Clean for a Day


I am not going to the farm today. I am going to stay clean for one whole day.

Me, Clean

Me, Clean

This morning, first thing, I got up and took a shower and “girlified.” For me, this is sometimes a cumbersome project–cutting down the nails in order to get out every last trace of dirt, shaving the rather long-ish hair on my legs, applying things like lotion, and even wearing (gasp!) lipstick. A little pluck here, a little tweek there.

That’s about as far as I go without a fight. I will, on occasion, do the full make-up thing (which for me is still pretty lightweight), but for as little as I wear make-up and for as much as the color of my skin changes throughout the course of the seasons, this time of year I can never rely on having a shade of foundation that doesn’t look like kabuki theater.

I taught a satellite television English course for a couple semesters from a studio in Sioux Falls, and that was always a trial for me. You just cannot go on TV without the full mask. You look like a corpse. Or like Richard Nixon.

I would bring a makeup bag with me, so I could put off putting it on until the last minute. And in the bathroom at the Good Samaritan National Headquarters, no less, so I felt kind of weird primping there in front of the communal mirrors. I’m not a make-up wearer, but I play one on TV….

Anyhow, I got girlified and dressed reasonably well for my pre-semester campus hike. This means dropping in and showing my face in my department and my division (English and Continuing Education). This is important for online faculty because they sometimes forget you exist as a corporal being.

You can teach online classes in your pj’s or grubbies or nothing at all, but when visiting campus, it’s good to look at least marginally professional. Thankfully, my graceful and fashionable friend, Laurie Johns, bequeathed several bags of very nice clothes to me before departing on her western yoga adventure.

I also had to renew my faculty ID (don’t remember when I got the last one), go up to Human Resources twice for paperwork issues (my I-9 listed an address from ten years ago), and order an official graduate transcript from the registrar to be sent to the Arts & Sciences Dean’s office two buildings away. I also completed a grade change for one of my summer students.

I got home a little after noon, having had a light lunch at Mexico Viejo and chatting with Jenny from the Bloc–my girlfriend in Swaziland. How strange to be sitting in a Mexican Restaurant in Vermillion, South Dakota, talking on the phone with someone in Africa! Amazing world…

So I got home and pretty much decided to take a rest in my girlified state (OK, I lost the fancy shoes and changed into shorts), and read the latest Issue of the fashion magazine for thirty-something women that has been coming to me for the last couple years under someone else’s name.

It’s a guilty pleasure, and one I wouldn’t pay for myself, but it just keeps coming, so I keep reading it. For the insightful news articles, of course. 😉 And because it reminds me to brush my hair at least once every couple of days.

Yesterday, after harvesting on the farm and writing the CSA newsletter, I finished processing tomatoes I’d cooked the night before, chopped peppers, onions, and garlic, and canned thirteen half-pints of salsa. After the deliveries, and with the help of a friend, I processed half a crate of peaches, cooked them down, and later on canned six half-pints of spiced peach butter.

Oh, and I made dinner for Harry and I–grass-fed beef burgers and sauteed wild garden kale. And I posted a couple blogs. And responded to a few university-work e-mails. And started a letter to my dear friend Matt in Seattle.

All in all, yesterday was a grubby, sweaty, hard-working, long day. And so my break from the farm today, and my rest on the bed with the fashion magazine were well-earned, I think. But now I am hearing the call of the shopping bag of apples and the gallon bag of beans in the fridge, and I’m thinking it’s time to settle back into the end-of-summer food preservation blitz.

But maybe I’ll wear an apron.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by lejohns on August 26, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for that!

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