I’ve been a big fan of Joel Salatin for a while. I’m halfway through this book and it’s some of his best writing (ranting?) in my opinion.
Primary theme: Farming can both reflect and instruct your relationship with God (focused specifically on the Christian perspective).
Regardless of your religious leanings (or lack of), I think many people can walk away with some great thoughts on spiritual development as it related to how you work and operate with the land base you are given.
We spent most of this week hidden away in the Ouachita National Forest camping with my family. It’s always amazing to turn your phone off for almost 5 days, not look at a screen, and get covered in campfire smoke. I sincerely look forward to our trip every year. A perfect time of relaxation and reflection.
Before leaving, the local weatherman predicted that we’d have a frost while we would be out-of-town. So we hurried to get some row covers setup and put over the beans and tomato plants to try to squeeze a bit more production out of them before we closed down the garden for the year.
I arranged for a friend, who was already helping check on the chickens, manage the on/off process of the covers while we were gone. A few leaves on the beans got nipped, but the tomatoes took a pretty big hit. However over the past week, we were still able to harvest almost 8 gallons of beans (with new beans still growing). I’ll call that a win and hopefully we’ll reach over 10 gallons before the harvest is done.
As for running, I had a good week. Still no injuries, but did not get in my long run this weekend. However, we did a 3+ mile hike around the lake on Friday, plus some additional hiking throughout the trip, that I count as a good replacement.
Monday: 19 mins
Wednesday: 22 mins
Thursday: Mild Hiking
Friday: 3+ mile hike
Saturday: Mild Hiking
I weighed in on Sunday when we got back and I was down to 206 lbs, which is a 7 pound weight loss the first week of eating cleaner in addition to my training runs. Pretty dang good. Hopefully, I won’t plateau just yet as I’m trying to hit an even 200 lbs by race day on November 18th.
Now that I’m back at home and on the grid again, I can start focusing on getting back into a routine with writing on my screenplay. Didn’t put any words on the page last week. So, I’ve got some making up to do.
This week was broken up a bit as we spent the last half in Wamego, Kansas visiting my brother and his family. As such, I wasn’t able to get my long run in over the weekend, but we were able to attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka on Saturday.
Monday – 16 mins
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday -19 mins
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rest (missed run)
Sunday – Rest
I also didn’t make any progress on my screenplay as I was trying to focus on spending time with family as much as possible.
Next week will be busy, but hope to get back on track with running and writing.
One of the popular productivity/communication techniques going around the internet at the moment is the implementation of the “Now” page on your personal blog or website.
This concept was initiated by Derek Sivers a while back and it’s purpose is to give yourself (and others) a sense of the project(s) that are consuming your immediate attention.
I don’t personally have a Now page on this site, but I have instituted an analog version of the technique. On my cork board, directly above my computer workstation, I have a simple 3×5 index card posted that lists the top 3 projects that I am currently focused on (see screenshot at the top).
As of the time of this writing those three things include:
Training for the Route 66 5K
Working on a screenplay
Fall harvest & winter prep
I think the offline version is more effective (in my specific context) than posting it as a page on my site because it’s more accessible for the person who needs it most – me.
I primarily work in offline mode. If I only had my projects listed on my website, I would really only see the list when I thought about pulling up the page and looked at it. But because I have it posted directly above my workspace, I am reminded of my priorities much more often, even when I’m working offline.
Anyways, I’m positive I’m not the first person to do an analog version of this, but it’s definitely a technique worth implementing if you’re someone who sets goals and needs frequent reminders as to what your focus should be on (like me).
This week started off in a whirlwind. Monday found me up early and running around town for various meetings almost all day. This forced me to squeeze in my training run over lunch on the treadmill down in the shop. A quick shower and back to work I went.
On Tuesday I was up early so that I could be in Oklahoma City (1.5hr drive) for a work meeting by 7:30am. Thank God it was a rest day.
The rest of the week slowed down and I was able to get my runs in without any problems and capped it off with a gentle 1.5 mile run on Saturday.
Monday – 10 mins (treadmill)
Tuesday – Rest
Wednesday – 13 mins
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 1.5 miles
Sunday – Rest
Spent the weekend doing some chores around the house including box-blading the driveway, brush hogging the front and back pasture, hand raking about 1/2 acre corner of the back pasture, picking up fallen tree limbs, and various other outdoor activities.
So, in addition to the 1.5 mile long run workout on Saturday, all the added activity gave me a bit of cross training at “Earth’s Gym.”
So far, no injuries or signs of my Achilles flaring up. And…I’ve already lost 4 lbs.
Whether you need to tear everything down yourself, or maybe things have come down on their own, every once and a while you may have to hit the reset button and begin again.
Six years ago, I had to rebuild my life from the ground floor. Facing several health challenges, I took on the sport of running and started making several other life changes that resulted in me eating healthier, losing over 50 lbs, and eventually running a marathon. I documented most of that journey here on this blog.
Three years ago, I started suffering from chronic pain in my Achilles. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake the pain.
So, two years ago I gave up on running.
Not only did I stop running, I stopped doing any form of exercise. I managed to convince myself that since I owned a 10 acre farm, I could get my exercise by doing various chores around the property.
That plan didn’t work.
Fast forward to this past Thursday. At my annual doctor’s appointment, I get hit with some fairly unsettling news:
Steve, your cholesterol is high.
Steve, your glucose is high.
Steve, your blood pressure is high.
As I sat in the doctor’s office listening to the results of my lab work, I slowly took full ownership of the situation I now found myself in. It was a short 3 years ago that I was health and fit, and running marathons.
And now I’m basically right back to where I started.
And I did the only thing I knew to do when I needed motivation and something to get me back running the roads again – I signed up for a race.
I’m now registered to run the Route 66 5K on November 18th. In comparison to where I use to be a few short years ago, it’s not that big of deal. But considering where I’m at physically and mentally at the moment, it’s everything.
It’s an opportunity at rebirth.
It’s a chance to rebuild the routines and rhythms that made me a better person.
Most importantly, it’s a chance to regain control of my health so I can be around when my wife and kids are older.
As I look back at my previous journey, I tried to figure out what things made it so successful. The number one thing I can point to is regularly posting updates to this blog on a weekly basis.
I have to institute some sort of accountability into my routines as I start setting goals and working toward them, and this blog has been a key factor and tool for making those types of changes in the past.
So, I’ve wiped the slate clean. Started over. I’ve nuked my entire archive of posts (over 4 years worth) and am starting with a blank page.
Drastic, but necessary.
The plan is to publish a post each week. Topics include: Running, Writing, & Homesteading. With running, it will mainly be the weekly log of my training runs. With writing, I plan to post progress on a screenplay I’m currently working on and hope to have done by the end of the year. And finally, with homesteading, I’ll post stories about the various shenanigans that happen here at the farm and chronicle our journey toward growing our own food and life in rural America.
Running – train and run the Route 66 5K on November 18th
Writing – finish the screenplay for “The Scout” by end of year.
Homesteading – growing food and prepping for the fall harvest, getting ready for winter.