Monday, May 30, 2016

Less is not more. It's less. Unless it's more.




Now 13 months into the"simple life" we have realized we are not one iota less busy but we are certainly happier, joyful even. Maybe not as over the moon happy in mud as our (then) 8-year-old grandaughter Allana, but we're close.

It's amazing how having so much less has made us so much happier. In the last year we have given up many big things, a 3000 square foot farm house, certified organic dairy, beef and pork farm, with a large customer base, our small retail store, tractors, big mowers, grinders, spreaders and 90% of our livestock. We went from managing 40 acres to barely 7.

On the smaller scale we have said goodbye to our microwave, our clothes dryer, 75% of our furniture, our bathtub, 50% of our clothing, disposable  items like napkins, paper towels, baggies, glad wrap and aluminum foil (no worries, we still have toilet paper, we're not complete barbarians).

We also traded a tremendous amount of business related stress for extra time to do frivolous things, like sleep. Our days are just as long, up very early and working outside till very late but the projects are homesteader-driven, instead of customer or regulatory agency driven. I used to spend many hours each week keeping paperwork up to date for our organic certification, entering sales receipts, paying state and federal taxes on our store, making and receiving phone calls to customers, chefs, processors...while Keith did the majority of all the outside work. I was also in school full time so our work load was endless and mind-boggling and we had only ourselves to blame.

Now, the only deadlines we have to meet are self-generated. We'd like to finish our bigger chicken coop this summer, and complete my kitchen pantry. We hope to build a small milk house and we must can or freeze a million pounds or so of produce we've planted so there is not money for willy-nilly grocery shopping anymore.  We plan to make all our cheeses soon and soap making is back on the agenda. We need better shelter for our 6 steers and milk cow Holly before winter and it sure would be grand if we could get the windows and doors in our grain bin house trimmed. BUT, it's up to us how hard we work on each project each day.

 We have less money, fewer possessions and less responsibility. If we choose to stop, and watch a couple of crazy squirrels play in a tree, we can. A couple of years ago WE were the rodents running in circles.




10 comments:

  1. Life outside of the mouse cage must be wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is Lynda, even though I miss that round wheel sometimes. I was trimmer then. No time to snack!

      Delete
  2. A concise, well-constructed summation of the transition from an external commerce-based lifestyle to one of self-industry and personal growth. Well done, my dear. Those classroom hours weren't for naught! I envy you guys. But really, there IS more in them thar 7 acres - it's not less - just different. Looking forward to some Holly news. Moo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kris. I do edit my posts more than before, partly out of fear one of my profs is reading and partly because I've been indoctrinated about the need to be brief, to be concise, to use less words rather than more, you know, that kind of thing, but mostly I just like to play around with words more than ever, adjusting, substituting, using words in unique ways all of which which leads me back to the run-on sentence;it is my downfall.

      Moo news coming soon!

      Delete
  3. Nice to catch up on your blog, well done again on completing your degree esp while moving farm and building a house. Take my hat off to you xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you blog buddy but YOU should talk. You are everywhere doing everything, and you are...my social media hero!

      Delete
  4. Did you say a return to soap making? Want to trade a hand woven towel(s) for some soap? Enjoy the squirrel show! We had a skunk show last night...don't ask ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes I have, yes I would. Do you still have my email? Now, tell me about that squirrel.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes I have, yes I would. Do you still have my email? Now, tell me about that squirrel.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Brilliant post, you sum everything up so well. xx

    ReplyDelete