Sunday, June 16, 2013

Introduction

Hello! I'm Amanda and I live in western PA with my wonderful husband, Steve. We have three kids - Danny (mutt dog), Soaphy (mutt dog), and Dr. Quinn (medicine cat).

I graduated 2 years ago with a degree in Chemical Engineering, hoping to get an environmentally-minded job (renewable energy, carbon reduction, etc.). But I ended up falling in love with a man who lives on top of the Marcellus Shale. Which means a majority of jobs I'm qualified for in the area involve hydraulic fracturing. I couldn't live with myself if I compromised my ethics for a paycheck. I also couldn't imagine moving away from Steve to pursue my career. I'd pick this man over my dream job any day.

Steve and I talked about it, and I decided to stop my job search for the time being. I'm still keeping my eye on a few companies in the area that I'd love to work for, in case anything comes up with them. But I'm not letting myself get stressed out about not having job.

So instead of thinking of myself as an "unemployed chemical engineer" or an "underemployed computer programmer" I am now thinking of myself as a housewife! I was a little unsure about telling this to people, as I expected some to think this is just me giving up. Instead, I was met with excitement and high fives! (My friends are awesome!) That really made me feel a lot better about my decision. Also, having a wonderful, supportive, caring, understanding husband helps a lot too. He constantly reassures me that what I contribute to our household is a lot more important than a paycheck.

We don't have the aspirations of a typical American couple. We don't want to work for 40 years just to start living the life we want when we retire, don't want to live in the suburbs and commute to the big city, don't want kids, don't want to eat an unhealthy diet of fast and processed foods because we're too busy to take care of ourselves, don't define "success" as being rich with a big house and fancy new car and being in charge of people at work. ("I am a Division Manager in charge of 29 people! I drive a Dodge Stratus!")

Steve and I have a 5-year plan. In 5 years we're going to buy a plot of land and build a house to start a homestead. We want the house to be low impact (solar panels, grey-water recycling, passive cooling, etc.) but still on-grid. We want to have a large garden and orchard to be able to (mostly) live off of what we grow. We'll probably have a couple goats too because goats are cool. We're vegan though, so we won't raise them just to eat them, or keep them pregnant just to drink their milk. They will be our pets who eat our grass!

There are other factors in wanting this lifestyle - not having to work 40 hours a week in a crappy job, being able to work outside, having a cleaner and sustainable lifestyle, having a low environmental impact, having all the fresh and organic veggies we could want, having more time together (we're sappy in love).

So this is what I'm working towards as a housewife. I'm learning how to garden (including seed saving and sprouting), sew, crochet, reduce our energy usage, cook as much as possible from scratch (including grinding our own flours - I love my Vitamix!), preserve foods (canning, freezing, dehydrating), make soaps and other beauty products, and some other stuff as I think of it. I'm helping us get a head start on the homestead lifestyle.

Follow me in my adventures! :)

A shout out to my friend Shauna Mae at Your Token Vegan Friend for naming my blog! Check her out; she's lovely!