Author: Erin

I'm doing what I can to provide the best life I can for my family. I love cooking & baking, homestead arts, DIY, and gardening {as well as coming up with projects for Mr. Wanderstead Husband!!}...but I love to explore the world around us too! We will figure out how to do it, and eat well while trying.

Burger night is upon us and this one is such a yummy variation, combining two of my most favorite things: burgers and grilled cheese. 

I remember being introduced to a patty melt many years ago, but I couldn’t get passed the rye bread or the grilled onions.  I would frequently see the item on menus, especially those restaurants that favored more vintage recipes. However, the cheese-factor seems to be missing for me! 

I decided to put my own spin on the classic,

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In Where have all the mom and pop hardware stores gone?, Chad mentioned the hardware store his father owned up in Tekoa, Washington when he was growing up. There was mention of the simpler times; the almost Norman Rockwell-esque way of being brought up. I’ll admit now, I was nervous about heading up there to see it – first time for me ever, and first time for Chad since he left it at age 5.

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Today was a long haul. We started in Redding, CA, after spending 2 nights with my parents. We wanted to make sure to spend a little bit of time with them before officially beginning the Trek to Alaska.

This is the first leg of our journey from California up to Alaska towing a 24 foot trailer with two kids. We are traveling with my husband’s parents and will be exploring Alaska for a few weeks until we begin our journey back home to California at the end of the summer.

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On what would have been my father’s 60th birthday, I wrote this on a whim, but felt it was more appropriate to be shared on Father’s Day. 

Our last visit was right around this time of year, about three months before he died. Ten years ago. Until we had that visit, it had been well over ten years since the previous visit. Like ships passing in the night. 

Except I was a kid.

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It is known at this point that I am a pretty avid meal planner. I also love to stock up. No secret there. 

There are multiple reasons why I do this, one of which is that we have chosen to live in a place that is far away from the standard grocery stores. If I run out of something, I can go to the local {albeit TINY} store and hope they have my missing item on the shelf.

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This is a good one. I promise. One I have been making in our house for quite some time. To be honest, it hasn’t even evolved all that much. One role of being a mama in this house is having a pretty good idea of what the consumers will eat.

I usually know before I set down dinner if it’s going to be a hit.

{Sometimes I don’t care, if I’m feeling particularly ornery.

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There are homesteaders. And then…there are homesteaders. There are those trying to be self-sufficient on 1/10 of an acre and those who have thousands of acres and haven’t been to a store in 16 years.

We fall in between those two extremes.

We live in the foothills in northern California, just up out of the valley. Our home resides at approximately 800 feet above sea level and we have 20 acres of a combination of steep terrain and a little semi-flat.

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Our new lifestyle has now officially been going for one full month. That lifestyle is that Chad is home right now. I continue to work as a special education teacher.

This plan has been in the works for years. It hatched as we came across a quote that really stuck to us:

“You weren’t put on this Earth just to pay bills and die.”

How true is that? Isn’t it funny how just one simple sentence can stop you in your tracks?

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