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.

About Wild Ozark
Wild Ozark is a nature farm. Mostly we grow rocks. I use those rocks and some of the herbs to make earth pigments and watercolor paints. We also grow native clay that I use for paint and various other things. And then there are the trees. We grow lots of trees. My husband uses some for his woodworking and some for our Burnt Kettle Shagbark Hickory Syrup, but for the most part they stand around creating good air, shade, & habitat for the ginseng nursery.

Follow me on Instagram to keep up with paints, art, and random nature pictures I make in real time.

My art and paints are available on Etsy! But if you're interested in owning a Madison Woods original, follow me on Instagram or FB because sometimes they go out the door as soon as I make the final post to say they're done.

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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. You can find my art on display and for sale at the Kingston Square Arts shop in Kingston, Arkansas. It's a tiny little town and a bit off the path to anywhere at all, but a wonderful ride out to a most beautiful part of our state. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making arts & crafty things, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.

Published by Madison Woods

Madison Woods is a Nature Artist & Fantasy Author living in the wild Ozark hills of northwest Arkansas. She uses native rocks, clay, and botanicals to create works of art to capture the magic of nature. Her writing reflects her love of adventure in the rural outback.

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