Wednesday, August 27, 2008

time with Kat, morning and night

Working on the neighbors farm, baling was canceled because it might rain before we got the bales put away, so I got to stay home and make fuel.
More importantly, this means I got to spend the evening with KAT!
When I woke her up this morning she didn't seem to want to be disturbed. This is how I found her, with her head under the covers. I said her name three times and shook her sippy cup full of warm milk. No response. She looked so cute that I went and got the camera, took pictures, then pulled the covers from over her head which woke her up and earned a glaring look to kill. Fortunately, she isn't full grown and doesn't have her full powers so I didn't die, but merely flinched.

Tonight for supper was a bit of this and that, served with something else to round it all off. What we call Leftovers. She dug right in and ate and ate. She had some beef, then soup and crackers, then put the beef in her applesauce and picked up her applesauce bowl and proceeded to stick her face in it and slurp it up with her tongue (note to self, don't let Kat watch dog eat supper). She then put her face down to her plate of meat and gravy and stirred it all up with her nose and chin. All the while she is eating bits of this and that. She ate most of the meat, most of the soup and all of the applesauce as well as most of her milk.

When Wife came back into the room and saw the mess, she promptly took Kat off to the bath, asking why I hadn't been supervising the meal. This, after a discussion on letting Kat feed herself more! I cannot win.

After Wife got Kat cleaned up and the dog got to clean Kat's tray, I sat in Kat's room, surrounded by toys and read different books to her. Goodnight Moon and Barnyard Dance, Where is my Bellybutton and the firefly book. Then we played with the pinwheel and the fan. Then she used me as a pliant Mt Rushmore and climbed up my lap, up my chest, and used my hair to pull her up over my face to try and see out the window behind me. She ended up perched on my shoulder like a bird. Which is really silly 'cause she is a Kat.

All in all a wonderful evening spent with her. I was able to entertain her enough that she didn't go searching for mommy more than once. Well, maybe it was two or four times. Really, we had fun and I am glad that I got to be home to enjoy it. Even if it was messy.

rare lizard sighting in Iowa

While stacking bales at MIL yesterday afternoon, I scared a small lizard out of hiding.

I was astonished. I had never heard of lizards in Iowa. I didn't think it was a salamander, but what else could it be? I had NEVER heard of lizards in Iowa.

It wasn't very big, but it was very fast. I jumped a bale to get a good look at it and thought about trying to catch it. In the amount of time it took to think about catching it, it had run through a hole in the board wall. By the shadow I could see that it was climbing the outside of the wall. I would have had to run around the building or crawl through the calf chute to try and catch it. I decided that I had a BIG wagon of hay that needed to be unloaded and got back to work.

Tonight, I was telling Wife about it (she grew up on that farm) and she thought I was nuts. "Too much physical stress and sunshine without a hat?" she asked. I was not making it up. So I went to our friend, G**gle. (How did I graduate from college the first time without the Internet?)

Sure enough, when I looked up "lizard in Iowa" I found a site that talked about the five known species of lizard found in Iowa. Mine was a 5 lined Skink. Not commonly seen and not on the endangered list either.

This was better than finding and playing with a hog nosed snake!

Kat withdrawal

One thing that I really don't like about baling hay until the evening is that by the time I get home the little princess in sound asleep in bed.
To make it worse, Wife sits around with a smile and faraway look in her eyes. When I ask what she is thinking of, she will tell me the Kat is so cute/funny/intense without sharing the details of what they did that evening.
I do get to wake her up and give her some milk in the morning. Unfortunately, she wakes up like Wife so the first thing I see is a GLARE and then the insistent look of "FEED ME & CHANGE ME!" After that is done I pick her up and dance with her in my arms as I sing her silly songs. While this is fun, it lasts only as long as Wife stays upstairs. Once Kat hears the Wife's voice, the only thing she wants from me is to give her to Wife, NOW.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

hay, hay hay!

I just got home from stacking a trailer of 112 bales of hay at my MIL farm. This time I put the hay in a different shed, not the barn. And I got an earlier start so I had daylight to stack under. In any case, today was a completely different stack. This time I was able to stack in pattern with the columns interlocking with each other so that when my MIL pulls a bale down to feed the horses, the entire column won't fall on her.
I may not be the fastest knife in the drawer, but I can learn*.

Public message to Loren and Scott, I will be working on the farm Wednesday afternoon - feel free to come down and show me how it is done! We start at 2 in the afternoon.

*given enough time, coaching, and experience

My stacking deficit

If you have been following the insane choices I have made, you know that I have two horses. Horses eat hay. So I made a deal with the farmer up the road from MIL farm for hay. Basically, I would help him bale it and stack it then take it to MIL barn and stack it in the bar, then pay him what his asking price is for hay. Sounds like quite the deal. But wait, there's MORE!
It turns out that baling hay and stacking it is not only educational but an intense whole body workout! And like any gym, I am paying him for the privilege of this whole body workout! Such a deal!
But one thing that became obvious as I was stacking the hay in the barn. Actually, many things were obvious if you looked at my red face and listened to be gasping for air in a dust and hay filled barn, namely I am in horrible physical shape. But while I was putting the hay away, with MIL help, it became obvious that I neglected LEGO studies when I was young. How did this become obvious? Because I cannot stock bales of hay in such a manner that I can climb them without having them teeter precariously, threatening to spill ME on the ground. Of course, I can stack them. I mean, I am not a complete idiot. But what I ended up with was three rows of stacked bales that weren't connected. so when you stepped on the first row, it pulled away from the second row. When I managed to climb to the top of a pile, I needed to hold on to the rafters to keep the pile in place. By the end of 104 bales, I was really ready to call it a night.
fortunately, I get to go down this morning and stack another 104 bales.
And I pay him for the exersize.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

sharing my insecurities

As Scott pointed out, I edited my post yesterday. I removed the angst riddled post that discussed my nightmares that I have been having. I wrote the post at 5AM, very shortly after I woke up.
While I am sure that some people have confidence issues, I had re-read the post and decided that exposing mine wasn't really needed.
Overall, I do a pretty good job. I provide pretty well for my family and while I am not the primary breadwinner, I do feel that I am an equal partner in raising our Kat. I have one hobby that saves us thousands each year in expenses that helps allow us to live in the country. t (I have another hobby that costs money each year, too. don't most people?)
And while I may not be on the fast track to career advancement at work, I am asked to work on special projects frequently to help solve unusual issues that impact our company. I seem to have developed a reputation as a problem solver.
I guess what I am saying is that I need to remember that while I will cut others slack because I KNOW they have a lot going on in their lives, I need to cut myself some slack as well. While I am not my own worst critic, I am the loudest most persistant critic I have.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I still have nightmares

That Hillary will be president and Bill will be Veep!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jill's new necklace (not a pearl necklace)

Today I am giving a shout out to Autumn Vine for their beautiful and original necklaces and jewelry.
I sent an email on Sunday to order a necklace that Jill said she liked, but had no stock. Loren assembled the necklace as soon as she got the email and sent it out on Monday. It arrived on Wednesday and is beautiful. I gave the necklace to Jill last night and she loves it. This morning I noticed that she wore it to work to show off.
The website shows many different designs that are all originals by Loren, who worked for years in the jewelry trade and knows and understands jewelry, fashion, and style.
So stop buy and get your someone special a necklace with matching earrings and enjoy seeing their face light up when they open the package.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

scene of the (messy) crime

In the first two pictures, she is discovered and tries to make her escape from the crime scene.

Once she is apprehended, Wife holds her up for her mug shot.
Then we have the mess that she has been crawling around in.
Thank goodness she couldn't get the maple or chocolate syrup open.

Friday, August 15, 2008

She is growing up!

Yep, she is a year old now. So far this month she has had her tantrum, her black eye, and she tore open a box of Wife’s dark chocolate hot cocoa powder.
She made quite the mess all over the kitchen floor and herself. We found that Kat really likes chocolate. She was grabbing handfuls and shoving them into her mouth. A bad side effect is that she got chocolate all over herself and the floor and when Wife and II picked her up, all over us.
Not to mention just a bit fussy with a new tooth coming in. This is another case of fake teething that has been going on for three weeks. Acid diapers, uncontrollable drool, and did I mention fussy?
The black eye came from one of the other little urchins at daycare. Kat is trying to walk more every day and when she gets bumped, she tends to fall on her head. This time a sippy cup got in the way. OUCH. DCLady said that Kat didn’t even cry. Which I find amazing as Kat cries at the drop of her head here at home.
I cannot wait for all of these new experiences to continue.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My latest time sucking, $$ squandering hobby.

The first picture of two horses is to give you an idea of the pasture that Revenue (on the left) and Dreamy (on the right, DUH!) get to enjoy every day. Dreamy is the lighter of the two geldings, a 17 yr old Bay Quarterhorse. Revenue is the dark, nearly black Morgan Horse that just turned 13 in June.

The first picture also gives you a glimpse of one of the fences that needed to be restrung. In fact, the horses couldn't go into that pasture until I pulled the electric fence wire from the creek bed from where the floodwaters deposited it. You cannot see it, but there is a meandering creek through that pasture. At least one other fence needs to be completely rebuilt this fall. Not an easy electric fence, but a board fence that runs along the house and back to the shed About 30 posts will need to be sunk, then nearly 100 boards will need to be nailed to the posts. At least, I think it is only 3 boards per and not 4. I really hope it isn't 4. I will be painting the whole thing before it is installed so that I can paint en masse using a sprayer and roller. That way I can avoid all the vertical surfaces.
So far, I have done very well in keeping my promise to myself that every time I go to the farm, I work on something to repair or improve and I ride Revenue. Not all projects have been as involved as the electric fence. And not all of the rides have been an hour long. Actually, none have been an hour long. I know I need to build up butt tolerance to the saddle. Lucky for me, even though Revenue is a broad backed horse, I have really long legs to wrap around him. After riding him, I don't find my tush to be sore, butt rather, my thigh muscles ache.
When I was first dating Wife, her dad asked me if I rode. I responded that I had ridden some in the past, but not well or frequently. He told me then that if I was going to successfully date his daughter, I would have to learn. Over the next six or seven years, I did learn quite a bit. Nowhere near her class, and what I did on a horse couldn't be called riding compared to how F-I-L handled his horse, but I did learn to ride. Usually to their amusement. FIL is gone now, but I like to think that he approves of me getting a riding pair of horses for Wife and I. Wife and I used to enjoy riding around the farm or even the neighbors farm. And I have very fond memories of Wife and I on a particular hilltop on saddle blankets while the horses grazed on grass nearby.
Yesterday, Wife and I rode together for the first time since a vacation ride in colorado nearly nine years ago. It was a very nice time. A short little ride along some of the timber we used to ride alot. Over the next 20 years, I plan to ride it alot more.