August 3, 2008
You’re in your last couple of days here on the Irish farm (before you head to France). You have been in Ireland since June 25th–five and a half weeks so far. Many of your readers have inquired about your budget, so you will take a moment to go over that, then sum a number of tasks you have completed since your arrival.
10, 818 – account balance at the beginning of the trip
-42.58 – tickets to Riverdance (bank screwed you over in change-over fees, charging several extra dollars)
-16.94 – expense for dinner you prepared for yourself and your two hosts.
-20.40 – two days worth of food from supermarket
-115.00 – charge from your Massachusetts storage facility.
-44.86 – airline ticket from Dublin to Carcassone (for August 7th)
-157.18 – cash withdrawal, every cent of which went to your week with Kady in Dublin, where your frugal spending habits were suspended in favor of several nice dinners, touristy things, movie and bus tickets.
-23.50 – lunch with Kady
-20.69 – bus tickets, which was ridiculous because it should only have cost 11 dollars, but the bank fucked you on this one too.
-128.03 – doctor’s appointment and chemist fee
-17.47 – hair dye and feminine hygiene
-6.65 – munchies for yesterday’s road trip around Ireland
-2.42 – total in additional bank fees
595.70 = spent
10,222.80 = remaining balance
-doctor’s appointment and chemists fees (128.03) was a purely optional expense.
-the approximate 200.00 spent in the week that Kady visited was a one-time blow-out, as you do not anticipate meeting anyone else from home during your travels.
-115.00 for the Massachusetts storage facility was a first and second month expense, as well as a processing fee. Future fees should not exceed 50 dollars (50 dollars is the only monthly expense you will have for being away). You will call this a 65 dollar unforeseen expense.
Total superfluous expenses = 393.03
approximate actual expenses = 200.00 (about 40 dollars per week to be abroad on your current spending habits).
Interesting, since you thought you might allow yourself a 50 dollar per DAY budget to carry you for 4 months.
So that just about sums it up. Anyone wondering how long you plan to stay abroad may now have a better idea about just how long you can last on 10,000 dollars.
Furthermore, Fitcorp came through and sent you your last paltry wages and group fitness payments, totaling in just over 500 dollars. After those checks are deposited into your account, you will essentially have re-set your entire budget, -100 dollars from your starting point. That’s nice.
And so…. you’ll devote a little time to the things you have completed on the farm thus far–in no particular order:
1) Collect horse shit and clean stable
2) Transplant an entire flower garden.
3) Build stone walls
4) Gut a very large area to create a 6-plot garden. Cut a sleeper to create steps for this garden. Tranfer dozens of wheelbarrows full of topsoil and fertilizer for this garden. Marlene has named it Maria’s Garden.
5) Transplant many trees and new bushes.
6) Help Douglas gut another area by digging and lifting large boulders in order to creat a cricket batting cage.
7) Dig a pig grave and bury Piggy.
8) Build three very large firewood storage units.
9) Cut pallets into useable firewood.
10) Chop timber into usable sizes.
11) Prune trees and weed multiple areas of nettles, weeds, and long grass.
12) Build three very large new compost bins.
13) Clean out pig house to ready it for two new piglets.
14) Bake cookies and make pudding for nighttime desserts (this task made you famous).
15) Vaccuum sediment from the swimming pool.
16) Help Marlene with the food shopping and the recycling.
17) Do the washing up after meals.
18) Transport many tons of firewood to various locations on the property.
19) Demolish a deck outside the yoga house (the chalet).
20) Help Deaclan build the new deck.
21) Take pictures of Marelen’s yoga class for her website.
22) Transport more gravel into the reed bed by swimming pool.
23) Cater and serve meals for the Shakers, and wash up after those meals.
24) Various small tasks… watering hanging baskets, changing tires, post-hole digging, floor sweeping, cleaning Marlene’s infested kitchen drawers…
List of injuries:
1) While pruning trees, you stepped on the rotten deck outside the chalet and put your foot right through the board. Fell through the deck, cutting your left knee, badly bruising both legs, and developing a golf-ball-sized lump on your right shin.
2) While demolishing the deck, you pinched your finger between the long bar and an exposed nail. Finger bled profusely and swelled up like a Christmas sausage.
3) Multiple nettle stings, the the point of bleeding.
4) Broke your tooth while eating a Pringle. Seriously. 8 years with a pierced tongue, and that was a first. Luckily, the tooth is not sensitive, but it feels quite jagged.
5) Fell while running in the woods, hyper-extended left knee and pulled a couple ligaments. Obviously, exacerbated the problem by continuing to run on it.
6) Cuts on left arm from wrestling a hawthron tree.
7) Woke up many times in the night over the course of the stay with twisting gut pain. Unsure if cause is nutritional, or from stress.
8) Numerous bleeding blisters from the long bar and shovel after digging the pig grave.
That about sums it all up. Yesteday the whole household went on a long road trip to collect ten chickens and two new 8-week-old piglets, which you selected. One castrated male, one female, affectionately named Edouard and Maria. Now you can say someone named a pig after you–appropriate, consering you are famous for how much you eat. Very adorable. When you carried one of them to the back of the van, it was very still, very scared, but nice and warm. They were in a bit of shock by the end of the trip, as were the chickens. Irish roads are rather windy, and on more than one occasion, the whole pile of chickens lifted into mid-air over a bump in the road, littering the air in the cab with chicken feathers. As a joke, you all talked about eating the piglets. Immediately the two pigs started creating a racket, slamming and crashing around in the cage in the back. You all yelled at them to calm down, and they did.