There is nothing like company coming to put me in a panic and make me re-evaluate my entire life and the way I do things, and I've recently realized that I can't continue to live in this state of CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome!) In my panic the other day I had a bit of a meltdown and then a pity party while I was milking the goats and considered the possibility of selling all of them. I was feeling sorry for myself and frustrated at the fact that by the time I finish all the milking chores: feeding, milking 13 goats, staving off a menagerie of chickens with my squirt bottle who continuously harass me, attempting to get to the grain I feed the goats while milking, straining and chilling the milk... it is usually about 11 am and already too hot to want to do much outside. I was bemoaning the fact that I was stuck in the milking stall during the coolest, lovliest part of the day and I was resenting it. Then it occurred to me - why not get the milking done earlier, so I can enjoy the mornings?
Typically I wake Bob at 5:30 and he leaves for work by 6:30. It's usually another hour before I begin farm chores. For the past two days, however, I've started milking at 4 am, back in the house by 5:30 and straining milk and making cheese while my husband has his morning coffee. By the time he leaves for work, only a few farm chores remain and it's still cool enough outside do get some other things done comfortably - raking, shoveling, moving, mowing.. The best part is, it's still early and there's time to work with the horses before the heat rises! AND, the chickens are still in their roosts the entire time I'm milking. No more harassment!
Yesterday I was tacked up and riding out the gate by 8:30! WOO HOO!
The other thing I've begun doing recently to get back on track is FLYING! No, not in a plane or hanglider, but I've begun trying to get my house in order following Fly Lady's advice. You can learn more about her approach HERE. I've done this before and I pretty much pick and choose from her ideas, but one of the tactics she uses that I love is the 15 minure approach. Set your timer for 15 minutes and attack an area of the house - ie piles of clothes, dirty dishes, stacks of magazines, clutter in general. When the timer goes off, you're done. Another rule of cleaning/organization is to never pull out more than you can put away in an hour. Wise advice for those of us who attack zealously and then become overwhelmed or run out of steam (motivation). I do better in short bursts.
After riding and flying yesterday I went to make goat's milk soap with a friend. I'll be teaching the procedure step by step in a future blog.
Darby's soap is absolutely beautiful, and it smells heavenly! I can hardly wait to begin making soap myself. (I'm waiting on a supply order right now)
Finally, to end this wonderful day just right I went blueberry picking with my friend, neighbor and riding partner, Kira.
Stay tuned for a wonderful blueberry jam recipe! (and yes, Sarah, blueberry cobbler too!)
I daresay I'm a little tired, but once my body adjusts to this new time schedule I think it's gonna be a winner!