Friday, June 20, 2008

Laundry on Thursday

Every now and then we have one of those easy, sit around and loaf days. Ah!
Laundry only takes an occasional change over, fold and hang time...a perfect day with lots of rest. It was fairly cool also, cool enough to walk in the evening, so Turtle and I took a two mile hike around town while Elijah celebrated his final day at work (harvest is over) by playing soccer with some little guys who were hanging around the church. Not much to blog about, unless you want to hear that I cleaned out the kitchen pantry and made a pot of perfect chicken and dumplings. Not impressed? Well you would be if you only knew how many times I've ruined simple foods like that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thirteen Things That Deteriorate When Mom Isn't Home.

To be fair, things could have been a lot worse. With Claye at summer school and Elijah working 16 hours a day, and only males in the house for three weeks, things could have taken forever to repair, but they handled it well. Babystepper and Claye were able to pick things up in a hurry and make everything tolerable the day I came home...actually I was so glad to get home I didn't care. I'm not the most organized person; in fact I would call myself a "relaxed houskeeper"; still, the house takes on a unique sense of fuzziness when I'm away.

1. Toilet Paper--We have four bathrooms.
The toilet paper is supposed to go on the handy little holders.
You figure it.

2. Laundry Piles
Everybody tries hard to wash what they have to have,
but the non-essentials pile up.

3. The carpet--Because nobody is around to say
"leave the food and drinks in the kitchen", or
"Wait! you are tracking something from the Coop
all over the den and into the bedroom!"

4. Mail--Why does nobody ever throw away any junk mail when I'm not home?
Do you think we need 25 credit card offers, 5 political party solicitations, 12 sales fliers, and 3 offers to join my college alumni association in funding an endowment for gymnasium upkeep? It's like a sacred stack or something.

5. Bookshelves--Books reproduce themselves, divide like amoeba or paramecia. They were hanging out of every one of our eleven bookshelves. I had to do major surgery-getting rid of all the appendices and spleens-- to make room for such new essentials as Stephen Colbert's "I am America and So Can You"

6. Music--The stack on the piano has grown to balance the Moses statue;
maybe it's modern art versus classical.
Surely we can manufacture some
deeply significant significance here.

7. Nintendo games--there is a little puddle of them at the feet of the great Nintendo idol in the bedroom.
I'm assuming that it was born of a rainy evening and
several tired harvest hands unexpectedly released
from their labors by a downpour and the accompanying thunder/lightening storm.

8. Flower beds--The back yard is soooo far away and it's so "momish" to weed.

9. Healthy food--I have to give Turtle credit for keeping the cabinets well stocked with food. He also made gallons of tea. Still, the quality of the stuff was a little different from what the cabinets are used to. Turtle's four food groups are: the potato chip group, sorghum and molasses group, popcorn group, and sugared cereal and milk group.

10. Refrigerator Space--Claye was home on the weekends, to temper the decidedly "male" aspect of the house. She used the opportunity to make unique recipes, so I found Scottish oats and a cup of Caledonian cream in the fridge.
Thank you Celtic Thunder.

11. Vegetable Bin--Yesterday, I found an onion in a zip-loc bag. It looked like yellow mush; need I say more?

12 Light bulbs--Hmmm. I wonder. How many of these lights were ever turned off, and how many men does it take to put in a new light bulb?

13 Grandkids--I'm sure they were sick
because they missed their grandma,
so I'm glad to be home.

For more Thursday Thirteen check here.

Funeral on Wednesday

Well, Turtle has had a couple of difficult days. Tuesday he went to the city to be with a church family for a minor surgery. Unforseeably, it turned into a lengthy situation because of an unexpected reaction to the anesthesia. He didn't get home until evening and then had to prepare for a funeral (unrelated to the party of the surgery). He sat up until two in the morning writing the sermon and finalizing the obituary. After the funeral, graveside ceremony, and family meal we both came home and he sat down on the couch while I blogged. Didn't take long.

Cleaning on Tuesday

Call me Wonder Woman.
Today I cleaned the carpet in the den, the foyer and the hall.
Because there comes a point of having to do something or feel embarrassed every time anyone visits, and there is only so much one can do about the spots. So, although only the evening before I had avowed that I would wait until harvest was over to clean it, I caved in with the dawn. Under the beguiling influence of my morning rush of energy I pulled out the machine and went into a frenzy of activity that lasted until time to deliver meals on wheels. I also cleaned out a bookshelf and worked on my bedroom, which was still suffering from the disease of "disorganized male whose wife is away occupancy".

Needless to say, I felt that aptly-named-by-the-British "sinking feeling" by the time afternoon came around. The grandkids were here, so I took advantage of Mim's nap time and took one myself. It was a good thing, because although I slept peacefully all unknowing, I would need strength for the pressure cooker's blowing up and spraying a pot of stew all over the stove, vent, cabinets, and floor. Ah well. Life is so back to normal.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mowing on Monday

Yesterday, Turtle and I went to work at the family cabin on the lake. Now when I say on the lake I don't really mean on; I mean within a mile of, and when I say lake, I mean a small, man made reservoir that is well suited for fishing and canoes and paddle boats. Don't think noisy speed boats, water skiing or pontoon parties. Also, when I say family cabin, I'm not talking about an expensive set-up a la condo jet-set style. I'm talking about a "needs lots of tender care" little bargain we picked up a few months ago, because we had come to realize how expensive vacations were and had sworn off of them. We were naively thinking that a little place to relax would cost less in the long run.
Sadly enough, it will be some time before we can use the "cabin" for relaxing. Ha ha. First we had to put in a well. Next we had to run all new water lines and new electric lines and move the hot water heater from its closet in front of the electric panel. Now we are painting--inside and (eventually) outside. The trees have been pruned and the pile of branches seems bigger than the cabin. The well is working, but not connected. The lines under the house are set in place but not connected. The electric box is in and we have lights and some plug ins but the hot water heater, stove, and refrigerator are not connected. See--connection problems. They crop up everywhere. However, the furniture is mostly in--all old stuff left over from our house or relatives' houses (You know how it is). Some day we will be able to go to this house, relax, sit in the shade, hike, swim, canoe etc. I'm betting it will be at least two years from now. It seems difficult to even get down there to work. We probably average once every two weeks. There is a largish sort of lawn with lots of fruit trees--apple, peach, pecan, pear, an arbor of grape vines and a fence covered with blackberry vines. Yesterday, while Turtle worked on the well pump, I mowed. Then we took turns mowing. The weeds were knee high--looked like baby's breath and four o-clocks mingled with all kinds of grasses and daisies.

We keep hoping that our extended family will find a cozy little refuge here before long. They deserve a break from the toils of life... and maybe someday we will take that break too.

Isn't it funny how much work we are willing to put into relaxing?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stuffed Silos

It has been a golden harvest; moisture is down, weights are high, prices are up. What could possibly go wrong for the farmers this year?

Elijah is working at the Co-op. (Farmers' Cooperative) His good friend Ray is working alongside and staying--for the duration of harvest--in our guest room. They works from 8 in the morning until 1 or 1:30 the following morning, and they have been doing this for three weeks with very few breaks. They only take off on Sunday morning for church, then go back to work. Wheat is pouring in. The biggest problem is where to put it all. They have filled up all the silos. The train cars which usually take the wheat north have been slow because a section of the railroad was destroyed in a recent rain, so they have been loading and sending truck after truck to bigger elevators. As soon as each truckload of wheat leaves, another farmer arrives with more wheat to take its place in the stuffed silo. The farmers are all insistent that there is room for their wheat in the silos, but it is possible that they will resort to unloading it onto the ground. After a couple of miserable years of harvest, however, this is a great problem to have. I pray the farmers will be able to recoup their losses from last year and make some extra profit.