Avoiding Burnout: Fun Days at Wild Ozark

Avoiding Burnout

Anyone who has ever tried to build a homesteading life will know it’s a tremendous amount of work. So we also work at avoiding burnout.

The list of things on the “to do” list is so long, our list is more of a scroll than a list and it has no end. So we make a point to take fun days. Sometimes we take more than one fun day in a row. Sunday we went to eat out and walk around in Eureka Springs.

Monday was Memorial Day and although the day started with a bout of concentrated spring cleaning and organizing,  we moved on to fun shortly afterwards: target practice with our .22 pistols and rifles, and an incredibly good supper of smoked chicken, wild rice, and steamed asparagus and carrots. The food was so delicious I forgot completely that I wanted to take a picture of it.

All in all, in spite of the rain that kept the kids and grandkids at bay, we had a great time.

Target Practice

After the cleaning we decided to go target practicing on some cans. Target practice is a great way of avoiding burnout and relieving stress.

Target practice is a great way of avoiding burnout and relieving stress.
Cans in the Bag
dead cans
Dead Cans

I have an old Hi-Standard 9-shooter revolver that my dad gave me when I first started venturing off alone to hike and explore the world. I managed to hit a few cans too, but I did much better with the rifle. To hit anything at all with my pistol is great improvement!

Rob is a great shot. These ear muffs he’s wearing are pretty nifty. They have speakers where you can hear voices and things like the creek trickle, but it muffles sudden loud noises like gunshots. I wore a pair of those, too. His gun is a Ruger “Single Six” .22 revolver. We have a matching pair of Henry Repeater .22 rifles, too, but I forgot to get a photo of those.

shooting 1shooting 2 gunsmoke

My arm and shoulder grew tired sooner than his, so I wandered around the creek to get some photos while he pulled off a few more rounds.

I wandered

There’s a tree stump in the creek from a tree that was cleared out of the landslide. This landslide is occupying a large part of Rob’s work time these days. He’s trying to clear it and open up our old driveway so concrete trucks can reach the place near our house where he wants to build his workshop.


On this tree stump in the creek, there’s a short piece of poke root on it that washed up and settled on the downstream side of the stump during the last heavy rain, and the poke is sprouting new leaves now. The plant’s blatant refusal to yield to the unpredictable elements showcases the resiliency of nature.

poke root sprouting on stump
Poke root sprouting new leaves on a stump.

I wandered around near the creek a little more.

Then I saw a leaf. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of leaves all around, always. But I like leaves a lot, especially ones in odd predicaments that showcase color or form.

This one showcased personality. It stood out so much that I took nearly a hundred pictures trying to get the perfect one.

Beautiful in its defiance, refusing to yield to the elements trying to force it to peel off and float downstream.

Leaf on Rock, barely Under Water. Beautiful in its defiance, refusing to yield to the elements trying to force it to peel off and float downstream.
Leaf on Rock, barely Under Water.


Refreshed and Ready

Having done a great job at avoiding burnout this week, and with a few reminders of persistence from Nature, I’m back to work this morning. I’ve got a decent, yet manageable list of Wild Ozark items to do.

  • A blog post or three
  • Wild Ozark Musings newsletter
  • Roots Inventory newsletter
  • Prepare slides for next week’s ginseng talk in Fayetteville
  • work on Chapter 13 of Bounty Hunter

And on Thursday I’ll find out what the specialist thinks about my knee. It’s still improving so I’m hopeful surgery isn’t a priority recommendation.

First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming

Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.

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