Five Weeks In

A few days ago I posted on Instagram that our one-month mark of living at the ranch had arrived. And that the adventure was just beginning. And that I was grateful to wake up here every day. All those things are true, but they don't show the whole picture ~ so I thought I would write about what my days look like at the ranch now that we've minimized and live here, what I've been thinking about, and what I've learned about myself in the last five weeks.



My mornings look a lot like the picture above, the view I see when I open up the blinds and step outside. I usually get up around 6 and check my emails and my to-do list and organize my workday. Most days our dog Jacob is ready to go outside just before 7, and we walk over to that dead tree in the middle of the picture where his new preferred morning toilet spot is. He usually jumps back into bed with my husband after that, and I get to work. I love those early morning hours and feel the most productive then.


When we still lived in Merritt I got up around the same time and went into my office, so I would not disturb my husband's sleep. The dog was let out into our backyard and did his own thing out there. Now everything happens in the same room {except the dog's morning business}, with my desk just a few feet away from our bed ~ but it's working out just fine. I have to interrupt my work routine to take the dog outside, because we haven't let him wander around without his leash yet. The interruption is welcome, because I get to stretch and breathe in the fresh air, and listen to nature wake up. It's completely still when we go outside in the morning, fog wafting over the ponds and the occasional bird chirping.


It's also slightly unnerving to me, because it's the time of year when the bears travel through to the lower elevations and the cougars are always here anyway. I would not call myself a city girl, but I definitely have a ways to go to become a version of Grizzly Adams.


Breakfast comes at 8:30 am and we make our way to the main lodge, where the kitchen is. During what would be the regular season of the ranch, we have a chef who prepares three meals a day for everyone, and during the winter we look after our own meals. I love not having to cook and I think I will just be eating cereal all winter long {which is perfectly fine with me and an acceptable substitute for every single meal}.


After breakfast I get back to work and my husband takes the first long walk with the dog, to get him used to the area, show him where home is, and get him to be more familiar with the other people and animals at the ranch. He's done really well so far, and for the most part does not have a problem with the other dogs at the ranch, as long as they are not right in his face. He's definitely not chill enough with the cats yet, and he hates the two humongous pigs that roam free for a few hours each day, with a passion. Right now our strategy is to just take it day by day and hope that over the next few months it will all just become normal to him, and we'll try and integrate him with the pack of ranch dogs. If not, he'll just remain our spoiled little dog and that's fine too.


Lunch comes around at 12:30 pm and I usually haven't even looked up from my laptop yet. Then it's the same routine in the afternoon, both for me {working} and for my husband and Jacob {exploring and walking}. I try to finish my workday by 5 pm to play with the dog and take him out for another short walk, before dinner comes around at 6 pm.



The days are getting shorter every day now, and the evenings have been spent taking many many sunset pictures. Plus some walks up and down the ranch's runway. And of course lots of knitting, a bit of reading, and then some more knitting. I may also have ordered yarn, just to make sure that the rural mail service works. It does. And comes only once a week.


My husband had to go for errands a couple of times since we moved here, but I haven't left in a month. I love not having to go anywhere. I love the peace and quiet, the view, the animals, the fact that we have downsized our stuff to a fraction of what it was, and that the internet works fairly well for a rural satellite connection. 


It's an hour to drive to the next village, which has a gas station that doubles as the grocery store. So there is no quick snack or ice cream run, and that's a plus in my book. {We did stock up on snacks before moving. Oy.} All in all I don't feel deprived of anything, quite the contrary. I'm super content.


My husband experiences some of the things I love in a different way, and vice versa. For example, he loves taking the dog on long walks into the forest and I feel like I might have a small panic attack when I stray too far from the ranch. Not that there are no bears at the ranch - while we went to the Grandmother Tree yesterday afternoon, a bear came through, ate all the apples off a small tree, and left a pile of bear shit instead. The ranch grounds still feel safer to me than the forest, because I can see further. Like I said ~ some work to do to reach Grizzly Adams level. On the other hand, communal living might be totally my jam. I love sharing space with other people {as long as it's not a bedroom or bathroom and we're all good there} and I love not owning most of the stuff here {the verdict is still out for my husband on this}.



One of the more challenging things for me has been to get dressed every day. Seriously. Working from home for the last seven years in pj's and bra-less most of the time has been a dream. Not so much here, where working and interacting with the team is as much part of the lifestyle as everything else. I still work mostly from my office/room, but interact lots with the team in meetings, during meals, and when a coworker just stops by our place on the way to the ponds ~ so I had to ditch the pj habit quickly and am now wearing actual pants for most of the day.


Working in person with people after working with them online for years is both better and more challenging. Apart from the whole "getting dressed" situation, it's not so easy to just take a break and not answer a question when someone is standing right in front of you, as opposed to in an email. Brainstorming sessions are much more efficient in person, so that has been a real plus. Getting used to the team dynamics and intricacies that have been in place for years but were never part of the job for me is ... interesting. 


Wow, it really has been a lot to get used to and take in during the last five weeks, eh? Like I said in that Instagram post ~ the adventure is just beginning. Onward.