April 29, 2012: mud, feathers, and envy

I’m listening to Ken Davis, Christian Comedian, talking about all the sports he’s tried and failed in spectacular fashion. He’s the main guest on Darren Streblow’s radio comedy show, and Darren’s one of our favorite comedians. Laughing hard is such a great way to get filled up again for the week, just like a good nap.

This week, our ducklings have grown some more, and are starting to develop the beginnings of adult feathers. If only they would develop the beginnings of a memory; it’s the end of the world every time we move them from their night-time tub to their daytime pen. They don’t handle change well. Have you ever met a duck who did?

We got really excited when we found the stash of eggs our ducks have decided to start laying again. We found the two eggs laid out in the mud by the west fence, but we expected to find those. What surprised us was the one egg I saw under the steps. After picking it up, I decided to dig into the leaves underneath it…and I found four eggs! So we marked them and left them and left one the next day so the clutch would grow, and kept the other three. And I don’t think any critters are going find the buried clutch. Now the two eggs left in the mud are hard to miss, but maybe the raccoons’ mask will hinder them in the dark if the trap doesn’t get them. We can hope.

The trap caught the egg thief: a possum with a stub of a tail, and he nearly died of dehydration in the trap all day before I finished him off with a barrel of water. No, the possum didn’t melt; it drowned. Never even tried to get out, so it must have been pretty weak. I buried it in the mud made conveniently soft by the frequent rain. That’ll teach the happy woodland creatures to steal my eggs. Oh, and I took potshots at a squirrel with my BB rifle when it started eating our ducks’ food. Keep your dirty mitts off my ducks, their eggs, and their food, and maybe I won’t get violent! Sorry, a little testosterone there. This land is my land, and I will call it…my land!

I decided to mow before the rain came, so I put air in the leaky tank to put air in the leaky tire, and tried to fix the belt that had come off my mower…While I attempted this, I noticed a tiny problem: the right mandrel housing and shaft (I looked it up in the manual) had sheared off in the three places it was attached. (I found this out so I could sound somewhat intelligent when I ordered a replacement part.) So…after cursing mentally, groaning inwardly, and praying audibly, I decided replacing the part was a cheaper solution than replacing the mower. This conclusion has been years in the making, despite my many years as a math teacher. My solution always used to be “replace it” until I realized (with my phenomenal cosmic mental powers) that I couldn’t usually afford to “replace it” and its job still needed to “be done” so I needed to “figure out” how to “fix it” or my wife would “replace” my head.  At least, that’s the look she gave me. Well, I may be slow…but I sure am sloppy. At any rate, the replacement part should be here by the beginning of next week, and since my weedeater-head-replaced-by-plastic-bucket-lid experiment failed in spectacular fashion, I decided to push mow with what remained of my afternoon. My resourceful wife, upon hearing this wondrous news, remarked “Why don’t you borrow our neighbor’s riding mower?” What, humble myself and ask for help? Me, the budding DIY in the country Manly man? Yep. It needed doin’. And she said yes, after our other neighbor finished with it. He brought it over just as I was finishing with the push mower. So  I spent 45 minutes on my neighbor’s John Deere, and while I wasn’t real impressed with most of the features compared to my Craftsman Lawn Tractor, the accelerator pedal was SOOOO COOOOOLLLL!!! I have riding mower envy now. I suppose there’s a pill for that.

I almost lost control of it in the muddy swampy area when I tried a tight turn. The wheels lost traction and I had to turn into the skid to regain control. Don’t tell my neighbor. I also held my 3-yr old in my lap while driving it. Don’t tell my wife, or the local authorities. I saw my neighbor do it first. I blame him entirely and his cute son with the mow-hawk. Get it?

The yard looks great, and there is still plenty to do for the young men I’m hoping will come this Saturday. The rabbit fence needs to be finished, the fence needs to be moved, we have wood enough to burn, and we’ll probably find some more to do before then. The basement door needs tightening, the berry patch needs weeding, and I want to measure the yard for my plans for a new deck. It may be a ways off financially, but I’d like to know how much composite material it will take, so I can make a plan. Plans can change, but if you don’t have a plan, you’ll miss the important things. Like sleep. I hear my pillow is lonely.

Lord, please prepare me for this week, and all that You know is coming with it. Help me trust in You, love others, and not take myself too seriously. And bless all my readers, too. Thanks.

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2 Responses to April 29, 2012: mud, feathers, and envy

  1. John Thorpe says:

    Can’t say as any of the ducks I’ve spent time with have been good with change.

    Would you say you approach your work with house, yard, critters (not including the kids in this category) as a spiritual discipline? Certainly I think you approach your marriage and family and work obligations with this mindset.

    And, do we need to get you a .22 rifle to take down those squirrels with? With a big scope? and a silencer? and… and…

    • james.thorpe says:

      I’ve been shopping for a .22 rifle now for awhile, just haven’t been able to get to local stores with the cash. A pawn shop would be fun to check out. But I would like a scope…a really good, really nice scope. I always thought I’d be a good sniper.

      I do consider my work for the house and the land to be a calling of God on my life. I’ve never been able to say that about a home or land before, but I’m called to this place. There is a work to be done; God planned it and planned me to do it, though I find I need help with most of it. That’s part of the plan, too. Thanks for asking. Thanks for reading. I hope it was fun.

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