Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Dear Husband is in the other room strumming songs on his guitar while wee one dozes off to dreamland. We are enjoying our time together. I am enjoying the extra hands on the homestead. Mark is enjoying his time with his family.

We have had a handy man come to our home to provide some moral and handy support for some projects that require completion. We have tapped maple trees and procured some more laying hens (Arucana). I have spent some mom time at a Spin-in learning to love my spinning wheel and finding a mill to process our fleece this Spring. Hubby has spent time putting up wood for next winter. We have cross- country skied with the wee one while cursing ourselves for not bringing the camera. Tomorrow we travel to our "hopefully" future home. Seven acres, earth- bermed, passive solar home with mature fruit trees.

We have spent never- enough -time together contemplating our future. As the idea of recession and all that it implies haunts our conversations.

Hubby has been told that his school district will be losing 1.9 million from it state contribution to its budget. The superintendent has defined this as catastrophic for the school district. We sit in our home wondering if we should take it off the market or go with our plans. Mark is a music teacher and the low man on the totem pole. We worry whether he will have a job next fall. If he does, we will feel truly blessed. We won't know until April. Meanwhile we, mutually, agree that we do not want to stay in our current location with its bad neighbors and poor, jobless economy.

Until then all we can do is talk about what we would do if he lost his job.

These are our contingency plans:
  1. I will work at a local farmstand. We were planning on partaking in a CSA this year because our flux-ish life. But if I work at the local farmstand I will get free end-of-day produce that I can preserve.
  2. Teen will also work at the farmstand to cover some of his extra-curricular activities; such as a blacksmithing course he wants to take.
  3. We will make a large bulk food order on top of what we normally would order.
  4. We will all have our necessary Dr.appointments while we still have health insurance.
  5. Hubby will step up his shearing clientele, music gigs, lessons and busking in Portland.
  6. We will try to use barter for firewood, and hay.
  7. If hubby gets offered part time, we will still move because he has been promised music students at the music store where he teaches after-school hours.
  8. All animals in our care will be earning their keep.
  9. I will be hitting the thrift stores for kids winter gear for the next few years in anticipation that we will not have funds for this in the future
  10. I will open an etsy shop for my knitwear and roving.
  11. We will try to pay-off Mark's student loans, sell our land and get our necessary expenses down to under a thousand dollars a month.
  12. We will use only one vehicle and take the others off the road; as we will no longer have a need for more than one vehicle
We find ourselves a bit giddy at the prospect of being as self-sufficient as we had hoped when we joined together. But the idea that we may be doing this under duress as opposed to choice is a little nerve wracking. There is still time and things may change. Hopefully. But as we have pondered the idea of unemployement we realized our own vast potential. If nothing else this has been a great exercise and helps us move further in our path to self-sufficiency.

Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

I pray that all works for the best for you guys.. ((hugs))
Let me know when you get your etsy store.. would love to check it out.. will you be selling spun wool too?

Wendy said...

You have some great contingency plans! It's a tough balance, and there are just so many unknowns. Right now, we still have jobs, and things look okay for us, but that could change - so easily. It's a little scary sometimes.

A recent study by a Stanford professor found that students who have three hours/week of "arts" do better academically. I don't know if that would sway the school board in Mark's favor, but it might be worth a shot ;).

Even if Mark doesn't still have the school job, maybe he can tap into enough private teaching gigs to make it worth his while. We have the Fiddlehead Center down here, and our string instrument teacher is really busy with all of the lessons he gives.

You might also talk to Mark about the possibility of some gigs in Old Orchard Beach during the summer. There are several bars in the town that have live music, and the town rec department has a summer concert series (Scarborough does, too) with concerts in the park every Thursday night through the summer.

Anonymous said...

I hope it all works out for you! We are struggling here in our neck of the woods. We are selling our pasture land and that is breaking our hearts. But, what else can we do? Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and move on. I'll say some prayers for you all -- do the same for us, too? Take care!


farmama said...

Hi Karin!
I wish you the very best! Sometimes the best things come your way when you least expect them! Kinda like a special package I received in the mailbox yesterday that brightened my day! Thank you so much! The potholders are beautiful! So very beautiful! You are dear sweet!
Good things happen to good people like you Karin!
sending love and hugs your way,

Teresa said...

I wish you the best with all my heart. You guys are far better prepared for the possible changes and challenges ahead than many would be, but it's still a challenge.

(I don't comment here often; found you through TwoFrogHome.)

Robj98168 said...

I finally found the Blacksmithing course that teen is doing. Quite an undertaking! Good Job Kiddo! Maybe I will commission him to make me a fireplace implement set!
Anyway you all are in my thoughts,,, And would you hurry up with that etsy store? My head is cold waiting to order that hat from you!

Fleecenik Farm said...

Rob, Fear not. We are working on getting it up. Hopefully by ext week!