Archive for December 30, 2010

More Adventures in Grandparenting!

We picked up Jacob and Dylan this morning for a day with MeeMaw and Papa. Mommy told them sternly to “behave themselves”. I told Mommy that her boys ALWAYS behave at Meemaw’s house. “Right, boys?”

“Yes, I always behave!” said Jacob.

“Not me!” said Dylan cheerfully.

Well, they’re BOTH honest….

We had not even pulled out of the parking lot before Jacob told us how very, very, VERY hungry he was. “So, uh, what is it that you particularly want to eat?”

“Pancakes. And bacon.”

Off to Cracker Barrel then to prevent starvation as Dylan declared he was dying, and then closed his eyes and went into a theatrical spasm to prove it. Mommy didn’t actually SAY that the boys had to come back alive, but I think she is sort of expecting it. I’ll have to check with her later about that.

“What are we going to do today?” asked Jacob. “Can we kill ducks and chickens and I can pull out their guts?”

“Yeah!” echoed Dylan. “I want to pull out their bwadder!”

“Uh, I don’t think chickens HAVE bladders.” Except for gall bladders.

“Why not?” asked Jacob. “Yeah, why not?” echoed Dylan.

Papa came to my rescue. “We’re putting up fence today, that’s why not. We’ll kill roosters Saturday.”


On the way, Dylan started announcing quietly in a monotone voice “I hunting yoooooouuuuuu!”


A little louder, “I hunting youuuuuuuuuu!”


“He’s a vampire, Meemaw!” explained Jacob.

“I’m a vampieyo. I’m going to biiiite your neck!”

This was moaned loudly enough for Papa to hear. “If you’re not careful, I’m going to bite YOUR butt!”

“Papa, that’s NOT right!” declared Jacob sternly. “There’s NO SUCH THING as a vampire that bites butts!”

“Yeah!” said Dylan. “Vampieyos suck fwoats, NOT butts!”

After debating whether or not vampires were limited to biting necks or whether some vampires would bite you in the butt if you weren’t careful, like maybe vampire dogs, we arrived at Cracker Barrel.

“I’m not hungry!” announced Dylan.

“Fine. You’re going to come inside, sit down quietly, and order food that you’re not hungry for, and then you’re going to eat it!”

Dylan ordered a scrambled egg (and chocolate milk). Then he announced that he had to use the bafwoom.

He went into the stall, and slammed and locked the door. After a few minutes, he announced “The poop isn’t coming, Meemaw! Maybe later.”

“Oh, I don’t think so. We have a LONG ride ahead of us, so you better go now. Besides, you said you had to go peepee.”

He thought it over, and announced he’d try it again. By this time, the bathroom had filled up and he now had an admiring audience.

“Meemaw, I POOPED in the potty!”

“Good job! Now clean that bottom!”

“I did, Meemaw! Now I’m going to peepee.”

“Oh, what a sweet child! He sounds like a little ANGEL! They’re just so precious at that age.”

I decided to leave her to her illusions. She looked like a nice lady.

Back at the table, Jacob was coloring industriously and artistically, and writing out his numbers in a lovely cursive script. Dylan was very pleased to find that he had a knife just like everybody else in his silverware packet. This preoccupation with knives and cutting things is getting a little creepy! He alternately colored (scribbled) and brandished his knife. When the food arrived, he enthusiastically proceeded to cut his scrambled egg with his knife and fork. Somehow he managed to poke himself in the eye with his fork during the process. He manned up and didn’t cry, although a few tears leaked out of his poked eye. MeeMaw got a little hostile at that point, made him put his knife DOWN and eat with his fork! Or even better, with his spoon! And we eat eggs, NOT eyes!

YOU are a big poopyhead!” announced Dylan.

I looked down at him sternly. “We do not engage in gratuitous insults at the table.”

One-eyed glare up at Meemaw. “I full!

“Fine. You’re still going to eat.”

Breakfast proceeded with no more incidents save Jacob spilling his chocolate milk on the floor, and deciding that he was full, too, after five bites of the two pancakes he had ordered.

“Nothin’ doin’, Mister. You are going to eat those pancakes because I do not want to hear how hungry you are again once we arrive at the house! You had a choice between one pancake and two, and you BEGGED for two because you were sooooooo hungry! Now EAT!”

He ate.

Papa, long finished, went to pay the bill and waited outside until I decided that the boys really were full. I may have miscalculated.

As soon as we arrived home and walked in the door, Dylan said “Meemaw, I’m hungry! Fix me a sammich!”

*sigh* I better go. The fence posts await!

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Does Puppy Need a Puppy?

“Puppy” is a very energetic dog indeed. He races around the perimeter, taking his guarding responsibilities very enthusiastically. He also takes his loving responsibilities very enthusiastically and, even though he knows it isn’t allowed, occasionally nearly bowls us off our feet!

SwampMan thinks that “Puppy” really needs a friend. Another dog about his age and sex and breed would be perfect, he thinks. I think…..not. Sounds like a bigass dogfight to me. Plus I know who would be taking care of friend, too. Then daughter called tonight and told me that there had been an Australian Shepherd mother and a Border Collie father (or maybe it’s the other way around) turned into the shelter, and the mom had whelped there. The mom and pups are being fostered until pups are old enough to be adopted. Daughter thinks that a Border Collie x Australian Shepherd would be just the thing for me in making my rounds and gathering up sheep. I think it would be just the thing for me too, except…..where am I going to find the time to train and socialize another dog? How am I going to make sure this lil’ puppy is fed and watered and piddled before going to work in the morning? How can I be sure Newpy (new puppy) will be safe throughout the day, unless I keep him in a kennel while I’m gone? (Well, I guess I answered THAT question, didn’t I?) Newpy is of a breed that enthusiastically “herds” vehicles and they often come to grief that way. Puppy is going to want to play with Newpy, and I just don’t think THAT is going to work out very well, since Puppy is about 100 lbs. of uber enthusiastic German Shepherd, and Newpy will be about 5 lbs. of wriggling puppy.

I was REALLY mad at Puppy Sunday. I went out Sunday morning to find a mortally wounded duck in his area. I yelled at him and put him in the kennel, along with his food. He KNOWS that All Poultry is Sacred, and Mom is the Queen of All Poultry. What the HELL was this? Did he get overexcited on Christmas? I gave him his dog food, and he refused to eat for 24 hours. He lay in the corner, curled up, apparently devastated at being yelled at and put in the kennel. He would not move or even look at me. He appeared completely guilt stricken. SwampMan, of course, took up for Puppy. “He was probably just defending his food. Besides, the duck came into HIS area, he didn’t go looking for the duck!” Well, several ducks (and chickens) live happily in Puppy’s area, so I wasn’t buying THAT excuse.

I relented and let Puppy out, only to be awakened at 2:30 a.m. by frenzied barking. He wouldn’t quit, so I ventured out into the freezing air to hear the chickens screaming in alarm, and the ducks that normally stay out back were on the back porch crowded closely around Odie, the old blind deaf arthritic dog who used to be a fantastic livestock guard dog but now is pretty much oblivious to everything except me. I opened the gate. Puppy lept past me and raced into the dark pasture. More frenzied barking at the perimeter indicated that whatever he was chasing had successfully made it over the fence, and he came back sniffing carefully over the pasture, alerting me to two mortally wounded ducks that had been dragged to the fence and the fresh skeleton of a slain rooster, mostly consumed. Apparently mortally wounded duck hadn’t been wounded by Puppy; she had made her way to his area for safety. One of the mortally wounded ducks in the pasture tried to drag herself painfully back to her nest with her wings because her legs weren’t working but couldn’t make it. The other duck died during the night, too.

This evening, I shut off the front yard and put old Odie on the front porch. I keep Puppy away from Odie because he tries to play too roughly with the old boy. Puppy is out enthusiastically patrolling the perimeter. I checked the back porch before turning in for the night, and there were no ducks. I went outside to just double check that Puppy had nothing to do with their disappearance, and found that the ducks were happily settled back where they usually sleep, completely undisturbed by Puppy’s relentless perimeter patrol and, indeed, seemingly reassured by it. If Puppy had indeed been responsible for a duck (or chicken) death, they would not be sleeping peacefully while he made his rounds.

I just heard chickens squawking again and went out to check, only to find that they were alarmed by the sounds of Breeze banging her feed pan hopefully out in the darkness. Puppy was there before me, checking the chicken alarm sounds, then racing off to check the perimeter again to make sure that nothing had sneaky made off with a chicken that he would be blamed for, then back to his bed before I finished petting Breeze’s nose while making soothing chicken noises at the chickens with the frayed nerves.

I think I should be able to sleep through the night tonight without worrying too much about the livestock. I hope. *sigh* I suppose I’ll be sleeping in the La-Z-Boy by the door for the next few nights anyway. Now I need to find my Snuggy, another blanket, and my book about raising all my food on 1/4 acre.

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