Wednesday, February 24, 2021

High and low tides

Sunday was a great day, but I've had a hard time forming a post about it. Concern about our son ebbs and flows, but a king tide is coming in, as we are picking him up from college in three weeks, the end of this quarter – for good. He's dropping out, and God only knows what his future holds. Anyway.

My FitBit recorded an extended low tide of daily step counts while I was on 'stall rest.' This screen shot shows before, during, and after, with Sunday being a king tide of activity!

First thing that morning, Rick went to a friend's to get some help with metal fabrication, giving me time to appreciate my sheep, clean the henhouse, and actually do something with both horses beyond just turning Stella out to stretch her legs.

Spot was vigorously rubbing himself on trees. You can see how tufty his neck looks; I need to see if he can be rooed. It won't be hard to catch him and check; he comes over whenever he sees me to get loved on. 😍

The girls got to go out on pasture for the first time since I started stall rest. You would never be able to guess which three are (hopefully) pregnant; the unbred ones seem to have the biggest bellies! Sarai is another one who comes whenever she sees me now, begging for alfalfa pellets. (She is one of the hopefully bred ones.)

I am not showing you a 'before' photo of the henhouse; it was gross. Now it is nicely bedded with fresh straw.

I rewarded myself for the mucky job by riding Lance. It was good to be astride again! Then I did some groundwork with Stella.

By the time I was done with Stella, Rick was home and putting together our 'new' chipper. A client of his gave it to him; it runs fine but one of the chutes had rusted out, so Rick rebuilt it with the help of a friend. We worked until dark on the mess around the henhouse and arena access, cutting up limbs and chipping all the smaller stuff; I had to take 'after' photos the next morning. The chips provide mud abatement in front of the manure pile and henhouse door; the branches provide more firewood (which still needs to be hauled up to the woodshed area).

Rick rebuilt the left chute

Tonight we worked on the branches that had fallen up by the house, and made more visible progress. We'll keep chipping away it – ha!

That's it for now from . . .


Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, I know you are concerned about Brian. Obviously tumultuous times in his life, and yours by extension. Let's hope that he can find a direction and apply himself. Meanwhile, lucky you to get the chipper to help with the cleanup. Hang in there.

Goatldi said...

Nice post and photos. We have periodic fields of everything from this year’s lambs to a few fleece loaded ewes with their horse friends in my county.

Just a suggestion on the young man. Don’t fret too much not everybody grows up to go to college and get a degree. We need welders we need ditchdiggers we need construction workers we need general contractors we need people who are going to fill potholes.
Because the sad thing is we encouraged so many people in the 60s 70s 80s and 90s to go to college and became so tunnel visioned about it that we are now having a shortage of trades people.
Who is going to build our homes that we need in the future and buildings and hospitals? He’s a bright boy he’ll be fine.

Michelle said...

Yes, Sue, it's the finding direction and applying himself that we are concerned about. For awhile now he's been making a lot of excuses, and keeps finding new ones.

Oh yes, Goatldi, we quite agree about tradespeople. We aren't tunnel-visioned about college, but we ARE about taking responsibility, working hard, and achieving goals, whatever they are. Being bright doesn't guarantee anything.

A :-) said...

I'm sorry to hear that Brian is walking away from school. My mom's rule was that as long as you were in school you could live at home rent-free, but once you weren't room and board had to be paid. It was a token amount that I paid her every month, but it forced me to get even more responsible with my money than I already was before I left the nest for my own place. I hope he finds his way soon - whatever path he decides to take.

Wow! A free chipper!! That's awesome, and that Rick is so handy to be able to rebuild/fix it! It sounds like it will make a great difference for a number of areas on your property. I'm really glad you are feeling so chipper (see what I did there? :-D :-D ) already with your leg. I knew you would heal well :-)

Tim B. Inman said...

Wood chips! Why didn't I think of that? I've been hopping over the mud in front of my greenhouse door all week. I have a bale of wood chips nearby.... Duh???

Gottcha on the hen house pics. I need to 'scoop and re-gravel' my hen digs for new arrivals soon. I really need to build a whole new hen house.

Having raised (and survived) two teenage boys, I feel your pain! I do agree with the 'no free lunch' policy. I will also share this: Both my boys have degrees. Both also went back for tech school diplomas. Both are now earning their livings with their tech degrees. I went all the way through law school before I had the courage to tell everyone else to 'get off.' I loved being in a cabinet shop, and really found legal work quite boring and unsatisfying. Everybody besides my wife, Joyce, was shocked! when I elected to drop my briefs and pick up a plane. I ended up doing at least as well with wood as I would have with paper. And I had and have a wonderful life as a result. Hang in there. It ain't easy, but it will all work out.

Retired Knitter said...

Well I feel your disappointment that he dropped out of college. My own son never even applied. He is bright bright bright - having inherited my husband’s brain, but wanted no more school. He chose the military and I was upset with that choice but it turned out to the best choice for him. Four years as a Marine made the different. He has done well for himself without a college degree. I am keeping my fingers crossed for Brian that things settle out for him (and for you.)

Mokihana said...

I'm glad you got to go riding again; that must've felt fabulous. I enjoyed seeing the sheepie photos, too.

I hope things even out with Brian. My friends and I talk about how we teach our kids to be independent and make their own decisions, and then darn, it, they do.

Amanda said...

Dropping out for a year or so could be good for Brian. I wound up doing that. That year of just growing up were very good for me. It was also good for me because there was no way my parents were going to let me just stay at home and pay my bills. The deal for all us kids had been you could live rent-free and not pay on groceries only as long as you were saving for or going to college, otherwise you had to chip in on household expenses and buy you own stuff like clothes and car. I had to get a job and it was a good lesson in what life was going to be like if I didn't have a college degree. It was huge motivation to go back and finish. Though I did change colleges and found a place that suited me much better.

Susan said...

OMGoodness. I am catching up on a couple of months (I am so far behind) of posts and what a time you've had. I am sorry to hear about Brian's decision to leave school, but hope that he can find something worthwhile and stimulating to keep him focused and (you all) positive. Sending you a large, economy-sized virtual hug, my friend. xo

Mama Pea said...

Our daughter was one who has said she would have had a much easier time buckling down in her college years if she had taken a year off to work after high school before starting college. She didn't, and we supported her through four years, in which she got a degree in Philosophy. It didn't take her long to realize that might not have been the wisest choice to lead into a career path she'd enjoy so she went back to school while living and working on her own to pursue another degree. She paid for everything. That lasted two years before she chucked the further schooling. It's so hard for a young person to decide what they want to do before they've been out in the world and experienced real life. Now, for the past fifteen years, she's worked as a nanny and loves it. Boys mature slower than girls so there's certainly time for Brian to figure it all out. But he'll have an easier time (you will, too!) and find himself faster if you and Rick set strict boundaries as long as he's living with you. Loving and supporting doesn't mean enabling. (I know, easy for me to say since those years are behind us!)

Michelle said...

A, that was the rule when I was growing up, and it seems I was reminded of it several times. Unfortunately, Rick is reluctant to set hard and fast rules like that....

So have you applied the wood chips yet, Tim? It is so nice to access our henhouse now! And oh my, I can't believe slogging all the way through law school before realizing that you wouldn't enjoy practicing law! But all's well that ends well in your case; thanks for the encouragement.

Elaine, Brian has contemplated the military and scored high on the ASVAB, but he would want to become a sniper and at least has the sense to realize that could change him in undesirable ways.

Yes, Mokihana, it feels wonderful to be back to all my usual activities!

Amanda, I would have no problem with Brian living at home and figuring out his next move if he was willing to follow house rules, help with chores, and pay expenses. But I can't mandate that by myself, and Rick is worried that requiring anything might push Brian out into a worse situation.

Susan, you've had a pretty full plate. 😉

Mama Pea, I'm a big believer in boundaries, but unfortunately can't unilaterally set or enforce them. So I might just have to set boundaries for myself....