Growth & Compromise. It seems simple, but there are times it hurts. 2019 was definitely a year of Growth & Compromise on the Plantation! Between jobs, the farm, the blog, a new book… I. Am. Exhausted! However, it is time to ‘shut the gate’ on another year. As for what took place, I will try to explain…
Work Summary for the Farm Wife
This was the first year which I was almost fully unemployed. Talk about Growth and Compromise! In 2018, two of my part time jobs ended. In the beginning of 2019, my position as the Clerk for the Village of Hall Summit ended. I did stay with them until a couple of grants were completed, but the income that provided was small.
The Country Boy changed jobs in July. It was a step up financially for us, but the new job means more time off the farm. I took over as many farm chores as I could. Anything I cannot do is left for the weekend.
Choices for the Farm Wife – and Compromise
With all these changes, he and I sat down to make some tough decisions. One of those consisted of my own future income potential.
I have six passions in life. First, I have a passion for Jesus Christ. My faith in God and His Son are what keeps me pulled together, in good times and in bad.
My second passion is the Country Boy. That man has put up with me and my shenanigans for 27 years – I just cannot do without him. My third passion is my children and my family, and friends who we consider family. They fill my life with joy.
My fourth passion is my farm. The Good Lord certainly knew what He was doing when He moved us out here. For the first time in my life, I understand what it means to be content. It may be a struggle. It may drive me crazy. But the bottom line is, I love it.
My fifth passion is my neighbors and my community. I have met so many wonderful people out here, I just cannot believe how blessed I am. Whatever I can do for them, I know I will always step up to the plate.
And then there is the Sixth Passion for the Farm Wife
My sixth passion is writing. Writing is something that comes so naturally, I often think I do it in my sleep. I love doing it, and often catch myself pulling barbed wire while repairing a fence with one hand, and jotting notes on a pad of paper with the other.
I wanted to see if I could be successful with my writing, and make my website work. We knew it would be difficult, but we decided to ‘tighten our belts’, and I would stay home and work towards making my website profitable.
I currently write a weekly newspaper column for four local parish newspapers. I maintain this website, and have recently published my first book. It isn’t making me rich. In fact, at the time of this writing, I may have about $3.47 in profit for the year.
But that is all it takes for me to know this is something I can do. It means a tremendous amount of work, dedication and a few failures, but I am prepared, and willing.
The Farm – Less Growth, More Compromise
We definitely had a tough time on the farm this year. We sold some cows, and lost a few others. One of those was my sweet Scratcher, who left us on the Saturday before Easter.
We had a juvenile coyote dig its way into the chicken coop, and lost most of our flock. This drove us to building a predator proof intermediate brooder. Baby chicks were held in a galvanized water trough behind closed doors, and then moved to the intermediate brooder until they would be old enough to move to the main coop.
The weather would not cooperate, so we lost most of our crops. This is the first time in over ten years I had next to nothing to can. I did some jelly out of fruit that was given to us, and some Squash Pickle, but that is about all.
Finances were tight, so we did very little to rebuild the chickens. We were given a few, and purchased a few more, but not nearly what we would usually have done. We simply focused on what we had, and what we could do. The rest was set aside for later.
The Future Awaits – I am prepared for more Growth & Compromise in 2020!
We are just now working on our plans for 2020. There are things we want to accomplish, such as getting the greenhouse reskinned and working on a better irrigation system for the garden.
I want to build up my compost. One way I can do that is by using an old freezer that no longer works. We are going to see what it takes to turn that into a worm bin.
I want to re-start my plans for selling heirloom vegetable plants; build up my egg sales; and learn to do as much as I can on the farm without depending as much on the Country Boy. I mean, come on – how hard can it really be to fix a tractor?
The Farm Wife as a Career
I also have plans for my website. This will more than likely be the biggest definition of growth and compromise I will ever have to deal with!
In 2020 The Farm Wife will be focusing on a combination of homemaking and homesteading, and how to incorporate both into Living a Simple Life. There will be more posts on basic skills, but also some that move to the more advanced level.
I am working on a manual for folks who want to shift to a Simple Life through both homemaking and homesteading, yet never losing sight of who they are.
I think my biggest goal is to help move forward the work others have done, which is to debunk the stigma of a homemaker being a woman who has a vacuum cleaner in one hand, and is mixing up a cake in the other.
Not that there is anything wrong with either of those things; after all, they are both a part of homemaking. But I want to take it to the next level, and help homemakers everywhere feel empowered to have made the choice, and continue to be fulfilled in the process.
Let’s Debunk Another Stigma
I am willing to bet, if you read this far, you are thinking that these posts will be geared more towards women. Think again.
More and more men are taking the steps to stay home with their families. They are creating home-based businesses that provide an income, but still gives them the ability to have more hands-on care for their children, their wives, their homes, and in many cases, their homesteads.
Although the men aren’t viewed as ‘housewives’, they still are stepping up to the plate and assisting in taking care of their homes. There biggest issues with working outside the homes is they are getting tired of the corporate runaround. I can’t say that I blame them.
If you are one of those men, I applaud you. And I hope and pray that the information I will be providing will help you in your endeavor to do your part in debunking this stigma.
And here is a Third ‘Debunking’
“Kids today just don’t have a clue.” On the contrary, I have met some amazing teenagers and young adults lately. Not only do they ‘have a clue’, they have dreams and goals. What did surprise me is several of these young men and women want a more traditional (a couple of them actually called it ‘old-fashioned’) lifestyle.
“You know. Where you get to stay home, take care of your family, have a small farm. That kind of life.” One or two of them even seemed to have a rough business plan in mind which would provide an income. All of them are hard workers, and I truly believe they will succeed with their plans.
If even today’s children can see that a society dependent on government and corporations isn’t the best way to go, maybe we adults should sit up and take notice.
The Farm Wife wants her information to encourage our kids to do their part in making this a better world. To empower them to be homesteaders, run their own businesses, and create as self-reliant lifestyle as possible.
The Proverbs 31 Woman – Growth or Compromise?
Most of us who are familiar with this unnamed woman in the Bible will groan when they see this. The Proverbs 31 Woman seems to be one of ‘those’ who can do it all. The list of everything she does seems unobtainable, even on a good day.
I often think we look at her in the wrong light. In fact, I think she is more like us than we realize. Throughout 2020, you will find several references to this ancient Wonder Woman, with references on how we can make her more attainable. Ways we can do what she does, and with as much grace and aplomb.
(Think we can pull that off? I would love to hear your views on this. And I would love to know your ideas on how this can be accomplished! Just Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Believe me, I am eagerly waiting for them!)
If you really want to know about ‘The Key’, stay tuned for the first post in 2020. I will fill you in, then!
Simple Growth & Compromise – And other things I learned in 2019
If anything, this year has been a learning experience. I have learned how to accept simple growth and compromise in all areas of my life. Some things I learned were new, and with others, it is as if I am taking the next level course. Here are a few of my classes:
Never Give Up
Keep it Simple
Work Hard, Pray Harder
Take it one step, one day, at a time
Learn to be Content
I will leave you with this one thought my friend Annie at annielewellyn.com loves to offer:
Be who you ARE – not who someone says you should be.
I pray that The Farm Wife in 2020 helps you to be exactly who you are.
It’s All Simple – Relax and Enjoy!