I happen to be one of those people that has "bear" tendencies. When the weather is cold outside and all the harvest and preserving is done I like to just hibernate. I think hibernating takes on many forms for many people. Many people like to get out and play in the snow, I am not one of those. Some like to just stay inside and read and relax. Others take this time to do crafts and enjoy hobbies. For even others, life goes on as usual. I personally fit somewhere in all these categories. I do read some, make plans for spring and gardening, do some little projects that are put off when the weather is nice, eat and sleep a lot. This I think is one of the great rewards of homesteading. You stay very busy in spring, summer into fall then after all is done you have a few months to rest, plan and relax. I ideal life for me would be the pioneer life I think. The old ways of doing things. I was blessed enough to grow up on this farm. When I was younger, in spring dad would hitch the mules and go to the field and plow all day only coming in for lunch, which was always from stuff grown on the farm. Growing up we bought very little from the store. In evening he would come in to supper, wash up and at dark we went to bed. At daylight it all started over again. We worked hard all summer to raise and can and preserve enough food for us and for the livestock. We raised all the feed our animals ate. And looking back I don't remember ever having sick animals on the farm. We had hogs for meat, raised from breeding stock we kept. We had chickens for eggs and meat, again raised from our own birds. We had cattle, no more than about 12 at any one time. We had our own milk and made milk products to use. Some of these things that were produced on the farm were sold to neighbors for cash to do other things with. In my younger years the only true cash crop on the farm was tobacco. The cash from the tobacco crop along with a little cash from selling a few pigs and maybe some cattle paid all the bills and money to save. The only bill we had when I was growing up was the electric bill. We never had a vehicle or the expense that went with it. We never had homeowners insurance, you just used common sense and protected it from accidental fires. Health insurance was never heard of then. But we didn't need it, we never got sick and if we were ailing with something it was an old remedy that was used. I always wondered later in life why I wasn't allowed to do a lot of the stuff my friends did. Now I know, it was to keep me from getting injured and needing medical care. Insurance in my opinion has made people very careless in all aspects of life from homes to vehicles to their own health. We didn't have a phone or TV. After all if we wanted or needed to talk to someone, we would walk and visit. And as far as TV, after working all day on the farm the last thing you wanted to do was stay up late and watch TV. I have to agree some of the modern things we have now make life a little easier but they do come with a price. And that in itself is what has taken people off the homesteads and into the work force. We simply work a job to earn a wage to pay someone to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves. Looking back I think I had a good life growing up and didn't know it. Yes it is nice to adjust the thermostat year around to a comfortable setting but its not a necessity. Yes it is nice to get in the car and drive to where we want to be but at the cost of our health in the long run. We work ourselves silly paying for the car, insurance and fuel and get no exercise in the process. If you sit and think about things we all do on a daily basis it is easy to see why our health declines faster today with all these things than people did 100 years ago. OK I am all done rambling now. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.