I'm thankful that I've got a nice warm home, the best neighbors in the whole world, two wonderful sons and a nice little flock of sheep in the barn. Not to mention tons of wool to felt with (when I get done with all my paperwork -- thank you notes are top priority -- right after final grant reports), a supportive community and lots of opportunities to keep making my art.
I have some nice birds too, but those ducks are so mischievous flying all over the place -- including the roof and on vehicles. They and the geese are mean to the chickens so I have to keep them separated now. It seems that 99% of the chicks that hatched here this year were roosters. I think I may have one little black hen for replacement. So I'll call my friend Marianna to see if she wants some roosters for her freezer (mine is already filled).
In August of 2010 we had a big storm and a HUGE oak tree fell in our sheep pasture -- right on the fenceline. Well now I have plenty of wood to see me through the winter. I love making a fire down in the "man cave" which is so empty these days. The fire brings warmth and life back to Stan's space.
I've been doing okay, there's a lot to do. A couple weeks ago, Matt and I ran over to pick up some hay from the 40 acres in Ogilvie. I backed the truck into the pole shed and hopped in the back to start stacking the bales Matt threw to me. Well, it wasn't long before the truck slipped out of park and started slowly moving out of the building. I contemplated hopping out, but it picked up speed as it rolled into the hayfield with Matt running along pulling on the tailgate. I was beginning to think I'd end up in the swamp, but fortunately it came to a stop in the middle of the field. Then there was nothing left to do but hop out of the back and get back in, put it in reverse and make sure I used the emergency brake this time. I'll bet Stan got a chuckle out of that! And it was kind of exciting.
The next week, the battery on the pick up died and I replaced it (with the help of the neighbor guys). After the first 6" snowfall, there was no shortage of people volunteering to plow my driveway. I shoveled the sidewalk and a path out to the pole barn myself and it felt good.
I also went to a concert all by myself last Sunday. There's a wonderful little Lutheran church in the country about 12 miles away from here. They have monthly concerts with pie afterward. I've really gotten into bluegrass music this year, so I went to see the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra (which offers a pretty eclectic musical repetroire) and enjoyed the wintery afternoon in the little church with the late afternoon sun shining through the stained glass windows and the statue of Jesus behind the drummer and electric guitars. It's really a cool place for these intimate concerts. I only knew one other couple, and I hoped to find a seat next to them when it came time for the pie and coffee. I had considered just leaving after making a free will offering for the band, and I have to admit the worrisome thought of my van slipping out of park and across the road crossed my mind too. But the pie smelled so good, I decided to stay. Of course the couple I knew was surrounded by others, so I sat next to a couple of strangers. They turned out to be very nice, but I didn't stay long because it was already dark. I was so glad I went and had a fun afternoon.
|Dora, Rita and me
I also found an esophageal cancer widows support group online. How cool is that? I didn't know about them until after Stan died and they invited me to join. I had lunch with two members from Minnesota last week. I can't tell you how good it was for me to sit and talk with women who have had such a similar experience. One lost her husband exactly a week after Stan died. Her husband was diagnosed in July, just a couple weeks after Stan was diagnosed. So she's in the same boat as me. The other gal lost her husband four or five years ago when he was 46 and she was 45. He lived a year after his diagnosis. Esophageal cancer is a tough one to beat, the chances of survival are very low. The worst thing is it usually has no symptoms until it's pretty far advanced and then it's just too late. I want to work to get the word out about this deadly disease and the effect it has on so many lives.
Well, I've got animals to feed and then get ready to head down to my mom's and Stan's sister's for Thanksgiving. I'm bring the homemade pumpkin pies, from homegrown pumpkins. Yummm!
Hope you all have a great day.