We’re coming to the end of our featured reader month. Today, I’m very excited to feature one last reader for you! Rachel is an amazing woman and you’ll love reading her story today.
Tell us a little bit about who you are:
I’m a 42 year old homeschooling mother of two teen boys. I’ve been married to Lloyd for 21 years.
I enjoy fun projects, creating things, growing in the Lord, learning, researching and helping others. I help best by advice or being a filler. I was actually called a filler by a friend once… It is true. I am gifted with seeing and filling needs.
I do suffer from chronic illnesses, so try not to let them get me down. And realize God’s mercies are new every morning. I’m not a very organized person by nature, but have found if I do plan things go smoothly. As long as it is a next things next instead of I will do xyz on a particular day. My biggest prayer is to raise two men that love the Lord.
Share some details about your home/land situation:
We just moved! This is a big struggle, and adventure. The struggles are we didn’t know anyone. I am a gleaner by nature so have and to find new resources. Still learning the climate. We are in Southern Oregon, with 10 acres on the Sprague River.
Our home is paid off! That was important for us. It is just the right size and is a manufactured home. We have a small shop, compared to our huge hanger at our home in Clatsop County. My oldest son Josiah enjoys gardening, so we have turned that over to him. Our plan is to get trees and bushes that are native and plant on fence lines. Also putting in solar electricity, and building onto the shop are in out plans.
Which parts of a traditional lifestyle have you embraced?
I enjoy raising my boys. Teaching them and watching them accomplish more than I ever could! I enjoy gleaning, and finding free food and turning it into canned, dehydrated or even using the freezer etc to preserve foods. I enjoy sewing, and would like to do more. My husband hunts, my body won’t allow me, but I am the one that is good at finding deals, clam digging, and processing the animals.
My boys enjoy fishing now and frog hunting on our property. They also enjoy the lifestyle, enjoying trapping and tanning, bringing home plants and trees, building and creating things they need. Speaking of frogs, we had never eaten frogs and I found it an adventure and fun to get a recipe and fry them up.
Which aspects do you most enjoy and why?
I enjoy gleaning, canning etc the most I think. It is the idea of taking nothing and making it into something. Truly the biggest aspect I enjoy is being able to raise my boys, away from the hustle and bustle and seeming pointlessness of city life. And to instill our values including love of the Lord, love of others and work ethic into them.
Name one skill you’d like to learn in the future and also why:
I would like to learn how to properly maintain cold storage. We were blessed with a two story pump house for our well, and I would like to know what things can be safe overwinter and what should be processed. I’m learning it now!
Tell us about one of the difficulties you’ve faced and how you deal/dealt with it:
Biggest difficulty was our move. To deal with it, I talk to everyone I meet, where are apple trees free to glean, etc. I am also having to learn how to process new things Iike those frog legs. I also joined a gardening group for my local area, to learn more about seasons here. Getting some garlic planted this next week, as I read it is good to get it in now. Blessed to have my boys and husband as they continue on without me if I don’t feel well. Josiah has totally taken over composting, which he learned while working at an Organic Farm!
Is there anything else (tips, advice, encouragement) you’d like to share with us?
When illness hits, don’t take it personally. I mean, try not to be depressed. It is OK if you can’t can as much as you want. It is OK if you can’t do it at all for a while. God knows our hearts. He will help us do what He wants done.
Thank you for sharing Rachel! I hope things continue to improve as you settle into a new home and a new area. And today, I needed your advice. As a gal who battles chronic illness myself, it’s easy for me to feel discouraged when I can’t do everything I’d like to do. Thank you for the reminder and for being willing take time to share with us all!
All photos submitted by and are property of Rachel Biddlecome.