19 March 2010

What Should I Buy Today?

We're discussing plans for the day. The car is in the shop, requiring $2,250 worth of repairs (yes, you read that correctly), so D and I are figuring out who gets the van and where everyone will be for the remainder of the day.

"I want to get chickens!" G interjects, flapping his arms.

I know D is about to say, "NO CHICKENS!" because not only is he out $2,250 today, but outrageous and/or odd requests like this are made about every five minutes in this house. But I am quicker.

"That would be awesome! You should look into the city code to see if we can even have any in the first place, though. And you need to learn how to take care of 'em, how to feed them, what they need, how much it costs, and all that. *Then* we can get more serious about thinking about it."

"OK! Can we go to the farm store now?"

Well... yes. This conversation likely started because we were going to go anyway. G, God bless him, does not want clothes from anywhere but the farm store, thrift store, or local school district. So his shirts consist of chicken with egg - themed "Farm Boy" brand shirts, track shirts, and assorted worn out (but soft!) shirts from the thrift store. It's quickly becoming impractical to shop at thrift stores for G, however, as he is very tall but thin. Can't just pick up a 2x for the guy or he'll swim in it. A regular "large" will make him look like an emaciated Winnie-the-Pooh. And the school tees work well, but the school doesn't sell jeans for fundraisers. Time to go to Feldman's.

So when are the chickens coming in? One of the workers informs G that the store is going to get chickens on Tuesday. Tuesday. On Tuesday! It's etched in G's mind. Guess what he will ask to do after school on Tuesday?

Off to look at the pants. And chicken coop wire! Well, he will get a rooster and a girl chicken and within a few years, he'll have hundreds of chickens.

I'm thinking that on our little lot, likely the city code says you can have none. You aren't even allowed more than two dogs in the city limits. "What if the city code says you can only have two?" I ask him in one of those rhetorical tones.

This question throws him for a bit of a loop. Maybe he will just get a girl and boy chicken, and then eat the eggs. I'm thinking the eggs would have baby chickens in them, but I don't say anything except for the fact that maybe he wants to grow a pumpkin this year instead.

G tells me he wants a garden. A really big garden. Right in the middle of the backyard. I know how D would react to that one. But I want one, too, really. I just don't know how to set one up for cheap with no effort on my part. G tells me it's easy... you just find rocks and put them around where you want the garden, and then add seeds. I'm thinking it really takes professional landscapers to set up the koi ponds and waterfalls that I've seen other people seem to need to grow their green beans. And I know that if I did that simple "dig in the middle of the yard" thing without setting up some hugely raised beds on the lot, that D would mow right over my beautiful pumpkins on purpose. He would make some lame excuse about the pumpkins being too close to his trees and using up all the water, or "oops," he couldn't tell the difference between a GIANT PUMPKIN VINE and the nearby grass.

But G is insistent that he can set up a garden. I should purchase several packets of premium vegetable $eeds from the very front of the store near the $34.95 cell phone holders. I somewhat too easily convinced him that pumpkins would be better, since we had the seeds from the 12-pound pumpkin we grew earlier still. Not to mention, we know this kind of pumpkin can grow in our yard... so there you go.

"Let's call Dad right now and tell him we need to set up our garden!"

It's getting dark outside. I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't say anything right away, but wait for a better time, don't you? (Yeah, I guess...) I think to myself that maybe he'd like growing a pumpkin, if he finds a good spot for it and sticks with the project. Problem is, he'll likely tire of the idea right when the hard work starts.

The second we arrive home, G interrupts his father with his garden plans. D looks incredulous and his answer isn't very diplomatic. He "reminds" G about the three-foot square area by the mailbox he promised to weed out for the season *last* year, and how much complaining he did about it. (Yeah, probably no way in la-la land we're getting chickens or a giant garden this year, but I'm ready to be convinced he can do all the work and follow through. I think it would be a lot of fun as long as it's not yet something else I wind up saddled with...)

Poor G trudges downstairs to the laundry room about in tears. "Buddy, I *told* you not to ask Dad right away, but find a better time, didn't I?"

"Well, I thought you meant just not to call right then, but to wait 'till we got home," he explains. "It's all my fault I do things wrong."

Awwww. Poor dejected fella. "It's not your fault you have autism and knowing stuff like this is hard for you," I tell him. "Maybe just wait 'till Mom tells you it's a good time to ask Dad next time."

He nods. We talk a little about his new farmer-meets-rap star jeans and new socks, and he cheers up considerably. "Well, I can't wait until Tuesday! I'm not sure what kind of chickens I'm gonna get!"


  1. Oh, God love him. Maybe a garden and chickens would be good for G. So sorry to hear about the car--that has to hurt!

  2. Poor G! Tyler does that same thing and can't pick up on the cues that now is just not a good time to ask.
    I like the idea of a big garden too. This northern girl can't seem to make anything grow in southern soil however. :(

  3. I am with G, I want chickens and a garden !!! Can I go to the farm store with you Tuesday ?

    Hugs about your vehicle, I know that hurts.

  4. How about a few plastic pots (or even a cut-in-half gallon jug of milk) with a little potting soil and herbs? Mint will go crazy; you just can't kill it. Or morning glories? I just toss the seeds around - no fancy dirt, nothing. They vine, so nowhere near the house. It is really cool to watch and help them crawl up stakes and fences, and I'm sure you could work in a Bible lesson on things that wake up and give glory to their Creator :)

    I'd like chickens, too. Except I could never kill them, so I'd go prob being the crazy dog lady to the crazy chicken lady.

  5. I haven't tried them yet, but there are some hanging pots that you can grow tomatoes and strawberries from. Quite a few crops will do quite well in buckets and containers.

    As for the car repair. Big OUCH! No fun at all.

    I know your husband has his eye on the bottom line (who doesn't?) But you might point out to him that for the price a few packets of seed and some elbow grease you can save oodles on the grocery bill.


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