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blueshoefarm at gmail dot com.... and that would be how to reach me

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rats in the chicken coop

We completely rebuilt the 1950's coop this year.  I toyed with tearing it down and building another but we looked at the lumber and realized the framework was milled on site and still good so we just gave it a new roof, new siding and new windows.  And I guess we also gave it a healthy population of rats.  I cannot quite express how much I dislike rats running across my open-toed shoes in the dark. Where I could feel their little toes running across mine. (insert squeamish high pitched scrinchy faced BLECH here from a woman who is never squeamish or high pitched)  In all honesty I am sure the rats were always there but we just made their home so much more conducive to good health and breeding that they run in front of me drunk with chicken feed and water.  I am declaring an all out war.  Traps. Poison. I am not a gun person but if I was I'd be sitting in a rocker with a shotgun waiting for them. Shotgun? Rat? Can we say overkill? Not when they run across my toes in the dark.  I will try not to look at their faces however.  Because to tell you the truth they have very cute faces and I don't want to have any second thoughts.  Rats make me consider getting rid of chickens.  Seriously.  But first I have to try the war thing.  Maybe more cats, too!  The unfortunate thing is this coop is closer to my neighbors house than mine -- I really don't want them heading over there. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

One year anniversary.

One year ago I had a stroke.  Soon after I went into my doctors office (if you are in Seattle and need an excellent neurologist -- send me an email). Unable to walk straight, unable to stay awake and alert for more than a couple hours, entirely overwhelmingly terrified with how my future had just changed...  my doc cleared boxes off an exam table (he had just moved into a new office), told me I wasn't on the right meds (given to me a week before by the hospital), told me they had misdiagnosed my type of stroke (nerds), and then looked me in the eye and said " In one year you won't even know this happened."  Meaning that I would have no visible outward remnants of part of my brain being dead.  I remember thinking he WAS NUTS... but he wasn't.  Today I am close to how I was pre-stroke.  Other than I weigh less, have a bit of short term memory spaciness, my muscle mass is different, I say things "differently" at times, and am on cursed cursed prescription drugs.  But who's to say I wouldn't be a little ditzy and tongue-tied at this point anyway? 
There always will be the life shift that happened on that day.  I went from being in control of everything... farm, kids, finances, future -- to being in charge of not hitting the door jamb with the left side of my body when I walked through a door.  I learned to accept help from others.   My way of looking at life, disability, and independence took a tumble toward the real.  You know, that we are not actually in control?  I am very good at ignoring the unpleasant.  Probably why I can own an old house... I can just merrily trudge through my home repair to-do list as an oblivious optimist.  I read sometimes that when people survive something drastic they change their look on life. ( I have Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying, " going through my head right now).  I thought all these life changing thoughts for about nine months and then realized : I wouldn't do anything different.  This is the life I would lead if I knew I was going to die in a year.  All the mistakes I've made, all the successes, my failed marriage... I wouldn't do it differently.  I've got great kids, love where we live, have always had jobs that were ones I picked for interest and luckily supported me.  I have not solved any world issues.  I don't know how to stop young men from taking guns and harming strangers.  I have not found the cure for cancer.  But I have lived, gave friends hugs, had long conversations with my ma, laughed until I peed my pants (wait, should I be typin' that?), watched my kids grow with pride and love.  I guess I don't record what is important to me anymore as the accomplishments that list my resume, and I used to.  That is not what I will take to my grave, and that is certainly not what I thought of when I was in the hospital waiting for my stroke to do its damage.
Best to you all.

Garage electrical

My neighbor came over and offered to rewire my garage with a friend visiting from Africa. His friend wants to learn everything he can so I guess they decided my garage was a good candidate.  I know he is familar with the inadequacies of the garage, as the previous owner and he were friends. And the previous owner was very creative with home repairs.  After I bought the house, he told me he had cut electrical lines in the yard to the pond and all outside lighting because he knew they would not pass inspection. 
All  I need is to get an electrician out to find out how it is powered --where the lines are buried from the house and update that-- and he will do the rest.
Neighbors are good.
Hydrangea outside my front door. This is the first it has bloomed in a couple years. Previously we would have a cold snap at an inopportune time and freeze all the wee blooms off. Not this year! 
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