I hope that anyone wondering why I’ve not been up to date on correspondence over the last week can glance at the last few days of posts and extend me grace. I’m not sure if I have done anyone wrong but be slow but I notice my own tardiness.
The benefit of public diaries and social media is that it provides a kind of open “what is happening” context for everyone to see why their emails and messages are not being returned.
I was able to do some amount of personal chores around the Airbnb. Then I was hit with another round of migraines and had to lay down. I am not out of the woods yet it would seem. Maybe tomorrow.
I’ve come to believe a good day off must involve a balance of work and rest. I take a seven day a week approach to my own professional work personally but I love a weekend for doing work of a more personal nature.
My husband loves homestead chores. While we had some nerves about how much work maintaining property would be after years of city renting, it was clearly unwarranted. There are few things more pleasurable than puttering about your own land and making improvements.
We’d planted apple, plum and cherry trees over the year but Alex had learned a few things he’d done sub-optimally so he went to the town mulch pile this weekend, loaded up over two trips, and with a friend redid the entire mulch on our young orchard.
Not all the chores are quite so wholesome as tree planting. The drive away in front of our barn has a lot of weeds growing up after a very wet summer. We’ve got more green growing things than we did last summer by a wide margin. We probably got three hay cuttings this season versus two last year and the final one wasn’t all that green. So Alex took a torch and a fuel and burned down the weeds. Sounds a bit silly but keeping growth under control before it comes a fire hazard is a critical landscaping need in high country mountain terrain.
A final chore for the day? We have a very advanced filtration system on our water. We have our own well so we don’t rely on the town to do treatment. As you can see the filters need regular changing. Not an activity that’s without its disgust factor. Clean water is good and ours benefits from regular filter rotation.
As you might imagine I’m not the one doing most of the heavy lifting. But I did contribute one crucial thing to moral. Cheerleading and and a reminder to get in a nap. Sunday afternoon naps are a must if you’ve been up since sunrise enjoying choring.
If I haven’t yet recommended it to you, my favorite sit-com is called Letterkenney. It’s about a group of young Canadians living in a small town in farm country. It follows the hicks, skids, and hockey players as they go about their lives of mostly manual labor and occasional drug dealing. This premise dramatically undersells the show which has the smartest writing and quippiest dialog this side of an Aaron Sorkin drama. Except it’s about ten times as vulgar and much less pretentious.
One of my favorite ongoing bits in the show is how everyone is always “choring” as a background. Or if you aren’t choring you need to get back at it. Want to go out? Pitter patter, let’s get at her by getting back to choring.
Feeling invigorated by the success of the mornings planting and by the nutrients in the head of butter leaf I harvested, I turned to other overdue bits of choring.
I unpacked and organized some of the books I keep on hand for reference materials. You might spot preparedness & resilience topics. Also my library on consumption, class & money. My capitalism meets Marxism meets political theory books. And then of course a lot of Greeks.
I then tackled the organization of the pantry. That’s got a long way to go but at least I took it from a bunch of stuff Willy Nilly into a basic organization. We’ve got shelves dedicated to dried fruit, an entire shelf for nuts, and other sundry spots for grains and sugars and the like. Shockingly there are drawers under this where I’ve put beans and lentils to keep the onions and potatoes companies.
I’ve got so many chores that listing out all the choring for one day both motivates me to keep at it but also reminds me that we get a lot day each day around the homestead.
I’ve got a mix of personal and professional and familial reasons I’m spending the month in Europe (mostly in Germany). But one of the reasons was to get some time apart from my husband Alex. Yes I know it sounds kind of shocking. What a bad wife!
It’s been amazing and invigorating to be on my own again. Anyone who deals with me closely has noticed how much more inspired I am to be in a new place on my own. It’s enabled me to see some of my coping mechanisms more clearly. For instance, my inner child feels safer in the chaos of new things because she got used to moving a lot when I was little. That has given me a gift for startup work, but it also means that I can become resentful and stifled if I feel trapped.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t disclose that a big factor in needing to be on my own was to learn if I could do my own damn chores. Holy shit I still absolutely hate how much I energy it takes to keep me clean, watered, medicated and fed as a moderately disabled person. My husband is a natural caretaker and I will happily enable that.
It’s so much damn energy from my limited reserves to care for myself. Alex has always done it better than I do. But if I’m apart from him I don’t have the backstop of him picking up the maintenance work of my life. I wanted to know if I could survive it. In order to freely accept his love and help I needed to know I could live without it.
And I am. This Saturday was dedicated to grocery shopping, laundry, doing dishes and tidying the Airbnb. I had to lay down and rest because of the effort of my day “off” from work. But I did it. Kinda. I still haven’t put the comforter cover back on the bed. But I’m working my way up to it.