I Need a Clone!

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Future chickens, eggs, chickens, eggs, etc.

Future chickens, eggs, chickens, eggs, etc.

Those of you who hang around here may have noticed that my posts get pretty irregular sometimes. It’s most likely to happen in late summer, when schedules collide. The garden is producing like mad, the tree fruits are getting ripe, it’s haying and wood-cutting season and the kids are back in school, which means bus runs.  Although I try to stay flexible (to the point I sometimes feel like Gumby!) there are times when something has to give. As an example of what I’m dealing with here, here’s a rough idea of my daily schedule.

Ranch workhorse.

Ranch workhorse.

I spend at least four hours a day on some form of food production. These activities include milking the cow, collecting eggs, feeding and watering animals (I have to haul water to two sets of chickens, the pigs and sheep), watering the garden, irrigating (so the cows, horses and sheep will have grass to eat), working in the garden and processing the food that comes out of it. I make butter, cheese, ice cream and yogurt, bread and assorted other foodstuffs. Those are the regular-every-day chores. In addition, there are the major production kinds of food-related activities. Under this heading we have butchering a cow, pig, sheep or chickens, processing all those ripe whatevers and getting them canned/frozen/dried or getting a year’s worth of hay hauled and stacked.

Let's see the wind get that tarp off!

Let’s see the wind get that tarp off!

I spend another four hours a day writing – the kind of writing that puts money in my pocket. This includes research, rough drafts, and proofreading, final drafts and – sometimes – rewrites.

Chalk off another four hours a day (sometimes more) to ranch projects such as mending fence, building new chicken pens or putting a roof back on the sheep pen because a severe windstorm ripped it off.

Winter goodies for toast!

Winter goodies for toast!

So now I’m up to a 12-hour day and I haven’t even started on things like dishes, laundry, housework or this blog. And I refuse to short-circuit my sleep, because if I do (not being a spring chicken any more), I quickly lose the ability to keep up the pace. Add in the occasional consulting project (another way I make money) and one day a week in town, and it becomes pretty obvious that something periodically has to give. The two things most likely to wind up on the bottom of the list as housework and writing for fun, i.e., writing for the blog. If you think that means my house is often grubby around the edges — and at times, right down the middle — you would be 100% right. I figure the housework isn’t going anywhere. What I try to do with the blog is write extra when I do have some spare time, which is usually in the winter. Recipes, for example, are easy to stock up, but that means I might post a couple in a row when things get really hairy. I shoot for a post about once a week. So if it seems I’ve been quiet a little longer than usual every so often, I can assure you, it isn’t because I’m lounging around eating bon-bons and reading trashy novels…

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2 Responses to I Need a Clone!

  1. Amy Randolph says:

    Bless us Agrarians, Bless us all, for time to put away and time to call, and time with our One in All.

    I use my freezer as a temporary holding place for fruits and veggies that I can after harvest’s rush.

    • Bee says:

      I like that, Amy! Thank you. And you’re right, we do have time for the important stuff, like watching the kids swim in the pond on a hot day or the baby pigs play ring-around-the-pigpen. We get to hear the wild geese come in to the pond on a frosty winter day and the birdsong as the sun is coming up. Not to mention that first ripe tomato straight off the vine or the lusciousness of ratatouille, which you only get in summer. I do the freezer thing as well. I hope it doesn’t sound as though I’m complaining, as I love this life and wouldn’t have it any other way — people who don’t live this way, though, often don’t understand about the demands on your time, especially during harvest season.

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