MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE COUNTRY GIRL AND HER FAMILY!
I don’t know of any year that has flown by like 2013. We’ve been very blessed to have been healthy most of the time.
We enjoyed a fairly good harvest season and hunting season on the farm.
January/February started with some wet weather which was good for the very dry pastures and hayfields. It was a good start for our hay season to come. We had lots of icy mornings for me to travel to work but luckily when they are very icy I can work from home. Through out the month we had some snow but nothing major.
Eddie got back into coonhunting this year and had two walker hounds and a redbone. Later in the year he got a beautiful plott female that he hopes to train to be as good a dog as some he’s had in the past.
Little brother, Dean, remained a groundhog, and stayed in as much as possible. He does not like the cold weather.
I quilted some, crocheted some and I’m working on a cookbook for my family and I’m teaching myself to knit!
Eddie and I celebrated our 41st year together February 4th and our daughter turned another year older February 3rd!
I found a new home for my Norwegian Elkhound. She’s not turned into the hunter/farm dog I was hoping for and she is now living with a wonderful family that has two beautiful kids and Dusty loves kids and attention. Belle, one of the new dogs, got lost for seven days and she was in sorry shape when we finally got a call that she has come into a farm on Johns Creek. She never completely recovers from the hunt and dies about six months later. She was the oldest of the dogs at 13-14 years of age. The weather was somewhat wetter and we received a little more snow.
March/April is sugar time on the farm and we had our best year since living here. Maple sugar time and I missed it because of the bronchitis but Eddie cooked off about 6 gallons of syrup and it was the best year we’ve ever had. The weather was perfect and the honeybees got in on the event. Some very special friends and the kids helped with the process and some of the neighbors came out to watch.
Baby calves started arriving and we had a great year with only two losses on calves and one cow died calving which allowed one of the mom’s that lost a calf to adopt our little Annabelle. She was bottle-fed for three weeks and has turned out to be one of the better heifer calves and Eddie decided to keep her and one other black-white face heifer for new breeding stock. You’ll have to come visit and meet her!
Our daughter, Heather, hit a deer one morning going to work and soon after she got the Tahoe fixed she hit a bear. Both populations need to be thinned. Craig is famous for the deer claims.
In April we planted about 30 new apple rootstock this spring and planted some apple, peach, and cherry semi-dwarf trees. The duratio we had June 2012 destroyed a lot of our old apple and chestnut trees and two of the pecan trees. Eddie has been kept busy clean up downed timber and filling the Woodhouse with firewood for this winter. The last four months were wet and the hay fields, pastures, and orchards are getting much-needed moisture.
Working at Virginia Tech now for two years in April and it’s great job. I’m amazed at the wealth of information my brain has absorbed about energy in our world and the bad press a lot of it gets. I’ve made lots of new friends and some of the ladies that I work with have decided to start a book club and have asked me to join them once a month and we have so many book choices to choose from. The ladies in our club have become very special friends and we have lots of fun together.
May/June/July finds us having more and more issues with Dean and he’s been with us almost seven years. No one can imagine or will know what it’s like living with someone with disabilities and we spent almost as many years taking care of Eddie’s uncle who had Alzheimer’s.
May and June have me feeling much better after a long winter the spring weather has put me in the yard and enjoying working in the dirt. Eddie treated me to a truck load of perennials and annuals to keep me busy. It’s hard to find plants that love shade because our yard is surrounded with huge beautiful sugar maple trees but I think I’ve chose some great perennials to fill the void and using some herbs to fill in. They’ll be used in the kitchen as well.
May had us planning a big birthday celebration for our son, Shawn. He turned 40 years old June 15th!! It turned out to be a wonderful 40th birthday party with about 20 of his friends and colleagues and our family coming to spend the evening with him. We did a big outdoor picnic with games and we had gorgeous and what seemed never-ending fireworks but the highlight of the evening was the slide show a friend of his put together for him. I had sent her about 100 photos of Shawn dating from birth to present and she put it together in that timeline with a music background and I was in tears by the end of the video. I got a copy of it a couple of weeks later. What made it more special was the fact that he received his Bachelors degree in Engineering in May and she added his graduation pictures at the end of the show. We weren’t able to travel to Newport News for the ceremony so this was so special.
In June, we are having more issues with Dean and have decided it’s time to find some help. Don’t let anyone tell you is a quick process to get Medicaid for someone. UNREAL! I’m working with our local social services to find a very special place for Dean to move to.
In July/August, we can’t believe the rain we’ve received all spring and summer and it’s been really hard for hubby and our daughter to get the hay cut, processed and rolled. They end the season rolling almost 650 5×6 rolls.
Since the end of June, I’ve called over 20 assisted living facilities in Roanoke and Montgomery counties for placement for Dean but there are either no availabilities, private pay/no Medicaid, or he’s not old enough. I’m not giving up. He’s been with us for seven years and since I work and Eddie farms 24-7, I’ve decided he needs more help than I am able to give him anymore.
Our garden is non-existent this year except for onions and potatoes and weeds. AND, it’s still raining. We’ve got over 30 inches of rain this spring and summer and not enough breaks for the ground to dry and get to the weeds. Onions and potatoes will still make good eating.
With bow season, black powder and rifle season,(September thru November) we now have a two freezers full for winter meals. Hubby and our daughter got beautiful nine and ten point bucks and our granddaughter got a nice eight pointer on youth day. I got a seven pointer while on vacation Thanksgiving.
We were very blessed to have the kids and two guests join us for a big Thanksgiving feast that I cooked two days for. The leftovers were wonderful too!!
In September I was hooked up with a weight coach and have lost eleven pounds total and gained back two but my coach says it’s muscle weight not fat so I’m happy but still have about 15 – 20 left to go. I already feel so much better and dropped a full pant size. Happy, happy, happy!! Since the weather has turned cold I’m using my treadmill and walking 1 – 1 ¼ miles in 20-25 minutes at a speed of 2.5 – 3 miles per hour. I actually get more good from the treadmill than normal walking because there too may distractions outdoors to keep up my speed.
November brings more good news, I found an Intermediate Care Facility for my brother in Covington VA which is about 45 minutes from where I live. I took him to visit the center in November and we were both so impressed. He wanted to pack everything that night after we got back home. It’s a beautiful one story home in Covington just off route 18 before getting into the town of Covington. There are only eight residents(three women and five men) in the home currently and he will make nine, when approved. He will share one of the large bedrooms with large bath with one other resident. The rooms are bright and cheerful. Each day the residents leave at 8:00 a.m. for day school or a job at a recycling center in Clifton Forge and return to the home at 4:00 p.m. He will be able to decide which he would prefer to go to. The residents go bowling once a week, go to movies, and other entertainment venues all year-long. I’m told the counselors find talents of their residents and work with them on those talents when not in school or work. We found out while there that one of the counselors plays the guitar and Dean is taking his guitar to learn how to play. I’ve never seen him so excited, as I had given up hope of finding a situation that fits him perfectly. The facility is very secure with locked doors so that no one can enter the facility without being allowed to and meals are taken together in a huge dining room. There are three rooms for watching TV and all have comfortable furniture and wide-screen TV’s. One room is a sitting room with large screen TV for viewing DVD’s. Dean was excited to hear that one of the other residents loves westerns as much as he does. I’ve never seen such a large kitchen in a home. The centers directors and staff are all so very nice and pleasant and Dean naturally fell in love with all of them. One of the residents met him at the door when we arrived, took his hand and started taking him around to meet everyone. His application has been accepted and I just found out on Thursday that the Medicaid should be approved by the end of next week and before 2014. If all goes well he will move in on January 6th. I ask for all of your prayers that this will be a blessed fit for him and for me and hubby. Our hope is that 2014 will be a blessed turn for all of us!
I messed up my hip early December and started seeing my first chiropractor and feel much better. I will never have another negative thought about chiropractor again.
I hope that all of you had a very blessed Christmas and that Jesus was a part of your celebration and that you all have a very blessed and prosperous 2014!!
I leave you now with a few photos from 2013!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!