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I’m sure many of you have experienced the same mind-boggling weather we’ve been “enjoying” this winter. I’m told it’s been warmer than average in Florida, yet here it’s been unbearably, dangerously cold. We have set new records for cold, number of days below zero, and we’ve had piles and piles and PILES of snow. It’s April and STILL snowing.

Anyone else ready for a vacation?

Thankfully we’ve started to slowly get a few days in the 40’s and the snow has started to retreat a little. I’m not ready to trust that this is Spring yet though. I’m a little suspicious of the weather these days. I wonder what sort of impact this will have on our growing season this year?

Last year I planted “Glass Gem Corn.” I planted a mere 8 plants hoping to test it out and see how it grew. I have to say, I am quite impressed with it’s hardiness. It survived 2 hail storms (which laid it flat, but it stood back up), a nest of rabbits that lived under it which ended up being dug up by a coyote, and then it survived a tornado. (Which caused almost $10k in damage to our home) The tornado twisted the stalks and laid them flat for the 3rd time. I thought for sure it was a loss. Surprisingly enough though, it once again stood back up…though it looked a little tipsy.

Anyway, we did get some ears of corn. I’ll share a few photos with you so you can see how pretty it really is.

GGC

The above was my favorite ear of corn. I don’t know why. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but it was such a rich, strong purple with the lighter pinks and even a few random green kernels thrown in.

GGC2

This one was also a favorite due to it’s wild “party” mix of colors. I especially liked the intense orange kernels. They looked good mixed with the deep, intense blues I got.

So, I was quite impressed with the plants strength and ability to bounce back. I think I’ll plant a slightly larger crop this year and see what turns up!

 

 

As we spend the last few days of ’13 clearing out the latest batch of snow, I can say that upon reflection on the events of this year…Good Riddance!

2013 was easily one of the toughest years we’ve ever faced. It was the year of Murphy’s Law. Much of what could happen, DID happen. From family losses, to car accidents, and even lightening/tornado damages to the house and outbuildings, we were thoroughly pummeled.

So far as I can see, the only thing left to do is to pick ourselves up and move on. Oh, and did I mention pray that 2014 is a kinder, gentler year? Hopefully 2013 wasn’t as rough for you all!

Now, in all fairness there were good moments in ’13. My husband came home safe and sound from Afghanistan, we replaced our old truck finally, we got in some good fishing and hunting, had a good family vacation, put up a cabin on our land, and adopted a new family member of the canine variety. (I’ll put up photos soon)

 

So, I hope you all had a terrific Christmas and that 2014 will be a fabulous year for all of us!

 

Up here in this neck of the woods, winter is nigh. Snow has flown a couple of times already, but thankfully none has yet decided to stick around. Today we had wind like you wouldn’t believe.

This year, in addition to the troubles I mentioned in my last blog post, we had some terrible storms. In one storm we sustained about 10k in damage to the house and outbuildings, in addition to a lightening strike that fried a tree near the house and some of our electronics. It literally blew the tree’s roots right up out of the ground and created snaking paths all over our yard where the roots had been underground previously.

It has been a volatile year here on the homestead.

0807132013

Now, we’ve just returned from my Grandmother’s funeral. She lived a good life, a long life, but it was still yet another hard blow. This year has been full of hard knocks, and I’m pushing on towards better days, which surely are just ahead of us.

 

This has not been the best of years.

As you may recall my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. In addition to all the “normal” concerns this would bring up, in my case it creates some extra concerns. Because of my disability I do rely on my husband to help me with a lot of things. Without him here, it was a constant struggle to get help in to do the things I cannot do myself. I am happy to report that he has come home well and whole. It’s terrific to have him here, I missed him so much!

After his return, his father ended up needing serious surgery to amputate one of his legs due to diabetes. This was a very long, involved process as his father was already in very poor cardiac health and they weren’t sure he could survive the surgery in the first place. He made it through the surgery, and spent several months convalescing in a nursing facility.  Finally in June he was allowed to come home with his new artificial limb! Everyone was so happy to have him home, and he was doing super well with the new limb. In fact, almost two weeks after he got home he was walking on the limb without the assistance of his cane or walker. We were all thrilled, and he and my Mother in law immediately started planning camping trips and excursions etc. They went on a trip with some family to a casino in Minnesota, and returned home a few days later. Then, he died. Suddenly, shockingly. He woke up, went to the bathroom for his morning routines, came back to bed and threw the ball for his dog a few times. Out of no where he grabbed for his wife, said her name twice, and was gone. Like that, my husband lost his Dad and my Mother in law lost her husband of forty years, a mere two weeks after he returned home from his surgery.

The next bit is just a blur. There was frantic racing to get a funeral planned, finances figured out, and grief to handle. After the dust settled, and my husband and I returned home we thought that we’d get back to the “new normal” now. The next day I was in a car accident. (Not my fault at least, thankfully.) Now I am in physical therapy trying to get back to my baseline from the injuries I sustained. Our vehicle was severely damaged as well.

In addition I have encountered some new health issues, and will be scheduled for surgery soon.

Most recently, in a crushing blow, we lost the OCP. At the young age of 9, we were forced to do right by the best dog there ever was, and put him to sleep. He was diagnosed with hermangiosarcoma, a largely untreatable type of cancer. I am still reeling from the loss of my very best bud. Nothing at this farm will ever be the same again.

This is not the whole of the difficulties we’ve encountered, but it’s a summary of some of the worst this year. 2013 has not been kind to us.

Pupdate!

Hey all, just an update on the OCP. He came through his surgery fine, though he was extremely freaked out when I was finally able to pick him up from the vet. I was able to get him home and settled, and he was out like a light for the entire first night. Now, a couple of days post-surgery he’s hopping around like nothing ever happened. Unfortunately something DID happen, and I can’t seem to convince him that he needs to settle his little heiny down! I’m not sure how many stitches he actually has, but the wound itself is pretty large, maybe 3.5 inches-ish?

Not a very good pic, but it’s the best I could get. So for the first two days, the OCP was on a kibble strike and would eat nothing but people food. Which was ok, I was happy to oblige, since I am a sucker for a poor sick doggie and I thought his teeth might be a little sore from his dental work they did while he was under. (Just a good cleaning) So for two days, in order to get his meds into him, I fed him plates of people food. On the third day he decided that he could eat kibble again and probably was not, in fact, going to die. Whew!

Here he is (above) moping a bit post-surgery. You can see he still has his green and gold (Go Packers!) IV wrap on his front leg, and he’s wearing a teeshirt to keep him from bothering his surgical wound. He’s also very, very sleepy. LOL

So, he’s doing well and I just have to keep him quiet and less active than normal for the next ten days or so. Wish me luck on that!

Whew, a day to relax just a bit. Kind of, at least.

Tomorrow is a big day for us, it’s surgery day for the OCP. About two years ago we found a lump on his chest/stomach. The vet checked it out and proclaimed it safe, merely a fat lump. At that point they felt that surgery was not worthwhile because of the risks of anesthesia. But, as is common with these fatty tumors, it kept growing. At this point it’s large enough that it needs to be removed. Because of its location it gets in the way of the OCP laying in certain positions as well. So tomorrow morning he goes in for a lumpectomy. I’m a worrier when it comes to my dogs, so of course I’m a little tense today. I’m sure that he’ll be just fine, but I am sure to earn a few grey hairs. You can see the tumor in the photo below, and the lovely sleeping position the OCP favors. Comfy, right?

The weather has definitely turned cooler. It’s been in the 60s during the day usually, and in the 30s at night. I don’t think we’re going to get the prettiest fall colors this year. Due to our weird weather and the harsh drought we experienced this year the trees are kind of looking like they are just going to go from green to brown, skipping all the lovely colors in between. It was a tough year for growing anything around here (and in many places in the US) this year. I really only had modest success myself. I did well with cucumbers, but not much else.

On another note, the OCPs little sister learned herself a lesson the other day. Because we live in the country, we get mice, especially this time of year. Because I have pets I refuse to use poison or snap traps. (The OCP proved that having snap traps around isn’t a good idea.) So, I use glue traps. They work well to catch the rodents and they aren’t harmful to the dogs…though they might beg to differ with that statement. So, standing in the garage, looking in the toolbox for a hammer, I was paying no attention at all to my pup. Suddenly I felt a jerk on the leash and heard frantic scrambling noises. I turned to see what could possibly be happening, and couldn’t help but laugh. She was spinning in frantic circles on three legs, with not one, but TWO glue traps attached to one of her back feet. While she spun and skidded around the garage desperately trying to escape this thing “attacking” her foot, I laughed my behind off. After a moment she realized I was not alarmed, and in fact, I was pretty happy. Since I wasn’t alarmed, she decided she probably wasn’t in any great danger. She put her head down and crept up to me, and kind of sheepishly looked at me as if to say “Um, mom…I may have done something I wasn’t supposed to do. Can you help?” She sort of held the foot out towards me, and I pulled the glue traps off. She was SO relieved to have the traps gone. Haha, now she knows exactly what glue traps are, and gives them a wide, respectful berth.

Hey folks, I’ve been super busy here lately but I wanted to post a quick note to let you know that we’ve officially closed on our new land purchase, YAY! Buying something is always so much work! Those of you who’ve purchased homes or land in the past know what I mean, between inspections, perk tests, surveys and title work it’s exhausting. But we’ve closed and that part is done at least.
I also just wanted to remind you all that today is the last day to use the “lite” code to get $10 of an EcoZoom Versa or Dura lite.

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