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Refresh at the farmette

It's a grey day in Grey County. Humid. Dull. The opposite of yesterday, when it was bright and sunny and very hot.

Today, I'm feeling like it's time for a bit of renewal. The world continues falling apart - a massive explosion in Beirut that killed nearly 160 people, Trumpelstiltskin bypassing Congress and acting like a tinpot dictator, and tornadoes ripping up the prairies. And, of course, the ongoing saga of COVID-19 and the toll it's taking on humanity. There's that.

But, there's no sense crying about things over which I have no control, so I decided to do a bit of upgrading around the house.

Because I'm a believer in progress-by-baby-steps, yesterday, I tackled painting the toolshed doors. It's been six years since the last time I hauled out the white exterior latex. And it showed.

I was talking to a friend (by phone) yesterday, and joked that we have to continually stay on top of cleaning and repairs around the farmette, or it descends, quite quickly, into a version of Miss Havisham's house. That's the lady in Dickens' Great Expectations whose life stopped when her fiancee left her alone at the altar. Time stood still in the house, and everything went to hell in a handcart.

Here at the farmette, nothing quite so dire has to happen for things to get out of hand. The ivy on the west wall creeps across the windows and would eventually just shut down the view entirely if I didn't hoik out the ladder and do some judicious clipping. Every month.

Spider webs seem to spring out of nowhere in the nooks and crannies of our 155 year old house. I even took one out of the shower stall the other day.

And there's the dust. We can't keep up with the fine layer of airborne goop that settles on all the furniture - all the time. Having five cats rummaging around in their litters about a million times a day doesn't help.

So, being semi-vigilant about keeping the homestead in decent shape is really crucial. I don't mind. I'm not obsessive about it. Just keeping things in some kind of order makes me feel like I can preserve a semblance of normalcy.

Having said all that, I also subscribe to my friend Pat's mother's (Bertha - great lady, rest her soul) advice, which says, "if your friends come to see you, they won't see the dirt, and if they come to see the dirt, you don't want to disappoint them." Wise woman.

Cleaning and tidying aren't my favourite pastimes. Reading and petting cats are far more attractive activities. But, I think, in order to feel ordered, I need to clear out the cobwebs and freshen up my surroundings.

The toolshed doors turned out fairly well, for example.

Until next week.


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