A day in the slow life

I’ve never participated in a meme before. They’ve been floating around the internet in all shapes and forms for as long as I can remember, but none have ever interested me until now. See, recently (okay like a month ago) Backyard Feast came up with the idea to document and share a typical day as a homesteader, and it seemed like fun. Turns out it’s actually pretty long and wordy, but hey! In case you ever wondered what I do minute-by-minute, here’s a pretty good synopsis.

Besides, writing it all down made me just that much more appreciative of how lucky I am to lead the life I do.


9:00 – Sofía wakes up, so I do too. After a fresh cloth diaper, we go into the kitchen and I make her “opi-meal” (oatmeal) flavored with homemade blueberry jam.
9:30 – Josh is running low on coffee, so I roast some more on the stove using a saucepan and a flat whisk.
10:00: Internet time. I check my blog for comments. Then it’s time to take all the fruit pieces out of my apple scrap vinegar and leave it to ferment more.
11:00: Wander down to the farm with Sofía and let the chickens out to play. Cut the last tomatoes down and stack up the cages. We harvest what’s left of the beans after the deer got to them. I show Sofía how to identify alfalfa, and we pick some for the chickens. Mostly she just throws it at them. We look for caterpillars and feed them those, too. I let her sprinkle cracked corn over the harvested bean patch; the chickens go nuts tilling it up, eating bugs, and fertilizing it for next year. Before we go back inside we harvest chard and eggs for lunch.
12:30: We make a chard, egg, & cheddar omelette – Sofía mixed up the eggs. I wash and freeze the eggshells for later processing into a calcium supplement for the chickies.
1:30: After lunch, I put Sofía to bed.
1:45: I hang up the still-green black beans so they can dry up in the sunporch. I use an old clothes rack I found in the basement. Waste not, want not.
2:30: I turn the compost and resolve to some day get a second bin so I won’t have to do so much turning.
2:45: Housework. Put the Roomba to work vacuuming the kitchen while I fold laundry. Unload and reload the dishwasher, wash bibs & some dishes by hand.
3:20: Set out some butter to soften – tomorrow is Josh’s last day at work and I want him to take something with him. It’ll either be cinnamon rolls or cake. I wash up the high chair, then transfer the Roomba to the living room. Prepare for roasting the second batch of coffee.
3:25: Realize Sofía woke up from her nap. Go snuggle her and we peek out the window together. ARGH, the chickens are in the fava beans! We go cover the fava beans.
4:00: Go to start roasting second batch of coffee, realize that if I’m going to make a no-knead dough I better start it now. I get out the flour and two more of today’s eggs and Sofía helps me mix it up.
4:30 Start roasting second batch of coffee.
4:50: Come back in from winnowing out the coffee chaff and see that Sofía’s dumped out my whole box of recipe cards! Swoop in with time-out vengeance. Spend the next five minutes listening to desolate wailing while trying to sort out recipes for dill pickles from Martha’s granola from Triple-chocolate fudge cookies.
4:55: Regroup. Snacktime with hugs, bananas and roasted nuts.
5:10: Check the weather, frosts are forecast! Time to harvest the last of the basil. We gather a bushel or more! We take some over to share with the neighbors and other friends, and Sofía keeps asking “Why?” I try to explain about giving and being generous when we have plenty. When we get in, I put the flowering sprigs head-down in a paper bag so that I can collect next years’ seeds when they drop.
5:45: It’s way past time to start dinner: sour cream enchiladas, a new recipe from Stresscake. I’m using grill-roasted chicken from yesterday, sour cream I cultured last night, and the last of the green tomatoes from the garden instead of tomatillos. As a vegetable side, a butternut squash from the garden cut up and roast-caramelized with red onions – one of my favorite ways to prepare it.
7:00: Sit down to dinner. It is absolutely delicious. I will definitely add my variation of this recipe to this year’s cookbook.
8:00: Bathe the kiddo & read Barnyard in your Backyard while she splashes.
8:30: Sit down to blog and snack while Josh reads bedtime stories. Red wine and Halloween-pilfered M&Ms might not be a connoisseur’s choice, but it tastes yummy to me!
9:30: Clean the kitchen. I’m a good girl and actually go ahead and wash the hand-washables instead of stacking them for tomorrow.
10:30: Roll out and fill the cinnamon rolls and stick them in the fridge. Tomorrow I’ll have to get up early to pull them out and preheat the oven, but they will be worth it.
11:15: Pay bills.
12:30 am: Wander off to bed.

8 Responses to “A day in the slow life”

  1. Rose Says:

    Wait, did you just say, “this year’s cookbook”????!!! YIPEEE! :mrgreen: Oh, I guess that’s my way of asking if I could please have one. 😆

  2. diana Says:

    Well SO FAR the cookbook is a list of possible recipe inclusions on a stickie note, so take my plans with a grain of salt. -laugh- But of course you are included! If it does get made it won’t be as fancy as last year – maybe not in color for instance – because turns out, printer ink is tres expensive! -laugh-

  3. Toni @ BackyardFeast Says:

    Thanks for participating in the meme and introducing me to your blog! I was so amazed that you were still picking bushels of basil that I went hunting around your blog to find out where you are. Didn’t find that info, but did find out that you were at one point working on a dissertation in literature–I finished mine in 2008! Seem to be a few of us humanities academics in the homesteading scene…all that enlightenment, I guess! 😉 I’ll look forward to reading more of your archives.

  4. diana Says:

    Well I gotta say thank you for thinking up the meme in the first place! First one I’ve ever been interested in participating it, like I said above. It was SO neat to be able to peek into people’s everyday lives. I hope you repeat it yearly!
    I never did finish my dissertation; I had one of those “ah-HA” moments where I was like “Why on earth am I doing this?” while I was putting together my bibliography. I love my life now so very much! And I haven’t abandoned academics altogether; for instance my research skills have stood me in good stead. Without them and the net I would NEVER be as knowledgeable about old skills and gardening techniques as I try to be.

  5. Leigh Says:

    Hi. I’ve been following the day in the slow life posts and really enjoying them. Interesting that you roast your own coffee!

  6. diana Says:

    Well thank you for visiting and especially for commenting! I love it when people comment. :)
    We find roasting our own coffee gives incredibly superior results – and it’s cost-effective too! We order our fair-trade small-farm “green beans” from Sweet Maria’s. I’m not sure of the URL but I’m sure you could google them. We used to have some coffee roasters, but they continually broke and I just find it easier to do it cowboy-style. :) It works great if you have a stainless pan and a flat whisk!

  7. Eleanor's Trousers Says:

    The food in this day alone makes me regret forgetting today’s packed lunch. Or having to leave my home-y little house to sit here in an office all day instead of chasing chickens (not that they’d fit in my 5×10 yard!).

  8. diana Says:

    Oh yes I am so very All About The Food. :) I’m so lucky to enjoy what has to be one of the most time-consuming chores I’m expected to fulfill! And… I bet you could fit about 3-4 chickens in your back yard. Though they’d poop on everything, of course. :)

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

:mrgreen: :neutral: :twisted: :shock: :smile: :???: :cool: :evil: :grin: :oops: :razz: :roll: :wink: :cry: :eek: :lol: :mad: :sad: