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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Iconoclast

I have talked in the past about how non-conformist I was as a child, and am as an adult. Over the years it has caused problems for me. Mainstream work placings frown on tattoos and piercings (at least they did back in the day, they might be more lenient now) I was stared at by moms because of purple hair, whispers of "don't stare" was heard all around me. STARE! Stare I say, I want you to know that I do not follow you. My mother took me out for my 16th birthday. I had left home 2 years before. I remember sitting in the back of the van and my mom telling her boyfriend, " I don't know what to do with her. She tries to hide her beauty by making herself up to be ugly". (I never wore make-up. It was the hair and dress she spoke of)

I was ridiculed in school for not wearing make-up or hairspray, "Phelan doesn't believe in hairspray. How can you not believe in something that is real?"

I was cornered in the bathroom by a group of popular girls and interrogated about the music I listened to.

After a time you stop defending yourself to your peers. And learn to accept others as they are. Most of the time others will leave you alone. Friendships could be difficult. People will always judge you by your outward appearance, which I do not find inappropriate. Your exterior should be a reflection of your interior. But they problem comes with the interpretation of the exterior. I was lumped in with the Stoners, skaters and criminals, all because there were no other goth kids at the time. Yes, I did smoke pot, but it didn't rule me like it did with some of the stoners. I got along with everyone, but they didn't want to get along with me. Friends were hard when mothers tell there kids about your Iconoclast mother. I'll allow her to tell the story if she wants, remember who thought dad was your dad? Those stories get around small towns quickly, they mutate and make a child's life hell.

Then you become an adult, and your ideals come with you but morph into something else. Less idyllic, but still a stubborn piece of you. You get to a point where you know that one person rarely changes the world. The idea starts with one, then the chain continues to others that feel the same. And then it falls into the hands of someone that can be persuasive, and more hear and more, until it has became mainstream.

There has always been a back to the land movement {I wish they didn't call it that} It was just done by hippies and retirees. In recent years, suburban families have decided that farm life would be good for their children. Most give up after they have purchased the land. They soon discover that there is little time to do everything, and work. It is very evident out here. There seems to be waves of this type of "movement". Making those of us that did it for other reasons, mainstream. It doesn't bother me, as I know that it will not last.

Homesteading is becoming a popular pass time with people. I can hope that lessons of self sufficiency will be kept after they have become bored and tired. But that is in the future, and something I can not predict.

This question has been past around the homesteading blogs before. But as our readers become more, and a broader audience emerges, I will broach it once again. I know many of you aren't talking to me right now, for various reasons of things I have said, so I will put up a poll. Yet if you would, please leave a comment and expand on your answer.

This is multiple choice.

28 comments:

MommyMommy said...

okay, now I feel the need to explain myself. My husband and I have been looking for acreage to be more self sufficient since we got engaged. We tried to raise chickens and goats in the city and got in trouble. We had to find them new homes. We tried to buy acreage near his family, but they said it was to far away, so we gave in, we tried to buy acreage again 3 years ago, but a weekend to buy a home during a blizzard, and Easter gave us no choice but suburbia.

We are now not giving in, our children are getting older and we want that lifestyle for them. We have a large family, that we want to make larger, we want to be responsible for our own food and livelihood. We also try to keep kosher, and that is very expensive unless you grow your own food.

We know hard work, and how the government can take that from you ( we lost our business due to 9/11 along with a LOT of money). Currently I read to learn, to prepare, to be as knowledgable as I can on things that many no longer know, like how to hog a pond...

Whirled said...

Yeehaw!! Whoohoo!!! Yahhh!

This is the sound of my on my feet, clapping and cheering you on!! I try so hard to encourage my children to be who and what they want, what they are. And to subsequently accept others for who they are. And we try to live it too, encouraging creativity and individuality in our home and lives. In the very homogenous area of Kansas that we live in, you don't need to be that individualistic to stand out like a sore thumb!

I admire homesteaders very much, and I really enjoy learning and adapting their lifestyle to ours. We joke about being "Insteaders", choosing to live our lives our own way instead of following the crowd!

Mysti said...

We have ALWAYS stressed to our kid's that this is THEIR life to mold and be who they want to be. Do I like everything Teenager wears? No. She has a pair of boots that I despise. LOL But they are hers. I was the one with blue hair (or purple, pink, candy apple red, um.. shesh. think I did green once) I have tattoos and find them to be a fantastic art form! LB has a mohawk, and if you go by my page. you'll see the pic of Teenager with partially pink hair. My kids are great and they are who they want to be. Kuddos my non-conformist sister!

alrescate said...

You're a very good writer and I enjoy reading about your days since I don't get to visit with you often. (I'm also stalking you and plan to come knock on your door if the world ends. *grin*)

Phelan said...

mommymommy, no need to explain yourself, but thank you for doing so (Just to let everyone know, I can not see who is voting, only where there at which means very little) I am sorry to hear about the loss of your bussiness. And I think you have wonderful intentions. You realize what it will take. Some people don't grasp it until it is too late. I hope you get your land soon.

Whirled, thank thank you. :D I love the term insiders. Ya know spring when our bike is up and running, I might just need to head up your way for lunch.

mysti, mine got so bad that Fantastic Sams invinted the color Cherry cola {which looks red inside but turns bright purple in the sun) just for me.

alrescate, I added those options just for you.

Given55 said...

Blame it on your mom. It is better to think out of the box, that way if you miss the box it is not a problem.

Atenea-Nike said...

I am your stalker, you know ;)

Wren said...

I'm not doing the homesteading thing anymore, but I miss it, and your blog reminds me of those great old days.

Why did I do it? Mostly because I wanted to be my grandmother. Time spent on her farm was always a good time. She was a strong, intelligent, generous woman who shouldered burdens that would have sent most staggering. I wanted to be the kind of woman who could run a chain saw, stretch barb wire, castrate hogs, can, freeze, and/or pickle everything that didn't run from me, sew, quilt, do fancy needlework, and go weeks at a time without going outside of my fenceline. It was a good way to live, and I treasure the memories of the years we homesteaded.

I'm in the city now, and I don't do any of those things anymore for a variety of reasons. But, reading your blog reminds me that at one time, I was a strong, capable woman, and if the need arose, I could do it again. It's very empowering to know that.

Besides, you make me smile!!!

BoysMom said...

I don't believe I've commented here before, though I've been reading for months. I checked the one about being self sufficient, and that's part of it, but not all. Mostly I'm looking for tips, but a good part of my motivation to do so is greed, plain and simple. Home grown stuff tastes better, and anything provided at home means fewer hours someone has to be away from home. I guess a lot of people don't mind not being with their spouse and kids all day, but we're not among them.

Stephanie said...

Yup a little bit of all of that. Being self sufficient is probably one of the main motivators along with the lifestyle it provides the kids, but really most of those apply. I have such fond memories of growing up on a farm. We left when I was in the sixth grade. It is hard work, but it is rewarding. (most of the time)

The Fool said...

I'll give you a stalker vote, Phelan. I just like your spark. Your honest and forthright at being you. That makes you real...and that's a rare breed.

Keep on...

Phelan said...

a-n, I think there is a gorup around, you might talk to yoko about joining. They all wear pink wigs, purple hot pants and trench coats, taking turns watching me from the bushes. :D

Wren, you know that I look up to you.

boysmom, no I don't think you have. But welcome! it is nice to hear from readers. if you haven't yet you might be interested in my post entitled I am selfish. It is about how I am not green but greedy and, well, selfish.

Thank you for the comment, and I hope to hear from you again soon.

Stephanie, Yup a little bit of all of that. I knew you were stalking me! ;) Even though we school our children differently, I agree with homesteading lifestyle being a great one for the children.

The Fool, welcome to the group! :D and thank you.

Gina said...

Man O man, blogger is having major comment issue today. I've lost two comments on two separate blogs.

I don't even have the energy to rewrite the book of a comment I just typed. So I will try to summerize:

I read other "homesteading" blogs because I want to know I am not the only one out here weathering a storm of a life change. I was not born into this (raised somewhat contently in the city), but have had an interest to be self-sufficient for many, many years.

What I don't like about this "trend" is the ones out there being Holier-than-thou Homesteaders. I wrote about this awhile back and you had some very supportive comments to offer. I once left an answer to a question by a commentor on a popular podcast homesteading blog and I received a curt reply back from one of the authors. I already had this idea they thought they were the "experts" in the **movement** and the rest of us should be in awe by their expansive knowledge in the field. Uh, wrong...

I like to read about homesteading from the prespective that it is a storm to weather. God knows I have had animals killed this year; an unplanned pregnancy; a broken well; a new stressful job (plus the farmette)...It has not gone as my simple fantasy had planned.

I do not plan to give up as I believe this will be a lifestyle change for the good in the long run (of a sucky state o' the world) and I have never felt comfortable in the mainstream as it was. Maybe if the mainstream does become the homesteading thing, I will fo rthe first time ever fit in somewhere.

Of course, even in that mainstream, I won't completely fit in. I live in an area of the US of A that costs plenty to have a (very small) piece of land and right now working outside the home is good for me. I think this reduces my homesteading credibility in some followers eyes. God knows I want to make quilts and clean the f&*king messy house, but I have to go to my insanely purposeless job to pay off bills. I can't be that self-sufficient if we owe money on equipment we need for the goal (e.g. mortgage, truck, other debt, etc.) I do worry I will never live up to the homesteading potential that the mainstream demands.

Anyway, my last comment was more clear, but here it is in a nutshell!!

Phelan said...

Gina, I remember that conversaton well. Holier-than-thou homesteaders get my goat as well. They make mistakes, they have to, they just don't want to fess up.

As you know I don't work outside the home, but do have a paying job. My husband does work off land. We have the same problems, we can't live if we don't have the moey to pay off our debts. What is a homesteader without a home?

and I think you are doing a great job gina.

whimzykat said...

List me as a stalker...
You're my friend I've never met, you've talked me off the ledge a time or two, and I envy your self-sufficiency and "uniquity."

(sorry, feel like making up words today)

Phelan said...

whimzy, made up words work well. :D No worries, next time I come down that way, we will stop and take a meal with you. Just don't tell wren, she may insist I stop by her place as well ;)

Cheryl said...

Hey Phelan,
I haven't commented in a while, but I'm still reading regularly! :)
I'm definitely interested in the self-sufficiency aspect of homesteading. Even when I was a kid, my favorite games and entertainment always centered around people who could take care of themselves (Pippi Longstocking, Lost in the Barrens, Swiss Family Robinson). True, the environmental aspect of it appeals to me now as an adult, but that's not my main motiviation.
Interesting post!

Phelan said...

Cheryl, hi! I too have been lame on commenting, but I do stop by your blog. I too loved the do-it-myself type people growing up.

abbagirl74 said...

Other - I love reading what you have to say. And having met you, it's even better. I like visiting the blog for several reasons. I admire what you do. You make me laugh. You have an awesome family. And your animals are cool with personalities of their own.

Phelan said...

abba, aw shucks ~blush~

Robbyn said...

Hey Phelan, you left off the choice "Call me weird, I want to drink milk 'straight up' and know my vegetables don't glow in the dark" heehee

We'll see which category we REALLY fall into once we get our land (soon!)...does this mean I can't whine and complain about my old broken down joints after a long day of hoeing? lol We put down "self sufficiency" as our vote. Yeah, yeah...I imagine it's a conglomeration of reasons rather than just one, but somehow I just KNOW it's the right one. Love your recents posts, btw :)

Linda said...

I'm reading it because I like you and because it's interesting. It's not the life I am choosing for myself, though it might have been. It certainly lets me know how hard work it is...

Phelan said...

Weird Robbyn, You could have had more then one choice :D And you are allowed to complain, you've earned it. Good luck and thank you.

Linda, I like you too.

Beth said...

I selected all of the above, with the exception of I was born into it, which I definatly was not. Add to that, I'd like my garden to produce more then 2 side dishes of green beans next year, although right now I'd be happy getting a fire going in the insert without smoking out the house. Also I always envied the kids in high school with rainbow hair, but just didn't have the guts to do it myself ;-)

Stalker? because I stalk lots of blogs, but rarely have anything to say.

Celeste said...

I said stalker because nothing else really fit. It is almopst all of the above LOL

lisa said...

Heh...I was one of the 3% who were born into it. My maternal grandmother had 17 children, living in rural Kentucky in a mining town that no longer exists. She taught my mother (who taught me) how to can and pickle just about anything you could imagine, and grow just about anything. I've witnessed chicken butchering (running around like a chicken with your head cut off-too real!), snapping turtle butchering (dad said they played with its' float bladder like a baloon as kids...um, gross!), and even made squirrel with gravy myself. But I love to read how it's going these days, and keep my survival instincts close at hand.

avanta7 said...

Explanation of why I read this and one other homesteading blog: You're my friend and I care about what happens in your life. Your blog is an easy way to stay current with you and your family. Besides, you're interesting!

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