Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Shamelss Promotion of My Animal Family

Hereʻs my Gibby boy: 


 I think heʻs very distinguished in his middle age, even if he does need a good brushing. 



And here are the goat boys:
Poor camera quality, but they are so cute.  They love to give kisses (or maybe they just think my hair is food). 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Treating Abscesses

The pasture horse, Gibby Crazy Horse (who is getting less crazy the more he does lawn ornament duty), has an abscess in his front left hoof.  I am very familiar with abscesses and hooves, to my sadness, because of my late, beloved Ohia, who was laminitic. 

Of course, the lingering craziness of Gibbyʻs mind makes treating the issue a little more difficult than Iʻd want.  I find trapping him in his stall, stalking him until I can put the halter on (a matter of two minutes now - rather than 15) and firmly pretending heʻs not scared at all works just fine.  Horses are very amenable to suggestion: projecting that theyʻre panicking tricks them into thinking they arenʻt panicking.  Itʻs pretty fun to watch.  The nice thing about horses that are scared of people is they reliable run away from you, not over you.  Donʻt take that a safety advice - it works for Gibby, but not for every horse! 

I slapped a poultice of bran, epsom salt, and iodine on his hoof. Heʻs still a little sore this morning, but much, much more comfortable. 

Nice to know I still got it - although I hope I donʻt need it that often! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Two Down, One to Go

At least this year.... graduations, that is.

My oldest two graduated yesterday.  My daughter decided not to walk, which saved us logistics of trying to figure out how to attend two ceremonies on two different islands.  She flew in just in time to see her brotherʻs ceremony. 

It was really, really long, and really, really uncomfortable.  It was held in the Edith Kanakaole Tennis stadium - stadium seats are not my favorite), and there were 900 graduates.  I am fairly sure my own college graduation was about the same size - and half the length.  My younger son said, definitively, "I am not walking in four years; that was awful!"  Oh well, I still had time to tear up when older son marched in to Pomp and Circumstance and turned around to wave at us (well, probably, really, his girlfriend). Also, by fortunate chance, happened to sit in the row below my best friend.  We donʻt teach together any more, so it was super great to see her.  She even brought a maile lei for my son.  I am a terrible friend and didnʻt remember her daughter was graduating, too!  Sonya is someone ver special! 

I got a great picture of all the kids together (rare), and my son gave his sister the mortarboard cap to wear so they both looked like graduates! 

On the farm front, Gibby Crazy Horse has an abscess brewing - I spent part of the morning soaking him up and giving him horse aspirin.  Poor guy.  I havenʻt had to deal with one of these for years, since I put Ohia down. 

The bucklings are making no progress at all at cleaning that obnoxious new weed that is taking over the pasture, although they are valiantly trying.  I think I need to think about more goats - or at least a doe, so I can raise my own goats.  They are quite a bit more expensive than sheep here.

Two more weeks of school.  Really only a week and a half - although the graduation is in 13 days.  I would get a LOT more excited about this if I werenʻt teaching two summer school classes - writing intensive (with the emphasis on intense).  I am excited, because I love to teach these classes and I am a little apprehensive, because I think I may just be flat out exhausted at the end of the 5 weeks.  On the home front, this year has been - well, itʻs been terribly stressful.  On the school front, itʻs been great - I have a new partner teacher whom I love working with.  Weʻre even sharing a room this year, and itʻs been pretty cool.  For one thing, I get to not have to totally float (weʻre short rooms, so one person in each department floats), and for another, we got to the point where we co-plan and so we get to see each other teach the lessons we planned together. The class that happens at the end of the day gets the best version of the lesson because we change right there.  Fortunately, classes rotate around, so itʻs not the same class every day. 

I think I need to get into blogging again - this is all over the place!  Thanks for bearing with my ramblings. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Returning Oddly Late to the Game

Well, if anyone is still around, I apologize.  Itʻs been a wild year and a half for our family. 

The end of 2014 was full of the angst of the hurricane and a few other large storms, one of which took out our greenhouse, and the lava flow which took part of a cemetery and exactly one house in a nearby town.  Thankfully, it slowed and eventually stopped at the lower end of the flow.  Itʻs still flowing merrily at the top, but not, at the moment, threatening any human habitations.  Sometimes, I look at the vent - itʻs about ten miles away and sometimes I can see it smoking - and ponder Mauna Loa, which periodically inflates -  and wonder in a way I never have the entire 20 years weʻve lived here whether someday weʻll face what Pāhoa faced. 

2015  was filled with finishing my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards work, waiting semi-agonizingly for the results (I passed, Thank God, great kids, and a wonderful mentor), and dealing with surgeries: cancer (husbandʻs), pneumothorax (son, 100% collapse of left lung), a bout of pneumonia (mine)  - or maybe the flu: I was too busy handling the surgeries to figure out why I had a 103 fever for six days and a yucky junky cough for much longer - and yay! baby bucklings. 

Rufus and Biscuit joined the family in December of 2015.  We bottle fed them from a bucket fitted with nipples for three months and they are quite merrily a part of the family now. 

Since then, weʻve had one more (much smaller) pneumothorax - same son - much angst over college and scholarship applications and a few more family medical emergencies.  Folks, I am a complete emotional mess and waiting for the school year to end - joyfully and semi-emotionally, as three of my four kids graduate from one school or another (two from college and one from high school).  I look at my kids and see these beautiful, wonderful young adults, and I also see the enthusiastic, loving little folks they used to be, and itʻs killing me.  I am so proud of the now-people and I miss so much the then-people.  And if I think this is bad...I suspect the baby graduating next year will well and truly put me more firmly into emotional basketcase-ness. 

I have to explain graduations at the high school where I teach and where my kids attend.  Itʻs one big emotional, beautiful, crazy wonderful ceremony - hula, chanting, singing, Hawaiian names that take half a page to write and which tell a whole story in the one name (my kids arenʻt that lucky - their Hawaiian names consist of one Hawaiian noun each - well actually, my second child has two middle names, but thatʻs another story).  The song that they each sing breaks my heart every single year.  Itʻs called "The Prayer" and they sing in four-part harmony in both English and Hawaiian. If you are a parent, it is guaranteed to kill you.  I have been to years of these graduations; itʻs the same song every time and it kills me every, every time, but especially in the years my personal kids, my biological kids, graduate.

Soon, I know it will be too soon, my oldest son will get that job that heʻs been working so hard for (cʻmon Google, hire the kid - heʻs awesome) and leave the islands.  My oldest child will find her place and I can only hope itʻs still here in Hawai'i, and my younger son will be off to college.  I have one more year with one child in the nest, and then itʻs a new phase of life.  

I wonder what it will be like, and I mourn the life I am leaving, all at the same time.