FYI: A no longer wants to be A. She now wishes to be called Sacagawea. We were discussing her name the other morning when she suddenly announced she didn't like her name. Believe me, Sacagawea is the better of the two alternatives she stated were her favorites.
Sunday she insisted on being called Sacagawea. All the time. You think that is funny? Try yelling "Sacagawea" out the front door to call your child inside to see how funny it is. I'm very thankful we don't have any neighbors within earshot. She beamed whenever anyone remembered to call her Sacagawea without her prompting. Someday she might even understand the nickname M called her: SacaPotatoes. On Monday I was able to slip in "A" a few times without being noticed. On Tuesday, she still liked Sacagawea, but she learned that Mom has a hard enough time keeping four names straight, and it helps a lot just to continue answering to "A."
I haven't had to use Sacagawea yet today. I hope it was just a passing fancy that has passed. I'll keep calling her Sacagawea once in awhile. Otherwise she may insist on her other choice, Huckle.
The day after returning home from the Pastors' Retreat we went to the post office to retrieve our mail. Along with all the bills and other junk there was an official looking envelope for me from the county. Surely not. I had received a jury questionnaire a few weeks prior. I filled it out, writing in the comments section that I was a stay-at-home-mother to four children, including a child under the age of 5. I've always been excused before for stating that, so I was surprised to get this notice saying I had to report for jury duty.
I first saw the notice on a Thursday night to report the following Tuesday morning. I thought about calling in to get it postponed, but a quick look at the calendar told me there was no better time than the present. A very gracious friend and fellow homeschooler of 5 agreed to watch my 4 until The Man would be home about 1 p.m.
I, along with about 70 other people, showed up at the courthouse about 8:45. Every available seat, including the jury box, was full. People kept coming in and standing in the aisle. I saw one man sitting by himself at a desk. "I hope he's not the defendant, " I thought. "He looks guilty."
It turns out he was the defendant. The judge presented the non-disputed facts of the case. "L" was a known drug user. "L" was accused of being involved several years ago (7 or 8?) in the murder of "H," a known drug dealer. The judge went on to list the names on the witness list. We all had to go upstairs to fill out either a questionnaire or a hardship form. Those that filled out the questionnaire (do you know defendant, witnesses, etc.) had to reappear at 9 the next morning for jury selection. Those that filled out the hardship form had to come back at 1 that day to see if they would be let go or made to fill out the questionnaire.
The judge had told us to expect a 3-6 week trial. I filled out the hardship form. Due to childcare and homeschooling issues, I stated that it would not be feasible for me to serve for that duration. I was excused.
Since I wasn't going to be on the jury I came home and checked the Internet for any information on the defendant or case. It bugged me that the murder had happened so long ago, but the man was just now being tried...ah...by the time he was connected to the murder he was already doing time for another violent crime.
I checked the county court system (Google your county and court docket, enter your name or those of your friends' and find everything from traffic tickets to small claims cases to worse) and found out that this man had a long record. Is he guilty of murder? I don't know. But he looked guilty. Does that make him guilty? No. Would looking innocent make him innocent? No.
I am glad that I'm not one of those responsible for determining whether or not he is guilty in the current case. It did make me wonder: should I ever be accused of a crime (TOTALLY hypothetical), who would be in the jury of my peers? Would half of the pool vie to be excused out of inconvenience? Would my fate be in the hands of those who had nothing better to do that day? Would I look innocent? Since this is MY hypothetical instance, we are going to assume...no, we KNOW...that I am innocent. But would they know that?
A few weeks ago we went down to be at our niece and nephew's baptism. The Man's keys were hidden that morning, so he borrowed mine. After the service, we all drove an hour up into a National Park and we set out on foot for the frozen lake. After sliding down an icy road and across a parking lot, the group reached the edge of the lake. The lake was frozen, but the little stream next to the lake wasn't. S found that out rather quickly.
He and I went back, across the parking lot, up the frozen road, and to the vehicles so he could take off his wet things so his feet wouldn't freeze. When we reached the van I felt around in my pocket for the keys. Not there. The other pocket? Not there either. I distinctly remembered The Man using them earlier then giving them back to me. I checked the pockets again and then S and I went back to the lake, examining the snowy ground along the way while praying that our van wouldn't be stranded hours from home. We would have been able to shuttle some rides with others in our group, but getting our vehicle back home...
We arrived back at the lake. The Man had the keys. He had borrowed them, returned them, and borrowed them again. Whew! By that time S claimed his feet were warm so we all stayed and slid on the lake for awhile.
Here are The Man and J trying to convince The Dog to try his paw at skijoring.
Hey! Just a quick post to let you know that I haven't abandoned the blog, we've just been busy. Really, we have!
Not long after my last post we left for some meetings at our conference church camp. The theme of this year's pastors' meetings was health. The Man was asked to speak to the group on the challenge of gospel-medical ministry. He not only spoke on some of the challenges he has in combining the two (such as having his patients ask him for refills on their meds as they are shaking his hand after the sermon) but he challenged each minister to have a medical ministry either by joining forces with those already in the medical community or by using some of the many resources that have become available. He also challenged them to practice what they preach in regard to health. There were other wonderful speakers there and we came home with a big stack of books and lots of information.
In addition to the meetings, there was time for some fun and recreation. The younger three and I got to ride on the mini-railroad. The Man and boys were able to take some turns on the climbing wall. Here is M on his way up... We drove the pickup down there so that on the way home we could do some much-needed shopping. We stopped at a Sears Appliance Outlet store and bought a washing machine. It has a cute little scratch on the front so we saved some $. It is not as heavy-duty as the one we bought 9 years ago at another outlet store, but since that one was intermittenly leaking water on the laundry room floor, I consider this one much nicer!
If anyone wants a nice, used, leaks-occasionally washing machine...come and get it! I advertised on free-cycle, but there weren't any takers. It is still sitting on my front porch. I'll even help you load up the gas dryer that's in the barn. It worked great until we moved it up here and discovered there isn't gas service. Washer on the porch? Dryer in the barn? I'll say it: Yes, we are red-necks.
We did get the two non-functional, been sitting in the yard for six months and one year pickups to the mechanics last week. Neither has called us back. We're not sure if that's good news or not. We are planning on selling at least one of them. So, if anyone wants a nice, used...
Now to answer a few questions from my faithful readers: "So did you get your chicken tractor re-situated and the saw dust out of your living room? :)" No and sort of.
"Why is it called a chicken tractor, out of curiosity?" I'm tired, and all I can think of are sarcastic replies such as our little hens riding on our old John Deere...let me see...my best guess is that most real ones have wheels on them so they can be rolled from one place to another. We've been too cheap-cheep (Go ahead, groan. You know you want to.) to buy wheels so we just drag, carry, or place on the wagon. They are also a good way to work the soil in garden areas because the chickens eradicate pests & weeds, till the soil, and leave a great layer of manure.
One spring we moved a tractor around beside our well house. The next year we had several 4 x 8 ft. patches of wonderful green grass amidst all the weeds.
We haven't had a chance to move the tractor yet, and there really isn't a big rush now. The chickens seem to be doing fine, and they started laying eggs again. When the weather is nicer we'll probably be more inclined to finish the process. We would like to be able to let them loose in the orchard again, but this creature and friend are still hanging around. This was taken right after we got home from church today.
The Man Me M - oldest son J - the next born son S - and the next son A - the princess/Sacagawea G - the boy who is quickly outgrowing toddler status Baby S-the toddler girl who will always be the baby of the family/Goldilocks The Dog - the dog Painter - the new dog, who gets his real name on this blog because I'm too tired to think of something else