Tag Archives: Grandparenting

Changes

As a senior citizen, change in my routine comes hard.  My body doesn’t adjust as quickly as when I was young, though I never liked the spring forward bit, and when there is change in schedule or an impending early event, I don’t sleep well.  My usual routine is an early bedtime, reading for a bit then lights out and rising as soon as the sky begins to lighten.  Daylight savings time totally ruins that routine.  I’m not ready for bed at what the clock says is my usual bedtime and I must awaken much too early for there to be light in the sky at least for a month or so.  The change also affected the grands.  They were put to bed at 8 p.m. last night.  Daughter fretted with them numerous times, before I think she went to the basement to work on some paperwork in quiet.  SIL fell asleep on the couch between laundry loads and he slept through their nonsense.  At 9:30, I was readying for bed and the kids were so loud that I went down and they were both in the lower bunk and it looked like “Wrestlemania” going on.  I must have left my grand mom demeanor upstairs, because I lit into them, verbally separating them back into their own beds and giving them what for about how “A” had to get up at 7 a.m. for school and he wasn’t going to want to get up as it was “an hour earlier” than usual.  They got quiet, I went to bed and sleep eluded me.  It was a restless night, worrying that I would sleep through my alarm, something I have never done.  My alarm rarely goes off as I am usually up well before the time set.

Sure enough, “A” was hard to awaken, fell right back to sleep.  Round two, he awakened, rolled over and ignored me.  Round three, blanket ripped off, and a very stern Mommom told him to put his feet on the floor, “NOW.”  A few minutes later, he wandered into the kitchen, hands on hips and stated, “my clock says it is only 6:15″ as he looked at the clock on the stove.  Guess he and his parents failed to reset his clock, not that he would wake to an alarm anyway.

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We made it to the bus stop as the sun started a struggle with the fog and cloud layers from last night’s rain.  It looked like the sky was clearing, but it is still cloudy out now.

Daylight savings time isn’t the only sign of spring up on the mountain, the forsythia is beginning to bloom.

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Not as far along as in town, but a blush of yellow in the early morning light.  My first year daffodils, a plant trade from last year, have buds and there should be flowers by tomorrow or the next day.

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B’rooster was crowing his “we are awake now” song when I got back to the house.  I guess either we removed the non-crowing roo or he decided to start once the other usurper was gone.  They were let out into the saturated run and showed much more interest in the kitchen scraps and leftovers than the layer crumble and cracked grain.  I love watching one grab a morsel and two or three others chasing after her because that was the one they wanted too.  Just like kids.

It is too wet to play in the dirt today so I guess, I will read, knit, spin and maybe nap if I can get “N” to take one.  For now, it is laundry morning.  I cleaned yesterday as Daughter and the grands had friends over for a play date and they had never seen the house before, so the layers of dog fur (it is shedding season) and dust were removed.  That will last all of a day or two, but at least it was clean and straight yesterday.

Still loving life on the mountain farm, but I DON’T LIKE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!!!

 

Olio – January 13, 2016

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Olio – a miscellaneous collection of things.

Winter has arrived, officially.  This has been typical of the past few mornings (for my non USA readers, that is in Fahrenheit).  Mornings that have me serving as GICOM (grandparent in charge of mornings).  Daughter K has taken a long term substitute teaching job at a middle school that begins only a few minutes after grandson must be awakened to ready for school.  SIL R leaves for work very, very early as he has at least an hour drive to be at work around the same time.  Since the kids aren’t old enough to be left to their own devices, I am getting up just a bit later than the time I used to rise to get ready for work before retirement, and beginning the morning routine.  Dress, let the 3 dogs outside in the dark, start coffee, wake Grandson A, feed dogs and outdoor cat, pour coffee, go back to wake A for the second time (most mornings), make my oatmeal, feed A (he won’t eat oatmeal), drive him the almost half mile to the bus stop (must have a parent/guardian present at stop), drive home, carry warm water and feed to the flock of chooks and turn them out for the day, back in house and three days a week, get granddaughter N up, dressed and fed then drive her to the next town to preschool.  On those days, I then have a couple of hours to clean, knit, spin, make soap, or veg until time to drive back to town to pick her up.

The chooks are still on strike, I am getting an average of 4 eggs a week from 8 hens.  Turns out that both of the youngsters that I added from the only survivors of our chicks last summer are young randy roosters.  One of them will have to go come springtime.  My flock are Buff Orpingtons with two Americaunas.  The BO’s are supposed to be good winter layers and dual purpose birds.  Unfortunately, they are all the same age, almost 2 years old, so all on the same cycle.  I’m sure to see an increase in production as the days lengthen, but with full winter coming on, they are more reluctant to be outdoors, especially if it is snowing, frigid like today with wind blowing or a dusting of snow on the ground.

We have only had two dustings of snow so far this winter.  Another is predicted this weekend, but for the past 5 years, that has been the pattern, with little measurable snow in December and January and then getting the winter’s normal amount in February and March.  I suppose I should take advantage of a sunny day to try to break up the large round bale of spoiling hay, as I will need to be putting it down in the run to get the chooks to even come out of their coop.

The cold has kept me indoors more than I prefer.  Fortunately, there is a treadmill in the basement, so I have still been taking a brisk 50-60 minute walk each day.

The chilly days and nights have also given me a lot of time to read, knit and spin.  I just finished a first novel, Orhan’s Inheritance, by Aline Ohanesian about the Armenian genocide.  I recommend it to any of you who are readers of historical fiction.  She based it loosely on her great grandmother.

My knitting has been a hat and unintentional mobius ring scarf in Mountain Colors Mountain Goat.  They are both done in a leaf lace pattern.  The hat ended up too short, the ring scarf with a twist, both causing me grief.  The top of the hat was pulled back to add another inch of length to it and reknit.  The ring scarf, I think will be left alone, if I can figure out how to block a mobius or maybe steek it, untwist and kitchner back together.

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I like the colors, but I’m not sure I like the fuzziness of the mohair in the yarn.  Perhaps they will end up in my Etsy Shop.

My spinning has resulted in a skein of cotton candy pink worsted weight yarn from fiber received in a yarn and fiber monthly club.

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and some Shetland from my stash that is to be a hat kit in my Etsy shop.

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These natural colors will make a great striped or colorwork pattern in a hat.  The yarn is Navajo plied so it is a nice study three ply yarn, worsted weight.  I have a few more yards of the natural white to spin and ply and the kit will go live in the shop and on Ravalry.  Spinning has been a real soul soother this past week.

Now my knitting is back to finishing the toe of N’s second sock and taking out the toe of the first one to make it half an inch longer.  By tonight, she should have a new pair of warm woolly socks of Wildefoote Sock Yarn.

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Life is good on our mountain farm.  I just want some real snow.

Light at the end…

We have had rain for 14 of the past 16 days.  There is one more day of predicted  rain, then the light at the end of the tunnel as the saying goes.  We are saturated.  The unpaved roads are rutted, all of the roads covered with debris from the rain and wind.  The leaves are being ripped from the trees and coating the roads along with small branches.

So far, we have been lucky.  The heavy rains expected the past couple of days have been lighter than predicted, so additional flooding has been kept to a minimum and we have, at least so far, kept our power.

This weekend, we have been in charge of the two grands that live with us as their folks went to Kentucky to a friend’s wedding.  We had great plans to take them to the pumpkins patch, but that was foiled by the weather.  Their soccer games were cancelled.  They have been well behaved, with only a bit of sibling fussing.  They have eaten well with no complaining about what I have prepared.  For that we are grateful.

It has been a good weekend to stay in and read and knit.  We did venture out in the rain to the Farmers’ Market yesterday morning, taking the kids out for bagels first.  We didn’t all get out at the market, I just jumped out and picked up the veggies, meat and flowers for the week.

It will be nice to see the sun on Tuesday.  Maybe a harvest of tomatoes and peppers can be done and some tomatoes canned, some peppers pickled or frozen.  While the soil is wet, maybe the weeds will be easier to pull to start preparing the garlic bed for fall and to find the blueberry bushes that have been engulfed.  There is still about half a big round bale of spoiled hay that can be used to mulch around them.  I have been saving newspaper to layer around the bushes once I get the weeds pulled.  Once the sun comes out, there are dry beans to pull and lay out or hang in the garage to further dry from the days of rain, the corn stalks to cut and shock as a fall decoration, some pumpkins to harvest, and sunflower heads to cut and dry.  Some of the decorative pots of flowers from summer are spent and will be replaced with mums for a bit of fall color.

The chooks, both Buffys and meaties were grateful to be let out into their runs today.  Though it is still drizzling, they have alternately foraged and hidden from the rain.  In a few more days, I will slip into the Buffys’ coop after dark and move the culls to the Cull Palace with the meaties for the next 5 weeks, and to let the keeper flock get to used to having a more reasonable number in their coop.  They will overwinter as our laying flock.  I think that the the littles are big enough to tell which are pullets.  I know that there are at least two cockerels in the coop and I only want one rooster in my flock, so the other one and a few older hens will be removed.  Only one of the spring Americaunas is laying.  It amazes me how old they are before they lay and also how easily they can escape from the run.  The Buffys are too heavy bodied to get out, but the Americaunas, even the one who lost her tail feathers to the dogs, can easily clear the 4 foot fence.

We still have 4 to 5 weeks before our first expected frost, but autumn is advancing, trees coloring more each day.  The mountains are beautiful this time of year, but I’m not ready for the cold weather and bare trees.  I guess we should start looking for some wood soon.