springtime work days

The last two days have been glorious here, which means everything that we have been waiting for nice weather, is now at the top of the to do list. Which...is everything on a farm. I am going to write out the following because I think it's remarkable and needs to be documented. But I also want you to know that these long days are not the norm all year long. But in the springtime, when a nice day rolls around, they are actually pretty typical.

So yesterday I woke up with a shot. I was seriously excited for the day because I knew how much we wanted to get done, and the sun was out and I felt happy to finally be working. I started the day by clearing off the kitchen counter and then we all headed to the garden to plant the starts we had begun in March under grow lights. We planted 17 tomatoes, 5 kale, 5 broccoli, 5 egg plant and 5 jalapenos.
(Yesterday was the last day I'll wear my overalls before baby. I couldn't button a thing!) At 11:30 I took Ivar, Elsie and Hattie to Ivar's Art Show where he stood up front and told about his favorite art piece he created and what he liked about it. Rory stayed home with Alden napping and to be here when the guys from Lampert's arrived with all of the sheet rock for the upstairs of the barn. Four guys (Rory included) loaded it off the truck and to the top of the barn and it looked terribly hot and exhausting. I brought them water when we got home.
Then Rory began moving woodchips around with the kubota, bringing piles up to the house, dropping piles by all of the berries and in the walk ways. Meanwhile I listened to Alden scream, "Daddy! Bota! Tractor! Daddy! Bota!" And then I pruned the raspberries. Next Rory and I spread out the wood chips with rakes and then lay down black plastic sheeting on half of the garden, after weeding it...which was a huge job. I made a fast dinner of rice and chili beans (a family favorite and the easiest ever..) and our good friends came by on their ATV. Rory began building a new chicken tractor, as our old one was leveled by an oak tree during the storm last fall. He came in the house to eat rice and beans for maybe 8 minutes. The man just needed calories and to get back at it.

He continued to build the chicken tractor (it is time to get the 60 chicks in our garage out of our garage. They are ready to free range!) while I weeded the kitchen garden. This was another huge job (every inch was covered in weeds!) but I kept thinking I should just push through because soon we will have bugs, and it's just so much better to weed without mosquitoes. So I did.
Rory came in for family worship and we sang and read and prayed and then he went to get non-oxygenated gas for the John Deere and then to Menards to get more black plastic for the garden. All four kids got baths/showers and I got everyone to bed just in time for Rory to text, "Are you ready?!!"

Because even though it was 8:25, we still had to put the fence up around our garden! He zoomed up the drive and picked me up for a ride to the barn. At this point he handed me a box of dots, my favorite candy. That was a good move. We pounded in t-posts as the sun began to set, lay down another length of black plastic and then, in the light of the truck headlights, we attached reused chicken wire to each t-post. It was terribly tedious in the dark. And because it had been used before every length was off and made for a lot of guess work. And it took a long time. And I ate the whole box of dots.

But then at 10:26 we were done. I came back in the house and decided to blog. I don't really get that part either. But I think I had wanted to do that all day, so I was just going to make it work. And then I took a shower, read a book and went to bed at midnight, only to be awakened many times by a screaming Elsie who kept waking up with leg cramps. But eventually we all slept. And you know what? I woke up this morning ready to hit it again! I have no idea why. Or how. But today we went right back at it.

I have another laundry list from today, but I'll spare you. Mostly I just wanted this recorded, because one day Rory and I will read this and I'll say, "Good Grief! We did all that and I was 29 weeks pregnant!" And then we'll shake our heads and wonder how we did it...

And future self, I don't really know what to tell you. Except that many, many times a day I say aloud, "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength." And I believe it with my whole heart.

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