For about ten days now, James and I have been so busy cleaning up the barn and attached buildings up here on the land that I have not had time to get online, except to check e-mail briefly.

This slow dialup connection has its advantages and disadvantages. I don’t like waiting for webpages to load and I can’t send or receive large files, but it’s actually been nice to spend less time on the computer and simply live my life. Especially here on this beautiful land.

There is an incredible amount of work to be done here; we will never live long enough to finish.

I need to learn how to allocate my time more efficiently, so that I can achieve better balance amongst my various activities. Do a bit of work on the land, practice my various musical instruments and compose, AND manage to keep in contact with the world on the computer.

James has made a huge amount of progress cleaning the barn, while I’ve concentrated on cleaning the inside of the studio room (where my grand piano and harps and computer station will be located), the kitchen and the bunkhouse. Since the barn floor is dirt, we track it through the two entrances to the attached outbuildings. The place is dusty and dirty from years of neglect, and it took several days to sweep and then vacuum.

I also washed all the windows and had a deja-vu moment when I realized that I had done the same thing six years ago when we were going to move up here. I’m sure the windows had not been washed in all that time.

I am nearly recovered from my bad case of bronchitis. I’m still coughing up some phlegm (TMI!), but it is increasingly thin.

We go down to the river every day around 3 p.m. when the air temperature is at its hottest (over 90) to wash off all the sweat and grime from working in the barn. Ahh, cool, refreshing, soothing crystal-clear water!

It’s fun to jump in with all our clothes on so that they are washed along with our bodies. We scrub our shirts with a bar of castille soap, and then lay them out to dry on the big rocks on our private beach.

We just bought nice river “booties” along with goggles which will be fun to use for the first time today.

I’ve been practicing horn daily and getting back in decent playing shape. I am about to join the Sacramento local musicians union and have contacted one of the main music contractors in town. He is offering me work with the Sacramento Philharmonic for their opening concert in October: Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. I am excited about that!

James and I will be in Sacramento next week to dog-sit Riley, my brother’s dog, who just had surgery on one leg. My brother and his wife are visiting their daughter up at Humboldt State. She’s turning 21 — so hard to believe! She’s all grown up…

I’ll undoubtedly take advantage of my brother’s high-speed internet connection while in Sacramento. Hooray! Maybe I’ll get some writing done then, and will be better able to read people’s blogs again.

I’ve got a LOT of catching up to do!