Spring forward! Oh, how I love those two little words! They mean longer days in the sun, beautiful blooms, new farm babies, play time in the dirt—and did I mention sunshine? With this change in time, there are a few other changes I need to make around the ol’ homestead.
1. Dust Off the Slow Cooker
There’s nothing like that "oh shoot” moment when you look down at 6 p.m. and realize the roast was supposed to go on at 3 p.m. Grilled cheese is a perfectly acceptable dinner from time to time, but three nights in a row, Mom? I prefer to just put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning and then not worry about it again until I’ve drained the last ray of sunshine out of the day and finally come in at night!
2. Revise the Laundry Routine
Another change I’ll be making is my daily schedule. With all the additional work being spent in the garden and with new farm babies, laundry and dishes can easily reach the unmanageable threshold if neglected for any amount of time. I’m hopeful that a few little tweaks to my routine can put me in the offensive position this year instead of scrambling to always play catch up.
My "this year is going to be different” mentality may be contributing to a few lofty ideas, but it’s not going to stop me from at least trying! For example, in my lovely state of delusional bliss, I plan on starting one load of laundry every morning while my coffee is brewing. I plan on switching out that load and starting load No. 2 after my first cup of java, and therefore have load No. 2 washed and in the dryer—or on the line (YEAH!!!)—by the time breakfast is done. Now, all I have to do is figure out a way to get the little fairies to come actually fold and put up all that fresh clothing.
3. Prep First-Aid Kits
While I might not become a laundry ninja in the foreseeable future, my increasing role as farm nurse requires organization, planning and, of course, enough knowledge to not be dangerous. Days spent outside mean more injuries—around here at least—so I have to make sure my first-aid supplies are stocked and readily available. My winter cabinets are stuffed with things to calm coughs, soothe sore throats and reduce fevers, but I’m hard pressed to find something for poison ivy or even sunburn. Now’s the time to locate those supplies.
Last year, I started making mini first-aid kits, and I plan to continue that this year. I fill zipper-top plastic bags with various basic first-aid items, such as bandages, ointments for cuts and scrapes, tiny hand-sanitizer bottles and tweezers for pesky splinters. I place my kits strategically around the property, so they’re accessible when needed. Ten acres isn’t a huge piece of property, but anyone that has ever had to stop a project, walk a football field to the house, take off their work boots, and then spend 10 minutes looking for something to get out a splinter can appreciate the simplicity of going to your mini kit over in the garden shed. Throw in a few small bottles of sun screen and bug spray into your kit, and you might not have to return inside until the sun goes down!
The humans aren’t the only ones that require our basic medical skills from time to time. It never ceases to amaze me how many ways our animals can find to injure themselves. Not to mention the lovely mosquito, parasite and flea season upon us. (No, I am not complaining! I will take bug bites over frozen toes any day!) While I’m checking my human meds, I need to also restock, find and reorganize my critter therapies.
Yes, "spring forward” are two of my favorite words, bringing with them all the beautiful things we’ve waited for all winter long. But they also mean the time for planning is over—it’s now time to do! By the time the first day of spring rolls around (in less than two weeks!) I should have everything I need to cure "whatever ails ya.” I’ll probably still be working the kinks out of starting dinner right after breakfast, therefore feeding my family sandwiches for dinner a few nights, and chances are pretty high that I will be wearing my last clean shirt, but I will be outside playing in the dirt. Now that definitely puts a little spring in my step!
A self-admitted former city girl, Kristy Rammel was "promoted" from AVP of Operations in a Fortune 200 company to VP of Homestead Operations and team leader of her family's Animal and Child Disaster Response Unit. While many people work desperately to avoid the monotony of daily life, she prays for it. Come back each week to follow her wild, crazy, but never boring homesteading adventures with four boys.
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