Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

More Cockeyed Winter Mode

We are constantly learning something new around here. Every day brings new challenges. While we depend on the internet for instant answers, nothing beats a good book on the subject...or several. Part of the mantra I live by is death is the absence of learning. So this is nothing new for me. Everyone can't know everything. But to me, it's not for the lack of trying.

For this, we search for books on a subject that we want more in depth knowledge of, in our case it's natural dyeing. We are changing to a more organic sourced (plant based dyes) dyeing technique for our fiber production. We don't head to our nearest book store or Amazon to purchase these books. I did the internet searches. Now I want more.

Instead, we head to our local library. That's right, the library. Now, our town library is tiny. But what makes it huge is an interlibrary loan service they offer. I can search online for books from all over the place. They will be shipped into our library for me to check out. I have to travel no further than my local branch. But, it's more than books, they will also loan DVDs too.

What is really sweet is that it's free! Unlimited resources at my fingertips on anything that I want to know. I know I'm old fashioned by reading books. The actual paper kind. Things just sink in better on paper.

But then again, some of my fondest memories are centered around libraries. You see, my grandmother was a librarian in Bloomfield, NE. Bloomfield is a small rural community. Nothing major. The livestock auction house/slaughter house serves as the only place big enough for local dances. Mail is only delivered via P.O. Boxes. The newspaper comes out weekly. Half in German and half in English. But the library was huge. Two storied, brick building with a basement full of books, stereograph card, vinyl records, and old films. This is where I spent hours upon hours of my childhood. It instilled in me a deep respect of reading and the treasures within the musty covers of books.

This was  outside a library not my house
With my move here, the 12x15 library I had in my old house was liquidated. My cash flow to purchase books and the place to store them is limited now.  I have to depend on the internet and the library. But in a way, this is a good, frugal thing. How many times have you purchased a book that had a great blurb and reviews, but you hated it? Or, the book was too basic for your needs? The real meat of what you were looking for, was absent? I can honestly say, too many times. It was hard earned money down the drain.

By searching for books through the interlibrary loan system, if a book is a real stinker, I can return it. No money changes hands. If I find that I'm checking out the same book multiple times, I may buy a copy to have on hand. Or better yet, wait until it appears as a free kindle download. I still don't have the space to store or the money to buy all the books I want to read or keep.

I rarely read fiction these days, since my strokes, it's too difficult keeping track of story lines and characters. This from a person who used to write five novels and a nonfiction, AND reading/editing another twenty novels at the same time. Yes, there was more impact than just the obvious physical impairments with my strokes. So now I read nonfiction exclusively. There isn't a lack of reading material for me so don't feel too bad for me. I can still be transported to another place in nonfiction too.

But this time, I can see into the future as I implement what I've learned. I'm a die hard science fiction and mystery reader. I love this aspect of reading nonfiction. But not I'm not only see into the future, but creating the future by stepping back in time. Homesteading today is stepping backwards to our grandparents' or great grandparents' lifestyle. By choice, not because we have to.  A simpler life with hard work that does the body good. Stepping away from the hustle and bustle because we've had enough over our lifetime. (Re)Learning the almost lost arts of self-sufficiency and sustainability. One step at a time. Forever forward or is it backwards. Constant research before implementation. Yes, this is winter mode too at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Y'all have a blessed day.

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