Several years ago, I taught yoga and, in fact, owned my own little studio. Sometimes, I wonder if I went down the path of business owner just so I could invite my favorite teachers there to teach and I could sit at their feet daily.
Speaking of feet, I remember one class in particular. Keep in mind that this was a particularly crunchy time in my life and not much would have me raise an eyebrow. But this class was…odd. We spent about 30 minutes walking around the inside of the studio, feeling every part of our feet touch the floor. I was agitated at first, thinking about my paying clients there with me in this oddball class, wondering if they were in turn wondering when yoga class was actually going to start. Yet the more I walked, with my hands in the ever dutiful prayer position, the more I connected with my feet, of all things. How the heels struck the ground first, then the slightest touch of the outer arch, until finally the balls of my feet seemed to spread and flare my toes. We were instructed to walk as though our feet were kissing the earth, which made me bend my knees slightly to make the lightest impact.
I was so moved by that class. Doesn’t it seem to be that our most powerful moments are in the most unsuspecting places?
As we’ve been figuratively walking through the last days of summer, we’ve literally been walking our property. We’ve come to the two-year mark of living here in our little Homestead Experiment and it’s time for a shift. In a grand, yet quiet, reconnect to what moves us, we’re paring down. A lot.
It feels so good, as though we’re finding our own rhythm again.
As of this morning, we’ve sold all of our goats. They’ve all gone to incredible new farms – families involved in 4H; an older couple who only have the finest breed lines in their herd; and a small experiential preschool to name a few. About a month ago, we sold all of our Rex rabbits and the rabbitry setup to a farmer who wanted to give his granddaughters a good start in shows.
So, why the change? Practical reasons, truth be told. The boys have been unable to be a part of 4H and fair due to their competitive sports’ schedules. Additionally, our goats produced too much milk for us to consume (or make cheese, soap, etc.; they produced about 1/2-1 gallon per day) just for our family, so we made the decision to take this past year of time to find the right spots for them. We simply did not need the milk or the meat.
Key word: simple.
Back to simple. There is a constant need in us to pull ourselves back to simple and not fall into the pit of “and.” Hank calls us “and” people when we keep adding things to our lives to further complicate things. It might seem ruthless, and that’s a fair assessment, but frankly, if we say “yes” to keeping goats and rabbit, we ultimately say “no” to other things we could be doing together as family.
What might this have to do with the oddball yoga class? Everything. Back to the walking our property focus. We’re discovering our beautiful, tucked in, interesting places where we would love to cultivate better. Take a look.
First, Hank is converting and incorporating our goat pen and goat nursery areas into a larger chicken run, which will increase their area by 150%.
He’ll tear down their coop, pictured above, as soon as he completes the renovation and buildout of their new coop, much better suited for shade and protection from the elements, as well as easier on cleanout duty.
Their new coop is a metal loafing shed, to which he’s adding a front wall and dutch door, internal roosting ladders, and new nesting boxes.
I’ve been a crazy stalking lady around town and working out deals with local tree guys. We’ve had tons and tons of mulch delivered to our property, as well as stumps for firewood, that we’re using in our raised bed potager garden and other flower beds throughout our property.
Hank has nearly cut all of the stumps down and spread all of the mulch, which has helped tremendously with weed mitigation, moisture retention, and just making it look prettier. :)
And speaking of firewood, Hank converted our old rabbitry into a woodshed (which, of course I had to embellish).
And other interesting spots include our wood stove-heated soaking tub (otherwise known as the Redneck Hot Tub),
The bike shop/baseball locker room,
Hank’s office (with new french doors that open out into our backyard),
Our lovely, hidden deck outside of the master bathroom,
And the still-being-worked-on eating area. We’ve planted trumpet vine that will cover the pergola and plan to landscape between it and our neighbor’s fence with evergreens to act as both a privacy screen and a windscreen.
I’ve been working a bit on our morning room and firepit area just outside of our little red barn, and it’s coming along. I just dragged out my old potting bench and cleaned it up, making it ready for outdoor entertaining. That’s for another post, though. ;)
Again, it feels good. It feels good to get things into their right spots. It feels good to be closer to the option of getting away more often with the boys and take advantage of this beautiful state we live in and have seen too little of over the past couple years.
And it feels REALLY GOOD to not have to milk a goat.