Hello! My name is Amanda Shook. I am 41 years old with a family of 4. My two oldest children are finding themselves in the world. One has ventured to college, while the other is currently in Bootcamp for the USMC. My youngest son is 14, and I have the pleasure of homeschooling him. I hold a master’s degree in Special Education and in Elementary Education. I have taught special education in a brick and mortar setting for 17 years. More recently I served as an Assistant Director of Special Education Services for an online charter school. During my journey in education and the realm of life, I recently had the "ah-ha" moment. Do you know the moment when you realize that you could be doing something more with your life? That “ah-ha” moment was during our pandemic with COVID-19 at the ripe age of 41. Do you know if we are still, we can listen can hear our heart’s desire? My heart desire is to share my knowledge of minimalism and homesteading. I could tell you about all the recognitions that I have been honored with during my educational career to capture your attention, but what does that mean? To some, it may mean prestige, to me it is minimal. There was a time during my educational career that I rewarded myself with gifts that eventually took up space in my home. I often found myself comparing myself to things that I thought I could objectively measure.
Fast forward to the present. I am a delighted homesteader and minimalist. Yes, I left my prestigious job as an Assistant Director of Special Education for a renowned charter school. What? Yes, I left my job to pursue my dreams of living a simplistic life. I was in a small, rural, country town. The kind of town in which everyone knew everyone. When winter was at its prime and the new year began, my family and I traveled to the local hardware store to purchase the new Farmer’s Almanac. We began going through each month during spring to plan our gardening planting times. My grandparents and great grandparents worked hard during gardening season to ensure that we would have an amazing harvest. When August rolled in, we studied the almanac and the signs to ensure that we preserved our food at the correct time. There is an art to food preservation. When I was a wee little girl, I stood on a stool by the cookstove and watched my grandmother work her magic in the kitchen. I know all of her soul food and country recipes by heart. You see she and my grandfather lived through the Great Depression. She taught me how to make my clothes and how to be a minimalist before minimalism was recognized and cherished.
Please embark with me as I share my love for the minimalist life and homesteading by bringing my childhood life to exist in the 21st century. You will have the luxury of opening your pantry, cellar door, and freezer to finding shimmering jars of your home prepared foods that are preserved