State of the Homestead 2021
Despite all the doom and gloom of 2020, it was our best year in ages. For the first time in decades we could devote our entire time to our pets, livestock, gardens, and projects without any outside distraction. It tested our preparedness too, which I'm proud to say we passed with high marks.
That said, 2021 is forcing me to face up to something far more insidious and longer lasting than covid.
It's not that I can't continue to do the things I'm doing now. It's that I'm beginning to see the writing on the wall. Within 8-10 years we might very well move to some place smaller and lower maintenance.
Greg can't scale roofs or crawl around the attic anymore. I tire out more quickly than I used to.
Hauling bales of hay or trimming hooves with arthritic hands can be killers on bad days. And when it comes to livestock, you can't put chores off just because you feel bad. Animals need to be fed, medicated, examined or watered. Pens need to be cleaned and maintained. It's a non-conditional clause of animal husbandry.
So...we're scaling back.
Forecasting years into the future, I have to decide which animals we can handle going forward. Goats are a long term time investment. It grieves me that I'm going to have to give up Brownie, my favorite Nubian, but I can't keep her without keeping her friends, and that'll put me right back to high maintenance animals.
Chickens are easy to raise, as are quail. I still want ducks, so
that's on my 2021 list. But I think that's it for livestock.
With the bigger livestock going away later this year I'm going to focus more on gardens, including forest gardening--though that will be a learn-as-I-go process. We have long stretches of dry weather so I'll have to find plant stock that can manage during hot summer months.
It's a bittersweet time ahead. I'm grieving many years sooner but that's only because I have to make decisions now that will affect us later.
Maybe because I've just had a birthday, it's got me thinking about aging and where I'd like to be 5 and 10 years from now. I'm a planner. I don't like things sneaking up on me.
This blog might also move on. For the last couple of years I've tried to create a passive income stream by including affiliate links for people who shop Amazon (US only). Few people use them, or else forget to use them when they start shopping. It was the least intrusive moneymaker I could think of.
Sadly, it hasn't been enough to keep me afloat.
I'm paid up for this site through next January. After that I'll make a final decision, but I might move this blog one last time back to my original free site. My blogging will morph into something more personal, but I'll continue to do posts on things I've learned along the way.
At least if it's on a free site I won't have to fret about income to keep the blog alive.
This might sound like a sad post, but it's really not. Aging is a part of life. And while I might not participate in social media as much, I'm likely to get more active with in-person socializing.
I'm lightening the load and looking for new adventures. How about you? Do you ever think about chucking your load and trying something new?
Affiliate Notice: Anytime you buy something through any of my Amazon links, I get a tiny commission. It costs you nothing, but it supports this blog and earns you my gratitude for keeping us going. Thank you!