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This week’s source of mirth has been the pack goat vet care class Julianna took last weekend.  The what?  Pack Goat vet care class.  Through 4-H.  See, apparently you can take a goat hiking with you and it can carry some of your gear.  I find it easier to just drive up to a campsite and unload from my car, but some people prefer to load up a goat.  “But you don’t have a goat,” you say.  That is true.  However, in 4-H, you can lease an animal to train it and show it.  So, rental goat.  Julianna’s rental goat lives at a friend’s house.  The friend’s dad is one of the Pack Goat leaders.  Last weekend, they had a vet come out and show the kids (ha!) how to do some basic goat vet care stuff.

Turns out, step number one in all goat-related vet procedures is “Get enough people to hold down the goat.”  This notion has amused the crap out of us all week.  “So, what do we need to do first today?”  “Get enough people to hold down the goat.”  It’s like a 4-H minyan.  Nothing is official unless you have a goat restraint quorum.

So she learned how to give a goat CPR…in case they OD or something.  And how to bandage their legs.  And, of course, how to take their temperature. Which is just what you imagine.  Today the 4-H leadership group were writing 30 second radio spots.  Julianna’s began “Have you ever had to stick anything in a goat’s butt?” and went on to say you get to do all sorts of things you didn’t think you’d ever do in 4-H.  One of the other kids actually said that her opening line “didn’t make me want to join 4-H.”  Seriously?  Is your soul dead, child?  Another pointed out–a valid point I think–that she never said exactly WHAT she was putting in a goat’s butt.  So then we laughed about a project that just involved seeing how much a goat butt would hold.

I have trouble seeing how the actual hikes can be half as much fun as saying “goat butt” several times in one day.

I went to pick up Lily at her class the other day and all her little buddies were there grinning at me with about 10 teeth among the 5 of them.  I snapped a pic at a birthday party this weekend.

The first rule of Lower Elementary Fight Club: don’t talk about Lower Elementary Fight club.  Talk only about puppies and kittens.

Friday, we had an Earth Day fair at the school.  I was supposed to have a table at which I could display info about Goodness Gracious (the birthday party biz), but the day before the fair, the school governing council told the fair organizer that I wouldn’t be allowed to promote a business on school grounds.  WhatEVER.  So I just helped kids make stuff out of trash.  Julianna and Dani model some lovely newspaper hats:

On Saturday, I went on a hike with a new women’s hiking group that formed here.  We took a 3.3 mile hike that was all either up or down–a good work out, but not grueling.  On that hike, I saw a lizard that was turned into a tree.  Or a tree that was turning into a lizard:

Later that day, I went to our neighborhood’s Day in the Park, where Lily gave me her balloon…thing.

We are in the full-on throes of spring business, trying to plant a garden, prepare for chickens, plan and execute a bat mitzvah, make bags, and get this blasted party biz off the ground.  So chances are good that I’ll post more than usual.

I need self-writing blog.  A chip in my head that will transmit my thoughts to WordPress and then print them out.  Or maybe not…”So I went on a field trip today…ow, my hip hurts…this time with the middle school…Where’d you learn to drive, buddy?…we went to Annapolis…your bumpersticker makes you contemptible…”  I guess it would need a filter.

I DID go to Annapolis with the middle school kids, though.  It was a gorgeous day and we toured the state house and the Naval Academy and went on a harbor cruise.  On the grounds of the Academy, our guide was telling us about this and that and told us that the plebes have to wear goofy little sailor hats for the first couple of months and then they get their grown-up sailor hats.  But there’s some ceremony-type thing where they have to try to get a hat off the top of an obelisk that the upperclassmen have greased with lard.  So she pulls a photo out of her twee little historical basket (she was dressed in period costume, here, check her out:

keep her in mind for this next part) and I can’t find the exact photo online, but it was a lot like this:

only much hotter.  And gayer.  More like this:

and this:

That middle one was from a site called Project Q Atlanta and was headlined “Shirtless Plebes Climb a Phallus” (click through if you’d like so say “Hi Sailor!” a bit more).  And the last one was from a site called “Queer Sighted.” So clearly I was was not the only one who thought that photo deserved a bit more study.  The students either looked away or leaned in closer and the grown-ups all raised their eyebrows at one another.  “Excuse me, mistress?  When did you say this ceremony takes place?”

It was the sort of day that the Naval Academy could use for recruiting, if they needed to recruit.  There was a funeral taking place in the chapel, so there was a procession with bagpipes and summer whites:

The  harbor tour was very nice, always good to be out on a boat.  I couldn’t actually hear much of the tour b/c, as I mentioned, it was full of middle schoolers.  At the end, the captain put on some song that everyone on the boat seemed to know.  It was one of the standard dance tunes that tell you how to do the dance about which they are singing.  Sounded like all the rest, utterly inoffensive and bouncy…but it was odd to have that totally out of touch feeling.  I mean EVERYone seemed to know it.  Except me.  Where do people hear new music now?  Does anyone listen to the radio anymore?  MTV no longer actually plays any music…is it just piped into their heads?  Anyway, even though I didn’t know the song, I was sorely tempted to get up and dance just to see the utter mortification on Julianna’s face.  I do still owe her for several temper tantrums in Target and Borders…

Speaking of phalluses (and really, when aren’t we), I made Julianna a cake for her birthday party a few weeks ago.  She wanted a nose (to follow the brain and eyeball of previous years) and I was just winging it.  My first layout seemed…inappropriate:

Luckily, I had some cake left to make it more…nosey.

Lord knows what next year’s cake will be.

With spring, comes planting!  I’m trying to plant more stuff this year, both in the square foot boxes and in the big garden.  I tried to plant tomatoes and peppers from seed, but I didn’t realize how warm they need it and how much light they need, so I think I’m giving up and ordering seedlings.  I have planted the standard stuff–turnips,peas, lettuces, beets, herbs, cukes–as well as fennel (as much b/c it brings swallowtail butterflies as because I like to eat it) and peanuts.  I’ve never tried peanuts before and don’t even know if they will work here.  Later, I’ll put in the corn and melons and squashes and beans.  Also, I”m getting chickens!  So I need to make a coop/moveable run (“chicken tractor”).  Much to do, little time.  That is spring in a nutshell for me.  Maybe, with luck, a peanut shell.

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April 2010
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