As most of you know, we have a nice room that is on Airbnb (bed & breakfast). We have an older couple staying with us all weekend from N. Carolina. They aren’t exactly animal people and have no interest meeting the large fur balls in the pasture who have been staring at them like stalkers every time they go outside to eat on the porch. The llamas along with Dunkay, line up at the fence and watch these folks…every move they make, they see it…watching…waiting…hoping they will come over and give them a treat. Heck, it even creeps me out! Any who…I got up this morning and went downstairs to check on my guest. They were standing by the front door, in their jammies, holding plates of food and coffee. They looked a bit ‘startled’. I asked what was wrong. They told me they fixed some eggs and toast went outside to eat, hoping to enjoy the beautiful morning, when Dunkay barreled through the gate and galloped straight towards their plates of food! They sat there frozen to the chairs not sure if they should give up their breakfast to the beast or grab everything and run! They chose the latter! They got up, held the plates high and quickly walked to the front porch. Dunkay knocked over a chair and broke a plate as these two elderly folks tried to get away! After he was done ‘wrecking havoc’ as she put it…he trotted to the front porch where they were trying to eat and demanded all the food…NOW! They ran back into the house, stood at the door, staring at it in disbelief. That’s where I came in. I assured them that he really is harmless, and coaxed them back to the kitchen. I tried to make a joke out of it, but they didn’t think it was funny. They just looked at me with a blank stare! I went outside looking for Mr Pain In the Butt. He was already back in the barn harassing the chickens. I swept up the shattered plate, picked up the chair and scolded Dunkay as he stood inside the barn with his head peeking around the corner cause he knows better! I don’t think these folks will be back.
Home is now a house
I’m sitting on the floor in the spot I always sat when I was at mom’s house…her lazy boy was just to my left, a wicker table with 8 tweezers inside the drawer between us.
My mother’s home is empty.
I sit here with my back uncomfortably against the wall looking up at the big clock that mom always loved. It is slowly ticking the time away.
How fast it flew past us. She’s been in her cozy little home for 7 years…my home away from home. I spent many hours here laughing, crying, talking, praying, figuring out life’s problems, reminiscing about the past, planning out the future with the other half of me! Mom and me…here in this room.
Now I sit on the floor alone as the worship music plays, holding back tears, smiling at all the memories that are dancing in front of me.
I can’t imagine not being here 4 to 5 days a week with my mommy…in this home…in this room…in this spot with her a few short feet away.
Ultimately, Jesus calls his chosen home even as a new beloved child makes their presence known with a hearty cry…life goes on.
My mom is now in a rest home. One filled with frail, beautiful children of the King, just waiting for Him to call them home.
But as for me, all too soon, I will be left here without my mom, my rock, my best friend, the woman who held me as I sobbed while telling her she wouldn’t be leaving the ‘facility’ to return home.
She will never sit in her well worn blue Lazyboy chair with me next to her snuggled in my overstuffed chair telling her another story about how Chad’s pig chased the llama around the barn, making her laugh!
I don’t want to leave MY spot!
I desperately need to go back 7 years when she first moved in…Kyle was alive and Biscuit our Pit was a mere puppy!
I don’t like this new season in my life…it HURTS.
Tomorrow, I will go back to the nursing home where my mommy sits among bits and pieces of her former life hanging on the wall, including a favorite dresser filled with notes, cards, baby pics, and news paper clippings about her Tommy’s achievements. Her beloved cat collection will be staring down at us from a shelf above her bed, dad’s Stetson cowboy hat next to them.
On top of her dresser, filled with a lifetime of snapshot dreams, is a wedding book with pages of black and white photos of a 17 year old girl smiling next to a handsome farm boy of 18 with her satin gown flowing in front of them!
I will hand her a McDonald’s coke, sit next to her in the bed, put my arm around her shoulder, and tell her about how Chad’s pig chased both llamas and a goat around the barn…making her laugh as I quietly cry inside. Life goes on.
Ah…the big snow storm that is sure to hit and shut all of humanity down in LaPorte County!
Most folks are running around like they’re crazy gathering food, water, logs for the fireplace, snow shovels, extra this, that and the other thing! Run people run! Gather! Freak out! Horde that sidewalk salt! Find the number for the nearest and cheapest snow removal service within a 100 miles and tape it to your forehead!
And while all the humans are in a full blown panic over 8″ of POSSIBLE snow…my animals are just as frantic!
They have a sixth sense about weather…they know when it’s raining (because they’re outside getting drenched eating), they know when the hot summer heat is on (because they’re outside baking in the scorching sun eating), they know when a tornado is about to hit (because they’re outside watching the neighbors roof fly past them in a thousand pieces as they eat). Somehow, they just know about these things!
Anyhoo…I checked on them tonight and they are running around like rabid dogs gathering grain, pushing hay into one corner, covering eggs with extra feathers, and fighting over the only warm spot in the barn as they draw hay straws to see who sleeps next to Remi, Chad’s pig!
They are in a frenzy inside that big metal barn getting ready to be snowed in for hours, days, weeks, months!
So I yelled at them to STOP! Just relax, chill out, it’s okay….Super Farmer will be in every ten minutes to check on them during the blizzard!
They settled down and nodded at me in relief!
I gave them my famous lecture on barn etiquette that they’ve heard and ignored 1745.6 times, turned out the light, blew them kisses, closed the door, and before I could take a step, I heard them start up the fight AGAIN, because they have a sixth sense about these sorta things ya know!🦙🐷🐎🐓🐐
Being with Mother
Sitting on my mother’s hospital bed holding her hand gave me a chance to look closely at her now aged face that was once smooth and youthful.
Her eyes were closed, but the tightness from her fingers gripping my hand was strong and seemed to be desperate, telling me she was fully awake.
I looked past her body that seems to have given up. I looked at all the photos of her family lining the window shelf, brought in to help remind her why she needs to keep fighting. I looked at Kyle holding Leo a few short months before he died, a pic I ironically took on Mothers Day…the one that now stares at me from his headstone.
Memories exploded inside my breaking heart!
I saw through tears my mother and I briskly walking around Kessling Park with Kyle in a stroller! We were talking and laughing at stupid things, stopping every now and then to pick up a dropped pacifier or toy. Mother and I used to walk for exercise, having deep mommy- daughter conversations…anything just to be together.
Now I sit on her bed, holding her hand at Miller’s Rehab, watching her breathe, feeling her love flow from her hand into mine…reaching deep inside my aching heart trying to comfort me with her mother’s love.
Every 20 minutes or so she will open her eyes, look deep into mine and whisper “I love you”.
I squeeze her hand, holding back my tears and put my gaze on another photo.
This one is her and me laughing about 4 years ago at Clear lake. I remember this day like it happened an hour ago! We had lunch at the lake, we watched the geese, Kyle was still alive, Leo was a baby and all was well with our souls!
We talked about family, life, God, but mostly enjoyed the quietness heard just being together!
Now, I sit with her as her body says ‘enough, I’m tired, I want to go home.’ And, yes, we’re still talking about family, life, with God inside our hearts, as I sit and she lays…just being together.
Remi and the Gator!
Chad showed me a video of an old man that was in a small pond wresting with something under the water.
He quickly pulled up a good sized alligator with a small black and white puppy in its mouth that was still alive and crying! That old man was like super man pulling on that monsters mouth open until it dropped his precious little dog who then ran away! Bravo!!
I looked at Chad with pride and admiration saying, “you’d do that for chippie or even Remi (our oversized, stubborn potbelly pig!)! After all he IS Super Farmer you know!!”
Chad gave me a look and said, “that’s it…no more videos for you!”
I swear the man spends 90% of his time either glaring at me, rolling his eyes, shaking his head in disbelief or sitting there with his mouth open as I go on and on with one of my hair brain ideas that includes work for him but NOT for me!
Then I stopped yammering and thought (oh oh)
“What WOULD Remi do if she was face to face with an alligator?!” Here’s MY version of Remi vs the gator!
Remi is out for a stroll leaving a path of ‘eat everything’ destruction behind her, and I do mean everything that was in front of her vacuum, I mean mouth.
She comes across a pond and spotted yellow eyes peering above the water staring at her. So Remi who is more curious than alley cats, stands at the water’s edge and stares back.
Soon those eyes slowly move toward her…she backs up to get a better look. Then the gator jumps out of the water, mouth open, hissing at her!
Remi lowers her head in her famous ‘I dare you to touch me’ stance and grunts at the gator. They are now face to face, mere inches apart…the gator hissing, Remi grunting…neither one backing up or going forward!
After 15 minutes of ‘ I’m going to eat you’ and ‘I DARE you to try’ staredown, the alligator gives up and slithers back toward the water in defeat. BUT THEN…
Remi rolls forward and bites HARD the tip of the gator’s tail as if to accent the victory won. The gator dives into the water, pulling that big ornery porker right in! Yup, Remi looked like a fishing bobber being pulled along by an oversize catch!
Remi eventually got bored with her pontoon ride, came to shore, and gave out her victory grunt along with a little dance and tail wagging! She then went back to making a path of dirt while rooting, upending once carpeted lush green grass with a smile on her dirty piggy face!
Yep, that’s how I picture Remi’s encounter with the nasty ol gator!
Did my imagination wander a bit from that poor puppy being rescued to a triumphant barnyard hero? Hmmm. 🙃
Fun Games with Dunkay!
Somebody asked what fun thing do you do with your pet? So I thought about it and thought about it. Hmmm, what fun thing do I do with my pet?!
By gosh, I couldn’t come up with anything fun or cute! But I did think of a few things/games that I do on a daily basis with my ‘pets’! Let’s start with Dunkay. There are so many ‘fun’ things that I do with the Addie Acres’ donkey that I don’t have enough time, space or sanity to mention them all! Therefore I’ll just pick a few of my absolute favorites!
My number one thing to do with Mr. Pain-In-The-Butt is race with him…we race to the gate, we race to the barn, we race to every gate whether its real or imaginary. We race to the hay bin, we race to the garbage can!
The most fun I have with the stubborn animal is the stare down game! This fun thing that we do so well together always starts before a race.
For example…the gate has accidentally been left open and we both notice it at the exact, precise time as we stand in the middle of the pasture with the circling goats who make me dizzy watching them, the grunting pig and the mini horse who is in a coma from eating too much!
Dunkay and I squint our eyes at each other, he paws the ground as I stomp it! He lowers his head, I bend over in a professional start race stance… then the rooster crows out COCK-A-DOODLE GOOOOOOO!
Mr Pain-In-The-Butt and I both take off for the open gate as the other animals line up on both sides of us to cheer on their favorite runner (which better be me because I control the grain cup)!
We run and gallop across the pasture, jump over the duck swimming in her puddle, barrel through squawking chickens…only to stop 9″ from the opening because somehow, someway, Chad’s pig is standing there looking up at us! She is daring one of to move her!
That’s when our pushing game begins! I push the donkey towards the pig, he pushes me towards the now grunting pig who is slowing backing up towards the opening…which means the the stupid donkey wins…Nancy has to chase the pig around the yard to get her back inside the pasture!
Yep, that’s the kind of FUN I have here with MY pets!
Escaped Chickens! Again!
One of our dingbat hens decided to hatch eggs outside our fence by the road. Right now she has one chick and, even though the baby can easily get through the fence and her follow it by jumping over, they have decided to be the talk of the neighborhood by not coming over to our side of the fence. And, to top it off, one of the roosters has joined them by jumping over the fence to show everyone that drives by that the feathered family of 3 doesn’t need a barn!
Of course having a chicken family pecking at bugs and grass next to the road has folks sending me messages or calling me to let me know that we have escapees…again.
I’ve been watching these dingbats for 2 days now and cannot catch a chicken that runs under huge bushes next to the road. I’ve threatened them with becoming tomorrow evening’s dinner, put a pile of scratch grain on my side of the fence and promised them the best nesting spot in the barn…far away from the pig! But no, they would rather live outside the fence and wave at the neighbors!
Well tonight the rooster was standing at the gate looking at me like ‘Well? You gonna let me in or what?’ So, I opened the gate to let Mr Annoyance in.
Did he appreciate it and strut in? Noooooooooooo! He did a right angle turn and ran along side the fence towards the road again!
Did I shut the gate and say the heck with it?
Noooooooooo! I left the gate open and ran after him to chase him through!
Did he go through the gate like a good little chicken? Noooooooooo! He ran towards the wide open spaces with me chasing him!
And, to make matters worse? Biscuit saw me running around outside with a rooster and decided to join us! Yep, Nancy, a rooster and a pitbull were running around the yard by the road as cars slowed down to watch the circus and film the crazy farm lady chase a flapping rooster with a huge pit-lab mix jumping and barking.
The Addie Acres’ circus has been entertaining the neighbors and unsuspecting passers-by along150N for almost 10 full years. It may be time to charge admission! 🐔 🐓 🐣 🐕 🤯
cold…wind….sideways rain! yep, my favorite kind of weather! Barn duty is pleasant when I have to take care of cranky, wet and bored animals. Today, the horses refused to let Sammy (llama) and Lincoln (alpaca) inside. By the time I got out there, both were soaked, taking on the appearance of huge drowned rats! They stood at the opening shivering as Sparky stood guard. They practically hugged me when I yelled at Sparky & Laci to get to their side of the barn and behave themselves or NO FOOD! As soon as I opened the inside gate where we store the Gold (Hay), they all jumped, kicked, whinnied, Baaaaa’d, Hee-hawed, pushed, shoved, nipped and begged to be fed first and the most! On top of that, the stupid rooster decided to peck at me when I wasn’t looking. I showed him Mr Axe and he strutted away. Super Farmer is on barn duty tonight whether he wants to be or not! I hung up my farmer overalls and put away the pitch fork for the day!
Bragging about a Potbelly Pig!
I went to an event last night and sat with a few nice ladies that talked about thier beloved pets and the fun things they do that make them smile. Well, I decided to mix it up a bit and talk about Remi, our potbelly pig.
I was sitting there smiling with my eyes closed talking about how the pig waddles from one food source to the other, how she chases away llamas, donkeys, horses, turkeys and, mostly, humans if she thinks they are getting too close to her grain stash!
I fondly recalled how every summer she wallows in the mud puddle that I make just for her on those 90+ degree days! How her and Super Farmer have this non stop battle of the wits to keep her inside any fenced area that he puts up (so far he has lost every battle!). I bragged about how she does tricks and that you can’t pet the pig!
I went on and on about pigs, mud, stubbornness and fights between barn animals!
When I opened my eyes, I saw 5 ladies with eyes wide, mouths hanging open, and ‘oh my gosh’ look frozen on their faces!
I quickly realized that I went too far in the ‘should have been cute little fluffy’ talk.
I laughed a little to ease the horror and they moved their chairs away from me! Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of folks to talk to the rest of the evening!
Finally a beautiful Spring day in March! I get so excited on the first 70° day!
I jumped out of bed this morning at the crack of dawn full of energy, life, vigor, plans, and expectations! (incredibly, without knocking Chad off the bed this time or stepping on something that growls!)
I ran outside to cock-a-doodle-doooooooo with 5, 6, 7 (I’ve lost count) roosters cackling at the sun as it rose above the trees! They seemed very happy to have mom standing outside (hiding from neighbors again) in her red puppy dog robe and cute muck boots with the pink horses on them.
Me and those dingbat chickens welcoming this beautiful new day together!
Anyhoo…what really gets me going is aaaaalll the plans I have today! Barn…yard…porch furniture…bird feeders…looking for swans to take pics….you know, Springtime stuff!
So after singing to the morning sun surrounded by roosters that I complained about all winter…I ran inside to get my hubby up! Yep, I excitedly told him about all the plans I had…for HIM today so he better get up! As usual, he glared at me with one eye open and mumbled about how he really doesn’t like me before noon on a Saturday.
Me? I don’t care, I’ve heard it all before…I played tug of war with him using the blankets…I won. I jumped on the bed like a 5 year old to shake him awake as I gave him Chippie. That dog took one look at him and decided that he was NOT going to have a daddy day and let him know it by showing off his pearly whites.
The grand finale climaxed as I threatened him with what every wife uses to get her way (now, now…out of the gutter, y’all). I told him that it’s chicken liver night for dinner for a month! By George, the man jumped out of bed so fast and ran out the door that all I saw was a flash of human lightning streaking past me!
I caught up with my loving, faithful hubby and gave him my 32.5 page Honey Do list of chores I’ve been working on all winter, kissed his cheek, gave him a love pat on his behind. I watched him stomp to the barn with 200 chickens following him as 2 llamas and an alpaca galloped towards the gate to greet him. Territorial turkey BOB was fully displayed not far behind, getting ready to ‘play’ protect his territory!
Yep, it’s going to be a wonderful, fun, productive Spring day here on the farm!
If you drive by and see Super Farmer out there running from the turkey who is mad that there’s a human in his pasture…make sure you honk and wave!
the Cat and Mother’s Teeth!
Fun with Mother (and the cat)
I went over to Mother’s to help her with a few minor things that usually takes hours, sometimes days!
I found her in the bedroom searching.
I automatically rolled up my sleeves because I knew I was going to be on the hunt for her chompers (teeth)…again.
I made Mother sit in the chair to watch with her kitty who loves it when I come over. For him, it means fresh water, yummy kitty morsals filled up in his dish, a clean litterbox and new legs to weave in and out of! Yep, the cat loves me…a lot!
Anyhoo…I looked behind the bed, under the pillow, by the sink, in the shower, in her clothes…etc.
So, I took each blanket and shook them one by one. The cat thought that that was the best thing ever! He jumped at the blanket flapping in the air as Mother scolded him for interfering in the search for the most important thing in this world…those choppers!
I shook 3 blankets, 2 sheets and matching pillowcases only to find kleenex; cat hair, and a bandaid! I was getting a bit frustrated when I decided do the very heavy, nicely folded bedspread.
I shook what felt like lead material ready for Arnold Schwarzenegger to pump. And yup, those bottom teeth came flying out, flew past my Mother’s head and landed next to the cat!
Not good! That cat jumped up like an excited kitten, and started to bat those teeth like a skilled soccer player. By the time I got to Mother’s teeth, the cat had them halfway across the living room!
I stood in front of those teeth on the floor with the cat sitting there, one paw on the dentures that were now full of orange hair, his bushy tail swishing back and forth looking up at me through squinted eyes just daring me to reach down. After all, this certainly was the most fun he’s had in weeks living with this old woman since she refuses to let him bat at her as she walks with a walker with cat toys attached like a jungle gym!
So yes, Nancy had a stand off with a cat to get Mother’s teeth back in her mouth! It was going to be WW3 smack dab in the middle of an old woman’s house. We both lunged for the fake teeth at the same time and gosh darn if that dang cat isn’t faster than me!
By the time I figured out I was holding nothing but air and cat fur, I could hear Mother’s chompers being batted across the wood floor in the kitchen! I ran to the kitchen to find those chompers next to the stove with no cat. He finally must have got bored and left them there!
I rinsed off her teeth with Listerine and handed Mother the other half of her mouth. Was she grateful? No…she asked what took me so long as the cat loudly purred on her lap looking up at me with one eye opened and a Cheshire smirk on his face! 😻
Sheesh…just another day at mothers house!