Tuesday, August 8, 2006


I had been so excited about the return of my husband, son and daughter. What was I thinking? That I'd suddenly become this woman of leisure? The work load has not returned to pre-trip levels. Part of it is because those who were gone have not gotten back into the swing of chores, and part of it is because I have gained a new perspective of how things should be done. We've also changed a few things around, so that requires new routines.

To add to the confusion, I am starting grad school tomorrow. Sounds crazy, I know, but I am going to work towards a masters degree in communications. Margaret is taking over as farm manager, but of course, I'll still live here, even though my day-to-day involvement will be lessened. I've started a new blog, Mom On Campus, to talk about the challenges of returning to the classroom after a 21-year hiatus -- not to mention the added challenges of having three teenagers and living on a homestead.

Of course, Margaret and I are thrilled to have everyone home. We missed them, and the vacation seems to have done them some good. They seem more energetic and happier. They have even been following Margaret's new schedule without complaining. This morning we worked on cleaning the barn. Does it sound like we spend a lot of time cleaning the barn? It seems like we do! Well, if you think a house gets dirty fast, just imagine having chickens and goats running through your house. It seems nearly impossible to keep the barn clean. Forget clean -- that makes me sound like I have some sort of mental disorder. Our goal is just to be able to find things fairly quickly without stepping on rotten eggs or tripping over used baling twine. Last night, when I was looking for something, I stepped on yet another rotten egg that had been hidden (by a hen, of course) in the straw on the floor. That was the second one this week, and there really is nothing that stinks as much as a rotten egg. Where do those eggs come from? They come from hens who refuse to believe that the chicken house is their home, even though that's where the chicken feed has been for the past year since we built the new chicken house. They insist on hanging out in the barn and continuing to lay eggs here, although since there are no longer any nest boxes, they just lay them in some out-of-the-way place where no one will find them until they rot, and then one day ...

Anyway, they'll be cleaning the barn again tomorrow and the next day. The goal for this week is to get the barn completely cleaned out ... get out all the old straw and hay, all the old eggs, all the used baling twine, all the scraps of lumber, etc. I'll be settling into my new life as a graduate student and teaching assistant. Of course, I'll keep blogging on here, because life goes on whether I'm here all day or not.

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