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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Answer.. my little riddle is that I did it, made one of those big decisions. Borrowing this quote from Judy's blog (fullfreezer)
--Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
-Mahatma Gandhi
I have taken a step towards harmony and happiness. The meeting was with my business partner- I informed her of my desire to sell my share of the practice back to her. I will work my normal schedule until school gets out-then I QUIT.

I began this blog when I realized I wanted something more (actually less) from my life. Less hurry-more meaning, less junk food-more slow food, less debt-more time.

For the past three years I have been a dichotomy, living in two worlds, bread earner- bread maker, business owner- TEOTWAWKI-er (that's not a word but you understand!), six figure income- goodwill shopper, suburban during the week- country by weekend. No wonder I'm nuts lol.

We took a step in the right direction by moving out of town onto our 20 acres of grass. But a house in the country is just a bigger lawn and a longer commute! Now what? Our goals center around two themes: 1) to spend more time -good time- with the girls, to shape and teach them in a positive way 2)to become more self reliant as a household, both from a food and energy standpoint but also income. We wish to build this 20 acres of grass into a thriving pasture based farm, not only producing food for us but an income to see us into 'retirement'. I had posted once about 'when i retire' and this farm is our retirement package.

One of us needs to be at home -to be here for the girls and to be the farm person. We went back and forth but it came down to biology and health insurance. I could embrace the business and its income to become the 60 hrs per week single bread-earner while DH nurtures the farm and the kids. He has the organizational skills and the muscle for farm and running the affairs of house and home. But it didn't feel right to either of us-I was freaked out and trapped by the idea of being the sole income earner and DH was not comfortable with the nurture role and chauffeuring girls to extracurricular activities.

We then 'tried on' the gender roles of male income earner and stay at home/farm mom. In addition to making sense on a number of practical levels, it 'felt' right. I can sell my % of the practice and pay off a number of large bills (student loan, vehicle)to make the income drop tight but do-able and have capital to invest in our retirement/farm. I still have in-demand skills as a DVM for relief or other part-time work if we need the income, whereas DH's income from the manufacturing sector is not so portable. He also has insurance benefits. I priced out very basic, very high deductible health insurance at $800 per month for our family. We have fallen back to genetic programming but that's okay with me, nature is too big to fight with!

I am a little worried about my body holding up to the rigors of farming. I am 40. I am overweight. I have carpal tunnel and a crunchy knee. Self sufficiency is about being responsible for yourself. I am high with the idea that my life is MINE to shape as i wish now -no shoulda's or oughta's. From here on out it's in my hands. My health is no different, time to take responsibility for that too.

Some fall pictures of our grass

Next Post: the winter coop (or my first attempt at building something with power tools)


fullfreezer said...

What a big, exciting, scary step for you. I wish we were at a place where we could do that- although I guess we already are to some extent. Vernon has yet to find a "real" job since he lost his a few years ago. He is doing some freelance work but, really, it works for us since he is the one doing most of the renovation work on the house and farm and it makes sense for him to be home. He can juggle his freelance writing around construction projects. Now, if I could only get him into the garden.....
Glad you could borrow the quote. It's one I've always liked.

becky3086 said...

I think you did the right thing and I think your "grass" looks so do-able as a homestead. Good luck with your coop!

Ruralrose said...


It isn't out of your hands now, on the contrary you are now more in control than ever before. Control of the food, of your time, to rest when needed, play when needed, love when needed. I have lived this way for 15 years now. Every year is better than the last. I used to worry about not doing what needed to be done in time, even on the farm. But time has shown me to just wake and face the day knowing you are available for the needs of the day is always enough. I can't express how happy I feel for you and your family. I think this as how all men and women should live, free to live lives with meaning. You will get healthy fast, because you can rest when you need too. Rest is the one thing we give up in the consumer world, and you know you can only really heal when you are able to rest. You will get exercise everyday, whether you want it or not. Don't spend you time worrying about what tomorrow will bring, you are already ahead of most others in protecting the security of your family. Bravo, Bravo, wish I was there to celebrate with you. Peace

PS Here is a link for a cure for carpal tunnel, which I have personally seen work many times

pps all the B12 is also very, very good for fighting what seems like unreasonable fatigue.

Hickchick said...

Judy -the work from home/freelance aspect to V's job inspires me- you guys both work so hard!
Hi Becky -nice to meet you-I like your site. The 'colony' game is thought provoking to say the least.
Ruth-I was waiting for you to chime in :). Next trip to town I will pick up some Vit b6-thanks for the tip. Looking back over the past 8 yrs of professional life I am wondering how much stress has been contributing to my weight. I eat bad things when tired and anxious.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't know how I came across your blog several months ago, possibly by looking at gardening blogs.
I have a suggestion for weight loss that is working for me. To get more information on it, google "Mark Bittman diet".
Mark Bittman is the food writer for the NY Times. He tells a story about how he had sleep apnea, so he went to his MD. He found out he also had a cholesterol level of something like 230 + high blood sugar plus being 35 pounts overweight.
His MD wanted to put him on meds. Bittman didn't want to go there, so he asked for an alternative. His MD suggested he switch to a vegan diet, which was impossible for Bittman as he is a food writer, eats dinner out often to write restaurant reviews and food trends, recipes, and so on.
Bittman decided to eat vegan until 6pm, then eat his regular dinner. He also increased his exercise to daily (which it sounds like you will get just from everyday farm work).
Bittman lost 35 pounds in 3 months, and his cholesterol dropped to the 180s, and his blood sugar levels returned to normal.
I have been doing this vegan until 6 thing for a couple of months, and I have lost 17 pounds without dieting. I am exercising more, too.
It is really easy. It is very cheap. It just takes the effort of making sure you buy food each week so you will have vegan foods to choose from during the day. I often have whole wheat toast dipped in olive oil in the morning, fruits, leftover vegetables from dinner, and a handful of nuts during day, or hummus, whole wheat pita bread, toast with peanut butter, soups I make ahead and freeze with veggies and beans/rice, etc.
My weight loss has been a lot slower than Bittman's, but who cares?
Also, I went in for a physical a few weeks ago. My cholesterol level was previously 201, triglycerides 98. They are now cholesterol 180, triglycerides 78.
Anyway, I hope this works for you, too, if you decide to try it. Give it 2 months and see if you don't lose 10 pounds without even trying.
Lynne in MD

Hickchick said...

Thanks Lynn-I will check it out. That would be the only way vegan would work, my family would revolt without animal products!

Anonymous said...

HickChick, The rest of my family does not eat vegan during the day like I do. I also don't eat any special "vegan foods" like the fake meat products, just simple foods. I am trying to get my husband to do it as he was just put on cholesterol meds, but so far no go.
The other thing I forgot to mention is that this isn't really a diet, I see it as a permanent change. I am just trying to avoid having a stroke or heart attack and being disabled. I am 51, and fortunately have had pretty good health so far. I just don't want to lose it by being negligent.
Good luck to you. Lynne in MD

Anonymous said...

Wow, your land is simply gorgeous! I love that you are taking that step, good luck to you!