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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I want to. . .

I have been online for a little while this morning, catching up on some blog reading. Looks like most of you are talking reduction or gardening. 'Tis that time of season.

I am hung over, no not from drinking, from working. My shoulder aches and my hand is swollen twice its normal size. This brings me back to, why am I doing this? In a time where I could purchase a wattle fence online, or have someone else can their hard earn veggies for me, or move into the city where I could walk, instead of driving into work, and have all modern conveniences at my finger tips, I still work for just about everything I have, in a more difficult way. And time and time again, I end up suffering for it, physically. Even my husband isn't as modern as most. Yes he does build and repair motorcycles for a living, but the bikes he builds are rather old school, and done by hand. No fuel injections, spoked wheels laced by hand, he puts a lot of love and craftsmanship into these bikes. Even my project bike is a Harley Davidson Flathead from 1949.

Maybe that in its self answered the question. We love doing it. We know the consequences for what we do. We will be physically older then we should be because of all the labor. If you would have informed me back in the day that I would actually enjoy this lifestyle, I would have laughed at you.

It's wonderful to hear some of you tell me that you romanticize about homesteading. But to tell you the truth, most days I really won't recommend it. I know, blasphemy. Yet, none the less, it is true. You wake up far too early and go to sleep far too late. You live off of little sleep and too much work. Every time you turn around there is yet another demand on your time and attention. It does get frustrating. Since Saturday I have been working almost none stop, with all the big projects that I am attempting to conclude. I want a I need a break. I want to sleep in on the weekends like normal people do, or go see a movie, or even waste an entire day by just lounging around reading a book. I want to stop hurting on a daily basis, unfortunately I do not have the time to allow an injury to fully heal before working. Hence the shoulder pain.

I don't want to call the doctor and say, My husband was attacked by the rooster, and we think it is infected. They tend to have me repeat what I just said, not believing it. {Sunday he was blindsided by our standard rooster, got him in the shin, he now has two puncture wounds there from the spurs}

I would like to be able to make a play date with real life friends. I have very few, and none of them are willing to drive out here. The only time off I do get tends to be scheduled motorcycle events, rallies, poker runs and the like. I do love being on the back of a bike, but even that can get physically tiring.

Yet I still do this. I still wake up early to see the sunrise out of the corner of my eye as I care for animals and garden. I take 2 hours to cook a meal that will be eaten in 10 minutes. I still brush out goats, or dress out birds. I still spend hours caring for new vegetables. I still work to bring home sticks, twigs and small trees for fencing, or windmill stands, or cattle fencing.

I still do all the things that I complain about, moan and groan over for several simple reason, I am satisfied with the results, I love the outcome, and when I sleep, I sleep well.


El said...

Ah, Phelan.

This country simply doesn't reward hard, physical work for women. Work and life should be cushy, and clean, for you as a mom. But, as you can see, homesteading is hard, dirty, and satisfying work, kind of like repairing old motorcycles!

It's a choice, surely. And sometimes we feel we bite off more than we can chew. But I bet you're a happier person when you're all sore and dirty, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

You are right el, guess I am just feeling sorry for myself today. It happens once and awhile.

P~ said...

I didn't hear "feeling sorry for myself" in that post at all. I came away thinking damn, that's a determined woman! Your love of your work and even more your realistic look at it shone through. I am one of those that often has the "romantic yearning" for a homestead. But I am also one that understands that it is not for everyone. I haven't figured out my ability to do it yet, but I have figured out my wifes, and she has not inclination what-so-ever towards it. So I make my homestead little by little on our 1/4 acre in the burbs.
Good post Phelan, very good post.

P~ said...

Phelan, on a side note, my "white trash ways" have come out again. thought you might be interested.

Anonymous said...

I agree with p, very good post. A very REAL post. I think that's why you have such a following. Many people appreciate your honesty about the life you live. It isn't for everyone, but it does seem to be for you...even when it hurts.

Donna. W said...

I finally got tired of the gardening and canning and gave up everything but tomatoes and peppers. This year Cliff decided to garden a little, and I'm already sick of shelling peas (and we've only had two messes). I guess I'm out of it for life!

What really gripes me is that Cliff has two ripe tomatoes already. In years of gardening, I NEVER had any tomatoes ripe this early!

Rhonda Jean said...

that's the thing - the going to bed tired and satisifed. That is what I love too.

Anonymous said...

P~ Thank you. I think you are doing a wonderful job there in the 'burbs.

Farm mom, ~blush~ now now, I don't have much of a following, why I don't really want a following, just people to laugh with me. But thank you. And it is. :D

donna, sorry to hear that you gave it up. It's frustrating but I couldn't image my life with out...wait, I could sleep with out it, ha! Find out how Cliff managed that, we want to know!

Rhonda, righton.

Maggie said...

Phelan I hope you were laying on a couch for that self diagnoses. I think that you may have saved yourself some serious cash. You set a wonderful example plain and simple. You are a tender. You tend things although many mothers are in their own way you have the blessings of seeing the fruits of your labor.

Gina said...

You are an inspiration with your determination and I also feel a kinship with you. I struggle with similar issues with my own homestead and there are times I vaguely dream of a cute little house in a small town with a small yard and no mooing cows, sheep that need sheared, roosters that crow at 3 am, or turkeys that attack anything red...

Then, I, too, notice the sunset or see a small tomato on a vine or watch as Baby and Maggie the Irish dexters graze their way across the pasture and I am happy in the midst of my exhaustion.

Phelan said...

aww, Maggie, ~blush~ thank you.

Gina, I too will drive through the older part of a small town, and think how nice it would be to have one of those homes. As for kinship, that's because you dig the Cure and Dead can Dance, two of my favorites {even if I do listen to Cradle Of Filth and Prong as well.}

Unknown said...

why is it that now i'm not allowed to do anyhthing i really, really want to get out and attack the nettles? they're driving me mad.
shopping yesterday, so in pain this day.

tried to set up a basically photo blog on here to show how the house changed and to put up animal pictures; will go mad with it as arm gets better and i still can't do heavy work. at the moment i'm sleeping a lot of the time to rest my arm without resort to painkillers: sleeping and reading

The Fool said...

The old Flatheads, Knuckleheads, and Panheads are the best! Oh yeah!

Billy said...

I wish I could be half the woman you are!

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