If days off are important to you, don’t get a homestead, move out into the country or try to be self sufficient. This life style is a 365 day a year proposition. Don’t get livestock, or chickens or milk any animals. Don’t plan
to have a vacation or go somewhere overnight. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they all involve family, neighbors or friends willing to do your numerous chores twice a day and make sure your place is secure for the time period you plan to be gone. There aren’t many people to be found that are ready, willing and able to do so, and most people I know that live this lifestyle would much rather not have someone else tending their place.
This is a way of life, not a project or task to accomplish. Trying to
have a thriving, successful homestead means it is your life. And that life entails daily chores that are just that…chores. Frank and I were talking about it the other day and he compared it to the old post office saying, “Neither hail, nor snow, nor gloom of night will stop us from….” Or maybe that’s how they said it in the movie Postman. Have you ever seen that movie? It’s really old, but well worth watching. It’s kind of about how to survive a collapse when things are really tough.
Well, back to chores. There are times that slogging out through the mud/ice/snow/dark/heat…….is no fun. No fun at all.
There are times hauling water is a major and sometimes dangerous chore.
There are times that we’re just tired and want to sleep in and be lazy. There are times that it would be nice to take just one day off.
But then there are the cats, goats, dog and chickens to feed; the goat to milk; everyone needs water; they all need to be checked on to make sure all is well. Milk animals don’t usually appreciate the technique an unfamiliar person uses. And Sunday is the Lord’s day, a day of rest, when there are many things we don’t do. But the chores still need doin’, twice a day.
There are ways to leave the farm if you have a way to leave feed out for your dogs and cats. You can even leave extra feed and water out for your
chickens if they are not laying. It isn’t advisable to leave eggs in the nest boxes overnight. That may be asking for trouble if some of them break and they begin eating them. If you raise cattle it would be easier to leave them alone for a few days, as long as you weren’t milking. And every so often there are a few days a year when you may not be gathering eggs, milking, watching for new babies, picking and preserving the garden, making sure the pipes don’t freeze or some other time sensitive chore. Then you may be able to slip away for maybe two days. But as a standard rule, just don’t plan on going anywhere overnight.
We can get away with not washing the dishes one day. But if we want to eat, we have to cook. Or at least heat up something we have already cooked. It’s funny. As I write this you are probably thinking, “Why not just go out and eat?” Right? Well, that is something we very seldom do. That is another part of our homestead lifestyle. It’s not that we are the best cooks around, it’s just that we like basic simple food that doesn’t have a lot of added chemicals or ingredients that you can’t pronounce. We like to eat at home more than anywhere else. Besides that, if I come home from work and we do the chores before we go out to eat, we have to drive about 30 miles to eat. That isn’t going to happen unless we are going somewhere for a special occasion. Once we’re home, we’re usually home for the evening.
And then if it’s gardening season, that is a whole other set of chores to complete. From tilling to planting to weeding to watering to weeding to watering to picking to cooking to picking to canning to preserving to……….And it’s a wonderful chore. It can be very relaxing and satisfying to put up your own food. I wish I could do more of it. It’s just that sometimes, it would be nice to have a day off.
One of our great get aways is reading a book. No, we don’t leave home physically to read it, but it does give us a chance to ‘not think or do’ for a little while. Most of our reading lately deals with TEOTWAWKI scenarios. They are all novels, and some are a little more farfetched than others, but there are at least a few ideas we run across that may increase our success and/or comfort when the time comes.
So….if you are the kind of person that really needs to have days off to be happy and function well, don’t get a homestead, or livestock, or plan to garden/can/preserve. But, on the other hand, there is no place like home, and no place I would rather be, and most times, these chores are just right for me.
Until next time – Fern