Friday, January 25, 2013

Heart Attack King

As of yesterday, Mac has had his fourth heart attack.  The fourth one in a year.  He is becoming the heart attack King.  A designation we both would like to relegate.

I am now sitting in the waiting room of the heart catheter lab.  The Doctors are assuming he will need another stint.  I am once again sitting and waiting.  The waiting room is slow today.  There have been times when it was packed.  Every possible extended family member crowding in.  Stacking children, snacks, books and magazines.  Not today.  There are three of us now.  Two men waiting for a woman whose procedure is done.  She had everything go fine.  Uneventful.  And they wait until they will be allowed to go back and watch her magically awaken.

Waiting rooms are strange places.  People walk through.  We become some sort of mutual zoo.  We stare at each other with blank faces.  Some thinking.  Some trying desperately to not think.  No matter the temperature of the room there seems to be cold air that blows out of the vents.  Spring, summer, fall or winter, the ducts spew cold air.  I have to wonder how the room can be warm.  I'm cold.

We sit.  We listen to one another's conversations.  Unapologetically we nose into one another's lives.  We wait.  One of the talking men blows his nose.  Instead of throwing his tissue into the small trash can near him.  He gets up and walks half way across the room to throw it in the trash behind me.  A cursory glance across my computer screen.  For this little window in time, our waiting lives intwine.

They talk about eating barbeque.  Skinny women.  The days of military service and how they could not wait to get out.  Health care.

The waiting room volunteer comes over to me and tells me that they have had a delay and Mac has just now been taken in for his angiogram.  More waiting.  More people walk about.  More stares.  I stare back.  I notice who has suitcases and who doesn't.  Who looks lost.  Who seems to have a purpose.  Who stares at who and who has to look away.  Some faces are too hard to look at.  There is an inherent fatigue that comes with waiting.  Can't be helped.  I continue participating in this little zoo.  Tired,  Hungry... dreaming of a waffle.  Waiting.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Biding My Time

We are having a cold snap in the weather.  Up to now it has been a mild winter but the cold weather  reminds me that it's time to sit back and wait.  I hate waiting.  I'm not good at it.  I need to have a project.  It has been pointed out to me that I could work on house projects, but considering I still need to be cutting and sanding and staining, I'm not keen on it.  I usually have a cleaning fit in the spring.  I am more then willing to wait for that to strike.

So, I wait.

I have ordered seeds.  The half pound of buffalo grass seed has arrived.  The vegetable order that I placed hasn't materialized.  When over come by some impulse, I did buy a few seeds when in town.  I have decided that this year I need to try root vegetables.  I have had no luck with beets.  I think the problem is due to the rabbits.  Any other problem and a few of the seeds would have made it up.  But after three full seed packages and not a single beet, well, I shall blame the natives.  Hopefully this will be the summer of beets, parsnips and rutabagas.

The hens have been good to me this winter.  They have never just stopped laying.  I have even gotten numerous days when every girl has given me an egg.  I have one hen that gets very frustrated with me. She wants to keep her eggs so badly.  I will let her set a nest in late spring when it is warm.

So, she and I wait.

I have a friend who reminds me..... the earth is patient.  I am not.


Monday, January 14, 2013


We have had a strangely short, warm winter, but today it is the normal cold of January.  Depending on where you are at in Iowa the temperatures vary from 6 to 11 degrees F.  With wind chill, it is more like -1 to 6 degrees.  It's the kind of day that causes me to curl up and become useless.  It's a day that I just sit and think.

I have pulled out all of my farm lists.  Things I want.  Tasks to accomplish.  Money to raise.  Actually, it's a bit depressing.  The only thing I accomplished last year was getting the chickens.  But then again, I have made gains on quite a few projects.  I have been accumulating supplies for  building my tiny little hay barn.  I have picked up a couple of things that will go into my horse playground.  I only need to finish up the roof of the greenhouse and then it will be ready for plastic.  The spruce windbreak on the west side of the property got a few more trees last year.  Just another dozen or so and I should be done on that side.  I have been collecting seeds and nuts and as soon as the greenhouse is finished they will be started.  I am hoping to be able to start more of my own plants, then my money will go towards plants that I can't acquire locally.

A fifty pound bag of orchard grass is ordered and paid for.  A half pound bag of buffalo grass is ordered and paid for.  I need to buy more blue grass but it's not on the shelves yet.  That's an improvement.  Last year grass seed was just a twinkle in my eye.

Fence continues to be my greatest challenge.  Everyone expects there to be a norm.  This is how you do fence.  This is what it is going to cost.  And it's just assumed that you have that kind of money.  After all, if you moved to the country and built a house, you HAVE to have money.  But I have spent a great deal of time on permies and I think I have some ideas to avoid spending a great deal of money.  Then yesterday, I got lost on another site that was nothing but fencing.  It was handy.  I found some answers. And, I have more ideas. It's such a relief to have ideas and a plan.

Today, I will spend in the house.  I will combine all of my many to-do lists.  The "I Want" lists.  The goals and the business plan will be updated.  Then I will clean the bathroom.  Mop the floors.  Get the laundry done.  Tidy the kitchen.  Then tomorrow I will go out with the truck and start picking up tree debris from the woods.  The debris will get taken to where I plan on building up fence and to every place where I think I might want to try doing some hugelkultur.  Who knows, maybe I will even get the flat free tire for my wheelbarrow put on and I just might even get some manure tucked in amongst the rotting logs to get the hugels started.  Maybe, just maybe, this could be the start of a productive year.


Saturday, January 5, 2013


So much has happened lately.  I am still feeling kind of confused.  Somewhat dazed.  I think I mentioned Mac's heart attacks.  Two at the end of November. That took the total for the year up to three.  That was a learning experience.  Then Max was born!  We have a new grandson, Max Quilan Bascom.  My oldest daughter, Max's mom, suggested that Mac and I liquidate the little farm and just move in with them.  That came as a shocker to me.   My husband is in favor of the idea.

On the farm front,  I have been helping the neighbor with getting his fencing in.  With winter coming on, there was not time to accomplish both my projects and his.  He thought it was a good idea to work on his and then move my horses down to his place for the winter.  I had promised the girls that I would never move them out again.  It always turns into a bad situation.  This time was no different.  The neighbor has an aggressive gelding and he mixed his horses with mine after only a couple of days.  His gelding cornered Pip and she tried to go out over the fence.  The fence was a fairly tall electric set up with electro-braid rope style line.  Pip hung up.  Not only was she completely torn up and bloody from her hocks to her teats, but the rope did not break and she was pulse shocked for about an hour, we think. Her manner, her carriage has all changed.   She seems to have been in a depression since then.  She is not healed up yet but she is making gains.  I want to bring her home in the worst way but the ground is frozen and I have no means to set new fence now.    I want her home!!

The happy news is that I have had a farm angel.  Another Parelli student sent me five hundred dollars to give me a boost in farm projects.  With out that money, I would not have been able to get veterinary help for Pip.  I've also been able to get supplemental feed.  And I have also bought orchard grass seed to improve the hay field and to hopefully get a better yield next year.  Hopefully the hay field will make a bit of money and then we can roll that over into other projects.  There is still some money left.  I have spent it about five times over in my mind, second guessing how it could best be applied.  Additional seed?  Fencing panels?  Tree taps for the black walnut syrup?  Rent an aerator for the hayfield?  Plant materials?  Lime?  While the possibilities are not limitless, they are hopeful.  And it makes me realize that I cannot give up here.  Not now.  Too many possibilities for living, to chuck it all away and move into my daughters basement.

It's morning, and the sun is shining brightly.