Instead, I use the time that I have to read snippets here and there or get specific recipes or suggestions because otherwise, I'd spend 23 hours online and never sleep.
There's just too much out there!
One word that catches my eye a lot while I cruise the interwebs is the word "homesteading". This word sort of makes me vibrate and get a little nervous. Because I immediately picture long haired hippies living off the grid with chickens in their living room, burying all of their harvest down in their root cellars, while trying to make a heating system out of bricks and 55 gallon drums.
This is completely a combination of every homesteading/doomsday prepper show I've watched on TV and the exact reason I fear the word homesteading.
When I first started blogging, I found a lot of like minded souls who had gardens and did a lot of DIY stuff. They sometimes tossed around the word homestead and I like the quaintness of it, or at least the control that it meant they were taking over what they were consuming and putting onto the earth. This pushed me to continue my pursuit of being somewhat self-sufficient. I started a second garden, started canning and drying as much as my gardens would let me and learned to always run to the internet when my DIY project went awry or couldn't get started.
|Legendary greenhouse and clothesline.|
I already had the greenhouse.
And then I started seeing homesteading in a different light, probably thanks to the stupid shows on TV. Even on the internet, homesteading seems to have a heavier feeling. People are stocking up and acting like the apocalypse is coming tomorrow. And it's made me bristle a little bit. What I once took as a sort of fun side activity that has great benefits is actually the way of life for soeme people. Or so it seems.
And it's made me realize a lot of things:
|Love my electric breadmachine.|
I like heat. I like AC. I love hot water. I enjoy my mobile devices when they are fully charged. I don't want to live off the grid.
#2. I still have a job. And I have to. Even if I had won powerball, I think I'd still have to work. For a while at least. Because I need that contact with the outside world.
Plus, if I didn't have anyone to shock at work with my "pioneer days" behavior, it wouldn't be anywhere near as fun, right?
#3. Animals are great and their food and products are wonderful, but they are a lot of work. And like a garden that is so easily destroyed by nature, animals can get sick and die and all of that time invested is gone.
|Thawing ice inside my house.|
|We have winter here!|
Again, why I need a job. I can't live knowing that if my steer dies of illness, we won't have meat for the winter. Or of I can't unfreeze the water, everyone's going to die of thirst. Or that I might lose a finger to frostbite because the pig got out and wandered away and I didn't have my gloves when I went running in search of it.
So, let's be clear. I will not use the word homesteading on my blog in the near future.
Here are some claims I am pretty confident that I can make and stick to:
I will continue to do what I do and pretend that I am a little bit like a pioneer woman. I will not grow dreadlocks and stop washing with soap because someone said that's what nature intended.
I will still read the great DIY suggestions that I find. I will try to convince k-ster that I need him to cut me some wood for projects and ask for help trying to figure out how to make something that will make life easier. I will not suggest that we build a house out of logs all by ourselves from the back 40.
Mainly because we don't have a back 40. And I don't like log homes.
I will continue to use vinegar as an all purpose cleaner and disinfectant. I will not throw out all bleach and ammonia because I think that sometimes, we really need to use them. Just never together!
|Total crop failure. Thanks to wildlife.|
|Canning on Aunt Mildred's porch!|
Unless I hit the jackpot and can live knowing that I have the cash to help me if the crops and animals fail me.
I might have a few chickens along the way, mainly for their eggs. Those of you who know me are definitely picturing me slaughtering chickens and being all "what, anyone can do it, it's no big deal, that's what they are there for" but it's pretty unlikely. If I HAD to do it, I would, but I am not in a real homesteading predicament where I HAVE to do anything.
I will continue to wash my clothes in an electric, new fangled washing machine with commercial soap that I didn't produce with witchcraft and spells in the back yard. I will mostly dry those clothes on the line but I will not wear cardboard stiff jeans or hang my clothes in the rain, so I will continue to use my dryer when necessary.
I will continue to use modern medicine for myself and others if it seems like the most reasonable course to keep from dying. I will not use herbs to cure everything. I will continue to convince myself that I will get better tomorrow and refuse to see a doctor until I've had enough of that. I will most likely not see a healer and even a visit to a homeopath is unlikely.
|Restaurant nachos can be delicious!|
As I write this, I hope my thoughts are resonating with a lot of you. In my reading, I've discovered a lot of people who seem to be like me: enjoying making and growing things myself and knowing where they came from, while also using gasoline in my modern car to get to the store that sells the things I need in order to do it myself.
Knowing that it's possible to live off the land while writing about it on my electric powered laptop.
|Sometimes, we've had enough greens!|
Do you try to DIY until it falls apart and you cave and buy BIY( buy it yourself)?
Do you pledge to eat off the land until the land produces nothing and you have to eat off someone else's land?
Do you swear you will eat well, know the source of your food and stick to a reduced desserts diet only to decide that chocolate covered anything sounds like a good idea some days?
Do you make your own vinegar cleaner and then decide you have to add a little ammonia too just in case the vinegar doesn't really disinfect?