My Baby is Nineteen!

October 30, 2016


Today is Lucy’s nineteenth birthday. She’s off at college. This is the first birthday of hers for which I have not been able to arrange a cake. In last week’s madness I baked chocolate chip cookies and rushed them to town, but I missed the cut-off for UPS, so I brought the cookies home and put them in the freezer. I will mail them tomorrow.

I am so proud of my girl. Still, for all my celebration of the cheerful, kind, admirable young woman Lucy has become, it makes me wistful to see my youngest growing up and away — off to join her big brother in adulthood.

Somehow I thought I would be drying my children’s mittens forever.


Free! Wheeeee!

October 29, 2016

The past five or six weeks have been so hectic, on the heels of a tightly scheduled summer, that I’ve been breathless and tired. However, we have made it through October!

And though it has blown snow on and off for the past week, the six inches of wet snow predicted for Thursday night (when I had to work until 9 PM) turned into only one and a half, the temperatures have risen above freezing, and I have this weekend to catch up on some of the chores I’ve dropped in the last month and left undone.

Damon is coming tomorrow to work with me with his excavator, setting fence posts. I should also receive a hay delivery. Today is my day for everything else on the farm, at work, and at home. My list is huge but to be able to make my own plan, not constantly checking the clock in anxiety, feels like amazing freedom.

Wheeeeee! Happy, happy!


October 23, 2016

A  month ago DH and I looked at our calendar for October, entirely scribbled over with commitments big and small, and told each other, “We just need to get through until the 23rd.” Yesterday, October 22, was an important all-day board meeting for DH, and I was to host a cocktail party here at the house. After that we would be practically carefree.

It began to snow yesterday at 3 PM. I did barn chores early. Our guests started arriving at 4:30. By 6:30 it was obviously a storm and the group was due at a restaurant in town. A caravan of cars started out.

I hate driving in snow and rarely dine out. My knuckles were white as I gripped the steering wheel. Traffic crept through the dark at 20 m.p.h. Cars were fishtailing all over the road in the heavy, wet slush. Visibility was terrible. DH said mildly, “Are you OK?” I said, “I cannot believe I am risking my life to go out to eat!” I longed to be safe at home with a peanut butter sandwich.

When we drove back three hours later the plows had been out. Walking the dogs before bed, I waded around the yard to all the young birch trees bent over under the snow, and shook them free. It was still snowing.

The electricity went out at 2 A.M. Every room in this big old house has a fire alarm with a power-failure warning. Every alarm in every room went off every twenty seconds for the rest of the night. Sleep was impossible. I finally got up at 4:00 AM and boiled water for coffee by candlelight.

I drove down to the farm for barn chores at 7:30.


It was beautiful… and windy.


I walked out and knocked snow off the sheep shelters. My farm is not ready for winter. Mowers, shelters, temporary fences, tools… Nothing is put away.


I pray the snow melts this week. The list for next weekend will be huge.

Thankfully, the power has now been restored. I am grateful, as today I have teacher reports to write, as well as my new responsibilities. Unfortunately, after last night’s alarms my energy is at a slightly low ebb.