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I just got caught up reading a whole series of “a day in the life” posts by homesteaders. It’s winter outside, and I am dreaming of gardening, what can I say?
I have been meaning to do another day in the life post, for ages. The last one that I did was for a great day off. This time, I will treat you to the wonderful boring-ness of a regular week day!
Fasten your seatbelts, my friends, here it goes.
A Day in the Life of Anne
My alarm clock goes off. I hit snooze. At least once.
By now, I have hit snooze twice. Halfway through the second snooze, I have resigned myself to waking up. I start reading my phone. I check my email messages, delete the mostly useless ones (twitter emails, ugh), and invariably end up reading something that’s much too long for the time available.
I spring out of bed because I am about 3 minutes behind schedule. This happens basically every morning. I am at least reliably behind my own schedule. I head to the bathroom, take a smattering of medications and get dressed. Then I go to the kitchen, grab both of our lunches out of the fridge and leave my spouse’s on the counter. I’m feeling parched so I chug a glass of water before throwing on my massive winter jacket that I call a parka, and throw on my work shoes.
I am one of the only people at my work who wears “office clothes,” even the big-bosses wear jeans. I can’t be bothered to wear makeup, but I wear a pair of dress pants and a sweater, or a shirt and a casual blazer. Most people at work get dirty during the day, but I am an office dweller 99% of the time. I can’t wear white to work, it doesn’t come clean in the washing machine, so mostly I own dark coloured clothes.
I walk downstairs to wait for my ride to work. One of the amazing perks of my job is that transportation is provided. This saves me boatloads of money. There’s no gas, no wear and tear, I can have recreational insurance on my vehicle, and I don’t have to be alert in the morning. Amazing.
One coworker who lives out of town drives in and also waits for the van at the front of my building. We’re pretty quiet while waiting. When it’s super cold out, we wait inside my condo building’s lobby. When it’s not too bad, we wait outside under an awning.
Picked up and on the van. We stop at a few more places in town to get everyone else.
We go through the Tim Horton’s drive through on Thursdays and Fridays. We don’t work every second Friday, so it averages out to a cost of about $3 per week for coffee. For me, it’s less than $150 a year, and money well spent.
I have mostly given up coffee, because my caffeine half-life seems to be around 19 hours, which means I don’t fall asleep very well at night. These days, I’m drinking a medium steeped tea regular.
On the van, I read things on my phone and occasionally we chat. Toward the end of the week, we tend to chat more on the way in to work. On my phone, I read Facebook, emails, Twitter and blog posts. Sometimes I comment, or reply, but lately I’ve been too lazy and just read.
My work site doesn’t have cell service, so when we get close to work, reception drops out.
We arrive at work. I scan in and head upstairs to my office. When I get to my desk, I usually make an entire pot of tea, but I don’t need any today because I have Tims. Plain old tea, and coffee, are free at work. There’s sugar and powdered whitener as well. Americans call the powder something else. I refer to it as “powder crap.” I drink my work tea black, the Tims tea is a calorific treat.
I check my Google Analytics, Adsense and Amazon while skimming my work emails. Work officially starts at 7.
Just like the “leap out of bed because it’s late,” I start thinking “man, I am starving.” This is directly related to me forgetting to eat breakfast when I got here, which I do all the flipping time. My breakfast stash includes oatmeal, applesauce, apples and sunflower butter. Sunflower butter costs more, but I am not supposed to eat peanut butter, and it is way cheaper than cashew butter. I eat an apple (I have the world’s most gigantic apples right now) with some sunflower butter on it and start to feel better.
I keep doing work stuff. Mostly, I work on spreadsheets, answer questions for other people, go to a few meetings, answer emails, and pace in front of my massive whiteboard. When I am brainstorming, I sit and stare at my whiteboard.
I have a standing desk at work, that I absolutely love. It’s been nearly a year since I got it and I can’t imagine going back to not having it anymore. I never put it down. I sit down for meetings, and often when people come in to talk to me, the rest of the time I stand.
Throughout the morning, when I need a break, I will do random small blog stuff, like moderate comments, install updates, or edit a staff-written draft.
Othertimes when I want a break, I’ll go chat with friends or coworkers.
Lunch time! We don’t have any official breaks or lunches. Most of us eat lunch at our desks, while doing work or browsing the internet. There is nowhere to go to buy lunch, except for a vending machine downstairs. We’re talking a “chips and cookies” type of vending machine, not a “hot subs” machine. The downside is that if you ever forget food, you have to go scavenge from people’s stashes.
The upside is wonderful financially. There is zero temptation to eat at a restaurant, because it’s simply not an option.
My safety stash is my breakfast foods, plus some cans of beans. I also have hot chocolate that I share with a friend. We keep it in my office so that she doesn’t drink the whole tin in a week, she has to walk here to come and get it.
Almost all of the time, my lunch is leftovers from the night before. When there aren’t enough leftovers, it’s a spinach salad made with whatever is on hand. Today, I am eating Kung Pao Venison, made with some extra zucchini that was almost going bad. The venison is from last year’s hunting season, we are generally one year behind with our consumption, so we know there’s always meat in the freezer.
We made a massive batch of this and it took way longer to cook it all than I had hoped last night, but, the result was delicious.
I do more work stuff. Super-exciting, my friends.
Throughout the day I talk to Kathleen on gchat, and colleagues and friends on the skype messenger system we have at work.
It’s quittin time! An upside to the vans is that you have to leave on time, unless you have arranged to take a pool vehicle home for some specific reason (like having to stay late to finish a project.)
I get back on the van; in the afternoon people are more chatty. Half of us don’t have to work tomorrow and half of us do, so the “it’s Friday today” crowd is generally in good spirits.
The conversation goes all over the map, and I spend some time reading on my phone, too.
There’s more traffic on the way home than the way in, so it generally takes an extra five to ten minutes to get home. Thursdays are figure skating days, so I am in a mad dash to get out the door. I have to fight my brain, which is telling me to just skip it and sit on the couch.
I put contacts in, curse the fact we are out of clif bars, change my clothes, eat two chunks of cheddar, and race out the door with a water bottle in-hand.
I get to the skating rink and know that I’m going to be late for the group session from 5:15-5:30, by the time I get my skates on.
Ah well. This 15 minutes is overlap for the little kids and the big kids. At 5:30 the little kids will get off the ice and the older kids will stay on. There’s one other adult on the session and we are both so glad that we’re not the only one! We are the only two adults in the whole club.
Once I’m on the ice, if there are ever any teams or groups, one of the little kids will come to me and insist that I join them. It’s pretty awesome, being fought over like that!
General open skating. During university, I picked up a bad habit of swearing when I fell, on occasion.
This is not so awesome when there are 13 year olds around. Given that I am older, in worse shape, and not able to do what I used to do, I fall a fair bit. Bad combination!
My skating was mediocre, but I am proud of myself for working up the motivation to go. This is the only organized exercise that I get most weeks, so it’s really important that I go.
(Huge props to my coach for sending me a picture of her skates to use!)
I’m back home, and so is my spouse. My spouse usually plays squash after work on Thursdays. We keep meaning to better utilize the crock pot on Thursdays, but never get around to being that organized. On a good day, my spouse ends up home way before me and has started dinner. Today is an excellent day, because we prepped almost all of dinner last night. Go us!
The meal plan is on the fridge, or the coffee table, so we have a vague plan for the week, which always ends up changing at least a little bit.
Last night, I made some yeast-free bread (another allergy), and my spouse made a big pot of French onion soup.
I don’t like onions, but my spouse has been craving this forever, so I am acquiescing. We have a ton of food sensitivies, so we can’t just go to a restaurant and order different soups for ourselves.
Virtually all of our food is made from scratch. We still use sweet chili sauce, and buy most of our salad dressings, but that’s about it. Most bouillion has yeast in it, and of course so does bread, so the French onion soup is built from the ground up. My spouse is also allergic to cow dairy, so we have goat mozzarella to use instead. To keep costs down, I use regular mozza.
We save the bones from hunting and from meals we eat, in order to make bouillion. My spouse will make a gigantic vat of it in our stock pot, then we’ll boil it down until it gets thicker. Next, we freeze it in a silicone mini muffin pan, then pop the pucks out into a ziplock bag. They are very easy to use this way and don’t take up very much storage space; this method was an awesome discovery on Pinterest one day. We know absolutely everything that’s in the bouillion, utilize what is otherwise waste, avoid sodium overload, save some money, and have food that we’re not allergic to. Yay!
This is an occasion to use the little Le Creuset style dishes that we have. My spouse puts the soup pot on the stove to warm it up and I attempt to cut bread circles to fit. Then we broil the cheese into gooey deliciousness and eat some dinner.
On non-work nights, we’ll usually have a bottle of wine with dinner. If it’s a work night toward the end of the week, sometimes we’ll have a glass or two with dinner. I’m exhausted, so tonight is a wine night.
We eat dinner at the coffee table in the living room. We chat and usually watch an episode or two of TV. Currently, we’re re-watching Blue Bloods. We run a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher (forgetting to refill it, of course), and pack lunches of soup for tomorrow.
I realize that I should probably have a shower. I have a shower and get ready for bed. By 9:10 we are both reading in bed. Sometimes it’s phones, sometimes it’s books.
My attention is split between the West Coast Seeds catalogue, that is extremely educational, and a book I started months ago called Angle of Repose.
By 9:30, if not earlier, we are both asleep. 5:10 comes early, my friends.
There you have it, a pretty standard day in my life. Any questions?