Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quick Take Friday

1. It doesn't feel like Friday today. Dan has the day off for the Fourth of July weekend, everyone's sleeping in a little -- and we'll likely make this a work day like most of our Saturdays. I'm going to have to be extra careful about not serving meat on accident!

We have a party and bbq planned for tomorrow night to celebrate Michelle's birthday (which was on Tuesday) with the extended family -- and to watch our town fireworks go off over the grain towers near our home. We can see them from our back yard, which is real handy. And, we'll enjoy the fireworks my brother, Steve, brings over.
We never set off a firecracker in our lives until we moved out to the country. It just wasn't done in our household. Living in the suburbs, it wasn't all that common, anyway; it was just something the miscreant neighborhood teens did a block or two over. It kept us up nights for a couple weeks before and after the Fourth, it scared our dog and annoyed our Dad. We looked down our noses at the perpetrators. Hmmph. But, now we're right out there every Independence Day competing with the other miscreants on our country road to see who can get the highest -- or the noisiest -- or the most colorful fireworks up over our farmhouse. I guess that means we're rednecks now.
2. Not a single one of my kids knew what I was talking about when I said Cathy looked like Veronica Lake the other day. I must be falling down on the job. We're going to have to have a summer course on pop culture, I'm thinking. Certainly, we can't have any children graduating from our house who don't know what I mean when I say things like:
a. They're like Bogie and Bacall
b. It's your Andy Warhol moment
c. That looks like a Dagwood sandwich
* And, I know there are others. I'll be thinking of them as soon as I post this.
3. A pet update: Here's where Bella has been taking her afternoon naps. I guess it must be cool back there behind the bench on the patio in this big empty planter. I don't suppose I'd better plant anything in there. Silly dog. Doesn't look comfortable to me.

And here's Bella, pictured below, getting the business end of being silly -- or, well, not silly, I guess. I should praise her for trying to protect us from a strange invader. We think these are the quills of a hedgehog that wandered onto the property last week. We've never seen a hedgehog 'round these parts, but the quills don't seem long enough for a porcupine (which we've also never seen 'round these parts). Bella had about ten of these quills on her nose and it took us two days and four to five big people holding her down to get them all out. She did not like it one bit. But she was very happy when we finally did remove them all. Poor girl. I hope she learned her lesson!

And here are a couple shots of Brigid's (our foofoo dog's) puppies. They're half pure-bred Bichon, half mystery dog -- though they do remind us of a little shelty that hangs around here sometimes. The black and white puppy is a little girl we named Penny, because they were born on Pentecost, and the grey and white puppy is a little boy we named Nickel (or Nick), because it goes with Penny, and because he's grey. I don't know exactly why we named them, though, because we do plan to give them away. Three dogs on the property at one time is more than enough. The kids'll be sad to give them up, but I'm sure we'll be able to find good homes for these two. They are so cute waddling around, you just wouldn't believe it... I'll be sorry to say goodbye to them, too.

It's been a busy summer for projects out here on the farm. It's a re-building year, and I don't think any of us minds the work we need to do to get the old place ship-shape again, because we all remember it in its glory when we were trying to sell it about five years ago, and we're all pained to see how it disintegrated in the two years it was vacant when we lived in Western Colorado. There's been a lot to do, though, to restore things. Over the last few weeks, we've attended to a lot of tree trimming, and have had to mow almost every other day, it's been raining so much! Also, the kids have been building and repairing fences. Good fences make good neighbors, especially if your neighbors are a bunch of hens that will poop all over the patio if you let them out. Bless Jon for fixing the gate into the animal nursery yesterday where the puppies are. That was a bugger to open before!

The picture above, on the right, shows Jon and Dominic in the middle of what will be the new pond they're digging. The old one had a leak in the liner, so was basically just a nonfunctioning pile of rocks around a big rocky hole. The kids are going to fix it, though, and then some. They've worked out an ambitious plan for a waterfall, coming down off a berm and gracefully curving down a small stream into a bigger pond. They've got it all worked out how they're going to concrete the stream bed and plant aspens on the berm. I say: More power to ya, boys! I'm so proud of your industriousness and can't wait to see it done! Don't track concrete into the house.
5. At left, see pictured Michelle's permanently dirt-stained feet. She wears nothing but flip flops, even when she's mowing the lawn. I have to show this picture because there's an on-going commentary around here about the state of my dainty fourteen-year-old's feet. They are cute, dirty little piggies, regardless, Shelly, hon...

6. The little girls are helping out where they can, mostly by keeping the littlest boys out of everyone's hair. Which is an important job that none of us underestimates, let me tell you. The other morning, after the family had been up past midnight watching the Rockies beat it out with the Dodgers (and then end up losing 3-2... Sheesh.....), Catherine got up with the little boys, fed them breakfast, then got them started on mudpies in the sideyard to keep them quiet while everyone slept in. Isn't she the sweetest? Theresa is gone for the week, on a fishing trip with her friend, Becky, and we miss seeing the top of her head over a book, but are glad she's out in the fresh air and sunshine. Anna is all about taking care of her kitten, Beatrice. She hand feeds her a little cup of goat milk twice a day and sneaks her out little pieces of lunch meat whenever she gets a chance. A very spoiled little barn cat in the making here.

And, with the beautiful convenience of summertime, the Littles are able to keep the Blessed Mother's statue supplied with fresh wildflowers and dandelions. Oh! And we found a new take on dandelions that is too much fun. Check out these dandelion curls.

Go here for a clearer picture and instructions.

H/T Sycamore Stirrings, via Crafty Crow.

7. Jon, our eighteen-year-old is revving up to get his license. I know, it sounds kinda strange that he waited until he was eighteen and then some, instead of getting his permit at, what is it now? Fifteen and half? But, since our boys are in Omaha during the school year, it's impractical, if not impossible, for them to go about the drivers' license thing in a conventional way. They all know how to drive by the time they're fourteen or fifteen from driving the truck around on the farm, but that doesn't mean they know the rules of the road or how to keep a car on a narrow lane or how to dodge the semis on the highway. (They just drive all around the fields here and only have to dodge small children, dogs, and barbed wire.) But, it's a lot simpler process here in Colorado if you wait until you're eighteen to get your license. All Jon has to do is go pass the written test, then take the driving test -- the same day if he wants to; there is no long training period where he has to document his driving time, etc.

So, we'll soon have three drivers on the road. Which can be a mother's nightmare. Paul (21), I don't worry about -- any more -- because he drives (sorry, Paul, I have to say it)... He drives like my grandmother. Very safely, very prudently, very slowly. This, because he rolled his car in a ditch a few years ago and learned how important it is to drive like my grandmother. The dear, wonderful boy. Bless his dear head and his long-suffering Guardian Angel that he wasn't killed.

Kevvy (20) worries me because he drives our old Saab convertible around, and if that were to roll... Well, I don't want to think about it. But, I think he has a good head on his shoulders -- most of the time. And I don't think that car, when it actually runs, can go very fast any more.

And, I guess we'll see how nervous I am about Jon driving. He's a perfectionist and has a good amount of respect for his mortality, I think. But, still... I'll be adding him to my St. Christopher prayers.

Here's an addicting and fun game I'm going to give Jon to practice on today. (Too much fun, playing in traffic!)

* While I was scrolling around I found this website, with some really cool Guardian Angel photos. Fun to check out!
* After you play the traffic game, you can toodle over to Conversion Diary for lots of Quick Takes!


Charlotte (Matilda) said...

My kids looked at me like I was crazy when I said, "Don't make me get the flying monkeys!" I guess we will be checking out The Wizard of Oz soon.

MightyMom said...

what fun!!

you've had an exciting summer for sure.

Kaila said...

Good luck to Jon! I'm 19 and still don't have my license so it doesn't sound weird to me :-)

Linda Higgins said...

oh you are a very brave mother!