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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog

I think you know you've found your place on earth when it's both so hard to be away from it and when you feel like you're not there enough. Such is our case here at Swamp River Ridge.

A week ago Thursday, Tom had a meeting at a casino 3 1/2 hours south of us that required an overnight stay (our rez here is considering installing the same gaming system that they have). That following weekend (last weekend), I had a baby shower to attend in the Cities. So, on Friday evening, like those proverbial ships passing in the night, we met for dinner (and dog transferring) at a restaurant that was both on his way home and mine heading out.

Tom then proceeded on home where he worked his rear off all weekend getting a huge amount of insulating done on the interior walls of the house as well as a biiig chunk of electrical work finished. My trip to Minneapolis wasn't quite as smooth and seemed like a comedy of errors . . . starting out with the motel losing my reservation which prevented me from getting into my room until 1:20 AM!

It was a whirlwind weekend to be sure with visits to three other groups of friends besides the baby shower. Then, of course, there was the stop for 600# of grain on the way home plus at least 100# of organic beef for both my folks and the local whole foods co-op. (Yes, I'd driven the "farm truck" to the Cities which is fun and boss-of-the-road feeling when you're shouldering your way through traffic on the freeway . . . but not so fun - okay, downright impossible - when you're trying to run a few errands in the hoity-toity area of 50th and France on a Saturday afternoon!)

By the time I was 3 hours south of home at 7:30 PM Sunday night, the weekend had caught up with me, and I felt pretty darn horrible. And, to top it off, the supplies I had to buy at Menard's and Home Depot were just out of reach . . . the stores having closed at 7:00 on Sundays in the winter. Over the phone, Tom and I decided that another night in a motel room was in order for me.

So, short story long, a "quick weekend away" turned into a much longer affair than expected. And, by the time all the running around was done when the stores did open Monday morning, I didn't get home until 4:00 that afternoon. Poor Tom was exhausted, having done little but work on the house all weekend . . . in addition to all the regular chores. Although, I was given a good bit of selfish satisfaction when he exclaimed, "Running a homestead is hard work!" ;)

So now, we have just ended another work week, and Tom spent his Saturday plowing the 8-mile-round-trip road and insulating yet another room (the library, this time). I seem to be fighting some kind of bug and was very miserable on Thursday. I bounced back enough to make it up to Canada with a girlfriend yesterday (couldn't stay away from that new sushi restaurant!), but I decided to take the day off today.

For me, "taking the day off" is more of a state-of-mind than anything. It's not that I lay around and eat bon-bons all day (although I did stay in bed until a decadent 10:00 this morning, thanks to Tom minding the dogs. And, I do allow myself that bon-bon option.) BUT, instead of feeling like I HAVE to do the things that are staring me in the face (cleaning the refrigerator, doing the dishes), I do the things I WANT to do. So, after my lie-in this morning, I attacked the sunroom . . . something I've been wanting to do for ages. I potted some new plants that needed to go in there, I got all the plants watered, I re-arranged some furniture, I vacuumed, I cleaned. Basically, I got it looking the way I wanted (relatively speaking, since the house is still far from being finished). Then, I sat down to work on packaging up some of my Chicken Mama Original cards. The old whatever-this-is hit me again then, and I quickly faded. I only made it about 1/4 of the way into town tonight when I asked Tom if he would drive. He said I passed out (asleep) almost immediately. Obviously, I'm fighting some bug. Anyway, town running and showers at my folks' filled our time tonight. Now we are home, it's past our bedtime, and I still have outside chores to do.

How's that for "a day off"?

And, I guess the other point that I was trying to make is that even though a person has to get out into the world to "live life", I sure would like to have a stretch of time - say 3 or 4 weeks - when I wouldn't have to leave Swamp River Ridge. I could get some things done that HAVE to be done, and then, ideally, I could feel good enough about taking some time to do more of the WANT-to things. Ah, well . . . all in due time, right?! :)

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