It has been a long time since my last blog post. Like, a REALLY long time.
So much has changed in my life in the past year and a half, that at times I wonder if I even know the girl I was before. Luckily, I think I am finding myself again and reflecting on the things I really love, so here I am!
Major Diet Changes!
One of the biggest changes I have made in my life has been dietary.
I have had to give up gluten for health reasons. I felt like I had to learn to cook all over again!! At the same time, I drastically cut the carbs in my diet and I am happy to report I have lost nearly 60 pounds and regained my health! (In fact, I might have gotten *ahem* too healthy, more about that later…)
About the same time, it also really hit me that with my children getting older, more of my time and energy had to go into homeschooling them. Although there is always room for improvement, things went much better when I made their education my primary focus! I even signed on as the Classical Conversations Challenge A director for my community and that has been a huge blessing to me! (As an aside, be looking for me to add a homeschooling section to the blog soon since that is such a large part of my life!)
I had even forgotten how much I enjoyed the three years of Latin I took in high school. I have enthusiastically jumped back into the study of Latin in order to help my class understand this difficult but rewarding subject!
Another activity that somewhat took over my life was our family’s martial arts training! In the past year, my husband and I, along with our older daughter and son all gained our first degree black belts in Tang Soo Do! It has been a joy to train with the whole family, but I’ll be perfectly honest and say that it took a lot of time and energy to get there. Recently, Eric has even become a certified instructor and now works part time at the studio in addition to his regular job. (You know, because he had so much spare time!)
Doing too much!
All this is to say that I received a much needed wake up call that I was trying to do too much. I also (slowly) realized that I had accumulated way too many animals for our small homestead. The daily chores were overwhelming and I felt like I was drowning.
In case you ever find yourself where I was, I want to share some changes I made to help me get my life back under control. Perhaps they can help you in avoiding homestead burnout!
Avoiding Homestead Burnout: 4 Changes I made!
1. Downsize Animals.
Animal chores were the ones that I just couldn’t ignore. I was forced to sell some animals. (Safely, of course, following my own selling rules!) Several of my goats had to be sold and there were fewer goat kids on the homestead this spring. Additionally, Beulah’s calf, Rocky, was sent to Eric’s uncle’s cattle farm to grow out for beef. We also decided that until things slow down a little, we will only be able to raise one batch of broiler chickens per year, and we will raise fewer pigs in the future as well.
OK, maybe not. We REALLY love bacon and sausage in our low-carb home!
2. Putting up less food.
Canning and freezing were a big part of my summers and I really enjoyed the fruits of my labors, but I can’t do it all and I now put up foods only when I have spare time. Besides, all my freezer space is currently filled with about 30 broiler chickens, 2 pigs we raised ourselves and a steer we bought from our next door neighbor. (Yes, we have several freezers!) With all that meat int he freezers, I don’t feel too bad about purchasing vegetables. Also, we still have the aquaponic greenhouse and that provides us with a small about of fresh veggies, mostly greens and tomatoes at this point.
I am still milking, but I am making less cheese and dairy products these days. All extra milk has gone to help fatten up the three Tamworth hogs that we just sent to the processor and now goes to the very happy Loudy Pants the enormous pet pig. We still take plenty of farm fresh raw milk into the house to drink and to enjoy the delicious cream!
Finally, I have learned to let go of some of the chores. My kids are getting bigger and are more than capable of helping me out with a few of the chores. Lucas, age 10 and Savannah, age 7, are now in charge of gathering and packaging eggs for me and Erica, age 12 helps me manage the greenhouse. Sometimes they swap up their duties, and sometimes Eric or I will do a chore for them, but in general, this has greatly helped my daily work load! (This makes me nostalgic for the video I made several years ago about farm kids and chores! They were so little! Tear!)
More big changes on the horizon!
So I mentioned at the top that my dietary changes might have made me too healthy… Well, my doctor warned me, and I did not listen when she told me that the weight loss I experienced and getting my thyroid under control would cause me to be extra fertile…
Meet our newest farm boy! Yep! In late April or early May we will be welcoming our newest farm kid to the flock! Once we got over the initial shock, we became wonderfully excited (and perhaps a little terrified) to be starting over again! This baby is going to be so loved and his older siblings plan to spoil him rotten!
The children also seem to be hatching a scheme to offer to babysit him at the house while I milk in order to get out of barn chores! Very sneaky!
I have been an absentee blogger for awhile, but I am ready to change that! I really do love this blog and the community I have built in it and I would love to continue encouraging others to homestead in whatever way their current situation allows!
So here is my question for you.
What topics would you most like to see me cover on this blog in the coming year?