Friday, February 13, 2015

Boring Blog

So there is another blog I read from time to time, from a conservative columnist living on acreage in Northern Idaho. ( ) While politically we are polar opposites on almost every issue (therefore I usually skip her political posts), I love reading her posts about life in the woods -- their livestock, their weather, their homesteading efforts (which are significant).  

But she posted this morning that someone had complained about her blog, saying something to the effect that writing about broken chest freezers, biscuit recipes and other around-the-house topics was just a big yawn.  And of course instead of just getting lost and reading a different blog, the letter writer felt the need to let this lady know how boring he/she thought that kind of life was.

Which is the total and absolute conundrum about homesteading blogs.  If someone is really homesteading, you are going to see a lot of repetition and unless you are a homesteading fan, it will likely become boring to read about over time. Because, compared to modern life, the simple life of homestead tasks IS boring, by comparison. There are no Tahitian vacations, no outlandish luxury purchases, and very little of what people have come to expect for online entertainment, which is D-R-A-M-A. There are chest freezers breaking down, a little blood spilled here and there, fence issues and animal stories.

There is another blog I used to read (which I will not dignify with the term "homesteading blog" since it is not) which panders more to what your average reality-show consumer desires.  There is always drama, giant, metaphorical wolves at the door interspersed with sticky-sweet, bucolic farm life monologues, lots of self-promotion and advertising, and lots of opportunities for readers to send money to keep it all going and see the drama continued. 

The readers fund the drama in this case, and you donate money to ensure the next "episode" pops up on your blog feed tomorrow or the next day, although the official tagline usually runs something like "your donations keep the farm going." Because as we all know, farms are successful due to online donations, right?

Anyway, this second blog is not a blog about homesteading, although it may look like that on the surface. No, instead, it's actually a soap opera/reality TV show set on a few acres, with the blogger seeking not the simple life, but rather attention and recognition. But, I suppose the complaining letter-writer on the other blog would like it, because it does have a constantly rotating cast of new animals and new purchases, usually followed by lots of crisis and commensurate panic.

I will just say here that I love true homesteading blogs because they inspire me. Honestly, I also love decorating blogs if they inspire me.  In my opinion, if you are a real person doing real and creative things, that is interesting.  If I read a post about making butter, then I want to make some. If I read about planting a spring garden, then I get excited about planning mine. I do try to stay away from serious decorating blogs for this reason...if I see a newly remodeled bathroom, I start wanting one myself.  Better to just make some butter and be content with that. It's a lot cheaper that way.

But regarding the homesteading blogs I do read, I do not expect life on the average, honest homestead to read like an episode of "The Bachelor," with trips, roses and tears in every episode.

Here's to keeping it real on the homestead and the legitimate bloggers who help chronicle it. Let's leave the roses and tears to the drama queens.


  1. People can be so absurd. I'd like to ask that person what he/she expects? Like you, the blogs I enjoy most are the ones that are a window, even a tiny one, into a real person's life. I love reading about the day to day in someone else's world. I decided a while ago that I wouldn't do anything on my blog that is just for the blog. I'll only transfer parts of my real life onto my blog. I so know what you mean about decorating/shopping blogs. I know I've been guilty of posting about purchases and try to be mindful of that. I hate it when all the sudden I want something that I never knew I wanted! I love that your blog is thorough and informative, funny sometimes, touching at others, with plenty of snapshots of your life in wine country between everything. I also enjoy how you incorporate big issues like environmentalism and human rights into your posts and life. It's clear you're a real writer!

    1. Thank you Stephen Andrew, I can say the same about you. I love reading your blog, your writing is witty, thoughtful and interesting to read and your beautiful decor inspires me. I think we both keep it real, which makes for a better read, with reality in abundance and drama in very small, measured doses (kind of like cooking with smoked paprika lol).

  2. I love reading your blog because it is inspiring, thoughtful and intelligent. Also because it is very real and does not include the revolving door of crises and drama. I find it very grounding.

    Yes, homesteading blogs can be boring for the reasons you stated. There is a lot of drudge work involved. Do you remember Amy Dacyczyn, the author of The Tightwad Gazette Newsletter? A reporter asked if he could spend the day with her to watch how she saved money. She was puzzled by his request. She said sure, if he wanted to watch her wash dishes by hand, hang laundry on a clothesline, dig in the garden or prepare a meal for her family of eight.

    Anyway, I enjoy each and every one of your blog posts.

    1. Interesting story, Molly, and I'm sure the reporter would have left before lunch time lol! And thanks for the kind words.