Monday, December 16, 2013

More Moose

After the moose munched our trees I'm kind of on the warpath against them.  In as much as I've chased them off a couple of times, and bought some "Deer Off" at the recommendation of a neighbor.  She gets a lot of moose, and she says this stuff has kept them off her apple tree.

She and I have time to talk while the Thing 1 and two other kids, including the other women's daughter, are at their Lego meeting at her house.  We are doing a First Lego League team this year, the other woman and I are the coaches.  We're having trouble getting much done at the meetings, mostly because we're trying to let the kids control what happens... even though it's driving the other mom and me crazy because a lot less gets accomplished at each meeting than she and I would like.  Sigh.

There are other factors too, like the day the moose showed up in her yard.  It started with the mom in front and the two babies on the side yard and the dad at the neighbors.  
 Then we all went out on the porch to see and the momma came up to investigate us..
She was really close to the house, but I felt pretty safe on the porch.
 I didn't get any good shots of the babies, but the dad moved into the back yard and posed for us.

I haven't tried the moose repellant yet, next year when my trees leaf out I will be drenching them.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Happy Birthday

I started this on Wednesday but didn't get it published.


I had a little personal crisis on Saturday as I was trying to plan the week.  My birthday is this week.  It's one of the big ones, with a zero in it.  Hubby is in Australia.  He was worried that I would be upset... and I wasn't until Saturday (a week ago) when I was trying to figure out which day to get Thing 2 out to the barn...
Monday is Legos, Tuesday and Wednesday were concerts, Thursday is my birthday and the best day to get Thing 2 out to the barn.  Friday is playdates and the barn is crowded with lessons.
Even though I know we're celebrating when Hubby gets back, and it rarely works out in my family to do a big celebration on the day of your birthday, I didn't want this day to just be a slam dash of a trip to the barn, pushing the girls through homework, and me slamming together whatever half hearted meal I can.  Like usual.  I wanted to at least take the girls out for dinner.  But the big obstacle there is the riding.  It's a three hour trip from here to the barn and back, including tacking up and down and an hour for riding.  Which would makes going out to dinner nearly impossible.

I hate disappointing Thing 2 and felt rather horrible myself but it seemed the only way to have my cake was for Thing 2 to not get hers.  I agonized over this and spent an hour feeling stupid for wanting something, and then feeling stupid for realizing I'd be martyring myself if I just let it slip by, and feeling guilty and selfish and around we go.  But it came down to there was no way I could do both and this birthday comes along once and she rides twice a week...  So I told her she couldn't have her practice ride this week.  She took it pretty well.

Then on Monday I got a text from the other Lego mom, her daughter was sick.  We've been meeting in their home, her mother and I are the coaches.  Her mother sent me a text asking when we could reschedule.  Not this week!  Driving home with Thing 2 her eyes lit up when she heard Legos was cancelled.  "Can you take me riding?"  OHMIGOSH I think that will work!  So I did!

Thing 1 had an orchestra concert last night (Tuesday).  It actually turned out pretty well, except it was too long.  The majority of the program was the local high school starting with the Chamber orchestra, and symphony and chamber orchestras together, and finally the symphony by itself.  Then the 8th graders, then the 7th graders, and finally the largest group of all, the 6th graders.  They were very cute, with different colored tinsel attached to the end of all their bows, and some of them wearing santa hats.  As one mom commented, for a bunch of 11-12 year olds who just picked up their instruments for the first time two months ago, they did really well!

Tonight (Wednesday) was a Christmas singing thing at the ice arena for Thing 2.  It was hard to hear them as they were standing at the far end of the arena across from the bleacher seats.  Their music was a little too loud, in fact the only time we could really clearly hear them is when the music cut out in the middle of the "Dreidel" song.  They sang, it was fine, and we left in the middle of the skaters doing a little program.  The kids didn't get to skate, which was okay because Thing 2 has never been before and wasn't wild about learning in front of all her class mates.

And there I stopped.  Today is Saturday.

Thursday I spent my birthday having a very nice massage, and then talking to the nice man from AAA who came out to help me start my car.  It's been sitting in the garage since Monday morning when the battery completely died.  Luckily since Hubby was going to be gone for so long I drove him to the airport the week before, so we have his car to drive around.  I used it to try and jump my car on Tuesday but I must have done something wrong because it didn't work.  But the AAA guy came and got it started, so I drove it over to a shop and got a new battery.

Then that night I took the girls to a rather upscale Italian restaurant nearby.  We sat in the lounge, on couches by the fire.  It was very nice and kind of fun, like eating in a nice living room.  It was turning out very lovely but I was missing Hubby, as I don't think I've eaten at a NICE place without him since I met him.  I mean, I take the girls to downscale places, pizza joints, but not NICE places.  Then just after they cleared the salad plates, Hubby walked in.  I cried.  We hugged.

Turns out he saw he didn't have much going on at the conference the rest of the week at his conference so he bugged out early.  He planned all this on Tuesday without telling me and since the time difference causes so many problems with us being able to talk anyway, him going dark for a day wasn't surprising.  He flew home from Australia Thursday afternoon and rented a car and went shopping, and then came up to surprise us during dinner.  

I need to insert here that I truly hate my birthday.  It falls in the middle of everyone trying to schedule Christmas concerts, and parties, and just basic preparations.  Hubby always wants to do something special, take me to a really nice hotel for an evening of unbridled passion.  But since he is almost always out of town all the arranging falls to me.  And so I'm juggling my schedule, and my parents, and his, trying to find a night when my folks can take the girls and it works for everyone.  There are a couple years where it has really been a problem and I get tense just thinking about it.  It adds stress to an already stressful time, and while I think it's so sweet of him to try and do this for me, it has become something I really don't look forward to.

Imagine my surprise when Hubby announces over dinner that he has arranged for my brother and sister in law to keep the girls the next night, Friday, and he has made reservations at a swanky hotel.  I quickly called the kennel to make a reservation for Kelso.  Awwww, he took care of everything and the girls were thrilled out of their minds with joy to have a sleepover with their favorite cousin, without even having to beg for it.

Imagine our disappointment that night when Thing 2 woke me up in the middle of the night with croup.  And right there we lost the sleepover, the wild night of passion, and all his hard work of arranging this from the other side of the globe.   Another event this spoiled was an art project I had made arrangements for on Friday in Thing 2's class.  I had seen this project done by another 5th grade class and I WANT that on my wall!  
We get the class once a month for art, and we had arranged to have this cool pear project for that Friday.  I went and helped, because it's really a challenging project and the woman who was doing it couldn't do it alone, but I'm going to have to take Thing 2 in another day and have her do it.  The funny thing about that is it wasn't working, the woman leading and I were making desperate glances at each other because in the middle it was TERRIBLE.  I mean there is no such thing as terrible children's art, but this was NOT WORKING OUT.... then we did the next step... and the next... and things started looking better... and the next step... and suddenly these beautiful pictures were appearing!  And we ended up thinking ours looked better than the class's we'd seen in the hall that we got excited about. 

So today instead of waking up curled up in Hubby's arms I woke up to Thing 2's barking cough.  We'll have breakfast and I'll wrap presents and get stuff done around the house.  Hubby may go skiing.  My folks had planned on coming down to do some Christmas shopping with the girls, but they had to cancel that plan because colds with my dad turn into pneumonia, and we can't risk that, so that was cancelled as well.

But I had a truly marvelous birthday that we will talk about for years.  And I ALMOST got a stress free night out, which is itself a miracle.