Over the Fence Chat -- November 17-23, 2002

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No one started this! Yesterday!

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

Answers

Hi..Zzzzzzzzzz...

See y'all when I wake up again

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002


Okey Dokey I'm back on line! Been under a rock for the last 5 months or so but I think it may be time to join the world again huh? Well guess Its going to take some time to read these threads! Love to all.....Kirk

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002

Well I goofed and went to the "new questions" page first...like I usually do...and I welcomed Kirk back there! But I'll say it again here...Welcome Back, Kirk!! Now, I wonder where Wildman is?

Ya know, every time these "family" holidays roll around, I'd like to find a rock to crawl under, too! After three years of asking our son and family to come over for Thanksgiving dinner...we give up! Ain't gonna happen! So we did the unthinkable and made dinner reservations for us and my MIL. I can just hear all the gasps of horror from you folks :-)!! But we're tired of preparing a big dinner for just the three of us and then we sit around and wonder how the rest of the family is doing. Morgan STILL doesn't know what our homegrown turkeys taste like!! And, of course, Christmas is a non-event also. I can't wait for this entire holiday season to be over and done with!! There....I'm done venting :-)!!!

The good news is that we FINALLY have some snow on the ground!! It's only about 4" deep, but it's white. Today it's supposed to be close to 50* so probably most of it will melt. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the next storm which is arriving Thursday night!! Harry and I have a large cover off one of those plastic totes that makes a heck of a toboggan...even the two of us can fit on it!! We have about a 10% grade to our driveway and we can slide the entire 350 ft. of it. Quite a sight! Hopefully the one that's doing the steering is paying attention!!! Otherwise we'll be getting up close and personal with the blackberry brambles :-)!!

We're hoping to get more work done on the upstairs of our house here soon. Last winter we painted most of the ceiling and put up 3/4's of the paneling. Now that things have slowed done here (the boat is shrink-wrapped, butchering is done and the firewood is ALMOST done) we can get some carpentry work taken care of on the weekends. Although, I have to say that neither one of us is very good at it :-)!!! I can put together a birdhouse without too much trouble and Harry is good at "chainsaw" carpentry, but it takes us forever to put up 2x4's and paneling! Should be interesting!!!

Headed outside now...I can hear my horse stomping around in the barn. That's how he "rings" for his grain!! Then I think I'll fry up a batch of homemade doughnuts for the garage office. Hopefully the customers will get some before Harry and Mike "inhale" them all :-)!! I'll check in later!

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002


(More hugs for Kirk) ........

Marcia, it's so funny how you keep waitin impatiently for snow, and I'm happy as a clam there ain't any yet! It can stay away all winter as far as I'm concerned. Do not enjoy slippery roads and sidewalks and dark dreary days. Don't like the cold either!

I can't stand the holidays either; not much for traditions or ritual, although Christmas was fun when the girls were little. I got Thanksgiving covered this year; didnt have to wish I had an excuse not to show up at my sister's. She decided not to have it anyway, and Bren is taking Ali for her first trip to New York City next week. I am not going to my moms (neither is Lotus); I think we might just see if someone needs volunteers on that day. In fact, I'm not even speaking to my mom right now; if I do I'll just blow a fuse, which does no one any good. She's sickeningly bubbly about the right-wing corporate fundamentalist war-mongers taking over the US gov't. And I am in no mood for her gloating or lectures. Woman gets under my skin, and I've decided I do myself and my children a disservice by making nice. When I think of all the times my kids came back from visiting my parents to tell me how she plays RUSH LIMBAUGH AND LAURA SCHLESCHINGER all day long on the radio, while they are there!! Makes my blood boil. Those hate-mongering lunatics who degrade my family with their stinking lies.....grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

So, Marcia, you were saying, about venting?? :)

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002


Vent all you want to, E.M.!! I did! I USED to be all for family traditions and rituals. After all, I can vividly remember (as a youngster) going to my grandparents home for Thanksgiving dinner and I remember all the little things that took place at those dinners. And I'd hoped...as I grew older...that I'd be able to pass on some of those family traditions to my grandchildren. NOT!!!! And my mom wants to know why I can't just up and leave all my responsibilities here in Maine and travel 1000 miles to N.C. and LIVE with her til she gets her life straightened out! She already has a 36 yr. old son living within 70 miles of her! AND...she's also one of those "Bush can do no wrong types"!!!

You and Lotus want to come to Maine for a homegrown Thanksgiving dinner :-)??!!

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002



Oh BTW...Kirk. Don't keep us all hanging!! Where the hell ya been for all this time??? If I'm being nosey, just tell me to MMOB :-)!

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002

Hi Kirk!! Great to see you back - glad you made it out from under that rock!

Beautiful weather here today - temp in the 50ís, a bit windy but still very nice for November - none of Marciaís snow; though it was supposedly forcast for tonight. Donít think that weíll get it, unless something moves in overnight, as itís clear as a bell out there. I wouldnít mind a few more days like today! The weekend is supposed to be nasty and snowy - of course, itís the first shotgun deer season! Iíll be lulled (?) to sleep by the boom-boom-boom of shotguns in the woods Friday morning when I get off work.

Pop and I went out today and finished off the garden. We pulled the last of the cabbage, chard and broccoli, burned off the morning glories, mulched the rhubarb and the walking onions that I got from John; then turned the open beds - fighting over who got the D handled fork and who had to use the one with the long handle! We carted some stuff over to the compost pile, but most of the greens went to the chickens and Bun - Iím going to have to make a trip to the horse farm soon to get the pile cooking; itís way too high in carbon right now. After we got the ďrealĒ work done, we upturned a couple of buckets for chairs and began the ďfunĒ work - planning what we ought to do next year! Dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees? Well now, that depends on whoís going to be putting on the dormant oil spray and picking the fruit - I ainít climbing no ladders! Put the pole beans WHERE? Pop is already working on his Japanese Beetle Battle Plan for next year; and weíre arguing over whether or not we really NEED 12 clumps of rhubarb (donít care what he says, Iím ordering it anyway!)

Work has been a bitch, as usual - worked 3, off 1, worked 4; all 12 hour shifts and one of those with a rent-a-nurse and the other one with 2 different nurses aids from 2 different floors. The rent-a- nurse gets paid half again what I do; but can only do about half the work - canít give meds Ďcause she doesnít have access to our computerized pill dispenser, canít do admissions Ďcause she doesnít know our paperwork, canít put in orders or check charts Ďcause she isnít trained on our computer system; then she thought it was beneath her to take vital signs, pick up soiled linen and put out clean, and clean the dayrooms. Grrrrr. It ainít beneath ME to do that work - though I was too damn busy doing all the crap she couldnít, to do it! And I have to check all the work she does do; because Iím the charge nurse. Grrrr twice. She was supposed to work with me two nights, but one of the patients scared her, so she called in the second night. Snort. (And the boss wonders why I sent an inquiry to another hospitalÖ)

Okay - thatís MY vent - whoís next!

Gee - I almost feel guilty about Thanksgiving. Weíre doing the annual thing - too much food, too much noise, too many people in the kitchen, too many kids and dogs underfoot, too many football games and too many kinds of pie to choose from! I gotta work the Mon, Tues, Wed nights before; and have to show up with chocolate pie and honey rolls and something else - hope thereís a nice couch somewhere that I can nap on! Maybe I can catch a few zzzís while the rolls are risingÖ.at least itís only 12 miles from home this year! Hubs may have to go to his familyís evening meal by himself this year - Iíll be wiped out after dinner, between the lack of sleep and the turkey!

Got my Holiday shopping almost all done - Jes and I are heading out for one last shopping trip on Friday after I wake up (or maybe before!) Then Iíll do the last big food shopping (Hubs will have to stop by the grocery after work for the perishables) - Iíve sworn that I wonít set foot into a store from December 1st to January 16th! Iíve got a couple of catalog orders that I need to get called in; and then check on Hubís to make sure that heĎs done - tho he did almost all of his on the web. Iíd like to make an afghan for Jes, but I donít know if Iíll have time - the pattern I want to use is pretty time consuming.

Jessie and her boyfriend are moving in to one of her Dadís apartments - Iím ambivalent. Heís a nice enough guy (even if he is scared of me!) and sheís settled down a LOT since sheís been seeing him (heĎs a bit older at 24)ÖbutÖsheís my babyÖ Oh well. Canít do anything about it, so I guess I might as well be happy about it, no? Sure is making it easy to shop for them for the holidays; tho a bit more expensive - along with the usual clothes and perfume and stuff, we picked up pots Ďn pans and a mixer from Mom, a crock pot from Grandpa, and some grocery gift-certificates for cabinet stocking from StepDad. I imagine weíll make a trip to the butcher shop for some decent meat for their freezer as well - and sheís already inventoried my pantry to see what she can grab from there. Her Dad waved goodbye to the second computer and coffee pot; and Gramps handed over his microwave. On the plus side, sheís taking her bedroom furniture - which leaves me an empty room downstairs. Hmmm - library or sewing room? Library AND sewing room?! One really great thing is that Chad has a little girl who is three - Kaylee. This makes me a Grandma for real, right?! Almost, anyway! So I also got to buy some Colorforms and a Memory game, picked up some Dr. Seuss books - The Lorax, Fox in Socks and Iíll Teach My Dog 100 Words; then I found this really neat thing that I donít know what to call it except maybe a Fairy Princess headband halo thingy with glitter and sparkles and streamers and such - which just really almost requires an illusion tutu with sequins to wear with, right?! Oh yeah, Iím gonna like this, yes I am!!

Well, itís getting late, so Iím going to get this posted and head off to bed with visions of a tiny garden fairy helping me poke beans into the ground next spring! You folks take care, have a happy week!

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002


Well, 'tis I, the wandering sicko.

That is to say, we are now on week 10 of this cold/virus/crud thingie. It IS getting better, but ever so doggone slowly.

Things are slowing down for the garden quite a lot now. I'm still scratching around in the front hard gathering up all the pine needles around the new snow -- whatever I can get up yet this year is that much less come spring. (altho in spring I'll probably just MOW them up along with new grass and compost the lot)

Of course, I DID go in to Menards today and came home with over a hundred daffodil bulbs for $6, and a nice assortment of other cheapo bulbs (deep discounts) for indoor forcing. The beauty of it is that those forced bulbs can be planted out in the garden when it thaws again.

Meanwhile, I've shipped a horse down to Janesville when she got a dry impaction colic that would not shift (with 3 gallons of oil in her stomach), and been treating my little Mr. Ghandi guinea pig for some kind of a respiratory infection.

I was down in Madison again: I went to my accupunture doctor for a tune-up, my dog went to the vet school to participate in a study on her type of blindness, and I came home with another guinea pig. A very cute silver agouti spotted white Abyssinian boar. He's in quarantine at the moment, but the vet gave him a bill of health. Like I NEED another guinea pig....but I keep telling myself HE needed the home, and Look On The Bright Side of Life --- it's more litter & beans for the compost bin.

Roxy (the horse with colic) came home today from the vets. She dropped weight again as usual, but she always takes it off like crazy if she gets sick. Rhiannon, my Connemara/Arab mare threw a fit about it -- bucking and kicking in her stall. She apparently thought that Roxy was gone for good, and SHE was Queen O' The Pasture now (instead of Roxy). What a rude awakening.

The fun part however, was that the barn manager took advantage of the trip downstate to bring home HER new pony, a Hillcrest-bred Welsh weanling colt. He's currently in one of those awkward yearling growth expansions and looks kind of disjointed, but hey, he's only 9 months old, that may all even out.

So I get all the fun of playing around with a baby again without having to do any of the paying! Keen!! Jayme has always said that she did NOT want babies around the farm, yet she bought this one. He seems like a nice little guy, about 11 HH (maybe) at this point. And I know that Jayme will not care if I want to teach this kid stuff like leading (took quite a while getting him out of the trailer -- he'd never been outside a barn before!), backing, etc. It's hard to tell what colour he's ultimately going to be at this point, but considering his breeding (Welsh, Hillcrest), chances are high that he's going to be grey. They thought he'd be buckskin, but looking around his muzzle where the coat is changing, I'm putting my money on grey.

His registered name is Hillcrest Budweiser. This is a child's pony...what were they thinking giving him a name like that? (Barn drinking party again?)

Other than that, I just went off to the feed store for a load today.

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2002


Polly, you needn't feel guilty about your storybook holidays; we are just jealous, and like to hear about them. I also really enjoy your stories about work.

Marcia, if you were closer and didn't require air travel, I'd be on my way! Do you mean that your son's wife refuses your invites?

Julie, that whatever-you-have sounds scary. I assume you've been tested for something other than an ordinary virus?

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2002


My computer is acting peculiar. I hope it goes back to normal rather than progresses to something serious . . .

I woke up to snow this morning! Just a covering, and I guess it was predicted, but I somehow conveniently forgot that. Oh well, it was half gone by noon, and all gone now. Cold, windy and gloomy though. Ugh. I'm still waiting for October, the month we never had. Bet I'll have to wait another 10 months or so, right?

I have seen some pretty sky sights of late. One was a sunset when Julie was down here -- there was a pink & gold cloud dragon. I could see his eyes and snout, and outspread wings, and twisty serpentine body. Really amazing. Then, two days before full moon, as the light was failing but before full dark, I saw the gibbous moon halfway up the eastern sky, in the pale blue sky, with slate-blue wisps of clouds. And as I stared at it, a skein of geese flew through the sky just below the moon. What a picture!

For Thanksgiving, I am going over to friends' house, where we will start the turkey, take our three dogs to the closest dog park for awhile (her hubby will probably stay home on the couch with the new kitten), then come back and finish fixing dinner. After we eat, we're going to watch my DVD of the special extended edition of Fellowship of the Ring. And play with the kitten. Probably won't have time to watch any of the commentary. I'm slowly working my way through that at home. They are using ME as the excuse not to get involved in their annual push-pull of where to go for Turkey Day. I don't mind! :-) Gee, now my mind is boggling picturing three humans, three largish, milling dogs, and one small kamikaze kitten all crammed into their tiny living room . . . . My dog may have to take a nap in the car.

I never can get a pet sitter for any of the "big" holidays, so going up north is out. Thanksgiving would be nice, but there doesn't seem to be much point for Christmas anymore. We no longer exchange presents and there are no little kids in the family. Actually, this Christmas, I may just go out to the theater and see The Two Towers (again, no doubt). Or maybe I'll skip the crush that day will no doubt bring and catch the newest Star Trek movie, if I haven't seen it already.

There are still leaves to be gotten up. I have been waiting for a dryish, semi-decent day. That may not happen! It hasn't so far. Yech, right now it's 37*F. Better go run the dog out before it gets even WORSE!

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2002



Hi everyone,

Just dropping by. I am still way too busy to do anything except work and balance my checkbook (ha...right up there with vacuuming). My good intentions for getting ahead of the holidays are at about the same place they were when I got started.

I'm watching the neighbor's critters for the next couple of weeks, watching mine too, and today anyway, nursing a bad headache. Looking at a computer screen for more than the (seems to be lately) 9-10 hours a day at the office must be doing it. Anyway, glad folks are still here.

Take care!

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2002


Julie...ever try the colic remedy that Hawkeye used on Colonel Potter's horse on MASH??!! Just joking! I know colic can be very serious. Years ago I had a Standardbred that had colic (he pigged out on green apples) and I had a heck of a time trying to get mineral oil into him...til I remembered that he loved to drink soda out of a can. So I poured out most of the soda and filled the can with oil. He drank down eight cans of the stuff!! Really!! After about 2 hours of walking him, everything "passed" okay! It was mostly gas :-).

E.M...yup, she most definitely refuses! But we're at the point that we really don't care anymore :-)!! Harry and I have added someone else to our "restaurant" Thanksgiving meal. One of customers was talking to us the other day and she hasn't heard from her son in Florida for 14 yrs.!!! Not even a Mother's Day card! This woman is 80 yrs. old and doesn't even know if she has any grandchildren! Her partner died four years ago and she has no other family. So we invited her to come with us. And...she loves to talk! So does my MIL. Maybe they'll become friends!!! Maybe next year Harry and I will prepare a Thanksgiving meal at home and invite some of our customers that we know are alone. We're seriously thinking about it!!

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2002


Maybe the SON is dead!

-- Anonymous, November 21, 2002

Marcia -- oh the FUN we had with this colic!! We did a naso-gastric tube on her three times, with a gallon of mineral oil every time, plus warm water. And there was poor Mike, with his arm up the back end up to the elbow, but could not reach the impaction or we might have tried the garden hose trick. When Roxy colicks (not very often) she just shuts down, won't eat or drink at all, but I'm skeptical that I could get her to drink mineral oil voluntarily under any circumstances -- she's one of those horses that you ASK, you do not TELL. (When asked what breed she is, I may say "All American Meat Horse", or 'Yugoslavian Lippizaner' -- but most the time, I reply that she is a very rare breed -- a 'Short-eared Mule')

You shoulda seen the colic case we treated with a tractor! He had an entrapped intestine loop, and Mike knocked him out, then we hung him upside down by his back feet off the arm of the tractor and ended up kicking his sides to dislodge the intestine. It worked! Mike is always rather embarrassed when I tell that story, but I was massively impressed by the improvisational treatment. Did accidentally break one of the horse's ribs in the process (George kicked too hard), but it was a back rib, and it beat the heck out of dying.

We do have our little dramas.

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2002


Horses...they're sooo much fun :-)!!! Yeah, Joy. Maybe the son IS dead!! Who knows?!

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2002


Keith and I usually do Thanksgiving alone and this year probably won't be any different. There's an off chance that one of his sisters may think to invite us to their house but I'm not holding my breath. We usually just eat our turkey in front of the TV while watching the Lions game.

I am going to be a Christmas orphan this year which has me a little bummed. My parents are snowbirds now that they're retired but in past years they've either waited until after Christmas to go to Florida or else they've came back up to Michigan for the holidays. This year they've decided that they're staying in Florida for the entire winter. They're leaving on Monday and won't be back until March or April. When I was growing up, the Sunday before Christmas was always the big family party at my grandparents house. As we kids got older, it was a big deal to bring a date to the family party, then later on spouses and kids. Now my grandparents and my only uncle have passed away and the tradition has fallen by the wayside. This holiday party was such a big deal when I was a kid and now I feel so bad that my neice and nephew won't have those same memories. The holidays are so hectic and confusing for them because they have to split their time between their dad and his family and their mom and our family. Well, at least I won't have to worry about getting my Christmas shopping done. :) We'll probably end up spending Christmas day with Keith's family which will be nice for him but I'm still kind of sad.

EM, I'm sorry to hear that you and your mom don't get on very well. How do the girls feel about the situation? I was extremely close to my Grandma C so it's difficult for me to imagine not having that relationship. What about Bren's family?

Marcia, I think that's great that you're taking in people for Thanksgiving. Sometimes our blood families don't work out, so we make spirit families instead.

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2002


Thanks for the kind words, Sherri, and welcome back!

My kids have actually told me for years that I am too tolerant of my parents' (particularly my mom's ) behaviour. I was trying to show them a good example of tolerance and compassion, always explaining that I understood intellectually why she behaves as she does, that she truly believes that people will burn in eternal hell if they arent born-again Christians, and that she doesnt want her children and grandchildren to suffer such a fate. So while she continued to give them things like the little Jesus storybooks, the samplers with scriptural embroidery, "Christian Rock" tapes (which cracked me up cuz when I was their age any kinda rock was of the devil), biographies of prominent Christians in history, Christian videos, subscriptions to childrens christian magazines, and The Complete Bible on Tape (!), I would keep my mouth shut and let them make their own decisions about what to do with these items. Nine times out of ten they ended up giving them to Goodwill. She knew perfectly well we were interested in other spiritual journeys, and I made sure they were made aware of all the major faiths cuz I wanted all this to be their own choices, including Christianity, since that's the one I'm the most familiar with. But of course she had no interest in what they were interested in, there was no discussion of these other faiths allowed. Like with me and sister, my mom is more interested in telling people how they SHOULD be rather than finding out who they really are, which is too threatening to her.

So what she has managed to do is actually make my girls way more hostile to Christianity than I am. I do have to step in frequently and remind them not to generalize about Christians, that they are not all like their grandmother.

Its an interesting point you bring up about their relationship with her. I was actually just talking to them about this very subject a few days ago! There was a program (NPR?) about grandparents' relationships with their grandkids and how special they can be, as a kind of intermediary between generations, and it made me kinda sad. So I talked about it to my girls, and what they told me was although they understood how I felt, that they were much more greatful for the relationship they have with me (and Bren), that they felt bad for me cuz I never had that, and that ya cant have everything! My sweetie- pies!

Anyway, I've decided I'm not takin my mom's crap anymore; I'm returning to my more natural self which never keeps feelings inside. Some people do not get wiser as they get older, I'm afraid, and my mom is one of em, and occassionally needs a verbal "whack upside the head" if we are to maintain any relationship at all.

-- Anonymous, November 22, 2002


Urgh, argh! Some of the news articles I've been reading lately are making me want to run away to Canada too! Or maybe I should learn Swedish and go on a LONG visit with my cousins over there. Except they don't seem to be acquainted with poultry in that country . . . .

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2002

Sorry I'm a little late but had problems with that X-block again. They thought they fixed it. Funny, I asked for credit for the month it was down and turned out they hadn't billed me for it for two years. Oops.

Anyway, Hi Kirk. Boy do you have alot of reading to do.

Marcia, Good for you!! I can honestly say that I disowned my grandmother because she liked to tell people stories so they would give her attention. When she was in the hospital, she told everyone that I was trying to put her in a home to get her money. When I talked to a nurse and she was a bit rude to me, I said, "Yea, I'm the granddaughter that's after her money" then the woman looked at me and smiled, realizing that it wasn't true. Once, my grandmother was telling me, in this most pitiful voice, oh it would have broken your heart, that at Christmas no one came to see her or even called. I asked "No one?" "No, no one..." then she turned to look at me with these pitiful, puppy dog eyes and realize she was talking to me. Oh, her eyes popped open and her voice changed and she said, "Oh, you did" I got tired of her telling everyone I was stealing from her. I got tired of her letting everyone in her checkbook, saying she had no help. I got tired of her talking bad about everyone in my family and being nasty to me. And the final insult was when she called the police on me. My point is, sometimes what older people tell you is just one sided. But you have a great dinner.

Polly, I know this is not a nice way to look at things but please be careful with Kaylee. Your daughter isn't married to this man and it could happen that you will fall in love with this child and she will be taken away from you. Please don't take this the wrong way. My sister had a few "Daddies" for my neice before she finally married.

EM, tell Bren to wave my way when she's in NY. Just face the river, I'm on the other side.

I'm going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. They are the best people. It took me a while to convince them that the pasta isn't necessary because it fills you up before the Turkey. The one aunt always says that she's glad I joined the family because I do such a great job at carving the turkey. I don't even remember how I got the job in the first place. I think I was asking if I could help. Anyway, they are true Italians with two big tables set up in the basement and people coming in and out all day long. I like to eat around all the bones, back, neck and tail so I usually have a second plate just for that. It's great. AND the best thing is, my parents moved to VA so I no longer have to go there first and smell like cigarette smoke all day!!

Husband is off for Thanksgiving but has to work for Christmas. At least Gary is older now. When he was little, we used to have to tell him that we sent a letter to Santa that Daddy had to work and if he could deliver to our house first so we could open our present together on Christmas eve. It was easier that making him wait all day so some others did.

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2002


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