Filed under: by Carol
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It is amazing what preparation for annual migration and injury will do to your blogging routine! I’ve had a lot of pain recently in my hands, forearms and shoulders. After much consideration, discussion and some imagination, I’ve labelled the trauma “textitis”. I do hope it is a new coinage because I love to make up words. A bit too much texting, lots of crochet and knit time and perhaps the blog typing itself made for some real pain and sent me to my first ever acupuncture appointment. The story of that appointment could be its own blog post.
Last year, after wintering in the historically but not recently mild climate of North Carolina, we decided it would be ideal to migrate back to FL for EVERY subsequent Winter. We were able to make it happen this year and we have now earned the pejorative title “snow birds”. Why o why is this such a BAD thing? Countless species of birds and mammals migrate. Do we call them names? Do we dread their arrival? No we do not. We’re considering a Snowbird Pride parade!
One of our big concerns about migration, aside from the name-calling, was the ability to carry on with our pursuit of self-sufficiency knowledge and experience. We’ve learned already that we will not be able to continue all of our pursuits as we would have had to tow a MUCH larger trailer to transport everything but that we CAN focus our efforts a little more narrowly and perhaps more deeply in a few areas.
The first area of focus is community. We are living with a housemate and friend and sharing space for the first time. I think this is going to be the most important “skill” we acquire over the next 6 months and one that will definitely serve us in a future where community and collaboration are going to be key. We cannot alone take care of all our needs as humans. We must learn to live and work together at some level to live a healthy and balanced life. This was once part of the human experience everywhere but it is no longer common in our Western culture so it really is a skill to relearn.
Since we’ve left the land of delicious beer, we have chosen homebrewing as another area of focus though we have yet to make much progress in that department. The chamomile ale we made before we left is interesting. We didn’t expect it to taste like any beer we’ve had as it not based on grain nor does it have hops, the traditional bittering agent. It actually tastes medicinal which is appropriate from an ancient perspective because that was one of the chief goals of the brewing process. I rather like it. Cecily does not. More for me! We are giving our mead a bit longer to brew and are preparing to bottle it soon. A quick sample suggested it might need more time to further develop.
We’ve picked up some chives and a couple pots of the magical, ever giving swiss chard but we’ve found that the lovely dappled sunlight in the backyard of our rental is insufficient for much growth. Thankfully the growing season is in full swing down here (another good reason to migrate!) and we are making great use of the farmer’s markets.
Finally, we decided to allow ourselves a bit of rest. Homesteading is a lot of work and the lack of like-minded community means WE DO all the work. That’s unsustainable and thankfully we are not yet in a position to have to depend on our own skills for food, shelter and clothing.
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