Friday, March 23, 2007

Spoke also of beasts...I Kings 4:33

Sacagawea and I were sitting on the front porch yesterday transplanting some seedlings while the boys rode their bikes. After a while Sacagawea wandered off and soon returned with a bone the Dog had discarded in the yard. "Mommy, this is from the leg of a deer." I agreed with her.

Soon she was back with another bone. This time she asked me if I knew what it was. I told her I thought it might be a deer rib. "No, " she said, "I think it is from an elephant."

I hope not.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The seed should sprout and grow...Mark 4:27

A few weeks ago I started my annual seed starting extravaganza. No seed cataloges this year. Last fall I hit the clearance sale at Walmart. All of their 10 cent seed packets were on sale for 2 cents each. I felt sorry for the cashier who had to scan each and every one of the seed packets. At that price, I let the kids pick out anything they wanted. We used some for our botany projects and the rest I sealed in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. Of course, I had to buy a few more packets this spring, and then there is the collection I have stashed away from all the years when my eyes were bigger than our garden space. I do have some packets that are marked for 1995 (that was the year of the ground hog).

Our botany book had the plans for a light hut to grow some herbs. They did so well that I made a few bigger ones for our seeds this spring.

All you need is a big box, aluminum foil, plastic lid, light socket, bulb, the dirt, seeds, and somewhere to put them.(That is M sitting there behind the box dutifully doing his schoolwork.)

I love using those clamshell packages to start seeds. We mostly save the ones from our strawberries. It doesn't matter what they are from, as long as they have drainage holes in them. We save all one type to make storage easier in the off-season. The lids keep the soil from drying out and protect the seedlings if I happen to be starting some outdoors. I simply open them up when the plants reach the top.

I lined the bottom holes with a piece of newspaper to kept the dirt in, but still allow for water to pass through.

Here are two of the boxes in the utility room. The one on the right contains two old cookie sheets with 6 clamshells on each tray. One tray has 6 different kinds of tomato plants and the other has various pepper plants and eggplants. The box on the left is various herbs I'm starting for the window sills.
Inside the tomato hut...Beefsteak tomatoes...The plants seem more robust than when I try to start them just from natural sunlight. They don't get too leggy reaching for the light since the light is all around them, even bouncing off the foil on the sides. These are reaching slightly toward the light, so I just added the foil "door" to give more light on the front side. The directions do say to do this, I just hadn't done it yet.

I'm about ready to snip off the excess plants and probably within the next week or so I'll replant the tomatoes we wish to keep in individual spaces.

J actually didn't get his high pull headgear yesterday. He was supposed to get it a few weeks back but the office called me the night before to tell me that it hadn't arrived. We re-scheduled for yesterday. Yesterday when we got there they told us it STILL hadn't arrived. It seems he's getting some highly-specialized type that happens to be back ordered. The orthodontist went ahead and put the brackets on his back teeth and adjusted everything so as soon as the headgear arrives we can go in and get that fitted.

The purpose of this part of his ortho treatment is to move his top jaw back. If we didn't do it now, he would probably have to have surgery to fix the problems. We do want to avoid that if we can! The ortho office was relieved to hear that we homeschool. They said they can expect much better compliance with homeschoolers as many kids don't want to wear their headgear in public/to school.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Before your feet stumble...Jeremiah 13:16

We hope you all are having as glorious of a Spring as we are! Well, ok, it's not quite Spring more day! The daffodils are blooming, the birds are singing, and the hawks are gone! They finally gave up, probably because there are so many more birds and squirrels to prey upon now. Sunday morning M let the chickens back out into the orchard. Oh, they were certainly excited. We enjoyed watching them roll around in the dirt giving themselves dust baths.

Yesterday afternoon we took the washer and dryer we've been trying to get rid of to an appliance repairman here in town. He'll either fix them or recycle the parts. Whatever, at least they are off the porch and out of the barn.

While we were out and about we went to the feed store to get some chicken feed. While there we picked up some old pallets they were giving away. We've arranged them in the orchard to make some
air raid shelters for the chickens. We couldn't fit them all into the back of the truck so The Man will pick up the rest of them today.

We had just started unloading the pallets at the orchard when I noticed the horse coming around to the barn for a drink. She mostly stays on the other end of the property near the neighbor horses, but she'll make a few trips over the hill each day for her hay and water. As she got near the chicken coop she started sliding and stumbling around. She made it to the water trough by walking sideways. That's not normal! I ran to the house for the cell phone and phone book while The Man got her halter and lead rope on her. Fortunately the vet was almost done for the day so he came right out to see her.

Diagnosis: Old age. The vet said she looks a lot closer to 30 than 24. We were told when we got her a few years ago that she was "about" 22. Her kind is supposed to have a lifespan of 30-35, so, well, it looks like we're nearing the end. By the time a horse like her goes through 4-5 owners, the "age" can go down quite a bit, especially if each owner shaves off a year or two at each transfer, either accidentally or otherwise.

The vet said she was otherwise ok. We need to start giving her "old horse" food, and we probably will make sure we're on nice, even ground if the kids are going to ride her, but she's ok...just old!

The man took off Sacagawea's splint last night. All seems well. We'll put the splint back on her when she goes out to play for the next few weeks just for some extra protection, but she seems to be healed completely. She giggled because her arm was so light without the splint. She immediately started doing windmills with her arm.

I was glad to get it off of her. The sling was almost impossible to keep clean, especially since she's been feeling so great. I had last washed it on Friday afternoon (it had to be clean for church).
That's just a lot of good dirt from outside and there are even a few specks of Play-Doh on the bottom.
I made that out of white (my mistake!) duck cloth the morning after she got the splint. It was what was handy, being that I was pretty sick that day. It served its purpose, so I'll wash it and put it away.

We're getting ready to leave the house to go up to the city. J is starting orthodontic treatment today. Phase 1: Head gear! Our dentist referred us to the orthodontist for M over a year ago. We are still in a wait-and-see mode for his teeth, but the orthodontist suggested we go ahead and start on J.

We were back at the dentist last week. He suggested we go ahead and get S started also with the ortho...and Sacagawea seems to have a crossbite...

Friday, March 09, 2007

On the right...and on the left...2 Corinthians 6:7

Here are the pictures, but don't ask me to explain them beyond the following:
The first one is Sacagawea's left elbow and the one below is the right. Do you see the faint circular thing where the arrow is pointing? Since that thing isn't visible in the right elbow view, apparently there is a problem. According to the orthopedist, it is a slight problem, but a few weeks in the splint should be all that she needs.
Little folks heal quickly.

I'm doing better. Still sick, but better. I like ibuprofen and soft tissues.

The end of last month we got about a foot dumped on us so it has taken a while for it all to melt away. Meanwhile the kids got to do plenty of sledding on the back hill. The photos were taken at the beginning of the storm.

The snow is all gone now so we're enjoying watching everything green up and the flowers poking up out of the ground. We can't wait for spring, but S was quite disappointed when I told him that he will need to give up trying to dig to China from the sandbox. If he did make it through the earth he would end up in the ocean. Where would you end up?

Sacagawea is still Sacagawea. An elderly lady who has started coming to our church asked her what her name was. A told her that she had changed her name. She made this for J. That's a backwards J there under her name. That is also an upside-down heart and lots of Ws stuck together.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

He heals the broken...Psalm 147:3

I know I've been delinquent in updating here. Sorry. Things have been a bit crazy the past few weeks...too many things to do and too many people and animals in need of TLC.

Here is a new picture of
Sacagawea.She fell last night. Although she was obviously hurt, she didn't scream very loud (the louder we scream, the worse it hurts, right?), and she did start using the arm again. There was no swelling or obvious breakage, so we decided to wait it out and see. This morning she was still complaining about it so The Man took her up to the hospital this afternoon for some x-rays. Even after x-rays on both arms, we aren't certain whether or not it is fractured. Better safe than sorry, so The Man made her a splint and we'll follow up with an orthopedist.

That was today, I'll fill you in on the less exciting details of the past few weeks later. I woke up at 5 this morning with tremendous chest pain. The Man says it is probably pleurisy. It doesn't hurt all the time...only when I breathe. With the help of some pain-killers, I was able to do math with the boys from bed, where I stayed until 2 p.m. It's 6 p.m. so I'm going back to bed now.