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Hello Internet!

And my friends and family that have been wondering how I’ve been. It’s been just shy of 14 months since my last post. That’s the longest interim I’ve had between posts. Last year I told you about the few tracks I had been hiking with my family. I was really excited about it too. Getting out there to see beautiful nature and wilderness is something I really enjoy. Soon after my last post when I hiked the Waitahinga Trails, I had to sell that baby carrier that I was so excited about. It didn’t really agree with my body and sent my rib muscles into some painful spasms for several months. I sold the carrier and haven’t done any long hikes since then.

This is for several reasons. 1. if I can’t carry Girl, I can’t get very far very fast, to explore very much, and 2. My husband Darren has had to put a big stop on any nature walks long or short since June last year. Sadly, he’s had an injury to his back which makes any walking quite uncomfortable, so he keeps it to a minimum now. We are still waiting on seeing the right specialist to find out exactly what the problem is. We are optimistic though, that we can still get out there and do something in the future, maybe on bikes. Time will tell… But, it looks like any hiking on rugged trails up to huts as a family may be out of the question for quite a while, if not forever. Unless I take the kids and leave Darren behind, which isn’t really what my first choice would be.

But why didn’t I keep blogging through all of that? Well, to be honest, I’ve been entirely distracted by a new hobby this past year, that is probably the real reason for my absence. I’ve been designing knitting patterns. It’s been a puzzle, a challenge, a joy, and a frustration all at the same time. I get an idea and have to follow it through to the end, thinking I’ll take a break after the current one, but midway through I’d have another idea… and so forth. I do think I’m beginning to find the balance though. Below are some photos of the patterns I’ve designed.

If you like knitting and would like to see where you can buy any of these patterns, check out my store on Ravelry by clicking here.

All this said, this year has been so completely up in the air for us. We thought we would be travelling in our bus exploring, but we haven’t exactly been in a condition to support that lifestyle this year. We have been rethinking things a little bit. We are still in our bus and are quite happy, and may do a trip to the South Island this year, (when? we don’t know yet). At the same time though, we are thinking we might be best off buying some land in the country to park our bus and start a little homesteading adventure, growing our own food and exploring the area around wherever we land.

I have been thinking of you, my readers, the ones that have expressed an interest in our lives and am sorry I haven’t kept you more up to date. It’s been a whirlwind… I have only touched on several, but not all of the things going on for us this past year. We are all still in good spirits though. We trust the Lord is by our side through it all, teaching us and guiding us. This is our peace. Perhaps the adventure is not entirely about going out and finding it. Life seems to create quite a bit of adventure on it’s own sometimes.

Below is a little slideshow of the past year.

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We get whole wheat in bulk for the whole year and then grind it in our mill when we need it. Fresh flour can go rancid in a few months, so store bought flour has the germ removed, even wholemeal or whole wheat flour. They make white flour and add some bran back in and then call it ‘whole’. Truly whole flour will say stoneground on the label.

Some people will say they can’t stand whole wheat bread. I think that’s because they’ve tasted it when it’s gone rancid. It has a very strong and bitter taste that you can’t ignore. Fresh flour just tastes good!

We got our mill as a wedding present from Darren’s parents. Our model is called the Hawos Billy 100. It was made in Germany. We love it as it’s very simple to use and can be used to make any flour from grains and even dry legumes like peas. I think you have to be cautious though, as foods with lots of oils will clog the stone. You can see the Hawos website by clicking here.

The above photo shows about how much I make at one time. Those two containers will make around 12-15 loaves of bread. This can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on how often I bake.

The quality of flour and bread is amazing… I really encourage you to go for it if you are considering getting a mill of your own. You get many more nutrients as well when it’s fresh, as vitamins break down as flour ages.

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