February 10th, 2008


Day Two, Crumbles

Ah yes. The ever important comma.

I get a "D" for my work on the 3 gigs yesterday. Just some emails. I was sidetracked by taking E and her sleepover-friend-who-wants-to-be-adopted to the pool. E doesn't swim, which leads to interesting moments. But this pool has a full "leisure" pool with slides and 1 foot depth running to full depth elsewhere. But to get to the slide, you have to go through a waterfall. So E hadn't done it yet and I hadn't gone into the pool myself yet. We finally worked out a deal where she tried the slide with the assistance of her friend. Her friend led her, eyes covered with her hand, backwards, up the steps and through the waterfall to the slide. At which point, you're in a spot with no water falling on your head. She went down the slide. (This is all for toddlers, mind, not for 8 year-olds.) I was extremely proud of her. It was a crowning moment in conquering fear with the help of a friend. A non-Mommy moment.

And when we got back home, I was sidetracked by the need to stack wood by the house and the Dude saying, well, if he filled the wheelbarrow, maybe I would unload it? (This when I had handed off the girls to him so I could work.) Not his fault. Mine. I need to carve out this time each day and hold onto it.

And this morning, I get an "A" for going down at 8 am and letting the girls out. They are now quite lazy and used to the light showing up at 10 am. No one was down off the perch. I found Gimpy and lifted her down and let the others fend for themselves. (Gimpy's bad leg is much improved, but she still limps.)

I discovered that the layer feed, known as "Crumbles," was still rock-bottom empty in the can. Had the Dude remembered to get feed yesterday in the excitement of ordering chickens while harassed by a horse lady? Yes, it turns out he had. But the 50lb bag was still in the back of his car. Hmmm. Could I still do it? Did I still have sufficient upper body strength to lift and carry that bag down to the barn, out of shape as I currently am?

It turned out that I could still do it. OzConners get a slightly more accurate image of what ensued than others. Me, in pink Wellies, still in jammies (bright purple-blue, if you must know), a dark green men's down vest and yellow work gloves, hair unbrushed, etc., with a 50lb bag of feed slung over my shoulder, walking down the hill to the barn. (The boots, thank goodness, have good soles and I did not slip, did not hyper-extend any ankles.)

I love living in the country. You just can't do this (let alone keep a flock of chickens) in a suburb without receiving some sort of letter from the homeowners' association.

Ah. Strength. Power. I flex my biceps. "We CAN do it!" indeed. Smug, I am.

On Oprah recently, I watched the woman who does "Confessions of a Matchmaker." She's quite interesting. And she said that women should let the man 'open the pickle jar.' Of course we can do it ourselves, she said, but it makes the man feel really good if we hand him the pickle jar instead of striking it with a knife. Well, I don't generally need to strike any jars with knives and I don't generally hand the jar to the Dude. Not to mention that he's usually not standing there when a jar needs opening. The Dude was surprised that I had carried the feed down myself, said that he was going to do it himself this morning. That's ok, I answered. I just wanted to see if I could do it myself.

Is that so bad?

In a suburb there are few ways, perhaps, for a man to show off. On Walkabout Farm, there are oh-so-many things that I can't do. I can't split wood. I can stack it, haul it, make fires and keep them going, but I can't split the wood. I don't have the strength to control the swing, demonstrated here http://birdhousefrog.livejournal.com/82641.html. The Dude is also nervous when I hold a "live" chainsaw, even if it's a light one. I'm not a feller of trees, I'm not a snow-blower operator. I suck at mowing with a gas mower that I can't ride. Pushing a wheelbarrow of wood up the hill is beyond me. I have to carry it in log carriers instead, requiring more trips, where 2 wheelbarrows easily fills the house woodpile.

So while I see the intelligence of what the matchmaker was saying, I balk. It is not like me to pretend to be unable to do that which I can do. And I'm not at all sure the Dude would want me to.

Frog Out