There is an endless array of outside farm chores, all queued up, patiently waiting for my attention. It is that time of year when sitting with my feet up, warmed by the woodstove, has become a wistful dream. I could, and quite likely should, head down to the pasture and brush the little horses.

They have begun to shed their winter coats by the armful. Perhaps if I stood by their sides and brushed them all day and all night, they might finally stop shedding. I still have my doubts, but an hour or two would certainly be time well spent.

I really should start up the backhoe, turn over the compost pile and then dump scoops of its beautiful dark soil onto my garden. This way, when I till for the second time, I will be able to work the compost’s wonder into the ground well before I plant. I love the feel and smell of the rich dark soil. Every handful seems to be home to at least one healthy wiggling worm. Good stuff, compost.

Maybe I should gather up my loppers, put my clippers in my back pocket and head up to the rock wall behind the cabin.

Just the other morning, I saw multifloral rose tendrils reaching up and over it, and I noticed the honeysuckle vines were just beginning to creep out of its crevices, sneaking through from the other side.

I know that I’d better get a good head start if I hope to keep it clear. If I wait, it will be quickly engulfed by a creek valley jungle of almost impenetrable growth, and clearing it will become a bloody, though sweet smelling, task.

Perhaps I should pressure wash the greenhouse glazing. It has always seemed to grow a green tint by the end of each summer, but with gentle pressure, I can wash last year’s haze away.

I don’t know if the haze really matters to the plants growing inside, but I do know that a sparkling greenhouse is much better to behold from the outside.

As I write, about half of the seeds I started this week are already breaking through the soil.

They seem to be saying, “OK, Christine. Time to wash off the glazing.”

So, this morning, after our daily chores, I headed out to the bee yard and trimmed around the hives. I patrolled the field perimeters with the four-wheel-drive green machine and loaded fallen limbs into the its bed. I then carted them way up into the woods, well out of our way. I even found, and hauled off, a few rocks that had somehow snuck their way out of the woods. Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, as I always do, I headed out to gather the day’s eggs. The sky had turned noticeably gray. I thought it odd that my chickens were all under cover. I quickly realized why. I felt a raindrop hit my hand. By the time I had gathered the eggs and returned to the house, it was really raining, not a downpour, but it was definitely a steady rainfall.

The day was still warm. I set my egg basket on the kitchen counter, picked up my book from beside the couch and headed out to the front porch. I sat down in my rocker and put up my feet. The little horses, compost, rock wall and greenhouse would just have to wait.

Even the book lay closed in my lap. My head tilted back. My eyes closed. I rocked and listened to the sound of the falling rain.

Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at