Small Farm Chores are the Best Workout

We have a few acres, lots of ambition and ideas to accomplish in the few hours we are not working or sleeping. Staying fit by hitting weights is one of my favorite activities in the realm of exercise, but not always creating the time to do that sometimes bears down on me. However, having meaningful work around our place can, and does, replace this side of fitness.

We are expanding our gardening area to include about an acre total surrounding our house. We’d like, in the future, to have this as an edible yard that is free from deer, chickens and other uninvited livestock, so we’ve been putting in a 6’+ deer and orchard fence around the entire area. I’ve seen young sheep jump over 5′ in desperation and deer can, when spooked or really hungry, clear a 6′ fence, goats are wizards, so we’ll see about them… but I am confident the “majority” of intruders will be kept out.

We chose 8′ rough cut Juniper posts for their rot resistance and their overall strength for our corners. Digging the holes, hauling the gravel and cement as well as the posts is a great workout for a few days. Walking on uneven, muddy ground with 60lb cement bags, 30lb 8′ posts and heavy wheelbarrows full of gravel and tools makes for a really well rounded day of crossfit! This makes the work “totally worth it man” knocking two needed items out of the way at once.

Now, I’d like a beer, just because that’s what I’ve done after long chores… but it’s dry February for my wife and I, so some mineral water will due just nicely!

 

 

Drywall Anchors

This is more for my own reference but the drywall anchors that you screw in are better than those steel ones that expand. We have an old house and random stud placement. I just hung a mirror in our bathroom and needed to use some drywall anchors. Those white screw in ones in the picture on the left work great, the ones on the right, steel ones, not as well. They were loose. Maybe the guy at the hardware store had my situation wrong but I’m kind of thinking that those steel ones are more for cement or plywood… Not drywall. 

Finances are Important, Motley Fool Answers Makes it Fun!

Motley Fool Answers

I listen to a variety of podcasts. Everything form deep metaphysical discussions on meaning and life eternal to politics. Money is a super important subject that my generation hasn’t been doing the best at making work for them. The Motley Fool Answers podcast makes question and answers about money fun and interesting to listen to.

A recent good episode: Family Inc.

I have been a subscriber to Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor for a number of years. It has given us a really good diverse and successful portfolio. My RothIRA is doing super well (ie… made more than I’ve invested!) and my kids custodial accounts are on the road to making them financially free earlier in life due to following the advice and guidance given in the Stock Advisor.

Adding the podcast fun to the already screaming performance of the Stock Advisor makes fool.com a well rounded asset for me.

Getting Organized at Work

Incline Peak before the sun comes up

I have a pretty large and diverse workload. I work with 50+ clients throughout the year and some days I feel like I am pinged by all of them for one thing or another. Most of them are urgent (!), but the others are really gracious about my time. I try and deliver in a timely fashion and not let projects stall on my-side due to a workload issue.

There is a lot of talk about work life balance and how to achieve this to not go insane. I have this pretty well worked out. Three hours a week we are given “wellness” time. This time is really beneficial to my performance as I can escape the computer and lift some weights, ride my bike, go for a run or whatever I have on the schedule for that day. However, there isn’t as much talk about work work balance… Maybe I am just not “searching” for the right keywords?

I use the office suite, Outlook Mail, OneNote etc… It works pretty well, so maybe a reorganization of how I keep my data in that “system” is all that is needed. The large influx of chat messages and email makes it hard to track it all. Pointing clients at a tracking system has been in my thoughts… but then I need to remind them where, how, upkeep the system, etc… Thinking out loud here…

Any advice or thoughts? Please enlighten me to be more organized and therefor responsive and productive.

Oh the wind and rain…

This has been my first full year in Oregon in over 20 years. We’ve been living in much drier environments. Drier air, drier soil and drier shoes. If you don’t own a pair of rubber boots you are a soggy footed feirmeoir when you are in the field. This year especially. January dropped nearly 5″ of rain… still about 1.5″ off the record of 6.6″ in 1936. During heavy rainfall, I felt like 5″ fell in one storm… by the way, how exactly do you measure rainfall?

According to infoplease.com: Most standard rain gauges have a wide funnel leading into the cylinder and are calibrated so that one-tenth of an inch of rain measures one inch when it collects inside. The funnel is 10 times the cross-sectional area of the tube.

I was out digging fence post holes to put up a new fence around the garden. We acquired beautiful 5’x5’x8′ Juniper rough cut posts to wrap the dear and orchard fence on. Without a dog, deer will enjoy the fruits of our hard labor. Anyhow, the 2′ deep (8″ wide) holes would charge half full of water in about 5 minutes. It made for a questionable cementing mixture. Three days later the cement seems to have cured pretty well. I’ll be putting in the other 19 posts in the next few days and, as soon as the ground dries a little, get the beds prepped to start planting. Some year I am not going to go to a supermarket for any produce! After that, no meat or dairy! I’ll probably always go for oil I guess… or maybe some ice cream on a binge…

 

Dry February

sticky hands beer

Man, after the holidays, I needed a break from “having a beer” or “having a drink,” so we are doing dry February.  It’s not as bad as you might think! I love having a beer after a good ski / ride with friends or just hanging out chatting, but after the first few days of saying to myself: “i’m going to grab a beer” and then remembering the dry February commitment, it’s been pretty smooth. I was really hoping I’d feel this amazing weight loss or clarity in vision or the like, but really, nothing besides thinking about and having a beer in my hand has changed…

I know this is really hard for some, so I am not at all discounting that, and that was part of why I did this… to really see if I was somewhat dependent on it for feeling different, relaxing, conversation, hanging out or being “ok” in a group setting without a drink (not that we do that often…). Overall, I am happy we are doing it. It is good to fast in different ways.

SO! choose a month, and make it dry from something you consume that you “think about” when consuming it… Be it Candy, Alcohol, Bread, Coffee… whatever, fasting like this can be beneficial in many ways spiritually, physically and mentally.

Sasquatch 50k relay

OK! On the training plan this spring is a relay! Never done a relay. Looking FWD to something new. The Sasquatch 50k is in southern Oregon on some amazing trails I’ve ridden a couple times. I’ve always thought about how great this area would be to run. Now I’m committed! 

I’ve decided to train for a fast half marathon. 15 weeks out now and slowly building speed to challenge myself, my time and mind. 

Sign up and enjoy the fun!

Islands

Islands in the Sky

I love how flying above low clouds in winter looks. There is the top of the mountains just pushing through the weighty look like a strong string of words of encouragement to my kids or wife… Or maybe from a good friend enlightening your understanding of a deep question.

Mountains in the clouds