Tuesday, March 18

Drive Around The River

I have to go to Portland today and Portland is on the other side of the river from where I live...
That means I have to figure out how to get there without a bridge because I get the grips going across bridges.
I decided to call Six because he knows how to get there without a bridge.
When Wendy had the neighbor two months early she was downtown and we had to go around the river to get there because I already had a good case of the grips about her baby so I really didn't want a big bridge added to my already emotionally induced brain chaos.
I need to go quite a ways in the wrong direction and there are a lot more turns, but I Googled Mapped what Six said and then printed out the directions in extra large font so I think I'll make it.
I'm going to see a rheumatologist about my rotten joints.
The cardiologist thinks they're connected somehow to my rotten arteries and my rotten heart.
I guess we'll see.

The Texas Jackass called yesterday to let me know he still loves me.
Whatever, I told him to prove it by paying child support.
I don't think he loves me that much.

I moved the donkeys into the small pasture because the green grass is coming up fast.
They had both foundered a few times before I got them so every spring I quarantine them off the green stuff and even though they just stand around giving the sheep in the big pasture the stink eye, it's for their own good, and I'm sure given the choice, they would rather be in the short grass than wear a grazing mask.
The geese are in the small pasture too.
They will work ahead of the donkeys to keep the grass down, and three of them are sitting on eggs right now in the pig house.
I don't know how many will actually hatch, last year only half of the eggs turned into geese, but if they all make it we should have about eighty-four-eleven-hundred geese this spring.
I'll keep you posted.

I ditched Dish and got Hulu and wish I would have done it a long time ago.
I'll tell you more about that later.

Does anyone remember the recipe for banana bread using a cake mix?
I made it a few times and really liked it and now I can't find the recipe.

Wednesday, March 12

Sans Meatballs

Yesterday was state mandated trailer park school that I have to attend every two years and boy is it a sleeper.
I have to drive 45 min and stay four hours to listen to attorneys and state regulators talk about law such and such point whatever and how it applies to you when none of it applies to me because we only have four spaces and nobody deals drugs or abandons their home. I shouldn't complain, obviously the laws are in place for a reason and we're just lucky to have good people as neighbors on the farm, but yeee-awn, it is SO boring!!
I sat next to a guy who was wearing plastic cowboy boots, a pearl snap shirt, lots of shiny jewelry, smelled like generic cigarettes, and had George Jones hair.
He was what dreams of 1967 mobile home communities are made of.
I'm willing to bet his park is called "The Spinning Wheel" or "El Rancho Estates".
He had real trailer park style and to be honest I was a little palpatated.
Until he started talking.
He was absolutely and 100% completely all in government out. Not only did he hate the government, but every tax, law, bill, program, regulation and representative.
He was what dreams are made of... Until he started talking.
That's ok, there were a few other people at the table that I talked to who made the time pass quickly and now my time is served and I am an official Oregon State certified trailer park manager for another two years.

I came home from class to find Bart had gone through the garbage and spread it all over all over the house and Buddy chewed holes in my underwear.
Ever since I went on vacation (hospital time is referred to as "vacation") this is what they do.
I was shocked when I was "away" and everyone started telling me the dogs were tearing up the trash because they had never been garbage hounds before and then they started doing it every day.
Once I came home they only did it when I would leave, and now they only do it if I leave for more than an hour or so.
There was a half eaten pint of chocolate ice cream in the trash, or should I say there was a half eaten pint of melted ground in sprinkled with coffee grounds and egg shells chocolate ice cream in the carpet.
Yes, because that's what it was.
So I had to clean the carpet and shame the dogs before I went out to find the donkeys to put in the yard.
I had to put the donkeys in the yard because Butch was coming to trim their feet and I didn't want to have to go on a walk-about later because I had to make meatballs and get dinner ready.
After I found the donkeys and set them free in the yard I came in to make the meatballs with the sausagee Wyatt took out of the freezer the night before to add to the sauce that Robin made and froze a few weeks ago.
I reached for the thawed out sausage only to find that it wasn't sausage at all, it was thawed out ground turkey because apparently my fifteen year old son has a hard time reading frozen food labels.
He told me so.
Fine, I would make spiced up frozen meatballs for the spaghetti.
Have you ever tried previously frozen heavily spiced held together with forty cups of italian bread crumb turkey meatballs?
If you haven't, don't, I can save you the gag reflex.
No meatballs in the spaghetti. Nor did we speak of the meatballs and we will never speak of those meatballs again and I guess I need to invest in some freezer glasses for my son.
Oh well, the yard donkeys got their toes trimmed, I did my time at trailer park school, the dogs had their ice cream and underwear, and we all had a nice dinner and watched a movie on Netflix.
All in all a great day.


Monday, March 10

Straight From The Heart

Oh. Em Geeee, I knew it had been a long time since my last post but I didn't know it had been since SEPTEMBER!
How can someone with so little going on possibly have so much going on that there isn't time to get a post in every now and then?
Oh well, so sorry, so lame.

Where to begin... I think I'll give you the short version of the long story.

As you may remember, Six and I divorced last summer, and I was struggling to find a job that my dysfunctional body could handle. I quickly learned that I can't stand, lift or carry anything, so that ruled out retail and customer service which is, basically all I know. I decided to take a leap and enroll in school for some business courses that would enable me to sit on my ever expanding behind while I made enough moola to support us. School would only be part time and once I finished I would find a part time job so I would still have time for everything trailerpark, farm and of course the kid next door. Sounded pretty straight forward. I registered for my classes, got my financial aid in place and was ready to go. That's when things started to go bad...
The middle of November I started having severe shoulder, back and neck pain, just kind of out of the blue. I didn't pull or strain anything, and the pain would come and go. Sometimes at night the pain would be so bad I couldn't breathe and would get sick to my stomach. It was bad man, really bad. But when it wasn't bad I was fine. After about a week, Wendy insisted I go to the emergency room. My least favorite room in the world where they kept me most of the afternoon, ran some tests, and then sent me home saying I had a hole the size of the Grand Canyon in my stomach and my other insides were severely compressing my left lung. I was going to need to have the surgery I had been putting off for almost a year. I went home with the name of a local surgeon who scheduled my procedure for the middle of December. But the pain kept on.
Saturday December 7th was the coldest day of the year to date. Wyatt, Wendy and I were having to break ice that morning for all the animals and Wyatt and I spent a better part of the afternoon looking for Pearl the wayward pig. When the weather gets cold she tends to hunker down and I was worried with the temperatures dropping as low as they predicted she may be in danger overnight. So we walked and walked and walked the entire property with no luck. Pearl was nowhere to be found and Wyatt and I were cold and worn slick from all the time and energy we had spent in the frigid air. The other big news that freezing cold day was that an old friend was coming in on the train from the east coast and planning to stay with us while she got back on her feet on this coast.
Because of the weather, the train was very late getting in and by the time it did arrive I was very tired and pain was setting in. When we returned from the train station and pulled in the driveway the gate was open which was odd, and before I was able to get out of the car Wendy was texting saying Jesse had been in an accident and her car was off the road, front first in a deep ditch and Jesse had split. Lots of details go along with that which I wont get into, but the evening turned very bad very quick. My anger was building as we drove to where the car was and waited for the tow tuck. The police were called, emotional reports were made and my pain kept rising. By the time we got back home the driveway was filled with police, a towtruck, a crunched car and company on the couch. I was in so much pain, I knew something was wrong and needed toget back to the hospital. The police called 911 and before I knew it the front yard looked like a crime scene with fire engines, medics, ambulance, police, tow trucks and mayhem. I don't remember much after that until I was in the back of an ambulance and we were almost to the hospital. They had started an IV and given me nitro which seemed to help and by the time I was seen by the doctor and given the once over at the ER, I was feeling better and assumed I would just go home. But, I guess they figure if you're bad enough to come in with the lights flashing you get a room for the night, which didn't turn out to be a bad idea because it wasn't long before the pain started in again. By morning it was determined I'd had a heart attack and they were transferring me to the big heart hospital downtown.
Testing continued including an angiogram through my right wrist to see how much damage there was to my heart. Unfortunately, they didn't make it that far before my arteries began to spasm. That landed me in CICU. They went back for another try through the groin the next day. Success. Most of the rest is boring medical details, but the nuts and bolts of it go like this... I spent the month of December in the hospital, most of my time served in CICU. I have spiral dissections in my coronary, mesenteric, carotid and vertebral arteries and fluid surrounding my heart. I also have Fibromuscular Dysplasia in my vertebral arteries and webbing in my renal arteries. I'm kind of a mess. If it wasn't for the absolutely amazing care I received in the hospital and the love and support from my incredible family and friends I don't think I would have been so lucky. I get more emotional thinking about how thankful I am to be the recipient of such unbelievable support of so many people than I do thinking about my defective parts.
The big brains think they have a diagnosis of Vascular Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and we are in the process of petitioning the insurance company to do the test that isolates the gene. K sera sera, it really doesn't matter what they call it, because they can't cure it. I just have to adjust to my new "normal", and really, I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to do so.
Part of the new normal is cutting back on all the physical stuff I have going on because my heart isn't up to the task anymore. You know, stuff like chasing pigs and llamas and sheep and dogs and donkeys and geese and chickens. So I had to downsize. I re-homed my llamas and the crazy Jacob sheep. The Jacobs because they were wild and crazy and the llamas because they required the most attention. I miss them terribly, but I know they are with great people who love them the way I did, and I was lucky enough to find one home for all of them. The other sheep will stay because they are very low maintenance, Pearl the pig will stay because she's the boss and the chickens, geese and peacocks will stay because I'm nuts. Rocket the Rabbit, the dogs and of course the cats get to stay too. See how much I've downsized? Oh yeah and the donkeys. They're still here too.
I wasn't able to look after the neighbor kid for quite a while, but he comes a few times a week now for an hour or two if he promises there won't be any heavy lifting involved while he's here. Wyatt does all the vacuuming, so that definitely falls in the pro category and it's not like I had huge aspirations of running the Boston Marathon or anything so I would say there aren't may things falling into the con category. Life is good.
I've been crocheting like a mad woman in efforts to get my Etsy and Ebay stocked. Rugs, dishcloths, etc. The soap is curing and almost ready to list with great scents like fresh cut grass, lilac and sweet pea. Soon the nettles will be out and I'll get some nettle soap and tea in the works too. Maybe next quarter I'll even take some online classes and start a fortune telling phone line from my home. Everyones fortune will be the same, take a deep breathe and go for it, everyday is a blessing!

Monday, September 23

Just Another Monday...

Happy Monday!

Things have been moving along at a pretty steady pace here on the farm.
Seems like there's lots to do to get ready for fall and the impending winter and today brings a trip up the ladder to clean the gutters.
Or as I refer to them lately, the water bumpers on the house.
I have a few spots where water is coming in on the roof line, but that's on the south side of the house and the gutters are fine on that side, just the north side seems to be accumulating.
The up-side to this is that the north side is the low side so I won't have to repel from the roof top, I can just open a box of wine to repel my fear of ladders as opposed to two boxes and some xanex to repel my fear of heights.
See, there's usually a bright side if you can just lie to yourself enough...

Belle and her new baby boy are happy, healthy and well.
All the other sheep are patiently waiting outside the barn trying to stick their heads through the cracks to get a look at the little sheep that looks like a cow.
Between him and the four horned Jacob sheep in the roadside ram pasture I may end up having to stand out to direct traffic.
You wouldn't believe all the people who slow down or even stop to look at our funny looking menagerie as it is, so things should really pick up when we put the cowsheep out to pasture!

I'm still in a holding pattern on the job front.
I have to find something I can do sitting as my legs and hips won't stand for anything else.
Get it?
Whatever I've done this time, combined with the arthritis and the scar tissue flaring I'm quite a sight.
I'm back on the steroids which means I sound like an old man with a crackly low sexy smokers voice, but avoiding the pain meds.
I would rather tough it out than end up in Betty Ford.

My Etsy shop is beginning to take shape so be sure to stop in and have a look.
These are the soaps I have listed right now, green apple, vanilla, juniper and Oregon rain.

My house smells good enough to take a bite out of which believe me is a welcome scent, compared to the new found fresh fall aroma of four wet dogs.

The other thing I have been tossing around my brains is a children's story.
I have it written and ready, but I'm trying to decide on a format.
It will be the first in a series, but from what I'm learning is it's very hard to get picked up by a children's publisher.
I guess that tells me that the competition is pretty tough, so I'm asking you, what do you think about eBooks for kids?
It seems like eBooks are no longer a passing fancy, and most kids can run an iPad better than they can a toothbrush, so maybe it's the way to go...
Tell me what you think.

My sister J. Carlson is on a school camping trip in the mountains this week so if you're a praying person please send up a heartfelt request that she isn't attacked by bears.
If you're not of the praying sort, just cross your fingers.

Wyatt is home from school today sneezing his smarts out and I think may be running a low fever.