Monday, June 27, 2011

A Most Unusual Walk

My almost-twelve year old and I went on a walk yesterday.  We stopped to pet our favorite little dog at about the mile and a half marker, and met her owner.  He says he doesn't tie her up, because she just showed up one day, and he wonders if her owner will find her (she's been living with him for 3 years or so).  So now we know her name.  Coco.

On the way back down we met the lady who has a "Farm Fresh Eggs" sign out.  She took us for a tour around her place (greenhouses, outside garden, chickens, sheep, and cows) and loaded us up with oregano, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and beet starts and a bag of lettuce.  I told her I would bring her a few taro huli next time I am up the road.  I don't have a lot of starts to share this year.

Someone has been stealing her sheep and apparently, selling them on craigslist.  She found out who it was, so that is a relief, although the sheep are long gone.  She has St. Croix-Barbados mix.  They look more delicate and more white than mine.  I told her she could borrow Calico or Sam if she wants more color next year.

Our son drove to work today for the first time.  He is very patient about calling home when he gets places (it was his idea) to calm me down.  He is deviating from his usual route as he wants to practice with the Cross Country team at the Bayfront today.  I saw the confusion in his eyes when his dad was giving him directions - so I told him since I had to bring his brother down for gym today, I would meet him at his work and he could follow me to the practice location.  He knows less about his town than I did when growing up, because he never really had the opportunity to walk all around town like we did growing up.  There isn't a good bus system on this island like on Oahu, so the kids were a lot more dependent on rides from parents.

I made some mango-lemon marmalade the other day, along with daikon-carrot pickle.  Today is baking day for this week - french bread rolls for sandwiches and cookies.  Better get off the computer and do it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Letter Day!

My son got his license and his first checking account.  Good deal.

Spot doesn't seem to be feeling well today.  He really hates it when I debride his dog bite.  It sure is taking a long time to heal up - which is making me even more mad at those dogs.

I had a long day.  We drove out to Pahoa in search of shorter DMV lines, but the one person who gives road tests for driver's licenses out there was out sick.  I decided to pay the registration out there, since we'd driven out so far.  The guy gave me the wrong month sticker;  I looked at it and thought, "Oh well, he must know what he is doing."  I should have asked, because we drove back into Hilo to check if they had any testing spots open and while we were waiting, the DMV guy called me and told me I had to come back to exchange the sticker.  It is quite far in another direction from our house.

The whole time, we were driving the kids' car - which is 19 years old and the AC is so broken it blows hot air and there is no way to turn it off.  Hot air on a summer day - not fun.  Anyway we left the house at 6:30 and got home at 1 pm and then I had to go deal with that gnarly wound on the poor lamb.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sweet Potatoes and my List

I planted my sweet potato slips that my niece brought - they look like they are adjusting.  I am pretty excited and hope they grow well.  Last time I planted some they got 1) run over by the tractor and 2) the survivors got hit with some kind of virus.  I planted these new slips in a different spot altogether that has never had crops before; the last bunch was planted in an older spot.

Sally the c-section is blatting away and has come out of the woods, so she is looking good.  Elvis's sore foot cleared up on its own, so it looks like my diagnosis of bruise was right which is a relief - he didn't show signs of foot rot or even an abcess, so I was hoping.

My tomatoes and cucumbers are pumping out enough to keep us supplied with a daily dose, and the eggplants are a week out from harvest or so, and the peppers are setting fruit.  It is time to start looking at starting new plants and figuring out what else to grow!  The taro mala needs to be weeded and mulched, and I can start taking a few leaves for luau chicken (yum).

If my son gets his license tomorrow, I can have more time at home - I got plenty of praying done on my twice daily treks to town, but not much gardening or canning.  I would like to get some more marmalade put up, some kimchee cucumbers, daikon pickles and some ready made meals like stew and chili for the fall, when I go back to work.  I also have a few more rooms to clean from top to bottom.  Only 4 and a bit more weeks until I report back to school.  I have quite a list of things I would like to do before then.

Wish the Boy luck tomorrow morning.  We're heading into Pahoa early so he can get the lay of the roads, then heading for the new police station there to take the driver's test!  I am proud of the kid - he wrote a program to analyze genetic material (not quite sure what it all is, because he just took the formula the biologist gave him and wrote a better program for it - so he can't explain the biology behind it well enough for me to understand), and his boss, the biologist, wants him to write the paper as the principal author and with the PhD as a second author - and they are going to submit it to a professional journal.  I am not only proud - I am a bit envious.  He is 16 and hitting one of my secret (well, not anymore) life dreams. Genetic biologists could be using my son's tool to analyze DNA fragments all over the world.  That is just cool.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Spending the Summer

Spending the summer mostly driving and waiting, it feels like.  I can't wait for my son to get his license, although sending him off that first time alone is going to be scary.... I drive him to work in the morning, come home, do a few chores, and then drive out again to get him.  I drive this very old car that will be his to drive so he can practice, but the heat is permanently on in the car.  

We've had to fix various things on it - a brake light was out, the ignition was broken (you had to hot wire it to start it), today the fourth gear went out, but it was just a fuse, the side view mirror was stuck in a position where you'd have to be under five feet tall to use it, the muffler had a hole.  My husband taped up the hole with muffler tape and over the last couple of weeks, he and our son fixed the other little things so it could pass a safety check.  I was a bit embarrassed when the inspector said, "You really are supposed to FIX the muffler, not just tape it..." I told him we really do have an appointment for it, but my son is dying to take his driver's test, and this is the car he can drive best....and he passed us.  Phew. 

My niece called when we were waiting for the vehicle inspection, and she drove down and gave me some sweet potato slips - some native Hawaiian varieties - a couple of yellow ones and a the local purple one.  There aren't any Okinawan ones, though - I like those for the leaves, mostly.  I need to get those slips in the ground tomorrow. 

Today, I buried a chicken that, I presume, a dog got.  I made sure I got in the dogs' faces with the dead hen, seems to have worked because the rest of the hens made it through the day.  I couldn't find that hen last night - I think my dogs thought since it was night and all - it must be okay.... I planted some lilikoi I had started in a pot.  I put it up against the waiawi near the pasture.  I also planted some red ti leaf that I had rooting in a bucket of water.  It was a native plant kind of day, I suppose.  

Sally has come out of the bushes to re-join the flock, so she must be feeling better.  The incision site seems to be healing well.  Little Spot is still gritting his teeth, so his injury must be a bit sore - he might need a little banamine or aspirin.  The vet says sheep need banamine IV, which I am not comfortable doing - horses can take it IM, so I guess I really do need to try the baby aspirin instead.  Poor little guy.  

My daughter is doing fine; we stopped at the doctor this morning to check her pulse, and all is well - looks like no weird cardiac syndrome for, praise God.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Post Injury

The Dorpers are doing fine, in spite of their various injuries and their mad escape into the woods (read jungle) at the back of the land.  As it is actually sunny today, I let them all out this morning and will pull them in for dinner early to give shots, etc.

Elvis has a sore foot; I don't see any signs of rot, so I think it is a bruise.  I am trying to soak him with epsom salts like I would a horse, but he is rather difficult.  He seems quite sorry for himself and wants to be babied.

I am not doing a great job at taking a vacation, so I guess I am continuing to blog.

Off to the Hilo Farmer's Market today and to walk around downtown with my eldest while the youngest attends a birthday party at a beach park.  I am just closing my eyes to all the stuff that needs to be done around here - the girls need a little girl time today.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost Biblical

I have been living the story of the Good Shepherd rather more often than I would like this week.

Sally and Spot made a run for it last night when my husband was letting the chickens in.  We ended up looking for them for nearly two hours in the pouring rain, sludging through mud and puddles up over my rubber boots with flash nights and a rapidly growing soggy can of feed.  It felt like we examined every blade of grass and tree in the five acres of pasture, but they were nowhere.  I was so tired (I had only had time for  two scrambled eggs and a banana at 7 am, and here it was 8 at night) by the end, I thought I could just happily lay down in the wet grass and mud and sleep well.

I kept thinking about that dog bite on the lamb and that suture line on the ewe and what a night in the cold and wet would do.

Turns out, it did nothing.  My husband found them in the morning, right where I thought they would be last night and they joined the flock when they came out for breakfast.  We brought the whole gang in this afternoon and I was able to give them their penicillin shots and spray them with fly spray and antibiotic solution.

It's been a wet, cold summer.  I am ready for sun. At some point next week, I need to drag the family to Kona (long drive) so we can get into some sun and swim in the ocean.  There are beaches on this side - but lately, no sun at all.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Update on Ewe, Ram Lamb, and Fainting Child

After the ewe didn't seem to be progressing, I took an exploratory feel.  There was no lamb at all in the birth canal, and the pelvic bones were so tight I couldn't even get into the uterus.

Unfortunately, the voice mailbox for the large animal vet was full so I couldn't even leave a message.  I took a chance and tried a small animal vet down in town - I knew they took unusual animals because two of my former students work there as vet techs.

They agreed to see the ewe and so I just threw the dog bitten ram lamb in just to make sure everything was going well.

Meanwhile, in the back of my head is this calculation - ewe who will certainly die without help and kid who's fainted and is probably okay, but maybe it's something awful....On top of that, three of my four kids were in Hilo at various locations (friend's homes, work, etc.) and needed to get home.  Stressful, to say the least.  Figuring out who needed what help in what order was challenging.

By the time I got the ewe to the vet, the lamb was in the birth canal, but it was firmly stuck and the most determined tug of war between the vet tech and my self holding the ewe and the vet pulling on these giant hooves couldn't dislodge him.  I gave the go-ahead for a very expensive c-section.  It doesn't make any financial sense, but there was the chance that there was another live lamb (there wasn't);  I actually think if the vet were at the farm I would have just had her put down, but somehow the decision was different in front of a pet vet and a kid I taught from sixth to twelfth grade.  I asked to see the dead lamb after - he looked like a two week old lamb in size.  Just huge.

I appreciate very much that the small animal vet took the sheep in - but it wasn't terribly confidence inspiring to see him looking up how to do the c-section on the internet!

The good news is Sally is up and eating, I have plenty of penicillin and syringes and sharps, and so far we are not seeing bloat or the types of breathing difficulties that might mean pneumonia.  Spot (the dog bite victim) is also chipper and eating, and although me with a bottle of antiseptic spray and a needle in hand isn't a favorite sight, he is quite a patient little fellow.

I am taking my daughter into the doctor later - the only available appointment was at 2 pm, which actually works out to get my son from work (he is programming for the USDA - he's 16! I am pretty blown away), my other son from his friend's (he stayed a second night because it was easier), etc. etc.  Summer is turning out to be busier than the school year.  The bright spot is all these veterinary issues are happening when I actually have time to babysit sick sheep.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dog Attack, Fainting Kid, and a Ewe Who is Taking Her Time.

What a day it's been - worth the basement computer aggravation!

Last night, my dogs bit my little Dorper ram lamb.  It's a long story, but they got him pretty good high up in the hind quarter.  I have flushed it with betadine and given him a shot of penicillin and tried to bandage it as best as I can, and he's eating and drinking, so crossing my fingers.

Sally, the Dorper ewe, is in pre-labor, passing her mucus plug, walking around, eating and drinking in between pushing here and there.

In the midst of all the excitement of trying to patch up Spot and check on Sal, my 11 year old got a little wobbly and nauseated...nice mommy that I am I told her, "If you are going to throw up - go do it in the compost pile instead of in the nice clean straw."  (She tends to be a bit dramatic), but as she went out there, she yelled kind of loudly, "I am going to pass out."  I told her to put her head down, but she promptly fell face down on the cinder.  She woke up quickly, so I told her to get to the house to lay down - I really thought she was doing better, and my hands were covered with lamb blood and betadine - but as soon as she walked around to the front of the barn, I heard her yelling, "Help. Dad. Help!"  I dropped everything and ran to her - got her in the house and she almost passed out again.

She swears it isn't the blood, but she hadn't eaten breakfast and the wound on that lamb is pretty ugly...just watching her before putting her through the ER rigamarole.  Her sister was a fainting preadolescent, and so was I.  I am not as worried as the advice nurse thinks I should be, because it seems to run in the family.  We fed her waffles and juice and propped her on the couch with a Dvd player and some movies.  If she faints again after all that, we'll head down to the ER, but for now, I am assuming lack of sleep, lack of food, and a rather graphic wound cleaning.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kim Chee, Potatoes, and the Bananas Get a Haircut

Today was so productive, I thought I would brave the slow internet...

I had enough semi-ripe tomatoes and ripe cucumbers that I thought I would make some tomato and cucumber kim chee.  I only made one quart jar, and I didn't can it, so it is just going to be in the fridge.  It looks pretty and already tastes good, although it will taste better in a few days.

I put my younger son to work giving the Banana patch a "haircut".  Banana leaves droop down and get brown so the patch looks shaggy.  I had my son take a machete out there and chop off the leaves.  I had to finish the job, but he got a lot done.  I use the dried banana leaves as a mulch or as the brown matter in the compost - today it was destined to be mulch.

My husband and son pulled out the tractor and removed some grass from the area destined to be the potato patch.  It is a bit rainy, off and on, so it got to be a slippery with our clay mud, but we were able to dig up, till and add compost, and then plant the potatoes.  The whole thing is covered with a layer of straw, which seems a precious commodity, considering how far it has to travel to get here and how expensive it is per bale.  I put about half the bale on the potatoes, and half of it in one side of the new sheep barn.  Our new Dorper ewe is due next week, and I thought it would be nice to have some straw for her and the lamb(s) - cinder is good bedding up here, but straw seems nice for babies.

It's funny, because my son is a very computer oriented guy.  He thinks it's "pointless" for us to grow our own food, because someday robots will be doing the farming, but he stayed out there all day helping, even driving the tractor, unlike the 13 year old who ducked out the first hard period of rain.  I truly think the bottom is going to drop out of the economy and the food is necessary, but I also think, if I am wrong about the economy, it is still nice to have your own food.  It tastes better and it leaves what income there is coming in available for things like those new running shoes and uniforms my kids will be needing come cross country season.  At least he is out there learning and using those almost-17-year-old-muscles to help out.

Oh, I also washed and dried a virtual mountain of boys' clothing. I am not sure what they have been wearing, because it looks like they left me two months worth of laundry!  This week's goal - organize and clean the kids' rooms - taking out clothes that don't fit for donation.  They need help with this goal, so I will be working on that.  I also am going to pull out my practically non-existent sewing skills to help my 11 year old make her gym bag with the pattern I bought last week.  It should be an adventure.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Might Be Awhile

I don't think I will be blogging as much this summer.  There are a lot of chores around the house to be done, and I am leaving my work computer at work, and the big, clunky, old computer at home isn't so fun to log on to - it is sooooo slow.

I will try to get on as much as I can - when lambs are born, etc., but I know I won't be as regular as usual.  I wish all of you a blessed summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

No Beach for Me...

I got to school and sort of kept the lid on the kids until it was time to get on the bus for the beach.  It was day five of a fairly high fever for my youngest, so I took a couple of minutes to phone into the advice nurse. The verdict was bring her in, so no beach trip for me.  There was plenty of staff and very few kids, so I felt less guilty.

Several hours, four vials of her blood, and a throat swab later, we ruled out mononucleosis, liver issues, appendicitis and discovered strep.  This means that since my throat has been sore, I am due for a throat culture, too, but I think I might give it a miss.  I really think mine is more of an ear ache/sinus thing from the vog and I didn't ever have that fever she had.

My husband finished the sheep barn - and it looks great.  I will take pictures tomorrow (Friday by the latest as that is Kamehameha Day, a State Holiday).  He made a section that the bigger rams can't get into, but the ewes and lambs can and it has it's own water catchment, so much easier to water, at least when it is raining.  I am pretty impressed - and the horses have their whole barn back!

Have to run to feed, collect eggs, and drive back down the mountain to get number three child from cheerleading practice.  Number three child says he is in it to learn how to do a backflip, but he is coming on 14 and I am wondering if the girls don't have a factor in the whole decision...  at the very least, his two best friends (twins) round out the male members of the squad, and the coach is ecstatic to have them.  Since number three child can't even do a cartwheel, yet, I do wonder how long she will feel that way....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Over It....Really...

The problem with leading two lives ("Farmer" and Teacher) or maybe three (should I add "Mother and Wife" as a separate life?) is that there just isn't time to do everything.  Add to that my horribly messy desk and the papers I still need to grade and the report card template I still need to fill out and the fact that today's registration was crazily badly handled, and I am reaching frustration levels.

On top of that, there are a bunch of not-for-blog issues going on.  Some of it is just working it's way through various systems and it will work out, even if I am loathing the timing of it all.  Some of it is fairly devastating, but is just a matter of getting through it and adapting.

I hereby ask for a break!  I need a day to sleep in and not have to look undone chores in the face (and not face disapproving faces), but I think it is a matter of "I will sleep when I am dead."  Oh, well.  Never give up, never give in.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Even though we only have a few kids in each class, we take as much time over their graduation as a bigger school.  Every single one of our graduates do a speech to reflect on whom they would like to thank on this special day.  They also have to walk down a line of teachers to receive hugs, congratulations, and a feather yarn lei (which the teachers make), get their diplomas, a small gift, then face that big crowd.  It's nice.  I cried buckets over our first class, but I had taught them since they were 6th graders;  I am proud to say I only shed a couple of tears this year.  It's pretty darn embarrassing to cry buckets in front of 500 people.  Even though we only have a few kids, they have big extended families!

This year we had the graduation at the Civic, which is also the basketball stadium.  I have to say we had enough help taking down the stage and the greenery (recycling to use on Wednesdays 8th grade graduation), but everyone dug out before we had to mop the floor.  There were two of us, dust mopping to get rid of flower petals from the leis - we thought we were done when the county workers pulled out the wet mops.  Although he grumbled a little in a nice way, he let us off most of the gym floor, but it took us a long time to mop the foyer where we served the cake.  His exact words, "You folks never know what for do - you supposed to mop from that door to this. Where you having graduation next yea?"  I told him we liked it here better than Aunty Sally's, but we'd get more help!  I have to say after we mopped that whole foyer (big as my house) thoroughly, he was in a better mood.

After mopping (in my good clothes and shoes!), we went to Ken's Pancake House.  If you are ever in Hilo, you need to eat there.  When someone orders a giant ("Sumo") saimin, they ring a bell and the whole establishment yells, "Sumo!"  It feels like the places that we used to go when we were small - it still has that old time Hawaii feel.  I had crab cakes benedict.  I should have ordered the half-order -  I am still stuffed.

We took my son and one of our students who helped to pack up and unload the stuff from the truck (lattice, monstera leaves, flags, banners, chairs).  My son is used to it, he just turns off his ears - but our student got an earful.  Now he knows conclusively that the teachers talk about the students, just like the students talk about the teachers (except without the profanity).  Things like, "Whose idea was it to spend all of Monday in advisories?  That one girl should just stay home - 8 hours in a room with her will kill me!"  We even talk about kids who graduated years ago - the joys of a small town and FB.

Well, today is grading day. My report cards are due tomorrow, which is rough, considering that there are three more days of school left.  Tomorrow is registration and advisory time - I am going to make them help me clean my room.  Tuesday is a beach day.  Wednesday is a park day for the entire K-12 school.  We're having the 8th grade graduation and a family talent show.  It should be fun.

I also have been told conclusively that my kids are starving and that I need to make bread, cookies, and microwavable food to fortify them for the week ahead.  The fact that my kids range from 11-18 and that their father is home doesn't seem to have any bearing on the fact that it is I who need to make all these things.  I think I need to do some re-training around here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thunderstorms and Graduation

I spent the middle part of the day helping to set up the Civic for our graduation.  We have a whopping 15 kids graduating tonight, but that is about par for us.  We used to use Aunty Sally's Luau Hale, but even with seating for 500, we would run out of seats - for just 15-16 graduates!  By using the Civic, we won't have to worry about that.

Only three staff and a significant other showed up for the set up, so we gals had to lug a bunch of stage risers and lattice backgrounds around as well as make floral arrangements out of bird-of-paradise, monstera, ti leaf, and assorted palms.  Despite my and my co-workers lack of floral arrangement experience, they came out pretty nice.

I had to leave a bit early because I had to pick up my 16 year old from the SAT, and because, in spite of sleeping 6 hours during the day yesterday and 12 hours last night, I still felt pretty horrible.  It turned out my son was got picked up down in town after I fed him lunch, so I didn't even need to stay that late!

I know I have to go to the actual graduation - when you have a staff of 11, including classroom aides, it would be obvious if one teacher weren't there - but the Civil Defense is warning of flash flooding and I can barely swallow.  Staying home is definitely tempting.

I do have to go, though -so I had better get up and get the feeding and watering done so I can change and make it down in time.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!  One more week until school is pau for this year....then I can concentrate on the animals and the garden.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Due dates...

I really know I should get a marker for Elvis and separate him out when needed so I can get an idea of due dates.  At the moment, I have all the sheep together in a "natural flock" but I need to be a bit more organized with my breeding, if only for my own sanity! So far, I have been just watching his behavior with the ewes and when he stops hounding them, I figure they're pregnant.  Not very methodical.  Hair sheep can breed all year around, and generally can lamb 3 times every two years.

I do know when Sally, the Dorper ewe, was bred (January 23), so I have a good idea on her expected lambing, but I am still feeling anxious.  I even had a dream last night.  It's her first lambing and she just seems so small, frame-wise, compared to my other ewes.  I am hoping that everything goes well.  I may have to resort to a baby monitor in the next week or two.  It seems that the ram they use over at Olde Flume Farms doesn't throw twins as often as Elvis, so I may be looking at a single lamb, which would be a bit of a relief, but I am still nervous about her.

Audrey may be farther along than I thought.  I was expecting her to lamb in the middle of September, but she is looking rounder than two months along.

Along those lines, my husband is making a larger sheep shed for all of them, and we will be able to have better lamb jugs rather than the make shift structures we've been making with pallets and plywood to date. The structure has been ready for the roofing, but we were waiting for an opportunity to pick up the recycled roofing that my husband bartered work for.  He and my son were able to pick it up yesterday, but he is feeling as under-the-weather as I am, so it will have to wait a few more days.

A new sheep shed means the horses will both have a stall at feeding time instead of having to share (they are big stalls), which will be good.  Ohia has been having to eat outside in the pasture because Crazy Gib has been crazier than usual.  Ohia is deathly afraid of him at feeding time - they seem to get along at other times.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Early Day

I started to have a sore throat last night, but went into work because I was the point person for our Student Led Conferences.  It was a nice day, as long as I could last, but I finally punked out at 12 and came home.

It is a sunny beautiful day, but I am just not feeling well enough to do anything right now. Well, I did water the greenhouse plants and picked a few tomatoes - there will be cucumbers this evening, but I thought I would pick them right before I was ready to make the tomato cucumber mozzarella salad.

Next week is the last week of school.  I have started to think about which projects to put on the "Summer To Do" list:

  • Work on that Hawaiian Quilt pillow I have been working on sporadically for two years. 
  • Plant the seed potatoes that are in my fridge. 
  • Resurface the horse stalls (depends on income for cinder/sand). 
  • Deep clean the house (school break perennial task). 
  • Get an outside garden started (watermelon, beans, start the collards and other cabbage-like, re-plant my yellow taro huli, turnips, beets, carrots, onion, maybe corn - but it's pretty hard here, not enough sunny days in a row)
  • Start the asparagus bed. 
  • Start and artichoke bed. 
  • Cook and can things in anticipation of the craziness of getting back to school in August. 
  • Ride!  
I guess those are the big things right now.  I will probably end up driving kids around - I really need to help my son get his license!  It's just that he isn't that observant or quick enough with the brakes on his own - most of the time he drives well, but then he'll do something scary that has dad or I yelling, "BRAKE NOW!!"  He has a job starting next week up at a lab near the University, which is very cool, but will take some scheduling and effort until (and maybe even after) he gets his license.  I am fine with him driving to school for cross country conditioning - but the town run, considering his seeming obliviousness to cars pulling out from side streets and inexperience with lane changes, is a bit scary.  The more he drives it, though, the better he'll get - and at least the job means he will have gas money.  

The "kid's car" is an old Volvo.  It is rough to start and pretty much a beater - reminds me of my sister's and my first car in some ways, except this one is in worse shape!  It's a good car to start with, though - except for the rough starting, it is pretty solid and safe and has virtually no blind spot.  It carries a LOT of animal feed and bedding when it needs to - but the heater is perpetually on, which will be a bummer in Hilo in the summer.  

The more I drive, the less time I have to do the projects, so I hope we can arrange it well.  

I am off to take a nap to hopefully shake this sore throat/ear ache.  I need to do my grades, clean my classroom and organize my books and materials a bit!  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Came home and my kids had cleaned up the basement tv area, the eleven year old had made the pizza dough and she sewed a little pouch with a button for me.  I am pretty amazed and pleased.

Once again, I have to say, "Yay for kids!"  (and yay for husbands who get after them to do something other than sit in front of electronic devices all day).

Drove through a pounding rain downpour - knew I had to beat it up the mountain, so I could stay semi-dry while opening the gate.  I won the race with the rain, thankfully, but I hear it coming now.  I noticed the blackberry bushes on the fence near the driveway are loaded with blossoms.  In 15 years, we've only had one year of enough berries for pie - I hope this will be another one of those years!


So, I get to school, and there is a depressed and sad 16 year old boy sitting in my room.  It's his birthday, and he has missed the last several days of school because his ride flaked out, so he's scrambling to make up finals he missed and stuff like that.  He lives quite far away and the opposite direction, so there is no chance I could pick him up - but I could buy him a cake, and that is what I did.

We crammed about 40 kids in my room, sang "Happy Birthday" and ate cake and drank orange juice.

He told me later that I turned the day around for him.  I tell you - just him telling me that turned my whole WEEK around.  Yay for kids!

I get very stressed out when it is my turn to plan the Student Led Conferences, and this go around was so much more stressful than usual, even though my co-worker did a chunk of it for me because I was working on the Hiki No episode, but once the conferences start and the kids start presenting, all the stress melts away.  It is so fun to celebrate what they are doing in their classes and how they are growing to be adults bit by bit.  I usually put myself on some of the "hard" panels, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well prepared and articulate all these kids were today - surprised and very proud.

One more day of conferences, and then it's registration (surprisingly hard for a school with only 120 kids), a beach day (how many schools can take their entire student body to the beach for the day?), and then a K-12 talent show and ho'olaule'a and then pau.  Hallelujah!  Just have to grade those last few papers, do my report cards, live through a talent show, registration,  and a beach day and pau hana!  Okay, yeah, when I list it all out like that, it sounds like a lot (yikes) but the one beastly week will be over and it will be time to work on the garden, ride the horses, clean the house, and sleep for at least a week.