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Monday, March 16, 2015

Onward and Upward.

Well, it's been an interesting week or so.  I figure that I've run through of all the bad stuff early, so that I can look with my rosy-pink-Pollyanna-glasses at the rest of the year. 

I am chomping at the bit to get out in my garden.  Unfortunately, I still can't see it.  But the volume of snow has gone down noticeably and I am thankful that the weather hasn't taken a sharp turn towards warming.  As much as I long to run my toes through the grass (or mud, for that matter), I don't want to face a flooding problem. I am starting to see the tops of buckets and patches of ground around trees, so things are headed in the right direction.

I've also started a list of spring repairs.  Be still my quavering heart!  I'm up to three pages and I am not finished!!  Gates came apart, fences need mending, there's a hole in the hoop house cover, ice dams wreaked havoc on my chicken yard fence/gate.  A lot of the back deck needs replacing.  The front of the coop needs a major overhaul.  I HAVE to finish the run-in shed.  Etc.  I'm not sure how to best attack the lot of it, but I think I will use the same strategy that I use in approaching my make-up each morning (minimal at best, but I do have to shore up a bit for the office crowd).  One eye at a time.  Or, in this case, one section at a time. I know that there is a precious little period where the ground is too soggy to start on the garden.  That is when I will pounce!  (snort)  First up are the gates and fences.  Then it's poop patrol (for all hooved and pawed residents).  Then coop-cleaning.  That's as far as I've gotten.  Of course, given that I have one day a week to do most of it, that may be as far as I get.  I also want to start more of my own plants this year - on time.  Last year I was a little over-eager and started them too soon.  Too many were so leggy they didn't do well or make it at all.  It's not easy being patient.

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Every year I celebrate St. Patrick's Day the Sunday before the actual day.  I avoid the day itself, as it is too often a day marred by idiots+drinking+driving.  As is usually the case, I have my parents and their besties (my neighbors) over for dinner.  This year I also had my neighbor who makes my life so much easier (as he does for most of his neighbors).  In the past, I would have gotten an expensive cut of brisket, organic taters and carrots and cabbage, whipped up three soda breads - making sure that everything was cooked as traditionally as possible.  Well, let's just say that this year was different.  I had gotten a cheap cut of brisket before my non-shopping at the store vow and had it in the freezer.  I did manage to snag an organic cabbage and carrots at a winter farmers market.  I had potatoes in storage.  I resorted to the crockpot (never to look back, I may add).  I made two GF soda breads that I thought I had ruined due to multi-tasking, but they were fine.  I vacuumed the house to within an inch of it's life, put Pepper in lock down (he injured his back - see 'run of bad stuff' referenced above), did twelve loads of laundry and draped it all over the house on Saturday.  Somewhere around 10A Sunday, I started to hyperventilate.  This happens all the time.  Instead of a go-with-the-flow attitude, I get a OMG-what-if! attitude.  It's not helpful.  Desperate to get myself on a more even keel, I put a meditation cd on the stereo.  By jiminy, it worked!  While it will take years of practice to whip my frantic brain into a single focus, hearing the calm voice settled me down, as I flitted about with my dust mop, going "ooooom" and "aaaaaah".  The dogs were skeptical. 

My parents arrived, Pepper was assigned to my dad's lap (they both loved it), their besties arrived shortly afterward and then it was like hearing birds chattering.  I got to putter around in the kitchen, set the table, heat the plates, serve the food.  It was fun.  After everyone had gone and the dishes were cleaned up, the dogs were all in an exhausted, happy heap.  Pepper was snug in his little bed with a heated rice bag on his back.  Lovey was snoring away, all three marrow bones held close to her chest.  Scrappy was snoring loudly, wrapped in his blankie on the favorite end of the couch.  I was tucked in a chair with the New Yorker magazine and a nice cup of tea.  All was right with my world.

14 comments:

  1. You are my hero. Not only do you live the life I am achieving to get one year *ahem* but you also work in an office just like I do!!! I need to get my "you can do it" attitude adjusted. You should give workshops! :) I married an Irishman - so St. Patrick's day is an absolute must. But, given the middle of the week festivity we had ours yesterday. And he even got to chat with the family in Belfast. What a grand day both you and I had!!! :) If I lived closer I would come and be your apprentice and help with the chores. Then I could learn a thing or three.....

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    1. Mrs DH - Well, wouldn't that be wonderful!

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  2. Aw shucks, girl, you do so much entertaining and cooking I would think you'd never get anxious about how it all would turn out. Wanna know how you can tell when your guests are enjoying themselves? It's when they're all sounding like birds chattering. You've got a magic touch to make everyone feel comfortable and special.

    I think you've got a good plan for starting on this season's chore list. We're kind doing the same . . . starting on the ones that can be done before all the snow/ice/mud has departed the premises. Actually, Wednesday of this week is the start of the season for us. Both hubby and I are tying up loose ends (lots of luck!) today and tomorrow 'cause Wednesday we are starting on The List full steam ahead . . . slowly at first so we don't hurt ourselves.

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    1. Mama Pea - I think the problem is that I still find myself thinking that the entire place has to be spotless and everything perfect - even if it's family. Since I'm still thinking this way at my ripe ole age, I doubt if I can ever overcome it. Once everyone arrives, I'm fine. I had to laugh at your last line! It's so easy to throw yourself into it and regret it the next day!

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  3. sounds like a perfect non st. pattie's day!

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    1. Jaz - I'm all into the non-holidays... :)

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  4. Susan,

    I believe moving your celebration so it's not on St. Patty's Day is a good idea. No one needs to be out caught on the road with to many people drinking.

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    1. Sandy - That is so true. I am always so relieved to make it home in one piece.

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  5. That sounds awesome. We have Irish in our ancestry, and I kind of want to do something for St.Patrick's Day but it's going to be a stormy day here. In the very least I wish I could get a McDonald's Shamrock Shake, but where I live they don't have them. (Not in the little towns. I'd have to travel an hour or so away to a bigger town). At least I can wear my shamrock earrings!

    I know what you mean about cleaning house for when guests come over. Since we moved into a much smaller house, cleaning it isn't such a chore anymore come holiday gatherings. It's not so overwhelming as before. (Yes, now I'm wearing my Pollyanna glasses. Lol! I miss having a bigger house, but it really is less stressful these days come family gathering time).

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

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    1. Kristin - Happy St Patrick's Day! I was thrilled that it was overcast - you're less likely to notice the half-inch layer of dog nose goop on the windows when the sun is not out... :)

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  6. I loved this post...such a typical winter/spring look into things broken....it is bizarre what happens under deep blanket of snow! As to entertaining...we have not moved,,,yet even now I dread and obsess about entertaining Ralph's family.....

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  7. Fiona - And, as you well know, there are many, many things needing repair under the snow that I'm not even aware of yet! You should get a pardon for a while - after all, you have to settle in, which takes years.... :)

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  8. Ah spring. After a winter of seemingly little to do, spring opens the floodgates of projects! I thought I was overwhelmed but it sounds like your list tops mine!

    We've not had much snow to deal with but the rain has kept the ground muddy. After two days of blissfully warm temperatures and low humidity, I'm going to blitz the garden with seeds in hopes of getting all my early spring planting done this morning, before it rains again!

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  9. You need a personal assistant! Maybe you can declare yourself a doctor and grab an intern. I'm glad the day ended well. Dinner sounds delicious. :o)

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