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Thursday, June 26, 2008

There's Sauce in here somewhere.

I did not sleep too well last night. My mind wouldn't stop working, thoughts about this un that kept racing through. Some where playing tag, while other's were shoving other's out of they way so that they could have the spotlight. And some of these bothersome were nothing I really had control over. I stayed up too late because of this. After I had spent a good hour not able to sleep, I tried to catch up blogs (some that are listed on my sidebar, which rotates, some that I have bookmarked, and some on a feed reader) I became annoyed when I wasn't able to leave comments on all the blogs, then another blogger disgusted me on how much of a media hog this blogger was. Once upon a time this blogger wasn't like that. I was also told that I was no longer relevant twice yesterday, by two different people.

I read over raw milk issues. Looked at pictures of peoples canned goods, and caught up on the latest bee news. Sighed and shook my head over how many people were willing to behave like sheep if they thought an idea would save the world. Then around 2 am decided to lay down again.

Thoughts about chickens, and if my cows were going to kill me, rushed through my head. Worry about how am I going to get Firefly, the real donkey home. Thoughts about all the flooding and crop damage, and how this could effect me, nagged and nagged. I was raised in a home that taught about a middle class uprising, of course this is after the middle class has been squeezed out and no longer exist. Some of those predictions that I heard around a table full of guests are coming to be. But no matter if what my strange table fellows might have said, this winter doesn't look to be promising. And it would be smart to prepare.

Welcome to the overwhelming part of homesteading.

mommymommyland had a post for me, called weekly trials, in response to my funk filled posted a bit back. This is not one of those post. I appreciated her post outlining everything she had gone through, and of course it helped in it's way. But this one, today's post is about one part of homesteading that very few people are able to avoid.

When does this homesteading life become too much?

Of course each personal answer will be different. Some will only be able to care for a few chickens and have a kitchen garden. While other's are able to make a complete living off of everything they do on the land. But once and awhile more than just doubts will fill our pretty little heads. Silly things will creep in and bother us, as the examples I have given above. I try to shake them off and start a new day. But with one look out my window at my garden, the first cock-a-doodle-do, and the first demanding noises that I have yet to feed goats and cows, feels a little like dread. Too much, too much

Horseradish sauce

a small amount of fresh horseradish should be washed and peeled, then ground up. Add just enough vinegar to moisten, and a pinch of salt. Add 1 cup sour cream to every 1/3 cup ground horseradish. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste and 1/2 tsp caraway seed. Peel and finely shred 1 medium apple to one cup of sauce.

Or is it too much? When things become burdensome and overwhelming, it is time to sit down and reevaluate your situation. Lets' take a look, shall we?

The Neophyte Homestead is behind on their work, because of 1. Husband has taken a second job on Saturdays, and B. wife is the only one trying to keep up with all the chores. One person doing the majority of the work is difficult to say the least. My list of chores are long and boring, so we won't bother you with them. But even during the chores, projects that must be done now pop up. That's why when you are taking a leisurely drive in the country you'll see a woman laying out in a field in the fetal position weeping hysterically. Or another throwing feed buckets at the cows and screaming vulgarities at them.

So today that I might sleep tonight, I will sit down and go over a written, detailed ridden, list of all that must be done. Then break it down to a simpler way of doing these things, so that it doesn't overwhelm me and I don't end up calling cows dirty names.


dana said...

*lotsa hugs* to you and your cattle. hope a restful sleep will help.

el said...

Oh girl, just like babies: there's biting, there's chewing, there's swallowing and there's spitting out. Hopefully you won't be spitting much out. I do know what you mean though as about once a month I do have one of your tossing/turning nights, wondering how it's all going to get done. It does, though. But the house is a mess! Oh well.

Hugs to you Ms P.

Kathie said...

Sending hugs your way... I don't know about you but when I lose sleep over worries the problems only seem to get bigger because of the lack of sleep. I don't know the answer, however; I do know once I fall asleep from sheer exhaustion (which is usually deep & long) I feel better...

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Relevant or not, I am still reading what you write. I have friends that drink whole milk right from the cow, and they are not dead, yet. I would drink goat's milk, but I don't want to start milking right now. Time issues and all that.

Wren said...

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one to cuss cows. Back in my homesteading days, we were all alone. There was no internet for comfort and support, and we often wondered if we were stupid or just insane.

I wondered when it was 8ยบ (that might be shirt-sleeve weather some places, but it's darn cold for Central Texas) and I was outside trying to thaw out the hog waterers--those stupid things that I thought were so wonderful in the summertime!

I thought about it when the calves got out and I was chasing them up and down the road, trying to herd them back into the pasture. I thought it when some nice guy stopped when they got in the road--then sat there and laughed himself silly instead of getting out to help.

I thought about it when I sat in the dirt in the calf pen with a baby's head in my lap and cried when they died.

I thought about it when I decided to give the peaches just one more day, and went out the next morning to find that the squirrels had stripped the trees bare.

But then, there were the days that it was so quiet that I could hear the grass grow, the days I fed unexpected guests good, wholesome meals from my pantry and freezer, the days that I watched the joy on my city grandkids face when the cow took the hay from their hands. There were entire days when the joy that was my life was just so enormous that I didn't feel like the huge Texas sky was large enough to contain it. And, looking back, there were many, many more of those days than the other kind.

Gina said...

Wren said it so well...

You know I understand how you feel because I have struggle with many of the same feelings of overwhelm this year. And my husband is gone many, many hours out of a week.

I've wanted to give up and be "normal" so many times, but I was never good at that and I am thinking you aren't either (compliment, BTW).

The feelings will pass (sleep will help, says a sister insomniac) and a spark will outshine all the badness just as Wren described.


Anita said...

Somehow, in the dark, things always look worse...
Back when I was overwhelmed with the amount of work I had to do, I couldn't have survived without lists... they are very good at making things look more manageable.

I hope I'm not the blogger that disgusted you! I put ads on my site, and have some some things to get more traffic in hopes of raising a little money... I'm only working about 10 hours a month, and Rick's paycheck just isn't working!

I've sent you an invite to my private blog, that's where the "me" stuff will be, separate from the more informational stuff I've always done...

Sara P-C said...

i'm not in your boat, hon, and i've just been reading your blog for a month or so; i can still empathize what it feels like when there are two dozen things on fire and all you have is a dixie cup of water (i'm a 6th grade teacher. ha)
definitely make your list - it's amazing how much more manageable things are when they're written down. sleep well, and write it all out!

amanda said...

i think you are very relevant!!!!

Phelan said...

Dana, see todays post on sleeping. And thanks.

el, the house is what reallly got to me. ugh I need less stuff.

Kathie, oh I am feeling better.

Tim, goat cheese, nummy!

Wren, I know, when I decide to leave here I will look back on it all fondly ;)

Gina, normal? What's that?

Anita, no, no it's not you. Thank you for the invite.

Sara-pc. I did write it out, and feel loads better for it.

Amanda, ha! Thank you.

ok, no one saw the humor in the post? I must be losing it.

lisa said...

Personally, I find you totally relevent....AND humerous! :)

Robbyn said...

Uhoh, hope my blog wasn't one that disgusted you... You have a lot on you, and I always come here because I know what I'll find is real life. We're headed into the unknown with a lot of our choices, and it feels like we're making a path far from the mainstream, and I wonder how alone we'll truly be trying to accomplish it all, and I worry about worse things such as how one of us will survive if the other one is suddenly disabled and dies...will we have painted ourselves into an impossible corner?
I'm quite relieved that you cuss at your cows occasionally and that the work isn't all a big thrill and inspiration all the time...and I hope you hang in there and have more nights when you'll sleep much better. Thank you for always sharing honestly, and being an encouragement to folks like me. We don't need pipe dreams, we need a safe place to compare notes and regroup. We love you, Phelan :)

Anonymous said...

I totally know where you are coming from, and feeling much the same this week. Completely relevent you are, at least to me.

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