Saturday, September 4, 2010

Breaking with Tradition

All of the sudden, it's very fall-ish here. It's like a switch got flipped last night (after yet another muggy, disgustingly hot day), turning on fall in the form of clouds, occasional rain drops, temperatures in the sixties, and gusty winds blowing leaves from the trees.

Thank God.

So, no matter what the calendar says about when the official start of fall is (September 23--HA), I declare this First Fall Day.

I also declare this First Year Kristin Did Not Accompany A. to The Great New York State Fair.


We always go to The Great New York State Fair. It's a highlight of A.'s year. Personally, I don't get such a charge out of it. Although it's possible that that is because last year I was pregnant and the year before I was horribly hungover. So, you know, not exactly prime fair-enjoyment conditions. This year, despite A.'s excitement about bringing Cubby to experience the spectacle that is The Great New York State Fair (the fried food! the animals! THE TATTOOS!), even A. had to admit that maybe seven months old is a little too young to appreciate all the wonders to behold at the fairgrounds.

So Cubby and I got a reprieve this year, leaving A. and the MiL to take off early this morning for The Great New York State Fair by themselves. I'm pretty sure I won't get let off the hook again next year, though, so I'm going to enjoy this while I can.

Although I am kind of bummed about missing out on Friar Tuck's Belgian Fries.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Know--You Were on the Edge of Your Seats

Allow me to end the suspense. Turns out, the Giant Infant is actually a lot more of a Tall Giant than a Heavy Giant. Specifically, he's exactly 20 pounds and almost 29 inches.

Trust me, 20 pounds is QUITE ENOUGH to be hauling around on a regular basis. But I totally would have guessed he weighed more than that. Everyone else would have too, apparently. But he is very, very tall. Like, almost too tall to stretch out on the little table they use for infants. Next time we go in, they'll probably have to measure him standing up. As if he's some kind of, like, real child instead of a baby. Like a big boy. Eek.

Place Your Bets Now

I'm taking Cubby to the pediatrician later today for his six-month appointment. And yes, in case you were wondering, he is actually closer to seven months, the delay being the result of the INCREDIBLE INEPTITUDE of the office staff at this doctor's office. Man, those people are annoying. I really need to see if the only other pediatrician in the Small City that takes our insurance is accepting new patients.


Doctor visits are very exciting for Cubby, of course, who relishes the opportunity to projectile poop and get needles jabbed into his squishy thighs. But they are even MORE exciting for the rest of us, who eagerly await the results of the weigh-in.

They do other things, of course--measuring his head, seeing how tall he is--but the weigh-in is all that anyone cares about. Because, you see, we do not have a scale. Well, we have a kitchen scale, but as it only goes to 11 pounds, it's not much use in weighing the Giant Infant. So between doctor's appointments, we can only guess how much Cubby weighs. And people ask us ALL THE TIME how much he weighs. Because he weighs a lot, and anytime anyone hefts him up, they invariably exclaim, "Wow! Such a big boy! How much does he weigh?" So it's nice to have a number to give them.

The estimates from various family members for this visit range from 22 pounds to 26 pounds. They are all awaiting the official number with great excitement. I, however, am not so excited to know how much he actually weighs. I figure all I need to know is that he weighs too much for me to hold for very long without significant muscle pain. Actually knowing that it's, like, 24 pounds or something will just make him seem that much heavier. And it's not like I have a choice in the holding of him. Other people can hold him for thirty seconds and then be all, "Woah, he's getting heavy. Here, Mom!" and then pass him back to me. I don't get to pass him off, however. So as long as I can pretend he's still under 20 pounds (HAHAHAHAHAHA--no), I can trick myself into believing that it is still possible for me to continue hauling him around for the next two months without physical injury. Or however long it takes him to start walking.

So how giant is the Giant Infant now? Stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Get Ready . . .

It's time for another Mystery Post, in which I totally punk out on producing anything of real substance or merit and instead pull an unlabeled, and therefore mysterious and exciting, photo from my poorly organized files. (It is SO mysterious and exciting, dammit.)

So! Today, on the third day of above-90-degree weather, despite the fact that it is--HELLO!--September and should be cool now, I thought it would be fun to pull a photo from winter. Specifically, New Year's Day 2007. And what do we have from that day?

We have Otty with snow on her nose and a gate rendered damn near inoperable thanks to a snowstorm.

There! Wasn't that fun? Yes. And now you can go on with your day with a lighter heart and a more jolly frame of mind thanks to the fun we have here on Going Country.

Or something.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Ah, September. A month so evocative of fall--of turning leaves and chilly nights; of clear, crisp air and sunny, pleasant days. So why the hell is it supposed to be 92 degrees today and tomorrow?

I'll tell you why: Mama N. is a mean old hag who wants to punish us one last time, that's why. I suppose it's her idea of a funny joke to give us more wretched heat and humidity in the very beginning of the month that usually means relief for us.

But no matter! I shall suffer in my sweat bath for a few more days, in anticipation of those brisk fall days sure to arrive soon. Some day I will again be able to wear long pants without feeling as if I will spontaneously combust.

These are the dreams that keep me going, for I am a simple soul deep down. And I do love fall.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Are the Local Color

You know those impossibly bucolic photos you sometimes see of places like Scotland, in which sheep are roaming free on the road while the cars wait patiently for the animals to get out the way? It's all so very old world and evocative of a simpler and slower lifestyle, isn't it?

Not at our house.

Yesterday afternoon I was upstairs with Cubby when I heard knocking on our front door. This signals a stranger, because everyone who knows us comes to the side door in the dining room and just walks right in, anyway. So I raced downstairs (well, as fast as I COULD race while hauling the Giant Infant) to find a woman at the door babbling somewhat incoherently about sheep in the road.

"Oh SHIT," I thought, but didn't say in deference to the nice woman standing there offering to try to round up our sheep for me. I thanked her and then turned around to yell up the stairs for The Shepherd.

It is times like these that make me devoutly thankful that The Shepherd works from home now.

A. ran out the door and down to the road, where he found Bonnie, the lead sheep that causes all the trouble, just wandering around in the road. Even for a sheep, which are not known for their stupendous intellects, this was a new low. I mean, there is no vegetation in the road. What in the hell enticed her into the road? Not to the side of the road, or across the road, but IN the road.

And of course, far from being one of those bucolic country lanes in Scotland, this particular road is a very busy state route with a lot of semi truck traffic. Thankfully, no trucks came along to turn Bonnie into road mutton. The cars that happened upon her just went around. And as soon as A. got down there and hupped to her, she came right up the driveway and followed him to the upper pasture.

She apparently just jumped right over the fence. To go stand in the road. Thereby cementing our reputation as The Crazy Sheep People.

At least we provide entertainment. Of a sort.

Monday, August 30, 2010

All Smiles

Smiling babies are a delight. You just can't help but smile at a baby who's grinning up at you. Unless that baby is grinning up at you from his crib at 4:30 in the morning, indicating that said baby is wide awake and ready to be entertained, no matter how you may feel at 4:30 in the morning. And how you feel at 4:30 in the morning is, of course, in no condition to haul a baby downstairs and make happy, jolly conversation with the happy, jolly baby.

Substitute the first person for the "you" in the above paragraph and there you have my morning. I guess a smiling baby at 4:30 in the morning is better than a screaming baby at 4:30 in the morning, but I would much rather have a sleeping baby at 4:30 in the morning.

Maybe tomorrow morning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Mysterious Pear Affair

I got all geared up for pear harvesting yesterday, finding a large box for the numerous pears I remembered seeing on the tree the last time I checked on them a few weeks ago and enlisting A. to come as my body guard, wielding an ax handle to protect me from Don Juan the ram. Donnie does love his pears. Then we got up to the pasture and I literally stopped short in astonishment.

There were no pears on the tree.

Well, let me amend that: Closer examination revealed a total of three pears on the tree. Three. THREE. What in the hell?

I could not imagine what happened to all those pears I saw just a few weeks ago. The MiL suggested maybe some of the high winds we had a little while ago just blew them all off the tree and the sheep ate them off the ground. But even she was astonished that ALL of the pears (okay, okay--all except three pears) disappeared.

We got a couple of dozen from the smaller pear tree a few weeks ago, so we have been eating some, but there will be no pear canning this year. There was no pear canning last year, either, thanks to the cold, wet summer we had. The year before that, though, I canned 39 quarts of pears. Nature is fickle, indeed.

Oh well. Gives me more time to deal with the crazy harvest of Concord grapes I'll be faced with this week. And the tomatoes, of course. Always the tomatoes. Never fear, duckies--a shortage of pears doesn't mean a shortage of sweaty hours spent canning in the kitchen.

Isn't THAT a relief.