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Monday, October 1, 2012

NaBloWriMo Day I

I fail miserably at NaNoWriMo... hoping this is more up my alley. It was suggested that we write a bit of an introduction...

As a farmer/homesteader, designer/folk artist AND someone who works, part time,. away from the homestead one can pretty easily see I don't have a lot of that valuable commodity called "spare time." Not only that, but over the past year my amazing good health over my life caught up with me and a bout of extreme anemia, and most recently a visit from the shingles, have shown me that, at age 64, I am no longer 5' tall and bulletproof. The anemia, result of acid reflux, took the worst toll. I was so weak at this time last year that I made the decision to stop attending farmers markets with my produce. Being on the lower end of the money ladder and having no help to afford medication, the drug that was prescribed was above my pay grade (would have taken 12% of my monthly gross, I figured. Not possible, I declared and in consultation with my pharmacist and my family doc, I selected an alternative. Totally teed off the specialist, even though I expressed concern at the time he prescribed and informed him of my action at the time. Apparently "something not-quite-so-good, but which you can actually afford to buy and therefore will take" does not trump his prescription. And at my latest yearly physical I measured out at 4'11. So, indeed, life changes.

But I am big on personal responsibility, on keeping going despite it all, on doing my best to enjoy the life that the Norns and I are weaving. "The Norns?" you ask? In the northern traditions, they are akin to the Fates of the Mediterranean area.
In Norse mythology, the Norns are the demi-goddesses of destiny. They control the destinies of both gods and men, as well as the unchanging laws of the cosmos. They are represented as three sisters: Urd ("fate"), Verdandi ("necessity") and Skuld ("being"). They live at the base of the World Tree Yggdrasil in the realm of Asgard.
So I hobble on (yea, my knees don't work as well now either... bone on bone and no replacement in sight until I am able to retire, draw my SS pittance and therefore take weeks/months off from being on my feet; fall of 2014.

So what have the Norns and I been up to of late? Well, there is the matter of the skunk who has been plaguing the chickens the last few days. This will be settled by this evening and that is all I will write about that. Hopefully there are no kin in the area. Research indicates they are territorial, so I expect this may be so. This is the first issue of omnivore predation we have had in 4 years, other than crows this spring wanting to make off with eggs, so I shan't complain too much. Deer and the garden are an issue for another day.

 Oh, yes... "we."  I have a life partner who I refer to in cyberspace as K, Tractor Guy and (using his own words) Big and Ugly. He has reasons for wanting to stay in the background. The rest of "us" are all critters of different species:
  • Coffee, the Saint Bernard and Stormy, the Newfoundland dog, supposedly, though she is a bit small. 
  • Cats: Angess (black), Harker (grey/white), Ghost (grey, the oldest), CC (orange), 13 (grey tabby, the youngest) and Sparky (mulitcolored flecks, black background)
  • Angora rabbits (most recently acquired) Cotton Ball and Cloud, both white and Honey Bunny and Rufus, both shades fo brown. 
  • Chickens: a small flock of 3 RI Red hens, one RI Red roo (Henry) and three Aracanas, Owl, Pheasant and Confused
  • Ducks: Khaki Campbell. We sold some earlier this year and were down to 15. Then we had some heavy winds and apparently one of the ones we sold blew back in because the beak count went up to 16. Down to 14 now, as two went to the butchering stump, supposedly for supper last week when a friend who was helping us with a project offered to teach me to spit roast them with orange marmalade. But we got rained out so the two currently reside in the freezer.
When not engaged with the farm, I make a good bit of my living as a folk artist in the tradition of the "Pennsylvania Dutch" hex painter as taught by my grandmother.  And I also work as a graphic designer on the web and in print for a variety of local Maine clients and for old friends/clients in North Carolina.

So, when do I find time to blog?