Sunday, March 6, 2011

Other than chickens ..

I am actually really mad at AOL and blogging right now. I just spent quite a while working on a chicken update blog when AOL froze up. I thought the blog was all saved, I was in the process of publishing the post when the complete freeze-up occurred, but alas, only a smidgen of it was saved. *A MIGHTY GRRRRRRR*
I thought about trying to rewrite it, but then realized that this is maybe a sign. You know, I CAN talk about things other than chickens. Did you know that? I think most people have forgotten that.
So, things other than chickens. Where to start?

First, attending the City's Comprehensive Plan Meeting this past Thursday was actually fun. Which is something I never thought I would find myself saying. I was never interested in politics or government in school. But I liked it, just like I like attending City Council meetings. It is interesting to see how the City works and the meeting on Thursday was even better. They were seeking public input for how the future of Salem should go. How cool is that?? We talked about things like more street-scaping, tighter form control on how new buildings should look, the possibility of a downtown grocery store or at least an upscale grocery store. It was really interesting!

Let's see .. what else?? Oh yea, the kids!!

Educationally speaking, Shannon's been working on his math skills. On his own. Still using beans to count. I'm impressed and proud.
Tristan has been working on letters and the sounds they make. His sense of humor often tops his desire to answer correctly. It's funny, and I am very glad he's not in school (same with Shannon) where this sense of humor would be quickly pounded out of him.

Non-educationally speaking, they're still boys. Here is the latest "You've got to be kidding me" moment:
We're at the local Burger King's indoor playground last Monday, meeting up with other homeschoolers to play inside since it was raining out. Usually the place is dead but this time it was packed, which was good since there were more kids to meet and play with.
Eventually though the boys declared that they both had to pee. In an effort to encourage them to be responsible on their own I've been letting them to go this particular bathroom on their own. I can see it from the room and feel safe. I tell Shannon to keep an eye on his brother, to watch out for him, and to make sure that they pee in a stall. I am not worried about them using a urinal except that, since they are still young they both just still drop drawers down to ankles. Not that I think perverts are lurking in all bathrooms but, till they learn to be more discreet using a stall is wiser for all. So, off they go.
A few minutes later and elderly employee pokes his head into the playroom. Remember, the room is FULL and I am sitting on the far side. He asks "Whose kids are in the bathroom?"
I reply.
"You might want to come watch them and keep an eye on them" he says.
"Why, are they causing a problem?" I ask.
"They're in there NAKED" he replies laughing.
..... across the FULL room of parents. I get up, walk across the full room, into the restaurant area, across that, to the bathroom, and gently push the men's bathroom door open. There are my boys, fully dressed, finishing washing & drying off their hands like good little boys.
Shannon informed me that he used the stall but that Tristan refused and wanted to use the urinal. I know they both don't really know about shutting doors and privacy issues, they're little kids still.
Not really a big deal, just an embarrassing moment parenting-wise. Murphy's Law rears it's head once again.

And finally, around the ole urban homestead (which is a term I will continue to use).
Recent planting include a forsythia bush and a Black Knight Butterfly Bush. We put the forsythia in the corner of the fence nearest VL's house for several reasons. 1) It will block her view into our yard as it grows (which it should do quickly!). 2) Since she planted cypress trees along the fence line (also to block her view) this helps continue the theme of the living hedge/fence line, which I love. I hate our chain link fence and would love to have it hidden in something living and green. 3) I love forsythia bushes. Their bright and beautiful and a wonderful way to welcome Spring. 4) More wildlife!! ~ Talk about your win-win-win situations!!
The butterfly bush we planted on an edge of the deck, in between the steps and the fence/gate at the driveway. Again, as it grows it will help hide unseemly things, it will increase wildlife & beauty, and this variety is known for being fragrant, which should make hanging out on the deck more pleasant!
We took the pond out. The pump had been turned off over winter and the water had mostly been frozen. Of course, as soon as it unfroze the dogs took the opportunity to jump into the now-stagnant water. The smell was awful and required immediate baths for both dogs. Layla fits into the tub easily, but Foster is another situation entirely. A 10 1/2 month old English Mastiff, 136lbs, IN THE TUB .. getting a bath. It should've been a Marx Brothers or 3 Stooges comedy reel.
So the pond is out and is going to, for the time being, going to be a butterfly garden. I've signed up for Salem's "tulip list" once again. I'll also likely visit the VA's nursery to pick up some plants.
And .. plants!! We still haven't ordered seeds for the garden so, as usual, we're running behind on that task. But I will order them soon, and then we'll just have to figure out a way to keep the kids and dogs out of the seedlings so they can grow.

And there we go ... something other than chickens to talk about!

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