Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Packing for a move.  Not even my own move.  Not even one move. Some of these things are going into storage, until some future time when Mary has a permanent place of her own.  Some of these things are going to Phoenix, where she'll spend a couple of weeks, and then come back for a bit in the fall.  And some of these things are going with her to Oregon, where she has an internship.  The piles, and the Post-Its, and the confusion, have been a little overwhelming.  And exhausting. 

But it will be done, soon.  It has to be done before Friday.  Two days of packing down, another half to come, then trips back and forth to a storage locker that is 3 1/2 hours away.  --whew--

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Graduation Day!

Finally, after 6 years...

It was a good, good day, involving layers of family, a gorilla, and much celebrating.

A gorilla?

Let me explain.

Early morning, coffee with Dad and Grandpa.

Then, breakfast, which we called breakfast, but was actually lunch.  Its Macomb.

 Not one ate pony shoes, (a local delicacy) so, I guess you could say it didn't count.  But we had fun.  And grandson John got to meet the gorilla.  (Bonus pic of Mary and friend Brandon)

This gentleman strolls through town, in a gorilla costume, and folks take pictures with him.  He's very friendly, although completely silent.  And I hear he has a Santa costume at Christmastime.

After breakfast, we waited while Mary prepped for the ceremony.  That involved more coffee, and lots of discussion of the proper time to leave.  There were multiple ceremonies in the same venue, and we wanted to avoid being caught in the in and out dance; one ceremony leaving the venue, one coming in.  We did not.

The ceremony was thankfully short and sweet.  We managed, coincidentally, to find seats right above the row where Mary would sit.

She was so "pleased".  Even more pleased was her seatmate, Aron, who is trying to extort $5 for every picture we publish that includes him! In the end, it was over, and she had a lovely souvenir of her time in college.

Then came lots and lots of pictures, which caused her face to hurt.

We had dinner, afterward, at a local pizza pub.  Sadly, we forgot to take pictures.
Now the fun of moving her out of her apartment begins...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Adventure Awaits...

It has been AGES, but I'm baaaack!!

We are about to head out on an amazing adventure, so I have decided to revive the blogs.  For the next week or so, we will be back in Illinois, seeing our daughter graduate from college, and also visiting our old stomping grounds, plus some new places.

Then, we will get into a thin, metal tube, and allow ourselves to be flung across the pond.  We're headed to Ireland, where John's maternal ancestors lived.  (There are some French ones in there, too, but we'll do that another time.) 

So, watch this space.  I will post posts (??) on Facebook, but will turn off commenting, there.  I would rather have the comments at the blogs, so that, when I finally get around to printing them into a book, I will have your words of wisdom, right there!  When we get to Ireland, I'll be posting at my travel blog, but you'll see that link on Facebook, then.

So, come along for the fun!

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Daily Grind

Its been a while since I posted. In fact, its been, what, three or four years since I posted with any regularity.

Life gets in the way. It seems like things should be less complicated these days. I am no longer working. Our kids are all launched; Mary headed off to university this spring, and, although she's home for the summer, she's working. So that part of our life is in the past. (I can't say, "Over." It hurts too much.) I am back to the original role I had in this marriage; that of housewife. I manage the house, and the yard, but, other than that, my time is my own.

So it seems that I should be living what my mom called the "life of Reilly"; lazing around in a spotless home, enjoying bon bons and shopping.

But, no. I have lots to keep me busy. I took on extra animals this year; we have probably 100 various chickens and turkeys, 4 sheep, 4 goats, a horse, and 6 pigs. Oh, and 2 dogs, and 3 cats. This summer we sent Henry off to live with his boy, but I picked up a Border collie puppy. Molly is 3 months old now, and, little does she know, will be my sheep-moving companion at some future point.

So the feeding and cleaning are endless. Then there's the mowing. We had a tremendously wet spring, which meant the lawn was not an issue until sometime in late May. Not that it didn't need cutting; it did, desperately. Bt it just couldn't happen. I even tried staining the deck; couldn't get 4 dry days in a row from mid-April until the end of July!

The house needs care, too. Beyond the daily cleaning, groceries, and laundry, we haven't done anything to this house in 18 years. So, this spring, we decided to redecorate the. Whole. Thing. We're starting with the basement, and my May and June have been spent packing up all of our stuff and taking it to a storage locker. We're doing ceilings to floors, and I just didn't want stuff in the way. Sadly, no work has yet begun, although we're supposed to be unloading that storage locker Labor Day weekend! With all the animal and yard stuff, the packing has not been finished. Packing is further complicated by decluttering; I'm getting rid of things we no longer need/want.

And we still have family to care for and about. My dad likes to get together for meals 3 times a week. You'd think that would be easy; you gotta eat, right? But logistics are never simple, are they? Grandchildren come to visit, kids come back in and out from time to time. Keri's nieces have been visiting her from California this summer; time was spent with them.

In short, this "retired from parenting and working" life is NOT retiring, in the sense of less work and responsibility. The "life of Reilly" is probably unattainable. But its keeping me young and fit and out of trouble. I guess the world should be glad for that last bit!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

So, at the risk of being like this guy...

I received two posts from Facebook friends today. The first said this;

If your church doesn't have an Ascension Day service, ask your pastor why. If your church has one and you don't attend, ask yourself why.

The second was much longer, and can be found here.

Two posts, both purporting to be Christian messages, both so full of hate and judgement that I worried on them for a couple of hours.

I can't do that anymore. It seems Facebook posts swing from one side of a pendulum to another. There's no socializing on the social network; its all what I call skunking; spray your stink on someone, then stand back and watch what you actions produce.

I appreciate my friends, but I am deactivating my Facebook account. Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Day in the Life

You know, when you think about living on a farm--even a small farmette, like ours--it seems so...bucolic? Romantic? Idyllic? Let me tell you about my day.

So, I wake up around 6:30, have a cup of coffee, feed the dog. Mind you, at this point, I'm already half an hour "late." How can I be late, you ask, if its my home, my day, my routine? Because critters don't let you have a home, a day, a routine. It starts with feeding the little goats. I have a rule; I do not eat breakfast until everyone else has theirs. But NOBODY gets their breakfast until I have my coffee! So I drink the elixir of life, check email and Facebook, and then head to the kitchen to mix goat formula.

The little darlings are bleating to beat the band when I open the door. Porter, who has figured out how to drink out of a tub, (he never did catch on to drinking out of a bottle, but that's neither here nor there) jumps at his milk so enthusiastically that he spills a third of it on the ground. Lego and Teddy tuck into their bottles, sucking them down in about 2 minutes. (We're talking a pint each, here. That's FAST!) I give them a bit of grain, and head to the barn.

Gimpy wants OUT, and right NOW! He lives in our barn at night, but has free run of the place most days. If we leave for the day, he has to stay in his stall, which does not make him happy, but it does keep him off of the highway. Once I let him out, he takes off after Skye, who is afraid of his horns. A sheepdog afraid of a goat. --hangs head in shame-- That's OK; Skye's been bringing me a Jolly ball to kick for the last little while, and its really starting to annoy. (Yes, a Jolly ball is a horse toy, and our dog plays with it. That's OK. I bought it for the pigs, originally.)

I get some hay out for Wakiya, who meets me at the gate with a whicker and a whinny. She'll be staying in our dry lot until mid-May, when the pasture is ready for her. She doesn't like it, but she's a horse, and (mostly) has no choice. I have started putting her on pasture in the evening, for an hour or so, to get her used to grass. If she starts too fast, I'm told it can cause problems. I've never seen those problems, and I don't want to.

I head back to the barn, measure a bit of grain for the sheep, and deliver it to them. The chickens have been watching all of this with interest, but they don't get fed until evening.

Son #2, whose drywalling job has nothing for him today, shows up to do farm work. I set him to cutting brush and trees from the shoreline of our pond. It's been ignored for at least 5 years, so it's a mess, and we want to reclaim it this year.

I have decided to work in the garden until noontime, when my extended family gets together at a local restaurant for lunch. But...the phone rings. Farm and Fleet calling, with an urgent message that my new chicks are in, and I NEED TO COME GET THEM IMMEDIATELY. Almost two hours later, I arrive home with the new kids. F&F and I have different meanings for the word "immediately; theirs involves having me, the customer, wait around for my order, after telling me to HURRY UP AND COME GET IT! I'll get over it, someday.

I fuss with extension cords, trying to provide electricity to one of our chicken huts, so I can put the little chicks under a heat lamp for the first two weeks of their little lives. I can't get power to it; not with different cords, not with different plugs. Our cords being ancient, I even head out to buy a new extension cord, heat lamp, and bulb. No joy. A call to John reminds me that there are such things as breakers, and I may have blown one. Yep, I did. And now we learn that the same breaker that governs the power to the chicken house also governs power to my chest freezer. I want that changed! I fuss with this for so long that I miss the extended family lunch date.

After lunch, (which I do get to eat, just in my kitchen, instead of someone else's) son heads back to the pond, and I transplant some herbs into the garden. I am creating a redneck-themed garden area this year; that's another blog post on another day. But the herbs are set and doing well.

I stop, after planting, for a cup of coffee. I have to decide between cleaning the barn or cleaning the house. Decisions...Decisions...The house won. There wasn't enough time left in the day, so I'll do the barn tomorrow.

The house is clean...ish. Dinner looms. After cooking a lovely steak, I head out to feed animals. Bleating goats...skittish sheep...Gimpy gets grain, and knows it, so, until I do that, he's underfoot. Fetch Wakiya from her pasture time, put her back in the dry lot. Feed the chickens, and collect eggs. Head inside to do dishes.

So, where did I lose you? Were you tired after morning feeding, or was it later in the day? I lost myself somewhere between electricity and herbs. But, Scarlett, tomorrow is another day!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Where Did the Week Go?

Isn't it Sunday? I mean, my last post was on Saturday, and it can't be more than a day later, right?


Seriously, the week had just flown by. There was cleaning done, and more cleaning. Goats were fed, and fed again. They had their "boy" operation, which meant a visit from our favorite vet. They've been having some...digestive issues, which is only to be expected, given their age, stress level, and the fact that they've increased their eating dramatically. But they'll get through.

The garden got rototilled this week. I've been letting the chickens out into it, so they can dig up any grubs and weeds. I'll think about planting next weekend. I have seed potatoes already, and I'll pick up some lettuces, spinach and carrot seeds, and herbs.

John stayed home today, and we spent the day preparing our pig pen for this year's residents. We expect 8. It'll be the most we've ever raised, and I'm a little nervous about it. I can hear those who raise dozens laughing at me...

I'm considering a momentous decision, which I'll talk about when its been made. Don't you just love vague statements like that?

I am so tired I can barely stay upright at my desk. Grandchildren are coming for a visit this weekend, and youngest son is moving into the house he and his fiancee will share come October, when they get married. Wow. I'd better get some rest.