Saturday, October 24, 2020

Quarantine Times

Oh, yes, friends, I'm in quarantine. 

On Tuesday, I took Jester to the vet for an eye check, and to have his nails trimmed. 

My vet's office requires everyone to mask, and they are very serious about it, I jokingly say I need to have a standing weekly appointment, because Fritzi and I have been there so much this year. 

Jester was lifted up by the associate vet who was seeing him.  His eyes were checked, and then I offered to hold him while the vet did his nails.  I held Jester closely in an embrace while the vet worked and we visited.  

Yesterday, I was in the dentist's office and my phone began to vibrate.  

  It was the practice owner... the vet who saw 

Jester had tested positive for COVID.   

Notice I said I was at the dentist's office?  I had removed my mask only for a minute, so that he could check something in my mouth on which he was doing a second check.  They have literally had to shut down three times for covid exposures. 

I had been to the feed store and to a friend's house during the week, I let everyone know. 

I am home until November 3rd, now, after talking to the Health Department. 

I am not to get tested UNLESS I show symptoms, and I have not shown any... the Health Department spokesperson told me that usually, symptoms are shown within five to seven days after exposure. That would be today through Monday, and so far, so good.  My son is taking care of grocery runs, and a friend will pick up feed I need at mid-week, so, except for not going to church, I will be good here at home. I like to be here, too, so everything will be fine barring any crisis with Fritzi. (I'm thinking positively there). 

So, let's look at some pictures. 

The weather has been bizarre here in the past ten days.  We literally went from 85 on Thursday to 40 yesterday, and right now, it is 39, with a feels like of 33.  All hoses are unhooked, I am carrying water in buckets, but, thank heavens, I do not have the sheep to worry about. It has been easy keeping the chickens supplied, I have four outside water fortexes, and the two fountains inside. 

We have had some beautiful sunrises.  I am 
not usually up and out the door now at sunrise, as I used to be while I was working, but I have had to get up early with Fritzi several times.  The thing that is remarkable about this 
picture is that enough leaves have fallen that once again, I can see the pond at the foot of the pasture hill.  I have missed seeing it.  If I had taken this during the day, you could see that the Spehar's cabinet shop and barn are visible now, too. 

If my Google photos had synced with my phone, I could show you some even better sunrises, but somehow, I have turned it off again, I think. 

Guess what?  Here is Spot Yoder, the Feral Cat, sleeping in the 
Cathouse, which is now right by my front door.  Spot has actually come 
into the kitchen several times, but he struck out at Fritzi, who cannot see, 
when she smelled him and got too close.  I can't take a chance on her 
being caught in his claws, so.... He has his own little house. 
He is using it, too, I have actually taken several pictures of him now in it. I had to use hay because 
I had no straw but... this week, I will get a bale of straw delivered with my feed, and re-bed his house. Straw is better and warmer for him.  I hope to one day get him truly IN the house with us, but we are taking it slowly.  For now, he is comfortable. 

This doghouse, now the Cathouse, is up on blocks, and so far, none of the wild creatures have tried to nest in it. 

This baby was hiding in the cement block the other night.  More about it in a minute. 

Oh, no no no.... don't even think about it!

You can see here that Fritzi  struggles often, and was out in the wind the other day, trying to get back to the door.  I don't let her out alone, but she still can see a bit of light, I think.  Her nose is still working, and she knows something is living in the doghouse by the door.  
My son and I actually said our goodbyes last week, but my wonderful vet has managed to keep her going for a bit longer.  The Cushings is taking its' toll on her. 

She turns left going out the door, goes down those three steps... does her business, and for some reason, about 90% of the time, goes around the well house and to the patio, and back up the south steps from the patio, crossing the deck as she is here.   I don't argue with her, I think it's good she is still able to do it. 

One thing she is smelling is this little one. 
It has been coming out in the day time for several days. 

 It's darling, with its'
tiny little pink feet. 

"Admit it, you know you think I'm cute!"

It is not wrong for possums to eat during the day, and they are generally very 
calm creatures.  They WILL kill chickens, I admit that, so I don't necessarily want to encourage this baby to be around when the birds are loose. 
That said, it got cold pretty fast here, and the spilled seed is helping it. 
I did not see very many possums during the summer, now I am seeing them when 
I take the dogs out during the evening. 

I'm seeing lots of these guys, too.  I'm going out here in a bit to rake up the walnuts into a pile, so A. I won't break my neck turning an ankle on them and B., the squirrels can find them in a convenient pile. 

For about a month there, all of September, I had very little traffic at the flat feeder.  I took that to mean that the wild birds were eating in the fields and finding plenty of natural food.  I have noticed an upturn in feeding the past week. 

I have been seeing bluebirds on my railing outside the kitchen windows, so got some meal worms to mix with the finch mix that I feed there.  I am also putting out one of the low water basins I used last winter, they are heated and I keep it going all during the bad weather.  My problem is that the bigger critters tend to empty it at night, but I do not think it will catch fire. 
I have noticed in the past that bluebirds will literally sit around it, drinking and bathing.  

The goldfinches are still gone, but the house finches are still here and going strong.  The goldfinches will be back any day now.  I also am seeing... besides sparrows and chickadees... dark eyed juncoes, and tufted titmice, and several woodpeckers. 

And these friends;  there were six out there eating, yesterday. 

Here is a kind of grainy picture Jeff, my son, took of us last week when we 
thought Fritzi might not be coming home from the vet. 

As you can see, it's hard to get everyone to sit still for a second... if you saw the outtakes, you would laugh. 
I would love to have a professional picture! 

I'm thinking positively, friends, and all of you think positively for me too, please! 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Falling Into Fall

 My goodness, I did not realize I had not posted in three weeks!

Life keeps whizzing by. 

In that time, several things have happened. 

My friends have gone home for the winter, and 
it is likely different ones will come next spring. 

The goat, seen in the background, will be back. 

I miss them, I look out the window ten times a day to check on them... but... I will also not have to carry water buckets this winter, and drag hay in the cart clear across the yard. 


My sweet little Fritzi is blind now, though I think she can 
still tell light from dark.  The vet and I are having trouble 
getting her blood sugar balanced... she has Cushings and diabetes... 
and she had a crisis a week ago.  I don't know what the future holds, but we 
are trying to enjoy things day by day. 

These guys are piling up my walnuts, though he is eating bird seed here. 
I hope that doesn't mean we have a hard winter coming. 

I have been experiencing a strange phenomenon. 
I spend more money on the birdseed blend I buy than any other feed I have ever bought. 
It is mixed at a local mill, Valley Feeds, in Bonner Springs, and 
is called Backyard Blend. 

These Mourning Doves are modeling it for us. 

About halfway through the summer, the red-winged blackbirds, 
voracious feeders, migrated home.  

Starlings disappeared in their entirety. 

I literally have had the doves, the woodpeckers, the blue jays, the cardinals, 
and all the little birds, only. 

About a month ago, the goldfinches disappeared.  I still have lots of house finches. 

(the goldfinches will be back). 

The hummers were here until a week ago Sunday. 

I did see ONE black bird a week ago, but no others. 

Oh, except for these: 

I love them, you know that. 

I am spending about a fourth of what I normally spend on bird seed, and I'm glad for that. 
I am also spending less on finch mix. 

Three weeks ago, a good friend asked if I wanted to bring Paiton and Jax, my youngest grands, to Angel Falls Creek to spend some time with his great grandson.  (The kids are friends). 

We spent a couple of hours and finished up by eating at Freddy's.  

Jax, who just turned 13 on Saturday, and Paiton, who will be twelve tomorrow. 

Here are the boys (and another little girl) playing in the pool below the falls that day. 

Brayden took his bike into the pool. 

(with grandpa's blessing) 

This is from the bridge, today.  The falls are stopped, dried up completely.  There is no water coming downstream at all.  If you look closely, there is a blue heron standing in what is left of the pool, and I did not see him when I stopped at the bridge to take the picture.  
I walked down to the creek and scared him, but could not get the camera up in time. 
I used to walk Lilly and Jester there five years ago, and I have never seen it this dry. 
There was a tiny pool of water upstream in this picture, out of sight.... the pool at the foot of the falls where the boys played is almost dry.  Brayden saw a fish that day, it won't live if it dries up any more, I'm afraid. 

We need rain in NE Kansas, friends. 

This is Spot Yoder, who is happy here now. 

I suspect he was someone's pet at some time, because he lets me 
love all over him. 

He suffered some wounds recently, on his ear and his side.  He has let 
me put triple antibiotic on the ear for the last five days, and it is looking MUCH better. 
He is waiting at the front door for breakfast now every morning. 

As soon as I can safely get him into a carrier, he is going to get vetted

When Ben was here last week, he and I moved my last dog house from the 
henyard to the patio, and I can tell Spot is spending at least part of the night in it, there 
is a depression at the back right. 

It faces south.  During the day, his dry food sits there. 

Rusty is still around, and even though he was raised here, he will never be anything but feral.  He will come about three feet from me, but if I approach any closer, he snarls.  He does not come for canned food every day, the way Spot does.  He has dry food in the pasture feeder, and canned food when I see him, (and he waits for it). 

Rusty is neutered and had some shots as a kitten.  His three siblings all disappeared. 

The deck cam caught the two little girls laying out enjoying the sun. 

Can you see the squirrel suspended in air on the right?  How do they DO this? 

There is a narrow greenbelt along my north fence line, the trees are in my 
neighbor's, the Spehars, pasture. 

I have a camera hanging there once in a while, pointed into the pasture. 


Yesterday, I cut grass, the whole yard, for what I hope is the last time. 

The dust was so bad, especially out along the road, that I was 
covered when I came in, and had it in my throat and ears, UGH. 

I do need to cut just a strip at the top of the pasture before I put the 
tractor away. 

I WILL keep the area around the house trimmed for Fritzi's sake, 

Fritzi can't see but she can still hear.... she woke me up 
barking her head off one night.... I ran out the front door to find THIS going on. 
I had forgotten to latch a gate in the pasture.  It was the only time it happened all summer. 
As soon as I got my shoes on and yelled to them, they trotted right back into the pasture through the open gate. 

We have had some spectacular sunrises, and yes, that is the influence of smoke in the atmosphere. 

It is a pleasure just to go outside, lately. 

I have not been able to see the Spehar's shop all summer, because there are so many trees now.  I am going to get a quote to find out about taking out those pine trees (with their permission) because they have grown into my east fenceline so badly.... and.... broken up my view of the beautiful ponds. 

I visit Keith pretty often, still, and he could not rest in a more beautiful setting. 

This life size statue of St. Francis of Assissi is near the trail where 
I took pictures this morning, I stopped to pray for family and friends, and all the animals here. 

We are so lucky to live in a world where there are Octobers.

Do you follow this guy on Facebook? 

He has something pithy to say every day. 

This sign is particularly true. 

Stay safe out there, friends.