kids

The Egg Tree

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The other day, Cayden came home in a gloomy mood. I tried to cheer him up with offerings of pizza and unfettered TV use. How about the Ipad?

Nothing worked until I opened the fridge and checked the battered carton on the top shelf. “Want to do the egg tree?”

The egg tree. No relation to the cat tree.

I don’t remember when I hatched (groan) this plan. It was probably about 6 months ago. As faithful readers know, our kind neighbors keep us well stocked in eggs. One day I came upon a few cracked ones — which must be discarded — and just before I trashed them, I thought about smashing them.

Tossing them in the trash seemed wasteful. Plus, I wanted to egg something.

I considered an appropriate target. Some place where splattered yolks would be inconsequential. Where the wildlife would clean up the mess.

And along the driveway there’s a small cluster of junk trees. Surrounded by a no man’s land swath of grass. Ideal targets.

That first day I ushered the kids to the trees and invited them to commence throwing. Like soldiers in a firing squad, they lined up and took aim. (The actual egg tree is a particularly skinny and crooked little tree; perhaps they chose it for the added challenge). The kids were thrilled when they struck their target. When they missed, some of the eggs would survive and make it to the next round.

Since the first egging, I’ve taken to saving up the cracked ones until we’ve got a few. Hurling them is a great stress reliever.

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A millisecond before impact

If there’s a more practical use for inedible eggs — a viable method to recycle them — I don’t want to know about it.

Pitching them at a tree is much more fun.

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Surf and Sand

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Last weekend we returned from our annual pilgrimage to Martha’s Vineyard, and I’ll let these photos and captions sum up the highlights. (Stay tuned for a farm-related post tomorrow.)

 

Kids confined:

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Obama’s Vineyard vacation? Presidential presence was far less intrusive this time around.

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Maisie stowed away and joined us.

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With Crazy Maze and my cousins’ dog, Sally, our crew hiked every morning, exploring varying island terrain.

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Some trails were more inviting than others.

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Midweek Brynn decreed: manicures for everyone.

Everyone.

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In a blink, the trip was over. One final swim. Then goodbye, MV.

Til next year.

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Bugs Prompt Blog Break

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“Wow, I’ve never seen a grownup cry,” Hadley remarked, as I sat sobbing near a mystery leak that dripped with determination on the dining room floor and buckled the ceiling above.

An unidentified plumbing problem isn’t a cry-worthy crisis. But this incident was the final chapter in a series of cumulative, distressing events.

It kicked off last Tuesday when we discovered that the girls had lice. We learned this just as a strong summer storm knocked out the power. No electricity means no water, so we were powerless to wash sheets and treat the girls’ hair. Solution: armed with delousing products, we bunked in a hotel and attacked the problem. It was after midnight when we finally finished, but we’d made progress. Or so we’d thought.

The next day the power was restored but the washing machine broke, stalling efforts to sanitize bedding and clothes. The repairman estimated a seven-day wait for the replacement part. 

Next up? Both trucks broke down and with PigPen in the shop (amassing a $2,400 bill for deer damage repair) — we were squeezed with one vehicle.

And Friday afternoon — yet another day perched on the porch, sweating in the sun as I combed microscopic nits from the girls’ hair (making little progress) — Martin placed a cocktail in front of me. “Drink this,” he said.

I get it… I’ve been picking through their locks, strand by strand, for hours, I thought. And everything has gone wrong. “I’ll drink it when I’m done,” I said, swiping my sweaty bangs and hunching over Hadley’s bowed head.

“Really, take a few sips now,” he said, “because I need to tell you that there’s a leak in the dining room. And I’m going to have to cut open the ceiling to get at it.”

And there you have it: broken cars, broken washer, broken house, insect infested kids. Emotional breakdown.

Fortunately, unabated crying spurs family to action. On Saturday, my mother took the kids to be professionally deloused (yes, such services exist) and Martin secured a part to fix the washing machine and the Big Rig. All this while I played four straight softball games in league tournament. (We advanced to the quarterfinals, but were eliminated the next morning.)

No matter. After last week’s misery I can report today: the kids are fixed, ditto the washing machine and Pig Pen. It’s time to resume the blog and other elements of normalcy.

As for the accompanying tent photo: in an effort to limit lice spread, we booted the kids out of the house to sleep. But when we issued the go-ahead order to return to their room, they refused to vacate the campsite. They’ve slept in the tent for four nights running. The chair also pictured was employed for safety; Sunday evening Martin tethered the tent to the chair during a violent, gusty thunderstorm that threatened to send the camp structure airborne.

Remarkably, the kids opted to sleep in the tent, through the storm. The next morning I met a bed-headed Brynn, pawing through the cereal boxes in the kitchen and I asked her, “Weren’t you scared out there with all that thunder last night?” I asked.

“No,” she mumbled with a shrug. “It was loud but I  just went to sleep.”

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