It’s 10:30 at night, and my house is quiet. That’s pretty unusual for this house. The bunny is asleep under the table against my feet, my Hubby is snoozing on the couch, the cats are all passed out in different spots around the house. Everybody is worn out; it’s been a busy couple of weeks for this household. Last week, I had my week long orientation at my new job, the whole time my Hubs was trying to shift back to a day time schedule so he could talk to me and we could have dinner together. This weekend I start back on night shift, so he may be more awake then. This week we have been doing all kinds of stuff around here. We have our shelf greenhouse chugging right along, and Husband has been babying those little sprouts. They get a lot of attention. The last few days, I have canned 10 1/2 jars of enchilada sauce that my husband made a few days ago, I learned how to make sauerkraut and started two jars, I have canned 11 jars of cream of mushroom soup base, baked bread, made dinner, done dishes, and today I learned how to process a whole chicken. I have to admit that I had never done this before today. In any sense. When I was first on my own after college, I would buy boneless, skinless chicken breast and that was all I knew how to cook. I couldn’t have successfully removed bones from a chicken if I had to. And up to this point, Hubby has always boned and processed all the chicken. He was tired today, having not slept much in two weeks, so I told him if he would just give me some pointers and instruction, I would do the work today. So he guided me as I cut up a 7 pound chicken that mom and dad raised and gave to us. It went better than we both expected. I did the second and third birds with no instruction from him, and getting a little bit better with every knife stroke. I finally feel like I am fully in this life.
I saw an article the other day that asked if many people out there that do what we do feel like imposters. I know I do. I feel like one of these days I’m going to make a post or write a blog, and someone who is a “real” homesteader is going to come along and shout and point, “fake!! She’s a fake! She doesn’t know what she’s doing!” I’m sure a lot of people who didn’t grow up doing everything they are trying to do on their farm or homestead feel the same way. But really, it doesn’t matter if you grow a tomato plant on your balcony or if you have the whole shebang- cows, pigs, chickens, gardens, orchard, fruit bushes, on and on, etc. Either way, you are a homesteader if you think you are. If you make any effort to improve the lives of yourself and your family, well, that’s the point. You are now conferred the official title of Homesteader Extraordinaire, by the power vested in me by the state of confusion, cross my heart and hope to die. So there, it’s official.
And today I finally felt it. I am, no, sorry, WE are homesteaders. We have a small, indoor hope-the-cats-don’t-eat-it greenhouse on a couple of shelves in our dining room. But we are growing lettuce and beans. In January. I know how to make homemade sauerkraut now. And I can cut up a chicken. A whole dang chicken. Which gets us another step closer to being able to have our own chickens in the backyard. It might be a little more helpful if I learned how to be a carpenter, but sometimes, the skill you need the most is the one you learn right here and now. And one of the most important parts of learning new skills- I can help my husband do more around the homestead. If he isn’t feeling well, or he has a really busy week in the shop, I can jump in and do some of the jobs he has been doing for us this whole time. I feel a little more like a “real” homesteader today. And a little more helpful to my husband.