Layers

Layers

There’s a lot more I can say on all of these things, and more will come. But for now, a couple of briefs:

Last week, Jeff and I celebrated our first anniversary. This week, the nightmarish calving season ended with another nightmare as a cow I was given for Christmas lost her calf and twisted her hip after the difficult birth; our dog, Toby, was put to sleep Wednesday night; and my grandmother is in hospice care at home.

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“Life comes in such layers of grief, joy, and mundane.”

Continue reading “Layers”
Our Ring Sheep

Our Ring Sheep

Some losses are worse than others.

Yesterday afternoon, we discovered that our beloved ring sheep, Szarlota, was dead.

It was devastating. She was the first Shetland I bought, and she had won her class at a show in Colorado. Her genetics and conformation were good, and I planned to build a flock from her quality and beautiful personality.

She’d come up for a scratch on the chin, and the day I went to buy her, she followed me around, begging me to take her home. (The full story is at the end of “Sheep Make Everything Better“). Continue reading “Our Ring Sheep”

Wanderings in a Letter

Wanderings in a Letter

Dear Lovely Readers,

Happy Happy Happy May!

It’s a beautiful Indiana blue sky out there, new lambs and calves are everywhere, and it’s 15 days before Jeff and I get married.

This guy is pretty awesome, and I’m so thankful to be able to start our married life together without needing to postpone the ceremony itself.

In front of the mural, downtown Lafayette, Indiana. By Rainstorm Photo.
Continue reading “Wanderings in a Letter”

Swirl

Continued from previous post.

Everything stopped, and we had no control over it.

Thousands of people became ill and died. Businesses and schools closed. Governments issued stay-at-home orders.

High school seniors missed their big moments, sports leagues canceled major competitions, and travelers were required to return home.

Our wedding twisted in the midst of this eddy. Continue reading “Swirl”

Crash

I asked Jeff a few hours before he proposed what he thought about May 16 for our wedding date.

We knew where this whole thing was going, even though he hadn’t asked me yet to marry him, and I had an idea: have the wedding on May 16 (5/16) because the date uses a combination of our birthdays (October 5 and November 16). The date would be exactly half a year away from my birthday, so we’d always be close to one thing or the other to celebrate something.

Before that, we had talked about where we would want to marry. He had always wanted to have a ceremony in a dramatic location, such as a beach or a mountaintop, and I wanted a gathering close to home. So we combined the two wishes and chose the longest covered bridge in the county, which is just a few miles from the farm, to host our ceremony.

So when he proposed, we already had a date and place picked out. Continue reading “Crash”

The Diagnosis

The answer to Writing on Weakness and a Hospital StayA FallComforting the Downcast, and This Is Me.

A few weeks ago, as I was throwing a couple of bags into the trunk of my parents’ car, my hat fell over my eyes. I lost the sense of where the trunk door was and slammed my head on it.

Three hours later, my knees gave out when I joined the line at our local fairgrounds for pancakes and sausage at the Maple Syrup Fair. I jolted forward and clutched a vendor’s table to keep myself from falling to the concrete floor.

Last week while feeding the livestock, I walked quickly from the corn wagon to the feed room and caught my foot on the ledge. I crashed onto the concrete. I wasn’t hurt badly, hands just sore, but I couldn’t figure out how to rise. I grasped at feed barrels and sacks before thinking to bring my right foot forward and lean to gain upward momentum.

The rest of the evening, I moved slowly, disoriented.

Continue reading “The Diagnosis”

Nearing the End of NaNoWriMo

Nearing the End of NaNoWriMo

2019 NaNoWriMo Facebook Banner

According to the official National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) counter, I’m 17,693 words behind today. If I wanted to write 50,000 words to win NaNoWriMo, I need to write 24,351 words over the next four days, which is 6,088 words per day.

The good news is, my own personal goal for NaNoWriMo is writing 1,000 words per day: 30,000 total. I am about 4,400 words away from that goal. Reachable!

This has been a much different experience than my previous attempt four years ago to participate in NaNoWriMo. That year, I only made it to 1,500 words. I let many other activities get in the way.

This year, I wanted to develop a better writing habit. Continue reading “Nearing the End of NaNoWriMo”

Sheep for My Birthday

Sheep for My Birthday

examining ram
Analyzing a ram.

Over the weekend, Jeff (the significant otter) and I hooked my great-aunt’s horse trailer to the truck and drove halfway across the state to visit a farm full of Shetland sheep. The farmer was reducing her flock numbers and let us take a look at the ewes and rams for sale.

The sheep were closed into the basement of an old, wooden barn for the morning, and as we entered, they watched warily, fleeing when we stepped into their flight zones. Colors of all sorts decorated their wool: black, brown, spotted, white.

One of the white sheep was nicknamed Cloud.

Her registered name was New Zealand. Continue reading “Sheep for My Birthday”

Writing on Weakness and a Hospital Stay

It’s been hard to write lately.

When I poise my fingers over the keyboard, I squint, trying to focus on individual letters. Instead, words swim in front of me. Sometimes, my hands weaken, and I can barely move my fingers. My typing speed is slower than usual.

Sitting upright, bookcases drift right and left, and the kitchen table jolts backwards and forwards. I feel nauseous.

I try standing, but sometimes, I need help to rise from the couch. Walking means lilting to one side, crashing into door frames, stumbling, losing sense of reality, and nearly pitching headfirst into the side of the car.

I briefly tried medication, but it sent me into a mental spin, and I couldn’t make it past the first hymn last Sunday morning. We left the assembly and drove home.

I’ve barely driven for the last month and a half, relinquishing the steering wheel after dizziness advanced so suddenly during one trip to town that I couldn’t see the road. I pushed myself to drive through the woods to a safe pull-off overlooking the West Union Covered Bridge and sat in the shade for 45 minutes, nervously scrolling through Twitter to take my mind off of what had just happened.

After a month of this, double vision set in. Mysterious leg pain I’d previously attributed to wearing old work boots crept in again. I was convinced to go to the emergency room.

There, a bomb dropped: “We’re looking at M.S.” Continue reading “Writing on Weakness and a Hospital Stay”