One really good thing that happened in 2012 was I took my health back. I have struggled with Fibromyalgia for many years and it almost got the best of me this past Spring. In April I decided to change to a vegan diet, with the focus on consuming as much nutrient rich food as possible. My husband and I have juiced 20 lbs. of carrots and 10 pounds of leafy greens and other veggies every week since mid April. We are taking barley green and eating only fruit until lunch. The rest of the day we eat small meals of fruits and veggies, smoothies and vegetable juice. As the weather has gotten cooler, I have added some cooked food in the evening, to keep the inner fires burning. To this we have added more walking and hiking, on the average between 15-20 miles a week. We have spent a lot of time together, walking the various green ways as well as trails in state and national parks around North Carolina. I think the time together has helped about as much as the diet changes and exercise! In the end our efforts have rendered good results. My pain is greatly reduced, I have lost weight, have lots of energy and overall I feel great. The hardest things to overcome were the fatigue and depression. The fatigue diminished early on, but the depression lingered and I struggled with it to the point of despair, but I think I am finally making some headway with that as well, (dealing with depression naturally is a slow process, but if given time is very effective). All in all I am happy with the results and plan to continue in 2013 with the vegan diet and spend lots of time outside with my husband working in the gardens, walking and hiking.
Life around Heart's Ease Cottage has seen many changes as well. Our homestead has been in the process of changing to suit our present needs. Being empty nester's with less mouths to feed and a vegan diet, our food storage needs have shifted. There is a much greater demand for fresh food from the garden and no need for livestock for meat and milk, or for chickens for poultry and eggs. So the barns are being converted for other functions, and we are increasing our garden square footage. My husband has spent the year dressing up and refining our present garden space and we have successfully kept the garden producing through 4 seasons. All around the homestead 2012 was spent cleaning, clearing, organizing, re-purposing, renovating and updating. Some improvements we planned for our house in 1989, that were way laid by Hurricane Hugo, are now almost 24 years later, coming to pass. My dear husband worked tirelessly this past year to earn the funds for a bathroom remodel and to make our defunct coal burning fireplace into a functional location for a 1890's wood burning stove. Both projects should be done early this year. I will make a separate blog entry for each of those projects in coming days.
One of my hopes for this year is to make blogging a priority. I have been photographing many homesteading projects as they were in process; with the intention of writing tutorials, so I have a lot of blog posts in the que to share with you in the near future.
As a final note, I will be posting photos of each season over the next few blog entries as a photo retrospective of what has been going on in 2012 at Heart's Ease Cottage. For today here is Spring 2012!
I hope you are all enjoying the joys of a new year! See you soon!