Sunday, September 24, 2017

Just When I Start to Soar, Life Jerks My Chain

Saturday, September 16, 2017

8:14 p.m.
Ron got here at midnight last night. I was sleeping. He said it was 28°F outside. It was 39°F inside in the morning. Good to know we were 11°F warmer inside! Ron and I did the trespasser's hike. I didn't smell anything new. We split up at the top of Huckleberry. He went down the backside, and I retraced my steps from the last time I was there. I 'd lost a button. Didn't find it. We met back at camp. No fresh sign of trespassers. A few tracks from bear, probably the day before. Since we're expecting even colder temps this week, and rain, I decided to move my RV back to the warmer spot. The ground won't get as soggy. First I needed to trim some branches from the trees on that side of the yard. I did that, and took on supplies while Ron took his survey equipment over to the 80 and located some property lines. When he got back we went to town for the dump and fill. We set the RV up in the different spot when we returned. My step was so high off the ground in this spot that I picked out a nice large, sorta flat rock and Ron dug it up and put in the wagon. We hauled it back to camp and he set it up nice and stable for me to use as an extra step.  

We had to fix the muck rake handle again. It broke after about 8 cow pies. Ron brought a metal handle this time. Then we just sat and enjoyed the evening. He went home just before dark.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

7:28 p.m.
I woke up with a terrible pituitary headache and lymph and body pain that was so painful I couldn't move. I'd got a couple of fume exposures yesterday but I hadn't been reacting to them, so I didn't bother to mention them. Guess the trespasser exposures have me glute depleted. It took me a while to get going. I was just going to take it easy. I started by doing some laundry and sorting sticks and twigs, with lots of resting. But I finished the whole pile! Wow! The pile started out, the first part of August, as big as a Humvee (lots of air spaces)! I have a couple small mounds of stuff I've raked together, 3" or less, but other than that, I did it! Cut or snapped, sorted and stacked. 

And then I was bored.πŸ˜• 

I decided I could start moving the fire circle. They'd built it in a weird spot. If I started on it now, I could have it finished by the weekend, then I wouldn't have to back out of this spot. So I got the wagon and started moving the smaller stones. I discovered the bigger stones weren't as heavy as I expected, so I moved them too. I figured if a stone was too heavy, I'd leave it for Ron. Dang but I didn't get them all moved! And the wood Ron's Dad brought me at the begining of the summer, too. I built the new fire circle between me and "the guest house."


I need to go dig up a few more small stones for the center. I decided I might even want to build the outside up a little more for wind protection. It has been windy all day, which is why I'm thinking about it. But that's going to have to be another day. We came in because it was threatening to rain.  It is now. Gentle rain, no thunder and lightening. Its supposed to rain all night and most of tomorrow. I'll have to wait to finish my project. 


Monday, September 18, 2017

6:59 p.m.
It was a rainy day. Still raining. They were wrong about the thunder though. Plenty of that today too. Its not as worrisome since its wet, but still... And I don't run the heat while a storms going through since there's thunder. I like to keep track of how close it is. I can't hear it over the generator. So I'm cold. 

Its been a distracting day. I'm still having chest and back pain. I did teas and finally a shot. Rosie is "open" so there's that to deal with. I discovered I'd dropped a stitch 20 rows back on Ari's Strawberry Sleeper. That was about the time a really close thunder clapper hit. The discovery, not the dropped stitch. The thunder made it hard to concentrate on fixing it. No excuse for dropping it. 

And the internet isn't working. Sigh.

That pretty much sums up the day.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2:13 a.m.
Up since 12:36 a.m. with painful lymph, chest and back. I've got MALT and achalasia, too! I've bagged everything I can think of that might be causing it: the clothes I was wearing when symptoms started (1st trespasser day), my hat, my work gloves. I'm about this farπŸ‘Œfrom bagging both Rosie and myself. I'd wash us but its too cold in here. Morphine would be good right now (only its toxic, so no help there). I've zapped myself, massaged lymphs, drunk coffee and C water, taken and applied arnica. I'm taking meds from my box that I haven't taken since May! 

Think! What were my exposures? Toxic trespassers, Ron encountered Bob's cows on the 80 (maybe when I heard them and thought Bob was taking them, he was just re-applying insecticide! I don't know! it would be a 3rd hand exposure from cows to Ron to me), the gas fumes from the generator generally, and exhaust from the RV when I got out after "dump and fill", working on the back tailgate of Ron's truck to fix the rake handle (its a diesel. Its always a possibility with diesel), possibly old toxin residue on the partially burned fence posts that were in the old fire pit (didn't smell anything but thats not a guarantee), forest fire smoke on the wind, preservatives in my glute shot (since the states mandated compounding pharmacists injectables have to be batch tested, so only the big guys can afford to make them - they make huge batches and load them up with anti bacterials, etc. Its why I try not to take my shots anymore unless its an emergency). It could have been bad nut butter (ecoli), or an egg that the chicken ate something toxic. The only thing I changed in my diet is that I've been adding an extra egg yolk to get more nutrition, and trying to eat some nut butter mixed with honey and butter. Thats all I can think of. So why now? What is it?! Is it just the accumulation of all those things?

3:34 a.m.
I went on a toxic fume hunt. I'm bagging anything and everything that could possibly contribute, in between trying to knock down the pain with various remedies. I've checked things previously bagged to see if they'd come open!  I found two. Still have pain. Not good! Not good at all! 

4:05 a.m.
Got the temp up to 63°F. Rinsed my hair, rinsed the dog. Drying us out. Bagged more shit. I've been running air purifiers this whole time. So tired of hurting!

4:29 a.m.
Starting to get an edge up on the pain. Back pain reduced. Ears still painful. Chest is less painful, now mostly sore. Hopefully we can hang onto the improvement. Can't go to bed yet. Too wet. Tomorrow I'm taking the bagged stuff out. Shoes and gloves can be put on the windshield under the cabover, hat on the clothes line. The rest, into the basement bins! The laundry will have to wait its turn. Ugh! 

5:00 a.m.
Shutting off the heater and generator. Gonna try going back to bed for awhile. Inside temp after 4.5 hrs of running the heat, 64°F. πŸ˜•

6:58 a.m.
Rosie wanted me to get up and turn the heater on at 6:30 a.m.. Sheesh! I had her go get her blankey and tucked her in her dog bed. I wasn't sleeping, too much coffee, but I don't want her getting me up for that. So I won't reward her. I waited before I got up. 

Its daylight. Its still raining. Apparently I still don't have internet.

One round of bagged items out.

I was making more toothpaste this morning. Does anyone besides me wonder why the essential oil bottles, that sickies need, are little old lady and sickie unfriendly? I need a day of rest after opening 3, and one day of recovery. There must be a way to make them "child safe" without making them granny and sickie proof. We had a method when I was a kid, it was called "a spanking" if you got into anything that wasn't yours, you got a paddling. Worked like a charm.

10:33 a.m.
Still no internet. Still hurt. Did get a second load of suspected/bagged items out. Darned socks. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

9:19 a.m.
I ended the day doing better. For the most part it was a rest day yesterday. I watched the rain, and the cows parade past. We are getting a lot of good rain. Gentle showers alternating with hard rain. The ground is soaking it up well. 

Still no internet, but Ron was able to get a call through this morning. I've spent the morning cleaning candle lanterns and putting in fresh candles. I'm cleaning the freezer too. I did get a pretty good night's sleep. The hard rain woke me twice, but I got up the first time and ameliorated a MALT problem that was starting up. That was helpful in heading it off. 

I'm thinking about how to deal with cold weather better this season. I've ordered some organic cotton fleece and batting to make Rosie a blanket. I ordered some organic duck to remake my camp chair, but am considering ordering (organic) flannel and making lined (or even quilted) pants instead. I need to knit more socks. 

8:16 p.m.
Looooong day! I called my cell carrier, USCellular. I wanted to know if they knew anything about my lack of internet... They had cut me off! Apparently there was a 500mb roaming data limit! Ooowee! Was I mad! Not one of the many people I explained my situation to including that I only got 2 bars in "extended 3G", mentioned this, as they talked me into getting 4Gig of data! Extended means its someone else's tower. And they knew it! The guy in the roaming data department chewed me out like I had somehow stolen the extra roaming data I'd been using. He kept saying I should have known about it because it was "in my contract!" I was supposed to have read my contract... I can't do printed material and I didn't get an email copy. I lost my temper. I've switched carriers. I'll now be with Verizon starting Sunday. Here's to the hope of much better service. 🍷The customer service was certainly better.  It did take me most of the afternoon. But thats because its me and I can't go into stores. I had to figure out how to get a phone up here safely and quickly and sort out all the other technical stuff. At first I had no internet but the roaming department guy at USCellular that chewed me out must have got nervous, it came back on, but its horribly slow. For a while anyway. It is enough for me to get online and look at phones. I had to call the World's Best Realtor, Roger, and get the Verizon #. Followed by a series of calls to the local store, then customer service multiple times. And the more times I have to explain things, the more distracted I get. The poor guy who finally got it all sorted for me was a monument of patience! Though at the end he couldn't contain his disbelief about bears, wolves, etc, and actually told me he didn't believe me. GFETE (Grinning From Ear To Ear) He thought I was lying and still he was a paragon of patience and politeness! I invited him to read my blog. I hope he does. Kudos to him!!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

3:42 p.m. 
More calls to sort out cell and data. Hours of calls. Lot of frustration trying to take the auto pay off my uscellular account. They'd slowed my data speed down so far that captcha won't load. The customer service people at uscellular kept hanging up on me. And I was talking in a calm voice, too! I finally got through to a supervisor! It took me 3 calls asking for a supervisor before I got one.

I did get out to work in the yard for an hour or so. Still weak. Kinda made me sick. Heard shooting south of me. Hiked up to the road and along the front fence. It was just too much, too soon. I came in and bored with being a sickie I copied all my contacts since I'll have to enter them by hand into my new phone. 

I almost got the towels off the line. It just started raining again. 


Friday, September 22, 2017

6:45 a.m.
I got woke up at 4:30 a.m. by a big rig growling by in low gear on the road. At least I assume it was on the road. I'm guessing it was the lumber company hauling in heavy equipment. It was so loud it sounded like it was right on top of me. I figured it was just echoing off the hills and the sound carrying in the still, cold air. It was supposed to get down to 34°F in town. It's usually 10-20° different up here. I checked my indoor thermometer, 41°F. I was warm enough buried under blankets, but I worried about Rosie. I got up and cranked up the generator and turned on the heat. After an hour and a half it was only 53°F. Rosie was still preferring to stay on the floor with her one thin blankie so I shut everything down and tried to go back to sleep. It didn't work. I'm up and drinking left over coffee. I can hear chainsaws on the Timber Co. Property.

12:46 p.m.
Ron was in a cranky mood this morning. I cut the call short. All these years he's told me I'm not allowed to express my anger or frustration at the acts of injustice that have been perpatrated against me, or losses I've endured. I wasn't about to let him snarl at me because he didn't get to go fishing one more time this last week before he buttoned up his boat for the winter.

Rosie and I went out for an early walk in... The sunshine! Yep, it was a beautiful morning. We hiked up to the gate to see what kind of tracks the loud rig left, then along the fence to check out the mud hole. It wasn't too bad. 

After breakfast I worked on laundry and moving the old log sections that were scattered around where the old fire pit had been. I moved them out of the way until they can be sawn down to splitting size. 

I brought the towels in! They were finally dry. I hung out the rugs.  

3:11 p.m.
Raining again. Its an extra rinse for the laundry. Well, as long as they don't get blown off the line.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

8:44 a.m.
The towels are still on the line. Still wet, though the weather report says no rain until after 11:00 a.m.. 

Elk were bugling in the woods this morning when Rosie and I went out. 

Ron called last night in a more controlled mood. I reminded him how he has shut me down when I wanted to express my anger at the injustices. πŸ€” "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." I told him if he wanted to calmly express his anger I will certainly listen and be supportive. I've been prevented from doing the things I love for 21 years. I can certainly empathize with his feelings. 

He also told me he contacted the well drillers. We're so far down on the list they won't get to us until spring. Once the weather turns bad, they quit for the year and won't start up again until the weather breaks warm again. They said we'd be first on the list in the spring. 

Today is Toby's birthday party. Ron's folks are there. They used to come to my kid's birthdays when they were little too. They've always been good about that. Still bites that I can't attend. Still bites that my MIL refers to herself as "Grandma" not "Great Grandma" to my grandkids. That's my name. 😒 feeling like I'm being replaced. Erased. Rubbed out. Dropped in a deep dark hole and forgotten. πŸ‘€✏️πŸš«πŸ•³

Oh yeah, 41°F in here this morning upon waking. Currently 50°F. I did get it up to 53°F when the heater was running. 


Sunday, September 24, 2017

12:28 a.m.
Can't sleep. I called Ron while he was at our daughter's to see if Toby liked his birthday presents. I was talking to Tobes when my MIL yells across the room that she has Ari and she got to see her and hold her before me and I still haven't seen her! Then she laughed tauntingly!  In the sweetest voice I could conjure up I replied, "What an incredibly kind, thoughtful and sensitive thing to say." I hung up before I burst into tears and upset the boys. Ten minutes later Ron calls. He tells me his Mom has something she wants to say. I remained silent. I couldn't talk through the tightness in my throat. She says, "I'm sorry you're feeling bad." 

O.k. That's not an apology. That's s an expression of sympathy and an insincere one at that. An apology acknowledges wrong doing. She didn't even draw a breath between that and beginning a litany of things she knew about Ari because she'd spent time with her and I hadn't. Rubbing my nose in it. I cut her off and redirected the conversation to her hurtful comments. She came back with how she wasn't going to fight with me in a patronizing tone. I rejoined with if you don't want a fight then you shouldn't start one by making malicious, hurtful comments. She kept repeating that she wan't going to fight with me, shouting over me and including that I was mad at the world and taking it out on her. Or something like that. She was using Ron's smart phone and holding it against her face like an old land line. She is 80+ after all. So the whole time she's talking her cheek and jaw are pressing buttons. Finally her cheek hung up on me. 

Well, crap! I'd hoped that they would think I lost service again. Obviously there is a hoohaw brewing. I so didn't want to upset the party. Then I cried all the more because now everybody was going to be mad at me. I felt so alone. After awhile I texted Ron. I wanted to talk to my grandsons. Ron texted back that he was about to give Toby his presents and then go home. Everyone was cranky. When he left, he called me. He'd gotten after his mother!!! He'd told her her comments were "uncalled for and she needed to apologize!" He said at first they all thought it was a joke (when he calmed down later he amended it to "she" thought it was a joke). He made it clear he was serious. He didn't hear the apology. He just dialed the phone, made the intro, handed to her and left. She told him I hung up on her. He told me that it was her face that was pushing the buttons. He saw her holding the phone to her face as he left. SMH. 

I'm so proud of my husband! His mother has been abusive like this his whole life. It took a lot of courage to break free of the programming/conditioning and stand up to her!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Isolation

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

5:15 p.m
Still sad. Still trying to do things to deal with grief. Same chores. Same issues. I did meet the neighbor that bought the property to the south. We chatted at the corral. I'm having teeth and gum problems. I'm thinking the Timber company is spraying and not telling me. Each time I go down there the problems flair. 

My new neighbor says the Timber Co. gave him a chewing out, too. He thinks its because they make money on timber sales that they don't report, and they don't want anyone tracking logs going out during thinning for sales. A friend of his told him that they don't report 50% of their profits. Tax fraud for wealthy investors, including politicians. In the millions- billions of dollars. I shared my suspicions with him. We both felt we aren't in any position to make trouble, so why are they so hostile against us? Anyway I met him on Saturday while I was keeping busy during the funeral. 

Ron came for a couple of hours Sunday.

More work yesterday. I also arranged to call and wish my oldest grandchild, Mia a Happy Birthday!  

My daughter posted lots of pics of everybody else holding my new granddaughter. Is it childish of me to want to crop some of them out of the pictures? Well, I guess I'm being childish then.πŸ™„✂️


Today the cows baled off the hill again. I put on jeans and hiking boots, strapped on my machete and gun, and we went up Huckleberry Hill. I found fresh boot tracks (that weren't mine) and smelled guy sweat. I yelled things. The usual things. We looked around real good and continued up to the top. We found bear tracks. Looked like the night before last. They were a little powdery, or crumbly around the edges. We tracked the guy, and the bear to the back fence. Hope I made the guy wet himself. His fragrance made my gums teeth and jaw hurt more and I'm breaking out all over. Stupid, selfish trespassers.

I worked on knitting and wrote out a story about my Dad that Debby had never heard, for a book she's putting together.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

11:18 a.m.
Rosie got me up at 5:30 a.m. I though it was because she needed to pee. When I opened the door for her I discovered it was the thick smoke that had her worried. I didn't see any "orange." I stayed up and monitored the wildfire dispatch sites and kept an eye on it. It appears to have been accumulation of smoke from all the area fires, not a local fire. The wind has come up and cleaned things out. 

I've stayed in. I'm working on knitting and mending. 


Friday, September 15, 2017

8:42 a.m.
Ok, I didn't stay in. The trespassing hunters are making me mad. 
Once the smoke cleared I made circuits twice a day. I discovered another track yesterday. This one was a tennis shoe. I also found lots more bear tracks. The bear and a cub tracked me and the hunters. No new tracks yesterday afternoon. I didn't go look today because the VOCs left by those two have made my teeth and jaw hurt even more. They must be tracking through glyphosate sprayed areas. So today I sorted tinder by size. Then I called the Sheriff's department to see if there was an ordinance on how closely you have to post signs. The gentleman I talked to was very kind and welcomed an introductory letter explaining my disability and the procedures I use with law enforcement. It helps so patrol people don't get alarmed by my unusual behavior. I typed it up today and sent it out. Oh yeah, they thought my saying crazy shit was a great idea. If anyone complains they'll cite them for trespassing.πŸ˜„

I've been researching isolation of people with chronic illness all week. Very debilitating in itself. There are so many chronically ill, isolated people out there. Counseling just doesn't do it! I saw one post where a woman said her best friend was her therapist. Now thats sad! She has to pay the therapist to spend time listening to her! Thats not a friend. 😒 If the therapist was truly a friend she wouldn't have to pay her. I didn't post that. 🀐 Poor lonely soul.😒😒😒

Ron's coming. Either tonight, or tomorrow.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Grief

Monday, September 4, 2017

6:00 a.m.
On Saturday I cut wood until my hands hurt. I talked on the phone with my friend Karen. She lost her Dad 30 years ago. She shared her feelings on it. It helped. Then I cleared trail. It was a 100°F. Not a good choice for me, but I couldn't just sit here thinking. I smelled something while out on Violet Way: furry carnivore. I stopped and stared into the bushes where I smelled it. It faded away. It was waiting for us when we came down the East Fenceline Trail, on the other side of Huckleberry Hill. I didn't see it. Just smelled it again and it didn't leave. I should add that Rosie started her heat bleed... 

That evening (about 10:00) a single coyote came down near the RV (100 ft.) and barked and called to her. She growled. At 4:00 a.m. We were awakened by a wolf howling, probably 30 ft in front of the RV. Low base tone, incredibly sad. Rosie was sleeping on the sofa right under the open vent. She didn't even stir. She stayed perfectly still.

Ron came up yesterday afternoon. He's had a very busy time of it, keeping all the balls in the air, for so many people.

He gave me the update on our water and power projects. Bottom line: not yet. We're on the well driller's list. We're waiting our turn. Ron's picked out a 10 solar panel package. No batteries, inverter or anything. But its a start.

After he unloaded supplies he took a hike. I stayed at the RV. I hadn't eaten anything all day except a couple of spoonfuls of nutbutter mixed with butter and honey. Too hot for gruel. I finally got some food in. It was so hot down in town that I kind of got heat exaustion while doing the dump and fill. I needed to recharge. He met people while he was out there. When he came back he told me more about the 80. The pond over there is very large. There are two fallen down cabins. We sat out under the stars, with my electric camp lantern on the table being flocked by moths, and talked about my father, his death, the funeral. It helped.

No howling last night. Just a Great Horned Owl hooting in the dark, very close by, around 4:00 a.m.

4:20 p.m.
Ron went home. This morning we set out to clean up some of the downed wire by the corral. We started by hiking up Huckleberry Hill, since a group of cows came running down from there. Ron carried the bolt cutters I'd asked for. They work better for cutting old barbed wire than using fencing pliers. We decided it was most likely coyotes that spooked the cows. We could hear them off to the east. We circled back around to the corral, dropping down the steep, east side of the hill. 

The biggest pile of barbed wire around there was the stuff Ron had pulled down from the dilapidated fence that was next to the corral. He'd tried to coil it as best he could, but it was a mess to begin with. He wanted to show me the pond and cabin on the 80 before we began. He said it wasn't that far away. So we unlocked the gate and hiked over there. I was finally being able to see the 80! Ron would run off any wayward cows, so I wouldn't get hurt. Only we didn't see any! The pond was large, and there were a ton of frogs. The cabin was fallen in. It had been cute once. We continued on past the pond, exploring. Eventually we found the SW corner pin. I could hear cows down below. They were bellowing. Then I heard a truck door. I guess they're rounding them up. Ron decided he'd try to use some compass app he had on his smart phone to find the west line... He does better trusting his gut. We trudged through the dense forest, eventually he went haring off one way while I was picking my way another. We got separated. It was a while before I found him again. We met up back at the pond.

We spent the next few hours cleaning up wire. First the newest pile that Ron made, then an old gate that used to be on the corral, but they'd replaced it with a metal gate. They just laid the old barbed wire one back along the corral. Then the old fence that was there before they built the corral. Much tidier. I was pretty much dehydrated by the time we got back. I drank almost a whole bottle of mineral water. We had some lunch. I clipped Rosie's face. Ron charged the fencer battery. We repaired the muck rake. It was time for Ron to go. The time goes by so fast. 

My but it is smokey up here! I'd like to wash some clothes but I'm thinking they'd stink of smoke. It got really smokey yesterday afternoon, too. I'll watch and see if it clears.

Ron called when he got over the pass. He is going fishing tomorrow! I'm glad! He really needs to go. 


9/7/2017

7:52 a.m.
Its Thursday already. I'm not writing much because its pretty repetitive. I'm grieving. I'm trying to stay busy. 

Its been around 100°F and very smokey. Its the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia Gorge. So I've started Ari's Strawberry Sleeper. Too hot and smokey to be outside. Jim came and got stock for a rodeo yesterday. I met him down at the corral to open gates. I left him wires to hold the gates closed so he wouldn't have to deal with locks. I need to put two double ended snap locks for those chains on my list. When he finished he texted me so I could lock up. I think he uses a pine tree air freshener in his semi. I smelled "fake pine" when I went up to lock the gate. I lost coordination, fell and had confusion problems. I'll have to be more careful about that.

Its supposed to be cooler this week, ending the week in the upper 70°s F.

8:11 p.m.
It got progressively smokier all day. Jim's rodeo got cancelled. Air quality particulates are too high, 230. He brought back 6 cows, and one calf. He'd mixed up a pair. He didn't drive the semi, so no "pine" odor. I'd worn my mask because of the smoke anyway. Most of the day was spent knitting of researching LGDs. Hmm, it was 93°F. The cooling trend has started.

I did try to eat creamy curry "soup" for dinner.

Friday, September 8, 2017

6:39 a.m.
Well! It was a busy night. Far busier than yesterday. The wind came up and buffeted the RV, for about 30 minutes. At another point I was awakened by the patter of gentle rain, about 5 minutes. It made me smile. 5 cows marched around all night mooing for their (weaned) calves. I woke up detoxing at 3:00 a.m.. 

Rosie got me up at 6:30, she needed to go out. It is a tiny bit less smokey this morning. Could be due to the humidity. The ground wasn't wet. Not enough rain for that. The coffee pot is on. 

Oh, yeah. The soup stayed down!


11:16 a.m.
I posted this on my personal page,

"Feeling heart broken today. πŸ’” My family is preparing to attend my father's funeral. They leave this afternoon if the highways are open through the wildfires ravaging the Cascades. I'm glad they will get the opportunity to comfort one another and support each other. But its times like this when my disability bites the most. 

I can't go. I'm excluded by the toxic "acceptable practices" of society. I cannot help but feel ostracized, isolated and left out. I grieve alone. My heart is broken having lost my father. My disability preventing me from attending the funeral lacerates my broken heart.

My dear friend Peggy went through this approximately 20 years ago, when her beloved husband, Dom, died of his Toxic Injuries. She couldn't attend her own husband's funeral! A minister wouldn't even accommodate her and come pray with her. It bites savagely, and like a wolverine, it never lets go!

My stepmother, bless her heart, is doing what she can to include me, even amidst her own grief. I'm very grateful for all she's doing. I want to be there for her and support her in her grief. Its just that... I still feel hurt being left out and alone. 

I can't help my feelings. They just are. Trying to deal with it.πŸ’”πŸ˜­πŸ˜ͺ😭"


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hard Days

Saturday, August 26, 2017

7:09 p.m.
So, another day marched by. This one started early. Its the opening day of archery season. I had agitated cattle. I decided to hike up Huckleberry Hill and see if there was any discernible cause. Once we got up there and had hiked over the hill to the northeast face we could hear a wolf howling about a 1/3 a mile away. We hiked around quite a bit looking for a good spot for target practice and making sure the archers hunting next door were aware there is someone here. I ended up choosing an open spot at the base of Cell Hill for target practice. I had fun, but I definitely need the practice. My grouping is nice. I'm just pulling right. 

When we got back, we were sitting outside, enjoying the cool of the morning and heard car doors on the road. We went up to the gate and met one of the guys who purchased property to the south. The piece he bought is landlocked by the Timber Co.. He's having trouble getting an easement from them... 3 guesses who he's dealing with? Wow, you got it in 1!

He was a nice guy. He'd brought his son and grandkids to go hiking. We exchanged contact info. I told him Ron would be here next weekend and could help him with his pin locations.

The rest of the day I alternated knitting a Yoshi and cutting wood. Same daily routine. Nothing glamorous or exciting here. 


Sunday August 27, 2017

6:03 p.m.
I hiked along the western fence today. Last night, after sundown, there was a single large caliber shot fired near there. I wanted to check and make sure there hadn't been any accidental hits. I checked for blood trails. I hiked to the front, then came back to the center and hiked over the hill to the corral. Everybody seemed good. I waved at the game warden as he drove by. 

I wanted to actually rest today so I decided to tackle a couple of projects that have been suggesting themselves. My new machete's sheath, and my Leatherman's holster. They're both gortex. Gortex is petroleum based and treated. While they don't give me immediate symptoms when I'm outside, I suspect they're giving me accumulative symptoms. I notice I feel better when they're not sharing space in the RV with me. I've had problems when I forgot and brought them in. 

I worked on them the majority of the day. While not glamorous, they are "trendy." 

Accessories for the well dressed wilderness grandma!

That worn look is chic. Yep. It has nothing to do with the fact that the only fabric I have is old coveralls... Nope. Nothin'. I can just visualize all the other wilderness grandmas lining up to get a set and being ready to pay extra for the worn-ness!


Monday, August 28, 2017

12:45 p.m.
After coffee this morning Rosie and I went up to the front gate and checked all the signs along the road to the west. The road shooter was back last night. I heard him slow down at the usual spot, I stepped outside. Then heard male voices. Next I heard them drive on to the west. I heard them stop, fire two shots, large caliber. I yelled, "Knock it off, dumb _$$!" There was a couple of moments of quiet, then they drove on. Since it was right at sunset I called 911 and reported it. I didn't find any signs that had been damaged. 

I continued my parameter check clear around the property to the corral. Rosie and I were both tired by the time we got back to the RV.
I definitely have fences to mend and trail to clear. I have plenty of old barbed wire to clean up too.  


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

11:34 a.m.

I spent yesterday (100°F) working on my green Yoshi: arms, legs, eyes, cheeks. It was too hot for me. I did do laundry as Rosie threw up all over the rugs after our hike on Monday. She's recovered. She either ate something she shouldn't have or its heat cycle time. 

We did make one hike out to the corral to check on salt. I texted Jim he needed to bring more. He was supposed to come yesterday. Didn't hear from him. I did hear his LGDs barking the night before. In the middle of the night I was awakened by either gunfire or exploding wolf scaring devices. It went on for 3 minutes and sounded like a drive by gang hit. It came from the same area west of me as the earlier barking.  

Today is more Yoshi work. I knit the feet, dorsal fins and back spot in undyed wool, measuring the amounts I need for each color. Then I undid the piece and cut and skeined the appropriate amounts. I'm currently dying the yellow (soles of shoes). 

As I've tromped around in my fenced in area (fenced to keep out cows) I uncovered more white, petrified cow pies from previous years. I spent an hour moving those until I broke my muck rake handle. 
It was the squirrel that got us outside again. He was green pinecone bombing the RV again. I gloved up and went out and tossed all his pinecones to the other squirrels, bwahahahaha! It was such a pretty morning I decided to work out there for awhile. 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

4:35 p.m.
Its been a hard day. Debby returned yesterday from a trip back east to help her mother, to find my father deteriorating. They called in hospice. Today the hospice nurse said he won't survive past this evening. Debby called everyone and those that wanted to, or could, gathered. Been a sad day. Evidently my Dad is in a lot of pain. They've drugged him. He's not awake much. I called. He was unconscious. I told him I loved him, even so. I said good-bye.

I tried to keep busy. I finished Green Yoshi.


I started repairs on the muck rake. No drill bits. I cut wood. Eventually Jim texted and Rosie and I walked down to the corrals to get next months rent. Ryan called me, then he called Debby and his Grandfather. Debby texted me about it. 

Jim did tell me his shepherd didn't have a gun, so that shooting the other night wasn't his shepherd. I asked Jim to let me know what his shepherd says about it. 

So now I'm just sitting here, wishing I didn't have to think about my father dying. It doesn't matter how long they're ill beforehand. You are never prepared. My heart aches.


Friday, September 1, 2017

My father passed away early this morning. Crying, heartache. There's not really anything I can do to ease the pain. I called my son to tell him that his Grandfather had passed. He talked about attending the funeral. It grieved me so deeply that I needed to throw up. I can't, won't, be able to attend. There won't be any typical grieving rituals for me. I can't attend burial services, or funerals. No wake (his mother was Irish). None of the things that ease grieving. I'm going to have to find my own way to grieve. Right now my heart is a lead weight in my chest.

I couldn't talk to my daughter. She's giving birth. She went in to be induced last night. I've heard nothing more.


6:00 p.m.
I called Justin, my son-in-law, this morning after I got the text that the baby had arrived. I waited a while to give everybody a chance to catch up. It turns out they didn't induce last night. The doctor decided to wait and do it at her convenience this morning. Only the baby had other plans. My daughter went in to labor at 7:30 a.m. and delivered our granddaughter by 9:00 a.m., without the doctor or any "medical intervention." She's a cutie! They're calling her "Ari."

It was a very emotionally labile day. Joy, counterpointed by grief. I can take the joy. Just not the grief. I don't handle things like this well. Things like this? Problems were you can't do anything about it. Heavy emotions with no place to put them. You know how I hate crying and heartache. Crying activates my hyper-reactive lymph and my body over produces mucus. Everywhere. My heart physically aches like its been cleaved. I've lost so much already. I feel like I can't take another loss. But it makes no difference how I feel. I have too. Death is a part of life. 

My sisters did not forget about me. The two that showed up yesterday to sit with Debby and our Dad as he past, called to make sure I was kept up to date. They don't like dwelling on painful things either. We cried together briefly, then moved on to incidentals. Things that didn't wrench out our guts. But perhaps I should say "Coincidentals." It turns out they were both here looking at this property and the property to the south in May! It was probably while I was out hiking the perimeter for the first time. One of them wanted to buy the piece to the south! 

I cut a lot of wood today. It was all I had left to do. I finished a headband to go with Ari's romper. I'm too distraught to start her next sleeper. 

Ron took Joey and Toby up to see Momma, Daddy and Ari in the afternoon. The boys didn't want to leave when it was time to come home. On the way back home Ron called me and gave Joey the phone. The conversation was a little much for me to follow today. Joey wanted a baby of his own. Then he wanted a spider. A baby spider. To spin a web and eat dragonflies. Then Joey was a spider and Toby was a dragonfly. I said, "Hey! Wait a minute! Does that mean you're going to eat Toby?!!" Delighted laughter. Was he just checking to make sure I was paying attention? The conversation jumped to how I had lots of Yoshis in my RV. Lots of laughter with that. Then back to what spiders ate. What dragonflies ate. Did I have bears and wolves in my forest? I said yes and coyotes. Then there were questions about coyotes, and what they ate. It must be all the pets his momma brings home and what they need to eat. As soon as they got home they had to feed the fish and Crabby. 

I did talk to Justin's mom. I like to call her when we get a new grandchild and congratulate her. 

The joy of a new granddaughter is bittersweet. It will be months before I get to hold her. They vaccinate. Everybody else will see her before I do. 

My friends Peggy and Julia called and checked on me. So did Barbara. It helped. 

I'd like to write something about my dad, but I can't. The grief is too raw. The realization that I will never, ever hear his voice again, or hear his laughter, or see the mischief in his eyes: Heartbreaking. 



Saturday, August 26, 2017

Getting Stuff Done

Saturday August 19, 2017

3:58 p.m.
I love being able to get out and work! As many of you know loneliness is a huge part of my condition. My family and friends have their own lives. I have to be considerate of that. I end up being alone a lot. Having work to do, that I can get out and do myself, helps with the loneliness. 

Today's plan was to take the wagon over the hill to the corral and pick up those two lawn and leaf size bags of garbage. If I still felt good, I was thinking I'd go pick up garbage on the inside of the front fence to the west of the driveway. Rosie and I did both those things. I even threw in some fence repair. I felt pretty tired afterward. It wasn't even noon yet... I tried resting. Too lonely. Too boring. I trimmed some more dead limbs and moved them to the pile. I tried resting again. Same problems. I decided that I could try nailing a few signs on the north fence line. I'm out of screws, but I do have nails and a hammer. I thought, Violet Way is pretty smooth. It won't be too hard to get the wagon down there and back if I take it slow. I thought, "...maybe just a couple near the gate... I loaded all the signs and a whole bag of nails into the wagon. Just in case. I got a call from Ryan about the time I got down there. That was nice. Afterward I decided to hike up to the crest of the hill where I'd put up the last sign on the north fence line and see how many I needed to haul up there. I'd already determined I wasn't up to dragging the wagon up there. Or back down either. On my way up I got a text from Debby letting me know when I could call my Dad. When I got back to the wagon from my scouting trip I sat on a rock and made the call. He was much more lucid today. It was heartbreaking because he asked Debby when they were getting out of there. She said, "In a while." He tried to pin her down. She tried to be evasive but eventually had to say, "Several whiles." My Dad was so upset he wanted to cry. I could hear it in his voice. He made an excuse to get off the phone. I'm sure it broke Debby's heart too. I sat there on my rock and cried. When you cry in the woods only people with fur and feathers hear you. Eventually I picked myself up, gathered my signs, nails and hammer and hiked back up the hill. I put up 4 more signs to reach the back gate. I only mangled one tree and a sign corner. My hammering skills need work. There are no good posting trees by the back gate. From the back gate to the NE corner the trail is too narrow for the wagon. I wasn't ready to call it quits yet. I figured I could at least hike that section and see how many signs I need to put up. It is the prime bear/wolf/ mountain lion section. I admit to being a little edgy. I'd also broken my favorite walking stick beating dead limbs off of some of the trees I just finished nailing signs on. A little edgy, but also angry at the western medical system. My Dad had been fine until he had chemo and radiation for prostrate cancer. The "cancer" were the size of sand grains. Totally normal activity in the body. Some greedy doctors convinced him to do the radiation/chemo.😑 So any predators had better look out; the piece of stick I had left was pointy! Unfortunately for my temper, I didn't run into any predators. It was left fizzling away impotently. Anyway, I found that there were only 2 trees that would take a sign. I decided to post them.  I hiked back to the wagon and got the signs and nails. I just need some wire and backer boards for two more (hanging 'em on the fence) and the north fence line will be done. At that point I was hot enough and sweaty enough I decided to head back to the RV. I didn't remember the road being downhill to the back fence, but I noticed it then as I drug that wagon back up the hill. 


Sunday

11:02 a.m.
I forgot it was Sunday! Its supposed to be a day of rest. I went out before I remembered and worked on the front fence and cleared trail. Hmmm, I'm going to have to work on this resting thing. How do I rest without feeling bored and lonely? 

9:05 p.m.
I didn't end up getting much rest today. I tried, it just didn't work out. I realized I'd lost my face mask at some point in the morning, so I hiked back out to where I'd been working earlier this morning. Not there. I did eventually find it. It had fallen out of my pocket in the RV, and unnoticed it was kicked into the corner. 

I sorted sticks for 3 hours in the afternoon. While at it I heard a vehicle slow down near where the person usually shoots about 5:30 p.m.. Rosie and I hiked up there. No one there by the time we got there. I'd had to jump in the RV and put on more apropriate "confrontational" clothing. On the way back we saw a rattlesnake. It crawled out of the long grass right in front of us. I called Rosie off of it and got a real good look at it. I was expecting a water snake or racer. It had rattles. I checked several times. I shot at it but it slithered into the tall grass on the other side of the trail. I wasn't going wading into the knee high grass to see if I'd killed it. I figure I missed, since he was still moving. Its been 20 years since I fired my gun. The good news: no adverse reaction to the gunpowder. Rosie did excellent following the commands to leave it alone and get behind me. Then, since a cow with a droopy horn had been limping this morning I went looking for her, in case she was limping because she'd been snake bit. Both cows with droopy horns were fine. It took me a while to track them down. Lots of hiking, very little rest. 


Monday, August 21, 2017

10:28 a.m.
Its eclipse day. The eclipse could be happening now. The sunshine is dimming. I'm not out there watching, no goggles, no shoe box. Saw one as a kid. It got dark as night. This one, not a big deal for me. Lots of people have been posting crazy stuff about it on the net. Ron tells me they are estimating 100,000 people going to Madras to see it. They're predicting solar flares that shut down the internet and cell towers... Reminds me of Y2K.  So far it looks pretty normal outside



Anyway, I did do laundry this morning, but got a late start. I got an opportunity to sleep in. The cows did not like my shooting at that snake yesterday evening. Neither did the coyotes. The cows stayed away until 10:00 a.m.! Usually they come over around 5:30 a.m.. The coyotes cleared the area. I heard them howling a long way off last night! Not a peep out of them in the wee hours this morning. I realized last night that I need to take up target practice again. This is just extra incentive.


Tuesday,

8:07 p.m.
I thought Jim was coming to collect some cows today for a rodeo he's working, but he didn't. Maybe he meant next Tuesday. 

I tried going out to work on the woodpile but something was stinky in the smokey air. It burned my lips. 

I spent most of the day working on the green Yoshi. Since this batch of handspun is worsted weight I have a few more pattern adjustments. I was intending to knit more heavy winter socks from it before it caught Joey's eye and imagination. I'd rather nurture a child's imagination than stick with the plan. I can spin more yarn later.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

8:49 a.m.
Yesterday was our Public Hearing before the Planning Commission on vacating the un-named road that was dedicated through here in 1892. It had never been constructed. Ron, wisely wanted it formally vacated. He got letters of intent to vacate from the relevant county officials then petitioned for the vacation. There was a public notice period, then a public hearing. We were granted the Vacation. It didn't go through without a hitch though. Remember the Hancock Timber guy, Steve McClellum, that chewed my backside telling me I had no business being here? Well he wrote a letter to the county demanding that Hancock Timber get a 40' fully maintained right of way there, with locks on both my front and back gates with 24/7 access. He had a couple of other demands as well that would have sabotaged my safe space. Does it sound like he was just trying to run me out to you? Seems like it to me. But there's a couple more odd "coincidences I don't think I've told you. McClellum also, without warning, raised the insurance amount required on my pasture renter's sheep that have a permit for the timber range land to $5 million! Just how does he think sheep are going to do $5 million worth of damage?! Jim didn't say it had anything to do with me but considering McClellum called Jim and harangued him when he dicovered Jim had brought his cattle onto my place, it seems odd. Anyway, back to the vacancy. The Planning Commission organized a field trip out here on the 9th. They noted the timber company's access roads right on either side of me and several on other sides of their property and dismissed his request as being without merit! Yay! So it will be filed and its all taken care of.

After Ron attended the meeting, I met him at the dump station. Then we came up here to transfer supplies. Ron had Kentucky Fried Chicken (shudder) and I had an organic chocolate bar to celebrate. With what was left of the afternoon we hiked up to the east boundary fence to post that fenceline. We stopped at the spot where I saw the rattlesnake and did a little investigating. I know almost nothing about snakes, especially rattlesnakes. Ron's dealt with rattlesnakes a lot over the years. So Ron took a good look around. We found several possibilities for the den. One was a rotted out stump with holes going down where the roots used to be. Ron shared a bunch of the things he knows. A nice, tidy educational lecture. We finished posting the fence and got back about 6:00 p.m. He still had two things to do before heading out. One, set up a wood rick for me to cut up those bigger limbs. Two, change out my coach batteries. My batteries weren't taking a charge very well. We discovered a chipmunk had built a nest in the battery box sometime in the past. Probably at Anson-Wright, since he'd used Rosie fur as nest material and thats where I remember some going missing. Ron left me his brand new boat batteries and took my coach batteries to recondition. He'll bring them back next trip.  And then he left. 

The weather report said I was supposed to get thunderstorms in the night. I didn't. I did get a little more rain.πŸ™‚ I slept lightly waiting for the storms.

So today, when I finish preparing Rosie's breakfast and washing up dishes, I'll take the last two signs to the back fence, do laundry, and cut wood. 

1:11 p.m.
Laundry, check. Last two signs posted, check. Eating... Well, not so good. Stomach problem at the moment. Working on it.

6:48 p.m.
I cut a little bit of wood this afternoon. I'm going to have to work up to it. I don't have those muscles. The rick helped. I did more laundry. I'm doing Rosie's bed cover. Its drying. I'm also doing the white skein of handspun for green Yoshi's contrasting belly. Its also drying. Ron picked up the boys from daycare, our daughter had to work late. I got to talk to Joey (mostly) and Toby. It was a bit difficult to follow the conversation, what with my poor cell connection. Joey had a package for me on his lap. He kept telling me to "look at it." I finally figured out its really something that Ron ordered. I'm still not sure how it got to be for me. Joey asked if I was making his green Yoshi. I told him I was and he'll get to take it home. But, he said he thinks it should stay here. Then there was a whole segment in there where I think his pet hermit crab, Crabby, is going to come clean my RV because Crabby is really good at cleaning things. Hmmm. Don't ask me. I wasn't exaggerating about having difficulty following the conversation. That about wraps up our day. We'll go check to see if the dog bed is dry around sunset, then we'll turn in. It is a pleasant, cool evening.

O.k. I have an addendum. A squirrel is cutting pinecones from our shade tree and they are thudding heavily against the RV. These are unopened green cones. They are heavy and hard. I went out with leather gloves (they're also pokey) and hurled a couple back at him. He was too far up the tree for it to even come close. I decided to throw all his cones to the other squirrels. Most squirrels just run up the tree and get them one at a time. This little fellow nips off 20 or so, and then cleans them up off the ground. I figured he might be more cautious if he thought I'd give them to other squirrels. We'll see if anymore pinecone meteors land on the roof.


Friday, August 25, 2017

12:49 p.m.
Rosie and I just returned to the cool of our camper after morning chores. I'd set myself a handful of tasks to complete this morning. I started by mending one of the camp chairs. Then we took the fencing pliers and a metal file up to the gate and cut/filed off all the barbs on the latch loop that have been tearing up my hands whenever I have to go in or out. After that we hiked back and exchanged those tools for the loppers. We went back up and began the process of clearing the trail to the east of the driveway. Today I focused on cutting back overhanging branches, and shrubbery that was in the middle of the path. We got as far as the first draw. Eventually I want it wide enough and smooth enough to pull the wagon over it loaded with fencing supplies. It was a good mornings work. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wolves Again

Sunday, August 13, 2017

We got real rain early this morning. No coyotes howling, but a cow decided a 2:24 a.m. that snacking on the grass growing under my RV was a great idea. The problem? Her horns bang against the side and scrape the paint. 

I noticed lots of edgy behavior from the cows this morning. Several of them running out of the woods at different times. It was while I was out working on the wood pile that I understood why. First I heard cow elk. They were back. Then I heard a wolf howl. Guess they're back too. It was at the south end of the meadow. Rosie was on constant alert the whole time we were outside. After we heard the wolf howl she got more concerned and came and stood, pressing against me, pushing me t'ward the RV, until I went in. I need to get my fences improved before I can get LGDs. Gotta get on that. 

It was shower day. Its great to be clean. We're expecting a couple of weeks of cooler weather. Yay!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Ron arrived yesterday afternoon and left this afternoon. Yesterday Ron added a second strand of hot wire and hooked up a fencer to a battery. The solar ones just weren't effective. I worked on my limb pile. I've gotten it down from the size of a hummer, to the size of a VW bug. 

Today, after a nice breakfast, we (Ron, Rosie and I) posted "No Trespassing" signs along the road. We also picked up the trash on the road. Our property has pieces on both sides of the road. They are split so that the block south of the road begins at the center point of piece on the north side. All total it was 3/4 of a mile. Ron also brought locks and chain for all the gates. I feel better now that the other gates have locks. 

Later, I'll post the other sides of the north property. I can't do the 80 until the toxic cows are gone. I'll break it into sections. First I'm going to have to recover.

Ron put together a second bench. This one is from Ryan and his family. 

Since Ron brought me a pole saw, I went around and did a little trimming of higher branches. I don't have the muscles for bigger limbs yet. Ron used the saw to take out some of the bigger ones for me. 

I dyed the yarn for Joey's green Yoshi. I finished the Yoshi I was making as a pattern/prototype.

It was a very productive day!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

12:29 p.m.
Yesterday evening, after Ron left, zRosie and I sat out in the cool of the evening and watched cows test the fence. A couple of the old girls walked the majority of it searching for a weak spot. They didn't actually touch it. They just put their noses close enough for it to arc. Heh, heh. 😏 

Today I've been busy. I sealed my new benches (now that they won't get cow hair stuck to them). I'm doing laundry. I used my new pole saw some more in the picnic area. I trimmed branches off of trees across Elk Dancing Lawn with the recip saw. Expanding my operation outward! Rosie and I walked out to the big meadow's ponds. One was just mud. The larger one still had water. Coyotes challenged us with a resounding chorus, from up on Cell Hill. I still can hear wolves howling far to the north, but I think they've moved on again. 

1:43 p.m.
I got run in by a low flying plane. I was able to grab my laundry in time.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I'd been having some issues. I finally figured out it was my drinking water. Met Ron at the top of the pass to get fresh water. The filter at home needs changing. 

Jim is bringing more cows this afternoon around 4:00 p.m..

The bull and a cow have threatened Rosie. I'm thinking that they have been having problems with canids. 


Thursday, August 17, 2017

8:44 p.m.
My plans to post signs yesterday were rescheduled for today.  Thats how I started the day. I loaded up my wagon and set out for the western boundary fence. The lumps, bumps, rocks and sticks did not make for easy wagon pulling. It was already warm in the meadow. There's a land bridge that crosses the now dry creek's gulley. I made for that and then headed for the shade. I mean, headed for a good tree to post a sign on. Yeah, that was it. Anyway, I planned on doing just the south half of the fence today but I got so much satisfaction from putting up the signs that I didn't want to quit. After I did the south half I decided to keep going. I worked my way up Cell Hill. By the time I got that heavily loaded wagon up there I didn't want to have to do it a second time. So I kept going. I put up 12 "No Trespassing" signs on the 1/2 mile of west fence line. Then I rounded the corner and started on the north fence line. I put up 5 more. At that point I ran out of screws and I reached the crest of a steep hill. Not a place to take the wagon. I'll work that section from the bottom upward when I get more screws. Getting the wagon back down the steep hillside was challenging. It kept trying to run over me. I was pretty hot, sweaty and tired by the time Rosie and I got back to the RV. I had to take a lot of meds and do cool-down procedures. 

I was anxious that I missed Jim's text saying he was 15 minutes from the corral. I'd been in and out of dead zones all morning. Turns out he was still hours away. We'd decided yesterday evening that he'd bring 10 more pair today. He'd brought 7 last night. The 6 to finish out the 35 pair he'd originally said he was bringing, plus one more pair he had with him that he was planning one taking to the pasture he has down the mountain.. He had also decided he'd like to just pay in cash. So he gave me money. He'd asked to walk the pasture and I was o.k. with that. He was finally able to see how much pasture there was. He's hoping to start with lots more pair next year.  

Anyway, it wasn't long after returning to the RV this morning that I began to get stiff. So much for resting. I decided I needed to walk it off. I grabbed a garbage bag and headed for the corral. There's some trash down there I've been meaning to get picked up. Jim finally got there around 4:00 p.m.. The cows were skinny. The ones he brought yesterday were skinny, too. He's been saying he lost a pasture contract back home in Idaho and has been scrambling for pasture. He didn't want to over graze here and lose this pasture too. At least thats what I can determine from the comments he's made, and why he's been so cautious about putting on too many head. Anyway, the cows got right to eating. Thats what I want them to do. Eat down the fire fuels. They should fatten up and look sleek and fat like the others pretty quick. Jim paid me the balance of the 1/2 months rent for these new cows, he'd given me all the money he'd had on him last night. So I've netted an additional $80.00 for this month! I'm very pleased. I'm making money and contributing to my own upkeep again. 😊😊😊

Rosie and I returned to the RV for dinner. Jim had to hurry off and deliver the groceries to his shepherd. He was worried about the milk spoiling. I was worried about my feet killing me. 

I think I'd be asleep already but I'm waiting for the pan of Rosie's veggies to cool so I can put it in the refrigerator. Tomorrow I'm going to have to wash and change seat covers again. Since Rosie's not on lead most of the time here, she rolls. She particularly likes "Fleabane." I don't mind the smell. It does keep away fleas. Its all the other dirt and seeds she picks up when she does it that I mind. πŸ™„


Friday, August 18, 2017

I started out doing laundry at 6:00 a.m.. I was up in the night and couldn't get back to sleep. Then Rosie and I took a large lawn and leaf garbage bag and hiked along the inside of the front fence from the driveway eastward to the corral. I cut trail with my machetΓ© and picked up garbage. I filled the whole bag! Tomorrow I'll take the wagon down there and collect the two bags. I put them in the loading chute to keep the cows out of them. I spent the rest of the day on laundry and prepping to start the green Yoshi that Joey originally asked me for. That handspun is worsted weight, so I need to tweak the pattern.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Smokey Mountain Grandma

Sunday, August 6, 2017

3:09 p.m.
The air quality alert is extended through tomorrow morning.


Its a little less smokey than yesterday. The local wildfire dispatch report says that the two closest fires are contained. 

 Rosie and I are waiting for Poppa and Joey to arrive for a stay over. πŸ˜ƒ

Monday, August 7, 2017

5:35 a.m.
Remember what it felt like, when you were a kid, on Christmas morning? You were so excited you woke up at the crack of dawn and could barely contain yourself until everyone else woke up? Thats how I feel this morning. Rosie and I are sitting on the sofa across from the made-into-a-bed dinette where Joey is still sleeping away, buried in a pile of blankets and sleeping bag. He'll probably be sleeping for awhile. We stayed up late. He couldn't sleep, it was so exciting and new. And dark! I told him stories and sang. It was quite precious, after I finished a song he'd say, " Oh, that was a good one!" Or "I liked that one Grandma!" Then he'd make requests, "Sing one about blue and green and pink?"

8:06 p.m.
What a day! That little boy is perpetually in motion! He bounced around the inside of the RV like a superball. Then he would spot a squirrel outside and we'd have to rush out for squirrel patrol. Ron was working hard outside, but I think I had the tougher job, keeping up with a 4 year old dynamo. Ron did put up hot wire with a new solar charger. The charger didn't work. 😟 He'll bring a good one when he returns. In the meantime I'm hoping the cows don't test it. Joey and I helped with the fence. We carried the posts and handed them to Poppa. Well, until Joey got hot. Then we went back to the RV for 5 minutes. That was about as long as it would be before another squirrel sighting. Finally at about 11:30 a.m. I sent a glassy eyed boy up to the cabover and told him to take a nap. I fired up the a/c and as soon as it got cold in here he was out. He took a nice long nap. Grandma rested! It was a terrific 2 days. 


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

There were eruptions of coyotes in the night. They were nearby. It was reminiscent of a platoon of squeaky wheeled shopping carts in a parking garage full of cars with their motion sensitive alarms going off. Not much sleep. Most likely, there were only about 3-4 coyotes. They make a lot of noise.

I was able to limb those trees closest to the generator. Yay! I'm waiting for shade in the wood cutting spot to work on cutting my pile up. 


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

6:36 p.m.
Its still really smokey up here.

We started the morning sleeping in. The cows didn't come by until 6:00 a.m.. They made up for it later when several fall calves busted through the dead hot wire. They launched clips everywhere. I couldn't even find four of them. Some windy day they'll fall out of the trees. I collected everything I could and rolled up the wire. I knew it would happen at some point. I'd just hoped they wouldn't figure it out for a couple more days. 

After cleaning up that mess Rosie and I went down to the corral area and cut thistles. I stacked sun bleached wood. There's so many limbs down, down there, it makes walking hard and pulling the wagon over it harder. We got quite a bit cleaned up. Then we came back for breakfast. 

I've tried breaking up my kindling a couple of times today but the smoke is just too heavy. Did some sketching.

Very smokey sunset. The sun was a red orange ball. It doesn't show up in the photo.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

10:44 a.m.
The coyotes woke me up around 3:00 a.m.. I slept in until 7:00 a.m.. I tried to eat breakfast before I went out, but it was too much. It made me sick. Lost most of the morning to nausea. Its still so smokey I put on my VOC mask and hiked to the front gate and corrals, just for a check. I'm waiting for cooler weather to cut a perimeter trail. 

Ron deposited my pasture renter's check yesterday. Waiting for it to clear before I sign the contract and fax it back. Been assessing the cattle he moved in without me checking them. So far, they seem o.k.. They don't all stay together so its hard to know if I've checked them all. I've done some work near a few smaller groups, no problems yet. 


Friday, August, 11, 2017

The check cleared. So did the smoke. I was able to check the cattle. They seem o.k. I still smell that chemical that smells like permanent marker, but I think its the Bangs vac. It doesn't make my lips and arms burn. Thunderstorms predicted for the next two days.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Coyotes, again. Thunderstorms passed over us with rumbling. No ground strikes, thank God! A light rain. Not enough to wet the ground. The winds cleared out the rest of the smoke. 12 new fires in our area. Guess the smoke will be back.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

I Kinda Wanted to Call This One, Its Mine!"

The Start of My New Life

Saturday, July 29, 2017

5:45 p.m.
I just came in from some afternoon chores. I was cutting dead limbs off trees with a recip saw to reduce fire danger. Yep, I have a long way to go. Not a problem. Before that I trimmed up my walking stick and filed off the knobs. I ripped the synthetic lining and soles out of a new pair of shoes. I replaced the nasty foam insole with a leather one. Rosie and I took a walk out to the front gate to see of the listing agent collected his lock yet. 

I currently have 35 pair, and at least one bull as pasture renters, though we haven't received the first payment yet. But if it all goes according to plan, I'm making money! Jim is still rounding up cattle to move here. When he finishes collecting the strays, I've invited him to ride through. He keeps asking how many pair I can take. I've answered him twice. I told him 60. He didn't believe me. I guess the only way he'll be satisfied is to judge for himself. 

It was a hot, sweaty day yesterday. I was sitting outside to enjoy the breeze and a bumble bee came and started licking the salt off of me! It tickled and her tongue felt cold. Today she came back. She wanted to lick it off of me again. This time, since I was wearing long sleeves and pants, she wanted to lick it off my face. I objected. She got pissy and stung me. Sheesh! Give a bee an inch... 


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

6:20 p.m.
I collected the first months rent today. There was a bit of a hoo-haw when my husband messed up my deal, by telling my renter he didn't have to do all the things I specifically told him he needed to do. We had a 2 hr business meeting down at the corral this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.. He brought back-up. I think he thought it was going to be "uncomfortable." He was doing squirrelly things about paying. He was supposed to come pay when he brought the last load. He didn't. Nor had he signed the contract. So the next day I'd texted him reminding him of those deficiencies and telling him if I didn't receive payment by close of business on the first he'd have to remove his cattle. He promised to overnight a check. It didn't come. Ron had argued that you can't overnight a check on the weekend, so thats why I gave him until close of business on the first. He started getting nervous and decided he wanted to give me a check "incase the overnighted one didn't arrive in time." We got it sorted. I actually had fun with it and I think they did too. I started with a smile, a warm welcome and some honest compliments. I didn't accuse, I asked. My tact and diplomacy practicing is helping. There is hope for me in that area. I was dreading it, though, and it turned out way better than I anticipated. 

Not much else going on other than dead-limbing trees and moving the cattle out of my stuff. I did join an LGD learning group on FB. I got an invite from an amazing woman in Canada. There's a lot for me to learn!


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2:35 p.m.
It started out a normal day and took a bit of a turn. Rosie broke her training and chased a cow. We had a little "training refresher course." Then we headed down to the corral with a wagon load of tools. It was harder to pull up the hill than I thought. Especially with Rosie back on lead and sulking. We got the gate temporarily mended. I need deep sockets to rehang it. Then I loaded the tools and headed back. I know I securely closed the socket wrench kit but when I got back to the RV it was open and sockets were loose in the wagon. It has mesh sides and bottom, though there is a mat. By the time I got that picked up, sorted and put way it was 90°F and I was operating on low blood sugar. Both Rosie and I were over heated. I ate before we back-tracked looking for any lost sockets. Its one of those sets where they make one box for 3 different sized sets and I can't remember how many empty spaces I'm supposed to have. That was the first mile we hiked this morning. Rosie and I tanked up on water and rested a minute before making the next hike. I checked the lock on the front gate. Then we checked the back gate. Another mile. We were resting again in the shade of the picnic area when I heard the hum of an ATV turn around at the front gate, drive back and stop in that area above the draw. I figured it was the shooter. I so did not want to chase this person down but heck. So I grabbed my camera and we hiked back to the corral (Rosie still on leash). I waited around for awhile but no shots. We started hiking back along the fence. I didn't see anyone or smell anyone. I got to the first huckleberry patch and it dawned on me it was probably a berry picker. The bushes were stripped clean. Before I got to the place I expected to find the trespasser my blood sugar started to crash big time. I had to divert to the RV for meds. As I was taking my meds I looked out the window to see the cows hustling up to the berry patch. They must have figured that there was something really good up there with all the activity. I hope the onslaught of 30 odd, long horned cattle ran the thief off. I rested looking at video survelliance signs and equipment.

Since I cleaned the dead limbs off my laundry trees yesterday, I rehung my line as high as I could (to avoid horns), rinsed and hung out my laundry. Its been sitting in the bucket since the cows came. Then I brushed out Rosie. She had quite the collection of seeds, burs and beggars lice from all our walks. We're back in under the a/c and Rosie is leash free and contrite.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

2:40 p.m.

This morning I figured out why Rosie thinks she can chase cattle. Every morning they come at 5:30 a.m. and eat the grass under the edge of the RV. Their horns bang against the side. I jump out of bed, and throw open a window and yell at them. Rosie thought I wanted them run off. We did more leash work today around cattle. I'm cutting up the pile of limbs. When we got the wagon level I quit. I need to figure a place to stack it that it won't get soggy, and cows won't get into it. Rosie and I hiked around looking for a good spot. I also did more reconnoitering on how to get quickly to the front. 

Ron didn't get in until late last night. The "overnight check" still hasn't arrived. I called the bank this check was issued from this morning. There are sufficient funds. 

Then I went out to do more laundry and clip Rosie down. There are even more sticky seeds at this time, so I trimmed her really short. I had to stop before I did the feet. Blister forming on scissor hand. She's happier. Even though I recently clipped her, we're both so much healthier that our hair/fur is coming in with less grey and growing fast! 


There are 12 large fires burning in Oregon and Washington. There is an air quality alert until tomorrow morning. Our visibility is 8 miles. Its smokey, but not near as bad as it was at Anson-Wright last year. Ron told me that at home last night the smoke was as thick as a fog bank. Glad I'm not there. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Roger and his wife, Tina, came out to visit. They gave me a lovely card and amazingly a gift card! I was stunned! That was so very kind!! I'm so used to dealing with the hard hearted people around my farm, kindness still floors me! While the compassion was tremendous, the company was fabulous! I think I may have blathered on too much, though. Backlog of words. I'm going to have to work on that. I don't want to be rude. Way out of practice on the social graces!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

I started the day trimming dead limbs that were close to the back of my RV. The wind was right for awhile so that I didn't get gassed. 


I got a call from my step-mother. My father was in ICU. He'd fallen and cut the back of his head open, and banged up an elbow. It was pretty bad. Debby was up all night with him at the hospital. She was pretty traumatized. It upset me pretty badly too. My father can't remember what happened. He's very confused and upset about being in the hospital. They've done 2 CAT scans so far. There is a little bleeding on the brain. It did not increase between the scans. He'll be transferred to a regular room today if all goes well. 

Still no "Overnight check."

Worked on the knitted Yoshi most of the day. Too much smoke to be outside. I did hear a huge explosion around 6:00 p.m.. Rosie and I went up to the gate to check things out. I could smell GSR from the west, blowing down the road. 

Ron is coming Tomorrow. He may get to bring Joey.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Signed, Sealed, Done!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

7:24 p.m. 
It was a fantastic birthday! Joey wanted to spend most of his time relaxing in Grandma's "house." We visited and played imaginary Yoshi's were coming in. They kept popping up everywhere and getting into all kinds of trouble. We'd go to drink our cocoa, there'd be a Yoshi in the cup! We even had a Yoshi battle, throwing Yoshies at each other. Joey started it! (Said in voice of child caught in mischief)  That kid has the greatest imagination! The Yoshies only settled down if you gave them yarn. Luckily I have lots. Joey kept us both entertained! Joey asked me all kinds of questions about yarn, spinning, knitting and all my tools for knitting. So I showed him how I'd cast on and start knitting a Yoshi. He was quite pleased and even understood the concept of which piece I was making. He busied himself with piling up balls of yarn for the (pretend) Yoshies to sleep in. Every so often he'd check, and or remind, me to keep working on knitting the Yoshi. 

He slept that night in Poppa's camper since I don't have any safe (for me) blankies and toys for him. He brought his own from home but they are too smelly for me. Also I wanted to take my shower and my bathroom doors have no locks. No need to risk mentally scarring a 4 year old...

Saturday morning Joey and I had hot cocoa together and let Poppa go back to sleeping in. Then we ate breakfast together outside at the picnic table. Roger and his wife came by at 10:00 a.m. and I signed the closing documents. It was great to finally meet her. Joey played quietly and waited patiently. Ron will sign Thursday when he hands over the check. Rosie was so excited about having company this weekend she forgot her training and ran over to greet Roger's wife. She had residual fragrance and though she didn't touch Rosie, Rosie did all the naughty and came away smelly. Joey and took Rosie to the pond and threw sticks and pinecones in for Rosie to retrieve. I finished cleaning her by hosing her off in the outside shower. Then Joey and I gave his knitted Yoshi from home a bath so he could bring him in "Grandma's house." My daughter and her family arrived before noon. "Toby the Intrepid" marched for miles around the section of woods we are camped out in. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. For my birthday I got a landscaper's cart that can haul 1000 lbs.. I have all kinds of jobs in mind for it. Ron, Justin and Joey put it together for me. Then Justin hauled Toby around in it for an hour. My daughter and her family headed home around 3:00 p.m.. Joey wanted to stay with Grandma "...for days and days!" But I told him he needed to go home with Mommy, Daddy and Toby because they would miss him. He said, "But I will miss my Grandma." Touches my heart. I love that sweet little boy! Ron's planning to ask our daughter if he can bring him back on Thursday. πŸ˜€ We'll have him until Saturday again. Then Ron will take him home. 

Ron stayed over this Saturday night, as well. I let him do a lot of napping. He sure needed it. I did laundry. He had put in several hikes while he was here as well as all the other stuff. He hiked the perimeter of the 80 and found that we really only have 1 1/2 of the sides fenced. Lots of work to do there. I got in another shower last night and put on clean sheets. Ron left this morning. I drove the RV back to town with him and we filled and dumped again. He drove back to the farm and I drove up the mountain. I took lots of time setting back up. I got quite the startle from a huge toad. It was the size of a soup bowl! I wouldn't have even seen it, hiding in the grass where I was about to park the RV except it moved. I took a long stick and herded it out of the way. It had hopped under the coach and I didn't want to squish it. The eat mosquitoes and other insects. I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and writing a pictogram letter to my other 4 year old grandson Gabriel. I also sewed the buttons on my expected granddaughter's romper and sweater. I worked a little on the knit Yoshi I'm trying to make for Joey. No pattern, so I'm creating it as I go. 

That wraps up my wonderful birthday weekend. πŸŽ‚πŸ’–πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰

9:39 a.m.
I received a call from Patrick, the silviculture steward. They will be spot spraying an area for tree planting 1/3 of a mile off my NE corner, this morning. He didn't say what they will be using. I didn't ask. His speech was slurred. I wondered if it was from mixing the pesticide or ??? Hope he'll be o.k. I kept it pleasant. I know its hard for these guys to call me. Him keeping the spraying to ground based, spot spraying is very conscientious. Normally they would use a helicopter. I brought in my damp laundry and hung it in the bathroom. Guess we'll find out if my theory about mountains and trees protecting me works.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

9:11 a.m.
Rosie and I spent the day yesterday in the RV. I took her out just before sunset, after the wind dropped. I'd got some adverse symptoms sealed inside, during the day: nausea, stomach pain, regurge, headache, vertigo, hot flashes, chills, skin burning. Tough to sort out what was the cause of all those. Some of that could be lack of oxygen. Some leaking in CO2. Too low for the detectors but enough to elicit responses in me. Anxiety, PTSD. Going out increased the regurge, headache and nausea. But it wasn't "all that bad." This morning there was a 3 mph breeze from the N, when we went out to potty. I could smell faint chemical and my skin reacted. I developed mild lymph pain in my face and ears, and a resurge in regurge. Still "not that bad," all things considered. Texted my appreciation for all Patrick's efforts to him. Got a response indicating everything they'd used. Then I was really impressed by his careful efforts! My theory has merit!

Rosie and I will spend another day locked inside. The wind will be switching directions later to WSW, at 8 mph, which will help blow the toxins back out of our area and lessen the accumulation of volatizing drift. I'll keep you posted on how that effects me. 

7:24 pm.
Still waiting for that WSW 8 mph breeze. We did have some winds out of the SW quadrant, but its been still for hours. I'm waiting for it to cool down. Today I worked on creating that knitted Yoshi pattern until my brain got tired. That's about it. I did eat 3 times, which is a much faster recovery than I used to have.πŸ˜€ As Patti and I mentioned on my FB page, we're both pretty excited about it! Less hurt, faster recovery! Yes!!!


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7:15 a.m.
Well! It was an exciting morning here on Grandma Mountain! I got out of bed, dragging. I was not at all thrilled about getting a stronger exposure last night. Still pretty mild reactions comparatively. It was the wind blowing from the sprayed side, then not blowing, leaving it all here. It didn't blow at all last night. I was dreading another exposure this morning. I'm worrying about accumulative effect negating all the recovery I've gained. I shuffled glumly to the blinds over the sofa and shoved them up, "whizzzzk!" Thats the noise they make. Right outside the window, on the other side of the shade pine were two cow elk! They had to be no more than 15' from me. I blinked, thinking when my eyes got open again they'd be gone. Nope. They'd frozen, staring at the RV. I blinked a couple more times trying to clear the sleep from my eyes and my brain. They calmly went back to grazing. I whispered to Rosie, who was also begrudgingly getting out of bed, "Elk." That one word electrified her! She sprang to the sofa from halfway down the hall. We watched for several minutes in pleasure and wonder. Rosie doing the wiggly body dance of joy. I've trained her nit to bark, so she won't scare critters away. Out of the fold of the hollow where the pond rests, more elk came. Old cows, young cows, last year's calves, and this year's calves. They raced, and sprang, and bucked. The chased each other through the trees and across the open spaces. They were having so much fun the yearlings and young cows joined in. I remembered my ipad camera and tried to get some pics, but they were moving.

I snapped this one at what was a very brief pause in the game. Most of the herd was to the left behind the shade pine and the camera kept focusing on the pine boughs and blurring the elk. Sorry. They were impressive. Their hides were glossy and they were sleek. Very healthy. We watched for about 30 minutes, then they moved away up Huckleberry Hill. 


I took Rosie out to potty. I detected lingering pesticide: lip burning, lymph gland reaction. I walked down to the clothes line, waiting while Rosie accomplished her business. Then we started walking back. The woods erupted in wolf hunting song. I could hear 6-8 voices. They were strung out in a semi-circle around me from Violet Way, across the top of Huckleberry Hill, and over to Wolf Top. The nearest being something like 600' away. You can only imagine the primal, gut reaction that sound inspired. The howling is designed to panic the elk into stampeding, so they can pick off a straggler. It worked on me. My adrenaline fired and I mentally calculated the distance/time it would take me to "run" from where I was to the coach door, including the fraction of a second more it would take me to avoid cold-cocking myself on the awning struts. I knew I'd never make it before the wolves reached us. I reigned myself in. Ordered myself to walk, and called Rosie to me, incase they were thinking of a hot dog breakfast as opposed to elk roast. Briefly I considered that they might be tempted to taste a little plump granny, but reassured myself they could probably smell the toxins and would know I would taste bad. I had to tell myself something, to keep myself walking at that calm, assured pace. You know, its like when you're little and you're sleeping on the bottom bunk, you tell yourself all the night monsters are tall and can't bend over, so they won't see you... The howling continued. It was beautiful really, if it wasn't for the fact something was about to die. Rosie seemed oblivious to the threat. That's not reassuring. I did not have my gun with me. I had gotten lax. We made it to the RV, and slipped inside. It was 50 something degrees in here so I turned on the generator and the heat. I could no longer hear the wolves over the rumble. 

So, Patti, how about, "SheHearsWolves?"

9:18 a.m.
I called ODFW (Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife) and relayed my experience to a wolf biology team member, in case they wanted to know. They did, and were very excited about it. They'd send someone out to scout surrounding roads for tracks to verify which way the pack went. She stated the pack was most likely "hunting through." She also said I did exactly the right thing, in faking a calm, assured manner, and calling Rosie to me. I didn't mention the lack of gun...


Thursday, July 27, 2017

8:00 a.m.
Today is the official closing date, where Ron goes into the Title Company, signs the documents and hands over the check!!!!

Sitting around waiting, seems kind of anti-climactic. Please throw a huge party for me with brownies, nachos, guacamole and fizzy drinks.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„  Enjoy! 

8:52 a.m.
Just got off the phone with the chemical free cattle rancher, Jim. πŸ™‚ Sounds good. He'll bring a load tomorrow. We'll hold them in the corral, and if I can get there (past the timber co. spraying) I'll check them for toxicity. If they're good he'll bring in a second load and release them all.

Friday 10:53 a.m.
Ron's down mending fence by the corral. We messed around with a cell signal booster most of the morning. The results were unimpressive. We're sending it back. We'll try a different kind next visit. 

Ron didn't get here until after dark last night. He stopped to visit long time friends he hadn't seen in years. They immediately said,  "If she  needs anything, tell her to call and let us know. We're a lot closer than you are!" Good to have support like that. 

The Closing was final as of the bank opening today and the funds being available for dispersal. I have a place!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Keep Going Forward!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

7:32 a.m.
Slept hard, woke up with detox twice. Wasn't ready to get out of bed. But I needed to lower the awning. I was so groggy I put my coffee grounds in the percolator w/o the basket.πŸ™„ Strained it through the tea ball.


July 17, 2017

8:56 a.m.
Yesterday was a routine day. Weeding, knitting, called my Dad (I do this at least every 2 days or when ever Debby texts me and asks me to for various reasons, even if I don't mention it). Rosie and I hiked about 3 miles. This old body is slowly getting back in shape. 

Another shooter was in the forest south of the road. 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

12:12 p.m.
Nothing different to write about yesterday,  so I didn't. More hiking, more weeding, more knitting.

After dark the wolves were howling in the meadow not far from the RV. 

I either got an exposure, this morning, from residuals from a low flying plane, or I'm trying to fight a virus. Chilling, achey. Hiked out to the corral to warm up, encountered toxic cattle smell, guys aftershave and girl's soap smell. When I got down to the weak spot in the fence, it was torn up. Possibly Bob had a cow out and when the kids tried to put it back in, it came over here (through the fence and back out the same way). Not feeling very good at all now.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

11:28 a.m.
Climbing out of the pit. It was an exposure not a virus, compounded by the second exposure. I texted with Bob, yes a cow was out and got in here, and was rounded up by his "cowboy and girl. I asked that they warn me if it happens again so I don't walk into the cloud of toxins. Upside for him, his cow's insecticide is still working. I got the new owner's (for the piece south of us') number from him. We need to get together to work on building a fence between us on the 80. I called the silviculture steward to ask if he had any idea who might be flying across me. He got cranky and I had simply asked him to help me run down who it might have been. He gave me the spiel about lots of ag here, I shouldn't be trying to live here... @@ I called around and discovered there is only one commercial ag sprayer that works this area. He was really nice and informed me he hadn't been contracted to spray anything up here in more than a year. So that kind of blows the timber company's argument out of the water. The ag pilot asked for my contact info and location so he could put it in his flight manifests for future jobs in this area. Since pesticide poisoning is now a known hazard of their job, most of the "younger guys" get it. I contacted the forest service to ask if they use planes for smoke chasing and the director told me no, but the helicopters could have been his. He'd check, and gave me a great lead. He advised me to try to get a "permanent restricted airspace" from the FAA. I've tried that years ago, but its worth trying again. I got a gentleman at the FAA that shared the difference with me between a restricted airspace and a NOTAM. That's a NOTICE TO ALL AIRMAN. It would simply be an inflight message telling them why they need to exercise caution and not fly over this area, or they need to exceed the minimum allowed ceiling. That would work!!! 99.9% would respect that. There's a chance I might be able to get that one! He's sending me the contact info! πŸ˜„ Its been a busy morning. 

We are officially closing on the 27th! Whew! Finally! Everybody has their ducks in a row! We sign, fork over the cash, on the 27th but it takes effect on the 28th.

It was close there for a few hours. Ron panicked when I got toxed and wanted to pull out of the sale. He calmed down after I broke over the worst of the symptoms late that night. He realized that this is still the safest place for me.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

5:55 a.m.
I got awoken at 4:00 a.m., or there abouts, by the timber company's equipment whining in the distance. Sounds like a mosquito. Boom! I'm awake. Not because I fear a mosquito borne virus. I find the pitch highly irritating.

On Tuesday while I was suffering the nasty, painful symptoms of that day's exposures Ron called me. Well, technically Joey called me from Poppa's phone. He wanted to tell me how he had fed the "itty-bitty baby lambs." With a little bit of prompting from Poppa he counted them and told me how many he'd bottle fed (3). Then this sweet little voice says, "I miss you Grandma!" I teared up, but told my little buddy I miss him too, and I love him. 

I can not express how much pain and heartache it gives me to be forcibly excluded from their lives like I've been. The Bible tells us that, "Where your heart lies, there your treasure lies also." My children and grandchildren are my treasures. I've been robbed. I try not to focus on these things because it destroys me, but its very real. Ron tries to arrange visits as much as he can, bless him. He wants to bring Joey up on Friday and they'll spend the night, with the rest of my (very pregnant) daughter's family joining us on Saturday. The very pregnant part is why she (and the rest of her family) are not spending the night. Tobes isn't quite old enough to camp out without mommy or daddy, and 2 little boys in a camp trailer is a little much for Poppa to handle. We're celebrating my birthday. My age, you ask? Just put down, "Old as dirt." Anyway, I'd love to have them overnight, but I don't think the gas, RV dump and water refill station right next to the highway is a very safe place for a 4yr old boy. Poppa hasn't mastered the art of doing 2 things at once, yet. So him watching Joey while trying to take care of filling, not a good idea (its giving me anxiety). Much too long for an active little boy to be contained.  I'm operating "in the black" on the fresh water tank. In other words, its so low it doesn't register. I do have a little laundry water left. I've been conserving it. Thats what I'm using for dishes. 

I'm on my second full cup of mocha. Yes, the water situation being what it is, I drank the dregs from yesterday's pot this morning. You know me so well now. We've come a long way together. 

Before Tuesday's toxing I was actually thinking about changing my "handle." You know, since I've reached a turning point. I've been singing the "We're Out of the Woods" song from "the Wizard of Oz" to myself off and on. I was thinking of maybe changing my screen name to "ToxedandFound." Or even "OffGridGrandma." My husband likes "GrandmaWithWolves." But if I go that route I'm more inclined to go with "DancesWithElk." Anyway, it seemed, or maybe I was just hoping, it was an end of the Toxed2loss story and a beginning of a brighter new story. Now I'm mentally humming "Somewhere a Place for Me," and I feel like I've found it. I doubt I'll ever be completely safe from exposures. But I'm so hopeful they will be a lot more rare. 

I want my story to be less about dealing with toxic exposures, and the bigotry and compassion involved when encountering people who've never dealt with someone like me before, and more about over coming the obstacles in living off grid in the wilderness. Is that too optimistic?

9:33 a.m.
I went outside for my call with Ron this morning. The flock of turkeys was traversing the meadow. A cow was mooing out near the road. After my call I walked down the drive to cautiously check on the cow. I didn't see her and her voice was coming from over by the west corner of their property. I weeded my way back. It was a very pleasant morning. When I got back I decided it was time to address a repair issue. The fantastic fan wasn't opening again. I figured the pin had come loose. I don't have a crimping tool. So I took it apart, again. Reinserted the pin, and applied a little "farmer's friend." Duct tape. We'll see if it holds. Only three dead flies fell in my face, or down my shirt. Progress.

2:16 p.m.
I got another email from my FAA guy. Its a no go. Bummer!!!!!!!!! 😭 He suggested I ask the airport manager. Another bummer. The manager knows/works with Ron and I can't ask for anything that has the appearance of special privileges. I also have to be careful I don't ask for anything that will make him uncomfortable in his work relationship with Ron if he has to turn me down. You guys know I have no tact! I'm going to have to talk with Ron about how to proceed with this. 


Friday, July 20, 2017

1:18 p.m.
Today is refill day. Ron and Joey are coming to spend the night! 

When I went out to take my call from Ron this morning I heard a plane coming. It was close by. Right on the other side of the mountain! I was instantly filled with dread and sick to my stomach. I was much too far away from the RV to make it back before it got here! It never did come on this side of the mountain. My stomach hurt so bad I couldn't eat for hours. I had talked to Ron about talking to the airport manager. Its the same guy handling the road vacating. He's the "Public Works Director." Ron says he'll talk to him after the public hearing on the road. Thats next month...

2:44 p.m.
Rosie's been having a terrific time sticking her head into every interesting nook and hollow. My only objection is I'm brushing seeds and burs out of her ears and face multiple times a day. So I gave her a "puppy cut." I cut off all her long ear hair. I trimmed her face, neck and chest down too. I'll finish the rest of her up when Ron hooks up the propane generator so I can use the clippers outside. 

I've finished the sweater, except for the buttons and blocking.


Ron and Joey are on their way!