Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Making Hay

So here is the burning question I have to ask....Who would actually roll in the hay? This was the question I asked myself as I was hauling bale after bale onto the wagon. My arms were etched in hay rash. Every inch of exposed skin felt like I was sunburned. Sweat compounded the sensation.

Last Friday was the first day of haying for the alpaca farmer down the road. As of yet I have not been able to find a job. Lots of seasonal farm work but that won't put food on the table in January. So in the meanwhile, I am grabbing any kind of work I can find. For the most part odd jobs. Farm sitting, gardening, house sitting, haying, computer instruction for the elderly couple down the road.  Not nearly enough but something is always better than nothing.

There are several  bonuses to this kind of work. I am getting pretty buff:) I don't need a membership at the gym (couldn't really afford it right now anyway). I love being out doors and I love hanging out with the animals I take care of. There is some flexibility with the farm/house sitting because I can bring Evan with me. This past weekend I was paid not only with cash but with eggs and wine! Omelettes served with a fine red for dinner! Cool!

While I am doing all this work I am still formulating my PLAN.  Gotta have a plan. So my plan is to find a part-time job, build Fleecenik Designs, and keep up with these odd jobs. Evan will no longer be homeschooled. This doesn't seem like a long term plan. No benefits, no health insurance,no vacation or sick time.  I'm forty-six and I am divorcing my retirement plan. Sheesh...All those silly statistics about women, divorce and poverty are definitely playing through my head these days. I don't have a college degree. So, well, what's a girl to do?

I have a friend who says," trust that the universe will provide. " For the small stuff I have found this is an okay philosophy. For the bigger stuff I believe we have to be a little more proactive. I gotta know my strengths and skills. I think I should probably look at going back to school and finally ask the question what do I want to be when I grow up? In the meanwhile, I'll keep pluggin' away with what I have...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fleecenik Designs

One of the parts of my independence plan is to make and sell sweaters, hats and mittens that I make on a knitting machine. I sell my knitwear at 4 different artisan shops in Central Maine and at craft fairs during the autumn and Christmas seasons.  This used to be more of a hobby that would bring in some pin money. It has been very exciting to see this little idea grow. This fall I will be entering the jury process for the Center for Maine Craft. I also have an etsy shop. You can also find my shop on FaceBook.https://www.facebook.com/FleecenikDesigns


Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Well, this space has been rather silent over the last year. Sorta like I just dropped off the face of the earth. Much has happened since I last wrote an entry here.

Where to begin...

Well, I'm getting divorced. There I said it. It is not final yet. Lots of legal struggle ahead, I'm afraid but well...there ya have it.

I've been away from this space because the last thing I wanted to do was rant and rave on line. I needed time to figure out my own stuff: who I am if I am not a wife, what do I want my life to look like now that I am on my own, how did I end up in such an imbalanced relationship where I surrendered so much of myself for the sake of another. In the end I realized I was really unhappy in my relationship with my husband. I had needs that were never going to be met. I was empty. Now I am fulfilling. Yup, I am verbing it.

So what does that mean for Fleecenik Farm. How does one take a blog that was about herbalism, local living, gardening, homeschooling, wild crafting and general do-it yerselfed-ness ( new life, new vocabulary) and keep it going?

Do I want to keep it going? Yep, think I do.

Here is the thing. I still want to live this homesteading dream. Sure I have and will continue to make compromises. I've been alone on this land since last October. I struggle with learning all the things that Mark used to do. I struggle with the fact that try as I might I can only squeeze 24 hours out of a day. I struggle with the fact that, yes, I will have to find a job off the land. I struggle with the fact that I have been looking for a job for a while now and have yet to find one. I have an odd skill set that, as yet, has not translated into employment.

But, in the end, what has drawn me to this life style is the one thing that assures my success. I can live simply, I can grow my own food, I manage my time well and I am motivated to make it work.

Knowing this about myself I have had some successes over the last few months. I have really revved up my knitting business. I am in several artisan shops around Maine and I hope to have my stuff in a few more stores by the end of the summer. It is not providing significant income yet but by the fall I hope to be registered in several high-end craft fairs. The business is growing. It is just one piece of this puzzle. It is a significant one I am excited to watch grow.

I published a poem this past spring in a small poetry journal. I've been writing a lot of poetry. I used to write poetry all the time but blogging sorta filled that writing itch for me. Try as I might I just gotta write.

I am proud of Evan who learned to read this year. And Tristan is the fledgling standing on the edge of the nest flapping his wings. For the sake of his mother, let's all hope those wings catch some air soon:)

And so it goes...