Sunday, May 17, 2015

Not gettin' it all done!

It's like this every year, but I just never get used to it.  I never get all (or most, or a respectable "also ran" amount) of the spring work done in the spring when it needs to be done.  This year is no exception, but some reason I feel worse about this year than most.

There are some excuses, which I'll share with you, but excuses or not there's a lot of work to do to get caught up with the season.
  1. Busy at the day job: I am very blessed to have a day job I enjoy, that pays well, and will leave me with a reasonable retirement, barring the economic fizzledown we all worry about.  (Being a geezer in training, I'm old enough, and blessed enough to work for a company that still has a pension plan.)  That being said I work 9 1/2 to 10 hour days plus a 45-50 minute commute each way.  All that takes a big chunk out of the day.
  2. Friday evening is date night where De and I usually go out, have dinner, and enjoy being a couple.  Takes an evening away from the homestead, but we're sure not giving that up.  
  3. Busy with the public service events.  Regular readers will know I run my county's Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).  In addition to training to provide disaster relief and emergency communications, we work a lot of public service events.  Most of them are benefit bike rides, runs, and that sort of thing that are spread out over large areas.  The organizers of those events like to run them in the spring when its not too hot and not too cold.  The result is that more that 1/2 of the Saturdays in April and May are committed to service events.  That takes a big chunk out of the weekends.  We just finished the last scheduled event for this spring yesterday.
  4. Lesson Planning for Church.  I teach classes at our Church about every other quarter.  I do my own lesson planning and generation rather than teach out of study guide one might buy at a Christian bookstore.  It makes for far better classes, but takes 3-4 hours per week, usually Saturday afternoon.  I've been on a spring and fall rotation lately.
  5. Haven't been the poster child for good health over the winter.  I'm much better now, but am still building up the endurance.
All that being said, it's not like nothing gets done.  The most important things get the attention they require - like the septic system in my last post - and everything else gets done later.  Usually.  Most of the time.  (Remember that 'later' is a relative term...)

Here's some of the good and the bad over the last few days:

Got the lawn mowed.  I've always considered the bulk of my lawn to be a pasture that doesn't have critters grazing on it yet, so it never looks pristine.  I do mow it though, and this week I got it done. We'll... most of it... part of it.... OK, maybe 20% of it... sorta.  I finally got the deck on the tractor this week but its slow going because the grass is a bit long.  Well... quite long...  Ok, at about 18 inches it's the envy of the friends who DO have critters on pasture.  I'll get it all done soon...  eventually... one day... yeah....
At least we can get around the coop, barn and gardens.
Some of the bad:  The garden still needs "a little work".  On the plus side, there are stinging nettles and dandelions that can be harvested for teas along the way.
Zyla the Dog finds a cool place amongst the beds to rest.

We did get a bit more of the garden planted this weekend!  Yes, yes... It was the lettuce, spinach, and strawberries that should have been in a month ago, but at least it's in.  Next weekend we should get the rest in.  And the lawn mowed...  And the trees worked up...  Yeah.....  (sigh....)
I have my usual crew of helpers as I work in some compost.

It was a bit of challenge, but De kept the "help" away as she planted.
If you look close, you can see the bird netting we put over the beds to keep the girls from scarfing down the seed

And we got out first harvest of the year!  De grabbed some rhubarb and made us a rhubarb-apple custard desert.  She is a most excellent cook, especially when she has fresh ingredients to work with.  It was great!

I had about given up on the rhubarb plot, but we got just enough let it go another year where it is now.

Strawberries in but... Um...  Still more work to do in the field stone rock garden, too.  Herbs mostly.

Finally, A couple of detail shots of the decorations in the strawberry bed. They were Mother's day gifts from Daughter#2 and the granddaughters, are made of materials meant for outdoor use.

From Heaven at 6 years old

Harmony at 4 years old

All in all,  we are making progress and still feel blessed that we have a homestead to care for.  More to come soon.  Sooner than last time....  I hope...  Yeah...

Col. 1:9-12,



  1. We all want to throw our heads back this time of year and yell, "Stop world! I need time to catch up!!" No matter how we try to plan ahead to get what we can done ahead, life intervenes, the occasional monkey wrench gets thrown into the mix or we get sidelined by a glitch such as the health problems you endured this winter or a fall down the basement stairs . . . which (ahem) I don't want to talk about. :o/ I could tell you it will all go much more smoothly and you'll have time to do everything you want once you retire and don't have to spend so much time working off the homestead. But that would be a lie. Hubby and I have more (much more) to fill our days now than we did before we "retired!" Keeping the right attitude and outlook (as you do) and being blessed as so many of us are keeps us battling the weeds and mowing the grass that needs to be baled!

  2. As I keep reminding you, my wonderful husband, we are way ahead of the game with the garden. There have been many years when we didn't even start planting until June and still had a bountiful harvest. You've been a bit hard on yourself this year.

  3. Too bad you can't teach those chickens to mow--that would free up some time!

  4. Can definitely relate! But you seem extra busy, and all with excellent things. Having goals and prioritizing always helps us. It doesn't help get much done, but at least we know the important stuff is getting tended to.

  5. My garden isn't planted, the goat sheds still have their winter pack, half of my mowing isn't done, and I don't have a job or church lessons to blame it on. Hang in there!

  6. Mama Pea - I'm not actually THAT much farther behind than usual, but it just feels worse this year. The 'interventions' have just kept coming. I'm hoping this weekend we'll get mostly caught up. My Dad said the same thing about being retired. He said time and time again he couldn't figure out how he ever had time to go to work.

    De - I know. Every year I hope to do a little better, but stuff happens!!

    Sue - I keep trying!! We just need to get past that whole 'opposable thumb' thing.

    Leigh - I do try to focus on the important stuff, which is why the lawn is not mowed, the trees are not worked up, and the tower is still not up.

    Hoosier Girl - I'm hangin'!! I just gotta keep chipping away at it all.