Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thought For Thursday - Death

Again there was another death in the family. Mom and I went to Owosso on Tuesday to attend the memorial of her nephew. I didn't know him that well.

As we were sitting in the church waiting for the memorial to start I was watching as people kept filing in the door. All the seats were taken, and there were people lined up standing in the back. I was thinking that my cousin sure did know a lot of people in his short 48 years.

I wondered how many people would attend my funeral. And then I remembered I wasn't going to have one. If I don't have time for my own funeral, I figured why would anyone else have the time. Mom had mentioned earlier in the day that she would like to have her funeral ahead of time so she could see who would attend. Oh, ...and she figured if she had it on a Saturday no one would have an excuse not to be there.

I looked around at the people who took time out of their day to say farewell. They would pay their respects, and then go their separate ways. Life would go on.

Death is all too common in this day and age. It seems to be everywhere. It is encoded in our genetic makeup; it's caused from environmental damage and diseases. Rarely does death happen from natural causes anymore. All too often we find it right around the corner or just next door.

The world may be a small place, but it's getting smaller with every passing funeral. As our lives intersect in such ways we become connected in grief.

But in spite of death's ever enclosing circle of creeping tentacles, the world keeps spinning and life continues on as if death was a short hiccup.

Yes, life continues on...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Funny

Mirror, mirror on the wall
You're no good to me at all!
When I look into your space
And see the reflection of my face
Is that person that I see
Is that person really me?

Sure, I know it's been a while
Since I was called a juvenile
But I really feel the same
'cept I'm stiff and a little lame

Hairs turned gray, getting thin
Lots of wrinkles and a double chin.
But I'm really feeling fine,
Work at something all the time.

Still I wonder when I see
That reflection that is me,
Which one of us is really real,
The one I see or the one I feel?
    - Gertrude Young

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thought For Thursday - Wright

A doctor can bury his mistakes,

but an architect can only advise his clients

to plant vines.

                  - Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Why, oh why?

Shining sun and mild weather. Plenty of feed and water. Wide open spaces to run and forage with lots of bugs, grass and leaves. It's a no brainer, really. So, why is it when I let the chickens out they think they have to take up residence on the deck?
Deck chickens

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ground Venison

I finished up packaging venison roasts and steaks. The last bit of unpackaged meat chunks I cut up into pieces (11 lbs) for stews , and ground some venison (also 11 lbs) for hamburger. Beats the store bought stuff any day. I can hardly wait to make burritos, meat balls, hamburgers...

Ground venison

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sarah Grows

Sarah is one month old today weighing in at 14 1/2 pounds; up 10 pounds from the day she was born.

Sarah nas one ear like her dad and one like her mom

No complications for Sadie with the birth of the twins

Sarah and Purdy get acquainted

Sadie takes Sarah's antics in stride

Friday, September 28, 2012

Meet Little Sarah

 The newest member of Nestle Inn Bed and Breakfast is little Sarah. Sadie gave birth to her on September 25, 2012. She weighed in at slightly less than 4.5 pounds. The delivery was rough, but was even rougher for Sarah's brother, who didn't make it.

I'm glad to say Sadie is recovering, and Sarah is getting friskier by the day. Already Sadie has had to call her back due to her curiosity. She wants to get her little nose into everything she can.

Sadie, and little Sarah just a few hours old

Sarah not quite a day old

Sarah, 2 1/2 days old
(photo courtesy of Melissa Z.)

Sarah and I
(photo courtesy of Melissa Z.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Life With The Chickens

The three kittens who are still home are now 5 months old. I found the orange tiger, Trouble, chasing the chickens the other day because, well, he likes to cause trouble. Bob, a dark gray tiger, is just Bob. And then there is Sandy. I often find him among the new flock of pullets trying to rub up against them to get a little attention. The chickens are used to their four-legged companion. In fact, I'm kind of concerned that they are too comfortable with him. There were a couple of days last week that I found several of the pullets following a squirrel over to the edge of the woods.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Look What Ya Went And Done...

Yep, I know it. I've actually known for years what happens at times when ya put a male and female together. Especially when it comes to the animal world. Well, then, what was I thinkin' when I opened the goat gate between the buck and the does in mid-April? Obviously, I wasn't thinking. Because, now, Sadie (aka Lunch or Dinner) is due to have kids by the end of this month.

Sadie & twins?

The photo doesn't do her justice. She is wider in true life than she appears here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Look Ma, Can I Keep It?

He won't eat much
And just so you'll know where he is...

I'll keep him in my pocket.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Swallows and Bluebirds

The baby Tree Swallows are about to leave the nest. Before they venture off I was able to get these photos.

It was a full house this last weekend at the Nestle Inn. Among the guests staying was a gentleman by the name of Paul White. He was in town with wife and family for a reunion. Mr. White asked me whether I had Bluebirds nesting around the property. (The last couple years I have at least one pair that return annually to nest and raise their young). The reason Mr. White was asking me this was because he is a strong advocate for the Bluebird. From my own experience, and from what Mr. White told me, Sparrows will take over nest boxes which prevent other species of birds from nesting. Also, Sparrows will drive out or kill other birds (such as Bluebirds and Tree Swallows) that have taken up residence in an existing nest box. (For further info click here)

Mr. White builds the type of bird house shown here that enable the Bluebirds and Tree Swallows to escape if threatened by Sparrows. Also, these bird houses deter Sparrows from using them because they are built to have a shallow interior. I was very happy when Mr. White offered to give me one. I immediately installed it on a fence post of the pasture. Thank you to Mr. Paul White for his insight and generosity as well as the inspiration to build some nest boxes of such a design as to deter Sparrows from nesting and promote the safety and nesting habits of the Bluebird.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


My neighbor stopped by yesterday to chat, and since the weather outside was less than hospitable we had our iced tea in the parlor. During the course of the conversation she mentioned she had recently gone to a yard sale in town where there were a lot of things in which I might be interested. That being said, and once our tea was done, we drove into town so I could take a peek. She was right. There were a number of nice things I would like to have. But lack of space and frugality ruled the day. Except when it comes to small odds and ends. And even better when they are packed into a pretty clear container.

 When I saw the lace I resisted opening the box. But, seeing inside I knew there were pieces that were done by hand. Probably by someone from long ago. So, when I got home I proceeded to slowly lay out the items...

My $4 find

...and there in the bottom was a tatting shuttle and long pieces of tatted trim.

I like the white tatted trim

To some it might look like these items are worthless. But to me and others, knowing what it takes to create something delicate from a strand of thread, these are treasures.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Good Day For Tatting

With hot, hazy skies, and temps to match it was a good day to be in the house where it was in the low seventies despite 95 degree weather outside. Built of cinder block in 1910 the house cools down quite nicely when the windows are opened at night as long as the temperature outside drops to the sixties. The key is to close the house up before the sun peeks above the horizon in the morning.

I make a habit of checking on all the animals several times a day when I know heat can cause discomfort, and to make sure water is available to all. Today the animals really felt the effects of the heat. Even in the shade the chickens were panting and holding out their wings from the side of their bodies. The rabbitry was too warm for comfort, so I moved the rabbits to a shady area under the big elms where they could feel a breeze on their ears, and thus, cool their blood. The goats and mare seemed to fare better than the other animals. The heat didn't keep them from grazing in the sun although shade was available for lounging.

Even though the coolness in the house felt good when I came inside, I couldn't resist being outside off and on throughout the day. If the sun is shining, I'm usually outside working. But today I sat in the shade with a cold, iced tea and tatted awhile.

What is nice about tatting is it doesn't take up much room. With just a small shuttle (or needle) and a ball of thread I'm good to go. And if I stop to do something else, I can pick up where I left off just by counting double stitches. So, in my ventures to and from the house to sit in the shade, or out to check on the animals it was a good day for tatting.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To Hear Her Laugh...

She talked about Uncle Gary regularly. He was quite handsome, and she loved him dearly.

Twice a week she gets her hair done. She felt it was important for a woman to look good.

She would tell me to eat right and get my sleep. And she meant it. She knew what would happen to a body if it wasn‘t cared for. And she would tell me at least twice a day, “you know, you’re not getting any younger”. She would laugh every time.

We share a love of books. How they look on the shelf, the feel of them in our hands, the smell of the pages as we turned them. We agreed that reading a book was the best.

Her precise and well designed quilts are beautiful. She inspired me to create quilts of my own.

Guaranteed she would tell me she loved me at the end of every phone call. I am so thankful she is a part of my life. Our visits were wonderful. Spending time with her made me realize how much I love her, and wish I would have taken the opportunity to develop a relationship with her when I was younger.

I pulled the photo albums from off the top shelf and took them to the kitchen table. As we sat there looking at old family photos she would tell me about relatives I never knew, and about ones I remember as a child.

She would tell me stories of when her and my mom were growing up beginning in the late thirties.

When I was in Hadley the first week of May we began to write out our family tree. With Mom's help I hope to  fill in the rest. My Aunt Louise passed away May 25, 2012.

Oh, what a joy to hear her laugh.

Pencil drawing I did of Aunt Louise
when she was young

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Miss Kitty's Kitties

When I ventured out to take care of the animals Saturday morning (April 21) Miss Kitty was waiting for me at the rabbitry door. Looking down at her I noticed her belly wasn't as wide as she is long. She had finally had her kittens. But where? As usual, she was all purrs. She wasn't giving me any answers. I wouldn't find out where her kittens were until that evening when I went out to take care of the animals again. At that time she wasn't around so I called her a couple times and found her making her way to me behind the rabbitry up on the roof. Ah ha! I knew then her kittens were close by. So, searching I went. They weren't under the goat feeder or in the goat hut. They weren't in the first huge tire, but they were in the second one. The tires are full of sawdust and straw in the center, and right up under the rim was her kittens. Actually an ideal spot to have them since they are out of the weather, and when the sun shines they are comfortably warm.

Miss Kitty's kitties

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Neked Bunnies

I found presents in the rabbitry this morning. One of my two New Zealand does kindled five kits overnight. It's a small litter, but I'm not complaining since it was her first, and she had them in the nest box with plenty of pulled belly fur. I checked on them again this evening and they are strong and doing well which means she is feeding them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You, Me and the Duck

 John likes to go to Florida every year.  I have gone with him, and it's nice to soak up some much-needed sunshine and warm weather. It does John some good also, because it helps him get ready for the busy work season that usually starts before we get back.

This year, however, was different. With the mild winter and onset of early warm weather, I know for me, heading south would have been time I could be using in getting a start on an early spring, like starting seeds in the greenhouse, getting the rabbits bred and doing some much-needed yard work.

So, the trip to Florida isn't happening for me this year. But, for John, it should have happened. And it might yet. This is a stressful time for him, and he still talks about closing up the house and heading south at least for a couple of weeks. I tell him he should. It would do me good if he went.

In the meantime, spring has sprung and life begins to multiply here at Nestle Inn. The sparrows are hoarding the birdhouses, Miss Kitty is due to drop a boat-load of kittens any time and Daffy has joined the farm.

Meet Daffy Duck. He is two years old and alone. But, he's alive. Currently he is in with Rooster and the Ladies with his tub of water. I will search for a mate for him so he won't be "alone".

The next day after Daffy joined the family, John and I were talking about all the work he has to do. With a straight face and a determined tone he says, "We should go to Florida. You, me and the duck."

Daffy Duck

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Memories (1963)

Long ago when we lived in Rios Canyon, California my brother and I would walk to school. The dirt road seemed such a long ways at the time, but I'm sure it wasn't but maybe a couple of miles. I was in kindergarten.

It was a common sight to see snakes of all kinds. Especially rattlers. One day my brother was sick and had to stay home. When I was walking home from school there was a BIG snake reaching across half the road. I remember giving it a wide berth, and running the last half mile home. I lived to see another day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Early Spring

I pulled a variety of plants at the end of the season last fall. No more corn, tomatoes, beans, or cucumbers. I didn't pull what was left of the kale though. Maybe the reason why I left them was because the plants were still green, and I figured I would chalk up their death to the winter cold.

I was in the garden today looking at things and planning the layout for plants. By the looks of the kale it wasn't as dead as I thought it would be. Looking closer I see there is new growth coming on. Now, I have to decide if I'm going to pull them or not. If not, I sure have a head start on the season.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Memories (1958)

Me and my older brother

Looking at this photo it dawned on me why I enjoy walking so much. It appears I never got very far on four wheels.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sun and Wind

It was nice to get outside for a little while today to cut some slab wood and spend some time with the animals. Even though the temp was around 50 degrees the windchill was like minus 20. I had to wear a coat.

Rocky, a Black Sexlink rooster

Miss Kitty

Rooster enjoying some sun






Friday, March 9, 2012

Weaving Project: Twill Towels

Batteries die and modems fail. It's a good thing I have other things to do.

With the help of my friend Melissa, we were able to set up my first weaving project on Florence. Eleven yards of warp for ten towels.

I found out two of my favorite things to do is threading the heddles and sleying the reed. Very relaxing.