A certain somebody has to go and have a birthday! Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a full day of laziness and good food. I slept in, then stayed in bed even after I was awake, then finally got up. I ate my first meal at 1 p.m., if that helps put my level of laziness into perspective. Jeff had to work, so the kids and I just took it easy most of the day. Kaylee and I managed to make it to the mall to look for clothes to wear to my super-fantastic dinner later that night. Kaylee didn't find anything she loved, but I found a cute dress and some really cute shoes! We left for Park City soon after Jeff got home. Our dinner reservations were for Chez Betty, one of my favorite places to eat on this entire earth! Brit got kind of sick on the way, so he spent a good 45 minutes in the bathroom, before we knew if we were going to be able to even sit down. Turns out he needs to stop drinking full water bottles on an emptly stomach. Kids! I ordered the Chef's Tasting Menu which included all four courses. First course was a cold melon soup, second course was an arugula and fried peach salad, main course was salmon with horseradish potatoes in a bacon herb broth, and dessert was chocolate pudding cake with house-made coconut ice cream. Can you even believe how good that all sounds?!? It WAS as good as it sounds. It was also nice to be in Park City where the air seems a little cleaner, and the temps are a little lower. This year my birthday was just the way I like them... lazy and delicious!
Thanks to everyone who dropped by, emailed, called, I/M-ed, and texted, their happy birthdays to me!!! I honestly don't deserve such great friends and family! But if I'm honest, I loved the extra attention :) Thanks to Kaylee, Brit, and Jeff for making my birthday great. Love to everyone!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Born on April 17, 2008, Dimple Dell Farm's Wintersong was too weak to stand, too little to survive. We found her in the barn, still on the ground, mostly dry, on a freezing cold spring day. We were not expecting her or her sister this year since we didn't think her mom had been bred. Usually with goats, they will start to fill their udder several weeks before an impending birth, and mama Marilou had no udder this year. Winter's twin sister was bigger and stronger and had been able to stand and get her first vital milk. Kaylee was distraught over the fact that this little baby goat was just going to lay there freezing to death, so we picked her up and brought her inside. It was obvious that she had not developed properly in the womb. Her little voice didn't sound "right", and she was unable to bear any weight on her hind legs. It was too much for me to see Kaylee so upset over this little goat, so I went out to try to get some milk and colostrum from her mom. Luckily there was enough milk for both babies by this time and we put it into a bottle to see if tiny would take it. She did. This meant that it would be a long day, a long night, and another long day, and the odds were stacked high against this little girl's survival. If she was never able to stand, and hold her weight, she would not make it. We fed her every four hours and by the next morning she was attempting to stand on her own. She wasn't successful though, and by the second night I was feeling pretty sick about the whole situation because Kaylee was getting more and more attached. On day three, against the odds, that little goat stood and walked around on her own. Later that day we took her back out to the barn to help keep her a part of the herd. She never did learn to nurse from her mom, but she did still have a bond with mom and sister, whom Kaylee named Meadowsong. After the first few days, bottle feedings got farther apart and life calmed down a bit. Little Winter won Kaylee's heart. She has been more like a puppy following Kaylee around the pasture and yard, eating from a bottle, and giving sloppy kisses. Kaylee started calling her Baby Girl, and she would come to Kaylee when called. I know Kaylee wanted to keep her, and I would have said yes to keeping her, if we were going to move to a place where we could still keep goats. But we are not, and so we've had to find homes for all our goats. We had just four little girls left from our babies this year and since they have been weaned, and our adult goats all have a new home, it was time to list the girls for sale. On Sunday we got a call from a family looking for baby goats just like ours. They came out to take a look and it was then it finally hit Kaylee that Baby Girl may have to leave. Indeed the family wanted to take all four girls. Again, Kaylee was distraught. We talked it over with her, she knew that this family was a great place for little Winter, and that she would be able to stay with her sister and cousins, but the grief of having to let her go was almost too much. We've cried many, many tears these past two days as Kaylee tried to decide whether or not to let her go.
This afternoon, the family came back to pick up the goats. I can't tell you how terrible I've felt having to watch MY baby girl sob and agonize over her decision to let little Winter go to this new, good home. Isn't this just the worst part about parenting?
Kaylee, I'm so proud of you. You are strong, even if you don't think so. Love you, Mom.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
...keeps you up all night! In keeping with our plan of "voluntary simplicity", we are having to find new homes for most of our pets. Last Saturday we took four of our goats to their new, awesome, home at Heidi's little farm in South Jordan. She had been ready for them for a few weeks, but it took me a while to finally say, "Okay, I'm ready to let my babies go." The story would be kind of funny if I wasn't still in mourning, but I'll tell it anyway...
Transporting goats is a little more difficult than dogs or cats. You can't just put them in the backseat! Goats are constantly rumenating (chewing their cud), which means they are constantly eliminating (think pee and poop). I had been trying to come up with a way to get all four, full-sized goats to their new home for some time, and Jeff had been trying to come up with a way to get my mom's piano out of our house, and more recently garage for about six years. Being the smartie-pants that he is (we've established this in previous posts), Jeff devised a plan to take care of both problems at once. UHaul! So early Saturday morning we wheeled the piano out of the garage and up the ramp, tied it securely at the front of the truck, and were ready for delivery number one... or so I thought. That was when Jeff informed me that we were paying 79 cents per mile, and that we were only making one trip! Hmmm... I wonder how well my mom is going to like this plan? Out to the barn we went to get the goats (remember the eliminating?), and into the back of the truck they went. It took some shuffling and a lot of food to get everyone situated. That's when Kaylee mumbled to me, "The goats are climbing on the piano." As soon as the door to the back came down, Jack started wailing.
When Jack wails, it sounds like he is dying a violent and bloody death. He kept wailing the entire trip and I am just glad we didn't run into anyone in law enforcement. Can you imagine the list of violations? "No officer, we've never been convicted of animal cruelty." "No sir, we don't normally treat our good furniture this way." We made it to Heidi's without a glitch, unloaded the goats and said our sad goodbyes. Next stop, Kay's house. Luckily she wasn't home when we got there, otherwise the process would have taken even longer, due her hyperventilating right there in the driveway. Tim seemed fine with things though, bless his good natured and laid back little heart, so we wheeled the piano down the ramp and into THEIR garage. Kaylee played a few goodbye notes, and damned if that piano wasn't still in perfect tune!
Despite my reservations about this ill-gotten plan, it all worked out pretty well. After some hard-core hose and nozzle action, the back of the truck looked good as new. It only took me four days to come to terms with my grief, and post about it. I am happy with the home situation we found for my goaties, so hopefully my good luck will continue while we find new homes for cats, dogs, chickens, and ponies. Then, maybe, I can start sleeping at night again. My only regret, I guess, was my decision not to warn my mom about eating those chocolate covered raisins in her piano!
Monday, July 21, 2008
I love to sing. I don't have a good singing voice, but my kids tell me I do a mean Axel Rose in 'Sweet Child of Mine'. So I guess '80's glam rock is my strong point. One of the hazards of being a singing fool, is that inevitably I will get the lyrics wrong from time to time. In my defense, many times the artist is nearly impossible to understand, so I figure they are just asking for it. I blame my mom for this actually. She used to replace the lyrics of songs she felt were 'inapropriate', with some she felt better about. How can a person be expected to be a stickler for lyrical perfection, when her own mother taught her it was fine to just sing it the way you hear it?!? For example, I was 14 before I realized that Kenny Roger's 'The Gambler' didn't say, "you never count your BLESSINGS when you're sittin' at the table, there'll be time enough for countin', when the DINNER'S done." I was with some friends, going to the mall or something, when the song came on and I began to sing these made-up lyrics. Imagine my embarassment! It was a long time before I heard the end of that one. It was a popular song in it's day! Everyone (except me) knew that it went, "you never count your MONEY, when you're sittin' at the table, there'll be time enough for countin', when the DEALIN'S done." Yes, the song was about gambling, the title after all, was The Gambler, but my mom didn't agree with gambling, so she made the song all about dinner.
I also think it's funny when you could swear the lyrics go a certain way, and then later find out you were way off! One of my favorite things is to listen to my kids in the backseat of the car trying to sing along with a cd or the radio. It's funny what words they will put in based on their age, and scope of the world around them.
My kids are great about coming up with replacement words for swears in songs they like. Squish (our dog's name) can replace a swear word starting with Sh, gosh, and dang, are always great lyrical censor words, and sometimes just yelling BLEEP at the offending word is enough.
The worst offending band of all time, I think, is Aerosmith. My worst interpretation of song lyrics was way back when Aerosmith released 'Dude Looks Like a Lady'. I tried and tried to figure that one out, but all I heard was... well I can't even repeat it here! I think they just allow for Steven Tyler to sing gibberish for a certain percentage of each of their songs!
I guess that's the great thing about art... we can all interpret it in our own way!
Friday, July 18, 2008
It feels like that sometimes, doesn't it? When people ask my kids where they go to school and, of course they reply they are homeschooled, the next question is most always aimed at me: "How do you do that?" Certain days, when I'm feeling irritated about having to answer this same question over and over again, or maybe I'm just feeling smug... I say "Heh, it's not that hard. I just put them in front of the t.v." It's kinda true though. I mean, not the part about putting them in front of the t.v., but the role that media today plays in our reality, and quite frankly, in how we relate to one another. For example, the title of my post about my impending birthday (YOU PUT YOUR WEED IN THERE) is a line from a movie that Jeff uses everytime anyone talks about anything floral. It's as predictable as the sun rising each morning, and I knew as soon as he read the content of my post, that exact quote would automatically pop into his head. Or take my brother-in-law, Nate, who has a song for everything. I'm not sure I've had many conversations with him where it didn't end with a correlating verse from one song or another. The guy's a walking IPod!
So in keeping up with our lofty goal to make our kids the smartest on the block, we took them to two movies this weekend. Thursday night we got to see an early showing of "The Dark Knight" at a private function. Jeff and Brit were awarded our tickets after attending a seminar on all new things nerdy in the IT world. We really liked the movie, but I won't say much more. I don't want to be the spoiler in case readers have not yet seen it. Here's my only comment... IMO, the Joker character lived up to all the hype! If you're a fan of the Batman movies, this one is worth the full-admission price.
Movie #2 was "Mamma Mia" this afternoon. We went to the Off Broadway production when it came to Capitol Theatre this past year and looooved it! We really liked the movie too, but it wasn't "Phantom of the Opera" good. Of course it's never apples to apples when you try to compare a live, onstage performance to a motion picture performance. But, again, worth seeing on the big screen. The music can't be beat! It was just a little weird for me to see James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) break into song, while wearing a skin-tight, metallic jumpsuit. Yep, just a little weird.
What did we learn? We learned a $150,000,000 budget gets you a pretty, darn, good, action hero movie. We learned that not all A-list actors should be cast in certain roles, simply because they are A-list actors. And, most importantly, we learned that Gotham City is not a great place for a family vacation, but Greece looks like a fabulous family destination! It's great to get a heads-up about these things before booking airfare.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Baby Ryker decided to make an early arrival on Tuesday, July 15th, at 8:24 p.m. At two weeks early he weighed in at 6 lbs. 8 oz. and is 18 1/2 in. long. He is so tiny and cute! He has Joe's ears, nose, eyes, and hair. He has Keely's mouth and chin. It's funny when you see little babies and can pick out the features from each of the parents, it kind of reminds me of playing the Wii, picking out your Mii. Kaylee couldn't wait to hold him, and I couldn't stop thinking about miniature ketchup and mustard bottles the whole time we were visiting... sometimes I wonder, on a scale of 1 to 10, how demented my brain actually is! Brit graciously allowed Kaylee and I to hog all the baby holding time, somehow though, I don't think it was that big of a sacrifice for him. I've noticed that boys and men are more hesitant to hold a new baby. Why is that, I wonder?
This is Joe's second boy, and Keely's first. She had been in for a scheduled dr. appt. just hours earlier and her dr. joked, after examining her, that she was just really resisting having this baby. I think Keely was kind of wishing to hold out until her mom was to arrive from Minnesota on the 26th. Keely went home to take a nap, lay down on her bed, and POP! Her water broke. After only a couple of phone calls to try to confirm her suspicions, the contractions started. At 2:30 p.m. she left for the hospital, at 3:30 p.m. she was in her room, and at 8:24 p.m., another tiny Miracle arrived. She had a great delivery and everyone is healthy and happy. Except Keely's mom, who is still in Minnesota feeling sad she missed the birth of her only daughter's first baby.
Congratulations Joe and Keely!!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
If you've been following my blog, you may recall that we planted a garden this year. Some of the garden is doing well, some things are struggling. I didn't do anything fantastic to encourage growth, and in fact some of the seeds we used had been sitting around for several years. So I guess the fact that anything is growing, is a good thing. This year we did use a super-special kind of fertilizer, it's hard to come by, but seems to do the trick. It's a goat-chicken-horse manure mix that we made ourselves! I don't normally experiment with animal feces, but hey, we've got all that poop just lying around waiting for flies, why not make something out of it? The plants seem to love it, sadly, the weeds seem to love it more. We have the biggest weeds you've ever seen!!! I spent a few hours out there pulling them out and feeding them to the animals, but soon realized that the weeds were probably going to win. I decided to make the best of the situation... we are eating the weeds. I'm not kidding either. I guess a lot of the weeds we have in our garden are edible. I know! Who woulda thought? Mostly they get blended up with our fruit smoothies.
The two things I love best about summer are: going out barefoot (or with flip-flops), and the fresh produce. Tonight for dinner we had fresh corn on the cob, fresh strawberries and cream, and zucchini right out of our garden. So yummy! Weeds or no weeds, gardens rock!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
In two weeks it will be the eve of my birthday. Most of the time I don't pay much attention to how many years old I am, I like to think I'm not aging, obviously I'm wrong. But as soon as July starts, it seems a clock begins to tick in my head... louder and louder every day, reminding me that soon I will be leaving another age number behind. This year is especially bad because I will turn 39! This next year will be my last in a decade, after this year I will no longer be able to say, "I'm in my thirties..." or "I'm a thirty-something mom of two..." etc, etc. I had a really hard time with this same issue ten years ago when I was turning 29. You'd think that 30 would have been harder on me, but it wasn't! Besides, 20, 30, 40, are all milestones, right? You've made it to start another decade! I've done a little something each milestone that I'd thought about doing for many years beforehand. Something a little, shall we say, daring? On the edge? Unexpected? So to help me think forward to my next decade milestone, instead of dwelling on the fact that this year is 39, I'm looking for the next celebratory ritual I should partake of on my big 40. I'm pretty sure no one (maybe Jeff) knows what I did when I turned 20, and only a select few know what my turning 30 symbol was, but I'm up for suggetions for this next one.
Here's the only catch... if it's illegal, I just won't be able to do it. I've thought, on more than one occasion, that it might be fun to see what happens when one smokes a joint (scandalous, I know) and in the past, when I was younger and thinner, I thought it might be liberating to streak a public beach. But I have this hang-up about getting into trouble... in fact I used to be mortified when my mom would park the family station wagon in a handicap stall at the grocery store, claiming that having to drag seven kids along to get groceries WAS a handicap. I'd murmur under my breath, "Having to win back seven kids from Child Protective Services after you've been hauled off to jail seems like a bigger handicap to me!"
Thursday, July 10, 2008
It's been a year since I got my super-fantastic car. I think good cars must be like good spouses, because I love my car more today, than the day I brought her home! I have never been so in love with a non-living object in my entire life. I've already posted about WHAT I love about driving my Prius, but I don't think I told the story of HOW I got my Prius.
The year was 2002 and I was surfing the web, checking out my usual "how to save the planet" sites, when I came across the Toyota Prius. Well after reading all I could about hybrids and electric cars, and prototypes for all kinds of funky vehicles, I knew that the Prius was the car for me. Even after my convincing arguments for why we really, really, needed this cool hybridized car, Jeff was not impressed. Instead he took me to a Jeep dealership and bought a Wrangler. The Wrangler was cool, we had some fun times. We also had to rebuild the transmission, tow a utility trailer to Costco just to get the groceries home, and make the kids climb over the front passenger seat once it wouldn't slide forward anymore. Obviously we'd made a little mistake when we got this Wrangler as our everyday driver. But, like the smartie pants that he is, Jeff learned his lesson, and we traded the thing in on a new car for me... I drove home in a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited! That's right, this time was going to be different because the Unlimited model gave us an extra 18 inches of room! True, this time was different, because we got the thing lifted, got bigger wheels and tires, and a whole new suspension. Didn't take long to realize I couldn't get into the lifted Jeep without a step-stool, so we invested in some rock rails (that's off road speak for running boards). I don't know how many thousands of dollars we put into that Jeep in the two years we owned it, but I do know this... nothing we did to it made it easier to drive, shop, carpool, or use it as my everyday car!
I didn't give up on my Prius dreams. I must have finally worn Jeff down because in June 2007, he put the Wrangler Unlimited up for sale and told me if I still wanted a Prius, we could get one. Cue Hallelujah music. It wasn't as easy as just going to a dealership and picking one out, they were in short supply a year ago, and they were selling for sticker price, no room for negotiations. But they were much easier to get a year ago than they are today! And we didn't pay a $6000 upcharge for a used one like people are doing now! I love my car for so many reasons, but the fact that I could sell it today at a year old and actually make a profit just adds to my satisfaction!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
It's been a while since I've been tagged. I played fair and took my pics without cleaning, or altering things... bear in mind though, that all I'm doing all day long is painting, packing, working in the yard, and getting ready for carpet... so go easy on me with the messes!
Someday I want to tour the Mediterreanean Coast!
Just woke up, no shower, no make-up.
WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS DOING RIGHT NOW
Can you see Brit behind his laptop?
Yep, that's it... this made me realize Jeff has twice as many clothes as I do!
The guest bedroom is my favorite room right now because it's the only clean room in the house.
I'm sure that bejeweled flip-flops are painfully out of style, but I love these old friends!
I did cheat a little by throwing something over my bra :)
Now I get to tag a few...
Thursday, July 3, 2008
This is where my thought trail went today as I looked out my kitchen window. I had been singing "God Bless America" in my head, (Independence Day) when I looked out to see my brother sweating buckets in the midday heat as he stained our deck. If Devin is staining the deck, it means I don't have to, and that's a good thing. I don't know what I was on when I thought we could get the entire house painted, carpeted, cleaned, remodeled, and organized in time to put it up for sale. But I must have really been nuts to think we could tackle the exterior and yard too, all by ourselves, with no outside help!!! So, today, as I moped around cursing my mutinous body for having a Fibro flare-up at a time when I need it to cooperate most, I was grateful for the help we're getting. Thanks so much to Devin, Tanner (my nephew), the sprinkler guy Jeremy, and Oscar and his lawn crew.
Progress report: This week we got the basement painted and the new carpet put in. It looks and smells fantastic. Devin scraped and painted the white wood fences, and will have the deck completely done tomorrow. Tanner came over a couple of days this week to help with flower beds and general yard maintenance. He's trying to work enough hours to earn a muzzle loader (rifle) from Jeff.