Sidetracked

In my last post I talked about he adventure of moving hay bales. A weekend that could have spent packing sand for a patio project turned into helping a neighbor instead. This weekend I was pretty confident I would get to packing sand but again it evaded me. The weather was fairly nasty Friday night and Saturday it was gray, overcast and humid. I’m the hope that things would clear off after lunch I headed to my mother-in-law’s after my workout to say hi and check on the status of her project. My husband’s aunts and uncle came down to help replace her patio door.

Well, her project went sideways and I got sidetracked. While she was aware that water was getting in places that it shouldn’t there was much more damage than initially realized. We ended up pulling up a bunch of the floor and re-insulating and replacing boards. The good news is it was discovered. The bad news is we didn’t get to start actually installing the new door until about 7pm. Nothing ever goes as planned, that’s a fact of life. The installation didn’t go well and we ended up securing it for the night and going to bed.

Sunday we went at it again and discovered that whomever added on the addition to the home she’d bought didn’t do a fabulous job. The porch had settled and the wall now ran down hill that we were attempting to put the door in. The original door didn’t come out well. We knew things were off kilter a bit but it was really off – about 3/4″ gap on one end. I called in a family favor and we got a second opinion. The decision was made to secure it but not permanently to allow us to circle back next weekend and jack up and reinforce the corner that is sagging to prevent further, long-term issues. Not only did I not get to pack sand for my project we may have just discovered that we need another weekend to finish getting her’s right. Geez.

Hay Bales

This past week my neighbor injured himself and had to have back surgery. It was unexpected and unplanned. There are a lot of things bad about the timing of this – he is a stone mason in the middle of a very large project, they recently bought into the family farm, raise cattle and its baling season, and he has three, young, energetic boys. Not only is this my neighbor, these are my friends, like family. My brother from another mother so to speak. He learned his trade as an apprentice with my dad.

Now flashback many years ago to when my dad used to help his friends on weekends with hogs and cattle, corn and soybeans. His brother from another mother. My mom was a nurse at the hospital so we were often with my dad on weekends. As a kid I spent a lot of time on the farm, riding in the tractor and playing in the hay loft. Those were the days of walking alongside the trailer throwing bales on and stacking as you go.

In farming you don’t get to decide timing and schedule. You follow the seasons and we are in the season of moving and stacking bales and getting ready for fall and winter. Some are doing a second cutting.

This past weekend we had gorgeous weather. We visited with our neighbors and decided that with nothing of our own pressing it would be a good time to move bales and so Sunday afternoon was spent moving hay. I had two trucks with trailers attached. My dad on one end loading and my friend’s wife on the other end unloading and stacking. It was like old times! My dad and I loading hay. I got to crawl up on the wagon a few times to adjust tie downs. I don’t remember repelling down the straps being that much fun though. It didn’t dawn on me until I was headed over with the first load that I haven’t backed up a trailer in probably the last 15 years. Good news, it comes back quick!

Even though I didn’t get a single thing done at home, and I’m allergic to grass, I had a blast! My neighbors are grateful for the help. I’m happy it’s done and off their list of things to do. I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture.

Friends, family or whatever…when someone needs a hand, lend one! Giving – it does the body good. #PayItForward

Hot Chocolate

The Tuesday after Labor Day feels like the unofficial start to fall. Kids are back to school, the high temp is in the 70s all week and it started with a cold, rainy morning. I really wanted to wear an orange top to work today but it didn’t offer enough layering for adjusting to office temperatures. Guess that will have to wait until another day.

In our house we get one more thing around this time of year, fall allergies. They can beat up on us pretty bad. While I enjoyed two nights back to back of brewery patio music it was also a lot of fresh air to take in. For my son it’s football games and bonfire season. By Monday we were both miserable and sat around all day. It makes going back to work or school really hard when you have a Kleenex box in tow.

I made it thru the day with my stuffy head but immediately returned home (with my Kleenex box) for a nap. I was surprised when I woke to find that it is still day light outside. Today would be a great day to be waited on – hmm, that’s not going to happen. So I lay here thinking about what is quick and easy for supper. Instant oatmeal? Mac-n-cheese? Cereal? I guess I could be somewhat healthy and make chicken noodle soup. Yet it all sounds like work. I know one thing for sure, the Keurig has water in it and there is hot chocolate to be made! Enjoy supper. Fall is here!

Living the Dream

This morning’s post begged Mother Nature to knock it off with the crazy weather. I ran to town late morning to drop off my recycling, wash my car and get coffee. It was crazy in town! Lots of cars and lots of people. (Weather kept them off the lake til after lunch) I decided it was best to lay low at home for the afternoon given the chaos.

Fast forward to 6pm. I had been looking forward to listing to a local group play at the brewery. Thus, I ventured back into town. The weather is gorgeous tonight. Patrons spill out onto the deck and the sidewalk. Locals being lawn chairs and pull up a seat in the street. Having a cold one and enjoying both the music and the scene.

This is what makes living in a tourist town worth it. Never mind the cussing earlier about the traffic – cars and pedestrians everywhere slowing things down. Now I want it to slow down – enjoy the weather, the food, the beer and the people watching.

I could use a few more days like this…but as time flies, tomorrow is Labor Day. The official end of summer.

Living Life

Small town living is different than the city life I lived for more than 40 years. First, when you want to go “out” you should plan on 30-60 minutes just for driving. Everything is spread out in small towns around lakes.

I’m used to a lively night life and you can always find something to do. Here is takes more effort to find things and you have to plan ahead. That being said there are many upsides – like the food and entertainment in the summer. I had a local draft brew with my pail of steamed muscles and crusty bread (for dipping my in the garlic butter sauce). Now I’m sitting on a bench enjoying live music outside the brewery.

Because we have such a high influx of tourists in the summer there is a lot of randomness – dancing in the street, couples on park benches enjoying ice cream, classic cars in the streets, shops and boutiques that close whenever the last customer steps out and that might be an hour later than what the sign says.

Loving the new pace of life!

Mediocrity

I consider myself a little old school. I learned the values of hard work and you don’t get anything for free. I grew up in the “give them the shirt off your back” environment where everyone pitched in, rolled up their sleeves, and helped (in some way, shape, or form).

Fast forward to today’s fast moving world where you feel double booked all the time and everything requires a 30 minute drive to get there. Today I reflected on mediocrity. While I cringe at anything done half-assed there are times when “just enough” has to work just to keep things moving (and I hate that feeling). For example, I have had dishes in my sink for three days. I would put them in the dishwasher but that is full of clean dishes. The house needs to be vacuumed, lawn work to do, laundry to do, dusting for sure to do, wash jars for canning and more. However, the weather was fabulous last evening and perfect for laying stone. So what of those things got done? None of it. I laid stone. The available time I had left after that was spent scratching mud (have to let the mortar set up), showering and grabbing a bite to eat. Then it’s time to get some sleep and prepare for the next day at work. The cycle continues. For me just doing enough to get by in certain areas of life is becoming a regular part of my summer. Until this project is finished I have to be okay with just doing enough to get by. I can clean inside when it rains.