Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by sfg4uKim Today at 8:20 am

» Mid-South: December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:40 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing December 2016
by AtlantaMarie Today at 7:38 am

» Anyone out there tried crosne tubers?
by sanderson Today at 4:32 am

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by sanderson Today at 4:16 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by sanderson Today at 4:09 am

» California's Drought
by sanderson Today at 4:08 am

» N&C Midwest: December 2016
by GardenGal Today at 2:14 am

» New England, December 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:19 pm

» TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 5:21 pm

» Tomato Tuesday 2016
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 4:41 pm

» Holy snow Batman!
by donnainzone5 Yesterday at 12:13 pm

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 11:44 am

» Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave
by camprn Yesterday at 7:05 am

» Garbanzo (Chickpeas, Cicer arietinum) and Kidney Beans
by BeetlesPerSqFt 12/7/2016, 11:28 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by countrynaturals 12/7/2016, 10:43 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising 12/7/2016, 9:43 pm

» GF Collard Greens, Kale Recipes
by BeetlesPerSqFt 12/7/2016, 12:49 pm

» 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by sanderson 12/7/2016, 11:48 am

» Bon fires on the Levee
by Cajun Cappy 12/6/2016, 12:17 pm

» Mid-Atl - Dec 2016 - Seed Catalog ?
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:24 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:21 pm

» 1st Seed Catalog Arrived :)
by Scorpio Rising 12/5/2016, 10:15 pm

» Amaranth
by countrynaturals 12/5/2016, 12:06 pm

» Live and learn
by jimmy cee 12/5/2016, 9:08 am

» AtlantaMarie's Garden
by countrynaturals 12/4/2016, 2:04 pm

» Mychorrhizae Fungi
by audrey.jeanne.roberts 12/4/2016, 1:28 pm

» December 2016 Avatar: Show your Winter Season Colors!
by Scorpio Rising 12/3/2016, 11:17 pm

» SFG not giving the results I expected
by No_Such_Reality 12/3/2016, 7:21 pm

» New Member
by trolleydriver 12/3/2016, 4:14 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  middlemamma on 10/5/2010, 3:43 pm

I am going to preface this story with: when you get to the end you will SO realize why this belongs on the SFG forum, and also with: while you are reading this REMEMBER I am a city girl.

Having 2 little kids makes life chaotic sometimes. But on the rare evening when both of them are fed, showered, teeth brushed, read to, hugged and kissed AND in bed by 8:45 pm, I am a mommy on cloud nine. I love you

Last night was one of these rare nights, there was no fighting or crying or chaos...there was a great family dinner at the dinner table, fun and wrestling (where no one got hurt!) in between dinner and showers, there was no whining or asking for 5 drinks of water on the way to bed...it was just one of those rare nights where there is peace and harmony in the universe and the HOPE that the DVR actually recorded HOUSE MD and I can collapse on the couch and watch it with a glass of wine.

As I get out of my kneeling position next to Madisyn's bed, kiss her one last time on her forehead and head to the living room the door bell rings. At 8:45..that is never good news.

It's nearly 9pm. I look out the peephole and see the little 3rd grader from down the street. This poor little boy does not come from a very good home and I suspect mom is a drug addict, so I feel for him and his other 3 brothers. I don't let my kids go to their house and play but I let them come to our house and play in our yard. The point being this little boy should be in bed and instead he's on my doorstep standing in the night chill...no mother beside him.

So I open the door and he starts stammering and stuttering obviously upset and afraid. He says to me, "Caleb (my 4th grader) gave me a hamster today and I took it home, but my mom just found out I have it and she freaked out and said I have to bring it back to Caleb right now." To which I replied...."WHAT?! HUH?! MY SON CALEB?!" We don’t “have” rodents in our house..(city girl remember, OCD woman remember?) so I am so confused.

He says, "Yea, and you have to take it RIGHT now because it needs it's mom or it's gonna die!"

So I said let me see it....and he opens the little makeshift house he's made out one of his matchbox car boxes and here in the middle of a pile of pulled grass and leaves is a little TINY, (fit in a teaspoon) writhing, still needs milk from it's mother, hamster. My reaction was, "OH-MY-GOD!?!?" (insert shrieking female city girl noises here) affraid

In response to my reaction the little boy down the street starts to bawl and do that lip sucking, quivering, can't catch a breath crying. It was then I realized from the sound of HIM that he had probably just stopped crying this same way to knock on my door...my reaction just got him started again.

So I yell for Caleb. Caleb comes out, EYES WIDE AS SAUCERS, brimming with tears...and he starts crying and stammering that a little girl at school stuck it in his backpack and he knew he couldn’t bring it home, and he MEANT to tell me about it, but he forgot....and on and on and on. So I say to him, "Stop." I turned to the little boy down the street....and I tell him it's ok, I'm not mad at him...we'll get it taken care of. No worries, tell your crackhead mom we'll deal with it and to get your butt in bed...well I said some of that. I consoled him and got his tears back under control and then I sent him home with a little squeeze on the shoulder.

So here I stand in my entryway with an infant hamster, my son in tears and repulsion coursing through every bone in my body, irritated beyond explanation that my once in a blue moon wonderful evening was just ruined. (insert arms crossed and stomping 4 year old fit here)

So after a couple deep breaths, I sit down with my son to get to the bottom of this. He explained that this little girl in his classroom had the momma hamster and 2 babies in her backpack at school all day and at last recess he and she were sitting in the class finishing reading assignments and she showed them to him. At this point I ask him what the mom hamster looked like cause this thing I have in my Tupperware container with holes now punched in the top does NOT look like a hamster to me. thinking He says it was fluffy like a snowball…I am thinking ok that SOUNDS like a hamster. He then tells me she stuck it in his backpack and he was scared to tell.

Well I know my son, so I give him THE LOOK and remind him that this is a VERY important time to tell THE WHOLE truth. So he says well she asked me if I wanted it and at first I said no. Then I said yea I would really like one. So then they put one of the babies in HIS backpack. And then he got this look on his face and he says, “But then I knew you were NOT gonna let me keep it (no kidding!) so I said I can’t take it but then she wouldn’t take it back. So I gave it to Levi (the little boy down the street) on the bus and he took it home.”

At this point, in my all knowing Mommy wisdom, I KNOW this little thing is not going to live through the night..it’s been jostled around in a backpack all day, who knows what happened to it after it left Caleb’s backpack…and it’s been without mother’s milk for who knows how long. So Joe (DH) and I are trying to figure out what in the world do we do?? Do we take it in the back field and let a owl put it out of its misery? I mean it really isn’t OURS…its some kid’s hamster for goodness sakes…

My son is just wrought with grief for this little thing. I gently try to explain to him this is a good lesson in life for him to learn. I said, “Caleb, when you changed your mind and that little voice was telling you to give it back and she wouldn’t take it back…what stopped you from going and telling the teacher?” He said he knew he would get into trouble. So at this point I explained to him that our actions and choices effect other people and in this case his action of not telling the teacher when he knew he should have is going to cost this little animal its life. I asked him what kind of trouble he thought he might have gotten into. He said he might lose a couple recesses and maybe get a referral. So I asked him if those punishments would have been worth it if the little hamster didn’t have to die, and he said yes.

:idea: It hit me like a freight train that God had just provided to me the opportunity to teach Caleb, gently, a HUGE life lesson I had been struggling with some time. Caleb’s father was killed in a car accident in March. His dad, (a wonderful father) was the passenger in his own truck and his best friend was driving inebriated and wrecked killing Caleb’s dad. I have been trying to get through to Caleb that anger will not serve him through his life and being mad at Brad (driver) will never help Caleb. I have tried and failed hundreds of times to make him understand his anger and hatred are only hurting him. While I certainly UNDERTSAND his anger , and so often share it, I believe there is more in this life experience to be had than anger and pain.
For the first time I was able to have Caleb empathize with Brad. I showed Caleb that the same way he was afraid to tell the truth because he thought he was going to get in trouble that Brad did the same thing. I told him what empathy means and asked him if now for a second he could put himself in Brad’s shoes. If he could have some empathy for Brad and see how afraid he must have been. His bad choice, his wrong choice had just had the consequence of killing his best friend and if he told the truth he would go to jail and not see his own little boy for a very long time. For the first time I saw in my little son’s eyes the light bulb illuminate, the connection was made and I saw some of the hate and anger fade away. And as a mother I felt for the first time since March that Caleb and I are going to be ok and make it through this tragedy. Brad will be punished he will go to jail, his lie didn’t fool the police…but Caleb doesn’t have to carry the anger…Brad killed his best friend and will serve prison time…his punishment will happen none the less…Caleb doesn’t have to hurt himself for that to happen. And I also think the gravity of understanding that there are consequences to our actions and our actions affect other people was something I hadn’t been able to get through to Caleb and I finally did.

So with Caleb tucked back in bed, kissed a couple extra times and the little hamster recovering in the container I went to bed. I love you

Imagine my surprise this morning when that thing was alive! So I called the school and informed the school secretary of the situation and that my husband would be bringing it in and to please call the little girl’s parents so they can come get it right away. The secretary and I had a good laugh, she said no problem, I went to work, happy the drama was near an end…or so I thought.

(If you have hung in this long…I congratulate you, and thank you…and apologize for being so long winded! Hang in there we are almost there…)

I settle into my desk at work this morning, turn the computer on and my husband calls.

It wasn’t a hamster…… Shocked

And when the little girl got to school she had 5 more in her backpack….along with a little eyedropper of milk for them. Shocked

When the staff (all women) realized what they were no one would touch them..so my husband had to dig them out of the little hysterical girls backpack while she glared at him through tear filled eyes. He said he felt like a complete troll.

Anyone want to guess what they were?? The little girl was “saving them”. My guess is her parents have a garden and were trying to eradicate them and she was trying to save them as fast as the parents were trying to kill them.

She dug them up out of the ground!!!

Drumroll please.....................................




VOLES!!! VOLES!!! OMF(freaking)G(oodness)!!!

I saved a freaking VOLE!!!! I nearly fell out of my chair at work…( insert more shrieking female city girl noises here). affraid My husband was laughing hysterically at the whole situation…I didn’t really see the humor in it till I had about 20 minutes to process it all. LOL rofl

Mortified…I called the school to apologize. Embarassed I told her that if I had known what it was I would have fed it to the coyotes and never have saved it. She laughed and said no worries it is just another one for the record books.

Indeed it is…hers and mine!

I cannot even tell you how thankful I am that I didn’t just chuck that thing out back and “hope” it died. It’s obviously a pretty hardy little sucker to have survived it’s day in the backpack of a 3rd and 4th grader and then an evening with the kids down the street only to wake up ready to kill someone’s SFG in the morning!

Oh good Lord I wonder some days how one lives through parenting…and then I realized the way I am doing it is with my garden…prayerfully VOLE FREE.


UGH...wine and sawing logs tonight eh?

middlemamma
 
 

Female Posts : 2260
Join date : 2010-04-25
Age : 39
Location : Post Falls Idaho and LOVING it

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  Chopper on 10/5/2010, 4:06 pm

Wonderful story.

Well, I am not sure it makes up for their SFG destroying habits, but at least a vole managed to serve a higher purpose in life. Now they are free to disappear off the face of the earth...


Chopper

Female Posts : 2467
Join date : 2010-05-05
Age : 61
Location : Warner Springs, CA USDA Zone 8a, Sunset Zone 7 (I think)

View user profile http://thezimmermannfamilytoo.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  LaFee on 10/5/2010, 4:43 pm

Razz

Oh my gosh....what a story!

How wonderful that it created a teaching moment, but I was laughing out loud when I got to the explanation of what it was...after all the trouble you've had!

LaFee

Female Posts : 1023
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : West Central Florida

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  Megan on 10/5/2010, 8:43 pm

What a wonderful story... and it goes to show that all creatures have their place. (Even if that place is NOT (NOT!) in your garden!)

Megan

Female Posts : 3350
Join date : 2010-04-27
Age : 49
Location : Manassas, VA - Zone 7a

View user profile http://novasquarefootgardener.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  RoonieRoo on 10/5/2010, 9:17 pm

That was a great story! I read it out loud to my family. My husband, as the man that has to build what I demand for my SFG and umm..exterminate what I demand, appreciated it too.

RoonieRoo

Female Posts : 16
Join date : 2010-04-29
Age : 50
Location : 8B near Austin

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  middlemamma on 10/5/2010, 9:34 pm

Chopper and Megan...Amen to that. NOT IN MY GARDEN.

I'm glad you laughed La Fee.

Roonie you and my hubby should be friends...Joe and I have the same arrangement. As a matter of fact after this whole ordeal today I did some reading about Voles. Joe and I walked the property to see if there are signes of them anywhere here. I had seen the struggles of others on the forum and several times counted my blessings, saying I was so glad "we don't have THOSE!"

Now that I realize we have them in the area...I decided I wanted to read up on them to make sure I can take precautionary measures to NEVER have them! What I discovered about them, among other amazing facts, is that they are a primary diet component for coyotes. We have had some issues with coyotes on the back side of the property but they have never come close to the house...I had been bugging hubby to shoot a couple so the others wouldnt come back..but think we are just going to leave them be for now. It's a weird feeling to be more afraid of a garden eating VOLE than a vole eating coyote. ROFL! rofl

This photo made me realize why the kids thought they were hamsters.








middlemamma
 
 

Female Posts : 2260
Join date : 2010-04-25
Age : 39
Location : Post Falls Idaho and LOVING it

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  LaFee on 10/6/2010, 12:36 am

Totally understood the confusion -- they *do* look like hamsters!

and I hope you know I wasn't laughing at the chaos and the stress and the tears....but that it was all over a critter that so many folks have worked so hard to be rid of!

(and the fact that for once, it wasn't me....)

LaFee

Female Posts : 1023
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : West Central Florida

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  middlemamma on 10/6/2010, 12:46 am

Oh yes La Fee! Of course...I have been chuckling all day long! It is hysterical...totally. I only recounted all this because I hoped folks would laugh. Smile It's funny to me on so many levels..the chaos...the kids...just what you said about this devestating little creature. LOL

Josh (Caleb's dad) is looking down on us laughing his butt off...I can just picture him doubled over in laughter with tears rolling off his red cheeks now.

middlemamma
 
 

Female Posts : 2260
Join date : 2010-04-25
Age : 39
Location : Post Falls Idaho and LOVING it

View user profile

Back to top Go down

RE: Long story

Post  trustinhart on 10/6/2010, 10:32 am

Jen!!!! How precious!!! God gives us moments, but He doesn't always give away the "vessel" until the last minute, VOLES!!!!, how absolutely hysterical.

Your son, Caleb's dad and your DH are very, very fortunate to have a lady like you around who can find God, even in the voles' den.

Love ya bunches!!

trustinhart

Female Posts : 165
Join date : 2010-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Zone 7 VA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  Old Hippie on 10/6/2010, 10:55 am

What a wonderful, touching story....I cried and laughed. You are one very wise lady to see the way to teach your son a valuable life lesson. Bless you too for being sensitive to the little boy with a not-so-sensitive mom.

The minute you said 'hamster' I knew this was not going to end up where it should. LOL! I would sooner have coyotes than voles. The fact that there are coyotes nearby, indicates they have a food source nearby as well.

Kids are so awesome but parenting is NOT a job for cowards. Hope you get your relaxing evening tonight. (and your wine)

GK

Old Hippie
Regional Hosts

Female Posts : 1156
Join date : 2010-08-12
Age : 65
Location : Canada 3b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  janefss2002 on 10/6/2010, 9:05 pm

Middlemamma, this is a fantastic story!

I cried, I laughed and I had to show it to my husband. He cried and laughed like I did. The day-to-day stress of trying to get it all done hit home with us as parents of a 22 year old (we remember the pain). We are still recovering!

The teachable moment is gold. Your clarity in that moment is surely a God wink moment. You hit it spot on.

And the vole ending...it is priceless!

We get so much out of SFG, don't we Wink

By the way, DH reminded me of the few times when he had to tell our daughter that Mom needed to take a very long bath (I really wasn't that dirty!). I had to excuse myself to go take a bubble bath with a glass of wine with the door locked....Calgon, take me away!

Take care!
Jane

janefss2002

Female Posts : 116
Join date : 2010-03-02
Age : 59
Location : Garland, Texas Zone 7b/8a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  martha on 10/6/2010, 9:34 pm

Old Hippie, I didn't see the part about the un-hampster coming.

Oh, dear Middle Mama, what a wonderful story! You tugged at my heart strings, and then I laughed out loud! Bless you ! and Caleb and DH and the other kids.

And may you all forgive me and I hope I don't pay for this, but...the vole in that photo is really cute!

hiding

martha

Female Posts : 2188
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Middlemama

Post  ander217 on 10/7/2010, 1:40 am

Middlemama, you have been such a wonderful addition to the forum. Sometimes after reading your posts I just want to reach out and give you a big hug, but never more than after reading this one.

IMO you should change your name to Topmama.

(Martha, wait until you get voles in your garden. You'll never see them as cute again. They're the most frustrating pest I've ever dealt with in several decades of gardening. Grrrrrr! Our latest attempt to eradicate them comes from the SESE potato onion instructions - drop rolls of unchewed Juicy Fruit gum down their runs, but don't touch the gum or leave a human scent on it. We've tried it and it seems to be helping, - keeping fingers crossed.)


ander217

Female Posts : 1450
Join date : 2010-03-16
Age : 61
Location : Southeastern Missouri (6b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  LaFee on 10/7/2010, 1:51 am

I'll just whisper this, so the kids can't hear us....but it would seem that voles, red-backed voles in particular, can be kept as pets. They are very short-lived, however, so you'd have to be prepared for THAT lesson.

Don't hit me...I'm only the messenger.

LaFee

Female Posts : 1023
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : West Central Florida

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  Youngatheart on 10/7/2010, 10:18 am

Indeed I did laugh! What a great (and funny) story ...and an even greater life lesson. Isn't it wonderful when God presents us Mamas (and Daddies) with teachable moments like this for our children!

Where I live we don't have to deal with Voles, but I feel your pain...thanks for a great ftory and a good laugh!

Rhonda

Youngatheart

Female Posts : 35
Join date : 2010-05-25
Age : 59
Location : NW Florida, Zone 8a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  middlemamma on 10/7/2010, 11:22 am

Thanks everyone...I'm really glad folks enjoyed it since it was so long.

Ander...thanks... Embarassed but there is still so much I don't do right...my children will have their complaints just like every kid does. All we can do is our best, and when we know better we can do better.

Thanks for reading everyone!

middlemamma
 
 

Female Posts : 2260
Join date : 2010-04-25
Age : 39
Location : Post Falls Idaho and LOVING it

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  martha on 10/7/2010, 11:49 am

yes, Ander, that is why I said I hope I don't pay for this - I am a strong believer in Murphy, and I don't think he is funny! Just cuz they are cute in photos, does NOT mean I want to get to know them "up close and personal"!!!

martha

Female Posts : 2188
Join date : 2010-03-03
Age : 59
Location : Acton, Massachusetts Zone 5b/6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Only the SFG forum will FULLY appreciate this post...(WARNING LONG but I hope you laugh)

Post  Sponsored content Today at 8:28 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum