Philosophy, Urban Homesteading and Self-Reliance

A Week on Foot – Day 3

Wild VioletsI started my day milking Rosey for the first time.  The air was cool and the breeze was scented with the sweetness only spring lilacs can bring.  She was very good even though I am out of practice.  Got to get those old hand muscles in shape!  I have always loved milking.  There’s something so relaxing about that routine and I love the thought of being able to provide something so wonderful to my family.  I enjoy my time with my milker (be she cow or goat) and I think it’s just a wonderful bookend for my day.

Since I never got to the store yesterday, I walked to the Dollar General this morning for some dish soap and to scout out what is actually available there.  I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of things they have in that small store. Everything I really need is there and a good deal I don’t.  Granted, staples such as flour and sugar only come in very small packages, but would I want to carry a 25 pound sack of anything home?  There also aren’t a hundred different varieties of everything, but do we REALLY need that?  I think part of the reason Walmart makes me so tired is that there are just too many choices.  The butcher store is right next to Dollar General, so I picked up a pound of hamburger there for supper.IMG_20160407_150609526

After I got home, I spent 10 minutes clipping grass from the median in front of the house for the goats.  This is something I’ve always wanted to try, just to see if I could make a substantial dent in my hay use in the summer with a reasonable amount of time spent.  I chose 10 minutes because that’s how long I can bend over cutting grass before my back starts to complain.  I actually set the timer on my phone just to be sure.  I managed to cut a large bag nearly full of grass, dandelions, miner’s lettuce, and chicory leaves in that small amount of time.  I did have to be careful to skip the wild onions… they give milk a very unpleasant taste.  I also spent 10 minutes cutting before evening chores.

One of the things I was concerned about is that I wouldn’t have time to get everything done.  After all, it always seemed like I was two steps behind when I had almost instantaneous transportation.  How would I possibly manage with my own two feet?  Guess what?  My day has slowed WAY down and I even had time to pick some lilacs for the table.  How can this be?  I think there are two reasons for this.  First of all, I was doing a lot of unnecessary running around.  Now, I just don’t go if it isn’t important.  I suppose you could say I’m getting my day back 15-20 minutes at a time.  The second element is that I am planning my trips more carefully. I make a list and try to imagine what I am going to need for the next few days.  If I find I don’t have something, I now change my plans where before I’d have made a “quick” (at least 30-45 minutes) trip to Walmart.

All and all my experience:

So far, so good!

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