As the title suggests, it’s Monday morning, the bane of every 9 to 5’er’s existence. The day the work week begins and life ends. Well, living life, instead of being under the bootheel of Big Corp America and a boss who likely knows less about your job than you do, yet earns a higher income. I digress.
Mondays are an unusual day in our household, they’re our “day off”. You see, we live double lives here. We’re wedding photographers, but we also have this keen idea on making the world a better place, one grain of dirt at a time. When we aren’t photographing nuptials and the Florida sun cooperates, we are gardening, tending chickens, and in general, getting a little dirty in the backyard. This means living a farmer’s life.
How’s that? A Farmer’s Life?
Well, we used to live the Wedding Photographer’s Lifestyle. This meant staying up late, usually 1 AM or later, sleeping in ’til the crack of almost noon, eating lunch at around 3 PM, and dinner right around 9ish. For years we were thought “lazy” and whatnot as a result. What they didn’t realize is, we often worked until midnight, most appointments and shoots were in the evenings, and we still put in 60+ hour workweeks, just on a shifted time schedule to the norm.
Enter the Garden.
We both have light issues, funny, I know, being photographers. What I mean is, we’re sensitive to it. Very sensitive. I also still have my Northerner blood in my veins so the heat gets to me. Solution? Get up early.
When we decided and committed to the City Steading lifestyle, we changed our lives, literally. Now, unless we’re shooting a wedding, we are in bed around 10 PM and up by 7 or so. That’s right, we get 9 hours to sleep nearly every day. Well, almost 9, as we have cats that dictate terms when it comes to sleep, much to my dismay.
By getting up earlier, we have essentially more time in the day and it’s cooler. We get to see sunrises now too, which I hadn’t seen in 20 years. It’s peaceful and quiet-ish, well as quiet as St. Petersburg can be. This time allows us to enjoy a cup of tea, sometimes on the “veranda” as I like to call it, but it’s just a simple gazebo in our backyard. We also “survey the kingdom”, which is to say see if anyone decided to dig up our plants, check for fallen palm fronds from our neighbor’s tree, and make sure everyone is watered and weeded. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it needs to be done every day. We also let the chickens out. We built a pen that’s about, oh, 800 square feet or so for them to forage and run around like chickens. We have a coop too, they stay in that at night as we’ve had far too many chicken deaths in the past few years due to racoons and possibly stray cats.
I was hesitant to change my sleep schedule.
I’m the night owl of the two of us. Derica can literally go to bed anytime. I just can’t do that. I feel like my day is not done until a certain amount of hours have been expended doing… anything. This new schedule, I say new because we only started living this way in February of this year, gives me more time to “do” things. I find myself keeping busy, rather than lounging. I used to play a lot of video games and watch a lot of television, now… not so much.
Back to Monday.
Things I need to do today…
- Plan this week’s YouTube Video. It will be about brewing, making a cyser to be exact. My own recipe. If you didn’t know, cyser is a type of mead, a melomel actually, but with apple specifically. Some call it apple mead, some call it apple melomel, well… truth be told, no one really does that. They call it a cyser, since that’s what it is.
- Bottle some ginger beer. This one is real ginger beer, as in, has alcohol. Not too strong, but about like… you guessed it, beer.
- Bottle the braggot I made. Braggot, it’s the melding of mead and beer. This one has coffee, chocolate, malt, and honey. Mead by the way is honey wine, or a wine or cider like product made using honey.
- Taxes. While not specifically today, they need to get done soon. We do our own, as… well, I’m cheap, and resourceful and like knowing more about things than is healthy in many cases.
- I should start some bread. We don’t buy bread. We make bread around here. It’s better. Here’s a link to our post about bread. I’ve been working on the perfect everyday bread, something to make sandwiches for lunch with or have a small loaf for the two of us with dinner. So far, we’ve tried a few things, but, the long roll, almost a baguette style is next, and hopefully we have a winner. By the way, we found that making smaller loaves that we will eat in a day or two is most effective. We make several at once, keep one out, freeze the rest. That’s a whole other article.
- Irrigation in the garden still isn’t done. Just a wee bit more and things will mostly be automated as far as watering goes.
- Even though the Photography business is closed today, I’ve got questions to answer, inquiries to respond to, and probably something on the website needs updating.
- Instagram. I try to post something on our Instagram every day. I fail at this miserably.
- Finish writing this article. Yep, this is on my “to do” list.
Luckily, I made an amazing lasagna the other day and there’s still enough left for dinner today. We will likely harvest some greens from the garden, and make a salad to go with, maybe even defrost a tiny loaf of bread and drink some of our sweet red wine to go with it all.
The Farming Life has its privileges. We get to eat amazing, healthy, fresh food, enjoy incredible artisan bread, and drink wine with no sulfites, preservatives, or other chemicals.
Life can be good.
Enjoy your week,