Monday, July 19, 2010



July 19, 2010

Outside my window... the sun is hot, with just a few high clouds in the sky. It looks like it's going to be another hot one!

I am thinking... about the situation at the riding stable... it's not good and it looks like we need to find another place for M to do his hippotherapy. This stable looked good when M's physical therapist first moved there a few weeks ago, but they are obviously in it for the money... they have no "heart" for people with developmental disabilities. There are endless (ridiculous and arbitrary) rules, the staff is not welcoming, and each time we go something wildly inappropriate happens. (Last week, for example, one of the "regular" students, an older girl, suggested to R that she go find some of the barn help... grown men, newly arrived from Mexico... and "flirt" with them! Thankfully R told me instead... but really... what a thing to say to a developmentally delayed 13 year old!!) So we are temporarily without a place for M to do his hippotherapy. I've asked the R's former riding instructor to come out and evaluate Murphy for therapeutic riding. If she thinks he's temperamentally sound enough, we'll use him... at least for awhile.

I am thankful for... Murphy, he's been such a blessing to R, and possibly will be for M as well.

From the learning rooms... school is going well, we've settled into a good summer time mix of school time and play time.

From the kitchen... I've been in the mood for baking lately (yeah, it doesn't make sense when it's so hot outside) and have tried several new cookie recipes. I love having a cookie jar full of homemade cookies in the kitchen.

I am wearing... khaki capris, maroon tee-shirt

I am creating... I've been plucking around a lot on the banjo lately, and am trying to learn a new song on the guitar. Sometimes my fingers get mixed up, going back and forth from one to the other, but I do love both instruments...

I am going... nowhere today, except maybe down to the pharmacy. We were gone all day yesterday and it will be nice to have a quiet day at home today.

I am reading... I just finished reading Impatient with Desire (about Tamsen Donner) and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas on my friend's Kindle. I wasn't sure I would like reading from the Kindle, but it does have it's positives... I don't know that I'd run out and buy one, but borrowing it was very cool.

I am hoping... the meeting tomorrow goes well. It's the last of the meetings and assessments required by our CBC for M's enrollment into adult services. I still have SSI and guardianship to work through, but I finally feel like I'm making some progress.

I am hearing... the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries movie (the TV show from the 70's) the kids are watching. They are both in a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys/detective stage... It's fun to see them enjoying the shows and books so much.

Around the house... I have to get moving on carpet. After putting it off for a few months, I think things are settled enough to get it done... Now I just need to get the carpet ordered!

One of my favorite things... watching the does and fawns. They are hanging around the yard every day now.. this morning twin fawns were in the front yard, perhaps 6' away from me, when I went out to feed. I would have loved to be able to reach out and touch the soft fluffiness of their spotted baby coat...

A few plans for the rest of the week... draw blood today, pick up prescriptions, meeting tomorrow, physical therapy on Weds. if we figure out how to do it (use Murphy?), Special Olympics - softball practice, a cousin from Texas is supposed to stop by on Thursday... a busy week, but not TOO busy.

A picture I'm sharing...

If Cody could talk... "It's hard work dragging a heavy shoe around, trying to convince someone to play with you...

hmm... the shoe does work well for a pillow though... maybe just a quick nap before getting into more mischief."

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

new baby pics

I guess I should probably post something...

How about some pictures of one of the new fawns that are roaming the neighborhood these days?

I was in the dining room when I looked out the window and saw this mama and baby just on the other side of our back fence...

I had to grab the camera and run outside, of course.

The pictures were all taken from inside the back yard... mama was too nervous for me to try to get any closer.

Isn't the fawn beautiful?

He* was really checking me out...

*I have no way of really knowing if the fawn is a he or a she, of course. I'll call him a he, but won't know for sure until spring. If he starts to grow tiny little antler nubs about a year from now, he's a he... if he doesn't... well you can figure it out.

It wasn't long before I was making him just too nervous and he decided it was time to go. Look at his ears though... he may have turned away from me, but he still has one ear locked in on where I am. Any sudden movement on my part would have sent him flying.

His other ear was focused on mama...

Ok... he's had enough... off he goes.

Mama watched for a few seconds, as he bounded away through the long grass...

Look at the bemused (resigned?) expression on her face...

It makes me think of all the times I've chased my toddlers over the years, as they've tried to take off to parts unknown...

Like the time, R, as a 3 year old, decided to "go to work", and managed to open the back gate and leave without me seeing her... and I found her a few minutes later, confidently marching down the sidewalk (this was when we lived in the city), completely oblivious to me running behind as fast as I could... trying to catch her before she marched herself right into the street!

I guess some mothering experiences are universal...

After a few seconds mama seemed to decide she'd better follow him.

And down into the gully they go...

They were back again this evening... The fawn wasn't able to jump over the cattle panel "gate" between the front and back pastures, so he apparently tried to go through it instead. There was a lot of crying (fawn crying is surprisingly loud and sounds a little like a cross between a yowling cat and a goat bleating), but luckily he seemed no worse for the wear...

I guess I can say the same thing about M. We've taken a half dozen steps backwards lately both in terms of his GI problems and his stability, but he's managing. I've had to limit his diet a bit more, but he's stopped vomiting, his GI system seems to be working (I'll spare you the details) and the constant stomach aches seem to be gone again.

Unfortunately, there is no "fix" to the instability piece, except just wait it out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's only vomit (venting)

TMI alert... the title should clue you in... yes, this post is about vomit.

"It's only vomit."

That's what I kept reminding myself this evening as I cleaned the bathroom. M's felt sick all afternoon, but it's been a couple of months since everything came back up the way it did this evening.

As I disinfected the floor, walls, tub, and toilet (and the soles of my shoes) I reminded myself that at least he's no longer throwing up multiple times a day...

At least he doesn't have to sleep with a throw up bucket on the bed because he doesn't have time to make it to the bathroom.

At least he's not throwing up blood the way he was just a few months ago.

At least he's not back in the hospital.

I finished cleaning and disinfecting the floor, walls, tub, and toilet, (and soles of my shoes), and M got out of the shower and went back to bed. I wanted to take a shower, but couldn't because I can't shower and watch M at the same time, so I changed clothes and washed... several times... finishing up with hand sanitizer.

Maybe I'll shower after M goes to sleep...

Yep, it's only vomit... kids throw up all the time.

But it's also a reminder that M's GI system still isn't working right. It's been five months since his hip surgery and not only haven't I found a physician who can "fix" the problem, I can't even find one who can figure out what's the matter!

M's not "sick" in the sense of having a stomach bug, or having eaten something that disagreed with him.

He sick in the sense of his stomach isn't emptying, and his intestines aren't moving the food through, and without the GI meds he takes each day he would be VERY ill, because nothing would move through the way it should.

The truth is, I'm sick too...

I'm sick of gastroenterologists who drop out of sight when they don't know what to do.

I'm sick of psychiatrists who aren't available...

... and psychiatrists who can't be bothered to release your child's mental health records... even when they know the child is struggling, and needs mental health care that they can no longer provide.

I'm sick of spending at least an hour or two every single day trying to work through the "system" we need to work through to ensure M gets the pathetically inadequate support available to him next month when he officially becomes an adult.

Sigh...well, it sounds like it's time to let this charming little post go... M's vomiting again.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

no cherries...

... this year.

This tree was FULL of almost ripe cherries yesterday...

... last night the tree netting blew off in a storm.

By morning the tree was picked clean.

Ahh... the joys of country living.

I hope my cherries were enjoyed... :(

I haven't blogged much about R's new dog Cody...

He has a few "issues", but overall he's settling in well and starting to learn how to be a "country dog"!

Cody is endlessly playful, and shamelessly willing to do anything...including dashing away with shoes, socks, underwear, or favorite stuffed animals... to get someone to play with him.

This morning he stole one of my work gloves...

Running away with it, watching out of the corner of his eye...

...waiting for someone to chase him, so he could run away... and the game would begin.

That face gets him out of a lot of trouble.

He starts obedience class tomorrow. He's such a goofy, mischievous, little dog... it should be interesting.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Broody Lili

No, she's not dead.

She's channeling Greta Garbo...

... "I vant to be left alone..."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I pulled out the ladder today and played around with the funny chalkboard wall in my kitchen.

I impulsively painted the wall with chalkboard paint last fall and still just love it... part of what makes it so nice is being able to change it whenever I want to.



And as long as I was in a horsey sort of mood I decided our "menu" sign was too boring and changed it too.  (The shininess on the lower part of the wall is wetness from just being washed.)

Have a good day... and if you're in Colorado, stay dry!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010



July 6, 2010

Outside my window... the sun is bright and it's already warm (but not hot), the birds are singing and the wind is gusting through the trees.

I am thinking... about my friend "M", who is facing a difficult day today. I hope things go well for her

I am thankful for... the beauty outside my window

From the learning rooms... we've done really well sticking with fairly regular homeschool routine this summer. I think the structure of our school days has become such an important part of M's routine it would be almost impossible to take much of a break without him having some serious problems.  So... we'll just keep doing what we're doing.

From the kitchen...I talked to my friend "B" last night... In the summer she works down at the Farmer's Market and she told me the peaches should be coming in next weekend. I'm going to buy a big box from her and make some jam... I've seriously missed my peach jam. (I have one little peach tree, but it has a ways to go before it's producing enough to can!)

In the gardens...the pumpkin plants are growing well, and seem noticeably bigger each time I go out to look at them. The cucumbers are growing  more slowly.. I hope they do well, I'd really like some pickles this year. The kitchen garden is growing well, but the only thing ready to harvest is lettuce. In the orchard area, the cherries are almost ready to pick. The wind keeps blowing the tree netting off, but I just keep putting it back on and I think I've managed to save most of the cherries from being devoured by the birds. Also in the garden (since that's where she lives) Lili has gone broody on us... She won't leave the nest, and it's kind of sad since I just keep taking her eggs. I'm going to try the ice cubes in the nest trick to try to snap her out of it.

I am morning barn clothes: work jeans, tee shirt, and a cordouroy shirt over the top (the early mornings are cool)

I am creating... besides the "concrete art" we created the other day? There's more?? Actually, I've been looking at a little table I picked up at a thrift store a couple of months ago, and thinking I might refinish it. I like the way the top is painted though, so I need to figure out if I want to refinish the whole thing, just the legs, or leave it alone. I need to chip a little paint off the bottom someplace to see what kind of wood it is... that should help me decide what to do.

I am going... to be seriously behind this morning because I'm spending too much time sitting here at the computer working on this post.

I am reading... a very funny book... but I can't tell you the name of it because I bought it for my brother Steve and it would ruin the surprise if I posted the name here. I'm loving the book though, it makes me laugh out loud...and as soon as I'm done with it Steve, I'll send it along! ;)

I am hoping... to hear back from DDHS today, and I'm HOPING that all this transition-to-adult-services stuff I've been working on for M goes well.

I am hearing... the birds outside, the wind gusting through the big ponderosa pines, and my fridge making strange creaking noises (hmmm... I wonder what's up with that?!)

Around the house... Joe's been home for 5 days so the place is a wreck, today is catch-up day (although I'm not getting a very good start at catching up, since I'm still sitting here!)

One of my favorite things... the early morning when the house is quiet.

A few plans for the rest of the week... blood draw today (I'm a day late, better do it early!), then run to town to pick up prescriptions, Weds. is Special Olympics softball practice and we're supposed to go to the new stable for M's lesson... but R is seriously anxious about going there and it's supposed to be cold and rainy anyway, so we might cancel that one.

A picture I'm sharing...

some sunset pics...

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

playing in cement

The kids and I tagged along on (took over?) a little house project Joe was working on today.

The cement stoop in front of the garage door had been slowly crumbling away and drained the wrong way, so Joe decided to buy some quick-set concrete and fix it.

I've always really liked the idea of leaving initials or handprints in wet cement. I remember, as a little girl, walking down the sidewalk watching for the little ovals pressed into the cement, with name of the company that laid that stretch of sidewalk, and the year it was done. (I always especially liked finding ones with my birth year... those were my "lucky" squares!) I also liked the rare dog or cat footprint I'd sometimes find accidentally,  but permanently, cast in the cement...

It was a lazy kind of afternoon, and R, M and I were on the front porch playing games while Joe worked. As Joe got the form ready for the new cement, I was kind of playing around with the idea that it would just be wrong to waste a whole square of beautiful,  brand new, wet cement.

It was calling out to me... it needed to be decorated somehow.

I ended up bringing down the big classroom chalkboard and playing around in chalk until I had a simple design that the kids and I liked. Luckily Joe was agreeable to letting me play in his wet cement...

Here's the finished product (with the wood and metal form still around it)

And a close up...

Each of us did two handprints... From the top of the circle, the lighter handprint above the "J" and going clockwise the handprints belong to Joe, Joe, M, me, me, R,R and M. I did have an order we were going to do them in (alternating larger and smaller) but the cement was drying too fast to use our pattern... we just had to quickly get our hands pressed into it before it was too dry. I used a scrub brush to make a texture and darken the area around our family "wreath".

Once it's dry, if I really like it I'll probably seal it... (and if I really don't like it I can always pour a little more quick-set over the top!)... but I think it will stay.  It looks good, and cement is meant to be decorated. :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

fishing and freecycle Friday

For the most part I love Freecycle... I love the concept of passing things that one no longer needs along to someone else who needs it. I think Freecycle proves the old saying that "one man's trash is another man's treasure".

Case in point: Earlier this week, before the new hay was delivered, R and I had to clean the barn... really clean the barn... meaning picking up all the pallets (the hay sits on them to keep it off the floor), clean all the old hay (and rodent droppings) out of them, rake and clean under them, and then lay them all back down. It's a big job and I'm glad it only needs to be done once a year... This year, by the time it was all said and done, we ended up with 11 big trash bags of dirty hay. It's too dirty to feed to animals, and would probably be a problem to get rid of... except for Freecycle. Each year I Freecycle it, and each year I have NO problem finding someone to pick up our dirty hay.

So... while I was waiting for the person to come get the hay, a message came through Freecycle from a former homeschooling mom looking to give away some books. I said I'd take them, and as soon as the hay, was gone the kids and I headed down to town to pick up our new books.

The kids LOVE getting new books and were so excited to go through them. They each found several "good" fiction books that they liked, and I found some nice art books to add to our homeschool library...

...but the coolest thing I found, buried in the pile of books, was Saxon Math Algebra I!

For years, learning Algebra has been one of M's heart's desires. We've done Saxon Math off and on for years, so I'm sure it will be a good fit for him.

All in all a good Freecycle morning...

Joe is  home for the day, so just before lunchtime we packed up a picnic and headed to a little lake not too far away for some fishing... (I didn't fish... I don't fish... but I did take a nice walk, and enjoyed the sunshine!)

Both kids did well... especially at first, when it was all new and interesting...



Joe spent most of his time doing this....

.... and this.  He brought a rod for himself, but never actually fished...


But after a while of not catching anything, both kids started getting bored...



... and hot and tired... so we packed up and headed home.

It was been a long day, but it was a gorgeous day to be outside, and the kids are happy, tired, and only slightly sunburned...



Thursday, July 1, 2010

I couldn't believe my eyes!

... when Raul, our ferrier, got on Tucker's back today.  Raul was at the house trimming Murphy's hooves, and then walked out to the barn to see if Tucker's hooves looked ok. They did, and we started talking, and one thing kind of led to another...

... and before I knew it Raul was climbing on Tucker's back.

If you remember, Tucker was totally wild when we got him just two years ago, and has made progress since then (with some help from a donkey trainer to get him started), but still seemed nowhere close to being ride-able.

And he still isn't ride-able... for most people.

But Raul is amazing with horses and donkeys, he treat them with respect... and demands respect in return (and is strong and skilled enough to get that respect!).

He gave me some tips for working with Tucker, and I'm excited about trying some of the things he suggested (which do not include trying to ride him!)