Sunday, Day of Rest


We’ve been trying to institute a Sunday, Day of Rest around here. This isn’t easy to accomplish because sometimes I have workshops on Sundays. Not real often–maybe one Sunday a month where I have a private workshop or a two-day all weekend workshop that runs on Sundays. But I also have workshops two to three Saturdays a month, and then sometimes other things or family events take up Sundays, so those Sundays when we can play “Day at Rest” are special. Yesterday, I did milk the cow. And we shuffled the cows to a different field. And we went up the road to move some dirt for a neighbor with the tractor. But other than that, we watched hours of a marathon of a show we’d never seen before–The Carbonaro Effect. (On TruTV channel. This is a hilarious show.) And mostly ate leftovers because that was low effort. And snuggled on the couch. And sat on the porch and talked. And generally kicked back.

My new rocking chair. It’s super good for resting.
When I was a kid and my dad would take us to West Virginia, I can remember how the ladies would sit on the porch and throw their aprons from their laps up over their heads and take a nap after Sunday lunch was over.

Sundays should have that kind of feeling. A long week of good work, and now time to block out the world and relax. (Best way to make that happen is stay away from your computer and cell phone.)

Last week was a long week here. The water company had broken water line problems. I had people arriving Wednesday evening to camp two nights and have an all-day private cheesemaking class on Thursday. It was an adorable engaged couple, two law school students. The water came back on Wednesday evening, but by Thursday morning was gone again and wasn’t back on til Thursday evening. We got through the day with cheesemaking, using bottled water for what water was absolutely necessary and just piling up pots and dishes in the sink for later. If I had to get through a day of workshops with no water, this was the couple with which to do it. They took it all in laidback stride, very cheerful, and definitely adventuresome. When they arrived, the girl got out of the car and looked around…. I knew that her boyfriend had brought her here as a surprise, because he’d told me when he’d signed up for the private workshop day. I asked her if she knew why she was here. She said, “No!” Yep, he drove her all the way here from Virginia without telling her where she was going or why. They camped in the upper pasture with the horses, and made cheese all day on Thursday. When they couldn’t take a shower the usual way because of the water problems, they took an outdoor shower from the cistern. I told them about cistern showers because I could tell they had the personalities to take that cold plunge. There is a cistern under the house that collects rainwater. Let me tell ya, your hair and skin will never feel so soft as after you take a rainwater shower–if you can handle the fact that it’s quite cold. There’s a pump to the cistern, and a hose. In a water outage, you can take a shower with the cistern water on the back patio, in private. Well, mostly, there is a slight view to the road through the trees, but there’s not much traffic out here at the end of the hard road. I showed them how to turn on the pump, handed them the hose, and told them I’d be waiting on the front porch, to let me know when they were finished and dressed. (Inside the house, there are windows onto the back patio, so for their privacy, I went to the front porch.) I could hear squealing and laughing from the back of the house, so I knew they had a good time.

They left Friday morning (after a hot shower in the studio with the water back on) and I immediately turned around to prepare for a regular workshop day for 10 on Saturday. By Sunday, I was oh so ready for that Day of Rest.

Sunday being a “Day of Rest” is for some people a Christian principle, but in generalized terms, at least in the Western world perspective, it’s part of the weekend when (usually) there’s no work on school. Back in the “old days” this was a little easier to accomplish–without cell phones and laptops constantly connecting us to work or school and the world. We are a rush rush society with so many things to do. Whether for religious reasons or not, the fundamental idea behind Sunday, Day of Rest, is to make purposeful, intentional time to let the world around us hush, pay attention to the ones closest to us, and to ourselves.

This doesn’t always work out. This coming weekend, I have a two-day canning retreat, Saturday and Sunday. But next year I’ll be planning fewer Sunday workshops. Sundays are fast becoming my favorite day of the week.

They had it right in the old days. Sunday is the time to throw your apron over your head and narrow the world….and just rest.

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The Big Excavation


The creek looked like this when we had the flood last month.
The bridge was lifted up and moved by the strong waters, along with a large rock. That was some pretty strong water.
The drain pipes were buried, and sediment filled the creek. The creek was pretty much destroyed. But, no more! The creek is back, and better than ever!
Turns out, the pipes weren’t even clogged. It was just the sediment fill that was blocking them.
The creek was dug back up, along its original course.
Though, it was dug down a little deeper. The bridge was re-set, in a different location.
Since the bridge was being moved anyway, I decided it would be handier to have it directly across from that little gate.
Following the creek back through the next field, several catch basins were dug into the creek to help slow and contain water in case of future floods. Some leveling was done out from the gate in the goat field to make it easier to get a tractor in there, also.
The bridge needs bracing since it was moved, and grates will be placed in front of the pipes, so there is still some work to be done, but things are much better. The creek, she has returned!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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