Friday, September 6, 2013

Whack-A-Mole Summer

My daughter is going home with a friend after school, to stay the night.  My husband is on a golf trip.  For the next 28 hours, it's me, the dogs, the horses, and the farm.

Although I'm pretty sure that Mack, the guy who mows for us, will stop by for a chat.  He usually times it for when I've just gotten fully immersed in my novel--the one I'm writing, not reading.  It's uncanny.

Anyhow, on the drive home from taking my daughter to school (we live in the county, but pay nominal tuition so she can attend the city high school--only downside is, there is no bus) I began to contemplate my to-do list.  It's scary.  I've got two saddles sitting in my office right now: one needs to be listed for sale on eBay, and the other needs to be mailed to Brook Hill.  I've got two trumpets (don't ask) in the garage:  they need to be sent to Haiti, but first my son tells me I need to take them to the music shop for an "acid bath."  Whatever that is.  I've got a tack room that needs a total overhaul, a trailer tack room ditto, a wholly neglected orchard (the bonus is that the deer will eat the apples if we don't).  On a more urgent note I'm supposed to be reviewing the minutes from the last BFIA board meeting and setting the agenda for the next one.  It's time for the annual stash toss.  (That's yarn.)  I'm hard at work on one novel, but three or four others are pounding on the closed doors inside my head, trying to get out.  Spiders are spinning webs all over the barn, old tack is mildewing, the loft needs sweeping out, bad.

Did I mention I'm doing two loads of laundry a day just for our incontinent dog?  Since, due to congestive heart failure, mitral valve prolapse, and the medication he's on, the dog can no longer make it through the night without peeing, I've put some old towels into his crate.  It's a mark of how senile he's gotten that he doesn't mind peeing in his crate--in his younger years he would have barked insanely to be taken out at 2am.  Now he just soaks the towels.  So every morning I wash them, in hot water, by themselves.  Then throughout the day I end up finding puddles--sorry--and I deal with each by a process I may patent, when all this is over, which involves three shop towels.  I make a pile of shop towels and wash those, in hot water, by themselves, at night.  I'm mostly just thankful that the dog pees on the tile floor, not my good rugs.

Anyhow, what I realized, coming home, was that I've spent the summer playing Whack-A-Mole.  Everything of complete urgency got done, and very little else.  I paid the bills on time but didn't balance the checkbook.  (Until last week, honey.  We're fine.)  I did laundry, perpetually, but never quite caught up.  We managed to get the living room wall repainted before Sayaka Ganz came to install my two beautiful horse sculptures, my Christmas present from my husband, but we've only gotten the mudroom half repainted--not sure why, the painter has quit showing up, and whenever I ask his boss I get, 'oh, yeah, he'll probably be there tomorrow.'  This means that the shoes and jackets and dog supplies usually in the mud room are now covering the laundry room floor, which begs the question of where to put the dirty laundry.  Just yesterday I realized that the fact that the refrigerator is freezing things despite being on its warmest setting probably means the refrigerator is broken.  The repairman is coming next Thursday.  The milk froze today.

Whack!  The secret, I've learned, is to take it one mole at a time.