Friday, September 17, 2010

Mad Hatter Effect

These days this homesteader is feeling more and more like the Mad Hatter....I'm late, I'm late for a very important date....but I can't remember which date that is and why I am late, or how I even got to this part of the date.......happens every late summer....and I can't seem to get a handle on why.

It all started with a day in very early July, when on checking my bank account I found that someone, somewhere, had stolen my  debit card number, (we will never know how, since it was still in my possession), and was charging BIG dollars to Home Depot, pharmacies, and book stores in Illinois, one of the suburbs of Chicago in fact,  and was just having a great time.  We were able to stop the card in time so as not to lose the hundreds of dollars this woeful person had charged, but about a thousand did go thru, however due to the wonderful response from our credit union bank, and the fast response from the  credit card company, it was all returned, but..., we had to change accounts, cards, shift balances...I was up....then down......then sideways.... Mad Hatter effect...that experience was definitely  an eye opener.

Then my wonderful, loving daughters decided to change my appearance and I became a blond for a couple of was fun, but now am back to my uneventful  brown hair with out the dark roots that came on so why can't I lose weight as fast as my dark roots grow back in....its the mad hatter effect, I am telling you now.

In Mid July, Frightful sounds were emitting from the bedroom, which has been transformed into my husbands study room , somewhere between..."this is a page of crap""none of this makes any sense  (Mad Hatter Effect) "what the hell am I ever going to use this for"...came over and over like a broken record from the depths of the room.  It was his Algebra class....moaning, and sniffling, and cussing and just plain aggravating complaints never ceased, and he decided he would drop the class.....BUT, he couldn't, ...they wouldn't allow it,  not with out what does a good wife do....give up the quiet life, and take out the books, and study 24/7 for two weeks with him to catch up on three weeks of lessons he hadn't completed.  I ran thru the Internet, looking for all the lessons on beginning algebra, took a bottle of aspirins, and wore my best dress of patience, and worked slowly with all the problems, and we made it, this is the last week of homework, Finals are next week, he may not pass the class, but at least he has gotten all his homework in, and lab work, and by golly I know a little bit of algebra....don't know where its going to get me with all the garden work....lets see...a= a+ b (cd^2) over N...........salad equals tomatoes, cucumbers times the dressing over lettuce.....yes I can see where Algebra may be a big help next year.   Mad Hatter Effect.

We have had rain, and rain, as much as 6 inches or more a week, and lo and behold in marched the slugs, like an army exploring the rain forest, invading every nook and corner and eating every thing in sight.  Nothing has been left untouched,.....Step, squish (rain water) step,...Smash...(slugs) goo everywhere. Blight swept over the garden like the cloak of Haides, leaving the tomatoes leafless, naked, sunburning the fruit itself.  In spite of all this, there was an abundance of produce, and in between the hours of studying, the pantry shelves got filled, and the freezers got full, jam jars of plums, grapes, strawberry,  pickled peppers, cukes,and spaghetti sauces, along with tomato juices  made their way to the pantry.

The farmer cut the hay, best crop ever, Sean said, and later I sat and watched the coyote catching the mice in the newly mown was raining as usual and I didn't think to get the young chicks ...which I let scratch for bugs along the wood line in back of the house.....back into the greenhouse before the dog like creature in the field decided to search for better pickings.  Sure enough that evening I was 5 chicks short, supper for the beautiful reddish brown four legged creature and maybe his family that was so playfully catching mice in the field.  A few days later I spotted the creature inside the pasture, loping along till he/she came to the corner where the fence didn't quite meet the ground, and underneath he went, then as if to make his domain very clear, sat down on the path and glared back at the dogs as they barked through the fence at the intruder.....lifted his head in disdain, turned up his nose, and trotted on down toward the wood line, turned around one more time as if to say......I was here first, I belong came get used to it.....and disappeared into the trees.  And he sings every nite, proclaiming his love for this land and my chickens.

Another note to turn this homesteader upside down again...MAD HATTER EFFECT......Tim found a job, at 5R Processing in Ladysmith, about 25 miles down the road.  They recycle computers, digital equipment, etc... and he bugged them for about two months.  AH! last he was among the minority, he has a job....what we didn't know was, that this is their corporate office, and they have plants in Georgia, and Tennessee, and he was hired on as a long haul driver.  So now after being home for 7 months, he would be gone 4-5 days at a time, home on weekends. In fact he now travels from Ohio, to Virginia, to Georgia and so on.  He has the  computer in his truck, and printer, does his homework on the road...cept for ALGEBRA , waits for the weekend for that......and skypes me every evening.  Now to those of you who think this is a really sweet thing that the husband in no longer underfoot,...(I did once).. that is good in theory, but gets old fast.  When in the city, there was always something moving, people scurrying....but out here in the country it's a different story.   Being a trucker is hard, but being the wife of a trucker living in the boondocks is harder. While he is off fighting the four wheelers, I am trying to figure out why the generator is spewing oil all over, the lawn tractor is digging holes in the lawn while mowing, how water got in the gas tank of the roto tiller, and where the hell did he put that wrench.  Now I am good at a lot of things, but really bad at mechanical things...a hammer is an alien being that does not like me at all.  AND its quiet.....when Sean and his son were cutting the hay, I actually loved the sound of the machines, because that meant there were humans within sight, ......silence can be so deafening when it is 24/7....especially at night...when this homesteader who is afraid of the dark,,... not bears, coyotes, or four legged sprites...the "dark"...must go out to figure out if the varmints are in the pasture, or out of the pasture...are the animals safe...or in danger.....oh yes....I also do not like here I am..slowly, ...bravely, ....creeping out with the dogs at my side, and huge flashlight , walking stick in hand to brave the elements and fight the battles. Truckers' wives, are widows for days, or weeks, smiling when their guy comes home, and when they leave...then sinking into this oblivion of work and silence, conquering the unknown, trying to be strong while all the while shivering inside, knowing that out on that long road, an 80,000 pound,  18 wheeler is battling the odds with the four wheelers, trying to make it safely to their destination, and get back home again.  OK, now after all that whining I have to go figure out why the pellet stove won't stay lit...Mad Hatter..........

Prairie Sunflowers
So now I think I know what date I am late for....I missed August, and  the end of summer, between studying, and gardening, and mowing, and canning and freezing, there just hasn't been time to smell the roses.  Oh well, now with fall knocking at the gate, there will be blankets of snow...great...better get the snow blower out to be checked, and find the doggone snow shovel, and figure out where he put the ice the Hellllllll does he find anything in this cluttered garage.....and oh great, the  UPS man just delivered the next semester college school books.......he has to take Comp (English)....and hates we go again.......MAD HATTER EFFECT.

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