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Monday, May 31, 2010

What To Do, What To Do!

Here are a couple of pictures of my kiddos playing baseball. Its fun to see my girly girl getting into the game!
Now, here's my dilemma. I've already had so many gardening woes this spring, I'm ready to quit for the year. My hanging gardens in the house got infested with gnats. I had to dump them out. Most of the tomatoes I planted in the hoophouse froze. The grasshoppers ate two large beds of basil as they came up in the hoop house. (I did borrow the neighbor's chickens and put in the hoop house with great success. There are now only a few grasshoppers to contend with.) The weather has been unbelievably cold and rainy. Tomorrow is June first and I haven't even planted my cold weather crops.
I truly am thinking about not doing much in the garden this year. That breaks my heart, but I'm discouraged about it. And tired. I feel like I wish communities did "plantings" for each other like they used to do barn raisings!
Bah humbug! - Nanette

Saturday, May 29, 2010

An Answer to Prayer

The Mighty Hunting Hound a couple of weeks ago

The last part of our week was trying, indeed. The Mighty Hunting Hound, as you know, holds celebrity status in this house. She is doted on, spoiled and, well, almost human. Imagine our concern when, on Wednesday, she started getting very wobbly in all four legs! About a year ago, she had a spinal injury and had to be on steriods and be crated for weeks. Thinking that this was the same, only worse, I called the vet and asked him to prescribe some Prednizone. We fixed up a crate and put her in it. Thursday night when we got home from the track and field, she could no longer get up. We rushed her to a therapist who worked on her and seemed to help. We were encouraged, and put the kids to bed with a little hope in her recovery. (They had been in tears and had prayed many, many prayers. I was worried that their prayers wouldn't be answered.)

Before The Wood Artist and I retired, however, she took a turn for the worse. She couldn't lift up her head. I was worried sick. Normally, she sleeps in our bed, but, thinking she was injured, we kept her in the crate. At about 4:00 a.m., I awoke and checked on her. She had made a mess, but couldn't get up, so I awoke The Wood Artist to help me clean her up. She had also tried to get to her water dish, but had fallen into it and her ear lay in it, without her being able to lift it.

The Wood Artist took care of her for a while and I went to bed. I soon heard him calling. He said that she was struggling for breath. I assumed that this time the spinal injury was so severe that it was affecting her breathing. I felt helpless. I went to bed again. I lay there praying that God would let her die before morning. I was heartbroken and had to give my children's faith to Him as well. I was worried that their faith would be devastated.

Then I heard him call again. Fearing the worst, I hurried to him. "Its a tick!!!!!!!!!!," he yelled. He had it removed in short order. (By the way, did you know that the best way to remove a tick is to turn it counter clockwise?) Only then did we remember that ticks can cause paralysis. At this point, we didn't know if tick paralysis victims recover. We stroked her limp body and started to snuggle her without fear of hurting her now that we knew it wasn't her back. About five minutes later, I thought she looked a little better. Then I thought it was just my sleepy, grieving brain. The thought no sooner entered my head, then The Wood Artist said, "Does she look better already?" Indeed, her breathing was stabilizing. A few more minutes and she was pushing a little on her front legs.

Now that we were not afraid of hurting her, we tucked her in bed with us. At about 8:30, she walked across the room, albeit very shakily. Minutes later, she was getting up on her own. She has now made a full recovery. The tick, by the way, was on the ear that was in the water. We likely wouldn't have found it it her ear had not been wet. I KNOW it was a God thing!

This is the picture of her Friday night. She has fully recovered and is racing around like a puppy. The vet confirmed that she would have died if we hadn't caught it. The ticks are bad this year because we didn't get a killing freeze this winter. I learned that this can happen to people, too.

Enjoy your outdoor summer, but do check yourself for the little friendly (or not so much) critters. - Nanette

Friday, May 28, 2010

What Has Kept Me?

What has kept me, that my blog has been so long neglected? Certainly not desire. Blogging is an art expression, a therapy for me. I miss it when I don't have time for it. The last six weeks have been perfectly overwhelming to me. I don't even know if I can explain it all. I think I'll start with the most recent and work backwards. Yesterday was a Track and Field Day for the homeschoolers and private schools of our valley. Normally there are 500-600 kids in grades 1-6 who compete in the long jump, dash, relay, soft ball throw, sack race, and three legged race. Yesterday, however, was cold and rainy, and rainy and cold. Naturally, there were a few less athletes because of that. We, however, braved the discomfort, mostly because I'd agreed to supervise the 1st grade homeschool boys.
What a hoot! They were precious! They picked up a friendship and gabbed all day. I mused to myself over those who say that homeschooling does not allow for enough socialization. Could have fooled me! They were just as talkative and jolly and comfortable with each other as the kids from the other schools.
Mr. Blueberry Eyes was nervous at the beginning of the day, and stated his resentment that I didn't ask his permission before I signed him up for the event. (I replied rather undiplomatically that I was the Mom and didn't need to ask permission.) After a few minutes, however, that attitude faded away completely. He stated rather emphatically that he could win a ribbon. I encouraged him to just have fun. I didn't want him to be disappointed. He shocked me with two 8' jumps at the long jump! He had never practised this event! Then, at the dash, he proceeded to win 3rd place. At the soft ball throw, he took 6th, and at the 400 meter relay, his team took 2nd! They had gotton behind but he ran like the wind and made up the difference. Needless to say I was proud of him. And he was exceedingly proud of himself.
Then, Laughing Water's relay team took a fifth place ribbon. She was justly proud!

I just had to post these pictures. The kids' baseball coach let us borrow the pitching machine so the kids could practice their batting. I looked out my bedroom window to see this funny sight. My daughter, the Hutterite! Laughing Water may play a mean game of baseball, but she will always be a girly-girl!

One of the things keeping me the last six + weeks has been the baseball season. I've been running crazy trying to get the kids to their games and practices. They've done so well, and I'm particularly glad to see Laughing Water's imrovement in athletics. We've had a few hitches. Their team is young and have been matched with older, bigger, and more experienced teams. Naturally, they are scarier. But the worst night was when one of their teammates was up to bat and the ball came in a little too far left of the plate. Their teammate was whisked off to the hospital with a broken (badly) nose. It was traumatic and many of the kids wanted to quit the team then and there. But, bless their brave little hearts, they all stuck with it. The entire team has been afraid of the ball ever since, but, with the aid of face guards, they are really trying and are improving a great deal!
The other hitch was for me. I knew nothing about sports and didn't know the game of baseball well at all. Imagine my consternation when I was recruited to keep score for the game. Saying no was not taken as an answer! I was terrified! How could I keep official score for the team when I didn't even know the game! I was dropped into the middle of it, though. And I learned! I am now one of the scorekeepers and I know the game of baseball much better.
I have so much more to say. But I'll try to write more soon. TTFN - Nanette

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

A happy Mother's Day to one and all. I am so blessed to have my own mother. There are many days when her faith carries me. I am blessed to have my mother-in-law. She has encouraged me countless ways and more times than I could count. I am blessed to be surrounded by incredible mothers who share their wisdom and joy with me. I send my thoughts to all the mothers and those who ache to be mothers. Blessings!
My day started with whispers and hushed sounds going on in the house. When I tried to go into the kitchen, I was told I could not enter and got the distinct feeling that I was supposed to be in bed. So, back to bed I went. After some time, candles were brought into my room and lit, which set off the fire alarm! It was soon hushed. Then came a delightful breakfast! Great care had been taken to make tiny sandwiches in the shape of butterflies.

A fruit plate was decorated with freshly gathered wildflowers. (Who knew! I thought it was still too cold and blustery for flowers to be out!) The meal was rounded off with vegetarian sausages, an egg, and a glass of cherry sparkling cider. Dessert was a berry smoothie. This was followed by cards and treasure hunts and a great many wishes for a wonderful day! Such great people I have!

In the afternoon, The Wood Artist and Mr. Blueberry Eyes went for an explore with Buddy (our canoe). Meanwhile, Laughing Water and I tried something we've talked about for 2 or 3 years - making clay buttons. We kind of went wild. Laughing water was inspired to start making all different shapes of beads. Then we baked them. I'm very pleased with the outcome.

I was in a yarn shop the other day and saw hand made, clay buttons selling for a pretty penny. I'm thinking this would be a great thing for the kids to make some $ on!

I love Laughing Water's round bead here. We have all kinds of ideas floating around in our heads right now! - TTFN - Nanette

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Need Some Recipes

Dear Readers,

I love to cook. I love to try new recipes and make them just right. However, there are two dishes whose perfection has eluded me for years. One is vegetarian baked beans. The other is Spanish rice. I would love to get a recipe that uses whole grain rice, but I'd be satisfied with a scrumptious white rice recipe.

So, if you have any great recipes for either of these dishes, do share them! - Nanette