Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It Is 11/12/13

It astonishes me how much time Caleb takes. Not in minutes, necessarily, but in needing to be available at almost any minute. He usually takes a three hour nap in the middle of the day, but not always. We have a system where a family member always stays with him and comes to get me if he starts crying and I am away. (This started last week when I left Joe with Caleb and went to milk. I was not clear enough in my instructions, and Joe didn't realize that he was baby-sitting, and blithely headed out. I returned from milking to find Caleb screaming in panic, all alone. He wouldn't have been alone for very long, but that sort of scream is absolutely unacceptable.)

I am summoned, usually, a couple times a day.

I don't leave the house more than a couple times a day.

As for milking, after such a hopeful day last week, Bethany started giving about 8 cups a day, spread over two milkings. Since her calf eats 16 cups of milk replacer, that is ridiculous. After about four days, I finally turned the calf in with her mom yesterday. I will hope that a few days of nursing will get Bethany's milk production up enough to at least yield a gallon or so a day. My goodness. How frustrating. (But since the weather is heading into the low 20s tonight and tomorrow night, I'm not going to bemoan a lack of opportunity to milk. Brr!)

Phil has spent some time working on storage cabinets. At one point, he realized that, although he had followed the installation instructions, somehow the spacing was off by an inch, and he had to tear out all that he had installed the day before. When he came to tell me, he looked almost ashen faced. It ended up being only a few hours to redo (which, in the scope of our building process is almost nothing), but it was one of the more emotionally devastating things he's encountered, I think. It takes a lot to make Phil look ashen.

I have been in a cleaning frenzy. The boys have their school books in cardboard boxes, and I pulled them out today to find dust bunnies living in each box. A friend in elementary school had a sign that said, "This house protected by killer dust bunnies." I remember that because, at the time, I had no idea what a dust bunny was. The sign made no sense to me. My house of origin didn't have dust bunnies (go, Mom!).

My house-trailer, though, is protected by both killer dust bunnies and red clay dust on everything. I take a handful of books, blow the tops out the window, then slap the covers and clouds rise off. It is frustrating. I love to have my books out, because seeing them makes me happy. But looking at the tops of the books, at the little orange tint they have all acquired, makes me wonder if I'm doing the books a disservice.

I have also had some good time to repair my books. After getting the library supplies, I had a friend come down last Friday and sit and talk for four hours while we taped up tears and broken spines and, on occasion, dust jackets (not always, though. Many dust jackets went right into the trash). That felt good.

I have books on the mind. I like that.

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