First Day Of School

We are super excited about the first day of school around here. And, it’s not just Sky going back to school…I’ll be going back to school as well…as a substitute (clerical and para educator) for the school district!

Mark got this at Goodwill so I can prep for my new job, even though I’m not a teach, just a para educator. That book was ancient!

Gosh I can’t tell you how exciting that is to me. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve had to apply for a job with a new company! I was overwhelmed with the prospect to be honest. But, this went so smoothly and I was offered a job without even being interviewed!

I really hope this works as well for our family as I think/hope it will. I just really want a job that offers me as close to the same start and stop time as Sky, and the same Holiday, late start, early release, snow days, and vacation as Sky will have.

I distinctly remember a moment when I was 8 or 9 when I realized that my family was not “normal”. Both my parents were school district parents, and had all the same vacations/breaks I did. I really thought that was how the whole world worked, and when I realized it didn’t work that way for everyone I was thankful, and felt like the luckiest girl in the world.


One or the other parent was always home when we got home from school and we took extra long road trips during the summer, because we all had the same time off. We got to run wild on our property all summer long, riding horses, playing in our tree house, and just enjoying our 6 acres of woods.

Sky likes us right now. She thinks Mommy and Daddy are pretty cool, and wants to spend almost all her time with us. If we can make that happen, then my goodness I’m going to do whatever I can to be there for her. We get one shot at raising this amazing little person, and I want to make every effort to do what I think is best for her, and Mark and I.

Please note, this is not a judgment for or against other ways of working/parenting. The world would be a boring place if we all did things the same way! And, different things work for different folks..I’m pretty shocked with myself that staying home was what I wanted to do…it’s not for all and pre-Sky I had no intentions of being home with her. Had I not been laid-off it probably wouldn’t have happened, so no judgment from me at all!

This is simply me, (becoming my parents really ;-)), making an attempt to do what’s best for Mark, Sky, and myself…period. I don’t think I’m a better parent or putting more effort into my parenting than anyone else. I’m really fortunate to be in a position that we can live off of a single paycheck, so I have the freedom to work non-tradition hours for less pay if it means I’m home with Sky when she’s out of school. Actually it’s not fortune or luck…we work really hard to manage our money (as I know others do, not saying they don’t) and make purchasing/credit decisions based on a single income. Even though I’ll be working we are still going to be making very careful money choices to make pursuing a non-traditional and lower paying job than I had before work.

Having grown up in a school district family I know the behind the scenes stuff that can go on, the challenges of educating the youth in our community, and I really want to play whatever part I can in supporting the school district, the staff, the students, and parents. I think this is something I can be really good at, and am so excited to see how it unfolds. I’m crossing my fingers it works out well for us, and makes for a happy Team Yeatman!

First day of school is Sep 6th…can’t wait!

How To Plant A Vineyard – The Easy Way

There really is no easy way…but it’s not a bad idea to hope a friend or family member decides to plant one and you can go help, without being the one that puts in hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, and hours of schooling to make it happen.

The truth is there is so much work that went in to getting things ready for a single day of planting that it’s impossible to share it all. I know that my aunt and uncle have been working until dark every day after work and sun up to sun down every weekend for months now.

Rows before anything was planted. 

What were they doing? Putting up row after row of wire and support poles to get ready for 1,250 vines to be planted. That was actually less than intended, but there was a problem at the nursery so only a portion of the vines arrived and were planted. Which, while not ideal actually worked out because in addition to planting all the vines we were able to help install the irrigation as well. We would not have gotten to that most likely if all the vines had arrived as originally planned.

That right there is where wine comes from. Sort of looks like a cranky twig sticking out of the ground. 

There are a lot of steps to planting. My aunt and uncle did as much as they could over the last few months. When Mark and I got there Friday evening we started putting the bamboo poles in. There is a measurement to follow so things line up as they should and every few feet you stick a pole in the ground, right up next to the wire that’s already been strung. 
Once the poles are in people know where the vines go and can start digging holes to put the vines in, which need to be right up next to the pole. The goal is to get everything as close to that bottom wire as possible because the irrigation tube (black tube on the ground in the above picture) will clip to the bottom wire and water the vines. As “we” finished putting the poles in place Saturday, others starting digging the holes at each bamboo pole, and after the holes were in a few people want along with arm fulls of vines and put a vine in each hole. The rest of us followed behind and started filling the holes back in. 
There were about 22 adults working in the vineyard, with my Mom and aunt in the kitchen literally cooking all day long to keep us all fed, and it took from about 7 am to 3 or 4 pm for the last vine to go in. The irrigation took a few more hours after that, and was finished up Sunday. At least I think it was, we headed for home before it was done, but it seemed to be well in hand. 

Row 8, vine 5…the vine that Sky planted. 🙂 If the wine from that vine taste sassy we know why!

After…all vines are in the ground. 

I was surprised at how little difference there was between starting and finishing. The vines are on one hand so cool, but on the other so not impressive. From a distance you couldn’t even tell that we had done anything really. 
But, we had. We worked all day in the sun and sand, and while it was hard work, it wasn’t particularly challenging. Dare I say it was even fun. We had fun visiting with everyone that showed up to help, and getting to know other people in my aunt and uncles life. 
There is a huge sense of accomplishment in working all day and being able to say I helped  plant a vineyard. And, it offered a small taste of what it’s like to work in a crop field. I have a first hand appreciation for those that work in crop fields assuring we can go to the grocery store and purchase fresh fruit, veggies, beer, wine, clothing etc. It’s hard work, some of it is much harder than what we did, and I’m thankful that there are those who are willing to do it. 
 Friday evening when I still thought I was having fun. Just kidding, it really was fun work the whole time. 

Gifford Vineyard Established 5/2/2015!

 Planting the first vine!

 Of course we had to toast with wine before planting the vines! 

 Michelle, Bob, me, aunt Candy

Uncle Paul with a bundle of vines.

 Grace (above) and Kiera (below) planting their vines with Bob and Michelle. 

By this point in the day the sand was seriously hot…I don’t know how that isn’t burning Kiera’s legs! 

I’m thankful we got to be part of it all, and got to see how the process works first hand. I’m excited for the day when it’s a vineyard full of lush green plants, and we can stroll through the rows admiring the grapes. 
We helped plant a vineyard…can’t get over it! Congratulations to Aunt Candy and Uncle Paul…you are vineyard owners! 
P.S. and now I get to go run a half through some vineyards! So excited for Saturday!