Posted on | December 13, 2013 | 1 Comment
I know some of you went for the “one and done” philosophy of parenting. Which is smart, if somewhat obsessive. After all, what is the point of worrying endlessly over 1 child when you could be trying to ignore 4 children equally instead?
Since we have 4 children that had to pass through the same rituals of walking, speaking, potty training, first day of school, etc, we never felt very finished when Big accomplished one of these things. It just didn’t seem that celebratory to say, as we were putting away the potty seat:
“Sweet! Only 3 more kids and 9 more years of diapers to go!”
Just like it doesn’t feel that encouraging now that he’s close to getting his braces out to think:
“Awesome! Only 3 more kids and $10,000,000 in teeth extractions and orthodontia to pay for!”
But with Little, the passage of events often does seem like a real milestone. An actual marker that we have passed and will not have to go back to. A step forward that isn’t just walking in circles. Crossing the finish line. Walking into the light at the end of a tunnel.
Albeit, a long tunnel. A long, long dark tunnel. Very dark. That you just crawled through on your hands and knees. Naked. In 20 degrees (which, for us Southerners feels like -20 degrees). With kids yelling, “Mom! Mom? Mommy? Mom! Mommy!” in your face the entire time.
I’m just sayin.’
So when Little performed in the 3rd grade play, “Tall Tales” this week, it was really enjoyable. Because we would never have to sit, crammed onto the school bleachers in the gym, shoulder to shoulder and kneecap to kneecap, through “Tall Tales” again. We would never have to argue with a child about what he was supposed to wear for a costume or rush off to Goodwill the night before, searching for the right kind of shirt or hat or prop. We would never have to smile and nod pleasantly at the children speaking into the microphone when we could really only hear or understand every third word that they said. We would not have to flinch when the speakers squealed or feel our heart pounding in commiseration as a child stumbled over forgotten lines. We could grin at the other parents as we all climbed over one another to get down after the performance, clapping each other on the back, and say along with them, “Whew. Well, that was fun. And now it’s over with.” And actually mean it.
Finished. After 4 performances of “Tall Tales.” After 1 lumberjack, 1 Paula Prunepit, 1 deck swab, and 1 Pecos Bill, we were finally done.
Yeah, yeah, I know. When I’m older I’ll wish I got to sit in the gym, listening to my kids sing about a blue ox craving pancakes. But judging by the fact that my parents were crammed onto the bleachers next to me, I probably will. At least I’ll be spared the last minute trip to Goodwill. And the 2,ooo explanatory and friendly reminder emails sent to me by the teacher, leading up to the performance. Plus, I’m bringing one of those portable padded bleacher seat things. Because I already climbed through a tunnel on my knees. I should be allowed to sit on bleachers in comfort.
In any case, congratulations to Pecos Bill. And congratulations to us. For sitting through our last “Tall Tales” performance and finishing many years of horrible picture-taking in the gym.
But that’s not all we’re celebrating around here.
After 6 years I finally finished walk-through gates for the barn yard and buck pasture. I have been waiting for years for someone to build me walk-through gates. The main holdup was that it involved post hole digging. I have mentioned before that I do not dig post holes. But with the completion of the new buck barn, I was inspired to relocate some fencing so that I could install the gates where some poor sap had already dug posts holes and installed nice 4X4 posts (in concrete!). It’s the starling method of construction. Someone else does the hard work of building something nice and solid and I take over and attach my friend’s used hand-me-down gates, hinges from Southern States, a couple of found chain link fork branches, and leftover aluminum tent poles. Voila! Finished!
An easy, peasy main entrance to the barn yard:
And a simply effortless entrance to the buck barn and chicken pen:
No more squeezing through cattle panels, getting scratched on chicken wire, and dealing with chains and carabiner clips.
In addition, I finally finished the Christmas decorating. Just under the wire. Because once we’re more than halfway to Christmas, we tend to settle for candy cans in a glass on the counter as our main form of decorating. But the stockings are now hung, the Christmas greenery is in place, and the wreaths are on the doors. And my latest DIY decor explains exactly how I feel about that:
I’m not the only one, though. The younger kids just finished their last day of school before Christmas break. Now they’re off for 3 weeks.
Peace out, people. It might be a while before you hear from me……
Posted on | December 11, 2013 | 1 Comment
Brianna was one of our very first goats.
She and Carmen arrived together.
Posted on | December 8, 2013 | No Comments
….is that even 11 days after Thanksgiving.
Long after Timmy, our Elf on the Shelf, has appeared….
and the onset of December’s freezing rain has forced me to pull out the winter clothes and put away the summer outfits.
When we can’t avoid getting out this stuff any more….
Posted on | December 6, 2013 | 5 Comments
We all have a role to play. No one’s contribution can be underestimated.
Last weekend, someone around here forgot their role and I refuse to be held responsible for it.
After all, everyone knows I am the animal hoarder manager and it is my job to snatch up the adorable…
and the ridiculously ugly.
Posted on | December 4, 2013 | 3 Comments
So I was minding my own business, driving a kid to town for basketball practice, when I saw it. Right there. Out in the open. For anyone to see.
15 bags of leaves. Huge brown paper bags. Filled to the brim with leaves. Stacked neatly at the curb for pick up.
I drove by slowly. Were those bags really at the curb? Was the person really putting those out for pick up? Were all the cars driving by not even slightly interested in those bags? Are there rules about taking someone else’s bagged leaves???
I know what you’re thinking. Since this is what I can see from my kitchen window…
…what the heck would I find appealing about bags of leaves? Read more
Posted on | December 3, 2013 | 5 Comments
The coldest days of the season aren’t here yet. But now that we’ve had the first few freezes and some winter rains, we discovered where the faults were in our farming set up. The floating row covers were doing a great job protecting the fall ground crops. Too bad row covers wouldn’t work for the peas. The peas were just tall enough to need a trellis and not hardy enough to withstand a heavy frost, so they had to be covered up, too. Good thing I had this clothing rack hanging around at the top of the driveway for…um…well, I was saving it because….huh. Apparently, I was saving it to make a pea trellis. For which it worked perfectly.
Especially with that handy center bar to attach the row cover to. Brilliant.
Posted on | November 24, 2013 | 5 Comments
Well, the boys went to the football game.
But I’m the one who scored. After an afternoon spent working on the fence and raking leaves, I wanted to get off the farm for a bit. Since the places I could go in my ripped and stained barn clothes were limited, I settled on a quick trip to the dump (cheaper than a trip to Lowe’s Home Improvement or the feed mill, which are the only other appropriate places for ripped and stained barn clothes). Excuse me, the solid waste convenience center. Which is conveniently open only 3 days each week. Usually I choose the weekday option in order to avoid the weekend rush and, by default, my neighbors seeing me in my ripped and stained barn clothes. But I was feeling bold and looking for excitement so off I went. Yeah, I know, you wish your life was as interesting as mine. Read more
Posted on | November 19, 2013 | 2 Comments
Around here we refuse to celebrate Christmas early. Because we think Thanksgiving counts, too. And because my kids in year round school get 3 weeks off in December so if we start doing all the fun stuff in November then I am screwed the kids are bored during break.
So we take time for Thanksgiving. We hang the Thanksgiving wreaths.
We put out a cornucopia filled with leaves and pine cones and gourds from the garden.
Posted on | October 31, 2013 | 4 Comments
We follow old school rules around here. With winter approaching and forage decreasing, anyone who can be eaten or sold will be eaten or sold. OJ went to the flea market.
He was a friendly rooster but he enjoyed taking the hens all the way down to the end of the driveway. We have sacrificed enough ducks and guineas to the road. Laying hens are too valuable to waste. Besides, he was a bit overzealous in the mating department. When the hens started getting bare shoulders, his days were numbered and the second-in-command was promoted. Welcome Michael, our Cuckoo Maran/Delaware cross, to the top of the pecking order.
Posted on | October 30, 2013 | No Comments
Can we fall back yet? ‘Cause I’ve been leanin’ in until it hurts.
First, the summer garden was putting a lot of pressure on the nightly dinner plan. After all, I was running out of menu ideas to use up the eggplant,
and cherry tomatoes that were still coming in.keep looking »