Thursday, August 15, 2019


Are you part of the work force? Employed outside the home? If so, don't you wish that your vacation  days were more numerous? That you could take a whole month off in the summer and still have a week off for, say, a winter escape, to say nothing of a dozen public holidays in the year and a 35 hour work week? Like those darn vacation grubbing French?

We excel at many many things on this side of the ocean, but we do not excel at being generous to working folk. Most Americans, in my view, do not have enough time off from work.

True, our country men and women do better in job satisfaction than workers in some other countries. A Gallup Poll shows that only 70% of Americans hate their work. I read that in countries of the Mediterranean Basin (esp. the Middle East and North Africa), that number soars to well over 85%. So, perhaps 30% of job-liking people here don't care about the brevity of time away from work. Still, I do think it's awesome that in some places around the globe giving lots of time away from the grind is the norm. Indeed, the law.

It does make for tricky summer travel to those vacation loving countries. Anyone who has been in Paris in August has to say to herself -- where are all the French speaking people? (Answer: by the sea, or visiting New York and northern California.) More restaurants are closed than open. The place feels somehow... quiet.

I'll be in Paris next week and in anticipation of that visit, I decided to call around and check on the annual fermetures (closings), to see what, if anything, is open. What a silly thing to do on August 15th! Those who are not away by the sea, are off for this legal holiday ("Assomption"). A double whammy! Nearly everything was closed today.

Here, at the farmette, we are moving along at our own slow pace. Yes, I'm up early to tend to the animals and flowers...

(a corner of the Big Bed)

farmette life.jpg

(diagonally opposite corner of the Big Bed)

farmette life-25.jpg

(the porch garden, aka the lily bed)

farmette life-10.jpg

(I walked over to the young orchard; the meadow flowers planted by us this year are so pretty!)

farmette life-30.jpg

(and finally, one of the young trees is producing!)

farmette life-34.jpg

(a fast moving humming bird)

farmette life-19.jpg

Ed does have some work related stuff on his plate and so breakfast is a sit down, get up, sit down, get up kind of a deal.

(waiting for him...)

farmette life-51.jpg

And then it's my turn to knock off a few prosaic tasks. I'm a dedicated bookkeeper, counting my pennies diligently, especially before a trip, and I am a committed house tidier too. (Ed likes to do neither of those chores.) So now you know what my day was like.

Still, in the late afternoon, we take out our bikes and ride over to the local farmers market (it's just 3.5 miles each way, but hilly!). We live a stone's throw from the city, but our neighbors have been mostly corn stalks.

farmette life-58.jpg

The ride reminded me of years past, when biking was much more part of our routines. Market, coffee shop, library -- if the weather was decent, there wasn't even a question: we'd bike over to them.

Time is more precious now and in fact, I rarely make it to the Thursday market, sending Ed alone to do the eggs-for-cheese swap. But today, we had time.

farmette life-65.jpg

(returning home, sunflowers in my backpack; Ed's carrying corn and tomatoes in his. And cheese.)

farmette life-84.jpg

A full day. Dappled with sunshine.