Monday, December 28, 2009
Here are Hummingbird and "Young" hen. I think this is a case of "you scratch my back and I'll warm your feet..." I love the way the goats and the chickens get along so well. The goats seem very careful not to step on chicken toes, and they are all very interested in each other. I have one special hen who refuses to roost anywhere but in the barn with her goat friends. I don't deny her that privilege, as she lays the largest eggs!
- Make healthier meals for my husband and myself. One of my chief complaints about how we eat is that we are so hungry when we get home that we rush to eat whatever we find in front of us! This is a BIG challenge.
- Schedule more time for art. I need time to sketch and paint every week. I also want to get my work into more shows and spend more time promoting my art! My friends need to know what I do, and sometimes I am shy about telling them. I am very proud of my work! (See my paintings at www.thenaturalartist.com.)
- Find the energy for exercise. Now that I feel more confident about my health, I don't have an excuse NOT to :)
- Get Rick out of the house. He loves to travel, I don't. He NEEDS more travel time....
OK, this is a good start! I'll let you know how we do....
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The goats don't like the cold, but they like being WET even less, so they get to have a snuggly snow day in their cozy barn, calmly munching their alfalfa. No power means no indoor plumbing, no hot water (NO WATER, period) no showers, no light, no TV, no computer.... Lucky for us we are mountain people who love to sit by the fire in the wood stove and just breathe. We don't mind heating a can of soup for dinner. But the goats have to have clean WARM water. If they drink it cold they lose body heat. So I had to melt snow on my gas stove to make water for them to drink. One full bucket of snow melts down to about two inches of water in the bottom of that bucket. I was making three to five buckets of water every day just for them. Do the math. Then we needed enough hot water to wash our hair and bathe ourselves. AHHHH! My bucket muscles are still a little sore, but I think it was good exercise :)
Lucy rarely left her place in front of the wood stove. In fact, she was highly insulted when the power came back on and I kicked her pig butt out the front door! (She is like a naughty three year old, into EVERYTHING, and gets bored very easily. If it sits on the floor it is fair game to be tossed or snuffled or rooted over :) The good news is that she can't climb!
Our Aussies LOVE the snow! They RUN around and play and bark, and then lay down and drag their bellies for several feet. They love "snow ball" although they are a little confused when they can't find the "ball" that I have thrown for them. Jack lays down on his side and makes a "snow dog angel"!
When the weather broke, I had to drive back down the hill to go to work. The brilliant sunlight on the snow made the high meadows look like fields of diamonds, and the shadows cast by the trees were deep periwinkle. My spirits SOAR, my angels sing and I just LOVE this beautiful place we live in!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
For ALL of us cancer warriors, we know how frightening that battery of tests can be. We try to "read" the expressions on the faces of the nuclear medicine techs. We play over and over the questions they asked us before and after our scans. Of course some of us have UBER-imaginations (which normally make our lives a little more interesting) in this case, we imagine every possible horrible scenario. For us thyroid cancer survivors, we have the added pleasure of being taken off our meds for four or more weeks. If you have experienced this, you know why we call it "hypo hell." This time around, I had a few more weapons in my battle to combat Fear:
- I wrote in my journal EVERY night.
- I tried to maintain my routine. Even something as simple as doing dishes made me feel a little more in control. It also really helped to make a list of what I did during the day.
- I tried to keep busier, even when my depleted thyroid levels made it harder to do EVERYTHING.
- I helped the doctor organize my testing schedule, which kept from dragging things out too long. I also knew which questions to ask this time.
- I ate a little healthier and tried to get fresh air and exercise every day.
- I made sure that I had a sleep aid on hand to help me rest better.
- Music helps.
- Prayer helps ;) "Please God, just help me get through the next few hours..."
I have been back on my thyroid supplement for two weeks today. I still have a couple of weeks to climb before I am back to "normal". I have SO MUCH to be thankful for this year :)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING friends....be well.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Pink Ladies! I just brought in my apple crop. OK, even though I knew these were my favorite apple variety before I tasted these, they are BY FAR the BEST apples I have ever eaten. This is the first year my apple tree has produced (she is four years old) and I only got eighteen apples, but they are DELICIOUS! They are sweet and crisp with just the right tang to them, and I ate one cold right out in the garden. The sweet juice was dripping down my chin-- I can't wait to share these with my grandkids!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
When Rick and I found this place in 2002, it was a run down cedar cabin on four acres in the woods. It was meant to become a home with privacy, a haven, an affordable alternative to living in the suburbs of the Bay Area. It was dirty and neglected and the front door didn't lock. It was TWO HOURS away from my girls, WAY too far away. It had good bones, though. And the roof didn't leak. The foundation looked sturdy and there were hardwood floors in the main rooms. I fell in love with the feel of it. The property had a sense of peace about it. It had an air of abandonment-it needed me. Because of the dirt and the remote location, it had been on the market for much too long, so we got it for a SONG.
Let the demo begin! I believe Rick tore out the '70's burnt orange carpet the day before we moved in :) I started cleaning the floors. It took me about two gallons of Pine Sol and several days on my hands and knees before I felt like the floor was clean. Neither one of us had a job at the time, and buying this place was a huge leap of faith, but neither of us has been sorry, even after all of the exhausting work that we have put into it. It has been that "labor of love" that you hear about.
Fiddletown? We had never heard of Fiddletown. As small gold towns go, it is one of the smallest, but it has a rich and interesting history. It was a thriving mining town and Chinese settlement for many years, and it got it's name from the story about a cultured lady who lived on a hill in town in the 1850s who gave violin lessons. It is said that you could hear her play in the evenings as the sound would have traveled far.
The dream...I told myself, I didn't want too many flowers. I didn't want to do too much watering. No vegetable garden, too much work. OK, maybe a few herbs....We got a dog, then another. THEN our friend LuLu gave me two beautiful Pygora goats, "to eat the brush," she said. Then Rick brought home three young Nubian does "to eat the brush," he said. Then we got some chickens. All of a sudden we were a farm! I always wanted a farm! I wanted fresh eggs and sweet, vine ripened heirloom tomatoes. An apple tree would be nice....It is a TON of work, but satisfaction for the soul :)
Check out the website at: