OMGoodness, it was a long weekend.  I’m completely, thoroughly EXHAUSTED.  Did we get it all done?  Nope.  But, wow, we got quite a lot done.  The barn was gutted and we started over….  We now have three separate chicken pens, so far, with more to come.  The bunnies have an approx. 15′ x 12′ foot area for their little colony.  DH promises me toys for the rabbits.  I’m thinking a tiered platform, a place to crawl under, and a few little wire bottom nest boxes.  This with a few cardboard boxes to chew on should make them very happy.   The hens have their coop back and they seem appropriately grateful.  We’ll see how many eggs we get today. 🙂

Ana made Sarah’s birthday cake and did a lovely job.

Let me tell you, the Amish Division of Duties has a purpose!  On Saturday I worked inside all day long.  DH worked outside all day long.  At the end of the day we’d had three square meals, a clean house, crisp laundry, and an altogether pleasant day.  We had supervised children, good naps, and at the end of the day we rested, feeling accomplished.  Did I mention the rhubarb pie?  Hands down, THE best pie I’ve ever made.  And it had the flakiest crust… I used lard instead, as a good cook should. 🙂  I didn’t know you could make pie with ONLY rhubarb and still have it as sweet and delicious as a rhubarb mutt pie.  But I had nothing to mix it with, and was forced to use only rhubarb.  I think I’m making it again today.  So wonderful!

Fast forward to yesterday, day four of our long weekend.  We got moving fairly early on and headed out to the barn for the reconstruction.  I came in at lunch time and made lunch, but other than that we were flying by the seat of our pants.  Oh, and I admit it, we took a one hour nap.  😛  We deserved it.  We didn’t come in for supper last night until almost 9:30 in a last frantic effort to get it all done.  It didn’t happen.

We were expecting a homeschool group today and so that was our motivation to get it all done.  It didn’t happen.  But, as it rained all day yesterday and it’s expected to rain all day today, the visit by the group has been cancelled.  And that’s for the best.  Because everything is MUD.  And on a farm, mud isn’t wet dirt, it’s wet… Well, you get the picture and the picture isn’t pretty.  I’m a little sad as I really wanted to meet everyone!  However, we had planned on a great little picnic lunch, and as DH is only in the planning stages of our big table, we currently only have four chairs, the computer chair, and one very small dining room table.  At meals, two children sit at the island and two more sit at the Step 2 plastic table.  It works well enough, and I’m really excited about the Amish style trestle table we’ve been planning.  We are using reclaimed barn wood and we’ll have big, long benches.  Imagine it – ALL of us sitting around the same table.  Very exciting.  Even better, DH will have made it.  Honestly, I don’t even care if it turns out ugly…  I just think it will be neat to sit around a table my DH made with his own hands. 

What else was on my list?  Oh yes!  Stake the goats.   LOL!  Well, you can’t say we didn’t try.  And try.  And try.  And the only thing it resulted in was putting Heidi up for sale.  This is Heidi:

buddies

She’s a pretty little Saanen, but what we’re going to spend in aspirin really isn’t going to make her worth it.
She uses the window sill of the barn to vault her over a five foot fence.  No, really, she does.  She can crawl through cattle gate and under a gate that the mini doesn’t get through.  She’s exhausting.  So we staked her.  She managed to somehow get the collar to unclip.  How does a goat pull that off?  Sigh.

Stormy & Sunny

Stormy & Sunny

This is Stormy & Sunny.  They’re CJ’s pigs.  Aren’t they, um, well, lovely?  We cleaned their pen yesterday and MY they are naughty…   And yes, daring.  Yes, they escaped too.  Tim was supposed to keep them away while I did poop removal.  Never trust your four year old to hold back the vicious pigs. 🙂  Who KNEW pigs could run that fast?  I sure didn’t.  I tell you I am going to stay in such good shape, lean and trim, this pregnancy.  Stormy and Sunny have learned to tip their trough and roll it through the poop.  Now, that’s FUN.  And they can also jump in their water tub and splash all the water out until it’s light enough to roll around through poop too.  Smart pigs, hm?  Ha Ha.  I outsmarted them.  And, pathetically, I was pretty proud that I *could* outsmart them.  I think the more I work with livestock, the more easily I take pride in being able to outsmart them.  I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or just really sad.   I took my handy dandy drill and attached BOTH to the wall with really long screws.  And they were still there this morning.  Always a good sign.

A Boy & His Boat

A Boy & His Boat

And because rain has ruined my day, here’s the gratuitious rainy day photo.  Nope, not our farm.  It was our house in town last year.  But isn’t it fun? The cardboard box is his boat.  Our neighbor, Jim, (I miss him!) said he was going to put bluegills in there the next time it rained because Tim was so excited about having his very own pond.  Blessedly, shortly after this, DH and another neighbor dug up backyard and fixed the tile.  Poor Tim, no more pond.  But, let be said, the only thing I miss about moving here is that we couldn’t take all of our neighbors with us.  They were so awesome.

Camping

Camping

I REALLY wanted to take the kids to my Uncle John’s timber this weekend camping.  It truly is “roughing” it as there is NO escape from the outdoors – you couldn’t get a camper, or a PortaJohn for that matter, down there if you tried.  But you could never, ever duplicate the experience.  Yes, it’s never fun getting poison ivy on your more delicate parts from visiting Mrs. Murphy (you’d have to read Cheaper by the Dozen to understand), but at the same time, we hunt, gather, and find more herbs and edibles there than you can imagine. 

Rebecca & Jewelweed

Rebecca & Jewelweed

Thankfully, in that very poison ivy filled timber, there is also jewelweed – a.k.a. Touch-Me-Not.  Rebecca is with pale Touch-Me-Nots, but we were also able to find the more potent orange  spotted Touch-Me-Nots.  This was last year.  I have the frozen syrup in my freezer as the dried herb doesn’t work effectively.  Only fresh or frozen… I’ve been storing it all year long, just hoping to get poison ivy to try it out. 

 

Elderberries

Elderberries

A rather nice haul of elderberries wouldn’t you say?  Now, the only thing I’ve wanted to make this year is Clover jam and Dandelion blossom jam.  I was hoping for a trip to the timber yesterday and a batch, but alas, it did not happen.  Now, if only we can stay motivated to finish the barn today and tomorrow, then MAYBE this weekend will be for fun and playing.  Ya think?
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Timothy was a good little boy…  A very active, energetic, slightly frenetic, albeit creative little BOY.  His mama loved Timothy very much… Most days.  But it always seemed as though the occasional, odd day would come along that sweet Timothy would seem to get into everything.

Poor Timothy.  He just didn’t understand.  He was only trying to help.  Why did Mama have that funny look on her face?  Why did her mouth get all tight around the edges and her eyebrows furrow together like that?  Why did she look like she wanted to say something…. But didn’t.   It was because Timmy’s mommy was biting on her very own tongue.

Timothy isn’t much of a sleeper.  As a matter of fact, some might call him an “early bird.”  Rising at the crack of dawn each day, Timothy, our sweet little hard workin’ boy was raring to go from the first light… Some times even earlier than that.  Many days it was before Mama had had her coffee.  And Mama desperately needed a full cup of coffee in order to be prepared to take on the day a la Timmy.  And, even more amazing than Timmy’s ability to wake early even though Mama was shockingly quiet, was his ability to tiptoe down the stairs and into the kitchen with no one hearing him.

But, never fear, if there was one thing Timothy was good at – it was making coffee!  Oh yes!  Coffee was Timmy’s specialty.  He would get out her favorite mug.  He knew she liked it ‘specially well because even though he had dropped it, and broken off the handle, and chipped it, she refused to throw it away.  And he KNEW she really LOVED creamer, because you should see the absolute FIT she’d throw when he’d drink it all up in a cup.  Oh, yes, Mama loved her creamer.  A good, strong shot of creamer, some coffee… What else could Mama want?  Cocoa!  Mama always loved it when Daddy made her cocoa!  But why was his so lumpy?  Daddy’s cocoa didn’t look like that.  Oh well.  Timmy figured he’d just cover it up with a bit of whipped cream!  Oh drat!  Why did it always have to stick to the spoon like that?  Just shake it harder.  Whooops.  We’ll wipe that up later.  Oh Mama is going to be thrilled.

(Little Timmy takes the coffee into Mama’s computer room.  Mama is indeed…. um, well… speechless.)

 

 

Disclaimer: Even though the author does indeed have a sweet little four year old son Timothy, she vehemently denies that the boy in the story bears any resemblance to her son.  All events in the episodes of stories about Timothy are indeed fictionalized.  Any such similarities to events or persons are purely coincidental.  Mmmhmmm….

And thank you Judith Viorst for writing the truly original Alexandar and The…  as we’ve enjoyed it over and over and over again.  Gosh, I wonder why.

Entry 2?

A lot of our conversations in this house revolve around poop.  Yup, not kidding… Poop.

We have one baby, one toddler, and two preschoolers, so poop is a neverending source of conversation.  Some old-time favorites are always size, color, smell, body parts, and the list goes on.  Mom’s least favorite poop topic is location.  Mostly because the conversation always begins with, “Me poo…. or I pooped…”  And ends with me screeching, “You pooped WHERE?!”  It’s not pretty, but I’m convinced it’s normal. 

My oldest daughter, on the other hand, is positive it is NOT normal and we should all pretend as though no one ever poops.  It should not be mentioned.  Ever… That function which shall not be named.   Following one of these conversations you’ll hear her take a deep sigh and mutter, “It’s not okay.  It’s just not okay.  I can’t believe we’re talking about this again.”   And she’ll quietly slink away, pretending not to be listening to the conversation.

Well, I just want to say, “Thank you Tim Hawkins!  I now have the reassurance  I needed to know YES, we’re normal!” 

We got to see Tim perform last weekend in Galena, Illinois.   I’ll admit to being a little giddy at being alone with my husband overnight for the first time in approximately 13 years, but I thought he was fantastic!

His skit on his three year old ds and poop was priceless and I was laughing way louder than I ought according to my husband.  But, gosh, it’s so nice to relate to someone! 

It was with GREAT relief that I came home the next day and reassured our almost 13yo dd, “We’re totally normal!”

She broke my heart. 😦

“No mom, we’re NOT normal.  It’s just that he’s as twisted as we are.”

Sigh.

Whateva’.