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