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It’s been a long few weeks here at Barefoot Farm. Bruce has been ill and after spending a few days in the hospital, he returned home with strict instructions to take it easy. It came as no surprise to me that he did no such thing, instead tackling some of the many jobs that he, and he alone, seems to do around here.

Here’s the truth. We are pretty traditional in terms of the roles we play. I do all of the cooking and he pays the bills. I wash the curtains and handle appointments. He takes care of the bees and the flower beds. It works most of the time. This time, we were lucky and he was able to set the check book to rights but what if things had been different? What if he spent weeks instead of days in the hospital? I would have needed a crash course in money management and I likely would have been calling on a professional to open the pool.

Part of being a prepared family is having redundant systems in place. You can’t flip a switch for lights? No problem. get out the oil lamps. The furnace isn’t working? Let’s start a fire in the wood stove. No water is coming from the tap? No problem. Let’s get out the rain barrel and water filter. But what about redundant people?

I pulled out a 3-ring binder today. Over the next several weeks I will be creating categories for tasks and we will each be responsible for writing down the systems we use. The first part of the notebook is a single page for each month of the year. As I do something like set up the appointment for our daughter’s yearly physical, I will put it down as a task for the appropriate month, complete with the pediatrician’s phone number. We can include directions for things like testing the pool water or changing the filter in the vacuum. I hope this notebook will make life easier if one of us is away and the other (or the kids) is left to hold down the fort. This will be a good add-on to our emergency preparedness binder. That binder has proven to be beyond useful over and over again.

I include the picture below to show you, not what is around here, but what is coming. It has been a very hard winter and today is the first day that felt like real spring. The chicks spent the day outside. I hung out my sheets in the sunshine and as I wrote this, I could hear the shouts of children playing behind the house. What a joyful sound that is!

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