Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Week .5 of my summer vacation

I know, I know, you are sitting there wondering what the heck I'm doing blogging when I'm supposed to be off enjoying myself on my "summer vacation."

Summer vacation is a misnomer for anyone in education--especially public school teachers, they spend most of their summer getting ready for the next year and going to continuing education. I, fortunately, don't work in public education, but in Higher education, so I don't have to work as much or as hard as a public school teacher during the summer months.

But, I do work during my summers off--just not on school stuff. I do more physical labor during the summer months than I do all winter long.

Already this week, week 1 of vacation, I've:

Replaced the window screens on all the windows of the house by myself.

Washed all the windows while changing screens. And this also means cleaning out the old dead miller moths that fall out of the window when I pull them out. (Yuck)

Trimmed hooves on 3 goats. Only 5 more to go.

Moved fence for goats so they have a fresh area of tall succulent mustard to eat. And some thistles, and maybe even some grass.

I've pulled at least 50 gourd plants from the pasture, cause they are just stinky weeds and no one will eat them.

I've even cleaned some of the house. Deep cleaning, like moving all the furniture and cleaning around and under and behind it. Our bedroom is done as is the living room. Kitchen is almost done.

I've hauled out an old computer desk that we haven't used in several years except to hold all of Miss Kat's junk that she didn't want to put away...

I potted plants in my whiskey barrel and in the other two pots on the front porch.

I weeded the front flower bed and pruned the rosebush, and the peach tree, and the cherry tree, and the oak trees and the russian sage. Of course I had to find the pruning shears first, but I did!

I also cleaned out the extra-large dog kennel that served as a brooder for my chicks. The dogs broke it, but it worked great for the chicks. Now the chicks are among the general population of chickens and doin' fine.

I considered buying more chicks this morning--Orschlens has them 1/2 price...we'll see if they are still there Saturday...

Ok, that's all I've done in my, what, 5 days at home? Today is Wednesday, my last day was Friday...I'm workin' way to hard on my Summer Vacation!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Supper? I don't think so scooter!

I have not cooked supper all week. I've cooked supper only a few times in the past two weeks. But this week, I haven't cooked once since Sunday night and all I made that night was potato salad.

Let see,

Monday I went to the college board meeting and was there until 9 p.m. Andy worked, Kev and Kat fended for themselves.

Tuesday, Kev shot trap and I stayed home and baked his pie and my banana bars. Andy worked, Kat wasn't hungry, neither was I, so so supper.

Wednesday night, Andy, the neighbor kids, and I took a flying trip to Stockton, 2 hours away, to get 4-H goats. We got 4 more, two wethers and 2 does to breed. But, we stopped at a convenience store, grabbed some chips and a drink, so once again, I didn't cook supper.

Last night, was Weigh In night for all the 4-H critters. So, from 3:30 until 7, we were busy wranglin' and wrestlin' pigs and goats. I picked up some frozen pizzas and Bailey put them in the oven, so I got out of cooking again.

Tonight, Kev and I usually eat Chinese with Lynn. So, once again, I don't have to cook.

But tomorrow, I'll have to cook. I'll even have to cook lunch, simply because there aren't any leftovers! So, tomorrow, I have to cook.

Hummm, wonder where we can go tomorrow. I hate ruining a good thing. Hummm

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Kev is a lucky guy

Yesterday was my Big Baby's birthday--the one I'm married to, not one I gave birth to.

He's even harder to buy for than Andy was. There's really only one "toy" that Kev wants right now, and that's a new tractor. And, that's the kind of debt increasing purchase that I just can't go and buy myself and then hide it in a sack in the bedroom. Nope, that's one where we both have to fill out paperwork for, so Kevin didn't get a tractor for his birthday.

Last Friday night, I did buy Kev a new pair of cowboy boots. He needed them and found some he liked, so I paid for them and told him "Happy Birthday." Cowboy boots aren't cheap folks!

So yesterday, the anniversary of his birth, I gave him a pie.

Yep, that's it, a pie. A Sour Cream Raisin pie. Aunt Lela's recipe. I, a person who abhors raisins, baked a raisin pie for the love of my life. I not only touched those nasty raisins, I stewed them up and put 'em in a pie shell. This is one pie that Kev won't have to share with anyone--cause none of us like raisins.

But, being the kind and loving wife I am, I also made him some banana bars. Those he has to share.

He's nobody's dummy, but I'm not either. Birthday treats for us both. I'm a special wife...not only did I think of my wonderful hubby, but I also thought of myself. Kev's a lucky guy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

random thoughts for May

Notice: This is an advance warning, if anyone is reading this blog, I only have 5 more days of work, which means, 5 more days of blogging before I'm off for the summer. I hope to come in some and blog over the summer, but I'm not sure how often.

You see, when I'm home, being a farmer-wanna-be and full time mom during the summer months, I really drag my feet about coming to town. So, stopping by work is even lower on the list. Since I'm too cheap to buy a decent home computer and a decent Internet connection, I'm dependent solely on the Internet connection at the Library. I just can't seem to justify $50 bucks a month to be hooked up. And, I just can't seem to justify trips to town, especially if the price of gas keeps going up. My salary hasn't gone up in 2 years now, why can't everything else stagnate too?

I believe that spring is finally here. Kev and I planted more in our garden last night. We planted potatoes, tomatoes, jalapenos, carrots and cucumbers. Last weekend, we planted lettuce, broccoli, peas, beets and onions. Yesterday, it looked like the beets were coming up and maybe a few peas. The onion sets didn't make it. They didn't look very well when we planted them, so I have 80 more onion sets to get in the ground. We also still need to get corn in the ground and decide if we are going to plant beans or not.

We've got two pigs growing in the pen, two boar goats growing and 15 chicks. I'm turning the chicks outside now, letting them intermingle with the adult hens. I know they have to establish their pecking order, but the chicks are so small and the hens so big, that I worry that a chick will get killed by a well-placed peck.

This is my favorite time of spring, it's warm outside, we're getting started on all our outside activities, the animals are still small and cute, not large and obnoxious. The hustle and bustle of getting ready for the fair is still far enough away that we can relax and just enjoy the sun, the warmth and our life on our little homestead.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Andy's Sweet 16

Yesterday, my baby boy turned 16.

Sweet 16.

A milestone for teenagers. At 16, he can now legally drive any time, any place and have anyone in the car with him. No more restrictions. He's taken a big step to independence. He's taken a big step away from my apron strings.

We struggled with deciding what exactly to give Andy for his birthday. He didn't really need anything, he has everything he needs for his shooting hobby--shotgun, bows, arrows, quivers, etc. He gets to drive the Ranger pickup, so no need to buy a vehicle (like that would happen). So, we were at a loss. Andy knew what he wanted--he gave us two ideas.
  1. A new cell phone with texting.
  2. A PSP, a personal playstation, an upgrade to the old Gameboy.

We vetoed the PSP immediately. And we weren't sure about the cell phone. We certainly weren't crazy about the texting. Bailey, our young neighbor, had a big phone bill all because of texting. We told Andy we wouldn't give him texting, because we didn't want that kind of bill either. He was really annoyed with Bailey for ruining his chances at getting texting.

But, we couldn't decide just what to get him. So, finally, on Saturday, we decided to get him a razor cell phone and some texting. He gets 750 messages a month and we will pay his texting bill for 6 months. After that time, he will pay me $10 plus tax for the privilege.

So, yesterday morning, we "hid" the phone and I called it.

Andy asked me who I was calling at 7 a.m. in the morning. I lied and said "Kim." Then, his new phone started ringing. "What's that?" I said. Andy stood there, looking puzzled. He followed the sound over to the phone and picked it up. At that time, it dawned on him that this was his birthday present! He started laughing and...and...he punched me in the arm. A playful punch, but still, a punch. Then he just hugged me, hard; laughing the whole time. I wish we had gotten out the video camera to get a shot of him, his expressions were so memorable, the confusion, the enlightenment, the joy.

One of our family birthday traditions is that the birthday person gets to choose the evening meal. Andy chose steak for last night and requested that we have supper with our neighbors. They couldn't do supper until Wednesday, so we made plans to eat out with them, and decided we'd have steak, baked potatoes and peas for supper with cheesecake for Andy's birthday cake. But then, at 5:00, he asked of we could skip supper and go to see Spiderman 3 instead. So, we ate cheesecake and then went to the movie--just the 4 of us. Supper consisted of cheesecake, popcorn and soda. Healthy, very healthy.

When we got home, Andy thanked us for a great birthday. And it was special; it was exactly what he wanted. And, that makes me happy, to see my baby boy happy.

Water and more water

Steve was on the news on Sunday night. There was a shot of him filling sandbags to try to hold back flooding in Ellinwood. Dad said they have had over 9 inches of rain in less than 48 hours. While the tornado spared the town, the rain didn't.

Daddy called late Sunday night and told me to watch the news because Steve would be on it. So, I watched. The shot of Steve was a panoramic shot scanning lots of people filling, loading, and moving sand bags. We sat and looked and watched, and saw lots of men in baseball caps and one lone guy wearing a cowboy hat. Guess which one was Steve. Yep, the guy in the cowboy hat. But, that was the extent of his TV debut. I tivo'd it--just in case he missed seeing it, or in case Mom and Dad didn't get to see it.

The south-central portion of the state was just hammered with rain this past weekend. Storms rolled through on Friday night, again on Saturday night and some still rolled through on Sunday. All that rain, all those tornadoes, all that destruction...

Daddy said they had almost 3 inches out at the farm. That's great! Especially when you consider that during Noah's flood, they only got 1/4 of an inch. (Ha, old family joke!) Northern Clark County got over 6 inches. Sand Creek, which runs north of town, was bank full. The Cimarron River, which runs 3 miles south of town was 9 feet deep. Normally, Sand Creek is dry and The Cimarron has water in it 3-4 months each spring. That water is usually a foot deep, 3 feet deep in low spots. It tends to be real quick-sandy too, so 9 feet is a big deal. I think the last time it had that much water in it was back in the late 1930's, early 1940's.

Water, water everywhere, and I'm not there to see it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Aunt Jo and Uncle Dale...well, more about Aunt Jo and less about Uncle Dale, but still...

My Uncle Dale and Aunt Joan (Jo-Ann) came by one evening last week. They and some of their RV/camping friends were camping near us, so they drove on up to say hi. I hadn't seen them in a few years, so it was great to see them. As we visited and laughed, I took comfort in seeing them banter, in hearing stories of Aunt Jo's latest pranks, in hearing some of the old ones again and some new ones. I decided that Uncle Dale has to be a Saint, because he never knows what his wife of 58 years will say or do next. You've gotta love a woman who, sees you and says, "You've lost some weight, haven't you."

Now, you know you haven't. But, with that one comment, you feel good about yourself. For a moment you think, "Gee, I don't think so, but maybe I look good, Maybe I have lost some weight!" For that instant, Aunt Jo made me fill like I was a 5'8" 110 lb. drop dead gorgeous model. And, she'll do that the whole time you are visiting with her. Later, before they left, she glanced at Kevin and said to me, "He's a keeper isn't he. You were right all along about him being the right man for you." Now if that doesn't just give your self esteem another shot, nothing will.

Uncle Dale is my Dad's oldest brother and is 15 years older than Daddy. When Dad was a little boy, he spent a lot of time with Dale and Jo--I think he was their unofficial chaperon. I'm not sure how good of a chaperon he was, because Aunt Jo was always pulling pranks--often at Dad's expense. Yet, he spent a lot of time with them, and when they married and started their family, Dad was close to their kids. After all, he was less than 10 years older than they were.

We used to go visit them quite frequently for holidays and Sunday dinners. And they became special to Steve and I. We always liked seeing Aunt Dale and Uncle Jo--I mean Uncle Dale and Aunt Jo. We liked going to visit them, primarily because their house was full of laughter. And, because, when we left, we were happy.

Much of it was Aunt Jo's doing. She would pull some prank on someone. She couldn't help herself, she just had to do it. For example, when my Dad turned 30, Aunt Jo had someone make a special cake--a bikini girl with cupcakes added to her bust for some extra emphasis--and the gal on the cake was well endowed. Dad was so embarrassed when Aunt Jo brought out his cake, and he joined into the spirit of things and enjoyed his cake. Aunt Jo enjoyed asking him which piece he wanted--the right boob or the left one. I can't say I remember which one he picked...

Another time, when my cousin Sondra got married, we stayed in the same hotel as Aunt Jo and Uncle Dale. Aunt Jo immediately took 10 year old Steve into the bathroom, pointed to the sanitary strip that was around the toilet seat and told Steve that he could pee in front or behind that strip, but it had to remain dry or we'd all get in trouble with the hotel. And she did this straight faced.

Of course knowing her, Steve knew she wasn't serious, but he did check with Dad--just to make sure.

Once you grow up, you often see your family members in a different light. That happened to me during a family reunion in the mid 1980's. Aunt Jo is busty. My Dad's sisters are not close to being so blessed. My Aunt Jo and My Aunt Phyllis (Dad's sister) got into a friendly argument about which was better, big boobs or little boobs.

What an eye opener to my 20 some year old ears and eyes! My 50-something Aunts arguing O my gosh! And, to make it worse, they were doing it in front of my 80-something Grandmother! Who was just standing there, laughing! And, then, my Uncles got to give their opinions! The horror! My Uncle Jim stood there and said, "Enough to hold, enough to taste, anymore would go to waste." So then, he and Uncle Dale had to continue arguing--all in fun of course. Still, it was in front of Grandma, and ME! And, Aunt Jo just stood there and chuckled. She'd started this...this...mess.

Yes, Aunt Jo is a prankster. She can make you laugh at yourself and she can also make you feel good about yourself. She never is mean, never nasty. She'd never purposely hurt any one's feelings. She one of those special, giving people. She's close to 80 now. Slowing down, having trouble with her hips and her knees. She's had one of her breasts removed. But she's still pulling pranks, still making jokes, and I still love her.