This is the time of year when cabin fever starts to set in for me. Yes, I live in California, but in the Northern part of it. It gets cold and wet here. I can spend days, weeks, even entire months nestled deep in my big green recliner next to the wood stove (our only source of heat), with a heating pad on my back, a blanket on my legs, and children piled on me as we read good books together. Which, in my opinion is one of the best parts of being a mother.
But occasionally, (like right at this moment, no kidding) the kids get kinda frisky. Jumping from couch to couch, screaming like banshees, and laughing hysterically because they put a purple wig on Augie the dog. Times like this are when I put on my boots and coat and try to sneak out of the house unnoticed. I rake up the compost pile, pull weeds, I sometimes even consider picking up dog poop (not that I actually do it, that's a kids job of course!). Anything so long as I'm out of the house for a while.
Inevitably the kids find me, because you know, someone needs to be tattled on every 5.7 minutes. Depending on the mood I'm in, I'll either send them back into the house so I can have a little more quiet time, or I'll give them plastic baggies and put them to work. And they're not allowed to give me any crap about it! (Yes that was intended.)
This actually works quite well for us. I'll come back in feeling much calmer, a little work and fresh air does a brain good. At this point I realize just how exercise depraved we are and I'll have the kids pick up all the garbage and shoes left out in the rain as well. When they're finished with the job they are always quite happy to settle down with me again in my big green recliner, warm chilly toes, and listen to a story.
No power tools for this baby! Well, I intended to use them, but when I opened the garage door I was heartbroken to find that they were laying there lifeless and cold. **sniff** I'll be ok... someday. In the meantime I'll have to build things manually, like this nesting box. The upside is that my arms will be perfectly toned from all the sawing and hammering! I am obviously not a carpenter, but I think I did a pretty darn good job on this thing, despite the fact that it has my blood streaked on it in several places. You know what else is super cool? I didn't put out a penny to make it either! At Hubby's work they use a lot of wooden pallets. The nice man whose job it is to repair them gives Patrick huge boxes of the busted up, unusable ones for us to use as kindling in our wood stove. But occasionally there comes a board that is still intact, I've been saving them knowing they will be useful at some point. So when I realized that my chickens were laying their eggs in the mud, I decided to use the good boards to make a nesting box. Voila! Happy chickens!
You probably can't read the sign under the laundromat's name, but it's about 6 minutes of drying for a quarter. Just about long enough for the machine to get warmed up, and if you're not quick with the quarters, to cool off also. But alas, I had no choice. My dryer broke and the laundry was piling up. So I bit the bullet, called my sister for a ride (since my car had decided to die at the same time as the dryer), washed 5 loads of laundry at home (which didn't even make a dent in Mt. Washmore), then hauled it off to the laundromat to dry. Before leaving I gave the girls strict instructions to have the dishes done by time I got home, which, of course they had to do by hand since our dishwasher gave up the ghost, from which there is no coming back. A couple days later the dryer repairman came, $180 to make our dryer functional. I tried to do the mental gymnastics to figure out how many loads I'd have to take to the Econo-Wash in order to equal the price to repair the dryer, but I hate math and I'm too lazy to waste brain power on the problem. I just figured that with 5 kids, and having to do 3 loads a day to keep up, I'd rather stay home to do laundry. Which was a good decision in the long run. It's now a couple weeks later and my car is still incapacitated, my sister just had her baby, and I'm stuck in my recliner with a back injury! The cool thing is- I'm really not complaining! I don't mind all this at all. I could do without the pain, but I was able to see my niece (before I got hurt), I have daughters who are able to help do the housework and cook, and I have no choice but to sit still and catch up on schoolwork with the kids. So really, there's not much to gripe about. Even before I hurt my back I didn't really miss my car since I try to avoid going anywhere anyway. I think the older I get, the more I want to just stay home.