An Observation After Dining

In my house there is no such thing as leftovers.  No food will ever be placed into a plastic container and shoved into the back of the refrigerator to grow mold and then be thrown out, container and all, when one finds it and exclaims, “How long has this been in here?!” in dismay.  No. 

There are two reasons for this:  One is that I ration food.  Yes.  I only cook one serving per person.  And sometimes even less.  For example, the Knorr/Lipton Noodle side dish packages claim to be only two servings.  What?  They easily feed four and I’ve been know to stretch them to five.  Modest servings, to be sure, but then shouldn’t all things be in moderation?   If there are three people eating, there may be one scoop left of noodles, but I assure you it is not a leftover.  Why?  Because of Reason Two.  I have poultry.  Any remaining food scraps are gathered together and given to the chickens and Mrs. Duck. 

Mrs. Duck.  She is the real reason for this observation.  I understand that scientifically she is a duck, a Anas platyrhynchos domestica to be precise, but the plain truth is that she is a pig. 

Posanka, the Half Duck Half Pig, from Turku, Finland

I must say that I had never observed the extent of her gluttonous behaviour until today.  There were some canned ravioli my husband found unpalatable and some rice and a smidge of green beans.  The chickens daintily pick at their food; Peck, Peck, wipe beak, so genteel….  But Mrs. Duck comes with a back up alarm and a shovel.  Beep, Beep, Beep, Clunk, Shovelshovelshovelshovelshovel !  It is appalling!  I actually had to shepherd (no, she’s not a sheep), um, herd her away from the girls so they could partake of the delicacies.  

It should have come as no surprise to me, her lack of manners and her uncouth ways.  After all, who else leaves mud in the bottom of their water when they are done? 



I thought not. 



Coming Up For Air

Things have been so stressful this summer but I feel like I am finally beginning to breathe again.  I can look around and be content. 

The garden produced well in spite of everything.  I gave virtually all of it away but next year I will plant less of everything and more of what I really would use.  Less tomatoes, more lettuce.  Stagger broccoli planting, plant some beans, carrots, etc.  Make it a salad garden.  Fresh salad every night.  What could be better?

The chickens are also at a perfect point:  Enough to feed us with maybe a dozen extra per week to give away.  They don’t eat too much, there aren’t so many that I feel pressured, they aren’t hiding eggs.  It’s good. 

My arm is getting better every week.  I only take ibuprofen twice a day, and that’s a great indicator of improvement in pain levels.  I can use it more and I try to remember to do that.  I use it with intention, concentrating on the muscles I’m supposed to be stretching.  I can foresee that it will continue to improve and that one day all this will be a bad memory.  

My BIL’s condition has deteriorated, as we knew it would, and he is in the hospital right now.  There are serious doubts that he will return to our house.  They want to put him in a back brace to prevent further spine fractures as his bones deteriorate, but the doctors really want him confined to bed.  We have always said we could not care for him if he became bed ridden.  I’ve done CNA work with really ill people before and I am no longer physically capable of that and my husband is not up to the challenge.  So while the inevitability of his passing draws closer, the breathing space offered by his removal to the hospital has been palpable and welcome. 

The special clarity of Autumn is approaching rapidly.  This has been an exceptionally cool summer and I am trying to prepare for an early onset of Fall.  Some of our leaves are turning already.  I ask myself if they do that every year and I am just rushing things?  Possibly.  But there is the distinct feeling of winding down now, of settling. As if Autumn were the evening of a long day and one can now rest for just a bit and regather their spirit. 

The air is clean and sweet tonight as I take a few slow, deep breaths. 

Better.  Much better.

Rude Awakening

Most people are familiar with the temporary limitations imposed by illness;  Perhaps the flu causes us to be weak and easily fatigued or a broken bone causes us to modify our activities until the bone is healed.  I have to admit that this injury continually smacks me in the face with new limitations, new realizations that it was not just the bone but the muscle and it is  screwed up but good.

Today I went to perform a monthly chore, buying feed for the chickens.  Normally I go to my favorite little store, Carson’s, and they haul the bag out of the storage room and put it in the back of the truck for me.  I get home,  throw it across my shoulder, carry it across the yard, open it and dump it into the can.  Relatively simple.

Well, not today.  Carson’s is closed on Sundays and this required I go to Tractor Supply.  They only had one person on duty, it seemed, and they were behind the counter with a long line of people waiting.  So I gamely got my cart and pushed it down to the poultry feed aisle and selected the Layena Pellets.  Good.  Yes.  Now, how do I get that in the cart?  I can’t.  Of course.  So, I’ll put it on the bottom level.  How hard can it be?  5 minutes later….It was on enough that it was not dragging on the floor.  Much.  The hardest part was that there was no brake on the cart so that it kept moving when I tried to umph the bag up.  Grrr.

Okay.  That wasn’t so bad.  Check out, wheel the thing out to the car.  Now how am I going to get that thing up into the truck which is an easy two and a half feet off the ground?  Heave bag onto ground.  Boost bag onto running board which suddenly went from being an accessory I dislike to a really helpful tool.  Heave up onto floorboard of back seat and shove in.  Pant profusely and get behind the wheel.

Wow.  That was tough.  But it’s done.  Now I get to drive home and have a well deserved swig of the soda that I bought while I was in the store.  Take cap off before I start car, get going, stretch over with left hand and grab bottle.  Good so far.  Raise bottle with left hand to mouth….  Let’s try that again….Raise bottle…..Stupid, stupid arm!!!!  This should be a physical therapy exercise!!!  Why don’t they prepare you for this?  Stretch, stretch, okay, I got a sip but I would never be able to drink the whole bottle using my left arm to raise it.

By the time I got home I had resigned myself to the fact that this was going to be a day for accepting help.  My husband came out when I got home and he carried the bag into the chicken yard and emptied it out into the can.  I think I could have done it with the wheelbarrow and patience.  Time will tell.

While the arm feels 75% better, it works about 50% better and that’s really not enough.  I haven’t been challenging it enough to even see all the ways in which it is limited, obviously.  I know I’ll never change a ceiling light bulb again; There are too many parts of the activity which require the reaching up of both arms above the head.  It is ridiculous that at 54 I am restricted from such basic activities.

But there you have it.  It is what it is.  I’ll suck it up and keep going and look up ways to modify how I do some things so that I can continue to do them even with the limitations.  I know that I still have another six weeks of therapy and much of this may be a moot point by then.  (Although my surgeon himself was the one who told me I will never have full over head motion.)

So, today may have been a rude awakening, but at least I’m awake now.

And that’s a good thing.

All Around The World

2014 is a landmark year for Jehovah’s Witnesses.  It is 100 years since 1914.  What happened then that made it so special?  It is the understanding of Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus Christ established his Kingdom in the heavens then, cast Satan and his demons out of heaven, and began the Last Days of this system of things which surround us. 

In an effort to reach as many people as possible with the Good News of God’s Kingdom and how it will benefit mankind, Jehovah’s Witnesses have created a truly awesome educational tool.  It is

To get the word out about this website, Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world will be passing out a tract which encourages people to check it out.  This may be the first one you see, it will probably not be the last. campaign 001 campaign 003 campaign 004 campaign 005

There is a fantastic video available to watch if you follow the QR code on the back or click on the link on the front page of the site. 

I encourage you to browse.  There is so much to see and new things are added all the time:  children’s videos, coloring pages, bible based comic books, guidance for teens, families, adults.