Just friends

I’m so frustrated, ya’ll. Josh and I were both out late last night and when Josh got home Mae Mae wasn’t in the coop.

We haven’t seen hide nor feather of her. No trace. Damn hawks or eagles. 

They might be the hardest predators to thwart. I hate to not let the chickens free range, but I’m thinking the only way to keep them safe is to keep them locked in their fenced area unless we’re home and outside or the dogs are outside. Harder to do on the weekends when we’re in and out, but I think it’s the only way we’re going to stop losing hens. We may even have to string some poultry netting across that fenced area.

#prayersForMaeMae

On a side note, I took tomorrow off work and it’s going to be a beautiful 70 degree day. We’re (#fingerscrossed) going to pick up some free wood chips and then I’ll be well on my way to having the garden ready for planting. I’m hoping by the end of the weekend to have it fenced and ready to go.

I can’t wait to get my carrot seeds planted. I swear carrots might be the most satisfying plant to harvest. The ones I planted in the doomed fall garden have sprung to life as the days have lengthened and temps warmed. I picked a few today. A couple of them were really good size!


In just a few months we’ll be getting yellow, orange and purple ones.

Progress

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since May! I’m not going to even try to catch up. Needless to say it was an awesome summer filled with Busch Gardens, Water Country, boat rides, a visit from family and lots of ice cream.

Now we’re getting in gear for fall. Today is the day I visit the attic and pull out the Halloween decorations. I’ve already made chili and cornbread once and I’m starting to transition from iced coffe to hot.

Nolan moved rooms at daycare twice since we last spoke. Due to his late birthday he had to be on the fast track to the pre-k class. He’s doing well and I’ve seen a lot of positive changes with his behavior and attitude.  

He seems to have suddenly turned into a more rough and tumble boy lately.  It’s been quite a month with him between a concussion, croup, bruised rubs, and hitting himself in the face with a shovel. 0_o 

I for one can’t wait for Kindergarten. His school is on the corner of our neighborhood and after school care is in the school. I hope everything works out the way we hope and our commute will be cut by a good hour/day. I plan to walk him to school with the dogs and if possible go home on the afternoons, get the dogs and then get him. The afternoon is more iffy but the mornings should be fine and walking is easier than driving because that drop-off line gets crazy.

My summer garden did pretty well. Better than last year. Got a lot of beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, a little lettuce, some kale, one carrot. 



There isn’t any great area in our yard with a lot of sun so stuff came in late and some didn’t grow at all. I think part of it was the seed pods I used.

To get ready for fall I pulled out the pepper plants that weren’t producing and put them in containers and they’re doing much better, though I don’t know if they’ll actually bear any fruit.


We have been getting jalapeños now and I made some salsa with the last of my tomatoes and it’s amazing! I don’t even like salsa. 

I really enjoy gardening so for fall I’ve expanded.



I built that fence and gate by myself when Josh and Nolan were out of town. Go me.

Nolan helped me make the mounds and plant the seeds yesterday.  He also wrote most of the labels. Can you believe it!? I mean he had help with some letters, but still.


I had already planted seeds in the boxes and they’re doing okay but I needed to replant the lettuce and some kale because we had crazy rains two weeks ago that ruined it. We got 10 inches of rain in 3 days and schools were even closed.

This year we’ve used a bit of our own compost and a little we bought (needed some to plant grass seed). By next year we shouldn’t need to buy anymore. The chickens provide plenty of compost with their poop, pine bedding and then whatever scraps we throw out there.

Speaking of the chickens they’re doing pretty well. We only have 2 of the original 6 left. Predators (fox – 2, Hawk -1, Monty -1) got four of them. We ended up driving out to Windsor to buy 4 more Buff Orringtons the same age.

Right now we’re averaging about 2 eggs/ day. Some are definitely being slackers. Our favorite chicken (we call her Chicken Parrot) is the only one producing daily.

The black chicken (we call her Fancy) we know isn’t producing because she’s the only one who should be laying white eggs rather than brown (you can tell by the color of their ears).

The difference we’ve noticed with our eggs are harder shells and brighter yolks.

Okay, well, I think that might bring us up to speed for how and I’ll try to update more regularly.

Hello and Goodbye

So, we got a dog. And then we took him back to the shelter a month later.  Before you judge, hear me out.

We’ve been looking to get a new dog for a few years now.  We had to put our Rottweiler/Lab mix down a few months after Nolan was born.  He was an awesome dog.  Loved to fetch. Not a big cuddler, but he was 90 lbs, so that’s fine. 🙂

We’ve been going to shelters off and on for that entire time.  Our little dog, Goliath, was a mess between our attention shifting to Nolan and losing Rusty.  He started peeing in the house (only on the carpet downstairs of course) and crating him didn’t help because it was spiteful.  He’d come in from outside and go pee downstairs (never caught the little f*!&er in the act, though).  We knew he needed company, but it had to be the “right” dog.

Finally…finally, we were in the SPCA one day and came across Kano, a pit bull (mix, supposedly).   His eyes just drew me in.  They were a beautiful gold color.

We thought about it for a week and took Nolan and Goliath for the required meet and greets.  Kano was super chill and mostly ignored both of them.  We went to the pet store to get everything we needed and then went and picked him up the next day.

FB_IMG_1451401068544We were definitely a little nervous about getting a pit bull so we followed all the instructions about keeping a leash on him for a few days and not letting the dogs eat together, etc., etc.  Kano LOVED snuggles and cuddling on the couch.  He was calm and hardly ever barked.

20151115_12034620151115_145546  20151116_20265020151117_20253920151117_202514After a couple of weeks we loosened the reins a bit. Another week or so after that Kano snapped at Goliath because Goliath was eating out of his bowl.  We tried to keep them separated during meal times again after that, but there were certainly times I was distracted and it didn’t happen.  All was well for another two or three weeks and then it happened again. Kano stopped without my interference (I wasn’t about to get in the middle) and Goliath acted like nothing had happened.  They were still playing together.

A day or two later I felt a scab on Goliath and found a puncture wound, quite deep on his shoulder and a couple of other scratches.  Of course, we had to assume it either happened when that incident occurred or when we were gone.  Oddly, Goliath never acted afraid of Kano or seemed hurt in any way unless you touched the wounds.

We had tried crating Kano, but he busted out within a minute so that wasn’t an option.  Our doors have those long, horizontal handles and he’d learned to open them so no keeping him in a room.

We felt like we really didn’t have a choice except to take him back to the shelter.  It was really a painful decision and brings tears to my eyes just to think about it.  In a home without other animals he was literally a perfect pet.  Didn’t shed much, super cuddly, loved car rides, didn’t bark much, etc.  His favorite place to sleep was Nolan’s bed, which is what we’d dreamed of in a new dog.  But, we just weren’t comfortable having him in the house any more.

It really hurts my heart because we’d all become attached to him.  Nolan is at an age where he’s not going to forget Kano quickly.  And Kano wasn’t/isn’t a bad dog.

I keep feeling guilty that I didn’t do more.  Maybe we should have tried a little longer.  I certainly shouldn’t have gotten lax about isolating them when eating.  But, while I truly don’t think Kano would have ever hurt Nolan, Nolan is at an age where he does the exact opposite of what we ask him to do and I can totally see him messing with Kano while he’s eating just because I said not to and I can’t guarantee I won’t get distracted and if something happened…I just couldn’t handle it.

The whole thing just sucks.  The SPCA does food aggression tests and Kano passed.  That was the frustrating part.  He didn’t get upset every time.  Maybe it was when he was extra hungry, maybe he was in a bad mood…who knows?  We don’t even know it happened then, either, because Goliath certainly didn’t act like a dog that got bit.

Shit, we don’t even know 100% that Kano did it.  We’ve had a bald eagle (yes, a bald eagle)  in the back yard, lately, and Goliath is only 9 lbs. so he’s basically a squirrel to an eagle.  Of course, Josh came up with a wild theory after the fact that the eagle tried to take Goliath and Kano saved him.  It’s more than a little out there and we definitely had to operate off the most likely scenario, but it did put a little doubt in our heads.

We aren’t those people who think pets are disposable.  I promise you, Goliath’s non-stop barking, peeing on the carpet, jerkface little butt would be gone.  I actually joked that we should take Goliath to the shelter and keep Kano, but of course we’d never do that.  That’s not how pet ownership works.

If anyone out there has a home without pets and small kids or knows someone who is and is looking for a wonderful, calm pet, then please contact me and I’d love to give you more information.

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20151128_173341He really is a wonderful dog and hurts my heart to know he’s back in the shelter.

Life, Lately

Wow! It’s been so long since I posted, I’m surprised I remembered my password.

The short story is that I started a new position where I simply don’t have time to blog.  While to many it may seem a strange departure to go from a professional job as an instructional designer, a job that requires a Masters degree, to an admin job, I saw it a little differently.

To be clear, it’s in the same company and in the same department.  I felt I needed to get more exposure to the department and the company as a whole. This position, while administrative, is assistant to the Vice President of the department and as I transition in, I take over other duties left by unfilled positions, like the department’s budget and our company’s award program (open to all 30,000 people in the company).

Basically in my old job I knew nothing about anything except my little niche area.  Now I need to know everything about everything.  It’s been a steep learning curve, but so far I’m doing pretty well, I think.  ::knocks on wood::

So there’s the answer to my absence.  But Christmas is almost here and I’m looking forward to some time off.

This morning I was thinking of all the cute things Nolan is saying and doing lately and wanting to capture them on the blog.  Of course, I’ve already forgotten half of them, but here are a few.


 

“When I was in college….”

“When I was a younger man…”

“I was over at the kid’s hospital and my girlfriend fell down and I helped her up and took her to the doctor.”

“I think Dad is going to give me his credit card.”

We went to see the ice show at Christmastown a few weeks ago.  While everyone else is singing along to Christmas carols, Nolan is singing, “We will rock you!” and when it’s over and people cheer, he yells, “Booooo!”

I ask him why his shins are covered in bruises and he dramatically re-enacts how he fell down, thus probably giving himself more bruises.

 

Halloween 2015

I know everyone is already moving on to Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I’m just not there, yet.

This year, for Halloween, we did it up! I love Halloween and really wanted to have a Halloween party.  Since Josh was working on Halloween, we did it the weekend before and I *may* have gone a little Pinterest crazy.

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Found these candy knives at the grocery store and couldn’t resist.

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Hay bales around the fire pit with s’mores.

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Nolan took one look at the “body” and used it as a race track for his Hot Wheels. LOL

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This guy was “cute” according to Nolan.

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And I was “pretty.” I’m a little worried about him. 😉

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Pretzels with marshmallows, covered in white chocolate. Not as easy to make as one might think.

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Spider eggs.

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Someone couldn’t keep their dinner down.

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Our little “graveyard.”

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Toilet paper/Paper towel rolls with LED tealights in them for creeeepy eyes outside.

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What a blast! Now I have to top it next year. ha.


On the Friday before Halloween we carved our pumpkin.  I can’t remember the last time I bothered to make a real effort.  This was so easy!  I’m glad I went for something a little more fun this year.

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That night after Josh went to work, Nolan insisted on wearing his costume around the house while we watched Hocus Pocus.  I got lucky this year because the only thing I needed to buy was tape.  We already had the rain coat, rain boots, black pants, firefighter shirt, and firefighter hat.  Josh and I made the hose and backpack out of soda bottles and a car heater hose.

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Halloween day was pretty much  the best ever. I suppose it was the combination of it being on a Saturday and Nolan’s age. I propose a national movement to make Halloween always on a Saturday.

We went to Town Center for a trick or treat event. It was PACKED!  There were long lines for everything.  I think he maybe got 6 pieces of candy.  After we stood in line for a caricature (free), I was pretty much done.

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After nap time we went over to Ken’s house so Josh could trick or treat with us before he went to work.  We brought Ken a pumpkin so his wife, Julie, could have her first Jack O’ Lantern (she moved here from Switzerland, and the Philippines before that back in the Spring).

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We trick or treated for about and hour and a half.  I am REALLY glad we brought the wagon.  Nolan pretended it was a fire truck and would make siren noises as I walked.  He also insisted I address him as “Firefighter.”  “Say, ‘Please come here, FIREMAN!.'”

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From there we went to an “after party” at a friend’s house and headed home close to 10pm.  I transferred Nolan to his bed and then hit the hay myself.  Another successful Halloween in the books.

Ruminations

I was just thinking that it always seems like this time of year is when I slow down on posts for a while and then it picks up in late winter through the summer.  Fall and the holidays are just so busy that even when I do have time to blog, I get overwhelmed by how much I want to recap and then I give up.

We’re even busier this year because Nolan is doing gymnastics on Mondays and soccer on Tuesdays (today is the last game, thank goodness).  He loves both of them, though I think gymnastics ranks a bit higher because it’s mostly just awesome playtime for an hour and mom isn’t constantly yapping at him to “stay on the field!”, “the other goal!”, “no hands!”…lol.

I’ve been struggling a little with our morning routine during the week.  It’s a little hard to explain, but I’m just tired of always being in a rush and sometimes I just want my tired three year old to sleep if he wants to (because, you know, three year olds always want to sleep in on weekdays and are up at 6am on weekends).  It doesn’t really matter if we get up early or not.  There’s always some sort of meltdown on the way out the door which makes me stressed about being late to work.

It doesn’t help that I’ve been trying to give Nolan more responsibility, like making his bed and picking out his clothes which adds time to our morning, but I think is crucial to his development.  I tried having him pick out his clothes at night and then he just changed his mind in the morning. :/

Yesterday I ended up leaving him at home with Josh as he had a meltdown about wearing shorts (it was 40 degrees).  Josh ended up taking him to daycare at like 10AM.  If Josh hadn’t been home I guess I would’ve just let him wear shorts and brought pants for him to wear when he got cold.

This morning he was able to sleep until 7:15 because he had a dentist appointment at 9:30.  We had a nice leisurely morning. Until he went to time out right before we needed to leave and the I had to physically carry him to the car kicking and screaming. Le sigh.

So, I’m in this weird place where I half wish I was a SAHM because I’m tired of rushing around in the mornings, I’m tired of having to figure out “how sick” he might be when he’s sick because if he’s not “that” sick then I need to save the time for when he is because I’ll not only need to stay at home with him but I’ll be sick myself soon after.  I hate having to send him when he doesn’t feel well.  Sometimes I just want to lounge around and relax with my kid more than once/week (because church on Sundays).

Not to mention all the things I’d love to do around the house if I just had more time.

But then…age three is exhausting and I’d probably tear all my hair out. (We’ve had meltdowns about wanting “warm ice cream” and because we didn’t know how to tie his shoelaces “in a circle”.)

And I probably couldn’t afford to do any projects around the house if I wasn’t working.  Shoot, I don’t think we could afford the house itself.

And it’s funny because you’d think this would all be accompanied by unhappiness at work, but no.  I’m probably the most challenged (in a good way) and busy at work as I’ve ever been.

So strange.  I think I might be in the beginnings of a mid-life crisis.  They say they often accompany the loss of a parent/parents, right (my dad passed away 7 years ago, before my first blog so some might not know he’s gone).

Life is short, man? Do I want to spend the next 25 years of mine in an office?

All I’m saying is…don’t be surprised if you find out we’ve sold our house and are touring around in an RV. 🙂

 

Blog Update

So, if anyone is wondering…I managed to lose the entire blog.  I had the domain and hosting on recurring payment with GoDaddy, but my card had been replaced and I didn’t realize it was tied to a card and not my bank account. So…I somehow managed to not even visit my own blog for a month and when I did I realized it was down.

I thought I could just pay what I owed and it would pop back up, but no. Nope. All gone.  The only think saving me from crying at my desk is the fact that the Wayback Machine crawled the blog in early August (THANK GOD) and I should be able to save the important ones by copying and pasting.

Once I recover them, I’m probably going to use Blog2Print to save everything important in book form.

So, that’s it for now.  I’ll be back soon with posts on Nolan’s 3rd birthday, our trip to Vegas and other random updates.

 

Best Day EVER!

I figured after yesterday’s negativity, I should write about how awesome our Sunday had been.

We were up at 6:59 (by we, I mean Nolan) and went to the early service at church.

After church we went to the gym since we didn’t make it on Saturday.  Nolan wasn’t in much of a mood to be left at the gym child care.  After 25 intense minutes on the Expresso Bike I went to get a towel, which is inconveniently in front of the glass enclosed childcare area.  Nolan was waiting at the gate.  I couldn’t bear to leave him again, since I could hear him yelling “mama” so I just went and got him.

I had driven all the way to Downtown Norfolk (their childcare opens the earliest) and it seemed like a waste for 25 minutes.  So, I figured, let’s have an adventure.

There’s a Tide lightrail station behind the Y, so we bought a ticket and hopped on.

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IMG_20150712_110234I decided it would be fun to document our adventure via Instagram (@admeyerlife) so there’s plenty of pictures.  We rode just a few stops to Harbor Park and then started walking back towards MacArthur center.  I figured we could eat lunch at D’Egg.

IMG_20150712_111819This area is where I walk or run during lunch on weekdays, and it’s really nice, but there’s NO SHADE.  Nolan was a trooper, since it was warm and I didn’t have any water.  I kept him motivated with the promise of boat sightings and mac N’ cheese for lunch.

IMG_20150712_113701See…a boat!  I felt bad I didn’t plan ahead and have a swimsuit for him.  There’s a little splash pad right here and he asked to go in, but when I said no he was a good sport about it.

IMG_20150712_114525^^ That’s not a tantrum that’s just him enjoying the cool grass as he jumps on his knees. Because…2.  ^^

D’egg was too busy so we went a little further (such a trooper!) and had Max & Erma’s in the mall.

IMG_20150712_120334 He had mac n’ cheese with fruit and I had a huge salad.

20150712_122013[1]He was so good while we were there that I got him a warm chocolate chip cookie with milk.  And if you give a kid some milk….he’s going to want to blow bubbles.

After lunch we went to Gymboree to get him a hat since I can never keep track of his hats.  Luckily they were having 40% off everything, including clearance.  So, we ended up with the hat, sunglasses and “flip shoes” as Nolan called them (flip flops).

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We hopped on the train and went back to retrieve the car.  This is Nolan’s face when I said we were heading home.

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Ha!  Actually, the day pretty much just stayed awesome from there.  We woke Josh up (he worked the night before), got cleaned up, and went to a family BBQ where Nolan got to play with the big kids and everyone had a blast.

Seriously…best Sunday, ever!

Morning from Hell!

Did you ever have one of those mornings where you feel like you need to document it because otherwise you couldn’t believe it happened?

That was my morning.  Barring injuries or death I’d have to say it was top 10 worst mornings.

Get up early-ish (for me) and decide to take a relaxing bath.  Start running the water. Nolan wakes up.

Getting ready to leave and Nolan is having a tantrum for unknown reasons.

Get in the car (Josh’s because the A/C went out in our “new” van).  Nolan is screaming.  Realize we need gas.

Stop at gas station.  Push fuel door button. Nothing. Push it again. Nothing.  Push it again, button implodes all over the ground.

Looking for button parts all over ground littered with chicken bones.  Can’t find spring. Think I’m imagining things and there wasn’t a spring. Put button in. Nope, must be a spring. Find spring.  Button is stuck and can’t get it out to put spring in. Try for 5 minutes. Say fuck it, drive home to get the van.

Gate has the wood behind it (so people can’t open it from the front). Go inside and around to open the gate (van is in back yard). Get in van to pull it out front.  Realize it’s almost out of gas.  Almost have a Steel Magnolias moment.

Transfer everything into van (including child).  Get to gas station. Don’t know where Amex card is. Hope it’s in Josh’s car and didn’t drop it when I was parked in this same spot 10 minutes ago. Will look when I get home and hope no one charges a car (not that my limit is that high).

indexTry to put gas in car.  Pump is apparently not working with cards.  Scream in frustration.

Drive towards daycare.  Tell Nolan that mommy is sorry for being grumpy.  Stop at gas station near daycare. Get out.  Realize I drove there with the fuel door open and gas cap hanging out. Put gas in car.

Drive to daycare. Nolan has a meltdown when I need to leave.  Go to work.

Garden Update

I’m about 2.5 weeks into this gardening thing and I thought I’d give an update.  So far, so good!  I feel really good about the progress and I’m proud to say I’ve gone against my general laziness and watered them every day rain or shine because it’s been so hot.

For a refresher here’s what’s where (the three original beds are the three on top here, from left to right):

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Here are the progress pics of the three original beds.

June 8, 2015

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June 25, 2015

20150624_185929Thoughts: The tomatoes and cucumbers are doing really well!!  I’ve started clearing space between/around the beds of grass because I know I will have to let the cucumbers lay outside of the beds at some point because they’re going to outgrow the beds.

One edamame plant looks great and the other withered and died…on the surface, but I’m pretty sure there’s something sprouting from the roots.  With regard to the carrots…I’m not sure.  I’m having a hard time figuring out what’s carrots and what’s a weed.  That’s what happens when you’re growing from a seed.  Just in case I accidentally pulled the wrong thing, I may throw a couple more seeds in there, but with toothpicks this time to mark where exactly they are.

 

June 8, 2015

20150610_195936June 25, 2015

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Thoughts: The peppers and cucumbers are doing great here, too.  Except…something is eating my pepper leaves. :( They’re all chewed up.  I think I’m going to try this: Bacillus thuringiensis.

Just like with the carrots in the first bed, I think lettuce seedlings are even harder to distinguish between seedling and weed.  I’m just not going to pull anything unless it’s not remotely close to where I planted and hope for the best.

June 8, 2015

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June 25, 2015

20150624_18582920150624_185904Thoughts: Watermelon plant is growing and tomatoes are appearing!  Seedling story is the same as above.


 

I did end up adding two more beds.

Watermelon

20150624_185805Zucchini

The zucchini sprouted up literally overnight and with relatively big sprouts.  I wish the carrots and lettuce would move that quick so it was easier to tell what’s what.

20150624_185751My blueberries are done for the season.  All 10 of them LOL

But, I’m trying to tame my blackberries a little so they’re easier to get to.

20150624_190152    20150624_190002 Nolan ate all of these and asked for more.  I tried to explain why that wasn’t possible, but he didn’t seem accepting of my answer. LOL

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