Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Well Spent Afternoon

Admittedly I've been running around like the proverbial chicken with my head cut off lately. Well, you all know what it's like this time of year. The garden is falling apart (held together only by the heavy network of weeds), and there is food preserving to do nearly every day. And, oh yes, there are the everyday little challenges of Life with which to deal.

But I took part of the day off yesterday and drank. Okay, I had help with the drinking. Pleasant help at that.

My friend, Jen, is currently in the area with her two kids visiting her mom and dad who both live in the county. This is kind of a big deal because Jen and her family live in Cairo, Egypt.

Jen is a published author who writes romance and women's fiction. Her fourth book has just become available, and she kindly left me with a copy yesterday.

Her previous books are (in order of appearance) Here To Stay, One Crazy Summer, and All the Way Home. I started reading Anxiety Separation when I got in bed last night, but of course fell asleep almost immediately. Please understand this is no reflection on Jen's writing or my interest in the book. It's just something that happens every time I stop moving these days.

Back to the afternoon yesterday. I had invited Jen to stop over for some wine and conversation on the deck. Turns out our hot, humid weather has broken (at least for a few days) and with the stiff wind and the deck being in the afternoon shade, I decided to move the table and chairs down on the lawn in a sunny, semi-protected spot. (Why I didn't remember to take pictures yesterday when everyone was here can only be attributed to my failing brain cells. Or perhaps the good bottle of wine. One of the two. Take your choice.)

The kids (10 year old girl and 8 year old boy) weren't so interested in our wine and conversation, so my hubby asked them if they would like to help him mulch our fruit trees. I wish you could have seen those kids go to work. Hubby was cutting overgrown poultry pasture area, loading the collected clippings into a garden cart and a wheelbarrow. Each of the kids then pushed a heavy load into the orchard area (not a short distance!), spread the mulch very neatly under the trees, and went back for another load. (Why oh why did I not think to take pictures??!)

These two little urchins happily made trip after trip after trip, stopping only when it was time to leave. Talk about delightful helpers! The boy asked if he could stay and work some more. I told him when he turns 16, he can come and work for the whole summer. His mother asked, "How 'bout when he's 14?" Both kids went home sweaty and dirty, and I'm guessing they might have gone to bed early last night and slept very soundly.

This little troupe has to leave this coming Sunday to go back home across the ocean to their husband and dad. We've managed to get together three times during their six-week visit which everyone agrees has rocketed by much too quickly.

My husband told me last night it was good to see me sitting down in the middle of the day visiting and having a glass (or two or three or . . . ) of wine. I know I enjoyed myself.

Maybe I just need to line up a schedule of people to come in once (or twice or three times?) a week to sit and visit and drink with me. I undoubtedly wouldn't get as much accomplished, but I'd probably be a lot more relaxed.


  1. Great idea - and, imagine, kids enjoying hard work! Will wonders never cease. Pencil me in for next week....;o)

  2. Hee, hee - pencil me in for the week after that. Glad you got some time to relax. :>)

  3. Conny - So, like, you can't make it next week???

  4. Well you can line me up! I'm thinking over the winter (hopefully) then with no garden chores we don't have to stop at one bottle LOL... drunken quilting? The beginning sewer that I am... I could "help" and end up sewing my finger to one of your quilts.. a one of a kind! Glad you had a nice afternoon, will have to look into the books this fall!

  5. Erin - There is a well-known, old quilt pattern called "Drunkard's Path." I think we could handle that one, don't you?

    I was with a group of hand workers years ago and one gal who was doing some hand quilting stitched her quilt to her jeans. We never let her forget that one.

    Word Verification: noweed. (Only booze.)

  6. Cheap labor...gotta love it! Who knew? Glad you got to take a break!

  7. Apple Pie Gal - Ya know, given the right circumstances kids really do love to help. And what's better for them (or US?) than the satisfaction of a job well done? Even after doing a yucky job like cleaning out the chicken coop, doncha feel so good? (Shoot! We should have had them clean out the chicken coop!)

  8. It was nice of your husband to keep the little ones busy so you and your friend could visit(drink in peace!). Why do we let life get so busy and forget to do things for ourselves sometimes? I'm glad you took time for yourself. Now get back in the garden, dammit!
    Just kidding........

  9. Sue - Sigh. Why is it that the garden (especially this time of year!) waits for no man? (Or most of the time, no woman.)

    I admittedly may not be very well adjusted(!), but I find it extremely hard to "take time for myself" when there is this endless list of responsibilities that needs to be done. And so often it seems if I don't tend to it today, it's a worse, more time consuming job tomorrow! Does anyone else feel this way? Somehow, taking time for myself is the easiest thing to put off. (Okay, so I'm in a slightly grouchy mood this morning. Wanna make somethin' of it?? And, yes, it's a direct result of my mongongous list for the day.)

  10. I'm glad you got to have some fun! That table and chairs look nice and cozy in their new spot, and what pretty apple trees you have!

  11. Patty - I truly enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction out of just about everything I do on our little homestead, so it's not that I'm lacking fun or good feelings. It's just that there is SO MUCH of it to do, and most of it is physically taxing! But you know what I'm talking about. Sp it's good to do some sit down, non-work, unnecessary things now and then. It's all supposed to be about balance, right? Right!

  12. Sounds like you had a fabulous time!:) How is the hand doing since the bite?

  13. Stephanie - Thanks for asking! The swelling is almost gone now. I'm just getting a blog post ready showing pictures of my hand!

  14. Thanks for the book recommendation. Hopefully I can find it at my local public library.

  15. I was beginning to feel neglected that none of my visit warranted any pictures, but the wine and the yummy nibbles *were* very distracting :)

    I had so much fun that afternoon! You'll never know how much I enjoyed finally getting to meet you in person. As for the children, they are both ready to move in with you - their very highest compliment.

    I am not worried that you fell asleep over the book - I do that frequently myself. It happens to busy women. I did find it amusing that you reversed the title in your post though!

    See you next summer!!

  16. Jen - Good grief. I so wish you had felt comfortable enough to say something to the effect of, "Uh, how 'bout getting your camera? Wouldn't pictures of this afternoon make a great blog post?" Duh. Obviously, I needed help! My only excuse was the wine. And I'm sticking to it. Hic.

    As far as my switching the words of your latest book title . . . "Anxiety Separation" rather than the correct "Separation Anxiety" . . . I think that definitely needs to be analyzed by a professional.

    P.S. We'd take your kids anyday!

  17. did I hear that Mama Pea was taking kids? Sign mine up!

  18. Erin - Don't make that offer too many times. Both your boys would be welcome here!

    However, I have a feeling that any/all of the kiddlies would spend about two days here and want to return to the wonderful families they have. Erin and Jen, you're both doing the hardest job there is on earth: raising good kids.