Trying to Stay On Top of the Work

September 4, 2016


I began this blog entry seven weeks ago.

Meetings for my school year started last week. Before and after the work day I have attempted to keep up with the various pressing jobs on the farm. It’s not happening. I’ve simply become more frenzied with my juggling.

In early August, the battery on the old farm truck went dead. I was so busy then, I just factored in five extra minutes every day to jump it, and kept it running throughout chores. (Because all my tools are old and my farm is run on a shoestring, this sort of maneuver is second nature. I have to raise the hood of one of my mowers and smack the starter with a hammer to start it.) Now, three weeks later, I finally took the time to buy a new battery. Truck is solved! Everything’s easy now, right? Not really.

I drove my big steers to the slaughterhouse last week, a long, sad day. Olaf and Skippy had suckled all their lives. With them gone, Moxie has needed milking twice a day, another hour of work to squeeze in. Meanwhile I searched classifieds and advertised for a calf on Craigslist, using a photo from a few years back.

wanted Jersey bull calf

No luck. The nearest calf I can find is six hours away. So, I am milking. All my milking things were packed up in the move last fall and put into storage. I have been too rushed to search for them, and have simply clabbered the milk for the chickens.

Speaking of chickens, a coyote has raided my barnyard four times in the past month, strolling boldly to the barn in broad daylight and killing four (more about this another day). Worryingly, twice I was mowing only a few hundred yards up the hill at the time. Now, whatever the chore, I am always scanning the horizon.

Mike fixed my tow-behind brush hog (again) and I mowed the barnyard and the knoll field in hour-long stints, picking up the usual complement of stones along the way.


I was excited to find the brush hog working so dependably, but I remembered Mike and Allen’s cautions — “Don’t jinx it!” — and said nothing. Still, my heart sang. I started again in the back field. The weeds in the barnyard, knoll field, and back field have all been all close to two feet tall. It is slow going, and I have only had an hour or so a day between school work and the usual daily farm chores.


…. Here my entry broke off. I never had a chance to finish it. Trying to Stay On Top of the Work, indeed! At this point, the work overwhelmed me and I submerged. I have taken on more responsibilities at my teaching job this year — unfortunately tasks that require me to write daily. Not only my hours but my creative brain has felt squeezed dry.

However I miss this blog. I miss having the record of my small days on the farm and the big days in our family. So much has been going on recently, it feels as if I may never catch up! However, although the entries may be shorter, posted with a lick and a promise as I dash out the door, I’m going to try.