I made turkey and dumpling soup for last evenings dinner. There's two more meals left. Dumplings are one of those things people have opinions about. Mark would tell me he didn't like them, then I'd make them and he liked them. Repeat this right up to yesterday. He has hard, gluey in his brain and it won't leave, even after four decades. One of the challenges of life with, his words, a weird guy. I like soft, fluffy dumplings. The kind that fall apart just slightly as they simmer. I like them large, don't ask me why. Maybe I kid myself I only had one. Mark only knew the ping pong ball dumplings. I make soft balls. I have enough turkey left to make a shepherds pie. I have to use eggplant I've had a little too long, it's starting to go over. That will be tonight, shepherd pie will need to wait.
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Yesterday I found Frieda had vomited on my desk and keyboard. The keyboard wouldn't work after I cleaned up the mess, so I had no access to this site, other than my phone which I don't like to use for this. I was able to get a new keyboard the same day, so by evening it arrived and here I am. The things we grow dependent on. My laptop died last month and I've chosen to not replace it. I really don't need it.
We, as it seems much of the country is, are getting a lot of snow. Not what Buffalo got a week ago, but about 7". Not feet! Snow is much nicer to look at. The drab grey we have had since the melt last week was depressing. I will actually need to plow.
I know I have said my son is a chef and I know that word has become casually used to describe a good cook. My son is a chef. He worked in fine dining with the brigade de cuisine system for the first 25 years of his career. He started as a sixteen year old as a dishwasher at Pizza restaurant. When he went to Bemidji for his sophomore year of college he started working in a new fine dining restaurant as a line cook. He got hooked on it, I know not why. When he returned to St. Paul he got a job which altered his life, an ambitious head chef who saw something in him and brought him up the stations. He became the Sous Chef to this future James Beard award winner and his Chef de Cuisine in the restaurant the chef eventually owned. It's a hard way to earn a living, the hours are grueling and the work is hot and hard on the body. A few years ago he left fine dining and went to gastro pubs. After the pandemic, when he didn't have work, he decided he wasn't doing management anymore, he wanted to be an hourly employee with set hours and days off. He has a job at a chi chi hotel in Minneapolis that he really likes. With his background he is a desirable employee. He is in charge of breakfast and lunch service and then he is done. He is enjoying this. So, my explanation of my very smart son who decided to work in a professional kitchen, because....? Passion, I guess.
Now onto another topic involving young men. This truck. A 1997 one ton Chevy diesel dually used primarily for pulling my horse trailer back in the day. It's also used for picking up large loads like grain, pellets, etc. All the years out here we always had three vehicles, my Jeep, Mark's car and the truck. We gave Bill the Jeep early this year. The truck has been going on the road a little more and stopping for fuel or in a parking lot, young men lust over it. Seriously. I don't think any man ever looked at me the way they look at the beast. I guess this is now considered classic by the twenty-somethings and they get bright-eyed looking at it. I own something young men want!
Mark is taking his CPE course today and tomorrow and I get the fun task of sitting at his desk when he needs to be away from it for a bit. I have to click the icon that periodically appears to show you are in attendance. His work would bore me into a coma. I just spent some time with it. Good god.
I think I'll stop before I go onto some other thrilling topic. So happy to have a keyboard!
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Saturday, November 26, 2022
Friday, November 25, 2022
I know we did. Mark said he should not be allowed to put food on the plates. I agree, I knew it was too much but I ate it anyway.
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
There is some material available.
What a couple of minutes scraping of Keetah produces. She has limited patience for brushing, so I do the best I can before she bolts. Then she guards her hair.
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Monday, November 21, 2022
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Saturday, November 19, 2022
They are the boys, the geldings. Geldings are like ten-year-old boys, no matter how old they get. Mares quickly become stern old ladies, no nonsense. Lots of people don't care for mares, I do. They are to be admired, they are my ladies of substance.
We have a high of 16 F today, low of 9. Tomorrow it jumps up to 32 F. When there is snow on the ground and horses going out to paddocks these temperature shifts are not welcome. Freezing/melting creates havoc. I never have been able to get the weather to listen to me, no matter how I try.
So, a view of horse butts is about all I've got today. The pellet stove is still working, Mark keeps the woodbox full for the smaller fireplace and we aren't being pummeled with snow like NW New York. Sometimes, it is the immediate that I must remember to be thankful for.
Friday, November 18, 2022
A friend sent me this. It perfectly describes my feeling toward winter, except I see the fires, wine and comfort food as desirable. These are part of my winter quiet. My friend in Denmark introduced me to hygge (and told me how to pronounce it!) before it sort of became a marketing word. I enjoy the early dark and short days. I realize I am in a unique position, one I was not in for most of my life, but even then winter was quieting for me. Perhaps it's that I am a Capricorn, born in a northern climate. 😉
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Monday, November 14, 2022
Sunday, November 13, 2022
Saturday, November 12, 2022
Friday, November 11, 2022
I have said I was referred to neurology. I got a text to contact them to make an appointment. So I do. I'm told the earliest appointment I can get is the end of April. Yes, April. I was dumbfounded for a second, then said perhaps I could be dead by April. She apologized, I told her I knew it wasn't her fault, but REALLY? Yes, really. I didn't make the appointment. I sent a message to the doctor and I'll wait to see what I should do. I'm discouraged.
On the other hand.....the pellet stove is working. I started it yesterday morning and it has continued to run. Hurrah! It's four degrees warmer in that room than what I have the thermostat set at. After finding I can't get into the specialist I was moaning and groaning. Mark told me look at the bright side. What bright side? We have a new furnace, a working pellet stove, a fireplace with a blower and more wood than we and Bill can use. All we are missing is the message from god.
Thursday, November 10, 2022
Fallon and I spent years in obedience training, to absolutely no avail, other than the amusement of the people in the folding chairs watching the class. You can tell she was a star and she knew it. Her other name was Devil Dog!
Ok, mes amie, I am going take a plunge, pour forty pounds of pellets in the hopper and hope the stove works. I may be doing a happy dance or channel my inner dock worker. One thing you can count on, I'll let you know!
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
We had a productive consultation with the urologist yesterday. There were four options, although he said surgery after sixty-five is not recommended. After discussion we decided Mark will have radiation. It's a six week treatment, that starts six weeks after some prep treatments. The rating system for prostate cancer is 1-5, with 5 the worst. Mark is 2. The doctor was good at explaining everything and encouraging about the outcome. Now we are waiting for the pathologists report on the huge area of melanoma removed form Mark's upper left arm. We are waiting to find out if it was completely removed. How did it happen he has two forms of unrelated cancer at one time? Fingers are crossed.
We had a busy day, not returning home until later afternoon. Some round bales had been dropped off and Bill wanted to bring the part he'd taken home to fiddle with back so we can use the pellet stove. We'd stopped at the local place for pellets only to find we need to order them in advance. They did not have that info on the website. I ordered six bags from Fleet Farm for curbside pick-up, which we will do today.
It's in the 50s F and rainy today. Both are fine by me. I want to thank you all for your kindness and concern for Mark and for me. I also want to let you know Mark is aware I am writing about his health travails and is A-Okay with it. It is his personal business and I wouldn't say anything if he didn't want me to.
I have an appointment tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can get back to my routines, one of which is reading and commenting on your blogs. I have always been someone who is orderly and subject to routines. After my brain injury it became even more so, which means if things change I have trouble getting myself centered. Let's just say I wouldn't be able to be a horse breeder now.
Again, thank you all.
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
I normally have my days wide open, other than tasks I schedule for myself. Today is full. We go to Mark's appointment with the urologist in a half hour from now. Then we have several stops to make for various reasons. The last stop we will make is at the township hall to vote. It is never busy so we don't expect that to take long. We live in Trump Country in which means we may see the poll watchers, although I kinda doubt it.
It's a cold, blustery day with rain forecast in the afternoon. We really need the rain, we don't need it to freeze. It will do as it likes.
I need to finish getting ready for this day. I'll update later.
Monday, November 7, 2022
The first photo I put on Instagram was of cats sleeping on an unmade bed. Here we are again. I got up and this one immediately took my place. Why let a warmed bed go to waste? No cat worth her salt would do that.
It's cold with bright sunshine. It's always cold when we have bright sunshine this time of year.
I was interrupted when I was writing this in the morning. Bill and his wife, Shiela, stopped by so Bill could double check something on the wood stove. Then the movie Bullitt was on tv and I got caught up in it. I love the chase scene. A neighbor's sister had a Mustang Mach 1 when I was a teenager. I grew up in a neighborhood of muscle cars. There were a whole bunch of motor heads, one of them taught me how to drive a manual transmission when I was sixteen in his Chevelle SS. Another neighbor boy had a GTO, we got stopped by the cops when he took me for a ride to show off. He was a nice guy. Those were the days.
There is no longer bright sunshine, it's overcast and cold now. What a difference a few hours made. We have a busy day tomorrow, hope to hear good news.
Sunday, November 6, 2022
Hello Standard Time.
I have missed you
This is not hyperbole. I really, really don't like daylight saving time. It shows the ridiculous nature of humans, thinking there is some magical hour gained. I'll leave it here. But I will say, welcome normal circadian rhythm.
Yesterday ended up being a full day on this normally quiet and boring piece of earth. Bill came in the morning to put the new motor in the pellet stove. He spent an hour or so cleaning the workings of the stove, then went home to do some adapting of wiring and have lunch. Matthew, my son, in the meantime sent me a text asking if he could come for lunch. The past four times he's asked I've had to say no for legitimate reasons and I thought he may think I'm putting him off. I didn't want him to see my beat up face but I said yes. The past couple of years he has not-so-subtly implied we should move. My faltering condition now combined with the mess of my face wasn't something I looked forward to. And then there is Mark's cancer. He looked disapproving but stayed quiet.
Bill came back to finish the stove and the four of us talked for awhile before Matthew went home. The stove works, there were some pellets in the hopper, so it ran until they were gone. Bill was very surprised by the amount of heat it puts out. Mark, ever the optimist, wants to buy one or two bags of pellets to make sure it will continue to work. Of course, I want the pallet. There's no place close to buy them and I see it as a waste to drive 50 miles for a bag of pellets. He thinks I can magically find something close. Get me that wand.
I'm better and today I will visit and catch up. It's a cold but sunshiny day. We have a few above normal temperature days this week, but November is becoming November. We find out on Tuesday what treatment is recommended for Mark's prostate cancer. Having some specifics will help us both. He had a large area on his upper arm cut out on Friday. There was still some cancerous tissue remaining after the last removal. There was enough skin to suture it, which is good. The wound is about five inches and sore. He's restricted for two weeks on use of this arm. He's managing well for a guy without a lot of dexterity!
That's all the news fit to print. Enjoy the "extra" hour.
Saturday, November 5, 2022
Friday, November 4, 2022
I had an incident Wednesday around lunchtime. I went on the back deck, more like a platform, to pick up a rug I'd set out to shake some of the dog hair off before washing it. I was just about to lean down to pick it up when I went down like a wet sack. This deck is no more than three feet high and I was standing in the middle of it. It was like fainting but I didn't lose consciousness. I didn't trip or lose balance, I just went down. I fell forward with my body from the waist up going over the side, my face and arms hitting the ground. From the waist down I was on the deck. I hit hard, as I wasn't able to do anything to stop it. I broke my glasses. The left side of my face took the blow. I have abrasions on my forehead, nose and cheek. A cut on the bridge of my nose where the glasses dug in, a cut along the left side of my nose, a black eye and a swollen nose. Because my upper body had the impact my neck and shoulders are very sore. Nothing is broken, just painful. It is uncomfortable to sit at my computer so I am not spending time online.
It was traumatic. This has happened to me once before, about eight years ago, in the shower. That time I fractured three ribs. I'll ask my doctor at my appointment Thursday what she thinks caused me to topple like that. I wasn't dizzy. I wanted my friends to know why I'm not interacting right now. I am better, not nearly as painful, so I will continue to keep myself quiet, feet up, heating pad on my neck and staying away from the computer except for this brief update. I'll see you soon.
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Mark got the result on his bone scan. No cancer in the bones! He also got a call from the dermatologists office; the latest scraping is benign but he does go in Friday to have more cancer removed from a previous area. We meet with the doctor on Tuesday to go over the treatment options for his prostate cancer. It's odd to be talking so much cancer. We both feel relieved about the bone scan.
It's another unseasonably warm day. It will reach 75 F today....in Minnesota. In November! Mark is busy working on fencing. I will putter around doing what I can. My hay guy told me he'd get round bales to me later this week. I hope so. We are in a serious drought and the pastures are done. They need their round bales in the paddocks now. It's costly and not time efficient to put square bales out for them. Four-legged eating machines.
Mark did point out that my planned meal for this evening is not what on a 75 degree day it would normally be, chicken and dumplings. I told him by the time we eat it will be dark and chilly. Because it is November. The rules of November still apply. So say I.