Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Almost Nine Months

You know, I haven't mentioned lately how I've been doing..... For newcomers to my blog, my husband was diagnosed with colon/liver cancer last July and died in August. I'm 67 and live alone now, well, except for my dear 4 leggeds. Family and my incredibly awesome friends have helped so much to make this transistion to single woman easier.

My 2 dogs, 3 cats, 4 horses, and 16 alpacas are an excellent reason to get out of bed in the morning. I've never thought of being too depressed to get moving and frankly, before Smitty's death, there were a couple of mornings when it felt like too much effort and I had no good reason to face the world. I know that these animal friends are sending me good energy all the time - the cat and dogs in the house, - cats, horses, and alpacas in the barn.

Because of them I am quite physically active. Keeping the pooh picked up from these critters keeps me moving. Billie (my across the road neighbor) and I walk 2 miles every morning and ride our bikes a couple every evening - weather permitting.

Sometimes I do a reflection and think about what it was like a year ago when we didn't even know that Smitty was sick. Sometimes I get out his journals and take a look at what was "normal" for us.

Strangely enough, the only time now that I feel the overwhelming, oh, my gawd, he's gone feeling is when I'm alone in the car. Don't really know what that's about.....maybe it's a safe place to be sad.

This is Smitty with our first granddaughter and his Haflinger pony, Thor. He loved them both.

I regret that the kids and I never had a "so you're leaving" discussion with him.....

What has brought up these thoughts is that yesterday I spun for classes at a nearby elementary school and at lunch a woman said - Isn't it interesting that when a couple isn't close, the survivor does real well, but with really close couples, the survivor has a hard time because the two of them had become one. This really pissed me off at the time - and it still does. How absurd to make a comment like that...

Cold Michigan Mornings = Shivering Alpacas

We sheared last Thursday and then had a couple of below freezing nights and a few cold alpacas. I coated the ones who seemed the coldest. Above is Tribute (showing off behind him is little Snickers and on the other side of the fence is our other herd sire, Polaris). And on the right is JR who is still in with the girls. I know, I know, they probably would have been just fine, but it made me feel better that I could do something for them. I have to admit though, we had quite the battles getting the coats on and off.

For some reason I wanted to show you the pallets with what's left of my hay. I had 700 bales, stacked up above the windows, and this is it until Phil, my super hayman, cuts more. Fortunately, I'm not feeding much now because we have quite a bit of pasture. This picture was taken in my indoor riding arena which has now become alpaca pens and hay storage. My horse friends will recognize the dressage letters on the wall. I like to keep them up as a reminder of another era in my life.

......and this picture is for my son, Rob, who teaches at Scranton U in Pennsylvania. He asked me on the phone about JR because he couldn't tell from my blog pictures just how much he is growing. Here he's standing in front of Chinella who is a year and a half. Looks great, doesn't he? He runs and plays now and wants nothing to do with any supplement that I offer him. He does love his pellets though. I'm thinking that he should be weaned soon and go over and live with his buddy, Snickers.