her at http://soulyrested.com    or  https://www.facebook.com/soulyrested/

Kathi Rodgers: Oakhill Homestead

Kathi Rodgers is another one of the women in the group who has been immensely helpful to me.  She is another homesteader, and a first-year beekeeper as well.  She and her family started their homestead from scratch in 2004, moving to Oklahoma from the Midwest. Fruit trees, a new garden in poor soil, and adventures in raising animals – they’ve accomplished a lot but not without detours, setbacks, and roadblocks. If you are dreaming of life on a rural or suburban homestead, her passion is to encourage others with how-to’s, tutorials, and tales of a simple, healthy, God-dependent life.  She is also the co-host of a homesteading blog hop, where people can leave links to their blog posts once a week, which is a great way to find articles on all kinds of topics, from cooking to farming, crafting to homeschooling…things you maybe didn’t even realize you wanted to learn more about!  You can find her at http://www.oakhillhomestead.com  or  facebook.com/OakHillHomestead

Kim Brush: Day to Day Adventures

Kim Brush blogs at Day to Day Adventures and is a mom of 4, wife, lover of Jesus, sunshine, children, and gardens. She’s also a memory keeper and crafter. You will find JOY on her blog as she shares about day to day life for her family as they work to be organized, grow and make their favorite foods, create easy DIY crafts and learn through homeschooling.  She has a rag-rug course she created that you can purchase through her blog, and has the appropriate hook for making them.  I’m itching to purchase this so I can make some for my home.  When I am finally able to do that, I’ll definitely share my results with you!  You can find her at http://www.daytodayadventures.com  or https://www.facebook.com/DaytoDayAdven/

Deb Bolack: Manitoba Gardens, Home, DIY

Deb Bolack writes for Manitoba Gardens.  She started her blog in 2008, with the intention of featuring local Manitoba gardens.  She’s from southern Manitoba, Canada.  She’s been married to Brian for 37 years, is a mom to eight kids (by birth and adoption), and grandma to sixteen. The first garden she wrote about was her parents’ garden. When her dad passed away in 2009,  her blog became a tribute to Mom & Dad, and the garden they had left behind on the farm. Eventually, she changed the name to Manitoba Gardens, Home, DIY to more accurately describe her posts.  She began homeschooling in 1987, and has seven years to go until her youngest daughter graduates! She love the Lord, my family, and my dogs.  You can find her at www.manitobagardens.com,  www.lyricdevotions.com, or   https://www.facebook.com/manitobagardens.

Angela Twombly: The Inquisitive Farmwife

Angela Twombly is the author at “The Inquisitive Farmwife”. It’s just what it says: she’s always taking on new projects, adjusting the way she runs her small homestead, takes care of her family and works side by side with her husband. You never really know what adventure she might be or creative new idea to try!  She often posts pictures of her latest soaps or candles, and other goodies she makes to sell at her local farmers market.  You can find here at www.InquisitiveFarmwife.blogspot.com  or  www.facebook.com/TheInquisitiveFarmwifw

Nadine Best: Making Her Mama

Nadine Best is another one of these helpful ladies.  She has a bright, cheery disposition, and loves sharing her experiences to help encourage other moms on her blog, Making Her Mama.  Her family lives on Vancouver Island in Canada where they try to live naturally while raising their kids by faith.  She often writes about homeschooling, and you can find posts about their gardening efforts and other natural living efforts.  She recently had an opportunity to review Bonnie Landry’s video workshop Homeschooling with Joy. She says it’s amazing! Encouraging, simple, effective. And she’s giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Come check it out and enter the giveaway!  http://www.makinghermama.com/homeschooling-with-joy/  You can also find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/makinghermama/

This is only a sampling of the ladies who are a part of this blogging group.  Their kindness shines through in their writing, and they all have a passion for teaching others from their experiences.  While I’m not a huge technology person, the one thing I love about these online connections is that they can be a way to help you find community when you may not be able to find these connections in person.  As I get further and further into my homeschooling journey, we have met more and more families, and as we grow in our homesteading efforts, we have met more like-minded folks and have been able to build on that.  But when you are new to these things and don’t know where to look in your daily life, it can be helpful to have these connections somewhere, even if it is online.  I hope you’ll take a little time to stop over to their sites and see what they are all about.  Maybe you’ll find you have a lot in common with them, or that they have a lot to teach you.

Can’t read through them all now?  Bookmark this post for later, and come back when you have some free-time!  Let me know if you stop over to their pages 🙂  Some of these ladies, and some others will be putting a few group posts together in the coming months… We are hoping to have a garden harvest meal where we collaborate on different dishes to make a wonderful garden meal, there will be a Fall on the Homestead (or a day in the life during fall) post coming in October, and there’s talk of a group giveaway sometime before Christmas!  I really hope you’ll check out those posts when they come.  I’m excited to work on them!

Love~Danielle

10 thoughts on “New Friends

  1. What a sweet post, Danielle! When I wrote my blog’s first anniversary post, that was something I also shared – the unexpected blessing of the friends I made through it. I’m glad we’ve gotten to know each other!

  2. J > Your description of yourself, face-to-face confidence (or lack of it) v the thoughtful, expressive writer, parallels myself, D as well. It’s good that you have found fellowship with other bloggers. Have you noticed how few WordPress bloggers are men? And, especially, how even fewer of the homesteader-bloggers are men? Even those homestead blogs by women rarely feature the menfolk (they may occasionally be mentioned, so we know they exist). Odd, isn’t it, when so many of the traditional homestead/smallholding/crofter activities are traditionally thought of as ‘men’s work’. The menfolk are out there, doing the stuff that the men do, but we don’t get to hear their stories, see things from their standpoint. That’s a pity – a real pity. D and I try to post a well-rounded blog featurinig all sides of our crofting and crafting life, with both of us interested in everything we do, even if one or the other of us tends to specialize in certain activities. It would be good for me to (virtually) meet up with other men (or for that matter women) who have spent the day fixing fences, fetching seaweed from the shore (or muck from the byre) to the fields.

    1. I only wish Scott could find the time to do some writing… I’m sure it would do him a bit of good too! But he gets home from a day of work away from here, and sometimes it’s a struggle for him to find the energy and ambition do to anything on our homestead. We’ve had a stressful couple of months unrelated to homesteading, and that has lead to very little work on anything that isn’t necessary. He’ll be working on harvesting honey in the next couple of days, so I’ll be sure to write about that! I think that most of the homesteading men do Vlogs through youtube vs. writing about their adventures…most of the vlogs we watch are hosted by men. I wonder if it’s the medium for expression that makes a difference? (Video versus writing?)

      1. J > Like Scott, I’ve been through times when anything other than the job in hand (and even then, the current critical activity only), drowned out any other thought, and switching from practical work to creative thinking was Impossible. Denise has ideas for posts,vans contributes little details, and a lot of photos, but she admits that she could not bring together the various components and great a finished post – like one she’d look forward to reading herself. My suggestion is that you encourage Scott to take photos and videos (though it’s more difficult to get them right without a lot of work) encourage him to share them with you, and discover the pleasure in seeing what you”re doing with them. Soon he’ll be making suggestions, based on what he’s already seen. Now then, I’m looking forward to seeing harvest from his perspective, even if it is you doing the reporting.

  3. Lovely idea, Danielle, to share some of these great blogs with your readers. (I feel very privileged to be included. 🙂 ) And you, btw, were my best test baker by far!

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