Sunday, October 16, 2016

Quarter Century

The girls and I have recently returned home from a road trip.  We left right after school on Friday, and drove down to VA for my 25th college reunion.

We had a really fun and busy weekend!

We stayed with JP's cousins, who hosted one of their sisters & her husband, as well as JP's sister & brother-in-law, along with us for a delicious breakfast on Saturday morning.

Afterwards, the girls headed off with their Aunt and Uncle to the Book Fair, which was a place that JP and I enjoyed going once a month to stock up on books.  While they were otherwise entertained, I drove the couple of miles to my Alma Mater, and met with the other 10 people who showed up from my graduating class of 1991.

After lunch in the cafeteria (which hasn't changed much), the girls and I met up again with my sister-in-law and niece to walk in a nearby park for an hour or so.

We returned to the school in time for the women's soccer game, in which 3 of my classmates had daughters playing!  We managed to find a food truck from our favorite ice cream joint in the parking lot, so we could eat our Kline's ice cream during the game.  I also got to hang with our Loyal Royal mascot, Herm, for a couple of minutes.

After the game, we went to one of my friend's homes to continue catching up.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  J had a hard time believing that all these women were part of "my squad."  I think it's because sadly, I don't have many friends that I hang with anymore.  She was also astounded when I said that college was a lot of fun.  "I thought it would be a lot of work, "  she said.  I assured her that we put the work in too, but living with your friends 24/7 had a lot of positives, along with just a couple of negatives.

My "Squad" (along with a little photo bomber in the upper left!) 
This morning we drove back to our corner of PA, and have spent the afternoon catching up on laundry and homework.

My mom & I went to the orchard last week, and came home with 2 bushels of apples of 4 different varieties, so it's time to make my Special Ingredient Apple Sauce tomorrow.  Sigh...the weekend flew by way too fast!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Critter Update

The minions are back!  By that I mean the swarms of nasty stink bugs that have been visiting our neck of the woods every Fall for the past few years.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
-By Yerpo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
JP wages war with them every year, but usually it seems to be a losing battle.  This year, however, he found information that they can be killed with a solution of soap and water.  Most evenings lately, he has been outside, spraying hundreds of BMSBs with his squirt bottle of soapy water.  There are minion carcasses everywhere, and splotches all over the siding and windows from the soapy water.

Yesterday I hosed down the front door, as the glass was all smudgy from the soap.  I guess I did too good of a job, because early this morning, before the sun was even up, a little bird flew headfirst into the storm door.  I was cautious opening the door when I heard the thump, because I was a bit concerned about things bumping into my door at 7 AM when it was still fairly dark out.  The little guy was on his back, and I thought he was a goner.  I nudged him with my toe, which flipped him right side up, and he stood and hopped a bit!  I put him in a box of wood shavings on the deck - safe from marauding kitties, and an hour later, he had flown away.  I was able to identify him as an Eastern Towhee...a pretty little thing.

Photo by Jim Hully of
Ernie cat has been looking a bit bedraggled lately.  Over the weekend, I noticed that one of his cheeks was puffed out pretty significantly.  He unwillingly let me feel around, and I didn't see any wounds on his face or neck, and his ear on that side looked ok too.  He wouldn't let me look in his mouth though.  Last night, JP told me that I should probably take Ernie to the Vet today, because he was "smelling."  This morning, the poor guy had goo all over the side of his face and neck, but the swelling was gone.  This afternoon I was able to examine it better.  He is obviously feeling better, and purred the entire time that I washed his face and sprayed it with my magic farm boo-boo spray.  He apparently had an abscess that ruptured on it's own.  Right now it looks clean and should probably clear up on its own.  Whew...Vet visit averted!

Now I am off to clean out the chicken house a bit.  It was pretty smelly this morning when I opened up after closing up for our chilly 38* night!

That's the critter report from Poplar Ridge.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


I have been feeling nostalgic this week for the walks that the girls and the dogs used to take with me.  Every walk was an adventure, and we were guaranteed to find something interesting.  I would hold the girls' little hands, and we would chat about anything and everything.  J no longer cares to go for walks with me, and I no longer have 2 dogs to walk with.  In fact, I find it so much more efficient to get on the elliptical for 30 minutes, that I haven't walked regularly for a long time.

This afternoon after L's soccer game, she and Stella and I took a walk around the property.  We found turkey feathers, cow hoof prints, and Stella almost had a conniption when she spotted a squirrel.  L held my hand, and we chatted about this and that.  It was lovely.

It did a great deal to relax me too.  This is J's last week of soccer, which means that we can soon eat dinner together again at a decent hour most evenings.  Things are looking up!

Enjoy Fall!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Country Life

I never know what sort of hick thing is going to make me late on any given day.  Earlier this week, the chickens got out, and I had to spend time herding hens.  Today I got behind this guy:

If you can't make it out, there's a cow walking down the middle of the road.

Friday, September 30, 2016


It has been a quiet week.  That is not to say that we haven't been busy, we have.  The house is quiet with Kali gone.  Stella was quite depressed for a while...didn't really eat for about a week.  I think she is back to normal now.

It has rained over 3 inches in the past 24 hours.  That, along with the fact that I hurt my back carrying Kali, and digging a hole, gave me the opportunity to sit at my sewing machine for the past 2 afternoons.

I did a bunch of little projects that have been sitting on my desk for awhile:

Two heart shaped pincushions.

A tea bag wallet.

Fruit placemats.

A pillow made from my worn out T-shirt from my trip to the Philippines in 1989.

The most fun thing was this tea cosy for my new tea pot!

Now that there will be mud outside instead of rock-hard ground, and I am almost back to normal after 2 visits to the Chiropractor, I will have to head back to the weeding project in the garden this weekend.

Have a good one!

Monday, September 19, 2016


Kali didn't make it.  She seemed a bit better yesterday morning, but wasn't drinking again by bedtime.  She couldn't even stand this morning, and was jaundiced.

I took her back to the vet this morning, and she offered to admit her, but wasn't holding forth much hope due to her rapid decline.  Instead, we all said our goodbyes to her before heading to school and work, and I brought her home from the vet in a shroud.

Mom and Dad helped me dig a hole under the big oak tree where Zach and Daisy are buried.  When JP and the girls are home this evening, we will put her to rest there.

She is leaving a big hole in our family...bigger than the one under the oak tree.

Sleep sweet, Kali Gal.

Stella is gonna miss her too!

Chasing the ball was her favorite thing - she did it on Thursday.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Time Flies When You're Having...Fun?

When I stop and think about it, the amount of time that I spend on seemingly futile activities every week is somewhat staggering.  For example,  I try to spend some time weekly to keep my moss bed free of weeds.  As you can see, I seem to be fighting a losing battle.

I did spend over an hour on Friday making that delicious Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream that I made before, and then accidentally left out on the counter over night.  This time we were able to enjoy it twice!

On Friday afternoon, I picked L up at school and we drove 40 minutes to watch J's first soccer game (which they won 7-0.)  I wouldn't consider that time wasted, as we had time to chat, and even listen to a story on CD. 

Yesterday morning, I spent an hour and a half at the vet with Kali.  It looked like she was peeing blood on Friday night.  After a bunch of tests, it looks like she was dehydrated, had a UTI, and also has Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (in which her body is attacking her red blood cells.) So this explains the "blood" in her urine, which is probably mostly bilirubin from breaking down those cells, as well as the fact that she has been laying around so much for the past couple of weeks.  In fact, on Thursday afternoon, she was too tired to chase the ball, which is one of her favorite things to do!  She got IV fluids at the vet, as well as injections of antibiotic and steroids, and she came home with antibiotics, steroids and Pepcid to take twice a day for a while.  She returns to the vet tomorrow morning, where I assume they will check her blood again. 

Her urine is lighter in color today, which I am taking as a good sign.  Otherwise, it is basically wait and see...there is a very real possibility that she will not recover from this.  I think that fact hit J hard last night, as she got out of bed after 10 PM, and came upstairs to "say goodnight to Kali."

After we got home from the vet, I spent another hour and a half hauling water for our cistern.  It isn't wasted time, but it is extremely boring:  it takes 30 minutes to drive to the water station, fill the buffalo, drive home, and empty it.  Thank goodness for podcasts to listen to during that task!

Today the whole family drove an hour into the Middle-of-Nowhere, PA for L's first soccer game.  Unfortunately, her team was shut out, 0-9.  Since today is officially "National Cheeseburger Day", we stopped at Five Guys on the way home for some awesome cheeseburgers and fries.

Now here it is:  Sunday evening.  A whole, new week begins in just a few hours.  This week features more soccer games and soccer practice, voice lessons, vet appointments, Dr. appointments, work and school, along with the weekly making and canning of tomato sauce...along with all of the little futile things that eat up the hours.  Enjoy them all!