Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Brat Pack

This is the Brat Pack. In the center is Fred. He is around 34 years old and is the only male we have left on our property. He is hanging out with 15 on his right a mare horse that was supposed to be a pony but wasn't. 
Sundance is on his left and she is the half sister to Sunshine.

Fred is retired. 15 is looking for a new home. I don't have time to train her nor the desire to.
Sundance? I've waffled on her for a long time. She has been started under saddle but I'm pretty much done with that too.

I'm investigating the possibility of having her sent out for training.

So these three are seperate from the the 'riders' right now and have the forest and the large meadow to graze and run around in.

And they do run around! That is Fred in the lead.

Sometimes I wonder why on earth I keep them and then I look at the meadow they graze and am grateful for their grazing. 
I am grateful that I can ride the other three [Fred is retired unless I need a pony to lead a kid around on...not happening now anyway...with Covid-19].

I think with the increase in infections we will not be accepting visitors to the farm even if they sleep in tents and use the outhouse.
Last weekend with visits from a few folks for the funeral and the uptick in infections has caused us to decide to keep our place off limits.
A doctor from the VA called to check on Rich yeseterday and he suggested NO one in the house period from outside.
Yesterday the Oxygen people came.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Gosh I miss him...

Mr. Morris was such a huge part of my late adult life. 14 years of everyday adventure. As a Jack Russell, he was always on the go. Go
go...was Morris's motto until the last year of his life.

His vet told me that a JRT will be like that. They'll go with boundless energy and then then stop. When they stop, then worry.

Yesterday morning I wasn't thinking of him at all. But when I opened my laptop and logged in. Facebook reminded me that Morris's birthday was today. Indeed it was and he would have been 16? Wow. 
I meant to take his page down but when I look at it, I just end up browsing his page and photos.


So I spent part of the day recalling our friendship and browsing all the Flickr photos of him all the way back to the day I brought him home.

It's true. Charlie is in our lives now and he has grabbed our hearts like no other. It was with great purpose that I chose a wonderfully different kind of dog. 
After can you not love this face?

Yes, I miss Morris and nothing can replace him or his place in my heart.

Thank you Charlie for helping to fill that space that hurts and filling it with your silly ways and your pure unselfish devotion to Rich.
Your devil may care attitude and hunting instinct, and your ability to take over the whole couch with such a tiny body.

So life goes on. We miss those we love.

And we find reasons to carry on....

Laugh love

and smile.

Thursday, July 09, 2020


or if you prefer,


You can't sleep, so you open a device and scroll through the news. You read the latest updates about Covid-19. You look at the cases, the deaths, the stories, and then you try to go back to sleep.

That's insane right? Absolutely!

Guess what?
I was doing exactly that until I read a story about the term.
I like the term *Doomsurfing* best.

The pandemic won't get better with me checking statistics and stories. It won't get better as I read stories about tragedies and posts saying it is a hoax. 

Social injustice will still be there in the morning when I have my first cup of coffee.

So I set a new rule for myself.

Dear Self:
You may NOT look at your phone or any other device after 9pm. Turn all notifications off. 
Turn your other devices off, all of the way off.
If you cannot sleep read a paperback, not a Kindle.

I've set times to when I can read the news or watch the news.

I have to find somewhere I can pick up some paperbacks now to read. 

Since I set up limits ... I've done better at a good night's sleep.

Have a good day 
don't Doomsurf.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

It is only Wednesday?


This week has been an odd one for me.

We had our first time 'out' for an extended drive for a 2 minute lab test for the VA doctors. Secure Messaging for refilling scripts.
~Thank goodness for Secure Messaging. 
Afterwards we ordered 'fast' food through a drive up. The eating areas were closed everywhere in Baraboo, Wisconsin. So we ate in the car with it running and the A/C on. [We wouldn't have gone in even if they were open.]

Sympathy cards in the mail for my MIL. 
~My own family is a bit odd about death and dying. My mother and Grandfather never said 'passed'. People died. Period, they didn't Pass.
Passing was something you did on the road.
Grandpa used to say that he wasn't going to go to 'So and So's' Funeral because by golly...So and So wasn't coming to his.
He used to recite the Ashes to Ashes saying in a much different manner.

I grew up without proper funeral etiquette. My father abhorred funerals, he said it was barbaric to see the dead in a casket. 
Do I acknowledge the sympathy cards? What happens when people write a check? The funeral was pre paid. See, I am at a loss with death and its accoutrements.
[edit: any moneys will be donated to the nursing home for activity supplies...I emailed my stepdaughter to find out what to do!]

My knowledge is so lack that I didn't even know that the updating of the headstone would be taken care of. 
I guess it is time for me to do some studying.

I've jumped back into my Virtual CrossFit workouts. I skipped last week as I was so exhausted from sitting with MIL for days. I had no idea how much that daily effort would simply drain me. I am however glad that I did it. 
It feels good to be back into some sort of routine after feeling like I was in limbo for a week.

Heat/Muggy/Horrid Heat.
The heat and misty mornings are incredible to view and photograph of course.

I went out at 4:30 to watch the predawn from different areas of the ridge.
The heat index is around 100 each day and the yard is beginning to look like we should cut it for hay!
Rich wants to do it, however the conditions are not good for him to be out in the heat.

After my workout yesterday, I took a walk to cool off.

Sven was working on his particular skills as a weed wacker. I made a tiny collage of the things I saw on my walk.

Some of that is from my garden obviously and some of that is from alongside our long driveway.

I saved the books my MIL had in her boxes and thought it would be fun to read what she read.
Um. I'm not into Romance Novels, however during the hot afternoons I can pick a book up and stay cool inside during the hottest parts of the day while Rich naps.

I can say this. The books are easy reading.
The stories are rather predictable but what do I know?

It's only Wednesday!

Monday, July 06, 2020

Too Hot

When it gets too hot to do much else...
we go berry pickin' for a while in the woods.

Charlie can't stand being cooped up all day in the house. He likes sitting on the porch, but loves his walks much more.

I haven't been taking him in the early mornings lately. I just have been scurrying to get stock tanks filled and the garden hoed before 8am instead of taking him for an early morning stroll.

So yesterday we were bored. Very bored and restless. So I took him for a walk along the 'ridge' trail. After all, I felt I owed him some extra attention.
Charlie has gotten used having us to himself all of the time.

Last week he really seemed relieved when I came home from being in the nursing home for hours. He was just beside himself when I returned.

Then with the 4th of July booms [fireworks], I again abandoned him to go on the ridge and photograph the fireworks.
Apparently he had a melt down and Rich had all he could do to console Charlie.

I walked slowly along the ridge road and picked berries while Charlie sniffed around and hunted the ever elusive Chipmunk. 
From the trail cameras, I know that we've had twin fawns, coyotes, a bobcat, and turkeys up and down this trail so ... Charlie had a LOT of sniffing to do.

And Charlie likes berries too!

There were two spots along the trail that were rather nice and cool. A whiff of a breeze flowed under the trees. But in other spots it was stifling. 

However! Lucky us! I found two small patches of wild yellow raspberries!

At some point in time, someone around here must have planted these as I don't think they are a wild type. But they are extremely tasty.

Charlie was in heaven, he chased noises, smelled good scents, and trotted along happily. 
Because he is half Pekinese I do have to watch him carefully in the extreme heat. However since he is a 'low' energy dog, he self regulates by slowing down and just ambling along.

I picked enough berries for a bowl full and we headed back home. Charlie walked in the door and immediately plopped down at Rich's feet.

Mission accomplished. Charlie was walked and happy, I found some berries and was happy.
It was HOT.

The big patch of black berries is just about ready at the neighbor's house. They have a huge patch that is easy to get to.
And...they share. I can usually pick enough there to make about two batches of Jelly. 
Enough so my neighbors get some and we get some.

This morning I can see it is nothing but a haze of humidity out there. Another blazing hot day is in store.

We have to drive two hours one way to get a lab done on Rich. 

Sunday, July 05, 2020

4th of July

Once a year we turn the end of the road near the mailboxes into a Fireworks Park.

My 'upstairs' neighbor loves to put on his own fireworks show instead of heading to town to be in a huge crowd.

This year it worked well to our advantage. Their family gathered in one spot and I was able to walk down the road to find a vantage point to have some photography fun.

There was plenty of air and distance between us [yes it was hot and muggy but what would the 4th be like if it were cold?].
Justin just gets better each year at picking out fireworks and designing safe ways to set them off.

I take the time each year to learn more and more about photographing them.

The above shot was taken in the full moon light. I stood for 10 seconds in front of the camera and then walked away. I added some fireworks. 

So there were the fireworks!

It was a very different day. The morning was the graveside service for MIL and there was a small gathering of friends. Lots of masks even in the heat.

This long chapter is over now. MIL no longer is in pain. There was a sense of closure and relief even more so because until the last 3 days of her life we were not allowed to see her because of Covid-19 restrictions.

However we move on.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

It feels odd

I really didn't expect that my MIL's passing would affect me as it did. 
I mean I'd been masked up, gowned, and confined to her room for three days watching her sleep and struggle for breath as her body started to shut down its systems.
She gurgled and made odd noises. Sunday she did speak a few different sounds.

"I'm tired." 

It did though. I haven't felt like doing much for the past couple of days. I did take Siera for an evening ride in the woods which seemed to help me focus again. Maybe it is relief  that she isn't in pain and sadness that I will miss her, but I have been mourning her for a long while. Harder when the only way I could see her again was so I could sit with her in her final hours.

Today, the 4th of July we will have a small graveside service on a HOT and blazing humid day.

The funeral had been paid for ahead of time and MIL did save our butts by picking out the casket. She had put her daughter in charge of the visitation and her son in law in charge of providing the service.
I won't go into it further but Covid-19 was not the only reason this didn't happen.

Lenise's grand daughter, Rich's daughter, was invaluable for helping with the small details. She helped with the Obit. 
I will digress here. We had so many laughs and wonderful memories putting this together. Discussed Fireworks! What could go wrong! Said the Mark [the funeral director].

He said the strangest obit he ever wrote was "Jane Doe, born on insert date, died on insert date.
Jane Doe loved Cats and Jesus.

Stephanie knew what flowers Lenise adored the most. We decided to be prudent and offer a short graveside service and hired a pastor for that too.
A few of Lenise's friends will come. It will be unbearably hot, humid, and sticky. But it will be outside and people can be socially distanced.

My son Jer showed up last night with his two children to pay his respects. 

The kids were so well behaved and didn't even complain about my cooking. Yeah, I didn't exactly have kid friendly stuff in the house.

However. What can I say? Those kids put on masks and wore them while playing on the porch.

We did sit together for a few minutes on the porch.

We may have looked like hooligans but we were being very careful. Charlie was in 7th heaven.

The kids are staying at a "No Tell" Motel in town and will be back this morning for breakfast. I can make cinnamon rolls by Pillsbury I think without screwing it up to badly.

This morning's sunrise was stunning. I didn't get out to the ridge to stand on the rise and watch it...

...but there it is..