Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring Thaw

Spring thaw. I wish.  But it was a great day to remind myself that Spring is only a month away. 


The chickens were happy not to have to stand one-footed in the snow and ice.


Snowball is absolutely filthy after rolling in the mud.

The three dogs running up the hill smelling all the smells that have been hidden under snow for months!



Tipper will be much happier when the snow is completely gone.


The creek is twice its normal size from the melting snow.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Old

Old is a very subjective word.  When I was 10, anyone in high school was old.  When I was in high school, anyone over 20 was old.  Back then, old was something we looked forward to, that we strived to be.  Old enough to drive, old enough to vote, old enough to drink.  Somewhere along the line I’ve noticed that the theme has gone from old enough to too old.  Old, all of a sudden, has become an excuse.  An excuse to not dance, an excuse to not run, an excuse to not sing, not skip, not jump, not this, not that.  No wonder ‘getting old’ is thought of as something to be avoided. 

But seriously, we are all getting old-er.  Is getting older at the age of 60 any different than getting older at the age of 6?  I’m not in extraordinarily good shape.  But I try to use my body in the manner in which it was meant to be used.  I lift things, I walk wherever I can walk, I run for exercise, I rest when I’m tired, I do the things I need to do.  Not for any heroic reasons, but because I have to.  Being old doesn’t cut it with the horses or Dolly Llama or the cow or the dogs.  I can’t holler out to the animals to get their own darn food because I’m too old.

I do know that I am lucky to have made to nearly the half-point of my life relatively unscathed.  And yes, I totally plan on living at least until I am 98.  And that is a young estimate.  I will accept the normal, real aging of my body – but I sure hope that karma bites me on the foot if I ever, ever needlessly use old as an excuse not to do something simply because I don’t feel like doing it.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gone

I know as a parent, I've made too many mistakes to possibly count.  And many of which I would be ashamed to list.  I think all parents make mistakes: we care too much, we care too little about the wrong things, we jump in when we should have stood back and then stood back when maybe we should have jumped in.  I'm sure that at one time or another, we've all been ashamed of our families or ashamed of where we've come from.  I believe that is part of growing up. 

I know-looking back-that when I was a very young, single mother, I focused on the wrong things. I was selfish. I desperately wanted to finish college so that my own parents would be proud of me.  So that I would be a good role model to my son and daughter.  There was a time when certain choices most likely would have taken me in an entirely different direction.  Perhaps, had I made a different choice, I would have a beautiful home, a new car, nice clothes: the kind of life a child would be proud to show off to friends.  Instead, I didn't choose the college-educated husband, the guy who was a scientist.  I chose a person who I felt was truly good.  A kindred spirit.  A little rough around the edges, but a good, good person. 

I guess you don't only lose people in death.  You lose people by choice as well.  Sometimes people decide that for whatever reason, you just don't fit into their lives any more. And it hurts just the same.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My view of the world

How many times have I made snap judgments of a person and then found myself totally wrong. I tend to do that –and am absolutely horrified that I do this. It is one of the many areas in which I most want to improve. I wonder how many people I have unknowingly hurt just because of this nasty, nasty habit. How many times have I decided in a second that I don’t like someone because they failed to make eye contact, because they didn’t smile, or because of some other transgression.

I think of myself and how I am likely to be seen by others. On a day filled with meetings and I am dressed to impress, someone may look at me and see me for the professional that I am. At home, someone may see me lugging buckets of feed and water wearing my dirty old coveralls and see me for the Lola Granola that I am. Outside, someone may see me in my running shoes running through woods and see me for the runner that I am. Or maybe they see me in old jeans, an old T-shirt, hair in a ponytail and see me as the slob that I am. That we all are. We all are many different things. And it is all alright.

Snap judgments are spirit killers. I do it all the time. I’m sure people drive by my house and see only the stuff in the backyard: old lawnmowers, tires for planting potatoes, firewood strewn about all over.  It is easy to take one look and chalk me up as someone who doesn’t care instead of someone – no doubt organizationally challenged--who has so many other passions in life, that straightening up the backyard is low on my list of priorities and the state of my yard belies the other areas of life in which I donate my time and energy for the good of others.

Hastily judging other on only one facet is a mistake that I make time and time again.  Looking at one’s outward appearance and assuming I know their whole story is a bad habit that I have consciously been trying to break.  It hurts when it happens to me and I am abhorred that I do the very same thing to someone else.

Over the past several years, I’ve consciously tried to reserve judgment on people. Short, tall, heavy, thin, neat, messy – we all have something to give. Share a cup of tea with me and I’ll bring you a loaf of the best bread you’ve ever eaten. After all, we are all just humans trying to make sense of our time here.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Old Goat's new goat

Meet Cedric.  Nigerian Dwarf.  Purchased locally.  Hopefully he will be joined by a Toggenberg/Nigerian Dwarf Doe. 

A farm named One Old Goat Farm needs a goat.  Really.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The hardest thing.

The worst feeling of all is not a divorce, not a broken heart, not a broken limb.  It is watching your children hurt and not being able to help them.  At all. 

My oldest two kids' grandfather is dying of congestive heart failure. He is the dad of my first husband and one of the kindest, gentlest souls I've known.  My daughter is simply broken-hearted and there is nothing I can do about it.  There is nothing I can say. No 'it will be okay' because it won't.  No 'please don't cry, please don't worry' because there is every reason to cry and to worry.  She is 150 miles away in the snowbelt and I can't hug her.  I can't assure her that her grandfather is not scared and not hurting...... because I've not experienced death, I just don't know.  My son is hurting, I know - but he's not made of the same material from which his sister is made.  He is like his dad - and no one will ever know how much he hurts.  And I'm not so sure how Ryan would take a hug from his mom right now.

Life sucks sometimes.  Death sucks even worse.  Maybe if I hadn't shielded them all from every little thing when they were little.  Maybe if I had taken them to funerals.  But really, does death ever get any easier?  I know it is a part of life - just like birth is a part of life.  I had the benefit of growing up and spending time near a funeral home.  Visiting my grandmother when I was a kid and who lived right across the street from the funeral home that my grandfather founded, I spent a lot of time playing around death.  Probably way more than my parents know.  I'm comfortable with the thought of death.  But I don't like the part of losing people I love even for a while. 

For many years I avoided being in contact with old people.  I was so afraid of losing them.  I remember distinctly trying not to befriend someone from my first church because I afraid they were going to die and I just couldn't handle it.  This was years and years ago.  Since then, I've lost several people very close to me - my own grandfather, my aunt, and a couple of uncles.  Crazy as it sounds, they are still with me.  Well, my aunt is with me - I haven't seen my grandfather or either my uncles for quite a while.

I know there is more after we leave this world.  This is more than just wishful thinking.  All of my struggles with my faith have brought me here.  But my daughter is struggling to figure out where she is spiritually and I'm not so sure of where my son stands at all.  I wish there was something that I could say that would ease the pain a bit.  I know their grandfather is not going to be in this world much longer and that it is going to hurt like nothing they can imagine.  I know that they are thinking 'what/who is next?'.  Their lives are going to change in ways they just can't fathom.  But grandpa will be with them.  I know this. 

You've had a good run, Don.  Now you just get to hang with the turkeys. And with Max.  And with Tasha.  The dogs of Heaven will rejoice.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Frozen.


A look from afar at the beginning of Seven Mountains
One Old Goat Farm is frozen solid.  We woke up this morning to a frosty glaze over our portion of the world.  Although the wind picked up later in the day, the sun came out and really made the ice sparkle.  Here are just some pictures from my neck of the woods.

Nature's icy ornaments


Some chickens who were just too chicken to venture outside.

Dolly Llama says, cold? What cold?



 


Clover doesn't care as long as she has some hay to munch.



Some of the chickens brave enough to have a picnic.
My icy car that I was very happy not to have needed to drive.