Monday, August 31, 2009

Busy day

This was what my Monday was like. While I won't say every day is like this, it's by no means unusual.

Up at 4:30 am. We have a shipment going out via FedEx this morning, and I still had a batch of tankards to test (for leaks). Then I tagged all 45 pieces and packed the box. Done by 7 am.

7 am - 8:30: Drink my tea, read the news (online), read my emails.

7:30: Don leaves on errands, etc. that will keep him from home all day.

8:30 am: go find Matilda (as usual, in the farthest corner of the property) and bring her in for milking. Done by 9:15.

9:15: Take the dogs for their usual 1.25 mile walk.

10 am: Peel tankard bodies out of the hoses and duct tape used to clamp them together (the girls helped with this). Mark bottoms. (It's hard to see, but the boards are marked with six-sided shapes, one for each tankard, all numbered.)

Start what will be the first of three loads of laundry.

11:45 am: Finish out the batch of cream cheese I started last night (it ripened overnight). The bag hangs to drip dry for about twelve hours.

Yield: about 1 3/4 lbs.

12 pm: schoolwork with the girls. Today it's math, science, history, geography.

2 pm: Cut tankard bottoms (100 in all).

3 pm: Sand bottoms of tankards.

(The ones in the crates have their bottoms sanded; the ones on the floor are next.)

4 pm: Dishes. Before:


4:30 pm: Haul the tankards upstairs (we do a lot of piece work upstairs in the great room). Oldest daughter visits the neighbors. Youngest daughter (who has a cold) sorts and stacks the tankard bottoms.

5 pm: Start gluing on bottoms.

6 pm: Break for an hour workout (20 minutes on elliptical trainer, 20 minutes stretches/crunches/strength, 20 more minutes on elliptical trainer, pant wheeze).

7 pm: Time to get Matilda (as usual, in the farthest corner of the property) and bring her in for milking. Done by 7:30. Kids feed and water chickens and refill livestock tanks.

7:30: Strain and chill the milk. Take the dogs on their (shorter) evening walk - about 3/4 mile. Back upstairs to continue gluing.

9:30: Don gets home. Put the kids to bed. He comes upstairs to help me finish gluing on bottoms. Done by 11 pm

11:15 pm: Finally take a desperately-needed shower.

11:30 pm: Hair soaking wet, stay up and read emails until hair is dry enough to braid for bed.

Midnight: Bed

What I didn't get done yesterday: Make butter, make English muffins, work on cleaning the barn. Another day.

Oh...and the obligatory Cute Puppy Pic:


  1. Hi Patrice,
    I really enjoy reading about your day (and all your posts). I don't know how you have the energy to do all that work and write your blog and WND column. Thanks for writing. Sandy in Georgia

  2. Thanks for posting all of the pictures of how you make the tankards, as well as all of the other things you accomplished in one day. I am tired just contemplating all of that hard work. Do you ever have a time when everything is caught up and you have time to relax?

    Mike in Georgia

  3. Always a joy to read about your farm life, Patrice. Thanks for sharing.
    I had a take a deep breath, too, after reading all the work that goes into your day...but I can see why you wouldn't trade it for the world.
    Contentment is yours at the end of the day!

  4. I would like to know the purpose of walking the dogs. I would think they have so much area to explore and play and plenty of exercise on their own. I had recently found your blog and have been reading everyday since. I have been taking notes and learning so many great ideas that encourage me to just "do it" and start working on our family goals.

  5. Tracey, our dogs are confined to the yard. It's a fairly big yard, but by no means are they free to run around our property. The bane of many rural people are uncontrolled dogs which chase livestock, kill calves or lambs, chase deer, etc. So if the dogs are out of the yard, they are on leashes. (The First Rule of Country Living is to leave a gate the way you found it. The Second Rule: control the dogs!)

    I sincerely hope you do "do it" in the near future! Rural life is hard work but very gratifying.

    - Patrice