With the beginning of school and the start of fall festivals my life changed radically. I was doing morning chores in my pajamas sometime before noon. Suddenly I was in the barn at 6 am, stumbling around with my coffee mug trying to figure out how to hold Comet and Boo-boo's baby bottles while drinking my cuppa Joe. One bottle between the knees solved that problem. Luckily my vo-tech school with a special education component starts later than the local high schools or I would have to be out in the barn at 5 not 6. Ouch. It was good to be back with the people I work with, as they are really good people, but leaving the giant day care center unattended all day was a bit much to take at first. I think I obsessed more about the baby ducklings than any other animals. One very attentive Mama Duck was not enough to keep all eight babies alive. I'm down to six very healthy looking pre-teens who I think will survive. They are getting tall but their wings are still baby wings and it's so funny to see them flap those little things. The two caged ducklings, hatched from eggs left behind, are big and fat from having copious amounts of feed in their bowls. Matt says they have to be let loose, but I am reluctant. I know how mean ducks can be. They are extremely clickish and run in gangs, one on the north side of the barnyard and one on the south side, also known as the driveway ducks. Nary the two shall meet or there is trouble. They better get used to the idea because I decided to pen them up this winter. I made it through last winter with minimal duck losses but never saw an egg. The monkeys layed them in place I will never know. I want those eggs and plan on corralling the ducks in a long corridor along the stanchions in the barn. I will be able to feed and water them without going out into the weather. They won't like it but the word that comes to mind is....tough! In the meantime, I am working hard in school and working hard at home. If anyone told me, 30 years ago, that I would be working this hard at this stage of my life I would have laughed in their faces but here we are. Colorscape preparation was a bit of a stretch, with staying up waaay too late at night for a week before the festival, with trying to get a handle on school at the same time. Luckily, school is going well and Colorscape was fantastic. It rained but not hard enough to keep people away. I heard the rain pounding as I rested Saturday night, knowing my little tent was being pelted over in Norwich, and feared the worst. Made it over there Sunday morning to find everything stayed dry due to good boxes and much wrapping and tarping. Sunday was a banner day. Lots of good music and people who don't want their hands to shrivel up when the bad weather comes. School is coming around and I am learning how to work with little ones. I still have my naughty-boy classes but they are manageable. We've been making puffy stars, clouds, and a big sun and moon to hang from the ceiling of our art room. Last year we had sea creatures and seaweed. Instead of swimming we are flying. Today I taught the little ones how to draw a symmetrical heart by folding and tracing. They love painting and coloring. I love the way they are so easily pleased. the aides that come with them are angels and I learn a lot from their patience and dedication. We are having a little heat-wave with wildly spiking temperatures into the nineties. I rush out of here and get home as quickly as I can, as I always have, back to the farm. It's all animals until dinner time, then chores, and only then can I work on my wool crafts. Sitting at the sewing machine or spinning wheel is a rare treat when I'm almost too tired to enjoy it...but I still do it when I can. Life on the farm.