Less Is More

I am humbled sometimes by all the attention I receive from total strangers on my blog. I had no idea when I started writing that so many people would read it or could possibly be interested in the musings of a simple country man. Thank you one and all for the kind comments and messages I’ve received. It does encourage me to continue to write and share my thoughts and experiences. Sometimes the attention makes me a bit uncomfortable but it also makes me feel like I might have something to contribute. 

Last post I was a bit down and tired. Today I want to lighten things up a bit with some reflections on life and living. 

I suppose I have a different view on life because of how I was raised and to an extent by the life I’ve chosen to live, but I’m confused by the bondage people sign up for. To me it’s like being a volunteer slave. Bear with me and I will try to explain. 

I’m not going to name names, but several people I know, including family members, have huge homes, drive new cars and wear only the most expensive clothing. They also work sixty hours a week, never spend any time in their fancy homes and are genuinely miserable.  I know some who have so much stuff they don’t even know what all they do have. It’s like they work so hard to have a life that they forget to live. 

Now I’m not knocking wealth or comfort. Lord knows I could use a little less monetary stress in my life. I salute those who are successful. I just see many who think money equals happiness. 

I’m simple. I am able to look at things from a different angle. This post started with a comment from someone this week. They asked me “how can you be so happy being poor?”

Poor?

I’m not poor. I’m the richest man I know. I guess I just look at my wealth in a different light. I just learned over the years what really matters. And it’s not money. I chased that dream once. And I was miserable. Then I lost it all. 

And I found myself. 

I realized that I missed my older kids growing up. I lost friends that I should have visited at their home instead of at the funeral home. I lost precious time with my family members as they grew old. And I wasted so many years chasing an illusion of happiness. Now I’m older. I know who I am now and what I need and want. I realize what makes me happy. 

I need shelter. A home that is dry, warm in winter and cool in summer. It doesn’t need to be large or fancy, but for my piece of mind it needs to be well built, clean and safe. Because I love peace and quiet it needs to be in the country and semi secluded. I need way to prepare my food, a place to sleep, a way to shower and a way to comfortably sit and read, visit with family and just live. I am an outdoor person, so I need outdoor living space like a porch or deck, outdoor seating and I like having pretty landscaping. I need to know it’s mine. That no one can take it away from me and leave me homeless again. 

I need people in my life I can trust. People who love me for me, not what I have or what I can give them.  

I like simple food. Fresh natural food. Looking in the cupboards and seeing row after row of home canned goods feels like I imagine a rich man would feel looking at his gold. Knowing I have a garden for vegetables and a way to feed and supply my families needs makes me feel secure. 

I’m rich because I’m surrounded by what I love. I wake every morning to my beautiful wife. The best friend who supports my dreams and stands by my side no matter what life throws at us. I have my kids and thank God every day for them. I have wonderful family and friends. I have a home, my tiny farm, my critters and my dreams. Everything here is wore out and in need of repair but it’s ours. And I can see the promise of better days to come if I don’t give up and keep working hard. 

I’m am so lucky. And the good part is that I know I’m lucky. Tonight as I sit here on the porch writing I feel good. I’m tired, I’ve got lots of bills and responsibilities and I’m so far behind I feel like I’m never going to see daylight. 

And it’s ok. 

Life goes on. I’m happy. I’m blessed. And as I head to bed to snuggle with my wife and newborn son I know that tomorrow is another day. We will be ok. I will be ok. 

Life is good. 

Blah…..

Today has been one of those days when I really have thought about giving up. Just saying the hell with it and becoming a sheeple. It would be easier to just stumble blindly through life following the crowd. 

I really hate to be negative. I avoid being around negative people. I can usually find the good in any situation. But I’m human. Sometimes I get depressed too. I’ve faced things in my life that would kill a lesser man. I live with regrets of a wasted and misspent youth. And today I’m just sorta… Blah. 

Maybe it’s just winter blues. 

  
Em hasn’t been feeling good and has been running on no sleep for days. The boys have been sick and poor little Luke has been crying and waking up every little while. I’m tired, I don’t feel good, I can’t seem to get anything done and lately it seems everything I touch turns to crap. It’s cold outside, it’s muddy, it gets dark at frigging four in the evening and I’m tired. Just deep down bone tired. Christmas is just a few weeks off, almost every single bill I’ve got is past due and I feel like something is “off” with my health. Nothing I can put my finger on, I just don’t feel right and haven’t for a while now. As a husband and father, it scares me. I’ve been feeling shaky all day, panicky. 

But I guess I’ll snap out of it. I just need to get my family all healthy, get a little rest, figure out a way to get all the bills caught up and then get my butt out and work on the farm. 

  
I did take this past Saturday off to do a little around here. I got the garden burned off finally. I normally keep it weeded better, but with everything that was going on this past year, after the crops all matured I just let it go. This actually serves several purposes. It allows me to have a little extra pasture in early winter. The animals grazing it fertilize the garden with their droppings. The goats eat many of the weeds and weed seeds. It keeps the winter rains from washing the soil away and finally, when I do plow it all under it adds green matter high in potassium to the soil for spring. By burning it all off after it finally died down I add valuable pot ash to the soil too. 

This past weekend I looked around the farm and there are so many things that need to be done. It’s frustrating. Ditches to be dug, roofs to patch, fences to put up, pens to build, cages to build, brush to clear and so much more. And I have no money for supplies, no tools, no equipment and no time. I’ve thought seriously about just making pens out of brush, mud and wattle style. It won’t last but about a year, but it will buy time to get things rolling again. Oh well, if it’s meant to be, I’ll find a way. 

But as I sit here writing I can’t help but think of how lucky I am. Even with everything going on. I have a wonderful family. A loving supportive wife, great kids, a home, a job, good friends and I’ve got a plan. I’m a bit down right now, but like Em told me tonight, “it will get better”.

  
Maybe I can get the farm page going soon and get a few sales coming in on the spring CSA. It’s only about a month until the first seeds get started inside and the first winter greens need to be sown in the garden. I’ve also had several request in the past week for other products like jellies, jams, honey, milk products and hand made soaps. The opportunity is there if I can just get caught up and take advantage of it. 

But first things first. 

Go to bed old man. Tomorrow is another day. 

Catching Up

Wow! it’s been a while since my last post. Life has been busy here at the Lambert homestead!

Four weeks ago today we welcomed our newest family member into the world. Luke Grayson Lambert. A beautiful, perfect baby boy. After so much pain and worry he arrived totally without incident and has been doing great ever since. He is the most vocal little fella I’ve ever seen. I swear, he looks like he is trying to talk sometimes. He’s got my big ears but has his Momma’s eyes and toes.

Emily has been doing so much better since the baby was born. She is tired and wore out from taking care of all of us and trying to do housework, but she’s her old self again. I’m so happy to have her back and out of danger. It’s funny in a way, she is excited to get back in her pre-pregnancy jeans and I am just excited she’s healthy and not in the hospital anymore.


As soon as I can get the pictures on this computer where I can find them I want to post all about little Luke. I also have posts in mind about lots of other things like Emily and I and our love story, my newest bad luck – gout, mud, and so much more.

I’m home today because I’m sick with a stomach bug and the boss gave me the day off. I think he’s afraid he will catch it too since we had another of the crew out most of last week with this crud. It is rough. I lay down and I get acid in the back of my throat so I’m sitting up and figured if I had to sit up, I might as well write a bit.


On the rare times I’ve had a free moment I’ve been working on firming up our plans for next spring here on the farm. Emily has built us a web store for the CSA and our vegetable garden. I’m still working on filling everything out and getting it all listed so we can go live with it. I’m just a country farmer so all this computer stuff is alien to me. I guess that’s what the world relies on now though, so I’ll do the best I can to modernize and hope I can figure enough of it out to survive. *sigh*

I can’t help but stress over everything though. What if all the people who asked me to raise things for them don’t go through with it and pay? Emily is always telling me how many people read my blog and how many calls, messages and conversations she has with folks about the farm. I don’t see it though. I have like six followers here and hardly ever any comments. I do know people are getting scared of the grocery store crap and wanting to reconnect with their food and where it comes from and how it is raised. I’ve had about 20 people tell me they wanted in on the CSA, I’ve got several families right now wanting in on a cow share for fresh milk and butter. I’ve got a list of folks wanting meat shares like poultry, beef and pork. Eggs, cottage crafts, game birds, fermented products, cheeses, canned goods. I can do most all of it. I won’t be able to do it all and be legal here, but I could.

But what if I put all this work into it, find some way to get enough money to finance the startup costs and then…nothing? It’s scary. Oh well, at least my family will eat good. After all, It’s all I know.


Our friend Pat and her family is moving up here soon. She has said she wants to help with everything, so that will take a lot off of me. I worry about days like this when I’m sick and can’t work. Even a couple of days could make things a mess, but as long as I have Em and Pat to help me out it will take a lot of stress off my shoulders. I’m really hoping we will get some volunteers to help with occasional chores too from the people who are wanting to learn to farm. I love teaching the few things I know.

My darn barn hallway is flooded. I think I’ve got a new wet weather spring coming up to the surface in there. The only thing I know to do is to install a French drain and then put a raised floor in that room. I like having the water table close to the surface here, but it sometimes wrecks havoc with things. I’m so sick of mud I could scream. Everything is wet and muddy this time of year. I’ll be glad when I can get walkways built around to all the pens so I don’t have to deal with fighting the mud anymore. And get water lines ran so I don’t have to haul water. And electric so I don’t have to feed in the dark on these short winter days. Farming is a never ending job though. It’s all part of life on a small homestead.


And with all the stress, being sick, wading mud and trying to figure out how I’m going to pay bills?

 

I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

I’ve got a great wife, wonderful kids, good friends and a plan.

 

Life is good.