Dog days

Some days just aren’t a win.

I took the day off today to hang out with the girls, as our babysitter had some things she needed to do today.

The dog needed shots etc… and today was a good enough day for it.

When I told the kids it was time to go and that we were in a hurry, Caroline changed clothes TWICE from the perfectly acceptable outfit she had on.

Claire put on three different pairs of church shoes, after I requested flip flops or boots anything that can get dirty.

I was hollaring before we even left the house. The usual Get Dressed! Where are your SHOES?! Please stop locking the car door so your sister can get in! BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT!

When we arrived, the dog jumped out of the car nicely instead of requiring me to lift him down. I thought my luck must be turning.

I was trying to get the silly dog calm in the waiting room while the kids giggled and bounced on the seats. They squabbled and poked at the dog making him get up and dance too.

Sit King! Girls SIT DOWN. Girls quit taking to King!! King SIT!

The people at the waiting room were amused. One lady offered her thoughts that neither kids nor dog were listening to me.

I didn’t think it was unkind…..because she wasn’t wrong.

Once the vet called us back, it was more of the same – though the kids were both on the floor at one point laying on their backs beside the dog. But the dog at least was halfway listening. So that was an improvement.

I briefly considered leaving the kids to clean cages and just taking the dog. But I figured they might charge me board on them and decided against it.

Once we got home we took time and thoroughly brushed the dog and got gigantic amounts of hair off him (undercoat) and gave him a bath.

Because it was hot, we were sweaty and the hair stuck to us. After the dog bath, the kids needed a kid bath before their lunch and nap.

Now yesterday morning I asked Claire to pick up the clothes she threw on her closet floor. She had been procrastinating and dawdling for 36 hours at this point.

After nap today I insisted. And she resisted.

Finally after piddling around for 3 hours she began to pick up one piece of clothing At. A. Time. And ssslloowwwwly looked over each one.

Skips down the hall singing.

“Mama? This a size 5? ” While holding up a shirt. (The kid can read numbers just fine)

Me: Yes Claire. It is a 5.

Claire: giggles. “Are you surrrreeee???”

Me: Claire!

She then scurried off and deliberately hung that item on the hanger, only to repeat the process with the next thing she picked up.

Gahhhhh.

That is how my day went. All day. When they weren’t balking at helping me they were fighting with each other. It seemed like one of them was screaming and the other crying all day. And if it wasn’t screaming/crying it was plotting and racious laughter.

At the table over dinner tonight I was trying to explain it to Lynn.

He wasn’t getting it. Until Claire piped up “Yeah. Sissy tried to put dog poop on my shirt today”

WHAT? His eyes were big – she had Lynn’s attention now.

Mischievous Claire went on to describe a backyard stick fight (while I was inside the house vacuuming) that turned gross when they stuck their fighting sticks in…you guessed it. Fresh stinky dog poop. Caroline tossed in details from the other room.

The combination of their shameless description with Lynn’s horrified face was too much for my tired nerves. I laughed uncontrollably until I cried and couldn’t breathe.

Finally. He got it. The kids were mean today.

Whew.

They got baths with soap, and have been turned over to their Daddy for tucking in tonight while I take a break.

Little stinkers.

Farmer’s Top 10

The frenzy of spring has mellowed into long, muggy summer days.

The work on the farm has transitioned to baling straw to be used for contractors and homeowners, baling hay for cattle to eat over the winter when the grass ceases to grow, checking on cows and fixing equipment in preparation for fall

It is hot. SO hot. I don’t handle these super high temps well.

Lynn works long days.

I get frustrated at times that he works so much, even though I know it is necessary.

They say to look on the bright side and so from where I see it, there are positives to being a farmer and so I made a list.

10. You never complain about your boss, because work for yourself.

9. Your lower arms have a great tan.

8. Farm clothes don’t need ironing.

7. Take-your-kid-to-work day can last all summer.

6. Your coworkers don’t complain as long as you feed them.

5. Your office is a gym- some days you strength train and some days you cardio. (Cows out = cardio)

4. You know fancy words like “Commodity” and “Germination”.

3. You enjoy many good sunrises.

2. You enjoy many good sunsets.

1. This is the way you want to raise your family.

Father’s Day.

Parenting is a funny thing.

Sometimes you are on top of the world. It’s smooth sailing, everyone is getting along and acting like decent people.

Mid-blink it has all changed and the kids are trying to outscream each other while throwing poorly aimed punches…and sometimes rocks. (True story)

It takes teamwork to do this.

A combination of my free-spirited (some call it messy) personality, our strong willed wild girls and a few other factors leaves me craving stability.

For the last decade and a half (if you count dating) Lynn has been my reliable source of reason.

The girls worship the ground he walks on. A sharp glance from him accomplishes more than my loudest mom-bellow. (Don’t deny it, you’ve yelled at your kids before too)

Right now the three of them are crammed on a 4-Wheeler and are off checking cows in this 91degree humid heat. You could not pry one of the kids off that 4-wheeler with a stick. It’s the highlight of their week…and I suspect it is the highlight of Lynn’s week too.

He’s a good husband. He is honest and dependable, and the hardest worker I’ve ever met. He’s funny too, when he will quit thinking long enough to have a conversation.

We are happy despite the fact that our strong natures collide at fairly regular intervals. Sometimes he’s wrong, sometimes I am. More often than not, it is me that is wrong but DON’T TELL HIM THAT. Maybe we both are a little lot stubborn. That might be where C1 & C1 get their tenacity.

We are given few gifts that last a long time in this life. Lynn is mine and in turn the girls as well.

Thanks for being an awesome Daddy Lynn. I love you. Happy Father’s Day.

June finally

Between Three Waters

It’s been a minute since I blogged.

The entire month of May is crazy hectic and absolutely exhausting for me and Lynn both.

But we’ve finally got a little room to breathe. Or at least I have, and happy Mama, happy life…or something along those lines.

The girls are growing at lightening speed. They are also flexing their strong wills, testing me and each other.

I know they will need that someday, but I might have threatened to sell Caroline to the circus today as the “girl who never stops talking sideshow”.

Probably not my proudest parenting moment.

It’s probably not too out of character for me because she laughed uproariously slapped her knee and launched into another verbose and loud story. (What kid slaps their knee? I thought that was reserved for the 65+ crowd)

Caroline is old enough to hang with the farmers all day now. Although…

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June finally

It’s been a minute since I blogged.

The entire month of May is crazy hectic and absolutely exhausting for me and Lynn both.

But we’ve finally got a little room to breathe. Or at least I have, and happy Mama, happy life…or something along those lines.

The girls are growing at lightening speed. They are also flexing their strong wills, testing me and each other.

I know they will need that someday, but I might have threatened to sell Caroline to the circus today as the “girl who never stops talking sideshow”.

Probably not my proudest parenting moment.

It’s probably not too out of character for me because she laughed uproariously slapped her knee and launched into another verbose and loud story. (What kid slaps their knee? I thought that was reserved for the 65+ crowd)

Caroline is old enough to hang with the farmers all day now. Although it completely wipes her out.

Claire is not ready for that but still prefers the farm over everything else.

They are wild children, reminiscent of the feral “dog boy child” with their shrieks and climbing and leaping. And then, when I least expect it they switch gears and become polite and proper society girls and demand everyone around them use polite manners.

They are happy and loving and are thriving.

Lynn and his dad baled some 340 some bales of hay today. He sent me this picture when he got done. Quite the office view.

He is the hardest worker I know, and I hope we can teach the girls that strong work ethic.

Anyway that’s where we are now. Glad May is over, and happy it’s June.

Thanks for reading friends.

Bedtime tears

Everyone at my house has been tired today.

We did not do a ton of stuff… picked up the house, bought vegetable plants and seeds, attended a birthday party complete with face painting

Picked up our “click list” groceries, then the girls followed Lynn planting sweet corn, supervising.

Next we planted onion sets, and tomatoes, peppers, as well as cilantro, oregano and rosemary.

When I write it all out it seems like more…so maybe it’s ok to be tired after all.

When I tucked the girls in at bedtime I noticed Claire’s face was wet with tears.

Me: Claire what is the matter, do you feel ok?

Claire: I am sad because I don’t want to go to sleep. Maybe I should stay up so I can be happy??

Then she batted her eyes at me pitifully and broke into a grin.

Less than 5 minutes later she was asleep.

Silly kid.

Scrappy sisters

Y’all know I love my kids.

Caroline is smart, organized and amazes me with the things she notices. (I never timed commercials on TV. But she does. Did y’all know that the Andy Griffith show has commercials exactly 15 minutes into it?)

Claire is snuggly and polite and constantly compliments me. It’s like I have a little cheerleading squad following me around. That is pretty cool.

But. Oh. My. Goodness.

They have been fighting non stop. Arguing about every little thing. Sometimes it comes to wrassling and then someone comes wailing to me. That someone is usually Claire, as sassy as she can be she refuses to fight back…unless there is a stick. She will/has totally hit Caroline with a stick…then it’s Caroline doing the wailing

Mommyyyyyyyy – she won’t let me use the pink crayon!

Mommyyyyyyyy – she’s not sharing the paper!

Mommyyyyyyyy – she tried to wear my socks!

It’s enough to drive a sane person batty. And I’m not sure I was sane to start with.

The craziest part of it is, if I separate them, within minutes each is hearbroken missing her sister. And the tears and wailing start again. I miss sissy! If only I could play with my sister I would be so happy! We will never fight again!

I’ve totally tried to teach them positive conflict resolution. None of it has ever been heard.

So waving the white flag on teachable moments and clinging to my lucidity my solution is typically to send them outside, where their shrieks and complaining are muffled by the great outdoors. Usually I ban them from the back porch where I perch to survey them and only intervene if bodily harm looks imminent.

But they are learning conflict resolution, right? Right?!

But at the end of the day when I’m at my wit’s end, they say their bedtime prayers.

Caroline says the prayer, and Claire with her eyes closed puts her hand on her sister and prays with her. It’s a glimmer of hope that someday, the things we are teaching them might sink in.

Maybe.

I think my next step will be to make them wear a big “get along” shirt and do things together every time they fight. We’ve not done that in a while.

Y’all pray for me!

Piece of junk

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am terrible with machines. Copy machines, lawn mowers, all weedeaters… whatever. They just quit working when I come around.

It’s not my fault! I swear! Machines just die when I come close. I am innocent of any wrongdoing. It must be my elecromagnetic field or something. That’s a real thing, right?

Needless to mention, if there is an expensive thing to drive…I don’t get to drive it.

The absolute worst is the terrible old 4-wheeler. On a good day it splutters and jerks with the farmers. With me it’s much worse.

Today I was delivering lunches and rather than good old fashioned healthy walking, my well meaning but terribly wrong husband insisted I take the piece-of-junk … I mean 4-wheeler. It never, never, never goes well when I take this 4-wheeler.

Lunchtime!

I don’t know why I didn’t argue.

I get to the bottom of the hill to drop off a lunch and BAM it jerks to a stop while simultaneously dying.

I tried, and tried and tried to restart it. NOTHING. It’s much easier to walk up a hill than push a broke down junk heap up.

I so wish I’d walked.

My father-in-law came over, punched the same starter button I had been working on what seemed like forever and the wretched, evil thing sprang to life.

It makes me grouchy to have to be rescued. Even worse when it makes me seem inept.

Off I went, halfway up the steepest hill and BAM the thing jerked to a dead stop again….but THIS TIME it started furiously rolling backwards. Oh fun.

I squeezed the hand brakes as hard as my hands would let me. Nothing.

Oh yeah, that’s right. This glorious chariot has non-working brakes. Fabulous.

I was by this point picking up speed backwards down the hill.

So I cut the front wheels to the right as fast as I could.

After precariously leaning over to the left and almost tipping down the hill the awful scrap-worthy thing stopped.

Ugh. I wished I could just get off and leave it in the field. A HORSE would never do this to me. Neither would my feet. Definitely never driving this worthless trash again.

Despite being an office-working, nearing middle age, deadfully out of shape, mother of two I’m decently strong so I tried to push it up the hill. Big fat NOPE. I didn’t even move it in the direction I wanted to go.

Drat.

Wish I’d walked.

Finally, I got it started. I gave the rickety-old-bucket-of-rust heck and got back to the barn as fast as I could. The motor jerked and sputtered the entire time.

I silently dared it to die, like Arnold Swartzenagger I challenged it to “Go ahead, make my day”. I wished I could make it explode like on the movies so I’d never have to use it again. The farmers wouldn’t be thrilled with me about that though.

Lynn was walking my direction with a smirk on his face. HE KNEW. When I got closer to him, I could hear him chuckle.

Glad I could be of some entertainment at least. Must be boring driving the tractors in circles for hours spreading fertilizer.

Not that I’m ever asked to drive a tractor…I wonder why?!?

Next time? I’m walking. Or riding a horse. For sure I won’t be taking the 4-wheeler.

March 11th 2018

We helped Lynn feed cattle today. After all the rain it is muddy. So muddy.

Claire has established her interest in tractor driving. Sometimes she forgets where’s she’s going though and Lynn has to get it back on track.

At one point neither Lynn nor Claire had their hands on the steering wheel and panicking Caroline yanked the wheel screeching “nobody is driving the tractor!” The tractor jolted and bounced and Lynn steadied it.

Caroline is thrilled to get out and take net off the bales of hay. I’m pretty sure her goal is to get as muddy as possible – and she is very good at it.

She tried to climb the hay…but had to stop when it was time to feed it.

After that it was a good day for a very long Sunday afternoon nap, especially since we lost an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time.

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