Wednesday, October 18, 2017

At Long Last

Yes, I'm still alive, as are Jester and Lilly! 
My last post was August 8th, and I have intended to post EVERY day since then. 
Best laid plans.  

I moved on September 12.  For once, I had movers do the actual move, but it was not the final move.  My grandson Chris and I were so exhausted, we fell asleep in the deck chairs while the three young men moved the things in. 

They tore the freshly painted front door up, but at that point, I was so tired I didn't care. 
It can be fixed later, and I think I am going to have a steel door put on, I am still deciding. 

Here is how my kitchen looked two days before.  

I ended up having to buy a new refrigerator and the stove still had to be moved 
in from the porch, where it sat all covered up all summer. 

Of course, I got busy planting a few things right away. 

My living room is cozy.  

In the big house, I had taken over a bedroom to use as my tv room. 
I loved the coziness of it, rather than being spread out in the living room. 
Remember that that house is 3000 square feet (nearly) and this one is 
1000.  I am NOT cramming it full like I did when Keith was alive and we lived here. 
Do you see the blinds on the window in this picture?  They look like grass cloth, they are from Bali.... I paid 1/4 of what I paid for the honeycomb blinds in the big house, and I love them.  I bought them through Home Depot.  I still had 3 windows to cover... so while these were installed, the installer measured for the other three, and they are coming on Friday afternoon this week. 

Now, a word about the floors.  I have an area rug in the living room, one in the spare bedroom, and one in my bedroom.  I am going to put a larger one in the kitchen area, but I am waiting for the right one.  

One thing I have learned since Keith died is patience.  I look out the windows from my kitchen table, and I think "my gosh, I have GOT to clear those fencelines".  In the old days, I would have been driving Keith nuts to start.  You know what?  In everything there really IS a season.  The fencelines will get done.  The young man who has cut grass for me all summer and I spoke yesterday, and he is going to commence chopping saplings to the ground in about two weeks.  He is going to go slowly and do some every month.  

The garden that was mowed down in August came back (along with the weeds).  Brandon is going to pull out three of the four long beds, we will leave ONLY the shrubs in them.  I am transplanting what flowers were in them.  Then I'll have only one 25 foot long bed to dig and re-do, plus the two 
shorter ten foot beds on the ends. 
I am going to take pictures of all this this afternoon, so it will seem clear to you.  

I am keeping the veg beds, though two must be emptied and completely rebuilt. 
I may re-erect the hoop house, I loved it... and I still have the basic structure, buried in weeds. 

My two beautiful boarders from the summer have gone home. 
I feel I need to explain something here.  I have always loved horses, and 
have had both large and minis in the past.  

I was able to go between these two during the summer, and turn them 
into the yard at night to graze... with no problems, but I was extremely careful, always aware that one kick would do it to me.  

The day their owner came to load them was a rodeo.  The mare, in the back ground here, went nuts when I lead her out to the yard.  She will not load.  She reared over and over, and I am talking about above my head, like the westerns.  She got loose twice, and the second time I had had wrapped the lead around my hand without thinking... I was lucky not to lose my little finger, which is still sore.  
Her owner tied her to my gate I just had fixed this summer... and she proceeded to break her halter and bend the gate.  (It has been fixed) 

The gelding, 17 hands... got into the trailer with us pulling a rope around his hindquarters, and when the mare broke loose, she launched herself at him and we slammed the gate of the trailer.  
It was not fun, and dangerous, to boot. 

I realized I am NOT going to have untrained horses of any size here again.  Paiton, my little granddaughter, wants a horse... we are going to do riding lessons and see how far we get... because in the future, I would buy her a horse IF the interest is there and we had a secure place to keep one.  (Her dad and I are studying that). 

It was suggested to me that I get 3 or 4 ewes, and put them in the goat barn.  
You see, the horses did a great job keeping the pasture down for me, and sheep would 
do even better.  I am looking at hair sheep, it is difficult here to get sheep sheered unless you 
have a number of them.  I am going to work on this during the winter, and plan for spring. (No,Keith, I am not rushing out and buying the sheep... infrastructure, first)  

The girls are loving it.  It makes me feel so good to see them out in the yard. 
They put themselves to bed at dark, and I go out at a commercial and 
count heads on the roost... then lock up for the night.  They are all 
moulting like crazy, and I am NOT getting 17 eggs a day... but I am getting enough to 
donate, and that's what it's about for me.  I am even thinking of building up numbers next
spring, but things have to be right to do that. 

I have filled in the gaps here, I'll show them to you tomorrow. 
How I wish Keith and I had made a conversation area on the deck he built. 
We loved to talk to each other, and usually did it on the porch. 
We could have enjoyed this deck, grandson Chris and I sure have. 

I don't decorate as much as I used to for Halloween... but I love the minimal stuff I have done. 

Before we moved, Lilly went for rides twice a day to 
shut the chickens up or let them out.  Last week, she rode back and forth across the yard with me as I moved boxes from the shed.
We had a little scare a few months ago, but she is so happy... she spends almost all day outside, into the evening.  She is allowed access to the pasture in the day, but not night... and she likes to go down and sniff around (another reason I'm glad the horses are gone).  
Jester I keep a little closer tabs on. 

This is my beautiful granddaughter, Madison, last 

And this is my son, Jim, with Maddie's little baby girl, 
Maci Lynn, born last Thursday, the newest member of our family! 

Maddie is turning into an awesome mom, and she and Maci live with my son and her mom, Amy. 

On Friday last week, I ran up to Iowa to see a good friend with some china I wanted to give her.

Here is Deb Long with Petey, her guard donkey. 

Petey is guarding 4 goats and some ducks. 

Here is Deb in their comfortable new house... in the country... and Maggie, Stella Rose, and Angus (Gussie). 

I had the most wonderful evening, we went to eat in Keosauqua and walk around the grounds where Octoberfest was to be held the next day.  However, the weather was threatening, and it did, indeed, storm badly during the night, so I left the next morning at 9.  It was such a good short trip, though, we talked til late and ate breakfast together in the morning.  I met Deb and Butch's neighbors, Kenneth and Janet, and we had a good visit with them, too.  I'll plan on staying a couple of nights the next time, but you know what?  My wandering days are over.  I love my home... I love my "place"... my pets.... I am happy here. 

I did not come home alone.  

As of yet, unnamed.  

I have another surprise coming this weekend, you will all laugh. 

Yesterday was one year since Keith has passed away. 

I went to the cemetery, as I often do, to talk to him. 
He did not want me to move back here, he felt it was way too much work. 

I am being smarter than I was in the old days. 

I explained to him I am hiring things done now... and not trying to do
everything myself, yesterday. 

I miss him, but my life has gone on, now, and I am so very happy. 
Sometimes I pinch myself to be sure it is really me, really living here again and doing what I want to do. 

They had newly sodded his section since I was there two weeks ago, and the stones are up on the three rows behind him now, so it took a minute to find him.  I had to laugh and tell him I had lost him.... but there he was... waiting. 

So, summer has faded to fall. 
For me, the happiest time of the year.  

I'll unpack those big cameras and take some pictures for you this afternoon! 

(and to the very kind reader who wrote me wondering what had happened... thanks so much for reading my humble blog, nine years old now.  I have made so many good friends through this blog, and I'm honored you read it.  I'll be more regular from now on!)


  1. I'll be damned it you didn't bring me to tears on this post! Usually when that happens from reading a blog it's because something terrible has happened but in this case it was because so many positive things came through in your writing and photos. You spent the last year grieving but also rebuilding your life into what brings you happiness, joy, pleasure and peace. There is a lesson there for all of us! May you enjoy many. many healthy and fruitful years at your Calamity Acres!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. Hari OM
    Mary Ann... I am SO glad I got to meet you in person; it makes this post so much more valuable and 'real' to me... I love that you have made the move finally and the place is looking fabulous already; I love that you got be with Deb and the furmily for that short stay; and I Love you... for reassuring Keith (necessary!), for grasping the opportunity, for having courage, determination and the strength to accept happiness into your life. Then sharing it with us! YAM xx

  3. I am glad you and your dogs are doing well! Welcome back to the country!

  4. so glad you are back mary ann. i am still so sad that teddy is gone. i am so happy that you moved back there. it just feels so right!

  5. So glad that you got moved.... it is NOT a fun or Easy task.

  6. Very happy to see you posting again, you were sorely missed. Looks like you're living the good life, the way you wanted! Welcome home.

  7. Good to hear from you. You're still on my prayer list, so I was hoping you were still "percolating," as my great aunt used to say.

  8. So good to hear from you, Mary Ann; your happiness is heartwarming! Yes, welcome HOME.

  9. What a nice surprise to see your post this morning. I'm happy for you if you are happy and that is what matters. Good you can help when you reed it and still enjoy your home in the country. I always love seeing your pictures and hearing about what's going on. Hard to believe a year has passed already.

  10. We will enjoy sharing more happiness with you :-).

  11. I don't know what happened to my first comment. Anyway I loved your pictures and your post. I am so happy that you are in your new home and getting settled in. I sure enjoyed your visit last Friday, wish you lived closer so we can do it more often. Hugs Deb

  12. It is so good to see you back...back on the farm you love, back on the blog, back where you belong.

  13. I am happy that things are starting to work out for you! Don't be a stranger, we all missed you.

  14. I loved that picture from your Halloween decorated deck; fancied I could hear your sigh of contentment as you settled down in that chair and enjoyed HOME.

  15. So happy to see a new post from you. How nice to see you have moved and are loving you "new" old house. Nannie

  16. I saw this beautiful post on facebook, and left a comment there... Your having fun Mary Ann,,, that is what is important!

  17. so glad you are back mary ann. i am still so sad that teddy is gone. i am so happy that you moved back there. it just feels so right!



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