Monday, April 27, 2009

Minor Emergency

I opted this week to wash all of the laundry in one long marathon session on Friday and just piled it up on the living room couch until I could fold it all on Saturday morning, rather than do a load a day as Flylady suggests. I would have put it in baskets, but I simply don't own enough baskets to do this. I have deluded myself into thinking that if I don't have enough baskets, I will be forced to fold the clean laundry before I can wash more. In reality, it just means that the clean laundry remains in the basket and I don't wash more clothes because I don't have a place to put them. Folding laundry is one of my least favorite chores. I have absolutely no problem actually washing the clothes, but since I was a teenager and began doing my own laundry, the clothes have gone from the dryer to the basket and sat forever. I have tried to break this cycle, but I seem to keep coming back. I can have baskets of clean clothes, but no one can manage to find their socks. Of course, matching up all those socks is another matter.

The folding of the laundry went quite smoothly this week. I managed to get my 2 older children to do the bulk of the work which I think may have been one of the more brilliant ideas I have ever had. I went to get the last load of laundry from the dryer only to discover that it was still damp. "Hmm, I'm sure I started that" I thought. Of course, I've done that before; neglected to start the dryer when I moved laundry over. I twisted the knob to get it going and nothing happened. No sound, no click, nothing. My dryer was doing a wonderful impression of a large harmless metal box.

That's a problem.

There are 7 people in this house, not to mention that I cloth diaper 2 of those people. We do A LOT of laundry. True this was the last load from a weeks worth of clothes, but there were still the diapers to consider...

I checked the plug. Yep, it's plugged in. I am quite the mechanical genius there.

I checked the breaker. It was labeled clearly. I flipped it back and forth. Didn't make a bit of difference.

Well, that was it. That's all I've got.

I mentioned morosely to my Uncle who came over for dinner about the dryer, thinking that I would either have to pay a repair guy to come look at it or go buy a new one.

"Hmm" He said and disappeared out the front door. He came back a few minutes later with a bunch of tools and began industriously unscrewing things on the dryer.

"Wow, look at that! That wire is completely fried through" he showed me.

"Huh" I replied

"Well, we should be able to find out what did that" he replies calmly and keeps unscrewing things.

"So, we need a new plug?" I ask hopefully

"Nah, I can splice that, no need to buy a new one"

"Oh!" I say. My uncle is obviously an electrical genius. I'm glad he's over here so much.

I layed out the remains of the load of laundry and the load of diapers that I desperately needed to wash and settled in for a long haul. I didn't have to wait long. About 24 hours after I discovered the dryer's trechery, my uncle had managed to repair the plug and magically it was working again.

We never did find out what had caused the plug to burn out, but I'm not terribly concearned since the load of diapers is now soft and fluffy from tumbling in the newly repaired dryer!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lasagna Garden

It is a glorious 70 degrees outside this week. After last weeks huge rain storm (3 days of rain in Colorado, what's THAT about?!), I can almost watch all the tumble weed plants growing in my backyard. Now, they're not too bad looking, green and leafy with tiny purple flowers, but they certainly don't compare to a normal lawn, or the lush oasis at my Grandparent's house. They get so tall that I could loose children in them, and when you mow them down, they become hard spiky stumps. We also have the devious goat head vines. They LOVE our sandy soil. They are the only thing that I have ever seen actually growing in the soft dunes out in the field. They, too, are quite attractive in order to disguise their horrible nature. They are a creeping vine that covers the sand in a layer of tiny leaves, and pretty little yellow flowers. The true horror doesn't come for a few months when the flowers die back and the green seed pods start to form. Goat Heads (or sand burrs) are the bane of my country existence. Can you picture caltrops? They were a military weapon designed to stop cavalry. They are a small metal object with sharp points on all sides so that no matter how they fall to the ground there is always at least one of those sharp spikes sticking up. They were used to lame horses, and more recently to puncture the tires of cars. The goat heads that cover my yard are exactly like that, except they are about the size of a pea (so they are almost invisible as you walk around the house) and are organic. They stick to the soles of all shoes and to the tires of our cars. They are proportedly impossible to get rid of in the yard.

My plan is to choke them out.

Someday, I will fill my 1/4 acre backyard with other plants, or bricks, or something, so that there isn't any room for them to thrive. Someday...

That day is not today. Today I am building a new garden. In a corner of my yard about the size of my bedroom, I am building a garden. I have no intention of filling the whole thing just yet. I'll work up to that, but this small zone will be full of plants of my choosing. Vegitables, flowers, and fruit vines. Lush and lovely, and totally non-goat head. It is turning out to be MUCH larger and more time consuming than I had originally thought, though. At least I don't have to dig.

For the last several months, I have been collecting materials, 2 trash cans full of old news papers, 6 cans full of old moldy hay from the barn, 4 gigantic bales of peat moss, and a few bags of garden soil. I am bulding a Lasagna garden. The goal is to build up your garden like raised beds (except I don't have any retaining walls) in a kind of strip composting pattern. You cover the ground (weeds, sod and all) with thick pads of wet newspaper. On top of that you lay a thin layer of peat moss. Then you just begin building layers of anything that you would put in a compost pile, chopped leaves, grass clippings, manure, straw, etc. In between each layer of material, you lay another thin layer of peat moss. Top the whole thing off with a layer of mulch (I'm using hay). The newspaper keeps the weeds out, the layers feed the plants, and the mulch at the top helps keep all the moisture in the soil. Sounds fantastic in theory. We'll see how it works out since I can't seem to keep any plants alive for long...

This morning I finished up the newspapers, layed a layer of peat moss and a layer of manure. Next more peat moss, then hay. Looking at how quickly my gigantic piles of materials have diminished, I'm going to need to take another trip to the store for peat moss, and a few dozzen more trips to the feild for more manure...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Being a twin

Being a twin does not seem to be a whole lot different from being a single baby. Hyrum and Quinn are still VERY active little boys who enjoy climbing on everything they can reach and generally exploring their world. They are hardly ever still and seem to entertain themselves quite well. The one major difference seems to be that you have competition your own size. I think that's what makes them so cute.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hubby is so awesome

Look at that, Hubby put my Shawn the Sheep on my birthday cake. Add that to the fact that he made breakfast and dinner for us all, and let me lay around reading all day and pretty much ignoring the world and I have to say he is so wonderful. I haven't had a birthday this wonderful in a long time :)