At least, that's the phrase that kept going through my head when I collapsed into bed last night after an exhausting and lonely day on the homestead. Mike was teaching, and the kids were at school from early morning until well after sundown. Jonathan and Katherine are taking classes at the same junior college where Mike works, so they share a ride most days, which means there are some days this semester when it's just little ol' me out here taking care of everything.
Yesterday was complicated by the fact that the barn needed to be mucked out, and I did a bunch of little things that usually get put off until "later." When the chores around here are split up between four people, it's really not a lot of work. But when the work of four people must be done by one, it's a completely different story. Everyone's regular chores take me about two hours in the morning and three hours in the evening. And then I have to make cheese and do whatever additional work needs to be done on any particular day. Yesterday, I spent about nine hours working outside, and I didn't even look at the garden.
I kept telling myself that I'd take care of the garden today when Mike and Margaret are home. Well, Mike has off-farm errands that have taken him away all afternoon, and Margaret doesn't have time to come home for the day from U of I. She doesn't have any Thursday classes this semester, so was hoping to come home to help with the tomato harvest, since she loves fresh salsa. So, I have to get out to the garden today and take care of whatever needs attention. I'm afraid there are a number of things that are overdue -- okra, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, just to name a few off the top of my head.
As we move into fall, things will get a little easier, because there will be less to do. But if I have many more days like yesterday, I will seriously be looking at what can be eliminated from the homestead. After eight years, I thought we pretty much had everything under control, but then I remembered that the only thing that's constant is change.