I started following quite a few blogs I discovered this summer, on "homesteading". Many of them really inspired me to make good changes in my life! But that can be a broad term, and can mean different thing to different people, so here's a few things I thought of today, the "types" of homesteaders I discovered. This is my opinion, so there ya go....
* Urban Homesteaders
- People like me, who live in the city, and are trying, to varying degrees, to live more- naturally, more mentally/emotionally/spiritually healthier. Use a smaller footprint. We have a relatively small home, have updated all the insulation, etc. Still using the 30 year old furnace- hey it works! I do have a dishwasher (came with the house), I'm toying with the idea of removing it, and storing it (in case we ever sell the house), and adding some needed shelving under the counter for cookbooks, etc. There's two of us, do we really need a dishwasher? I have A/C, but we have a "saver" program from the city attached to it, use ceiling fans in every room, and keep it turned up. We have an urban chicken coop (made from mostly free, recycled materials), organic gardens, use a push mower, try to limit use of our cars, I'll be canning soon, get a lot of my clothes from thrift stores, eBay, and just bought a sewing machine to start making more of my own stuff. I'm starting to embroider, something my Grandma taught me as a kid. Haven't done it in decades, but it's coming back to me. We buy used home improvement items: my kitchen's cast iron sink, (from the SHIP/Habitat building supply thrift store), ditto our front door. We try to be good neighbors, encourage others to be more mindful of their choices, but tolerate it when they don't. We don't expect others to follow our path. I want to move to a rural area and have an acre or two, and be more self sufficient. And we don't sue people when they use the phrase "urban homesteaders". You know who you are...
- They drive big suv's, go "antiquing" on a regular basis, spend, spend, spend. They plant a "lawn" on their farms (really?), buy "designer" homesteading clothes (really??), obsessively decorate their homes, barns, etc. They drive great distances, burning up huge amounts of gas, to go find that special item. They fly
to overpriced, upscale "junk" sales. They overly partake of various websites, where others like them go, and "join". They earn badges. When I found myself starting to get sucked in, I stopped and "unliked" their blogs and websites. They talk about simple living and frugality, but seem to be emotionally invested in decorating their homes to the nth degree and spending. What's BEHIND this?
A feeling of a need for approval, to be special, to fill the emotional gaps with stuff or? I find it, frankly, bizarre in a certain way. One person (don't ask me cause I aint telling) has a blog using the name of a textile. At first I thought her blog/home was cute, but the more I looked, the more uneasy I felt, as it was wound up a little too tight
. I thought, put her in a room and tell her to meditate, sit down and do nothing
. Or go outside and watch the trees. She probably couldn't do it. Reminded me of the "Stepford Wives", and of certain groups of religious folks who take high amounts of anti-depressants: "smile, be happy 24/7, you know you want to.... you supposed to..."
*Simple, Rural Homesteaders-
I love these folks! I get great recipes on their blogs, drool over their photos, huge gardens, livestock, and want want to move NOW! I see all the work they do and emotionally support all them, thru their struggles and exhaustion. I daily check some of their blogs, because we're on the same page. Most of them don't blog however, but I know they're out there. These people love their kids, animals and try to be kind to the earth. They practice, and teach, old time skills. They home school, due to remote locations, or other reasons. They help their neighbors and communities. They don't do $200.00 embroidery items from Europe, but needlework on their everyday items. They willingly share knowledge, and they love the support! I salute them! My favorite one right now is-
She's awesome! I feel transported when I read her blog...
So here's to the homesteaders who are trying to lead authentic lives
out there, even when we don't know who you are! Go for it!!!