Archive for the ‘personal’ Category


Life is short. Visiting home always gets me, and by side effect Mike, dreaming of moving off of our city lot.

Maybe this cabin-style house half way to the country is the one? Only Saturday afternoon will tell.

In the spirit of the dream, we had local chicken fried steak, country gray, mashers and salad for dinner tonight.


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Me and Ewe, Ewe and Me

My grandmother is holding her own and I’m back home. Thank you again for all of your well wishes, kind thoughts and prayers. I’ll let you know when anything changes.

And a round of applause for Anita for her recap post yesterday. She and Kim have both been a great help on keeping this going when I can’t post.

Today in Seattle was the second rainiest day since 1950. It was the kind of rainy day that people imagine when you tell them that it rains all winter here. But it was one of the most un-Seattle rainy days I’ve seen in a long time. It was just strange.

In the spirit of the name of this post, any one need a ewe? Or know anyone that does?


Photo is from March when the lambs were little…

My grandmother has 22 head of almost Merino sheep running on her farm right now. She was planning to thin her flock but hadn’t found a taker yet, so now we’re in the position of needing to do it for her.

There are 13 one to two year old ewes and 1 young buck looking for new homes. The ewes were all bred this fall, but we’re not guaranteeing that they’re pregnant. Those that are should lamb in February and March. They are almost pure Merino, with a little bit of something else mixed in.

We’re asking $100 each for them, but of course if someone takes more than one there’s room for negotiation. The farm is located about 15 miles west of Minneapolis and it’s easiest if they go to a farm within Minnesota. Of course if someone from out of state wants a large portion of the flock the appropriate vet certifications can be secured.

If you’re interested, or someone you know is, or you have a suggestion for how else we can rehome these ewes, drop me a note through the contact page, or leave a comment here.

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Just checking in

My grandmother came home to her house yesterday afternoon. She currently has 24-hour hospice care to ensure that she’s safe and comfortable. Since she has a DNR order, there is no real nursing going on, just care.

It’s not clear what’s happening. After going steadily downhill both physically and mentally while in the hospital she seemed to rally late (for her) last night. She hasn’t been able to walk, stand, roll over in bed or really swallow for days, but after a bit of Ed’s amazing soup and a nap, she managed to get up and walk into her kitchen with her aide following behind. As her wonderful helper said “She didn’t walk, she stepped out”. Of course after that she slept for 12 hours straight.

Today she was a bit more alert, even getting out of bed again to sit in her wheelchair in her kitchen. However, as she doesn’t believe in western medicine, she’s not receiving any treatment for the underlying, unknown, condition(s) that caused this stroke and the previous smaller ones that she’s had.

My grandmother has come home to die. Whether that will be in the next week or so as the hospice nurse and social worker predicted remains to be seen. But even if it’s not, it’s just a matter of time until the next stroke, and until the stroke that will kill her.

I’m very glad that I came home to see her. She may not be all there, but at least last night she recognized who I was. She asked about our “farm”, Mike, my pickles and her sheep. She enjoyed her soup and even asked for more. She has been for a few moments longer my grandmother and the next time she might not be.

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Mystery eggs

There are a couple side effects of having a heat lamp with a red bulb in the girls’ roost box for warmth.

1. They’re party girls – up until all hours of the night

2. When they get really brave they even venture out into the run in the strange reddish light

3. We’re starting to get eggs again, and will get one or two a day until spring

Of course, I can’t figure out who’s laying the eggs as they’re not a color or shell finish that I recognize. They don’t belong to Maisie as she’s still a couple weeks away from starting to lay. They’re not Lucy’s even though they’re almost the right color. They don’t belong to Agnes or Penny. And I’m pretty sure that they’re too big to be Danny’s even though I expect her to start laying any day now.

So that leaves Pru. But they’re pinker than the eggs she layed last spring and early summer. Hmmm. Mystery eggs. I hope that they are in fact hers as it would be nice to have her start paying rent again. Oh well, I get they’ll taste good anyway.

I know that some people disagree with giving hens a light during the winter as it can potentially shorten their lives. But I feel that it’s okay as long as I make sure they have plenty of calories and calcium to support them in their efforts.


I’m headed out early tomorrow morning to go see my family. My grandmother is still holding her own, although mentally she’s not quite there. Her children are respecting her longstanding aversion to Western medicine and wishes for no medical intervention, so it’s hard to know what’s really happening or what the future holds. Thank you again to all of you for your prayers and well wishes.

As I’ll be traveling home on Sunday, Anita (Married with Dinner) has graciously offered to help me out by posting the recap. So stay tuned for her guest appearance – I can’t wait to read about what everyone’s been up to!

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Thanks to all

for your kind thoughts and good wishes. She’s doing much better, as far as these things go. She’s talking and starting to ask questions about where she is and what happened. She’s even hungry which is apparently a very good sign. My mom, aunts and uncles are making arrangements to move her home with 24 care later this week. So far, so good.

I was able, through some minor stroke of luck, to snag a $125 ticket from Seattle to Minneapolis. Haven’t seen fares like that since 1996! So even though there’s less urgency to get home now than there was before I’m going to make the trip so that I can see her in case this is anywhere close to goodbye. As I wasn’t planning to make a trip for the upcoming holidays, it’s important to me to make this trip now. Don’t want to miss her the way I missed my grandfather 8 years ago.

So, that’s a pretty unorganized group of thoughts. But suffice it to say that things are looking up even if we’re not sure what the final resolution will be.

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Last night my grandmother suffered a massive stroke while taking a bath. She’s currently in intensive care, unconscious. We’re waiting to find out her long-term prognosis. I’m not a religious person, but any kind thoughts or prayers that you can spare would be greatly appreciated.

 Thank you.

Update: She has woken up briefly. She’s still disoriented, but her fiesty Irish blood is showing through. She might not know where she is or what’s happening, but she sure knows what she wants and who should do it for her.

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Odds and Ends

I’ve got a lot to say about our local Thanksgiving, I just want to think on it a bit before saying it. In the meantime, can you tell what’s wrong with this picture?


Do you see it? That missing piece of pipe is because I once again forgot that I’ve got an industrial strength garbage disposal combined with a mix of old and new pipes*. And I thought the easiest way to get rid of some sour sauerkraut was to put it through the disposal instead of in the compost bin or the garbage.

Whoops! I caused a massive clog. So bad that Mike had to cut a section of PVC pipe out of the sink drain line and fish around with a coat hanger while I built up pressure running the water. Effective solution, but it blew soggy sauerkraut halfway across the basement. Ah, the joys of owning an older house with an unfinished basement. 

Good thing we’re planning to replumb before we finish the basement. Otherwise how would we get at it when I did something dumb? 

So adding to my list of thankfulness from yesterday? I’m thankful that Mike is as handy as he is. And that his reaction to these incidents has evolved from disbelief to laughter and a good natured “guess I’ll have to run to Lowe’s after breakfast”.

* This isn’t the first such incident. I’ve clogged it with potato peels, coffee grounds and salad scraps. Apparently the list of things you shouldn’t put through a disposal is waaaay longer than the list of things you should.


In a totally different vein, I’ve been realizing that this blog has shifted from a focus on daily happenings to mostly food and eating local. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I miss writing about daily life and so I’m going to make an effort to include more stories and photos of what’s happening around here that’s unrelated to what we’re eating.

So if you’ve been reading for a while, hopefully you’ll welcome a return to more regular programming. And if you’ve only recently joined us, I hope you’ll bear with me as I start to write as much about what I’m doing as what I’m eating…



A very large, tired puppy taking an “illegal” nap in my favorite chair. Of course his reaction to being told to get out was “huh? what’s your problem?”. Of course the fact that I was laughing and taking his picture probably didn’t lend my scolding any authority… And yes, those are grass stains on his butt – we had way too much fun at the park this morning.


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