I’ve been taking a break from instagram for the last few weeks and it’s been so delicious, and authenticating that I realize I can’t return. At least not now or in the near future. Maybe never, who knows. Instagram was my first and only foray into social media. I’ve never done facebook or twitter, or any of the other digital trappings. Being at the computer, is a little hellish for me. But there I found myself, on a digital platform that grew and grew while I collected messages from generous humans telling me how content I shared played a part in them revamping how they fed their babes or gave them what they needed to leave veganism or just generally challenged their worldview on what it is to care of this earth and the animals in it. Those aren’t little things, and they kept me around even when the hateful comments came rolling in.
But, instagram itself, despite the wonderful humans I came to know and like, became a toxic place for me. I noticed the difference in my physical and mental state before and after perusing the pages. I felt my brain changing, my concentration when reading a book getting more tentative. The peace I try to cultivate in my daily life seemed more elusive. As our world has become more anxious and divisive, so too was that platform for me. I started feeling like I was conflicting my values and beliefs just by agreeing to the rampant censorship and guidelines of a platform.
I was trading off parts of my authenticity to be compliant. That’s not me. Not at all. And the price to pay for that is too high on my psyche. It was just a matter of time.
So, I’ve decided to put my content into this page, and hopefully evolve it to reflect who I am a bit better as I get more time to put into it in the fall. I’m also going to be putting out a newsletter, semi-private in nature. That means that people I don’t know through communicating online or in real life, won’t be added. I think one of the issues that has bothered me on Instagram is the continuous flux of new followers and ‘lurkers’ that left me having to repeatedly restate what I was doing and what I was all about. I know, I know, that’s the aim of social media – grow, grow, grow. Not my thing. I also don’t like putting myself out there and having people that just sit quietly in the wings, watching without any sort of exchange, sometimes waiting to pounce, sometimes just evaluating and judging while not putting anything of themselves out there. It’s like a one-sided conversation. That makes me uncomfortable. We’ll see if that might be remedied somehow. For now, I’m looking into newsletters with filtering possibilities whenever I come up for air from our load of summer projects. So, there’s my segue to move from why it’s time to say goodbye to instagram and into what’s been happening around here.
Ignore the mess at the top, the soffits are getting painted, too. I’ve been staining and painting most of the wood outbuildings around the farm. I’m using different products depending on the job, but all the trim and doors are being done in traditional linseed oil paint with the boards getting either a Benjamin Moore stain or pine tar treatment. I am also using a decking oil for floorboards from Osmo that I am loving. Lots of work to get done so that I can free myself up for the grand finale which is staining and painting the house before the snow flies.
Hubs has been working on a barn addition. He has milled wood for weeks on end. That’s saved us tens of thousands of dollars, but it’s an incredible amount of work. It’s an outdoor cover for hay so we can say goodbye to heinous tarps forever.
We are still discussing and debating sending our youngest daughter back to school in the fall. It’s her grade twelve year and she wants to finish with her friends. It’s not a fear of the supposed “pandemic” that makes us hesitate, but instead the fear based, over the top precautions the school is enforcing. It’s like something out of an Orwellian, dystopian future. It’s so terribly sad. I’m very concerned about her being in a chemical slurry for eight hours a day, wearing a mask constantly, being told to sanitize her hands all day long. It’s horrible. She can’t even hang out with friends she wants to as they’re collated into groups. There’s also the whole opening ourselves up to contact tracing that feels incredibly invasive.
We didn’t work as hard as we have to be where we are, living a quiet, autonomous life in the country because we wanted to be involved in such things. Still, it is her last year, and we are trying to find accommodations should she make the final decision to go. At least she has a home environment that is healthy and grounded. I feel such sadness for the little ragamuffins living lives in fear and submission with no counterpoint of common sense.
Aside from that, we are getting ready for our first beef harvest of the year. I have a large sow that we will be harvesting as our “sausage pig”. I have two crates of organic peaches that I am canning for our kids winter treats (I just use a very dilute honey with lemon and let the natural sweetness of the peaches do their thing). I have moved away from the screen and into my writing cubby and it’s been bliss.
When the day is done, we’ve washed the sweat from our wilty bodies and eaten a good meal, we sit and chat in the porch while I work on various textile projects and he stares at the old apple tree. That’s about our speed after a long day of labour these days. We are truly, truly looking forward to a winter of quiet and slowness, wood burning stoves, cosy layers of wool clothes, frost bitten noses – all the things our tired bodies are dreaming of right now. But first, we must get through the building and infrastructure projects, the harvest and butchering of all the animals needed to fill our near empty freezers, and the continuous daily demands of a life reliant on, and rewarded by, our efforts. It’s all worth it.