Small Things

Before I know it half the day is done and I feel like I haven’t accomplished a damn thing. The little jobs eat the day. I find myself sitting on a milk crate pondering more than working. Trying to imagine just the right use for a particular space. Do I want to hang some of my tools here or do I want to wait till the shop is finished to a point where I can conceive a better plan? Where should I put this gate? What side should it hang? What am I not seeing?

These are the times I wish I could have a plethora of advisors handy.  I get so sure of myself at times in planning that when an alternate idea is offered I begin to recoil.  But alas the canvas is blank and my muse has left the building.  Some of those ideas that I thought I had hammered out in my head just won’t really work in the real world.

I’ve never had a barn of my own.  I have an idea of how I want to have things work but I’m not completely sure if what’s rolling around between my ears is anything close to a good idea.  I can equate the concept of the tools don’t make the carpenter with the barn doesn’t make the farmer.  Or does it?  I’ve never professed to being a farmer.  Sure, we have a huge garden, keep chickens/turkeys and my daughter will have her 4H pigs here,  but that is a short term venture.

I have too much respect for farmers to even consider myself one.  We are in the self education business here.  There is no way I could even dream of expanding what we do as long as I’m still working on the railroad all the night and day.

We’ve made our own soap because we wanted to learn how.  We raise our chickens for meat and eggs because we like knowing where that part of our diet is from.  It surely isn’t because it is cheaper!  I figured that when we finally got our first egg after losing so many birds from dog massacres, critter buffets and human stupidity, that that egg had a net value of around $347.  Plus or minus a few dollars.  There are a great number of projects we have taken on purely for the experience.  We’ve also found that many of those number are now a part of our way of life.

I guess what my point is that education is expensive and I don’t qualify for student loans anymore.  I kindly accept my limited capacity for the entire thought process and defer to those who are more qualified.

I’ve got a few neighbors who have boots that are smarter than I.  My advice box is open.  Please fill it.



  1. Ron said,

    March 5, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Man… I sure can relate. Our place here is evolving very slowly. There is a real dearth of information online about modern, efficient, low-input homestead design.

    I figure my first rabbit was about $100/lb. Maybe more. 🙂

    • Woody said,

      March 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Thankfully that cost ratio does come down somewhat.

  2. Brad said,

    March 5, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Hey There. First off I really enjoy reading your blog. It’s one of the few that I follow. What an awesome barn you have!! I look forward to seeing the progress you have made and you have come so far it’s really neat to see. Reading your latest post I share a lot of the same feelings you have. I just recently moved to a farm and we are in the process of bringing the old place back to life. Lots of ideas, some good, some not so good but never a shortage of ideas. I showed my 3 little boys a picture of your barn and they all said “awesome”. Anyway, keep the engine rolling!!

    • Woody said,

      March 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Brad, Damn glad to meet you! It does mean a lot to hear kind words of encouragement. Are you blogging about your experience? I would like to read about your place.

  3. warrenp94 said,

    March 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I guess the good news is that the second egg was a lot cheaper!

    • Woody said,

      March 5, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Yup. We are NOT chickenkill hill anymore, except when intentionally butchering.

  4. Ed said,

    March 5, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    If you aren’t making mistakes and learning from them, you aren’t living life to the fullest. Sounds to me that you sir are living!

    I’ve already redone how I hang my tools for the third time and I’ve only lived here eight months!

    • Woody said,

      March 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      Thanks Ed. Sometimes I just feel so damned stupid. Then I go to work and I’m totally redeemed.

  5. Leigh said,

    March 7, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    This sounds like conversations at our house. 🙂

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