Monday, December 9, 2013

November 29: Three Years Running

The last two years, the Thanksgiving weekend has proved unfortunate for us. After a pleasant day with friends and family on Thursday, something unpleasant happens later.

In 2011, our cow Catherine went down. Phil figured she was almost dead, and we had the vet out for the first and only time. She got up unassisted before the vet arrived, but he basically told us that we were starving our cows with our rotational grazing practices. We were doing our best, but were clueless. We know a lot more now.

In 2012, our neighbor graciously brought us a deer he had shot. Phil jumped to get the hook for hanging, and strained the ligaments in his finger, which basically stopped all construction for the next two months. It was a frustrating time for us, one of the hardest I think we’ve been through.

Sadly, 2013 continues the string of unfortunate events. When we arrived home about midnight, the ground had frozen. We have a floodlight, but it doesn’t reach up quite high enough now for us to walk in the light all the way from car to door. There are several dozen feet without light.

Phil usually brings a flashlight with him, because he prefers not to walk in darkness. For some reason, though, he had no flashlight and turned off the lights of the car that we sometimes use to light the way.

I carried down the foodstuffs and diaper bag, and was heading back up to get sleeping Joe when Phil yelled for me to help. “I can’t breathe! Take Caleb!”

He wasn’t having a heart attack, thankfully. But he had slipped or tripped on a hump of frozen earth (mounded up due to the digging of that blasted trench) and fallen, not to the ground, but onto the clawfoot tub sitting there. On the right side, Caleb was unharmed (though startled and screaming). On the left side, Phil probably cracked some ribs.

I dosed with Arnica, and Phil woke late this morning without any apparent bruising. But almost any movement was agony for him. By midafternoon, he said, “I am going crazy! I can read, but I don’t want to read! There are things I want to be doing, but I can’t!”

In the evening, he was holding Caleb in the recliner while I finished dinner. Isaiah, affectionately, pulled the back of the chair down. The angle was such that Phil’s ribs did something excruciating. He cried out, and when I got there to grab the baby, I think he was fighting back tears.

It would not be my preference to have Phil out of commission for the next month or so. But now that I have a table, and a real workspace, I can haul dishes back and forth as needed, washing in the RV. A work stop, so close to completion, is probably worse for Phil than it is for me.

I spent my day continuing to shuffle kitchen goods. I think I have gone through the RV cupboards and closets. There are some more things to wash (not enough time for that project to be done yet), but I felt like I made good progress.

I found a couple little jars of Thai curry paste that I had forgotten about. I had a chuck roast thawed and waiting to be eaten, and I made Thai Massaman curry, with potatoes and beef in a red curry coconut sauce, over rice. It was excellent. I often burn the bottom of rice, but today the rice cooked perfectly, with the delicious grains nicely separated, not smooshed together.

So I am in a happy place. I found several sets of Star Wars Legos for the boys, and they put them together. I once gave Phil a star destroyer, and that set, fully built, is about as long as Joe. It’s huge! The boys are under strict instructions that, when they are finished enjoying them, the sets must be separated again and stored properly. If multiple sets happen to break into pieces and mix (as has happened to all new sets for the last four years), someone will have to rebuild and then store.

They heard that. And they had a great time, for hours, moving the minifigures around.

So I sing in the kitchen, the boys laugh in the bedroom, and Phil, in pain, sits in silence in the recliner, unable to do what he wants to do.

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