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Circumstances conspire….

May 4, 2010

I had every intention of working on a blog last night, but it seems that circumstances were conspiring against me.  We had some pretty crazy insane weather here lately – a front coming through bringing plenty of warm, sticky weather, and with it, stupidly strong winds.  No thunderstorms yet, though.  Those winds brought down just about every dead tree in the county, and by the looks of it, a fair few that weren’t dead, too.  Luckily the only damage we got at home was a big branch knocked out of the first big maple in the front yard, and a few untended animal food buckets dashing and clashing down the driveway.  One pretty sizeable tree came down in the center of Solon, however, and knocked out power to much of the town – of course, including us.  (Our power goes out pretty regularly – a price you pay for the privacy of living a mile down a tree-lined dirt track with only one other house!)

We don’t usually mind losing power.  We have mostly rather ambient lighting in the house anyway, and the lack of DVD player is no great bane, so getting out the candles and cracking on with that book I was only partway through is a nice relief.  The kitchen stove is propane, so we can still use the hob, if not the oven (the oven needs electricity to run the thermostat); we can run the wood cookstove, too.  However, despite the fact that we heat all our water on the hob and cookstove anyway, no power means NO WATER because we need power to run the well pump.  So we tend to leave a couple of big water containers full, and often we leave the dirty bathwater in the bath – for flushing the toilet, of course!!!  Ok, we don’t lose power THAT often, but it is common for an idiot cow (or sometimes even one of us if not paying attention) to leave a faucet running or hit the well faucet just-so (or even one too many loads of laundry…) to enable the well to completely empty.  It takes a few hours to refill, so not a disaster – just a temporary setback!  Such are the things we have to think about.

In terms of getting things done – or not, as the case may be – it’s actually a good thing that we hadn’t managed to get the plastic on the greenhouse yet, as it would have been completely blown to tatters by now.  Either that, or a pig or runaway bovine would have rampaged through the middle of it.  The cold frame is bearing up, although the cats do keep creeping in there to sleep (hopefully NOT on the plants), and it does occasionally get a bit parched when Scott neglects the water for half a day.

That’s the trouble with a farm like ours – there’s so much to do.  If we were to concentrate on just one thing – say, we were a dairy farm, and nothing else – it would be far easier to get things done, simply because it’s easier to remember what to do on a daily basis.  Of course, that’s our own fault for wanting to be as self-sustaining and diversified as possible.  But of course, that’s the pleasure of it.  A lot of hard work and effort, but when we’re eating our own frozen peas and corn, our own dill pickles, our own pork, beef, and chicken, eggs, milk, butter, cheese…etc etc etc…not to mention all the non-edible things we make for ourselves…well, we do this for the complexity of the lifestyle, I guess; to feel like we can do as many things for ourselves as possible.  It[‘s very satisfying.  Who needs lots of money and lots of time when we can produce all we need – including all the enjoyment that we need?

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