Catching Time…unplugging

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I want to feel satisfied as I fall into bed exhausted.  Complete in what I do.  Comforted in the thought that homesteading improves my lifestyle and mood, that I stay healthy, contribute to the health of animals, grow glorious food for my loved ones, prepare for accidents or Mother Nature or the Zombie Apocalypse, according to my dear friend, Erik, but also live a good life.  I want to lessen my footprint on this fine earth and live fully.  Busyness sneaks up.  Its eager eye on making me feel tired and blue instead of satiated.  It robs me of time to make gourmet dinners and practice all the skills I am learning.  Here I have learned all these much desired skills this winter with scarcely a moment to practice or put into place.

This winter I have learned to make soap, spin (somewhat…I am getting there), knit (crooked albeit), and play the fiddle.  I have designed two new businesses.  I have learned how to keep chickens in the past year and will learn how to keep bees this year.  I will intern with my friend in her greenhouse.  I have my shop in town.  I will be a friend, mom, wife, lover, grandma, and farmer/homesteader extraordinaire…..tomorrow.  Because busyness makes it tomorrow far too quickly.

So, I look around in vain trying to find the cause of my minutes flitting away.  I still wanted to take a cheese class!  I still want to go to college.  I still want to do farmer’s markets with Emily, Maryjane, Nancy, and Faleena.  What is taking so much time?  Granted I do hand wash laundry, try to do things slow, but something else is stealing in the shadows.

Then a revelation!  Lo and behold the thief comes to light.  Do I seriously need to check my email twenty-five times a day?  Check my blog to see if it is still there?  See what’s happening on Facebook?  Would it wait until the next morning?  Could I properly homestead, complete tasks that I desire to do, and have time for a chapter of my book and a glass of wine under the huge Elm tree if I didn’t continually stalk the internet?  What kind of off-gridder wannabe am I?  I thought I had outsmarted technology and all its glitz by not watching television (save for The Voice and So You Can Think You Can Dance…I don’t think it’s too late for me!), but then the internet, in all its Siren glory, tricked me out of a few good moments on the land.

I will turn its face to the wall, turn it off if I must, but I will only view this box into the world once a day…..maybe twice.  And find magic hours to read how to keep goats, play with the baby chicks, plant potatoes, treat animals, teach herbs to children in the inner city, learn to knit straight and spin fabulous yarn and breathe outdoors on this quaint little mini-farm.  And play with Maryjane.  Time found.

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Cuckoo Clocks and Farmgirl Time

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I adore cuckoo clocks.  They are most necessary for any homestead as they do not require electricity nor batteries (which are most elusive around here).  I only have to be there twice a day to pull the chains, bringing the heavy pine cones back to the top and the time keeps on.  It keeps impeccable time.  Not only is it a magical clock (no batteries or electricity), but it will come out and tell me what time it is.  If I am stuck in the kitchen canning, that darling little bird will signal the lunch bell, or quitting time.  It rustles me from sleep and its gentle ticking puts me to sleep.  I scarcely hear the cuckoos unless I am needing the time.

Cuckoo clocks were invented two hundred years ago and were created by farmers during the downtime of Winter when they were snowed in.

This beautiful clock was a gift to me from my dear friend, Kat.  Her father collected clocks and her own house is filled with fantastic old clocks.  This one is so special to me, and it completes my home and helps me keep time.

The other day I noticed a habit I have.  Not a particularly good one, but I guess the beginning of a new year is a fine time to see one’s downfalls.  I waste an awful lot of time!  I have told you already that I cannot sit still to save my life and must be busy all day.  However, I realize that in between tasks, or during tasks, I wander.  I will get a thought in my head and go check something else out.  I will be reading an article, then on the computer requesting books from the library before I even finish the article.  I wander around looking for lost things, and lament my disorganization.

So, I am going to focus my wanderings.  I made a list of things I could be doing instead of wandering or to do if I am terribly bored (there is just not as much to do in the Winter!).  I will complete tasks at hand and get the house organized so I can find things easily. Other things I can do: (Until I can do it naturally I have to plan my downtime, but I am sure as I get older I will relax more easily!)

  • Read a chapter of a good book…Get lost in Italy, or a farm, or in a cookbook
  • Read a magazine…A full article, please
  • Write blog ideas…I am brimming with them
  • Practice knitting…Practice makes perfect, I sure hope
  • Work on the baby blanket…The baby will be here in less than three months!
  • Sew a nice farm skirt…Go find great fabric!
  • Plant some seeds indoors…I need more lettuce
  • Choreograph a dance…Why wait until the last minute?
  • Watch dance films…Inspiration for the dance company
  • Yoga…My back will thank me
  • Take a walk…Birds are filling the trees like apartment buildings, the air is cool and fresh
  • Take a bath…See my own post about taking time to bathe
  • Sit on the swing…It is a fabulous outdoor swing hanging from an old Elm tree, great for daydreaming
  • Listen to a great CD…Like Andrea Bocelli
  • Pray…Be thankful for blessings, too
  • Make a fantastic dessert…It improves the marriage
  • Call a friend…Or Grandma, she would love a phone call

Balancing farmgirl duties, shop duties, and other work with play that creates raucous laughter and fun while balancing rest so that my mind and body can take a break and replenish are important for me to learn this year.  This year is the year of balance.  Even the cuckoo clock rests in between shifts.