Livestock, Philosophy, Rabbits, Urban Homesteading and Self-Reliance

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

After days of rain, the sun blazed forth in sheer golden glory this morning.  It was cold and the porch was slick with glittering frost when I went to open up the nestbox so Sugar could feed her new babies.  I close the trapdoor at night so they can’t get accidentally dragged out while nursing.  Sometimes they’re latched on so tight that when Mama hops out, she brings her baby with her.  Since mother rabbits can’t pick up and move their little ones like cats or dogs do, a kit pulled from the nestbox quickly gets chilled and dies.  During the day I check on the bunnies several times so I can put one back if it gets pulled out, but I save myself the trouble of checking at night by just closing off the nest.  Rabbit kits only get fed a couple of times a day anyway, so it doesn’t hurt them.

As I walked out into the bright daylight, I realized that I really love my life!  I am living my dream, although it isn’t exactly the one I’d imagined 10, or even 5, years ago.  I never thought I would be putting my experience to work in town and I never imagined how much I would love it.  I had always considered living in town a sort of bondage.  Having spent my childhood on a mountain ranch 40 miles from the nearest grocery store, I fully bought into the idea of  having to live in the middle of nowhere to have any kind of freedom.  When I moved to Thistleglade (a 20 acre patch of Missouri woods in the middle of nowhere) 8 years ago, I quickly learned that living in the wilds is much different as an adult than my childhood experience led me to believe.  One has to make a living, buy food and other necessities that can’t be produced at home, and the modern world insists on it’s share of homage in the form of regulations and taxes.  Rather than freedom, I found myself in bondage to an automobile to get to work and to haul everything that needed to be brought in.

WeeHavyn came into my life 6 years ago.  After nearly two years of struggling to just maintain the basics in the woods, I waved the white flag.  I was tired and just planned on giving up on my dreams of self-reliance.  Little did I know that my dreams would be fulfilled in a different way, but actually bigger and better.  I stumbled on the best of both worlds; my (very) little homestead and the convenience of being able to walk anywhere I need to go.  Perhaps moving toward being off grid is going more slowly than it would if we didn’t have the convenience of ready utilities, but we are still moving in that direction.

Since I’m a person with BIG dreams, having this very small homestead is good for me.  It keeps the homestead from becoming overwhelming and I can’t overload us with animals because there is only so much space.  I find it really exciting to puzzle out the best way to use the space we have.  I never seem to run out of new ideas for projects, and I am ever surprised at how much we can do with so little space.  While I burned with shame at my failure to realize my “dream” when I bought this tiny patch of earth, I am now amazed at how narrow my vision was.

Sometime I’m very glad for unanswered prayers….

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