“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

Usually I don’t let this much time pass between posts, but to be honest, two things are going on.

First is a bit of writers block if there is such a thing. I think there is. Its not that I run dry of things to write about, but it’s more like there is too much. Not everything can pass through my little brain and next thing there is a clog and nothing gets through…if you think about it for awhile it makes sense. I am sure you’ve been there…

Then this week I was diagnosed with pneumonia…walking pneumonia or whatever you want to call it. Either way, I was in bed or on the couch the last three days exhausted, heaving for breathes, and waiting for my head to blow up from the sinus pressure. Today all the meds are beginning to get up on the bacteria that took me over, and I am feeling a bit better. I was able to take a walk outside this morning to see all the animals, look across the rows of greens coming up, and check my bees. This day, the bees didn’t sting me – maybe they have called a truce until I feel better and I’m more fun for them to chase through the fence and across the yard! God bless them!

But anyhow, I will be back to writing soon. Things will unclog as they always do and the pneumonia will run its course. Maybe this is Mother Nature’s way of getting me to take a break. I’d rather she fly me to Acapulco…

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

Really nice out this morning…

I just finished planting greens – arugula, lettuce mixes, and mesclun. I also planted bunching scallions. Then I set up the sprinkler and began watering it all, including the rows of chard, onion, and pac choi that I had planted the week earlier.

Louie is doing so much better. It’s been three weeks now that we’ve been treating his eye. After the first week, the vet did not like how his cornea was healing, so she re-scraped it and we began anew on a different plan of medications. Two weeks now of this treatment and he’s getting better – his eye doesn’t look inflamed, and I can tell by the way he acts that the pain is not there, at least not to the degree that caused him to mope around. He’s beginning to trot around his paddock, show some energy, and is keeping his bad eye opened most the time. He’s beginning to be Louie again!

The chickens have been moved from the stable and into their shed. We took down the storm wrecked coop, and last week with the tractor we dragged and pushed the shed across the paddock to a new spot behind the stable. It took a few days to re-train the chickens to roost there – it was surprising to think that after years of the shed being their home, they lost the memory or instinct of roosting there in such a short time. But they did. We had to go around and gather them up at evening time and place them in the shed…now it’s a week later and they are going in on their own. I think that Zips is happy about that.

He’s so relaxed lately that just being around him peels my stress away…too bad I can’t take him along where ever I go.

Patrick is being my buddy too. He always come to the fence and “lips and licks” me to say hi and to say “don’t leave”.

Then there is Snoops – I won’t say much now, but watch the video of her and her favorite toy….goat behavior is fascinating to me. I don’t try to explain it – I just enjoy it.

I have one remaining hive of honey bees. Losing three, all for very different reasons – mites, pesticides, and starvation – has taught me how fragile a honey bee’s life is. Suddenly, every bloom, whether it be a dandelion flower or a cherry tree in bloom is important – each is a source of pollen and nectar, not a weed or a pretty tree.

I guess I’d better get back out side…in my last post I ended it with the thought that the lawn would need mowed this week, and that happens to be the case.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010

while walking around the farm doing the things i do, i began noticing the blooms…dandelion,
apple beach plum strawberry
maple is pretty much done wild violet which is one of my favorite flowers in a light steaked purple on white, and some have that pre washed jean blue look
our single and lonely red azalea
the columbine is almost ready to speak up purple and yellow and rose
there were leaves on the japanese red maple which unrolled from yesterdays buds and on canes there are the new raspberry leaves
and i saw one leafed grasses coming up in the paddock dirt
rye crabgrass then the two leaved seedlings of smartweed
and some sedges
and birds i saw birds i had not seen for quite some time like an osprey which floated over the fields in a lifting spiral before turning east and towards the marsh, as if it suddenly decided that that was where it was wanting to go all along.
there were sounds. mostly the traffic on route 49. the neighbor who mows his lawn each day sitting on his sears tractor. we call him mr. mower man. but he doesn’t know that. sometimes he mows at night in the blackness. perhaps he is escaping from his own darknesses. anyway its odd. ten oclock is too late to mow a lawn.
i saw louie standing four legged asleep snoring in the wind that pulled the cold spring air down from the north. before that he had made his way to the garden and rolled in the tilled soil. first he knelt down and fell to his left side and rubbed his side three times. then he got up and got down on his front knees and fell over to his right side and rubbed his right side three times. its always three times on each side. its always three. always. he never does it different. three. then he’s done
there were not many clouds today. maybe some i didn’t notice. i’m sure some skipped by me
the broccoli raab sprouted double heart shape leaves in the raised bed i made last week
the elm i planted two years ago in the main pasture is leafing out. it has survived its second winter here. one day it will shade horses on a hot day. its why i planted it. last year a swarm of honey bees rested on one of its lower branches before going off to wherever they decided to go. wherever you go that’s where you are. buddist bees.
mud is still in some places
next week the grass will need to be mowed

(note: while trying to write in this style, my computer fought me all the way by automatically capitalizing “i”, adding other capitals, punctuating, laying down squiggly green lines under phrases to tell me my grammar is wrong, and squiggly red lines to say im a bad speller… the computer doesn’t recognize creative expression and to make it do so everything has to be backspaced and retyped each time…sorta a scary thought, isn’t it.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010

The other day we came home to find that Louie had injured his blind eye. The eye was swollen, and tears drained from the bottom corner. When we peeled back his eyelid to see what was going on, his whole eye was a bright, wet, red. We could tell he was in pain, and upset from this pain that he could not understand or stop.

We called and the vet came out and examined him. He’s going to be ok. He must have hit his open eye with something, as he scraped up a very large portion of his cornea. Being blind in that eye, his eyelid does not, so did not, reflexively close to protect it. The vet gave us some medicine to help it heal.

Every day, three times a day, we give him eye drops – steroids and antibiotics. And he also takes his horse aspirin, nicknamed “bute”, twice a day.

Life gets no more interesting than trying to hold a 1,100 pound horse whose eye is 7 foot up in the air, while peeling back an eye lid and laying exactly one drop of this and one drop of that in his eye. The first treatment at 5:30 in the morning is a thriller! It’s definitely a two person job…

But Lou tries. He senses that we are helping, and at times he just leans his head into my arm and tilts his head sideways while Kath puts in the drops. Sometimes though, he wants little to do with this new ritual and lifts his head as high as he can to escape it. After some coaxing, he usually compromises and leans down just enough to get it over with.

After four days now, his eye is opened and the swelling is almost gone. He still has tears, but not as bad as it was. He should be back to his “normal” in a few more days.

The vet said that if he does it again, we will need to buy him a pirate patch to protect his eye! He was serious! Poor ‘ol Louie the Swashbuckler! “ Arrrrrrgg matey!” I really don’t know what to think of that! I don’t think Louie would make a very good pirate.