goats in the driveway…

I had a better blog post to write, but my brain just can’t seem to get where I want it. I’m not overly tired today, so that’s a plus, but I just can’t get to that “perfectly beautiful blog post” place. Instead, I’m sticking with the “write it however you can, or else!” place. Because there really were goats, and I wanted to tell you about them. Before it becomes a “that was SO last week” story.

Of course, the goats weren’t a huge part of the story. We were driving to school, and the usual squabbles were occurring, with me trying to stay on the road, while I broke up the argument. When one of the girls said, “The goats are out!”, and wanted to call their mom about it. Well, we were two minutes from the school, so I wasn’t going to let them have my phone, but I promised to call their mom and tell her.

You see, Mrs. B’s office has some neighbors who don’t really like to mow. So, they bought some goats and let them trim the grass for them. I hear about it now and then, though since I’m usually at the wheel, I can’t take time to look and see the critters. But I kept my promise, called their mom, and left her a message. And lo and behold, we passed her office again, and there was a bunch of goats wandering around the parking lot, like… ok, I admit it, I was going to say lost sheep. They definitely looked lost and confused, though.

When I got home, I tried her office again, and when she picked up, I said, “The goats are in the driveway.”, in a very matter-of-fact tone. Of course, she said, “What?!?”. Ok, so I had meant to say parking lot, but I explained, and we cleared up the misunderstanding. The office is back from the front windows, so they hadn’t seen them, and by the time they went out to check, their neighbors had retrieved their lost animals.

About an hour later, I turned the water on, in the kitchen sink. Hot water. You see, I have an ongoing battle with flies and gnats (or maybe they’re fruit flies). This time of year, it’s so warm and humid, and we’ve had a ton of rain, so the bugs multiply, and then make their way into the house, looking for sustenance. But with eight of us living in one house, when the dishwasher is running, there are usually still dirty dishes piling up. So, I put hot water in the sink and let all the dishes soak, and the bugs can’t find anything attractive to them, so they go somewhere else. Hopefully.

The water was on, I had put the dishes into the sink and then, Bubby fell and hit her head. Fairly hard, from the sound of her shrieks, so I went to the rescue. From there, after soothing the poor baby for a while, I checked on the laundry, picked up toys, and did any number of other things. And then I heard the water hit the floor.

Think it doesn’t make a sound, water overflowing the sink? Yes, it does, the wet slap hitting the wood, and I ran to get the faucet turned off. And chastised myself, for a few minutes, for having gotten distracted enough to do it. I’ve been here ten months, and I’ve never done it before. I should take a poll with some other moms on how often they do it. Then again, most sinks have that hole that is supposed to help prevent overflows. Ours doesn’t.

Sadie and Bub were quite fascinated by the soap suds on the floor, though there wasn’t too much water actually on the floor. Some of it had gone into the cupboard under the sink, so I emptied that out, and aimed a fan at the whole area. Then, after filling up a glass pitcher, repeatedly, to empty water outside, I had to reach into the sink and try and get the plug out. No dish-washing gloves were available, and the water was scalding hot, so I’m lucky I didn’t burn myself. After three or four tries, I managed to get the plug out. Remember, the sink had a lot of dishes in it, too!

But, no worries. It wasn’t that big a deal, just something a little more unusual. I’m sure my own mom was more upset, when I was a teenager, and put dish soap in the dishwasher, instead of dish-washing detergent. I remember all the foam that came out of the dishwasher, but I don’t actually remember how she cleaned it up. I just remember feeling like a moron.

In the late afternoon, Mrs. B was home and cuddling Bubby, while I folded laundry. We heard a slight rumble of thunder, so slight that we weren’t sure if it really was thunder. And then about a minute later, we heard the loudest crack of thunder I have ever heard in my entire life. Every one of us jumped about a foot in the air, the cats came running, and if Bub hadn’t been in her mom’s lap, she probably would’ve panicked. As it was, her eyes didn’t get back to normal size for about ten minutes.

We’d all seen a flash of light, somewhere in the distance, but I was still expecting to have a tree fall over, belatedly, after the deafening sound. But no, that was the worst of the noise. We had a crazy rain and wind storm, after that, and we had some very large branches come down, but nothing worse. I was nice enough to let the dog come inside, when the prams began to fly across the veranda.

The day after that, Bub and I were on our own, so for a special treat, I took her to McDonald’s. Not to eat, though I got a mochaccino. But as soon as my drink was ready, I took her out on the playground. She’s only 18 months old, so she’s not quite big enough to climb up those big two steps to get inside the jungle gym, but I would give her a hand for each step. Then she would crawl down the tube slide, occasionally sliding down by accident. But climbing down the big, colorful tube that makes your voice echo, well, that’s fun enough for a toddler. As soon as she touched the ground, she would head back to the entrance, and do baby sign for “please”, as in “Help me up there, fast, please?”. Eventually, she’d be hanging on to the step with both hands, and was so excited, that when I said “Say, please.”, she actually said something that ended with “eez”. So, we’re making progress with climbing skills, as well as language.

And as a final snippet of my daily life, Lent has begun. I have never paid any attention to Lent before, so as soon as it started, I forgot. Not on purpose, of course. Just because I don’t do it, doesn’t mean I tease the people that do!

I was asked to buy Lamingtons (sponge cake cover in chocolate and dipped coconut), the other day, but somehow, they didn’t get eaten. They were intended for smoko, so today, I got them out and began to cut up some fruit to go with them. As I was putting them on the table, Kit told me she couldn’t have them. I thought it was because of one of her allergies, but then realized my mistake. Both Kit and Bea are giving up sugary snacks and dessert. So, I looked around, and checked on everyone else.

Bub doesn’t observe Lent, and was already knee-deep into her Lamington. I asked Sadie what she’d given up, and she asked me what Lent was. So, she was able to count out her two Lamingtons, as well. Emmie was reaching for the bag, when I asked her what she’d given up (if anything). “Sugar” was her prompt reply. “No, you didn’t.”, I responded, knowing her inability to give up something like that, as well as how many things sugar is actually in. “I mean, brown sugar.”

I laughed. That would almost be like me giving up lollipops, seeing as I don’t have them very often. I love brown sugar, but we only use it in one or two cookie recipes, and at home, we put it in oatmeal. From there, Emmie went on to arguing with Kit that she had TOO given up ice cream, when Kit told her she’d just had it the other night. Since I wasn’t sure how important this was, and how old you had to be to do Lent, I called their mom, to check. Mrs. B also had a good laugh over “brown sugar”.

There you have it, a few days in my life, and I’ve told you about the goats. I can now get back to my book.

2 thoughts on “goats in the driveway…

  1. Hi, Rachel. I must confess to being a lurker of your blog, reading it faithfully, but never commenting (I always think my comments sound way too dorky after I hit publish). But I have so enjoyed reading about your life there in Australia, being a nanny and a book lover and intrepid explorer, I felt compelled today to come away out of the shadows and say “hi”. I first discovered your blog when your new-born kitty pictures were Freshly Pressed. So keep writing and I’ll keep reading. 🙂 All the best, Kathy in Canada

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad you’ve been reading, even if you never comment. I find that comments can be a big lift to the day, but in the end, I just feel better having written. And I like to think that I have a variety of readers, since I don’t always write about the same thing, nor do I expect everyone to be interested in ALL the books that I read.

      Yes, the kittens have come a long way since then. We have only two left, though we’re still trying to get the other one adopted. They’re cats now, but we still call them kittens. I’m sorry, I haven’t posted any pics of them, because now that they’re cats, they spend most of their time getting on my nerves (pooping on beds & desks, now and then), rather than being cute and cuddly.

      Thanks again, and keep coming by, whether you comment or not!

      -Rachel

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