Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Simpler New Year

     Wow, this fall has flown by so fast.  I had a great opportunity to teach full-time this fall semester to fill-in for someone on maternity leave.  While it was a wonderful learning experience as a new nurse educator, my homestead did suffer.  This Christmas break has given me a chance to reflect and remember what my goals are and what my priorities must be in order to reach those goals as a homemaker and family. 
     I have worked or been in school all of my daughter's life except for the first 3 years.  I have longed to transition home to full-time homemaker and just work part-time outside of the home or full-time from the home.  The crossroads that I have anticipated is finally here.  Our little homestead missed me dearly when I was working Monday through Friday and I missed it.  I have grown to love those daily and weekly chores.  I have ordered more spring chicks and have plans to expand and improve our garden this spring.  We have other yard improvements that must be done in March such as building a portable coop, dirt work, and privacy fence completion that will require more invested time than just Saturdays.  We have been searching for a bigger plot of land so that we can be more private and add more animals, such as milking goats.  We will need to build a small barn or find some land with an existing one.  There is still so much to do.
     When we decided to live a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle, we knew we would have to give everything we had to make it work well.  Now that I will be part-time at work again, I will be able to devote those daily hours to tending the homestead without guilt that something is being neglected.  Also, in order for me to be able to eventually work from home, I will need to enroll in a PhD program.  I was not planning on returning to school this soon, but fortunately the local university has a hybrid program in which I will only meet 3 times a term and the rest is done on my own time.  I can go at my own pace as my personal and work commitments allow.  This program is pretty much a continuation of my previous program and I know what to expect.  I can work on assignments after my chores are done and I have tended to my family. 
     I get excited when I think about living off of the land, but I know it is hard work at the same time.  I am planning on making a batch of soap today...I have put it off for about 6 weeks but I am putting it back on my calendar.  My blogs may be on more of a monthly or bi-monthly basis for a while until we get our routines back in line.  I had to let it go while working full-time. 
     I am so glad to say that we did finish Big Red and are moved in.  Big Red is our portable barn-style building that serves as our extra rooms.  It has 2 lofts for storage and we divided it  for each of us to have a working office/craft space.  It is insulated, wired, and walled with a portable air-conditioner and heater.  I will have to post final pictures later.  We still have some organizing to do to make it flow easier and appear less cluttered, but at least I can find and use stuff that has been in storage for a few years.  We sold and gave away a truck AND a 12 ft. trailer load of old furniture and junk.  Now our old storage building is a workshop for tools lawn equipment and such.  It is neat and we can walk and reach everything.  That gives my minimalist husband peace of mind. 
     I have been looking at our stuff differently lately.  I ask myself, "what good is this doing me or my family?"  If it is collecting dust and causing me more work to keep it, I put it in the box to find a new owner.  I am seriously working on simplifying our lives.  What decisions have you made lately that has made your life easier?  What tips can you share to help others de-stress their lives.  I pray we all let go of things that hold us back and cause unnecessary work in our lives. 
May God Bless you and I hope you have a Happy New & Simpler Year,
Marla B.

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