Friday, September 27, 2013

Is this really a job?

On Monday and Wednesday of this week, I spent nearly the whole day splitting wood. Check it.

Monday morning:

Monday evening:

Wednesday evening.

A few things to note:
1) Some of this is cherry, so it smells FANTASTIC
2) Yes, I do periodically stand in the woodshed admiring the growing pile
3) We have an electric splitter, so I'm probably not as badass as you're thinking, but it was still a ton of work with much wheelbarrowing involved.

Splitting this wood - all of which is from trees that fell on our land as the result of storms - provided me with a clear example of why we're doing what we're doing. I was confident when I quit my job of our choice to live this sort of life, but it could seem a bit odd to others. There are not a lot of 2013 examples or cultural norms of a woman having no job and no children (it's rather the antithesis of "having it all" by the common current definition). So, I was pleased to realize how directly all this wood splitting could be used to explain the choices we've made.

We (Bill and I...and Sugar Pie and the cats) have a need to keep our house warm during the winter. It's one of those basic requirements that even Thoreau, the king of simplicity, would call a "necessity of life." Previously, I would work at a job that paid me money that I would then exchange for heating fuel in order to meet this need. It was a very fossil-fuel intense process. A car transported me to work, where I sat at a computer for most of the day and earned a paycheck that allowed me to purchase propane gas to be blown throughout my house using a furnace fueled by coal-powered electricity.

An alternative way to provide the heat we need during a cold Indiana winter (and the method that was used when our house was built), is by burning local wood. Now, instead of spending my day earning money to buy propane to heat my house, I spent my time providing heating fuel in a more direct fashion - one that also makes much less use of fossil fuels (the chainsaw and log splitter, and even some of the person-energy rely on fossil fuels in some way, but I am confident it is far less than the previous method). So, even though Childless Woman who Earns No Money is not often considered a job or even a productive choice to make, I think of the work I do here as an employment of sorts - one that meets the needs of my household while making fewer demands on community resources and our environment. It is a weird, but totally viable way to spend a week day.

On a less philosophical note...Kaylee wants you to know that she is feeling better and cavorting around the field at will.

Clara wants you to know that she is still the cutest thing in the barnyard.

Bill and I went apple picking for our anniversary yesterday...

...and added this photo to our collection of arm-length snapshots.


  1. You absolutely have a job. One I am too lazy to do, yet rather envious of. Fuck the haters.

  2. 1. Homesteading it a job. It is a far more difficult job than mine and I work someplace where I have been bitten and a coworker has been kicked in the face by the delinquent youth in our care.
    2. You can't fool me. Even with an electric log splitter, you are still a badass. When I was younger, I helped my dad and uncles cut wood using a log splitter and with three adults and two kids, it was hard work. I can't imagine how sore you are from all the hefting of the wood.
    3. Fresh cut wood smells so good.
    4. You and Bill continue to be adorable! I squeeze your faces!