Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Over the years, my tolerance for stress has plummeted. Twenty years ago I could send the kids off to school, attend court hearings, meet with students, prepare lectures, cook solid dinners, run kids between their various after school things, run PTA meetings, all in one day -- run run run and think nothing of it. Now, pack my day with a constant stream of work hours and I feel like I've run a marathon. (I'm writing this in the middle of the night because I am too tired to sleep. My ultimate measure of stress.)

I could never be president of a country.

There is, running parallel to my own work issues, the matter of the porch roof. Watching Ed labor through the various problems that keep surfacing is hard. (As is worrying that he'll come crashing down, especially as the boards are pried loose and there's not a steady base beneath him.) Of course, right now, my role is little more than that of being the worrier and, too, a sounding board for his concerns. The latest:  how am I going to get these eight food boards down from there? They're too heavy to throw!

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We talk through every such problem that crops up. This morning, for example, after breakfast (it's October and we're still picking strawberries from the garden!)...

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...we watched a youtube flim clip of shattering tempered glass. Did you know that you could throw a baseball at a sheet of tempered glass and nothing would crack? But if you tapped an edge with a hammer it would break into a million pieces? This little insight caused Ed to completely redesign (today!) the clamping down process, so that drilling in screws doesn't inadvertently "tap" and therefore shatter the sheets of glass. Those strips of wood he prepared all weekend long? No good. New ones with a protective lip for the screws will have to be made.

The farmette is a hub of work.

(And today, Farmer Lee's "sister" came to dig out the last of the beets and carrots on the strip of land she uses at the rear of the farmette. All around me, there is hard work.)

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The question you might well ask is -- how long? How long before I catch up with work and allow myself to slow down? Before the roof project is done? Before the rhythm becomes one that is more in line with what I would call normal?

Actually -- a week. Maybe two.

The glass for the roof is being delivered tomorrow. A period of rain means we can't do much with it until Sunday. But on Sunday and Monday of next week, Ed and I will team up and haul the stuff up and he'll presumably not shatter any of it drilling in the screws and by mid-week, if all goes well, it should be done.

My work -- once I catch up with the voluminous readings, should, too, settle down. And, too, I have that mid-semester break to look forward to. It's toward the end of next week!

So just a little bit more.

In the meantime, despite the pace of work and worry, there is much to admire and to love here: the farmette gardens for example.

Even the coral bells are still blooming.

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The day is so warm, so very warm! I've not used the car at all to get to classes this semester. (This is a good thing for many reasons, not  the least of which is that it's parked right by the newly discovered wasp nest.) We move fluidly in and out of the farmhouse -- it's all one expanse of summer-like air: indoors, outdoors, no difference at all.

Yeah, much to admire and love. Farmer Lee's fields across the road.

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And the gentle evening ride home from work. Past the lesser lake, where the waters are so still!

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Evening. I cook a throw together supper, as Ed continues to rip boards off the roof. Steady hours of work. Punctuated by meals...

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...and sleep. Eventually. When the world stops spinning and the stillness of the night and the hoot of the owl out the window erase the last traces of the tumult inside.