Friday, March 31, 2017

Eleven Years.

(Warning - Picture-heavy)

Eleven years ago on this date, I was closing on my first house.  My only house.  My Little Lucky Farm.  It was a beautiful Spring day (the polar - using the term literally - opposite of today).  There were a few hiccups (I was financing through FHA and something was missing) but I had a great team - my much-missed coworker/lawyer, the woman who authorized my mortgage amount, and my real estate agent.  I was totally out of my element, having been an apartment dweller almost all of my life, and I was terrified that something would go wrong.  The missing info was retrieved because one of my team worked closely with the FHA and a quick call got it settled. 

I met my parents at the house, having my front door key in a death grip, and we moved in my furniture:  double mattress/box springs on metal frame (donated by said parents), rocking chair, set of cheapo deck furniture that served as dining room table and chair.  The rest of my worldly possessions were safely ensconced in a small rental storage space and it took two trips in my Focus wagon to move it all.  The rest of the furniture came to me from friends, family and strangers - I had put a new lockset that I didn't need on Freecycle and the local woman who came to pick it up took one look at my sparse furnishings and asked if I needed furniture.  Why, yes, I did.  I then followed her to her house where she opened a garage door which revealed furniture stacked cheek to jowl.  She had two houses of furniture from her late mother and mother-in-law stored in the garage/barn.  I made many trips and got two dressers, two nightstands, a maple dining room table, a mirror, and curtains!  I still have the table, nightstands and one dresser.

Over the next eleven years, I raised (in no particular order):

Pigs (Guinea Forest Hogs)
Guinea Hens







Added a Jersey and a calf
down the road

I have shared the house with:


The Pepperoni
OMG I almost forgot Bertie!

Scrappy Doo, Dog of
My Heart




Skills I have developed (to varying degrees of success):

Pumpkin carving

Home repair




Hay stacking

High fashion

Veterinary skills - it's amazing
what a little Super Glue can do

Weaving - using the
term as loosely as possible
Carpentry (see above)

The creative use of duct

Fleece processing

I have made some wonderful, wonderful friends:

Melanie (far right) who is
my anchor

My Maggie

Marianne - best road trip
partner ever

Rosie, Human Sunshine.
Beautiful Jane (and Joe)

Sylvie, who
deserted me for South Portland
(kidding....but miss her tons)
My twin sister from
another mother.

My dearest Kay, who I
loved and lost
Lisa, who I want to be
when I grow up.
Linda, daughter of my
second set of parents.

A certain Chicken
Mama of the North

It has been a wild and wonderful adventure.  I am ready for another thirty years....

Monday, March 27, 2017


I awoke this morning to the sound of rain pelting the house.  When I went to lift my head from my wouldn't.  Felt as if I had a bowling ball on my neck.  Blech.  It seems my body decided to match the day - foggy head cold = grey and rainy.  It's a day like this where my incessant pep talks turn to the basics - "You can do it!  One foot in front of the other!  Don't stop!  Fergawdsake, DON'T STOP!"  Everything and everyone was moving slowly this morning - even so, I managed to only be a teensy bit late for work - I had picked up some books on cd that came into the library, so it was a veritable breeze on the drive to work.  I came in snuffling and snorting, so everyone is giving me a wide berth.  I might just keep this up for a week...

I had my mother for an overnighter this weekend.  When you live, day-in and day-out, with someone with dementia, it can wear on you.  We try to get her out at least once a month - that goes for our caregiver sister, too.  My youngest sister tries to get up once a month to spell her for a weekend, and I try to come up with something fun and inexpensive we can do together once a month.  It ain't much, but it's something, as they say.

Needless to say, not much got done around the LLF.  I did get most of my laundry done, cleaned bathrooms and finally cleaned the cat room.  Lovey's license was renewed, books on cd were picked up, trash and recycling hauled away, car inspected for the year, paperwork dropped off at my new doctor's office, my once-a-year dry cleaning picked up.  The battle to get Bertie (who is now obsessed with my mother) to eat an egg on his food continues.  He's winning, but he's hungry.  I had taken all three dogs to the vet on Friday afternoon for their Lyme's vaccines and had them weighed.  They are all porkers!  I felt like a bad mother.  So everyone is on a diet - including their bad, fat mother.  We'll see how that goes.  I was all set to eat a nice, healthy salad for dinner last night, when I came home to find that someone (you food goddess you, Melanie) had left a slab of amazing lasagna (with rice pasta) hanging on my front door knob.  Halleluiah!  I'm counting it as healthy because it was a vege lasagna.  So there.

Speaking of diets, very loosely speaking of diets, I've been overwhelmed with eggs - duck and chicken.  After looking around for something that requires more than four eggs - that is NOT a quiche - I found this cake.  I swear I was focused on the eggs and didn't notice the sixteen tablespoons of butter.  Honest.  I also didn't notice her quirky little bit about mixing the ingredients lovingly and gently with your fingers.  Yes.  Me with my weird hand/ingredients claustrophobia.  I did valiantly try it with one hand.  And then squealed in terror all the way to the sink, where I quickly rinsed off the offending egg/butter/flour/sucanant/rum, while hopping from one foot to the next.  The pastry cutter was put to use.  I also discovered that I had no cake pans.  Hmmm.  I jerry-rigged an 8" tart pan with a removable bottom by lining it with parchment paper (after all - 16 tablespoons of butter) and then baked it on a tray, just in case.  The verdict?  It was amazing.  And rich.  Dangerously rich.  I had a small piece to check for quality and a second piece to confirm that it was as delish as the first.  Then the rest of the five pound cake went home with my mother.  Better four people had at it than the one of me.

Duck egg yolks.  Never again.


Not a calorie or ounce of fat
in this baby....not.
Spring better get here on its little cat feet pretty damn quick.  After taking a walk around the property, I figure I have about 24 months of solid work to get thing shipshape.  Right now, the ground is still frozen and there is still quite a bit of snow left over from the last blitz.  In between the snow drifts are paths made of frozen brown dirt with about an inch and a half of boot-sucking mud on the top.  Lovely.  The various little puddles are making the ducks happy, but only the ducks.  As soon as the tops of the rhubarb are clear and I can wrench up the buckets of llama beans from their frozen position in the sheep yard, spring work will commence.