There is no house news. Don’t even ask about the house. What house? Who said we were building a house? There is no house!
We are still held up in the permitting process and when I think about how long this all is taking it evokes a visceral reaction in me which requires deep breathing and immediate distraction to alleviate.
Distractions include, but are not limited to:
1. Haunting Pinterest and Houzz for finish ideas. This comes in bits and spurts because I am very easily overwhelmed, but I think I have a general idea of what I want in the kitchen at least. My inspiration images include open shelving around the kitchen window, white cabinets, light flooring and butcher block countertops. A little like this:
Only, you know, different. Aside from that, my main qualifications are that everything in the house has to be really, really easy to clean and take care of because I am terrified that we are going to build a brand new house and then our four children are going to destroy it. This is kind of a real concern.
2. Books. Always. This month I’ve read The Opposite of Spoiled (which has convinced me to start giving the girls an allowance and that we aren’t permanently damaging them by making them live in a bus during some of their formative years), Persuasion (I should read more classics – I always wind up loving them), Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (if you had told me what it was about beforehand I never would have picked it up, but I wound up really enjoying it) and The Old Man and the Sea (I absolutely detested TOMATS in high school, but Noah loved it so we both reread it and discussed. I like it more at 28 than I did at 15, especially after reading Hemingway’s words about it: “There isn’t any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is the old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are sharks, no better, no worse.” I can get on board with literalism.)
3. Gardening. I finally managed to clear the garden of the remaining eight heads of red cabbage (and disperse them among our neighbors because who can eat that much cabbage?!) and get all the weeds out during a particularly angsty morning with a hoe and a rake. Now we just need to dump in some compost and plant delicious things.
4. Snakes. It’s like Snakeopolis over here. We’ve caught or seen at least four in the past few weeks (although Noah’s theory is that it might be only one snake who is really, really bad at hiding). So far they’ve been the harmless, rattle-less kind, but we’ve been warning the kids to make lots of noise outside so they don’t come upon one by surprise. Not that kids really need a lot of encouragement to be noisy, it’s pretty much in their nature. Lily encountered one yesterday on her way to the van and I was able to get a quick picture of it slithering under one of the bus tires:
Hopefully it will get after some of the gophers that ate the majority of our garden this winter *evil cackle*.
5. Potty Training. We’re on day 5 of almost no accidents with Finn (even during nap time!) and I’m ready to call it a success. He’s kind of a rockstar and now he has the big boy underpants to prove it.
6. Egg watching. I almost hesitate to write about this because it’s just so… cannibalistic. Remember how we wanted to let the chickens hatch some eggs and I was all “whatever” about doing things the way the internet recommended? Well, I will never ignore the internet AGAIN. I have learned my lesson. Soon after the photo from that post was taken all the eggs pictured were gone. Because the chickens ATE THEM. And now they won’t stop! They eat their own eggs every day unless I can get out there fast enough and grab them.
This time I’ve tried all the tips the internet has had to offer. I have put golf balls in the nest so the chickens would try to peck them and hurt their beaks. I’ve put mustard into empty egg shells because supposedly chickens hate it. I’ve increased the protein and calcium in their feed. I have no idea what else to do.
The only thing that actually helps is letting them out of the coop during the day, but the rooster is getting aggressive and chases the kids and we need to get rid of him somehow before that’s a viable option.
For now, I just have to try to get out there as early and as often as I can to try and get the eggs before they do, the monsters.
So that’s what’s going down on this side of town. As soon as we have any progress on the house everybody will know because I will be shouting it from the rooftops and dancing in the street and generally not making a secret of it. At all. Really. Just you wait and see.