Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On of these things is not like the other...

One of these things is not like the other, and I’m not talking about color.



It is now obvious that Imogene is heavy with kids. SIL Jon says she looks like a ball with head and legs.

In fact, she is only 2 weeks away from her due date, so it is reasonable for her to look that way. If all goes well, we should have 2, or maybe 3, baby goats to enjoy soon.

And I’m a little nervous. In trying to educate myself about goat owner responsibilities, I have come across a plethora of worst case kidding scenarios and how to help mama goat when they occur.

WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I worry that I have saddled Imogene with a life-threatening situation and her only help is an ignorant novice.'

And that is all true…However, Katrina, Imogene’s former owner, has reassured me that goats are made to have babies, and most times the natural process doesn’t turn into worst case scenario.
I’m comforted; but I have put Katrina on speed dial.

The production of baby goats was always my intent when I purchased Imogene – but it almost didn’t happen because when it came to the necessary activity which begins the process, I found myself a bit squeamish. When you don’t have a buck (i.e, goat baby daddy) in your herd, you must call up a stranger and say, in essence, “Would your goat like to get together with my goat? For, you know, a…visit?”

It’s awkward.

And to add to the awkwardness, you have to be kind of demanding and say, “We need this to happen on Tuesday.” I’d been following the cycle of Imogene’s heats for weeks, and every time it came around, I just couldn’t screw up – oops, bad word choice there – GATHER up the courage to call someone and make the schedule.

So I procrastinated until December, and that is the last month for does (girl goats) to go into heat for the season…and I’m not talking about Christmas season. I’m talking about breeding season. However, it also was the Christmas season, and I, in the midst of the hubbub, am making a date for my goat…It just didn’t seem to fit the spirit of the season.

Yes – December 15 was the day. Five days after welcoming our sweet granddaughter, and 2 days before I got overnight guests, five days before hosting a party for 35 people, I had to load up Imogene and drive her to her date. I really had better things to do, but the kind woman who had the Baby Daddy Goat (aka buck) was expecting us. I didn’t think to ask where she lived until the day before…Lummi Shore Drive was the buck’s home…almost a full hour drive from our house.

The Farmer was out of town so I was on my own for loading Imogene in the crate, and tying it down in the pickup. The pickup itself was on a trickle charger which I had to learn to unhook, after, of course, not being able to open the hood for 15 minutes in the rain because “there is a trick to it”. 

Have I mentioned that I don’t appreciate tricks? Have I mentioned that it was cold, blowing, and raining sideways? Have I mentioned that when I separated Imogene and Barnaby they both commenced scream-baaing without ceasing?

Well, that’s the way it happened. And I will spare you the details of waiting around in the cold, sideways rain for Imogene and Boots to get it on…more than once.

Let’s just say that animal husbandry is not for the bashful, or faint of heart.

Four and a half months later, I’d like to say that I’ve forgotten the trauma, but I haven’t. I suspect that in a couple of weeks, I will. If all goes well, the rewards will be great!

Hopefully great enough to erase the mercenary feeling I will have when making the arrangements again...Because BABY GOATS! Who can get enough of them?!

What HAVE I done?!



Author’s Note: Imogene’s due date could be May 8, which is 145 days gestation, or May 13, 150 days gestation. I’ve read that Nigerian Dwarf Goats will kid at 145 days, where most goats wait for 150. Either way, I’ll keep you posted!

Barnaby, you're cute -- but be prepared to upstaged, buddy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Proof!


I found proof positive of my early association with Little Dog. And some day soon, I'm going to have to explain to Emma that I am talking on a telephone in this picture, and that the big cabinet behind me held a television...Oh my! I was born in the olden days!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fun Friday...

Last week, Fun Friday did not disappoint! In my week of Titled Days, I have not told you about Therapy Thursday – and that will wait until the end of this week – nor have I told you about Fun Friday. The alternate title for Friday is Photo Phriday as I also allot it to working on the photo albums on which I am woefully behind. However, I have to admit that Fun Friday most often wins out and Photo Phriday is a continuing phail…

The Friday just past was a scheduled day out to visit my dear friend Joan who was lured away from our hometown by a house on Big Lake, and OH! is it lovely! I can understand why this lure was quite magnetic, and though I see her less often, I now get to sit on a deck overlooking the beautiful lake while we gab over coffee.

Just before I left for Skagit County, I got a text from Joan asking if I might want to do some junking. There was a big garage sale at the Skagit County Fairgrounds for the weekend. I was definitely game to check it out. We met near the fairgrounds, grabbed our coffees and headed to the sale.

The Skagit County Fairground is Old School with old-fashioned barns like we used to have in Lynden… central raised section for ventilation, all wood, and quite small. But there were a lot of them, and my oh my, nearly each one was full of vendors! Such a variety of offerings, from bona fide antique dealers, to second hand flea market, to crafters & creatives, to somebody setting up their garage sale table.

It was such fun to ramble from building to building, in search of treasure, and marveling at things that were so homely you wonder why they were ever manufactured. There were food trucks, and kettle corn and a regular party atmosphere there.

It was my day for lucky finds and I came home with a bunch.

I've started collecting old sewing notions with the intent of using them. But I have a hard time wrecking the old packages...


Love birdies -- and these are salt & pepper shakers too.



This rooster is actually a bank, with a coin slot at the tip of the tail. I loved his colors, and then when Joan pointed out the tongue-in-cheek "Chicken Feed" caption, I had to have him.
It didn't hurt that he was only $3.


A bunch of Little Golden Books, only 25 cents each! 


My favorite find was this Little Dog…I saw it high up on a shelf, and couldn’t believe that one like that still existed. I had one just like it when I was a toddler…and loved it!

I pointed it out to Joan and told the story…and she said, “And you’re not buying it??? Why???”

I had to admit that I was not willing to pay the $30 on the price tag, so you know what she said next…”Well, offer him less!”

Oh boy…I really don’t know how to do this. Dickering, bargaining? Even selling stuff…I’m TERRIBLE at asking for something for myself… But Joan said it like it was such a simple solution, so I took a deep breath and offered the guy half. My only strategy was to start low and hope he came down at all because I knew…I knew…

He said: “How about $20?” to which I replied, “Sure, ok, that’s just fine.”

The truth of the matter is that had he said $29, I would have said yes…because I am a chicken, and because once I have been so disrespectful as to devalue his item with a low offer, I am compelled to buy it no matter the price.

I have issues.

But I still got Little Dog to come home with me, and after a thorough scrubbing, and a little bleach, he is adorable, and will enhance the d├ęcor of the Room for Grandkids. I’m not sure I will let Emma play with it because who knows what kind chemicals they used to make plastic back in the day! I chewed on one just like it and we know that I have issues…I want to spare Emma!


Before the scrubbing...


...and after. He can open both eyes now!

Anyway, it was indeed a Fun Friday of treasure hunting.

And later this week, I’ll tell you about the rest: Therapy Thursday, Serviceable Saturday and Sanctuary Sunday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

More about My Weekdays: Town Tuesday & Workday Wednesday...


The List That Keeps Me On Track...a must have!

So yesterday was Town Tuesday – the day of the week designated for trips to town and to the City for the purposes of procurement and running of errands. Being the first Tuesday of the month, it was the big Laying in of Supplies trip for the month, and that means Costco, and a big grocery store run. Though not as necessary as when I was feeding two football players and a cross country runner, I still like making one big trip for the month. It’s just the way I organize things…replenish the staples, and then supplement by the week as special items and perishables are needed.

However, this always means that the first Tuesday of the month is a big day, and I’m so tired by the time I get home that I dread all the putting away the big load of stuff in the van.

It calls for an easy dinner – which sometimes means going out, but usually means a rotisserie chicken from Costco. And that’s what it was last night.

After that, there was a fair amount of watching TV and knitting, and that was pleasantly refreshing.

Today is Workday Wednesday, the day designated for getting big projects, and lots of work done. I decided to start my Dutch Girl Greenhouse.

Thanks for the idea, Cheryl Wierenga De Haan! When I saw you planting seeds in cups with your grandkids, I decided this was a great cheap way for me to try the same. I’d been toying with the idea of starting some of my own plants for the garden and the flowerbeds, but didn’t want to make a big financial commitment because… ME! Planting is fun, but then there’s the pesky reality that you have to care for the seedlings… Oh yeah. My thumb just might not be green enough, or my memory long enough to do daily maintenance on plants. So I just bought a bunch of cups, big ones – because I don’t intend to transplant any more than I have to. I’m not sure why people plant in wee little containers, and then move to a bigger one and THEN plant the seedlings in the ground. I decided to skip that step, and I won’t be surprised at all to find out that there is a very good reason to do so, and that it is entirely necessary. It seems to be a universal practice…but I am cheap, and not fond of work, so I’m trying a shortcut.

At least I know myself well enough to doubt my own intentions. It’s much less expensive this way. I can’t tell you how many ventures I have jumped into, with great enthusiasm, only to find that mostly my enthusiasm isn’t maintained, nor my resolve to carry on.

Is this the ultimate cynicism? Certainty of my own failure from the outset of an effort? I suppose it doesn’t help that there is the ever-present pressure to do things perfectly. I feel the pressure for perfect results, but I am incapable of the depth of thought and analysis required to perfect an endeavor in the planning stage. I much prefer winging it, and making corrections, or finding out I really don’t care about the results at all.

In the end, I think I spend about the same amount of time as the perfectionist does…but probably a little more money…which is decidedly not perfect.

Thankfully, I am entering a stage of life where I can honestly say, WHO CARES! And be one of those who doesn’t care, and it’s getting easier all the time. I’m going to spend more time learning by doing, and enjoying the mistakes along the way…

As long as it doesn’t cost too much.


I AM still a Dutch girl, after all.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Marvelous Maintenance Monday...

I had an amazingly productive day today…and it’s been awhile since that has happened.

The last few weeks have been a long hard slog through apathy, and today I seemed to break out of the chains and feel some purpose.

I needed that.

A very ambitious Maintenance Monday occurred. My purpose for Maintenance Monday is to take care of the very mundane, but regular, chores that are required around the house. Emptying the garbage cans, refilling the soaps and toilet paper stashes, gathering the cardboard for the recycling centers, changing the sheets, washing towels, making a grocery list, putting all the card transactions in the checkbook…

I like using Monday for these tasks as they do not require much thought, or decisions. They just need to be done, and then I can forget about them for another week. Monday is good day to not strain the brain.

However, today I learned two new and valuable pieces of information.
1.       Graham crackers don’t last forever, even if they are unopened
a.      Let me add that I also learned that if graham crackers smell stale, you should not taste them as the fat that is in them can turn rancid, and foul your mouth for quite a while. (Blech!!)
b.      Graham crackers do not qualify as apocalypse food.
2.   You can actually purchase a laptop that does not have an optical drive.
a.      And apparently that is what I did, but I was unaware of this until I had spent 45 minutes seeking online help for an unrecognized dvd drive, and then trying to find the button that would allow me to put a disk in, and then downloading the manual so I could identify where the button was, and then finally checking my original order sheet to find I had not purchased a laptop with an optical drive.
b.   If you keep enough flash drives on hand, you don’t even wonder if you have an optical drive, and save a lot of time.

 I’m hopeful, but not sure, that I will remember this pertinent information. I believe I tried it once before…

But since even this blunder did not compromise my day of productivity, I am full of good cheer tonight. It is quite nice to head for bed without feelings of guilt and disgust over another day of laziness. I am quite delighted to be suffused with feelings of satisfaction!

I sincerely wish that I might enjoy more success…perhaps 2 days in a row? Or even more wondrous – perhaps I may become addicted to feelings of satisfaction and the absence of guilt!!


It may be too much to wish for…but it’s nice to know that it can actually happen!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring has sprung...


"Spring has sprung, the grass has riz. Now we wonder where the flowers is." -- Ogden Nash

“Wed thru Fri expect dry, spring-like conditions with temps reaching into the 60s in many areas.” -- Rufus La Lone’s words about the weather this week.

It’s definitely Spring, and I am resigned to embrace it.

Spring and summer are not my favorite seasons as they bring busyness and stress. But that is the life we have chosen, so I need to really work on not having a bad attitude about it.
Thankfully, there is a lot of beauty to be had, and sunshine is a natural anti-depressant for me…valuable tools in the fight against negativity.

As is this girl:



Who can be discouraged when looking into this little face? The world is your oyster, pardon the pun, Emma Pearl! So much to learn and experience, and so little to worry over. It’s all about food, sleep and happiness!

Another reason for me to feel positively about life is that I am recently healed from a nasty muscle spasm in my shoulder that handicapped me with pain and immobility for the better part of two weeks. Doggone it, that hurt! I could hardly find a position in which my left arm was without pain. I really didn’t know what to do with it when I was upright but I was extremely grateful that when lying down I could get some relief.

In my typically fickle way, during this time I longed to do everyday things like laundry and tidying and even cleaning! Tasks which the week before, I had plenty of time to do, but no will to do them.

Adversity has a way of refining your appreciation for the everyday. I need to remember that, and right now it is easy. Right now, I am exultant in the healing I gained from my Physical Therapist’s (Kayla, you’re the best!) help. “Look, Randy! I’m moving my arm any way that I want! Isn’t that awesome?”

The Farmer is duly enthusiastic for my shows of painlessness, bless him.

So now, I am free to return to my everydays, and the tasks that have since piled up while I was disabled.


But first, another cup of coffee…

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sweetness...


This girl.

She is such a delight…I really can’t get enough of her.

Nor can her grandpa…so I have to share even in the confines of my own home.



But that is probably a good thing, because, holding her, I am taken back to the happiest days and most precious memories of my life. I cried a lot when our babies were newborn because the joy and love and beauty of it overwhelmed me, just as much as the responsibility.

When Emma is in my arms, I want to do it all over again. I am tempted to swoop in and take over, not to help, but to selfishly relive the most wonderful time of my life.

But that’s not fair. These days belong to her parents – my children by blood and by law – and I steal the blessing from them when I am too possessive, too full of advice, too eager to live their life. I do not want to take anything away from them in this most blessed time of life.


So I restrain myself, and it is not easy. Sometimes I am sparing with my attention because I just can’t trust myself to be satisfied with a little visit, with being the grandma and not the mom. But I am learning to be sated, as well as a grandma can, with the little bits. My old body helps me with this too, reminding me that 30 years ago I was much different than I am now.



 I wonder at my obtuseness back then. Certainly, there was joy – but I also took so much for granted. We had children; we had responsibilities that were difficult; we had expectations of our child, our spouse, our life. We were consumed with the task of doing it “right”.

And I missed a lot of the wonder.


I guess that is blessing of being a grandparent. God, in his gracious way, gives us another opportunity to enjoy the wonder, after we have acquired some wisdom, and a better perspective, and our main responsibility is to encourage.  

How I thank God for the opportunity!


And this precious one…

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)