Tuesday, July 30, 2013


What a year for peaches and Charlie said he thought they liked drier years.  Well, I don't know why they wouldn't like wet years and it sure has been.  There are Soooooo many peaches.

The other day, I took probably thirty off the branch dragging on the ground.  That was quite an undertaking.  I took the wheelchair over there, but when I got there, I couldn't find a level enough area to be able to pick from the wheelchair so I got out of the wheelchair and had to grab it before it went down the hill.  After setting the brakes, I crawled up to the tree, got up on my knees, and started picking.  The peaches on just the one branch filled a large bowl.  Then, I had to alternately drag the full bowl of peaches and the wheelchair up to level ground to get back in the wheelchair.  I wheeled back to the house but couldn't hold onto the peaches and propel up the ramp so I left the peaches at the bottom of the ramp for John to bring up when he came along.

These peaches were firm so I put them in a brown paper bag with a banana.  The fruit flies showed up about that time so we had to move the peaches out to the front porch.  I separated them into groups; slightly bruised in a bowl on the table,  a few with large rotten spots, I put directly on the table, two were ready to cut up for our pancakes, and the rest went carefully into a clean dry paper bag, which I rolled up and put on the porch floor.  This morning we found the bag had been opened and some of the peaches removed and eaten.  First the fruit flies, then a somewhat larger critter.(s)  I told John we just had to decide who we wanted to feed the peaches to since it didn't look like we were going to get many.

Back at the tree, the many many peaches were not as many, at least not on the tree.  In one night, several,  had found their way to the ground.   Now, they say, deer won't eat peaches off the tree, the rabbits can only reach the branch that had been dragging on the ground, and I haven't seen any squirrels lately.  Maybe a raccoon?  There is one peach high up on a branch that has been half eaten on the tree.  We looked at it yesterday and then today.  John said it was even more eaten today, yet still hanging on.

  I was on my way to go pick some more off the tree (what was I thinking the rest are too high), and see if I could salvage any off the ground, when John showed up.  He picked a couple of handfuls that are still firm but smell like peaches.  We put them in the cubby in the golf cart and have not brought them in yet so maybe those will get eaten by still another critter.

Another day passes with peaches now in different spots to be forgotten.  Hopefully, in a few days, I will blog about a peach pie complete with pictures.  That didn't happen with the blueberry pie, though.

Last week I picked about 12 pounds of blueberries in West Virginia.  I picked them from my wheelchair but fortunately the blueberry bushes were on level ground.  There were acres and acres of blueberry bushes under netting.  Now that is a drastic measure.  I got the blueberries home, flash froze them, and put them into containers in the freezer.  The fruit flies did not get involved until I made the blueberry pie (a lovely pie) and we accidentally left it out over night.  I was going to try to salvage some of it until I saw how infested it was.  At least we ate some of it and gave some to Charlie before they got to it.

So now when I do make that special peach pie, I certainly won't leave it out over night.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Looking at Things from a Different Perspective AGAIN

Friday, my young friend and I went down to clean the barn.  I decided I could do more, so, with my wheelchair towed behind the golf cart we arrived at the barn.  We did a good job cleaning up and emptying and cleaning buckets etc., but 30 minutes later I embarked on cleaning the wheelchair, my sandal, and orthopedic boot.  That took as long as cleaning the barn.  What a mess.   I want to do more but everything takes so long to do and sometimes things seem a ridiculous effort.  Part of the problem, I am sure, has been the heat this week.  But alas, we just had a storm arrive so it will be cool again.  Will that make a difference?

For some reason, it seems like I can not focus very long on anything.  Yesterday, I did finish two small felting projects but still  it seems like my mind goes from one thing to the next and not a lot gets accomplished.

 Funny, I thought not being able to put weight on my right foot for 8 weeks would allow me to focus on a few projects  and get some things done.  First the pain got in the way.  Then it was having to have my foot elevated so much, now I am not sure.

I am afraid I am going to get to the end of the 8 weeks and think "no! I am not ready to go back to regular life- I haven't gotten the things done that I wanted to".

Maybe, the attitude of getting things "done" is what should be looked at.  Why do things have to get done?  Why can't we just continually EXPLORE whatever comes to mind.  It seems, eventually, we will get finished exploring some things and go on to others.

Although I haven't achieved much to look at, I have taken time to look at things from a different perspective.  In all the journey work I have done, this "suggestion" to look at things from a different perspective, is a subject that comes up over and over.  Maybe, this is what this broken ankle experience is about.

An opportunity to further explore "looking at things from a different perspective".

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Feel Like A Farmer Again

The rain let up a little and the ground dried out enough that yesterday, I could get my wheelchair down to the barnyard and through the gate.  I took some treats with me and all 9 sheep came up to my wheelchair, even Annie.  We got grain all over my lap and boot and everywhere.  Later, I had to take the boot off and shake it out.  I still ended up with grain in bed, and then it rained again, real hard.  Now that I am getting around better, I find the boot is getting dirtier.  I feel like a farmer again.

I still get tired easily and have to stop and put my foot up.  My skin is still sensitive around the ankle.  I am still clumsy. But, each day is better, mostly.  I can't believe there might still be 3-5 more weeks of this, but what is THIS.  Things change everyday.  Maybe tomorrow's THIS will be better than today's.

I have been spending some pleasant time in the fiber shed everyday.  It is a wonderful space.  I have been doing a bunch of different things instead of focussing on a bigger project, but I guess that is O.K.
Doing a lot of reading on many types of simple weaving and looking at all kinds of simple tools.

John came in to tell me he found Brown Hen dead.  No signs of struggle, no mussed feathers.  It was early evening when he found her and the rest were roosting in the barn.  She was fine a few hours before.   Brown was one of the original chickens I bought John for his birthday a few years ago.  It is especially sad because the 4 got along so well together and made a great flock.  Don't know what happened to her but the sadness of her death makes me feel like a farmer again.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Getting Around the Farm

My friend Karen said I broke my ankle so I could get a golf cart for the farm.   Not really, but it IS really cool.

The animals still won't come up to it but they aren't really frightened of it either.  At least it gets me down to say hi to them and gets, my young friend across the pasture, and I down to clean the barn.

He comes over, I walk down the ramp with my crutches, or he follows with the wheelchair and wheels me part way to the golf cart.  Then we get in the cart and drive down to the gate of the barnyard,  he opens the gate, I drive in, he brings the wheelbarrow and closes the gate, and we both go up to the barn.  I go as far as wet grass and incline will allow.  My friend does all the raking, fills the mineral holder, puts wood chips on wet areas, puts away all the rakes and scoopers, takes leaves out of the water trough, and we head back.

My friend can get me all the way back into the house with my wheelchair and then we usually have a snack and play.  What a help he is,  it is hard to remember he is only 7.

Today, I took the golf cart to the fiber shed and hung out there for awhile in the wheelchair.  John took the wheelchair since I still don't have a way to trail it behind the golf cart.  I do have plans, though.

I can get my self down to the barnyard gate but not through it without a helper.  Not a place to use crutches with the uneven terrain, all the rain, and the fast growing grass.  Then I can come back and drive down to the garage (behind the truck in the picture) to see what John is up to, then over to my van if I want.

I can get in the back of the van easily so I can hang out there and take a nap if I want to.  I can NOT drive the van.  The guy who put the boot on me, made it very clear that it is against the law to drive with the boot on.  I could, however, take it off and drive but I would have to be crazy to drive left footed on the narrow, twisty, windy roads around here.

John takes me for rides, so I don't need to drive anywhere.  The crawling is still not all worked out with the awkwardness of the boot but crab walking is O.K. for short distances.  On Sunday, Lyndy came over to visit.  She helped me plant many seedlings that just hadn't made it to the bed by the ramp yet.  Today, the chickens were in that bed and scratched up many of the plants.   As soon as they saw me looking at them, they took off but the damage was done.  Oh well, what can you do. 

I find myself saying that a lot.    I am able to do more and more all the time, though.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Very Good Day

I figured out how to get myself to the fiber shed independently today.  What an accomplishment.  Unfortunately, after I was there almost a half hour, I remembered I had left eggs on the stove to hard boil.  John wasn't in hearing distance so I had to get myself back to the house.  Not as easy going back. I ended up taking the wheel chair up the ramp, parking it at the top of the ramp, hopping to the door, crawling to the inside step, grabbing the crutches, and getting to the stove BEFORE the water had completely evaporated.  Fortunately, about that time, John came along and brought the wheelchair inside.

That was a workout, and then I rested a bit.  Tomorrow, I will figure out the return trip better.

Later in the day, my great, wonderful, husband took me out to lunch AND took me on a hike in the National Forrest.  The trail was pretty good but rutty and rooty in a few spots.  It reminded me of when we used to take Wednesday on trails, but she didn't weigh as much and she had better tires.  We went to the Roaring Run and it was certainly running and roaring.  We have had SO MUCH rain and some flooding and washing.

My ankle is definitely getting better and now I can start a few projects.  Tomorrow, I will also try a crawling expedition.  Eventually, I will figure out how to get to the barnyard gate every day.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

Happy 4th of July.  I am very happy because I went to the doctor yesterday to have staples removed from my broken ankle and have a hard cast put on, but I didn't have to have a cast put on!  My wonderful doctor gave me a boot instead.  I still can not put any weight on my right foot for at least 4 more weeks, maybe 6, but I can take the boot off for a few minutes when I need to.  I can take it off to shower, ice it, rub or itch it.  I can move it gently.  No prison for my ankle.  I can even put healing ointments on it.  What a relief.

The ankle is still uncomfortable, especially at night, but the doctor said eventually I can sleep without the boot too.  Any way, how appropriate that my right ankle should gains its freedom on Independence Day.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Things Are Looking Up

The last few days I haven't felt so isolated.  Friday a friend brought her mom and her visiting "fiber" sister, from NM, Sunday was Ruckus Day, Monday another friend brought her grandchildren over to visit the farm and play with fiber, and today they came for an hour to put finishing touches on their projects.

  The "fiber" sister taught me something I have been trying to learn for years.  I hope I haven't forgotten.  They took me down to the barnyard but the sheep still did not come up to me.  Then Sunday, was the rukusy Ruckus Day so far.

I have been having Ruckus Days almost every month for over a year.  Ruckus Days, are days fiber enthusiasts come out to the farm and play with fiber and tools and equipment and try something new, or just come and sit and spin or knit or chat.  Previously, Ruckus Days have been attended by a handful or two of different combinations of fiber enthusiasts, but Sunday there were over 25 people.

A few, were kids signed up for the Fiber Camp sessions, that had to be canceled,  a few were Fiber Campers from the first week, a couple were weavers who had not been out for quite some time and had not seen the fiber shed completed.  Others, I have not seen since I don't know when. For some, it was  their first Ruckus Day.

Some visitors came for a short time but most were here for the full 2 hour (abbreviated) event.  Being in a wheelchair with my leg elevated and extended, I was a little over whelmed for about two minutes.  Then everything fell into place.  A couple of my regulars were teaching needle felting to newbees.  Also at the same time, we had drum carding and blending, drop spinning and wheel spinning, and discussions about dyeing.  I am pretty sure not all 25 + were in the shed at the same time but I know there were at least 15 at one point.   It was truly amazing.

Yesterday and today was a workshop in felting a bag.  After we finished, we went down to feed the sheep and I got to feed and touch my bravest sheep for the first time in two weeks!!  Things are definitely looking up.

100 years ago, tomorrow, my mother was born.  I am celebrating the day by going to get the stitches out of my ankle and leg.  Then, I will probably have a cast put on.  A whole new stage to explore.  I am not looking forward to wearing a cast for 6 weeks, but at least I am hoping it makes me less concerned about injuring the ankle further.   I am going to ask if I can crawl all over.  I don't think that should be a problem, and it will give me more flexibility.  When my mom was in her 80's she fell head first down a few stairs to land on the cement floor of their garage.  She didn't break anything.  All I did was, slip on some pine needles and land on a padded part of my body and I broke my ankle in 3 places.  Strange how things happen.

I guess when it is all about learning something from an experience, it doesn't matter how you got to the place of learning.  Maybe my mom just didn't have any important lessons she needed to learn at that time.  I am learning some important things.  I will elaborate later.