Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Yesterday, Pete found the first 2 eggs our new chickens have laid. We figured it wouldn't be long, as they're the same age as the rooster who began crowing not too long ago.

I'm thinking before long there will be no room for anything else in the refrigerator. We'll be giving away a lot of eggs! 

The weather is nasty again here today. Very, very cold, with snow off and on which is supposed to really pick up tonight. We're supposed to have 4"-9" by early tomorrow morning. Wednesday is Bible Study and the housewarming shower for our pastor with my Mom, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get her there tomorrow. It is very important for her to get out and be around other people and interacting with others - it makes a big difference both mentally and physically. Last week I didn't get to see her as much because I was sick, but yesterday I took her to an appointment with her neurologist (she got a very good report), then to Target to buy a gift, and then to do some grocery shopping.

I love the ears sticking up in the photo above! We have a big feeder in the front of the house and then we just put seed on the ground on this side. There's usually at least one cat at the window. 

Noah, on the left, and Roscoe and Rosie on the right - at the beginning of our current snowstorm.

This is my handsome partner, Pete, relaxing with Rosie. His mother, who lives with us, isn't doing as well and as of yesterday she is on Hospice care. We will hopefully be able to keep her home with us, where she wants to be. She has started having some very long seizures. We had a nurse here yesterday to confirm she was ready to enter Hospice, and the nurse she will be seeing regularly was here today. They have already been such a help to me mentally and emotionally. I have a lot of questions and want to be sure morally and ethically we are doing the right thing and doing our best to be true to Anne's wishes.

Well, the cats are all here making their presence known, so it must be their dinnertime. I want to show you our back yard "night light" - Pete wired in a photo cell so the light comes on automatically at night. I just love it. It gives a nice little glow!

Stay warm and dry if you're in the path of this newest storm!

Friday, January 25, 2019

So Relieved!

Poor Pete and I both came down with either the stomach bug or food poisoning on Tuesday within an hour of each other. Nice to share everything with your significant other! It was horrible, but finally over. Thank goodness for Justine, who comes in to give Pete's Mom a bath each morning. She came in multiple times to take care of her toileting, and came to put her to bed at night and get her up in the morning. I just didn't want to get near her to keep her from catching it. So far, so good. But I don't know what we would have done without the extra help. 

Our yard and driveway are an icy mess. We had that huge snowfall, then the temperature soared for a day and we had over 2 inches of rain, then it all froze again. Our town has a big pile of dirt that residents can take if needed, and Pete went and got 8 five-gallon buckets full this morning. At least we'll be able to stop at the end of the driveway instead of sliding onto the road. 

I found this picture of Jack from a while ago. I had been cleaning in one of the bedrooms and left a roll of paper towels out - last time I'll make that mistake. We never heard a thing, but when we rounded the corner to head in to bed, this is what we found:

Couldn't get mad. He just looked so proud of himself! 

Next week we're having a lunchtime housewarming for our associate pastor who is getting divorced and moving to a new home. Her wife owned almost everything going into the marriage, and apparently she is taking almost everything. We're giving her a gift card so she can buy what she wants/needs, and a few kitchen things so she'll have something more tangible to open. We're having hors d'oeuvres and cake, and I'm trying to think of a good hors d'oeuvre to take. Does anyone have any ideas?

Monday, January 21, 2019

"What a Difference a Day Makes!"

Well, the dreaded storm arrived and we got about 15 inches of snow. It started out nice and light, but we had a period of sleet, then more snow, and it ended up being very heavy to shovel. Thank goodness for the snow blower and tractor with plow. Here's the old view and the new view:

I have the area the dogs use pretty well scraped down, but their paws are still freezing after just a few minutes. Poor little things. I tell them to just do what they have to do and stop exploring when they go out, but they don't listen to their mama. The high was only 5 degrees today and the wind chill was way below zero.

Pete plowed out to the bird feeder in the front yard, and had to refill it today. We had noticed a lack of birds at the feeder this year, but they're all back with this snowfall. I had listened to a radio call in show with a bird expert, and he said many in this area were noticing the same thing, and he did promise they'd be back when the weather changed. We're seeing lots of juncos. sparrows, nuthatches, a pair of cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, and a beautiful red-headed flicker eating the suet. We had goldfinches on our bags of niger seed until a couple of days ago, but I haven't seen any since the snowfall.

Here's a photo of our little sweetie Rosie. She was brought up to a rescue group here in the north from an overcrowded shelter in Kentucky. She is my sidekick, and sleeps between us under the covers every night. (Wish she would sleep through the night though - she often has to get up and take a quick trip outside around 2 or 3 am.) 

I notice she's sitting on Pete's lap in this photo. His lap is fine when I'm not around. Her only bad habit is that she's a barker. But to put a spin on that, she's a great watchdog!

Hope everyone is staying warm and dry in this frigid weather.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Being a Caregiver

Are any of you a long-term caregiver for an elderly or ill person? Pete's 95-year-old mother has lived with us for almost 3-1/2 years now. It was a well thought out decision, we thought. His Mom had a couple of falls living at her home and ended up in a rehab facility each time. She has a "bad" knee, which resulted from a fall 25 years ago, and that contributed to the falls. She has always been adamant that she didn't want to go to a nursing home, so we had her come here. Although she was able to stand and transfer to a chair, commode, etc. when she left rehab, within 2 weeks of living here she was afraid to even try. We ordered a hydraulic patient lift to move her, and have used it ever since. She now can't put any weight on her legs. So we need to get her up and dress her each day, put her on the commode every 3 hours, then get her undressed and into bed each night. To say that has made a huge difference in our lives is an understatement. We do have an LPN come in during the week in the morning to give her a sponge bath each day, so that gives us a little leeway to go out to breakfast or do a little shopping together. And Pete's daughter comes 3 nights a week and puts her to bed. However, she really doesn't want anyone to take care of her but us, and after a full year now, still isn't very happy with having her LPN come in. She can be an extremely difficult person - nothing new brought on by her age - she has always been the same. One daughter hasn't spoken to her for over 30 years, and she's burned her bridges with her sister, nieces and nephews and all but 2 grandchildren. She has 3 great-grandchildren she has never met due to her treatment of other family members. At the same time, she can sometimes be so very sweet. I can be feeling upset, and if she calls me "Sweetie" I just melt. It's a difficult situation, but we do our best.

On a different note, we're expecting a huge snowstorm starting late this afternoon and not finishing until tomorrow. Our area is expecting 14"-20". Tomorrow afternoon we'll be busy!

We have a huge area to plow out, and Pete does the majority of it in his heated tractor. I'm responsible for the dog pen and the chicken pen, which I do with a walk-behind snow blower and a shovel. We have a big penned in area which you're standing in when you go out our back door. Makes it easy to let all our dogs out to do their business at once and keep them safe. This is the view looking out through the dog pen towards the chicken coop and pen. Looks cold and drab and wintery!

Here's a cute photo to leave you with. These are 2 sisters, Nellie and Dixie. Pete's daughter took in their stray mom when she was pregnant and we adopted 2 of the 4 babies. We always have a cardboard box or two around and they're very popular! 

Stay safe if you're getting this storm in your area! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Another Monday

The weather here in upstate New York is absolutely freezing. But on the bright side, it hasn't been windy, which makes a huge difference. This morning, Pete and I had to stop at a store for some paintbrushes right next to one of our favorite breakfast spots, so of course we indulged. Then for some reason, we took a little drive to the back of the property we just bought. We haven't walked most of it yet because we didn't have the deed until November and it was already cold. About one third of it is cleared and open, and that I have walked all over many times with our beagle, Max. On this freezing morning, for some reason we decided to walk some of the land at the other end, which borders a housing development. That portion of the property is protected freshwater wetlands, and has a nice pond with a cleared area around the edges which looks to get regular use from 4-wheelers. Don't know quite how we'll deal with this. We don't want to or have the capability of being policemen of the property. We have just received a box of no trespassing signs which we have to put up to protect ourselves. And if people walk their dogs through the property we really don't care. But we don't want 4-wheelers riding around ripping up the land or scaring off the deer and other wildlife, and we don't want people dumping their lawn debris or Christmas trees (which I saw a few weeks ago.) We bought this property at a tax sale because the builders who owned it hadn't paid their taxes in 4 years. We got it very cheaply and just wanted to keep it wild and prevent another housing development from being built right behind us. Well, we'll have to figure it out as we move forward. 

Just a cute picture here of our littlest dog, Pixie. She's a very tiny, 5 pound, long-haired chihuahua and likes to tunnel under the blankets at every opportunity. Today is certainly a very good day to tunnel!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Needle Felting

Today I took my turn working at one of the shops where I sell my needle felting. It's a small store called Ruby's Nimble Thimble, in a town about 1/2 hour away named Greenwich. The shop is divided into 2 sections. The owner is a seamstress and has a shop with some fabric, her sewing area, and a room in the back full of sewing machines where she gives sewing lessons. The other section of the shop is divided into booths which she rents to a few crafters and a couple of people who sell retail decorative items. Each crafter/salesperson has to work at least 1 day per month. I have a booth with my very good friend, Maureen. She knits beautiful children's sweaters, hats and mittens, and also does needle felting. I concentrate mostly on needle felting, but I do have a couple of pieces of artwork and a couple of baby blankets for sale also. Here's a sampling of what I have been making lately.

It's a craft I really enjoy. I have a hard time just sitting in the evening and watching tv - always need something to keep my hands busy so I can relax. If you'd like to know more about needle felting, this link explains it pretty well: LauraLeeBurch

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Our Four-Legged Family

Pete and I are both animal lovers. We get so much joy and love from our animal family. We now have 6 dogs and 5 cats. All of the cats and 5 of the dogs are rescued or adopted. I vacuum often and clean 4 litter boxes a day but I don't think I've ever complained. 

This is Jack, short for Jack Sparrow (from Pirates of the Caribbean). He is half Siamese and half tabby cat - probably. Our vet fostered his pregnant mother from the animal shelter until she had her babies, and then was able to place the mother and all of the kittens except this one. The mother had feline herpes and Jack has a few issues from that, but doesn't have herpes himself. He is blind in his left eye. It's hard to tell but it is very cloudy. He has no cilia in his nasal passages to keep out dust, so he sneezes often - many times in a row. When we hear him, we go running with a paper towel as it can make quite a mess! He is quite a character. In this photo he jumped into the bread drawer when I was cleaning it out. Cats just love anything box shaped, don't they? 

Here he is in the sink after I did the dishes last night. He loves water - I've heard that's true about many Siamese cats. His tabby heritage would be more obvious is you could see his feet!

Boy, he really fills that sink!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Big day today - our young rooster crowed for the first time! Don't quite know why I felt so proud!
When we bought the chicks, we didn't know how many of each sex we would end up with. But this seems to be the only rooster out of the 20 chicks. Amazing! Last time we bought chicks, quite a few years ago, we had 18 roosters out of 20. Most went to live on Pete's uncle's farm. Hoping this one  stays friendly.

This morning we did a job we've been putting off for a while. I'm not sure why we picked such a cold day to do it, but when the inspiration hits you have to run with it!

We had some very overgrown cedar shrubs along the back of the house. They were mostly twigs with greenery just at the very tips, and they were blocking the windows at one end of the basement and not letting in any light. So Pete cut them all down with the chainsaw and we fed them through the chipper. You can see him in the second picture up on a ladder clearing the chipper when it got clogged up because we weren't taking our time!

The whole thing took longer than we expected and I was absolutely frozen when we finished. We had planned to clean out the hen house too, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! 

No, we didn't make it until midnight, but that comes as no surprise. 

I took down the outdoor decorations today, but I guess snowmen can be used to decorate all winter. These are needle-felted. I took a couple of one day classes at a yarn shop in a nearby town with a friend, and we make and sell items at two stores in the area. She is a very talented knitter, so she also sells knitted sweaters, hats and mittens for children. I'm a not-so-talented knitter, so I add a baby blanket once in a while.