Sunday, March 22, 2009

A weekend of Will's

(I feel like I need to make a clarification again for the ease of reading. For today, Will refers to my son and Willie is my brother-in-law)

I just got back from spending the weekend in Kanab. Myself, Will, my mom, sister Maiken and her daughter Lucia, all went down to stay will my sisters Alex and Keeley and her husband Willie. Willie's birthday is next week so we went down to have a small party and help start a garden for them.

I wasn't told before hand about the gardening part, which was fine, I just would have prepared a little better. My mom and sister drove down on Thursday and Will and I went down on Friday. It's pretty exciting to make a four hour drive with just you and a 3 year old. It was better in some ways then last fall's visit that consisted of telling Will and Lucia to quit fighting every five minutes, but I knew I was in trouble when I stopped at the bank three blocks away from our house and Will asked if we were in Kanab yet. Nope, not quite.

It was thankfully an event-less trip down and beautiful weather when we arrived. The gardening work was just beginning so I went and changed so I could help. Then pretty much stood around feeling pretty useless. Keeley and Willie found a house to rent on three acres. The landlords basically told them they could do whatever they wanted in the "yard". Really just three acres of sagebrush and sand, but plenty of room to put in a garden. And Will's dream place, lots and lots of dirt to play in. He never even asked once to watch tv, which was surprising, just kept asking who was gonna go play in the dirt with him.

The size of the garden needed to be somewhat limited because they would need to put up some type of fencing to keep out animals if they want any chance of it surviving. Willie had read a book about gardening in small spaces and my mom is sort of an expert gardener, so I think they had some good plans. We measured out two beds 4'x30' and then the digging began. There is room for two more beds that they can put in later. The method Willie had read about calls for double digging. I won't bore you, but it means a lot of digging. Twice even.

Willie dug the first row completely by himself the first night. The second row had Keeley, myself and my mom digging on it and was finished the next day by Willie. The digging was nothing like it would have been around here, the dirt is mostly just sand. But for some reason as soon as I took my turn I hit an underground river of rocks. And not just little rocks that are annoying, no cantaloupe size rocks that mean you have to completely stop digging, get out the pitch fork and loosen a large area around, finally get out the rock, pick up the shovel, and clank, another rock.

That night Will and I slept on an air mattress in the basement. My mom was by us on another air mattress and Maiken and Lucia were upstairs on a fold out couch. Will spent at least 30 minutes telling us why the downstairs was not a good place to sleep and why you can't sleep in the dark. I knew if he would just lay down and stop talking he would crash. And when he finally got frustrated enough with me telling him we were going to sleep in the dark, he laid down and was snoring five seconds later.

Not so easy for me. I'm not sure how many trips I will go on before I learn I need to take my fan. I cannot sleep well without it. Not sure what I'm gonna do this summer when I have to go on a plane trip, I need a small portable fan. The wind howled around their house at night, fan would have helped block that out. Both neighbors have chickens. Did you know rosters don't only crow in the morning? No that's only on tv. The second night two of the cats, Grumbly and Go both decided to walk across my face. And then Go started playing with some toy at the end of the beds. Sweet. Also helpful is the fact that air mattresses are the complete opposite of those mattresses that don't move at all when you do. I'm excited to be back in my bed tonight. Not that it wasn't worth it.

I did miss out on the fun from the night before. Alex has two cats, Grumbly and Beatrice. They don't really like strangers. Willie also has a kitten Go. My mom brought down their dog Zen. Keeley has a dog and the cats aren't bothered at all by her, but I guess Zen was a little different. My family all went out to eat and when they came back Zen had blood all over his face. The first thought was that the dogs had gotten into a fight. Turns out Zen had gotten a little too interested in the cats and Grumbly got him in the nose. Grumbly was quite scared by Zen and sorry, there just isn't a better way to say it, he literally had the shit scared out of him. Very sad I missed that.

Saturday morning we got up and went down to Linda Lea's coffee shop where Willie and Alex work. Willie does the baking and had made us custom ordered bagels. They were the best bagels I've ever had, and I'm not just saying that cause we are related. Afterwards we took the kids to the city park for a break to get some energy out. There is a Stamp It Up stamp factory near by and the mulch in the playground is shredding stamps. It's pretty cool and much nicer to walk or fall on then bark.

We made a quick stop at the fire station where they had been having an open house earlier in the day. Keeley just finished her EMT certification and she carried Will around the station showing him the rigs.

Then back to the house for some more gardening. With two beds done, we began work on the fence. Luckily there were several metal poles around the yard with cider blocks attached. Remnants of an old volleyball set. So we buried those plus ten other poles to make a fence border. We hung up fabric deer fence, but they will probably have to add chicken wire to the bottom to keep the rabbits out. We saw one curious little bugger while we were digging, so they definitely are around.

That night we had a wonderful dinner of my mom's chimichangas and yummy berry pie and pumpkin pie for dessert. We were joined for dinner by their new friend Derek. It seems wherever Keeley and Willie live, there must be a Derek there for them to hang out with.

Alex got Willie a "machine gun" and cross bow arrow guns from the local store. Who knew they would be the highlight of the night. Willie barely got to try them out before the kiddies wanted to take over. Will was obsessed! I wish I would have been able to capture on video the look on face when he went after someone. It was a little too intense. He would chase Willie down, get about a foot away say "I got you" and then wait another three minutes before actually firing. He was a very good dueling partner and always made sure to bring Willie his arrows back and waited till Willie was properly loaded before chasing him down again.

The other excitement of the night came earlier when Will woke up after we had finished dinner. He had not gotten a nap and was at the screaming phase when dinner was being cooked. Alex did a great job of distracting him, but he was hungry and dinner was going to still be awhile. I made him some popcorn and he sat down on the couch. Just a few minutes later I looked over and saw him sitting up still chewing, but his eyes were closed. By the time I grabbed the camera he had fallen over, but was still chewing his popcorn.

He woke up about an hour later and was complaining that his foot hurt. The yard is full of those pricker plants that get stuck in your shoes. Even though we tried to make checks, several got carried into the house. I had pulled one out of his foot earlier, but he said it still hurt. Under closer observation, there was a piece still stuck in his foot. And it wasn't right on the surface anymore. New EMT Keeley to the rescue. She went and grabbed her kit and pulled out her "foreign object extraction kit". Luckily she only needed to use the fancy tweezers, the other things were kind of disturbing.

It took Maiken and I pinning Will down and a little digging, but Keeley had her first rescue. And even though Will was pretty upset for awhile, I don't think his idol status of Keeley has been compromised.

This morning we got up and had a wonderful breakfast of wheat vegan pancakes, tofu scramble and homemade hash browns. After some lounging we hit the road again. This time not as much napping in the car and more crying that this was boring mom. But besides driving through some snow, nothing too bad. Overall a fun weekend away from home.

(the Wills)

(Lots more pictures on flickr for Britta and anyone else interested.)


Britta said...

Okay - my pregnancy hormones are still in effect because I'm crying - I wish I had been there! I miss everyone tons.

BTW - I have several fans at my house that you are welcome to use when you visit!

Maiken said...

I'm still finding sand and sticker prickers, but it was fun.