Well, my sister will be very happy to hear that while it wasn't a pregnancy, it was a knee that did me in. Since May, I have gained 10 pounds. All because I've been sitting around doing nothing. Being unable to go up and down stairs, feed the animals, go for a walk, play with the kids, clean my house, do yardwork, weed the garden, or go to the zoo has caused my pants to get tighter and tighter.
I am happy to say the sitting around has come to an end. My knee isn't back to normal, but I am finally able to start getting back to a normal activity level. I've been taking care of the chickens, doing laundry, cleaning the house, making dinners, and just moving in general. It's been exhausting, but it feels good. I am astounded how quickly a body gets completely out of shape!
We had a normal amount of chaos this week. Sure, the kids had us running until as late as 10:00 pm, but there were no major catastrophes. No scheduling snafus. No injuries. That makes for a good week.
As I now am back to working around this little farm, I am repeatedly thrilled with all that it provides, even in its disastrous state. I was able to make dinner last night, and more than half the ingredients in the Shepard's pie came from our own yard. The apple and pear trees feed us while the mulberry and persimmon trees feed our chickens. The large yard allows us to dry our clothes and sheets outside, thus avoiding even higher utility bills. The food scraps and chicken bedding get composted to help grow the veggies in the garden. We may be a long drive to get anywhere, but living out here has afforded us a very good life.
While we do grow and raise a lot of our own food, I still spend plenty at the grocery store each month. I don't cut coupons, mostly because I don't have time and there aren't coupons for the things I spend the most money on. I couldn't be happier that my store has an alternative. Meijer has this thing called mperks. You can clip coupons on line and they are just automatically taken off when you check out. I use that some, but my biggest savings come from their rewards program. In one month, I can earn up to 9 different rewards, just for buying the things I always buy. Just this month I've earned $15 off my bill. When I spend $90 more, I'll earn another $20 off. It's awesome. AND I don't have to give them my email or anything else. Just my cell phone number.
Soccer is in full swing to say the least. Weekends are filled with hours and hours of games. I am so happy to be at a club which has coaches who stress learning fundamentals, having fun, and becoming better people, not just better soccer players. On Thursday, the club had it's annual build your own soccer ball night. Each player has to make a ball with materials from around the house and bring it to practice. At practice, everyone, including coaches, take off their shoes and play some games barefoot with the homemade balls. No refs. No parents watching. Just kids having loads of fun. Just like kids all over the world do. Along with the homemade balls, the kids are encouraged to bring soccer balls and cleats and other soccer gear to donate. Everything brought in is given to organizations which supply kids in undeveloped countries with soccer equipment.
Still speaking of soccer, I love to watch Phoenix play. He is not what you would call a confident teen. He is quiet and practically scared to death to ask adults questions. (I once had to drag him to the librarian's desk and coach him through what he would say to her once he got there. He just wanted to find a book. He was 14.) However, on a soccer field, he is a completely different person. He was actually unanimously voted captain of the JV team by both his teammates and his coaches. He loves the game and is very good at helping others become better players. He's confident and a great leader. It's astonishing, really.
And still speaking of soccer, Buttercup has finally, after three weeks, been cleared to play again. She had her first game on Wednesday and played most of the game. She played well and her head didn't bother her in the least.
Now that we have 2 kids in high school and 2 in middle school, we pretty much have to go to football games. I am way more worried about going than I ever was when I was in high school. I don't know all that many people at the high school, and I worry I'll be the dork sitting alone in the stands. Fortunately, I have a friend who feels the same way. We text each other beforehand to make sure the other will be there and meet up. Makes my Friday nights a whole lot more enjoyable.
We have had a couple of days with perfect weather. If we could have 75 and sunshine every day, I'd never be unhappy.
Cuckoo and I took full advantage of the weather on Friday by heading to the zoo. We have been members there for 16 years. I have been at least 100 times. I am never bored with it. In other zoos, I felt bad for the animals, being locked up in a little cage. Zoos are changing, people. I don't feel sorry for the animals at our zoo. The zoo staff is constantly building new and better enclosures to give the animals a more natural habitat while giving visitors a close-up look at the animals. This time, we finally were able to see the completed orangutan exhibit. We were not disappointed. No joke, if you are ever in the Indianapolis area, let me take you to the zoo. Not only can you see the orangutans...
|That up there, between the two ropes untold feet in the air, is an orangutan.|
or just watch the sharks. Whatever floats your boat.
It's an awesome zoo.
After we saw the animals, we headed out to see some more of downtown. I just love this city. It's so pretty, there's so much to do, and it's all within walking distance. You really, really should come spend some time here. I'll be happy to show you around!
|The bridge across the White River connecting the zoo side with the rest of downtown.|
|So much green space and so many little outdoor venues.|
|the canal that runs through downtown and well up into the north side ends here in a waterfall that spills into the White River.|
Don't be shy. Let me know what you are appreciating this week!
Have a lovely day!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, Mother of Imperfection, Rewritten, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine
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Love the photo of the tightrope-walking orangutan!ReplyDelete
So glad that Buttercup is OK. What a scary thing!
The build-your-own soccer ball activity sounds wonderful. How good of the coaches to keep the game fun.
Do you ever eat some of those persimmons? Sometimes we get them in our produce box, and John loves this apricot pastry with persimmon glaze: http://www.thankfulme.net/2012/12/monday-morning-in-kitchen-apricot.html
I was shocked by the entire thing. When they were building the exhibit, I was thinking there had to be something I was missing. That something else was going to be added. Nope. Those orangutans are climbing more than 30 feet up, with nothing to catch them. Astounded, I was.Delete
It was scary. It is quite a relief to have her back to normal.
Several years ago, they brought this one coach in to coach some U8 and U9 teams. He very quickly was put in charge of all boys and girls aged 7-10. He makes it fun, teaches them great soccer skills, and is a fantastic role model. I've never seen a coach anywhere near as good as he is. We are very blessed to have him.
Our persimmons aren't big enough to eat. They're just little things, but there are gobs of them. We just pick them and throw them into the chickens. I have a friend who makes persimmon pudding, and her son was quite disappointed when he saw our persimmons. They just aren't big enough. It's a bummer.
The zoo seems to be a really wonderful place to visit. The photos are beautiful.ReplyDelete
It is a great zoo, and they are always making improvements. Thank you!Delete
Orangutans are my favs, too. The national zoo has a good set-up for them like what I see in your pics. I agree with you about the perfect temps. Your description of Phoenix on the soccer field touched me. As someone who was also a scared kid, I love that he has a place to feel so happy and confident. And I'm glad to hear buttercup is doing so well. I am envious of your self-sufficient life. I dream of that kind of lifestyle, and do what I can in the suburbs. What city? Indianapolis?ReplyDelete
We were at the National Zoo years ago. It must have been before they improved the orangutan exhibit. It was a nice zoo back then, so I can only imagine it's great now.Delete
I couldn't be happier about Phoenix and soccer. It brings him so many positive things.
You do a lot for a suburbanite. :)
Yes, we are in Indianapolis. I do believe it is about a 10 hour drive from your place. Let me know if you can make it for a vacation!
You've gained 10 pounds since May. I'll bet you have that off very soon. It's just what happens when you're not able to do much.ReplyDelete
Have a fabulous day and weekend. :)
I'm hoping so. I already feel stronger, so that's gotta be a good sign. At least I've stopped the gaining.Delete
What a great trip to the zoo. I always throughly enjoy a zoo. The farm really sounds lovely!ReplyDelete
I could spend days at the zoo, just watching the animals play around.Delete
It isn't so lovely to look at these days, but it is a lovely place to live.
I thought the National Zoo in DC was the only zoo with an O-Line for the orangutans to move around the park on. I love to see them up there. Good news that Buttercup has mended well. I am a big fan of 75 degree weather. too. My favorite season is fall and that is mostly due to the temperatures. Here's to another great week!ReplyDelete
It probably was until this summer. Ours is brand-spanking new. It was incredible to see him climbing up so high like it was the easiest thing in the world to do.Delete
It is very good news. That injury had us scared for quite a few days.
If fall didn't lead to winter, it would be my favorite, too. :)
What Kristi said, cos persimmons and mulberries are DELICIOUS! Don't waste them on the chickens - enjoy them! Wow! What bounty :DReplyDelete
I'm glad that soccer's going so well for the brood, and that Phoenix has proven himself so capable and popular. He's in his element, building other people up, but to ask for help for himself? Eeesh! This is typical of a clark-mindset. Definitely.
Glad Buttercup's all better, and that you all had such fun at the zoo. That orang bridge is AWESOME :)
I've never had anything persimmon before. I hear they are good, but ours are too little to bother with. As for the mulberries, we do eat some. When they are in season, we're constantly snacking on them right off the trees. I had planned to make some mulberry syrup this year, but couldn't because of the knee. Most went to the chickens this year. Of course, we have about 10 trees, so there's more than enough to go around.Delete
The soccer is even better now! On Saturday, they put him in the varsity game. He did so well, he's getting moved up permanently. I couldn't be happier for him. I will never, ever understand you clarks.
When you come to visit, we will have to spend some of your time here downtown. You'll love it.
Wow, I bet petting the sharks was awesome! Growing and raising your food sounds awesome! I wished I had the time and space to do so as well :-) I'm glad you're back on your feet again (literally), you must have been going crazy being confined to a chair doing nothing for so long.. Hope you have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
It is a great, unique exhibit, at least for the midwest. It is a lot of work and space to raise all that we do. Thankfully, we have plenty of big kids to help. :)Delete
While I did get antsy towards the end, I have to admit that it was nice to be required to sit and let everyone else wait on me. :)
how cool that buttercup is better? and your leg even if its supporting a bit more weight... that will change. What a great photo of the little man! airborne!!!!! Congrats to Phoenix! NICE JOB!!!!ReplyDelete
oh wait... I knew there was something else... what a cool activity with the soccer balls huh?????Delete
very cool. very happy about the knee's progress. Gotta love an action shot! I'll pass along the encouragement.Delete
The coach that started the whole thing is the best coach we've ever come across. We have been completely blessed to have him.
All I could think about was "What if it starts throwing poop?" I apologize for apparently having the mind of a teenage boy, last week it was the canning apples naked comment.... I do love seeing animals though as long as the are well cared for!ReplyDelete
haha! Lucky for you, I'm surrounded by teenage boys and totally get it. :)Delete
These animals are very well cared for. Paradise, I tell ya!
I love your TToT posts.ReplyDelete
Oh, I'm glad. Thanks for telling me. I sometimes wonder if they get a bit old.Delete
Zoos are great. Kidzilla would love to pet a shark! She has a thing for sharks. Perhaps I should worry...but then again, my Sister loved the movie Jaws from the time she was 5. Perhaps it's a family thing.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear Buttercup is healing well. Concussion is not funny.
Do you let her watch Shark week? I find them to be fascinating, as long as they aren't in the water with me. :)Delete
Concussions are scary business. I know people whose lives are forever changed because of head injuries during soccer.
Zoos are COOL. If you have the chance to visit Singapore, I'd take you around the one here. Full of orang-utans and then some!! On a great note, hey ho to the knee getting progressively better. Will get there soon!ReplyDelete
Very cool. I would love to visit Singapore, especially after all of the great things you've written about it.Delete
I never thought it would really take a year to get back to normal, but I'm beginning to think it really will.
I love the stories you tell about your community. And now there's your zoo! I think I would love to come and visit you. I would even help you on the farm! This is our first weekend of football...it got pushed back a week...and I am really looking forward to it. Our whole afternoon is full with both boys playing football and Wednesdays are reserved for volleyball. I love this time of year! I'm glad that you are finally getting around again. Time to shed those ten pounds...I'm sure your sister will be thrilled ;)!ReplyDelete
Come anytime!! Especially to help on the farm. :)Delete
Was it pushed back because of the heat? I do love watching my kids play. I do hate that this year they all seem to have their games at the same time. I rarely get to just sit and enjoy a game. It's usually see half, then run to the next kid to see half of his.
My sister will be thrilled if I don't lose them before I see her at Thanksgiving!
sorry…I need to interrupt my reading of your Post.ReplyDelete
"...I'll be the dork sitting alone in the stands."
(if I may?) yeah, right
now, if you don't mind, I'd like to finish reading this here Post here
Ha! Hey, I don't know everyone in the high school! This is a high school where most people have stayed and their kids now go there. It's a tight group, and I'm the outsider, having moved here from Ohio. Not easy to break in!Delete
Of course, I have always found someone and have never sat by myself yet... :)
THERE ARE NO NUMBERS HERE. HOW DO I WRITE A PROPER REPLY WITHOUT NUMBERS?!ReplyDelete
I'm glad Buttercup is finally over her concussion. She really got her bell rung! Hope she doesn't push herself too hard for awhile (although I know she will).
As I've said before, Phoenix and Kyle are quite a bit alike. He still can't walk into a strange situation with adults and know what to say. He wants me to go with him. If it is something completely unavoidable and I'm not there, he calls or texts me for advice.
I love Friday night football games! I'm glad you are going. Doesn't Bryan go with you? The people in our stands are a lot like Methodists and sit in the same place every home game. We've sat by the same friends for year. And we have an amazing student section! They are student-led, and they do some pretty hilarious stuff!
I like going to zoos with you and Cuckoo.
10 lbs? You're an amateur :)
We're all glad to have her back to normal.
At least Kyle asks you for help. Phoenix will just not do whatever is supposed to get done. He's an avoider.
Bryan does not go with me. It is way too late for the little boys to be up when we have morning soccer games. He doesn't like to go, mostly because he always falls asleep by 9:00 on Friday nights. Each game is different. This past week was CYO night, with all 10 of the feeder schools' football teams coming to be announced at the game. There is no such thing as sitting in the same place each week.
We had a great time with you, too. I hope you get to come to Indy sometime! We'd love to take you!
10 pounds in just a few months is not amateur status!
Kyle only asks if I'm RIGHT THERE and catch him in the act of avoidance. Even then, he sometimes just can't do whatever it is, and I have to do it. Sigh.Delete
I stand by your amateur status.
But you said he texts you! I can't imagine mine ever, ever doing such a thing. He'd rather flunk out of school than ask for clarification.Delete
Oh, I love downtown Indianapolis. We went through on our epic drive from KS to NYC one year, but have come back on purpose a couple times. Awesome place.ReplyDelete
Good to hear someone who has been here! It's only getting better!Delete
Well I might have to put Indianapolis on my list of places I'd like to visit. Phoenix - strong, quiet leader. The world needs more of that. It's cool when kids' social lives revolve around school activities. Sounds like a good week and I'm glad your knee is better (Finally). A very long recovery!ReplyDelete
You really should. There is so much to do.Delete
He is a great leader on that soccer field. Now we need to get that confidence and leadership out into the rest of his world.
I am so grateful for the kids' teams. They all have great friends on them, and those friends have their priorities straight. Good influences all around.