April 18
       I sure am tired, but it's a good, satisfying kind of tired that comes from accomplishing things through hard work.  We had a lovely day today.  Plenty of sunshine and a high temperature in the low 80's.  Tim and I spent most of the day working outside since it was the only day off he'd had all week.  Some of the plants I ordered came in and we needed to get them planted.
       We dug holes and set the posts for six sections of post and rail fence that runs across the front of the property.  It looks so nice and neat all on its own, but I got four climbing rose bushes that we planted along it.  Two blaze reds for either end and one white and one blue for the middle.  If they do well, I thought it would be a glorious and highly unusual show.  We also planted hostas in the mulch around the two trees that sit just behind the fence.
       After that, we went and picked Megan up at a friend's where she had spent the night.  It took a little bit to get away from there because she was having such a good time and Tim knew the girl's father from a previous job and I went to school with him.  Tim needed a fax machine for work so we went and looked at those and found a nice one on sale.  Still, I am glad we can turn it in to his work and be reimbursed.  We stopped at the farm supply store after that for chicken feed and bedding.  They still have lots of chicks, but they are getting a bit older and are sitting up on the edges of the tanks.  If they don't sell them soon they will be running around the store!  They also had ducklings.  Gosh, but they are cute.  The kids tried to talk us into a pair but we had to say no.  We don't have a pool for them or anywhere to keep them at the moment.  All the drive-ins are open now so we stopped at our favorite before we came home for an ice cream.
       Tim caught the rooster tonight and put him in a small cage.  The hen we took over and put in our neighbor's coop (with her permission) and it seemed like her chickens accepted the old girl right off the bat.  That was a relief.  Now we just need a home for the rooster.  The neighbor is going to ask some people at work tomorrow, Tim knows a farmer to ask and if those fail to turn up anyone, I will call the ag department at the school.  A couple of kids who are in the program said the director might be interested.  With the Rhodies out of the coop, we cleaned it all out very thoroughly and put new bedding down and moved the chicks into it.  They were really easy to catch and for the most part calm about it.  They sure liked their new digs and were zipping around scratching and trying their wings.  At dusk I tried to drive them into the coop for the night, but they wouldn't have it.  I ended up having to catch them all over again and put them inside.  They are a much braver crew than the Rhodies were last year......when we put them in the coop they stayed inside, huddled in a corner for a couple of weeks before we could coax them out.
       Mom and John grilled their supper tonight so we walked up to visit with them and they walked down to see the chickens and the new fence.  Mom is terrified of any kind of bird so it was pretty amazing that she got close enough to the coop to take a good look at them.  She gave Hannibal a wide birth, though.
       Fans are running in all the bedrooms tonight.  It's just so hot and uncomfortable for sleeping, but I bet by morning we will be shivering and pulling the covers up.  I will be glad when the temperature evens out.  It's hard knowing how to dress in the morning with these cold nights and warm days.

April 20
       A friend and I drove to a nursery up on the ridge after our morning bus runs.  Tim and I have bought our trees and shrubs there for several years.  It's a small family owned business and the prices are very low.  We spent about an hour wandering through the greenhouses and grounds.  Neither of us bought anything, but we both saw a couple of things we'd like to get.
       Tim came home a little bit earlier tonight and I made a quick supper of beef noodles.  We dropped Megan at soccer practice just a couple minutes late then dashed over to the high school to watch the volleyball match.  Derry played their local rival.  The JV team lost, but what an exciting match to watch.  The score went back and forth with neither team ever more than one point ahead.  Since a match has to be won by two points, it drug on for quite a while.  The varsity team won and very handily at that.  I had to run and pick Megan up after the JV match.  She never came in the gym to watch the match, choosing instead to visit with some teens she knows.
       It was dark when we got home, but the chicks still needed to go in the coop for the night.  We found them out in the run, but bedded down for the night.  Tim went in and found they wouldn't get up so he was able to easily pick them up and put them inside.
       The weather was great again today.  It started out pretty chilly this morning, but warmed up quickly.

April 21
We squeaked out another nice day even though the weatherman has been saying rain and cooler temperatures all week.  It did start raining this evening so maybe it'll stick around like predicted this time.
       Tim worked late so it was just me and the kids tonight until about 8:30.  Neither of them had anywhere to go so we were able to just hang out.  What a nice treat coming in the middle of the week.  Matthew is so tired from always being on the run that he just watched some television and then went to bed early.  Megan helped me shoo the chooks into the coop for the night (they're getting pretty good about it) and then we turned on the spotlight and shot some hoops.  Megan beat me, but Mom's better than dear daughter expected her to be.
       I made a huge boo-boo without realizing it.  Yesterday was John's birthday and today was he and Mom's first anniversary.  Oops!  Fortunately, I had a birthday present already.  A few months ago I picked up a book by a Pittsburgh author who writes about local sports and had it autographed.  I wasn't prepared for the anniversary, however, so Tim and I shot up to Walmart as soon as he got home to get cards and find a gift.  We ended up choosing a pair of nice Coleman folding chairs.  They always borrow ours so we thought it'd be nice to give them their own.  We took everything up as soon as we got home and had a brief visit.....everyone needed to get to bed.

April 22
       The rain is finally here and it's stayed all day.  Once in a while it gets a little heavier but mostly it's stayed pretty light.  It has also cooled down a little.  I was fine all day, but needed a jacket tonight.
       Tim worked late again so it was just me to get Megan to soccer practice and watch Matt's volleyball game.  The coach let all the players play a good bit tonight and Matt did very well.  I wish Tim could have been there.  Mom came so Matt had at least a little cheering section.
       Tim unpacked the parts for the strawberry tower when he got home.  It's scattered about the kitchen now and probably will be for at least a few days.  It turns out we need a good bit of dirt when we put it together....at least 1 cu. yd. per layer.  I have to see if I can find somewhere that will sell me topsoil by the scoop rather than by the bag.

April 23
What a gloomy day it's been, even though the rain held off until this afternoon.  It affected everyone's moods and everyone has been so grumpy.  I found that Matt and Megan were no different when I got home.  Looks like we will be in for a "fun" evening.
       I had to fill in on the mid-day vo-tech run today.  Ugh.  I hate to say it, but what a horrible bunch of kids.  The bus company is in the process of putting a new driver on the route (not me!) because the old one just couldn't take them any longer.  They are so foul-mouthed, crude, bad and now and then violent.  The tech drivers only have them for a couple of minutes and don't get to know their names.  It doesn't help that the kids won't give their real names.  Discipline is very difficult between that and the fact that when a driver does try (I did today when they rocked the bus) the kids think it's funny and just keep acting up.  The schools aren't much help either.  There isn't any real punishment that makes an impact.  The bus company is trying to change that.  Cameras will be running all the time from now on (the bus co. doesn't have cameras on every bus....just those having a problem) and hopefully they will be able to confront the kids, schools and parents with video of the little darlings.  That should result in some kids getting booted off the bus and Mom and Dad having to drive them if they want them to attend their half day of tech.  Mom and Dad tend to finally take notice when it inconviences them.
       Looks like a quiet Friday night around here, which sounds very nice to me at this point.  I hope to get to bed early tonight and get a good rest for the first time all week.  Hopefully, Tim won't work tomorrow.  He's worked late every night but one this week and the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow.  We have a lot of yard work that needs doing...not the least of which is the strawberry tower.
       Well, I'm off to make supper for the family.  Enjoy your weekend!
       Carpe diem!