Monday, February 24, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

choosing chicks

We've considered/looked at a few options for replenishing our flock this spring. One is hatching our own eggs, which I'm not overly crazy about (I prefer fresh blood as to inbreeding). I know this is crazy, but one of the factors that I look at when choosing hens is the color of the egg shell.  Ever since I learned about Ameraucanas (also called Easter Eggers) that have blue or green shells, and that there are several shades of brown shells, I've loved the variety of egg color in my carton.  I'd love to add another colored egg layer, as well as a few white layers, AND...there's two breeds that lay a dark brown colored egg. So some people look at the disposition of the hens, whether or not they are good meat birds, and how often they lay (some birds lay daily; others every 2-3 days; and some hens lay through the winter, though most don't).

We had to stop by Hudson's Hardware this afternoon for some things, and the girl let me copy their schedule of what birds are coming when.  The good news is that they will be getting almost every single hen breed we would like to have.  The bad news is that they're not all coming on the same week.  I think we've decided we will only purchase during the month of April, so hopefully by the middle of May we can pull all the birds out of the brooder box and have them outside (though by then we will still have a set of birds only 3 weeks old so they may still need a light at night which could be problematic).

Either way, I'm excited about NOT pulling out the incubator while still replenishing our flock with a variety of birds. I know this means they won't be laying until the fall or next spring, but that's's a start!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

design at its worst

I am proud to be an American. I am thankful that our teams have people who attempt to create uniforms that enable them to go faster, move better. But this uniform for the speed skaters needed a grandma or a graphic designer to give it an overview:

 Here's what it makes me think of:

Yep, the Chinese split-pants, which eliminates disgusting American diapers and are environmentally friendly, not to mention much easier on the laundry pile during potty-training days.

I know nothing of uniforms, but seriously, this was an esthetic epic failure. We can do so much better than that.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

design at its best

I've never watched a whole lot of winter olympics before (other than ice skating), but with being sick this year, I've actually seen quite a bit.  And I must say, I was very impressed with China's uniforms for the speed skaters. I wasn't surprised to see the flag on their uniform, that's a given, but the usage of the dragon on the shoulder was very creative. It looks like it's running, and I love its 3D design. Personally, there's nothing better than incorporating your history and culture into your uniform, and this is probably one of the most tasteful and yet modern designs I've seen this olympics. Go Chinese designers!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Naomi Day!

Growing up, February 14th was an awesome day at our house. It meant CAKE and chips and ice cream (because my little sister loved all those things) and it was her birthday. I don't ever remember her not being there, even though I am older (2 years and 2 months, to be exact).  We shared a room for at least 15 years, maybe more, and attended the same high school, though we parted ways at the front door and didn't normally speak to each other until after band practice when we waited for Dad to pick us up...which was how many of our classmates figured out we were related. We used to laugh that if we could only afford someone with a hidden video camera, we would definitely win America's Most Funniest Videos for all the facial reactions people had upon discovering we were related. Her hair is a lot darker now, but in your elementary school years it was very blond. It darkened as we aged, but her baby blue eyes are just as sparkly as ever. And she has Mom's tall, lanky frame (as opposed to me with Dad's short, sturdy frame) so we really don't resemble each other a whole lot in looks.
And as a teenager, I didn't think we resembled each other in personality, either. But now that we are adults, I realize just how much we are alike, how much we have in common.  I will never be the fashionista that she is, nor have her gracefulness in dealing with children and difficult situations (she teaches first grade), but I do think we're a lot alike in many of our viewpoints and heart's desires.

So Happy Birthday, sis, and may "your party" at school today be totally fun. :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

one of my weird thoughts

The other night while watching the Olympics, a competitor told an reporter that she was competing for/because of her grandmother who had passed away in December. I can understand dedicating a performance in memory of someone, but to say you're doing something because of someone's recent death when you've been training for years seems more than a little odd to me. I may be the only person who thinks that way, but it almost seems to minimalize their training.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2 for 2

I've been blessed that in 14.5 years of marriage I've been really sick very few times. Sadly the two worst were the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 and this week.

The "superbug" (as some media outlets here have called it) has been going around NC since December. I was "blessed" with its presence about 5:30am Sunday morning. Since I couldn't keep liquids down, I didn't even think about taking my normal medicine. Monday morning found me still very queasy, and I thought one more day without it wouldn't hurt.  And then at 8pm Monday night I started have very bad pains in my left shoulder and arm (along with all the pain I was still having in my abdomen). When the tension headache started, I took my blood pressure and realized we had a problem. So I took my medicine, tried to find a position that would make the pain tolerable so I could rest, and hoped the meds would work quickly. They didn't. By 1am I was beyond miserable and starting to get scared, so we headed to the new ER in Garner.  They did a LOT more tests than I think the situation warranted, but by the time we left at 4:30am, my blood pressure was almost back to normal, I had a prescription for some meds to help all the stomach pain, and my fever was starting to break. (I shocked them by refusing a blanket...the cold air was actually feeling good, which was a change after freezing all day Sunday and part of Monday.)

Being sick as a caregiver is never a good thing. It's downright frustrating and emotionally hard. I know different couples have different ways of dealing with disabilities and marriage, but thankfully this is not a problem we've really encountered before. I mean, I had to have help when I've strained a neck muscle and broke my elbow, but that's very different than when you feel so ill you can barely stand up.  It scares me a little bit that's it happened twice in the span of two months, but it's also a wake-up call that we really and truly need to get a better plan in place.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping this is the last of viruses for me this year. Twice in two months is way too many!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Ever since Bobby's wheelchair mishap, our life has definitely been out of its routine. And yet, despite all the craziness, it's been a blessing in many ways.

Having to be the driver has really made me evaluate how I am as a passenger. And for a man who's only ridden with someone else driving four times in the last 16 years, I must say he's done better than I expected.  I hope I'll be less of a "backseat" driver once this is over with.

I've learned to appreciate the extra money invested to make the van driveable for him. When he's not in the driver's seat, it means "tying him down" with hooks and locks and straps. It's not fun, especially when it's raining or a dog's wet nose is poking at your back or ankles. I've gained a deeper appreciation for what the van modifications allow him (and me) to do, and for my fellow quad wives who don't have this luxury and live every moment of every day adding an extra ten minutes to anything they plan to do just for this process that must be done at departure and arrival.

Growing up, I never dreamed I would ever say life near the city is a good thing. But for us, it most definitely is. I love having the van and wheelchair company within a thirty minute drive, and I'm so thankful for their customer service, even if/when they make decisions I don't agree with or like.

Power chairs. Today I came home from the grocery store, and immediately missed the sound of wheels rushing through the house to greet me (or poke his nose in the grocery bags or offer to help unload).  Being in the manual chair, he's mostly stuck wherever I leave him in the house. He did manage to get from the kitchen to the study this morning, but it took him a very long time (including a good five minutes trying to get up the 1/4" difference between the living room and kitchen flooring).  The hardest thing?  Not giving him a push up. I honestly don't know what we'd do if power chairs were not an option. It would certainly eliminate most of the things he can do.

And I must confess, we're a tad bit nervous.  We're now 1.5 hours from closing time, and we've still not received the call to come pick up the van and chair. We did buy my car several years ago for the sole purpose of having a vehicle I can fit him into, but I know he does not want to be lifted in and out of a car (plus it would require another person going with us and would eliminate the possibility of running errands or stopping to eat on the way home), much less be pushed everywhere in public.

Life is certainly different when your technological necessities are not available.