Friday, September 04, 2015


Before breakfast, I set the cheepers free, clean their coop, fill their food and water containers. I feed Isie boy twice (he keeps pestering for something better than cat food), water the pots outside and wash the car (which has picked up resin from the willow and looks terribly dirty, to say nothing of the swarms of yellow jackets it attracts). I sort and chop tomatoes for the freezer and pick fresh flowers for the farmhouse. And then there is the usual morning stuff: put away dishes, tidy the living room, sweep up the mudroom. I consider doing spot weeding outside, but run out of time.

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You mean there's another way out of this coop? But I'm scared to jump! (I pick her up and help her down.)

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(meanwhile, the big girls want their reward for leaving the little girls alone)

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(out back: late summer greens and yellows)

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(the barn, from out back, where the goldenrod grow like crazy)

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(Scotch navigates the flowers)

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(in late summer/early fall, you really love the nasturtium)

Breakfast on Fridays has to be prompt, because Ed has his meetings and I need to be at the grocery store (shopping for the week) early if I'm to make it before noon to Snowdrop's home. (Friday is my shortest day with her -- just from noon 'til five.)

And then at breakfast, before we get to that peaceful part where we listen to the noises of birds and cheepers and evaluate the chance of rain for the next day or two, I tell Ed that it feels to me like the work-play balance at the farmette needs a tweak. Since he has stepped up to transition his company to the next stage of leadership (meaning ever since he has had to go to the "office" multiple times a week), he has slumped into recovery mode when he is at the farmette. Understandable. But the farmette actually requires quite a bit of maintenance work and it is at its best when we both roll up our sleeves and get to it. (To say nothing of projects, such as the porch door, a broken bike, a weedy raspberry patch, unclipped grape vines that languish as the summer draws to a close.)

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Our challenge isn't that I work harder than Ed (though this week, that thought has crossed my mind). It's that I tolerate unfinished business and an unkempt look far less well and so I am forever compelled to get to it, even as he is happy to let things go, in favor of, say, reading a good book, or learning something new about machines, or even just reading endless articles on the Internet. (He has always been a crazy reader of everything and anything and the advent of the Internet simply means that he no longer has to rely on ancient periodicals and cereal boxes to tide him over when his stash of more appropriate material is low.)

Isie boy joins us for this meal (he is permitted access to the porch, so long as one of us is there to let him in and out) and we do spend a few minutes sitting back and enjoying this beautiful summer-like morning. I don't really expect that we will ever perfectly balance our work and play routines. And in reality, the pressure to get things done will diminish as we slide into the winter season. It's as if nature is telling us -- I got a plan for the likes of you (Ed and I are so very different in so many ways!): I'm going to let you both off the hook and give you time to meditate or chase mice or read cereal boxes inside, as I freeze the world outside and give everyone a pause.

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At the young family's home, Snowdrop continues her run of good days.

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I feed her spinach and pumpkin. You're thinking -- bleh! She's thinking -- what does the label say?

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She chews on Wisconsin...

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She chews on pretty much everything (upper teeth, coming in!). And then she hears a familiar voice. Ah, mommy's home!

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We go out for a late walk, the three of us.

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And after, I let Snowdrop do a delicious jumping session (oh, does she love this!) in the jumparoo...

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...before handing her over to her mommy.

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Bye, sweet little girl. See you Sunday!