Tag Archives: care

Orphan 1 – Cindy

A few weeks back a friend of our came to the farm to cut some firewood. These trees are dead from the gypsy moth infestation we had about four or five years ago. Most all are hardwoods and beautiful oak timber at one time. Most are very large and we had hope to get some oak lumber from the stand. When this one big oak was sawed we hoped to get at least two or three 10 foot logs from them but when felled, we found out they were hollow. Eddie had gone out to help in the sawing to make sure the logs were cut to the lengths we needed but when it fell he found out it was hollow. While standing around talking Eddie heard familiar squealing which he knew was squirrels. On some investigation he found two baby gray squirrels in a busted up nest and mama squirrel had made her home but was now dead. Eddie put the babes in his hat and brought them home to the country girl to see what she could do for them.

Boy and girl squirrels

Boy and girl squirrels

For two days I fed and bathed these little darlings trying to keep them alive.  About two hours after the first two arrived Mr. Tucker showed up with a third one which was a lot smaller he found crawling on the ground where he was splitting the wood and stepped on her.  What a horrible trauma for three little orphans to endure.

Apparently the first two had some injuries that took their life within 36 hours.  The runt however is very alive and well.  We have named her Cindy and she is an absolute joy.

Cindy taking her bottle.

Cindy taking her bottle.

She is eating out of a babydoll bottle and her milk is evaporated milk.  She was  drinking about 1 tablespoon of lukewarm milk every four hours when we first adopted her.  She had full body hair and her eyes were open but I could tell she didn’t have full vision yet.  We’ve enjoyed so much watching her grow and the family has as well.

I started her living quarters in an old sewing basket with a couple soft, very thin wash cloths in it.

Baby Cindy's first house.

Baby Cindy’s first house.

In about a week we couldn’t keep her in it and had to make other arrangements.  I had a huge birdcage that I used when I several parakeets and it seemed the perfect home so I could keep track of this mischievous scamp.

Cindy in her new home.  We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn't want to be bothered.

Cindy in her new home. We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn’t want to be bothered.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird-cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

She's always smelling my hands to make sure I haven't held someone else.  I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

She’s always smelling my hands to make sure I haven’t held someone else. I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

She likes stretching out too when she's eating.

She likes stretching out too when she’s eating.

She climbs all over me.

She climbs all over me.

Her "lookout" pose!

Her “lookout” pose!

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating.  This is usually when I bathe her.

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating. This is usually when I bathe her.

What's down there???

What’s down there???

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

 

Intermediate care facilities

What is an intermediate care facility?  It is a residential facility (ICF) serving four or more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or related conditions. Services are provided around the clock in homes ranging in size from six to more than 100 people.  ICF provides active treatment that includes a continuous, aggressive, and consistent implementation of a program of specialized and generic training, treatment, and health or related services, directed toward helping the enrollee function with as much self-determination and independence as possible. Many ICF residents work in the community, with supports, or participate in vocational or other activities outside of the residence, and engage in community interests of their choice. These activities are collectively often referred to as day programs. 

I recently enrolled my youngest brother into Merryfield ICF in Covington VA and he loves it.  It’s a beautiful facility located in a residential area.  The facility is a huge one story home with a yard, picnic shelter, wrap around porches, huge rooms with beautiful decor, large kitchen and dining area, several tv  and activity rooms, offices for the director, assistant director, staff, nurse and counselors.  There are only seven residents, male and female, currently in the home that my brother resides in with some sharing a room which includes their own bathroom.  The staff is so caring and gentle with the residents.  The residents are kept busy with day schools, jobs, fun and games, trips, music, Special Olympics and so much more.  Self worth is a major issue directed to the residents.

Brother has made a lot of new friends, learned to bowl, is relearning writing skills, telling time, participated in the JAM in March (March was Intellectual Disabilities Month) and played with the “bell choir”.  He and his roommate have become great friends and have lots of interests in common including old movies, westerns, NASCAR, wrestling, basketball/football and music.

He gave us a tour of the dining room where he likes to help prepare for meals by setting the table, pouring their drinks and cleaning up after meals.  He never did that at my house!!  ;)

He gave us a tour of the dining room where he likes to help prepare for meals by setting the table, pouring their drinks and cleaning up after meals. He never did that at my house!! 😉

He has his own TV and video stand.

He has his own TV and video stand.

Dean and his roommate Kevin.

Dean and his roommate Kevin.

Deans side of the room that he decorated with help from the staff.

Deans side of the room that he decorated with help from the staff.

JAM event on March 29, 2014

JAM event on March 29, 2014

Birthday party

Birthday party

Brother's birthday at the facility.

Brother’s birthday at the facility.

 

I now wish that I had known about the facility and it educational benefits for my brother much sooner.  He stays very active and has learned to use the telephone and calls me two or three times a week.  Now he not only has his immediate family but a whole new family at Merryfield.

Orphans at the farm

I love babies of all kinds and have raised two kids of my own but I’ve also raised several orphan animals and thought I would share some pictures of them.  It’s very gratifying finding them quick enough to get some warm food in them, warm blankets around them and a good warm bath no matter if they’re furbearing or feathered.  Here’s some of my babes:

 

Heather & Shawn, my beautiful children.

Heather & Shawn, my beautiful children.

My gorgeous granddaughter, Victoria. I didn't raise her but had her with me every moment I could!!!

My gorgeous granddaughter, Victoria. I didn’t raise her but had her with me every moment I could!!!

 

Sassy - our current baby!!

Sassy – our current baby!!

 

Sassy  & Dandy

Sassy & Dandy

 

Brandy

Brandy

 

Annie and the triplets

Annie and the triplets

Baby

Baby

 

Precious and Bambi

Precious and Bambi

 

Cuddles

Cuddles

 

Little Dan - now he's all grown up.

Little Dan – now he’s all grown up.

 

Baby chicks

Baby chicks

Half grown mallard babies

Half grown mallard babies

 

Baby Dude

Baby Dude

Fuzzy

Fuzzy

 

Baby Alex & Alexandra-dogs made them orphans

Baby Alex & Alexandra-dogs made them orphans

 

Buckwheat

Buckwheat

Garth

Garth

Roxy

Roxy

I can’t begin to tell you of all of the cats, dogs, fawns, squirrels, calves, rabbits, chicks and ducks I’ve hand raised but I can tell you everyone of them was worth the challenge!!