Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's a different kind of life

Sweet Potato Pie's with Streusel Topping

I've been busy baking the past few days.    So far I've made and frozen dough for 18 pizza's, baked  and frozen 8 loaves of  bread, a cake, a few pies, and  frosting enough for a few more cakes or  many many cupcakes.  That was all there was room for in the freezer.   While all that dough was rising and things were baking in the oven I was spring cleaning.  I cleaned every closet, cupboard and shelf in this house.  I got rid of much and reorganized and cleaned what was left.     All the while thinking it had to be done now because if it was put off until spring when everyone else does theirs,  it wouldn't get done.  Spring is about outdoors, gardens and baby animals here.   No time to be inside cleaning a house.   And this whole exercise got me to thinking about how different our lives and calendars are as homesteaders, from those around us that still do spring cleaning in the spring.

A few weeks ago, someone in my family asked me why it's been so long since I visited them 1500 miles away and I realized how different our lifestyles and schedules are from many of those around us including our families.  In many cases it's even different from what we, ourselves have lived  before getting into homesteading.  For many years, I had a job in a large city with a 3 week vacation each and every year, 2 days off a week in the fall and winter and at least one day off in spring and summer...being a horticulturist had it's own set of demands.  When I didn't have to be at my job I could go out in the evening shopping,  to dinner and a movie or on weekends I could go off camping or skiing, spend the night and think nothing of it as long as I was back in time for work on Monday.   Now I'm lucky to fit a trip to town for necessities into my schedule a few times a month and the place I visit the most frequently is the feed store with a quick stop at Lowe's on the way back only because I go right by it.   

When I lived my other, more conventional life,  I too probably would have had difficulty understanding the complexities of a homesteading lifestyle.   And perhaps if I had understood how different everything would be I wouldn't have jumped into it with both feet the way I did.   I may have decided the price was too high; no time for idleness anymore, no time for things that used to be important to me, no time period.   Now, every moment demanding attention in one way or another.   Homesteaders, right after mothers, must have been the original multitaskers, long before it was a trendy word with the mantra being "so much to do and so little time.

Still,  most days I love it and wouldn't consider going back to the other way of life.   I love how the busyness seems so purposeful.   I love the animals that tie me here every day.  I love that it's all connected, nature, the land, the food we eat, the animals we raise.   I love the values it's teaching the 10 year old that shares this life with me.   And I hope when she is older she will look back and love that she got the opportunity to experience this life, whether she decides  to stay on this path or move to another more conventional one.



  1. "Purposeful." I think that's the key. The old way of life was more like spinning our wheels but getting nowhere. I love having a sense of purpose in what I do, and homesteading truly gives just that.

  2. I think what you are doing is awesome. In our family, we are making a more concerted effort to homestead more. Knowing that we are growing food and cooking and baking at home what we grow makes us feel great. We still work in the city, but we are learning to live without the "fast food" lifestyle and loving it!

  3. Indeed ... a schedule and lifestyle that others may not always understand. I'm glad I too had a "conventional" life for a season and had the opportunity to travel. Now, in this season of life, I am content to be here all day, every day. :)

  4. my family thinks i'm nuts too.. its ok.. its a 'farm thing' and they wouldnt understand

  5. Elizabeth, Hope you get back to blogging soon as I miss your insights. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

  6. Can you post in your blog how to make Sweet Potato Pie's with Streusel Topping.Surely every one will be glad to know how to make one.
    This is a great snack.
    Thanks in advance.

  7. Elizabeth I love your posts. You always inspire me. Blessings!

  8. My life is quite different from my family, but I'm fortunate in that they fully support me. I might even be able to talk my dad or brother into joining me in a business one of these days. In the meantime, though, I'm quite content.

    Your pies look delicious! What exactly is streusel topping?

  9. I've always been a city girl, but I have been blessed to learn gardening, and everything that goes with it. My hubby is gone now and apartment life has changed it all.
    Those sweet potato pies look delish.


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