Monday, January 15, 2018

Organization and Balance

Two words that I could live with for a year, for sure.  In this context, I am referring to life on the farm this week.  Someone on the farm had a double knee replacement last week and it wasn't any of the sheep, geese, or chickens.

One really has to get organized when adding in all the elements of nursing on top of farming.  Saturday, I felt like I was walking in circles all afternoon. Then Charlie and I built a platform to make the reclining chair high enough to get in and out of.  We did pretty well but the animals had to wait for their dinner.  Yesterday, Lyndy came over and we built a plywood exercise plate.  Lyndy made two different yummy soups for the coming week and helped me bring a few loads of wood up to the porch.  We were looking amazingly organized.

And the balance.  First nursing items, then a cup of tea for me, then the animals.  Then breakfast for me, and a few minutes to write and then back to nursing.

I have a superb patient, a warm house, and plenty of food to eat.


Thursday, January 11, 2018


My word for the year is "Words".  I love words.  I love how many together can tell a story. I like to consider them individually as well.  I especially like certain words for the message they convey and others for the intrinsic beauty of their sound. Some are favored for the way they look.

 I was recently riding a commuter train into NYC.  Next to me sat a man of Asian decent reading a soft bound book from right to left filled with what I call characters.  Does he call them words or are some characters phrases? Hmm.

Sometimes when I go down to see the animals I am very chatty other times we hangout for awhile in silence.  I have not determined which they prefer.  I think as long as touch and/or food is part of the encounter words are not all that important.

I am much more accomplished with the written word than the spoken word.  I prefer to use the written word if I am conveying an important thought.  At meetings, after carrying on for awhile, someone will ask "what are you trying to say" or "what do you want".  If I can write a memo or email, I come across better.

  So, one thing I want to get out of this year of living with "words" IS trying to find the ones that tell others what I am trying to say, and leaving the extras for another time.

  I think this will be interesting.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Walking Back from the Barn on a Winter's Evening

Wind whooing in the woods, my footsteps plopping and jacket crinkling I head back to a warm home.
My companion turns cool in my hands, though it was hot when we started our trek.  

With my tea hot again and honeyed to sooth my cough, I put words on a page for the first time this year.

The lines above are in the font verdana.  I thought it was veranda which I always thought was a fun thing to call a porch.  I often misread a word.  First I am puzzled and then I usually have a good chuckle.  just an aside

If anyone is still reading this blog:  you may have noticed that entries have become scarce.  Here is what I think has been the issue........
I love to write and I love to take interesting photographs HOWEVER inserting a picture for the sake of having something to look at, is stressful and we all know I don't have my camera when it would be nice if I did OR I do and I don't use it.  Anyway, at one point I thought I needed to include pictures with blog entries (maybe Karen's fault) and so - all of the above working together= fewer blog entries.

Whoever said "a picture is worth a thousand words" took better pictures than I and I would like to say  a million pictures would not tell the story of my walk back from the barn this evening.  So I shall dump the stressful load and carry on.

Stay tuned for my word for 2018!   Can you guess it?

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Where Shall I Begin?

So much has happened in the last 3 weeks, some good, some bad, and some I can't remember.

Maybe I should start with the good.  The weather has been good, very little ice in the buckets and the trough is staying open.  The water in the trough is crystal clear, and though the goldfish were hiding one day, I have seen them more lately.  We have a black farm cat that decided to live here with its gray kitten.  I thought maybe the cat had a fish dinner but then I saw the fish again.

Henry and I have been having fun on Mondays and getting a lot done.  He helped me figure out my new business card on Vista Prints, he has helped me assemble 2 looms and warp them.  He also helped me organize some of my tools.  He has a good eye for things and is quick.

The farmers market has been going well.  I have made over $150.00 since we moved inside for the winter market a couple of weeks ago.  I am getting a better idea of what people are looking for (wants and needs).  I really enjoy the other venders too.  I made some felt Christmas cookies and Eric, the vender next to us, said to be sure and put a sign on them that says gluten free.  A patron said to add, "high in fiber".  I was hoping people would like to buy supplies to make them but they just wanted to buy the cookies.

I have sold skeins of yarn, fleece, locks, roving and today a wrap that Cathy wove with yarn from Mira and Charlotte.  I should be getting some yarn and roving back from the fiber mill very soon.

The bad news:  The chickens were attacked by  2 neighbor dogs that got loose.  We lost 2 hens.  The surviving chickens were severely traumatized and didn't come out of the coop for several days.  Yesterday, was the first day they were really out and about and it made me happy.  Today, I was getting ready to go to the farmers market and the dogs were coming up the driveway.  I had to yell at them to head them toward home and go to talk to the neighbor again and get her to collect them.  Unfortunately, she has a new baby and she had to take him along.

......... it is now a week later and this blog has not been posted.  I wanted to take a picture but oh well it is time to just post this.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

What You Need is Almost Always Available and Often a Stones Throw Away

That's a long title!  The latest need here was to improve the ground the animals walk on.

After a week of rain the ground was saturated and MUDDY!!!  Then the temperature dropped to the teens and we had frozen ruts, both uncomfortable to walk on.  I think I finally realized last year, that putting down a layer of straw, helps (I will have to look that up).  The good news is: this year, after a few loads of leaves went to the hugel, I realized they could be of better use laid down where the animals stand the most.  And they are so beautiful to look at.  I will try to take a picture tomorrow.

One of the things I like about this time of year is that all the animals settle down early.  Last evening though,  I couldn't find Donald or Black when it was time to close the coop.  I looked a long time for them and it got dark.  It was only when I went in the garage/barn to turn off the light, that I found them in one of Black's favorite places; by the door in the garage/barn.  The reason I didn't look there was because the doors were closed all day since just after feeding the chickens.  That meant that they were both closed up in there All day.  Looking back, I thought it was funny that I hadn't seen them all day.

The next thing I need to figure out is how to get the mud out from between the two hoof parts of the sheep.  They won't let me just walk up to them and plop it out.  I do have to trim hoofs soon but the mud is a reoccurring problem (more often than hoofs).  I thought it would be nice to have a heated pan with warm water that they could walk through.  Even better would be a heated cement trough they could walk through that would also file their hoofs at the same time.  So, if what I need is available and a stones throw away.......... what is it?   I will consult with Henry tomorrow.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Why Do Geese Like To Harass Sheep?

sound like the beginning of a riddle or joke.  The mission of this blog has always been to document what is happening on the farm for future reference.

Last winter, I discovered the best order of morning chores and feeding; put out feed for the chickens, hay for the sheep, clean and fill water buckets, check level of free choice minerals, rake the barn, and then anything else I can think of, before I let the geese out.  This gives the sheep a little peace as they eat their morning hay.

I learned to embrace the time that it takes the sheep to eat, as an opportunity to meditate or take in the beauty of the morning and notice what was special about each day.  Yesterday morning, I was running late so I let the geese out before the sheep were finished eating.  They immediately went down to harass the sheep at the hay feeders.  The sheep would leave one feeder and go to the other and the geese would follow.  I drove out the driveway wondering if the sheep were going to get fed up and run over the geese, an awful feeling.  Fortunately, the sheep just tolerated the geese.  It is actually funny to watch the geese look to see which sheep is where because they know which ones will just carry on with what they are doing.  They will leave those alone and seek out the ones they know will take off.  I hope this harassment will transfer to unwanted predators.  They are guard geese, that is their job.  If they do their job, I guess we will all just have to tolerate their behavior.

My job is to get myself out of bed with enough time to go down and enjoy my morning meditation.  How long will it take me to realize that that one small action will add so much enjoyment to my day.

Transitions times have always been difficult for me,  especially fall.  At least it is light in the morning now when I start my day and start to feed hay.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Gramma Meister

John's mom was such an inspiration and great fun to be around when she would come to visit us or when we visited her.  Gwen died last week at the age of 94.

Grama, as we called her, Focused on ALL things positive.  Her life was filled with joy.  She shared joy with anyone who would take it.  It is funny to think that one of her few worries, was that she might be a burden to any of her family or friends.  She was far from that. Everyone loved to be with her and help her in any small way they could.  But perhaps she meant in the future as she aged.

Grama had a minor fall which resulted in a broken bone.  Surgery went well but a few days later her heart suggested it was time to move on, and so she did.  We all thought she was beginning a new chapter in her life, she decided it was time to begin a new book.

Though she is gone from this earth, she still warms many here with her countless quilts and nourishes with recipes passed down.  Most of all, her faith and wisdom will be remembered and cherished.

When we met her friends at the church service, they would say, "oh, you are the one with the tiny house, or you are the one with the animals, or you are the one with the beautiful great grandchild/ren, or the many cars, or .................... "  Gwen had stories she told to all her friends.  And in return we would say, "you are the one/s she played bridge with, or you are the one that took her to appointments, or you are the one/s that visited her every time she had a set back, or the one who did the yard work, or brought in the mail, or ....................  The ones, beyond Craig and Shelley, who made it possible for her to live at home.  It is always good to put a face to the stories.

The picture boards at the service showed a loving wife, a caring mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and an adventurous soul (even a picture of her in her eighties on rollerblades).

There were sad times of course, but laughter, love, family/friends, and an ever present God, were forefront in her long life.  There will always be a smile on the face of anyone who is remembering her.