Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Technology Ugh

Well, my home computer gave it up.  I knew it was coming.  It had been nine years, so a good run, but I so hate new technology.   Even if I loved getting a new computer, this was not a good time.
Having four hundred different user names and passwords makes me want to run screaming in the night.  So often I've found with new appliances and technology, it really doesn't work, at least for my purposes, any better than it did. So, too much money and stress for what?  Ahh, first world problems.

So, my stress level is high anyway with going back to work a reality.  Then, I didn't find out until Sunday that our classrooms were supposed to be ready a week early (yesterday),  and I have a new Interactive Panel in place of my SmartBoard that I do not know the first thing about using, which wouldn't matter if I did, it isn't connected to a thing.  Add to that, another four people in my circle  left us in the past week- another precious grandma, two beloved daddies and a dear sister.  My, my, my, so sad.

Handy Man and I have been busy.  Since losing the life vest and seeing that his heart could manage during the stress test he seems to have come leaps and bounds-praise the Lord!  His been a big help here at home and in my classroom, and in the little school garden we've had to keep watered.  I wanted to do a couple of fun things and I had two gift cards that were the Visa kind that could be used on anything, so last week we went to an elephant encounter.
 When it comes to beasties, my first loves are my SamWise and my chickie girls, but after that it is gorillas.  I would probably be one of those kind of people that go off and live with the gorillas. Those mountain gorillas have my heart, though hot flashes might have sent me running back to civilization, I just got to tell you. After I'd read about everything written about gorillas, I moved on to to elephants, which just blow me away with their strength and intelligence.  Soooo, I might could be persuaded to go live with elephants as well.  Since I can't, I was interested in this encounter.
I have a lot of mixed emotions about animals in captivity.  I would prefer they weren't.  However, I am well read on the way elephants are used for labor in other countries as well as the slaughter for ivory.  This hunk of love Lou, has excellent care and ten acres to roam with companions, so not a bad deal.  I just loved her. I could not help myself.

 She gets a bath every day with special soap to keep her skin healthy.
 Handy Man commented that he never expected to give an elephant a bath.

She's actually hairy all over, but it is hard to see until you get close.  We were with her for two hours and it was so fun to watch all the ways she uses that amazing trunk and to learn about her life.

After her bath, she gets let out to roam and eat and do whatever elephants do with her buds, Pancho and Lefty.
I love flowers about as much as beasties. The ones Rae grew are so long lasting. Some of these flowers were almost two weeks cut.
 I worked a lot in classroom these past few days and had some great help from friends that I so appreciated.
On Saturday there was a free bluegrass concert in the square in Corydon.  We went out with Aunt Tish, had a great time and returned and enjoyed some leftovers for supper.

Ol' Mother Hubbard invited us out for dinner on Sunday.  Ol' Henry had volunteered as a mentor for a young man at camp, which was closer to me than to her, so after church I rode out and picked him up.  It was hot and I knew he was tired, so we stopped and got a big drink!  I'm proud of him.

 It was back to work on Monday, most all of the day before I went to wish Bean a very happy 15th birthday.  How did that happen?  It was good to see Ceece's Mom and Handy Man in a different setting than the hospital. Can I hear an "Amen."

A long, long time ago, about 27 years by my recollection, the Lord gifted me with a youth minister who helped make life with three teenagers doable. I had no idea  she would also turn out to be such a good friend of mine.  She wanted us to do a little road trip before I returned to school, so today I got to show her around my most favorite little town, New Harmony.  Not only was the weather great, but there were those huge, delicious, multi-layered puff clouds.  It was simply perfect and I so appreciate it.
 Speaking of appreciation, another anonymous card came with more groceries.  Tears come again.  I hope the person knows that Handy Man is just incredulous and I am grateful.  Tomorrow we should find out about work, so hopefully soon there will be no need and before long we can do some bestowing gifts, though I've tried to supply lots of love and thanks through bread and cinnamon rolls.
It reminds me of the old Johnny Appleseed song. Do you know it?
Oh the Lord's been good to me and so I thank the Lord,
For giving me the things I need, the sun and the moon and the apple tree,
(healing, helping hands, groceries)
Oh the Lord's been good to me!  He has.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

My New Ride

Somehow I've been busy as bee all day everyday this week.  I am plumb tuckered.
Yesterday Handy Man went to the River with the Captain with the intent of skippering the boat with his sidekick Gilligan, I mean Bean, whilst the Captain whacked weeds and cut the grass.  Apparently, someone had something somewhere in the way and wouldn't move it, so the Skipper part didn't happen.  I sent the camera to document the day.

So there you have it.  A day on the river.

This morning I  went to my friend's grandmother's funeral mass. I was a reader.  I always love to read scripture.  I took a few things into school and met the teacher who will be taking over 5th grade,-nice gal.  Then I hurried home because Handy Man could hardly wait to get his truck.
This was his last time to be cast as the rider in our 90 days of Driving Mr. Handy Man.

Drummer Boy detailed the truck and kept it here, out of harm's way, at his business till we needed it. 

 Happy Day for the Handy Man

Next, we ran to town to check on Rae's garden, water a bit and gather some vegies. 

I just love their little yard all blooming with goodness. 

Next stop was Aunt Tish's where Uncle Joe brought home the corn.  Back home to fry some for Drummer Boy and family. Then Handy Man and I headed to school to plant some recent clearance finds from Lowe's.  And I am just about past going.  Whew.  
Thank the Lord for these beautiful days. I so love cool mornings.  

Monday, July 22, 2019

A Big Surprise

Not only did Handy Man pass his stress test, in a very unexpected turn of events, he lost the life vest as well. It did not seem like that was any kind of possibility at the last cardiologist appointment.
He's stayed in perfect rhythm throughout the test, praise God! 
 I suppose I don't need to tell you that he is thrilled.  89 days with being poked in the back and ribs and wagging around that battery pack, unable to drive, etc. was long.  His first trip in the truck under his own steam will likely be akin to getting your driver's license or your first car.  
As is usual for me, I have a hosts of mixed emotions.  Grateful the surgery appears to have been successful ranks highest. 
  A bit of, "Are you absolutely, emphatically certain he is safe?" 
 And generally, a complete paradigm shift , emotionally and otherwise.  I have not had one thought in 89 days that I didn't  run through the "What about Handy Man?  Will he be able to do......, Will he be alone too much...." and on and on and on.  As my return to school grew closer, my anxiety ramped accordingly about him being alone and unable to drive, about missing work for appointments, about his work.  Oh my.  
So, he begins cardiac rehab next week and depending on how that goes and if work decides he can return on light duty, well, we'll see what happens.
It is still a bit of a fine balance.  In one respect, his healing has been miraculous. In another respect, he has a long way to go to feeling like he once did. Part of that is the doc's keeping his bp and heart rate so low.  You just aren't going to feel that great.  So, still going slow, but thank the Lord, going, going, going.
This week we'll work on walking a little farther and longer each day.  
So happy for a bit of a break in the heat.
We had a busy weekend.  A friend gifted us with tickets to Ring of Fire on Saturday.  Then we went to a restaurant with a gift card from earlier.  Lastly, since the restaurant was close to Trader Joe's, we checked out low salt options.
Yesterday, after church we chopped vegies for all sorts of deliciousness- cucumbers and onions, fried sweet corn, salsa and more, so yummy.
I had some food to deliver as two more dear friends lost loved ones this week.  I believe since July 10 last year, me or my people have lost 17 mamas or papas or friends or grannies.  Awful.
I stop and consider how close we came to adding to that number.  I don't have any words.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Drama at the Palace

Cluckingham Palace that is.  Bantam chickens are known for being good mamas. I was not surprised, when a few days home from ICU, one of our Mottled Cochin Bantams parked herself in a nest box and wouldn't budge- broody.  Okay, no problem.  Next thing we know, her twin decided to brood some eggs herself in the next box just below. Okay, no problem.   Andalusian Chickens are not known for that broody characteristic.  So imagine our surprise, with only a week left till hatch, Delilah Blue decides to oust our sweet little Cochin off her nest and takes over.  Rude.  What's a girl to do?  Little Loretta Hen gets in the nest box her twin is in. Umm, girls, do you plan to co-parent, split the custody, what? 
More surprising still is after a few days the Snow Queen, also an Andalusian, gets in the nest box with Delilah.  Hmm.  So I thought this week I should be hearing some peepers. Well, before ever we heard the first peep, Handy Man finds the Snow Queen sporting a tiniest bit in the chicken yard. 
Girl, do have any idea what you are doing?  She does not.
I have never had a Mama get a tiny one out so early. She kept running back in the coop, sans her baby, which isn't really her baby, as she was the last one on nest. Brazen, this chick.

 Look at that littlest bit. It just never gets old.

So, I'm like, what's happening with Delilah? Apparently she has no earthly idea what to do with this baby and just keeps brooding the eggs under her.

So next thing we know, this baby manages to get out of the nest, so now the obvious Queen Bee has two babies.  Which she proceeds to leave on the ground and get back in the box with Delilah. Dumb chicken.  I have no idea how this little soap opera will work out, but if she leaves those babies on the ground again, they'll be in a box with a light. Even as warm as it is, it isn't warm enough at dark for tiny chicks.
And the solid black Cochin is also broody. Wonder who will end up joining her?  
Well, at least Snow Queen put in a few days of brooding. I remember when Yellow Chick Awesome waited till another chicken hatched three littles and she just flat out stole that poor chicken's babies and raised them. Pecking order is a very real thing. 
Handy Man has been a big help getting my classroom and school garden ready. I hope I can keep the plants I have alive through this terrible heat. Gardner ML came today and helped all day long. What a blessing!
Monday is our low level stress test and the following Monday cardiac rehab begins.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Last Summer Playdate Boo Hoo

Last Tuesday, the cardiologist said for Handy Man to have a stress test to determine if could start cardiac rehab and.... they never called with an appointment.  Another day the cardiac rehab nurse called and I told her what the doctor said about the stress test and she said she'd check. Next I texted his NP and she said she'd check. Next I called yesterday morning and left a message, because only one person in the office schedules those and she was out.  Next I called again this morning and she said the doctor was on vacation and didn't leave orders, so she would ask the NP and call me back. I bet you can't guess who didn't get a call back. My goodness.  It just never ends.  Even for the easiest, dumbest things you have to practically get in a knock down drag out with someone to get something done. 
Another big hurdle for him, he took the trash to the road for pick-up.
Still feeling like he does more each day.
 I said we would be hard pressed to know who will be more excited when is able to run errands again.  I have missed that and so has he.
It was science day for Playdate. 
They are all still fairly interested in using salt and water to mine toys from the block of ice.

Next was our continued experiment with GAK. Last year we made black GAK and colored it with chalk paint markers.
This year I learned about thermochromic pigment.  First we colored the glue yellow, then added royal blue pigment, which made it kind of alien green.  Next was Borax water, which did not change the color.
We had ice cubes left from the salt mines.  I laid the blob on the ice, turned it over and it was a deep royal blue. As you can see in the middle of this picture. 

 Then they took turns laying their finger on the dark blue, which nearly immediately changed it back to alien green.   Sooooo fun.

 Of course, there is no end to the the things you can do with baking powder, baking soda and vinegar.
Here Pap is putting a little submarine with baking powder, which sinks then comes back to the top.
 Then we had this tiny rocket, seen here rocketing in front of Birthday Si's face in this picture. 

 I love the expressions on their faces, especially Claire's big smile in the background.


 We barely finished our last experiment when the much anticipated rain started.  Bean took the camera. When he returned it was time to eat, so I didn't hear what all these pictures are about.

The rain swished out the creek, so Gwen and Bean headed off with them. We had folks leaving early, so  I needed to get dinner going.  

Clearly, there was some sort of snake. 

 The biggest crayfish we've found this year.

 Every year I have to buy new nets, because the nets are used for lots of things besides tiny minnows.
 Some interesting holes I see.

 Gwen leading the troops.

 A salt lick?  I'm not sure what the attractions is for the butterflies.
Ceece came by to get some vittles for her Mom and Dad.  Her Mom is doing pretty well after her surgery.  We are thankful.
Well, the time has come to turn my thoughts to all things school I guess.  So glad for the few Playdates we had.  So thankful to the Lord for big fun and no boo boo's.