A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Taking Time

Thanks to social media today, we have the luxury of presenting to the world carefully selected parts of our lives. Naturally these are more often than not the rosy bits: grinning children, plump homegrown tomatoes, our sources of pride and joy.

These joys are contagious, and sharing them has helped grow an important movement: to regenerate a culture of creativity and self-reliance. To spurn convenience spending, materialism, and unquestioning dependence on the greater systems. Social media has spread the revelation that, “Hey, I can do that!” And you can. We all can.

But none of us can do it all. And that’s the part of the story that our digital personas don’t often tell.

I could never have truly prepared for the magnitude of this move back from California to Oregon. The incremental nature has enabled the planning, organization, and sheer effort to be infiltrated by doubt and a sense of impossibility. Not all the time, of course. Not in the busy, just-get-it-done moments. It’s when an hour opens up—an hour in which I would normally write a blog post, take some photos, work on a chapter in my book. Replant some herbs or finish a project in the kitchen. An hour suddenly spoken for, beckoned for, by so many forces that I become frozen.

My goals for the coming week include making prepared mustard from the wild seed I recently threshed and winnowed; tying up loose ends at a job I’ve adored for four years; moving 50 animals 600 miles; fencing 1,800 square-feet of garden and continuing to plant; and most optimistically, putting pen to paper on my book.

I’ll share about all of that, to be sure. But as you can imagine, there are many moving parts behind these scenes, and for each project we do manage to accomplish there are inevitably a dozen more that we do not. At least not yet.

So in the interest in devoting my regrettably finite creative energy and time to this last push of the move and to settling our family into a new home and new life, I will be taking 10 days off from blogging. I ought to say “10 more days” but these will be guilt-free. I’ve got work to do.

I will leave you with a few words for Mother’s Day, so check back this weekend. I’ll also be checking in on Facebook, so feel free to follow me there.

And for anyone who might feel at times, at I have, that they just can’t keep up while so many others seems to “do it all,” here are a few reminders from other bloggers that there’s more to every story, and every day requires certain compromises.

Saying No To Saying Yes from SchneiderPeeps

I Don’t Do It All from Homespun Seasonal Living

Why We Do Not Do It All from Just Plain Marie

I Can’t Do It All from The Elliott Homestead

Cheers, and be back soon!

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  1. May 7, 2015    

    I feel you on that paralysis from having too many things to do—and too many things you want to do. I wish you the best in the move and transitions (and making wild mustard, wow!). Happy Mother’s Day!

    • May 7, 2015    

      Thank you, Catherine! I’m sure it will never feel “done” but I sure do look forward to the transition easing up. Happy Mother’s Day to you as well! Almost a mama of 2 beauties. 🙂

  2. May 7, 2015    

    Thank you for sharing this with us – it’s validating for a lot of us in the world who try to do it all and beat ourselves up when we can’t…age is helping me get kinder and more tolerant with myself about such trivial things. What matters most are those close to the heart and the rest has to get in line or fade away for someone else to worry about…add to their to do list. Enjoy your respite and I’ll look forward to your return. 🙂

    • May 8, 2015    

      Thank you for the thoughtful words! It’s true: some things have to get in line or fade away. I love that. Onward!

  3. Allie E Allie E
    May 7, 2015    

    I’ll tell you, our three to five year plan means not living on my in-laws’ property! However, we have to be patient and do what we can with what we have whilst not encumbering ourselves too much. I really want goats, and to keep our little flock of chickens (8), quail (12), and ducks (4-6 depending on how many hatch). I always dive in, headlong, with my projects and my husband has to reign me in! Thank goodness he does, or we’d be swamped. There is SO much to do! We have to make a living here, whilst keeping our eye on the prize. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day! (Oh! We will be in Albany on the 7th!)

    • May 8, 2015    

      Thank you! We’ve been in a somewhat similar situation for the past few years. It is so easy to get too much going and then burn out. Our garden started out quite huge but the drought made it difficult, then a baby made it nearly impossible so we scaled back to raised beds and pots. Some things have to give. I look forward to hearing what your next step is when the time comes! Perhaps I’ll be seeing you in Albany! 🙂


I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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