heading into march

And here it is, March already. We're enjoying early signs of spring around here--much, much earlier than we did in Spokane. Last month was a busy month for us. We were able to bring home 4 sheep, 5 lambs (a set of twins included), 1 ram, and 9 bulls. I was a little intimidated at first. My husband grew up on a cattle ranch, I grew up in San Francisco. I honestly didn't know how much I'd enjoy farm life. It's so relaxing to grab a cup of coffee, roll up my jeans, slip on my rubber boots and head out to the pasture. The animals know us now and aren't so skittish when we come near. I can walk amongst them or just sit on the fence rails for little visits. I can even clean out the sheep's stall with the pitchfork and add new hay for them to bed in. This is big for me, especially since I happened upon a dead rat the first time I went into the tack room to gather hay.

It's been fun to watch my boys work with their dad out in the fields. One boy has taken to the sheep, the other to the cattle. A shepherd and a rancher. I can see from my kitchen window scenes as sweet as this. But I think my favorite so far is seeing my husband sitting on the fence rails with his coffee in hand and cattle all around. This is a wonderful sight to see as I stand at my kitchen sink to do the morning's dishes.

The girls are precious, too, stomping around the fields in their rubber boots. One girl, in particular, loves the animals and she loves to walk around the perimeter of the pasture checking the fences with her daddy. But the other girl prefers to stay inside to draw and color and dance. I still enjoy being indoors, too, because I'm in love with my bright, new kitchen.

We've picked up a couple of books on homesteading. As beneficial as this sounds, it's also very intimidating to one who grew up in the city. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way, but every time I read through the Little House series I beat myself up for being so dependent on modern conveniences and technology.

I loved reading this quote about Charles Ingalls the other night:

"'That machine's a great invention!' he said.
'Other folks can stick to old-fashioned ways if they want to,
but I'm all for progress.
It's a great age we're living in.
As long as I raise wheat,
I'm going to have a machine come and thresh it.'"

And so am I. I'm all for progress. I say if a machine can do the work, let it. But if I can find joy in doing something with my own hands, if I have the time to do it (meaning, it won't take too much time away from my family), and if it's cost-effective, I just might consider doing some things the "old-fashioned" way. And just because it's possible to produce much of our own food on this plot of land, I think I'll still head to the grocery store for my bread, milk and eggs. I'm trying to look at this new life of mine and find a good balance. If Caroline Ingalls were alive today, I'd most likely run into her at Wal-Mart from time to time. :)


Sweet Annabelle said...

Aren't tall rubber boots the BEST?! You can go into any kind of mess with your boots on, and not worry a bit - true freedom!

~Sue said...

Good on you, Jenny! Embracing your new homestead and staying you! Yes, I am sure Caroline Ingalls would have proudly found the best deals occasionally in Walmart and elsewhere! :) How insightful to think of such comforting ideas. Now about the rat--you are to be put on a pedestal for that, my dear!