Friday, December 18, 2009

Twas the second Friday before Christmas

I have no idea what got into Professor last night but me sleeping wasn't on his agenda. I got up with him three times after Tom got home at 12:20 a.m. twice for going outside and once because he didn't want to use his steps to get into the bed. I tried sleeping in but with the activity of the human males who, to their credit, were trying to be quiet, it just didn't happen. So I've been dragging all day. Didn't even get out of my pajamas.

I'm ready to take a pain pill, finish up the supper dishes and crawl into bed. Not to sleep because, of course, I'm wide awake. Just tired beyond measure.

I've been reading blogs today that promote homesteading, both the urban and rural variety, and thrift. One common theme with the homesteading blogs is one of self-reliance, living off the grid, not needing grocery stores or electricity, calling themselves hobby farmers, preaching a lifestyle that just isn't mine. I'm not making a statement with what I do. I do it because it saves us money and because it suits me. I like electricity and cable tv and being able to drive to the library when I want to read a book or pick up a dvd.

I'm not criticizing people who have agendas, but I think some people who read their blogs tend to romanticize the lifestyle and jump in with both feet before really thinking it through. It's not romantic to bundle up inside the house in order to keep the heat bills down. In some ways it reminds me of Y2K when a bunch of homeschoolers on AOL were romanticizing the possibility (remote!) that our civilization was going to crash due to technological failure. They were looking forward to it and had spent a small fortune on survival gear, like propane refrigerators and wood cookstoves, thinking life was going to be like the Little House on the Prairie days.

On January 1, 2000 they disappeared from the forums. I never heard from them again. No word about what they were doing with the thousands of dollars of food they stashed (canned goods, not home-canned) or the generators or cookstoves or propane-powered refrigerators. I wondered, if they were looking forward to it so much, why they didn't just adopt the lifestyle anyway. Why wait for a catastrophe to happen? Because they had fantasized a lifestyle that in reality was a lot of work.

I don't kid myself that plowing up the back yard won't be a lot of work for me. And making more and more of our foods from scratch is a lot more work. If I get chickens or rabbits...even more work. And does the payoff really pay off? Time will tell.

We've been economizing for over 20 years in various forms. The older we get, the less available income we've had due to Tom's pay not keeping pace with the economy. So we've had to adapt each year to a tighter grasp on the money that comes in. So for me this is the next step. Especially since I have the time to do this now that I'm not sitting in a commons area in a college waiting for Zach 2-4 days a week.

I really admire younger couples or singles who are looking more carefully into their future, seeing a bigger picture than I did. It never occurred to me that the economy would tank. Not in a million years. And we were so unprepared for it.

So I do this as an effort to play catch-up. Hopefully this will lead to a way to get ahead but right now that is so far out of reach as not to be considered at this stage.

So...I do what I can, not because I have lofty dreams of saving the world. Just because I have lofty dreams of saving my world.

And what's wrong with that?

Tomorrow the library, picking up some things I didn't get at the store and getting ready for church on Sunday. We have Lessons and Carols and Zach and I are doing two of the lessons. So I want to not throw myself together Sunday morning like I usually do, but actually make an effort to look nice.

I started the second sock of the third pair last night so I'm off to knit on that after I do up the dishes. I might take a shower tonight since I'm really hurting. The hot water helps the pain a lot.

I also bought a pattern to make myself an apron. I've got some denim that I bought when Zach wanted to learn how to sew. I have enough material but I'm going to need some bias tape and some interfacing. Maybe this will save my clothes from now on. I do tend to attract dirt and stains like crazy. And I want a deep pocket so I can carry a notepad and a camera with me so I can get some pictures when I find them instead of having to locate the camera and finding the shot gone by the time I do.

Happy next to the last Friday before Christmas!



Kim said...

Wonderful post! Yes I see it so often, people seeing the "pretty" side of homesteading, with out realizing the work. Dh and I have always been "homesteaders". Our first home together didn't have electricity or running water. Was it a hard life? Yup, but it was a good one. We've also lived in apartments and now live on a 1 acre homestead. Hope to get back to a larger one one day.
Homesteading is a mind set, not a location. It will be different for each family's needs.
We enjoy the lifestyle, both the good and the bad. That's one thing we try and show in our blogs and videos. Not just the pretty things, but the challenges also. It can be real hard trying to start a fire with wet wood, or fighting the squash bugs off your plants for weeks in the summer. lol

Anonymous said...

I agree, there is nothing that is that easy, like is a balancing act in more ways than one!

Kathy said...

Thanks, both of you. I'm glad there are people like you out there who show all sides of the process: the good, the bad and the ugly. It really helps to learn new ways to do things or to find new twists on old ways to do things.

Your respective blogs are a part of my daily reading.