July is going to be a bit overwhelming for me at work, so I wanted to take a few days off last week while I could at the end of June. I had very high hopes for my 5 days off and lists and lists of plans for my time at the farm. Brian will tell you I often over-estimate what’s possible to complete in an allotted time frame and when it was time to leave on Friday evening — after 3 days of work on the farm — I was in a funk.
While it was thrilling that we finally had a flushing toilet, I’d hoped to have the kitchen and bathroom clean by that time, baseboards installed and painted in the two bedrooms we’d finished the floors in and furniture in those rooms, with the early stages of decorating. None of those things were completed and I was pretty cranky about it.
Cleaning the kitchen and everything in it just took far longer than I’d ever expected. And as we dug through closets and cabinets, we kept finding items that belonged in the kitchen, plus we kept dumping other random items in the kitchen, so it was hard to work around them.
Luckily, my fantastic co-worker, Alicia, reminded me that we really haven’t been working on the house for very long, we’d had a graduation to plan for and host and we both have full-time jobs. She told me to cut myself some slack. It’s what I needed to hear.
I attacked some weeds in my garden, apologized to Bri for my surliness, then worked with him to prioritize the projects for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday morning I was refreshed, planning to getting things done and looking forward to fireworks and a first night in the house. After dealing with the sewer and well problems, sanding, scrubbing and wiping, I decided that the house needed a bit of beauty in it. I stopped along the highway and cut some alfalfa and sweet clover from the ditches and wandered over to a low spot in the yard for cattails and long grasses. I knew that all of my farming relatives and in-laws would probably be amused by me decorating with “weeds,” but they made me smile each time I looked at them.
And by the time Brian arrived back on the farm that evening (after running back to town to pick up our sons, who’d worked Saturday), I was happy with the day’s accomplishments: Brian had stained the 2 bedrooms, I’d installed the baseboards in another (though not the second one I’d hoped to), nearly finished cleaning the kitchen (there’s still a couple small items to deal with), scrubbed the bathroom floor and emptied the bathroom cabinets, made the beds and brought up a few nightstands and lamps.
As Bri grilled our dinner and the boys began lighting some fireworks, we enjoyed our first sunset and the quiet of the evening. Four days of exhausting physical work were just what I needed to prepare mentally for the busy month ahead at work.