April 28, 2013: Country Music, Second and Third verses

“Igor! It’s alive!”

“OOGGG! ME MAKE FIRE FIRST TIME! WIFE NEVER BELIEVE ME, BUT ASHES TELL TRUE STORY!”

Yes, we did actually burn off a huge pile(s) of branches last week, in spite of the gusty winds. The wind, though, made it the meanest, greediest fire I’ve ever seen. I would have been terrified if it had caught me in the woods. As it was, with only green grass in striking distance, and wet ground from rain the night before, the fire couldn’t burn past the source of fuel, which we kept in a tight circle. My second son became quite the fire marshall, tending the fire, checking it and helping to put it out. He and his brothers learned how to burn up a whole leaf and not destroy the main stem, and that’s such a vital skill in the country; you never know when you might need to burn part of something. (snort)

Speaking of the fascination of young life, we have a new baby chick! Our smart chicken, Ginger, hatched a young one, and we were so proud…until we saw the other three eggs she destroyed that were her own, and the four duck eggs she also kicked to the curb. Little assassin. I feel sorry for her new one; she hardly lets him out for air. But we’ve got one chicken egg and three duck eggs in our incubator, and we’re hoping for the best. If, however, we end up with mostly drakes (males), we’ll make a trip to Atwoods and get some more to add to the flock.

My wife has gone nuts with planting fever, and it’s wonderful to see. We have a new apple tree in our orchard of four, a hydrangea, periwinkles by the front bush with the day-lilies that actually survived the massive drought, vegetables in the three raised beds, watermelons in the dirt pile, herbs and flowers on the deck in pots, pots with flowers in the island on the driveway…and all the trees are greening, too. Ah, spring, when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of…catching water critters with buckets on ropes. At least, at our house, that’s what our boys are doing. Crawdads, tadpoles, and guppies in three buckets were the catch of the day yesterday. Now they’re back in the pond, hopefully eating mosquito larvae to their hearts’ content until a bullfrog turns them into more muscle tissue.

I mowed again, and the mower worked the first time again! I used my weed eater, and it worked the time, too…after I turned the switch to “on”. Sheesh; always check the on switch and see if your machine is plugged in before calling tech support or throwing a fit. It’s a lot smarter and more mature, plus it exercises your humility. MM-mmm, gotta love a little death-to-self in the morning! Or whenever; God knows when you need to be taken down a notch or twelve.

We have given our dog back to the pet adoption people. It was not a hard decision to make, but it was hard to get them to agree with us. We miss a warm, fuzzy critter to pet when we get home, but we don’t miss stories of the newest thing she had chewed to bits, or the hole she dug, or the mess she made. We don’t miss worrying that the neighbor’s dogs would eat her, and we greatly appreciate the stray’s sacrifice to make us aware of the danger our dog was in. Now that our dog days are over for now, we speculate about the relationship between the new cat and our old one. Their markings are so similar that we think they must be related. The new one is a female, the regular is a male. Kittens? Bite your tongue. Unless you want them all at your house.

Spring hath sprung. Sproing! The massive roar of green seems to sneak up on us every year; God’s so good to make each season last long enough that we welcome the next season in its turn. Our new apple trees seem to be doing well, the berry plants are leafing out, the salad mix is harvested several times weekly for the supper table, and even the mud yard for our ducks and chickens is starting to get green again. Without the dog, we can let the birds out into the rest of the yard during the day, which fattens them up cheaper than bagged chow, plus it keeps the bug population down and shortens the weeds. I tell ya, having ducks has been such a blessing to us. God knew what He was doing.

With all the rain recently, we decided to burn some extra wood we had lying around, because, hey, the rain won’t be dissolving it any time soon. We did a cookout on the hill overlooking the swamp that is our backyard, and since I was struggling with the fire…my sister turned it into a roaring blaze, an’ aaa hayulped! Yessir, I am the world’s greatest fire starting assistant. (sigh) I would not have been a very eligible caveman if I were single.

This last week was homeschool convention week, which we always get excited for. This year, we both attended the Tulsa convention at Spirit Bank Center of Bixby, and then my wife attended the OKC convention with two other Moms from one of our homeschool groups. We got so encouraged and re-inspired, and we found out we’re doing some things right. Yes, haha, we know some of you think we’re nuts to try educating our own kids, and others of you think we should be the only ones speaking at the convention, but the truth is probably in between. There is too much to explain or relate, but I will say that the cutting edge of what works in teaching is found in the homeschool world, not public or private or higher ed. Moms don’t have time, money, or help to throw at their child who needs to learn. They have to face all the issues, internal and external, and deal with them every day, so they know how to get things done. No bureaucracy here. Moms don’t use red tape. (I should put that on a bumper sticker.)

We didn’t hatch our own eggses, precious, so we bought 3 ducks and 3 chicks today, and boy are they cute! And our cat is a daddy. I found kittens in our basement Wednesday afternoon with their mom. If any of you want them, give us a call. We will give them away to someone. I’ll contact streetcats adoptions by next weekend if no one else is interested.

Grab your banjo; I hear more country music playing nearby, and they need one more instrument – your’s. Come join the band! Your neck’s looking redder already…

 

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