rainbow on the farm

rainbow on the farm

Spirit moving sheep off the hay field

Sunday, August 10, 2014

make hay while the sun shines




Took this a few days ago when I was helping Rob get our hay ready for baling. Last of standing hay is knocked down and will go up in barn later this afternoon. 




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

a trip down "Memory Lane".

Yesterday I drove my Mother down to where she grew up. I thought it might be nice for her to drive around the streets she knew as a young girl, see her home as a child and other familiar places of days past. So we drove down to Pottsville, Pa . The town was one of the top towns  "back in the day" but traveling down through the narrow streets it looked a little tired and worn. We met up with my friend Sharon before the "tour" began. She lives just about a half hour away so we decided to meet for a bit to eat. First stop was my mothers home. A place she was born in during the year 1923, a place she shared with eight siblings and her parents. He mother, my grandmother who I never had the chance to meet died shortly after giving birth to her ninth child. My mother was only Nine.  My grandfather was a Machinist and my mom said while he had to work out of town often they were lucky because during the Depression he always was able to find work.
The home looked nothing as I remembered it as a child. Back then, it was tastefully, modestly painted in earthy browns and tans. It had rich hardwood floors and woodwork on the inside, carved wooden banisters ,glass doorknobs and claw foot bathtubs, large windows with (for me at the time) interesting "wavy" glass.. My earliest memory also included red brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets ,before they were modernized.


photograph  courtesy of Sharon Nunan
As a child when we would go up to visit I have fond memories of playing in the basement in the huge pile of coal that was used for heating.  My mother never was very happy about my attraction to it,as I would come up covered in coal soot and usually catch hell for it.  The other thing I always enjoyed was taking a walk a little way down the side street where a neighbor had a huge coop of homing pigeons . I'd spend HOURS there.
 Lastly the third floor was always captivating to me. I think my brother once told me a ghost lived up there and I would sneak up to it. Climbing the steep narrow staircase to get to it. . Slowly opening to door, never finding anything scary but it was a neat quiet place with big windows almost floor to ceiling . I think that was mostly why I was told not to go up there for fear that I might fall out the window is my guess.










































Next stop was just around the corner. The Yuengling home. My mom went to school with them and my Dad LOVED that beer LONG before it has hip and happening.
I could not really get a good photo but I always remembered how beautiful that home was and it still is.












 






















Next spot was around the corner to where my Grandfather would grab a beer or two, and my dad when we were up for a visit.
Lotzs café. Which looked like it was suspended in time. Vacant but looked just as I remembered.
















We then continued on and went to my Great grandmothers home where my Mother has many fond memories, later owned by my Aunt Rita .


















photograph courtesy of Sharon Nunan















We had lunch in town and the drove to St.Clair on the way home and stopped by my Dad's home. He lived there from a young boy to his late teens. His Dad worked in the coal mines and died fairly young of Black Lung that was the demise of many miners of that time .
My Dad worked in the mines for a short while but entered into the military at 19 . The place looked great. The last time I was there it was just after my Grandmother had passed away. She was 96 and still living on her own. The place was in bad need of TLC with with paint peeling away from the wood of the house and shutters, porch railing of iron old and rusty. Roof shingles missing and others frayed.
My Grandmother had a "thing' about banks and when my Dad and Uncle were getting the place ready for sale they found thousands of dollars stashed here and there. My Dad always said he had betted there was more that they just had not found. Hmm, I wonder?









































So overall it was a nice day. I am glad I got my mom down to see he home town and gave me more of an appreciation of both parents working class humble beginnings.
 Also thank you to Sharon Nunan for providing a few photographs she took of my Mom's home as well as good company for the driving tour and lunch :)

 
 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

make hay while the sun shines

Yep that's just what we're up to here.


















I also would like to share a few photo's I took.
One is of the recent "Super Moon" and a few of a dramatic sky before we had a terrific rainstorm. Enjoy.








Tuesday, July 1, 2014

neglect

I know it has been ages since I have added to my blog. Truth is I have just not had much to say that would be positive , uplifting or worth sharing.
You see several months ago my Mom suffered a stroke. It has been a challenge to deal with her and all the daily things that have to be done here.
Just into day three of lambing I checked on my Mom as I do every morning. Maybe a little later than normal because of checking on ewes and caring for mothers with lambs. When I went in her home she said that she was fine when she woke but something happened while she was having breakfast and reading the paper. She was unable to figure out how to use the phone to call me. So I quickly got her in the car and off to the hospital. She had had a stroke. It was located in the right frontal lobe about 3 cm x 7 cm. She was lucky in that she had no real debilitating after effect but it caused her to have no real short term memory as well as some optic nerve damage. When we brought her home she had no recall of her own home. She went from a completely independent 91 year old to someone needing care. This in it's self did not sit well with her as well as her being unable to have recall of simple task such as turning on / off a water faucet, using the phone , using a microwave, opening the refrigerator door, remembering where anything such as clothing, hair brush, dishes were located .
So I helped as best I could. She got better, but she was not happy that she did not wake up each morning and be as she was. Then on Mothers Day she had a severe attack of vertigo . Again off to the hospital . My Mom was getting pretty down about what was happening to her. I sure could not blame her. Also it seemed her hearing had really taken a nose dive after the stroke so communication was getting difficult.
Fast forward and she has been slowly making headway in her recovery. We finally got her hearing aids. She was balking on getting them since the Fall  but she finally realized she needed them.

This has been a challenge for me.
I knew when my parents moved here with us almost 6 years ago that this would be what I signed on for. My Dad died suddenly late summer last year and I know my Mom has been struggling in her own way with his passing.
 But now, my day is filled with taking her to doctor appointments, Physical Therapy sessions, hairdresser, food shopping.....I need to be more attentive and check in on her more than before her stroke. Many times throughout the day. She is doing much better .

Training dogs , sheepdog trials. HA! Well I have made it to a few, but have not had any time to really train dogs other than just trying to keep them correct in the sheep chores. Not the same type of schooling though to keep them crisp enough for trials.

It is the way things go. When you are an only child or are the only sibling close enough to your parents you take it on. You just do it. It is you duty. Your parents did it for you when you needed it. You owe it to them. Some children do not feel this commitment to their parents and I can't understand it.
There sure are days I am frustrated, overwhelmed, depressed . But there will be a day where all I will have left is my memories , photographs of them . At the very least I will have peace of mind that I was there for them when they needed me the most and that they will leave me knowing how deeply I loved them.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It is the first day of Spring but it sure has not "sprung"

It's the first day of spring! Better than it's been the past months but still cold. Well below averages for this time of year. Long range is indicating April is looking to be "colder than normal" as well. April starts our Lambing season here so really hoping not too cold. Finally had some melt off and things are looking promising to get back to toning up the dogs and getting some training done. In the mean time I put a video together of Flint.







Friday, March 7, 2014

waiting for a sign

Have not written on here lately. Not really much to write about since Winter made a visit and has well overstayed it's welcome. Relentless cold, ice storms, snow storms, wind, endless days over overcast sky. What can I say other than this Winter is really getting on my nerves. Waiting and hoping for a sign Spring will kick Winters ass to the curb and we can get on with it!

April starts my Lambing season and I would really like the weather to throw me a bone next month.

I'd like to get back to working my dogs and enjoying being outside rather than dreading it and managing my endurance for frozen digits. 

I did just have a week reprieve from the bitter cold and visited my family in southern Arizona. Went on a few good long hikes and enjoyed wearing just a T shirt and jeans for the most part.

Managed to look for the best of winter through my camera and captured some decent photographs.