Monday, December 26, 2011

Hot Air

Strange things seem to happen here at the holidays... on Thanksgiving I woke to my neighbor's cow in my yard and on Christmas Eve we woke to a pounding on our door. People were here inquiring if they could land their hot air balloon in our yard. A hot air balloon. Of course we said yes...and several minutes later it was laying sideways in the driveway as they let the air out and detached the basket. Funny, the things you see out here in the country.
Nothing much new has been going on here, which is why I haven't been writing. There hasn't been much to say, other than that I am caught up a bit in my own head, trying to find my way back to the homesteading I love so much from this world I have fallen into of caring what people think, dressing to impress and aiming to please everyone around me. To be honest, that isn't me at all and it is taking some adjusting to figuring out how to balance the work side of me and the real side of me. It's challenging in that I don't really work hard physically and that's all I really want to do around my house. It's been easy to get caught up in a sort of lethargy that takes hold and sort of sucks the will to do anything at all out of you. I'm slowly getting it back, but it's been a rough way to go.
My moods have been a lot more balanced lately- that is to say that I feel flat and a bit empty like everything is colossally boring, except I know of all these things I used to love and now I can't bring myself to really care so much about anything, which totally sucks. I love homesteading, I love the lure of being independent and self-sufficient out here on my pretend farm. (That is, it will someday be a farm.) I love this lifestyle, but I am having such a hard time getting going again, getting over the hump of this mental block that I am sure I am making much more difficult than it should be.
I need some inspiration, and my darling hubs got me some for Christmas in the form of Jenna Woginrich's new book, Barnheart. It's neat to hear the story of another real-life homesteader and all the things she has gone through. I'm reading it and probably will read her other book, Made from Scratch again shortly after to get my juices flowing again.I just love Jenna's writing and like her, long to be making money with my words so I can live out the dream of homesteading full time.
That's another realization I have come to these recent weeks....I want to farm, but I want a subsistence farm, not a farm for profit. I don't want to raise or grow food for other people, just for myself and my family with a little bit to give away to others. I think that is one of the things that separate me from others in this niche- that I don't want to really farm. I want to SemiFarm, just for us.
Do you want to farm or semi-farm? What do you think the difference is for you? How do you balance who you are at work with who you are at home- are they different faces to the same person or do they integrate well for you? How do you do it? I would love to hear...

Thanks for listening to my hot air and about the hot air. I promise this blog will get better and better as I practice my writing and practice my thinking with this whole new way of living I am learning. Give me your feedback about what you like and hate so I can keep on growing and going.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Baaaa Humbug

I'm not really one who gets into the holidays. To me they seem mostly about stress, rushing around, spending money you don't have on things people don't need and encouraging rampant consumerism. I want a simpler holiday, home with my family, without all the parties and the hustle and bustle. I want to do it slow, cook a goose all day and hang out with my family enjoying each other. Still wishing there were sheep bleating in the back yard to my sentiments of "baa" humbug, but we'll get there someday eventually.
I'm really blessed with all I already have. I have a steady job, some freelance gigs (though I'd happily take more of that kind of work), a (mostly) healthy family and a pretty architecturally stable roof for over our heads. Our cars are old but they run well. Our neighbors are nice people and not serial killers and I can forget to lock my door and not worry that the place will be empty when I return. The chicken coop is built and ready to go with some fencing and next year we'll welcome some hens to the property. I have two loving dogs who are a huge part of our family and two cats and a fish that also help keep up company.
This year has taken a downward curve on the financial side of things, so there won't be much under our tree but there'll be some. What's more important are the two other people who'll be sitting there with me in pj's christmas morning, next to the fake tree with the handmade ornaments others have given us. That's what really matters and I hope I can put smiles on their faces with what little we've scraped up.
It's a simple Christmas at the SemiFarm, and maybe it is a simple holiday where you live too, but that's okay. We're simple low-key people and we like it that way. Homegrown, homemade and homespun are how we roll, and if I can't keep up with the outside world spinning at a million miles an hour I'll take my dusty living room and broken old reclined and family any day of the week. Our hearts are way bigger than what would fit under the tree anyways and that's where real gifts come from, not the mall.
After tonight's office holiday party,  the only one I'll go to, I'm going home to my kid, my dogs, my husband to sit near the lights on my Christmas tree, enjoy a glass of local wine and be myself at home in comfort, slow and easy.
Wishing you and yours a holiday season full of what really matters.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winter Weather Preparedness

Here at the SemiFarm we are gearing up for our first snowfall of the season, putting plastic over drafty windows and readying the plow. They're only calling for a couple of inches down where we live but as much as 6 inches up in the northern counties. We aren't going to get too dumped on but it will be blistery, windy and cold so it was a good time to squelch any drafts that might be lurking before the heating bill (we're all electric) goes through the roof.
Today was hubs' birthday and we didn't do too much celebrating because that's the way he likes it~ as close to a day like any other as he can get. Presents were exchanged, dinner was ate, and everything carried on just like every Thursday here at the homestead.
The neighbors are almost back from their trip, but the cow hasn't really wandered any more. It's been a quiet ho-hum sort of time here, a little on the boring side.

Me, I'm searching for a new weekday routine as I adjust to a five day workweek- five days in a row, that is. Banking has been very different than retail in a lot of ways but the schedule, though I love it, has been the hardest to adjust to. Mornings are the same as they ever were but I have so much time in the evening and no real routine of what to do with it just yet. Maybe some yoga is in my future before bedtimes once I gather up enough energy. This awesome Ohio weather has me so exhausted lately I've started to take a vitamin D supplement to help with the sleepiness.

Making a dog sweater for our newest dog, Jabba, who came home a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving, He's a boxer mix and gets so chilly when he has to go outside even though it isn't cold yet, so we're prepping not only the house but the puppies as well.

Otherwise, things here are pretty dull and I mosey through my days half in a sleepwalk. I really need to start making things by hand again, doing things the slow way. I think that brings the magic to homesteading and keeps all the chores from sucking~ knowing you are connected to some sort of past, something bigger than yourself with your actions. Maybe this weekend as we put up the tree and get in the holiday spirit I'll start baking bread to heat the house up and make it smell nice and can some items for gifts this year. With all the expenses we've had lately a good, low-budget homegrown Christmas is in order and I haven't time to knit.

Hope you and yours are bundled up warm this evening with a cup of hot tea or cocoa all snuggled in for the first bit of snow.