Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Homesteading - a traditional role for women? When you look at the roles encompassed by my husband and I, you might think we espouse traditional roles. I guess that would depend on what era's definition of the "traditional role" you use. I enjoy creating in the kitchen - so I'm the cook (he's in charge of the dishes). I preserve our food (often with my husband by my side helping). I sew - mostly those unique items that can't be found elsewhere, or either I am reconstructing some clothing we already have to re-purpose them, otherwise it's cheaper to purchase them at yard sales or thrift shops. I clean - mostly because I don't like clutter and find that a clean, clear space helps me be creative. I do the laundry - mostly because I work from home and need breaks from my office chair as a financial consultant to stretch my legs, and that task really takes minutes. Those items would be considered "traditional" in the industrial age which is really fairly recent. Then there are those things that I do that are non-traditional. When my daughter and I were working on the chicken coop (our "chick" project) and I asked her if she wanted to try the nail gun she said, "I guess. I want to be a good wife some day." I love variety and homesteading/learning to farm sure provides that. This week for example I made floor pillows for my daughter to fit some euro shams, bed pillows with the leftover parts of the sheet I used and the leftover stuffing, am building awnings for our produce stand, a west window, and over the door of my son's new town home, made bread, make my husband's breakfast and lunch to send him to work (today it was slicing a fresh peach and coating it with lemon water, making some peanut butter delights, peanut butter sandwich with the homemade oatmeal bread, filling his water bottle and sending him with a coffee to go with some cheese toast), do my job between the hours of 8 and 3 as a financial consultant, then fit in whatever else needs to be done. My husband feeds the animals, will be assisting me with the awnings (I like using the radial arm saw to cut most of my pieces, but don't like using the circular saw to cut the sheathing for the top and I need his hands and muscles to help me put them up) is in charge of the dishes, has to keep our cars going, etc. In short, our "traditional role" like country people have been doing for thousands of years is whatever it takes to get the job done. For an example, you should watch one of my favorite movies "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Busy summer. Big project was the wrap around deck. The south deck is to house our solar kitchen and solar clothes dryer (pulley line system so we can stand on the deck and wheel the laundry over the yard.) The south also has our bedroom windows so we are building solar pet houses for our dogs and cats so they can be near us. All passive solar of course with windows to the south to keep them nice and warm in the winter time. The overhang should keep them cooler in the summer. The cat house is finished with some leftovers we had in the barn, including an acrylic sheet for the south window and sheet insulation on the other sides and top and bottom. As we got two puppies that we hope to train to herd our cows for rotational grazing, we have designed a double decker doghouse. We will be fitting it in the space between two windows and have steps leading to the upstairs portion. As we did not have any more acrylic sheeting lying around and it is quite expensive (we have plenty of spare lumber), I went to the thrift shop and discovered an acrylic display stand with broken shelves for $7.50. The end pieces are each 1 foot wide and very thick acrylic, so I have designed the front (south side) with two tall narrow windows. This is yet another principle I learned from Amy Dacyzyn of the Tightwad Gazette, start with what you already have or can find for a cheap price to make your plan, you'll save money (almost)every time. The other day we went to some friends for dinner and took homemade cornbread and blackberry crisp. We had some of the blackberry crisp leftover, so I added a cup of flour, an egg, some baking powder, and some milk to turn it into pancakes. Yum. . .