Yeah, yeah, I know I haven’t posted in a while. Consider ‘nine apple trees’ blog on vacation so to speak. My engine has been running at red-line for over two weeks now so blogging regularly has been put on the back burner. Something had to give.
I’ve realized that being self-employed essentially means your essentially unemployed, work twice as hard for a quarter of the pay. A world where a person goes to work for eight hours a day and then comes home to clean the garage, or fertilize the grass is now so foreign to me, the old me may as well have been hit by a bus and been replaced by whatever shell of my former self that exists now. If you really want to screw up your life, lose your job. People say it’s for the best really. At first I thought they said that just to make me feel better, then I knew they said that to make themselves feel better. Now I’m thinking they were being humorous, ironic or cruel.
My work day consists of 18 hours a day, seven days a week. During that time not a minute goes by that if I’m not working or conjuring some way to make money then I feel somewhat negligent or guilty. Don’t get me wrong, there are a plethora of good things about my new life(style) sentence that I’ve been handed. But in the old days having regular employment afforded so much more flexibility, freedom, and long-term planning. Now, even if I get ahead I have to squirrel every aspect of my existence away for a rainy day. Don’t let ’em fool you: money does make the world go round.
Enjoying life is a luxury I can no longer afford. It’s like working for the mob. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder so to speak. I wouldn’t wish my life on anyone. Fortunately for me I’m pretty well equipped to handle it….in the end I always come out on top. I was thinking back the other day…everything I’ve wanted I’ve achieved. Obviously with age I’ve learned to start thinking more about what I want before endeavoring lest I end up again in my current state – eco-friendly dream house that has bankrupted me and self-employed with my own consulting “firm” that will put on the wrong side of the horizon in two years or less I suspect.
As such, working so much, our little slice of paradise has gone completely to crap. I’ve been preparing for an art show this week. The last two weeks I had nearly 40+ billable hours each week which is great but little time is left for the “life” part of life.
We checked on the bees and for the second week we haven’t seen the queen, and we think we saw a moth or two in the hive. Also there is no activity in the mid super we installed a couple of weeks ago. All of which spells doom for our one and only bee hive. We’re waiting on a friend to check the hive and confirm our suspicions.
Our veggie harvest is going well. We’ve collected peas, radishes, a pepper and lettuce as well as fresh herbs. The garden looks horrific though, bugs eating leaves, weeds everywhere. I barely have time to harvest let alone maintain the garden. A first year micro farm requires a regular schedule and copious amount of cash flow. I have neither. We could sustain ourselves better but our model’s fatal flaw was short-term assumptions regarding income. To make the new model’s income goals I need to work every waking minute on anything that makes money. Yard work doesn’t make money. All the planting beds have lost the battle against weeds. I can’t go nuclear with herbicide but my plan is to cover EVERYTHING in fabric and a new layer of mulch to annihilate the weeds.
With all the tall weeds and grass everywhere the ticks are taking over. This means the boys are banished from going outdoors at all, at least on our property. We’re essentially prisoners until I can get out there and whip the yard back into shape. As such the wildlife has become accustom to humans not being outside. The rabbits and deer are massacring several species of our young bushes, plants and trees. The New Jersey teas are begging me to fence them in until they get big, and the witch hazel probably need cover too just in case. There’s no way I’m driving back to Chicago to replace either if they get decimated. The service berries love their cages and have bounced back. The deer have damaged several of the apple trees severely so I sprayed the trees with bug spray so hopefully the leaves will taste bad now. The raspberries are all dying off inexplicably so I don’t need to worry about a raspberry harvest this year. The black berries bounced back from being eaten by the deer earlier last month.
Sorry to be such a downer but a vast majority of my existence right now sucks. I’m looking forward to the art show this weekend. It’s a whole weekend where I have to be at the show, which means I’m not sitting in front of the computer or in my studio. I get to talk to people, and people watch and I might actually sell something…stranger things have happened. Boston Mills Artfest is our hometown art show and it’s an honor to be accepted to participate. I could write a small book on what these handful of days mean to me in the big picture. It’s the five percent of living that makes the ninety-five percent of work worth while.
After this week things should be back to “normal” I’m only working 8-5pm so help me god. I need to get outside and lay waste to Mother Nature – cut the grass, clean up the beds, organize the garage (I found someone to take the washer, dryer and oil leaking lawn mower). We also need to think about our laundry room project and I would love, love, love, love to get my studio shelves built and organized – impossible to work in there now.
Thanks for letting me vent on a Thursday night. I feel much better now. Back to work for me though. It’s ten o’clock, I have some painting to do then get a couple of hours sleep before a super busy day tomorrow. Here are some pics for your enjoyment.