Best late excuse – sorry cops were searching my house.

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So my internet has been down, but it is up just in time for me to tell my crazy running late for work story. So here goes. Deputies don’t drive around our area very often, so yesterday morning I was a bit surprised when I saw one drive by, then a little annoyed that he drove through my property treating it like a personal turn around. But hey whatever. So I take my son to the babysitter and realize I left my cell at home, then didn’t tell her or get her phone number again. Living just down the road I decided to rush home and get it. Like anyone living in the country (and some city dwellers), I left the truck running and ran inside to grab by phone. As I’m coming out a deputy is pulling in. Now I know something is up, but at the same time, I’m struggling to care as we are shorthanded at work, I’ve got a gal from our CA branch there to meet with me, and I’m already going to be late. So as politely as possible, I slow down to see what the deputy has to say.

Here’s how this goes:

Deputy: “You look like your leaving, have you been here all morning?”

Me:  “for the most part, but I left just a bit ago and took my son to daycare, but forgot my phone.”

Deputy: “well, we have a really bad guy running loose right now and we suspect he is trying to find a place to hide and a vehicle to steal”.

Me: “so, leaving my pickup running with my purse in the front seat while I run inside, probably not the best plan”.

Deputy: (eye’s rolling) “No. Do you ever leave your doors unlocked?”

I must have made a funny face (I’m no poker player), because he does this exasperated eye roll with a “you leave your doors unlocked” – more of an accusation this time.

Me: “well the back door to the laundry room, but there are 3 big dogs in there, so I highly doubt he made it in”.

Deputy: “We have reason to believe he is hiding in your house, would you like us to check it?”

Now this seems to be a pretty big leap, but given hubby was going to be working out of town and I would be coming home alone with a 5 year old in tow……

Me: “well, alright, I should at least lock the door, your welcome to do a walk through”.

I go in real quick, and my inner bad ass is going I’ll  just check the rooms myself real quick – if I let the dogs out its going to be this big stop harassing the deputies (there are 2 now), don’t lick, don’t knock them over, yada yada yada. At the same time my brain quickly touches on that I have a pistol hidden nearby, but the deputy is standing right there and that seems inappropriate. I figure if there is a bad guy, one scream and the Great Dane eats the bad guy and cops come running in. I say “I’ll just peak in and lock the back door real quick”. I failed to mention that the laundry room leads to more of the house.

Me: (as I come back) “Well, I locked the door, and there doesn’t appear to be anyone hiding in the back bedroom or bathroom, or anything”.

Deputy: (serious eye roll) “you checked the rooms yourself?”

Me: “yes, their clear, however, you are welcome to check around the property outside, I don’t think anyone would hide in the chicken coop, but feel free to check around”. My mind touches on the hidden pistol again, but that still seems weird to get out with the deputy standing there, plus I’m sure picking up a gun while in the presence of the deputy would definitely slow down my progress of getting to work.

At this point, the local farmers are pulling into my driveway and I’m still going, I’m totally going to be late. I do a quick introduction, and everyone was nice enough to move trucks for me. I called the gal down the road and let her know what I was told – “stay in side, bald white bad guy hiding in the corn field”. Turns out she knew too. So I tell hubby, who is now not so happy being away, but gets the full story from the other neighbor after I hung up.

So here’s the outline:

Turns out the neighbors son was moving out and the night before had loaded up his guns, TV, and misc stuff in his truck. The next morning he goes to leave, and this guy is steeling the stuff in his truck. So the neighbor’s son takes off chasing the guy on foot into the cornfield boarding our property. After losing track of him the neighbor goes back to his house and finds 3 guys in a car have arrived and are trying to take off with his stuff. Deputies arrive about this time and chase the 3 guys in the car, who in turn roll their car. Deputies found a bunch of master keys, slim jims, and other paraphernalia. Those bad guys get arrested (guess they also punched the ignition on another vehicle in the area).

Later in the afternoon I hear from my neighbor’s dad (whom I work with) that they caught the bald guy. Turns out the irrigation district worker was going by and stopped to ask what all the commotion was about, so my neighbor tells the story. Irrigation guy goes “no way, a guy matching that description just walked out of the corn field and is walking down the road right now!” so my neighbor drives down to see if he is still there and calls one of the city officers directly. My neighbor gets flagged down by bad guy who asks to borrow his cell charger! Needless to say, neighbor says no, and the city cop arrives and detains bad guy until deputies arrive.

So there is the craziness of yesterday morning. Lesson learned: locks doors, and perhaps leave dogs out.

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A Working Mom is NOT the Minority!

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I’m a working mom, and though at times I don’t want to be, I’m proud to be a working mom. But today my frustration is directly related to the “don’t want to be” part. It seems to me that those who have school age children are of the same mind: schools act as though everyone has a stay at home parent!

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Now my son is 5, will start kindergarten this fall, and I am already pulling my hair out in frustration. Let me start by describing my community:

We are a farm based community, and as such, the population is low and greatly made up of people that fall into the migrant worker category. Our town has exactly one preschool, technically it is a migrant council head start, and as such has very limited openings with very specific restrictions, of which we don’t qualify. And that’s okay, but on top of this there is not a single licensed daycare provider in this town (facility or home based-nothing!).

With this being the case, children either attend preschool in a neighboring town (20 miles away), don’t go to pre-school, or are accepted to the migrant council head start. I chose to homeschool for preschool, and from what I can tell my son is good to go, but I am concerned that he has not sat through a real school setting, just Sunday school, and I’m not sure that counts. Anyway, our school offers what they call “Kinder Camp”. It’s a program offered (next week actually) that allows the kids to experience ½ day kindergarten and the teachers get to evaluate and decide how to split up classes. I’m very excited about this especially since for many of these kids English is their 2nd language, and with not having a preschool, the kids are all over the board.

When I registered my son for kindergarten I was told this camp would take place, and I would receive information on it when it came closer. Not how long it was, full day vs 1/2 day, or anything of usefulness. Actually the school didn’t really even post anything on kindergarten registration at all, I had to ask about it, and a friend mentioned a flyer was sent home with her kids. Anyway, I finally get a postcard in the mail Saturday (the 7th!) saying the mandatory orientation for kinder camp would be at 8:30am on the 16th. That’s all the info on this post card by the way! So I call, turns out it’s a 2 week program, from 8:30-12:30 M-F. WTF! Let’s not make it easy or give notice!

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I work in town for a pretty flexible company, and that’s even hard for me to swing. Reminder, there is no daycare in town! So I was all excited because I’ve been taking my son to Moses Lake (roughly 15 mile commute) to daycare, but found a high school girl to watch my son once she gets out of school, and then once he starts school she can watch him in the afternoons too. This is great, my girl can’t drive. So for my son to attend, not only do I need to arrange on 1 week notice to have the morning off (I got lucky and my department is just going to shut down for a few hrs so I can attend), I have to figure out transportation too. Luckily my work was okay with me shifting my schedule 30 minutes for 2 weeks, but how many others can do that? Oh and as it turns out, when school starts, the 1st two days for the kindergarten kids will be ½ days, but not for anyone else (new vacation day request – 2 days for school, yeah me).

The more I get into this the more grateful I am for the job I have (4 weeks’ vacation, holidays off, and about 2 weeks off at Xmas); most jobs are not that flexible. What about other parents? Why do schools act like you are the minority for working? I’m a mom who doesn’t work from home, I bust my booty to be a good mom, help provide for my family, and yet I get a guilt trip for working. WTF! If you are able to stay home that is awesome, and many “stay-at-home moms” are working no doubt about it, but that job is still the less common job. Yet somehow in my immediate circle I am actually the only “work-away-from-home” mom. Not sure how that happened, but some days I am incredibly jealous and have to remind myself of the benefits I have from my work.

So for those in a similar position remember the pluses:

* life enriched by co-workers and other connections (adult conversation & new friends)

* spending flexibility (though it may not be much for some, it’s more than nothing)

* Child social interaction (for me this is the only real kid time my son gets)

* Savings/retirement

* Good medical insurance

* Vacation and holiday time allow extra at home time for the big things (sorry this isn’t relevant for my friends in LE, EMS, ect).

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So anyway:

Dear Warden School District & multiple others,

Thanks for reminding me of all the great stuff I can’t do with my kid.

Sincerely,
#pissedoffworkingmom

Country Girl Fail

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Some days I think God has a sense of humor where my humility is concerned. About the time I start getting a little too “I’m a rock-star”-ish, he reminds me that, actually, no I’m a mom/woman/wife still trying to find her way in life. Today at work, about the time I thought I was the master juggler of shipping activity, a HUGE spider ran across the floor in front of me while walking back to my desk. Yup, screamed like a little girl and almost dropped everything as I did this skip/shuffle/jump thing. And this reaction ALWAYS has witnesses, plenty eager to re-tell or even reenact the story.

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After work I had to run to the store for dog food, on the way my son fell asleep in the truck, go figure. With all the craziness the last couple days, I figured I’d carry him in the store to let him sleep a bit. I managed to pack my 5 year old in one arm and push a cart with the other. Luck was on my side, because the dog food was at the perfect height to pull a bag down and have it lad perfectly into my cart; kid still asleep in my arms. Another shopper walked by and goes “nice!” And my inner supper mom does an air punch is all “I know right? Check me out!” don’t worry, I didn’t let the crazy out, I just smiled and said thank you.

So here I am on cloud nine, and I get home and start doing chores. Hubbys working out of town, so I’m on funny farm duties again. Bunnies, check, dogs, check. Chickens – I got this, HA! Those little white monster chickens have no fear of humans. WTF, you’re supposed to runaway chickens. But no, I open the door and they swarm me, the dang little white ones actually started pecking me! So here I am screaming and making a fool of myself, completely unaware my son has come around to “rescue” me, all “mommy I can do it”. Ya, I almost threw my hands up and said let them suffer, but I don’t know when they ran out of water and I feel bad.

I finally get by the devil birds, grab the water can and run. I have no idea how this dumb thing is supposed to actually work. I got it filled, but by the time I got it flipped back over and ready to go into the chicken coop the dumb thing was empty again! Blah! On the second try I managed to keep a little water in it, but they will definitely be out by tomorrow. I was so confident in my awesome farm mom skills that I didn’t change into chore clothes before I started either; you should have seen my mud covered shoes and slacks.

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Strong Hearted Woman

 I read a great blog post today, below is a snip-it and a link to read the original.

The Beauty of a Strong-Hearted Woman

I’m not sure what started it.

But I suspect it had something to do with this one book I’d read a few years back. I’m not saying the author intended to communicate this message, but it’s certainly what I concluded.

If I wanted to be a a good wife — a biblical wife? Then I needed to tone it down a bit.

Okay, a lot.

I needed to swallow it, hold it back, and keep it down. I was far too intense for my own good. Or at least for my husband’s good.

So I started this new, radical campaign. I didn’t even tell my husband what I was up to, but decided that from then on, I was going to mellow out. Keep it quiet.

Now for those of you who know me, you probably find that rather funny. You can’t even hardly picture it.

But I really did try.

And I kept it going fairly well … until one day when we were discussing a certain subject while standing by the piano — a subject that I felt, ahem, passionate about. And suddenly, I couldn’t take it any longer.

I nearly shouted, “I JUST CAN’T DO THIS.”

“Do what??” his eyebrows raised.

“I can’t simply keep my mouth shut and not express all that I’m thinking or feeling!” I was practically shaking with frustration.

[Read the rest of the article at The Time-Warp Wife.]

 

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Compromise

I seem to be in project mode. But my project mode is quite different from my husbands. His looks like this:

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Mine looks like this:

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And we compromise and do this:

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I say compromise because pickled asparagus is disgusting. Actually, pickled anything including pickles completely gross me out. But I did the good wife thing and said “yes honey I’ll help”. Quickly followed by “if this makes my house stink like pickles were done”.

Now I must tell you not only do I not like pickles I absolutely hate the smell to the point that hubby only recently got pickle privileges back. Now get your mind out of the gutter, and I’ll explain.

Back in the day before we got married we were living in the cute little cottage I called the doll house. It was so tiny our living room furniture consisted of a papasan chair and a hope chest with cushions on it. So anyway, the fridge had one shelf on the door that the tray had broken on so it was just a shelf with no rail. Obviously we didn’t use this shelf. Apparently hubby was moving stuff around in the fridge and set the pickles on the shelf then not thinking about it closes the door. Is he the next one to open the fridge, oh no, it was me. As you can imagine pickle jar falls out breaks splashing pickle juice everywhere. The house stunk! It was awful. So needless to say, I banned pickles. Happy wife happy life right? He accepted my crazy and we moved on. So for reasons that may fall into crazy, I’m hesitant to bring pickled anything into my space. But, homestead-ish wife, blah blah blah.

So “we’ve” been gardening:

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pickling:

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and modifying:

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You’re doing it wrong

You’re doing it wrong

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So with all the changes and all the stress my parenting skills have been sadly lacking. I’ll admit I’ve let my son basically do whatever, as long as it wasn’t going to get him hurt. And with the extra stress and craziness from work, once I get home my patience is zilch, which is great when you have a 5 year old. Oh, and to top it off, I have quite the reactive personality. So I tend to have a short fuse and go 0 to 60 in a snap, another great quality as a mom.

My poor kid hasn’t had the easiest go either these last couple months. Starting early February his normal daycare person took time off for family reasons, and he had to go to the back-up sitter. Back up #1 couldn’t watch all the time so he started at back up #2. Original daycare person then had another life change, and is now moving to Oklahoma, and by association so is my son’s best friend. Backups 1&2 are 20 miles away so I talked friends and came up with new in town sitter. So in less than 3 months my son has had 4 sitters plus a week with my sister.

Like many kids, especially at this age, my son loves to get reactions. And as much as I hate to do it, I give him a show every time he tries. I don’t even make him work that hard. But, in fairness, how annoying is “can I please have a cup of water, can I please have a cup of water, can I please have a cup of water, can I please have a cup of water”. It’s been 30 seconds, ask once!!! Or the always classic response to get from a misbehaving kid, “no”. WTF! Do not tell me no!

Hindsights 20/20, well, given I’m judging myself maybe more like 20/50, a bit skewed. So after finding out yesterday that the bad behavior at daycare has become too much to handle, my kid has basically been put on probation and has a 1 week trial to see if he can stay. Now in fairness to my son, his daycare lady is actually a friend of a friend who is not a childcare provider, but a stay at home mom with a teething baby. Her patience are dwindling as well. My little town of Warden does not have one single licensed daycare provider; they don’t even have a preschool. Apparently the migrant head start is enough to cover the highest needs of the town. Well I’m not a migrant worker, so I’m out. All my backups are 20 miles away which makes it an additional 40 miles round trip morning and afternoon, plus they’re not in the school district and he starts school this year.

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So hubby and I have sat down to discuss our parenting strategy. I drew on every (what I once viewed as ridiculous) episode of nanny 911, and good parenting article I’ve read. We are going with the “time-out spot” tactic and focusing on consistency like our lives depend on it. The plan is that more serious infractions will get instant time-out, where the more minor – guilty of annoying people on purpose -infractions will get a warning, then a time out. Perhaps part of my problem is that I just referred to my son’s misbehaving as infractions – I better put that on the list to evaluate.

I have no idea where the crying will fall. My son cries, and I think that is my biggest struggle. I don’t get it. I’m not a crier, and as a kid, it really wasn’t allowed. For anything. He cries over everything from I got an invisible scratch, to you wouldn’t order ice cream from the Schwans man for me. I’m thinking tantrum crying will be time out, and “I gave you loves but don’t get why you’re crying for no reason” will be – go hang out in your bedroom.

So far, the time out thing seems to be working; he doesn’t want to stay in time out. Although I have to keep putting him back and saying “the timer will start once you stay in time out, and I will re-set it every time you get out”, I figure that shows he doesn’t like it. Another observation pulled from Nanny 911, those kids never want to stay in time out, then all of a sudden they get it and they start being good. Hey, at least I’m not pulling parenting advice from the roadrunner.

We are also working to be more consistent with routine and working toward more hands on parenting. I’ll admit we’ve been lacking. When my son was a baby he wasn’t in to the bedtime rituals of rocking or cuddling. You had to just set him in his crib and walk away. That has carried over throughout the years, and although we have a list of bedtime steps, we haven’t been too consistent, and normally its “get ready for bed”, and we might read a story or he may have taken too long and just has to go to bed. His big complaint is that we rush him, which I understand, I hate getting rushed.

Personally, I’m praying for patience and guidance.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

My house smells like a Strawberry Shortcake Doll

My house smells like a Strawberry Shortcake Doll

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Spring is here! One of my favorite parts about spring besides the lack of freezing temperatures is foods. All the best snacks start coming back out. Our strawberries aren’t out yet, but someone’s are so we stopped by a fruit stand and bought a flat of strawberries. They taste amazing. Plus strawberries make a great snack option since our house is working to be more diabetes friendly.

Now I will admit I am horrible. I’m trying, but I’m basically the diabetes equivalent to a chain smoking wife with a husband with lung cancer. Luckily, or somewhat anyway, hubby doesn’t like the same junk food I do. I’m a candy eater; he goes for chips and baked goods. I don’t like chips, and the only baked goods I really go for are chocolate chip cookies or cake batter. There is a good chance my son will also have this struggle, so I really see the value in ditching my sugar (though I usually just take it to work). It’s really hard. But I digress, I’m trying.

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Anyway, we bought the flat of strawberries and I’ve been cutting them up and dehydrating them. We use an Excalibur food dehydrator, but there are many options. I like ours because its square and you can remove trays for taller foods. Dried strawberries make a great snack option for hubby to take to work, and I can also add them to oatmeal or yogurt, or mix up a trail mix for the “snack shelf” for our son to grab.

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When dehydrating strawberries or any other heavily water based food I make sure to cut them a bit think, usually about ½ inch slices.

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I take the end pieces or berries that seem a bit small for drying and I place them in a bowl (cleaned and trimmed as needed). After I’m done putting the berries I want on the drying trays the other slices get put into food saver bags and thrown in the freezer for later. Frozen berries work great in the summer as a replacement to ice cream or popsicles; they’re our son’s favorite warm weather snack. We also make homemade ice cream for home BBQ gatherings, and they work great as a topper once thawed.

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I’ve had a helper with the food prep, though I think it was mainly so he could steel fresh berries.

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After we cleaned up our mess, my son  volunteered to give scraps to the chickens. He likes all the squawking from the chickens when you bring treats.

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Diabetic note:

Some fruits contain a very high amount of carbohydrates that can cause high blood sugar levels in diabetics. The 30 grams of carbohydrates found in a banana, the 50 grams found in a mango and the 52 grams found in a 16-ounce serving of orange juice can be too much for some people with diabetes. Checking your blood sugar levels after eating is the best way to determine whether the foods and fruits you eat allow you to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Strawberries and most other berries tend to contain less carbohydrates per serving and constitute excellent fruit options for all diabetics. – more information at: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-diabetics-eat-strawberries-1678.html