Wednesday, February 24, 2021

High and low tides

Sunday was a great day, but I've had a hard time forming a post about it. Concern about our son ebbs and flows, but a king tide is coming in, as we are picking him up from college in three weeks, the end of this quarter – for good. He's dropping out, and God only knows what his future holds. Anyway.

My FitBit recorded an extended low tide of daily step counts while I was on 'stall rest.' This screen shot shows before, during, and after, with Sunday being a king tide of activity!

First thing that morning, Rick went to a friend's to get some help with metal fabrication, giving me time to appreciate my sheep, clean the henhouse, and actually do something with both horses beyond just turning Stella out to stretch her legs.

Spot was vigorously rubbing himself on trees. You can see how tufty his neck looks; I need to see if he can be rooed. It won't be hard to catch him and check; he comes over whenever he sees me to get loved on. 😍

The girls got to go out on pasture for the first time since I started stall rest. You would never be able to guess which three are (hopefully) pregnant; the unbred ones seem to have the biggest bellies! Sarai is another one who comes whenever she sees me now, begging for alfalfa pellets. (She is one of the hopefully bred ones.)

I am not showing you a 'before' photo of the henhouse; it was gross. Now it is nicely bedded with fresh straw.

I rewarded myself for the mucky job by riding Lance. It was good to be astride again! Then I did some groundwork with Stella.

By the time I was done with Stella, Rick was home and putting together our 'new' chipper. A client of his gave it to him; it runs fine but one of the chutes had rusted out, so Rick rebuilt it with the help of a friend. We worked until dark on the mess around the henhouse and arena access, cutting up limbs and chipping all the smaller stuff; I had to take 'after' photos the next morning. The chips provide mud abatement in front of the manure pile and henhouse door; the branches provide more firewood (which still needs to be hauled up to the woodshed area).

Rick rebuilt the left chute

Tonight we worked on the branches that had fallen up by the house, and made more visible progress. We'll keep chipping away it – ha!

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, February 19, 2021

Taking stock

The day turned gray and wet after this pretty sunrise, but I still walked around documenting the ice storm damage. I took photos on my way to the barn, around the 'barn yard,' up to the entry gate, and back up to the house. We obviously have a big mess to clean up, but how blessed we were that the only structures to sustain any damage were fences and gates! The angels must have spread their wings over our little henhouse, overarched as it is with Big Leaf Maples that were snapping and crashing around it.

In the middle of my survey, I turned Stella out in the arena to let her stretch her legs and crack her back. She was interested in the big maple limb that protruded into the arena by the gate; after she took off to play, I heaved it over to a safer position on the ground outside.

It has been wonderful to be free to move around, but I admit to not being nearly as active as Stella today. The second COVID shot is making me more achey than the first one did, although Tylenol and Advil together are keeping it to a dull roar. But the day isn't over yet and I will tackle a few more tasks inside, and make a trip over the hill to the nearest post office.

How are the rest of you faring???

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, February 18, 2021


Today I got my second COVID shot, and my leg was set free! The doctor was surprised I complied with his orders (???), cut the compression wrap off, pronounced me healed, and sent me off with no further restrictions. Feeling liberated, I 'celebrated' by going to work for a bit to catch up and then getting groceries. After going home and putting things away, I got to do chores and see all my animals, which have all been well cared for by DH.

Tomorrow, the clean-up begins at . . .

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

It could have been so much worse

A week ago today I was put in 'lockdown,' at least as far as I was concerned. What a time to be laid up!

Knowing that Poppy would go even more stir-crazy than I, the next day I drove her to our friends' house. Poppy played with Glory inside (while I sat), then we drove to a nearby dog park so they could run and play some more (while I sat). I did take a couple photos for a Ravelry spinning challenge:

Once home again, Poppy was content to nap the rest of the day away, which is just what I had hoped for. A tired terrier is a good terrier!

Thursday turned cold, damp, and windy, just a mild appetizer to the approaching winter storm. I thought of Stella being cooped up for days, and decided to drive down to the barn and lead her out to the arena for a romp. She didn't do much and I got cold, so I put her away, drove to the henhouse to collect eggs, and back to the garage. It was good to see my ponies, however briefly, and I wasn't very active. Later I decided to make supper, using this recipe as a springboard to this:
It was tasty!

By the end of the day I realized that I probably been more active than the doctor intended. I checked my FitBit. Wednesday I logged 4,725 steps; Thursday it was 5,159 steps. Considering that my daily goal is 12,000 steps and occasionally I have to work at reaching that, I was a bit shocked. None of those steps were brisk strides, but still. Not to mention that my leg wrap seemed to be migrating downward. Mind you, I had that sensation when I first stood up to leave the doctor's office; I kept trying to pull it up Wednesday and had Rick add some adhesive wrap around the top that night to keep it from sliding. Friday morning he actually took the vet wrap off (removing a bit of my skin in the process, I'm pretty sure) and rewrapped it, adding more tape. I tried much harder to be inactive (it takes more effort than being active!), and kept it under 2000 steps that day. Of course, the weather helped my efforts....

Thursday night the drizzle we had all day started freezing to surfaces. Friday morning there was a layer of ice covered by a skiff of snow, we had no electricity (or wi-fi) and the house was 63° even with a fire.

The freezing drizzle continued all day Friday and on and off Saturday and Sunday. There was a bit of melting at times, but total accumulation increased. When Rick had to venture out for veterinary calls and a fuel run for the generator, chains all around on his 4WD truck were an absolute necessity to get down and up our hill. From our windows and doorways I watched in horrified helplessness as our trees bowed down with their icy burdens; the cracks, booms, and prolonged crashes testified that branches and trees were losing the battle.

The generator alternated between providing us water or keeping refrigerator and freezer cold; we learned it can't do both and had a period of panic that in trying to make it do so we burned out our new well pump. But a neighbor came over and helped Rick sleuth it out, and the pump started working. Hallelujah! We loaned our little generator to our neighbors in hopes that it would power their pellet stove. It couldn't, but did give them lights (they could warm up and use the fridge and stove in their little camp trailer when necessary). Here at home, I kept a coat on Poppy and fleecy layers on myself to stay as warm as possible. Our wood-burning fireplace doesn't provide a lot of heat without the fan blowing! Fortunately, we never experienced the severe cold here that much of the country was and is; the lowest it got was upper 20s.

We didn't have to concern ourselves about whether or not to go to church; it was cancelled and not just because of weather. Turns out a couple who attended the previous Sabbath (and attended our study class) got sick that evening, and have since tested positive for COVID-19. One of our class members has since gotten sick and also tested positive. 😔
candle shadows

Where there's a will, there's a way!

For awhile, PGE stopped giving updates on the restoration of power; we heard on the news that thousands of lines were down in their service area, and hundreds of thousands were without power. The ice-dam broke by the time we got up Monday so I called again to check, and got a recorded message with an estimated time of 10:30 pm Tuesday. But lo and behold, it came back on just before noon yesterday! And to my joy, my beloved Japanese maples had emerged from their icy cocoons largely unscathed. Other trees sustained a lot more damage; the neighbors sent a photo of our ravaged aspen from their side of the fence:

My hummingbird feeder iced over Friday night, and although I thawed it out as soon as I discovered it, I didn't see any hummers come back. I was afraid that they might have died without constant access to fuel, so was thrilled to see this Anna's back on Monday morning!

Rick has been busy all along getting branches off our driveway, fences, and entry gate. There are many hours more of clean-up to do; he has only managed the bare minimum, along with doing all the animal chores, getting firewood, holding horses for the farrier this morning, and, of course, his vet work. It is so very aggravating to not be able to tackle any of it myself; the mess inside and out is distressing to say the least. Hopefully in just one more week....

Patience is a virtue still being developed at . . .