Friday, March 16, 2018
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.
3:43 pm edt
Despite the wildly fluctuating temperatures of late, it's clear that
spring is just around the corner. This time of regeneration makes most people deliriously happy, but I'm a bit sorry to see
the end of winter. Yes, there are inconveniences associated with my favorite season, but there's an unmistakable beauty beyond
the snowy landscape. Winter is when much of the human race stays inside and out of sight, so dreamers like me can pretend
the world is not so over-populated, so loud, nasty and chaotic. But, now the snow is gone and ugly realities that lay hidden
for a few months are again revealed. In rural areas like this, the societal statement made by road trash diminishes spring's
Last Sunday was sunny and mild, so a couple of
friends and I, armed with wheelbarrows and trash bags cleared about a quarter mile of a heavily-littered local roadway. Three
distinct categories of trash filled our bags; cheap beer cans and bottles (connoisseurs of good beer don't
drink, drive and toss), fast food containers and plastic water bottles. We worked until the bed of my truck could hold no
It felt good to give Nature a helping hand, knowing
new vegetation wouldn't have to compete with all the non-biodegradable rubbish. As we worked a few people in passing cars
waved or gave a thumbs up. One lady rolled down her window and yelled, "Thank you!" All in all, it was a gratifying
day. When we finished the tree-lined road minus the rubbish looked lovely. Soon the seasons first flowers, yellow coltsfoot
would brighten the edges of the pavement and maybe even the moods of passersby. The world could certainly use a bit beauty
I thought about the sort of people who roll
down a window and deliberately pitch rubbish into Nature's face. What do they think becomes of it -or do they think
at all? In my opinion, those who have no respect for the environment lack self-respect as well. Maybe a polite reminder would
provoke some consideration and just maybe they'd stash their trash instead. After all, if just one person changes, the world
changes, right? I made a couple of PLEASE DON'T LITTER signs and posted them.
As if to say ‘kiss my ass,' within 24 hours freshly-strewn trash sullied the clean roadside. Beyond the visual
desecration, this act spoke volumes about the mean spirited vindictive behaviors that seem so dominant. It's hard to
remain optimistic, but as J. R. R. Tolkien wrote regarding this elusive state of mind, "Still round the corner they may
wait, A new road or a secret gate."
We can only hope.
Friday, March 9, 2018
9:03 pm est
A Series of 'Unfortunate Events.'
10:30 am est
It's been noted that I've seemingly abandoned this blog and I guess
that's true. The end of 2016 launched a series of ‘unfortunate events' that put blog posts at the very bottom of my
priority list: The health issue that dominated 2017, the well that went bad, the tree that fell on top of my truck, the fire
that destroyed the tractor, the back injury that put me in hospital, the disastrous trip to Nova Scotia..., just some of the
major events of the year. Surely 2018 would be better, right? Sadly, the series of‘unfortunate events' weren't over.
On Tuesday, March 6th my wonderful dog Ernie took his final breath.
It seems only yesterday that the big black and white puppy and his ten littermates came into
the world, but it was actually eleven years, two months and one week ago. That's not long enough to love a pet. Like so many
animals these days whose lives end too soon, cancer was the culprit. Ernie is buried in the dog cemetery at the corner of
the pasture. I,Tess, Julie, the cats and even the bad asses miss Ernie's happy face. There is little joy at this old farm
these days, hence the neglected blog.
Sunday, December 3, 2017
6:29 pm est
"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" If you live with
poultry long enough you become fluent in chicken-speak. I'm fluent and that's what Grace was screaming. Now just how a hen
breaks her leg in the first place is a mystery. Osteoporosis maybe? But, she's so young.... Had she gorged on fermented fallen
pears, gotten drunk and tumbled off the patio bench? That possibility was as likely as any other I could come up with.
However it happened, the sad fact was that my favorite hen was hopping on one leg as the other dragged uselessly
behind. It didn't take an orthopedic surgeon to determine the leg was indeed broken and would require immediate attention.
Here's a tip; setting and splinting a chicken leg is not a do it yourself operation. I tried, but it takes more than just
two hands, so I called my friend Fran who agreed to "...take a look at it."
Grace seemed to enjoy the truck ride up to Fran's. After all, she is no ordinary bird. As
tongue depressors were cut to size, gauze padding put in place and the entire leg encased in vet wrap, Grace proved herself
to be the perfect patient.
"I don't feel
good about this," said Fran with a furrowed brow, but we'd done our best and would just have to wait and see. Back home,
Grace was placed in a corner of the coop, ensconced on a thick bed of straw and should she feel peckish, food and water were
just inches away. A week passed and despite
her injury, Grace (resilient girl that she is) had been managing quite well although the leg served more as a crutch than
a functioning limb. Even so, she was keeping up with her gal pals and even fluttering to her favorite uppermost perch at days
I myself am an early bird, so as I returned from
the barn today after morning chores just as dawn was breaking I heard frantic clucking and turned to see the bad asses harassing
the cripple who had been making her way toward to the house. The full moon-crazed boys were chasing and kicking out at Grace
who huddled against the fence in an effort to avoid the assault. Reversing my direction I flew (so to speak...) back
into the barnyard to rescue the trembling hen, but approaching the house the reflection in the glass door took my breath away;
a woman wearing blue crocs, striped jim-jams beneath a red bathrobe, topped with a big red parka carrying a hen with a cast
on her leg. It was not a pretty sight and I was ever so thankful there was no one around to witness this scary apparition.
There's a reason I live alone on this old farm.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Being In The Moment
3:20 pm edt
I've been telling myself that while 2017 has been a tough year so far,
things are certain to get better. I almost had myself convinced of this--until yesterday.
Ernie is the oldest of the canine crew here. He'll be eleven in December and the big black and white lug
has always been as healthy as the proverbial horse, but a couple of months ago he developed a worrisome hacking sort of cough.
‘Off to the vet, of course, but I was assured that it was "...probably just allergies...," and nothing to
I doubted that diagnosis even then, so when Ernie recently began panting regardless of the temperature or
activity I knew it was time for a second opinion from another clinic. After a thorough exam which included chest ex-rays,
my worst fear was confirmed. Ernie has congestive heart failure. I watched this disease kill my mother despite all the drugs
prescribed to lessen her symptoms. Ernie is now on those same drugs, but there is no cure and I know his fate will be the
same as hers.
For animal lovers like me, it's easier to deal with personal illness than to watch helplessly as the health
of a beloved pet deteriorates. The drugs seem to be helping. Old Ernie is romping about like a puppy and eagerly taking the
pile of pills which I conceal in hot dogs twice daily, but how long will this last?
The original intent of this blog (recollections
of a single woman living on an old farm) was to share joyous and amusing events of the day, but sadly, this year hasn't afforded
much of anything joyous or amusing. Even so, hope springs eternal.... My inspiration comes from Ernie who finds happiness
just being in the moment.