Tag Archives: homesteading skills

Three Thumbs Up (I like it so much, I had to borrow someone else’s thumb!)

A couple months ago I was talking with my son Jonathan and he brought up a movie that he had seen that he knew that I would like. It is called The Biggest Little Farm. For that matter, he said that the entire movie reminded him of me. He said that he was so sure that I would like it that he would send it to me. I watched an interview about the movie online. Here’s the link

It arrived on a Thursday, but because I had a list of other things I needed to finish, I didn’t watch it until Sunday. I was glad that I waited until Sunday to watch The Biggest Little Farm because it was something that I am glad that I was able to watch at my leisure.

What is it About?

The movie was about a couple John and Mollie Chester who adopted a black dog with blue eyes called Todd. Todd didn’t like being alone and would bark while they were gone. This didn’t bode well with the apartment dwelling neighbors. They were evicted, but Mollie had a dream and John went along with that dream. They found a financial backer and then found land an hour from Los Angeles to make this dream come true.

Their dream was to grow everything they could in harmony with nature. They hired a professional permaculturalist named Alan Miller to help them do what it was they really wanted to do. The movie followed them through the next seven years and demonstrated the downs as well as the high points.

Movie with a Heart

The Biggest Little Farm isn’t just a documentary. It is and entertaining movie. It includes stories that provided drama as well as comic relief. (The Emma Pig and Greasy Rooster Affair) It is a movie that the whole family can enjoy. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to make a transition into a healthier lifestyle or to anyone who thinks this lifestyle is a cake walk, and it encourages those who are struggling in this journey.

Observe and Learn

My biggest take away was when John makes a very important discovery around the seventh year, and that is this: Observe before making changes. When you see what’s going on, and understand it, the answers and solutions become obvious. The problem in one area can be the solution to a problem in another. It will be lesson that I plan to implement when I move to my homestead this spring.

I liked it so much I have to share it with everyone!

I am going to be showing this movie to as many people as I can. As my son Jonathan recognized, does sound a lot like what I want to do.

Reminders All Around

50 lessons

In this post, I  continue the 50 Lessons I Learned From The World’s Greatest Achiever by Vic Johnson, by continuing to focus on the good. When I are working to achieve our goals, I am often confronted by negativity. Therefore in order to keep focused on the good, I need to remind myself of the accomplishments I have already made on my journey in reaching my goals.

In the book, Vic Johnson suggests that I should post Post it Notes all over the house to remind me of my achievements. As I look back over my life, I see numerous accomplishments. Some are directly related to the goals that I am working to accomplish, but the others are just as important.

Taking A Chance

When I was twenty years old, I decided to go to California to pursue my dream of being a writer. I quit the dead end job that I was dong and went out to California by bus, alone and without knowing anyone out there. It was quite the adventure and when I tell about it, people are amazed that I would take such a chance. The adventure only lasted two days, then my money ran out and I returned home. I tried to write from my own bedroom, but my parents insisted that I get a job.

My Military Experience

About two years after I went to California, I joined the US Navy I was on  Active Duty for six years and then ten years as a reservist. I trained as a corpsman, specialized in neuro-psychiatry, and trained as a Field Corpsman who went out with the Marines.

Homesteading Skills


My youngest with one of the baby goats we raised.


After my active duty military time, I lived in numerous places where I used the gardening skills that I developed as I experimented with various gardening techniques.

In addition, I learned about raising chickens and raising goats.

Helping Children Learn

Some of my accomplishments involve children. I have always loved reading, so one thing that I like to do is teach children how to read. I have taught two of my own children how to read. (I could not teach my older son because he was dyslexic.)My middle son I helped teach the letters and letter sounds, but someone else gets credit for putting it all together.  I also taught two other girls how to read. I taught my daughter how to read before she started kindergarten.

Another thing that I taught all of the children I mentioned above (including my elder son) plus several others is how to tell time. In both teaching both, I learned something very valuable myself. Both reading and telling time involves numerous steps that without mastering any step, the whole process would be lacking.

I home schooled each of my own children for about a year each.


I went to nursing school in 2003. I did well in school and graduated with honors. However, I soon learned that nursing had little to do with my passion. The only part of nursing that I like was when I taught others about their diagnosis and their medications. I didn’t like doing procedures or actually giving medications, the things that nurses are normally known for. From this experience, I learned that just because you can learn about something, doesn’t mean that you should make it a career.

What should I do now?

What should I do now?


Last July, I graduated  Magna Cum Laude. with my Liberal Arts degree.


The theme that is interwoven in all of my goals is the fact that I am developing as a self published author who wants to get more of my books into the hands of more readers. I have published two novels (the third one ready for publication but not published yet) and I have published one non-fiction book.


Spiritual Achievement

Some things don’t follow a timeline, and my spiritual achievement is one of those that don’t. I have been to numerous types of churches since I was a child.. I read through the Bible the first time when I was twelve years old. I have read through it several times since then. I also have taken numerous Bible courses over the years. A few years ago I got my ordination. Over the past several years I have written about my Biblical experience.

Impressed By My Own Achievements

As I look over this list of things that I have done over my lifetime, I realize that I should never trivialize my achievements. I have made some very impressive contributions. I realize that I need to recognize for myself my achievements and pat myself on my own back. “Good Work!

Adding To The List

This, of course, is not the end. This is simply the beginning. As I make more achievements, I will make Post It Notes with those achievements too.


IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

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