Too Many Irons In The Fire
There are still so many things we need to do around here. So many projects. So many preparedness measures to get in order. It’s hard to prioritize them. Especially not knowing what the near future might hold.
So much has been on our minds.
Recently, the realization has hit us that if our area was ever evacuated for whatever emergency reason, or if civil unrest became a threat and we were unable to secure our home, we would have nowhere out of this area to run to. As of right now, there is no “bug-out” location.
Should we be looking for a place? Like we could even afford another home. Still, we’ve daydreamed a bit about an old cabin the the middle of a mountain somewhere. That’d be awesome.
Should we buy a camper? Wait. That would cost money. Hey, we could build one! Have you guys seen plans for homemade teardrop campers? Very cool. But then… where would we take it?
Should we turn an old trailer frame we have into a cargo trailer? You know, to load up with our tent, food, and other gear in case we have to evacuate?
We definitely need a bigger, better vehicle. Our old minivan is on its last leg, not to mention we’re packed like sardines in there with hardly enough room for our stroller. A Suburban, or an Expedition, maybe? I wonder if we could trade our minivan and pickup truck for an SUV.
And what about a root cellar? We definitely need a root cellar. We’ve been pouring over root cellar plans and instructions, and still can’t figure out a cost effective way to make one sufficient for our needs. Something to run to in a tornado. Something to protect us from fallout (you never know!). Something to store food in, that will stay dry and relatively pest free. Something that won’t cost us thousands of dollars, but won’t cave in either! Love the one I have pictured here.
I’d give anything to go back and have a basement put in under this house. (I know I’m repeating myself a bit here. Just spewing my thoughts.)
Should we be focused on storing up more food? Ammo? Meds? Or should we lean more toward wild foraging? As much of both as possible, I think.
So many things running through my mind preparedness-wise. We need bug-out-bags put together and ready to go. We need a plan. I’d really love to just hunker down where we are and not go anywhere, but in reality that just might not be a possibility one day. What then?
And then there are the projects that need to be done around here. Some cosmetic (’cause I’m seriously tired of looking like a junk yard around here), and some necessary and practical.
- The picket fence is falling down in places. I need to get that fixed. I’d love to paint the fence. And I still need to put the rest of the fencing up along one entire side of the yard.
- I’d love to have a front porch. Nothing huge, just something larger than a landing spot for one person at a time. I want to build one out of pallets, like the one in this picture. The good quality wood kind. Jerry has a few, but we need more. I found some porch railing for free on craigslist, which is now just sitting (and warping) in our yard, waiting to be installed somewhere. If I ever get a front porch I’ll be able to better plan some landscaping along the front of the house.
- We still have a bunch of small pine trees that need to be cleared from behind the house so we can use that space more efficiently. Jerry has slowly been working his way through them with a chainsaw. We plan on putting in a small orchard on one side of the area, and a fenced in pasture area for goats on the other side.
- I’ll need to plant a cover crop for the pasture. And we’ll need to put up adequate fencing.We’ll also need to build another shelter to house the goats in, and a milking area.
- We’ll need another chicken coop and run built soon. The chicks will be big before we know it, and the coop we have right now isn’t large enough for 26 more hens.
- We’ll also need a place to put the turkeys when they get big enough to put out. More fencing to put up, and a shelter to secure. We have an old aluminum shed we can use for the housing, just need to make it cozy.
- There are six roosters out there that are way overdue for butchering. Honestly, we’re procrastinating. I know Jerry is dreading the deed just as much as I am the cleaning process. I’m sure it gets easier with practice.
- Our workshop desperately needs siding put on it. I’m thinking a cheap composite panel.
- The greenhouse still needs finishing touches put on it. Lattice underpinning. Guttering on one side. A way to drain the gutters away from the rain barrels when they are full (which they are!). Shelving. A tool hanging rack.
- Waterstove STILL needing to be hooked up to the house. And a sufficient shelter built over it once it’s installed.
- More shrubs planted on the banks along our driveway to retain the erosion.
- Old, unused structures taken down and cleaned up from the yard.
- The garden really needs to be planned out better. I’m disgusted with how much wasted space there is in there. I’m thinking I’d like to make the entire area raised beds. To save money, I’m considering gathering fallen trees from our woods to use to make the boxes, like pictured above.
- Plant more fruit trees and berry bushes. Move some plants to better locations.
- Terrace the slope behind our house with raised beds.
- Install a walkway from our front gate to our door. We have the pavers, we just need to put them in.
- Weeding. Mulching. Planting. Repeat.
- Yard clean up. Big time. Too much stuff piled everywhere.
- Sewing grass. At least in a few small, necessary places.
- An arbor for the grapes to grow up as an entryway into the garden.
- Finish the round herb bed in the garden.
- There are four bathtubs outside that I’d like to use for something. Raised beds? Aquaponics?
- The chicken coop is awaiting a coat of paint, still. I think I’ve settled on blue with white trim, since I already have the paint leftover from the boy’s bedroom. Or maybe yellow. No, I think blue. Maybe.
- And I still need to go and dig up several plants that other people have offered to let me have. It’s just a matter of finding the time to drive there and do the work.
- Oh, and will I ever finish writing this stinking book? I’ve been working on it for much too long, and it isn’t even the one I really want to be writing. I’m trying to get through my book about saving money on groceries, so that I can write about our first years homesteading. And then I’d really love to get a few children’s books out. Will it ever happen?! It just takes so much time.
Then there’s the stuff I need to do inside the home! I feel like I’m just drowning in stuff. Too many toys. Too many clothes. Too many things that I have nowhere to put. I need to have a yard sale, desperately.
I need to organize closets, drawers, toy boxes, and underneath beds. I need to put more shelving or rods in the closets to hang more clothing on. And get rid of the stuff in there that we don’t use anymore.
I need to can up a bunch of ready-to-eat meals, like soups and chili. And I need to can a bunch of the stuff in my freezer to make some room- stuff like the ground beef, and the strawberries and figs for jellies. Oh, and all of those gallons of goat’s milk I have frozen for soap. I need to do that, too.
And then there are all of the things I still desperately want to learn. To sew. (Which reminds me, I’ve got a big pile of hand-me-down jeans I need to hem for the kids.) To make hard cheese. To master creating my own medicinal herbs from plants I grow here. Rendering tallow. Cooking without electricity. Making lye. Emergency first aid. How to survive in the wilderness.
I’d also really like to do more with my blog. Write more. Organize my posts better, and clean up my archives a bit. Make things a little more user friendly. Maybe add a forum at some point. Update my features. I still have so many posts I want to do, and so many reviews I need to do!
And then there are the political fights I’ve chosen to take up, which take time and effort in the form of meetings, phone calls, emails, research, and protests/rallies.
Are you still here?
So much on my mind. So much that seems so important to get done right away on top of everything else I need to do daily.
It helps to write it all down. I’m not really feeling overwhelmed… maybe a little… it’s more like I just need to put these things in order of priority, and make a plan. I’m so bad about starting on one project, and then picking up another before I’m finished with the first. I have a lot of going back and finishing up to do.
How do you handle everything that needs to get done around your homestead? Do you have lots of plans in mind as well? It seems things are never finished, doesn’t it?!