Monday, April 28, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

It's quiet.

That's an elusive quality in this household. I'm enjoying it. I'm hoping to enjoy it for a while but I'm sure the universe and Murphy will conspire against me and MB will coming chirping down the hallway in a minute, entirely too energetic for this time of day. But it has been quiet for a little while, at least. I could get used to this.

I've had to set the alarm clock (horrors!) to 5:30 a.m. every day in order to turn the duck eggs. The Banshees have been staying up later and later these days; last night they didn't get into bed until a quarter to 10. The lovely, albeit unintended, side effect is that they're starting (finally!) to sleep in of a morning and I have all of this wonderful, wonderful stillness going on. I could so get used to this.

In fact, I may have to go out of my way to keep cultivating it. One of the difficult things about being a stay at home AND homeschooling Mom of three is getting any down time, any down time at all. This deprivation can and has lead to all sorts of stress issues with the current Mom in charge and I've been wondering rather desperately how to get Me time in a household that doesn't have an extra minute to squeeze anything out of. Then I do a stupid thing like bid for hatching eggs, the winning of which absolutely and unequivocally means that I have to get up early in the morning -- and I find this unexpected peace on my doorstep. I'm not a morning person. I'm not, I'm not, I'm not.

But for this, I'm going to try very hard to be one.

I'm going to try very hard to keep the kitchen spotless, so when I get up in the morning I can throw together a cup of tea without waking anybody up.

I'm going to keep the knitting by the reading couch, so I can have an hour or two of uninterrupted work on the Bridal Faroe (I don't have a bride in mind and may never, considering the learning curve and its aftereffect, but the thing is Big, and the perfect shade of cream, and it looks lacy despite being plain ol' garter stitch, and more than one knitter has asked me about my friends' and family's current wedding schedules when they see it.)

I can do the quiet little chores that always seem to go to the wayside when attempting to keep three Banshees awake, alive, and aware.

One of them appears to be awake now (LB, wow, I would have lost that office pool!) so I'll have to go now. But oh, it's been a lovely couple of hours.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Whereupon One Homeschooling Mother Tears Her Hair Out and Runs Screaming Into the Night

Or something like that.

Keeping a steady temperature on this little modified icebox of mine is turning out to be a bit of beggardly headache. It wants to go high, it wants to go low. It only wants to stay at a steady 99 degrees if I am actively staring at the thermometer. The minute I don't it strays anywhere from 95-105 degrees and I start another set of gray hairs. And I shouldn't do that, because the Banshees aren't going to have any of the fun of turning me completely snow-white when they hit adolescence -- a treat that my parents have earned, even if the Banshees have not.

Oh yes. I got more hatching eggs today; I bid on five and the woman generously sent me seven runner duck eggs. I was hoping I could call the color since she advertised having white runners, but there's nothing in the fine print that says the bidder gets to choose, so I'm hoping that one of the hatchees of this batch is a nice, snowy white. I'm not planning on telling the Dear Beleaguered Spouse about this...I can trust that y'all can keep a secret?

But this is The Last Batch, because summer is coming and we don't have working a.c.. It's hard enough keeping a steady temp without taking on a scorching ambient temp as well. It's just as well since I really do need to get into The Wilderness and carve out a duck run/tomato patch. I'm getting day-old ducklings next week and they're going to need to go somewhere to keep them out from under the dog's feet.

It's been fun watching the Banshees' faces light up when they're told that something warm and feathery and alive might come out of this little egg, and seeing their reactions when they glimpse the inside of the egg during candling. All those little bitty blood veins running hither and yon, and DBS swears that if you look closely enough you can see the tiny avian heart beating. We're hoping to get usable pictures tomorrow, knock wood. One week down, three more to go for the Silver Appleyards.

I still have to wait.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Adventures in Candling

1 bright flashlight
1 egg that's been in an incubator at just about four days
1 overanxious, hovering, inexperienced midwife
mix gently in a darkened room.

Wow, those look like blood vessels....!

DBS really does think I've lost my marbles, but the Banshees ooohed and ahhed and thought this was the coolest event in the whole wide world. I wasn't supposed to do this until Sunday, but you know how things get! I can hardly wait. But I have to. Another 3 1/2 weeks.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I was going to write something incredibly insightful and witty. I have about three drafts' worth of insightful and witty in the can. It just isn't working out; I get to the sixth paragraph and feel defeated because none of them are worth a tinker's dam and surely not worth any of you wasting your time on.

I figured it out today (or rather, dear beleagured spouse figured it out. He's brilliant that way.)




and I'm afraid it's of the "completely whacked out of her head" variety. My friends tell me it's because I try to put 48 hours into the average 24, but that's not it. Lots of people raise children, keep a picked up house (note that I'm not going for immaculate. I'm going for being able to see carpet again), have a yard that won't lose a peck of peeved pygmies, run a newsletter, crochet, knit, spin, repair floor looms, brew beer, make soap, keep up with 52 varieties of tomato (not a typo: I really did write 52 varieties of tomato), raise citrus trees -- in the high desert, where winter temps routinely dip below citrus-killing temperatures -- and do battle with a fence-eating grape vine. Not to mention the times when I squeeze in teaching fractions and phonetics to various momentarily-still offspring.

Dear beleagured spouse points out that I just built an incubator for the duck eggs that are arriving tomorrow, so add junior electrician and all-around handyman to the list. And the fence. I need to rebuild part of the fence. We won't even mention the tomato house/duck run that I'm architeching in those spare few moments I manage to cadge now and then.

I mean, people do this all of the time and manage to do it well. What's wrong with me?

As you value your existence, do not attempt to answer that.