It is a Chickie kind of day!

I am writing this much after the fact. A week after the fact to be precise. I was so excited last Friday because it was the scheduled day for baby chicks!!! M&E had approached me about a month before saying they were getting 35 baby chicks and if I wanted babies it would be best for us all to get them at the same time. That is, if we were going to house them all together for their start. Then their plans changed as they had a funeral to attend to and so they had to put off getting theirs for a few days.¬† I didn’t want to wait! So, I decided I could manage my few on my own.

I found a plastic tote, lined it with foam contact paper (so they wouldn’t slip) and stuck in the lids from jars for water and food. I safely secured a red heat lamp above it. I was ready to head to town to pick up my charges.

My chicks first home!

My chicks first home!

But first, I have a couple more chores to do at home. I converted a 5 gallon bucket into a nipple waterer for the coop. I had been wanting to do this. The old waterer broke when we had all the freezing weather. Then the setup I was using was so messy and nasty I couldn’t stand it. This is going to be so much nicer for keeping the coop dry and the waterer clean.

Drilled 3 holes, added 3 nipples and ready to hang!

Drilled 3 holes, added 3 nipples and ready to hang!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also gave Grammy’s boots a new pair of shoelaces. These boots are over 40 years old…and they still are comfortable and keep my feet dry and sturdy when hiking around the property. I’ll save the old shoelaces and add them to my tote in the truck for emergencies! I also took my walk before heading to town and went almost 2 miles~!

Grammy's boots with new laces...good as new even after 40 years!

Grammy’s boots with new laces…good as new even after 40 years!

Of course if I go to town it means I have to do my grocery shopping and visit a few folks. With gas prices what they are I try to make my miles work for me. It is 25 miles just to get to town. First stop is to get some juices and easy foods for my friend who has been sick with the bug going around. He has not felt well for a couple days now and so I will get juice, sierra mist, crackers and some chicken soup for him.

After a little visit with my friend I went to Cartwright’s meat market. Every friday they have these great little bacon wrapped sirloin steaks for $3.79 each. Limit of 6. I had them wrap me up 3 separate packages with 2 steaks each in them. Not much else is really grabbing my eye so then I’m off to the Farmer’s Market. I needed some oranges and onions and a couple lemons. I’m almost out of my lemon/ginger/honey elixir that I keep in the fridge. Fresh greens, some mushrooms and a loaf of seeded whole wheat sourdough from Ashland Bakery. Now off to the grange.

I was grinning ear to ear upon arriving in the parking lot. I was so excited to be getting my first chicks. I checked in with the counter and told them I was going to gather a few supplies before I picked out my girls. I got some chick food, electrolytes and probiotics to add to the water, a small feeder and waterer and an extra light set-up, just in case. And of course, a thermometer. Now the fun part, choosing my girls. I was set up to get 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 2 Speckled Sussex. Of course, I had got the week wrong and the Sussex aren’t going to be here until next week (which is today). I got the 2 SLW and decided I needed one more to help them stay warm (right….one more is going to make a difference…it’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it). I picked out a pretty little Welsummer. They have pretty big brown eggs and I only have one Welsummer, so now I’ll have a pair! I like pairs. ūüôā¬† I paid for all my supplies and chicks with egg money.

Egg money pays for the chicks and supplies.  My girls are paying their way and then some!!!

Egg money pays for the chicks and supplies. My girls are paying their way and then some!!!

Off we go to home.

I got everything unloaded and the chicks settled into their little plastic home. Such cute little fluffy butts! They make the cutest little chirpy noises and they peck and stretch their legs and wings and lie down and look dead! Yes…they will lie on their sides all stretched out and if I wouldn’t have seen her breathing, I would have thought she was dead. But not dead…just sleeping. Which is what I needed to do! It has been a busy day and I have enjoyed all of it!!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Saturday morning was a bright sunny day. My girls had survived the night. The temperature has stayed right around 93 degrees. They are eating and drinking and chirping and doing chicken stuff! They are so adorable. As are my full grown girls. I decided to go out for a walk and visit with the other animals on this gorgeous sunny Saturday. Spring is coming! The cows are a bit amourous…pretty frisky actually. In fact…this could be x-rated. Part of farm living. The smells, sounds and sights. If ya can’t handle it, you best not move to the country. Animals copulate. Yup! Sex. Right out in the open. They don’t care who is around and what is going on. Just leave them alone and they will do their thing. Even tho these cows are only little Dexter’s and weight much less than a full size cow…I am not going to get in the way of their efforts to poplulate the pasture! No one else is either. The sheep don’t pay any attention nor do the chickens. Over the course of an hour Mr. Cow was very loving to Mrs. Cow! Cow courtship is cute.

Cow courtship...awwwww...he is in LUST!!!

Cow courtship…awwwww…he is in LUST!!!

I have soups to make. I had bought mushrooms with the intention of making the mushroom soup I had before, but I also wanted to make a chicken soup. I used this recipe http://theshiksa.com/2010/11/03/mushroom-barley-soup/ for my base. This soup is really yummy. I didn’t have shitake mushrooms, so I used baby portebellas. To conserve my energy and fuel for cooking I started both soups with the same base. This is how it went down.

Sliced, diced, chopped and ready to be seared in the pan!!!

Sliced, diced, chopped and ready to be seared in the pan!!!

The mushroom soup got started in my dutch oven on the stove. I put 1 quart of chicken broth, 1 quart of water and 2 teaspoons chicken broth granules in the pot with 2 bay leaves and 1 cup of barley and let boil on low with the lid off.

In my slow cooker I placed 1 cup of wild rice, 1 quart of chicken stock and 1 quart of water and 2 teaspoons chicken stock granules and turned on low and simmered for 2 hours.

I cut the portebella’s into slices and placed them in 3 cups of water and boiled for minute and then let them soak as described in the recipe.

The base for both soups:

1 cup celery diced
4 cups carrot diced
6 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 cups onion chopped

I cooked all the veggies how “The Shiksa” describes in the mushroom soup recipe in my cast iron skillet. I drained the portebella’s and chopped them fine and added them just like described for the shitakes. Then all the mushroom water got added. I poured 2/3 of the veggie mixture and almost all of the liquid into the dutch oven. The other 1/3 of the mixture went into the slow cooker.

This smells great.  Carmelized veggies for soup pots!!!  Yummy.

This smells great. Carmelized veggies for soup pots!!! Yummy.

I then cooked the crimini mushrooms as described and added them to the mushroom soup mixture with a little salt and pepper to taste. I had to add a total of 2 1/2 cups of water to this as it cooked over a period of 2 hours.

2/3 and all the juice into the mushroom pot, the rest into the Chicken soup pot.

2/3 and all the juice into the mushroom pot, the rest into the Chicken soup pot.

Into the crock pot went 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1 tablespoon tomatoe paste, 1 can diced tomatoes and a package of spinach. A large pinch (teaspoon) of basil and 1/2 teas salt and pepper. I let this cook on low overnight.

The chicken soup is ready to cook!  Slow cooker yumminess!

The chicken soup is ready to cook! Slow cooker yumminess!

Both soups turned out wonderful. While they were cooking I make some more of my honey/lemon/ginger elixir for the cold season. I decided to try some of the suggestions I”ve seen, and one jar got a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon added to it. The other jar received 3 cloves of garlic sliced into the mix. I will try both. I somehow managed to also get a pan of brownies baked while all this was going on. By the time I was all done with the dishes and the stove and oven were all turned off I could tell I was getting sick! A big spoonful of honey elixir, some airbornne, and a big jug of water and off to bed I went.

Honey/lemon/ginger elixir.  One with cinnamon, one with garlic.  I am ready for whatever comes!

Honey/lemon/ginger elixir. One with cinnamon, one with garlic. I am ready for whatever comes!

I was grateful I had got all these things cooked up. As it turns out, I spent the next 4 days in bed and the soup and elixir were perfect! My appetite was not at all affected by my virus. I was so grateful to have healthy foods ready to eat, because I did not have the energy to prepare them. It was a heat and eat week, all the while watching and listening to and enjoying my new baby chicks.

The first of my chicks.  I have a feeling there will be many more chicks in my future!

The first of my chicks. I have a feeling there will be many more chicks in my future!

The speckled Sussex are in! Time for a trip to town. This time I don’t want to come home and get sick! Just a nice trip to town to get my chicks and stock up on a few items that got used up over the week. Hoping you enjoyed the soups!

Fabulous First Friday of February!!!

Miss Donna thinks it is so lovely in the sun!!!

Miss Donna thinks it is so lovely in the sun!!!

For a gal who spent most of her life in the Willamette Valley where the winters start the first of October and the gray dampness falling from the sky often continuing into late June, spending the bulk of the day outdoors in Februaray without getting drenched didn’t happen very often. In fact, I don’t think it happened very often at all.¬† Which is why I am thrilled to be enjoying my second winter in the beautiful Southern Oregon valleys of the Applegate River area. ¬†February 1, 2013 was a STELLAR SUNNY¬†DAY for me in the country. A perfect ending to a busy week.

I had been invited by E to go mining with a couple of the guys down the road. We were to leave at 9:30am. I was awakened by Lulu barking her head off. I got up and padded my barefooted way across the cold wood floors to peek out the window. I had slept most of the night (a real blessing for me) and the fire was completely burnt out except for a few coals. Lulu was up at the back hill using her most persistant “woof…woof…woof” that goes on and on and on. She really is a great alarm. But there was nothing there. Nothing I could see anyhow.

I drug on my sweatpants and sweatshirt and socks and shoes and coat and headed down the stairs. Time to let the girl out. It was a bit chilly. In the mid 30’s. And it was foggy. A little damp. Did I want to go out and tromp around all morning staring down at the ground?

Of course I did! If I didn’t go I might not be invited again. This was a wonderful opportunity to see some beautiful parts of these valleys that are typically “no trespassing” places. I also have an opportunity to become acquainted with more of my community members. I am learning that country life and farming and self-sufficiency is not about being alone…it is about community. And I like it.

The creek that feeds into the ponds at the quarry.

The creek that feeds into the ponds at the quarry.

The quarry where we went was just over the hill, so to speak. Not a far drive at all. We all took our own vehicles. One guy had to do some noon chores, another had to go back home for something before everyone else had planned on leaving, and I wanted to be able to go home if I got too cold or tired.

Beautiful dog.  Very playful and very well cared for as evidenced by behaviour.  :)

Beautiful dog. Very playful and very well cared for as evidenced by behaviour. ūüôā

This beautiful dog showed up out of no where shortly after we arrived. She was very friendly and obviously well cared for. She followed us around and hung out the entire time I was there. In fact, when I decided to hike around the various little ponds and water features she was right alongside me like that was where she belonged. Unfortunately her presence snuffed out all the water fowl and so I was unable to get any photos of the ducks and quails that were quite prevalent.

Flusing out all the water fowl before I can get a photo.  At least I felt safe going off on my own.  It is bear and cat country out here.

Flusing out all the water fowl before I can get a photo. At least I felt safe going off on my own. It is bear and cat country out here.

I headed home around noon. I had hiked up and down the quarry numerous times taking photos of this and that and wanting to see what the guys were finding. There was only one little chunk of hard gray material they were questioning that it might be something when I departed.

This is the main pond.  I love the lighting and the shadows playing across the water.

This is the main pond. I love the lighting and the shadows playing across the water.

I took a little break when I got home. Well, sort of. I gathered eggs from both the big chicken barn (M has been under the weather this week) and my girls coop. I walked down to see the new sheep and cows that were brought here  yesterday to live and graze in the pasture. The sheep is very friendly and not bashful at all in visiting. Both sheep are breeders and will be taken to the ewes later in the spring.

This is the newest ram.  The little white guy with the black eye!  He has two black eyes!

This is the newest ram. The little white guy with the black eye! He has two black eyes!

The new cows are a pair of Dexters. Very good looking they are I think. Effective feeders is what I was told. When they first arrived yesterday it was lots of fun watching them become acquainted with the Heifer we have here. He tried to chase the Dexters around, and he was so lumbersome in his movements comparted to the more svelte and agile Dexters. Yes, I think I like those Dexters.

The Dexter's are here...the Dexters are here!!!  I like them lots!

The Dexter’s are here…the Dexters are here!!! I like them lots!

On my way back up the hill, I found my girls having themselves a great time on Solar Hill. They were dust bathing and sunbathing and lolling and scratching and completely enjoying their chicken life here on the farm. I sat in the dirt near them and just watched for about 15 minutes. They were quite entertaining, as always. By this time the sun was beating hot…well…in the low 50’s anyhow. I needed to go for a ride. A motorcycle ride!!!

Ziggy has herself buried down in.

The girls love this spot under the little Madrone.  Ziggy has herself buried down in and is having a little clucking session with Ruffles

Sunbathing in the dirt and enjoying life on the farm.

Sunbathing in the dirt and enjoying life on the farm.

I have been aching to go for a ride all week. There were some sunny warm days earlier in the week but I had commitments to attend to that required me to use my truck. Going to the feed store was one. I know one of these days it is going to get really warm and I want to be prepared if my deep litter method in my chicken coop gets smelling bad. I¬†bought a bale of¬†straw and some¬†pine shavings. I also bought feed and ordered some chicks. Yup…we are getting chicks next week.

M & E ordered 35 chicks. I only ordered 4. Two Speckled Sussex and two Black Laced Wyandottes. I intend to order a couple more chicks. I am considering doing some breeding and have decided I want to specialize in Wyandottes. I find them so beautiful. I am planning to get 4-6 Blue Red Laced Wyandottes in March from a breeder I am corresponding with via email. They will be my start. The Wyandottes are good for laying as well as for meat. If I am going to be breeding I am hoping I can have some be meat and some for eggs and some for show and some for continuing and improving the breed. Well, that is my idea for now anyhow. I’ll get the chicks and see how it goes.

Anyhow…back to my RIDE ON THE BIKE!!! I layered up. I had on my longies and an extra shirt and a hat and scarf and two pairs of gloves and my jacket and wool socks and boots and fortunately I could still move. I started it up and down the hill I went. It was amazing! It was exactly what I had hoped it would be and what I wanted it to be and what I had envisioned it to be. I was yelling “YAHOOOOOO” all the way down the drive!

Yes, it was cold. My ears were the most affected by the cold wind. The rest of me stayed tensely warm. I decided I would ride into Grants Pass and treat myself to a Dutch Bros. I love going there because you get so much more than just a hot drink. You get some good vibes. They are good folks there! When I arrived I was so ready for something hot and to be out of the wind.

There were 3 guys on bikes having their cup of Joe and smokes and taking a break. I recognized two of the guys from previous times there. Everyone was¬†admiring one anothers’ bikes. And yes, even tho mine is just a little Yamaha V-star 250cc, they still take a look and make a comment to me. It is nice. It’s not about the bike, it’s about the fact that you ride.

I knew I wanted to head home before the sun got behind the hills. Even tho the sun had not dropped, there were many areas of shade along the road home. I decided to go along the Missouri Flats road and stopped by the cemetary to take some photos there too. The lighting was nice I thought.

Even the cemetary was a birght and beautiful place of peace today.

Even the cemetary was a birght and beautiful place of peace today.

I am so grateful I got to feel the wind against me and also enjoyed the sun beating down to take off thie chill!

I am so grateful I got to feel the wind against me and also enjoyed the sun beating down to take off thie chill!

What a wonderful day. I was ready to be home. A warm fire and some hot dinner would be just the thing to settle me in for the evening. But first I had to give the girls a snack of popcorn and stale bread. They haven’t had a hot snack in a few days. I am trying to break them of pecking me for treats every time I go outdoors. It probably wont stop. I love spoiling them too much. They are happy girls tho. They have given me eggs all through the winter. From 12 hens I’ve averaged 5 eggs a day all winter long. One day I had 8 eggs!

It is late now. I am tired. It is a good tired. A fulfilling tired. I am glad I was able to get up and out of bed and enjoy this lovely winter day. This first day of February. The sunniest most outdoorsy February day I’ve ever enjoyed!

Saw these impressive horns on my travels and had to take a pic!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Saw these impressive horns on my travels and had to take a pic!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

End of the day and the girls get popcorn and some leftover bread pieces.

Misty wet day on the farm

The view out the window was the same all day, and yet, it is never the same!

The view out the window was the same all day, and yet, it is never the same!

I am definately fighting a bug or something is going on. I have had a slight sore throat and some post nasal drip for the last couple days. I had shared about my low level of activity earlier in the week. IT still is low.¬† Maybe the weather has something to do with it.¬† Last night I feel asleep about 7:30pm. I am a night owl. I can’t remember the last time I was asleep at 7:30pm. I woke for an hour about 10pm, and then again about 2am and again about 7 in the morning. I did go downstairs and let the girls out of the coop, grabbed a couple logs to put on the fire and back to bed I went…until 11:30am! Even after all that rest, I still didn’t feel full of vim and vigor.

I pulled on some jeans and threw on a coat and clunked my way down the stairs. I knew I had to do my walk before I thought about it. I have committed to, at the very least, walking to the bridge daily. If I have energy to work in the gardens or around the property, then a walk is not necessary. But on the days I only feel I can do very limited activity, I will walk! Today was day 3 of “I MUST WALK”. I didn’t even bother to make snacks for the girls. I told myself I would do it later. I had a window of opportunity that I had to use while the rain was at a slight drizzle. I did not need to look for an excuse to not walk, I could find many. One foot in front of the other and down the drive I went, cup of coffee in hand!

The walk down the drive!  Still a few bits of snow, but mostly wet!  And slippery on this corner.

The walk down the drive! Still a few bits of snow, but mostly wet! And slippery on this corner.

I take in so much as I”m walking. I look up to the house to see if the cars are there and if the dogs are out. I notice that the ground is wet and the corner is very slippery. The girls are following me, but at a distance. The skies are very gray and there is a misty fog hanging across the hillsides. I scan the pasture, looking for Bruce and John. Then I look over to the neighbors and see that they are out with the horses, doing their chores I imagine.

Lots of gray skies and misty fog  hovering over the property.

Lots of gray skies and misty fog hovering over the property.

The creek is a bit rougher today than it was the other day when I was here. It is like a different place from the bright sunny day when I was here….only 2 days ago. The wisps of fog and the shadows of clouds in the stream change all the colors. It is back to winter grays and greens and browns and tans. I can find beauty here too. Things are growing. This is a time that things seem slower, but they are being rejuvenated for a spurt that will come soon! Spring is not that far away.

The creek is a life of itself, constantly changing with the weather and seasons.

The creek is a life of itself, constantly changing with the weather and seasons.

A little later in the afternoon I took the girls some treats of leftover fried egg, stale bread and some veggies from lunch. I had just scattered their treats out and they were on the move to get to them, when a hawk soared over us and up into the tree on the edge of the property. The really tall one in the picture. It was the girls scurries that made me take notice. I didn’t even know what was going on at first. They all just ducked and moved at the same time. As I looked towards the focus of Grandma’s attention…which was where that hawk was flying…that is when I knew what the hubbub was about.

The hawk soared over us and landed in the tall pine tree in the far background.

The hawk soared over us and landed in the tall pine tree in the far background.

 

They watched where the hawk went, some of them still scurrying, some of them just on guard, for a minute or so. Then, they slowly came back out and began their usual pecking order of who was going to get the tastiest tidbits. I watched them, and the tree where the hawk had flown too. When they were done with snacks I urged them closer to the coop and opened the door wide if they were to need to duck! THey had just shown me how aware they really are!

These girls MOVE IT when danger approaches.  Very aware girls!

These girls MOVE IT when danger approaches. Very aware girls!

I was searching for my deer repellent recipe today, which required me to read through a couple journals to find it (I posted it on my FB page). I usually have 2-3 notebooks I am writing things in over the course of a year. I came across an entry in one notebook from Jan. 13, 2012. It was a kick in the pants to get on to what I have been putting off for a long time.

I have been procrastinating something important for some of the most ridiculous reasons. I know they are ridiculous, and yet I have let them stop me over and over. So, in reading about where I was and what was happening a year ago, and seeing that it has not changed and that I must attend to it, that is where I will leave this for now. I am going to attend to a very important matter. I pray it is the next right thing and will somehow let me continue living my life as I am today, maybe even making it a little easier!

Grateful for the sale of 2 dozen eggs and a potential repeat customer; being able to take my walk; having someone bring me lunch from Uncle Buck’s; having homemade soup made by someone else for dinner; knowing God provides for all my needs and many of my wants. I love living life in the country!!!

God slowed me down again today! A walk to the creek was my goal!

Frozen fog

Frozen fog

Only a few people in the world have seen me have a morning like I did today.¬† A morning where the simple act of sitting upright at the edge of the bed requires¬† so much effort and causes so much pain that¬†it takes me a minute to realize I am in¬†tears.¬† Today was one of those days where sitting at the edge of the bed, crying, and looking at the toilet that is 15 feet away and needing to get there NOW was cause for sobs.¬† It would be so easy to tell you all the things I couldn’t do today.¬† I could give you a list of things that I wished I could do, have plans to do, am interested in doing, and then tell you¬†that I can’t do them because of this limiting pain.¬† Instead, I am going to share with you what I DID do!

I¬† made it¬†to the bathroom.¬† I sat there thinking about what I absolutely HAD to do.¬† Now I know if I called M&E they would let the girls out for me.¬† In fact, that had happened just the other day because I hadn’t been able to make myself get down to the coop before they let their own girls out. ¬† I¬†am so¬†grateful they watch out for me but I really want to do all I can to care for myself and my girls.¬† So I thought out every action I would need to do if I went down to let them out of the coop.¬† I thought about the steps, changing shoes, starting the hot water in the wash room, opening the door, looking for eggs, pouring water in their dishes¬†¬†because everything is frozen again.¬† I also had to get at least 2 pieces of wood, which turned into a full armload because I¬† thought I might not get back down to get any more wood except for once when I lock the coop up at night.¬† I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to get out much at all when I let the girls out at around 8am.¬† This is all AFTER I dressed for weather.¬†¬† Today, getting dressed was a big effort.

Winnie loves the sunshine

Winnie loves the sunshine

At noon, when I had to get up and put a log on the fire again, I knew I needed to move some!  So I made a decision to take the girls a hot treat, some apples for the pastured animals and a walk down to the creek!  If I got all the way down to the bridge and back, that was nearly 1/2 mile!  That was a huge undertaking, but I knew I could take my time and I had my phone to call for help if I needed it.

I added some water to the pork lentil soup I had made the other day and boiled some noodles in it.  This was to be the snack for the day.  I have not given the girls many noodles and was anxious to see how they liked them.  They liked them.  A LOT!  I wish I would have been able to get a video of Goldie sliding across the slimy mess in the pan.

She did it twice.

Yummy slippery noodles!

Yummy slippery noodles!

Finally it was time to head down the hill.  I was dressed, had made the treat, talked to the girls and now it was time to walk.  I wanted to get a little bit of the precious sunshine on my face.  I knew it would give me my needed Vit. D.  I also knew that making myself do this one thing would make me feel like I had accomplished something.  It would be veru easy to do nothing except stay in bed and feel horrible.

A walk along the creek

A walk along the creek

This was my first time walking all the way to the creek!  I drive past it all the time, but I had yet to walk to the bridges and take a closer inspection.  What a treat I was in store for!  There is an alternate bridge that has been used upon occasion for very large loads that is a few yards from the bridge we always use to get across the creek. I decided it was time to take a look at it.   It appears to be an old railroad bridge!  How delighted I was.  My grandfather was Chief Dispatcher for SP years ago!  I love anything railroad.  Why am I not surprised that it is here, in this wonderful place I was found to be!

The alternate bridge...looks like old RR bridge!

The alternate bridge…looks like old RR bridge!

Old bridge

Old bridge

The path to get to the bridge was equally enticing.¬† Mossy trees and rocky paths leading across the bridge and to…the outside world.¬† I won’t be going there today!

A path to the bridge to get across the creek

A path to the bridge to get across the creek

I was getting tired.  Time to turn around and head back up the hill.  I was moving slow.  I was looking at all the views and vistas and enjoying it all.  And then I saw the glimmer of shimmer on the fence.  Now how had I never noticed that before?   There it was kinda down at the bottom of the gate.  Not a place I would notice while in the truck.  But on foot, I saw it and had to inspect it further.  Yes..it is a perfect representation of this place I live with other people and animals and nature and the world. A sunshiney smile!

A sunshiny smile to the entrance to home!

A sunshiny smile to the entrance to home!

I had a couple apples in my pockets and started calling to Bruce the cow and John the sheep on my way up the hill.¬† Of course, as usual, ¬†John came at a run!¬† Bruce held back for a moment, but then he got the idea and was on a run himself!¬† They both enjoyed their apples, as well as pats and scratches on the head.¬† I don’t know¬†who enjoyed it more, them or me.

Come and get it!!!

Come and get it!!!

John gets here first!!!

John gets here first!!!

Bruce gets his too!!!

Bruce gets his too!!!

The sky was so blue I couldn’t help but look upwards.¬† There is that mistletoe.¬† I have thought about selling it the last two Christmas seasons.¬† I just don’t know exactly how to get it down.¬† There are no leaves for shade.¬†¬†Instead there¬†is an artistic pattern against the bright blue wintery sky!¬† Majestically the branches arch across the lane, adding depth to the shadows that are visible on¬†the frozen ground.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe

Majestically arching oak branches across the lane.

Majestically arching oak branches across the lane.

I am enticed to keep walking.  I want to see the house gardens.  I had not been over there in a few weeks since I last gathered apples.  I need to get a feel for the various growing areas.  Again, I am pleased with the things I had not noticed before.  My walk was slow, and I was looking at the sky and the ground and the shadows and what was around me.  I was delighted by the yard art.  I also was happy to note the various places to sit and rest.  I was thinking towards summer, when I hope to be gardening, instead of just taking a walk.  There are places to rest.  I need that.

Ms. Ladybug loves butterflies!

Ms. Ladybug loves butterflies!

A place to rest when working the lower gardens.

A place to rest when working the lower gardens.

I love my hill.¬† I smile everytime I drive up here.¬† I look up and see the barn and know that it is home.¬† It is where I can take care of myself.¬† It is where I can find comfort on days like today where I am in so much pain that eating is something I must make myself do.¬†¬†¬†I am grateful for the preparations of meals on days I felt well enough to prepare foods.¬† I couldn’t do that today.¬† I had left some soup and a leftover half of an acorn squash on the woodstove to heat up while I was out giving¬†the girls their treat.¬† The girls got a hot homemade healthy¬†treat and I will too.¬† Neither one took much effort, which allowed me to put some energy into doing something that has been good for me phyically, emotionally and spiritually.

The barn up on the hill

The barn up on the hill

I brought up an armful of wood.¬† Then another.¬† I had checked once again for eggs, and was thrilled to find my 7th egg for the day in a nest.¬† It was too early to lock up the coop.¬† I was going to have to come back down.¬† It was time to rest.¬† I had done what I set out to do.¬† I got so much more than exercise, fresh air, sunshine.¬† I didn’t forget about my pain during my walk.¬† But I was able to find beauty, joy, peace, serenity and motivation in spite of it.¬†¬† I feel so good about the one thing I did do today.¬† I did what I could do today within the limits of my ability.¬† A 1/2 mile walk that took me almost 2 hours.¬† I didn’t get a cardio workout, but I did get a heart workout!¬† I love where I live!

My fibromyalgia has not gone away.¬† In fact, it is quite evident.¬† Some days really are difficult, like today.¬† Yet, if I choose to focus, I can always find something to be grateful for and something that is beautiful.¬† If that is all I get for a day, it is more than many others.¬† My life has challenges, but it also has many blessings.¬† Count yours…you might be surprised to see how blessed you are too!

Until the next time!  Bye bye!

Until the next time! Bye bye!