If I haven't posted regularly this last week, it's because I alternated between days when I was hyper busy and days when I hung out around the homestead and had some fun.
The Hermit had a business meeting in Pittsburgh, PA the first part of the week, and when that was over he spent a couple of days with his parents near the shore of Lake Erie, Ohio. So I was in charge of kids and the herd of animals that make up our pseudo-farm here. But The Hermit had hired a neighbor to look after at least part of the herd; this neighbor requires some supervision, but I was happy to see he really was diligent at feeding and watering horses, sheep, and the like.
I had made arrangements for the kids on Tuesday and Thursday, the only days I had work commitments. I took the other days off, without regret. Although we have been fortunate to have a good daycare center nearby, we decided, for various reasons, to avoid it for this summer. Instead, Calvin was able to go to a friend's house the days I had to work, and Tuesday I had someone I knew from church watch Starflower and Mr. Attitude. Thursday was one of those serendipity things; we had arrangements for the kids at another church member's house, but it turned out a neighbor who lives less than two miles away, whose husband is pastor at another church, and who has picked up the kids every Wednesday night for Bible study, agreed to watch S and Mr. A. Thursday. She's a really terrific person, and I'm glad to know her now as a neighbor and friend. What a community we have around here.
It really is not realistic to think that one can work a full time job and care for the animals that make up a homestead. The only other people I know of that are "homesteading" around here have one full-time breadwinner, interestingly the woman in each case, who spends a huge amount of time away from the homestead to earn the money to keep that kind of lifestyle going. In our case, we both have full time jobs, and we don't really have any farm income. The Hermit works from home, allowing a bit more time flexibility than would be available in most two-income households. But when he has to be gone, I really notice just how much of a partnership this is.
To be honest, I would much rather not be working the job I have full time. This week, the days I enjoyed most were the days that I spent out in the garden getting things planted, being attentive to the household and doing what needed to be done there, and planning and cooking good meals for my family. Last night we had venison sloppy joes, homemade potato salad with garden fresh green onions and arugula, garden kale pan fried in bacon grease, and watermelon. I could not have cooked that meal after a full day's work. And I had way too much fun planning and cooking it.
But for now, economics demand that I work. Personal sanity demands that I take some time off, like I did this week. I'm walking the fine line here, until I win the lottery. :)