Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A busy week..and a crazy wonderful heartbreaking life...

The last pictures of my sweet old baby boy...he has wasted away to nothing and got to where he could no longer hold himself up. He was only halfway okay if he was being held by one of us. We loved him until the bitter[sweet] end, and took him to the vet on Thursday to be euthanized.  The people at our vet's office are so sweet and compassionate and they let me hold him until the very last breath seeped out. And I cried all the way there, all the time I was there and all the way home. (And of course, I'm crying now...)  There's a big hole in our little family. He was here for over 7 years...maybe more.

 When I got home, I busied myself with housework and tried to not just sit around and cry.  I worked for several hours like a madwoman. At about 4 o'clock I walked down the drive to the mailbox and there was a young yellow kitten walking up the middle of the road crying. This road:

 I approached her and she didn't run off and so I picked her up. She was frail, starved and so happy to be picked up--she snuggled right into my neck.  I asked her if PoPo had sent her...but she wouldn't say. I brought her in the house and looked her over and fed her.  Something had gotten ahold of her, she had a chunk of meat out of her groin/belly area. I put some neosporin on it and she moved right in. She wasn't afraid of the dogs--more afraid of the cats, actually.  So, whoever dumped her out here must have had dogs. She settled right in and seemed to be fine.

The next morning I had to go back to the vet and pick up Paco, who had been neutered.  I asked them about some wormer for this kitten and they gave me a small syringe with .5 ml of wormer in it. I had seen the roundworms in her stool and am kind of an old hat at this stuff.  We gave her the stuff...and within about 6 hours she started acting strange and crying pitifully. She was of course having some diarrhea , but wasn't interested in food. She acted like she could barely walk.  She was crying piteously. It was horrible...and I wrapped her in a towel and put her in a cat carrier, thinking that maybe I needed to get her away from the other cats.  I started googling symptoms and trying to decide if I should take her to the emergency animal hospital...I called them and they said sometimes cats have reactions to the wormer. They said if I thought she couldn't wait to bring her in. If she could wait until morning, the emergency fee would drop by 50 dollars. (One of my friends offered to pay the vet bills if I would care for her. 2 other friends offered me $$ to help pay for the vet bill. How blessed am I ?)   The Irishman had been out of town for 2 days and was due back any minute. I tried to decide whether to wait for him or just go ?  I decided I would check on her again and just take her. I went to the back room where I had put the carrier...and she was dead.  I was shocked, to say the least. From the time she started showing the strange symptoms to death was only like 3 hours !  When the Irishman walked in the door, I fell in his arms crying. 

 It was like she just came here to be loved a little and die.

  I'm just getting too old for this.

So...we loved and we lost.  And isn't that just life ?  And our little homestead is back to 4 cats and 3 dogs, as Sir Paco has decided we aren't such a bad family and is going to stick around.  He's been sleeping in the house with the cooler weather and  I'm glad.

And for some good news....I have been sitting on this for a few weeks waiting for all the ducks to line up and the final decisions to be made...and as of yesterday I am officially a member of the Mother Earth News blogging family.  I got the official (lol) letter of acceptance after emails back and forth and filling out their application and bio/history, and submitting a sample post.  I am VERY excited to be doing this, as I have been an off and on subscriber to this magazine since it came out in the early 70's.   A woman sent him one of my posts from Dragon Woman's Kitchen, he loved it, and invited me to apply to be a blogger. I will write a blog post every 2 weeks. I don't really know all the details yet, but am honored to be a part of it all.  I feel like I died and went to old hippie heaven.  lol

 Our family has 2 new babies coming--brothers having babies--and I attended a baby shower last Sunday. It was fun and so good to see the happy mom and pop. It seems so strange that all my little babies are having babies...

  I got to meet up with a woman I am friends with on a homesteading site today...a lovely woman who cooked me a delectable Moroccan meal  and we talked and talked for hours.  She only lives about and hour or so from me. What fun !!!!    I already felt like we were friends, but now I REALLY feel like we are friends ! lol

  I am heading for bed because I have another early morning tomorrow...attending a Permaculture/Hegelkulter  workshop that starts at 8:30 AM.  After that I am picking up about 10 pounds (or is it 5 ??)  of spearmint and a butt load of pumpkin seeds.  My sister is in town from Florida and I thought we were getting together, but she only has a small space when she can pencil me in and that is not working with the workshop I'm attending. So...I probably won't be seeing her. Apparently the past couple of days she has been here and is about 12 miles from me. You all know this story....grrrrrr.... I knew she was coming, but didn't know details...she texted me this afternoon...I just keep repeating the Serenity Prayer...over and over...."God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I CAN, and the wisdom to know the difference."   People and their priorities...shaking my head...

  Sending love and light to all of you....


Monday, October 20, 2014

The girl been MIA...and there's no rainbows and unicorns today.

This is my road. In early autumn.

 I can tell you that it goes nowhere, but that wouldn't be quite true. It actually goes everywhere...unless you just want to stay on Honeysuckle Hill without ever leaving.  It's a gravel road, two lanes (I guess--there's no lines on it delineate lanes, but still...) and it's exactly wide enough for 2 cars or a car and a truck to pass. As long as you pay attention. 

 This time of year, around these parts, you are competing with lots of farm equipment...tractors, combines, threshers, hay wagons, and semi trucks full to the brim with all manner of corn and soybeans that have been harvested.  If you drive a little car like mine, there is really no competition.  Heavy equipment wins every time.  It's a fact of life that if you must drive the back roads, you'd better leave early and learn some patience. 

 I have been busy with any number of things around here lately. Bits and bobs of canning and dehydrating.  Cooking, as usual. Baby showers and birthday parties. Life on life's terms, as we say in my 12 step program.  IN other words, it's a comin' so you might as well hold on tight and enjoy the ride. I got all the green tomato salsa canned. Almost 2 dozen jars.  If there's ever a green tomato salsa shortage in the world, you know where to come. 

 The world is coming unhinged out there and I am more and more glad to stay home.  Ebola has arrived on our shores.  I just saw tonight that there has been another new case  found, this one in Lebanon, MO. Which is a little close to me for my taste.  The police are still shooting unarmed black teens. The riots across the river are still ongoing . They've cooled down a bit, but not stopped. And I can only imagine what;s going to happen when the verdict is in on the police officer who shot Micheal Brown.  Elections are looming and everyone is about out of their minds over everything. I have never been more grateful to not have tv. I get enough news off the internet.  The food supply is being slowly poisoned and manipulated  by greedy corporate whores...what in the world is going on out there ?  Butter is up over 5 dollars a pound.  Meat around here is almost unaffordable.  My chickens aren't laying and so are going to be butchered in the next week or so.  My cat Lazarus is dying again. maybe for good this time. I am sad and being extra loving and showering him with TLC...this is his 3rd attempt and I wish we could just get it over with. He's staggering around like a zombie cat, can't keep his balance and sleeps for hours and hours on end.  He won't eat.  It's exhausting to watch. I really want to let him die naturally and at home.  I'm doing my best.

  It's  crazy I tell you.  

  It's also 1:30 and I need to go to bed. I have a chiro appointment at 10:30, which means I have to be ready to leave here by 9:45 ...because I have to travel up that road and behind all those tractors and try to get the 30 minute trip made in less than 45 minutes.

 I wanted to stop in and say I haven't run off,  I haven't stopped blogging,  and I haven't died.  Yet.

I'll try to come back in the next couple of days and maybe let you in on some good news.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Grateful for Sundays...

  LOL   Grateful for opportunities to laugh and make fun of myself.  LBVS   (That's Facebook lingo for Laughing, But Very Serious).  Ha.


  What happened ??  I must have been sucked into some Twilight Zone type vortex, because it was Sunday and I started this and now suddenly it's Wednesday !

  Truthfully...I have not been that busy.


 This morning, however, I got out of bed, had some coffee and went to work.   I started a big pot of chicken and rice soup to take to a friend who has been sick for a few days now. Some kind of virus.  Not

...but some kind of bad bug.   

 After I got the soup going (yes, almost all my stuff from my pantry--yea!!)...I headed for the back yard with a 5 gallon bucket, a half bushel wicker type basket, a cardboard apple box (half peck), some garden shears and a small sharp knife.   Almost sounds like a safari expedition,. doesn't it ? lol
 I attacked the tomato plants (which, btw, still look like early July plants--I swear, not even drooping or turning yellow or brown still).  I got this  

I'm going to use them to make salsa verde.  There were a few ripe ones out there, but it's OCTOBER people !!  The days are not getting hot enough to ripen tomatoes and even though we are nowhere near a frost yet (I don't think)I decided to pick all the green tomatoes. I'm gonna wash and cut out spots and then throw these bad boys in the vitamix. along with some garlic, chiles, onions and cilantro. A bit of spices (cumin, black pepper, salt).  Add some vinegar, taste it and then bring it to a boil and can it.  Yum.

  After the tomatoes were done (And I had rested a bit),  I went after the peppers.

 This basket is bells, Anaheims, jalapenos and cayennes. The bell peppers are beautiful There are still some little ones out there. We'll see what they do. In the meantime I'll use some of these for stuffed peppers for supper tomorrow and probably freeze the rest. I've already dehydrated quite a few...

  After another bit of a resting my back  (and checking on the soup), I got the shears out and started cutting basil, parsley and tarragon to bring in and dehydrate.  Not a bad haul.

 I usually dry these things in the back closet, but thought I'd use the dehydrator this time...not sure if I'm liking the results...  I still have chives out there to cut and dry too.  I took my little sharp knife and harvested 8 more butternut squash. Small ones, but a good size for the 2 of us. The ones that have been curing in the garage are ready to come in and take their place under the guest bed -they sleep like babies on their own little cardboard sheets.  lol  I think I'll dry the chives the way I always do...they retain the color better.  I just chop them and spread them out on large baking pans around my kitchen for a few days. Easy Peasy.  

Well...I'm a little achy (back and knee mostly) and a little tired (not been sleeping too well the past few days)  and thinking  I might hit the hay a little earlier tonight than I've been doing. My hours have been getting erratic again and that does me no good at all.  I try to set a bedtime and stick to it...and then I start to drift. And before you know it, I'm staying up until after 2 AM again.  And getting up at 8:30, looking and feeling like something the cat dragged in.

  On a bright note, my blood pressure seems to have leveled out, and the growth removed from my face was benign.  

  We take what we can get, right ??  lol

  And tomorrow, I'll be getting this green tomato salsa canned.  What are you up to ???