This week I got a little reality check about what to expect in the near future on our new little homestead. I’ve been looking forward to the completed deck and getting my little “nest” all in order. But when Silver Oak and I sat down for another planning meeting (which was put off too long) and we took inventory of where we’re at in becoming sustainable, I sadly realized the deck idea will have to go out the back door for now.
We can easily survive without a deck (although not as comfortably), but without food systems we are in for disaster if we have to depend on our own resources. We feel urgent that we should have the most important things in place by this fall (like fruit trees planted, greenhouse up for year-round productivity, fences up and grass planted for animal paddocks, etc). Not that we have some sort of special insight, but we both feel that there are real possibilities of life-changing (perhaps world-changing) things happening in 2012, and we want to be as prepared as possible.
Of course we hope and pray that things will turn for the better, but, as the verse from Proverbs in the upper left of this blog says, “The prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.” (Prov. 22:3)
So with limited time and finances, what should the priorities be? Another verse in Proverbs says, “Prepare (in Hebrew this means “set up”) your work (can mean “property”) without and make it fit for yourself in the field, and afterwards build your house.” (Prov. 24:27) This would indicate that it is wise to make sure our livelihood and sustenance is taken care of first.
I don’t know about you, but as a woman I greatly enjoy setting up my home and living area, and much prefer that to outside field work. I believe that is by God’s design, to help us make comfy “nests” for our family. But there are other aspects to consider as well, such as things done by the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.” (vs. 21) One of the many things done by this virtuous woman is preparing for hard times coming. And because she is prepared, she is not afraid.
So, somewhat reluctantly, I realize that the time has come for me to focus more on the outside work. The past few weeks have been busy with unpacking boxes and putting everything into place, and I’ve loved decorating and arranging. This really needed to be done because the shed was overrun with waiting boxes, and now that many are unpacked a little space has been freed up for other needs.
Last week as I hung framed art and silk garlands our youngest daughter delightedly told me that now it feels like home! Our familiar special things bring a sense of belonging and stability, even though the house we live in is vastly different than before. This week I hope to complete most of the basic decorating of this tiny house and take pictures to share with you.
I’m also working on making a special space for each child in their bunks. The dream was to build custom shelving over each bunk for them to place their special things like dolls, toy tractors, photos, alarm clock, and other treasures. I’ve come to realize that if custom shelving is to be built, we either have to pay someone else to make them (not an option right now) or wait for months and month till more pressing priorities are done. So I put plan “B” into place and found various odd and end shelves for each child to fit their needs. I’ll share more when I get them all done and can post photos.
This week Silver Oak will be home more, so we are hoping to lay out the plan for our greenhouse, drill a shallow irrigation well, and seal up the doors of the big shed which holds our stored extra furniture and boxes, as well as Silver Oak’s office. He wants to close off another section of the barn so animal feeding time is more efficient, work on fencing, and fix the switch for the 220 receptacle on the generator that quit yesterday. Sound like a big enough list?
And between times of helping Silver Oak and doing school with the children, I hope to finish unpacking boxes and get rid of the mess in the camper where riff-raff has collected during this unpacking time. Those are the plans: I’ll let you know what actually happens.