My month with Allen and the excavator starts today! At evening chores last night I found the excavator waiting parked in the driveway. I almost wanted to dance up to it and give it a happy pat. The logging machines are due to arrive this morning. Naturally, with all this activity scheduled, the forecast is for drenching rains. I’m wondering if the loggers will wait and start cutting tomorrow.

Since Allen will work any day of the week that the weather cooperates, my main concern with him is to make sure he doesn’t exhaust himself struggling against bad conditions. His health is not great, and he is both very kind and extremely bull-headed. I’ve never had much luck getting him to quit for the day. (You can tell my powers of persuasion are failing when I fall back on “Now listen to me, Allen. I’m bigger than you!“) He just smiles and ignores everything I say.

I took seven students to church yesterday. As church is scheduled at the same time as study hall, I tend to get the children least committed to academic excellence. In short, often the naughtiest, squirmiest little boys. I warned my tiny band that my friendly demeanor was deceptive and that if children misbehaved in church I instantly turned into a junkyard dog. They were as good as gold. Due to the rampaging flu, it was our first church trip of the school year. The elderly congregation has been waiting impatiently, always looking deeply disappointed when I arrived alone. As I ushered in my ragtag seven, the choir burst into applause.

I had milked and baked hot biscuits for the family before church. I spent the afternoon cleaning and cooking and paying bills. The summer rains resulted in a bumper crop of apples on the school trees, and Lucy and her friend Teresa picked apples and baked another apple pie. Then while they went trail-riding with a group from school, I made vanilla ice cream and mozzarella cheese. We had homemade pizza for dinner and warm pie `a la mode for dessert.

After Lucy was in bed, DH wanted to have his annual emotion-fest watching The English Patient. The English Patient is for him what the A&E miniseries Pride and Prejudice is for me: pure delight. I loathe the main characters in TEP but kept him company, admiring the beautiful cinematography and trying not to exclaim too often in exasperation. Sadly despite my good intentions I was soon asleep on the couch.

This morning chocolate chip cookies for the men are in the oven. Whole wheat bread is rising in the breadmaker. I’ve made a spaghetti casserole for later in the week, and thawed lamb chops for tonight. (We always schedule lamb for Monday as Jon, not a lamb fan, has evening classes and stays the night at college.)

I’ve checked lists and done everything I can think of to get ready for this big week of work. Here we go!


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