Saturday, February 28, 2015


"Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. ...It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone; pride has gone."  -- C.S. Lewis

I need to remember this quote and read it more often. Although I still feel like I am talking to an empty room, I realize that, if I want to build a blog, I have to post occasionally. But this last month I also have realized that perhaps I jumped the gun. Maybe I really don't want to expose my life to the world.

In these last few months I have read more than a few articles about building blogs and marketing your farm products and using social media to connect with your like-minded community. I have looked at and read more blogs about homesteading than I thought even existed and I really don't recognize us in most of them. Maybe I'm confused about what a homestead even is. I do think the concept is being redefined and perhaps even revolutionized.

There are so many people involved in so many aspects of homesteading from the prepper/survivalist at one end of the spectrum to the newest DoTerra mommy in an apartment building on the other. It almost seems that there cannot even be a definition of who a homesteader is. I think what I've noticed more than anything is a subtle feeling of competition. Perhaps it is silly, but it seems that everyone wants to appear to be an expert at homesteading whatever their real situation may be. I've seen so many blog posts with titles designed to capture the market (as if we are a market) and make us afraid we might miss out on some special knowledge that will surely help us succeed. And here I've always thought of homesteading as a kind of experiment; just a kind of out-of-the-way, hippie sort-of, minimal way of living. Maybe that experimental aspect is what makes the idea homesteading so inclusive, but many homesteading blogs try pretty hard to outdo the competition. I really hate to feel as if I am in a competition.

Which brings me to my problem and the point of this post. I am feeling frozen and isolated and more than a little bit unprepared to tackle all of that. I know we cannot compete with the beautiful homestead blogs out there. Our life is what it is. We are doing some of the "proper homesteading things" and not doing some others. It takes us ages to get anything done. Our house is old and half painted. Our sheds and gates and fences are built by family members who don't have construction experience beyond building said structure. We have resources (read junk) all around us, getting in the way of the beautiful pictures I might post. We don't have much (any) money for large projects like greenhouses or chicken mansions or a painted gingerbread clothesline or even a covered compost bin. Our garden is the single most challenging project we try to do and it appears that not having a great garden might exclude us from the homestead club right away. The experts tell me that I need to post often and always include a beautiful photo. They say that our posts need to be meaningful, and frankly, more meaningful than posts from other blogs or readers will click away. Hmmm. Discouraging. And baffling, really, since I'm not sure what meaningful might be.

Kerry and I have talked and planned and set goals for our future, but I am old enough to realize that life has a funny way of changing your plans and seeming to block your goals. We live a truly fabulous life together in a beautiful place. We are doing the things we love, and we know just a thing or two about those things. We would like to share these things, but we are not experts. Just so you know. If you need a photo, you'll have to page on. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Shepherds of the Desert"

I looked Kerry up on Google this morning and the newspaper article "Shepherds of the Desert" popped up. It was fun to read it again and I thought I would share it here on the blog. It might help you all to get to know us a bit better. We've teased Kerry pretty hard about the opening description for some years now, but when the shoe fits...

We hope you enjoy the article. Our life is a little different nine years down the road, but not a lot actually. We still love sheep and dogs. But we dearly miss Gyp, Tess and Rosie as they have gone on to the reward of all faithful farm dogs. One day soon I'll introduce you to the dogs and sheep whom we are loving at the moment.