A Day Well Spent

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Yesterday was a day that the hubster and I spent together.  All day.  Childless.  This hasn’t happened in awhile.

First event was a chicken workshop put on by our local grange.  Some of you may think of a grange and see a bunch of farmers just hanging around chewing the fat.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The Milton Grange is very active in the community and even hosted a wine and cheese tasting event!

Anywhooooo…this event came about because our town finally came to it’s senses and changed the zoning law which now allows our area to have up to 12 chickens (no roosters)!  We are very excited to start this journey.  We plan on having 3-4 layers and the rest will be meat birds.  We are looking forward to sharing eggs with friends and stocking up our freezer with chickens we raised ourselves.

After this very successful and informational event, we dropped the kiddo off at the mall and headed to one of our favorite places to see one of our favorite people.

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As we drove towards Cambridge, the snow began to fall.  It was light, swirly, and very pretty.  By the time we got to Jenna’s, it was coming down a bit harder and really starting to stick.

We met Quark, the roooster who has now taken up residence inside the house.  He was a bit sick, so Jenna brought him inside to help him recover.  He looks very good and is living the life of Riley.  He has a perch on the stack of firewood and the dogs and cat don’t bother him.  I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself, but it’s true.  I don’t think he’ll be heading back outside anytime soon.  He knows a good thing when he sees it.

Jenna had chores to attend to before we could sit down to eat dinner so I offered to help her.  Let me tell you, helping with chores in the winter is a whole ‘nother animal than helping with chores in the summer.  After slogging through knee deep snow hauling food bucket for the pigs, I have a whole new level of respect for Jenna.

The pigs are not on a flat area either.  If you know anything about Washington Co., you know that it’s hills, hills, and more hills.  We climbed up the hill (not a huge one, but still) and gave the pigs food, milk, and then dug out the wiring for the electric fence that was buried in the new snow.  The sheep were fed, the horse, goats, and various fowl had already been fed and watered before we go there.   Jenna does this twice a day.  TWICE a day!

It wasn’t just the snow to slog through, but it was cold.  My face was freezing.  I was bundled up in tights, long johns, jeans, shirt, sweater, jacket, hat, and gloves.  I then looked at Jenna who was wearing sweater, jacket, glove, hat, kilt (yes, kilt), and wellies.  Legs totally exposed.  I asked her, “Aren’t you legs freezing?”  She said nope, just her fingers and toes.  She is one tough chickie.

After warming up inside for a few minutes we headed over to Common Sense Farm to pick up three bales of hay.  Jenna navigated the now very snowy covered roads like a champ and we headed to the barn.  She threw the bales down and I loaded them into the back of the truck.  Remember, this is all being done during a snowstorm. We headed back, unloaded hay and Jenna then trucked back to the pigs to give them new bedding material.

Where was Tim?  He only had sneakers on so he was the unfortunate one who had to stay at the house with the animals, make sure the fire didn’t go out, and try to get the house up to a balmy 60 degrees.   I felt soooooo bad for him. #cushyjob

We ordered in (pizza and wings) and sat down to watch the newest episode of Vikings next to the toasty warm woodstove.

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So, when you are at the Farmer’s Market or your local farm stand and are debating about whether that meat or produce is worth what they’re asking for it, remember this post.  Those farmers work their asses off to raise/grow that food.  It’s worth every penny.

Night Will Fall

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I was up very early this morning and since we have limited cable, all that was on tv were infomercials.  I turned on the Roku and went to the HBO channel.  On it was the documentary about Alfred Hitchcock’s unfinished documentary “Night Will Fall”.  This film is about the concentration camps after WWII and the soldiers who liberated the camps, the soldiers who filmed them, and those involved in making a documentary to show the world exactly what was going on in Europe.  I was amazed that I didn’t cry a whole lot, I just sat shaking my head, wondering how people could treat other people so horribly.  It still makes me wonder how you can hate people so much based on their religious persuasion or their sexual orientation.  Though when I stop to think of it, it still goes on today.

My great grandfather was Jewish and came to this country from Poland.  I’m not sure how many of his family were left over there but it is heartbreaking to think of because I’m sure many of them ended up in these camps.  I hear people say, “Why did God allow this to happen?”.  God didn’t allow it, mankind did.  And if we are not vigilant, it could happen again.  You are naive if you think it couldn’t.  This film should be required viewing for all high schools.  I’m afraid that are too many kids who have no idea that this occurred.

Checking off the list

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It’s 1:50 in the morning and I can’t sleep.  I’ve exhausted catching up on Facebook and Twitter so I decided to revisit my blog.  The one I haven’t written in since November.  Came across my list of things I was looking forward to doing once I had my surgery.  Happy to see I can cross some things off of it.

I’m adding an addendum to the shoe buying line.  I actually CAN wear high heels.  Not “hooker heel” ones but ones that are slightly higher than black Italian grandma shoes.  It’s amazing what the feet can do when there are 75 less lbs balancing on them.  That picture at the top?  Yeah, I would SO wear those, but in red.  Definitely in red.

Walk up and down the stairs without having a death grip on the railing

Sit in a theater seat comfortably and be able to actually use the arm rest as an arm rest

Ride a bike – I can ride the one in the gym but I don’t count that.  Update in the spring.

Do house/yard work and not be exhausted

Get down on the floor to exercise, or sit, and be able to get back up without looking like a fish flopping around out of water

Garden, garden, garden!! – again, update in the spring, although I can shovel snow without feeling like my heart is going to jump out of my chest.

Go to an amusement park and ride a roller-coaster with my son

Put my underwear on standing up without falling over.  Seriously.

Climb hills

Climb mountains.  Okay, that may be a stretch.  I have never had the desire to climb a mountain, but it’s nice to know I could do it.

Run Jog a 5k – haven’t done a 5k yet, but I can walk a mean uphill mile(s) on the treadmill at a good pace.

Cross country ski, snowshoe – if only it wasn’t so cold.  Okay, that’s an excuse…still time to try these.

Sew my own clothes if I want to

Sit on my husband’s lap.  Without cutting off his circulation.

Play tennis.  This is a fun thing, in no way, shape, or form do I take the game seriously.  I have never been that good.

Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowza, Yowza, Yowza)!  You folks who survived disco in the 70’s get the reference.  For the rest of you poor souls, check out Chic.

Swim in public – this one may take awhile – this one is going to take a LONG while.

Go for a hike.  Maybe camp.  Those of you who know me understand that my idea of camping is a Holiday Inn.  Don’t know if weight loss will change this outlook.  I know Tim would be happy if it did.

Be able to stand on my feet for a length of time without being uncomfortable

Buy cute shoes. I said cute, not high heels.  Those days are gone.

Paint my toenails – it’s winter.  I can’t even stand to look at my feet, but I can give them an exfoliating so that proves that I can paint those piggies if I so desire.

Go for a massage without being self-conscious

Cross my legs

Have more of a selection for clothing purchases

To be able to walk into a room without scanning it to see if I’m the biggest person there

Be able to outrun the zombies if there is an apocalypse

Live life to the fullest extent.  I can’t wait.

Advent Calendars

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Tim and I decided to check out the semi-new fancy-shmancy grocery store in our area.  It’s been open for quite awhile now but we’re just getting around to paying it a visit.  See how exciting our Sundays are?  Jealous, aren’t you?

As we walked around the store checking out products that aren’t normally found in Hannaford or Price Chopper, and wondering why in god’s name would anyone buy Okra chips, my gaze fell upon the Advent calendars.  Ahhhhh, Advent calendars – not the plain, boring ones, but the ones with candy!  Why would anyone buy a plain one when you can have chocolate every day in December until Christmas?  There were generic ones, ones with Santa, ones with a nativity, ones with cartoon characters and “What’s this?!”  omg…this one was big, thick, and as I turned it around, I saw that the chocolates nestled inside were fancy!  Truffles, filled chocolates, nut chocolates…yummmm.  It was also $50.  Yeah, I don’t want chocolate that much.

On our drive home Tim and I started imagining a Advent calendar for adults.  It would be filled with those chocolate liqueur bottles.  That would be nice.  Then the conversation took a wicked turn.  Not just chocolate liqueur bottles, but those airplane size bottles, with cute little sayings to go along with them.  The angel pays Joseph a visit to tell him about Mary carrying the son of God  – that would definitely be a tequila one.  Traveling through the desert – scotch.  No room at the inn?  No problem – Honey Jack Daniels.  By the time you get to Christmas, there would be Alka Seltzer and aspirin.  We were laughing so hard I was crying.  I love Sundays with my hubby.

Awakening

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I have a feeling compression wear, shapers, okay…long line girdles! are going to be my new best friend.  I went shopping for smaller clothes today (yay!) and got a glimpse of my naked legs in the mirror (boo!).  I don’t have full length mirror at home so I’ve been spared this very scary sight.  I’ll admit it, I broke down in tears when I saw the flabby skinned, dimpled and varicose veined appendages that are my legs.  I cried quietly, wondering how I had let myself get to the point where I looked like I did.  Yes, I’ve been successful with the surgery and have lost 53 lbs.  Yes, I know that at 53 years old the chances of my skin being elastic and bouncing back are slim to none but it still did not prepare me for how gruesome my legs looked.

I dried my eyes, went out and purchased the tops I had picked out.  I DID NOT buy the bag of Godiva chocolate that was near the register. I DID NOT go to CVS and buy chocolate.  I DID NOT go to Wendy’s and buy french fries.  And that is what is so wonderful about this journey, about my new tool, about my conviction to make this work.  I let the feelings I had come to the surface and dealt with them. So, for the time being, for however long it takes, I will not look at my legs until I can do so without feeling bad.  It may not be the best thing, it may not be what others think I should do, but it is what I need to do to get over this hump, this hill, this mountain.

And I will not use food to cope.

5 Days Post-op

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Well, I’m five days out of surgery and happy to report everything went great.  Only a little scar tissue from previous surgeries and the worst pain was from the gas.  Once I was able, I was up and walking, walking, walking to help get rid of it.  I did so well I was able to leave the next afternoon. The nurse said I was very compliant with the dr.’s orders.  Well, why wouldn’t I be?  I’m the only one who is hurt if I’m not.  She then told me of a patient who was only one day out of surgery and was asking when she could have pizza.  Pizza!?  Are you kidding me?  Here the dr. gave her a new start to life and she’s concerned about pizza?  Wow.

So I’ve been walking and drinking my liquids but am looking forward to yogurt, cottage cheese, and applesauce next week.  It will be a nice change from protein drinks, water, and tea.  I’m home for two more weeks and am really hoping I don’t go crazy during that time.  I need to find things to keep me busy because you know what they say about idle hands…

Have not weighed myself even though it’s killing me.  I promised myself I would only get on the scale once a week and I’m sticking to that.  I can already notice a difference in how my clothes fit and I was actually able to get my engagement ring on! Ah, the small victories.

The Legend of Birchthorn – 75% funded!!

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An update from Jenna’s blog, Cold Antler Farm:

The Kickstarter for Birchthorn is down to the less than $3,000 to reach completion. I have five days to reach that goal, and I sure do hope it happens. If I make the goal I will be able to start writing Birchthorn for the folks who are backing it and building a whole new world of characters and story! If I don’t reach the goal, then zero dollars are sent to Cold Antler Farm and allotted to this self publishing endeavor. I hope that you join us in plegding and help the community reach the goal that will make the project happen! I thank you as well for sharing the link with family, friends, farm folk and literature fans!

Please help fund this worthy endeavor.  Jenna is a single homesteader and fantastic author.  I have read part of this story and guarantee that if you like spooky mysteries, this is a book for you.  Even if you can only donate $1 or 5, every little bit helps.

Click on this link: The Legend of Birchthorn to pledge your donation.  Thanks!