A reader asked recently if I would share what an ordinary day is like for me. Of course, as she noted, no two days are ever alike for most of us (especially if you have kids!), but here’s a day:
It starts at 6 a.m. I feed the cats because CATS DON’T WAIT. I have to make sure Weston and Morgan are up and ready to roll at 6:30. Weston has something for me to sign at the last minute (progress report). We get in the car and head down the driveway and through three creeks and over the hill on the rough gravel road. Two and a quarter miles. In the dark.
There are no streetlights out here. On the way, we go over schedules for the football practice and volleyball game later in the day so we all know what we’re doing. (Meaning, so I know what I’m doing.) We hit the hard (paved) road and go about another half mile. I drop them off at the old farmhouse where they will catch the bus to school. I head home again. It’s about three miles to the old farmhouse and three miles back, but the trip takes 45 minutes. It’s just beginning to get light.
My staff is waiting for me in my office.
I feed the dogs and get the chickens and ducks up as the day breaks.
I visit everybody. Hello, Poky.
There are still pumpkins and pears to be processed.
But I have other work to do first. I pick up and clean up and do dishes then I think about dinner. I’ll be away from home at dinnertime, as I often am because of sports, so I usually try to plan something ahead of time. I get out the crock pot and stick a pork butt in there with some barbeque sauce, honey, minced onions, and brown sugar.
I start bread for homemade buns. Dinner will be pulled pork sandwiches.
I chase a chicken off the porch.
Oh, see these two light fixtures?
Ross will be in the Navy soon, but right now he’s still working construction. He salvaged these light fixtures that were going into the trash at the job site. Now I don’t have to have a bare bulb by my front and back doors. He can even wire them up for me. That’s my boy. (He was so proud when he brought them home to me! I’ll clean them up and they’ll be great. And FREE.)
My staff is still waiting for me in my office. Buttercup climbs on top of me to lay claim.
Little waits for his chance to sit on my lap and create computer emergencies by stepping on my mousepad with his paw.
He’s too scared of Buttercup to come any closer…..until Buttercup gets in a snit and prowls away. Then Little gets on my lap.
I write and work on photos and check email. When the weather’s warm, I often take my laptop outside and work on the porch where I can be with the hills and the trees and the animals.
By the way, the secret to the most wonderfully soft homemade sandwich buns? Lard. I use egg and oil in my Grandmother Bread when I make sandwich buns. One-third cup oil and one egg per one-loaf batch. I’m making a two-loaf batch of dough for a lot of buns. Instead of using two-thirds cup oil, I use two-thirds cup melted lard. Hadn’t tried that before. It’s perfect.
Just have to share that. (Go make some buns!)
The Navy recruiter comes to visit.
Really. All the way out here to our farm. He goes over various expectations and responsibilities, with Ross and with me, for the delayed enlistment period while Ross is awaiting his boot camp ship date. He pets Little, who has climbed onto his lap, while he talks to us. I ask him if I can take his picture, and Ross explains patiently, “She has a blog.”
Ross signs a piece of paper agreeing that the recruiter has made this “indoctrination” visit.
Then the Navy recruiter heads back to civilization and I go back to work.
My assistant returns. He can hardly keep his eyes open. I’m not sure how much good he’ll be.
How much time I spend each day writing my posts and preparing the photos ranges from a couple of hours to several hours, depending on the type of post and what else I’m doing outside the writing/photo editing that is associated with the post (crafting, baking, and other various adventuring). I sometimes take hundreds of photos (especially if it’s a post about the animals) for one post, so sifting through and selecting just the right photos is time-consuming. This is a long post with a lot of pictures, so it took more time to prepare than most. I’m keeping a journal of Tuesday, preparing the post on Wednesday, which means it will be ready to appear on Thursday.
I also write other things (such as my newspaper column) and work on all sorts of projects. I do a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff on my website, and also read emails and answer questions. Between the time I drop the kids off at the bus and the time I start heading out for pick-ups, I squeeze in as much work as I can. I love what I do.
It’s the most ordinary of days, this Tuesday. No big adventures. No goat-chasing or outhouse-snooping or duck-rescuing. Just quiet writing time and working in the kitchen and chasing chickens off the porch.
There’s enough time after I’ve finished most of my work to play with one of the pumpkins.
I cut it up and bake it and puree it then go back to my laptop to work a little bit more and I watch Judge Judy. I LOVE HER.
I check on the animals throughout the day. Sprite and Fanta take a nap.
Spice-the-door-opening-cat gazes longingly at the bird feeders.
Hey, Mr. Cotswold.
Hey, JESTER. (She’s the Mean Rooster of the meadow bottom.)
It’s time to head out again. During most of the school year, weeknights are about sports. Most evenings, I spend a couple of hours running from one school to the next between two different towns making practice pick-ups or sitting at a game or working a concession stand. (Probably one of the biggest misconceptions about me is that I’m home all the time. I have two athletes. I’m not home all the time. When you include the morning bus run, I spend an average of three hours a day driving around. I may not live in suburbia, but I am a typical mom.) This day, Weston needs picked up from football practice. But my cousin’s wife, Sheryl, saves the day and offers to pick him up for me so I can head straight for our little town to be on time for Morgan’s volleyball game. (Weston and Morgan almost always need me to be in two different places at the same time, so I’m almost always late for someone.) They’re having a presentation for the 8th grade girls on the team. I’m very excited. I don’t get help very often for pick-ups. Today is a banner day!
The road is beautiful with the afternoon sun lighting the color in the woods.
I am so blessed to live in this place.
Sheryl and Weston meet me at the game. Weston, not so patient as his older brother, tells me if I take his picture, he’s going to join the Army.
He’s trying to give me a heart attack.
Number 14 plays her last volleyball game of the regular season. But basketball is right around the corner….
We go home over the hill and through three creeks on the rough gravel road. It’s night on the farm.
It’s time for all good little chickens and ducks to go to bed.
Dinner’s in the crock pot. Children are hungry. I double-check that my blog is set and ready to post automatically in the wee hours of the morning, while I am still asleep, so that those of you who get up earlier than me will find it waiting for you.
I take Kitten and Little and go to bed. I have to be up at six….