Rural living without a partner in crime - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-17-2011, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I keep reading over and over again in threads about how work is split up between the poster and their DH, for example. I know that's not everyone's case - I've also read posts about how some posters are basically doing it all by themselves, without a spouse helping out. So, roll call... Who out there is single and/or has a spouse that doesn't contribute to the homesteading lifestyle, or travels a lot for business, or... or...? Anyone?

Or, I suppose I could twist the question a bit - just how involved is your spouse / significant other? How much of the work is split up? Are they hands-on, or more "spend the day in an office and come home to sit with their feet up", or somewhere in between?

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Old 07-17-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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I did it for about 6 months by myself once when dh was working out of state. Honestly, it sucked. Especially when the cow got out that wasn't overly people friendly and I had to catch him myself while home alone with a preschooler. And then there were all the chores, I'm not good at mending fences. But my dh was very hands on and involved with all aspects of our homestead and he did most of the milking, all of the fence maintaining and mechanical stuff when he was home. 

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Old 07-21-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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Doing it alone with my kids, ages 9 and almost 13.  I will say that my son is big and strong.  He's been taller then me since he was 11.  But he is not real "motivated"... My daughter is a great and wonderful helper though.  

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Old 07-31-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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Doing it on my own,but I just have the yard and 8 chickens.The yard is a lot of work though,so I am glad it is just an acre.

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Old 10-15-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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My dh and I did it for 4 years with the intention of doing it together...but because he traveled so much for business, a lot of the time, I was doing a lot of it on my own. We burned out. We moved off earlier this year and are now living the absolute polar opposite life from where we were, working on building up capital so we can give it a new go without the same off-farm work demands we had before. Also, the kids are older now. My dd was just 3yo when we first started on the farm. We hope to go back to it next year, and I'll have an 11yo ds and 8yo dd with lots of experience.

 

But meantime, we've got many months of hard work ahead to set up a big down payment for an easier start, and so that we can do well on a single off-farm income.

 

We are looking at a likelihood of my handling the farm for more than a year on my own again, but going at it more slowly and deliberately, and taking on what I can do without being overwhelmed.

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Old 10-15-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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DH chops, hauls, splits, and stacks our wood. And brings it in the house for fires everyday. He mows the grass and deals with any down branches. Thats about it. Honestly, i think if you have electric or gas heat, it wouldnt be a problem to do it alone, but I cannot imagine having two little kids and trying to get the wood in by myself.

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Old 10-15-2011, 09:11 PM
 
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DH does the wood splitting and chopping, but I haul and stack it,handle the chickens, fences, mowing, vegetable crops, berries and farmer's markets.  My kids are all school age now, so I could pull off the wood if I had to, but I'm so glad DH does.  The chain saw is so noisy and heavy, and he is a lot more efficient at chopping wood.  He also helped build the barn, and I'm so grateful.


Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

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Old 10-16-2011, 02:05 AM
 
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I'm doing it alone, but to be fair I do have other people around who help.  We're working on building a community and the house next to me is occupied by 4 boys who are more than willing to crawl under my house to get the dead squirel out and mow my grass.  I'll cook them dinner and do some cleaning. 

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Old 10-25-2011, 02:02 AM
 
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Well, even though we didn't live together, or even in the same state at the time, my husband passed away on Sept. 12th.  You can read about here and what we have done since.  It was heart breaking and I am still working my way through it all.  We were lucky enough to be able to spend his last few days with him. 

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:14 AM
 
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1stimestar, I couldn't read without replying... I'm sorry for your loss, I lost my husband last September so I understand some of what you're going through.... I was looking at this thread because I'm considering a more rural homesteading life and I'm having difficulty deciding whether it's realistic to pursue on my own - it's a hard decision because it's something I've wanted for years and my LH and I talked about it lots, but now I'm financially able to do it, it may not be practical. Good luck with everything.

 

 


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Old 11-01-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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Oh I am so sorry to hear that.  And you with a baby still.  *hugs*  You know since Justin's death, we are moving out of our 400 sq. ft. waterless cabin and moving into a 3 br house with running water.  It's a bit farther out of town which I love.  I mean, in the area that we are moving to, the road was a bit scary before we had snow.  But I am getting used to it and the studded snow tires help a lot.  And yes, our survivor's benefits will help us afford that.  I still want to own our own little cabin in the woods but right now, my heart is not in it.  I've given myself the winter or even a year just to survive and then I will re evaluate after that.  Hopefully I can save enough money now for a downpayment.  I just don't think it would be wise for me to make any major decisions for a while.  

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hjrowan View Post

1stimestar, I couldn't read without replying... I'm sorry for your loss, I lost my husband last September so I understand some of what you're going through.... I was looking at this thread because I'm considering a more rural homesteading life and I'm having difficulty deciding whether it's realistic to pursue on my own - it's a hard decision because it's something I've wanted for years and my LH and I talked about it lots, but now I'm financially able to do it, it may not be practical. Good luck with everything.

 

 



How are you doing?  Getting through the winter ok?

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Old 02-11-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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Yes - actually having a major turnaround in lifestyle... from rural Devon I've decided to move us to an urban life on the south coast of England. I found it incredibly hard to make connections here in the country and realised the rural homesteading life was something I couldn't do alone BUT it's still a dream and maybe something I can follow later... so now I'm going to find a new life for my DD and I in an unexpected place but hopefully somewhere that will offer more connections and opportunites.

 

How are you doing?


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Old 02-12-2012, 02:46 PM
 
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Having a difficult winter.  I moved us from our waterless cabin to a house with running water.  I thought to give us a break for the winter.  The landlord had said all the pipes and septic had heat traces on them (to keep them from freezing) but it's been one frozen pipe or septic after another.  He's good about coming to fix them but I hate having to call him at all.  I just want to get our own little cabin in the woods so I don't have to keep moving all our stuff.  I'm going to try to buy one in the spring.  I really miss having my husband to talk things over with. 

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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That sounds rough - I agree one of the worse things about this is not having someone to discuss things with, it sucks!


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Old 02-25-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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i'm a divorced single mom to a 6yo dd and we homeschool. i'm looking for property now and am hoping that dd will be able to help with the animals. i do want to make sure that we have utilities and i plan (ie need to find $$) to add solar to whatever we live in so that we don't lose electricity to the well, refrigerator, etc. i also plan to pasture all of our livestock as much as possible, plant perennial veggies, fruit trees/shrubs and try to learn about permaculture, root cellaring, dehydrating. oh yeah, and find a way to pay the bills and bring in some $. am i crazy?

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Old 03-02-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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My husband does the mowing (we only have a push mower and I'm too much of a weenie to mow 1.5-2 acres without dying, if we had a riding mower I would do it) and he burns the garbage, and will help me with building things (like chickens coops and such), but otherwise I do all the of the day to day work.  I do all all of the housework (dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc) and I do all of the work required with the chickens, ducks, and pets.  He even says, though, that I'm in charge here.  My son is 13, so he does help out and he has chores.  He feeds the animals every day and makes sure all of the chickens are in the coop at night.  He also puts all of the clean dishes away and does his own laundry, and whatever else I ask him to.  I do most of it myself, though, b/c I'm a perfectionist and he doesn't do it right.  ;)


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Old 06-05-2012, 01:29 PM
 
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meandk0610 I started reading your post and thought, "Wait! Did I respond to this at some time?!" I also am a divorced single mom with a 6 year old daughter LOL

 

Anyway, we are just beginning our homestead on 1.5 acres with a 2 BR house. I guess it doesn't really count though b/c the landlord lives next door and does repairs as well as mows and we don't (yet) have a woodstove so no wood chopping/stacking work. We have chickens, an herb garden, veggie garden, melon patch, apple tree and grape arbor. Learning as we go along and hoping to add in goats and/or bees next year. I think i would get a few sheep before I would ever mow the lawn LOL.

 

I have dreams of buying, putting solar panels on the roof and installing a woodstove someday, but for now it is just perfect for us. My goal is to reduce all of our costs except for the rent of course and some unavoidable energy costs. We will see how much food we can put by this year and then adjust and expand next year. I also have the goal of finding a cheaper place for raw milk and beginning to make our own yogurt, kefir, butter, etc b/c those are a huge part of our grocery bill. In Aug we will barter some work for excess 2nds produce at a local farm. I ended up with tons of tomatoes and beets to can one year doing that!

 

As far as time, I'm a full time doctoral student in a low residency program - so mostly do my schoolwork from home - and we homeschool. I do pay a lot though to have an animal sitter stay here when I go away for school, but that is not a forever cost.

 

I'm not good at fixer upper work, so I hope in the future to barter food we grow and prepare for that sort of stuff.

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