I had a comment on my last post, from Jocelyn, that made me think of something. While growing up my Mom had this habit of not taking something on unless she could do it all the way, completely, like totally finish it at that moment, or day. She either cleaned the whole house, or it didn't get cleaned. After many years of me trying to tell her that it was ok to only clean the kitchen or just the living room, etc., it finally sunk in :-) But, I do find myself, every once in a while, with that desire to do it all, or forget it.
Putting up food has been like that for me. When we first started I only had a couple of gallons of wheat, maybe a large can of tomato sauce and two jars of peanut butter. I looked over my measly provisions and thought...golly, I can't do this. There is no way we are going to be able to get anywhere with this if I keep adding these little bits.
The alternative of not doing anything didn't sit well with me either. So I just kept putting some extras aside. Sometimes it was chicken, or beef, or veggies, or flour. Here a little and there a little really do pay off. I would encourage everyone to try their hand at it. It seemed like it took forever before I saw a 'change' in my store room (aka my bedroom closet :-)). There were times when we would take a step forward, only to take two backwards. I used to have two 3/4 of a gallon containers of coconut oil. Now I have none saved up. I just try to come up with ways to use a bit less so that way we eventually will be one jar ahead, then two...
I can't say I don't get down when I see us using up what we've been setting aside faster than we are building it up. It is still a bummer that I read of a lot of other people making so much out of their small lots and we can't seem to get but a few tomatoes and peppers. Sigh. I will say I am VERY thankful that we were able to have a full milking season this year. But in the back of my mind I know there is so much more we could...no we NEED to be doing.
How will it get done? Good question. I think it comes down to a couple of things. The first being having the energy to get it done. I have slacked off on my water consumption. I need to breech that hump where my body adjusts to the extra water intake. In the meantime all the extra bathroom breaks take up more of my time :-) The second hurdle is prioritizing. This goes beyond making a list. For me, this may even be a bigger issue than the energy, in a way. The energy issue can easily be resolved. The prioritizing? Not so easily. That would entail dying to self. Do I pick up my crochet, or figure out what needs to be planted for a winter garden? Do I read this book on health/homesteading, or should I make up some herbal remedies?
Both things are good, but what are my goals? There are a ton of stuff that I want to learn and do, and only so many hours in a day. I need to make a bit of a schedule of sorts. Things can't be all work and no play right? :-)
Today we need to start schooling (it's almost 2:30), then we are to go outside to paint some pumpkins. After that I need to make some granola. This year we had both sets of girls go into a harder level in their schooling. Saoirse wasn't able to keep up with Flannery so I had to drop her back a bit. That means instead of reading/directing two schooling 'ciriculums' I'm having to manage three. I know someone who keeps all of her children (5) in their own separate year (using Charlotte Mason, with Ambleside Online). This has really made a huge difference in having time available to do other things.
And lastly, the third thing that I need to address so that we can accomplish more is to get the girls to be more self directed. They know how to do certain things, they just don't do them unless I keep on top of them. They also do not step up and help out when they see something needs to be done. So if one of the boys spills something they just tell me. Oy! I of course have to tell them they should think about getting a towel and mopping it up themselves. They need to skip the 'tell mom' stage and go directly onto the 'I better clean this up' stage. But this of course takes up my time. They do a little better when I tell them all the things we COULD be doing instead of me having to use my time instructing them in the things they already know need doing.
Off to go crochet. :-) No, really. Isabella came up with an injury. One that really needs an ace bandage. But I don't have one, and can not get one at the moment. But I just saw a tutorial to make your own!! You can crochet or knit a 3 to 4 inch width of work to the desired length. You then use a safety pin to keep it in place. I'll let you know how it works!