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Yesterday was a day. Hopefully today will be a better one. One kid has what appears to be a bad infection in both his big toes, when I went to wake the boys yesterday I noticed his toe. Boys being boys, it didn’t hurt, so no big deal. No big deal, almost started my day off
with a heart attack. We’re off to the podiatrist today for that. Then seems that a flashlight vibrated off the top of the dryer and hit the hot water lever on the utility sink in the laundry room. Good thing we work from home, since after about an hour there was a huge flood in the laundry room, I don’t even want to think what it might have looked like after a whole day of running water. We’re still drying it out and all the damp weather we’ve been having certainly doesn’t help.
The dog, had to get in on the act and for some completely unknown reason decided it was
a good idea to completely dig up the tomato plants that I had so carefully planted the day before.
I think that she is being possessed by the spirit of the White Dog. Seriously. What else could have gotten into her?
I am writing this now and know that I won’t post it immediately. I cannot. The words however are here, rolling around in my head and they need to be put down on cyber “paper”. For those of you that follow the blog and know me personally, you know that I often write about the White Dog. The White Dog and I have a relationship that is love/hate or hate/hate or something in between. There are many times in frustration and anger that I might have wished she were dead or words to that effect spewed from my mouth. It was only words uttered in the heat of frustration or anger, after a can of garbage was emptied on a newly mopped floor or dinner was eaten off the table. I never really meant them and I hope that anyone would know that.
Yesterday we lost the dog that my boys knew for their entire lives. Suddenly and without warning, the most horrible type of death for survivors. Hopefully, the most peaceful for her. She was playing outside in our yard with a friend’s dog, which is considerably smaller than she was. The small dog ran under her owner’s truck and Juno, caught up in the heat of the fun, followed her. Full speed. The best we can figure is that she cleared the body of the truck and broke her neck when she slammed into the frame underneath. She died only a few minutes later in my husband’s arms. Needless to say, we all suffered a very real and very painful loss yesterday. The boys are a mess, Tom is a mess, I am a mess.
During the next couple hours, we did what we had to do. We dug a hole and we laid her to rest after saying our last goodbyes. Many tears mixed with many fond memories. Here are some:
For all our differences, she will still hold a very special place in my heart. She was a part of our family and our lives will not be the same without her. It will be hard to be without her, since our memories are many. She had a long, full life and I’d like to think, a happy one. She was well when she died, not sick or in pain. She was playing and happy and I guess that’s the way death should be greeted if any of us have the choice. Dying doing what we love. For her, it was playing and running. She loved the snow and this morning, it was all over the ground. White dog, rest in peace.
Okay, this post is strictly for my hubby – who is grunging with the best of them out in Seattle. He is calling to ask me how things are going and it usually hasn’t been a good time for either he or I – so
in order here’s the scoop:
Black dog – not limping and appears happy to see the Boy at the end of the day. He seems quite happy to hang with her too.
White dog – amazingly still alive – although we do have another full day so there’s still a chance that she can screw that one up so I cannot make promises on her viability by tomorrow evening.
Goats – send their regards and Creme asks “WHERE ARE MY COOKIES?”
Fish – Still swimming but their world is getting darker – they need you back.
Chickens – Hanging around commenting that they like their new high-rise accommodations so much better than the swamp. Laying eggs, crossing the road to get to the other side (oh, wait sorry, wrong story). Chili is as angry as ever and getting his exercise running along the fence back and forth- kind of like watching chicken Pong and Chickenzilla is hanging around, being king of the roost as usual.
Kids – Well, as to the 2 that are here, they are fine. Sore, with the occasional grumble, but trooping through double camp week – leaving at 9:15 and getting home at 8:15 (personally I think that school is looking MIGHTY GOOD to them right about now) As for No. 1 son, he doesn’t call me, he doesn’t send me flowers anymore (little Barbara Streisand in there for good measure) so he either doesn’t love me anymore or he loves Rhode Island more. Haven’t heard from him but then again, haven’t heard from Peggy that he is hurt or driving her crazy – so no news is good news there I am guessing. Makes me wonder if we’ll ever hear from him when he leaves for college.
Renovations – I came home this afternoon to 6×6 thrown about the front yard in preparation for the porch removal. The cross pieces (supports, rafters or whatever they are called – Lou, no making fun of me, ok?) are on the roof part of the lean-to and there is a basement door in our basement (although it is being held up by the refrigerator and not the door frame). B. was going to order the decking for the porch and I ordered the siding and roofing for the barn lean-to. It should be here next week.
Neighbors – All appear to be doing well and carrying on their normal routines.
Birds – Now, they are complaining, seems that their feeder is absent this week. Guess I will have to remedy that and take over as stand-in feeder until you return.
In general – the whole State of Vermont misses your wit, humor, good looks and company. They wish you a safe and uneventful trip home tomorrow evening and will be waiting to greet you (now you see why we need the new porch people – has to bear the weight of all those people waiting on the doorstep for Tom).
and me – well, you know that I miss you alot and much like a bear on the first crisp days of fall – I need some sleep.
Hurry home. Love ya.
I started this blog a little over a year ago, mostly as a way for me to journal the trials and tribulations of moving up here from New Jersey. It was my little space to release the thoughts rattling around in my brain and give me some sanity. When I first did it, no one read it, nor did I care. Now – a few days over a year later, I have almost 4,000 hits and it astounds me. I still do this for my own sanity, but also to keep friends and family apprised of what transpires up here with our gang on the hill. A year has made a difference in a lot of ways – the boys have grown much bigger, taller and stronger and I have become accustomed to a much more simple way of life. I must say that I am happy, this was a good choice. The boys seem happy and despite their occasional teenage grumbling (which would happen wherever we lived) I think that they truly love it here. That alone makes it all worthwhile. We were discussing this morning, that we didn’t imagine in our wildest dreams being parents to 21 chickens and 3 fainting goats, but now….I can’t imagine not having them. (The White Dog, mind you I can still do without - I would be more than happy to train Phoenix the Goat to take over for her). Still….it is hard to believe that I have been blogging for a year. It seems such a normal part of my life that I honestly can’t remember what it was like before it. I feel compelled to write something every day….which is good– for me and for you.
Well, we shall see how the White Dog and I fare this week. Tom is away on business so it is woman vs. dog. I have secured the trash after I figured out that the White Dog was so busy chicken watching this evening that she forgot to come inside. Yes, 10:02 and lucky for her I happened to come back downstairs for some water and heard her scratching at the door. We are off to a fabulous start.
Chickens laid a high of 17 eggs this week and today’s total is 14.
Many tasks to do around the homestead. Hope to accomplish a lot this week. Time will tell…
What a week. Tom found one of the Black Cochin roosters dead in the corner of the coop Saturday morning. No apparent signs of distress, so this proves to be a mystery. We held the appropriate burial in as dry of ground as we could find during mud season. Yesterday was a good day, 62 degrees and outside in the yard in a mere sweatshirt. This morning, we awoke to snow covering the ground once again. It is in the low 30s and has been snowing most of the day.
Today, we clipped all the chicken’s wings so that we could let them out. I really was a rather nervous about doing this since I figured for sure it would be an event and either us or the chickens would get injured. I am proud to say there were no casualties….human or poultry. It was in fact a very smooth event. I did the trimming while Tom held the bird and my oldest son held out the wing so we could properly identify the flying feathers which the chickens keep well hidden when the wing is closed. We will have to see if they are truly limited in their ability to fly now as we read that they would be. We purchased electric netting fence, but it was snowy, windy and too cold to get too far with it. And muddy, don’t forget the mud, the yard has been transformed to a gigantic mudhole with a river running through it. We clipped wings and opened the doors to the coop, no one was too interested in going outside, I guess chickens are smarter than we give them credit for since they had the common sense to stay inside while we were outside in the cold, wet windy weather.
We decided to go with the electric fence no so much to keep chickens in but to keep The White Dog and other predators out. Sure as anything, the White Dog was the first one there when the coop door was opened. Hmmmm…..did someone say chicken?
A good day for a hot bowl of pasta with some homemade bread……yummy if I do say so myself.
Tom will be home shortly. Home will be whole again. While I am used to him traveling (I don’t sleep well or hardly at all but I am used to that as well) the house is empty when he is not here. The boys are usually quite quiet (for boys) when he first leaves and then they slide into this slump out of which they slowly rise as the days to their father’s return closes in. I know that when he pulls into the driveway it will be a mad rush to see who can get out to him first and the dogs will be competing for their attention as well. Chaos ensues, but it is a good chaos. A chaos that means home is whole again… the way it is supposed to me. Speaking of home and home – wrecking, I am drawn into the media coverage of the NY governor’s resignation, but particularly all the media attention befallen his wife. Everyone speculates to two extremes — “how could she stand there next to that man” and “look at her standing there next to her husband showing solidarity”. How dare we even speculate on their relationship? The only ones even remotely qualified to “guess” at what is going on in that woman’s mind would be women who were in some regard similarly situated. None of us have walked in Mrs. Spitzer’s shoes, even those that were in similar situations. How many of us understand what she is doing and why she is doing it? Dare I say hardly any. I firmly believe in the old Indian saying “Do not criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins”. There were a couple of articles which at least touched upon the sensitivity of situation. When you love someone and have loved them for many years, it is difficult to just “shut that down” especially when the person you love is being torn apart, in this case by the media. The woman and her family deserve a break….from the media. CHICKEN UPDATE: SLACKING AWAY STILLWHITE DOG UPDATE: PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE, MASTER IS RETURNING THIS EVENING.
I hate those damn gremlins. You know the ones I mean. The ones that take your stuff, just your stuff, not anyone else’s and move it to some unknown and hidden location. Hell, for all I know they make it completely disappear, become invisible. Gremlins are the only logical explanation why, I , the only woman in a house of 4 men, cannot find the one thing that I am looking for when I look for it. The only other possible explanation is senility and at 44, I am certainly hoping that is not the answer. When I ask each of my sons, I get the “shrug” followed by the “I don’t know what you are talking about” or “I didn’t move it”. My husband usually has the same answers which leads me to believe that it must be the damn gremlins. I spent the day redoing my walk-in closet and was looking for the shoe rack I bought only a few weeks before. The one that sat on the floor of my bedroom in front of my dresser, literally for weeks, and now, PRESTO, I need it and it has disappeared. Looked under the bed, looked in the closets and lo and behold……nothing. I search all the obvious places (mostly above my head which is what happens when you marry a man a whole foot taller than you) and still, no luck.So I gather tomorrow I am off to Home Depot to buy yet another shoe rack. I am going to charge it to the damn gremlins. ARGHHHH! White Dog update: We are both still alive. Enough said. Chicken update: Still slackers. Neighbor update: New baby boy. (At least they are accomplishing something, unlike the slacker chickens).
Okay, the white dog and I have come to some type of understanding. She has not gotten into the garbage all day today and I have not killed her. We are off to a good start for the remainder of the week. I do hate when Tom travels. The days and nights are much longer. The house is “empty” despite being full of activity with the 3 boys, 2 dogs and our houseguest. Although having GoGo around is always interesting and the boys absolutely adore him.
Still waiting for the slacker chickens to start laying eggs. The book said 4 months and their birthday (or hatch-day) was Sunday and still no eggs… they are bound to start laying soon, and we are anxiously waiting and checking everyday. While I cannot wait for them to start and have our own “farm fresh” eggs, I think it would be cool if they waited another week and started laying for Easter, especially the Easter Egg laying chickens. How cool would that be? Plus, I would feel really badly if the chickens started laying while Tom was away, especially since it was his idea for the chickens and he has taken such a liking to them and vice versa. Me personally, I am waiting for my goats. Fainting goats. Although lately the idea of a little donkey is starting to rub off on me. Something similar to the white dog in affection but not quite as anxious to jump in my grave. I am getting used to the idea of this farm type life and really into the fact of getting by on what we have here and what we can make, produce or grow. I can see how this can really take a hold of people and it becomes quite the challenge. I can smell the garden soil and am starting to dream about gardening and what to plant….must have been the rain and warm weather over the weekend.