Sunday, March 16, 2008
Sunday art and inspiration....
"Tending the Herd" by Julien Dupré
Picture from Rehs Gallery.
We're in mid-March and it feels cold like this picture. The skies are more gray than blue and the water goes from slush to ice over night. We get mere glimpses of spring with a day's warm wind and an afternoon of glowing sun, but as soon as the sun sets over the horizon, the deep chill comes on and it feels much more like winter than spring. Technically, by the calendar, it is still winter until March 20th when we can officially declare it Spring. However, I know very well after living on the northern prairie these 26 years, that the snow and cold are far, far from gone whether the calendar says it or not. Some of our biggest snowstorms of the year have come in April and May.
This time of year my mud room lives fully up to its name. Between thawing and freezing, the mud tracks in on overshoes and boots. Why is it that most boots today have that waffle pattern on the bottom? It's a homemaker's nemesis. How I wish for the smooth, crepe rubber sole that does not soak up the mud between the traction, only to dry and crumble out again . We all try very hard to stomp off our boots outdoors before entering the house, but it is inevitable that mud will come in. Not only mud, but manure and straw from the cow shed and the sheep shed. When you work with livestock, part of it follows you right into your own shed/home. My mud room smells like barn. My jeans have blobs of lamb manure on them. My hair stinks. I try and try to stay on top of things -- sweeping up dried bits of mud and straw, shaking the rugs out regularly, giving the floor tile and sink a good mopping-up between times, and taking a nightly bath or shower, but it's just that time of year. I accept it, but I will not relent. I will carry on sweeping dirt out as every good ranchwife should. I have found that if I stay on top of the sweeping, I have less mud. If wet boots come in on a dirty floor, the dried dirt turns into mud, and mud means an eventual mopping.
Many people are talking about spring cleaning this time of year, but I can't even begin to think of that. It will be a few months before I can focus my efforts on deep cleaning. For now, I must be content with shoveling out the "big chunks" and trying to stay on top of the regular chores of housekeeping. The focus is on the livestock right now.....and keeping everyone fed and in clean jeans and underwear. Happy Spring!
A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse....and dreams of home.
The Drug Shop