A Day In The Life Of The Frugalwoods: Homestead Edition
You all are a smart bunch so I decided over the weekend that I should ask what you’d like to read here on Frugalwoods. I put the query on our Facebook page and, lo and behold, you responded with gusto! Large thanks to all who shared an idea–if you haven’t yet, feel free to add to the conversation. I’ll be working my way through your suggestions!
Today, I bring you a Day In the Life story, requested by a number of readers who enjoyed my original treatment of this subject back in October 2015.
I re-read that post in preparation for penning a new iteration and–whoa–life has changed for the Frugalwoods family this year, to put it mildly. In a matter of months, we went from urban, working professionals to homesteading parents in rural Vermont. So, you know, just a few minor transitions.
Diversity Of Days
One of the things I appreciate most about our new life is the diversity of our days. Back in the city, each day was a fairly predictable oscillation of the hours around the clock. Work began and ended at the same time, our routine hardly varied with the revolution of the seasons, and our time felt forever crunched by the rigidity of our 9 to 5’s.
Although our weekends were sometimes populated by spontaneity, our weekdays most certainly were not. Prior to decamping to the countryside, I never realized how hemmed in we were–both physically and mentally–by city life. We had no outdoor space, few windows in our home, constant noise pollution, and scant opportunity for true contemplative solitude.
Here in the country, we experience the polar opposite: endless land for ranging, mega windows, and a silence borne by the absence of close neighbors, traffic, planes, and most trappings of modern life (of course between Mr. FW’s chainsawing and Babywoods’ exclamations, we still have plenty of aural interludes).
My time is now entirely my own, which very well might be the life change I enjoy most. The ability to alter my days in response to the weather, my energy level, Babywoods’ mood and nap schedule, whether or not I’m inspired to write, what needs to be done on the land/in the house, and innumerable other factors is remarkably refreshing.
I also sincerely love being a work-at-home freelance writer, blogger, and mom–it’s the type of job that I can’t believe I get paid to do! I choose to do this work because I derive so much satisfaction from it and because I need an intellectual outlet–a work of the mind, if you will.
Vacillating between the physical tasks of my life–such as weeding the garden–and the stationary, mental exercise of writing and managing my small business (comprised of, well, me) is the perfect juxtaposition. I’ve always craved this balance and feel immensely blessed that I now have it. When my writing starts to falter or I simply cannot deal with another email (now you know why I’m so slow to respond… whoops), I hop up and run outside to harvest berries.
And when I’m hot, tired, and getting eaten by bugs, I leave the garden and retreat to the cool solitude of my office. Of course, since I have a bouncingly exuberant 8-month-old with me at all times, my transitions usually aren’t quite so smooth, but you get the gist.
When we moved to our homestead, the seasons and the weather suddenly rocketed in importance. Previously, it hardly mattered what was coming out of the sky–we simply went to our office jobs no matter what (except in cases of extreme snow).
Now, however, we’re becoming keenly aware of each day’s meteorological offerings. This is an element of homesteading that Mr. FW and I hankered for because we felt utterly divorced from nature in the city and stuffily managed by climate-controlled interiors.
The season is also suddenly top of mind for us. As it’s currently summer, our days are awash with managing the garden, putting up wood (see my detailed explanation here), mowing the grass, brush-hogging our fields and trails, savoring the balmy weather, and repairing anything that needs fixin’ out of doors.
We know that winter is coming–in a literal sense–and we want to be prepared, both in actuality (with wood, stored food) and mentally for the long, cold season indoors. Soaking up the bounty of summer is paramount.
Another tenet of our nascent rural lives is our involvement in the community. We’ve never been busier or more engaged with our neighbors and we’re thrilled! One of the many reasons we chose to move to an extremely small town (population circa 700) is our ability to connect, engage, and just generally be involved in the vibrancy and well-being of our community.
The ethos of working together is strong here and we are so deeply, profoundly grateful to all of our new friends who are helping us navigate this wholly divergent life. In the two months we’ve lived here, we’ve donated more food, time, and money than in all our years living in the city. Furthermore, we’ve met more of our neighbors than we ever did in our dense, urban environs.
Mr. FW and I have both joined committees and organizations and we find ourselves doing wonderful things like reading stories to kids at the town’s free summer camp, writing brochures for town/church events, setting up tents for the town fair, bringing flowers to church, making food for town potlucks, donating watermelons for the annual watermelon roll, and more. This is such an enriching, fulfilling aspect of our new lives and we can’t wait to become even more involved as the years elapse.
A Day In Our Frugal Lives
Given the wide-ranging variety of each day, it’s tough to boil down a precise “day in the life” for us now, so, the below is an imperfect amalgamation of how we pass our time on weekdays.
Some days are more productive than others–some days we thrive, others we merely survive. Plus, we no longer adhere to a rigid timetable so these clock designations are rather approximate, except for our bedtimes–we’re sticklers for sleep around here.
7:00am: Wake up!
Thanks to Babywoods, our alarm clock is now obsolete! She typically arises between 7-8am everyday and we just get up when she does. I’m a huge fan of waking naturally and really have no reason to do otherwise. The only day we do set an alarm is on Sundays to make sure we’re on time for church (of course the one time we forgot, Babywoods slept uncharacteristically late and we dashed in during the opening hymn… ).
7:00am-7:30am: Morning prep.
Mr. FW and I go into Babywoods’ room to greet the day and she either smiles or screams, depending on her mood. Babies, what can you do? I change and dress her (and possibly change her crib sheet depending on what transpired during the night… ) while Mr. FW goes downstairs to take Frugal Hound out for her morning constitutional. Then, Babywoods plays on her play mat in our bedroom while I shower and get dressed.
Parenting sidenote: having dedicated play spaces in every area of the house makes my life easy–anywhere I go, Babywoods has a safe, fun zone to explore. Since she’s not mobile yet, I use foam mats with toys atop them and blankets around the edges as bumpers for when she topples out of her seated position. I started this practice when I was packing for our move to Vermont and realized it’s a genius way to ensure she’s occupied and happy while I do my housework. It also enables me to leave her alone for a few minutes so that she can experience the self-reliance of playing unsupervised.
While Babywoods and I prepare ourselves for the day, Mr. FW bustles around the kitchen turning on NPR, feeding Frugal Hound, and cooking the human breakfast: our classic 0.10 per serving oats topped with either a banana or berries from our garden. Paired, of course, with our frugal fuel: coffee and seltzer.
7:30am-8:30am: Breakfast repast.
Babywoods and I venture downstairs to find breakfast on the table (have I mentioned how much I love my husband?). As soon as we arrive, Babywoods KNOWS it’s time to eat and begins to frantically claw mommy in anticipation. Mr. FW settles her to nurse atop the My Brest Friend (ok this thing seriously is my best friend since I can nurse her hands-free) and we all eat breakfast together.
Mr. FW and I are not talkative people in the morning, so we prefer to read news and work on our laptops while we eat. I also find that I usually experience a spurt of creativity first thing in the morning and most of my best writing takes place during breakfast. If I can start a post or get the basis of an idea hammered out in the morning, I can polish and edit later in the day. Thus, having this dedicated time to write is important to me.
After Babywoods finishes nursing, we cuddle until she starts flailing towards her toys. I set her on her play mat next to the kitchen table and she plays at our feet while we continue our breakfast. We feel very fortunate that we’ve been able to integrate Babywoods’ baby needs into our routine without sacrificing the allocation of time that works best for our productivity/creativity. I think our success is due in large part to the fact that Mr. FW and I are quite routine-oriented and so, from a young age (like probably 5 weeks old), we’ve followed this routine with Babywoods–hence, she knows what to expect.
8:30am-10:30am: First nap for Babywoods; writing time for Mommywoods.
The timetable of our day largely revolves around Babywoods’ nap schedule because we have the luxury of doing so and that’s our preference. Since our daughter needs a nap about an hour and a half after getting up, this is the ideal opportunity for me to continue my writing. Apropos enough, I’m writing this post out on our porch during nap #1.
Although I do sometimes write while Babywoods is awake and gleefully playing, it’s easier for me to focus and have uninterrupted flow while she’s napping.
10:30am: Errands or chores.
I rarely wake Babywoods from a nap, I just let her arise naturally, so the first nap is anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. If I needed to stick to a timetable, I guess I could wake her up, but I have the immense privilege of being able to slot in my work when it fits with her schedule and not vice versa.
After bebe wakes up, she and I might run errands–to the grocery store or to a baby play group or to drop something off in town (like homemade pies for the town fair!). Or, we might do chores together. On Mondays I do the laundry–although since I hang our clothes outside to dry, wash day is very weather dependent.
Other exciting undertakings include washing dishes, cleaning the house, paying bills, organizing our calendar for the week, thinking of ways to capture more wildlife on camera, cooking baby food, baking bread, trying to get Babywoods to ride on Frugal Hound’s back, processing whatever we’re harvesting from the garden at the moment, creating grocery lists and meal planning with chef Mr. FW, making phone calls (no cell service here, so VOIP it is!), brushing Frugal Hound’s teeth, etc. Clearly, it’s a ridiculously glamorous life I lead over here, folks.
I find that doing active indoor tasks with Babywoods awake is usually a recipe for success: she delights in watching me do stuff and I talk/sing to her the entire time while she plays at my feet. Of course other times she’s in a funk and wants to fussily cry in my lap while wiping her nose on my shirt. You know, classic baby.
The Beauty Of Working From Home
Since Mr. Frugalwoods works a more standard weekday schedule, he often retreats to his upstairs office while Babywoods and I make a racket downstairs. Working from home is an ideal situation for Mr. FW–we get to spend so much more time together than we did when he had to jet off to an office.
Although he still works just as many hours, he doesn’t have a commute and he can pop out for quick breaks to play with Babywoods during the day. When he was commuting to his office in the city, he barely saw Babywoods on weekdays since our mornings were truncated and she went to bed almost immediately after he got home in the evenings.
It’s also a tremendous relief for me to have him at home. If Babywoods is yelling with wild abandon (technical term: pig squealing) or if I’m desperate for a second pair of hands, he can come help me for a minute. Such as the time Babywoods started bleeding and I panicked, he rushed downstairs, deduced she merely had a tiny bug bite, wiped off the dried blood, and returned me to a state of normalcy.
12:00pm-1:30pm: Second nap for Babywoods; outdoor chores for Mommywoods.
Babywoods is what I would call a “high sleep needs” baby–the kid requires a lot of shut eye. So, about an hour and a half after waking up from nap #1, she typically devolves into a fussy, tired, eye-rubbing baby who needs to nurse and then nap.
While she takes her second nap, I often do an outdoor chore. I might weed the garden, harvest whatever crop is in season (asparagus, rhubarb, berries, arugula, spinach, etc), or collect flowers for our house. Our land is dotted with flowers both wild and cultivated and it’s marvelous to have fresh flowers adorn our home.
Then, I’ll usually eat lunch out on the porch while working on my laptop. High-speed internet in the woods = amazing.
1:30pm: Snacktime, playtime!
Following nap #2, Babywoods eats lunch and then we play! She’s a fan of her baby pool and on warm days, we’ll fill it in the mornings and let the sun heat the water. We splash around in there for awhile until she’s had enough water for the day.
Then I’ll continue on with my noisy indoor chores while she’s awake–vacuuming, folding laundry, baking bread, etc. Some days I get more done while she’s awake than others. Her little baby temperament fluctuates and, although she’s generally a really happy kid, some days she wishes to be held and carried (resulting in mommy accomplishing less with her one free arm). I find that parenting is equal parts following a schedule and extreme flexibility. Not a day passes that I don’t express gratitude for the ability to stay home with Babywoods and shepherd her through her baby milestones.
Being stay-at-home parents was one driving force behind our financial independence goal and, now that we’ve been at it for eight months, we’re both convinced it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We’re not perfect parents, but we adore being with our daughter every day. Watching her grow and seeing her personality develop is a gift.
Over the course of my brief parenting career, I’ve spoken with countless other parents who sincerely want to stay home with their kids, but don’t have the financial capacity to make it on one salary. I think a lot of people discount stay-at-home parenting for financial reasons, but frugality can make it happen. Of course there are many, many other reasons why people continue working–the intellectual stimulation is why I work–but if it’s money specifically that’s holding you back from staying at home, consider if extreme frugality could make that dream reality.
3:00pm-4:30pm: Nap #3 for Babywoods, yoga for Mommywoods.
I told you this kid sleeps a lot! I keep thinking she’ll drop or consolidate naps, but so far, she’s a stickler for the three nap system. Fine by me!
This last nap of the day is when I try to practice yoga and edit the writing I did earlier in the day. I’ve been doing yoga for close to ten years and it’s a crucial part of my life. I used to think of it as a luxury, but no more: it facilitates my mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health. When I step onto my mat and commit to a practice, I always leave feeling rejuvenated, clear-headed, and more positive about my life. If I’m slumping due to any number of reasons, yoga is my answer. I’ve never once regretted practicing.
At first, it felt decadent to incorporate yoga into my day–shouldn’t I be doing something, oh I don’t know, more productive?! But I’ve come to realize that as a work-at-home mother, I must carve out time for myself and I must care for my body. Hence, yoga is not an optional thing, it’s as necessary as any of my other chores.
The paramount nature of yoga in my life was something I worried about with our move to the country. In Cambridge, I had an awesome deal with my favorite local studio: I worked at the front desk and took out the trash in exchange for free classes. The studio was within walking distance of our house and I went in the evenings after Mr. FW got home from work. While there are several yoga studios in close proximity to our homestead–and many more a 30-minute drive away–the class times aren’t super convenient for me and I’m loathe to pay the $20 or so per class. In the future when Babywoods is older I might try to work out a similar bartering system for free classes, but it’s just not conducive to my lifestyle right now.
And so, I did what I always do in times of need: I turned to the internet. Lo and be-freaking-hold, there are a TON of free yoga classes available online! One of my favorite sites is Do Yoga With Me (I like their advanced Vinyasa Power Yoga classes) and I’ve also found quite a few great teachers on YouTube. I’ve practiced for so many years that I can certainly direct my own practice, but, I thrive on the commitment of following along with a class. It keeps me on my mat for the duration, it exposes me to poses I’ve forgotten about, and I learn something new about my body every single time.
Sidenote: if you too practice yoga at home, please let me know what resources/websites you use!
4:30pm-5:00pm: Screaming baby playtime.
The time betwixt the final nap and dinner is the toughest interlude for Babywoods. She’s tired (despite taking three naps), she’s irritable, she’s hungry, and nothing is right in her minute world. So basically, this is anarchy hour for us. I do everything I can to entertain/distract Babywoods until it’s dinnertime.
We play, we cuddle, we sing, we read books, I carry her around, I set her down, we go outside, she wails and beats her tiny fists… you get the picture. Coupled with this is Frugal Hound’s evening whine routine–she too wants her dinner and starts to let me know about it. Loudly. My two little beasts feed off of one another in the verbal complaint department…
5:00pm: Baby dinnertime and bathtime!
Babywoods chows down on her homemade baby food and smiles with wild abandon. After her little repast, I give her a bath (mostly to rinse off the food she gets all over her body… eating is a contact sport with this one).
5:30pm: Family walk/hike.
Mr. FW is often finished with work for the day at this point, or at least can take a break. We saddle everyone up–which entails popping Babywoods in the Ergo and leashing Frugal Hound–and venture forth to hike our land.
Some days we’re ambitious, other days we just walk around the yard or up the driveway to check our mailbox. It’s a chance for Babywoods to relax before bed, for Frugal Hound to accomplish some good sniffing, and for Mr. FW and me to delight in our woods. A goal of ours is to get out and about on our land at least once every day. It’s just too beautiful not to.
6:15pm: Babywoods bedtime.
After our walk, Babywoods is ready to nurse, cuddle, and snuggle on down to sleep for the night.
6:30pm: Chore/elective activity time.
Some evenings Mr. FW or I attends a town meeting, church committee, or other such gathering–we alternate based on who wants to attend what on which night. Other nights, we’ll both put in a few more hours of outside labor if the weather is fine and we have chores to do (thank goodness for our outdoor outlets, into which I plug the baby monitor!). If I’m trying to finish up a writing project, this is another block of time for me to crank out words on a page.
Mr. FW’s manual labor includes chopping wood, felling/bucking trees, clearing brush, brush-hogging a field, mowing the lawn, weedwacker-ing the garden, or any number of other tasks. He too thrives on diversification, so stepping away from his computer to perform physical tasks provides him with a welcome sense of balance.
Alternately, if it’s rainy or we’re particularly exhausted, we might play a board game–Scrabble and Lost Cities are our favorite two-person games at the moment.
8:00pm: Dinner and TV.
During the summer, we find ourselves eating our final meal of the day quite late in order to take advantage of the longer hours of sunlight. Since our seasonal focus is on farm chores, cooking every night is not a priority right now–we happily eat leftovers and super simple meals in summertime.
Mr. FW typically cooks a huge batch-o-food once or maybe twice a week in order to sustain us. A salad with cold grilled chicken and homemade lemon ginger dressing is a favorite right now. We’ll grill up a ton of chicken once a week and then portion it out each evening atop a bed of greens. Same goes for the dressing: we whip up lemon, olive oil, ginger, and whole-grain mustard for a refreshingly summery taste. Other nights, we’ll warm up a frozen meal that Mr. FW cooked during the winter–we’re still working our way through our chest freezer supply of homemade chili, chicken tikka masala, and split pea soup.
After eating, we cuddle on the couch and watch a show–for free might I add–thanks to our free TV methodology.
9:00pm: Dishes (boo).
The only real bummer about life out here is that we don’t have a dishwasher… I know it’s a luxury and I know many, many people survive without one. But, suffice it to say, we are installing a dishwasher soon. Until that day, we wash up each evening and clean the kitchen together.
9:15pm: Reading in bed.
We’re both avid readers and this time to decompress and read for pleasure is something we greatly value. I also feed Babywoods one final time before turning in myself. Parenting sidenote: this is called a dream feed, whereby she doesn’t really wake up in order to eat and goes right back to sleep after finishing. It keeps her full ’til morning and gives us all a complete night’s sleep!
10:00pm: Lights out.
Babywoods isn’t the only one who needs a lot of sleep! Night, night.
This Is Life For Now
As I write this, I am entirely cognizant of the fact that our lives will radically change and morph with each season, permutation of the weather, and developmental stage of Babywoods’ growth. And that’s what we’ve signed up for. Mr. FW and I want to live a life that isn’t a carbon copy year-round, where our challenges and pleasures are different with each passing month. I look forward to revisiting this topic in a year or so when we’re in a new iteration of life–of homesteading, of parenting, and of finding our purpose through meaningful work.
What does your typical weekday look like?
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Wow, I don’t think I realized babies sleep so much! Or maybe y’all are just super lucky! 🙂 I, too, love the freedom of working from home. I like being close to my kitchen, my cat, and my neighborhood for a daily walk. I usually wake up between 6:30-7:00 AM and spend 1-2 hours on blogging / freelance work. I’ll start my day job around 9:30. My lunch break is typically used for exercise (more stuff outdoors once it cools off). And I finish working around 6-6:30 PM. If I’m up against a deadline, I’ll write at night. But usually I prefer to just relax. I’m much more productive in the morning.
They are lucky! Not all sleep this way.
I can also attest that not all babies will let you get things done while they sleep.
I love reading your blog! I want to humbly point out that *all* parents are “full time parents” whether they are able/choose to stay at home with their children or not.
Oh yes! Of course they are :)! I just meant that we’re stay-at-home parents.
“Aural interludes”…hmmmm, like the music of the spheres. Love it! 🙂
I love reading about your homestead & seeing your photos! But you know you’re lucky having such an easygoing baby who sleeps so much, and by herself, right? My kids wanted to be held or sleep near/on me CONSTANTLY. They both dropped naps by the time they were two years old. I am envious of everything you can get done! (And lest you think this is sour grapes, I really am happy for you guys. You worked hard, planned thoughtfully & made your dream a reality!)
This. The only way my first kid would sleep was if she was touching someone – and if you lifted a hand off her, she’d be awake (and crank-eh) within 5 minutes. So… most of my baby-nap times were spent reading next to her, while keeping a hand on her stomach. Got NOTHING done, but read 127 novels during the first year of her life. 😉
Haha, all mine were like that, but I suspect it was my fault. I couldn’t bear to leave them to cry (not saying Frugalwood did that, but it’s usually what’s required). I don’t regret it. Cuddling sleeping babies may have meant my house stayed dusty for 18 years, but I got rested and yes, read a ton of books!
I enjoyed this day in the life and you inspired me to do one of my own. Starting today!
Awesome – can you do one for a normal weekend day?
“The ability to alter my days in response to the weather, my energy level, Babywoods’ mood and nap schedule, whether or not I’m inspired to write, what needs to be done on the land/in the house, and innumerable other factors is remarkably refreshing.”
I always thought that this would be one of the best parts of retirement. With a typical job, we’re forced to work something like 9-5. What if our natural rhythm is such that we’re better exercising in the morning, taking a nap after lunch and starting work at 2pm? Too bad. Everything must fit around those 9 or 10 hours at the job.
I’m really curious to see what my schedule looks like after I hang up the keyboard. I plan on experimenting for a while to figure out what my optimal rhythm is.
Yes! You’re going to love it.
The other one is if you’re thinking of going somewhere/ doing something and it happens to snow – oh well, maybe I’ll stay home and bake cookies instead:) Or whatever. Working – we must go, snow or no snow. I feel this one with you.
Our experience relocating to a homestead near a small town is very like yours. I don’t think many people realize just how involved you can be in a small town. We found it much easier to make friends and become part of a community here in our rural area than in the city.
I identified with so much in this post — the peace and quiet, the freedom to shape your own days, the ties to the seasons, the closeness to nature — thanks for reminding me again of all the things I love about this life.
Loved your post on free tv methodology. You wrote that you wished there were more a la carte options. There are many now. It can be hard to find them, takes some research. A recent thread on the Money and Your Life group ( NPR or PBS created) on Facebook focused on the many various options. Many there are advocates of antennas.
One free online program for car buffs is Comedians Driving in Cars Drinking Coffee (Jerry Seinfeld) which is both a fascinating look at some vintage and current autos but is often very funny. . Some people pay for cable only because they don’t think there are sports options s without it but now ESPN will be launching an a la carte channel. HBO and Showtime has done the same.
And Twitter now offers live streaming for something as important as the Democratic and Republican Conventions. I hope no one posts political responses as I am only noting that as an example of new online options,
Finally, I have no idea if you and Mr. Frugalwoods are into minimalism as well as frugality (I’m relatively new here) but YouTube has a collection of videos focusing on that topic. One woman has convinced me to pare my wardrobe down to about 20 essentials (not counting underwear, shoes, coats etc) when she shared her 10 item wardrobe for summer and winter ( 10 items for each season ) I don’t share her emphasis on looking “chic” in public but her focus on a simple wardrobe resonates with me,
I haven’t limited my wardrobe to only 10 items ( I have my gardening , painting and dirty job clothes) but my life is much easier now that I have fewer clothes to wash regularly…a decent savings right there.
The FWs are not into minimalism, they have addressed that before. 🙂
Sorry. I’ll go back and read more posts. Still relatively new, still learning.
What a gorgeous property you folks have! I love all the pictures, keep them up.
I also love how you have fully engrained yourselves in the community. I expect that to be a key part of my retirement life and something I would enjoy doing more of and being more meaningfully involved.
Thanks for the peak into a “day in the life”!
That sounds ideal! I would love to have that kind of flexibility in my day. Congratulations to you in making it happen.
I’m a little envious of that connection with neighbors. I live in the burbs, and even though we are surrounded by people and kids, no one is ever home. My kids knock on people’s doors to ask to play, and no one ever answers. We had a new neighbor move in recently, and she said we were one of two people who introduced ourselves. Everyone is in their silo. We try and sit out in our driveway to encourage the kids to come out and play. Sometimes it works- many times it doesn’t. The neighborhood kids are overscheduled too. It’s kind of sad.
Same here! We were living on a cul de sac for 4 years and got to the point where we basically knew everyone on the street (10 houses or so). My kids had knock on the door at any time type of playmates, it was nice. Now we’ve moved a couple miles away and we’ve been here for a year and still don’t really know many neighbors. Boo 🙁 I should make more of an effort, but I’m a bit of an introvert so when I see people I smile and say hello but that is the extent of our conversation.
Wow, that’s an easy baby! And cute! My kids could not be left on a mat after about 5 months because they were too fond of rolling away. (Parent tip: When they can sit unassisted but not crawl away is prime time for photos).
Will she not settle for a back carrier when she is fussy? Big Brother practically lived in his. Vividly I remember toting around him in it while I was making cookies, the buckle of the carrier fastened underneath the growing bump that was Little Brother.
Today is a Gym Week Day. That means get up, eat breakfast, clean up a bit. Then we load up the bikes (Big Brother, age 5.5, can ride his own bike for a couple of miles, while Little Brother, age 4, rides the tag-a-long behind me) and stop at a playground, where I drink the iced coffee I brought along, do my Spanish e-flashcards, and read a little. Then we continue on to the gym, with its squat racks and dumbbells for Mommy and reasonably priced, well-programmed child watch room for the tots.
Bikng home can be… leisurely, because Mommy is tired and Big Brother is, well, five. So by the time we get home Mommy is hangry and it’s lunch time! Sometimes if lunch is carb-heavy, I will make my second cup of iced coffee using chocolate-favored protein powder!
No one naps. Sometimes after lunch the tots watch a little TV if I have important phone calls to make or whatnot. In the afternoon, we either futz around the house doing this and that or go out to run errands. If it’s not too hot, we’ll fit in another walk before or after dinner, then it’s time for stories and bed. If it’s a particularly nice evening, we read our stories on the front porch, and sometimes the neighbor girl hears us out there and comes to join in. (And one time a rough-looking individual stopped on the sidewalk to listen to Paddington.)
I’ve also loved many of the same things since I started working from home a couple months ago. If I need a quick break or to do a chore, much easier than to do at the office!
If you haven’t discovered Yoga With Adrienne yet, go check out her YouTube channel. She’s the main online yoga teacher I follow and she usually releases 1 free yoga video each week. She’s happy, upbeat, and her motto is ‘find what feels good’. She also has her stuff organized into various playlists, such as 15 mn yoga practices, 20-25 minute yoga practices, yoga for hips, yoga for…whatever.
I use Yoga with Adriene also and love her videos!
I love Yoga with Adrienne as well and wanted to be sure you checked her out! Her personality, her stance on yoga, and her free videos are fantastic!
P.S. I just started reading your blog about a week ago and I think I have binge-read nearly every day since!
I love Do Yoga With Me! My favorite teacher is Melissa McLeod/Krieger. (I love her Canadian pronunciation of “toooes.”) I haven’t been keeping up with my yoga practice too well recently, but you might have just inspired me to work through a class tonight.
I have been reading your blog for a few years now and so happy for you all that you have realized your dreams. The journey to FI can be challenging at times but stories like this is a good reminder that dreams are worth chasing! Babywoods is going to have such a happy childhood out on the homestead!
We get up around the same time (except for today when I was up with a sick child all night and we all slept much later). The kids (4 year old boy and girl who just turned 7) get dressed and play while I get ready, toss in laundry and cook breakfast. (We alternate between yogurt and granola or scrambled eggs and toast most days.) We homeschool, so we go over our “morning basket” over a long breakfast. (Things like Bible story and verse, hymns, weather, day/date, what’s happening in nature that day, etc.) After breakfast is a break for cleaning up dishes and switching laundry, then the seven year old and I work on reading, writing and math while the four year old chooses a busy box to bring to the table. (Boxes include themes like kinetic sand, lacing cards or beads, building toys, or paper and safety scissors.) After that, the kids play outside or in spending on weather while I do a few chores and fix lunch. I usually read to them over lunch from our history and literature selections and after we finish our other subjects. Next, we might work on art, a science project or just go on a nature walk. When we finish, I do a few more chores and the kids help out some and play the rest of the time until time for supper. After supper might be swimming, screen time or playing outside depending on the weather. Then it’s time for baths and bed for the kids, then shower and reading in bed for me. My husband works 24 hour shifts (firefighter) plus a side job so he’s either home all day or not at all. When he is home and rested, he will often watch the kids in the afternoon so I can run errands in town and have some “alone time”. Of course this plan often changes as we may have field trips or coop classes, but I try not to be off schedule more than one day a week if at all possible.
I love the serenity and peace that permeates your daily life. Yet, there is still productivity, self-reliance, and
hard, satisfying work.
That’s a nice stack of firewood! Should be even more satisfying burning it this winter. I just finished getting our stacks of wood ready for the winter as well.
So fun to read! Our daughter is 5 months and follows a very similar sleep/playful/grumpy routine. I’m presently enjoying my maternity leave with her. Such a blessing!
We’ve just started on our extreme frugality life, it’s amazing how much more content I feel in such a short time!
We too hope to move to the woods someday! Right now it’s not realistic, but we’ll get there.
Thanks for the read, and the inspiration 🙂
How’s Me FW’s radio hobby going? Just wondering, from a fellow FI enthusiast and ham.
Hi – you touched a bit on frugalhound here, but I’d love to hear more about her transition to frugalwood-land. From the photos in this post, looks like she is still on the leash – wondering if she gets time to be leash free on your walks or in the yard and if so, how she is adjusting to freedom?
I want to add that while an investment, you might consider a wireless proximity fence for Frugalhound. We live in the countryside but on a busy road, so we invested in one of these for our Aussie. I dragged my feet for the longest time because I didn’t want to invest in this, but now that I have it I have to say it’s one of the best investments I’ve made! I can literally keep the door open to the house and go in and out doing chores and my dog Indy can come and go as he pleases. I can be working in the garden and he will hang with me sometimes and other times he is off in the garage with my husband. The peace of mind this has brought us and safety for him is priceless. He is not outdoors unattended but this gives us all the freedom to not have to watch him like a hawk.
We use the Petsafe wireless Stay & Play system (3/4 acre circle with rechargeable batteries).
I don’t know how Frugalhound herself does – every dog is different – but in general, as sighthounds, greyhounds are pretty unreliable off leash, and because they can run so quickly, it can be really dangerous to keep a grey unleashed. If you have a grey with a particularly high prey drive, I would imagine they would not hesitate to dash over a wireless fence boundary to chase a bunny or squirrel.
You’ve got a great sleeper there! Thanks for sharing a day in your life on the homestead. We enjoy being involved in our church and community so much. That’s wonderful that you’ve made so many connections and have outlets for sharing your talents and resources. I think your expectant that life with change with the seasons of nature and parenting will help you stay content through it all.
You are living my dream life! Congratulations! I loved reading this day in the life.
I have two questions. Looking at your huge beautiful lawn, I wonder why you mow it? I was thinking how nice it would be to have free-range grass and one less chore!
Also, will you or do you let Frugal Hound run the land without a leash? One of my favorite things is letting my dog run free, and thought how especially nice for a greyhound, but maybe yours will run a little too freely and take off!
Wow your baby sleeps like a champ! That is some really good stuff you’ve got going on! Have you checked out Yoga by Adriene https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
I really love her personality and the way she teaches yoga. You should definitely check her out!
Thank you for continuing to inspire 🙂
Yes! If there is one thing I’ve learned having a child it’s that life changes quickly. As soon as I think I’ve got her figured out, we are on to the next stage with a whole new set of issues and challenges. Lovely to hear that you are embracing every moment. That’s key:)
Oh man, I’m so jealous.
First, that baby sleeps! My god. My kids never slept that much and they *still* don’t. Whenever you’d read “at X age, the baby should be sleeping Y-Z hours”…seriously my kids are at Y or 30 minutes less. Grrr. (My 4 year old naps for 1.5 hours at daycare but does not go to sleep until 10!! So he’s getting 10.5 hours, but it kills me).
Second, that you sleep that much. My problem is insomnia. Oh well.
Third, that schedule! I like that you are getting so involved in your community. I do a bit of that here and there, but there are only so many hours in the day. For the summer, it’s both relaxing and stressful. Stressful, in that we are playing “summer camp tetris”. Non-working parents can take or leave summer camp (but the kids do drive them crazy at times), but we can’t. So it’s a balance among camps we can afford, camps that he loves, and schedule. This week it’s robotics – affordable, but only 3 hours a day (so that involves him being at 2 different camps, needing a parent to shuffle him between them midday, and picking him up an hour earlier because it only goes till 4).
On the plus side, I’ve gotten to chill with the big boy having lunch in a park before camp, and I’m picking the kids up an hour earlier some days, so we get to spend more time together.
Anyway, you asked about yoga. I am not a yoga connoisseur, but I do work out at home a bit. We like going to the gym, but have to take turns. So 2-3 days a week, I work out at home in the mornings on my husband’s gym days. I haven’t had the time to really “look around” at free Youtube videos much. But most of my workouts are Beachbody workouts (I do pay about $150 a year for the privilege). One of my favorite workouts is PiYo (Pilates/Yoga) and it really has helped me strengthen my body, heal a bad knee, etc.
Several of the different beach body workouts have yoga, like 21 Day Fix, P90X. I’m a huge fan of being able to get workouts in at home. I am MUCH more likely to stick to it for a “class”. This morning, I wasn’t feeling it so I talked myself into 15 minutes, and ended up doing the full 30 minute video. Which had some yoga components too!
My Brest Friend is seriously the best.
That baby is so darned cute.
I love PiYo!!! 😀
for overnight I use wool diaper covers, either shorts or pants right over your disposable diaper will keep your sheets dry. Unless they get poop on them you only have to wash wool like once a month. And if you want to be extra thrifty, you can upcycle an old wool sweater or get one from a thrift store and sew it into a diaper cover. or buy used
Yeah, it’s actually more the spit-up on the crib sheet with Babywoods–she’s a major spitter ;)!
if you buy used wool, you do need to lanolize prior to wearing to stop the urine. using lanolin cream (like Lanisoh) in slightly warm water, just warm enough to melt the lanolin, and then letting the wool cover soak in the lanolin for a bit and then hanging dry will ensure the wool soaker cover absorbs the water.
Ahhh, it’s so great to hear about life on the homestead. 🙂 It’s funny how time suddenly slows down when you’re in the country. I absolutely adore the sense of freedom that comes with living away fromt the hustle and bustle of the city.
We’d love to have a homestead of our own–although I think this goal is about 10 years away for us!
On the yoga front – my favorite is Ekhart Yoga. It is a pay site, but it works out to about $10 a month. If you are after hardcore gym yoga, this is not it. If you are after yoga studio yoga, this is it. It’s less about talking about your core during practice, although they do, and more about talking the sutras during practice. Plenty to chose from at all levels from different styles, plus nice programs and guided meditation. It’s the best online yoga I have found.
For online yoga sites, Yogaglo.com is great. It has literally thousands of classes by well-known instructors, and you can filter them in a zillion ways to find the exact style of class you want. It’s $18 a month so definitely not cheap, but compared to the cost of studio classes it’s a great deal given the quality of the classes. They also make it very easy to stop and start your subscription anytime, so I often pause it if I happen to not be using it for awhile.
Love this post! I’m a work-at-home mom (do-gooder lawyer) to a toddler with Baby #2 on the way. It’s inspired me to ask my husband to see if he can get his work to agree to working from home a day or two per week. I think it would be great for both of us! Quick q: regarding yoga, if you’re just starting a practice, do you think you need to attend classes initially or could you use free internet resources? Thanks!
I had the luxury of working from home for most of 2015 and I too noticed how much more I knew and cared about the seasons, weather, what was in bloom, etc. And that was after leaving a job in the floral industry, ha!
It sounds like the days are in a happy and comfortable pattern for everyone around the homestead. Lovely! It’ll be interesting to see what fall and winter bring–I can’t wait, mostly because I’m marooned in 100-degree Missouri and dreaming of crisp fall air.
As for at-home yoga, I love Yoga by Candace’s channel on YouTube. She organizes practices by the length of time they take, so you can choose one that fits into the time you’ve got available. That’s a NICE feature for the busy schedule! I’m a superfan of hers, so I’ve also downloaded her free iPhone app. That way I can pull her videos straight up without having to weed through the YouTube app first.
I have such fond memories of the dream-feed! It was such a peaceful moment with a daughter who was unfortunately pretty fussy as an infant. I also tried to imagine what it would feel like to wake up with a vague sense that someone had fed me a full meal while I was sleeping.
I use the Daily Yoga app for my practice. Which maybe problematic if you can’t use cell phones at the homestead.
Nice post Mrs. FW. Sounds like you enjoy your new life immensely Is there anything you miss about city life?.
Have loved reading about your day to day. Sounds blissfully simple and full <3 We too live in the countryside in an old farmhouse. I put my first garden in this year and it is smashing, except for not keeping up with the weeds and bugs!
Might I ask the proportions you are using for your homemade lemon ginger dressing? Also, is there a link to a post with some of your favorite freezer recipes (or a Pinterest)? Lastly, what do you use to freeze your meals in – plastic? We try to use mostly glass around here for safety and health, but we just got a chest freezer and I'm looking to put up some of our veggies in homemade soups and stocks.
Hope I'm not a bother with all these questions! Love reading your blog and I look forward to each and every post. We are pursuing a life much like yours, although we have student loans that are throwing a wrench in things. Thankfully, we have enough to put away towards retirement and manage a simple and full life, but I aspire to make retirement sooner with the methods you have shared.
I’ll have to check out that yoga resource! When I practice at home, I use Yoga By Candace videos. She’s got a great variety in terms of activity level (gentle vs. active) and length of practice, as well as a few targeted videos (e.g. legs for runners).
You’ve really offered a lot of insight! I have always wondered what it would be like to live “off the grid”. I’m so glad that you are as successful as you are!!
Enjoy your blog. I am anxious to see the July expense report as you settle in. I have always been curious why no detail on charitable contributions as I understand you attend a church and probably have other meaningful causes you support. That seems to be a line item husband and I often have discussions about. Still working full time in suburbia with more a fear of what I’ll do next and how much to budget for health care costs once I stop working.
Ergo love! It’s also great for those snuggle days when you want to get work done but baby wants to be close. Pretty soon, I think you can start to back carry. I’ve washed dishes many times while swaying back and forth with the baby in the ergo.
The high sleep needs is so lucky! Our little one is not a napper. At two years old, she will sleep 12 hours at night but often eschews any daytime naps. She just loves to explore. We do end up getting her to “help” a lot so we can get stuff done, and nurturing the independent play has also been important for us. We do have daycare during the school year but keep her home with us in the summer (we’re both teachers).
How beautiful your property is! I’m glad to hear that the Frugalwoods have embraced small town, country living. It really is a wonderful way to live your life. Most people don’t realize how small towns do have a variety of things to do if only you will look for them.
The highlight of my week was a vet visit. The vet and I have more in common than I realized. You just never know people until you truly talk with them, and she had a quieter week to gab. I was surprised to learn that my blond cocker LOVES having her teeth brushed! (The black one tolerates it.) I thought of Frugalhound when the vet showed me Clementine happily enjoying a good brushing.
Love your blog! I’ve been practicing yoga for only a couple years now, but up to the point where I don’t like to miss a day, even if only for 15 minutes. Check out Yoga with Adriene or Brett Larkin on youtube for some great free videos! Thanks for sharing about Do Yoga with Me, I’ll have to check it out. Are you into the inversions?
Mrs. FW – check out Yoga with Adriene on You Tube, if you haven’t already!
Day in the life posts are my favorite!! Thank you for sharing yours 🙂
Not gonna lie – I go back and forth between wanting a simpler life (not that yours is simple, but it’s way more peaceful…perhaps that’s a better word!) and loving my current life. I’m a FT working mom, however, the girls are only in daycare part-time because I’m able to work from home. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that they’re in daycare LOL! They are 4 and 2, and love the social interaction. On weekends they ask to go – which I don’t know if I should be happy about that or if perhaps I need to find more fun things to do with them on the weekends 😉
Either way, your story has been so fun to follow!! You guys have a great thing going for you, and I love that you got there because of hard work and fantastic money management skills. That’s no easy feat!! Congratulations!
I would love to hear your tips on how you came to have Babywoods sleeping so much during the day! I’ve certainly heard that the more a baby sleeps, the more a baby sleeps (implying more naps = better sleeps through the night). We’re expecting our first baby this winter and any tips would be appreciated; as in your lives, sleep is also sacred for us! Did Babywoods arrive at this schedule on her own, or did you give her nudges here and there? Absolutely loving the posts from the new homestead, by the way – congratulations on achieving your goal! As they say (truer in your case than most) – now is harvest time 🙂
This summer my schedule is crazy. I’m an OR nurse, which is crazy in itself with call, but we’ve lost 5 nurses out of 12 recently, 2 to maternity leave, 2 to firing and 1 who left in search of a better job. This shortage does not lend itself to running a 5 room operating room efficiently. But some of us pitch in where we can. Lots and lots of overtime. Some days I work 0630-2300, with a break in the middle of an hour or two.
I wake up at 0730. My time is flexible in the mornings as I don’t work until 1430. In the 7 hours before work I eat breakfast, make lunches for myself and my husband (who also works evenings) from the big batch of food that I make on Sunday, do that days’ predetermined chore, such as laundry and weeding Monday, office and upstairs Tuesday, nothing Wednesday, bathrooms and vacuuming Thursday, clean downstairs Friday. At 1400 I head to work and work from 1430-2300, sometimes later if needed. I take call 3-4 nights a week, this means I have to be available in there is an emergency. I am home at 2315 and I do homework from 2315-0000. Yes, actual homework as I have returned to college so I can get by Bachelor’s in the Science of Nursing. I go to bed at 0000. Every day things are litter boxes, clean the kitchen, collect all the dirty clothes while I am brushing my teeth, and a cardio of some kind, be it bike riding or running.
Saturdays I do nothing in the morning, except homework, every other weekend I am on call for the OR. In the afternoon I weed or watch a movie with my husband. Sundays I grocery shop and prepare the meat for the week, chicken or pork or spaghetti or soup. I also plan out my week and discuss with my husband what the week to come morning meetings at the hospital will be. I am on several committees at the hospital and they insist on meeting during daytime hours.
And writing and reading this just makes me tired. This morning I had to go to the hospital at 0530 to set up an emergency case. I came home and napped with my husband from 0830-1000. And it was awesome.
No, we don’t have children, we have cats. When I am at home and reading my textbooks on the couch is when they get their cuddle time.
The hospital is actively hiring and the mommies will come back but right now there is a huge time crunch.
Oh and I sleep in when I can. On Saturday and sometimes Sunday I don’t get up until 0900.
I love reading your blog posts. They are uplifting, positive and fun! Your voice as a writer shines through. In the words of Pink Floyd, “Shine on you crazy diamond.” Thanks for sharing your ideas about life and all it’s possibilities.
So jealous of babywoods’ nap schedule … Our little one is not what you call a “good sleeper”.
I came to suggest yoga download.com as another option. I sometimes have subscribed for ~$10/month for unlimited streaming of classes, but mostly just use their subset of shorter classes that are completely free.
I haven’t replied in a while…been busy this summer. But I wanted to tell you what a wonderful synopsis this is and how wonderful your life is in the woods. Work at home for dad, part-time from home for you, beautiful baby, meaningful work on your property. Truly, a perfect example of how to dream a dream, work it, and make it happen. If I hadn’t followed your blog for a while, I wouldn’t believe that you both didn’t receive large inheritances or won the lottery or something. But I think you won the lottery of life…devoted to each other, your family, your home, your beliefs, and your way of life. I’m so happy you’re enjoying your life in Vermont…hasn’t this summer been great….although a tad hot for most Vermonters. So in awe of both of you. And Babywoods is a doll, and oh my gosh, that is an impressive stack of wood. I’ll bet his biceps are looking more impressive, too! . Bev
Oh, I forgot one thing….you may want to look into a generator. Not sure if you’ve thought of that or have one, but they come in very handy when we get storms here. We had a small one from Home Depot at first, but my husband wanted an automatic one, meaning it clicks on automatically if the power goes out. We have that now, and it’s just peace of mind.
The picture you paint of small town living sounds amazingly idyllic. I’m glad that you were able to find a place that you seem to really enjoy. Do you find that there is anything that you particularly miss about city living?
I’m loving the Yoga Studio app by Gaiam. It cost $4 one time (not a subscription), which, while not free, does mean there are no ads or pop-ups. There are ready-made “classes” videos for all levels and , or you can create your own through the custom classes. It also has a break-down of all the different poses with step-by-step instructions. My favorite thing about this app, however, is that there are options to change the background music and instructor voice-over (most days I like the classical guitar with instructor guidance or the ocean waves with pose names or “tings” when it’s time to switch to the next pose). It’s really helpful for me to keep up my yoga practice no matter where or when, since it’s all on my phone.
I love how you have become a true homebody. It is a beautiful life. Simple, peaceful, and so meaningful. I love it myself.
Thank you for sharing your day! I appreciate the inspiration and it was fun to read about Babywood’s progress. Just one question: It sounds like your yoga practice is very advanced. You’ve definitely sold me on the benefits. Would “Do Yoga With Me” have anything for beginners or is there another free/online resource you would recommend?
I’m so excited you’re thinking about starting a yoga practice!!! Do Yoga With Me has sections for beginner, intermediate, and advanced, so I think they have something for everyone :). There’s also a section on their site dedicated to explaining different poses, which might be useful. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!
So… this sounds like an amazing life! Thank you for sharing and congratulations on getting here. Other than the location, the relaxed and flexible nature of your day sounds pretty much like my ideal. Someday, hopefully, I will get there.
My yoga favourite on YouTube is Yoga with Adriene.
Hello Frugalwoods! This is my first comment but I thought I would chime in since I didn’t see any feedback on the yoga stuff! I actually started developing a home practice last year (been really lazy lately though… oops) and YouTube was incredibly useful. I ended up using a lot of routines from Fightmaster Yoga. She has a 90 day challenge series, a series from beginners and a meditation series as well as a lot of one-offs for whatever you feel like doing on a given day. Yoga with Kassandra and Yogi Nora are also nice channels. I definitely recommend Nora’s yin practice. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your day! The options to create your own uniquely designed lifestyle, given frugality and resourcefulness, are HUGE!
After reaching our own saving goals, my hubbie and I are now able to both be self-employed and design the pace and style of our life, much more intentionally.
Very inspiring to see your story come to fruition and how much diversity of days it affords you both!
“This is such an enriching, fulfilling aspect of our new lives and we can’t wait to become even more involved as the years elapse.” I love the community engagement you have! When we work, it is so hard to give back in the ways we would like to. We are just starting to live an early retiree life and it is definitely hard to get used to (I love it – but the timing of everything is what we are trying to figure out!) When the kids go back to school and college, I think we will fall in to a better routine (not that we need one!) – but there are so many things we want to do – that we just need to make sure we make time for everything! Thanks for sharing the outline of your wonderful days!
Would love to see “A day in the life” post for each season.
I am the same as you guys. I prefer not to talk to much in the morning and reading the news while eating breakfast sounds heavenly. However, I have a 2 year old and a 6 year old and they like to talk, loudly, often at the same time. And they require me to be engaged and respond to what they are saying. Plus, as soon as my bottom hits the chair to drink my coffee and eat my own breakfast, there is usually a demand for more water/ milk/ cereal/ fruit or a complaint that I’ve given them the “wrong spoon.” Sigh.
Also, how cool that your town has free summer camp. Summer camp for my 6 year old is certainly not free.
I loved reading about your day, you are blessed deservedly so! I just finished reading the first three Little House on the Prairie books and this reminds me so much of them, and yes you days will change dramatically with the seasons. I’m so glad you are getting to enjoy the summer, it was a good time to start your new journey. Thanks for all your wonderful posts.
Oh wow! It’s funny but my daughter is almost fourteen and I’m almost jealous of how much your baby sleeps. My daughter never slept as a baby….it was so hard!
Your days sound so lovely.
Anon in western mass.
Yoga by Candace! There’s a huge variety online. I have her app on my phone and use it all the time.
I recommend Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.
I was wondering how you manage to get so much done with a baby at home! I forget that other people have easy, sleepy babies, not my demon child. (My sweet, patient aunt was the one who dubbed her that!) While yours is still taking three naps, mine was down to one 2-hour nap at that age. And at 2 1/2, she’s given up napping entirely. I’m very jealous of Babywoods’ napping schedule. 🙂
I love changing my life based on the seasons too. Am trying to enjoy summer, despite the fact that it’s too hot and I don’t do well in the heat.
Great post! We have a 14 month old, so was very interesting to compare where we were when our little guy was 8 months.
You know your neighbors better now than in the city? That’s heartening. Marge and I both want to move upon retirement, but I am more thinking in the “big, private property” direction than she is, while we live in a dense downtown now. Also the lack of things to do away from a downtown concerns her. So you’ve disproven both notions here!
Great post! Isn’t it something, living in the country, on your own schedule? We’ve been enjoying it for 2 years now. Alarm clock, what’s that? Congrats on y’all’s new life.
What would we like to see more of? Well, I don’t “FB” so I’ll answer here.
When you all lived in the city it really didn’t matter which one of you was writing because it was all sort of the same. But, welcome to the country where a lot of tasks generally fall to one or the other in a gender oriented way. (OK, everybody can BOO! me now.) Seriously, I’m a guy, and I like the guy things, I’d love to hear more about Mr.FW’s day, and what it’s like to grapple with the management side of 66 acres. Conversely, I’m honestly not too interested in nursing issues, yoga, or even what the dog does.
I am worried that the wood pile is too far from the house, and in a low spot and in the shade. That’s me. I want to know what species of wood is on the land, what the plan is, and what the immediate issues are. Fire management? I’m all ears. Grade the driveway? Tell me about it.
I feel better having said so… but should I leave now? Should this be good bye?
Hahah, no you don’t need to leave :)! Mr. FW would love to sit down over coffee with you and tell you all about the wood (sugar maple, ash, beech, birch, pine, some other stuff) and the driveway (in good shape right now thanks to some culvert repair). Mr. FW has a whole philosophy on where the wood pile is for now–and it’s also a test to see how it seasons there. I’m sure we’ll hit on all these aspects over time. And, you’re quite right about the gendered nature of some of our homestead tasks–I touched on that in the first of my monthly homestead series: http://www.frugalwoods.com/2016/06/30/this-month-on-the-homestead-flowers-wood-and-gender-roles/ And c’mon, that post had a whole section on putting up wood ;)! Chainsaws and everything!
I decided to put this post on hold while I read the city version first, then I got distracted and read about you forgetting to bring lunch to work (who does that???). At the end of that article you mentioned having a mechanic in Cambridge that you liked. I live in Porter Square, own a car, and an not super sure about my current mechanic, care to share your old garage’s identity?
Hi! Sure, our Cambridge mechanic was CLM Auto on Webster Ave near Inman Sq.–I highly recommend them!
Sounds wonderful….and then comes winter….
You need a saddle for your greyhound, and a seat belt for BabyWoods.
I love your Blog. I’ve been reading for a while, but this is my first post. I don’t know if you’ve tried a baby swing, but it was an absolute sanity saver for us during the evening cranky hour. Ours was given to us by a friend who swore it would help and it did. Babywoods is adorable!
Good point! You know, the baby swing used to work for Babywoods, but now she just tries to fling herself out of it… I think she’s gotten too big for it :\
I am looking forward to the article about buying a dishwasher!!!
I have a yoga recommendation! The cody app website (https://www.codyapp.com/schedule) hosts two free yoga broadcasts per month. They’re ‘live’ and challenging. Can’t wait to hear about the dishwasher! Our home’s dishwasher is useless; dishes don’t come out clean even if rinsed (which is already wasteful). We’ve succumb to hand washing.
I just love the look of your house. I’m also enamored with the idea of more diversity in my day, for sure. Three years and counting. 🙂
you are just sooo lucky that Babywoods sleeps so well… esp for a breast fed baby.
A dishwasher… a luxury I’ve never own too.
I have a mixture of feelings about a dishwasher: when I give a party at my place, I like to wash dishes at the end of the party, even though they are _a_lot_, because it makes me revive the evening together. On the opposite side, when it’s just “everyday duty” I hate it.
Anyway, amazing post, thanks! I’ve friends with kids almost BW’s age and none seems to have the same amount of free time you have. Lucky you 🙂
Lovin’ the tractor….Our Family has a Kubota as well….not as big as yours, but has been very durable. And I have the same yellow wheel barrel that I got off CL. It has served me well BUT it “eats” inner tubes. Seriously I have had a lot of flat tires. Might want to keep that in mind. The firewood looks great!
So nicely written and such a peaceful life -atlthough I would never have been able to live like this!
Somewhat OT but I’ve been wondering if you have problems with bugs in your country home? I love the idea of living in the country, but the practicalities of creepy-crawlies in my house sends shivers up my spine.
I love your blog! I love how you reflect on the notion of living seasonally and you get to do so in such a beautiful region of the country that is conducive to seasonal living. I’ve been a lifelong Texan (a mere 31 years, ), and while life in a predictable, mildly changing climate is very easy, for the last two or three years something inside of me has been begging for a seasonal/regional change. I fell in love with New England a few years ago and hope to relocate there some day, even just to experience seasonal living for a few years, or maybe forever.
When my children were babies (they’re all now adults), 2 or 3 naps a day was normal as well. Along with an early bedtime. We lived an unplugged life, even in the suburbs. No TV (we didn’t own one) and a mediocre computer (late 90’s) but a fabulous stereo system! Play time was outside for the most part except when Colorado snow and cold set in deep. I used a sling to carry the kids during the before-dinner-fussiness & the rhythm of working with me and feeling close to my body seemed to help them a lot. Obviously, Mommy had cold food because Baby needed to nosh first but it changes so rapidly I never minded. Treasure your time; sounds like you’re doing a marvelous job!
Please, please, please do not put Babywoods on the Frugalhound. It looks cute and it seems like innocent fun, but it reinforces the idea for Babywoods that animals are toys and tools for human pleasure – rather than beings who are our equals and deserve to have their bodies respected. She’s just a baby now, but she may retain memories from an early stage of her life.
Our “pets” exist for themselves, not us – and we are their guardians responsible for their wellbeing, not their masters.
Thank you for a delightful post! Loves every word!
Big fan of the blog. Please don’t put your baby on your dog’s back … if you look at your dog, she’s possibly giving a body-language signal (head turn) that she is not comfortable with the situation. Most children are bitten by their own family dog. http://dogtime.com/dog-health/dog-behavior/19137-advocacy-column-dog-bite-warning-signs
Love, A Fan who also loves dogs
Well now that’s a skewed sample. Most children are bitten by the family dog because the dog that children spend the most time around (especially unsupervised) is the family dog. That’s like saying the shallows are more dangerous than deep water because most shark attacks occur in shallow water… That’s where the people are!
I do have to agree with some others above–once your little one gets more mobile, things might change quick with the amount of work-time you have. Currently, my 5 month old sleeps a bit and is happy to chill on the ground, but I know for a fact once he starts crawling and then walking, he will be a handful, lol!
When your little one is more mobile, would you ever consider a part-time daycare or in-house nanny to enable you to get more work done? I’ve heard of a lot of WAHM who swear by some form of child care at least part-time so they can get a lot done in one go. Living in a small town, I’m sure you could find great care if needed.
What a beautiful life your family has created. So very happy for you.!!
My personal solution to the 4:30 witching hour…once she is ready to have a few Cheerios, sit her in her high chair and let her finger feed herself about 10. It’s incredibly fascinating to them, gives her something relatively nutritious to nibble on, and helps develop her pincer grasp.
So funny–Mr. FW and I were just talking about getting her some Cheerios today–now you’ve motivated me to do it! She likes grabbing avocado and banana right now, but they’re so mushy she has a hard time with that important pincer grasp.
Ha- great minds think alike! Eight months is the perfect age for some Cheerio nibbling, especially the whole grain ones.
It’s great to get a little insight into your daily life, thank you for sharing! I have only recently (this year) started to do yoga and I use a YouTube channel called Boho Beautiful which I love…her morning routines are certainly great for a complete beginner like me, and I love how it gives me such a positive start to each day.
For yoga online I love Yoga with Adriene and Yoga with Kassandra on YouTube. I like how Adriene occasionally jokes around and sheds the Super Serious Yogi persona. Kassandra has some really great yin yoga classes, as well as great intermediate/advanced videos (I especially like her Everything in 20 video). I too have been doing yoga (off and on) for over ten years and now feel weird when I haven’t practiced in a while.
If you’re looking for other two person board games check out Hive and Diamonsters. Hive is kind of like a simpler version of chess without the board and with bugs as the pieces. Diamonsters is a fast-paced betting game about monsters. They’re both my current favorites and highly recommend them!
I have found with my four kids that staying home and not messing around with naps means they nap and sleep more than a lot of other kids do. Mine all took three naps until 9-10 months and then dropped to two until 20-21 months and then one until 4.5. Most of my friends are unwilling to hang around the house and be slaves to their kids’ nap schedules (the introvert in me loves the excuse to stay home :-P), and their kids don’t nap as long or go down as easily at night, etc. In any case, a great benefit of staying home with baby!
We call the 4-5 pm hour “arsenic hour” because you either want to take some or give some. It gets worse when you have multiple young children and can’t really comfort everyone at once, LOL! Have you tried feeding her her dinner immediately upon waking from that nap? Just a thought! I find feeding the hangry beasts tends to help a bit.
I’m with you–I’m happy for the excuse to hang around the house! She usually nurses as soon as she wakes up, but then she’s still usually in a foul mood until bedtime… oh well, can’t complain, she’s in such a great mood the rest of the time 🙂
I adore your blog! I’m a fellow farm dweller, and it’s a wonderful place to raise children. Also, thanks to you, I did my first online yoga course yesterday! I enjoyed it. :).
Question: what other blogs do you follow? I need to get my frugal blog fix on days when you don’t post. So far I’ve added The Nonconsumer Advocate and The Frugal Girl to my list.
Have you considered a baby carrier? I used an Ergo adjustable and my husband could use it as well. It makes life infinitely easier, gets rid of the one handed work load. So much much easier than a stroller too!!! One word of caution since babywoods is 8 months already there might be an adjustment period for her but it’s worth it. Lastly, if you get brave and do a back carry try it over the bed first. My son loved to be carried on my back until he was almost three, it was a great workout and strength builder over time !!!
Yep, I use my hand-me-down Ergo every single day! Maybe I forgot to include that in the post, but baby-wearing is a wonderful thing and we’ve been doing it since Babywoods was teeny tiny. She loves riding in the Ergo for hikes, when we’re running errands, and in the house. It’s our favorite 🙂
I really enjoy reading your blog and have passed it along to many. I was wondering how many hours a week you spend doing outside chores, and also Mr. Frugalwood’s hours spent outside. Is it more work than you had imagined or just about what you thought. It seems like the work would never end, but I’m sure it was a lot more in the beginning. Have a great week!
Hi Mrs Frugalwoods! My mom and I have lived out in the country for about 15 years now on 2 acres of land, just a tad smaller than your 66 acres. The lawn has been a big dilemma for my mom and I. We have two push lawn mowers and one riding mower, but they always break down on us (all three currently inoperable). Living in the country by ourselves, we have learned to become pretty handy and have fixed the push mowers several times on our own, but they break down again (maybe we are buying cheap mowers, not sure). So now, my mom lets the grass grow and convinces herself that she likes it because it hides the house..
I was just wondering, how much of the yard do you cut? And have you had any problems with your tractor/mower? I ask because your lawn looks very pristine and well cared for, and also because you all have much more land.
P.S. really enjoying these homestead series!
If you are looking for more writing ideas (ha!) I would love a series of these! Schedules in different seasons and also now that you have two. I’m about to have my second and would love to know more on your transition from one to two- especially in regards to schedules.