Thursday, January 23, 2014

What is it About January?

Is it the arrival of the seed catalogs?  It is the end of Christmas and the turn of a new year?  I always start dreaming big in January.

I found my last year's January notebook with lists of seeds and prices and garden plot sketches and big plans.  None of them really came true.  I guess it's my version of resolutions (although I did lose weight!).  I guess I am no more successful than many at keeping those resolutions.  The fact is, when school is in session (which is going to include the bulk of the summer this year),  I am gone 12-13 hours a day and keeping up with things at home is difficult.  Track is fast approaching, and that means a couple of months of Saturdays gone.  My son said repeatedly he didn't mind if we didn't come watch - so I took him up on it, just coming back for his last race - but he was obviously upset later when he admitted it.  So my husband bought up stadium chairs and a huge umbrella for the 8 hour+ track meets so we can sit there without killing our ʻōkole and getting sunburned/wet.  Track is a bunch of waiting for a few seconds of exciting.

Speaking of hurrying up and waiting for runners - my son ran as part of a three member relay team on Saturday.  They collectively ran 31+ miles from sea level to nearly 4000 feet in elevation.  Each member ran 5 two and a bit mile sections.  Someone has to drive and park every two miles to drop off the next runner and pick up the one who is just finishing.  The race went near our house, so I ran out to the road to watch for my kid.  I went out an hour early, because I misread the clock, but I cheered on the front runners for the ultramarathon (some crazy people ran the whole 31+ miles alone).  It was exciting, and I almost wished I could be part of a team.  I found myself telling my daughter, "You and your sister and I should be a team next year?  Wouldn't that be fun?"  As clear as a thought bubble, I saw, "Umm, no..." in her eyes. 

We are getting closer to having a bigger, newly stocked chicken area.  I am thinking Barred Rocks this time...not real happy with the Aracauna hens.  Does anyone have Barred Rocks?  I am looking for a fairly prolific layer that can also double as a meat bird.  We have a few Buff Orpingtons, which I have always liked, but I want to try something different this time.

The two dogs are adjusting to the loss of our alpha dog, and it's been interesting to watch.  They jockeyed some for alpha position, had to be scolded for misbehavior that had been stopped (chasing sheep, snapping at hens), and the little one who was always focused on the other dogs is now focusing more on the humans - a good thing.  Both of them learned new tricks this week (simple ones, like sit up and lay down) because of the new human focus.  I miss Balto, but the other dogs have been a focus which helps. 

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