September 27, 2010

You know the days when...

It's Autumn enough for falling leaves;
and Summer enough for green grass.



Summer enough for procrastinating tomatoes;
and Autumn enough for apple cider.

Autumn enough for the Autumn clematis to bloom;
(and smell oh so wonderful.)
and Summer enough for the butterflies to enjoy it.


Summer enough for short sleeves;
and Autumn enough for light scarves and sweaters.

Autumn enough for walks in harvested fields;
and Summer enough to experience it bare-footed.


I think it's called September,
and boy, am I going to miss it.
What a graceful way for Summer to leave the stage.


Speaking of leaving;
Lord willing, I'll be heading out myself in a few hours...
I'm taking a long overdue trip to Texas to visit a dear friend of mine.

You may hear from me before then though;
I can be unpredictable; as you might have just noticed...

September 25, 2010

My Chickadees

Well, I said I would stick to the reality,
and I'm so awfully glad that I did.
Those terrible moments that come and go are somehow needed;
They make the little miracles that follow all the more sweet.

When our little September batch of chicks got wiped out;
we never suspected the little surprise planned for the very next day.

Another momma; with seven more.
Isn't it so true that God gives, and takes away;
and yes - gives again.

These little munchkins are dreadfully cute,
and noisy, and quick.
Kind of hard for a camera to focus with all that hurrying about.
I ended up with lots of "empty shots" after little
chickie decided to take off about the time the shutter clicked...
I also got lots of "diaper shots" - but they've got a charm too.

There's nothing quite like "chickadees" in the shrubbery
to make your day all warm and fuzzy.

All that darting around will wear you out though...

As for those first two that survived the opossum attack?
Well, their poor mom is dealing with a serious case of
post-traumatic stress disorder or a variant thereof...
She's protecting her little guys with everything she's got,
which is totally understandable; but ouch - does it hurt...
In the process of trying to help her out, Mom and I got a
taste of her slightly over-zealous fury a few days ago.
We pretty much leave her alone now...
Except for yesterday, when I had to sort out some custody
disputes going on over chicks;
they aren't very adept at figuring out whose is whose yet...

Fleeing from the paparazzi...

We're enjoying these little guys (albeit from a safe distance.)
I hope that you do too!

Yulia

A few days ago, I was re-acquainted with a little girl from the Ukraine named Yulia. I had seen her picture before, and I finally got to read her story. It touched me so deeply, I just felt that I had to share about her here.

She's almost three years old, and has spent basically her entire life in a crib - on her back, in an orphanage. Yulia has an illness that in taking it's course - will cut her life short; and those precious moments she has here are slipping away - even now; as she waits.

There is a sweet lady named Adele who has such a heart for adoption. She has shared Yulia's story, and is currently raising money in faith that God will soon send a forever family for little Yulia. A family that will cherish and care for her in the time she has left. A family to demonstrate God's love to her. Click on the button below to read this sweet little girl's story, and if God leads you, maybe help out. She will break your heart. At the very least - pray for little Yulia, that God would send her family - as soon as possible.

September 22, 2010

Family, Goats, and Elvis?

Last Saturday, my family had the opportunity to take a day
off from all of the building, and have a family day at
my Dad's annual work picnic.
Somebody had the incredibly bright idea to hold it
at a local living history museum - and we all loved it.

I try not to say that I was born in the wrong century...
I know without a doubt that God has really good reasons
for putting me here when He did.

Still - I don't think I would have minded the 1800's too badly.

I hope to go back soon and actually get to spend some time
taking photographs - there were so many perfect shots.
I grabbed these few while basically running through the place;
if we had to choose between seeing everything - or letting
Kate take photographs...well, we saw everything.
I was good with that. :)

My older brother and his family got to come along -
which of course added to the fun.
I happened to get this shot of my nephew's Chuck Taylors...
I loved it - because he had no idea I was taking a photo;
the shot was perfect just the way it was. Unstaged.

While there... we discovered the resident flock of goats...
I hadn't touched a goat since I hugged mine goodbye last December
so I was thrilled to spend a few minutes with some again.
I just loved the little white Alpine on the right...so sweet.

Goats were a huge part of my life for almost twelve years.
I still catch myself wondering how I've lived this long without one!
I miss them like crazy, just the sight of these guys had me all
teared up. Just imagine all of the best qualities from a dog,
and all of the best qualities from a cat jumbled together -
and you might have an idea why I love goats so much.

I made friends with this Nubian,
she even agreed to smiling for a picture. :)

And oh yes, I did say something about Elvis didn't I?...
Well, we had our county building inspector out this morning;
and if I had ever actually wasted the time trying to imagine
what Elvis might look like if he were still around today -
I think he might resemble our county building inspector...
Weird.
I'm not sure when or where we lost the freedom to place
our electrical sockets where we want to -
but Elvis took an issue with a few of ours - something about us
having to have an electrical socket where we really wanted a
phone jack - or something like that...
Thankfully he gave us permission to move in anyway--for now.
If he hadn't, we would have considered letting him inspect our
current house and then tell us which his conscience would prefer
for us to be living in right now...
It's pretty bad when the government would rather have us die
of mold poisoning than have one too few electrical sockets...
I'll admit, I was really struggling to hold on to the Christian
fruits of the Spirit right there.
But, he said we could go ahead and move in, and just be sure
to fix that problem within 90 days.

I believe that I now think even less of Elvis than I used to.
As if that were even possible...

September 21, 2010

good news. bad news. good news.


Good news is...

We have counter tops installed;
complete with kitchen sink.

With the tea pots in place,
it's starting to look even more like home.

(As you can see, we still have trim to be painted...)

The counters almost resemble "Granny ware" in color,
it's a really pretty deep blue; we love it.

We're moving!

Bad news... Well, I really don't want to post this - but I'm
determined to stick to reality on this blog.
It can't all be wonderful, all of the time, because quite frankly -
when you live on a farm; sad things happen. Often.

Yesterday morning, momma hen only had two chicks with her.
Later on we found evidence that something had eaten the rest...
Pretty devastating; yes.
Of course, Mom immediately pointed a finger at the 'Squirrel-y Cat'
because he's new - and nobody around here has done such a thing.
I protested otherwise.
Well... Unbeknownst to us - Dad set a trap in the barn last night.

We think we've got our culprit.
I guess that's the other bit of good news.

This nasty little opossum explains a couple of things
that have been going on around here...

Just be glad you weren't within ear shot, because Spence
was doing his little high pitch banshee yell upon seeing him...

Youch....

We don't have to worry about our two remaining chickies anymore;
and all charges against the Squirrel-y cat have been dropped...

(And no, the dogs were not allowed to eat the opossum or anything like that... he's still awaiting trial in his cage.)

September 20, 2010

Huck


This post is dedicated to my red-headed, doggy friend
of many years; my hiking companion, guardian, and escort.
A guy with a somewhat abrasive exterior,
and a huge loyal heart.

Huck.

There are those that find Huck to be a bit much.
He can be very loud, demanding, pushy...
I can see where they're coming from;
he knows how to push annoyance to its extremes.

But then there is his very enthusiastic fan club -
a group of very special people that happen
to have the ability to see the good in this dog.
The people who see him as a rusty bundle of personality;
and truly love him for it.

Huck was actually Buster's dog to begin with...

Buster was the first pet we got after moving to our farm,
and he just never made a good loner dog.
He would get scared when he was alone, and chew things up...
So, when he was about six months old, we brought
him home a little black lab puppy that we bought at the
Amish auction for five dollars. "Smokey."
Buster took care of that little puppy like a mother would,
and they did everything together.
Several months later, Smokey was run over by a car
and had to be put to sleep.

I've never seen a dog as devastated as Buster was,
he cried all night long.

The very next day we went looking for a new puppy,
and didn't have to look far -
the red dog down the road had a litter.
And in that dusty old barn,
we first saw our little Huck.

(A baby Huck with Dad - 1999)

Buster and Huck have been inseparable ever since.

A few years ago, Huck had to spend the night at the vet's
office for treatment. That's when we discovered Buster's
name for Huck... "Raรบl."
(Think Spanish pronunciation - "Ra'-oool"...)
He sat by my window and howled Huck's "name" all night.

They've been buddies for over ten years now.

That's what brings us to the present,
and the fact that personality ripens with age,
as every photo I take of Huck attests.



At some point, early on in Huck's decade with us,
he gradually starting becoming "my dog."
I love the fact that he has always been such a rascal;
I love the spunk in his eye.
I laugh at the way he squeals to show how much he detests hugs,
and the way he hates bathing and brushing like a little boy.
He's tough.

I can't get over the way he just stares into the camera
and manages to be so photogenic.
Mom has stated on various occasions that she's sure she
has seen a photo of every facial expression that the dog can
make by now, and I can quit photographing him anytime.

Or at least give it a break.

I'm still thinking about that.

So Huck is pretty much my dog by now, yes,
but I'm accepting that it's not at all how he sees it.
I'm actually his person.
He takes it upon himself to keep an eye on me;
and go everywhere I go.

He thinks I need him,
and he's probably right.

There are many tough childhood memories where -
if I were to rewind and look closely,
Huck would be right there -
doing his best to make everything okay again.


He's quirky.

He take his naps on our front porch pew.

A few years ago he had a dislocated elbow injury,
and had to wear a blue cast for six weeks.
The funny thing about it is that he's had a tendency
to cross his front legs when he is lying down ever since...
I took this photo a few days ago -
Huck's not usually allowed in the house,
but the guys were shooting guns outside,
and Huck is very anti-guns...
So he snuck inside,
and for once - we let him stay.
Just for a little bit.


This is Huck.


My buddy of eleven years.


I hope you're here for a lot longer yet, Huck.

Thanks for everything.


September 17, 2010

Wonderfully Overwhelmed

I'm just overwhelmed with God's goodness.

We're waiting still (until Tuesday) for our kitchen countertop,
and there are still lots of little loose ends to tuck in -
but the sun was really shining through the clouds today.
We are seeing the end (the beginning!)...
and as I stated earlier this evening - we are just tickled Fuchsia. :)

We're overwhelmed;
and wonderfully so!

On a sadder note, the chick didn't make it...
He was just a little beyond helping by the time I found him.
I figured so, but I've always had this
sympathetic doctoring tendency that I can't seem to shake;
no matter how hopeless the case may be...
I just feel better having tried. :)

September 16, 2010

Not a Spring chicken...


I don't know how many times I've told the chickens not
to even think about sitting on eggs after June.
November was the worst timing decision they've made so far...
That was rough.
Well; this year, I thought we weren't going to get any chicks.
One poor hen sat on a nest for three months with no success -
(it takes three weeks; poor thing.)

Well, yesterday, a momma showed-up with her September brood.

Today, I went out to visit - and found this poor little guy.

Don't worry - he's still alive in these pictures.
Evidently, his momma got a little bit antsy about getting up -
and he wasn't kept warm long enough to finish hatching;
I'm afraid that he was stuck this way for about 24 hours.
I have no idea how he survived that long.

So, glutton for heart-ache that I am;
I brought him inside and starting warming him up with a damp,
warm cloth.
Like moths coming out of their cocoons -
little chicks can't have any help hatching out,
or they will never fully develop.
Even though it's tempting...
I felt awful about this poor chick - he was so close.
I got him on a heating pad, and he starting coming back a little.

He kicked and stretched, with lots of little naps in-between.

He eventually did get out - and is all warm and resting now -
but I still doubt that he's going to make it... :(
I just had to share these precious little shots - it's so
rare to get to witness this amazing process.

There are seven little healthy ones though -
and they are awfully sweet.

Even if they do grow to be tomato-eating monsters someday... ;)

Update!

It's been a full couple of days...
The tomatoes don't know that we're too busy to deal
with them - so they just keep coming.
We're fine with that -
we can always use a few more pints of salsa...

with lime;

and roasted garlic and peppers...

I canned 14 pints of it last night!

I've been in denial about Autumn -
but the combines never lie...

The corn is ready, whether I am or not!

And... I have family members anxiously awaiting a house update...
It's coming together so beautifully!
We now have flooring, light fixtures, plumbing -
and a refrigerator.

The cabinets went up soon after I took these.

It's getting close!
Looks like we might be moving in next week...