#2 We have a lot that we want to talk about. If I write it out in a list it will likely look really disjointed and random, but in my head it all connects. In this blog we hope to discuss many of the things that have come to be a part of our lives. First of all, homesteading. Ok, so we realize that calling what we have done “homesteading” is probably a gross overstatement. We didn’t have to cut down trees and make our own log house, although we know some that have. But most days, “homesteading”is what it feels like. When we moved to our 160 acre property in Birch Hills County, we hadn’t actually ever seen it, other than in pictures. Lesson number one of “ruralization,” to minimize stress during your transition to your brand new life, maybe go ahead and visit the place that will be not only your home, but also hopefully your place in the world, your kids’  inheritance, and the place where your hope to make a living, before you sign the legal papers. In our first three months we fished 12 dead squirrels out of our drinking well, replaced most of the appliances, rebuilt the well to keep out any more squirrels, replaced our septic pump and removed a blockage from our sewer pump out line (happy thanksgiving!), renovated the entire top level, dealt with cluster flies, put in a very expensive water treatment system (you know, to take the dead squirrels and bright red iron out of the water we bathe our children in),  and probably a bunch of other things that I have now forgotten. Since then, we have gotten into sheep, rabbits, chickens for meat, chickens for eggs, pigs, dogs, and cats. So it feels like homesteading. If anyone has a better word, I’m all ears.

Second, we want to talk about why we left the city. For us, a big part of this was a mystery illness. And there were other reasons too. But we’ll save that for another time.

Third, permaculture and nutrition. This part of our journey was born out of the illness I mentioned above.

Fourth, theology/worldview. If you are not religious, please don’t let this one scare you off. We all have a worldview. For us, this is the topic that pulls all of our other elements together. Our “ground of all being” if you like. Our “reconciliation of all things.”

In addition, we will likely write about the host of other things that come up in our day to day life such as, our attempt at communal living and the lessons therein, our ongoing experiences as parents, the struggles of budgeting and financial management, our work ( I, Ryan, am an RN that works in mental health and addictions, and Dani, is a teacher), broken dreams and resiliency, the challenges of moving back to where you come from, etc, etc, etc.

I make sense of the seemingly random or “far afield” nature of our involvements with the following observation: if there is any unifying characteristic about “rural people” it is this—in order to be successful, they have to be well rounded. When they aren’t, there are obvious gaps in their lives. Or their homes (three cheers for three years of Typar siding). Or their vehicles. Or their livestock (those sheep will learn to sheer themselves eventually). Or their kids. Or the million and one other things that they have to figure out because the city is too far away and when they charge you mileage to come and fix your dryer you either figure out how to fix it yourself, hang a clothesline, or use your vacation money to buy a new one.