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February 28, 2010

Semi-aimless wandering....

The peach tree is budding out!
Max trying to herd Jules away from the hay.
Dog training lessons.
On the way to freezer camp.

Semi-aimless wandering...
In life lately, in thoughts and probably in this blog post.
The last two weeks I just have not felt much like blogging, actually all things online have not held much appeal. I am not sure but I suspect I have a case of the winter doldrums. In the last two weeks it has been predominantly rainy and cold here, some sleet, some snow and lots of mud. We are redeemed the last two days with scads of bright blue skies and sunshine! It makes me feel so much better to be able to spend time outside in the sunshine.
Part of the reason for not being outside is my lack of time, real or perceived, due to work. It seems to be especially frenetic, frenzied, frantic--all at once! Part of this appeals, I admit, as a challenge. I realize now that it is actually taking its own kind of toll, and I have been letting it. Dave will be glad to hear this, but I have to start putting work down earlier in the day, not checking the email after hours (several times a night), and not allowing all the frenzy to bring me down emotionally or physically.
On a physical note, great thing have been happening here. Dave is on a healthy challenge team at work, the grand prize for the one who loses the highest percentage of weight is a trip to Las Vegas. Dave is convinced he will win it for us. Subsequently we have been exercising daily (Oh My Gosh!), and watching every nibblet we put in our mouths. We are not "exercise people", so this has come as a surprise to me--how good it actually feels and how much I want to keep challenging myself to do more, do it better, do it faster. I was at a plateau on my weight loss, not any more. This is so much more fun with my partner. I am looking forward to improved strength and overall conditioning. As to the food, I am trying to eat as much whole food as possible, and cook very healthfully--watching the portions is getting easier as we get to know what 4 oz means, etc. The big revelation is that we (or anyone) can each anything they want to, as long as the portions are within reason.
Vera has been giving a steady 3/4 gallon a day. This is so frustrating! I can feel her upper udder is tight and firm--she is the queen of holding up. When the calf bawls for her or she finishes her breakfast she starts dancing about; this morning she got her hoof latched onto the hanger bar for the milker, resulting in the milker coming off, teats cups losing suction and me doing a lot of screaming. It was not a fun morning. The calf is almost 3 months old. If this keeps up I am considering vealing him at 4-5 months and just having to milk once a day. I am not sure how else to get her to let down for me other than take him away. I welcome any suggestions!
The pigs went to the butcher on Saturday, what a relief. They were at the destructive and annoying stage. The meat will be back in a few weeks. I think we will have enough pork to last until we go to Maine. Speaking of that, I found the absolute perfect house for us. It is The One with one small exception, it is for sale now and we need it to be for sale two years from now!
So many things still up in the air that I have to stop worrying and obcessing about--such as taking the livestock or not, renting a place first to be sure of the location, do we re-home all the barn cats first or try to get them to adapt, do we take all the freezers full of meat or not? Etc, etc...the list goes on and on in the back of my mind. I figure so many of these things will work themselves out, for now it is the unknowing that makes me buggy! Which is another thing I need to put down and really be able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle without worrying about things I can't change right now anyway!
The bee hives are all empty, I did not post any explanations under the pics last week, but those are dead bodies outside the hive entrance. One hive died, the other two disappeared. I am not sure if we are victims of hive collapse or hive relocation. Our friend Melissa is going to set out a trap with bee pheromone to catch a swarm for us. (thank you Melissa!)
The garden is coming along--in my planning! Actually I started some tomato seeds, and they are bright green spindly babes. Dave picked up some at the nursery for me and they look like trees compared to mine! We will transplant the big ones sometime this week when the freeze predictions pass. I planted more onions and I have been harvesting little bites of broccoli every time I pass the plant in the garden, delicious. This years garden is going to consist of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, herbs, onions, garlic, lettuce and not much else. I want to have really abundant crops of the things we enjoy most and not try to grow everything under the sun. I have found a couple of farm stands, and there are several PYO farms in our area, so that will round out our produce needs.
Enjoy this week's pics, and I apologize for taking an electronic media break--I hope to see you all online soon as I get back into the swing of things!

February 6, 2010

Cooper's first week

Well, the first puppy week went pretty well.
Cooper is a little bit shy when he first meets a new person or goes to a new place. He did not say a word on the 3 hour trip home, just laid or sat in the seat next to me looking really cute.
The first night home he cried incessantly from his kennel (in our bathroom), we did not sleep.
The second night he cried intermittently until I gave up at 2 am and took him out. After we came back in he fell asleep under my chair, and I snuck off to bed praying he did not do any damage I couldn't fix in the morning. Sleep came quickly.
The third day Dave was home with Cooper and they napped several times to catch up on their sleep. They napped in the bed! (So much for that rule!) That night Cooper started out sleeping between us, he eventually jumped down to be with Max, they slept quietly all night, we did too.
He has had a few accidents in the house, nothing too major or too messy.
Max absolutely loves him, except when Cooper plays too rough and comes at him with little sharp teeth showing! Max plays tug of war with him, bathes him, rolls him, snuggles him--he is a great big brother!
So far Cooper has learned to retrieve a tennis ball and sits on command about 30% of the time; smart boy!
He was very shy at the vet's office this morning, preferring to snuggle close to us rather than greet Dr. Umlang with a sloppy puppy kiss and wiggle. He is healthy (16 lbs), was started on heartworm prevention and got a clean bill of health. We go back in 3 weeks for his next set of shots and in a few months he will be neutered.