I somewhat unwillingly learned to drive the riding lawnmower on our last trip to the farmhouse. I know that seems silly, but as a teen, I had some bad experiences while driving a friend's snow mobile, and driving my cousin's dirt bike. Thankfully, I had no problems while driving my Dad's boat as a teen, since that would have more serious consequences. I may have crashed the snow mobile and the dirt bike without injuries, but lawn mowers are a little more dangerous -- and I know a girl who nearly lost her foot to a riding lawnmower as a girl. Maybe that will help you understand why I was leery of the riding lawnmower.
At the moment, I am re-learning the skill of hanging clothes on a clothesline. And I'm trying to develop persistence in this. It's so easy to only do it when I feel like it, although I didn't feel too guilty about using the electric dryer last week when I was trying to catch up on laundry after a week-long trip. I'm trying to be more faithful to use cloth diapers, as well, and am enjoying hanging them on the clothesline. Trying to use the clothesline changes how I do laundry. I used to start laundry late in the day, and dry them into the evening, folding after the children were in bed. I'm learning to start laundry early, hang it out early, and fold it as I take it off the line. This mostly is a sacrifice of time, some sweat, and getting over a distaste for stiff towels.
We're growing new vegetables this year (zucchini and spaghetti squash) and I'm trying to be more intentional with cooking from the garden, instead of letting our harvest rot (in the garden, or in the fridge) as I have in the past. At the moment, my harvest is basically just zucchini, but I am learning ways to cook zucchini and am learning to enjoy a new vegetable which I'd previously only eaten in cakes and breads.
I need to weed my garden, but I need to find some good gardening gloves in the shed. I am not going to be able to do much howing, since the zucchini and cantaloupe vines have overtaken a large portion of my garden. The children were discussing our garden with Steve over supper last night and planning to grow wax beans and green beans next year.
My oldest was so impressed that we grew the zucchinis from scratch in our own garden, that she bravely tried my sauteed onion and zucchini dish, as well as raw zucchini slices dipped in ranch dressing. My children are finicky and not very adventurous about foods, so her enjoyment of the zucchini was encouraging to me.
As I was hanging out clothes today, I was marvelling over the fact that I finally figured out when to harvest my spaghetti squash (amazing what the back of the seed packet can tell you when you actually read it -- harvest when the stem of the squash is withered). And I realized that a large part of homesteading, or learning the homesteading lifestyle, is being willing to learn new things.
I'm not yet living on our homestead. But I'm trying to learn skills now that will help me later. I can't raise a goat or chickens very well here in town, but I can learn to garden, harvest, and preserve foods. I can learn to live frugally, and to order my days by the weather and the seasons. I can learn to work harder. I can learn a willingness to change, to learn, and to try new things. I can learn to persevere.
In light of that understanding, I probably should try my hand at bread making again. I can do it. It usually turns out well -- maybe not prize-winning, but edible and yummy. But for some reason, it feels like it takes a long time, and so I tend to not want to do it. I need to get over that laziness and procrastination.