I just finished reading some of the blogs I frequent in the evenings after the kids go to bed. It was on blogs such as these that I learned about chickens and I've now started to re-read up on vegetable gardening. Because I'm the daughter of an engineer, I think I'm cursed with said DNA and therefore must analyze every possible way of mulching, planting, and designing a garden before I actually put shovel to dirt. The sad thing is that we have been here over 2 years now and I still haven't planted anything but tomatoes.
Reading these blogs inspires me, but the couture in my country isn't quite ready to go crunchy. I've always been a fan of the country life, organics, homesteading, and living simply but I just can't shake the inner preppy self. I'd like to make water-collecting barrels, but I just think they'd look so darn tacky!
Heck, I drive an SUV, not a hybrid. I collect fine art, not recyclables. I wear pearls not birkenstocks. I admire those bloggers who post about their homemade bread. I'd love to make homemade bread every day if I didn't spend so much time ironing designer clothes and reading magazines (love the InRegister!) While others are ordering their catalogue seeds for spring, I'm drooling over all-wood cypress windows with antique levers and copper awnings as we prepare to remodel the house.
Sometimes it's the other way around though. I may not believe in co-sleeping, but I've spent more time breastfeeding than I spent in high school. I'm the only person I know who left their son intact. I don't homeschool, but I chose to stay home with my children when everyone else from LSU went on to Grad school and Medical school and their eventual careers. I'm the only girl in my group of friends who doesn't carry credit card debt and go to the mall at least once a week. My kids complain that they're the only ones who don't get Lunchables for lunch.
Before I leave to pick the kids up from carpool, I always change from my farm threads into something a little more presentable. I always think to myself, "It sure would be easier if I could just let myself leave the house like this!" Perhaps it's just a southern thing to feel like you have to put your lipstick on before crossing over your property line (or in the case of a neighborhood, before you step foot out of the front door.) Geez, in Mississippi we couldn't go to the mall without rolling our hair first!
This last year I've found that my three wardrobes have morphed into two. I used to categorize my clothing into:
1) Bum. Clothes for washing the car and painting.
2) Socializing. Clothes for going to lunch at Silver Spoon, Calvins, dinner at Superior, or even our local Wal-Mart.
3) Church. Clothes I wear to church, weddings, or funerals.
As of 2008, I now only have Bum clothes and Church clothes. I've found that my nice stuff just keeps getting ruined by baby spit-up, hot grease from the stove, or general mishaps from outdoors. Gaining a lotta few pounds didn't help this situation either.
I sometimes wonder if I'll ever wake up and suddenly realize I'm just a farm girl. Is it possible to let go of my love for monograms, textiles, and handbags? Could I possibly ever choose canning over Crane stationery?
I realize that there is such a thing as balance. I've been balancing a lot of things up until now...or, -er playing both sides. Example: I had some extra eggs today, so I donned my *best* bum clothes, put on makeup and diamonds and brought several to daughter's teachers before school let out. It took 5 minutes before the art teacher finally realized why I had eggs with me. I guess I just looked like the type who usually brings cupcakes from WalMart.
I'd love to maintain this balance. Martha Stewart does it...with the help of a staff of about 400. One great blogger said this "Only one thing can be presentable at a time. It's either my house or me." In the last 2 years, I do feel like I've let go of a lot of the preppiness and primping. I haven't been shopping for myself in ages, and this past fall the kids went to church several times without matching outfits :) I just wonder how much will have to be let go if I'm ever going to be able to dive into a garden or compost bin. These days of "Honey, can you go feed the chickens...it's humid outside, and I just flat-ironed my hair" can't last forever--or can they?