Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Time off - farm style

Happy Yule everyone!

Yeah, I know, it's a few days late, but what's a few days in the great scheme of things.
It was a happy Yule here at the Spring House, with good friends - wreath making, story sharing, cookie eating, yule fire burning, critter ornament creating, rug weaving, mead brewing and all the trappings of a Laffing Horse Yule - minus all the denizens of Laffing Horse. I sure miss all you guys and wish we could fold that thousand miles between us.

This past week seems to have been a repetition of that lesson I've been having trouble getting, over and over again.

"Slow down, things will go faster."

"Relax, you'll get more done."

The fire is a good example.
A wood stove in the living room is our only heat for the whole 8 room house. Very cost efficient, wood is easily available here. Dead standing trees are everywhere and downed ones litter the forest floor.

It's been frosty the last few days. Cold enough to need a fire through the night. (Grin! Just the last few days! That is a big part of why we moved here - it's warm !). So we've kept the stove stoked through the night, but in the morning it needs to be built back up to warm the house before everyone else gets up.

The temptation is to put all the paper, kindling and logs in the stove - shut the door and go make coffee. That's what I did yesterday morning - and came back from making coffee to a still cold, smoky stove. An hour later, after blowing on coals, re-arranging wood and smoking up the house, I still did not have fire and was very frustrated.

This morning, I added one log and a handful of paper. Then I spent 10 minutes carefully feeding one stick of kindling at a time into the stove, waiting for it to catch and then adding another. After 10 minutes, I had a nice little fire going. I added another log, then went and made coffee.
In 15 minutes (a quarter of the time it took yesterday when I was in a hurry and wanted to do it fast), I had a nice little fire starting to heat up the house.

Our day off was another good example.
Sunday, Shawn and I admitted to each other that we didn't really want to do anything. So we decided to take a day off. And we began to putter around together. The together thing was really nice, we've spent far too much time working on our separate parts of the farm and business lately. After a day of relaxing fun, we had the whole sheep pen fenced!
This was one of those overwhelming jobs that had been looming on the To-Do list for a few weeks. It was a mondo job that no one wanted to tackle. Yet, by changing our focus and just playing with it and doing it together, it just got done.
But I didn't cross it off the To-Do list until Monday, because Sunday, we were taking the day off.

One of our customers e-mailed that she was using her time off this Christmas to learn how to use her triangle loom. And I have a good friend who is taking this time off to make some felt boots.
Time off, time to slow down, time to relax is important. It gives you a chance to stretch different muscles, to reroute your brain and to let those lessons sink in!

And now - It's Merry Christmas.

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