Thank you! To those of you who have emailed me privately and to those of you who have made comments on this site. I love you! It is gratifying to know that my words (as fun as they are to string together) are being read and appreciated by my friends and loved ones.
Lori’s comment (posted here about her chickens and their poo) brought back memories of my own chickens. Not now – Mark would never let me get a chicken. He is SOOO not a live pet chicken sort of guy. I’m pretty sure he would be willing to trade a few of the pets we do have for a handful of Chuck E. Cheese tokens.
Back to the chickens — I had a small flock of chickens when I was a kid. They do poop a LOT. I had a few especially gifted chickens that I trained to fly up and land on my head and shoulders to be petted (I had a very weird childhood, and the chickens were my friends). They were good friends, which made it very traumatic when my dad would chop their heads off and serve them up as dinner.
My favorite chickens were always the ones losing their heads. I see now that it wasn’t the best idea to train them to greet the axe wielding man by flying up on his head and shoulders. But at the time, I thought my father was being spectacularly cruel and choosing Emily and Helen intentionally.
And we had that whole “You may not be excused until you clear your plate” rule. Very traumatizing.
Had to help the girls with Sunday night homework this evening, which is always fun because the stuff they leave until Sunday night is always the stuff they do not want to do at all. Homework was never an issue while we were home-schooling, and I can’t say I’m loving its return. This evening, Kallan had to write a book summary of a book called The Trouble with Tuck: The Inspiring Story of a Dog Who Triumphs Against All Odds
She was having trouble getting started, so I offered to type up what she said if she wanted to dictate her ideas to me. Then it would just be a matter of Kallan copying the paragraphs onto the page her teacher had provided for the assignment.
According to Kallan, and I can quote her exactly because I typed it as she spoke:
“The Trouble With Tuck is about a babyish girl who the book says is 13, but she acts like she is 6 or 7. The girl is named Helen, and she has this ridiculously great dog named Tuck who saves her life twice, which is just stupid. The dog goes blind, which Helen somehow doesn’t notice until Tuck crashes through a screen door. How do you not know your dog isn’t using his eyes anymore? Also stupid. So the vet, who starts out nice but then turns icky, says that Tuck is never going to get better and so they should think about giving him to researchers to do experiments on. That part did not seem very kid-booky. And then Helen gets all whiny and runs away with Tuck, which does not go well. Duh. And then her mom and dad have this great idea to get Tuck a guide dog, which is not at all realistic because in the book Tuck is getting all crabby and mean and bad and is tied up in the back yard because he won’t behave. If I had a dog like that, my mom and dad would so not ever get me another dog on the chance that more dogs is better. But in this book, there is a happy ending, which is also stupid. I would never recommend this book to anyone who wasn’t a baby. Sincerely, Kallan.”
We did a teeny bit of tweaking before she settled on her final draft, which was, as Kallan put it, “a lot more kiss-butty.”
I may have to make another visit to Kallan’s big-voiced teacher to see about getting her bumped up a reading level or two.
In other animal news, when we were out driving and getting lost (the GPS lies to us occasionally here in Oregon), we pulled into a small stream-side park that the GPS was insisting was a freeway entrance. As Mark tried to get his bearings, the girls and I noticed some large furry animals lounging by the water. They were big fat river otters, and Kallan quickly scooted out of the car and ran to chase them into the water. One of them did not want to be chased, and kept turning to stare angrily at Kallan before waddling a few fat steps farther. When Kallan stomped down into the muddy bank, the cranky otter slipped into the water, but then turned to kick up big angry streams of water in Kallan’s direction. Kallan thought that was fabulous!
I don’t really think of the girls as being city girls. They love nature and bugs and animals of all sorts, and I take them hiking and zoo-ing and museum-ing all of the time. But Kallan’s city-ness was revealed when I heard her excitedly describing to a new friend her encounter with a crazy “beaver-duck.”
Moments like that make me feel so proud of all that I accomplished as a home-schooling Mom.