Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Whole Day Lost

I am glad my birthday is December 31st instead of December 30th but then I don't live in Somoa or Tokelau. All who live there don't get a birthday this year if it happens to be tomorrow, and everyone there looses a Friday this week. I wonder how they decided which day to skip. What does it do to all the computers? Mind boggling !

On the home front. The animals don't care about dates they just care about what happens in a day and they were not too happy about today. My timing was such that I couldn't let them out today and they were pretty mad and tried to escape. One thing that seems important to them is routine. Before Christmas we had a good routine going and everyone was so mellow and content. And then when we were gone they did not get to go out and one other day this week they could not go out for some reason. So today every time they saw me they were quite loud and persistent and I think I saw them give me dirty looks. They probably thought the whole day was lost. Tomorrow, I should be home all day and I think the weather is suppose to be decent so I will let them out for a long while.

They should just be glad they don't live in Somoa or Tokelau where there isn't going to be a tomorrow- just a day after.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

waiting for Christmas

photographs by Karen -- thanks Karen

The third day of Christmas is pretty quiet; no cattle lowing. On this cold and rainy morning I went down to the barnyard to see who wanted to share a Christmas pear with me (an annual gift from a good friend-- thank you Del). Beau and Sarah were very happy to share.

Christmas Day we had a ham, potatoes, and green beans dinner mid day with John's dad at his nursing home and a gourmet lamb, beef tenderloin, mushroom lasagna, asparagus, ...... evening meal with 17 +- family members. Cathy was here caring for the animals and giving them a grain treat for Christmas. Thank you Cathy.

It was wonderful visiting with family members, beach glassing on Lake Erie, relaxing, playing games, and eating wonderful food. On the second day of Christmas we traveled home.

I hope everyone had as Wonderful a Christmas as we did.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthdays- Bringing Gifts not Getting Gifts

Yesterday was Beau's birthday. No cake, no ice cream, I did't even sing to him but I did tell him it was his birthday and bid him well. Of all the animals, I only remember 3 birthdays. For me, dates have to be associated with something.

Year before last, on Beau's birthday, we got a BIG snowstorm that, with the help of subsequent storms, left snow on the ground until March. December 18th, 2009, the most recent of the 20 year storms.

Jumpin Jack and Norma Jean were born last April fools day and it was a joke. We went out early morning to find two lambs-- one black and one white and not a real attentive mom so it took a few minutes to figure out who they belonged to.

Good thing animals don't care about birthdays. Or maybe they do and they remember and they celebrate in their own ways.

And then there is Jesus's birthday, which we celebrate December 25th, even though many say it was a different day. I guess without calendars, it would be hard to document special days.

I have many siblings and friends that remember my birthday but it is really easy to remember since it is the last day of the year. And though many of us don't even know what day it is much of the time, we usually know when the last day is upon us.

I was think the other day, I don't think it really matters when we came to this earth or when we leave, it just matters what gifts we bring to this earth while we are here.

Monday, December 12, 2011


LOOK UP or look what you miss if you don't. When you hear a big WHOOOOSH you naturally look up or when you wake up in the morning and you are lying in bed,

and then get up and look out a different window.

A very good friend of mine, an artist named Betty, had a wonderful book about a man who always wanted to be an artist, but each time he was going to begin, something in his life got in the way. (getting married, having kids, I forget the other reasons) I need Betty to remind me. Anyway, he never fully got around to it before he died, BUT, when he went to heaven, God gave him the job of painting sunrises and sunsets. I always think of that story when I see amazing skies-- and I think of Betty.

On full moon or nearly full moon nights, I don't need my head lamp to go to and from the barnyard. I wonder if the animals like full moons as much as I do.

Most of the time the animals here are looking down, but sometimes I see them look up. One time I was standing near Sarah, I think it was, when she kind of stopped what she was doing and looked up. I wondered why and then a second later geese flew over. The other day Beau looked up and I wondered what he was looking at but I never found out.

This world, and for me, this farm, are So beautiful! I think I, like the animals, spend more time looking down but when I am on top of this hill, so close to the sky, I frequently look up.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Latest Design

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This is my latest design after visiting a new store on Main Street yesterday. Think I could sell them? What would I call them? How should they be packaged? Anyone out there with any ideas? Hope you enjoy the silly slide show. Have to do it from time to time to remember how to set it up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Key to the Garden

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, was one of my first favorite books. The neglected garden is a walled garden with a door -- but it is locked. The turning point in the story is when Mary finds the key to unlock the door.

Today, I was down in the spring below the pastures again. Every time I go down there I try to imagine how it looked when it was used as a source for water for the cabin. There is a cement box area that has a pump and some pipes. I wonder when it was last used. I wonder if I can get the information. I wonder what it would take to use the spring again. Right now it has two trickles of water that come together in a sunken area of sorts.

When I was looking around today, I saw another cement box with a little water and a lot of muck in it. It was covered over with vines and other vegetation so that I had never seen it before, but today, for some reason, I noticed it. I felt as if I had found "the key to the garden". I feel, some how, that this may be the key to using the spring again, this time for the animals.

It looks to be only about a 15 to 20 foot rise in height to the bottom pasture -- longer in distance though and I know very little about pumps. I wonder if the Farmer's COOP could tell me anything about the pump; it has their name on it. Or should I go back to Frank's Pump and Repair Shop and follow up on having them come out to look at the possibilities.

I was a bit disappointed in the response from the Powering People organization (the alternative energy people). The guy, who my friend knows, forwarded my email to another guy, I don't know of, who said he would come out but also referred me to a website that to me looks like it is for commercial applications-- come on 11 sheep and a llama (and 5 chickens).

Oh well, I guess more investigation is called for but I really do feel like I found the "key to the garden".

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stories We Tell Ourselves

A small incident can set off a story in our minds. For instance, a few days ago, on the way to town, there were some wild ducks standing in the road holding up traffic. It is the main road to town with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour. Four cars were stopped and taking turns passing on the open lane that the ducks didn't occupy. This morning, passing the same area, there were just two ducks, this time on the side of the road. The black one was sitting and the white one standing next to her. I say her because I made up a story about them.

A flock of wild ducks were flying south for the winter when they spied a beautiful creek and decided to go down for a closer look. Their feet were cold so they decided to stand on a stretch of black pavement they thought might warm them. Along came some very neighborly cars; that stopped to wish them well and proceeded slowly away. Then all of a sudden one of the ducks (a black duck) got the urge to lay an egg since it was a very fine place indeed. Her mate, a white duck, said he would stay by her side and the others bid them farewell and went on their way. The black duck wanted to nest on the side of the road instead of down by the creek because she liked to see the neighbors drive to town and she thought they might be safer from predators there. They had noticed from the air, many times, dead skunks and foxes and the like on the roads. So there they remained until........ to be continued

I wonder what stories Beau comes up with, when I drive out the driveway, come back a few minutes later, and leave again a few minutes after that, as I did today. Maybe he thought-- there she goes again. I bet she is going to the fiber group meeting in town. Oh, here she comes back again -- now she has forgotten whatever it is she is working on. O.K. now she has it -- I hope she isn't late.

I think my stories are more exciting.