The first day after launching the book and the website left me feeling a strange new sense of getting back to the things I love, but where to start? Life is different here on the new homestead since our move in 2018, and we are still getting adjusted. It's deer season, and we have been living exclusively on pork since last winter. We need red meat, but it is still too warm to age it, and without a barn, it complicates the process. I'm still waiting on eggs, and the roosters haven't entirely filled out enough to make a harvesting sweep to take the pressure off the hens. Turkey is out of the question. Hawks and owls wiped out my entire flock of chicks, and I only have three left for breeding stock. So I spent the day rubbing my chin and trying to make some decisions about what is next, where to go from here. The pork is delicious, but dang... we like clean red meat! I stumbled across an article that the FDA allows up to 3% "other" in meat labeled 100% ground beef to leave room for dyes, soy leghemoglobin as a color additive (the Impossible burger lab-made meat) to keep the meat red, and E.coli treatment enzymes among others things. I have put cattle back on our list of things to accomplish, but without fence, barns, or equipment, it will be venison for us until then.
I have been writing for five years, and it consumed every bit of free time and focus, had, for a time, shifted off of the homestead. Often late at night, I would be propped up in bed with a glass of wine typing on the laptop until the wee hours of the morning. This past year has been an onslaught of editing, learning book formating, learning Adobe Illustrator to design the book cover, and hours upon hours compiling a website with over 75 pages and hundreds of photos I have taken over the years.
Sitting for so long at the computer has slowed me down, and I have put on quite a bit of weight from eating all of the fabulous foods I have grown, celebrating the completion of mini-milestones along the way. This past gardening season, I'd been working differently, resting more often, to manage my spine issues, which has left me feeling soft and weak. Giving up all caffeine this year gave me a new perspective on self-motivation. The only thing I have to run on is my own mo-jo. It takes a lot to keep up with a homestead, more so if you balance a book and a website in the mix. I am excited to have a little more time to spend in the field, and I am planning for an epic new year as I have already set some new challenges out before me.