November 6, 2017

Ceaberry's Monday Musings: Juggling a Homestead Day

Now, I have talked a lot about homesteading lately. I am in the process of imbedding that word in my life permanently. When I was in Scotland, I was into crafting and school work. Now I am up to my elbows in animals, garden, homesteading, and kids. That kind of shift in perspective hasn't happened just once in my life. I have picked up and changed my entire lifestyle in a moments notice many... many times. I know the old adage that people don't change. That is a bunch of malarkey, many people do it ALL the the time, I have a friend from when I lived in Dallas who now is on a family cattle farm, she was the most city girl I knew but she upped and left that and started a new adventure (strange me and her live almost identical lives and we grew up across the street, literally, from each other). If you think the homesteading life isn't in conjunction with your lifestyle then I urge you to think about this: If it appeals to you think long and hard why it does, if your current lifestyle was everything you need you wouldn't be peeking to see if the grass is greener. One thing I like about homesteading is you can take it in small chunks or dive in head first and hope for the best (don't expect it though, research is key).

So let me enlighten you about yesterday and what is on the agenda for today. Full disclosure: I am writing this at 4am, I have been up since 2am because Miss C decided to wake up. Once I have had 4 hours of sleep, I physically can't go back to sleep once I get up. That whole sleep when kids sleep doesn't apply to 95% of parents, so nicely don't give that advice.

Yesterday (Sunday):
5am wake up due to Miss C (she is teething and having a milestone so these wake ups are common until it passes)
7am Miss P wakes up and we do our morning routine: YooHoo and a show.
7.30am I do my morning feed everyone routine. Takes about 30 minutes.
8am Miss C and Daddy wake up and are hungry
9am I make breakfast of flakey biscuits, bacon, and farm eggs.
9.30am I go out to finish my milk stand (I got goats last week).
10.15am Our neighbor came by to level our driveway so Mr. Native Farmer had to go out and I had to finish getting Miss P ready for her day out with Papaw.
10.45am Me and the girls go to the grandparents (they live next door) to drop Miss P off while the leveling is going on.
11.30am Me and Miss C come back and I am back to finishing the goat stand... in the rain.
11.45am I check the chickens for eggs (normally there are eggs but this day they waited until 5pm to lay any).
12pm Lunch
12.30pm Me and Mr. Native Farmer dropp Miss C with Grammie and we go work on fencing on the farm to fence off hay lots from the cows.
4.30pm We finish all of that work and go on the farm to check for calves.
5pm We come back to the house to milk a goat for the first time... not even kidding.
5.30pm I head back to pick up Miss C and Miss P
6.15pm We come back to eat dinner
7pm Girls and Daddy go to bedtime routine
7.30pm Me and Mr Native Farmer relax and watch some shows
9pm We are all out asleep.

That was my Sunday. My last 3 weeks have been that jammed pack. There are untold household chores mixed in all of that plus cooking and childcare.

Today I plan on doing my normal feeding routine, cleaning out the coop, maybe tying out the goats, and of course milking some more. On top of that I have countless chores and small tasks to complete today, all before 8pm. That is my Dancing with the Stars break. I LIVE for Mondays during these times.

It is HARD, I am not going to sugar coat it because there are more then just a single person's life on the line when homesteading. I have my husband, my kids, cats, chickens, ducks, and goats. They all require parts of me, and I need to tend to them like I do my garden. Without tending to them they will not get the full benefit. My kids absolutely adore their animals and they love the pigs that are temporarily on the farm (neighbors are holding 2 pigs here for a short time). They get so excited seeing the cows, every time. They love my garden and the cotton plant that is in the house, that thinks it still needs to flower. Really, the exhaustion is from being a bit out of shape and after two close pregnancies, it takes a toll on your body that takes years to recover from, time you don't get when raising kids.

The word "farm" puts into mind men working out in the fields, but homesteading is normally a joint effort. My kids truly enjoy this lifestyle, homesteading and farming. If they chose to pursue it later in life that is great and they won't have to start from scratch but if they choose it isn't their lifestyle then that is ok as well, I have been in a lot of different situations in my life and whatever they come up against I, as their parent, will be there to help guide them and watch how they figure it out for themselves.

That is why I do it, the absolute joy of my family have in taking on care of the animals, farm and garden. Miss C feeds the chickies and goats one blade of grass at a time (thankfully the goats seem to understand littles and gently take the blade without getting snotty). Miss P feeds "her" chickies she has been waiting for "forever" and she loves feeding the goats. She has favorite animals. They enjoy handing apples to the cows and tossing them to the pigs. I had to move the mealworm farm because they kept looking in the drawers. They also love putting shredded paper into the worm tub.

Under the surface of all of this, I do all the household chores, inside and outside; I do the childcare and most of the raising decisions; and I maintain and upkeep an old farmhouse. On top of this we have the same little issues that creep up here and there. Let's not even mention I do have a full business I am running as well. One day, when I get my house under control, a lot of what I will be doing will be old hat and habit. My house won't be out of a catalogue, my family makes sure of that every day, but it will be effortless and streamlined. I hate having to search 45 minutes for a tape measurer or some tool I need or running out of screws. You know... those niggles but once I am a bit more simplified I will get this homesteading juggling act a bit more refined and then my family or animals will throw a wrench in the works and I will adapt and change.

Happy Homesteading.