Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Going to the Dogs

A dog is indeed man's best friend.  And I have a large circle of friends:
Pete, the farm dog, has declared half my house as his.

Bruce and Katie are here for a week. Bruce, after his Summer fleecing:

Cole with Maggie, honing their cat and squirrel hunting skills:
But, it's not all about the dogs.  We have a couple dozen new chickens too.
After spending the first two weeks of their lives in my bath tub with heat lamps, the chicks were moved into their new hoop house.  One that was surprisingly easy to build...which means that I may make more, perhaps for ducks.
Other new, unplanned additions to the farm:
4 new tires on Monday because of a beer bottle, in Auburn, that sliced open this tire.  Reason #437 why I hate going to town now.  I'd much rather stay on the farm, work on the trails, the landscaping, bake breads
and make Cole homemade meatloaves.
Alas, one must venture away from the farm...occasionally.  Today is my day off and I must drag myself away to begin cardiac rehab at a local gym.  I don't wanna go ride their stupid stationary bicycle.  One hour away won't kill me.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hole Hearted

Oops, did it again!  Just because the will power is there, doesn't mean the body can follow. Mother Nature has her own way to apply the brakes.  Quite unpleasantly at times.

I love to work, it's almost an obsession.  After months of burning the midnight oil around the new farm, the coup de grace was to work third shift cleaning in Auburn during Spring Break.  Brilliant, non?  My heart didn't think so.  By Monday morning, my chest pains were radiating down my arms, nausea and dizziness were my friends.  I was actually concerned enough to go to the Urgent Care clinic, as a precaution.  The good doctor informed me that I had all the symptoms of an impending heart attack.  Oops.  His EKG results lead him to get me to a cardiologist that day.  Well, there goes all the pretty extra money I earned the previous week!
By the time I was seen at the cardiologist, I'd had a day of cat napping and I felt better.  Alas, they still wouldn't let me go home:(   All the expensive poking and prodding revealed an Atrial Septal Defect: a hole between the two chambers of my heart.  There from birth.  Why was this never caught during all the cardiac profiles I've had to have in the past 8 years?  
A congenital disorder that usually closes in childhood.  Only about 10% carry it through into adulthood.  That makes me special!  Not short bus  special, thank you very much.
After the age of 40, that's when problems start arising.  Go figure:  now I know why my ankles get fat by the end of the day.  Unfortunately, it doesn't explain why I'm always looking for my keys and reading glasses.
It was expressed to me that ultras and marathons were no longer permitted.  Getting by with 4 hours of sleep at night was also a no-no.  Looks like my Evil Knievel days are over.  I spent a week grieving for the loss of the lifestyle I love so much.  Once the pity party was over, I addressed myself to finding a new obsession.  Gardening has always been a close #2, why not bump it up to #1?
With an acre to fill, I've been busy ordering from all my favorite sources.
Rare Seeds has the most beautiful seed packets:

Gilbert Wild sent me a batch more daylilies:
My bedside book is a dangerous one:
300 page compendium about irises.  Oh yeah, my wish list doth groweth!
A couple weeks out from that Black Monday, I'm doing much better.  Instead of falling asleep all over the place, I'm making it through a full work day.  OK, so I'm in bed by 6 or 7 PM:
Cole and the farm dog, Pete, don't seem to mind going to bed before the sun goes down!
Thankfully, I have the best docking station:  the farm.  I'm recharged at about 50% right now...baby steps.  
I'm wholeheartedly (get it?) taking it easy.  No more pushing the wheel barrow for a while.

Maybe Evil Knievel will ride again!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Disobey Fear

This past Fall my relations with my previous landlord became strained, to put it mildly. With the brood I have, it isn't easy to pull up anchor and move. I searched in vain all around Auburn for a little bit of acreage. What I found instead was almost an hour outside of Auburn:  a house on a large estate that came with a job.  
I'd been in Auburn, running my cleaning service for 24 years...change is frightening. The key is to disobey fear and take a chance.
"Change is the law of life.  And those who look to the past are certain to miss the future."  John F Kennedy

Here's a montage documenting The Move From Hell:

Mom, Davis, Jason and Jonathan deserve the highest accolades for all their help during the most stressful, worst month ever.
So, it appears that I now live in Heaven.  Pinch me.  The situation here is polar opposite to the last four year deal.  Let's start with the garden...
From a tiny vegetable garden where I had to draw water up from a well by hand to an acre on which I can plant whatever I want and irrigate with lake water.  This is the tip of the iceberg. 
Granted, my new house was in really bad shape.  I did some repair work and all the painting, but Joe's crew of workers tore through here and fixed every plumbing leak, replaced every rotten board (think entire bathrooms), sorted electrical problems, redid the skirting, the list goes on.  All of it paid for by my new employer/benefactor/fellow animal lover.  In the past rental, too often, I had to do the work myself and pay for the materials.  
I came home one day to find my front porch was gone. 

Within a week, a new one was in its place.  Do pinch me!

This is the result of all the house mending:
Cole relaxing in his new living room.
...with fireplace.
And plenty of wall space for all my beloved books.
Soothing moss green bedroom.
Cheery blue guest bedroom.  The only guest bedroom because the other has become my tack and feed room:
A big kitchen too.

A screened in back porch has become my workout room.
That's just the house.  Let me tell you about the job, starting with an example of my daily commute:
Traffic report on Wood Duck Way:  nil.
Every day is different and with so much to do, there's no chance Cole and I will ever get bored.  You read correctly, I take Cole to work with me most days. Side by side with my best friend, out on the farm -- this really is heaven!