Out of time

This is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit and write in a while. Life has completely taken over.

It seems like I spend every day rushing from one task to the other with very little time between.

We have almost completely moved away from processed, packaged and convenience foods with only a few small exceptions.

While cooking everything from scratch and baking fresh bread is very satisfying on so many levels, it’s also very time consuming. Many things must be started early in the day so that they are ready in time for dinner. I’m really starting to understand why most women didn’t work back when everyone cooked this way. When did they have time and put more than a sandwich on the table?

In spite of some of the sacrifices I’ve made, I have to say, I’m enjoying it so much more than when I thought I would. I’m even making food for our fur-baby who wasn’t handling store-bought dog food well at all anymore.

My body feels the difference, too. I feel better over-all, but by 9 pm, I’m yawning and can barely keep my eyes open. I’m usually up again by 3 am. That does make my morning flow a little easier, but adds to the early night.

By the time I get the hubby to work and have another cup of coffee, it’s time to start on the house. If I’m lucky, I may end up with an hour or two in the afternoon which I take full advantage of by talking to my sister and having a quick, hot soak before time to go back and get the hubby.

Then, of course, there’s the dinner crunch. Everything takes twice as long to do because I have a toaster oven, single burner and crock pot instead of 4 burners and a full-size oven. Once I’m finally done with that, the kitchen has to be cleaned, lunch plates made and left overs put away.

I’m luck again if I get an hour or so to sit down with a cup of coffee and my cross stitching before I start seeing double.

Writing, while sometimes therapeutic, isn’t always “relaxing”. Cross-stitching does relax me, which is why it’s often my pre-bed activity.

I’m beginning to understand why farmers start before the sun comes up. It’s not going to be an easy lifestyle at all.

I’m still all for living green and being as self-sustaining as possible. A garden of some sort is a must-have addition to my life. Period. I’m beginning to question raising animals though. I just don’t know when I’ll have time.

This is why I wanted to work us into the life slowly. It gives us a chance to pair down those “I wanna do it all” super-size dreams to something manageable. I’m not counting it out yet, but it’s no longer a sure thing anymore either.

For those of you doing it all and blogging, I admire you and wish you’d share your time-management secrets!


What to raise

One of the big conversations Paul and I had recently was on what to raise when we get our farm. We finally decided on goats and chickens, but we discussed other animals as well.

We considered raising Rat Terriers, which I’ve read are good for hunting, but are also all around helpful farm dogs. We talked in depth about this one. I used to want to be a vet tech and breed Pomerainians (which would have made my sister deliriously happy since that’s her breed of choice), but over the years, I’ve seen so much about what breeders do wrong, I’ve hesitated to be associated with them. I won’t even get a dog from a breeder, preferring to adopt homeless dogs from the pound.

I’m not saying all dog breeders are bad or unethical, but it’s becoming the case where a few bad apples are making the whole tree look unappealing and I just don’t know how I feel about taking my chances.

Another animal we briefly considered was sheep. I know that wool can be a valuable commodity if you can find a market for it and even considered a small amount (like maybe two) for personal use, but I’ve heard they can be a handful when it comes to care. The goats I really want are going to be high-maintenance enough and I’m afraid both will be too much.

We also considered rabbits. I’ve had some personal experience with rabbits, and I read a post earlier on Pint-Sized Farm about them, but I’m still on the fence with them.

They say they become quite tame if handled regularly, and they do, but one of my most unforgettable animal moments was being attacked by my brother’s pet rabbit when I was a teen.

He/she, (I can’t remember the actual gender now) had always been rather docile. We held it daily. What kid doesn’t want to hold a rabbit? We’d had it a year or so, it had always been a sweet little thing, until one day when I went to feed it, which was one of my chores.

I put my hand in the cage to get it’s feeding dishes out and the sweet little bunny suddenly became a demon with fur and nails. It attacked my hand and arm so suddenly that at first it didn’t register that it was actually attacking me. By the time I pulled my arm away, it was bleeding from the scratches.

Always an animal lover, I tried again with the same results. I tried taking to it soothingly, attempted to hold it thinking maybe it was hurt and that was causing the sudden and unexplainable reaction but could find no sign of injuries. It had always seemed to enjoy being held before, but it fought like a wild cat and I ended up with bloody scratches on my chest to match the ones on my arms.

I gave it time to calm down and tried again with the same results and finally gave up till my mom and step-dad got home. They tried to get it out and it flipped out on both of them, too.

A trip to the vet proved pointless as the vet could find nothing physically wrong with it either.

Our cute little bunny was never the same and eventually they got rid of it.

I never figured out what happened to it. My brother was always watched closely when he held it and he was always a gentle kid anyway. My parents rarely messed with it, leaving it’s care to me (being the biggest animal-lover in the house and it was always my job to care for any pet anyone had). It just seemed to go crazy and never got over it.

Now, I have to look at any animal we own or raise with my mind on our granddaughter, who we hope will be spending a lot of time on our farm when we get one.

She will, of course, be taught respect for animals and their needs. My daughter inherited my love of animals and her and her husband have been raising reptiles since they got together. My son-in-law is an avid hunter and fisherman but he also has a love of animals and hunts to supplement their food, not just for sport. So, I know Squishy (that’s the nickname I gave our granddaughter the moment she emerged into this world from one of my favorite animated movies, Finding Nemo) will be taught love and respect for animals both as pets and as a food-source, but I know from experience how hard it is for a beloved pet to suddenly go crazy with no explanation.

We briefly discussed a few other options, but for now, it looks like goats and chickens. I know many people raise rabbits as pets as well as for their resources (manure, fur and meat), but I’m just not sure if I want to take my chances there either after what happened when I was a kid.

Do you have experience raising rabbits or any other animals where one of their temperaments had suddenly changed for no reason?