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Welcome to Rocky Oak Homestead™

A quiet, peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of everyday living in a world on the brink of insanity! A place where we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best!

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Monday, July 2, 2012

The real homestead life...

Sometimes people romanticize the farm life and they have visions of pretty little hen houses with window boxs full of pansys and petunias, a well behaved rooster standing on the pretty picket fence lined with roses crowing every morning to wake them up, cows grazing in the fields ever so quietly, goats running and jumping in the wild flowers, pigs that look and smell like wilbur from Charlottes web, ducks that just swim innocently in the pond and rabbits that just hop around in the grass doing their cute,fuzzy bunny thing, a garden that is worthy of the front page of better homes and gardens, children willing and happily helping with farm chores, dad out on the John Deere plowing fields or baling hay, while you are in the well organized, show room worthy kitchen cooking meals from the "Fanicful Pioneer Woman, Ree Dummond"...

eerrrrrrrrrrttttt...fast forward to the real world please....

Hen houses need not be pretty they need to be functionable, most do not have pretty little flower boxes attached and trust me when I say if you are living a true self reliant homestead life, there is no time for flower boxes...Roosters crow all hours of the day not just at dawn
and most are not well behaved and will be lurking somewhere behind you waiting for you to bend over and give him a great target to show you who is the 'cock of the walk'...

Picket fencing is typically not on the top 'o the list for fencing on a farm...usually barbed wire, electric fencing, and field fencing trump the little white picket fence....

Cows are prime examples of creatures that believe the grass is always greener on th
e other side..they can have 20 acres to graze alone yet still feel like there is something better just over the fence line and they are not the smartest of Gods creatures, they can find a way out of the fence but never find that way back in...go figure...Cows are not always quiet...if they are accustomed to being called from pasture with feed at 6 p.m. at 5:30 they will begin the ritual of mooing loudly enough to wake the dead, goats are 'me-too' creatures they must chime in with their "maaaaaa"..

Goats...*sigh*...they are sometimes my worst nightmare....while cute with all their goat antics they can be a huge pain in the rear-end...they are
escape artist, where they can get their heads, they can get their bodies when they are little...they love to roam and are never quite content to just stay in one place...they are stubborn and bucks can be really cantakerous...I have seen Farm man many a time body slam a buck that has 'rared up' as he went into the pasture...forget the running and jumping in the wild flowers...goat eat wild flowers and any flower they can get to...lol...if you are a skirt/dress wearer little goats also like to stick their heads under your skirt and then they freak out cause they can't see the 'world' and begin thrashing their heads like mad trying to get out and you are gyrating around looking like someone that is being tazed..hands waving madly in the air, stumbling around like a drunk person all the while trying to stay in an upright position..thank God I live off the beaten path with no neighbors that can see this...This happened to me just this morning which is where the inspiration for this entry origninated... :0)

Pigs, like wilbur....not happenin'...pigs stink and will root under fencing, they are a booger to catch...ask me how I know....most do not bathe their pigs...while they can be friendly some can be rather mean and one can get hurt real quick by a big ol' bore...pigs are good for eatin'....yes, I know you can tame them down and show them...but I am talkin' self-reliant farmin here..

Rabbits...while generally easy to take care of, if you are a farm in the south it gets hotter than a 2 dollar pistol...rabbits do not do so well and need lots of care to stay cool and survive...

Ducks...ducks like to
swim in any water they can find, including but not limited to the dogs water dish, the goat trough, the stock tank and the chicken waterer...inspite of the fact they have a 1/2 acre pond...

Gardens...I have yet to have a garden worthy of better homes and gardens and have gardening well over 20 years...again in the south it get hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch..and gardens need lots and lots of work to thrive....

Children helping...LOL...even the most well behaved, compliant children get tired of going into the heat/cold to take care of critters and it becomes a battle of wills to get them to help..by the time its all done you have heard everything from "your a slave driver" to "
this is child abuse"...and your thinking of some story you can relay to them from your childhood about "you don't what what child abuse is" or "When I was a child"

Your man in the field on a johne deere...he might very well be on a johne deere but he ain't the marlboro man all well groomed and smelling of some manly cologne...more like 'essense of prespiration' and you instruct him to the shower before giving you that big hug or kiss...

And this isn't even mentioning the critters that get sick and you spend days nursing a sick goat kid only to have spent 100's of dollars on meds and vet bills onl
y to have it die...or the chicks that are so cute and doing good to all of a sudden begin dropping like flies...or the pregnant doe(goat) that dies during birth and you are left bottle feeding triplets...

Or when there is 3 feet or more snow on the ground and temp is subzero and you have a cow down or a goat down or the chickens get pneumonia...

And if you are still having visions of the "Pioneer Woman" dancing in your head...get over it...that ain't real livin' folks...After a hard day on a self-reliant farm you will feel very grateful for a bowl of beans, cornbread and some fried green maters and yellow squash from the garden...


  1. I would say that is a pretty vivid and accurate description of farm life

  2. I laughed so many times reading this post! We're new to goats, but I had to laugh when I read about them getten their head stuck in your skirt, I do prefer skirts and had this happen and boy, you'd think I was slaughtering her! LOL, my 100 year old lilac bush is almost eaten, but I feel like I did when the kids were little and I'd have given them the kitchen sink if it'd keep them quiet for half an hour!
    As far as kids helping out, here's one story that I laughed at secretly, but had to turn into a serious lesson for our middle son. Travis hated to garden, so I didn't often give him garden chores, but one time our oldest, and youngest had a stomach virus, I was exhausted because they didn't start at the same time and as one was getting better the other started. I had wash up the ying yang from vomiting accidents, I used peppermint a lot for stomach bugs, I went to get some and the herb bed was in danger of being destroyed by weeds, so heres where I asked Travis to weed, he weeded out all the herbs and left the weeds, oh he tried to act like it was an accident, but I knew better, I was sooo Angry, but laughed inside, when I calmed down. I thought he thinks I"ll never ask him to weed again..He spent the next 2 weeks weeding everyday with my watchful eye over him..The laundry and sick kids survived but I think it took more of a toll on me than on him..I won't even go into the moral lessons Dad covered with him!
    as far as your description of homesteading, wow, how accurate, we should take pictures of the surprised faces that visit and think that "if they were doing it, this and that would certainly be different" I love extended family members who visit thinking of Norman Rockwell when they arrive, but get a real dose of Normal before actually leaving!!
    Thanks for Sharing and making me laugh Kris : )
    Have a glorious day!!

  3. Very well told. I like the humor that your put into telling your story. This is the way we deal with the "Why am I enjoying this?" Feeling. I don't have nearly the experiences as you, but I do understand on my own level. I have had so many gals tell me they have always wanted to put one of those pretty little coops in their backyard and enjoy the chickens. I tell them it isn't all fun and joy. A functional opp is much better than a pretty little doll house! Well, I don't have to explain to you. I could go on with things, but loved your advise. It is great! This really isn't a life style for everyone. I know you work hard and go through a lot. Even so, end the end, you are blessed!

  4. Thank you for joining my blog!--There is alot of humor to be had in this lifestyle if we just take the time to see it!--We have been at this lifestyle for 10 years--we have had lots a laughs at our own mistakes, and many of those mistakes were quite expensive..

    Pretty little chicken houses are for hobby homesteaders(which is ok) but its really not for those that are homesteading to become self-reliant--there is a difference--we are about 'functionality' rather than 'fashionality' :0)--My girls and guys really don't care if their house is pretty as long as it gives them a place to roost, lay eggs and keep them dry--

  5. What a joy to read your account of life on the farm. Oh, the many other tales I'm sure you could tell. Thanks for sharing the insider version...

  6. My mom grew up on a farm, she would tell you, you forgot to mention the outhouse, chopping the heads off the chickens and plucking them for dinner, making 12 loaves of bread a day, hoping you got on the first shift for dinner cause there were 14 kids, pumping water for the dishes, and sharing bathwater (yuck)! Farming is for the dedicated and the hardy! Thanks for sharing, Laura