Thursday, April 21, 2011

Planting trees and a first for a five year old

The morning started off well.  I was able to work for a few hours before I had to deal with grandkids or relatives.  I had to return a call to one of the state senator's offices and didn't have a baby screaming in the background.  The call went well.  They got an answer to their question that was what they were hoping to get.  The grandkids awoke, including one extra that didn't go home with his parents last night.  That was the 15 year old who was sort of in trouble at home and sort of just staying over here to get a break.  In order for him to stay the night he had to promise to do chores.  That's a pretty good deal: feed a fifteen year old boy in exchange for chores.  I treated him the same as the other grandkids.  You are hungry.  Go pick something off a tree.
I had five fruit trees that I bought about a month ago and they needed planting soon.  I just wasn't able to plant them because I couldn't dig the holes with my arm the way it's been.  What a perfect task for the 15 year old and the 8 year old.  How to plant trees.  Dig the hole the right size, about three times wider than the container the tree is in and about 1 1/2 to 2 times deeper.  Take the soil that you just dug and put it into the big bucket.  Add some compost and mix it well.  Put water into the hole.  Figure out how much soil needs to go back into the hole to get the tree at the right level.  Hold the tree straight!  Put soil in.  Add water.  Tap it down with your foot.  Repeat the process.  Hold the tree straight!  Perfect.  They repeated the process on all five trees.  I think the 15 year old can go home and plant some fruit trees for his mom.  It's a wonderful skill.
San Diego nephew is five years old.  He loves coming to our farm and visiting his cousins.  He got to climb trees.  He fed the chickens.  He was swinging on his belly on the swing set and slipped off falling flat on his face.  I was about 25 feet away trying to root some grapevines and was supervising.  Had to drop what I was doing and go over when he started crying.  I picked him up and saw that he had a bloody lip.  It looked ok enough and I told him I was going to bring him inside to get fixed up.  After a couple of steps toward the house blood started dripping.  He had a bloody nose and a bloody lip.  Got him inside, calmly called for his mom, and sat him on the kitchen counter.  His first bloody nose.  What an exciting day! 
He called his dad at work to tell him that he had a bloody nose and a scrape on his chin.  He wanted to know if dad was going to fix it when dad gets here tomorrow night.  Sure, although dad said it would probably be fixed before then. 
After nephew was cleaned up and sent back outside to play sister and I had a discussion about our actions.  Because there was no panic in my voice, I didn't rush carrying him in (my initial assessment determined that it wasn't a major injury), and I told him that all was going to be fine and I was bringing him into the kitchen to get fixed up, he didn't panic.  He did cry because it hurt but he wasn't screaming hysterically because we weren't hysterical.  Although he is only five we didn't treat him like a little baby.  We told him what he had to do and he did it.  Then he got some ice chips to chew on and to make his lip feel better.  The ice stuck to his fingers and he ended up laughing at the ice instead of concentrating on the hurt. 
We picked artichokes for dinner tonight. They had some bugs in them that needed to come out.  I put the artichokes in a small pail and filled it with salt water.  I set the pail on top of the chicks little pen up near the patio.  The pincher bugs climbed out of the artichokes, out of the bucket and unfortunately for them, right into the baby chicken coop.  It was fun to watch the chicks gobble up the bugs.  I also took the drip hoses out of the barn and restrung them around the middle group of fruit trees.  I got that turned on for about an hour today.  It worked just fine. 
Got the kids to bed and sat down to do more office work.  I'm actually going into the office on Friday.  With the grandkids on school break I haven't sat at my desk for a week.  It will be nice to get all my work done during the day and not have to work into the evening hours to make up for the crazy home schedule.  I'm fortunate that during this time of year I can split up the work day. 

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