Thursday, May 6, 2010

hopes and dreams… or fantasies, perhaps

we all have dreams. things we ponder when we’re doing mundane tasks… things that pop into our minds when we’re doing something, or eating something, or partaking in something that just doesn’t seem quite right. i probably have more of these than most people, because it seems i analyze things more than most people. i don’t know. maybe other people just don’t talk about it as much as i do.

i’m always thinking, researching, checking out books or googling things. there are things that bug me about life, and so i try to figure out how i can change them.

i had a whole big long rant on here, that i just deleted because these are my things. my issues. i think by putting them out there, it’s just spewing negativity into the world and there’s too much of that already. it doesn’t matter WHY i feel drawn to these things, it doesn’t even really matter that i am. but this is my blog and i can write about what i want. you can read or not read. you can agree or disagree. you can comment or not comment. it’s just about me, wanting to put down some of the stuff i’m into right now. things i’m interested in learning about… partly because i’m curious. partly because i’m independent. partly because i think some of these things could be beneficial to our family or the world somehow. partly because i’m just old-fashioned.

bread-baking. we have a bread machine, we used to use it a lot. haven’t for years. but i’m actually more interested in the process of doing it by hand right now. i know that bread had gotten a bad rap lately thanks to dr. atkins and all the low –carb gurus, but a lot of the world’s history is wrapped up in bread. there’s a reason that every culture has their own unique styles, recipes and methods for baking bread. there’s a reason the Lord’s prayer says ‘give us this day our daily bread’… i want to know more about this staple of life, and feed my family healthy food as well. and i’m sorry dr. atkins, the kind of carbs in wonderbread and chocolate cake are not the same as those in a good wholesome loaf of whole grain bread.

poultry keeping. i have several friends with chickens right now. some more than others… ;)angie! it’s something that appeals to me. i like the idea of our eggs being fresh and the kids getting hands-on information about keeping chickens and gathering eggs and all that sort of stuff… at the same time, we don’t use a lot of eggs. maybe a dozen a week. but we do eat a lot of chicken… hmmm… not sure about my line of reasoning here… i asked dave recently if he thought he could kill a chicken. he said he thought he could. i don’t know that i could. and i don’t know how keen i am on cleaning and de-feathering (yeah, see? i don’t even know what it’s called) and stuff. but i don’t want to wind up with a bunch of ‘pet’ chickens. maybe for the time being, we’ll just keep getting our eggs from angie. but the thought is out there. we’ll see how it develops.

beekeeping. this is fascinating to me. a lot of people probably don’t use honey at all, but i use a TON of it. i put it in my coffee every day, put it on peanut butter sandwiches, sweeten things that call for sugar… beeswax is also very useful in making soaps, candles, cosmetics (which i’ll get to later)… plus, having bees around is really good for gardens and fruit trees and flowers.

soap making. this is one of those things that it bothers me to buy. mainly, because you have to buy it in a package of some sort. especially shampoo. it drives me nuts that you have to get a new bottle, every time you have to buy shampoo. i also know that a lot of people do it, so it can’t be that hard. i don’t know if i want to go so far as to make artisan soaps, but maybe just some decent smelling, no-yucky-chemicals-type soaps.

gardening. i already do quite a bit of this, and i really enjoy it. i grew up with a garden, eating veggies all summer long that my dad grew. i want to learn more about healthy, natural methods of stuff like pest-control and weed-control, as well as what things grow best in this location. ideally, i’d like to grow ALL of our veggies, but not sure how i see that panning out.

canning/preserving. this is related to the above interest. people used to eat pretty much only that which they could produce themselves. now we can go to the grocery store and buy any kind of produce at any time of the year… i’m not really sure how i feel about that. so i’m interested in learning how to can, freeze, dry, etc. the veggies and fruits i grow. i’d like to learn to make tomato sauces and pickles and stuff like that, as well as just regular old canned veggies and fruits or jams.

sewing. i know that sewing, at this point in time, is more of a hobby than it is a way of clothing your family… patterns aren’t cheap, and neither is fabric. that said, it’s something i enjoy, it is useful to know, and therefore, something at which i want to improve my skill and be able to pass on to my children.

more or less, i think that the idea of being self-sufficient really appeals to me. it kind of drives me nuts when the power goes out (which it does a lot around here) and we’re all just at the mercy of the power company to get to our neighborhoods. our dependency on that seems so silly when you realize that it’s only in the last century that people en mass have even had electricity in their homes. human beings have survived for generations upon generations without it, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to now. i guess i don’t like the idea of being dependent on PSE, or target, or general mills, or proctor and gamble or any of those guys. i want to be dependent on people who care about me and my family. God, family, friends, and myself.

crazy, huh?

that’s what makes it fun.


  1. I guess I never really found any of those things to be strange in society and as I was reading your list I realized that it is because I didn't grow up in this society. I would agree that we are very dependent on the "conveniences" of life. I think though, a huge part of that problem is the mentality that we have as an instant gratification society. We don't take the time to do things because we don't want to or because we have "better" things to do. I think that being disciplined is a gift that is dying for a lot of people. People were forced to be responsible and to be motivated, to be planners. To be hard workers. Not saying that moving to a third world country will fix things because that is a cop out to say that it is the fault of society but I have often wished that I could give my children the same environment to grow up in that I did.

  2. Very interesting blog post and for me it seems almost 'Little House on the Prairie' ish. meaning it sounds very idyllic and almost old age! It is funny how we take all our conveniences for granted and it would be interesting to lift my family for a week and adopt a self sufficient lifestyle. I hope when you find your perfect home you can engage in all your dreams of bee keeping, sewing, growing food and sustaining yourselves more naturally. I take my hat off to you for having the inclination! Smiles!

  3. Have you looked into community living (used to be called "communes" in the '70s)? I think it'd be rewarding and great for those of us like John and I who don't have trustworthy family living close by. Plus, it'd be easier (IMO) to live the kind of lifestyle you're talking about when it's a group effort and you have others to help out (like if you want to go on vacation and you have a cow that needs to be milked).



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