Everything is for real, and it kind of gives you all an insight as to why I have not been doing a better job of keeping my blog up.
Christmas 2017 Page 1
It has been a few years since I have sent out cards, and to this, my apologies. Life has gotten so busy that Christmas is here before I know it, and then it is to late.
Then I thought, well, I will send out NEW YEARS cards with my letters. Once again, it was here and gone all to fast.
This year, I don’t know why, but I have a bit of time, and the Christmas card bug hit me, and Wahla! You are now holding in your hand a prized possession! 😊
Rick’s mom passed away on Feb 11th of 2017, this past year. Rick’s sister, Vikki was caring for her, and she wanted to move back home. Home to her was going to be at her Daughter’s house in Idaho, but when she got to our house, she decided to stay for a week or two, and it has turned into a permanent place for her.
Our mini farm has given her a lot of peace of mind, and some healing that she needed. Being a caregiver of someone you love is no easy task, and it really takes a lot out of you. I am happy to be able to have her live here.
It does not come without challenges though. Since she is OCD in many ways, I get tired just being in the same room with her. 😊 She has taken on the Cooking, Cleaning, and most of the chores. Finally, I had to sit her down and say, hey look:
We do not do laundry every day. We do it once a week. With only three of us, and my huge washing machine, there is no need to do it every day. She kept saying we needed laundry soap every time we went to the grocery store. You know that stuff is expensive. So, we got Vikki outfitted with enough clothes that she could go a week without needing her essentials washed every other day.
I have not used my washing machine since she moved in and if I do need to do a load, I have to get the instruction book out and read it first.
The same with the dishwasher. Heaven forbid there should be a single dirty dish in the sink. I joke with her that the hinges are going to wear out on my dishwasher before the motor wears out. I like to accumulate dishes throughout the day, and then do them all after dinner. Then it looks like something has been accomplished. But oh NO! The minute it is dirty, IN THE DISHWASHER it goes! 😊
When Vikki moved in, she wanted to do everything! I finally had to set some ground rules and I let her have full custody of the chickens. The goats and horses are off limits, because when I do my chores it is the time I get to spend with them, and check them over, and do a well check on them. She understood.
So now with the short-day light hours, the chicken egg production has come to almost a standstill. It started out with her whispering to the chickens, as they sat on their roost watching her gather the fruits of their labor. Then I heard her voice rise to a talking to, scolding them for no more than two eggs, out of 17 chickens. Now it is plain blasphemy at the chickens. (Not really, just sounded good). So, she asked me the other day, can’t we put a light in there to get them to lay? Well yes, we could, but each chick is born with the amount of eggs they are going to lay in their life time, why would I want to rush that process? Nope, I like the more natural approach. It is not like we eat that many eggs anyway. I have over a hundred eggs sitting in lime water preserving them for future use.
My sewing room is a place that I like to take comfort in. I am working on teaching Vikki how to do the same, by, making quilts. This has been a challenge, and my patience has been tried, but mostly we laugh over the silly way she will get things sewed up. She has learned to be quite the effective Reverse Sewer. I do have to say, she has made a few really pretty quilts. It is therapy, and I love it when she goes and works on her sewing projects. I know she is relaxing and doing something fun. Being creative is always fun.
Now every quilt on God’s green earth has some mistakes in them. Good Quilters never point out those mistakes. But Vikki being OCD as she is, knows exactly where each mistake is, and it drives her up the wall. But with time, I am sure she will be able to accept the minor detail in that area.
They say you can’t have two women living in the same house without complications. Well I was hesitant, but I am glad. I think we get along pretty darn good. We both laugh at and with each other. We both like the same music, and love to listen to it at a high decibel. We can pretty much finish each other’s sentences, and think a like on a lot of things.
One day she made potato soup. It was a bit on the runny side, and she wanted to know if she should thicken it with corn starch. I said no, as I don’t like soup thicken with that. I went out side for a bit, and a light bulb clicked on. I ran back into the house to tell her to use instant potatoes, and here she was cutting the top off a box of instant potatoes! That was so weird. The potato soup was pretty darn tasty.
We like to say, “Great minds think alike”, and we are still wondering what is so great! 😊
I am not to sure what Rick thinks about having to live with two women now. That is a story you will have to ask him. But I like to think that we do not make it too difficult on him.
Now remember I stated I am a quilter. My room is full of quilting fabric. Quilting fabric is USUALLY made of cotton fibers. So, one day, while browsing a second had store, Vikki found a reborn baby doll. If I thought I could have tripped her and beat her to the floor for that doll, I would have. These dolls sell upwards of $200.00 on the internet. There is a lot of work that goes into these dolls. The price tag was $10.00. You read that correctly, TEN BUCKS!
We get the doll home, and it is just like a real baby. I told Vikki she probably should make it a bonnet so that the hair on her won’t get rubbed off. So as Vikki sat and pondered making the bonnet, and I was reading a book, I hear her ask: “do you have any cotton?” Umm….I am thinking cotton balls. I look up at her and say, “Cotton?” She said, “yes to make the bonnet.” Ummmmm…..I busted out laughing, and it took her a minute, but she figured it out! My whole room is NOTHING BUT cotton fabric.
One evening in November, the weather was actually pretty nice. We were sitting on the back porch. Vikki whisper to me, “See that cat, or something, up at the chicken shed?” I squint, and can’t see a thing, so I run into the house for my flashlight. I run out side, as quietly as I can, and turn it on, and shine it on the moving object. At first it looked like a cat, but the way it waddled away and as it stepped down off the deck, we saw a RAT TAIL! POSSOM! So, I go running out the yard, and hollered, “follow me!” so she did. As I was scanning the property with the flash light, I moved towards the barn. I have seen evidence of possum’s and skunks up there. As I turn around, and we walk back the way we came, my flashlight picks up two bright eyes walking towards us in the dark! I gave a start before realizing it was Mittens my cat, that just had to come see what we were up to. Just about had to change my shorts right there. We never did see where that possum took off to.
With Vikki living here now, I can get a few things done that takes two people and I don’t have to wait for Rick to come home from work. This comes in pretty handy at times.
When I wanted to make a pen for Cricket to begin the torturous procedure of weening him, Vikki helped me carry panels to the lean to, to create a pen for him. When I have to do moving of the critters, she is there to help me move them in case one of them escapes and I can send her off running hell bent for election after the said escapee. And when we did canning this year, she helped me make home made ketchup, pickles, relish and grape juice. It is always fun to have someone to work with.
Well when spring rolled around, the yard work around here is a lot! I could never use Rick’s gas-powered weed eater so I went to home depot and bought a battery powered weed eater. I also grabbed some refills that you can just pop into the socket when you run out of string.
Vikki took over the chore of weed eating right away. The first day, she ran it out of string. HELP! I hear in the back ground. “How do I change out the string?” Well I had yet to read the directions, so we dig through the box, and find them. After reading the directions, we pop the bottom off, and in no uncertain terms is that refill going to fit in that slot. I think it was for another type of weed eater. I actually had to you tube how to change the string. So, you have 2 old ladies, with a weed eater torn apart, upside down between them, and 10 feet of string tangling up, because you know that shit is curly! After a couple of hours and four hands, (we actually needed a fifth, but the dogs were not about to help), we finally got it rolled up and in working order before Rick got home! We felt accomplished!
The wind blows through our patio and I have been thinking of a wind break that could be a temporary thing. So, with two great minds working together, Vikki and I decided that a tarp would be the ideal thing. Once again, we go to Home Depot and I buy a tarp that would fit the opening we needed to cover to break the wind. I actually got the tape measure out and measured! We come home, and on a ladder, I am nailing the tarp to the eve of the patio where each grommet hole was. Half way through, I find that we have the tarp short side to the top. Now we have to turn it. Wouldn’t you know it, the darn grommets going down the side of the tarp are not spaced at the same measurement as the grommets going along the top. Now I have all these nails on the eve, because I can’t pull them out without falling backwards off the ladder, and I can’t count on Vikki to catch me, as she is on the other side of the tarp.
We laid bricks at the bottom of the tarp on the ground after we got it hung. The tarp was doing its job. The wind was not blowing yet. We were quite proud of our redneck wind break wall. Rick on the other hand could only shake his head, as I am thinking, “you will thank me later!”
As the evening progressed, the wind of course decided to pick up. The tarp was wafting back and forth. It would snap each time it was sucked out, and once again as it was sucked back in. I now have doubts if this was a good idea.
I go to bed. The wind must have blown pretty good that night because when I went out side in the morning, the tarp was in shreds! Rick, bless his heart, never said a word.
I took in a goat on a baby-sitting agreement. She is a Nigerian dwarf, that is stunted in growth. When she was born, she was a twin and mom abandoned her in a snow bank, and the owner found her and brought her back to life. Her name is Squeakers and she is unlike any other goat I have ever known.
I tried to put Squeakers with my goats, but they were not happy about that situation what so ever. Squeakers was even complaining that this was not the thing to do. So, I put her in the back yard, until we could figure something out. My back yard is done in hog panels and it works to keep the dogs in, but a goat? Well she can squeeze through those squares!
One day I was working on the computer which faces a window that over looks my pasture. Out of the corner of my eye, I see some movement. I take a better look and here it is Squeakers, meandering along the front of the house, nibbling on all the flowers.
It did not take her long though, before she figured out how to maneuver the doggie doors. I have one, that goes from the patio into the garage, then one that goes from the garage into the house. One of the first days she was here, I think the second day, Vikki and I were in the sewing room, and all of a sudden, a little goat streaking through the kitchen, bleating to high heaven. She was hollering for us, and did not know where we went. But she knew we were in the house.
We had to make her a cardboard collar so she will not escape the yard, yet it does allow her to get in the house. Squeakers loves human companionship and she will come in, and jump up on the couch next to her mama, “Vikki”, and proceed to get comfy and watch TV! Game shows are her favorite if there is nothing on ME TV.
Speaking of, “mama”, Vikki has taken on that roll to Squeakers, by default. She follows Vikki all around. If Vikki is not in sight, Squeakers is generally hollering for her. I am of no use to the goat, and can not comfort her as well. I am like an Aunty, and not mommy.
Squeakers provides a ray of sun shine, and a lot of laughs in the short time we have had her. She will chase Mittens, head butt the dogs, and follow humans. She even likes to sit in your lap too. She has us all wrapped around her hooves, and is the sweetest little goat ever. I will be sad to see her leave when the times comes, when her real mom can take her back. She is a lot of work. We have a hard time keeping her contained as she is a real little Houdini.
Not ever living on a farm or being around horses, there is a bit of skill that comes with getting a horse haltered. I have miniature horses so they are pretty easy to get along with. Well one day, I had to move Racer and Scarlett. I gave Vikki Scarlett’s halter, and I took Racer’s and off to the pasture we go. Thinking Vikki was going to wait for instruction, I went ahead and put Racer’s halter on. I know she was looking at me out of the corner of her eye to see what I was doing. When I was done, she was also done with Scarlett. She asked me, “How’d I do?” Very Proud of her accomplishment. I tried to keep a straight face, really, I did, but the laughter began deep in the pit of my throat. I could not contain it any longer and I busted out laughing so hard!
Here Scarlett was standing there with her halter on UPSIDE DOWN being so patient! First off, I was shocked that Scarlett let Vikki even get close to her with the halter. She came at her front on, like a predator! But she stood there for Vikki. I always go around to the side of the head, slip the nose band on, and buckle the halter on their left side. For all the right ways of haltering a horse, Vikki did it all the wrong ways. But we both had a good laugh at Scarlett’s expense because she did look hilariously funny, and I showed Vikki how to put the halter on right.
Kind of reminds me of the time I came home from being out of town, and Rick, had put Libby’s fly mask on for her, upside down! AND she wore if for half a day like that! It is the thought that counts!
Cricket, my miniature pony, was born April 7th of this year. He had a rough start as mama’s colostrum made him very sick. I knew what signs to look for this time around, and caught him within two hours of him crashing. I can’t thank the vet enough for saving him. He in an ornery little guy, but he is my guy, and my baby. I have plans for him to cart when he gets old enough. He has a white mane and tail, and a reddish-brown body. He is eye candy out in the pasture. He gives his mama, Racer and Buddy a run for their money.
Mittens, my cat that Cameron rescued, is my baby. She helps me with the chores and terrorizes all the other animals. Especially the other cats. She is sure the queen of the house, and does not let anyone here forget that.
We still have Sydney and Sassy, and I watch Sydney age before my eyes. Both are the ever-faithful companions. Harper, Cameron’s dog, spends the days at our house while they work. So he is just as part of the family as everyone else.
Every day, I wake up, and I never know what surprises lay in store for me. There is always a giggle here and there, and sometimes a belly laugh that hurts so good!
Wishing everyone a wonderful Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year this year.
Rick and Jody