Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let the Day Begin

editors note: This post was largely written in May.  For some reason, it was not completed, nor was it posted.  But, it is still interesting, if only to give Tammy and I perspective on how things are different in October!

This blog post title references a great tune by the Call *and* it's appropriate for the topic.  Nice when that happens.

The last several mornings, Tammy and I have taken note that our days come in sections with their own characteristics.  In particular, we have noted that it must be May.  Why?  Because Part the First is fairly long because the sun gets up pretty early and because we often feel like we've put in a fairly full day before Part the Second begins.

Part the First  also known as Chore You Do!
Every morning finds us doing chores.  And, as the season gets into May, the chore list gets quite long.  Another thing that comes with May?  Work crews and other business.  As a result, Tammy and I try to get a long list of things done that need to be done before these people arrive on the farm.  This includes dealing with the critters, watering plants and preparing for the tasks workers might be doing on the farm that day.

Part the Second aka Glad You Could Come, Now Get To Work!
Well, we're not quite that mean on the farm.  Although, I have to admit that sometimes the arrival of people to do work on the farm is difficult for us.  Don't get me wrong - we're glad they're there.  But, we've already put in a good bit of effort.  And, as odd as it might seem, we often want to accomplish things before people arrive, and we never get it all done.  So, there is some level of disappointment there too.

It might make sense to take a break just prior to the arrival of workers.  But, that never happens as we try to get "just one more thing" done before they get there.  Morning sessions are often the most productive - unless it's a Tuesday or Thursday.  These are CSA days and we pretty much pick, clean and pack after chores until we leave.

Intermission (Lunch)
One of the compensations for work on the farm is lunch.  Food is good.  But it leads to..

Part the Third aka You've Run One Race, Here's Another
We are certain that the lunch breaks are an important part of the day.  In fact, Tammy and I often eat dinner so late during the growing season that we try to eat less then.  So, lunch was our big meal.  That means we have to keep moving even though our stomachs are full and our minds and bodies tell us we've already worked a full day.

That said, the afternoon session usually goes to about 4:00 or 4:30, which is our usual quitting time for our workers.  Tuesday and Thursday afternoons usually kick into a higher gear to get everything ready so we can roar out of here in the truck as close to on time as we can for the CSA.  For Monday and Wednesday, it requires a bit more mental effort to get everyone really moving for the second race.  And, if it is going to be warm, it will be warmest during this time slot.

If Tammy and I are feeling energetic enough, we might work harder to give shorter tasks in the afternoon that can keep people motivated.  Either that, or we find shorter term goals that can be reached with smaller projects.  When we aren't feeling energetic enough, everyone just muddles through it all!

Part the Fourth aka So, This is Sitting?
When the workers leave, Tammy and I usually take a break.  Not always, but usually.  Obviously, we make an exception to this when we are not at a stopping point.  And, of course, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we are taking a break by riding in the truck as we go to a Farm Share CSA distribution.

Speaking of the truck drive...  Do you know how hard it is NOT to doze if you've been in motion nearly all day and you finally find yourself sitting still?  Of course, if we still haven't calculated all the numbers for a distribution yet, we'll still have adrenalin going.

Part the Fifth aka Revival
 If it is a CSA day, we have to unload, set up and get on with the distribution.  If it isn't a CSA day, we will usually take to the fields or work on other projects after we have a quick snack during the fourth part.  Once we get moving, this isn't really all that bad.  But, it is often difficult to convince yourself to go back out there once you've given your body permission to sit for a few moments.

The Grand Finale
May is particularly bad, but it happens throughout the year.  We often work until the sun is going down, then, we have to do chores.  It is often best to clean up tools and start with the animal chores before it gets too dark, but we don't always get them started in time.  We also admit that the evening chores are the ones we come to resent at times.  After all, we've worked hard all day, can't the chickens lock THEMSELVES in at night?  No?  Oh, well, ok then.

One thing we could work on for our own mental health is trying to find a way to end with something that reaches a point of completion OR something that we can look at for a second and feel some pride in our work.  It always makes the chores easier if we're feeling good about what we've done for the day.  But, it doesn't always work out that way.  That's just how life is.

We often follow this up with a dinner, unless we integrated one into Parts the Fourth or Fifth.  Then, there is often a little office work (like typing a blog post).  Sometimes we will play a quick game or watch part of a movie.  Then, we go to bed so we can get up the next morning! 

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