Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Daily Labor Meme

My day begins around 5:30 when I dress in quaint, old fashioned garments and slowly walk to the barn to milk the cows. I skim the cream immediately and grind some wheat to mix with the freshly rolled oats to make a homemade, farm fresh breakfast. I gently awaken the children and we sit down and lovingly gaze at each other over our morning's repast.

Ha Ha Ha, not really. :-) What actually happened is this:
Asa is a complete crab, I don't know if he's teething or what but he's up every hour and a half all through the night. I feed him at 5 and fall back asleep. The boys come in from milking at 7 and I wake up then. Mr. G takes crab-o and I must have fallen asleep again because when I next look at the clock it says 8:00. But not to be misleading, I'm *not* a morning person anyway, I never have been.
The children eat baked oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, I, however, eat peanut butter/chocolate cookies and drink a Mountain Dew. Seriously. Your whole image of me is blown now isn't it? :-)
9:00- I start a load of laundry and run a bath for Elisabethe and Abigail. Since we don't have central heat that means that the bathrooms are unheated. I never wash the girls' hair in the evening because it's just too cold in their bedrooms. In Summer though I like to wash their hair right before bed because they stay cooler that way.
10:00-12:00- we start school and I don't do much else during this time but help, explain, check answers, listen to their reading, prod the unmotivated etc
Lunch- Mr. G makes burgers and fries and while he's cooking and Asa is napping I fiddle with the undershirt pattern that I drafted.
1:30- the mail comes and in it is the undershirt that Mrs. B made for Asa! I try it on him but he will *not* act cute so I can take his picture. :-/
The original undershirt from the Wisconsin Historical Society is pictured below. It's knitted wool with straps.
I tried the undershirt on Abigail and it fits her, so this seems to be a garment that he can wear for several Winters! Woo Hoo!

2:00- I cut out an undershirt for Asa. The original (pictured below) has no side seams, just that one seam in the left front from where they used remnants pieced together to make the undershirt. It is finely woven cotton, I'm using handkerchief weight linen and it's bulkier.

I'm happy with the finished product all-in-all, but maybe I'll do some in batiste and see if that lays nicer. Also, I shirred the neckline up too much in the pictures, it looks better when left looser.

4:00- I check e-mail and hold the baby while Katie starts supper. I read several stories to the little girls.
4:30- Mr. G messes with the fire and then leaves for work.
5:00- Supper and then the boys head out to do the chores that require daylight. Locking in the chickens, hauling water to all of the animals, feeding the pigs and bringing in wood. I take Asa in for his bath.
6:00- Asa is out of the tub and I hand him off to the younger girls while I make tomorrow's breakfast, breakfast pizza. The boys finish milking, come in and strain the milk and set it away to cool. BTW, you can't skim the cream immediately, it has to rise first. :-)

7:00- I lay down on the couch with Asa and nurse him to sleep, he wakes up around 7:45 and Katie takes him,but before I can get up Elisabethe and Abigail come and climb in the covers so we snuggle for a while.
8:00- I read several chapters of our current read-aloud, By The Shores Of Silver Lake.
8:30- children head off to bed and I rock Asa to sleep and try to catch up in Les Miserables. Mr. G, Aleks and I were all going to read it together,but Aleks liked it so well that he flew through it and is finished already. I read about 100 pages tonight.
10:00- Mr. G gets home, Asa wakes up and starts crying. He settles down around 11:15. I climb into bed, very, very tired and immediately fall sound asleep.

This concludes my very exciting day, now what did you do?


  1. Mountain Dew?
    Peanut butter/chocolate cookies?
    Hamburgers and fries???
    I feel pretty darn good!
    Ha! Just kidding!
    This is pretty much how I figured the Graham home was like, believe it or not.
    An enjoyable read!

  2. Paris,
    Thank you for the snap shot of your day! Is the baked oatmeal a make ahead recipe? I love the undershirt on Abigail. I'll have to show Maggie tomorrow. It's good to know that it will last through next winter too.

  3. Phew, you scared me! At Hale Farm I work in the dairy farming house, and from my research I thought the cream had to rise to the top before it could be skimmed off. Never having actually done it myself, my info is all from Googling, and I was worried I had been mis-informed and telling visitors the wrong thing!

  4. I think this is what my mother wanted our lives to be when she and Dad moved us to a small country farm when I was seven. however, her connections to city culture - ballet, classical piano, friends and family - all kept us from true immersion into a more simple lifestyle. I never know which I want more, city culture, access, diversity, or a country simplicity, "historic" lifestyle.

    I think someday I'll try living in a manner similar to your family (which I love reading about!).

    p.s. Sorry, this is the length of some of my posts! I probably should put it there rather than here, but oh well!

  5. Oh, Paris, when I read your first paragraph, I was thinking "If the Graham household is that picture perfect, I am TOTALLY moving in with them." LOL!

    Now, I WAS a little shocked to hear you at cookies and Mountain Dew for breakfast, but then I can't exactly pick on you about that when I eat Oreos and ice cream half the time.

    Great meme, Paris!

  6. Ken, It's true that I should set a better example. I'm afraid that 4 months of having the second crabbiest baby I've ever had has really taken its toll. Wednesday morning I was just *so* exhausted that all I wanted was a sugar boost to get going. It's not my usual breakfast *by any means* but since I did it on Wednesday I thought I should be truthful and write it. As for the lunch menu though, I confess that I didn't consider that unhealthy; the beef is from our own cow, the pickles were homemade as was the mayo and the fries were cut from our own potatoes and fried in coconut oil.

    Thanks everybody else for your nice comments.
    Malinda, the baked oatmeal can be made ahead or not, just as you wish. The recipe is:
    3 cups rolled oats
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup cream or milk
    2 eggs
    1 stick butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)
    add a cup or 2 of fruit/nuts/whatever
    Place in 9x13 pan and bake on 375 for 40 minutes.
    If I make it the night before I just mix it up and put the pan in the refridgerator overnight and bake in the morning. Oats are way more easily digested when they've been soaked, they're hard to digest when they're unsoaked. I don't care for regular oatmeal (it has the texture of snot) but baked oatmeal is divine!

  7. Whew!!! What a day. My bubble was a little burst by cookies and Mnt Dew, but hey, every has to have their food vices :-) Hopefully Asa will grow out of his crabby phase soon.

  8. Mmmm... I love cookie and mountain dew days. They're a rare treat. Except my vice tends more towards LARGE bottles of diet coke! Thanks for sharing your life!

  9. I'm making the baked oatmeal tomorrow morning! I also hate normal oatmeal, but I've never thought to do it this way :)

  10. Oh, Mrs. G,

    I liked the drinking Mountain Dew and eating chocolate cookies part! That could be me, only I’m a Diet Coke drinker. ;)

    Thanks for posting your baked oatmeal recipe; I’m definitely going to give it a try. I love eating grains; they are so good for you.

    Thanks for letting us into your day. :0)