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So Much

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There is so much happening, and so little time to write about it.

In the future, I hope to tell you about a Log and Timber Frame Home Show we went to, an unexpected litter of bunnies, plans for the summer, the Tiny House workshop we’re attending soon, and ideas for building a carport, our cottage, and our home.

In the meantime, I have sub plans to write, research to begin for the class I’m taking, a barn to clean out, and a lot of information to process!

The Swirl

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At 9pm, my eyes get sandy and my energy drops.  Time for bed.  I tuck myself under the covers and drift to sleep.

At 2am, my bladder wakes me and I pad off to the bathroom.  When I return to bed, I snuggle back in, thinking that sleep will return to me.

Instead, a hurricane of thoughts fills my head.  Lessons I need to plan, copies I need to make, a quiz I need to alter.  The research paper I need to write for the class I’m taking.  And when will I get it done with house guests two weeks in a row and a mini-vacation planned after that?  And the refrigerator needs to be cleaned, and I forgot to buy flea prevention for the dogs.  There’s a log cabin show at the state fairgrounds this weekend.  Where will I buy the fruit trees I want to plan and when should I plant them and where?  Do I really want the strawberries where I had originally planned them?  If we buy a tractor, will there be enough money left to purchase the supplies to build an outhouse this summer?

I roll over, hoping a change in position will help.  The cat shifts her weight on my legs, wondering why I’m disturbing her sleep.

I remember I didn’t put away the laundry yet, or vacuum the living room rug.  I wonder if bleaching the well is the best way to get rid of the sulfur smell in the water.

The cat box needs to be cleaned.

I ask God to clear my mind so I can get back to sleep.

Will the research project I thought of for my eighth graders be too hard?  Is it okay if it’s hard because they need a challenge?  Why haven’t we heard back from the meat processor about the deer Stephan took there a few weeks ago after he hit it with his car?

Flip the pillow to the cool side.  Look at the clock.  Thirty minutes have passed.  Forty-five.

Everything I just thought about runs through my head again, this time in a different order.  Trees, tractor, strawberries, outhouse, research, guests, fridge, vacuum, lessons, laundry.

I try to release it all, but mostly it continues to run in the mental hamster wheel.

My eyes droop again, and I hope this time it will be for good.

Soon, it will be time to get up.

The Saga of the Driveway

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We knew when we moved here last July that the driveway needed gravel. But there were a lot of other things that took priority.

As the winter progressed and then spring started to come, the driveway got worse. Ruts turned into big ruts and filled with water. Low spots became puddles. Mud was everywhere. At last, it was time. The man of the house called a gravel company to come out. They estimated the need for 72 tons of gravel.

The Gravel Guy came with his first load (about 25 tons) on a Tuesday. He dumped it and said he was having trouble spreading it out because the gravel was still frozen together. I drove slowly over the uneven aggregate, aiming the car carefully over hills and piles and then back into low spots.

On Wednesday, Gravel Guy returned with a full gravel truck. And he slid off the muddy driveway. He got back on track, and then slid off again and got stuck in the muddy strip between our drive and the neighbor’s. A concrete truck came to pull Gravel Guy out of his predicament, but could not do so because the gravel truck was still full of its product.

Remember how I mentioned ruts? What was there before was nothing compared to what was there after. If WordPress would upload my photos, I would show you.  However, since I get upload error every time I try, let me paint a picture for you.  Imagine a deep gouge in the grassy area next to the driveway.  Imagine it at least ankle-deep, at a 45 degree angle to the drive.  Imagine it filling with rainwater.

The gravel that Gravel Guy brought is mired down into the mud. It doesn’t exactly lie in the confines of the original driveway.

Now, I would have thought a guy who knows the gravel business might have looked at the driveway first and made some recommendations. Like “This is awfully wet and I suggest we wait until the ground dries.” Like “I think you could use a better base layer of large gravel before we put down the smaller stuff.” Like anything but making the driveway worse than it was in the first place.

Gravel Guy told the man of the house that he didn’t want to come back until things had dried out, but he made him a deal. In the future, he’ll bring the gravel but charge just for the aggregate and not for the hauling.

In the meantime, it is Mud City out here.

Thinking Ahead

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I’m a list maker, a planner, a thinker.

Each work day, I consider what needs to be done and I cross the items off as I accomplish them.  Copy handouts.  Grade essays.  Write test.  Plan next week.

The same thing happens at home.  Clean bathroom.  Do laundry.  Trim dogs’ nails.  Wash dishes.

I’m always thinking about what’s next, what needs to be done.  Planning is not only enjoyable to me.  It’s how my brain works.  At work, I’m already considering next year and how I’ll change the lessons I did this year.  What I’ll tweak, add, toss.  At home, there is much to do on our new place.  It’s hard even to know where to begin.  Cut down dead and dying trees.  Pull out mulberry bush.  Plant flowers.  Plant garden.  Build outhouse.  Build treehouse.  What about fixing the pool?  When will we start on the cottage?  I overwhelm myself sometimes.

Sometimes, I have to stop.  I need to enjoy the present.

Over spring break last week, I could have spent the whole week working and planning for school.  But I would have missed out on lunch with a friend, naps in the recliner, a journey through a good book.

I could bury my face in my computer or my books, researching and planning what’s next on the farm.  But then I might not relish the kitten sleeping in my lap.

I need to add some things to my to-do list:

Slow down.

Enjoy the moment.

Just be.

Thoughts on Writing

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In my mind, I have written much, but lately have rarely set pen to paper and even more rarely have I put my thoughts and words out for others to read.

The reasons are many.  Some are practical: work keeps me busy and the class I am taking keeps me busier.  Our internet at home has been fussy and difficult.

Other reasons are less concrete.  What is the purpose of writing and sharing my thoughts?  How much do I want people to know?  Especially when some of my readers may be utterly unknown to me?  And why would they want to read what I say anyhow?

Why do I write?  I thinking back over the last couple of decades, I have been regretting the courses I did not take in college.  I wish I had enrolled in more writing classes.  The reasons I didn’t, again, are numerous.  For one thing, I scarcely had room in my schedule for that which was required for my major.  My choices were few.

But maybe I could have fit in a writing class or two.  Why didn’t I?  Fear, partly.  The words Creative Writing seize my heart with trepidation.  Stories do not come to my head.  Plots peter out long before the climax.  Journalism did not interest me.  At the time, writing was something that had to be done to pass the literature courses.  I wasn’t sure I would be good at any other kind of writing.  And I wasn’t about to take a risk in a class that might lower my GPA.

But now, I think writing is more important to me than it once was.  It’s a way to connect, and for an introvert like me, finding ways to connect can be important.  It’s a way to process thoughts.  And I have a lot of thoughts running around in my brain.

These days, everyone’s a writer, it seems.  Or, I guess, everyone’s a blogger.  Perhaps the two terms are not interchangeable.  So what have I to offer that isn’t already out there by hundreds of others across the world?

Not much.  Just me.  My voice.

And that’s unique, I guess.  I don’t know if it’s something anyone else wants to read.  And I must consider carefully what I truly want to share.

But in my mind, I have written much.

Perhaps it’s time to let it out.

Towels and Blankets

It’s cold out.

We’ve been trying to get to the rabbits at least twice a day to change out their frozen water bottles, but even so, the bottles are frozen solid by the time we get there.  Since school was closed yesterday and today, I should be able to change out the bottles three times.  Stephan put a small heater in their barn last night, so hopefully the rabbits will be okay.

The windows in this new house are only single-pane windows.  While they have often been clouded with condensation this winter, now they are covered with ice.  Yesterday I put my hand next to a couple of the exterior doors and felt a breeze.  They really need weather stripping or storm doors and the windows need storm windows or plastic covering.  Not having any of that at the moment, I improvised.

IMG_0014[1] IMG_0015[1]Blankets and towels over the windows and doors.

Brrr.

Kitty

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The whole family loves our kitten, Nova.  She and Gracie play together often.

She loves to sit on our laps.  She nuzzles my face and likes to cuddle.  Sometimes she will butt me with her head in order to get chin rubs or head scratches.  Recently, she even stood on her hind legs and hugged my leg.

SONY DSCNova is curious and friendly.  We feel lucky to have her.

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