December 29, 2009

Flat Santa

How can I keep the faith with Santa Claus when I see something like this in the neighbors yard?

Makes me feel like weeping every time I go by. Whose idea was it to invent and market something that feels this cruel? This is worse than the discarded trees on the roadside, at least we can think their last weeks were cheerful and bright. But this Santa, flat with his face frozen in the grass, puffs up each night, only to face the same sorry fate each morning. This has to be one of the circles of hell.

On the home front, let me preface by shouting, I'm no saint, I'm no angel. I'm just able to be in the right place at the right time for me. The saints of the world are the workers who keep it going. The ones who show up every day at the office salon store mill airport. I did that, I've worked for pay since I was eight years old. Here, in dementia land, for the first time I can be with my doggies around the clock. If I get wound up I can go talk it over with my hens. And I can fondle my fabric and pins and needles all night long if I want, I don't have to be anywhere tomorrow.

I've gotten some real traction on my little project, bits and pieces are turning into prepped blocks at an incredible pace. FIL has stopped asking me what I'm doing now that fabric has entered the picture. He gets that I've been a passionate quilter for all the forty years he has known me. FIL has also pretty much stopped eating and is clearly growing weaker by the day. He wakens about once an hour, says "well, I guess I gotta get up", moves to the bedside commode, and back to bed. Last night at the 3 AM-ish transfer he said "well....I know, it's a hole in the ground". Took us both by surprise and we had a good laugh.

Tuesday Thankies
Chickadees and Nuthatches
PVC pipe
My small Rowenta iron

December 23, 2009

Beginnings and Endings

May all of the best the season has to offer bless you and yours, my friends.
As we have transitioned to the home hospice stage of care for my father-in-law there is a lot less for me to do so I've taken my sewing machine out and set it up on the dining table just a few steps from his bed. He keeps asking me what I'm doing, and I keep saying I'm making a quilt. Then I laugh because for four days I've been busy making a quilt and so far he hasn't seen a single piece of fabric or a needle. He just shakes his head, assigning my actions to one more dementia symptom. Mine~

He has seen a pile of manila folders getting used up

A stack of virgin 16# onion skin paper being covered with odd shapes
He has seen me standing at the dining room window tracing the onion skin shapes onto the folders
Those cut out shapes have gone into little zip-lock baggies
My mind copes with the end while my hands create the beginning

Wednesday Thankies

Little Pembroke's willingness to assume her part of the team, giving comfort by remaining curled up by Gene's side
Simply Fresh 100% orange juice
Flannel sheets

December 7, 2009

Elixir of the Pharaohs

Today I have the pleasure of bottling our honey bee's output. Isn't it lovely? I probably have another gallon left to drain but it needs to settle for a few more days. These cold crisp clear days are just about my favorites of the year, it invigorates me, with the exception of keeping the stock watered. Frozen faucets and iced here's a thought...Rob is off to the farm store for mineral blocks, hows about I call him and ask him to look at tank warmers? Sometimes good ideas are slow to sink in.

Inside at the funny farm FIL continues to pull back slowly from the brink but classic sundowning has been added to the mix of things to plague him, bless his heart. If I can sweet talk MIL into sitting next to the bed and verbally cuddling with him, after about 15 minutes he goes right off to sleep. MIL carries her own childhood baggage as do we all, and she considers this spoiling behavior and last night she wouldn't do it. So we ended up with panic attacks well into the wee hours. We have a new oxygen concentrator and I must have checked it thirty times trying to help him get his breath. When our elders say don't get old...believe it. This is our little corner of the world for the nonce.

How's this for a twist in today's modern medical practitioner? I'm looking for a new doctor for MIL and the one we've heard the best things about is going to be accepting a few new patients in January...but we have to go by the office and pick up an application; from those apps they will be choosing whom they take. Insert thunderous frowny face here. They will see her age (86) and drop it in the round file. She is in better shape than I am in many ways, and still walks four miles a day whenever she can get out. It's a weird old world isn't it?

Monday Thankies
Honey Bees
Mason jars
Flannel sheets

December 1, 2009

Toys For The Girls

Good First of December my friends. Having discovered that chickens are both smart and affectionate I now worry about them getting bored in their play pen between breakfast egg-making and outdoors work-like-dog time.

This is one of the toy ideas I've devised for them, a compressed bell-shaped wild bird seed feeder. Chickens can jump good...I have this one suspended from the roof of the pen about eight inches above their heads. It didn't take them long to figure out that electing someone to the high jump position was the better part of valor rather than all of them jumping at the same time and simply accomplishing a giant chest-bump. I think for Christmas dinner I'll get them a watermelon, they are mad about it. I'll hang it in a netting bag. For common days I'll do a head of lettuce or an apple on a string. Note the bell is hung using the ubiquitous farmer's helper.

On the other front, on Thanksgiving I checked my FIL into hospital with acute renal failure. We just got home again last night and set in place the next step of care, moving his bed into the family room with a bedside commode on one side and his big brown chair on the other, my new bed for the duration.
Even though he ate next to nothing while there he is up eight pounds, all retained water. We do have a plan, and for the first time in two weeks he is hungry. Praise the Lord, and pass the French Toast.

Tuesday Thankies
Sweet yams
Zen mouse pads
Toothpaste choices

November 25, 2009

Goat Trees

Each year we get our goats a Christmas tree. Down home the Lion's give us the few that didn't sell. Here we have a enormous Christmas Tree Farm right behind us and the owner has encouraged us to take trees from the back portion that needs thinned. Here comes tree number one. By the time Indiana and Freckles are finished with them there will be nothing but a barkless trunk.

Yesterday afternoon early FIL was sitting up in his big brown chair enjoying Disney's Homeward Bound and wanting to know about the cow with the injured leg. Two hours later he was slid down in the chair with just his head on the back. I asked him if he was practicing to be a slouching teenager...He said he was comfortable, leave him alone. He said it with that sideways looks that indicates he knows he isn't going to win this round. Mid-December we will move from Visiting Nurses to Hospice care.

What dementia is stealing from him now is his ability to differentiate between rooms. Here he is trying to decide which is the bathroom. His body knows what it needs, but if he heads for the kitchen or into the laundry room and I ask if he needs to use the bathroom he doesn't know. I'm grateful we have a good team in place here with the four of us.

I've been making chicken toys for my little girls. Stay tuned.

Wednesday Thankies
Two dry days
Beautiful sunrise
Good neighbors

November 16, 2009

Courses For Horses

That is a chiasmus. Not much to show for learning something new each day. In ten minutes I won't even remember that. My brain matches the sky, this is the kind of day in the Pacific Northwest that snowbirds run away from.

It is still an area of incredible beauty, regardless of the liquid sun. This morning I thought I'd be a clever girl and before my FIL got up I'd run over and get a good walk in at a local golf course that allows walkers. It really is a beautiful course, and just after I snapped this photo a great blue Heron lifted off in front of me. Just after I rounded the corner of the lake my MIL called, said FIL had fallen and couldn't get up. Guess I won't be sneaking off early any more, what was I thinking?

All's well that ends well, I called 911 for a lift assist, no siren please, and they were here and organized by the time I pulled in. This afternoon FIL refused to leave his big cushy chair for lunch. I said he was, and he gave me a look (a couple of years ago he'd have give me a pounding), got up, took his walker three feet and sat down on the couch. "I'm not moving" he said. So I sat and shot the breeze with him and pretty soon Lasix and nature moved him and then he came out to the kitchen for his lunch. He has become a milk junkie. Wonder what that is all about? He doesn't remember falling, but I know inside, he sure doesn't want to do it again.

I went down to let my little girls escape the chicken play yard and out they came, clucking and curtsying, went about three feet, and as a group turned and marched back in. Way too wet. I split a big punkin and left them grinning.

Monday Thankies
Warm Socks
My yellow Gorton's fisherman hat
My Vornado

November 9, 2009

Belly Up To The Milk Bar Baby

Time for another update. Cold and rain has set in so the farm chores take a different tack. The cattle get hay each morning, two bales between the six adults and three babies. The cows were terribly skittish when we first came to help, FIL fed and that was about it. Now we can walk amongst them, and I love to scratch their big foreheads while they are chowing down at the manger. Cows heads are enormous when they are twelve inches away! When I took these pictures I was actually trying to get a good shot of cow eyelashes for you, they are beautiful.

The babies, two steers and one bull, are SO cute. They belly right up to get their share. Of course the other end of the cows create a chore of a different color...'nuf said about that.

FIL, who for 90 years was the cog that pushed the wheel, has still managed in his dementia to find a cog to flummox his family. He has figured out if he says "no" he doesn't have to respond to their requests or suggestions to get in his big chair, do his exercises, do his hygiene. I was never afraid of him to begin with so when he tells me no he says it while he is doing what I asked. I always laugh and tell him I love his sense of humor and that he is doing a great job, keep it up. Old tapes die hard in this family.

We covered 3/4's of the chicken's play room with heavy plastic to keep the ground from getting so wet. Yesterday I started adding a good layer of hog fuel for the girls to scratch in. I'm going to get some sunflower seed and cracked corn and salt it like a false gold mine, give them something to work for. Their eggs are beginning to have a uniform size and shape as they mature. Some days we've had eggs so big we couldn't get the egg carton closed. And very occasionally what my little sister calls fart eggs, ones the size of a marble. No one will claim to be the layer of those...ever see a chicken blush?

And because of the kindness of a stranger, we now have four gallons of golden honey that will be ready to bottle in a few weeks. FIL and I extracted it last year; call me a wimp but I'm just not up to doing the job by myself. The gentleman who did it for me has an electric extractor that drains 18 frames at a time. Cool beans! It was fun looking in the hives with him and exciting to pull the full supers of honey, I'm thinking the bees, like the chickens, will be a job I'll keep.

I had a brain bomb the other day, and actually have my sewing machine set back up and fabric strips are turning into blocks of new fabric...stay tuned.
Until next time, that's it from the funny farm.

Monday Thankies
Birthday cards
Sugar free pudding

October 22, 2009


Well, my time at home is nearly to an end, and while I've missed the farm and my in-laws and my chickens a ton, I've also knitted myself back together and am more than ready to take the reins of responsibility again.

I'm going to a Halloween party today where I'll see a whole lot of ladies that I originally brought together; am so happy they have gone on as a group, it shows I've done at least one thing right in my life. They will be surprised to see me, particularly 35 pounds lighter and a strawberry blond rather than a flaming red-head.
I've been to a day long yoga retreat, heaven on earth, and I've had one go at my new beginners Pilates DVD...hokey but if I keep it up I'll have abs of steel. I've missed my window of opportunity to run away to the beach but the month isn't over yet. I've made a new friend, something not to be sneezed at. And every where I've gone the world is a blaze of color.

Thursday Thankies

Big fat seedless grapes
Bram Stoker

October 6, 2009

Finding Fun

An update is in order. Today I am supposed to be birthing, creating, or nurturing. So first thing I put my Chiquita banana sticker to good use. I'll see if my FIL notices, can read, and will laugh. His laughs these days consists of one short bark, but I take what I can get.

I haven't mentioned my 10 girls in a long time, they are about 6 months old now and each day I get between 8-10 big brown eggs, very often with double and occasionally triple yolks. I've not the heart to tell them more white less yolk is what their silly humans need, they are so proud of their output.

We've set up a system of three doors. The wooden door they know to never come out, the 2nd screen door they always can come out and go in, and the 3rd screen door they can crowd around but never go out because when I'm coming in, it always means goodies. Fresh pumpkin, zucchini, tomatoes, apples, corn, radish and carrot tops...who knew chickens could be trained or as I mentioned in an earlier post, seek and give affection. My SIL will be here for ten days in my stead this month while I'm working at home, and I'm already worrying about will she know to hug them and accept their thank you curtsy.

It is back to that 30 tree orchard today. I had the pruning 1/2 finished, turns out I started way to early and now they need pruned again. I'll begin with the espaliered apples along the fence, easiest to reach.

My rainy day project is the workshop. Up until this May, when his dementia really set in, his shop was quite tidy, he always knew where to reach for a tool. In the course of the summer it became what you see here in the 3rd image. We spent so much time here, he and I, working on farm projects, or just running our gums around the little wood stove, and now he won't even come down there. He knows he is finished with it. It has been a difficult job but someone will have to do it sometime, it might as well be me who gets it started.

The little grey board, lower left is his very last project. It is part of the latch system on chicken house door, it pulled off one day in late spring during one of our strong valley winds. He fooled with it off and on for three days, would pick up a screw and lay it down, turn the board over and consider the wrong side, and then he laid it down for good, he could no longer make his mind and hands work in unison to put in a screw. I've left it laying there, perhaps hoping for some kind of miracle, but they are thin on the ground for 91 year old men.

That's all the news that is fit to print folks, now to have my second cuppa and cruise some of my own favorite blogs.

Tuesday Thankies
Blue sky
Crisp air
Sharp pruners
Postscript: Yes the sticker got a laugh~

September 8, 2009

Fishy Freedom

Earlier this summer I had a dock built on my 70 foot-ish pond.
Laying on the dock looking down into the water became an exercise in futility, nothing to see.
I thought to get some Koi, my pocketbook thought otherwise.
I got twenty bucks worth of gold fish, 8 for a dollar.
We constructed a pen attached to the dock and released the 160 fish into it.
When I started to think about time to let them go, I began feeding them at a plastic floating circle and rang a cow bell at each feeding.
Two days ago we let our beauties go, most are six inches long and about 3/4 of an inch wide.
Guess what? When I ring the cowbell they come back to the feeding ring!

I didn't think I'd ever see them again except maybe at feeding time, but they really show up well, little schools of them snaking their way from here to there, little clusters of them lurking under leaves and in grasses around the pond.

I wish you all well little companions, thank you for being a colorful and fascinating part of my summer of 2009.

Tuesday Thankies:
Calves safely born
Autumn Mists
Working Furnace

PS: I've been asked how they will fare through the winter. The goldfish idea came from a friend who was a Washington state fish hatchery manager for many years. I asked him the same question. He said feed until the water temperature gets down to 42 degrees. At that temperature they 'go to ground' in the mud at the bottom and sort of hibernate I guess. He said don't be tempted to feed, just let them sleep and look forward to spring. So now you all know as much as I do.

2nd question, yes that 'gold' fish is greenish, there were also some greyish, blackish, and creamish. This morning when I rang the bell I think every nose was there, they'd been hiding under the dock. This evening only about 40 came to the bell, I could see other swirling and swishing groups further out, too busy running free to bother with free fish chips. Their food is like flamingo shrimp, formulated to make their color bright. We'll see how pale they are come spring ;)

August 22, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Hello my friends,

We seem to have hit a plateau in the effort to outrun my FIL's dementia. Each day we have a holding pattern and he still finds something to enjoy about life is a present.

As a life-long active man who could always find something to do, something to fix, sitting in his big brown easy chair with his swollen feet up drives him crazy. He recognizes he will no long drive his tractor, mow his lawn, or feed his cows, but his heart still yearns for some kind of movement. So the solution this summer has been the phone call that says "can we go for a ride?".

We've been a lot of places these long summer days, but by far his favorite thing now is to push the cart at Wal-Mart. If it's good for him it's good for me. Today his beautiful daughters came down from Seattle to take MIL to visit family graves, so FIL and I took the opportunity to really goof off. His choice, whatever he wanted. Three hours up and down the isles at the newly revamped Wal-Mart superstore. According to my pedometer that was 3.2 miles.

He bought a nice bunch of bananas. I bought a cushy chicken floor mat, a really lovely soapstone incense burner, and a little tripod for my new camera.

I know Wal-Mart really takes a hit from communities who've seen their local shops fold when WM moves in, from lower echelon employees who have little hope of getting insurance and making a family living wage, their ungreen practices, all the overwhelming stuff each store contains. But it will always hold a special spot in my heart where my FIL spent his 91st summer, driving the grocery cart train in out around and about as his mind slowly degenerated and his body weakened. Thank you Wal-Mart for being there for me.

Saturday Thankies:
Multiple Public Restrooms
Traveling Oxygen
Good Transportation

July 31, 2009

Spencerian Penmanship

I miss my Spencerian penmanship quiet time. Skritch, skritch, skritch
went my oblique angle dip pen across my copy book...with my slow but steady progress in alignment and size even my regular handwriting improved, I've gotten a compliment or two from clerks when I hand over a check. I have enough nibs to last me till the cows come home, and some lovely dip pens.
And the whole series of the Mott Media copybooks. Sometimes I look back through them and can't believe I sat down and took the time to make rows of o's and e's and s's. But each little homemade class is an exercise in stepping back from the technology overload that sometimes overwhelms me.

And one day I'll be back in my own home with space for odd hobbies, and I'll probably look back on this time away from home with some kind of nostalgia.

FIL is on a fairly even keel this week. No huge mountain and valley glucose readings, the insulin shot I give him each morning has really helped in that department. He is up to 3 liters of oxygen as the congestive heart failure kicks in fast gear, he welcomes the loaner wheelchair lift from door to car to store. With the recent heat wave he will give me a call sometime of an afternoon and say "can we go for a ride?". You bet, and off we go. We've found some neat little restaurants, and explored some of the small towns around; Napavine, Onalaska, Winlock. Mostly we just go. We had to go to Lincare and get bigger oxygen bottles!

He wanted to go with MIL and I to get groceries and 'just sit in the car'. I told him he was welcome to do that if he would leave the car running so he had air conditioning. No...he is too frugal for that, so I said "when I take my friend Theresa shopping I push her wheelchair and she pushs the shopping cart". I don't think he grasped to concept until I parked him near the necessity rooms and gave him a note to give to someone to call me if he needed me. Then a light bulb when off, he said "there's a cart, I can push it!". He did great too, wish I had a picture of us weaving and careening through a Wal_Mart Superstore, a real power high.

The funnest thing this week was playing cards with him last night. As his dementia picked up speed this spring I asked all his kids if he'd ever played games with them and they all fell about laughing at the very idea. But last night he asked his usual "what's next, what now?" question and I said we could play cards or you know how? He didn't but he was willing to learn so we played War for about an hour and a half. He has trouble recognizing 5's and the Ace standing for 1 made him laugh, he liked having ended up with both Jokers. "Wild card" he'd chortle and roll his eyes. All in all it was good fun and good for his brain; anything with numbers or dates is pretty much beyond him normally.

Anyway, that is life on the farm for now, tomorrow the old chickens will meet the freezer and the little girls will take over. Today I found their first egg. And who knew chickens would or could be affectionate?? They are so cute. These may never make the freezer but that's ok, we don't really need to eat many eggs anyway. I sure won't miss the old red one that breaks the eggs in the nest and gobbles the yolks.

The gold fish are getting big! Four to Five inches long and fat. I bought a little scoop net the other day so I could show you all. And at this size, according to the shops we've been in, our $20.00 investment in 160 gold fish for the pond are now worth $1600.00 retail. Who knew?

Friday Thankies
That Hazel can be jollied
That Gene has learned to laugh
That our Rob will be home in a few hours. Wait 'till he sees the 60 yards of hog fuel I had delivered today...

Golfball talley: 155 gleaned by the electrician assistant this week, for a total so far of 697. Two buckets gone with Electrician who gave me a "no bill, these are enough". Cool!

July 19, 2009

Goofball Talley and MIL's Button Box

This week my MIL has been scouring her cupboards for a soft measuring tape, she probably has about 4 hours into the job total. I spent 4 minutes in the sewing store and $1.09 and got us a new one. We are all so interesting in our infinite variety of personalities. I'll let you guess which one of us has more money and which more time...sort of. And now I have scored some more buttons courtesy of her searching. I'm thinking zipper pulls would be a good embellishment for something.

This week FIL has graduated to a wheel chair for any outdoor excursions and his short term memory continues to fall away. Today the loaner bull is on his mind. We sent it home in April. I tell FIL "Ben picked it up along with the red cow, remember how much trouble we had getting her into the trailer...and how the bull then followed her right in...boys being boys", and he nods and says "Oh...I'd like to go for a little ride". "And what about that bull?" Going for a little ride is his new favorite hobby. Friday we went to a quilt show :-) He thought that was real cool, he remembers quilting is my passion. Or at least he did that day.

Golfball Goofball update. I picked errant golf balls from our pasture this morning, about a third of it anyway. A large kitty litter bucket full is 30 pounds and holds 275 balls. Someday I'm going to learn to start from the far end and work back...30 pounds is way more than I want to carry a quarter of a mile.
A rather pedestrian collection today though
275 total including
1 split
12 brights
1 'pasture moist' and tossed
and one for my non-collection, a #3 Noodle Jagermeister with a winged bird and cross insignia. Jagermeister turns out to be a 70 proof herbal 'digestive' aid.
So 697 since I began counting.

The ones that didn't get counted are how ever many the ball rustlers got picking by flashlight in the night after jumping our fence. I'll have a surprise for them next time. Balls are nothing, fencing is expensive and hard work.

Sunday Blessings
Margaret's help
Beautiful weather
Sticky notes

July 15, 2009

Christmas In July

I got a chance to get away and take a card-making class last Saturday, a mini-artist's date. Nice classmates, great teacher and fun all around. I'm not crazy about how the rub-on technique used center bottom turned out so I'll cut out something else to layer over. That is the card-makers credo...when in doubt, layer.

On the home front at the farm, you can almost see pieces of my FIL's memory chipping off and falling away into the abyss that is dementia. It is incredible how quickly this disease of age spreads once it gets it's toehold. He is loosing his ability to connect his thoughts together coherently about anything recent. The real cruelty is he recognizes and knows it. On the other hand we had a couple of good laughs yesterday and those are worth their weight in gold.

Wednesday Thankies
Fresh raspberries and blueberries
North Fork Construction
A job well done, and done

July 10, 2009

Sewing House

Are these the cutest buttons you've ever seen? This image is from SnapDragon's blog. Can you see this idea translated to selvage buttons? With real buttons stitched on? Bliss~

A friend wrote something this week that made me smile. Someone was regretting not having a sewing room and Linda said "we have a sewing house". I am extremely fortunate to have a big well lighted room in my house to call my quilt-room, and here in the 5th Wheel RV at the farm I dedicated a quarter of the space to sewing. On the go I carry a busybag or busybox and can instantly have a sewing room anywhere. Life is good with a needle in hand.

Friday Thankies
Rob will be home this afternoon!
Oxygen and Lincare
Summer berries

July 4, 2009

Fishy Story, Or the 160 Who Came To Dinner

What in the world??

Ah...something to do with the new dock.

Ah, the plot thickens...
Hokey Smokes Bullwinkle...They forked over 20 Samollions for 160 gold fish.
The question is WHY?
Because they were there!

Three weeks later. They've doubled in size and only three have gone to the big pond in the sky. I'm training them to come to the surface when I ring the previously mentioned cow bell. We watch the fish, the bullfrogs watch the pen, the cat watches the bullfrogs. Stay tuned.

Saturday Thankies
Dust that makes dirt that makes gardens that make round zucchini, Yum!

July 3, 2009

Goofball Tally

Updating this golf ball tally post with what I picked last week.
116 balls including 4 brights, 3 sliced open and 3 interesting ones;

A Pinnacle Ribbon 3 carrying the Susan B Komen cure logo
A Nike Swoop one with a pretty green Karma imprint
A Lucky Eagle Casino.
If I weren't trying to downsize by half, I could build a pretty interesting oddball collection.

On the dementia home front this week's interesting factoid; FIL had Rob build an extension for the hayrack on the hay wagon. Last weekend he insisted it was too high and had Rob saw off 18". Today he wants Rob to raise the rack because it is too short. Rob has been working out of town all week and I haven't had the heart or nerve to bring him up to date :) It would be a moot point if the lady who cuts and bales the hay would just get here and get the job done.

Friday Thankies
Vacuum cleaners
Cell phones
Generous and loving clients

June 30, 2009

More Repurposing

Back when AOL sent CD's out by the kabillions there were any number of websites that offered crafty ideas for CD reuse. My FIL was cutting the bottoms out of food tins and hanging them up as flighty scarecrows. I gave him a hand full of old CD's and he was in love. He has them everywhere and you know what? I think they work. We had deer in the orchard eating our three new apple trees so that night he hung them all the way around and the deer haven't been in since. He also closed the gates...not that I think that had anything to do with his success.

We've had some mental gymnastic successes this week. Rob needed a ball hitch for the hay wagon, FIL couldn't remember where they were, and wasn't even too clear on what they were. Then his brain gave a little burp after two days of thinking and he knew what they were and that he could see them in his mind hanging somewhere, and he'd make a shape the size of a loaf of bread. Well that did narrow it down and about 2 hours later I had a string of 'em in hand.

Last year when he was still brightly lit he told me the story of his cow and goat bells and horse shoes. The other day I asked him if I could borrow a cow bell to train my fish (yes...) and he really had to think on that one. About 4 hours later he said "they are behind your head". Yes they were, even though I'd looked over the wall stuff 3 or 4 times.

That is two wins for our side and that leaves a really big cow bell which I told him I was going to ring every time we remembered something...because I live in a fog too. The search is now on for the plumb bob and string that he has used for 19 years to measure the well water. Yes, we could make another one...but we want That one.

Obviously I'm not getting any quilting done, but that's ok, my fabric isn't going anywhere without me.

Tuesday Thankies
A new flag
good doggies
clean dishes

June 27, 2009

Farmer's Friend

In my old persona as a lady in a dress and pantyhose, if someone had asked what a farmer's most often called upon tool was I might have said barn, or tractor, but in my persona as Deva Farmer I've ferreted out the truth. The farmers best friend is baler or baling twine. Sometimes 3 to the bale but more often 2, in a winter of feeding stock a farmer ends up with hundreds or thousands of these strands.

In feeding the cattle and horsing around these bales last winter I learned fairly quickly that the knots are on one side and you cut the bale open at a knot. Then on a snowy day you sit around the wood stove in the workshop and make long ropes of this twine. Out of curiosity the other day I walked around the farm collecting images of all the places we use the stuff.

One of last summer's CD Scarecrows
Parts of an irrigation system, and a spare roll
Ladder hangers
Temporary pull-back hose hanger to keep them out of the way of a project. Since set free as we are cleaning up this Centennial year ('52 or '53) Ford tractor to sell.
Keeping spare light bulbs from going walk-about.
Axe hanger.
Twine central. These are the bare naked nails the twine is gathered on as we open the bales.
I think this is FIL's welding dealiebob. Or something.
FIL couldn't remember what this was for at all. I finally figured out the only thing this long we might need to cover was the tomato growing area. Yes! This is twine in it's natural state, on a bale.
Twine that has lost it's way.
Ah...I spy some screening for another secret project....
hoses anyone?
or chain?
or wiring?
Keeping the baby chicken nursery warm.
Keeping the lids on the garbage pails when going to the dump. Currently housing chicken feed.
Anyone ever watch Red Green? Their duct tape episodes have nothing on my FIL. We took this off a broken faucet the other day, there is about 40 layers of tape and many many wraps of twine here.
In the cow's trough.
And you thought it was staples and wire that held up fences.
On the grapes.
Hey...another backup roll.
How to garrote your DIL...FIL has put this strand across the path between the strawberries and the blueberries to keep the bird netting off the blueberries. You think after running into it 2-3 times I'd remember it was there.
A back up supply to the back up supply
Some kind of past project.
Another past project remnant.
Last year's string bean effort. He thought he could out wit our goats. Not hardly.
This lilac has a near death experience a few months ago. With the help of twine patient is doing well.
A rutabaga (?) tied up for seed.
Garden tools tied up to keep DIL out of them, and lo and behold, another back up to the back ups.
Pretty sure these dishes must have tried to get away at some point.
Yikes...a back up in our pump house. This is spreading faster than swine flu.
Lining out the garden rows.
Tying up the lilies
My orange doorstop.
Temporary leash material.
This one I'll talk about another day. It's a tear-jerker.I'm sure there are more twine incidences but these will have given you an idea of why I think baler twine is the farmer's best friend. And if you've ever uploaded multiple images to google blogger you know what a pain this post was to make. Anything for you guys...
Saturday Thankies
My Rob is home!
Baskin and Robbins
Swiss Chard