I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a while now. But several things have stopped me. It never seemed to be the right time and I didn’t know if I was the right person. Half the time I feel like somewhat of a homesteading sham. I don’t live on a farm, and much of my life here in the suburbs is normal, mundane things that don’t have much to do with homesteading. Maybe that’s why I don’t post very often, because I don’t feel like I have very many homesteaderly-type things to write about. But here’s the deal, not everyone can be the type of homesteaders they want to be right away, maybe never. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from doing what they can with what they’ve got. I have a vision in my head of what a homesteader is and does and looks like. Don’t you?
Stop for a moment, if you will. Picture in your mind what is your ideal homestead situation. Mine looks something like this:
The thing is, I don’t think I fit any of the “perfect homesteader” requirements in my own brain. Especially living here in our normal little house on our tiny little lot in our very suburban neighborhood. And yet, I still identify as a “homesteader”. No, I’m not where I want to be yet. But I am working to get there.
And that’s truly what the homestead journey is all about. It’s about doing more for yourself, being more sustainable, and living a healthier lifestyle,
It really is a journey and you start where you are and you move forward from there.
There’s a great quote out there by Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
So here we are on our journey which we’ve been on for several years now. We started out in 2007 by planting our first garden. Our garden expanded every year and we branched out into raising animals. We got our first meat rabbits in 2012 and our first chickens in 2013. We purchased and moved onto our homestead land in 2014. Things were going great and we were on the fast track to being “real” homesteaders! And then we took what seemed a huge step backward just two months later when we moved to the suburbs in Oregon. The only thing worse I could think of is if we were in an apartment/condo with no yard. And yet we are still homesteaders. We make our own chicken bone broth and bacon lard. Though it is small we do have a garden. We have some chickens. We even butchered our own meat. Once. Our diet has taken a radical turn toward whole foods (not the grocery store!) and eating a more sustainable diet. We’ve started the process of building our own house. I’ve taught myself how to make soap, deodorant, carpet deodorizer, and various other cleaning and beauty products (which I will blog about one of these days). And I’ve dabbled in 3 season / year round gardening (two posts about that #1 #2). Sounds like numerous other “legitimate” homesteaders I know.
So, yes, even though I don’t fit my ideal vision of a homesteader, I am one.
And thus the idea for this blog assignment was born.
I am going to post every day (or as close to it as possible) for a month about my daily life.
I’m going to get real.
And along the way, I hope to debunk some myths people might be about what it takes to be a homesteader.
So for my first day in my Daily Life posts, here’s me on my daily walk (I try to get out at least 5 times a week). I really didn’t want to post this pic since my hair is all crazy because it’s humid outside (it’s the Pacific Northwest go figure). But this is me being real. Thus, a picture showing overweight me with my flyaway hair.
So do I look like your vision of a homesteader? I don’t to me. Other than the flannel of course. 😉 In my mind, homesteaders are skinny because they eat right and get lots of exercise. You know, somewhat like Shaye Elliot over at the Elliott Homestead. I mean have you seen her? They just moved their farm and are in the midst of a total home renovation on the new place. And she’s, like, 6 months pregnant!
One day I would love to be skinny and totally in shape (and have great hair). But that’s not where I am on my journey. And I may never be. But that doesn’t stop me from doing what I can now to further my journey in homesteading. So I go for walks in order to stay in shape at least a little so that one day, when we are living and working on the homestead, I might have the strength to survive it.
Because homesteading isn’t about the way we look or the piece of land we live on or the number of animals we have. It’s about the choices we make along the journey to become the people we want to be.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121