Monday, April 21, 2008

Typical crazy day

This photo has little to do with this blog post but since I seem to have trouble posting without at least one picture I thought I'd share it. It's funny anyhow.

This morning I woke up at 8, around the same time as the kids. They hung around in bed for a little while and I started the teapot. I had to wait a bit for the electricity to gear up as the sun crept over the trees to the East so while waiting for the toaster and the internet I used reserve battery power on the computer to work a while on transcribing grant info for the flamenco conservatory. This is work that I do in exchange for a reduction on my tuition for dance class. The kids started to get hungry so I put some oatmeal on for them. When there was enough electricity for my toast, I got that going plus some tea and checked e-mail while the kids ate. Then I finished my grant work and made my way outside by 9 or so. Chris does the morning feeding of livestock so I was able to get straight to watering. While we do have drip irrigation in place, none of it is on timers yet so I have to manually open and close all the valves. Some of my beds are not set up for drip yet either so I water those by hand. And then there are all those starts! Lots of little pots to water.

So I worked on watering, making rounds, checking animal water, spraying aphids off the peach trees, dragging hoses around, adjusting shade cloths, pulling a few weeds, occasionally going back inside to help a kid with something, answering a couple phone calls, and getting quite crispy and dusty out there in this dry, warm, windy, and dusty weather that has been nearly constant for weeks now.

Around 10:30 I made my way back inside to see what the kids were up to. I got some checks written for bills and made a shopping list for the co-op. I was feeling somewhat optimistic that I'd get done with all the morning rounds in time to get out of the house and run all the errands I needed to do before getting to our regular Monday homeschool park day at around 1:30. One of the moms in our group is seriously ill and she was planning to drop her daughter off at that time and I had told her that I would try to get Eliza to the park on time so her daughter would have someone to play with (the other kids who were sure to be on time are all older). I also needed to get to the co-op, the bank, a mail drop, and a few random errands. I try to combine errands whenever possible so when I go to park day I always try to squeeze in other things as well. Today I was so close, but it wasn't meant to be.

Eliza and I hopped in the bath and it took forever to get the tangles out of her hair. It was past 11 by then but I was still thinking I'd make it out on time. I had to run back outside to shut off water here and turn on water there and take some scraps to the chickens. Back inside I started to put together a bag full of everything I needed to take for the park and all the errands, not to mention all my dance clothes for class later in the evening. I usually go straight to class after park day, again to save driving (Chris meets me and takes the kids). At some point, fast approaching noon, I noticed that the cows were out in the street.

Yes, the cows were in the street. Chris' dad was down there trying to get them back in, but that's usually at least a two person job so I started frantically trying to find shoes and sunglasses and car keys (the street is 1000 feet away and I had to get there fast) but by the time I finally got it all together I could see that the cows were back where they belonged. The gate had been opened for our neighbor so he could bring his big tractor in to laser level one of our large pastures and when no one was looking the three cows just walked out. But they still needed to get the tractor back out when they were done and it wasn't right that they were having to contend with mischievous livestock so I walked down the field with some hay and lured the little $#!+s up the field to a place where they could be locked up and out of the way. That took about 30 minutes.

Then the great Leaving for the Park Routine officially began. I had to find clothes for Eliza. This was not easy because all the clean laundry is in a huge pile on the bedroom windowsill (remember they are deep sills) and her little shorts and t-shirts just drown among all the sheets and towels. I found some shorts but no decent shirt (i.e. one that isn't full of stains) but I remembered that there was a nice shirt in the car so I just got the shorts and underwear and the only pair of shoes I could find, some sandals that she wore last year. The kids were outside somewhere so I figured I could use that momentum and just get the house locked up and ready to go--I could get her dressed outside. So I gathered up the dance bag, the bills for the mail, and Eli's partial outfit, ran around turning off phantom loads and locking doors, and headed outside. On the way I stopped in the mud room and filled a chick waterer so I could replace the one in the brooder with fresh water. OK, I was outside with the waterer and the stuff and we were officially in Leaving Mode. I popped into the shop to exchange chick water and find a dying chick in the brooder. There was no hope for this little guy--his neck seemed twisted and he was near the end. I wasn't going to let him continue to suffer so I had to finish him off myself. I'm sure you don't want to know the details but I promise you it was instant and painless.

It was now almost 1:00. None of us had eaten since breakfast and all I had was toast so we were all hot, hungry, and cranky. The wind was kicking up. I locked up the shop after the chick murder and realized I needed to wash my hands. On my way back into the house, which I had to unlock, Eliza came around the bend--naked and covered with mud. Remember she just had a bath. So it's back into the house to clean up again. I'm laughing now but at the time it was not so funny. Typical, but not funny. Another attempt to get out of the house and I got her shorts on and tried to get her sandals on but they don't fit at all. Hoping there are shoes for her in the car, I ask Scotty to find his bike and get it to the car. The car, by the way, happened to be parked about 100 feet down the driveway for some reason. Halfway to the car Scotty announced he couldn't find his bike helmet. Back to the backyard to look for the helmet. No helmet. I remembered seeing one in the house--so it's back in the house again through the locked door (fumbling for the key while holding bags of stuff). Got the helmet, can't find the bike rack. Oh, have to remember to shut off the rest of the irrigation! Walk around to the pump house, find the bike rack, hike the 100 feet to the car.

Eliza's nice shirt was not in the car.

Yes, Chris had thoughtfully cleaned out the car earlier in the week and everything was now--back in the house. Well, at least there was a pair of shoes for her in there. So after another round trip to the house the kids were dressed and in the car. It took me several minutes to get the bike rack on the car and the bike secured. Finally we were on our way, and it was 1:20. The park is 20 minutes away and we still had to stop at the co-op.

The drive to the co-op is uneventful but when I got there and parked I realized that I had left my purse at home!!!! Thank goodness I had the rent money from our tenant in my pocket, which I was going to take to the bank (one of several errands that never happened), so we could still do our grocery shopping and have food for the park.

We finally arrived at the park at around 2:30. The wind was going strong by then and we spent about 3 hours there. I wound up missing the first hour of dance because my friend wasn't back from her Dr. appointment in time and I was watching her daughter, but I finally made it to my class at 6:30 and danced hard for an hour. I got home around 8 and had dinner, caught up with Chris for a few minutes, made the kids a snack, and sat down at the computer to catch up on email. Now I'm in bed with the computer and the huge pile of laundry that needs to be put away. Hmmmm, do I blog or fold laundry? That is the question most nights.

I don't know, I guess I am a bit disorganized, but today is so typical of this swirling, unpredictable life of farming and homeschooling and dancing and playing and loving. I'm not complaining, just letting you know why I don't blog more often! OK, back to mostly pictures for a while. Thanks for reading.


Danielle said...


yeah, you're soooo much busier than I am! I can't imagine trying to cram all those things into one day—I'd be totally fried! We do try to combine errands, but I don't think we could do that many transitions and then do a park day. Someone would melt.

Oh, and you've seen Jules's hair, haven't you? We would've skipped that whole tangle thing and non-stained clothing thing, assuming that the clothing would be stained by the end of park day anyway.

And it would've been goats in the street somehow instead of cows. *grin*

Jenny said...

Yeah, I know that there is a portion of this that I have brought upon myself. I have struggled with whether or not I should be doing the dance class but it just helps so much with my mental and physical health I'm really reluctant to give it up.

As for the hair and shirt--if it was just going to be the park that's one thing, but at the time of the bath I was still planning to hit the bank and a couple of stores. Eli's hair is more than just tangles, it's usually mud too and who knows what else. We were coming off a week of being home so she was pretty dirty. I mean, she really does look like one of those kids in the Christian Children's Fund commercials! Jules just looks like she has a bit of bed head.

And it's funny, but the kids stay much cleaner at the park than they do at home. Park day is one of the days that I can put Eli in her "nicer" clothes.

Goats still getting your goat, are they?

Mik & Mac said...

Don't lose the dance class! From the sounds of things, they haven't changed much since we moved up here. I think you'd go insane if you didn't have your dance class!

I am soo excited to be seeing you guys again soon. I am really looking forward to seeing the farm again too!!

Two more weeks!!!

Love and hugs!

karl said...

i know what you mean about wanting a photo for every post.

boy you sure have been busy.