I’ve had a few folks ask me what my days are like and my answer is usually “busy”! It’s true that I like to keep myself busy and there is no better way to do this than to run both a homestead and herbal clinic/business out of your home. So while no two days are ever alike for me I will share with you what a typical day can look like.
Oh wait… we don’t have a rooster anymore! Well you get the idea folks, like all of your days mine starts with waking up. Depending on how well I and/or Monkey Man slept this occurs somewhere between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. As anyone with kids knows, mornings can be a little hectic as everyone is rushing around getting ready to go where they need to go. Monkey Man heads off to school and my husband to work (which also happens to be at a school). We prepare and pack Monkey’s lunch, get breakfast into everyone and coffee into the adults. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast so most days I enjoy a slice of toast with two eggs from our own chickens – sunny side up.
My husband takes off first after letting the chickens and Nox out of the barn. Once Monkey is fed, watered (ha), dressed and his teeth are brushed we head to the bus stop. Our bus stop is across the street from us at a neighbours place which means I get to indulge in some adult conversations while we wait for Martin the bus driver. Once Monkey is safely off to school I head back to the house. I always make a quick stop at the barn to make sure the chickens and cat have fresh water. On cold days I swap out the chickens frozen water for one we keep inside.
Having topped up my coffee I head to my office and turn on my SAD lamp. Being the darker time of year I always start my morning work routine using light therapy and you know, it really does work! I spend about 45 minutes or so scheduling my Facebook posts for the days and answering any emails/messages that need attending to. In the new year I actually hope to find a program that will take care of my social media posts for me so I don’t have to use almost an hour a day doing them! Once these are done I run out to check for eggs and I usually find a few.
This morning I had a client come by the clinic for an initial consultation. About 20 minutes before they were due to arrive I gave the house a quick tidy and sweep and I tackled the bathroom. Finally I did a quick smudge of the space we’d be sitting in and got my clip board and intake forms ready for their arrival.
Herbal consultations are one of my favourite parts about being a herbalist. I love the new challenge and experience that each client presents as none of my cases are ever the same. They usually take about an hour and a half to complete. Normally I prepare customized tincture for my clients while they wait but today I wanted to research a medication a client was on prior to formulating. We agreed to meet up again on Thursday so I can drop off her tinctures and I can enjoy a healing session with my client. Ain’t bartering grand?!
Dinner and Shipment Prep
After my client left I had just enough time to get the chicken going in the slow cooker so it would be done for dinner. On tonight’s menu was honey garlic chicken. I quickly threw together the marinade; raw local honey, garlic cloves crushed (always double the recipe in my house), soy sauce, ketchup (homemade from our tomatoes of course) and a dash of oregano. After tossing everything in the slow cooker I turned it to low and proceeded to ignore it for most of the day. The joys of slow cookers eh?
I also took a quick moment to package up an online order; a headache salve will be heading to the post office tomorrow. I always include a personalized note to say thank you as I’m a so very grateful for each and every order I receive.
Now that our rooster Chocolate Thunder has found a new home (no not the freezer) I can finally let the girls have some free run time in the afternoons. I usually wait until just after lunch so I don’t have to search our property for random eggs.
So Many Eggs and Lip Balms
My counters were littered with eggs and lip balms I had made the day before. The gals are laying up a storm and while I’m grateful, it does mean I need to find ways to use up their delicious eggs. After deciding on egg salad I got some water boiling and went to work putting lids on my lip balms. While the eggs were doing their thing I got 35 lip balms labeled and 8 bars of soap wrapped and labeled.
With the egg salad complete and my counter looking less disastrous I head into the office to check on emails, Facebook and any other online business. Today I contacted a few other herbal clients just to check in to see how they were doing. I also signed up for Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Medicine course and finally got my paypal account switched over to my business bank account (about time I tell ya!).
I will fully admit to doing some window shopping online… I’m in the market for a buffalo drum and I found quite a few that were just lovely. After one last check for eggs (three more!) I got in the car to pick up squirt.
Play, play and more play
Monkey isn’t quite ready for full days at school yet and thankfully we’ve borrowed my mother in laws car so I can pick him up. After less than three months we’ve extended his day until 1:50 p.m.
My little guy is one tired and emotional dude at the end of the school day. While I know he’s loving school, it is quite a change from the routine of his entire life prior to this. As we work on extending his days I am noticing he’s more clingy than usual. My afternoons revolve around him mostly as our quality time together is much shorter than it used to be. We read books, play legos, do math problems on his white board (his idea not mine!), write stories and play games like hide and seek.
Marching the ‘Beet’ of my own Drum
We had beets for dinner with the chicken… you like what I did there?
Once my husband gets home the role of ‘playing’ is passed onto him while I prep the rest of dinner and get the table set. With our honey garlic chicken we had roasted beets with a balsamic vinegar glaze and goat cheese. It was delicious!
Bedtime and Tinctures
With the horde fed and dinner dishes taken care of I started to work on formulating for the herbal client I saw that morning. After some research on their medication I break out my clinic binder and start to work on their formula. My clinic binder is something that I will be running for when/if the zombies come! All joking aside, I created it when I was still in school as a way to study but I still use it to this day. Am I ever glad that I put that extra effort into my studies because it has paid for itself a hundred fold.
While I always follow the treatment protocol/method that I was taught in school I can honestly say that I’ve never created the same tincture twice. We are all unique individuals with unique situations and needs. Even if you have the same condition as someone else you may not have the same history, digestion, circulation, sleep patterns or habits.
Once I decided on the formulation I started to blend the tinctures while my husband got Monkey bathed and in his pajamas.
Monkey still has a hard time falling asleep on his own. His current bedroom arrangement is a double sized mattress on the floor so one of us can stay with him while he falls asleep. Tonight my husband volunteered so I could put the finishing touches on a blog posted I wanted to go live the next day. Even with all the text written the final preparations can take up to an hour for me at times. I check for spelling/grammar mistakes, create a pinnable image, add photos and finish up with formulating and adding links to other relevant blog posts.
R&R with my Crochet Hooks
Once Monkey is sound asleep my husband and I usually plop down on the couch for the night. I’ve quickly become addicted to golden milk so I often have a mug of that in hand before we settle in for some relaxation time. We usually watch a bit of Netflix while I crochet. My crocheted hens have been very popular so those were my project for the evening.
Well there you have it folks; a day in the life of a homesteading herbalist. I’d love to hear how you spend your days on your homestead or in your herbal practice.
Until next time,