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My Homesteading Adventure: Patience and Lessons Learned

We’re finally nearing the time that the girls get to move to their new home outside.  I don’t know about you other new chicken mama’s, but this makes me happy.  I’ve realized that homesteading as a whole has taught me quite a few lessons already.

Specifically, the chicks have taught me that I can’t stand dust in my house. I can’t stop staring at it. I know it’s there.

When I got the chicks, they were so small and innocent. I figured the woman I got them from was slightly exaggerating when she warned me about the fine layer of dust that would be everywhere.  Heck, they were tiny; they wouldn’t make THAT much of a mess, right? Wrong. As they grew, they scratched and flapped and ran, and with every step tossed a little more dust onto my printer and desk. Oh I didn’t mention that I had the brilliant idea to keep them in my office?  Lesson #2: stop being an idiot.

Eventually, I got wise to the fact that fine dust is not a printer’s best friend and I moved them downstairs into their own room.  Now that the weather is warming up, we’ve been splitting their time between their new run and their room inside. The inside of the coop is slated for completion this weekend; we’ll be setting the flooring in place and installing the nesting boxes. Then I will take a nice hike and look for a couple long, thick branches I can hack down and use for perches.  What, you don’t hike with a hacksaw in your backpack? Women can never be too prepared.

butch and z coop

I’ve also learned that each chicken has her own personality, and the bad chick mama that I am, I have a favorite.  Additionally, I know which one is going to squawk like a nightmare when I pick her up, I know which one is the constant attempted escapee, I know without a doubt the one with a nervous stomach because she poops on or at me every single time. Lesson #3: aim her butt away from you when you pick her up.   Lesson #4: I’m not at all squeamish about poop anymore. Everyone poops. There’s a book that says so.


More than anything else, this fantastic journey continues to teach me the one lesson I’ve always needed to learn. Patience.

Of all the ways someone may describe me, patient is not one. Ever. I don’t actually ever recall an instance when I excersized patience. I got put on bed rest while pregnant with my son because I was walking laps trying to coerce him to make an appearance. My doctor caught me and assigned bed rest and a catheter.  That surely slowed me down.

In recent years since I’ve been returning to the basics, I have slowed myself down. My pace is fantastic but still my patience is not.

So while I love so much about homesteading, I most love that it makes me wait.  There is nothing speedy about making and aging cheese. I still check on my cheddar every day for progress. I don’t know what I expect it to do; it’s a wheel of cheddar. It’s not going to change very much day-to-day.  Making preserves and jam and cooking them down takes time, and there are steps. Then you have to can them, in itself a process. For goodness sake, even making bread takes forever. Seriously, waiting for dough to rise is the death of an impatient person.

Once it’s said and done, I actually feel a bit accomplished that I’ve gained some patience for the first time in 37 years and I also have a whole bunch of great new skills to show for it.

Enjoy your Friday, readers. I’m off to check on my wheel of cheddar. You never know what it may be doing.



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Comment by Rick Nichols on May 12, 2013 at 2:00am

Like the Chicken Coop. You will be like me, to many irons in the fire because ya can't wait on just one. Never tried the cheese, we have way to many good dairies here. BTW , Don't let your little hens get into the tomato plants,, I learned that the hard way. They will bout Ruin every tomato they can reach.

Comment by Jennifer on May 13, 2013 at 3:11pm

Ha! There were so many nuggets I loved in this blog post, but as an impatient type myself, I especially loved this: "I still check on my cheddar every day for progress. I don’t know what I expect it to do; it’s a wheel of cheddar." Thanks, as always, for letting us share in your HOMEGROWN adventures!

Comment by Michelle Wire on May 14, 2013 at 1:12pm

Well, guys, I am still checking the cheddar. AND there was a change (though not a great one). I spotted some water that was still draining, even through the wax, which has prompted me to look for a cheese press since my rigged up system of weighting the cheese didnt work.

Rick, luckily they have not escaped yet and Im hoping they stay far away from the veggie garden! I see how quickly they eat everything that I give them, so I can imagine how much they love fresh produce!


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