Happy Saturday, Frugal Farmer friends! This may or may not become a regular series, but today, I just kind of feel like rambling. It’s been a long and busy week. Good, but incredibly busy. On another note, some of you know that, along with our debt mountain that we’re working to chop away at, I also have a weight loss goal. I was at my ideal weight when we moved into this house, but I think the stress of making such a big change, along with the realization that we were up to our ears in debt, took a toll. Many pounds and months later, I woke up to the fact that I’d gotten, well, chunky!
Then, I spent the next year living in denial about my appearance. I’d lose 5 or 10 pounds, get all puffed up about how well I was doing, and then pack ’em right back on again. Ironically, this sounds remarkably like our life before January 1, 2013. We’d accumulate debt, and pay it off. Then we’d get all snobby about how cool we were being debt free, and then the “it’s only”s would start again. Round and round we went before we made our permanent money lifestyle change on DE-day.
And so goes my journey with weight loss. This week, however, I stepped on the scale at the doc’s office again (we had to run one of the kids in on Tuesday), only to find that I’d put back on all but 2.5 pounds of the 10 pounds I’d lost.
I realized that it was time to really get serious about getting this extra weight off. Against my better judgment, I’m going to share that my total weight loss needs to be 27.5 pounds. 32.5 pounds would be better, but we’ll see. 30 pounds isn’t super traumatic to my 5’9 frame, but it’s traumatic enough that I’ve taken to wearing only stretchy clothes so I can continue to live in denial. 🙂
Along with my weight struggles, I feel like I need to share some things about homesteading today. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about homesteading, as there is about most things. Some of my readers have been, or are, in homesteading situations, so they’ll identify more closely with what I’m talking about.
You see, I think a lot of times people have this glorified image of homesteading. Like the glory days we see on an old episode of Little House on the Prairie. And homesteading really is wonderful. However, it’s kind of a mixed bag of good and bad.
There’s something immensely gratifying about being self-sufficient. It’s awesome to look out the window and see food that you planted from seed growing in your garden. It’s super cool to send the kids out to cut some lettuce for a dinner salad from your own back yard. Hanging clothes on the line is, for me, very calming. There’s something peaceful about standing in the sun and watching the clothes blow in the wind. And there’s nothing like staring at a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night.
Homesteading, however, is also a crap load of work. Maintaining a bigger garden, weeding it, etc., (we weed by hand) takes daily work. Chopping, splitting and stacking wood is a seriously taxing workout, even with a chainsaw and log splitter. Also, since there’s much more land than you’d find in a normal city lot, there’s much more land to maintain: to weed, to cut, and to care for. It takes Rick, at a minimum, 5 hours to cut the lawn. Usually it’s closer to 7 hours. Storms out here can be nasty. The wind, undaunted by scores of people and buildings, flies through with a vengeance, leaving days of cleanup work behind.
Everything you do, from laundry, to cooking from scratch, to growing and preserving food, to drying clothes on the line, to preparing for a long winter, to driving to appointments, even going to the store, takes 4 times as much work and time as it does in a city or suburban setting.
The work load is so grand during the spring, summer and fall months that I barely have time to blog or comment. For that, my blogging friends, I’m sorry. 🙁 Please know that it’s not that I’ve forgotten about your precious friendship – it’s just that we’re swamped beyond belief.
I’m not sharing this to complain. The pros, for us, far outweigh the cons, even with all of the work.
The peace out here is absolutely amazing, as is the quiet. Whereas in the suburbs we heard traffic, sirens, music and lots of chatter, out here we hear birds, bees, frogs, turkey, pheasants, coyotes, wolves, the meowing of cats and the neighing of horses, along with the sweet sound of the blowing wind. In the morning, it’s just you and the sunrise, and at night, you’d swear the sun looks at you with its gorgeous orangey/pink glow and says “Goodnight, sweet friend.” as it goes down for the evening.
Our kids are SO much happier here. They’ve learned – and we’ve learned – that things don’t matter. Nor does the opinion of others. They’re free now, free to enjoy life and not have to worry about what they wear, what kind of a house they live in, or whether or not their smartphones are cool/updated enough. People in the country tend to only care about helping each other and having a peaceful life. We can call any one of a dozen neighbors if we need help, and they’d be here in a New York minute. They don’t know that we don’t have smartphones, and they don’t really give a crap. But they do call up a group of us to see if we want to hang out and have a bonfire on occasion. Or go swimming in somebody’s lake. Or just sit, have a beer or pop, and chat about nothing.
As our crazy busy week wound down, things started to be more smooth sailing. We did finish up all of our errands and appointments, even if it left the gas tank quite a bit lighter. I went on a 5-mile walk with a neighbor on Thursday – my first walk in a good month – which got me kick-started back on my weight loss plan. My food intake wasn’t perfect this week, by any means, but I did find myself making several good choices when I could’ve made bad ones. And I went for another 5-mile walk this morning. Just me, and God, and an occasional appearance by the sun.
Today will be spent primarily resting, and tomorrow we’ll spend some time with our beloved family at a family reunion.
No matter what you’re doing this weekend, I hope you’ll spend some time reflecting on all of the blessings you have in your life. I hope you’ll take some time to relax. And most of all, I hope you’ll know that you are indeed loved, likely by more people than you realize. 🙂