Not much to report

I haven’t posted since there has been little news, but now I’m realizing that people are starting to assume the worst since I was having troubles and then stopped blogging.  So, be it known that I’m just walking the slow path to recovery.  I have only 2 Lortabs left and think I’m not going to ask for a refill and just stick with OTC stuff.  David says that the cut seems to be slowly coming together at the bottom and he can fit less gauze in there.  I feel like an old person (atrophy is not just something you get by bowling well, but also by lying in bed for 5 weeks).  I get tired easily.  Pain is just a dull ache most of the time except when David changes the stuffing, then it’s a good 30 minutes of feeling like someone just poured Clorox in an open wound (mainly because that is exactly what happens at stuffing-changing time).  It’s all good times, though.  David is the greatest.


He’s been having all sorts of successes and wins at the Federal Defender and they just love him down there and keep lamenting openly that they can’t find the budget to put him somewhere in a paid position.  Despite my Utah prejudices, my kids are in great schools/care, we have lots of family support, we love the place we’re renting, I love having four seasons, and moving is a pain.  And my job is here.  Sophie is becoming great friends with a girl her age that just moved in behind us, Elaine and Kim are wonderful to us.  So, my prayers have now changed for someone at the UT FD to die, be fired or quit, or alternately, that the government will take some of the money it’s printing and giving away wantonly to give more to the UT FD—won’t you PLEASE join me in my prayer?  He absolutely LOVES that job.


Can I just say that Ben is turning out wonderfully at this point?  I’ve been so impressed with him lately.  He takes good care of me when we’re home alone together, always bringing me snacks and drinks and pills –always on a plate covered in a napkin.  He is sweet and happy and loves being hugged (when not in public).  All his grades went up this last semester, so he has tons of As and two Bs and his teacher says his organization is great.  He loves going snowboarding with his dad, which they did this last week.  He reads like crazy, spends a lot of time working and playing outside and his screen time (TV/computer) is down to almost nil, yet he hardly ever asks for it.  He is really learning to work hard, does chores willingly and well and especially loves outdoor work.  He’s bagging leaves like a madman (it’s an endless job on this lot and he gets paid $.50 a bag).  David took him to clean the church on Saturday and the deacons’ advisor was there and was wondering if Ben was about to join his quorum.  He was shocked that he was only 9.5 (Ben really does look like he’s 12).  The advisor said he works harder than the deacons.  I know that doesn’t mean much, but I was proud still.


Sophie is seven, which my development book tells me (as does her behavior) is an emotionally turbulent time.  She also is making some great progress in character and academics, although it is interrupted by amazingly entitled, spoiled tantrums.  Noah is sweet as ever, although also with the tantrums (and the crazy wall coloring and potty accidents at dang four and a half!)—still, such a cutie.  Lucy—also the tantrums, but hilarious, funny when she talks and so coy and smart.  Her favorite joke is to tell me she’s poopy, bring me a diaper and the wipes, and as soon as I take off the diaper (unsoiled), she yells, “NO POOPY!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!”  I can’t believe she’ll be three in June.  She’s started potty training.  I’m in that uncomfortable position where my day care person tells me that potty training will now start and explains how I can support the process as an ancillary contributor.  Sigh.  Don’t get me started.  I’m grateful she’s with Kari—she does a great job, but I’m really, really struggling with all this going back to work stuff right now (even though my kids are in daycare still anyway because I’m not up to caring for them).


The most exciting thing of the day was that our chicks came in the mail this morning.  We got 25 jumbo rocks (fryer/roasters), 24 layers and 5 roosters (because you are supposed to have no more than 8 hens per rooster and I want to have my pick).  Since I do very little besides sit around (except when every so often I jump up and do a bunch of things or go somewhere because “it’s time to be better” and then collapse in exhaustion and pain for the next 25 hours), today was an active day of making sure no more layers died (2 layers died in transit—we were supposed to have 26).  They are all two days old. 


The fryers are slightly bigger and very easy to teach how to eat, as that is their primary purpose in life.  They are all lemony yellow.  If we harvest at 8 weeks, they will be 3-5 lb fryers, but we will harvest at 12, when they will be 5-8 lb roasters.  David has gotten very good at that.  I don’t think I told you when he finally killed the fryers that I let live 11 months that one half of a breast weighed 1.25 pounds!  They were huge.  I didn’t even bother to clean them out, he skinned them, I cut off the thigh/drumsticks and bagged them for the freezer to crock-pot later, then just cut the breast meat off the bones just as you would if it were cooked and bagged that, so there were no guts involved. 


Anyway, the fryers are cute, but the layers are the cutest, all different colors and patterns—yellow, gold/buff, red, black, grey, striped and spotted variations on all these colors.  They are gorgeous.  I’ll try to take pictures before they grow.


I just finished this book, “You Can Farm” by Joel Salatin, the increasingly-famous sustainable agriculture farmer in Virginia.  It really changed my outlook on lots of things.  It is designed for people who harbor secret desires to farm but don’t really know why, how, or if they should.  He does things completely different from the standard USDA/county extension advice, and unlike most farmers who follow that advice, makes great money, has no debt, provides clean food and is an amazing steward of the land and the animals.  I learned from this book that I don’t really want to farm food for other people outside of my own circle of family and friends, but that I do want to follow his practices for what I do on my own small scale. 


I loved his old-school, curmudgeony advice. He feels strongly that a person should lease or rent before buying land and that success on rented land should pay for the land you do eventually buy—not debt.  He feels that until you have positive cash flow in your family, nothing should be bought that doesn’t contribute to your ability to get positive cash flow.  He rails against television and time wasters and complainers.  He talks about all the “I’ll be happy when . . . “ or “I can accomplish this or that when . . . “ syndrome, and basically says, if you can’t be happy where you are, you won’t ever be happy, and if you can’t make money off a one-acre farm, you won’t be able to make money off a 100 acre farm. 


I didn’t adopt his views hook, line and sinker, but I came away more convinced than ever to avoid concentration-camp, factory-farmed meat and eggs (there’s more manure in that food than you care to know about, and the hidden costs to health, land and humanity belie the fact that it is not, in fact, “cheaper”).


But more importantly, I came away more dedicated to be happy where I am, to enjoy renting this land, to make home and hearth a top priority, enjoy mothering more and to quit complaining and make something of myself.  I highly recommend the book whether a person is interested in farming or not.  I needed a father-like figure to slap me upside the head and tell me what my great-grandmother would if she were alive to do it.


So, as I said, not much to report.

3 replies
  1. dietcokegrrl
    dietcokegrrl says:

    I was going to call you a little while ago, but thought you might be asleep. Guess I should have tried.

    So glad to hear that everything is getting better. I am especially happy to hear that Ben is doing so well. That is so great!!

    Loved this update and hearing about how everyone is doing. Can’t believe you’ve been gone a year. Miss you!

  2. Jen
    Jen says:

    Yes it was a relief to hear from you again!!! Your writing voice is coming back too. Thanks for the update. I loved Ben’s plate with a napkin. What a great son. And you are doing chickens in the middle of all of this? amazing. Keep up the good work! (yes recovery is work)

  3. Megan
    Megan says:

    Well hey hidey ho!

    I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately… at random intervals…

    First of all, I must get Spencer to burn you the pictures from my 32nd birthday party… er, I mean your going-away party.

    Secondly, I have an online friend who I think you’d get along with smashingly. Blurk her:

    Thirdly, I’m glad to know Ben is doing well. I’m liking Tommy at 10, too.

    Fourth, Lucy has a wicked sense of humor and I like it.

    Fifth, I miss getting in Noah’s face and just staring at his cuteness.

    Sixth, I’m glad your life is blossoming where you’ve planted yourself… including David’s happiness.

    Seventh, Thanks for the warning about 7-year-olds. Good times are ahead for my drama queen…

    Eighth, I live in a desert without you. Literally. 🙂


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