Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

The 3 Day Weekend (AKA Can I go Back to Work, Please?)

Posted on | April 30, 2012 | 3 Comments

I was anxiously awaiting last weekend.  After much planning and preparing, Friday was the day I had planned to move transplants to the garden.  Usually I carry plants that I’ve started from seed down to the garden in the wheelbarrow.  Some plants come by way of my car after they’ve been purchased at the local nursery.  This time, I needed the car to transport all the plants that I started in the greenhouse.  I almost needed 2 cars.

I am still growing some perennials in my greenhouse.  And I left a batch of tomatoes in hopes that they will produce an early crop.  But, overall, the greenhouse looks naked now.

The rows of squash, zucchini, and tomato that I planted were endless.

Eventually I ran out of cages and had to find some old stakes to hold them upright.

The peppers had to settle for space between the cucumber cages and if these eggplants all reach maturity, they’ll be crowded for sure.

The cantalope transplants went in, but I didn’t have room to sow the watermelon or the okra seeds because I didn’t have the heart to pull up the remaining lettuce…



…and green onions.

Even the potatoes, which I assumed would die like they always do, were growing strong.

Although something is eating the red onion tops.  Just the red onion tops.  Nothing else in the garden.  WTH?

I have never put in transplants this big.  The shock might be too much.  They might die or their growth be really set back.  But, oh, it was beautiful sight as the sun began to sink.

And after a full day of gardening I hiked up the driveway, anticipating a steamy shower to soak away the grime and a long sit on the couch to ease my achy knees and back.   Too bad as soon as I came in the door, the kids jumped up, all excited.

“Yeah, time for movie night!!!”

Right.  Movie night at school.  At least  sitting on the hard gym floor to watch Toy Story 3 would be offset by the free pizza, drinks, and popcorn.

Yeah, don’t have to make dinner!!!

As it turned out, I had a collapsible soccer chair to sit in, a friend to chat with in the back row, and even managed to stay awake on the drive home.  Although I think I nodded off as I finally headed up the stairs to put the kids to bed.  Good thing I had the pain in my knees to keep me awake.  Count your blessings, people.

Luckily, on Saturday morning, we just had to change Tina’s splints and then got to spend the afternoon helping out at my friend’s place for the Piedmont Farm Tour.

While my dad worked on smoothing the driveway where the trench for water and electric had left a 6 inch dip,

we removed Tina’s splints and reveled in her new straight legs.

We even watched her walk on her own for a few minutes.

Which would have made us cheer.  Except, just as she lost the strength in her legs and began to sink down, we heard an awful sound.  It kind of sounded like someone getting hit by a baseball right in the face.  Because that’s exactly what it was.  Middle and Little had been playing baseball in the front yard before The Other Half showed up to take them to baseball practice.  Now Middle was practicing bleeding all down the front of his shirt.

Which meant he and I were off to the Urgent Care while my dad took over splinting Tina and my mom played War with Little to keep him busy while we were gone.  While we were in the waiting room, my dad picked up Pretty’s friend that I was supposed to pick up for a sleepover.  As soon as we got back (No stitches, but one loose permanent tooth. UGH!), my mom took Middle under her arm and bustled him off to their house with ice packs, ibuprofen, and promises of Frostys from Wendy’s so he wouldn’t have to sit at farm tour with us.

There was a time when my parents didn’t live nearby.  They weren’t here to spend their spare time doing farm chores, playing cards, and managing injured children.  I don’t like to think about those times.  I have mostly blocked them out.  I prefer to focus on how very happy, grateful, and desperately dependent we are on them now.  We love you, Mom and Dad!!!!

So with Big and Little finally off to baseball practice and Middle sent to my parent’s house,  Pretty and her friend and I headed off to Avillion Farm to assist with the farm tour.  Since the Urgent Care had taken all of lunch time, we stopped at McDonald’s, shoveled in our cheeseburgers on the way to the farm, and crammed the take out bags under the seat.  You cannot show up at a local food event with McDonald’s, people.  It is truly poor taste.  I mean, worse than white shoes before Memorial day.  Really.

We brought the lambs, Simon and Isaac, so that people could have an up close and touchable look at Shetland sheep.  The kids enjoyed it, the lambs enjoyed it, and for a minute all was well with the world.

Well, except for the way that Pretty and her friend kept finding ticks on themselves.  I’m not worried about Pretty.  We know to check for ticks in the shower at night and then move on.  But what is the tick liability for other people’s children.  Is there a tick waiver?

“I, the undersigned parent, have exposed your child/ren to the educational and fun activities of the outdoors and kept him/her/them out of your hair for ____ hours.  I have also exposed them to ticks, animal manure, and maybe, poison ivy.  Also, I fed them McDonald’s.  Please be aware that my liability ends the minute I drop them back off at your door. (Although I do recommend tweezers for ticks, rhus tox for poison ivy, and an apple before bed to offset McDonald’s.)  Thank you for participation”  Signed, me.

I guess I’d need to amend it, though, because after the farm tour we stopped at the Dogwood Festival in town and got funnel cakes.  Who knows what I exposed the kids to at a festival vendor.  So, on second thought, maybe I’ll leave that off.

In any case, I had to rely on my aching belly (Yes, I ate an entire funnel cake.  By myself.) to make it up the stairs to bed on Saturday night.

Good thing all I had to do on Sunday was to enjoy visiting other farms on the tour.  Pretty’s friend was still with us and we were meeting up with another friend so the boys would have someone to play with.  Nothing better than a relaxing afternoon cruising through the country, letting the kids explore the sights and sounds of other people’s farm adventures.  Every once in a while I like proof that I am not crazy for trying to eek subsistence out of the land.  Or at least proof that there just as many crazy people as me.

Too bad Big started complaining as soon as he got up.  He hated farm tour, he’s been on a million farm tours, he’d be bored on farm tour, blah, blah, moan and whine, blah.  Loosely translated, all those complaints meant he would make the rest of us miserable on farm tour.

Remember how I said I was very happy, grateful, and desperately dependent on my parents since they moved down here?  Quadruple that sentiment.  No, millionruple it.  Because Big and I struck a deal by which he would go to my parents’ house, do whatever chores they needed done (while refusing any monetary compensation), work on homework, and, by default, refrain from making the rest of us miserable.

So after Sunday school, we dropped off the sullen child, picked up the injured one, and enjoyed lunch together before heading out.  By “together” I mean, that the kids sat on the deck and ate while my parents and I sat inside to eat and had adult conversation.  That’s also what I mean by “enjoy.”  Ah, Sunday lunch together.

Then off to the tour.  And what a tour it was!

A bison farm…

…with a wagon ride around the property.

A lovely flower farm…

…that will have tomatoes before we do.

A lamb farm from the 1800’s…

…where the old and new live side by side.

And a farm that made us feel…

…right at home.

I have to admit it, though.  By the end of the day it took my last bit of energy to get through the evening milking, bottle feeding, egg collecting, and water trough refilling.  When I finally climbed into bed I thought how wonderful it would be to go back to work in the morning.  With nothing but other people’s emergencies to deal with.  Ah, how relaxing.

And poor The Other Half.  While I’ll be at work, he’ll have the day off.  Which means barn chores, changing Tina’s splints, irrigating the transplants in the garden, getting Middle to the dentist to check his loose tooth, and coaching a baseball game.  Days off are so exhausting!!!!  Good luck, God bless, and better him than me. 🙂


3 Responses to “The 3 Day Weekend (AKA Can I go Back to Work, Please?)”

  1. Tina
    May 1st, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    Love It Stevie!!! I’m with ya Sister….Oh, guess I need to find a part time job so I can relax to go w/ my fulltime job of kids, animals, gardens, push mowing acres of grass, and and and…..God Bless my Parents (millionruple)too! What would we do w/o them?
    Really like that new word, will be using it with the kids until they trump ~Infinity~ and burst my bubble! 🙂

  2. Carolynn
    May 2nd, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    Wow, what a busy three days! I’m glad to hear the trip to the hospital ended (relatively) well and I’m thrilled to hear that the splints are working. Yay!

  3. Lynda
    May 3rd, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    What a weekend! Though you may be tired I am sure that all the work made you happy for the results. Hope your son’s tooth will be OK!
    So glad you found me out here because I really enjoy your posts. ~ Lynda

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