Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

1/2 Start.

Posted on | July 18, 2013 | 5 Comments

Happy New Year!

also known as

Happy First Day of School!

That’s right.  After six weeks of swimming and bowling and fishing and sleepovers and beach trips and baseball and tiger tours and fireworks and even a 70th birthday party….

….summer break came to an end for the younger kids.  The boys finished the summer with a round of putt putt,

batting cages,

go carts,

and a ball pit.

Yeah, yeah, I know those pits are never cleaned and are full of filth and germs and, probably, specks of feces.  But my kids are about to go to school and sit next to fellow classmates covered in filth and germs and specks of feces.  So I consider the ball pit like a free booster shot for their immune system.  You add probiotics to your kids’ smoothies, I throw mine in the ball pit.  Different strokes, people, different strokes.

And when the kids start their new school year, I start my year fresh, too.  Oh, you can start your year in January if you want.  But cold temperatures and only 6 hours of sunshine make me want to curl up next to the woodstove with a bag of chocolate, a pot of coffee, and the only goal of finishing an entire book in one sitting.  Putting the kids on the bus at 6:05 am, as the sun peeks over the treetops, a warm breeze ruffles my stained barn T-shirt and ripped milking shorts, and an entire 9 hours of kid-free silence stretches out before me, is energizing.

True to form, we missed the bus on the first day of school.  Which would be annoying except for the fact that the bus has never picked up the kids on the first day of school.  Never.  Even though we have been riding the same bus on the same route since Big started kindergarten many years ago.  Either it comes earlier than expected, or so late that I assume it isn’t coming and drive them to school, or it doesn’t show up at all.  So missing the bus on the first day of school is actually a sign that all is right with the universe.  Or an indication that my expectations for the public school system have finally hit rock bottom.  It’s a close call.

Since I was driving the kids to school in town, I decided I would go to the gym while I was there.  All part of my new year plan.  It’s been a while since I’ve been at the gym  So long in fact that when I came down in running shorts and a tank top, Little was taken back.

Where are you going dressed like that???!!”

Huh.  Perhaps it’s been a really long while.  Since my youngest child doesn’t even recognize work out clothes.  He seemed shocked to see I even owned a pair of tennis shoes that didn’t have goat berries and straw stuck to the bottom.  Good to know I haven’t set the standards too high for my future daughter-in-law.

And that workout was just what I needed to get my new year started off right.  As soon as I got home, I dragged a friend out to the barn to help roll in the fresh round bale of hay.

Plus, I fixed the broken feed trough.

Although I did bail before I redug the trench, which is currently just a cesspool, that carries away the dirty water from the barn.  It didn’t really feel like a trenching day.

Inside the house, I cleaned all the bathrooms.  By cleaned, I mean I scrubbed toilets and bathroom sinks.  But I saved the showers and tubs for another day.  Because I might wash some fleece in Pretty’s tub this week, which would defeat the purpose of cleaning it.  And the boys’ tub still has a crack that might leak if I splashed too much water around.  And the red mold in my shower is not so prolific that I might accidentally touch it while washing my hair.  Which means there’s still time to put it off.  Sometimes 1/2 clean is not 1/2 bad.

Besides there was still a lot to do outside.  The garden desperately needed weeding.  So I carefully cleared away the brush from the cantaloupes and gave their vines room to sprawl.

Then I pulled the creeping charlie out of the zinnia beds.

And gave thanks that I planted the pumpkins too close together.  So that their leaves provide too much shade for weeds to take hold.  Unlike the bush sugar baby watermelon plants in front.  Which aren’t even holding their own against random blades of grass.

I would have weeded the watermelon but I already had a huge stack of greens for the pigs.  Which meant weeding 1/2 the garden counted for feeding the pigs 1/2 of their rations for the day.

And somewhere I read that 2 halves make a whole.  So it was really like doing the whole garden.  I think.  Probably.  Maybe.

While I was down there, I mowed inside the garden fence, around the perennials, and the edges of herb beds.  But I left the rest of the property, including the steep slopes of the ditches and the thick, overgrown areas around the pampas grass for The Other Half.  Also, I left him the job of removing the guinea that apparently got killed trying to protect her eggs.

I know what you’re thinking.  It’s amazing how much stuff I can get 1/2 way done.  The truth is that The Other Half is a manly man who enjoys opportunities to exert his manliness.  Opportunities such as pushing the mower up steep inclines and removing dead bodies.  Who am I to interfere with his expressions of masculinity?  Really, I only leave him those things to do out of love.

Anyone else might have quit after that much productivity.  However, new years are not for quitters.  Even after the kids were home and dinner was served, I was right back out there.  The pond lilies needed replanting.  Originally, I just dropped them and their roots in the water.  But as they began for wilt, I googled it and discovered that they need to be planted in dirt and submerged in pots in the pond.  Apparently, this involves special soil or pea gravel or mesh planting bags or lots of other expensive things I am not going to buy for the free pond lilies I took from my friend’s pond.  So I settled for an old nursery pot filled with a couple large rocks to hold it on the bottom and a black plastic bag with a few holes poked in it with a fork.  That will give the lilies enough soil for roots but also keep the soil from leaching out into the water.

It might look 1/2 a**ed to you, but the black plastic gradually sinks a bit each day.  Eventually there will just be a little edge of plastic visible above the surface.  And the lilies should grow over that, covering it up for the most part.

All in all, it was a 1/2 decent start to a new year.  As I headed up the driveway for the night, I sensed that the universe approved of my efforts.

Some days 1/2 way is just enough.  After all, it’s not the only day in the new year.  Just the first one.  Besides, I’ve already got a head start on you people who don’t start until January. 🙂

Comments

5 Responses to “1/2 Start.”

  1. Laura
    July 18th, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    July 18 seems early for school to start!

  2. admin
    July 18th, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    We actually started on Monday, the 15th! We go to year round elementary. Our first 3 week break will be in September and we will be vacationing during the after-Labor-Day-rates and when all the crowds are gone. Woo-hoo!

  3. Rose
    July 19th, 2013 @ 5:27 am

    I laughed out loud at the ball pit innoculation idea! I am going to start doing that.

  4. Kim
    July 20th, 2013 @ 3:47 am

    I wondered where you had been and hoped something awful hadnt happened! You had all the kids home ALL day for 6 weeks?! No wonder you didnt blog :o) Glad to see all is normal in the RFSM household, mowing, weeds, poop and guinea!

  5. Anne Kimball
    July 20th, 2013 @ 6:22 am

    You make me so gosh-durned tired.
    Not 1/2 way tired.
    Whole hog tired.
    That’s a lot of tired.

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