Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Bad Kitty Babies

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Day After

The Day After Christmas started just like any OTHER day here on Windy Hill... Windy.

I awoke to my son loudly walking up and down the stairs.  This is his signal that he wants me to wake up and answer the ever burning question "Can I go to my girlfriends house now?"  This entails him borrowing my car.  This would be simple matter for most, but we all know how I drive and how I worry.  It's windy and snowy and cold outside. I confirmed this by sticking my pinky out from under the blankets.  I snuggled deeper under my pile of blankets and cats.

TROMP TROMP TROMP, SLAM, BANG, CREAAAAK> siiggghhhh. I won't be sleeping any longer, he has positioned himself in front of the computer.  This means he is about to play a rousing  (translated as loud) computer game.  I get up.

The boy had the courtesy to act surprised before he said "OH! you're awake?"

I rolled my eyes and got out of bed, and yes he borrowed the car.

            Then THIS happened

About 10 minutes after my loud car leaves, I hear my loud car return.  Now this brings up many questions, as once a teenage boy is on a mission to go to his girlfriends house, it's the rare thing to bring him back to the house.

I met him at the door, full of motherly concern.  He looked incredibly guilty.  His first statement "It's not that bad"

I respond with "You are clearly okay, that's all I care about, the car must be okay, you drove it here ...What happened?"
He hit a phone pole.  He slid off the road in 2 wheel drive and hit a phone pole.  The car door opens and closes fine, and the worst of it is the mirror on the side was taken off.  Meh, okay.  I test drive the car, explain how to drive in hazardous conditions and he is back on his way to his girlfriends house...in the dented, mirror-less car.

Pick yourselves up of the floor.  I know it is shocking that I let him go back out again.  I am fully aware of how deeply my paranoia and cars runs.  That is exactly why I let him go back out.  I don't want my fears to control my child's life.  I had to learn to drive in this stuff in a two-wheel drive El Camino.  He can do it in a 4 wheel drive mini SUV.

Time to tackle the rest of the day.  As if the morning was not pleasant enough, there is more.  There is always more here on Windy Hill.

The Horses in the back pasture were telling me that they were out of water.  Hmmm, that is curious, because said speedy teenager watered the horses just yesterday.  Still, they are looking at me quite plaintively.  FINE.  I will go check the water...I am sure it's fine.

The water is NOT fine.  Not only is it incredibly low...but it's frozen solid.  Now, that is also interesting because I distinctly see the water heater in the trough.  The frozen trough.  Why is it frozen??

I follow the cord belonging to the water heater to... NOWHERE!   It's not even plugged in!! Who does this?  Who has a water heater in a trough in order to keep the water from freezing, and does NOT plug it in?

I have my suspicions.     I find the extension cord, and plug it in.  NOW I see why it was unplugged.
floating extension cord 
The extension cord is not quite long enough to really reach the trough... so it's floating mid -air.  Which might actually be kind of cool (out of the snow) except our yard pony walks through there all the time, unplugging the heater all the time.  Far be it for me to suggest getting the longer extension cord....

                                * If you want something done right, do it yourself!!*
Okay, cord taken care of -  now for the water.

outdoor spigot 

Of-COURSE  the spigot is frozen ~ why would I even begin to presume any differently?  Hot water poured over the spigot to the rescue...NOT!   It didn't work....it always works...but not today my lady, not today. After spending a good 5 minutes sobbing helplessly while my tears froze to my face,  (because we all know that the tears of a damsel in distress will melt the most frozen of spigots) I formulated a plan...

FINE!  I shall open the basement doors, run the hoses down to the basement and attache to the hot water heater as I have in the past.

That would have been fine except...

FIRST - I couldn't get the pad lock off of the cellar doors.
Stuck padlock

The real question here is... how did I get it ON the doors if it won't come off?  I presume it was a sunny summer day, and I could easily manipulate the doors, allowing for the latch to be less close to the pad lock ..thingy.  Not so today!  With some gentle coaxing (translated as hammer) I removed the pad lock.

NEXT  - Somehow I cut my finger in the process.  Of course I did, we all know that you can't do something on Windy Hill without gloves and just get away scott-free with no hand injuries!
poor finger.

AND THEN - I tried to open the cellar doors. Note the use of the word "tried" that is indicative of the next few words... "and failed"   Thaaat's right... they are frozen shut.  That freeze/thaw ...freeze/thaw thing...it does that to metal doors.

Hot water to the rescue again!  NOT!  (again)  But it does make for a nice skating rink between the porch and the house if you are interested in such things.

The horses at this point are now lined up at the fence mentally cheering me on.  I remind myself to find my joy...and quickly ~ before things go down hill even more.  As I had this thought, I slipped and fell on the aforementioned ice-skating rink, the hand holding the hammer hit the ground first, the hammer bounced off of the ice and ...yes, it hit me in the head.

I half-wished it had hit me hard enough to knock me out, except I would have gotten hypothermia, and I would have become coyote food...(Hey, that's not too bad, circle of life and all)

However, I was not knocked out, just frustrated.  I formulated a new plan.  If you live on a farm in the middle of no-where it pays to have a back up to your back up.  I seriously considered just putting a nice hole in my shiny new tile that leads directly to the hot water heater spigot.  I begrudgingly chose not to do so...but I did glare at the tile on the way by...holding two 5 gallon buckets ~ one in each hand ~
Yep, I did it the old fashioned way, except I used the bathtub instead of a creek.  I heard my ex-husband in my head each time I put that "dirty bucket in the (beeeping) bathtub for those (beeping ) horses!! "  (It's not like HE was the one that had to clean the bathtub after) I lost count after trip 16.  No, it didn't fill the trough completely, but it did help and I will do it all over again tomorrow morning, afternoon and evening so ensure that they have water.

Now, for the cats... every.single.bowl. is frozen solid.  of-course they are!!  They are each plugged in, correctly, happily, and heated.  Apparently they can't with stand sub zero temps (wimpy heated bowls)  I thaw out each bowl, re-fill with water and then tuck each bowl into it's own little cubby (made out of totes)  That should do it.

By now my gloves are soaking wet, my toes are... do I even have toes anymore??!! and I am having a very hard time finding my joy!

I decided it was time to come into the house, and take a nice break and warm up.  I even decided to turn the central heat as opposed to just the gas fireplace.  (big ~ I know)  I walked merrily over to thermostat repeating to myself "find your joy, you have a warm home to enter, you have heat and..."  I stopped my joyous litany in my head when my heat refused to turn on.

This HAS to be some kind of cosmic joke right?  hardy har har.

Before I burst into tears again, I decided to just re-group and meditate and pray. I spent some time breathing deeply and making a running list of amazing things in my life, and reminding myself that anger is a wasted emotion, and that all we have is each moment.  The moment I was in, was not that bad.  The horses and cats had water, my car runs, my son is fine (Thank you Jesus) and we are both well fed and have a home and the fireplace works just fine.  Hmmm, put that way, I actually have a lot of Blessings in my life, the list is much longer, but you get the idea.

Did the heat ever turn on?  Did I find my toes?  Will the lump on my head ever go down?  Did I remember to bring the hammer back inside the house?  Will I fill the water trough all winter long by hand, listening to my ex-husband in my head chide me for my foolishness?

Stay tuned for the rest of the story on Windy Hill....

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It's all about the gloves

So, it's getting to be that time of year again... the time of year in which my old, country, farm house atop Windy Hill gets... well, windy.  This means that I get cold.  I work at my computer a lot typing... cold fingers and typing don't mix! 

Today was the day... today was the day that I rolled my eyes, and begrudgingly brought out my "finger gloves" because my hands were so cold that it was making it difficult to type.

Finger Gloves in action! 
As I put the gloves on each hand, in my head I have a running commentary about how "This is why I am moving South as soon as possible!  I was not made to be in a cold climate.  I despise doing this every year.  I should have fixed those drafts this summer!  (and on and on it went) as I am having my "It's so cold" pity party.  I happened to glace up and look out the window so see the over cast sky, blowing wind, and a winter tree.

Winter Tree in yard
I began to continue on my rant about the cold, when it occurred to me, I could be outside right now.  Which brought me to an entirely new line of thinking... I could work outside... all day long in fact.  What if - I asked myself- these gloves, with no fingers, were the only gloves you had, and you were working outside all day?  At this point, I looked down at my finger gloves, and realized, I am very lucky to even have gloves.  In fact... I purchased this particular style of gloves just so I could  cut the finger tips off of them!!  Here I was, whining about how cold it is in my house, when I have a house to be cold in!

I then went on another rant

  • I have gloves to cover my hands
  • I have a computer and keyboard to use for my hands
  • I have the internet to write this blog, and many other things
  • This means I have a job
  • I am inside 
  • I am inside my own home
  • I am inside my own home and it has a yard!
  • My yard has trees
  • Trees are good
  • I am free to look at my good trees from inside all day long

And so it went...

The moral of the story is; no matter how bad I have it, it could be worse... so be grateful for what you DO have.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Our Elderly are Suffering!

It's so sad to see someone you love living in squaller when they have done so much for others ~ yourself included over their lifetime.

 I never do this, but I created a fund raiser for someone very special to me and I have included an embedded link in this blog post.

 I know, I know, I hate these things too, I really do.  I always feel so bad when I can only donate so little.  Plus, I sometimes question the authenticity of the request for funds.  I can promise you that Betty is a real person, and I honestly, have not met a kinder soul.

If the situation were reversed, she would be right here typing this up for me.  She is always lending a a helping hand to others, be it via hard work (that she is not supposed to be doing due to her triple bypass surgery) lending an ear, or even giving up her last dollar to help a friend, or someone she feels needs it more than she does.

Within the past three years, 71-year-old Betty has
·         lost a beloved son,
·         lost a brother,
·         been hit by a tornado,
·         been in a car accident,
·         had triple by-pass surgery,
·         lost her job.
·         Stove no longer works
·         Washing machine, no longer works
·         Needs to purchase headstone for her beloved son
·         Needs to fix her home
·         Needs to fix her septic tank.

Betty has always been a very giving, generous person, willing to help anyone in need.  Now, she is the one in need of help, and doesn’t like to ask for it, so I am asking on her behalf.  After the hardships, and tragedies of the past three years, Betty is left bereft and close to destitute.  She has no stove to cook upon and no washing machine to wash clothes in ~ and no funds to purchase either one. Her septic tank is backing up into her back yard!  She hasn’t the funds to fix it.  Her treasured son has no headstone; she still owes thousands on funeral expenses.  Her house still needs work from the tornado ~ one wall of her trailer wobbles if you touch it!  She is more than willing to work, but it’s hard to get hired anywhere if you are a 71-year-old triple bypass patient with a rough running vehicle.  I hope you can find it in your heart to help this warm, giving woman, our elderly should be revered, not disposed of.  Betty needs $20,000.00 to cover funeral expenses, headstone, fix the wall and roof of her house, get a used stove, and maybe a washing machine, and have the septic tank in her yard fixed. 

If you can donate even a dollar, it will be deeply appreciated.  Thank you so much for listening.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kitten Update!

I am lucky enough to have several wonderful people that send me photo updates of the kittens they have adopted over the years.

Last year, when Spooky kitty had her very first litter, I was thrilled!  Spooky proved to be our most wonderful mother ever!  She does have some ...minor quirks.

Spooky is a lovely smokey black Highlander (you can see her below with one of her babies)
Spooky and one of her kittens
One of Spooky's quirks is ~ she MUST have her kittens either in a particular desk drawer OR in a cat carrier at my feet.  Spooky Requires that the cat carrier be left in that same spot for a minimum of one week prior to moving her and her kittens to their own room.   The reason for this requirement is because when Spooky has kittens, she wants to give them all to my son.  So, whenever he is sitting in one spot for an extended period of time, she gathers her kittens one by one and places them all on his lap.

If, heaven forbid, another mama cat has kittens laying around, she is going to steal them.  Spooky LOVES her babies, loves her boy and loves LOVE.  Spooky passes this on to each and everyone of her babies.  She is just such a special cat.  I really appreciate her sweet personality.  We looked forward to her first babies on pins and needles!  

When they finally arrived we were just thrilled.  They were not only very loving like mama, but so smart!  We actually taught one of them (Wolfie) to sit up on command and give us 10.  (two paws up)  They were so cool.

One of our Adopters got a kitten from Spookies first litter....and then when Spooky had her next litter a year later...they got another one of her special babies.  Everyone loves a Spooky baby:) 
These folks have been kind enough to send me photo up dates of the kittens as they have grown.  I am now sharing them with you because they are so beautiful! 

Lola and Lorenzo
The two stunning cats you see above are Lola (the first Spooky baby) and the newest addition Lorenzo.  They both still have some growing to do.  Such different looks and personalities, but both of these babies are so sweet and very well loved in their forever home!

Just wanted to share an update on a couple of spooky babies!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Annual Tack Sale and Chili Supper!

I have never done this before, but as you all know, I am a lover of horses...and the tack that goes with them.  So, I am shamelessly plugging this event!

Clinton County Bits and Spurs
Annual Tack Sale and Chili Supper

Saturday, March 12th 2016 at 5:00pm
Clinton County Fairgrounds
                                              Frankfort, Indiana

New and used tack from
Brookston Tack and Feed Store

Tack swap and Sale tables available

     $15.00 a table

                            Silent Auction
    Ends at 7:00pm
                                      (Must be present to win)

Chili Supper
                    Served from 5:00pm - 7:30pm

For additional info / table reservations call:Barb – 765-337-7979 or Tracy 765-491-0569