Showing posts from February, 2019

Never too late...

to learn something new.

This isn't a new theme on my blog, but it does seem to bear repeating. It is always good to learn something new, no matter what your age is. In fact, if you are older, it is probably even more important to learn something new. And if you are a teacher, well, if you are not learning something new regularly, it will become far to easy to forget what it feels like to struggle with a steep learning curve. It will keep you humble and have more empathy for your students.

My new things are riding, quilting, and learning Dutch.

Okay, the riding isn't brand new, but it sure feels like it when you are using muscles you haven't  used for quite some time. It gets a bit better each week. I was a little afraid that I would be past the age of being able to really regain my riding skills, but I'm happy to report that at 52 years of age, I was jumping nearly two foot jumps today.

The quilting is a much easier learning curve. I have pretty good sewing skills, so …

Duckling brooder

I believe I may have mentioned more than once about just how messy baby ducks are. They are soooo cute, but they are equally as messy. This is especially true when it comes to their water. Watching our now adult ducks I understand so much better what little ducklings are trying to do. Last year, our first year to brood ducklings it felt as though we were only just one step ahead of what they needed and were constantly having to reinvent how we were managing them. This year we all feel much better prepared for how to set up the duckling brooder.

First, they grow fast. Our little balls of fuzz are only three days old now, but already we see a noticeable difference in their size. They may not take up a lot of space right now, but very soon they will have more than tripled in size. So, we started with something big enough right away. The stock tank has worked extremely well so far.

Containing the water was also something we never quite figured out. They needed to be able to get to their w…

Friday bullets, Feb. 8, 2019

Boy, it's been a week and I'm exhausted.

The ducklings seemed to have settled in and are doing well. The learning curve doesn't seem quite so steep this time around, and I think we have a better handle on how to contain the mess a bit better.I still think it's weird you can ship ducklings that are less than 24 hours old across the country.Yesterday our dishwasher decided to leak. To be different from all the others, this one thought leaking underneath the laminate causing it to warp would be fun. We cannot decide whether it's better to try to get this one repaired or go to the ReStore and buy another $150 dishwasher. It's a proven fact that large families are harder of dishwashers. Trust me, it's a thing. It seems that dishwashers are truly only designed to be run so many times and they start to break down after that limit. Large families tend to run their dishwashers constantly, thus reaching the point of no return at a much faster rate. I spent the day tak…

Never say never... or distracted by ducklings

So, you remember last year when we brooded chicks and ducks inside the house and I said I would never do that again? Well...

Yes, what you are seeing is our new stock tank, for future use in a pasture, temporarily turned into a duckling brooder. (Hat tip to M. and TM who created the brooder while I was gone picking up the birds. It looks very predator-proof as well as having an eye towards containing the inevitable watery messiness that ducklings create.) The ducklings, who we thought were arriving tomorrow morning, arrived a day early. I spent the morning, like so much of this past week, scrambling to get things ready.

A friend and I joined forces and ordered our baby birds together. She ordered goslings and we ordered ducklings. When I went to pick them up from her house, her goslings were most annoyed and disturbed that their travel companions had disappeared. Evidently they complained about it for a good long time. (If you want to see her gosling pictures, head to her blog, Wholes…

By the skin of my teeth

We essentially took last week off due to the weather and J. being home. You would think that I would feel right on top of things this week as a result. You would be wrong. Instead I feel as though I have been playing catch-up for the last three days, and just cannot get ahead. I am doing the bare essentials at the last minute while ten other things that also need to be done pile up. I do not usually operate like this and I do not like it. In fact, it makes me crabby and irritable. I think in one more day I can get life back on track and stop operating in emergency mode.

Celebrating Tet and Chinese New Year was one of those things that I was prepping for at the last minute. I knew it was coming, but just didn't get things organized early enough. Last year we kind of skipped the whole thing. I blamed the move. I didn't think I could get away with that excuse this year. But, with J.'s help, pull it off we did, at least in a minor way.

We had decorations:

And I made a new tabl…


Yesterday, J. and I spend a considerable amount of time staring at different flight options for getting to Amsterdam and back. Boy, the airlines do not make it easy do they? The whole process is a little confusing and frustrating and kind of makes you feel as though you're being taken advantage of. I love going places, but I do not enjoy finding and buying the tickets.

We eventually found some flights that seemed like our best deal even though they were the super economy ones where pretty much they'll give a seat... somewhere on the plane... but don't think you'll get a choice of where it is or very much else for that matter. Since we aren't traveling with young children (because the super economy price does not guarantee you'll be seated together), we decided we could take whichever horrible middle seats they assign us and make due for seven hours. It's not as though it's a 14+ hour flight to Asia. It's also totally worth it to get to meet P. when …

Friday bullets, Feb. 1, 2019

I am happy to report all survived... parents, children, dogs, chickens, ducks, and horse. I thought about adding cats and quail, but since they never venture outside, the weather made no difference to them.

Both J. and A. had school cancelled four days in a row, so it made for a one day work week. It was kind of a like a little mini-vacation. A cold little mini-vacation.We didn't have school and had snow days as well. My rule of thumb is pretty much if Dad is off school, so are we.There was a lot of game playing over the past week. Chess, mancala, pente, Biblios Dice, horses (the Vietnamese version of Parcheesi), and Suspend were some of the games. At least one child did math worksheets for fun.We also finished reading our most recent book, The Storyteller's Beads by Jane Kurtz. It was a very good book, set in Ethiopia in the 1980's during the famine and war with Eritrea. It focuses on two girls who are part of one of the groups of people who flee Ethiopia and end up in a r…