I did a bit too much in the barn this morning, but I am officially half way done. Celebrate small victories, right?

It is taking twice as long as I figured, but every day seems to be getting easier and I am hoping that this was the hard half.

Chrissy hasn't gotten very big during this pregnancy, but here you can see a bit of baby bulge. She is showing evidence that her body is preparing to make milk. This means that she will foal sometime soon. It could be today, tomorrow, or a month from now, but soon...

I am glad that she has waited until now. The snow is gone, it is no longer freezing at night, the mud is dried up, and the barn is getting cleaner every day. All of the other mares that the breeder bred during the same time frame have already foaled. Still, I wouldn't mind a couple more weeks to finish the barn cleaning...

Bob's co-worker took this picture. He said: "I made a new friend today."

I guess broadband techs make friends every where. lol

Rattlesnakes such as this can be occupational hazards, but the general consensus is that hornets and wasps are still worse.

Bob got me this awesome wagon for Christmas. It was hard waiting for the snow to melt so that I could use it! Now, it is my daily companion... hay wagon, general supply wagon, and now a water wagon! It is so much easier to use than a wheelbarrow!

I took the squash plants out of my little greenhouse and lowered the pots into buckets on the deck to protect them from the wind and cats during this "hardening" process. I will transplant them into the area that I will prepare for them next week.

After removing the plants from the greenhouse, I left the door unzipped. I figured it would be safe to do so as long as the door was left down. Well.... I was wrong!

Buddy destroyed 1/3 of my tomato plants and left his muddy paw evidence everywhere. I am so upset! Of course, I know that the reason I have this greenhouse is because we knew he would do this very thing and I am the one who left the plants unprotected. Still... rotten cat.

I went out to remove the loose strands of barbed wire that I found last week. I tugged and tugged, but it wouldn't budge. I started digging around and found that it was part of a roll! I started on another strand and discovered the same thing! Maybe someone forgot what they were doing at some point. Hopefully, I found and removed it all.

I haven't done much today as a cold bug is trying to gain hold and the female reproductive cycle has me feeling like I'm made of barbed wire.

I had to remind myself of this last weekend... I decided that if I don't take the time to enjoy my horse and pursue my horsemanship goals that another year will be gone without riding! How sad would that be??? I figured I should plan at least one day a week to skip the work and play. So, last weekend, I spent some time grooming. The horses loved it!

However, Destiny still had tons of dried muck on his belly, hind quarters, and legs. I have taken the time to groom him twice more this week and his belly and hind quarters are finally clean, though now he has a bit of a bald spot on his hind end. The poor baby! He does seem happier to be rid of the gunk.

Next step is to see how much he remembers from the few lessons we've done together... as soon as I'm feeling better any way.

Sauteed stinging nettle with mozzarella and pasta

The first time I had stinging nettle in food was in Europe and it was in cheese. Before yesterday, I've never had the courage to harvest and cook it myself. It has a surprisingly mild flavor for greens and I do believe I will be trying a few more recipes - though I couldn't talk Bob into trying the one for nettle frosting on chocolate cake. lol

For about two decades now, I have had an on-again, off-again relationship with my online business. Throughout that time, I encountered some challenging moments, including a divorce from a partner who didn't support my aspirations. This created anxiety that I had to work through, which wasn't easy.

However, I have made strides to overcome my debilitating anxiety and returned to pursuing my dream over the last two years. As part of this effort, I have obtained a holistic life coach certification and started interacting with groups to meet like-minded individuals and establish an online presence. This strategy has yielded some positive results, including a few page likes and friend requests.

That said, I still feel overwhelmed when faced with too much interaction, such as five friend requests and two chat boxes. I am grateful that I can click the red X in the corner of the screen and return later when I feel more comfortable. Perhaps I am not yet prepared for face-to-face interaction, but I accept the challenge of growing my online presence. Although I may need to take things slowly, every step forward is a personal success for me.

As I reached for the CBD oil last night to calm myself, I realized that I am using the same bottle that I moved with a year ago and it is still nearly full! Much better than using 2 bottles a year! Although I may not always feel like I am winning against this struggle with anxiety, seeing tangible evidence is quite encouraging!

Calling horse lovers... I get a badge to display on my community profile depending on how many people respond to my invitation to the free community. Besides, I'll be posting there about my experiences soon... just trying to plant the garden this week.

Today is our one year anniversary as home owners. Absolutely zero regrets.

I am on Day 9 of what used to be an unwelcome 4-6 day interruption of my routine with 1-2 days of pure agony keeping me down. I thought that was bad enough!

So, as this current unwelcome event has been extended, I looked up when I need to be concerned. Although I am thankful that this is considered "normal", if this lengthy interruption is going to be my new normal then I am going to have to set aside some of my goals.

I have been able to handle the hot flashes, mood swings, lack of concentration and 1-2 days of agony associated with this transition into menopause over the last several years. However, over a week of random headaches, random dizziness, and the fatigue-insomnia yo-yo (and that is with supporting supplements!) is certainly disrupting my ability to do more than light housework.
I guess I will have to wait and see what next month brings before making any serious changes to my goals. I am just finding this extended misery to be challenging. I am so thankful for my supplements and oils - I would certainly be in a worse state without them and in need of hormone therapy!

Now that I've done my complaining, maybe I can get some sleep.

Despite not feeling well yesterday, I helped my youngest set up Holly's new pen. I brought a chair from the deck with me and did a lot of sitting while he moved things around. Every time I got up to help, this cat took over the chair. When we were done, I picked up the chair to put it away and Stripes stayed put all the way back to the deck!

Holly was totally spoiled with a spot in the three season porch when she refused to go in the dog house with the younger dogs while it was still cold. Now that she has her own outdoor space, she seems to feel like she is being punished as she keeps barking at me to remind me that she's been locked out. lol This is for the best though. It will soon be too hot for her in the porch and I haven't been letting her out often enough so there have been a few accidents and I really don't want to encourage that.

Guess who made a bee-line for the porch this morning as soon as I let her out of her pen to say hello and refuses to leave? Yes, Holly. It is raining a little, so I am letting her be for now. I will, obviously, be keeping the porch door closed during our interactions from now on though!

My youngest talks to our mechanic (Bob) and tells him about an ominous rattle on the driver's side that is worse when going over bumps. Bob goes out, listens to the engine, checks the mud flaps, pops the hood and finds the clip that holds the hood prop rod in place has broken. Problem solved. Yep, Bob is a wizard in the mechanics field!

I asked Buddy if I could get rid of his new favorite box... such a look!

I need to gush about Bob again... some electronic parts have needed to be replaced in a main office for months and the crew that normally do such a thing are based in Rapid City and figured it would still be 3 weeks or so before they could come out. So, Bob's boss is like, hey, send the parts. we have a field tech that can do the job. Their response was no, a field tech can't do that... you need an engineer. The boss says, well our guy can do it. So, they sent the parts figuring that this would end in disaster. It didn't. Bob continues to impress people in the company in areas above his status. And it is seriously nice that Bob's boss now has such confidence in his abilities!

I found kittens in the hay shed this morning. Happy Mother's Day to all!

It may be time to transplant the tomatoes...

We have happy, whisper quiet, automatic lawn mowers.

I wanted to do something garden-oriented this morning, but needed it to be super quick and easy. Planting potatoes it is (the area was already prepared)!

Destiny, who hasn't wanted much to do with me the past two weeks due to my on-going female problem, was hovering nearby curious about what I was doing.

Hopefully, soon I will be able to be out and about for more than 15 minutes at a time again! In the meantime, the potatoes are done and I hope to have the energy to transplant the tomatoes later today.

My youngest graduated from a Citizen's Police Academy class. I wasn't able to attend the ceremony, so Bob went in my stead.

The instructors were like: congratulations for doing a college semester's worth of instruction with nothing more to show for it than a little knowledge and a worthless piece of paper.

My response: isn't that how life is, though?

16 days of ickiness. 16! Thankfully, I am done. Today, I am grateful that it wasn't worse. I know that it could have been.

I can't help but think of my Dad... when he served in the Air Force, he nearly died from a bleeding ulcer. The doctors kept telling him he was fine and get back to work... that is, until the day they had to replace half of his blood! Then, it was like, oh... I guess you weren't so fine after all! I don't think I have the fortitude to hang in there as long as he did!

He didn't know what was going on with his body that was causing him such agony. Although, I was prepared to go to the doctor (and still might need to next time) at least I know the basics of what is going on with me and what to watch for. I am grateful for that. I am also grateful that despite the fatigue, dizziness, and headaches I know that I don't need a blood transfusion or other medical intervention just yet... though I do plan on continuing to take the extra iron, vitamin c and vitamin k to aid my recovery process and, hopefully, be better prepared for the next round.

I have a ways to go before I can be like Gandhi... at the moment, I would not be able to be a social worker as I am fairly certain that I would be going to jail!

Today, my youngest came home and let me know that the assistant manager at his work slapped a teenage boy for calling him names. I immediately became defensive and ready to for the man to go to jail. I don't even know this family! Yet, social workers deal with far worse all of the time. Yep, I would be the one going to jail.

Thankfully, I have regained enough strength to start cleaning the barn again. It is nice having an outlet for this irritation! Thanks to Bob's help, the barn is now 3/4 done.

Smash room... Oh, what a delightful idea! If I had the spare change I would certainly go for this! Imagine being able to smash breakable items with no one being upset about it and having no clean up!


It has been a couple of years since I could really enough a rage room, but today... well... I'm a bit of a mess.

We had a visitor this morning... a groundhog! We have had other visitors but this one stayed and posed- opossum, raccoon, skunk, squirrel, rabbit... no deer (yet). We did have a coyote come close, but scared it off! If it weren't for the cats and dogs, we'd probably have a wildlife sanctuary.

As the sole participant in the wet t-shirt contest, I declare myself the winner! The water was supposed to go in my mouth, but... technicalities!

I am exhausted after only placing 3 t-posts... not exactly feeling the strength I felt by the end of last summer! remind me not to slack in exercising over the winter again!

I had no words about our loss, but my youngest put together a wonderful eulogy to share...

A while ago, I read a post saying how if you have outdoor cats, aka barn cats, you don't love them.

I guess we have been doing barn cats wrong.

Fridays usually bring the "oh goodie, the weekend of not having to work!"

Last Friday (yesterday) brought tears to all. We had to make the decision to put Night down. He had some sort of brain injury, whether brought on by a virus, or possibly blunt trauma.
We didn't think he'd make it through the first night, and then he started to improve throughout Thursday. Friday morning he had a seizure, and was paralyzed for the most part afterwards. Despite his efforts to move, we realized that he was suffering and his quality of life would be non existent.

I don't drive in silence. But I drove in silence the whole way to the vet. We never want to have to make that choice. Some might shame us for not spending thousands to save this cats life... But even the Vet agreed that it was the kind thing to do for the cat. At a certain point, the nicest thing you can do for the animal is to say goodbye, despite the pain of doing so.

We had Night less than a year. We rarely saw him as he liked coming out during the evening to the morning. Hed spend the day sleeping in some warm location, but was a love bug when he was up and about. He came back home to his people when there was something wrong, instead of choosing to go hide somewhere.

Night wasn't a life long cat like some of the others we've lost, but we cried nonetheless. He wasn't a "special" cat like Tiger, Smokey, Doobie... Or even Buddy. He was just a kitten that I happened to not give away until I couldn't give him up.

Barn cats are still loved. Just because they're outside doesn't mean they aren't going to be missed, or that someone doesn't love them.

Pets are the great equalizer. Them passing on brings even the toughest people to tears. Absolutely nothing prepares one to say goodbye.

Night was a barn cat. An extremely spoiled barn cat, but a barn cat nonetheless. He was definitely loved.

Outside does not equal unloved.

Today is a day of reflection and remembrance of the sacrifices others have given for the freedoms we now enjoy.