1 June 2017

Leftovers

We had a friend over for supper. She’s funny, great company, and very busy. We don’t see her often. We sat and talked, enjoyed our meal. She brought a salad. A seven layer salad she called it, to be exact. I was digging in, scarfing down the unusual, for us, dish. She gave a list of ingredients, at mayonnaise I nearly gagged on my mouthful. Anything can be good if you don’t know what it is. I shrugged mentally, attempting to hide any outward reaction, and told myself that if it tasted good before that horrible word was uttered it tasted just as good after. Eating more was difficult though.

She offered to leave the remains for us to finish at another meal. We happily accepted, the rest of my family not sharing my revulsion of mayonnaise for some strange reason. Bidding her a fond farewell, with hopes to see her again much sooner than the last spell between visits, we promptly forgot her offering in the refrigerator.

Going in after milk or some other much needed commodity, I would glance towards that lower shelf upon which it sat and think absently to myself that I should do something about that, then completely forget about it again. Finally, needing the space, I dug it out, fearing to open the lid, and sat it on the counter. I would take it out to the chickens and open it out there, by now it must be getting a bit stinky, no use in smelling up the house.

And there it sat. A large flat dish, taking up most of my counter space but useful to set other things on top of so we could work around it. Spring is busy. I got busy and forgot about it, sitting there taking up my whole counter. I always meant to get to it, as soon as I finished washing the other dishes. As soon as I got lunch made. As soon as we finished working cattle and there was more time. Until, I couldn’t stand the mess in the kitchen any longer. All the dishes must be washed! I was on a mission.

How do other people manage it? I am proud to be a member of a hobby who’s participants pride themselves on their lack of house cleaning skills. Clean house? Me? Nonsense I have a horse to ride! It is the cry of horsewomen everywhere. Between horses and children I always have somewhere else to lay the blame for my lack of housekeeping skills. Or any interest in that area at all.

But the time had come. All things must be reckoned with eventually. Carrying the carefully sealed container outside I opened it and quickly dumped the white, lumpy, congealed contents to the chickens. And left it lay there to “air out”. A day, or two, later I returned for the repulsive thing. I moved it as far as the hydrant where it received a compulsory washing then was left lay until I could stomach bringing it into the house.

Once in the sink we began our battle in earnest. I started scraping, it responded with a desperate cling, refusing to budge, attacking my fingers and anything else it touched. It did battle with a sticky film, removable only by scrubbing the skin its self off. Hot water was applied liberally, more scrapping and finally the big guns, an onslaught of 409 backed up with more scrubbing, then soaking.

There it sits, in my sink. My enemy, my foe, my companion for the last month. Two months? How long has it dwelt there, haunting me and my kitchen. Still there taunting me. Daring me to try again to vanquish it once and for all.

Or to admit defeat. To admit my failing to my friend and just buy her a new pan already.

23 May 2017

Happy Anniversary

His favorite magazine had a special issue out. Unfortunately his favorite magazine isn’t one that he gets, weird I know, but it is published in England and ridiculously expensive to have shipped over. I proposed a special trip up to Rapid, we could see if any of the stores up there had it in stock and have a nice little road trip. It was time to plant corn and road trips aren’t so nice with the small children. He was sad.

As the week went on everybody online had gotten the magazine with its special toy. They were doing cool things with it. The magazine was completely sold out, there would be no going to Rapid to get it. Copies were selling online for a small fortune, many, many times what it cost new. He read about these things and was sad.

I smiled. I laughed. I rejoiced in his sorrow. Not out of cruelty but because I had a secret. I had called my parents when he started mentioning the special edition, they live near book stores. One of the perks of town life. They stopped in and found only a two month old issue on the shelf. Asking the workers about it they were told that the book store wouldn’t have the new issue in stock for some time to come. European magazines didn’t arrive until much later than their American counter parts. They looked around, it’s a book store, how can anyone not linger? As they reached the doors to leave the helpful worker person ran them down. A new box had just been opened in the back, in it was the new issue of the magazine. They only bought one, in retrospect they should have bought many.

Unable to contain our great secret any longer I told him in time to forestall buying any of the well marked up magazines online. Once the magazine, a box really with stuff and a magazine inside, arrived he and The Goblin Child tore into it. Taking everything out and looking at it then carefully putting it back. Then it sat. It sat through corn planting. It sat through a crazy week at work. It sat and waited for the time to play.

Finally they took it out and put the puzzle together. In a magazine were the components of an AIY (Artificial Intelligence Yourself) kit. “An intelligent device you can talk to.” A cardboard device that uses Google assistant to answer questions. That’s as simple as I can make it. I don’t really understand all his computer stuff, I just know that it’s really cool. To use with one of his many Raspberry Pi’s, that didn’t come with the magazine, it supplied the components, card board box, speaker, push button, voice hat, and microphone board to make this thing.

He and The Goblin Child sat and put it together, they had to wait overnight for the soft wear to download but the next day they were back at it and had a great new toy. T.G.C. loves it and is always thinking of things she wants to ask it. Rosie technically, she decided to name “it” Rosie. Rosie is a little slow to respond with our slightly slow internet, in town she does much better. But even handicapped as she is, she has many of the answers, especially when she can understand what is being asked. Understanding can be a little challenging for her on occasion.

What is the purpose of this you may ask? I don’t have an answer to that, even less than I knew what to call her or explain what came with the magazine. I had to ask for a description. But they are happy and enjoying their new toy, that is all that matters. Thanks mom and dad, you guys are awesome!

 

 

22 May 2017

I Don’t Know Where To Start

There are so many things I’ve wanted to talk about lately and I haven’t found time for any of it. I need to look back through all the pictures I’ve taken to remind myself what we’ve done. I finally got the garden written about. I haven’t mentioned any of the chicken adventures, or the corn planting, or what ever else there has been.

Some how I missed corn planting. But it’s planted and getting rained on. Hopefully it will be warm enough for it to come up. The home made GPS worked beautifully, even if the John Deer planter didn’t hardly work at all. Yay for John Deer. We will stick to Case.

18 May 2017

Garden planting ’17

We got the garden in. Started to that is, the first plantings of corn, the zucchini, pumpkins and stuff. We planted 20 hills of squash! All of them different varieties. I keep saying 20 different types of pumpkins and having it pointed out to me that the count includes acorn and spaghetti squash. There are some new types this year and three types of carving pumpkins.

I meant to write this to document the date of planting but didn’t get around to it. It was almost two weeks ago now and everything is starting to come up. Just in time for snow this weekend. Oh well.

7 May 2017

Oh Rats!

Literally.

My poor husband loves the combine. He keeps it scrubbed clean, well oiled, and tucked away safely for the winter in the back of the Quonset. It was pure chance that anyone happened to look in. Usually it stays sleeping and ignored until nearly harvest. But look in they did and found, much to everyones horror, that rats had eaten the combine.

Not mice, mice we can handle. They usually get in and cause a few problems. They are nothing compared to this. The seat is unstuffed, the stench unbearable, the wiring chewed through. When the key is turned, nothing happens. No lights, no starting, no buzzing, the cab is dead. My poor husband is sad. He loves the combine, the destruction is sickening and he is not looking forward to the, very expensive, repairs.

6 May 2017

Oh Deer!

I was talking to Grandma as we arrived at the school. We talked as we walked towards the door, until I looked up. There, walking to the front door, was a deer. It stood looking in the window as we approached, I hung up on Grandma, then it turned and walked right up to 8.

Not quite all the way to him, being the concerned mother that I am, I stepped between my small child and the wild animal that was approaching him with no fear in broad daylight. He was shooing it the way one shoos a cow anyway, I’m sure his efforts would have succeeded without my help. The deer, looking confused, turned and walk on down the front of the school.

Later I heard the rumors that the deer had been raised by a family who live north a town a couple miles. The doe died and they took it in. I happened to run into one of the family and she confirmed it. Not only had they raised a wild animal as a pet but they had it gelded so there is not the slightest hope of it ever living an even slightly normal life. It’s sadder than it is cute and a solid lesson in why wild animals should be left wild. He doesn’t know that he should be afraid of people, even if he doesn’t get shot people can do horrible things to animals foolish enough not to fear them. He is unable to mate, unable to function as a deer. The people who love him have taught him the wrong things, not to be afraid, but have not instilled the most basic of training principles.

As horrified as I am by the whole thing I do think it would be a great exercise in clicker training.

 

 

6 May 2017

Mud Pies

I wanted to work my horse. To accomplish that end I am willing to make almost any sacrifice.

I turned the children loose in the mud with a hose. I got to play with Rusty so I consider it a success. Unfortunately after the fun came the work. Somehow the mud had to come off. The hose was briefly considered. The day was warm but not warm enough to hose them down. Of course they had been happily playing in it the whole time so I’m not sure why not.

26 April 2017

Family Science Night

Last year The Goblin Child and her father went to the family math night and loved it. Her father says it was even better than family science night. It would have to have been really good to be better than this. College kids from Chadron came out once again and set up stations with different science projects? experiments? at each station.

Our children made a beeline for the messiest gooiest one they saw. It was cornstarch and water mixed. The resulting consistency was so inconsistent, it was fascinating. Hard as a rock, runny and liquid, ever changing depending on the pressure applied. There were stations to learn about medicine and the body. Stations with cars to race, down bumpy or smooth tracks, with or without weight. Stations discussing the probability of a commit hitting land instead of water. Lots of things to do with vinegar and baking soda and the crowd favorite I think, a water board with plastic particles to try to dam the water with. It was hopeless the water always washed through.

It was sad that more people didn’t come. Not that there weren’t lots there but no where near the amount that come to sport events. I saw parents who would spend all night sitting, watching a ball bounce around, drag protesting children away. Why are sports so much more popular than this fascinating interactive event? I will never understand. Unless the sport involves horses πŸ˜‰

 

24 April 2017

Vacation

For Christmas we received season passes to Silver Dollar City. We were looking forward to getting to use them, and to see Grandma, so when the rest of the family made plans to go down we made plans to meet them.

The kids did amazingly well on the drive. We found a great park in some obscure suburb of Kansas City and let them run. While there we visited with a family from Mundiline IL, near my parents. It’s a small world.

At Grandma’s house we had an Easter egg hunt and visited then were off to Bass Pro Shop and then to Branson. There never is enough time to just hang out and talk.

We went to see Moses, the play, leaving 8 with Grammy. The Goblin Child did better than she did when Grandma took her to Jonah a couple of years ago, but she still didn’t make it through. The next day it was Silver Dollar City. Everyone, of our children, was exhausted and grouchy but we still had a blast. The days are never long enough. We finished on a kiddie roller coaster with the children begging for one more round. We thought 8 might be to small for it but her was thrilled and loved every second of it. On the first trip around his eyes were as big as saucers, he giggled and laughed his way through and screamed when we had to drag him off. The Goblin Child did the log ride again with my brother, she is so big and brave. Soon she’ll be big enough for the roller coasters!

It flew by so quick it seemed like it was time to go home before we had even gotten there. On the way out we stopped at the butterfly palace. Where we learned that 8 is scared of butterflies. Maybe not scared exactly but he did not like them, especially in his hair. We got to see them hatch and newly hatched ones set free and they landed all over us. My very patient husband even got a humming bird to come sit next to him.

The drive home was uneventful. No snow or ice this time. There was another cool park, a hotel with whipped cream out on the breakfast buffet and a nice pool, and the horse at the tack store in Grand Island. Then we were home and glad to be here. The kids had enough of traveling. We miss everybody and can’t wait to see them again. Longer next time!