Friday, May 26, 2023

Beach ball or steamroller?

As usual, life has been rolling right along here. The record-setting heat finally gave way to a (very) cool, cloudy spell, and now it's just about perfect. Through it all, our iris have delighted. The 'brown' ones dominate; I know, that really is an ungenerous descriptor for such a rich color that goes equally well with pinks, yellows, and reds, as well as being striking on its own. Bonus: I got to see a few wild iris on a ride through the ravine last Sabbath; such a treat since I thought they were long gone and especially given the day I had (see next paragraph)!
the resident iris in our pasture
the iris in our island; all the rest are in a different bed
wild iris!

Sometimes life rolls on near-miraculously. Last Sabbath I picked up my 94-year-old friend and took her to church as I often do (her 98-year-old husband hasn't felt up to coming in several months). When church was over, she and I remained in our pew while Rick gathered up his musical gear. When it was time to go, Anneke couldn't quite get up, even with my help. I asked her if she was okay, but although she looked at me, she didn't say a word. I asked her to stick out her tongue at me; nothing. A stroke immediately came to mind, we called 911, and EMTs arrived quickly to take her to the local hospital. Within two hours, she went from non-verbal and limp on her right side to talking and raising both arms and legs; on Monday an MRI showed that the clot in her brain had broken up into smaller ones and she was discharged!

With life rolling right along I'm concerned that it's going to be another year without a real garden here. Ever the optimist, I picked up six tomato starts and two pineapple ground cherry starts from a neighbor who was giving away his extras; I figure if nothing else, I'll fill one of our leaky stock tanks with planting medium and plop them in! In the meantime, my garden pot is transitioning from an abundance of arugula to flowers on my tomato and sugar pod pea plants.

The seasons of shepherd life are rolling right along, too. On Sunday Rick and I got future fiber wether Blackjack banded and all the lambs vaccinated. On Tuesday I finally got the last fleece standing – Bette's – harvested, and on Wednesday I shipped off two reserved fleeces to their new owners.

all 4+ pounds of glorious Boop!

And then came yesterday, which fell into the category of "life rolls along . . .  until  it doesn't." At morning chore time I found Spot, my prepotent, gentle flock sire, dead in his pasture. I have no idea why or when (within the last 24 hours); he was only six years old and seemed just fine, if a little on the thin side. I feel sucker-punched, and of course awful for him. But I am thankful that I bred all my available ewes to him last fall; this spring's eight lovely lambs brought his total legacy to a baker's dozen – 14 counting my friend Kate's crossbred. It's the end of a  too-short era; his will be a hard act to follow.

It's been quite a week at . . .


A :-) said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry sorry about Spot, Michelle. I think sheep seem to be much more fragile than I might think they are. You certainly had a week - and I'm sorry it was topped off by this loss. I know you are glad that you had such a great new group of lambs from him just now.

Michelle said...

A, sheep can be tricky because they are very, very good at hiding ailments as a form of self-defense (they have so few self-defense mechanisms!).

Debbie said...

Your photos of the iris are beautiful!

So glad that your friend is doing better. And a blessing that you were there to assist.

Very sad news regarding Spot.

take care,

Mama Pea said...

What a joy to see all your beautiful irises! And, yes, so sorry to hear of Spot's demise. Never (ever!) easy to lose an animal. Why no garden this year?

Michelle said...

Yes, Debbie, I was SO thankful to be with Anneke when she had the stroke! Who knows how much time would have passed before someone would have noticed in the senior living center? She and her husband rarely leave the room, he mostly stays in bed; it could have been HOURS.

Mama Pea, our equipment is still down and Rick hasn't been motivated to find other solutions....

Retired Knitter said...

Oh wow! The stroke situation reminded me of my mom when I was present for her TIA. Scary. But glad she was with someone at the time who could do something to help. And the loss of Spot! - that was so surprising. So sorry. Such a loss. The brown fleece is just beautiful.

FullyFleeced said...

wow. that's a lot. So glad you were there for Anneke and that she's recovered. And sorry to hear about Spot. What a shock. Gone way too soon.

Jeanne said...

Oh, dear! I just realized that I didn't make a comment on this blog post! I always want to wait till I have my laptop up and running... I find swiping on the tablet to be a pain.

Your irises are absolutely lovely. I never got any after we moved here. The house is actually on river bottom land - very rocky - which makes planting difficult.

How is your friend Anneke doing now? That must have been very scary.

Michelle said...

Elaine, I was very thankful to be there, too. It could have been hours before someone noticed in her senior living apartment!

Thanks, Denise; May was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Anneke's stroke occurred on the one-year anniversary of my dad's death.

Jeanne, iris are incredibly adaptable; they bloom beautifully for my mom in the hot/cold, dry, windy Texas Panhandle. I think you should plant some yet! Anneke is still doing well; she went to church with me a week after her stroke, and may go again tomorrow!