January 28, 2009
Snow Day

And so we commence with the garden-blogging!

My poor dear sweet husband has already had all the garden-talking he's willing to take.

The important question ... REALLY, if I plant stuff will it grow? Do you think it will grow? What if it doesn't grow? What if I over-water it? What if the kids sneak out and eat all the vegetables before we're ready to take them to the Farmer's Market? (That was the point my husband stopped me and said "Do you realize you just worried that your kids might eat VEGETABLES!?!)

Yes, that SOUNDS benign, but I have real CONCERNS! I've gardened before, but the kids have never gardened, we've just not had the space or time. So, to get them involved, we're forming a small business (selling a few organic vegetables at the Farmer's Market). I even let them pick some cool ones from BakerCreek! Its entirely possible that I'll see small children sneaking to the garden to eat bizarrely-colored produce!

Mostly, we're going to plant things we can't get locally. Heirlooms. Exotics. Tomatos, melons, cucumbers, peppers, peas, carrots. IF stuff grows, the kids will also learn something about marketing. And sales. And I suspect I'll learn something about local markets.

I'm actually hoping to learn a lot more than that. I have a few ... experiments ... in mind for the garden. Doing things a "new" way and seeing what happens. But it alarms me that people around me invariably seem all doom-n-gloom. So I research a lot. I check out tons of books from the library. I read them through and then re-read bits and pieces. (The best-written seem to be the oldest. I'm especially fond of college texts from the 1950's and early 1960's. ) I go over and over it in my head.

So far, I think we must go with a variation on Ruth Stout. But instead of loose hay, I'm going with flaked square bales and manure for the first three years. I've even heard rumors you can plant a tomato plant straight into a hay-bale! (I'm going to try one of those just to see)

But. Its just a garden. If nothing grows, thats not the end of the world. But something will grow, right? RIGHT?

*sigh* I almost wish I drank ...

January 09, 2009
Que Sera Sera

Whatever will be, will be. Have you tried to avoid a situation, only to have your attempt at avoidance ignite the very situation you were trying to avoid? For example ...

Lee had the Chicken Pox. He broke out the very first day off from school for Christmas Break. Which means he was cleared to go back to school the first day of class in January. Excellent timing! Yay for me! Except ...

Lee had been picking at this one particular pox on the back of his hand. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe it just got scraped a lot since it was on his right hand. Whatever. NOT contagious. But, still, put some neosporin and a band-aid on it. Can't hurt to keep it clean, right?

So I'm putting on the bandaid and Lee is telling us how very much he's looking forward to telling everyone HE COULD HAVE DIED and its WILDLY CONTAGIOUS and EVERYONE SHOULD LIVE IN FEAR IF HE TOUCHES THEM and ... You see where this was going, right? Full blown panic among administrators and children alike? (I swear, I don't know where he gets the "dramatic" gene!)

I thought I"d nip this in the bud by forbidding the boys, point blank, to talk about having chicken pox. Don't even mention it. Avoid the disruption. Do NOT scare the teacher and other children.

I know that children behave differently when they're away from their parents. I know that. But, mine are different. Sure, they'll push the limits. Sure, they can be a little wilder. But, when you come down to brass-tacks? Mine do NOT disregard a direct and specific order. So I was blind-sided when the call came later that day.

Chicken Pox -- Lessons Learned

Most likely, all four children will NOT get the Chicken Pox at the same time.

The incubation period is 21 days.

It WILL scare the people in the waiting room at the doctor's office if the receptionist looks at the child and screams "He'll have to wait in the hallway outside. We'll come get you. Don't touch anything!"

Aveeno my foot! What you're really going to need is 40 pounds of epsom salt. And, yes, it does come in a bulk 4 pound bag at Walmart. Which is NOT near the little boxes of epsom salt, by the way, but instead over near the bandages.

IF you tell a small child they'll be taking an "oatmeal bath" they'll envision a tub full of oatmeal like they eat for breakfast and then TOTALLY freak out because they don't WANT to be covered in goop.

No matter how bad the itching, some boys will not appreciate being covered in Calamine lotion. Its pink.

You can get pox in your mouth. And your throat. And your ears. And your eyes! And your belly button. And your ... um ... private-areas-best-left-unmentioned-on-a-family-friendly-blog.

Brothers are good for all kinds of things. Like counting the spots on your back where you can't see them.

Blockbuster has a limit of 20 videos out at one time. And even then, they want an explanation after the first 10.

If you tell a small girl that touching the spots will make her sicker, and then try to hug her, she will scream militantly "DO NOT TOUCH MY SPOTS!" And she will definitely mean it. Except for her nose. Which had no spots.

Not having Chicken Pox can be problematic too. Some children will resist constant checking of their backs and arms for the first spots. "Mom. Seriously. No spots." I only wish you could see the eye-rolling that goes with it!