Sunday, August 30, 2009

A bit late

But we did butcher some ducks last weekend. I cant believe I forgot to post about this.

I did the first all by myself, with instructions in hand of course, from start to finish. Gotta say it was not my favorite task ever, but it was by far not the worst at all. I wont go into detail about the butchering, there are other sites that cover that. I did the first all by my onesie and then Mr., who is squeamish about this sorta thing, stepped up and stated, "well I suppose I should do one too, you know, so I know how." Gotta admit I was a little proud of him, taking on a new uncomfortable task such as this. I explained what to do and walked away. He stopped me and said "Oh, um, could you say it again, I wasn't really listening to what you just said." Ha!

So I did the first one, Mr. T butchered the second, and I did the last two. We butchered 4 in total. MAT, who watched and seemed rather unaffected, was very currious about the whole thing. Once he saw how "easy" it was, he wanted to help. I told him when he was 8 he could help but till then he could only watch. He then stated that we should get pigs and a cow and eat them too. I said I draw the line at poultry for butchering. Maybe some herritage turkeys and maybe some geese next year. But I think mammals I will get too attached to, I think I know my limits are.

We ate one of the ducks last Monday and it was pretty good. Roast duck is quite good, of course I already knew this it was the menfolk who needed convincing. I personally think it is very nice to know that the food you are eating was healthfully raised and humanely dispatched.

My ego was a bit bruised though. Mr.T's duck was more cleanly plucked than my 3 were, however I am stating his duck was out of molt entirely whereas my ducks weren't quite finished, and he has bigger hands. I don't know if the latter matters but I am saying it does. So our flock is down from 20 to 16.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yup, my kid is around other children.

And apparently ALL of them are sickly little snot faces! And their parents send them ALL to school no matter what fluids are spewing out of them or what temperature they are.

Ok. Not all of them, but someone did defiantly send their child to pre-school this week or last week with a cold-flu-like snotty something. So MAT, one week in, had to stay home yesterday because he was snotty and had a fever, and now so does RAT. So much for those Birthday party attending plans for this weekend, looks like we will be staying in. I just hope I don't get it, of course I will, but I hate being sick and I am a terrible patient, mostly because mom's don't get to be sick and lay around. Moms have to work while being sick, which I dont do well at all.

Anyway, here's to a new milestone! We have reached the age and place of constant exposure to communicable diseases, woohoo.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just for some cute

Hope you think think this is as cute as I do.

RAT likes to help with the ducks. This ususally entails sitting in something gross and then chasing the ducks for a minute and then trying to get in their pools, then we leave the pen.

Enough with the SQUASH already!

37 POUNDS! That is what I pulled out of the garden yesterday, and there will be much more by the end of this week. I think I will start pulling blossoms for eating and not let them fruit anymore for a while.

Needless to say we had thinly sliced breaded squash with dinner, my neighbore's will all be finding squash gifts on their front stoops tomorrow, I am sending some on the bus with MAT tomorrow for his teacher and Amos, the bus driver, and I am going to spend a long long time tomorrow shredding and freezing squash for baked goods. My zucchini plants all succumbed to the powdery mildew, but the squash are thriving, so my 101 uses for zucchini has become squash. I wonder if the ducks will like squash...

Bless you Craigslist

Last night after a long day at the Union picnic we got home and did the usual. Put the kids to bed, check email and Craiglist. Low and behold a FREE swing set! In our TOWN!!!! It was listed at noon and it was 8 ish when I checked, sure it would be gone but I had to check I called the listers. And MIRACLE! They still had it and said we could get it at our earliest convenience. Of course Mr. T went right then and there and took it apart, in the dark.

This morning I woke to this.

Then after a few minutes of very intense work, we had this!

Then a little bit later we had THIS!!!
Thanks so much to those of you who give things away for free. It isn't perfect, it is old, but it works and will work long enough for us to get a wooden one in a few years, hopefully secondhand as well. And to those of you who don't know the wonder that is Craigslist, look it up, it is fantastic.
The children LOVE it and MAT spent most of the day out there on the "car pumper" as he calls it, the thing next to the white slide. We got wonderful deals on our appliances and a free dishwasher on Craigslist, but by far this is my favorite Craigslist find.

The dreaded EggDrought

The ducks are coming out of molt, sort of. They are fully feathered, but no eggs yet. I hope they kick back up before winter, otherwise I will have to start a lighting program and I don't really want to do that. Anyway, I actually had to buy eggs at the store last week, frozen eggs work very well for baking but not for just eating eggs. We are now into 5 weeks of no eggs. This is a bummer.

MAT's first day of school

Pre-school that is. And it was actually last Thursday, but I am just getting around to telling you about it today. Imagine that.

So the day got off to a rocky start, as they sometimes do, but by the time we left for the bus stop all seemed bright and wonderful. And to answer the question, yes we take him to a bus stop, and it isn't close either, but we do what we need to do. Once we got to the bus stop, we waited, and waited, we talked to the bus driver via a cell phone, and waited a little more. I know the first day can be a little confusing and always runs late, but the bus was an HOUR late. Now one child who is ready to go to school and has to wait is bad enough in the car waiting for an hour. BUT one child ready to go to school and one child who DESPERATELY wants out of his car seat and cant understand why this stop light is taking so dang long, together are practically unbearable. I did manage to bear it and sent my first baby boy off to his first day of pre-school.

And by the ways this pre-school is basically kindergarten time wise. He goes 5 half days a week. So really for me it is like he went to kindergarten. It is weird how I have extra time but Thursday and Friday got away from me and I feel like the days were shorted several hours. Though I guess Thursday was being in the car waiting two hours. You are saying,"no you said you only waited 1 hour to drop off, surly picking up was closer to schedule". Nope. It sure wasn't.

I got much done during school. RAT actually took a 2 and a half hour nap, apparently fighting a car seat for an hour is exhausting. And before I knew it, it was time to go pick up the pre-schooler. We got to the bus stop right when we were supposed to, and then the waiting started. I suppose we didn't wait a full hour, we waited 56 minutes. But this time I brought snacks, books, and toys for RAT and we was appeased, not happy, but not upset either. Then the big boy arrived!

Off the bus he came, I greeted him at the bottom and together we went back to the car. I probed him for all kinds of info. Did he learn anyone's name? Make any friends? learn anything about numbers, letters, colors, shapes, anything? Did he have fun? Was his lunch good? Questions questions.

We get in the car all buckled up and I ask the first question. "Did you have loads of fun today?"
He answered, "The kids were not pretty nice, the food was not pretty good, and I did NOT get to play outside today. I not wanna talk about it anymore."
Sad, I tried to find a silver lining, "well did you learn anything new and exciting today."
His response, " NO I didn't learn anything, I don't KNOW anything!"
Boo. So I dropped it till we got home.

Then when we got home I got the down low: The graham crackers and orange juice at snack time were great, the lunch was NOT, some boys in the class would not let him play with them and they tried to pick a fight, they got in trouble and he didn't, he didn't like the boys, but the girls were really nice so he played in the kitchen with them, they have cabinets and food and an oven the kitchen is really cool, he really likes his teacher, hers is the only name he knows, he also really likes the bus, but he wasn't going back because the food and mean boys need to be fixed.

So it in fact was all not terrible, whew, I don't know that I could have handled all that mom guilt.
But then on Friday he got in the car all chipped and blathering about how much fun bad robots are to kill and how yummy lunch was. The bad robots were the other boys, and the lunch was hot dogs, baked beans, jello, a salad and milk. So day two was super fun. They will average out and all will be fine. He will have good days and bad. I have no idea what he is learning or what they are leaching but for now I am just glad that he is having a good time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Where did July go? Its August already? Wha...

Ok so I suppose I have been busy the past...well 5 months, but especially where did July go?

Last week we had many important events. MAT went to his first dentist appointment ever. He was an angel, mostly, the last 5 minutes got very intense as he was done and saw no need for the hygienist to clean his last two teeth. A small bribe of a balloon was all that was needed. He got a clean bill of health and I received some reassurance that he has plenty of room in his mouth and maybe his tween and early teen years wont be spent in the orthodontists office getting straightening work like I had. I hope.

Then on Friday Mr. T had a big night. He is officially a Journeyman and a college graduate! Woot! I am very proud of him. It was a very fun night but a very long one. There are 29 people in his class, and I knew 24 of them previously, and the remaining 5 I knew of, just had not met. Now that's brotherhood in my opinion, and sisterhood because there are women in the class. 2 didn't attend graduation, one because he is a professional disk golfer and he had a tournament and the other went into labor earlier in the afternoon. Sad to not see them but it was a very good night anyway. 14 students maintained an above 94% average, MY husband being one of them, throughout the entire 5 year apprenticeship. I think that is pretty impressive. I am very proud, if you couldn't tell.

Other than that the boys and I took my Mom to the train station this week. I had no idea it was SO very close. I need to explore my surroundings a bit better I think. In general we have just been trudging along.

MAT starts preschool in a few weeks, I am still unsure about how I feel. It is so structured and is totally going to control my schedule for about 4 hours a day 5 days a week. I do know how I feel about that, and I am not pleased. Also they, the runners of the program, seem to take it SUPER seriously. I, on the other hand, do not. It is preschool, I honestly wouldn't even take kindergarten too seriously, and he is supposed to ride the bus and get the "whole experience". I mean if the bus actually came to my house, I think I might be a bit more serious, but it doesn't I have to drop off and pick up at a bus stop bout 12 miles from my house. So I have some issues, clearly. But it will be worked out soon. If MAT hates it, he simply wont go, and if he loves it and I hate it, I will just suck it up and take him. He is only 4 and I think 5 days a week is too much, but we will see.

We are battling powdery mildew. I am trying a 50%/50% milk/water solution to keep it in check. My zucchini have been under attack for about 2 weeks, but now it is spreading to my squash and pumpkins. That is too far. My pumpkins are for my children and me. I love to eat them and Halloween is my very favorite holiday, has been for...EVER. So attacking in essence my favorite holiday is too much. Pumpkins are where I draw the line. Squash bugs or blight, I will defeat you. Watch out you vile fungus, I will find an organic way to kick your butt!!!

That's it. We are waiting for melon to start ripening, as well as the massive amounts of tomatoes in the garden. I planted a new crop of lettuce and spinach this week and I am hoping to make some chocolate squash brownies today. I hope all who read are enjoying the weather and having a great week.