Routine Tasks on the “Homestead”

By , January 21, 2015

In a recent post, in which I confessed to writer’s block, I mentioned that I had focused on “standard tasks” around the “homestead” (see I Got Nothin’ Today . . . LOOK OVER THERE!). A reader expressed curiosity about these standard or every day tasks, wondering how we go about the routines of living out here: taking showers, finding snacks, running out of essentials, that sort of thing.

To clarify, the” standard task” I referred to in that post was managing trees around the cabin (see Tree Work and Temperature’s Dropping: Time to Get to Work!). This job can’t be considered routine, as it is, at best, seasonal. But our reader’s question sends me off in a new direction.

I’ve been writing this blog for five years, which is a really long time to prattle on about one’s life, in my opinion. I sometimes forget that not everybody reads the whole body of work, and are therefore not as aware of what we do here as I assume.

Of course, the best way to get to the meat of this blog is to read my book, Sacred Coffee: A “Homesteader’s” Paradigm.

Now that I think on this, perhaps the topic of routine tasks ought to be considered the blog’s main theme. Other than incidental news, philosophical musings, and notable occurrences, the blog is really all about routine tasks. Even so, a quick check revealed that, while I may refer to routine tasks often, and sometimes worry if we have become too set in our ways (see Spontaneity in Reserve) I’ve never really outlined them fully, except as individual subjects.

Essentially, we do many of the things most people do, they just take longer, more effort, or a totally different approach. Our “utilities” require our own initiative, as we make or collect our own heat, electricity, and water. Daily, seasonal, and periodic work on these creates much of our “routine.”

A quick sort through past essays offers some of the better examples of routine tasks:

For bathing and other hygiene, see Keeping Clean on the “Homestead” and Doing What’s Necessary: The Homestead “Facilities”.

For life without refrigeration, see Life Without Refrigeration and Answers to Reader Questions about Living Without Refrigeration.

For our recreational viewing habits, see Television on the “Homestead”.

As for food and meals, type the word “recipe” into our blog’s search function and see what happens. You’ll find plenty of information on how we cook here.

Snacks take little or no preparation here. We tend to graze on available foods that require little or no preparation: crackers, cookies, nuts, dried fruit for a few examples. Mostly, we snack on foods that we purchased as ingredients for meals. In other words, we almost never buy bags of potato chips or other designated snack foods. Almonds destined for scones or other baked goods, however, often get snitched for snacks.

Finally, running out of essentials—bread or milk, for example, requires us to plan ahead and remain flexible. It’s not such a big deal now that Michelle works in town about 4 days a week. She regularly calls me when she’s ready to start for home. If I’ve thought of anything we need but don’t have, she generally picks it up on the way. If we run out of something over the weekend, we make a special trip if it’s crucial, or do without until her next work day.

Our reader also asked for more photos, and I regret that I cannot figure out any good photos to illustrate this topic. I’ll endeavor to add more in the future.

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