Sunday, April 04, 2010

Today I learned a valuable lesson. My husband and I were working on the back of the chicken coop yet again, and the boys were playing in and around the barn. Suddenly there was a piercing scream coming from inside the barn. Our youngest had pushed over a bike with his hand caught in the chain. I saw blood and went into panicked mommy mode. I ran him inside and rinsed his hand, but couldn’t tell how deep the cuts were because the poor kid was thrashing about so much. So we took a trip to the ER, which, thankfully, is only a few miles down the road. The doctors cleaned it up and told me that he wouldn’t need stitches, but to watch out for infection. They bandaged him up, but it didn’t even last a few miles. He was frantic to get those wraps off of his hand. I gave him some Tylenol to ease the pain a little, and then rocked him to sleep up in his room.

I learned that kids will get into any sort of trouble they can if you leave them unattended for even a moment. I’m thinking that the barn will now be off limits for the boys since it is only serving as a storage facility right now. There’s just too much stuff in there for me to let them run free. I feel so horrible that I let him get hurt like that, but my husband reassured me that it’s just part of growing up. I realize that all boys are bound to break bones and get hurt, but that doesn’t make it any easier. And it’s even worse when I think that it was preventable. I have a guy coming out on Tuesday to give us an estimate for a fence near the garden area. I’d like to have somewhere safe to toss the boys when I have to do something outside. I’ll also be on the lookout for some outdoor play equipment. I’m rather jealous of the set-up that my best friend has. Her boys have all sorts of ride-on toys, tunnels, slides, play houses, and even a large sandbox. I am no longer comfortable just letting the boys run free if I have to be distracted with something else. Of course, we’ll still run around together, but when they have a fire lit under them and I have to get some chores done it’d be nice to have a good place for them to play.

I’m sure my boy will be just fine, but it was an eye-opening situation. One of my least favorite games is the “what if” game, but I can’t help but play it at times like this. What if he had climbed up on one of the high piles of boxes and fallen down onto the concrete? What if he had found something sharp? What if… what if… what if? How in the world did moms do it a hundred years ago? Goodness. Well, at least he came out of this relatively unscathed.

On another note, it is very windy out right now. I don’t know what’s doing it, but every time a good gust blows through I hear different notes playing on the wind. It’s like there’s a series of hollow pipes outside. I feel like I’m in the church of wind or something. I’m really surprised the boys are able to sleep through all the noise. I’m hoping this doesn’t mean something is ready to fall off the side of the house. I wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry if something major needed a repair around here, especially with my husband preparing to take off.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Today was a day for driving. Oh my poor aching backside! I really don’t like being in the car for that long, but I guess sometimes it’s just unavoidable. We left just before 9am this morning to drive two hours away to pick up a hundred strawberry plants. After the long drive, we get to this grubby, dirty, unorganized farm full of mangy-looking dogs and illegal-looking workers who didn’t speak a lick of English. It took a while just to find out who was in charge, and then I had to wait while the woman looked through ten different places where files were piled up in a hodge-podge fashion to find the order I was there to pick up. After nearly twenty minutes of looking, she finally found the small box on a pallet ready to ship out via UPS. Yep. I drove two hours out of my way to a chaotic farm only to find out that our box was going to ship out today anyway.

So, oh well. Four hours and a half a gas tank later, I come home to find a few checks in the mail. Well, the boys had already decided to take a premature nap in the van, so I just drove in to the city to the bank to deposit the checks. On the way back from the city, the boys woke up, so I stopped at the store and let them pick out some sand toys. I also got a cheap little kid pool, you know, the 5’ wide plastic things. A few bags of play sand completed our order, and we headed home. It was just after 4pm when we finally got home. We had just enough time to set up the impromptu sand box in the kiddy pool, then the fence guy showed up. He came to give us a quote for a fence out back to keep the boys in while I garden and do outdoor chores this summer. For a little 50’ x 30’ area with one gate, the cheapest he said he could offer (including installation) came out to $3600. OUCH!

I’m pretty sure as soon as my husband sees the estimate he’s going to just throw it in the garbage. We already agreed that we weren’t going to put a lot of our own money into this place since we’d lose it as soon as we moved. That’s a lot of money. So I don’t know what I’m going to do. I need something to keep the boys boxed in, but I would only be willing to pay a couple hundred at the most. I wish I didn’t need it at all, but with two toddlers and me being here all by myself I’d rather not take the chance of losing one or both of them to the cars and trucks that thunder by on the road all day. I think they would have a lot of fun in a fenced-in area. They already love the little sandbox, and I plan on getting a little slide from Grandma. I’ll probably put their little folding table and chairs out there for drawing and eating on. Toss in a little tent full of cars and blocks, and I think they would be content to spend the entire day outside.

It’s nice to be out of the vehicle now. My back is absolutely killing me. I think I aggravated it the other day when I spent the whole hour at the ER bouncing Gavin around to keep him distracted from his hurt hand. He sure isn’t a baby anymore. It’s amazing how fast they grow! I hope I’m feeling better tomorrow, because I think I’m in for a day of tilling if the weather is nice.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

If the weather is nice. Huh. Seems like I made a backward forecast. Today looks like it will be full of rain showers, which means that my tilling is put on hold temporarily. Oh well. There are plenty of other things to get done: laundry, bread baking, putting together hive frames, and or course – keeping the boys entertained. They already helped me with mixing the bread dough. My three year old helps measure the ingredients and put them in the bowl, and my almost-two year old operates the mixer. They both get a bit of dough to knead after the dough is stiff enough to turn out. Inevitably, my youngest eats his piece of dough raw. Yuck! He’s a strange one, that’s for sure. Then as the dough is rising they run around like crazy people, stopping every few minutes to look through the oven window and check to see if the dough is growing. It’s funny how slow time goes for children. They are constantly bringing my attention to the bread, like it’s just going to explode or something if I don’t hurry up and bake it. I know as soon as it’s done rising the second time, they’ll be sitting there watching it bake. To them it takes forever for the bread to finish. Then, as soon as it’s out of the pan to rest on the wood board, they absolutely NEED a piece or they will die. Hot-out-of-the-oven bread is difficult to cut into slices, but sooooo yummy! I totally agree with them that it’s worth a burnt finger or two and a wonky looking slice. Slathered with homemade strawberry jam or honey, and it’s a meal fit for royalty.

I’d love to write more now, but I have a lot to get done. Toodles!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Geez, this Michigan weather sure knows how to confuse a body. Just two days ago it was near freezing, and now it’s up near 70 and hot hot hot! We’ve been getting a lot of rain, which is nice, but it’s not helping my plants out too much because I still haven’t gotten any planted. We have a very dear old man who lives across the way from us, who has graciously offered to till up the back 3 acres. The problem is that he also has his 160 acres to farm, and the weather has been uncooperative. It looks like we won’t be tilled out until a few weeks from now, when my husband will surely be gone to his training. It’s frustrating me just a bit, because I would very much like to get going on planting out the berries that came in the other day, as well as spring crops like salad mixes, radishes, peas, and the like.

The folks who own this place put in an order for a bunch of trees a while back, and those are also due to arrive any day now.  Supposedly they were shipped out Friday. I hope that means we have the rest of the weekend to finish digging holes, because it’s proving to be a big job. While my husband has been mowing the lawn, I have been out back with the kids digging huge 3’ holes for the orchard. They ordered 4 apples, 2 peaches, and 3 cherries. They also ordered 6 sugar maples, a couple dozen fast growing wind break trees, and a couple Forsythia. I have no idea how big any of these trees are going to be when they arrive, so I’m digging the holes as large as I can. So far I have worked about an hour and a half at it and only completed 4 holes. Yikes! I had to finally take a break to come inside for some refreshingly cold water and a short sit-down. I may be young and spry, but I am certainly not in good shape. Those holes are making me use muscles I haven’t used in a loooong time, and I’m sure I’ll be feeling it come Monday.

Yesterday we had a fun family outing. We went to the Lansing Gun and Knife Show at the Mason fairgrounds. I have never seen so many guns in one place before. We had a lot of fun walking up and down the myriad aisles and checking out all of the different brands and calibers. My husband has set his sights on a .45 Taurus 1911, but I tended toward the smaller ones. Regardless, we can’t afford a pistol for either of us just yet, as the price range started around $350 and rocketed up from there. I’m very much looking forward to next weekend, when I will take my CPL (Concealed Pistol License) course and apply for my concealed carry permit. As soon as I figure out what caliber and brand I’m most comfortable shooting, you can bet I’ll be paying a visit to a local gun shop and picking one up. There’s no way I’m going to be that woman whose husband went overseas and left her without a way to protect the family. Maybe if I was religious I could believe that some eye in the sky was watching over us, but that’s just not me. I’ll take our safety into my own hands, thank you very much.

The show also gave me a good idea for another small side-hobby that could potentially make some money. There was one table run by a gentle, grandmotherly woman, and on that table was spread a few dozen concealed carry purses. Ingenious! They were drab-looking purses, not fashionable by any stretch of the imagination, but they all had a little locking zipper down the center on the side that led to a hidden holster built right there into the purse. She was asking anywhere from $40-80 per purse, but like I said… they were not too attractive. So I’m thinking that maybe next winter if I get bored and have some time to dilly around with sewing projects, I might buy some cheap purses that look decent enough and alter them to fit a holster with a locking zipper on the outside. If anything, at least I’ll be able to make one for myself and any friends or family members.

Okay, I guess it’s back to the grindstone now. I’ve wasted an entire half hour sitting on the computer writing and playing spider solitaire. I hope everyone else it out enjoying this beautiful day as well!

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