One week in: Zombies at the door
So, we're one week in to the farm challenge.
This is where it gets interesting. We're in the middle of our "role-playing," as my son calls it. We're making this a family challenge, to see if we really can live like farmers, or zombie hunters, or pioneers.
The reality, though, is that there are no zombies, but there's still some scary stuff out there. Today was my husband's last day at work. He might find a new job next week, but he might not get another job until crude oil picks back up. Which might be never.
And we're trying to stay put until Mark can find another job nearby. I mean, why would sell this amazing farm with all of its stories and history and wonder and move to some soul-sucking piece of concrete hell in Texas just because there are jobs there?
We do, I guess, have to rely on Mark to find a job. I'm fairly sure that we'd starve if I have to support us. I know my strong points: I'm brilliant and funny and a great writer and a talented chef and a great friend for the people who get me.
I'm also, for all practical purposes, completely unemployable. I mean, would YOU hire me? I talk too much and I'm full of fabulous ideas and would be happy to pop in to your business a few hours a week here and there, but on my own hours, thanks, and just to tell you how you're doing it all wrong.
And while I have my legions of fans (like, at least ten,) I also have people who I completely annoy and who block me on Facebook rather than wonder if my unintended snark is directed at them and their life choices. (It isn't. Ever. Except that one time, but she deserved it. Mostly, though, it's just me being completely clueless that people might take things personally.)
The last real job I had was in 1996, where I made $24,000 a year as an editor for The Galveston Daily News, and I brought in about $120 a week waiting tables on the side. Once I met and married Mark, I quit to launch my lucrative writing career. And here I am, 20 years later. I'll let you know when it launches.
No, it's best if Mark is the one bringing in the money. He's willing to get up out of bed at 6:30 every morning, go to a job that involves numbers and chemicals and people wearing real clothes and saying words like "process safety engineering committee" and he does it for an entire nine hours IN A ROW, and then he's willing to go back again the next day. He's way better than I am.
So, for now, my contribution is to make sure that we stop spending money.
So we're on a mission: As long as we can, making a game out of it, spend NO money on food. That way, the money we do spend can go toward the mortgage, the electric bill, the dentist, and gas. And it will buy us time to figure out what's next on our mission.
A week into it, we're doing pretty well. We have a ton of food, and we're eating great meals: Tonight was pasta carbonara -- pasta with bacon and eggs and salt and pepper. Plain, but easy. Last night was stuffed baked potatoes. We had lamb one night, and tacos another, and there was a pasta-hamburger dish in there somewhere.
Lots of veggies -- salads, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, green beans.
We're out of cheese, olive oil and vinegar. That kind of sucks. The olive oil is going to be hard to live without, and I can't pickle or can anything without vinegar.
We only have half a bag of sugar left. I baked a cake this week, and some granola bars, and we use it in coffee. I just stuck a cobbler in the oven, and I like making desserts. Sugar might be an issue.
The coffee is still holding out, thankfully. So is the bread. And we got a ton of food from Gleaner's this week: Cherry tomatoes, bok choy, bananas, apples, pears, onions, greens. Blackberries, gluten-free brownies and even one container of gluten-free lemon cupcakes.
We have lots of eggs (we're getting a dozen a day, at least,) and we might have goat's milk in a few weeks.
So, while scary things circle outside, we're not going to let them in. We have popcorn, and hot chocolate, and we still have streaming video, dammit, and we'll fend them off.
We've been through worse, and we'll get through this.
How can you worry about zombies at the door when you've got cherry cobbler in the oven?