Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rhythm

Being home creates a sort of rhythm for me; and, it is never tiring or boring. I cannot imagine ever feeling as if there were nothing to do. Days are simple and each has its unique flavor.

Today: 

 my flour container is an old coffee jar

Is bread day... Since I have broken two joints on my right hand (yes, I am right-handed!), I am using my bread machine. The Mister loves plain bread, so that is what will be waiting when he gets in tonight. 

 Cooky, please?
 
Babies everywhere! We have 16 right now of which 11 are bucks. I go out and sit on the rocks in the pasture with the girls in the afternoon. They sun and search my apron pockets for animal cookies. They are such pigs! 

Working on the garden. the white posts mark the berries; the yellow mark the end of the asparagus rows; and, the rest is tilled and ready for planting. We are going to build a pallet fence around the garden this year to keep the deer out. I have  found a neat product called "PlotSaver" that we will use, too. My friend Arwen and I have been stalking the pallet fences on Pinterest. Her's is up and can be seen here. While you are there, check out her aprons and repurposed items! She is so talented! 

And, in the afternoons, while having tea, I watch this: 

 hello, Ms. Phoebe

oh, waitress!! more, please!

I can't keep this filled! We have hummers from April 17 - ?? every year. This year I have four feeders up and they are not enough! 

 aren't you done, yet??

And that's my cue. Miss Annie-Bananie has something of great urgency --- she hasn't been kissed or petted in five whole minutes.... So I am off to get some stellar kitty love and see what the day brings! 

Have a marvelous week!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Babeeeeee Bottles

On the farm there are many chores that I love to do. One of them is this:


 Making ba-BEE bottles. We lost a lot of hives last year because of the excessive rain and cool temps. Then, with winter's brutal advent, we lost many more -- a total of 10 hives gone! Sigh. We are left with three, so we are going to pet them along and hope to split them in June to double our hives. 

This means I will be giving them lots of TLC this spring by feeding them every day. The formula is easy -- 1:1 sugar and water mixed. The feeders go in the "hive door" so the ladies can help themselves to a sip when they want (and that is a lot of sips --- about a quart a day or more!). This honey is used ONLY for the gals. We don't take it at all. We only take the honey made from pollen. 

This little black blob is Miss Annie. She came to me last summer after Wookie died. In fact, I think he sent her to me. She is playing with a hair band. All the stuffed animals next to the Victrola are ones that she has found in the house and piled in the corner. If I am gone "too long" she will leave a trail of them from the door to the bed to welcome me home. She makes me laugh and I am so happy she choose me. In the background is The New Front Door That Took Ten Months To Get! Finally! It is going to be purple! Can't wait! 
 The violets are having a contest to see who can be most lovely. I have kept violets since I was 16 and got my first one from Grandmother. They bloom at Christmas, Easter, and through the summer. The north window in the dining room makes them happy which means I am happy, too! 

Still loving this guy from Christmas... all hand blown bird ornaments from Germany. Once Annie learned they were NOT toys, we have both been happier! 






We discovered these unfinished maple bow back chairs in the Mister's parents' garage when we were cleaning their house. They were so mildew stained that there was no refinishing them. However, I have been dying to try chalk paint. I tried making some, but wasn't pleased with the finish. So, I bit the bullet and picked up some Annie Sloan. Oh my! If you haven't tried it, let me just say, you get what you pay for! Goes on "like buttah!" and has the nicest finish. For the "distressed look" I mixed some dark with clear wax. I love the texture it gives the chairs and makes them seem much older and more used than they are. The chair pad is half of a pair I found at the antique mall. They are hooked in cotton; I suspect they are from the 70s when all the Bicentennial decorating was hot!

We are sinking under rain today. So... I am off to make some soap, clean a little, and, then, feeding time! Have a super week!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hooked....

Dancing Stars!




Courtney at Sassafras and Winterberry sent me this cutie patootie
when I admired her rug hooking. 
I have worked to learn the art of this new needlework and 
feel that the result is well worth it. 
Next up..
Darling honey bee inspired chair pads for the dining room. 
Can't.
Wait. 

Duck tape.. 
Have you seen what they have developed now?? 




Too cute or what? 
 I thought Duck Tape was only for patching. 
Heck, no! 
This is the "smooth top" variety. 
However.. 
Can you believe there are four other styles
all for the care and comfort 
of your cabinets? 
It is padded and washable with a cloth. 
In heaven! 
I am doing a roll a day until all the kitchen cabinets 
are wiped and tidied for spring. 

Annie is sitting next to me and being a dor a ble. 
Supper time! 

Meanwhile, it is snowing... 
How about you? 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Let me sum it up....


Yeah. It's kind of been like that...

The Airman is home and settled at his new duty station with Mrs. Airman.

Worked the blueberries all summer for my parents. Sold more than 500 gallons and still had berries in the field.

Been doing this:





Teaching English to students who want to write papers in text message. *Insert sigh and prayer here.*

Adopted Duchess and Annie. Duchess is a 10-year-old white deaf cat who was surrendered by her owner. She is a hoot.

Annie was born at Clover Cat Rescue and has been a joy to me. I believe Wookie picked her out for me. She spends most of her time doing this:


Yeah. Sugar Plum Eeyore and Annie are good buds. She carries him from the food bowl to the water dish to the litter box and to bed. She never had babies, so this is even more funny. When it is bedtime, she brings him and drops him at my feet and "mew!" in the most insistent tone.

In the fall, Lazy Bee Farm started getting a face lift -- bathrooms redone, painting, and furniture recovered:

Purple. That says it all.

Went to Seattle for the Airman family wedding vow renewals. Got to meet Clarice from Storybooks Woods and had a most marvelous time with Melinda and Freeman who drove up for the week. Love. Seattle. (And, no pics! Ack!)

Now, we have this going on...




Babies... babies... babies. This is Lotus with first-time Mum Lilac. Lotus and her brother, who is solid white and named Lyle, are about the size of cats... and so cute! They like having their faces and noses kissed.

I have missed blogging and sharing our farm! Let's not be strangers, eh?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Good-byes are hard...

I still watch for him to run to the door to meet me when I come in.

I miss him stretched across my legs in the bed, nailing me down, and grumping if I move One Bit.

I am lonely for the little guy who sat on the edge of the tub for 20 years, dipping his tail and drinking (bleh) bath water.

I can't eat without looking down to give him one little taste of whatever I have.

I am lonesome beyond all words for my little boy; Wookie died on Friday after a courageous battle with bone cancer. The last few weeks, I hand fed him every bite he ate. The last two days, he couldn't drink, so I held him like a baby and fed him from a dropper. He was in no pain; he wanted to be near me where ever I was -- to the point of sitting in the windows and watching me weed the flowerbeds. He would call until I came back in and held him for a bit. Then, he was satisfied. His final day, he stayed out on the porch, enjoying the outside smells, sights, and sounds. I held him as he died.

The Mister hand dug (no backhoe for this one, he said) the grave over near Kashi, his pal who died several years ago. I placed my little guy, wrapped in the blanket I knit for him and with his cursed brush (how he hated it!) in a hardy storage box covered with roses. We rolled a ginormous quartz stone over his grave, reminding me a bit of Emerson's stone. Many years from now, archeologists will know he was deeply loved.

For 20 years he has been with me and I am so sad and miss him so much. I catch myself looking at the place where his litter box has been for all this time -- checking the place where his food bowl has been most of his life. I am reminded of a quote from Aunt Jane of Kentucky, "Look at this quilt. How can it still be here, but the hand that made it not?" I know he was "just a cat", but to me, he was so much more. He was the tangible connection to the past. He was someone I could love without reservation, without guard. While he would feign his annoyance with the whole petting and kissing thing, he loved it and I know it.

A friend said to me that it was unkind that God allowed our pets to pass before us. It is true; it is unkind. But I keep hoping that when I get to the other side, God lets me have the animals I have buried. If not, would it be heaven? We were created to care for these creatures of God; surely He will allow us to continue. I hope so.

Good night, my little man.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Indifferent Monarch: Mr. Wookie


My little man is very sick with bone cancer which started in his jaw and is spreading. I noticed he was drooling some in his sleep and thought a tooth was bothering him, so I took him to the vet for a check-up. We don't go often; he isn't sick, usually, and, since we started him on a special diet for bladder stones, he never goes.

The first visit it was decided to treat him for an infection in spite of the fact that he had no fever and no sign of infection in the mouth. Ten days later, the lump was worse. Since then, he had an x-ray which revealed the spreading cancer in his jaw.

He was given pain meds and sent home to wait to die, "probably within 21 days... during which time he will be in agony."

This was six weeks ago. He has not been in pain, that we can tell (no crying, trembling, balling up, or isolation); he still wants to eat (although that is getting harder as his jaw is now out of alignment and I am hand feeding him four times a day);  he still wants to sleep on me and to taste my food -- just in case it was better than his. In short, he is normal except for the whole jaw thing.

During these weeks, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to know when to let him go. No one should love an animal as I do him. I hold him, kiss him, stroke him, talk with him, feed him from my plate, carry him, wash him, and generally act a fool over him. It might be his indifference to me that keeps me challenged in this one-sided relationship, but I just can't show him how much I love him. Stupid, isn't it? Yet, I do.

I know the day will come when he will no longer be able to drink or will be in pain and I will have to release him. Unlike the roosters, I don't want to see him go. Ever. Yet, I know he will. And, when that day comes, I will lock myself in the bathroom, cry until I am sick, and then bury him wrapped in the blanket I knit him. But,until then, I will enjoy every minute I can with this indifferent monarch.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Time and Second Chances

Daddy was 80 this week; he and Mother celebrated 58 years together as well. It is my late-50-something time of being his first child on Father's Day. I realize that time is, pardon the pun, fleeting. I hear the chorus from "Rocky Horror" singing, "Time is fleeting.... let's do the time warp again..." There just isn't enough of it.

Time has been plaguing me lately. I want more and have no control over it. It fills itself with things that don't contribute to happiness. It ticks away quite contentedly while I run like a crazy woman trying to smash Every Single Thing into that I can. I won't live forever. No one does. Not on this Earth anyhow...

Years ago I was in a terrible car accident that should have left me dead. I remember skidding down the mountain side, watching the inside of my car turn white and feeling myself lifting away. I called out, "God! Please! Don't let me die tonight! I have so many things I need to finish! So many things I want to accomplish! I want to see my son grown! He can't miss the prom!" (It was prom weekend --- you know how important those things are...) A pair of unseen hands grabbed me by the forearms and shoved me backwards as the window shield exploded from the trees breaking over the car.

When the car stopped, it was possible to tell that it had been a car, but not much more. It hit with such force that it knocked the license plate off the back and the trunk flew open. The front seats were in the back; the back seats were in the trunk. My shoes were never found. Remarkably, the only injuries I had were air bag burns on my left hand where I tried to protect my face from the bag as it exploded (my glasses didn't fair so well), bruises from the knees down where the dash hit me as it pushed in, torn tendons in my right foot, and bruises from unseen hands. (The hospital staff took pictures of them to document the fingerprint bruises....)

The ambulance had removed me before the police arrived, so I didn't talk with the policeman on duty until I was naked on a CAT scan being checked for internal injuries. He blew in the door, wrapped his arms around me and cried like a girl. "I knew I was having to make a death call tonight! I don't know how you survived. It is a miracle!" he wept. I showed him my arms to confirm the miracle part.... and he smiled, apologized for rushing in as he had, and then left to call my son.

That was 15 years ago this past January. Sometimes I wonder why I was given this second chance. What was I supposed to do? It is rather like "It's a Wonderful Life." We don't know what difference we may have made or where, but we hope we have. As I listened to my parents talk this past week, reflecting on their lives together and their goals met or not, I realized that it really isn't about ticking off this or that on a list. It is about making the best use of what gifts one has and not about using time well. Time can't win that one. Ever.