Sunday, June 8, 2008


Well, thanks to a storm a few days ago I'm on dial-up internet, so that means no big pictures to download for this entry. Just a quick catch-up on things that are happening at our house.

Owen has just lost his sixth tooth, and the tooth fairy was feeling very generous and gave him three dollars for it. She was feeling generous because she missed picking up the tooth on the first night after it came out, and Owen had to leave it under his pillow a second night. We told him that she must have been really busy the first night. She's not Santa Claus, after all. She can't do it all in one night. There's nothing like the wave of parental guilt that washes over you when your seven-year-old wakes you up in the morning and tells you the tooth fairy didn't come. Owen was fine with explanation, and very fine with the extra money when the fairy did come.

Graham is my little garden and chicken helper. He helps me plant, hoe and water whenever he can. The first thing he wants to do when I get home is go outside and play with me and 'go get the eggs.' One of our roosters (a beautiful speckled sussex) has started attacking my boys whenever they get too close. Needless to say, said rooster is going to meet the sharp end of an knife in a couple of weeks. My dairy farm friends raise broilers and their first butchering date is coming up soon. They said I could bring my mean rooster along that day, and they'd do the deed. He'll taste good after several hours in a stew pot. Mean roosters lose their living privileges.

The other day Owen, Graham and I were in the yard when we realized we were missing a big blue ball, one of those that they sell from big bins in Target. We had a big storm a few days ago, so we went looking to see where it had blown. We walked around the yard, through the alfalfa, down to the neighbors slough. Couldn't find it. "Well, I guess that's that," Owen says as we head back.

Then I see a spot of blue in our old garden, near where our new barn is being built. It's the ball! Owen runs to get it and Graham follows. The area in front of the barn is bare, upturned dirt, and the boys make a bee-line into it. Did I mention that we had just had a storm, with lots of rain? Owen makes it out, but Graham gets stuck. There's nothing funnier than a four-year-old stuck in the mud. (My sister Kathy doesn't think so. When she was four she got stuck in the mud in our back yard, and we all mercilessly laughed at her while she was trying to get out. Eventually Dad went out and helped her. Man, that was funny. Boy, were we cruel.)

Graham got back to the house sans shoes, and both kids got a bath. There are still muddy socks and shoes drying on my deck.

Little Benjamin is fine. He's as stubborn as a mule. A mule in the midst of the terrible twos. No talking yet, but plenty of climbing, jumping, pulling, pushing, yelling, etc. He's learning the parts of the body. We ask him, 'where's the ear?' and he points to it. He's got most of the face and head parts down, but still gets mixed up on the others. The only recognizable thing he says consistently right now is 'O', when we show him a circle.

The garden is growing well, including my weeds. My garlic is 18" tall; peas, broccili and potatoes up to 10"; rutabagas, brussel sprouts, peppers and carrots at 4-6". My zucchini and watermelon have started their third leaf sets, and are all set for vining out. We even have a few sunflower seedlings coming up where the boys planted seeds. The tomatoes and cucumbers I started in my basement will be put into the garden this week.

Our hens are fine, giving us 7-8 eggs a day. The floor for our new pole barn is laid, and siding, roofing and lumber will be delivered this week. Just need to fix the fence and put in a gate, then bush-hog inside the fenced pen. Then we're ready for goats!

So much is going on, it's hard to keep up with everything. Not hard: impossible. There's always things that don't get done (mainly those that involve cleaning); everyday is an exercise in time management and priorities. I'm sure my priorities don't match up with others, but that's okay.

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