Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rolex

Fish in My Hair said, "Man, I could blog a whole lot more if my family would quit bugging me to cook meals and do laundry, like they think I'm some kind of mom or something. Gosh!" and I have to agree with her wholeheartedly. I'd love to write more, and I only have a moment right now. I need to go wash off the barn smell of me and drive to Lexington to pick up my daughters who are spending the afternoon with cousins watching "Stadium jumping" at the Kentucky Horse Park's Rolex Competition. Dh is in Palm Springs, California supposedly at a business convention to which he brought his golf clubs. And me? I am with little Superhero mucking stalls. Something stinks around here and it isn't just me!

Speaking of Rolex, I did spend a little time yesterday watching beautiful, huge horses cantering around and going over seemingly impossible jumps. It was breath-taking. I'm thankful, however, that neither daughter is interested in this sport themselves, both because it would certainly take years off my life watching them, and because I'd never be able to afford it. The money that some people must have to participate in such an event!

While there, I watched as many people as I did horses. There was one group, led by a grey-haired tour guide I guessed. Now you have to imagine, it's rainy, you have to sit on the grass, most people were wearing jeans, barn boots or gym shoes, comfortable clothing, and ponchos (which makes everyone look slightly goofy). This group, with a very blond, expensively woman accompanied by two very urban looking men, one in dark glasses (it was overcast all day) stood and looked about. There was something in their demeanor that said they were not only looking at the horses, they were expecting others to look at them. They walked off, she with her arms hooked with a man on each side.

I suppose there was a very, very short moment in my life when I might have gotten a look, and was well dressed enough to feel good about the way I look. Nowadays, if someone looks my way its more like I look to see if I "stepped in it" or have toilet paper hanging from my backside. But these weren't early twenty-somethings. They were older. I just wondered who they were that they seemed to think they were "somebody".

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Why You Should NOT Make Your Bed

Flylady's new habit for April is to make your bed everyday. She also is really into de-cluttering. I obviously haven't followed the guidelines as I was perusing the May 2005 issue of National Geographic. Hey, I hate to throw them out. You never know when you might need an article about the one-eyed toad of Borneo or a fish that lives near the sulfur vents at the bottom of the ocean.

Anyway, I found this article that I thought everyone might need to have in the event that someone came to visit and your beds weren't made. You could say, "Gee, haven't you read that making beds is unhealthy??"

HEALTH
An unmade bed may help you breathe easier.
A study suggests that microscopic dust mites - implicated in some respiratory problems - are less likely to survive in unmade beds; exposure to air dehydrates the creatures. But warmth and moisture trapped in smoothed sheets may help dust mites thrive.

My kids were sure happy to read this. They plan to implement it immediately. Wait, they've been implementing it for a long time now. The days of making beds are over. (As if they ever really made their beds.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Who?

Anna and I were making dinner one night and listening to National Public Radio news. That day's news included the visit of President Hu of China. Who? we joked.
When Lauren returned we said to her, "Lauren, Hu is the President of China." "I don't know," she said. "Exactly. Hu."

So, now we are going to have to look up the Abbott and Costello routine on the internet, where it appears widely available, since they've not heard it, and don't know of Abbott and Costello. There's a five minute clip of it at http://www.phoenix5.org/humor/WhoOnFirst.html

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day

What's your footprint? Take this quiz for Earth Day to see your impact on the world. http://www.myfootprint.org/

I often think about this. I'd love to ride my horse or take our pony cart to the grocery. To do so would be suicide. Even to drive the car is risky, given that our town refuses to buy modern stop lights and relys on a flashing red light. No one can ever figure out whose turn it is next.

Anyway, I digress. I do have a garden, try to keep off the air-conditioning as long as possible, and compost. Still, I have a footprint of 16! It would take three and one half worlds if everyone lived as I do.

Something to think about.

Video Update of Baby Foal

Here's a clip of the foal.


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Happy Easter!

Did I say I wasn't going to procrastinate? Here is the photo I took of the kids for Easter.
Notice that Lauren got her braces off!


My New Year's Resolutions....

I decided to finally put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, about my New Year's Resolutions.

My first one, that I thought of yesterday, was:

I will not procrastinate.....

I want to add others but I'll write them out tomorrow.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Serious Cuts

Warning: Contains some graphic description, but not too much. There's more on TV than here.

I've debated on whether to blog about this, for I don't want to admit how stupid I was. But, I suppose everyone has their stupid moments. Self-recrimination is awful. After much thought, I decided that I had to share what I had learned.

The Accident
Wm had spent the day wrapping his legs from knee to foot in vet wrap. For those of you that are not "horsey", this is a colorful, stretchy, somewhat sticky material that is used to keep bandages on horse legs. He had completely wrapped one leg, looking much like a burn patient, and was wanting to do the other. He asked me to cut the vet wrap.

Now, I don't own a pair of scissors that would cut paper, or so I thought. If I went looking for a sharp pair, I couldn't find them. I grabbed the only sharp pair I own, and cut the fabric, not knowing that his finger extended underneath. He screamed, and I discovered that I had cut the tip of his finger, severing a piece of skin about the size of a pencil eraser. Nothing is worse than the feeling a mother has for injuring a child, no matter that it was unintentional.

The Treatment
From this moment of stupidity, I did some things right. We applied pressure to the wound, got him (and us) calmed down. We put the flap of skin inside a baggie, which we placed inside a baggie of ice. We headed to the emergency room three miles away.

The people there are very kind and reassuring to Wm. The doctor, however, sadly told me that they could do nothing but bandage it, and that it would heal fine, with perhaps a scar there. Being young, he had an advantage. So, they bandaged the finger, gave a prescription for antibiotics and sent us home, telling us to see a hand specialist when we could. I looked for the baggie, but they'd evidently thrown it away. My instinct was to keep it, but I let it be overridden by the "experts".

The Next Day
...I took William to the Jewish Hand Center, which is one of the, if not THE, best hand center in the world. They do amazing things there. The first thing the doctor there asked me was where was the skin that was cut off. I deflated like a balloon. "You mean you could have used it?" He smiled sadly and nodded. The skin could have been used as a "biological dressing", keeping the wound less raw. It would be much like a skin graft. Occassionally, it grows back, though not always.

And while he told us to finish the antibiotic, he said that rarely do such wounds become infected with proper care. "No, matter," he told me, patting me on the arm. "It will heal fine." Then, he took photos with the most high tech cell phone I've seen and sent us off after bandaging.

What I Learned
I've tried to use this whole experience as a learning experience for me and the girls. It will all come out okay, now. Here are some things though I wish I had done.

1. Of course, never cut anything that anyone is holding, even if your scissors never work on anything else. I guarantee you they'll work on fingers.

2. Keep all pieces regardless of what the doctor in the ER tells you. You can throw it away later if it turns out to be useless, but better safe than sorry. The ER did several times asked how did I know to put the piece inside a baggie and to place that sealed baggie inside another with ice? (I don't know, it just seemed to make sense at the time.) They said often, pieces are put directly into ice which makes them soggy and unusable.

3. Find out if your city has any "specialties" and where to go for them in non-life-threatening emergencies. In the Louisville area, we have the Hand Center and a Heart center . Knowing what I know now, I would go directly to the Jewish Hospital ER, because they work more closely with the Hand Center. (God forbid I have to go again!) Of course, nearest hospital if it is a life-threatening emergency.

4. Whenever you think you just can't handle one more thing, it'll happen.

5. Having your four year old hug you and say, "Mommy, I 'give you." (forgive) does much to soothe a soul.

6. Mommies are better at bandaging than strangers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now?

Anna had a well-checkup today at the pediatrician's office. One of the screenings included hearing. She passed with flying colors. Obviously, as any mother would tell you, that they neglected to test the more important factor: listening.

At lunch today, I mentioned that she still hadn't eaten the pears I bought specially for her. "Oh, I didn't know they were in there, " she said. Don't you remember, I pressed her, when I was unloading groceries and I told you about the pears? "I thought you were talking about socks," she replied. Now, generally, I don't store sock in the refrigerator, though I probably have absent-mindedly put strange things in there occasionally. This time, however, my Alzheimer's was in remission and I was focused.

The doctor's office also required me to sign the HIPAA papers again for the five billionth time. I think, had I ever actually read it, I would have it memorized by now. Maybe I could come up with a form like that for the kids, and after asking or telling them something, I could get them to sign off on it, swearing they knew what I just said and will comply. I have a feeling that even so, we'll end up with squishy pears in the fruit drawer and me skaking my head as I throw them in the chicken food.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Maggie Teaches the Baby to Go Outside

Today, we opened the stall door to let Maggie take her foal outside for the first time. The foal didn't immediately follow. Watch how patiently Maggie returns, goes around the foal and tries to lead him by example. At the end you'll see her patiently stand with him for a little bit, but right after, she again went out, and he followed. If only all human parents were as patient!


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Video of Baby Running


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A Good Day to Homeschool - Photo















Lauren with the baby taking a nap.
















Me, holding the baby.
















It's been a long morning :-)

It's A Boy!


Born to Maggie the Minature, a colt weighing in at 19.5 pounds and 6.1hh (25 inches). He looks like his daddy, as the mom is a dark bay.

I had just returned home from Home Depot, and the girls were out in the field gathering horses for the farrier. While the farrier worked, one of the girls looked in the stall, and there he was! They'd, after weeks of sleeping in the barn, missed the actual birth.

We are all happy though that he is very strong and nursing well. Funny, even only an hour old, he tried to buck and kick at us, though he could barely stand.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Full Moon...

...doesn't bring on a birth in a miniature horse. To those of you wondering, you can chuck out your Farmers' Almanac now. It's pure fiction! Maybe though, it's because there were clouds last night which covered the moon at times, and the horse couldn't actually see the moon anyway, given that she was in her stall and is too small to see out the window. I should maybe parade her up and down the yard. The girls reminded me that Wm was born only after I'd had four Cokes for a stress test. I reminded them that it was the threat of being induced that caused him to be born the following day. Still, would a horse drink Coke?

Eggs
Anna, Willliam and I are working on dying eggs that do not have artificial basis - for example, vegetable dyes - and are looking for ideas of dyes that are around the house. So far, we've been very successful with tumeric for yellow and onion skins for orange. Beet juice is working a little bit for the light pink and red wine gives a dull and not very pretty purple, but at least I can drink the wine later today :-)

The spinach juice we made by boiling and then mixing spinach isn't working too well for green- although if my Aracauna chickens were doing their job, I wouldn't NEED green eggs, I'd have them. They are taking time off because a colleague of theirs, a Bantam, is sitting on a few of their eggs. They take this as a sign that they don't need to lay. And boiled dandelions made a yellowish-brownish brew that hasn't affected the eggs. So, do you have any ideas for common household veggies or non-poisonous things that can dye eggs? We are finding this a little more interesting than dropping in the tablets from the kit at the grocery.

Smallpox
Lauren is reading Caroline B. Cooney's book Code Orange. I've not even looked at it, but today she looked up from the book and began telling me about smallpox, and how it is now erradicated in the U.S. She went on to tell me about the vaccine, how they developed it, the Latin derrivative of the word and that it means "cow", and that there is a small amount of the virus still stored somewhere. After lunch, she spent some time on the internet, and I heard Anna ask why all the photos of people with smallpox were black. "Because most of the reported cases are in Africa." The book, she reports, is about the virus being accidentally released from a lab.

It's hard at times to see the kids laying around reading. Immediately, "Do your schoolwork" meaning "the work I assigned" comes to mind. Yet, most likely this kind of learning is more memorable. Finding a topic interesting and researching it to the end of your interest level is definitely more appealing and meaningful.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

No Foal Yet

Maggie the Mini hasn't delivered yet, but my friend, Becky, who swears by Farmers' Almanac and will go out at 2 a.m. to plant asparagus because that's the best time to plant it on the third Sunday after a quarter moon and if you are facing East, says it'll be tonight because there is a full moon. I'm interested to see if she is right. The last storm and drop in the barometer didn't do it as some predicted.

Lauren has researched the internet and found that many mares are foaling late this year. Interesting. I wonder what explains this phenomena?

The girls sleep each night in the barn on a very cozy, yet hard bed of straw covered with sleeping blankets. We have a baby monitor there so that I can lay in my more comfortable bed and hear if they call. All I hear all night is the sound of the peepers next door and my big TN Walker snoring. Maybe it's more akin to heavy breathing or moaning, but it does keep one awake!

The peepers are quite loud. We used to have one or two. Now, with the addition of my neighbor's pond (aka septic settling basin - EWWWW), the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of Frogs has moved in. It is almost annoying, it is so loud. I've countered with Lester, our rooster, who mistakenly thinks the sun rises at 5 a.m. He is housed not too far (100 feet) from the neighbor's house.

We are off to the local Irish Pub to celebrate the removal of Lauren's braces and cast! She now has retainers that make her sound like she has had her tongue cut out. She is looking forward to eating a lot of sticky candy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Why You Don't Usually See.....

....women with children painting black, four-board fences. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Sieve

I've not written in awhile. Though I'm big on multi-tasking, there just aren't enough of me and too many of everyone else. Perhaps I try to do too much?

The analogy of a sieve came to me the other day. It is difficult being a SAHM because my days are often like a sieve. It's my job to try to fill the sieve, which on any given day contains a variety of holes. Some days, I can get ahead a little if there aren't too many holes. Some days, the sieve is made of a screen door and even using a firehose wouldn't fill it. I try to make filling the sieve fun some days, and other days, well, it's enough to be trying to fill it at all. And in the end, when I wake up in the morning, no matter how hard I filled it the day before, the sieve is empty and I have to start all over again trying to fill it.

Morty
Last week, we picked up Mortimer, aka Morty. We are going to "free lease" him for a little while, meaning we don't own him, but pay for all his care. Morty is a great horse, but prone to laminitis because he's insulin resistant. Basically, Morty is like a middle aged man that has Type II diabetes and hasn't had enough exercise. Rich, green grass is his candy.

We are learning all about managing this.
If you are interested in reading more about it, go to http://www.safergrass.org/



Spring Fling


Anna rode this past Saturday at the Mounted Games "Spring Fling" competition. I begged dh to go, to see how well Anna rides. The morning was the most miserable, wet morning a rider could endure. Yet, by afternoon, by which time dh had headed for home, it was a beautiful day. Anna was all smiles though, as her dad saw her ride and she was having fun.






William amused himself with a few other kids on this awesome dirt pile.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Amish Friendship Bread

A true friend, my dh says, would not give you a project bread, a live thing you have to care for. A true friend would bake it for you and bring it with a cup of hot coffee. I wonder - a true friend would bring to you this "bread" (a.k.a. pound cake - 'cause that's how much weight you gain just looking at it)??

My first experience with Amish Friendship Bread was about 10 years ago when a friend gave to me a "starter" baggie of it. A live culture, she begged me to take it because she couldn't bear to see it die, yet could find no friend to agree to take it. I was suckered into it, and ten days later, made the bread. It was so delicious, that every ten days when the starter was finished, I'd make more. That month, dh and I began to pudge out. Pawning my starter off on other unsuspecting folk, I got out of the Friendship Bread business.

Recently, after reading about the Amish, I remembered this bread and that my dds hadn't ever had it. So I looked it up on the internet and found many recipes. I printed out one and began my starter. It is due to be finished on Friday. The good news is that my recipe does say that you can freeze the starter, so that I don't have to go around pathetically trying to find a friend who will care for my starter's offspring.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I've Been Here Too Long

It's official: I'm a Kentuckian. It won't be true chronologically until 2008, when I will have lived here as long as I lived in Ohio. But, it is culturally true right now. It has seeped into my bones. How do I know? This supposedly educated woman told her daughter that, though she'd been invited to go to Germany this year for a horse competition, it would depend on "who'all is going".

All is a word used liberally here. It doesn't seem superfluous because it is artfully blended into the word preceding it. Y'all might understand if your'alls neighbors all talked this way, even the ones that are teachers. You'all (saying YOU instead of y'all is used when emphasizing YOU)might know who'all is from around here if you'all just listen to the way we'all talk.

You can shoot me now and put me out of my misery.





On another note, I received this correspondence from my dad about the storms in northeastern Ohio:
(note: Diane is my sister and Dad's apartment is attached to her house)

I suppose you really don't think much about your electricity till you don't have it. Last night about 11:15 pm I heard what sounded like a freight train off in the distance and I have always heard this means a Tornado is in the area.

I kept listening to it and all of a sudden a torrent of rain slashed against my bedroom window for just a minute or so and then the lights went out.at first I groped my way into the living room to retrieve my flashlight and sat there in the glow of that waiting for the lights to come back on as they usually do (They did not!) I then lit up my old time kerosene lamp which wasn't much better. Diane fussed at me saying it was too dangerous to use so I turned it off and tried to do some reading by flashlight.

After an hour of that I went to bed. In the morning we still had no power but Diane came to my rescue with a large 20oz. cup of coffee I think Joe picked up on the way back from his workout, It really tasted good as I was sure I Was sure I would have to go without.

So I went TV shopping today and on my way out you could see that what looked like a mini tornado came across the property and took off a large limb by the gate which brought down the power line. You could see the line it traveled as it crossed the field knocking down one fence crossed the field and knocked down another one and toppled several trees beyond that, a neighbor also lost a very large tree.

When I got home from shopping I had to leave my car at the gate as the power co. truck was blocking the drive. The power did not com back on till about 3:30 this afternoon. I have to go now and get my car at the gate.
Just north of us in Indiana, the storms have been bad this week: high winds, tornados. It seems that something happens to the strength of them as they cross the Ohio River. I live 5 miles south of the Ohio.

Last night, we watched the storms coming in. The lights flickered and then went out. We listened to our battery-operated NOAH radio, and learned that it wasn't going to be bad. We read a little by candlelight, and then went to bed in a very quiet house.

In the middle of the night, the lights all came on. Our elderly neighbor just across the road called and said she didn't have lights, and was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Perhaps later, I'll see if she needs a hot dinner. I am going to make chili, since it is getting chilly outside.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hysterical

My mom and sisters will know what I mean when I say that now and again, something will hit a group of (particularly) women as so funny they laugh until tears begin streaming down their faces. As they watch each other laugh, they laugh harder, all the while thinking inside that it wasn't really THAT funny but we can't stop laughing.

Such was the case the other night at the dinner table. William, age 4, had been teasing the dog from the table with his hamburger patty, which he seemed to find amusing. Right up until the moment the dog reared up and swallowed the patty whole, leaving Wm empty-handed. A wail went up to wake the dead. "I want my hamburger!"

I put on my best mommy voice and explained that teasing the dog at the dinner table - LOUDER: "I want another hamburger"- (I'm hiding my smile behind my hand now) was not a good thing to do and that we had no more hamburger - BLUBBERING: "but I WA ANOBBER BAMBURBUR". At this point, I caught my daughters' eyes and I started laughing. Their favorite part of the movie, The Pink Panther, was when the inspector (Steve Martin) was trying to lose his French accent by being tutored. He tried to say, "I would like to buy a hamburger". The more Wm wailed, the more he sounded like Inspector Clusoe. "AHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh wann a burbbber!" The tears began to flow as we pushed over the threshhold of hysterical laughing.

Luckily, Wm finally caught the humor and began, reluctantly, to laugh himself. He wasn't so much hungry still as mad that the dog had nabbed his burber.

Notes:
Lauren attended a Parelli clinic yesterday as an "audit" (just watching).
We cut grass for the first time this year.
We went for a horse ride - Wm. rode Jorgen with Daddy walking alongside.
No news yet on Maggie - she's as big as a horse (cough) but no baby born yet.
We went to a cool restaurant in Shelbyville, KY called Fiesta Mexicana, which was so Mexican, we had a hard time placing our order due to lack of Spanish on our part and English on theirs.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Appliance Virus

Shortly after reading Fish in My Hair's crisis with boxer shorts accumulating due to dryer malfunctions, I started my dishwasher and heard the sound of impending disaster. I can only think that somehow, I've caught an appliance virus, sent through the computer through her blog. And, unlike her dh who might take his time fixing their ailing machines, mine considers all appliance repair to be under my job description.

Granted, I consider such occurances to be a throwing down of the glove, a challenge. I will not call an appliance repair man (and they almost always are men) because 1. they charge an ungodly amount just to show up without so much as lifting a finger, 2. they assume I know nothing and talk to me like a 2 year old, and 3. it has happened to me more than once that they've arrived, turned on the blamed machine which moments earlier would not work, and voilĂ , it turns on. "I'm sorry, ma'am, there's nothing wrong with it. Ya just have to push this here button."

After about $500 spent three weeks ago to repair parts of our ailing septic system, it again overflowed into the garage (where the relief valve is) whenever I did laundry. I convinced dh that we needed to dig up the pipe before the septic tank, and there we found a line break with a root ball as big as a car in there. The pipe is now clear, but due to weather, we've had this open hole, 4 feet deep, in our back yard. Soon, I'll learn pipe repair. I'm beginning to learn why people just up and buy NEW houses.

I've learned to fix the washer, dryer, computers, wire the house for electrical, and now, I'm about to learn about dishwashers. Of course, if you turn on the ceiling fan in the living room, the automatic garage door opens, but hey, the fan works.

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