How To Skin A Cat

One of my favorite sayings is “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I get a bit confused on my jaunts around the homesteading communities on the internet when people tell other people, “Oh, you can’t do that!” as if there’s one way and one way only to accomplish the things we do on the homestead. I’m a bit like a Missourian when I hear that; I want to say “Show me.” As far as I’m concerned the Bible is carved in stone. Everything else is, well, it’s just everything else. I try when asked for advice to use the following guidelines: 1) If I’ve actually done what it is the person is asking about, I say, “In my experience. . .”  2) If I only have anecdote from other homesteaders or have only read about the activity in question I say “I’ve heard, or I’ve read. . . .” and 3) If I’m completely in the dark I say, “I have no clue.” I often break the “rules”, those directions that are in all the books, often word for word in book after book (it seems plagiarism was rampant in many of the back-to-the-land texts of the ‘70’s but I still love my old books.) I make no apologies for my stubborn streak and I’ve learned some interesting things because of it. I encourage everyone, when it comes to your personal agrarian journey, to try breaking the rules. Learn how to learn, not simply how to follow directions. Be bold and try things even if they seem crazy. And mostly, pay no attention to those who would tell you “You can’t.”

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

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