Sunday, January 25, 2009

Getting Bigger!

OK...I just had to share a couple of photos of Gwen and her mum, Kelly. She's over a month old now! I have to say that computers, cameras, and all the modern technology that goes with it has been a blessing since family is so far away.
When we had Kelly we were stationed in Germany and had only each other to lean on. Kel's got all of Ross' family for support, of which I am so grateful.
There's nothing like Mom's shoulder

I can see that Gwen is growing out of the "wrinkly" stage and getting her personality in her face now. Yes. We can hardly wait to see her! Well, I know I can hardly wait to see all of them. We are in the midst of planning for a trip now as Ralph's surgeon encouraged him to travel while he was recuperating. Speaking of my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits, he's doing extremely well. I guess it's can't keep a good man down....although I have to admit that I'd like to "bean" him once and a while as he gets extremely grumpy when his pain meds wear off. If this is an indicator of what retired life would be like, I think we may need separate houses. ;-)

I do want to share one of my favorite photos of my DD and new GD. This was taken by my Son-In-Law, Ross, soon after Gwen was born. Mother and daughter. Both tired from Gwen's arrival. Beautiful. (Or at least I think so.)

Mother and Child

Tomorrow we're off to take the three remaining ram lambs from last year's breeding season to Chino Valley for "processing". I hate to do it, but we don't have room for extra rams we can't use for breeding due to genetics. And with the economy the way it is (with hay $20+/bale) we just can't keep them. They, like a couple of their former flockmates, will serve in other ways. Some of the meat will feed us, some will be sold to restaurants and/or friends, and some may go to the community kitchen. I thank God I haven't had to go to bed hungry, but I know there are people right now who don't have that comfort in these hard times.
I was talking to my friend, Tina, yesterday about taking them. We were discussing this part of shepherding. She and The Shepherd have had to send some of their boys to market through the years. This is the first time we've had to try this route. As usual, she not only comforted me but put things back in perspective. I have given them a good life with green pastures, food, and a shepherd's love while they were in my charge.

...Thanks, Tina.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Still Kickin'...

Ewes coming off Snow Mountain in the pasture

Yes, I know it's been a while since I posted. The past two weeks have been horrendous around here. As many of you know, my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits went into the hospital for surgery for an aneurysm on the artery to his spleen. Unfortunately, the location of this Nasty-ness was such that his spleen had to be removed as well. The past couple of months (we found this out at Thanksgiving) have been trials of various medical tests and the like to make sure he was in good enough shape to handle the surgery.
Somehow the whole ordeal reminded me of the Albino in The Princess Bride telling poor Wesley that he had to be healthy to face torture. I understand it fully, however sordid it seemed. After all, if I were a surgeon I'd want to know that various other body parts could indeed take the strain of a major surgical procedure.
So, last Thursday HHWB went in. And Sunday morning he came home. He was up walking the halls the day after the surgery and from then on I believe he was driving the nurses crazy with his jaunts around the place. Home he went. Now he's driving me crazy. (He states that driving me crazy is so easy anyway.)
While he's doing really well, he has also realized that this is no cakewalk. Before the surgery, he had told me he was going to an office luncheon this coming Thursday. Yesterday I overheard him telling a cohort he would not be attending. I laughed, silently.
In the past, when I have had surgeries, this dear HHWB has always felt that if I was able to walk to the kitchen, I was healed and "Good to go!". It didn't matter if I was white, grey, red, or purple in the face or body...I was moving. I was OK, then back to work he'd merrily go. Now, I have to admit that my Evil-Self is delighted the shoe is on the other foot. Let him see what it's like. heeheehee

The evening of the day he had his surgery, I came home late after seeing him settled in a proper room and not on the dreaded "3-North" floor of the hospital (a terrible floor where I had very bad experiences in 2007). I thought I would just have a bowl of cereal for dinner, then shower, watch some TV to relax, then to bed. The first spoonful of cereal I had was sour. Yup. The refrigerator we had bought back in '88 had finally died...and taken all the perishables with it. Our local repair-guys, whom we've used for years, passed sentence on the ole gal - new compressor for about $600+. We decided not to have her fixed but get a new one instead. The poor thing has been sying a s-l-o-w death for the past two years.
So, today, I was going refrigerator shopping. HHWB decided that he wanted to come along. OK. I guess. Maybe the walking would do you good and get you out of the house. Off we went. We checked out Home Depot, Best Buy, and our local Sears, finding a suitable replacement which will be delivered Saturday. They have to get it here from their Phoenix warehouse. All the stores had to get items from Phoenix instead of having a local supply. So, Saturday we'll be back to some semblance of normal around here - whatever "normal" is. I think I've forgotten.
Towards the end of the short shopping trip (we don't have huge stores or selections to peruse here) I noticed a definite slacking in my companion's gait. heeheehee He was wearing out. Home we went where he took his pain meds and napped for two hours.

That'll teach 'im!... :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mooch and Rascal's Busy Day

The kittens, Mooch and L'il Rascal, know I've been busy getting things straightened up around the house before my HHWB (Hired-Hand-With-Benefits) goes to the hospital.

Apparently, they take their work very seriously as shown below...

Need I say more? I think not. The picture truly is worth the 1,000 words that crossed my mind upon this discovery. Thanks, lads. I appreciate the thought...I think.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

I thought I would post a few photos of what all the holiday storms left us around the place. I would have posted them sooner but between working through the storms - shoveling, making trails out to the sheep, splitting wood for the woodburner as well as keeping it going as the heater went out, then trying to get to the roof to keep it clear. Add to that all my excitement of the new granddaughter and concern my DD was OK.
I will admit it did take its toll on me. I started to have skipped heartbeats and heart pounding way too hard for my taste, sending me to our doctor who then stated I was doing way too much. I got the "You're doing way to much, you Fool!" speech from the doctor and I knew she was right. She then told the DH that, for this year at least, no shoveling, plowing, etc. for either one of us. When I mentioned the tractor was down as well as the Hired-Hand-With-Benefits she just said, "Good! Now you'll have to find someone to plow you out!" If there is one person I don't want to piss-off it's our family Dr. :)

So, we hired people...
(Above) The barn and driveway before plowing.
I don't think we'll see the BBQ or Smoker until Spring. And that pile on the back deck was before we had guys come to shovel off the roof!
Bringing in the Big One out into the pasture so I can get feed in to the sheep. I had enough feed to get through the storms, but for some reason the sheep insisted I continue to feed them. Funny that. :) Can you say "Reseeding the pasture"?
The girls on an outing from the barn. They don't like it that they are standing on two feet of compacted snow. And they want to go back in. Silly girls! Get some sunshine while you can!

Tucco, the Mule. Tucco is boarding at our neighbor's place and has taken to hang out near the Boys pen for company as he's by himself.

Now that the snows have subsided and the weather is turning nicer so we have mudpools and muck everywhere, it's time to prep for my DH's surgery this next week. I've loaded the barn with hay and feed, there's another cord of wood out back, and the walks are clear. I feel better about not having to worry about those things as well as my DH. I guess there's only one thing to worry about now... the heck am I supposed to have him around the house for 6 to 8 weeks, recovering and keep my sanity? ;-)