Happy 14th Ivy

Ivy turned 14 today!

She chose to spend her birthday skiing with a group of families where she is the oldest girl by far but Ivy loves skiing with her five year old buddy.

Then we had a family birthday party with Grandma, Grandpa, one Great Uncle and Great Granny. The festivities ended in a card game where she happily crushed her grandpa’s game and gracefully lost to her dad.

Ivy chatted with everyone from 2 to 96 today and while she has a special birthday treat planned with a friend in the future, John and I couldn’t help but glow with pride at the way our young lady handled herself today.

Happy Birthday Ivy!

Nightmare Meditation

Perhaps you remeber my futile foray into guided meditation? Well, I didn’t give up completely. Instead I decided to try (in that same afternoon brain rest time) just concentrating on my breathing while listening to my favorite non-music.

Apologies to the creators Macaroni Union, I’m sure this song made in a collaboration with sound therapists has got musical depth and integrity that are astounding. However I, having little of either, find it to be a soothing collection of noise that my brain can’t anticipate a pattern from. Making “Weightless” the perfect thing to use to block out background noise when trying to give myself some brain rest or outright fall asleep. This makes sense because it was scientifically created and then proven to be the world’s most relaxing song.

So back to my “meditation time”. I block out the light, turn on music found to lower listener’s anxiety by 65% and focus on my breathing until I either fall asleep, get bored but feel well rested enough to get up or actually achieve something like successful meditation as I fall asleep into a dream where my relaxed mind has let a demon crawl through the song into my realm and it’s now sucking the life from my body and it’s imperative that I “snap out of it” or die.

Meditation continues to not be my thing but I do recommend the music. Give it a try sometime and let me know what you think. I’m fairly confident it doesn’t always come with life sucking demons.

Too Tired

In my quest not to overdo it since the concussion I say no to things a lot, even by pandemic standards. It’s important I not get too tried and I do my best to meter out my energy carefully. But it’s hard to explain to anyone exactly what happens when I get too tired making invitations awkward to turn down.

Yesterday I got too tired but not pass out over dinner and go to bed early tired. It was a different kind of tired.

Last night I managed to flush an egg down the toilet. This is a bad idea. Plungers were required. I laughed about it.

I also licked my phone. This is a bad idea for obvious reasons that get more obvious mid-pandemic. I laughed until I cried wondering what I had just done.

Then I laughed hysterically about everything the rest of the night.

When I tried to put the girls to bed they looked at me and made up public service announcements about why you should avoid concussions and delivered them in poor Scottish accents while I howled and tears poured down my face.

I was too tired.

This morning I have rested and eggs went in proper places and I’ve brushed my teeth three times thinking about the phone tongue incident. I still have no idea how to describe what happens in my head when I get too tired nor do I know what kind of too tired will hit me next.

Even when I’m not tired it makes it tricky to respond to those invitations. “Sorry, I can’t come to your bonfire. I may flush an egg down the toilet.” Is probably the worst way to get someone to believe that you have a legitimate reason not to attend but, “Sorry, I’m too tired.” doesn’t quite catch the gist of the situation.

Fortunately my friends are understanding and I help insure life around here is never boring!

First Day of Virtual School

As I write this I can confirm that we have officially survived the first day of virtual school. I am happy to report that things went smoothly and even our sometimes temperamental internet behaved. All in all, I would say it was better than we feared.

Of course before the day started, we had to take the traditional first day of school photos even if it wasn’t a traditional school day. While other mothers manage to post smiling faces with cute signs delineating grade on their children’s first day, I feel that our girls’ pictures often tell a broader story. Here is my interpretation of this morning’s quick photo shoot…

Clara: School at home means I don’t really have to pay attention- or wear pants!

Jane: New things are terrible, also I can’t find my pants.

Ivy: Seriously? Just pull up your pants like this, it’s almost time for me to log on.

Clara: I don’t want to do this so I’m not wearing pants, also I’m still in my pjs under this sweatshirt so pppbbbbttt.

Jane: I can’t do new terrible things without my pants.

Ivy: If I smile like this can I go log on now?

Clara: Fooled you I have shorts on!

Jane: I can’t smile because new things are terrible, also I still don’t have my favorite pants.

Ivy: *through gritted teeth * I’ve been smiling forever can I go now?

Clara: Just kidding. I don’t have pants!

Jane: I can’t believe this is really happening without my pants.

Ivy: I’m done.

I may never have a picture of them all smiling at the same time but I’ll not be short of memories looking back at photos like these!

The Little Red Hen and the Swimming Pool

A Mostly True Story

One day the Little Red Hen set out to set up a swimming pool for her family.

Who will help me level the ground so the pool does not tilt to the side and collapse said the Little Red Hen.

“NOT I!” chorused her family.

So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor.

The next day her children said, “Momma Hen, Momma Hen! When can we go swimming?” And the Little Red Hen said, “After we set up the pool. I’m not done leveling the ground who would like to help me?”

“NOT I!” chorused her family.

So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor and her big brown shovel.

The next day her children said “Momma Hen, Momma Hen! When can we go swimming?” And the Little Red Hen said, “After we set up the pool. I’m still not done leveling the ground, who would like to help me?”

“NOT I!” chorused her family.

So the Little Red Hen set to work with her little red tractor, her big brown shovel and her shiny silver level.

That day was very hot. The Little Red Hen sweated as she drove her little red tractor, she she started saying very bad words as she used her big brown shovel and the light from the bright sun hurt her eyes as it bounced off her big silver level.

Suddenly The Little Red hen stomped away from her almost level circle of ground and found her family in the shade.

“All right guys. You remember what happened with the bread right?” squawked the Little Red Hen.

“Yes.” said her family warily.

“Well I’m just letting you know that I am going to enjoy my pool ALL BY MYSELF” said the Little Red Hen and she went to get a cool drink of water before returning to work.

When she came back to pick up her big brown shovel she found her chicks waiting to help. Some of her chicks moved rocks, some brought cool drinks some shoveled and raked and soon the ground was level.

Then the chicks and her rooster helped pull all the pieces of the pool out of the deep dark basement and soon with all the help the pool was filling with water.

When it was finally time to get into the pool all the chicks yelled “Hooray” and splashed and laughed and splashed and chased each other in circles and splashed some more.

And the Little Red Hen, trying to enjoy the cool of the pool closed her eyes against the splashing water and thought, “maybe I shouldn’t have reminded them about the bread.”

Moral of the Story: Be careful what you wish for. Or. Family time is great, until it isn’t.

Pushing Boundaries

It’s not that John dislikes the poultry so much as that he doesn’t love the poultry like I do.

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Being a wonderful tolerant and handsome husband, as well as my number one blog post editor, he doesn’t do more than put up a manly bit of bluster when bird numbers expand and varieties increase.

Mostly he sits back and watches the madness and kindly takes care of them when I am unable. There are a few hard lines I won’t cross when it comes to adding birds (I didn’t even really consider bringing home a peacock and I’d never bring home a four legged creatures without a serious consult). He has alluded to other lines I’m confident are just… guidelines… wishes… attempts to not let the females in his life run rampant with animal husbandry.

And the females in his life know that boundaries are made to be pushed.

Which is how we ended up with three silkie chickens.

Because John is a fantastically tolerant man he rolled his eyes when he saw that they brought us joy and when the rooster grew a crazy comb he announced that his name should be changed from “Fluffy” as Jane called him or “Spike” as I called him to “Magma”.

And because we know you can only push boundaries so far…

Meet our Silkie rooster, Magma.

Top o’ the Morning to Ya!

It’s Sunday morning, we have, of course, no where to go. I’m pretending to sleep in when Jane shows up to “snuggle” (i.e. asks three thousand questions and demands one million items). After a long three minutes of such talk I caved and threw my phone at her in self defense so that she could check out every filter on all the platforms my phone can offer.

The end result was this picture.

I quite like it and I’m saving it because I think it will come in handy for handling the current most common questions I get.

“How’re things going?” – see above picture.

“How’s that homeschooling thing?” – note how I can no longer smile a real smile.

“How are the kids handling it?” – check out that kids face and then you tell me.

“What’s it like with the kids home all the time?” – please note how I no longer even have enough personal space for my entire face.

Top o’ the morning to ya! I hope you and yours are safe and healthy and that in the process of staying that way you still have enough elbow room of your own to see out of both eyes!

I’m participating in the April Squares challenge over at The Life of B come check it out!

Officially Done

Many notable things happened today ranging from new poultry arrivals to capoeira demos but they all pale in comparison to this little piece of floor.

If I may direct your attention back in time approximately six years and six months ago you will find a blog post titled Please Hold. In that post you will read amongst other things that we were living in “cardboard box hell” after moving to our new house.

A number of those boxes landed in the corner by the bookshelf and spent the last 6 years alternating between functioning as a perch for cats and the most inconvenient end table ever to throw a book/hat/flashlight/blanket on as you went by. The problem being that not only did this always annoy the cats but it ensured that it would take twice as long as normal to find the object. This is because a stack of cardboard boxes that should really be unpacked actually becomes invisible after a certain amount of time. So that once an item is set on top of it, it also disappears and your only hope is to rely on a grumpy cat to alert you to the item’s presence.

But no more! Thanks to the Herculean efforts of John (it’s super hard to move invisible objects) they have been unpacked and put appropriately away.

That’s right. It’s official. We are all moved in!