Did I mention…

April 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm (Baby, Peter, Peter Says)

Belly!, originally uploaded by maren6300.

that I am a HIPPOPOTAMUS? Actually the caps lock there was unintentional, but when I looked up at the screen, I decided to leave it, as it is appropriate. We went around the room last night at the class and I look fully larger than the ladies that are due in May. MAYYYYYYY. As in, the month that starts this weekend. I am not due til JUNE, the end of. The ladies due in July look a little chunky is all. YIKES. My ultra-helpful husband made it even better this morning by recounting a discussion he had with his friend Tom last night in which Tom still thinks I could fit on his bike without the middle back rest on, and Peter said “no way, we are having a 15 pound baby” I informed him (without crying – amazing!) that he is not being very helpful at all, and maybe he should get over here and help me stretch my hips out, because I am going to need all the flexibility I can get…

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Oh yeah…

March 11, 2010 at 1:41 am (Baby)

I am pregnant again, and never told the blog, huh? So here I am at 24 weeks finally sharing here. All I can think about today though is how when people ask me “Is this your first?” I want to say “No”. And then go into a lengthy description of how it is my first to make it this far. I just always feel the need to acknowledge that other baby, the one who never even made it into my uterus, let alone into the world. But I just say Yes and move along…

I could always say Buck was my first baby...

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Slow Pitch Summer

August 3, 2009 at 9:36 am (Uncategorized)

Oh, hey, I have a LOT of drafts that I forgot to publish…so here is one from a year ago…

Peter is playing a lot of softball this summer.  Monday nights with the church league “A” team (oh how I wish there were a Mr. T on their team…) Tuesday night subbing with Jon’s team, and Friday nights with Bruce and friends.  This is a lot of softball, and means that we only really see each other on Wednesday nights (I have bowling on Thursday). 

The first part of summer was really busy with games.  The last two weeks have been very slow.  The Monday night league is at Dawson Field in Janesville, which has been under water (what isn’t) for two weeks.  They say they will start back the 14th of July.  We’ll see.  He hasn’t been called for Tuesdays for a while either.  Friday has been good – they have won all but 4 games, which is ok because if you win the “B” league, you have to move to the A league, and no one wants that! 

Last night he played in Stoughton for the Academy Electric Team with Bruce, etc.  They played a team that had beaten them before – they hit a LOT of home runs.  Peter plays short stop and went after a pretty good hit, which then took a wierd bounce and hit him in the chest hard enough for us to hear it.  He said afterward he thought he broke his clavicle.  The only actual lasting injury is a great impression of the stitches from the ball on his chest.  Almost looks like a red tattoo of softball stiches, with a red halo the size of the softball around it. 

On Fridays we go out to Deak’s in Stoughton after the games and hang out.  It is a nicer bar, with good food.  They also give you free soda after 10 (or 9 if you get the right bartender).  It isn’t too smoky and usually has plenty of tables and stools for the team to sit and hang out.

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Breakfast with Jack White

July 27, 2009 at 5:58 am (Uncategorized) ()

Today we had breakfast with Jack White.  Well, not really, but within 10 feet of him, and his new band The Dead Weather.  Except that not being a huge Jack White fan (edited: after listening to The White Stripes and Dead Weather all week, I am now a fan), I wasn’t positive it was him.  And really, this was Perkins in Janesville, Wisconsin…not the biggest place for celebrity sightings.  Especially those involving people from a band that isn’t country.  I had to laugh, though, thinking about how this was a “big” deal to us, when Bethany is in Nashville chilling with all the stars…

The friends we were with had no idea who Jack White is, and neither did any of the servers (who I asked once they left to see if I was just crazy).  Again, not country or top 40 music, not interested apparently.  Susan asked me later if I am sad I didn’t get a chance to ask for an autograph.  Not really my style, not chill enough.  Not that I don’t wish I had caught his eye and gave a nod or something – you know,  nothing too overt or fan-freakish.  Just a “hey, you’re cool, I’m cool, let’s be cool together” nod. 

I better go practice that very specific nod in the mirror right now, in case next week at breakfast I see another rock star and want to be cool…

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It just keeps on coming…

May 11, 2009 at 11:47 pm (Baby)

My friends and family have been so great.  Kelly came the Thursday after surgery for a while and helped me make lunch.  She came over Friday with Zion to help me clean and make me smile.  Anne brought me the best minty cookies ever and peonies from her yard.  I made Kelly plant them while Zion and I sat in the yard in the sun.  Buck was confused by Zion’s screeching vocalizations, and tried to sit on my lap the whole time to keep Z from getting to me (my mom!)  When Kelly left I attempted walking around outside, and was sucked in by needing to clean off my perennial bed.  So I had a rake in my hand, nudging out the leaves so they would get blown away by the spring winds (and so I wouldn’t have to cart them away later) Sue caught me, and promised not to tell Peter!  She brought me chocolate ice cream, drumstick ice cream (new favorite!) and cheese curds, along with some nice flowers.  Amy and Kaela came to visit with beautiful potted violas.  Kaela played in the yard with the dog and Amy and I sat and talked outside.  B&G came over with supper.  G had a miscarriage last year and never really talked about it with me until the Friday after my surgery.  It was nice to discuss our situations with each other.  Saturday Dawn brought me my requested Swiss Steak, and we sat on the couch and chatted.  Mom brought food too, and kept me company.  Sunday I slept all day, trying to prep for going back to work Monday, except no one wanted me to go back yet, including my boss.  Who am I to argue?  So I stayed home Monday as well, which worked for Kelly to bring my girls and Z up for lunch, and drive me to have more blood drawn. 

 Tuesday I worked a part day, and it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated emotionally.  I was very tired, though, and had a hard time keeping my pants on – I couldn’t wear a belt yet, and my pants needed one.  Thursday I had my post-op appointment, thinking that after emergency surgery and one week later that I could move on and start picking up my emotional and physical pieces, but no.  My hcg was back up again, not a lot by pregnancy standards, but enough that I had to wait around and get a metheltrexate shot – two of them, one in each butt cheek.  It is a shot that is used more prior to the ectopic surgery to end the pregnancy, but also after, and for cancer.  It has something to do with rapidly growing cells and folates (google it yourself if you want details…)  So I missed all day that day, and was bummed out that it just couldn’t be over with.  I wanted to yell at my body that if it wanted to hold on to pregnancy so bad, it should have kicked that egg out farther in the first place and we wouldn’t be in this mess!  I was sad and pissed – I couldn’t get a hold of Peter to tell him, and cried on his voice mail.  I called my mom while I waited to update her, and talked to Kelly for a long time.  We made sure that there was no possibility of any other viable living thing in my uterus (it isn’t just tissue to me, after all…) I had her tell Dawn during piano lessons too.  The shot made me woozy, but not really bad.  The nurses up there are great.

So now I have been having to have blood tests every other day for the last week and a half.  The first test after the shot went up, but apparently that is normal (Dr. Google even confirms…) and my last test was down significantly (to 98 from 153 – again, not huge numbers/jumps for normal pregnancy, but good for me).  I had another test this morning, and if it is still going down, I should be able to only have them once a week until I am under 10.  My arms would appreciate being done with all the poking. 

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  I had noticed a couple of the commercials bothering me (the more sappy ones) but figured it was ok.  There was a couple cute babies at a party on Saturday night that made me sad, but it was ok.  Our dear friend Tom greeted me at church on Sunday morning with the sweetest/saddest greeting “life begins at conception, Happy Mother’s Day” and I lost it.  I am pretty sure I practically ran away from him into the sanctuary (we were late, and worship had started) to get to our seats.  I tried to dig my fingernails into my arms to distract me, but it didn’t work.  There was an infant in front of us that was adorable and all through church I had a very hard time keeping it together.  When we got to the car, my nose was red, and from more than my cold.  I took a couple long naps yesterday, and cried a bit to Peter and my lovely sister (who called me to see how I was doing…I love sister-brain and how we know when we need to get to each other.)  I am basically over it now (I didn’t even cry typing this!  Forward progress, yay!) but realized that I really need to just feel it, or I won’t really be over it.  I thought I had done that, but yesterday was hard.  I do hope to be a mom by next May, and hopefully I won’t have too many more crying days like yesterday (watch out for December 9th though…the due date…and the baby shower I have to go to in a few weeks for my dear Dianne…and when she has her baby in August…it will be ok…really)

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Well, crap

April 24, 2009 at 4:41 am (Baby, explaining)

I was intending to write this post last week when I thought I was pretty much done with all of this, leaving it private just for me to remember.  This week has changed that. 

Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 I started having major abdominal pains and cramps, and really, I just thought I had to go to the bathroom.  Once I did, and did not feel better, I started to worry.  I drank some more water, had some crackers, and finally gave up and went home.  Once home I walked around trying to loosen up, and layed on the couch with the heating pad, thinking maybe the pain was just my sciatic nerve and would work out.  Finally at about 5:30 I called Peter and told him I didn’t feel well.  At 6 I called to ask him to come home soon so he could take me to Stoughton Urgent Care.  We got there at 7pm, unsure of what was wrong.  I had to pee in a cup and give 4 vials of blood.  They poked and prodded me.  Thankfully the exam room had a tv, and we got to watch the Cubs win (at one point a cat ran on the field and to get rid of it the groundskeeper eventually picked it up by its tail…)  It was decided to do a couple ultrasounds, but the tech was travelling and on call, so more waiting.  I think she came around 10 and did the ultrasounds.  She said it would take about 20-40 minutes for the radiologist to check them out and wheeled me back to the exam room.  The nurses were about to get yet another pee sample and give me more pain meds (I had a shot in the butt and some Vicodin and Flexoril? earlier to try to help) when the PA came in and said stop, that I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and would have to go via ambulance to Madison.  Then the doctor came in and told me the same, hemorrhaging was mentioned, and I cried. 

So, I did know that I was pregnant, and I did know I was miscarrying, before Tuesday.  I had a positive pregnancy test on April 9, a positive blood test (with a super low hcg) on April 10, spotting on the 11 and 13, and another blood test on the 14, which had only gone up by about 100 (it is supposed to double each day…)  April 15 I had an appointment and an ultrasound to rule out ectopic.  They saw nothing, and said it wasn’t a viable pregnancy, and gave me the sad folder and meeting with the nurse. 

I held it together pretty well until the nurse and I started talking.  But she was so nice I started crying, then she cried, then I cried more, because I can’t look at someone crying without crying.  Then I had to leave the obgyn office with the sad blue folder and walk through the waiting room with all the happy pregnant ladies and go to work.  That was pretty much sucky.  Work sucked that week and I wanted to keep everything a secret.

I didn’t want to tell anyone because I wanted to keep my chances for surprising everyone.  No one knew we were trying – it was my first month off the pill (seriously, who does that? gets pregnant first try?) and I wanted to really shock everyone when we told them.  So I decided not to tell anyone, since I was supposed to just miscarry like a heavy period and move on.  So in interest of preserving the fun of a secret later, we didn’t tell anyone and moved on.

So I had a little spotting, and even clotty blood (too much?  move along then…) on Sunday and Monday, but no bleeding Tuesday, and I was suspicious, but was ordered to do another blood test Wednesday, so I figured I would ask them about the lack of bleeding when I called for the results of the (obviously lower) blood test. 

I obviously didn’t make it that far, because the blood they drew in Stoughton on Tuesday was higher in hormones than the week before, so, well, crap.  They moved me from the urgent care exam room to the emergency room, when they called an ambulance to take me to St. Mary’s in Madison.  While I waited they gave me an IV with more pain meds.  I sent Peter home to take care of the dog and get me a bag of stuff.   The ambulance was Ryan Brothers, and they were great – sassy and funny and that was good.  I didn’t get lights or sirens, but when we got on the beltline they did call the cops to get cleared to speed, so that was good.  Except that ambulances don’t exactly ride smooth, and I was in craploads of pain.  I couldn’t take deep breaths due to the pain, which was stabby in the tube area, and achy all over my right side.  I got a private room in the ER and had to tell the story for the 5th time that night.  Peter got to the ER soon after I arrived (around 12:30 I think).  They changed my IV and tagged me and got me ready for surgery.  Peter took my belongings and gave me a kiss.  I am glad he kind of said goodbye then, because when they went to take me up they put me on the elevator and just kind of left him behind.  I noticed, but was too out of it and in pain to protest.  He told me later that he went back and asked where he was supposed to go, and no one knew.  The girl who took me up to surgery eventually came back to the ER and he caught her, and she took him to my room. 

I went up around 1:30 to surgery, and cried for the second time (the first was at “hemorrhaging”) when I had to transfer myself from the gurney to the operating table and had the most hideous pain in the area, as well as deferred pain in my right shoulder.  The nurses and anesthesiologist kept the tears from getting in my ears, and I went to sleep really quickly, for which I am glad. 

I woke up in recovery crying.  It hurt so so so bad and I only had laparoscopic surgery.  The recovery nurse Robin said I get to cry once, but it is a no-cry zone.  She was sassy too, and was picking on the other nurse, Courtney.  (My nurse at Stoughton was Victoria, who switched shifts with a nice girl I can’t remember.  I can’t remember the ambulance staff names either!  ER nurse was James, then Mandi.  My doctor was Dr. Fok and I can’t remember the drug man, but he was nice, like a big teddy bear).  My mouth was extremely dry and I could move my tongue to talk it was so stiff.  I wasn’t allowed to drink anything yet, but she did wipe my lips and tongue with wet gauze to help.  She was giving me pain meds because I was hurting so bad, but I would get so relaxed that I would forget to breathe, and the machine would scream at me.  She had to sit next to me to make me take slower breaths.  I still couldn’t breathe deeply because it hurt so bad, but I had to try to breathe slower so the breaths counted.  Finally the machine stopped beeping (pulse ox 75% is bad?) and she rewarded me with TWO WHOLE ICE CHIPS.  It was the best thing ever, and I told her so.  I stayed for a while longer, listening to them chatting and trying to make jokes too.  I wiped the goobers out of my eyes (they liked that word) and got my glasses back so I could see them.  Then I got two more ice chips, and they were even better than the first ones, if you can believe that!  I felt bad for these nurses, they had been on 14 hours (they apparently only usually work 8 ) and were on call for me, and another surgery had come in, so they got to take a quick nap before the next recovery.  They were so nice to me.

I was driven up to my room at about 4:30 (they use mini drivey type things like Target uses to collect the shopping carts), and they said there was a man in my room – I asked if he was cute, and they assured me he was.  This was in the midst of their apologizing to us that I had to be on the baby floor, because the hospital was over full.  I was worried that I would have to share a room, but thankfully I didn’t, and the ladies on either side of me did not have babies yet either, so I didn’t have to hear any babies. 

Oh, and the tube wasn’t ruptured, and actually wasn’t so bad that he even had to take it out.  He told Peter that it went as well as it could have.  The mass of blood/tissue was 7 cm, and there was blood in the abdominal cavity.  They drained that and did a D&C, but I got to keep the tube.  I had told him that if there was too much damage (even if it wasn’t ruptured) to take it, as I don’t want to have to be so scared later on.  There is still a 50% chance that it could happen on that side again.  I lost blood, but not so much that they had to transfuse, which is good too.  I have 3 laparoscopic sites, and they are PRETTY and bruised. 

We slept until 6, even with vitals checks every half hour.  Peter called the family around 6:15.  My mom first, who cried, then Kelly, who was pretty calm, then his mom, who cried lots.  Peter asked if Kelly knew I was pregnant, because she was so calm.  That is just sister-brain I guess (when she had her two ectopic pregnancies, I had terrible cramps before even knowing what was going on with her, and I never have cramps on my own…)  I sent Peter home to take care of the dog and go to work, as all I wanted to do was sleep, and he didn’t need to be there to watch.  So he went home.

At 8:00 I texted Kelly “Yay! I peed!”  Which, to most of you, is a weird text.  Not to us – when Kelly had her hysterectomy, an entire day in the hospital was spent trying to pee, and being unsuccessful.  It is very hard to pee after a surgery like that, and they measure your output to make sure you are good, and won’t let you leave until you pee properly. 

My favorite thing now are the leg wraps they gave me.  They velcro around your legs, up to the thigh, and are plugged in to a pump, and about every 5 seconds, on alternate legs, they inflate.  It is like having a consistent leg massage for hours.  It was awesome and I wish I had them today.  Peter said I shouldn’t get any ideas about him giving me leg massages at home.  Bummer. 

The rest of my morning was consumed in getting the nurse to come help me pee (I am not trying to rub it in, but I am a good pee-er) and trying to get breakfast (orders never went in that allowed me to eat until about 9).  I finally got to order, and figured that applesauce, hash browns, and chocolate milk would be pretty bland and easy to eat, even with my dry mouth.  I had not eaten proper lunch the day before, having only peanuts at my desk, then was so sick at supper time that I didn’t eat then either.  I wasn’t hungry, but needed to eat in order to prove I could keep food, and thus my planned vicodin, down.  I only got halfway through the applesauce and milk, with two bites of rubbery hash browns before I felt sick.  I beeped the nurse to bring me more water, and they also gave me anti-nausea meds. 

They didn’t work, and I spent the next hour and a half feeling like I had to puke, leaning over a bucket.  I hate that feeling, and in my non-abdominal surgery life, I have developed a “puke dance” that makes me dizzier than normal and lets me throw up so I can get rid of that nasty feeling.  I tried shaking my head to imitate the puke dance but it didn’t work.  I finally got so tired that I could sleep it off. 

When I woke up my nurse (I can’t remember any of the day nurses names!) gave me an orange Popsicle to try, and I kept it down.  I got to order lunch around 3 I think, and chose french fries, saltines and a chocolate shake.  The fries were super rubbery (and not crunchy and beer-battered like I prefer!) but I could eat half of them and half the malt, which meant I could get rid of the IV before supper and get some vicodin. 

I was told to go walk around to try to get rid of the “gas-baby” (my term) from the surgery (they inflated my gut pretty good, so I looked chubbier than normal).  Unfortunately for me, there was a lounge right outside my room with a (fortunately for them) happy family of a newborn hanging out.  I didn’t really want to go out and see them (and have them see me – ICK) so I paced my room talking to my moma on the phone.  My room did have a decent view of the trees and lake, so that was nice.  Mom offered to fart for me, which was nice, but didn’t help my pressure situation. 

I ordered pizza and a Mt. Dew for supper and ate around 7:30.  I only had room for about one piece of pizza, but managed to finish the Mt. Dew – go figure.  Peter arrived and we did discharge papers.  We drove home really slowly and got in at about 9.  My puppy was confused and not sure what to do with me.  He did want to smell my belly – apparently the incisions smell different to him. 

I slept on the couch last night and have been hanging out today.  Kelly came over this morning and took me to the grocery store and talked.  I am taking the rest of the week off, and am not supposed to drive for a week, but I think I will go back to work Monday.  It is very hard for me to not try to still do work, and worry about it, but I am doing ok, only checking work email every 15 minutes…

So this is the longest post ever, but I really wanted to write it all out and get it over with.  I am doing fine, and am not sure if more grief will hit me later.  I am not super emotional usually, so it is hard to say.  I think going back to work will suck, with tons of people asking all kinds of questions, and not really wanting to tell the story over and over and over again.  I think I will shut my door.

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FireFireFire

April 1, 2009 at 10:50 am (Outside) ()

When we were kids, one of our favorite things to do at Grandma’s at Easter was burn the grass.  The spring ritual in the country was always fun for all the cousins.  The whole family would pick on Grandma all day about having to call the fire department (it has happened before…) and after our Easter Egg hunt (usually pretty violent) we  would burn off the dead grasses around Grandma’s property (any abandoned Easter treats were therefore melted…) 

In the 4 Springs we have been on our land, we never have had a “good” burn.  Typically it is a little spotty, and takes forever, and we have to help it along quite a bit.  My sister always gets mad at me for not telling her that we are burning so she can come join us. 

This year, about 3 weeks ago, we were working in the yard on one of the first beautiful Sundays.  Peter was pruning trees and raking gravel from the plow.  I was picking up sticks from the stupid Poplar trees, and Buck was guarding for muskrats.  We decided that since it had been so wet out and was such a beautiful day, that we would burn the woody planting and pond edge.  I finished up my sticks and ran up to the clothesline to take down the sheets.  I only got half of them down when I decided I would go close the house windows first to keep it from smelling like smoke. since the wind was blowing that direction.

I was inside a minute, and came out to finish the laundry and call my sister to see if she wanted to take a drive and come burn.  When I exited the garage I realized the wind had shifted when I saw flames on the other side of the fenceline…in the abandonded property next to ours, that hadn’t been mowed in 3 years.  And while the ground was still wet from all the rain, the grasses were dry dry dry and nothing green was yet growing that early in March.  So essentially we were screwed.

I ran to look for our metal rakes while Peter assessed the situation with the shovel.  I couldn’t find them, so had to run back and find Peter, who had them in the way back yard from cleaning up the flood damage.  So I fetched the metal rakes and went across the fence with Peter to try to rake some fire lines to stop the rush.  Our main goal was to try to keep it from burning the upper pasture all the way to the shed.  Thankfully it wasn’t a barn…

The wind was strong and the fire moving a LOT faster than we expected.  Peter went and hooked all our hoses together and drug them and two small buckets to the pasture.  Thankfully the hydrant had thawed just in time.  For the next few hours we ran bucket brigade from the hose to the fire line.  As we were dealing with trying to stop the fire from getting the abandoned buildings, we were sure that the waterway at the bottom of the property would keep the fire from spreading too much further the opposite direction. 

Not so much.  Our entire woody planting was burned (quite well) as well as both sides of the pond.  Once we had the fire stopped so the shed was safe, and I was able to keep the lawn basically under control, Peter went to the other side of the pond to try to stop the fire, as we were having visions of the fire going all the way down the waterway to the next road.  I was doing fine, and even getting a little rest, until the fire got to the south line of the abandoned yard.  The grass was too dry and the wind too strong, fire too large, for me to keep it from getting the yard.  Not a huge deal, except for all the dried grass around the house.  Thankfully Peter was on his way back to help me, having gotten his end under control.

Peter was going to try to break in to the house to get water, but some potential buyers had been there earlier and left a patio door open.  My quick thinking husband turned the electricity on, filled the pressure tank, and got us water to stop the fire.  To our advantage, the finished basement was a walkout, and had tile rather than carpet.  20 more bucket trips and we had it pretty much under control.  We cleaned up the basement, locked the doors and went back to check any smoldering piles. 

Our jeans were completely soaked and black, our boots singed.  There were several times I had to stick my rubber wellies in the buckets to cool them off after attempting to stomp out the fire.  I had tons of slivers and thistle pricks in my hands, and the biggest blisters ever on my ankles from the combination of splashing water, wellies, and running.  Amazingly enough, I never had an asthma attack the entire time, even through all the smoke and running.  Hello adrenaline, you are my friend!

As far as we can tell, we will only lose the pussywillow, a black cherry tree and a weigela (all babies).  Otherwise, the property actually looks better than it has since we have lived here.  We should charge for removal of noxious weeds! 

We started the fire at 2:30, and stripped off our wet, smoky, sooty clothes in the garage at 6:30.  We could hardly walk, move, talk or think.  I was sore in areas I didn’t know existed.  On Monday, my boogers were black. 

Burning Brush... by you.

 

Burning Brush... by you.

Skipping Paths

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Pa

April 1, 2009 at 10:19 am (Family) ()

When I was little I would lay on the couch with my dad, head on his belly and listen to his supper digest.  I loved the way it sounded like a cave with the drips, gurgles and bubbling. 

Dad was my 4-H Shooting Sports leader, and always made me feel so special when I could shoot better than the boys. 

I tried really hard to be good at softball, but it never worked.  I even tried to be on the High School team, and didn’t make it.  I sucked it up and was the manager.  I was continually embarrassed by how bad I sucked and felt lame for staying on as the manager. 

When I worked in my home town after graduating college, I had a luxurious hour-long lunch  and could very easily go home every day.  Dad gets home from work around 11:30 and it was always so nice to get to eat leftovers with him and watch Star Trek:The Next Generation with him.  We would both nap and it was lovely.  The biggest bummer is that I still had to go back to work.

A last-minute sculpture proposal of mine was accepted for the Terrace Chairs on the Town project.  Dad spend counteless hours out in their garage with me to accomplish the task.  He taught me how to use aviation snips and how to pop rivet.  He also taught me some wicked new combinations of swear words.  His creativity knows no limits.

When a tree fell in our yard, he didn’t wait for us to get home – he came over and started cutting it up as soon as he could, so we could move forward with fixing.  He came back several other times to help complete remodeling, and even more tree removal.  Even though he has 100 times more experience at these types of things, he lays back and lets Peter make the decisions, and gives great input collaboratively.

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Mother’s Day

June 29, 2008 at 11:17 am (Family) ()

We had my moma and pa and Peter’s mom and dad and sister over for Mother’s Day.  The original hope was to go visiting on the motorcycle, but it was WINDY and RAINY and so no luck.  So we decided to have everyone over here.  No one really comes here that often because we are so far away (25 or 45 minutes…which isn’t all that far really, but with gas prices and busy busy schedules, it makes it harder). 

I was excited to show everyone the changes made here since they have last been here, and the yard with things simply exploding in the last two weeks.  The menu was simple – more food than you could eat in all three meals of the day – so pretty much the usual.  Steak from father John’s herd (Peter’s dad), Dawn (P’s mom) brought potato casserole and green bean salad (P loves it). Moma/Lynny-poo brought not one, but two desserts – rhubarb crisp and a double-layer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and strawberries.  Pa brought morels that moma then fried for lunch as well.  Peter grilled the steaks, I made a cheese tray, rolls, fruit pizza, salad (writing this down…I actually had the easier parts of the menu…good for me!)

So Dawn thought there was too much food as I was continually pulling things out, but that is just our way.  No one will go to hell as long as there is enough food.  The only thing we ran out of was the morels.  I did my part by not eating any.  I sacrifice like that, by not eating things that gross me out completely. 

We followed up our traditionally large dinner by NOT doing dishes.  Emily helped me clear the table and sort the dishes, but I refused to let Dawn have us do dishes.  I have a dishwasher for a reason after all, and I hate having to spend all afternoon in the kitchen while I have guests in the dining room.  So there you have it.  I still have a load of dishes to do, but I had a good time going back and forth between Peter and Pa talking about the bedroom remodel for this summer, and John, Dawn and Moma talking about who knows what (they skipped around a lot). 

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Mulberry Stories

June 29, 2008 at 11:15 am (Uncategorized)

Wow, mulberries are probably not interesting enough to have “stories” about them, but such is the life out in the middle of nowhere. 

We have saved one large mulberry tree and a couple small ones in the woody planting.  This is the first year that we have had a noticeable crop of berries on them (at least enough to warrant picking them).  Last Friday was my first Friday off from working four ten hour days, and the first round of berries were ripe.  Buck and I went down after Peter went to work and started picking. 

Buck likes mulberries, and will eat them out of your hand if they are ripe.  He is very selective about the ripeness of the berries, and will eat around the non-ripe ones.  As I was picking he was snorfling around in the grass around the tree for berries that had been dropped.  At least I thought that was what he was doing.

Pretty soon I heard a loud squeak that sounded just like a lot of his toys, so my first thought was that he had discovered a lost toy.  Until he bounded away so quickly and I saw a little foot sticking out of his mouth.  Then I remembered that Peter had mentioned they had kicked up a rabbit down there the other morning.  This must have been one of the babies.  So as Buck ran away I texted Peter to ask him why he was always gone when the wierd animal things happen out here.  Then I ran up to the garage to get a Beggin Strip to trade Buck for the baby bunny.  That worked really well, and he was put on the cable while I contemplated what to do.

If I was my father, I would have just stomped the poor thing and been done with it (there is a reason his friends call him Big Foot after all).  But I just couldn’t bring myself to that.  For a split second I thought about trying to save it, it was still breathing after all, and could kind of hop (as it tried to escape me).  But I knew that Buck and chomped it good, and probably rolled it over a few times with his massive paws, and that it wouldn’t make it very long.  I couldn’t stand thinking about the suffering.

So I sucked it up and pretended to be tough while I went and found the pellet gun…and I will end the detailed part of the story there.  Living in the country is great the majority of the time, but dang if there isn’t some crappy parts too.

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