Time Gets Away

Wow. Where does time go?

Another successful deer hunt in the books. Everyone will have a little meat for their freezer.

The weather has changed. I think winter is here to stay. It’s pretty but dang I hate winter driving.

I have returned to my first love – volleyball. It feels good to be back together again. Timing might be a little off but everything seems to come back quick. I have great muscle memory.

Work is ridiculous which seems to be my norm. I’ll be adding to my team in a few weeks. I can’t wait.

I’m getting ready to host thanksgiving again this year. It will be a full house.

I’m also back to my adjunct faculty gig. Never a dull moment here.

Who has time to take a vacation? Or sleep? Not this girl. Instead I just enjoy some quiet time in a tree stand in the woods.

Choices

I was contacted two weeks ago by some former colleagues at a community college about doing some adjunct work for them this spring. I have taught for them before so I have an existing relationship with the school. The last time I was contacted an instructor was retiring and they wanted me to assume one of her classes. It was October and it gave me only a few months to develop the entire course. Luckily I taught that one a few times so it paid off. Fast forward to 2018. I’m having deja vu as the conversation was much the same. Another instructor retiring and they are replacing with 3-4 adjunct instructors. This time I’ve been offered a new class. That means back to the drawing board for me. I have about 60 days to get it pulled together. Yikes! I am up for the challenge!

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!

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.

Progress

This spring I tried diligently to find a contractor willing to give me a quote for labor on a large shop project on our property. It is a DIY project that got sidetracked and our physical resources got allocated elsewhere. After much searching, calling and conversations I got a quote. It was a bit higher than I was looking to spend but in my mind worth it to advance our project along.

That was about two months ago and little has happened in the way of progress. At least until about a week ago when I awoke at 7am on a Sunday to noise outside only two find a couple snappy young fellas working on the roof. Apparently the contractor subbed out some of the work. Hmmm.

Fast forward a week. My roof is done (except for where Menards shorted me materials) and the fellas have now offered to the contractor that they could do the rest of the work. In the mean time I’ve asked the two boys for a few other project quotes. It looks like I could get lots more done than I had imagined. Suddenly things are moving along.

The stone work is still a DIY and we are also cruising thanks to really good weather. The look of progress this past week has come in many forms. The “lawn” is getting bailed, the inside of the shop can now stay dry and the stone is going on. I’m happy.

Under Water

We struggled with wet weather last summer while trying to get our shop up. Now I am dealing with the same issue while trying to get it finished. We have not had a decent dry stretch of working weather for weeks. My driveway is a mud hole. The contractor I hired hasn’t even started although the mental effort is there. He started to bring out some of his equipment. Even my attempt to get stone laid on the front has been hampered by the weather. The only decent two days we had in the past few weeks had the heat index into the 100s. Not ideal for working outside in Minnesota.

We aren’t talking about an occasional shower either. I’ve been dumping my rain gauge each time at the inches mark (yes, plural). Last weekend I had 6″ in one 24 hour period. Yesterday was 1.75″ and it rained overnight and has continued now into midday. I’ll be checking it again shortly.

I guess that means I’m supposed to work on something else. I would rather be outside doing physical labor. I can’t possibly mow my lawn so today will be spent doing some sewing and hem repair on a few clothing items, cleaning bathrooms, washing sheets, meal prep for the week, and catching up on some work. I foresee vinyl records turning in my future.

Give me a break! #EnoughAlready