Friday, June 27, 2008
However, I may be permanently scarred by the experience if he keeps referring to the abscess as a "pus pocket."
Thursday, June 26, 2008
After driving all the way to the bottom of the state, watching kids gambol in the waves, and then driving all the way back, I was more than a little wiped out.
So I took a night off, and sat like a lump on the couch and worked on my socks, and planned that come the next morn, I would work ALL DARN DAY on the project, DARN IT, even if it killed me.
And then Secondo woke up, looking like this:
Amazingly, it isn't hurting him too much. Thank goodness, too, as he is not a kid who suffers well in silence. (Edited to add: He takes after his mom that way.) Here's another shot with him looking a little sorrier for himself (he worked up to it), in case you missed it in the first shot:
After my LSH had a minor panic attack (along the lines of "mumps!"), a quick exam revealed that it had something to do with his teeth.
And so off to the dentist we went. The pediatric dentist in Philly, that is, who is totally awesome but obviously a bit of a hike. He confirmed that it is, unfortunately for the poor kid, an abscess at the base of his tooth. Luckily, it is a baby tooth and there's no long term issue once it is pulled. Unluckily, it is one that we just paid hundreds of dollars six months ago to have filled and sealed.
(Yes, we have dental insurance. It bites. HA HA HA, I crack myself up.)
I am just now getting back to work, DARN IT. The only saving grace was that I got to knit a little bit in the dentist's waiting room. With days like this, you have to take tiny pleasures where you can.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It turns out I am not the only living being who feels similarly inspired to work.
At midnight or so, every night, a mockingbird starts up in the evergreen tree outside my office window. He is either wooing a mate or just doing what mockingbirds do. Opinions are varied.
It might explain the abandoned egg I found in the geranium basket hanging on our front porch. (Sorry for the huge pictures in my posts these last couple of days, but my finds have been so tiny that my camera is not coping very well.)
And here he is, right on cue (check the time stamp). I could swear that he has a whippoorwill call in his repertoire, though I haven’t heard that nocturnal bird during these late-night marathons.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
But still! I have made a start! This is the first patterned sock I have done and I like how the pattern holds my interest and breaks up the endless rounds. I had a bit of trouble (as in: had to rip the row out 4 times) with the cable increase, but now I am solidly on my way.
My sock was jealous to see that Heidi’s sock already went on an adventure. Apparently, watching Matt Damon careen around Tangiers didn’t count. To appease my sock, I took it out this morning. It got to help me:
feed the chickens and the barn cats and
check on a weaning ewe (who is not drying up, ARGHHH)
... and then we were back to work.
Today’s bargain* is: if you do one section, you get to knit one row. At this rate, it is a toss-up whether the PFH or Sock #1 will be finished first. My money is on the sock.
*Why yes, I do have the attention span of a gnat, why do you ask?
Saturday, June 21, 2008
So I am making bargains with myself. “You can cast on if… if you bill x number of hours today… if you complete this much of the project… if you complete this particular section...” I have even put the ball of sock yarn in an inspiring location on my desk*, to remind me to stay-the-heck focused on this darn project.**
It is Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino ("KPPPM" to those in the know), colorway "I don't know because I have already misplaced the ball band."
See the little tail hanging out so innocently, yet so temptingly?
Resisting… urge… to check progress of others… on Ravelry…
*Yes, I am well aware that my desk will not be included in the flickr group any time soon, even though I did relocate a bit of the clutter for the picture.
**Don't you love all that pseudo-swearing? I am not so pseudo under my breath these days.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I thought this banana pepper might be ready to go, but it was still bitter and tough. Note to self: banana peppers are supposed to be yellow.
The green lettuce has bolted, thanks to the heat wave last week...
...but the red lettuce is still doing okay. A whole head joins the bowl.
A volunteer tomato plant, from last year's mega-monster cherry tomato bush (the thing took over the entire garden bed it was planted in). I found at least ten of these as I weeded while I picked. As my mom wisely says: a weed is any plant that is growing where you don't want it. This, and all its siblings, qualified as weeds.
Can you spot the non-weed in that thicket?
There it is: a teeny little baby lettuce plant. I take a few leaves from each plant.
The end haul:
Add some croutons, a little shredded cheddar and vinaigrette dressing: YUM.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
(Sorry about the cell phone pictures. After taking the camera out to the barn that morning, you would think that I would also take it to a prime picture-taking place like the boardwalk. You would think wrong, but I was happy I didn't have to lug it around along with everyone else's stuff -- the perils of being the only one with a purse.)
Wisely, my LSH suggested we go on the rides first. There was a stiff breeze and grey clouds to our southwest, so the place was empty. The two older boys and I were on the bumper cars by ourselves; all four of the boys went on the Twister alone, too. I could not believe that Terzo was tall enough to ride this ride and I spent the whole time yelling at him to hang onto to the lap bar. Of course, he was in his glory to be on a big kid ride.
But he also wanted to go on the little kid rides...
Another tradition: our last ride is always on the carousel.
After a scandalously-priced pizza, we went to the batting cages, where Primo sent the balls sailing. I should have been bringing him here all baseball season! Even Terzo got in on the action, and firmly refused (in that annoying pre-schooler shriek) all offers of help from LSH. He managed to hit about 1 in 4 softballs, much to his brothers' amazement and pride.
Amazingly enough, just as we finished up, the rain stopped. Our finishing places, from 1st to 5th, mirrored our family's birth order. I made a hole in one on the first hole, impressing the heck out of my kids (which is becoming an increasingly rare feat). Despite this amazing, and quite frankly flukey, shot, my LSH beat me by one point. We finished up with funnel cake (tradition again!), and made our way home for the start of summer vacation.
Monday, June 16, 2008
As for other administrative matters, today is the last day of school for Primo and Secondo. I was up working until 1 am this morning, and when I stumbled down in search of coffee at 7:15 am, my LSH reminded me that we had forgotten gifts for the teachers and bus drivers as is our usual practice to thank them for putting up with our kids (especially the bus drivers, who wait patiently as our kids tear down the driveway). This end-of-school-on-a-Monday thing has really thrown me for a loop, more so than usual.
I managed to get Secondo to write thank you notes to each of his teachers before he caught the bus. My LSH and I decided that, when I ran into town to do my usual errands, I would also pick up some flowers for the bus drivers. But it was a half-day, and I was already running late thanks to the farm chores and answering the bazillion work e-mails from Friday that came in while I was at the mall. I finally took off for town with 25 minutes to go until Primo got off the bus. I tapped my toes at the bank while a new teller fumbled through the transactions. (I know service people think I am a very impatient person. I am not. I am just a person with not a lot of time to spare, which I admit is almost always entirely my fault.) I ran breathlessly into the flower shop to see if she could make up a couple of bouquets for me, but no luck: she was busy with other orders. I flew through the post office and headed over to the hardware store, which once again saved my butt. I grabbed two hanging baskets of flowers, prepared to pay whatever they cost, and was pleasantly surprised when they were only $10 apiece.(This is the third gift-giving occasion this year in which they have rescued me. I love our local hardware store.)
After running like a maniac down Main Street to my car, baskets in hand (won't be the last time), I managed to make it past the school in time to ascertain that the buses hadn't left yet. Whew. I rushed back and parked at the end of the drive to await Primo's bus, because every almost-7th grade boy wants to see his mother waiting at the end of the drive for him to get off the bus, with a hanging basket of flowers in her grasp. My kids clearly also deserve to have some sort of "suffering" adjective added to their names.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Case in point: last year, a few weeks before our trip to Disney, we found ourselves with a few hours to kill in very cold weather while our kids were at a distant birthday party, and so dropped by the nearby mall. When we took Terzo to the Disney Store, he was in awe. We realized that in his three years on the planet, he had never seen a Disney Store. We also realized that we wasted a lot of money going to Disney when we could have just dropped by the Disney Store at our mall and gotten much the same reaction.
It's funny, but I find myself getting really annoyed in the mall. I can't stand all the aimless walking and window shopping ("don't you people have a better way to spend your time?"), I get annoyed with all the teenager-aimed stores that have their windows shuttered and lights turned down so you can't see what they are selling ("like your crappy clothes made in a third-world country are that much better than anyone else's"), I can't stand all the useless junk and stuff and clutter ("I have enough of that at my own house").... in short, I just can't take the mall.
I try, I really do. I know that my wardrobe needs a little updating, as I am not the most fashion forward person. I walk into stores with every intention of trying to improve myself. But the stuff is all spread out, and I can't figure out what I want, and oh-my-goodness, are they really charging that much for a T-shirt? And I can't be bothered to try things on, as that takes too much time. So I end up throwing in the towel and shopping for clothes at BJs and the thrift store. Shh, don't tell anybody -- though I suspect they've already guessed.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
It's been on my mind today, ever since I made up my "to do" list, complete with times because it was such a hairpin turn kind of day. It went somewhat like this:
Feed various farm animals and kids
Iron linens for church
Take Terzo to storytime at library
(Sneak out to post office and hardware store while he is in there)
Go to Shoprite (take care of banking at same time)
Go to Staples (LSH's business out of ink for fax, slightly emergent situation)
Drop off drinks for church group lunch; cannot stay because need to...
Pick up kids from half day; Primo's friend coming to our house
(note: last four items are accomplished in 40 minutes time, flat)
Make lunch for kids
Take kids to friend's pool
Drop Primo off at baseball practice
Pick up fellow 4H leaders for fair planning meeting, don't get home until 10 pm
My LSH picks up the list after I have made it, and notes that, with the exception of the feeding, shopping and bills, most of it is completely self-inflicted. It seems I am lacking that gene that allows me to say "No, I am sorry, I cannot take on one more thing right now." Plus, these things tend to seem somewhat reasonable to me when considered in isolation, until they snowball into the sort of day I experienced today.
So probably should have came as no surprise to me that I was named (in absentia) as the chair of the kid's county sheep show. After all, why bother to ask? They already knew my answer.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
He knew he was in for a hard time when he was picked for a team that had some really good players on it -- kids that are also on the travel and middle school team. Unfortunately, many of those kids tend not to be great team players, and get impatient with the non-star performers. And this year, Primo was in the non-star camp. While he had previously been a fairly consistent hitter, his swing fell apart and he mostly struck out. His arm isn't as strong or fast as most of the others anymore, and that put him in the bottom of the pile too. So when his team was chosen, out of all the teams in the league, to be in some sort of championship tournament against other towns, I started to worry.
His team won the first two games. And today was the final game for this stage of the tournament.
Primo played his usual game. Because it was an "important" game, he was benched for half of it and played the outfield for the other half. He was OK with that, because the pressure on the catcher (where he usually plays) was getting pretty intense with everyone's expectations.
As the game dragged on in the heat, we approached the last inning. Our team was down by three points. "Please, don't let him come up with bases loaded and strike out," I prayed. My LSH thought I wasn't being a great supporter, but in true mom-fashion, I was really looking out for my kid. I didn't want to see him get hurt, because I knew he was trying his best. I didn't care if the team won or lost, but I didn't want him to be the goat.
Sure enough, we worked our way through the batting order to the bottom, where he waited.
His team was down by one run.
Bases were loaded.
And there were two outs.
As he made his way up to bat, my heart made its way into my throat. I was fighting back tears. I could barely watch. All I could do was send up silent pleas, knowing that God has much bigger priorities than my kid at bat in some stupid (there! I said it!) baseball play-off game. I didn't even care if the ball was caught for an out, just as long as he managed to hit the darn thing.
And he did. He made contact for a little grounder that took a funny hop and got past the shortstop. He actually made it safely to first base, with a huge smile on his face that was a mix of relief and disbelief. I yelled and screamed louder and harder and longer than anyone else there, to the point that I got funny looks from the rest of the parents. That's OK, I'm used to those. I was just doing my job as athletic supporter.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Take Thursday, for example, where I managed to remember the start-up of four-year-old library story time and late pick-up for band kid. I even managed to get a baseball uniform clean and related kid to pre-game practice more or less on time (he would say less, but I don't listen to such nit-picking). But when one of my managers showed up to the training session I was running at work that night, I didn't recognize her for a good thirty seconds, which seemed like at least fifteen minutes, as I stared at her blankly with not a clue as to who she might be while she talked away to me. In my defense, I had only met her in person once before. However, I had been told that she was going to attend training that night. These are the things that keep me awake with unspecified, gnawing worry at 3 am.
Take today: I have four separate events that I have to bring food to over the next three days, so I needed to do the shopping for all of them (because, with one exception, there is no overlap in ingredients). I am terrified that I am going to forget one. I made a detailed list of all commitments and necessary pre-work. I stumbled a bit when I went to the preschool gym session an hour late this morning. Mind you, he has been attending this class for six months straight. What made me think it was at 11:15 am instead of 10:15 am, I will never know. But I recovered. I worked, I did a puzzle, I made calls, I made dinner, I got a kid to horseback riding and then pre-game practice, I worked, I shopped for presents needed for tomorrow, I made calls, I cooked and baked....
And then I realized that I had blown off a church commitment, which had taken place sometime around 11:30 am this morning. Of course, recognition dawned at 9:30 pm, too late to call and apologize profusely.
Please don't bother to tell me I obviously have too much on my plate. It's already abundantly clear to me. Where do you think the "crazy" in my title comes from, anyway?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
My step-MIL gave us some extra bean plants this past weekend, but unfortunately the beds are all full up. I cannot just throw little plants away, so they are taking their chances against the fence. It is survival of the fittest bean. (I tried to circle them so you can see them but obviously I will need to upgrade my picture editing service, as "Paint" just doesn't cut it. For you tech geeks out there, hope you didn't spit coffee onto your screen thinking about me using such a dinosaur).
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
So the beginning of our day went something like this: emergency clean house, church, home to prepare brunch for relatives coming to hear piano recital (because we couldn't not feed them, after coming all this way to hear boys play the piano), then back to church for recital (where I realized that I forgot the plate of brownies I had baked the night before for the reception after the recital, even though we were not staying), then rush to 4-H meeting, which had started the same time as the recital.
And that was just the beginning. When we got home at 4:30 pm, I knew I had to take care of farm chores that couldn't be done yesterday thanks to the weather. So into the jeans and boots, and onto the tractor, because it was time for Sheep Twister.
See the sheep, all the way at the back of the pasture? You can't see it, but they are forced to be back there thanks to an electric fence. I am trying an experiment with subdividing the pastures and rotating the sheep weekly to help both keep the pastures in good condition (because sheep tend to eat only what they want to, and leave the rest if allowed) and keep the sheep in better health parasite-wise. So once a week they get moved, and the pasture they are leaving gets mowed down. Hence, Sheep Twister. This week: Pond Pasture, Front Section.
Thanks to all the rain we have been getting, the pasture they are going onto is pretty lush and rich -- I helped them out by mowing a little path from the gate to the shed.