Thursday, March 12, 2009


Anyone still there? I know I asked you to bear with me but really, a month is like an eternity in the blogsphere. Sorry about that, folks. It's been a weird and wacky time here on Rowangarth Farm.

I mentioned in my last post that we've been busy trying to figure out how to make a living out here. Well, that was something of a gross understatement. With all the economic scariness going on in the world, both my husband and I lost contracts that we were depending on. Being freelance, we know not to put all our eggs in one basket, but that still doesn't prepare you for what happens when the basket breaks.

I still have some ongoing contracts but times are tough for writers (and a gazillion other professions, I know.) Lucas has been hitting roadblock after roadblock, trying to start his computer consulting/training business and with each passing week, we sink deeper into the red.

We knew that it would be tough starting a new life. And never did we ever feel like we'd made a mistake moving here (okay, maybe once or twice when I was in the depths of 'What are we going to do?')

But what had me all wrapped up in knots for a time was this sinking feeling that if so many people had told us, 'Oh, we'd love to do what you're doing but it's just too hard'...

...maybe they were right.

For a while, I found myself disconnecting from the farm, like I was distancing myself from something that might never be. I became resentful of everyday chores, things like cleaning the barn or tending the wood furnace, because it was taking me away from figuring out how to make a living out here. That, in turn, was taking away from spending time with the kids -- vicious guilt cycle, that.

It became too painful to write about all my plans for this place because I had this deep-rooted fear that what if we can't make this work after all?

But about a week ago, I had something of an epiphany: It's time to leave the pity party.

Here's our reality: We need to find a way to make a living here, and keep at it until something sticks. Yes, we're in a nasty financial spot right now but focusing on that is going to paralyze, not motivate, us. Yes, this uncertainty is tiring and scary and yes, it's hard. Plain and simple. And we can either make the decision to stop or to keep going.

The thought of leaving this place makes me feel physically ill. So what choice do we have?

Only one -- to keep going.

So, we've started working on our present and taking steps towards the future again. Lucas is almost finished putting together his curriculum for his computer courses and next week, he's going to take his spiffy new website on the road and start pounding the pavement for clients.

I've starting pitching articles again and I'm just waiting for my seed orders to come in so I can start my seedlings for this year's veggie garden. I'm even allowing myself to get excited again for all the possibilities we have here.

I always battle some darkness (figuratively and literally) in February but March brings sunshine and longer days. And while these are only first steps, at least we're moving forward instead of standing still. Because really, what good would that do?


Mungo said...

...and as John Lennon wrote 'Life is what happens when you're making other plans...'.

Wishing you both all the luck in the world.

I'm setting up a conference call with Lucas and a client of mine ASAP to see if there is an opportunity there.

Will continue to keep my eyes open,


Mungo said...

Thanks, Mungo. Your support (as a friend as well as a potential work partner) is appreciated.
And quoting John Lennon is always way cool in my book!
cheers, Fiona

Leo said...

I'm still here in the cheering squad, rah rah rah!
Spring is almost here and she's bringing sun and greenery to brighten up the dark world :)

Anonymous said...

Hey - Jenn and I are still here. We visit every so often to see how things are going. Our thougts are with you - as are our well wishes.

I think - but cannot be sure - I have mentioned Callstreet (formerly CCN - Conference Call Notes, which was bought by a large company a few years ago which was subsequently bought by an even larger company more recently). Callstreet provides corrected transcripts of company earnings reports. I know the company was looking for part-time editors several weeks ago. The contact name I have is Shephali A Parikh and her email address is:

Good luck, Fi!

Warm wishes to Lucas too!

Tim said...

Thanks, Leo -- great to hear you're still with us :) Your cheerleading is appreciated :)

And thanks, Tim -- it's nice to know that you and Jenn are virtual visitors to the farm :)

Anonymous said...

I have no concrete or useful suggestions but I'm cheering loudly from the East Coast!

/sends a hug

And yes, the longer days make all the difference in the world.

Good luck! I admire you so much and think it's all just fabulous. Maybe not lucrative, but fabulous nonetheless. said...

Thanks, Claire :) Speaking of lucrative, I was just reading this U Wisconsin study on the economics of small (< 3 acre) vegetable production versus large (>12 acre)... and on a per acre basis, the small farms generate (and keep) the most cash! So between that and my future bestselling book (?), maybe I'll one day be fabulous AND have money in the bank :) In the meantime, I'm just drinking in the sunshine!

mrsd said...

Hang in there, one day at a time. We face hard times on and off, just a fact of country life. I've gained alot of insight from reading the books by Scott and Helen Nearing. Start with Living the Good Life. It talks about focusing more on livelihood - learning to live with/off the land - than making a living - chasing after cash. They do get into the cash part too, which seems to be unavoidable for us all. said...

Thanks, Mrs. D. I appreciate your 'been there, done that' perspective. I've read the second book by the Nearings, but not the first. I'll look into that. You touched on an important point -- about the focus on livelihood, which is exactly our goal. We've just got to get our heads around the unavoidable parts too!

Anonymous said...


My cheers and good lucks are being yelled at the top of my lungs :)

Sorry as I don't have any leads to pass on. But lots of good will, good thoughts and virtual hugs said...

Thanks for the smile, farmgirl! I heard you loud and clear :)

Chicken Mama said...

Well, for what it's worth, Fiona, I think you're the BOMB!


P.S. Word Verification: 'Witiverr'. Isn't that kinda like 'Whateverrrrr!'

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