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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Who, Me?

I was completely shocked, no wait confused, when I read a recent e-mail. What? my blog?

Turns out Julie over on Flip this Body has deemed my mistakes worthy of being the Bestest Blog of the day for October 20th 2006.

When I first exchanged links with Bobby at Bestest Blog, I never thought that I would get this honor. Who would actually be interested in reading about my day to day life on a homestead in the middle of Kansas?

The Bestest Blog has also allowed me to find some of my {now} favorite blogs.

Here's to Julie and to Bobby for allowing Julie to make her first mistake. We love her all the same.

I moved my family {no. This blame lays solely on my husband} five years ago Halloween. We began a simple garden and started homesteading two years later. I am still in the learning phases of it all. So many things to do and master. It's not easy. We lose sleep, we bleed, I cry and curse. But when the day has come to an end, and I can actually lie down, I am happily exhausted.

I know this seems strange to many people. But this . . . this make us happy.

Before I met my husband, things were not good in my life. I was homeless, I was drinking so I wouldn't grieve over the death of my first son. I had no wants. My husband was a junky. He was a man that had trained to be an orthopedic surgeon, but gave it all up to use. We made a lovely couple. This August marked our 10-year anniversary. I stop drinking within two months of us meeting. He has been clean eight years.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to understand a little of why this makes us happy. We moved away from the suburbs, so that our children could enjoy the freedoms of running around without boundaries. But we struggled. We bought our house shortly after 9/11/2001. And living in an area that the primary jobs are from the aircraft industry, well things became financially difficult. My employer’s checks began to bounce, and my husband was unable to get a promised raise. Our simple hobby garden became a need. I had to learn how to preserve foods to make sure that my children didn't have a childhood like my husband's. Soon though, things got better. I continued to learn to homestead, and my husband has made a decent name for himself in the American motorcycle industry. We are no longer at a point in our lives where homesteading would be a necessity. Now it is a way of life.

I have always been fascinated with old school ways. No, not just the little house on the prairie stuff. Some even older than that. We do not have the same frustrations’ we once did. We have new ones, but those are of our own doing, not from machines and employers. It's "the salt of the earth" mentality that is hard to explain. We are both educated people {though our educations differ from one another} We are not anti- government, and only one of us suffers from Big Brother syndrom. We are trying to live our lives to the fullest in the only way we have found to compliment us. We got lucky.

I never thought I would live to be 28 years old. I figured I would end up dead in a gutter somewhere, or death by my own hands. But now I have found a pride in myself that I never would have thought possible. I have even stepped up and pursued non homesteading goals that I coward from before. Doing things for myself, growing my own food, carving my own story into the earth, that's something that makes me feel as though I can grow old, and in my own time.

It's late here. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, I promise not to ramble in response.

Dream well ~Phelan


MissTree said...

I don't really have any questions. I just wanted to say that this was an incredible entry. I knew about what you've been through, but now I understand why homesteading is so important to you - such a part of you. It seems like it literally saved your life.

I have so much respect for you. Look how far you've come - and you're always willing to reach out and help others.

Lexa Roséan said...

You are AMAZING!!! Congrats on Bestest Blog! Well deserved :-)

Alex said...

: ) Great stuff.

Phelan said...

Misstree, you have been a great friend to me. Homesteading helped, but getting knocked up a second time saved me, and my husband.

lexa, ~blush~ I don't know about all that. But I thank you all the same.

Alex, Thank you.

alrescate said...

Congrats! I love reading your homesteading blog even though I can't imagine doing all the things you do.

Julie said...

Yay! I was my pleasure - a long overdue honor! You rock girl! ;-)

Cheryl said...

Congrats on the recognition, and for turning your lives around. You guys are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...


It was interesting to read what you had to say about your life. We all have a "story", don't we? Some parts of our lives are more defining than other parts. I think you have had a few defining moments in your life. It is encouraging to read about what others have gone through.


Lynn S. said...


Phelan, I knew we had more in common than Laura Ingalls Wilder worship. :) I've been clean and sober 19 years on the 15th, my husband 15 years last spring. Keep on keepin'. I read you because you're young and strong enough still to do what I wanted to have done. I'm older and ill now, but we're attempting to urban homestead here where we'll have support. We won't ever be 100% or even 75% self-sufficient--I just hired my housekeeper for a second day a week for cryin out loud--but we're hoping to do better than most.

And I just turned down an invitation to an apple-tasting and sale. I thought of you and alllllll those apples, and the apple pie I made last night (semi-successful--must find better spelt crust recipe) and said, naahhh. ;)

Polly said...

Congratulations on the Bestest Blog award. I was touched by your story, and look forward to reading more!


Stephanie said...

Now I know I left a comment here earlier! Where did it go?

Anyhow I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed getting to know you here! I had no idea what a powerful story you have. Thank you so much for sharing so personally with us!

Marina said...

Yep--a most definitely well deserved honor.

Liz said...

Congratulations! And what an incredible story... you truly are an inspiration.

Phelan said...

Alrescate, I bet you'll be doing a few things in the future.

Julie, thank you again!

Cheryl, thank you.

Elli, thank you, and you are right, we do all have our stories.

Lynn S., I knew we had a lot in common, one reason I read your blog as well. I think you are doing great with the resources you have, what more can anyone ask. And on the apples tasting, good call!

Polly, thank you.

Stephanie, blogger was acting up on me yesterday as well. and Thank you.

Marina, ~blush~ Thank you.

Liz, I thank you.

lisa said...

Thanks SOO much for sharing that story!!! You have no idea how much better you've made me feel for my son and myself...he is currently side-tracked on pills....and if I'm being honest, well I like to drink. It breaks my heart that he's into pills after the whole Karen Ann Quinlan these days just don't remember. Plus, oxy's are certainly as bad as qualudes...I mean, how much can one body take? Anyhow... I hope we can both be totally sober one day....thanks again...

Jessie said...

I'm so glad you got bestest blog! Your blog rocks and so do you! Keep up the amazing work girl!!!!


Belated congratulations on being named Bestest Blog of the Day. :)

Powerful story, too! I'm glad things have fallen into place for you. I love reading about your adventures on the homestead. I am in awe of you being able to figure out the animal care, gardening, etc. I wouldn’t have the first clue!

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