Concord Grape - I got these seeds from an online auction from someone in the US. I planted some last year but none came up. I had them in a shallow container last year and I think it just dried out too much. I want to give this variety another chance. I know, Concord grapes should be easy enough to find in a nursery - why start them from seed? Well, because if I can start it from seed for next to no cost, why spend $20-$30 on a start? I did sow liberally in this container.
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) - I have tried these seeds before with no luck, but I'm giving them another try. I bought them from a US seller on eBay. I'd like to have some cherry trees to go in the orchard, and if I can start them cheaper, I think it's worth the wait a few extra years to grow it out and know I did it myself.
Carol's Grapes - Last year my mom sent me home from her house with a bag of tiny grapes that my aunt had given her. They seem to grow wild at her place, and she decided to share them. They're small, no bigger around than the nail on my pointer finger. Unfortunately, by the time I got them home and tried them, they were already starting to ferment. I ate a few of the good ones and dug the seeds out of the vine-dried ones. It has a pleasant sweet flavor, but without the astringent part you get with most purple grapes (at least the store bought ones that I've had access to). Each grape had 3-4 fairly large seeds. I've decided if they can grow wild there, they could grow wild here. I could plant them literally anywhere off the beaten path and let them do their thing. My aunt does not trellis, fertilize, or baby these, they just grow. I wouldn't mind easy, maintenance free food. I sowed liberally because last year I didn't have much luck with the Concord seeds and I wonder if grapes may be harder to germinate.
Sand Cherry - One day visiting my mom last summer, she had a small bag of cherries on her counter. A co-worker or a friend had given them to her calling them "sand cherries" and they were delicious. Unfortunately, I only managed to snag nine before my mom dropped them in the pot to make jelly. Of the nine seeds saved, I planted five in this container. I would be delighted if these came up because the cherries were really tasty. If I recall properly they had more juice and smaller pit-to-cherry ratio than the Nanking cherries we have in the yard.
How did we celebrate being nearly kid-free? Tony, #5, and I ate Burger King, which Tony picked up on his way home from dropping #4 off. Then we decided to go to Dairy Queen for dessert. My mistake. I've eaten there a few times, and as long as I take double lactose pills, plus food pills, plus probiotics, I haven't gotten sick yet. Yesterday I got really sick because I ate three chocolate chip cookies without taking pills. I should have known it would throw my tummy off, but I went and ate anyway. A couple hours later I was in severe pain. I took ibuprofen and took a long hot shower. The pain meds have kicked in now, but now it's late at night. Tony has gone to bed without me, and here I sit, alone at the kitchen table, typing up a blog.
Did I mention it's really quiet? No fighting at bedtime, no 25 trips to the bathroom to try to stay up a little later, no snoring, no coughing, no giggling from watching YouTube or reading a fanfic in bed... Just, quiet. I can hear the computer fan hum, I can hear the incubator egg turner engine running, the ticking of my keys is really the only thing that breaks the silence right now. I must admit, it's something I could enjoy from time to time. I know it's a rarity now, which is why it's so great. I'm sure the novelty will wear off next year when #5 starts going to school with the other kids, and I'm left alone all day.
This is something I actually have anxiety about. Surely I'm not the only parent of a large family dealing with this transition. I have always been "Mom." I never had an adult life without my kids - My husband and I married before we graduated high school, and our oldest daughter was born when we were both 18 years old. I have literally spent the last 17+ years being a mom. And yes, I'll still be a mom, but when your whole identity is "stay at home mom" - what happens when all the kids go to school? Then what? What am I during the day? I'll have nobody at home to "mom" anymore.
Part of me is excited to have so much time to myself. I can finally get caught up on house chores. I can have quiet time to do some hobbies. Maybe I'll take up new hobbies. I will be able to go do barn chores, take a shower, and use the toilet without a little one asking me what I'm doing, how much longer I'll be, and needing help with something. A little bit of me worries I may spoil myself with all the quiet time. I mean, will I like my kids less when they come home and the whole house becomes a circus again? Or will it allow me to have reset time while they're gone so I can be a better parent when they come home at the end of the school day?
Then the anxiety kicks in. Thanks Asperger's and overthinking everything. How many kindergartners are killed by school buses every year? How often are children sexually assaulted by other students while riding the school bus? My kids never said naughty words until they rode the bus and were exposed to them by other kids. My son is five and he's my last baby - will sending him to school and exposing him to other peoples' kids mean the end of Easter and Christmas traditions? School shootings are a very real thing these days. My nephew's school was shut down last year due to a credible threat of an active shooter (who was caught and arrested off school property before he could carry out his plan), and the local school has already had at least one "soft lock down" when someone made a verbal threat to staff members. Part of me wants to online school #5, just to avoid sending him into the public school system. I want more time with him, I don't know that he's psychologically ready for what comes with school. Early mornings, constant social interaction, the inability to have quiet time when he reaches meltdown, having strict rules and timelines, having to sit and focus on something he may not be interested in, figuring out which bus(es) he needs to be on to get to and from school, and all the new rules. He wants to go to school. He is excited to make new friends, and he has asked me (more than once) if we can do school shopping now so he can be prepared for going this fall. I want to keep him, just a little longer, but I know he also needs room to grow, and while I can offer him love and freedom, I can't offer him socialization and friendship with kids his age here. I have been fighting with myself for the last year or two about doing online schooling with him, but am I letting my anxiety win then? Would that rob him of the experience and the friendships he could be making in a school setting? For now the best compromise I can come up with is to discuss everything with him so he is as prepared as I can make him, and send him to school. The fall-back plan will be to do online schooling if he just can't deal with the challenges of regular school. It's odd that I never worried this much about the older kids, and they have Asperger's too. I think it's because they're all so close in age that they each had a bit of independence by the time they reached school age because my attention was on raising the next baby. And this time, my full attention is on #5 because there is no "next child" to take my attention and force him to be a little more self-entertained. He's always been in my arms, playing at my feet, in my lap, or next to me. He's going to have a big learning curve when school starts, and I worry for him. I worry for me too. I think that first day of school this fall is going to be one filled with anxiety and tears and I won't feel OK until he's home again and I know he's alright. I anticipate a lot of tears. I may have to ask for anxiety meds for that first week of school.
Brief back story here - I almost never buy clothes for myself - I wear second-hand, hand-me-downs, or whatever I get for Christmas or my birthday.
The other day I saw a shirt online and I loved it. I loved it enough that I scraped up $10 to pay for it. I used every coupon and gift certificate I had and the Paypal money I'd earned from my RedBubble sales. It came today...
It has the two door knockers from the (Jim Henson) movie The Labyrinth (with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly). One positioned over each breast. In between are the words "It's very rude to stare" (which is one of their quotes from the film). I love it. Did I say that already?
The first run of chicken eggs in the second (hatching) incubator are due to hatch tomorrow. I'm unsure on these because despite having temperature and humidity where they should be, the little blobs inside the eggs looked under-developed for being put into the hatching incubator. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. So far no pips and I can't hear any peeps from outside the incubator. Fingers crossed for baby chick photos tomorrow!