I left you hanging last week with the announcement of fifteen new animals on the farm. Bruce, aka Mr. Craigslist, found nine hens and two roosters listed for free in a town near here. So that's 11.
The next day on Craigslist (Bruce is seriously addicted to it), he found two cows with calves (a bull and a heifer) in the same town as the chickens. So in his mind, since we were going to drive all the way out there, we should get all these animals at once. Which he did. Ha
No, the real reason we got the cows is because we have a friend that runs cows, and we are going to help him with the ranching duties in exchange for running our cows with his. Joseph had enough money saved up from his 4-H lamb projects and soccer refereeing, that he bought one of the cows and her bull calf. He will raise and sell calves from his cow over the next four years in hopes of turning his investment into significant profit before his mission. And we bought the other cow and calf. It is a high risk investment, because it involves animals which can get sick and die, but we feel good about the opportunity. And the experience.
Last Friday night, Joseph and Bruce went over to help with some of these ranching duties. They rounded up the cattle on horses and ran them into a squeeze, where they tagged them, branded them, and put them in the right herd. They only did ten that night, and have thirty to forty more to go. I can't believe that they are doing real cowboy stuff like this! I'll have to go and take pictures next time they do this. Bruce is relishing this experience, and really appreciating the opportunity to learn new skills. Plus the opportunity to make some money at it is a plus.
Today Libby went out and brought in a dozen brown eggs in the little tin bucket, so the chickens are starting to produce well! We haven't had a good group of layers in a while, so it'll be good to get back to that.
In my last post, I talked about my Dad having some health problems on their mission in Panama. They diagnosed him with having two small TIA's or transient ischemic attacks, where there is a temporary loss of blood to the brain. He is recovering well, however, and improving a little every day. But you can't believe what happened last Tuesday (only four days after my Dad's last TIA). My Mother tripped on a tile and shattered the bones in her right shoulder! I couldn't believe it when I heard it. The doctor examined her and said that she needed surgery to put in a rod and a plate.
It was no small miracle that my brother Curtis was already down there helping her with Dad. My other brother Cedric also flew down on Tuesday, and together they decided that they would leave Panama the next day, Wednesday, and that Mom would have the surgery in Atlanta, where Curtis lives. They succeeded in doing this, and my angel and able sister-in-law Michelle pulled some strings and got her into an appointment on Wed afternoon and surgery on Thursday. She is at their home in Atlanta now, and both she and Dad are recuperating and doing well. WHEW! I was able to speak to Dad Thursday night, and he sounded good! How sweet to hear his voice, and be able to communicate with him. I feel so blessed, like I've been given another chance. And thank you to mi familia in Atlanta who are helping Mom and Dad!
My brother Conal (I have a lot of brothers) sent a tribute, by way of a YouTube video, to honor my Mom and Dad for the four missions that they have served for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thank you Mom & Dad - we are SO very proud of you and your example to us.
In the midst of all of this, I have forgotten to mention that my other brother Chris (I told you I had a lot!) and his wife Elena had a baby a week ago Wednesday. They named him J.D. Congratulations Chris and Elena!! There were some copmlications with his birth and he was born by emergency C-section. We are so grateful, Elena, that you and J.D. are all right!
Peter is doing so well! On Monday morning Bruce took him in to the Surgery Center and they put him under while they reset the bone. It was a little frustrating that they didn't do it right in the first place in the ER, but, that happens sometimes, doesn't it? They did a good job this time, and he was able to move his fingers and their color looked a lot better after this procedure. Tomorrow he goes to get a cast on.
Can I just say that Peter has been The Bomb this week, in modern parlance. He has hardly complained, and been so much more self-sufficient under difficult circumstances than almost any other child would have been. He has just taken it all in stride, and has not spent time on self-pity or whining. I have been so proud of him and his character this week.
I have to report a happy thing, and that is that we have been playing a lot of games. Yea! We've really turned a corner, as far as that goes. I posted earlier that our family had a hard time playing games together. But we are getting past that, and I'm so glad! Last night we played Whoonu and then Great Dalmuti for awhile. I need to record that after Josh, Libby gets to be the Great Dalmuti more than anyone else in the family! Not only is she extremely lucky, she is just plain smart and knows how to play the game! It gives all the rest of us humble pie to eat.
After the younger kids went to bed, Josh, Joseph and I got out Puerto Rico and started playing it. (We tried to wake Bruce up, but to no avail). All of a sudden the lights flickered, and then everything went totally black. And I mean black. We were in the middle of an inversion, so there was no moon or stars, and with no lights anywhere, it was pitch black. So weird! We immediately turned on cell phones (which are good little flashlights!) and found another real flashlight. After going to put extra covers on everyone that was asleep, we climbed up on the roof to see what it was like with no lights anywhere. That was the first time I have ever been up on our roof! It was fun to be up there with the boys. We came back down and were determined to finish our game, so we lit up some candles and played into the night. Josh whooped us with 73 points, I had 67 and Joseph had 60. Puerto Rico is a fun game - it has become a favorite! I told Bruce this morning that we'll always remember playing Puerto Rico in the candlelight!
We had a neat family over to dinner tonight - our friends Tom and Mindy and their family, and also Tom's parents. Tom's Dad served in the Mexico Puebla mission in 1963. He served in 6 branches. He researched those six branches on the lds.org website, and found that they have become 18 stakes, over the last 40 years. Holy Toledo.
Has anyone seen, Emma Smith My Story? We watched it Friday night. It was emotionally wrenching, a well-done movie, and one that I recommend. It will be a great joy to me to see Joseph and Emma together, and to see their joy in having fought the good fight and seeing what their good works accomplished. I honor and love them!
Jesse has composed a song on the piano, and added lyrics. When she performs it, you have to think twice and ask yourself if you are listening to a song on the radio. We are going to be looking into finding someone with a recording studio, so she can get it recorded. Tom, our friend who was here tonight, is a real musician, and he praised the song highly and gave her so much confidence. Thanks, Tom and Mindy for listening and being so nice!
WE SAW THE SUN TODAY. It has to be in capital letters. We haven't seen it for weeks, and I have felt like clawing my way out of this cardboard box of an existence with this inversion. A strong (and frigid) wind was blowing today, and I hope it keeps the cloud s away! I need sunlight so badly, it's amazing. I FEEL so differently when I see sunshine. I feel good, happy, the world is bright and I'm hittin' the sky with my hat. When I don't see the sun, I feel like the cardboard box thing. Yuck. Like Anne of Green Gables, I am in the depths of despair.
So please sun, stay for awhile!
Man, I've been long-winded in this blog, with only one picture. Thank you for reading, if you are still with me. You are a true friend! :)