Monday, November 30, 2009

It's a boy!!!

Jason and Jo had their baby last night and it's a very large boy. I talked to one of the aunts this morning and I guess the midwife said he's over nine pounds. That makes sense, considering the size of his parents. (They are both tall, for those of you who have never met either of them). He was messing around with his cord and tied it in a knot so they had to take him by emergency c-section but he and Jo are fine today. Her mom is going to be here for two weeks I think and I would imagine the rest of her family, or most of it anyway, is going to be coming down soon. I thank the Lord that he safely delivered another baby to our extended family. He's not a replacement for our precious Raisa but he is a reminder that even with loss, great joy comes with the birth of a baby. That is something that my heart had forgotten. I was dreading them having a girl but I am glad they have a healthy baby in any case. They are using some of Raisa's paraphernalia and I wasn't ready to see a baby girl in the carseat the Raisa wasn't done with yet. I'll take pictures, lots of them and, for those of you that care, you can stare and drool to your hearts content.
In other news, I am back home now. Kathy made it back from Colorado on Friday and resumed residency of her home. I hadn't realized just how nasty my house had gotten! It's a shame that two grown adults can't keep four rooms clean for three months but there you go. My plans for renovating the upstairs are kind of in limbo until Mom decides if she wants to redo the whole house. She would like it to be ranch-style, instead of two story but that is a major renovation and will take some money and time. I'd like for her to be able to do it next fall and early winter but it might not happen that quickly. In any case, I don't want to put time and money into finishing the upstairs only to have it be torn down in six months... We'll see how things progress this year.
Bonnie is still pregnant, our Thanksgiving turkey was delicious, even if he infected my dad's finger and Mom's knee is healing still. I went to the dentist last Monday, to have an impacted wisdom tooth pulled and I still have a huge knot of... something, in my cheek, causing pain. I don't know if it's a blood clot, a bruise, unused Novocaine or what but with warm compresses, Ibuprofen out the wazoo and time it seems to be going down. The socket and my jaw are fine now but since the maniac who pulled it jammed a needle into the joint of my jaw and rotated it around without pulling it out I can't open my mouth very far yet. On the plus side, it's a great diet plan.
Dad has cellulitis in his right middle finger. He was gutting our turkey and he nicked his knuckle while inside the cavity. I swelled up and we pestered him into going to the ER. He's on a general antibiotic until they can identify exactly what is in his finger. If it's sensitive to the one he's on then they'll just leave him on that one. If it isn't sensitive then they have to switch them until they find one that is. He said that it's feeling better today so hopefully it's healing and he won't have any permanent damage. He's just amazed that he reacted that way since it's never happened before with elk or moose. I reminded him that we didn't slaughter this bird, he died from hypothermia and he was gutting him hours after it died. The bacteria load in this bird was decidedly higher than in a freshly killed animal. And don't lecture me about the dangers of eating such a bird. He was skinned, cooked very well, and none of us got sick, so there! And, he was delicious.
Charlie made it down for Thanksgiving this year. He's still at GCI, working tech support for wireless internet and loving every minute of it. He's kind of thinking about looking for a house. A buddy of his is willing to go in with him on a large parcel, build two houses, (or one if there's already one there), and subdivide later. It's what we did with Jim and Kathy. He's putting down roots in Wasilla. At least he's still in Alaska. He's four hours away from us but that's not too far that it's a major hurdle if we need him for something. Hopefully, he'll be able to help put up the barn this spring. I really, really, really, really, want a sheltered place for Bonnie to calve, now that I know for sure that she's pregnant. It was nice of her to start bagging up this early, just so I can stop wondering and hoping. The other day, Dad came in and told me to go check on her since there were a dozen ravens ringing the corral. Usually, there's something dead for that many to come. I grabbed my coat, just knowing in my heart that she's miscarried and my dreams for milk this year were dead. But, there was no calf and Bonnie was standing in the middle of her corral, gazing around at her new friends while they eyed the chunk of pig intestine that had brought them in. Nanook had laid it by the corral and they were trying to find a way to get Brandy to quit chewing on it so they could have it. I hung onto the fence for awhile, waiting for my heart to stop pounding before yelling at them and my dogs. Stupid critters anyway!!!
All the turkeys are together now. We have to pick a new breeder tom since we ate ours for Thanksgiving but I get to pick him this time and I want the dominant one. Like I wanted the first time, but was outvoted. We sold one of the older hens to some friends and I keep forgetting to ask them how it was. Now we just need to take care of a hen and a tom and our turkey killing will be done for the year. I might ask Uncle David to help with it when he gets here in January. I can't stand being part of the killing. I'll pluck and gut all day though, that doesn't bother me.
Okay, this is getting crazy long so I'm gonna tack a cute picture of Riley and Phaedra on the end and then call it a post.
~Pam

They were watching Tony and my parents put the trusses on Kathy's porch

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wow, I'm really falling down on the blogging job. Sorry about that.
Nothing is really new here except the things that naturally happen when you live on an arctic farm. It's cold, finally snowy and the critters are wishing they lived in Florida. Honest! I saw the three breeding turkeys perusing a pamphlet for Disney World the other day. I think it came by airmail... get it?
We finally got some snow last week. It's not nearly enough to last the entire winter but at least it's something. It gets cloudy and snows a bit then clears off for a couple days then gets cloudy for a few hours and then clears off, etc. It's very weird.
Sped, our crippled piggy, meets the butcher in two days and the four butcher turkeys, I think, are getting butchered on Saturday. It's not too soon for Thanksgiving but they will have time to come out of rigor. I can't imagine trying to cook a turkey that is in full rigor. YUCK!!!
In happier, less gory news, I milked my cow tonight! No calf yet but she is bagging up. She's only half-way through her pregnancy but it's pretty common for first-calf heifers to bag up four months early. I was freaking out, imagining her going into labor around Christmas and trying to save this tiny, premature calf but I guess it's normal so I can quit panicking. As for the milking, I was checking to feel the progress of her bag, since I'd noticed that it was loosening up last week, and felt a hard, dried thing on one of her teats. It came right off and she was leaking a little so I squeezed and out came a drop of milk! Cool huh? She doesn't have any problem with me messing around with her udder, so long as she isn't eating. When she's got food in front of her then she wants to be left alone. So much for distracting her with grain or something while she's being milked. She even moves her leg back to make it easier. Hopefully, she'll be a great milk cow.
I've decided to move out, or up rather. We have two bedrooms and a bathroom, unfinished, upstairs and I've decided to turn them into a suite for me. Mom hates the idea of taking her sewing stuff upstairs and I can't fit in my room anymore, (hahahaha!!! I'm not that big, but I have a lot of stuff). It'll be nice to have a room for sleeping and a room for hanging out, doing crafts or goofing around on my laptop while Dad is watching tv downstairs. We already have a toilet, it's just not installed and a shower and vanity don't really cost that much. I can't wait to get started!! Mary Beth quit her job so I don't watch Kelley and Riley anymore but she is going to try to get hired on when WalMart opens in February. She stilll owes me a couple hundred and I think Bonnie is pretty much set for hay so, yahoo!!!!!!
I was going to post pictures of my mayonnaise making but the pictures are on my camera still... which is at Kathy's... down the driveway, sooooo, maybe next time.
Nothing new is going on with anybody else in the family so far as I am aware. Except, our van is paid off so Mom and Dad's medical bills are going to start getting paid off and when they are, Dad is going to get his shoulders looked at by the same guy that did Mom's knee. Dad doesn't realize it yet, but that's the plan. Mom's knee is still a little sore but healing great. Hopefully she can refrain from injuring herself further for awhile.

~Pam

About Me

We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

For Jaime

Comment from a SMART President

" The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."

Thomas Jefferson President 1801-1809
Died on JULY 4th, 1826

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