Monday, March 31, 2008

Foiled Again

So I write three posts over the weekend. Saturday I had dropped M&S off at the twins' house, plugged in a movie for Grace and put Laura down for a nap. Ryan was off helping my mom move to Lorane and the house was quiet and clean. Who needs Calgon?

So many of the wild ideas I'd been herding were roped and penned and put away for the night. I made lists of topics. I compared/contrasted blogging and journaling and contemplated the concept of thought police. I detailed my crazy moms' night out of Friday with KL. I even apologized (to whom we don't know, since the only folks who read this are Ryan and KL) for my bad attitude toward the B&B neighbors. After writing that most thoughtful and well-conceived blog, I turned to Grace, who had tiptoed up to my elbow to request peanut butter crackers. She absent-mindedly hit a few random and deadly keys. The screen went blank and the blog was not to be revived. I gave up until Sunday after church, when the big girls were back from their sleepover and entertaining Grace and the baby. Ryan, again, moving my mom. I typed an abbreviated version. The "post" key was missing from my screen. I logged off and logged back on and then wrote "argh" and still, no post key.

This morning all is well computer-wise. Maybe I wasn't supposed to apologize for my previous B&B rants. You think?

Spring Break is over. We had such huge and vicious hailstorms yesterday that all my ranunculus (which Ryan told me not to put out yet) are knocked down. The daffodils survived okay, those that the girls hadn't picked. We don't have as many daffodils as KL's lushly covered acre, but ours are thick and naturalized throughout the secret garden and surrounding the "brick house," which is really an old foundation under a grandfather big-leaf maple that the girls use to play house in. I dug out all the bulbs in the new upper horse paddock because I didn't want them hoof -smashed and then Shelly told me they're poisonous to livestock.

So Ryan went back to work today and the big girls are back to school. I haven't fed the horses yet this morning so I will have to catch up on the blogging later. So glad to be able to post again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Stop snowing already

Snowing again. It's really coming down, as they say, and it's really annoying. Yesterday we pretended it was warm and went down to the general store for ice cream. KL and the gang joined us from south of here ... you should really check out my friend KL's farm girl blog at ...

To hedge our bets, we had French Dip sandwiches (hey, Lorena had prime rib left over) and the kids had chicken noodle soup before the ice cream. Yum and yummier. Then we drove the one-tenth-mile to my house and the kids played outside. The boys kept losing their shoes. The girls made an elaborate tent and convinced us that Nicole should stay over. The dog dug in my flowerbeds and now we can't find him (just kidding).

There are no photos of our pocket of springtime, however, because I can't find any of the memory cards from my camera, because, like the genius I am, I put them in a pocket to make prints at Wal-Mart. The good news is that I DID make the prints at Wal-Mart. They were sort of important since the subject matter was Ryan's grandma's surprise fiesta for her 80th birthday.

So this morning it's snowing and Madeleine, Sarah and Nicole are sleeping off the nonsleep-over. Grace is watching Clifford and Laura is napping on the couch, wrapped up in a shirt Ryan pulled out of the dryer with a huge hole in the back. If we cannot stop the dog from loving on the laundry that way he may really go missing. Of course the girls don't think it's funny when I threaten the disappearance of Jake. I must stop. And I will.

On the agenda today: a trip to town to see "Enchanted" at the $1 theater, to take Laura to her two-month well-baby checkup, to talk to the doctor about anxiety, and to most importantly PAY my BOARD OF REALTORS dues. Holy Toledo. I am the problem child of real estate. Of course the market's been booming so ... the reason it's three days before the heavy duty consequences (three months after the initial due date) and I still haven't paid has *nothing* to do with a lack of finances to do so. Nor with an underlying ambivalence about remaining licensed.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

oh! and... later that day...

The sun is out! The girls took their bikes up to the schoolyard to re-discover a bird's nest Madeleine left on the ground there on our last sunny day. I braved the bitter cold and fed the horses... rabbit... cats... that's it. Our menagerie is a little down in the numbers this year. We are down from 4.5 horses to 2.5! Hurray! Remaining are my QH mare, coal black and barn-named "Seven," the Arabian gentleman barn-named "Two Spot," and the family's -- read: Sarah's -- Shetland named "Dolly." So Seven, Two and Dolly lived happily ever after. Well, not quite yet. Two lives on-site while Dolly and Seven are grazing short-term rented pasture adjacent to the schoolyard.

tomorrow's all figured out

Madeleine used the Paint program to draw this picture for me. Since I am looking out the window at snow(!) on the neighbor's roof, and furthermore since it's Spring Break and the kids are stuck inside getting over the flu, it's nice to be reminded that Spring will spring, any day now.

I haven't fed the horses yet today. The sun is peeking through the clouds and my third cup of coffee is on the desk. Laura finally went down for her morning nap and the big girls are in various states of relaxing in the den and my office.

Our chicks are due to come in to the feed store in four days. We already hunted Easter Eggs and attended sunrise service at the winery... shouldn't I be out working in the garden by now? The girls have started flats of peas, lettuce, cabbage, broc, etc. The daffodils are all open. We groomed half the fur off the horses. But it's still frozen water troughs each morning and slippery drives to town for Ryan.

I have a new springtime resolution: to blog a little every day instead of volumes every few weeks or months. So I should stop now. We'll see how this goes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

These People

Long, long ago, in a town just 12 miles from here, I was a newbie intern with fresh white clips from the campus paper. The internship offers were many and various, by which I mean two; I chose the smaller weekly paper and infuriated (this is not my ego talking, it really happened that way) the editor at the rejected paper. He told me I'd never work in publishing in that town, which shall remain named Springfield. I am yet to be stung by that. The paper I did choose: Cottage Grove's weekly Sentinel, at that time an award-winning community newspaper. My editor was young and hip, or whatever we should call cool/phat(?)/awesome. She handed out interesting assignments and listened extraordinarily well. The newsroom atmosphere was lively. I learned to shoot pictures as well, since the only photographer was usually busy with local sports. She attended my wedding and gave me an apron.

After graduation and getting married, I moved to eastern Oregon and worked there for a much more serious daily, covering a military air base and police beats. My editor at the "real" job was as different from the first as could be. I understand now, from this hardly unique position of older and wiser, that he was probably burned out and marking time. He and his wife were empty nesters. He spent his days in deep thought or a semi-comatose state, it's hard to tell. I actually came in late one night to rotate my desk out of his line of stare. We all worked in a bullpen newsroom, listening to the scanner for breaking news and entering copy on dinosaur computers with no "Windows" software. Pagination, as it was called, was newborn and screaming. The Internet too was in infancy. We discussed whether there'd ever be a way to make money on it, whether it would live forever in geekdom, whether it was worth it to have an electronic front page.

I know my memories are beginning to sound like the eulogies of publishing past. I have more to write on this subject, but as usual, today takes over with urgency.

We have a brand new baby since my last post (talk about burying the lead)! Laura Abigail was born January 15 and weighed a whopping 7 pounds 12 ounces. Tons of dark brown hair. Ryan's grandma's nose. Really, really beautiful and a good baby to boot. The sleepless nights have been minimal. So has the farmwork. We moved the mares to short-term leased pasture up above the schoolyard. We moved Two Spot home and he has been packing on the (much needed) pounds. We moved Nestor to the Keenes and then sold him and moved him to the Oregon Horse Center, where he's spoiled rotten and has no pasture mates to pick on.

A cougar or fox or racoon got the last of our chickens. It was grisly and gruesome -- they waited until we were gone to the hospital to deliver Laura. Ryan came home to a mess and had to whisk it away so as not to upset the girls more than necessary. He is currently building a chicken tractor (more on this later too?) and we have eight chicks on order through Deiss Feed & Seed.

We have to move this year's garden because (1) we expanded the horse paddocks and (2) one of the huge maples split in two and fell on the old garden spot. We bought lumber to build raised beds and are hoping to do them lasagna style any weekend now. It is Spring Break, but the forecast is a very unseasonable "snow down to 500 feet."

Our neighbors with the overpriced B&B still have their place on the market. They did drop the price $90,000, but still no lookers. The deli is open on Sundays and serving Friday-Saturday night prime rib again! Life in Lorane goes on.