Friday, April 24, 2009

life bites like a rabid goose

Who knew that having the septic tank pumped out would be the highlight of the day?

Goodness knows it needed it; the house is about 20 years old and there's no record at all of the septic system even being thought at seriously, much less cleared out. We've only been here 12 years (more than enough time for the place to be tapped twice, but we were busy. And broke.) but the previous tenant lost the house to foreclosure, so we never got to meet them to ask. We bought the house at an auction, which meant we got the place as is, no inspection, no nothing, just the fact that an insurance company was willing to give us a policy on the place to reassure us that the place was actually livable. Given what was found today I'm willing to bet we're the first people to unearth the thing since it was put in.

And oh, what an adventure...and not so stinky as I thought it would be, though there would be no mistaking it for roses. EB did everything but dig the hole for the gentleman running the truck and she hung on his every word. I should get so much attention from the kid. She had a blast. I got lectured about how I'm not supposed to let the tank get this overrun but it was a lecture I'd fully earned. I provided iced tea and duck eggs and we talked welding while he raked out the muck. He got done, I paid the bill, and heaved a sigh of relief because even I could tell from the level in the tank that we would have been having big trouble in a month or two if we'd put this off any longer.

After that there was a running battle with MB who has decided that indoors is the perfect place to host the 100-yard dash, even if you do have to run up and down hallways and occasionally crash into people and furniture. I found a handful of pepperoni slices in the trash -- infuriating since we'd already discovered pepperoni slices in the washing machine, a sure sign that someone had stashed them in their pants' pockets and forgot to retrieve them. EB copped to it; much lecturing ensued. Massive frustration on the part of the parent who knows from bitter experience that the lecture went in one ear and out the other without so much as a detour into brain matter.

Then EB got a letter from my dad. This was in response to a letter she'd sent him, asking when and if he'd ever visit us again. He lives three states away so visits have always been rare. His reply was that he was in pretty poor health and getting old so that it was unlikely that he'd ever make it out our way again, but that it was always possible that we would visit him, he just didn't know when. That was extremely depressing; we are on the thin edge of constantly broke because of past stupid spending decisions. We're climbing out, but it's going to take years before we could afford to visit my father. I had to confront the likelihood that I'll never get to see my father again and I have to say that it hurt all the way through.

But -- suck though it may, life must go on and dinner must be thought about. I decided to get in the kitchen and throw together something for the Banshees and DBS when he finally got home from work. I got as far as getting the gravy started when LB starts weeping and wailing and carrying on in her room. This is a common occurrence; she uses this same howl when she doesn't get her way and when she stubs her toe. We've had the talk about screaming only when there's actual hurt, because otherwise the day is going to come when she is desperately going to need someone to show up and nobody will because everybody thinks that she's just cranky again. Leaving the gravy on at a high heat I go storming down the hall, declaiming as I go that if there isn't blood this time there darned well will be by the time I get done with her.

Hey, I have to hand it to her; this time, there was blood. Lots of it. Because head-wounds tend to bleed like the body's giving up its last drop. She had been bouncing on the bed -- just like I'd told her hundreds of times NOT to do because she could fall and HURT herself -- when she fell and hit her head against the footboard and cut it open. Not enough to enjoy a trip to the emergency room, but enough to leave a scar and certainly enough to bleed all over herself, her clothes, and the carpet. All of the supplies that I got the last time she did something like this but that I'd hoped never to use? MIA. The lot of them. I found them after I'd cleaned her up, disinfected her, and slapped a bandaid on. When DBS came home I told him I was setting up an emergency kit just for this kid, that it was going to be the size of a good sized mechanic's toolbox, and that I was keeping it under the bed where I could find it when I needed it. He nodded sapiently and handed me a Dr Pepper. I told him that much more of this and I was going to take up drinking as a serious hobby. He said that I was already doing that. I think that he was implying that any more serious and I'd have to set up a still, but I could never do that. For one thing, they're illegal unless you do some serious licensing. I can't even afford to go visit my dad!

Crystal, if you've made it this far you know why I didn't show up today. Abject apologies.

Oh yes, for the it isn't life or death but it happens often enough to make Mom spit 10-penny nails topper, some thus-far-unidentified Banshee has been taking wet laundry from the washing machine and putting it in the non-operational dryer. They know it's non-operational because it hasn't worked for quite some time and they're the ones who told me it had died to begin with. I can only assume this goes under either the I'll get back to it later or Mom will never find this or otherwise figure it out. When do the logic circuits get installed? I can hardly wait.

In the meantime, I'll have another Dr Pepper. Make it a double.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Does Bloody Exhausted Ring A Bell?

Pictures are coming, Tammy. I promise. I swear I took some, and I even think I know where the camera went to but oh my goodness have I come down with a case of tired.

I would do yard work for three straight days in a row. Without being coerced by a love note from the county, no less. And I'm about as in shape for a homo sa
pien as Jabba the Hut, so yanking fencing around and rearranging protesting quackers is bound to take its toll...and we won't mention (much) about all of the brush and the dead tree limbs that I've been trying to clear, dismember, and toss in the nearest empty trash receptacle. Muscles that I forgot I even had are protesting.

It's just that...I got tired of other things, much more tired of them than I could possibly be of yard work. Or house work. And no, I'm not going to send you my fingerprints to prove I'm not a pod person, you're just going to have to take my word for it. I don't want to be Jabba forever, and while I know I'll never have the bod of an 18-year-old again, I should realllllly like to have the body of a moderately in-shape 42-year-old. I also have a yard and a house that are both suffering from me being very busy with Other Things for the last decade. Couple that with the fact that my treadmill has died an ignominious
death and I have the perfect Homeschooling Workout For The Mad(asincrazy)SAHM. Clear the brush, arrange the quackers, and both dig and plant a Victory Garden. In this case, if I get to eat anything at all from my efforts that will be victory enough.

The ducks had to be rearranged for safety's sake; the drake:duck ratio finally caught up with me and showed its ugly face. If I didn't want to lose any ducks to the drakes' predations, the drakes had to get bachelors' quarters. Well, they're in their new digs and they are NOT happy about it. Neither are several of the ducks, who apparently had favorites in the newly-cordoned off group. It's sort of like Lysistrata for the Anas set.

Now I'm going to clear out the bathtub, which, since it's the only place that's big enough to clean brewing equipment is currently full of carboys. Then I'm going to gently boil myself and go to bed. Tomorrow is going to arrive far too early....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

oh dear...

It really is no wonder that my nearest and dearest snicker slightly hysterically whenever I proffer the notion that I'm "slowing down" or trying to "simplify" my life. I'm trying to whittle the duck flock down to a more manageable number and what do I do.

Yup. I bid on American Buff goose eggs. And won. Mind you, it's a pre-sale and if the ladies don't produce then I have one less thing to explain to the husband...and you are quite right if you think I haven't yet had the courage to tell him.

Oh yes, and there's the matter of the 15 chicks that are going to land, peeping and squeaking, on our doorstep come June 3rd or so -- but he knows about that, and I can correctly lay all of the blame on him for that adventure since it was all his idea. Okay, he wanted two and his eyebrows tried to crawl down the back of his collar when I told him how many were on order, but he did calm down when I explained that I was just central booking for several families who wanted just two or three chickens. He was less mollified when I said I was also central brooding agency until everybody's feathered in. I guess having a heat lamp and successfully raising mumblemumble ducks qualifies me as the resident expert.

The ducks are producing nearly to capacity. I have 24 and get between 19 and 22 eggs a day. A day. No, we can't eat all of them. I've been able to sell a small amount and there are a whole bunch of friends of friends who are happily singing my praises over the eggs I've been giving away just so I don't have to throw them out. It can't last; more than a few of these ladies are going to have to go into the stew pot. This still cracks DBS up -- not the imminent demise, but because their demise is anything BUT imminent. I've lost more to attrition than I have to the axe. It's hard, messy work that I'm lousy and painfully slow at. And I really don't want to do it at all. You'd think that it would curb my enthusiasm somewhat, but you'd be wrong. I'm eyeballing Welsummer chicken hatching eggs and trying to find a good source for Trout Runner duck hatching eggs, since TBA is a Trout drake and I'd like to find him a good match.

I'm still looking for the Halloween peach tree. Anybody out there got some good leads?

The first hoop house went up a couple of days ago. It's got more sway in it than a herd of camels but you can only fault the jig-operator and not the jig itself. The table I'm using to bend the top-rail is not level, not plumb, and I doubt very much if there's a right angle anywhere in its vicinity. I was really hoping to hold out until I could get a better table but the dryer went out and the clothesline became the only viable option. Since I have a lot of laundry to do every single day, the solitary clothesline that I put up 12 years ago is no longer enough. Also, since we're too broke to pay attention, getting any sort of traditionally constructed clothesline is just not an option. But I do have all of this 1 3/8" top rail hanging around the back yard...in utter desperation I quickly bent and put together three hoops and connected them. Oh man. I have got to get pictures up. This is exhibit number one about how not to do just about everything connected with one of these projects. On the other hand, it isn't going to fall over in a wind-storm, so it's perfect for what I need it to do. Friday I have to string the actual line and by then it might have stopped raining. (Yes, the universe does have a sense of humor. I don't know if it's trying to teach me something or just have a good giggle at my expense.)

Tonight I have to boil about 80 eggs and very early tomorrow I have to color said eggs for the egg-hunt that's being hosted at the park by my local homeschooling group. Oh yes, and since it's a pot-luck I also have to cook a whole bunch of food. It's a good thing I brew coffee strong enough to float horseshoes; I really don't think I'm going to have time to sleep tonight.

Slow down. heh. I'm trying.