Saturday, January 21, 2012

The First Post

This blog is my writing about living as a pagan homesteader on a 652 acre farm along the Wisconsin River. 

I was born into a family that was land rich and money poor, raised for my first 9 years without electricity or running water.  People are surprised to learn that while I am only 46 years old I went to school in a one room school house for my first 5 years of school, I didn't have my first telephone until I went to college, and that I am just as, if not more, comfortable living out of a canoe as I am living out of my house.  My mother's family have been farming in this valley for over 150 years.  My father was a swamp rat, living off the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers until he married my mother in his late 20s. 

When I was 13 years old my older uncle had a heart attack and I moved in with him and my aunt to help to take care of their farm until I left for college when I was 17.  I once again lived with no electricity or running water because my aunt and uncle were true free spirits.  They would not own a monthly bill to ANYONE.  LOL  My aunt was a healer and my uncle was a farmer and provider from the forests and swamps of the area. 

At age 17 I fulfilled my father's dream and was the first of my four siblings to go to college.  But even though I greatly enjoyed learning new things and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my job as a forensic meteorologist, I truly missed the life I had been raised in.  When my aunt passed away in 1987 I inherited her farm and my then husband and I moved back home.  While he had a hard time living such a simple life I finally realized this was the life I couldn't live without.  It took several year and a great deal of work but I made my uncle and aunt's farm into my home. 

I do still live off grid but instead of having no electricity, I work with solar and wind.  I raise Scottish highlander cattle for both meat and milk.  Actually besides olive oil, salt and sugar (and the occasional cup of coffee LOL) I raise most of my own food.  I raise all my animal food and I do so in what people now call the "organic" way.  For those of us whole live cheaply it just means not giving my money to the big chemical companies and instead using the free stuff that nature provides.  But that would be a really long title so I say "organic". 

My religion is of the pantheist/pagan way.  It often seems odd to others that a pagan is into homesteading and survivalism but if we go to true paganism, most of the original gatherings and ceremonies were about surviving.  If we actually follow the Old Ways then we would need to feel close the the earth by taking our nourishment from Her.  Of course most pagans are New Age pagans instead of Old Way pagans and this is why it seems strange to some. 

While I do not intend to use this blog as a religious site, I am a pantheist pagan and sometimes some of that comes out in my writing.  I just want people to be prepared for that.  I also would like other pagans who feel similar to I do but can't find many in the pagan mainstream that agree with them to know that they are not alone.  Not every pagan is about buying crystals and wearing black and not every homesteader is looking to Jesus to save them. 

For politics, I am neither a conservative nor a liberal.  What I am is an American.  I believe we need people of both ways of thinking and if we lean one way or another we lose a bit of ourselves.  I also will not be brain washed by either side.  Each side has wonderful gifts to bring to the table and each side can be dumb as a fence post from time to time.  I simply will not be told how to think and for that I am neither and both at the same time.  I am an American, from Wisconsin, from a little valley on the Wisconsin River, from a tight knit farm family, from myself and my way of thinking. 

So, off I go on my new blog.  I hope you enjoy and share what you have to teach me.


  1. Okay Rea-- I am hooked! Where are you? We are between wausau and merill. I think we might be sisters :)
    email me if you wish kris_hoff at yahoo dot com

    1. Hey Kris, You're a bit north of me. I live kinda between Portage and Endeavor. One of my cousins lives near Eagle River though so I go right past you when I go visiting.

      Your's was one of the first blogs I fell in love with when I came online. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I can certainly relate to much of it.

  2. You've got my full attention Rea. I just read every blog entry and am enjoying what I've read so far. I live on the Southernmost border between Illinois and Wisconsin. While I'd love to be a homesteader who lives off the grid, my health does not allow it at this point. I do my own little thing with what I have at the moment. Many of my beliefs and views are much the same as yours.
    Thanks for following my blog, although I don't use the one you decided to follow...that was an afterthought when I couldn't access my other two blogs, HeartSongs and Stone Soup. You are more than welcome to visit me on either one. Just so you I plan on deleting that one?
    I love what I've learned here from you today...and can't wait to learn more. :)
    Radiant Blessings,

    1. I'm sorry to hear you have health problems. If you need a bit of time out "on the farm" you should come visting. It's best to visit in the summer here because my house is taken over by looms in the winter. lol I have signed up for your other two blogs now so I can follow you. Thank you for sharing your life with us, we can learn so much from each other.