We seem to have had a fair share of setbacks this year, probably enough for two or three years. It is hard to not be discouraged, but losing heart doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
I have had continuing illness which doesn’t seem to be resolved by the usual means, either allopathic or naturopathic. I am mostly resigned to riding it out. I’m of the opinion that metaphysically, my whole being is rejecting modern life. My allergies are centred on the refined mould byproduct called penicillin, a common antibiotic used for humans and animals. We are all aware that antibiotics are regularly added to commercial animal feed to make meat animals grow faster and to wipe out any insidious bacterial infections. The end result of that is hypersensitivity in some people (me) and penicillin resistant bacteria permeating our human ecology. That’s not a good thing. Worse, many common chemicals mimic penicillin, including preservatives and plastics. I am always in danger of fatal anaphylactic shock from common substances, such as sunscreen and commercially prepared foods. I can no longer treat pain with common over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, NSAIDs, or acetaminophen. I cannot use cleaning products with fragrances in them. I can’t use most personal care products, from antiperspirants to shampoos, and have had to find more expensive natural alternatives. Usually plain soap and vinegar is all I need for both household cleaning and personal care, but I am discouraged by the growing list of “don’t-touch” products.
The illness, though, has been expensive when I needed acute care. It has cost me energy and ambition to get things done as I planned.
Bad weather and my lack of good health have put our garden projects seriously in danger. We have been able to recover a little from that, but the majority of the major work is delayed until this fall and next spring. We will see some food, but not as much as I hoped. The gardens look pretty weedy, too, but I expect that the first year. Since we were unable to completely work the second garden plot, I am going to drop in some onion sets and broadcast sow some lentils to at least break the soil and perhaps furnish something of a crop. I have some kale to put in, and some late cabbages, and along with late root crops, we should have a post-frost harvest into October. I am looking for a way to make row covers and hot caps, if we can’t afford them. My backup plan is to buy in quantity at the farmers’ markets, and can that.
A major decision to make is whether to sell the truck. Right now, I have it on offer as a trade for a horse and buggy and a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle. I can’t really afford to sell it without a back-up plan for transportation. It isn’t worth a great deal, but it would be helpful to have cheaper transportation.
I am looking at freelance writing. I have had a few low-paying assignments this week, but they make little difference in the overall scheme of things. It does give me some practice and the opportunity to become familiar with new aspects of online publishing, so I’m not knocking it too hard. Still, I couldn’t make a living from it.
I am still praying and hoping for work in the church. I have yet to hear from the bishop’s office, but I did say I could wait for an appointment, with a tentative suggestion of meeting before the end of July. After that, I am going to assume I am not wanted, or not being heard, or something. There are procedures for pursuing this beyond that date, but I am reluctant to take them.
The world has changed. It is much more difficult to lead a rural life, since in the past it has depended on the cooperation of neighbours. Our neighbours are people who do not live a rural life. They live a suburban life in a rural setting. Older farmers are retired and have sold their equipment. There are no young farmers except for a handful who will inherit family farms. It makes me wonder how people expect to get fed as food costs rise because of high transportation costs.