Friday, October 30, 2009


The night is peaceful. Bats fly overhead, chickens chuckle soft sounds as they settle, and horses make low calling sounds to me, encouraging me to their feed. It was later than I normally do the chores yesterday evening, fully dark. As I emerged from the lights of the garage into the semi-darkness of the driveway, I heard a tremendous crashing in the woods, of something either caught, terribly frightened of me, or both.

I stood still and wondered if the minis had wandered into the woods, which they rarely if ever do, and gotten caught on a vine or the rolled wire fence. As much as I love the peaceful night, I wasn't about to go into the unlit woods to encounter whatever it was that thrashed there. Finally, I heard steps. It had escaped whatever held it there, and I could hear it carefully walking away.

Proceeding to the barn, I found the minis in with the larger ponies. Likely, it had been a deer. A herd of six does were across the street just this week, eyes glowing in our headlights. There must be a bumper crop of deer this year. Carcasses litter the roadsides all over, and I'm guessing body shops are doing a very good business.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I measured the miniature horses for weight in preparation for worming them. Perhaps I can use Roxie for an exercise ball, so round she is getting. Two hundred fifty pounds! Interestingly, Chiron is not so round, yet they eat exactly the same food and are turned out for the same length of time. Both seem to have about the same energy level. Similarly, our newest horse, Etta, is thin but is getting more food than our other two ponies who are fat.

The minis are now on a restricted diet, much to their dismay. They are only turned out on our luscious lawn for half the day. Had I more time, I'd start walking them around the "loop", our 2 mile walk, but for now, I'm still in the college visit mode.

Conversations with William in the car:

Why are those people selling wood? Where did they get that wood? Why doesn't wet wood burn? Why doesn't water burn? Will rubber burn? Will gasoline explode? What if I took a fishing pole and hung a lit match from it over our house, filled the house with gasoline, and stood far away and then let the match fall, would the house explode? What if I took gasoline and poured it all over our driveway and lit it? What is gasoline made out of? How do they make it? What are the ingredients? What if I mixed water with gasoline, would it still burn? What makes things burn? Why does rubber make smoke when it burns? ....Conversation finally ended due to arrival at our destination but fully convincing me why I needed a degree in Chemical Engineering - to answer the questions of a seven year old boy.
(And as a side note, I will be hiding all of our matches.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Show Me the Money

I suppose I didn't expect the FAFSA form to tell me that our family was eligible for financial aid. We're not wealthy, but we make ends meet most months. FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Still, it amuses me to find out what "they" think our family can pay out of pocket for our first college student. It doesn't (or at least the estimate form, I can't fill out the real form until January, I think) ask any pertinent questions like:

  • How much do you spend in horse feed each month?
  • What were your library fines in June?
  • HOW OLD is your van?? (Are you nuts?)
  • How many sizes of gym shoes did your son go through last year?
And then, they could provide some cost savings ideas:
  • Would it be possible for you to live in your car while financing your daughter's education?
  • Have you applied to third shift Walmart yet?
  • Could you sell your dishwasher and wash your dishes in the creek?
  • What is the average temperature in your house? Please lower it 15 degrees in the winter to save on heating bills.
I have learned also that it is to our advantage to not own anything but our house, our cars, our retirement accounts. Our daughter must not own anything. Were I to get a job, after I pay taxes, the amount I earned would go against us and the little bit of loans we qualify for would disappear. So, I will look for little scholarships here and hope that Lauren's piano talent will be recognized.

The silkie chickie is a rooster, as he attacks when you try to pick him up. Once he gets over the initial shock of one's hand, however, he will perch on you like a parrot.

Renee asked me via Facebook how I get our hens to sit on eggs. Well, Renee, they are bantams, and bantams like to sit on eggs. In fact, it can be a problem. We have one hen right now sitting on four dud eggs, and she has for some time. I feed her where she sits, but she waits in vain.

I showed up for a 10 o'clock class yesterday at 10:30, thinking I was on time. The 10:30 class is on Thursday, not Tuesday. I'm losing it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Someday, I hope to become organized. It amuses me to no end that people that aren't often at my house will make a comment to a mutual friend, "she is so organized". I try not to snort. I put on a good show to the outside world.

At home? I think of the other day when dh brought in my meat tenderizer hammer which he found in the yard. Or perhaps the day when I looked over to see William using the sweater shaver (you know, the little thing that takes the pilings off your sweater?) on a banana. My eyebrows are getting out of shape for want of tweezers, which likely have been used in some bug dissection.

I visualize some secret hiding place in my house where, if I could locate it, I might find all the cordless phone sets, a few remote controls, my tweezers, about a dozen or more finger nail clippers, every blasted ink pen I've ever bought, and loads and loads of clear tape. What would you want to find if you located the secret hiding place in your house?

And if you wonder why I'm posting at 1 a.m., if I'm going to keep up this blog, that's when I have quiet and time to write. My current job is to scour the Internet for scholarship opportunities for my up and coming college students. I spent some precious minutes filling out a form for the Optimist Club, only to find that their "submit" button seems to not work. Optimistically, I kept trying to submit, but after several tries, I gave up. I wonder if that was a test I failed? Perhaps I should have kept trying - optimistically.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Used to Be My Blog

Possible reasons I abandoned my poor blog:
  • I've been abducted by aliens.
  • I've gotten the swine flu and now live in the barn.
  • I've lost my mind.
  • Every moment of my day is consumed with college searches, visits and filling out forms.
  • I have no free time.
Well, if you've guessed number one, please come get me. Life inside this space ship is exhausting. And I don't think I've gotten swine flu - yet, but it is all around our community. I think I have lost my mind, so if you find it, please return it to me. And the last two are definitely true.

I will try to regain my footing and post again, as my mom says she hasn't anything to read during lunch. My sister says she keeps up with me by what "used to be my blog". Ouch!

William quote of the day:

"I really like our Church. You know why? 1. It has good value and 2. It doesn't take long to get there."

My nephew called me yesterday to inquire as to how long a pumpkin lasts after you carve it. I am now the great pumpkin expert! My answer was what he wanted to hear - go ahead and carve it!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Punished by Rewards

Bribing with food is not recommended by people who don't have young children and aren't over-scheduled. Knowing better, I still told William that if he came with me immediately without complaining so that I could get to the post office in time to mail an urgent package, that I would buy him an ice cream on the way home.

After mailing the package and on our way home, I heard a familiar refrain: "I'm hungry." I asked is he wanted the promised ice-cream cone or something "more substantial".

"More substantial, please," he replied. Long pause. "What does that mean: 'stantial?"

Thursday, October 01, 2009

William and I began our study of religion that day by discussing the number of Sacraments.

"I know already. Seven," he said confidently. Surprised because I help in another classroom and not his Sunday school class. Our class hadn't yet covered this. I asked if he could name any.

"Well, there is Marriage. Baptism. Then, there is the one where you have to follow the rules."

I was puzzled. Follow the rules?

"Yes, you know, like Father Mark must follow the rules."

Oh, Holy Orders.

Any others?

"Yes, Annoying of the Sick. But I don't know why they use that word: annoying."

About a year after our built, insulation began flaking off and hanging in sheets inside of it. It has taken us about two years total, but today, they will take off the roof, replace the insulation and put the metal roof back on again. It seems that it was a bad batch of insulation.


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