Simplifying

Around here, it was high time for some simplifying.  After many months of digging in, taking on anything that needed to be done, we’re entering a phase of paring down, letting go. When the house starts to get overwhelming, I always start by decluttering, and so far I’ve taken two trunkfuls of stuff to the thrift store, plus aggressively thrown out anything that is actually *trash*.  I think of myself as someone who’s good at decluttering as I go along, but clearly not!  With books that fit on the shelves again and the clothes that were in a crazy avalanche on the children’s room floor packed away into apple crates, I’m starting to feel like I can breathe again.

On the farm, we thought we were going to hire a farm manager this year to help us do more.  But then, the farm manager didn’t work out and with the new baby in the Ergo, we kept right on going with our plans, like completely crazy people.  We planted the big Three Sisters Field, filled up the hoophouse, started to plant another large garden . . . Suffice to say, we were not able to keep up with everything we had hoped.  We did have some great harvests and we grew a lot of food for ourselves and for Wheatberry.  The pigs are happy and getting huge.  But we were reminded that when the farm gets past a certain size, we no longer enjoy it.  We farm to grow food, but also because we find it deeply pleasurable.  For me, it’s not a pleasure when it’s so big that I have to start worrying about the efficiency of my seeding techniques, or thinking about bringing in truckloads of compost.

So we’re getting small again.  Or rather, we’re returning to a micro-farm.  The three sisters field will become a pasture for the animals to rotate onto, and the other large garden space will become an orchard.  (Have I mentioned that I *love* perennials?)  We’ve also decided, even though it breaks our hearts a bit, to find a new home for our draft horse, Cole.  We don’t farm enough to keep a good working relationship going with him, and he deserves better.  We’re going to miss him a lot, but we’re also excited for that space in our lives to open up.  And soon I won’t have to worry about coming down in the morning to this ever again . . .

coleinhouse

I’m simplifying my homeschooling plans with Ella, too.  Instead of a theme for each week, which was always too much, I’m planning a theme per month.  Mostly, I’m just not worrying about planning as much, since it’s only kindergarten, after all.  I’m focusing on the seasons, on creating connection and magic and gratitude.  Everything else can just be a bonus.

What about you?  What are you simplifying in your life, how are you creating space for new and beautiful things to find you?

7 Responses to “Simplifying”

  1. 1
    Cathy J. Kelley

    Amen! Why is it that this time of year seems to demand simplifying? We are sooo crazy busy, then comes fall a time to slow down, the seed catalogs start coming in with those beautiful color photos, then the seed orders go out, the seeds orders have come in and oh how they look so beautiful in the packages, still wondering if you’ve ordered enough seed, then Spring arrives, planting starts, still wondering if that row of whatever your planting is enough so you plant a little more, then they immerge gloriously, they are beautiful! The gentle rains come and then the weeds and the harvest and all hell breaks loose… there’s no time. I start thinking about cleaning my house, how sad it that, and then it starts all over. AH -The farm cycle! We too are rethinking our farm model, bigger is not always better!
    Cathy

  2. 2

    We’ve just simplified our baking schedule, and it feels great. One of those ‘why didn’t we think of this months ago?’ moments.

    I’m also decluttering big time, and simplifying our cooking. Big batches of staples, making a vat of something and freezing it, realising that when something tastes really good it’s OK to eat it three meals in a row – making more time and space for just being.

    Zillah

  3. 3

    Zillah,
    Lol, isn’t it amazing how hard we make our lives somtimes, without even realizing it? I love eating the the same dinner week after week – and anyone who doesn’t is welcome to cook something else ;)
    Blessings,
    Adrie

  4. 4

    Cathy,
    Indeed! Thanks for saying hello.
    Blessings,
    Adrie

  5. 5

    So much of this resonates for me! I’m looking foward to the quieter fall months to start decluttering in a BIG way! We have tons of stuff that we’ve moved with us that we haven’t seen in 2 years. If there isn’t a place for it I want it to go : ) We’re so busy here this year, with a new farm and new way of life, it can be easy to forget why we are doing this. On Monday we filled our freezer (and some of our friends’ freezers too!) with chicken and next week our pigs go. The food is coming in and dinners, whole dinners, can be cooked from just home grown.

    I’m looking forward to a quiet winter to enjoy the bounty and rest! Sending peaceful thoughts your way too.

  6. 6

    Whew – so much happening on your farm! Lovely to hear from you Emmalina, many harvest blessings to you,
    Adrie

  7. 7
    Susan

    My life too has been very complicated these last few months. Art jobs have been coming in steadily. Now, that I added a part-time seasonal job, my time is even more limited. It was harder than usual this year to keep up with my garden areas, as well. I did get to make a nice corn chowder with all the corn I grew and that I will get to enjoy during the cold winter months. A nice addition to my garden this year was growing baby white pumpkins and I’m trying to encourage the louffa gourds to grow faster before the frost hits. But all in all, I’m happy with the way the gardens turned out. I do agree that one has to let certain tasks go and to not feel bad about it. Work in the garden and elsewhere is good, but it’s also good to have some free time to putter.
    I’ll miss Cole, for I always stopped to say hello. He is a beautiful horse. :)


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