Farm life is busy… & I mean very busy in the summertime. Gardening. Bush-hogging the pastures. Canning pickles, salsa, tomatoes. Making jams & jellies. Freezing veggies & berries. From dawn till dusk I’m working.
I didn’t mention the pups, Mason (blue collar) & Dixon (red collar). They are keeping me really
The Great Pyrenees puppies are now 7 months old, weigh around 70 lbs & dominate quite a bit of my time.
They are learning certain words: pond, porch, pasture, pool – I bought them a kid’s wading pool so they could cool off on really hot days.
Mason is learning “walk slowly,” “whoa!” & “easy,” all for use while we are walking – they on their leashes, me in my running shoes!
Dixon is always a bit slower to learn. This could be because of his Parvo Virus early in life. He was a really sick pup in the beginning.
They are learning. They are definitely growing. They are the calmest, sweetest pups imaginable.
Last weekend our dearest friends came for a visit to see the house for the first time. (They hiked up the hill with us the first month we owned the property 2 years ago before any work had begun.)
They also got to meet the boys…the puppy boys.
Dave said the best thing he liked about our farm is the dogs. Yep. Me, too!
Just a reminder of how small & adorable they were last March.
I kept turnip greens & collards all winter, picking & cooking them throughout the season.
Time to clean up the garden & replant some beds.
Now I need to get Spring veggies growing so I picked the greens & plan to serve them at Easter dinner tomorrow.
I left the few beets that volunteered along with about 5 dill plants that have come up.
Spring onions & other weeds removed, dirt refreshed with compost & good soil. Carrot, spinach & gourmet lettuce seeds planted & mulched. Gray skies. Tired back. Time to go inside & start cooking, which includes washing all these greens!
How about a recipe or 2? I have published this one before, but just in case you didn’t see it then…
T’s Collard Greens
1 – 4 quarts water
3/4 pounds Ham Hock, rinsed or 1/2 pound Smoked Meat, chopped
4 pounds small Collard Greens (I prefer mixed greens: collards, turnip & beet)
1/2 teaspoon dried hot Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon T’s House Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce
Bring water with ham hock to boil in 8 qt. pot, uncovered, skimming any froth.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered 1 hour.
While hocks simmer, discard coarse stems and center ribs of greens, then wash and drain. (The easiest way to accomplish this: fold the leaf in half, lengthwise & break away the center stem.)
Coarsely chop greens.
Add collards & seasonings to water, then simmer, partially covered, about 45 minutes.
Remove hock from cooking liquid & let stand 15 minutes.
Discard skin & bones and coarsely chop meat.
Stir meat & salt to taste into collards.
T’s House Seasoning
8 Tablespoons Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Curry Powder
1 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
Mix ingredients together & store in glass jar with a screw top.
Wayne & Geezer, yep, that’s what he is called, have been working drilling holes in cabinets, repairing furniture damaged by the movers & preparing the brackets, rod & finials for the tapestry to be hung.
In our previous house, I hung the brackets, braided the rope, made the tassel & hung the tapestry by myself in the Keeping Room where we had a vaulted ceiling. How grateful I am, 16 years later, not to have to do it myself this time.
These guys are professionals & I am convinced, they can do anything!
They even pushed the dining room table together after I removed the unneeded leaves so I can set the table for Easter dinner this coming Sunday afternoon. We have been entertained at holidays for 2 years having not had a place that would accommodate…many.
A few things left to do on the Punch List before they are gone forever…until I want to change something or build something or remodel something or hang a heavy mirror, like yesterday – thanks, Carole, for the mirrors.
One month ago today we moved the apartment into the new house.
Side Note: I highly, very highly recommend Tennessee Valley Movers, Tommy’s Team, for any moving needs! I will be using them again!
Little things needing to be done. Punch List.
Woody the Plumber installed the Pot Filler over the cooktop & tightened the fitting on the cold water faucet of the upstairs bar.
Hoping the kitchen cabinet doors will be installed today…with the glass shelves.
Last week was busy.
I drove to the Crossville area to pick up my Great Pyrenees pups, Mason & Dixon, entertained our retired pastor & his wife & had a new bed delivered. Sunday passed without incident.
Monday, Dixon seemed a bit quieter. Tuesday, he would barely lift his head & had stopped eating. Wednesday, Dixon started (don’t read this if you are eating breakfast or have a weak stomach) started vomiting Roundworms. If you have seen them before you never forget – they look like spaghetti noodles. (Bet I can guess what you aren’t serving for dinner tonight!) I could wait no longer.
I called my canine vet, Dr. Mark Ingram. “Dr. Mark is in the hospital.” He had a bicycle injury that deteriorated & oh no, he had to be hospitalized for a serious infection. “My 7 week-old Pyre pup has Roundworms. The breeder said she treated him, but do you think we can treat him again (a week ahead of the scheduled treatment) now? He looks really bad.” “Sure. Bring him in. We’ll get the paperwork done & better bring them both.”
Mason & Dixon take a ride in the back of the Prius to Dr. Mark’s office. Instant hit with the staff! Two precious Pyre puppies, one big & fluffy, one small & quiet weighed then dosed with Roundworm killer. Home again.
Thursday morning: Mason is still his big, fluffy sweet self. Dixon will not lift his head. During the night, more worms vomited. Time to call Moxie Kitty’s vet (http://littlehouseanimalhospital.com), Dr. Kathy at Little House Animal Hospital. Deborah the receptionist: “You must bring him in! We have an opening at 10 am. Come!” Bless her heart!
Dixon only gets a ride to Little House. Weight: down half a pound from yesterday. Not good. Dr. Kathy is out of town. Dr. Allison Pace walks in & stops. “I think this pup has Parvo Virus.” Examination begins. “We need to keep Dixon, give him some fluids & do a Parvo test. No doubt he has Roundworms but what else is going on we need to find out.” So I leave my little sick pup.
Driving home I get a call, “Dixon has Parvo Virus. We have started an IV & treatment. We will see how he does, hopefully see him improve by morning. We need to check Mason tomorrow.”
Friday morning: from Little House, “Just wanted you to know that Dixon did fine during the night. He has stopped vomiting & seems to feel better. We may try some food later today. We will see you at 2pm with Mason.”
Friday: Load Mason into the Prius for his tests at Little House. He has maintained his weight. No vomiting, worms or anything else. Lungs clear. Cutest pup in the world. Mr. Personality. Uh oh – stool specimen. Parvo Virus test negative! Hurrah! Parvo Vaccine administered. I put Mason in the car & visited Dixon in the isolation kennel. Poor puppy!
He stood up & whined – that IV didn’t feel good, plastic collar around his neck. He immediately laid down with his head on his paws, a radio with classical music playing in the background. Poor puppy.
I notified the breeder that there is problem with at least one pup. Not happy with her!
Friday evening: phone call from Little House – uh oh. “This is Dr. Pace. I just wanted to let you know that Dixon is doing fine. We have given him a bit of food & he was ravenous! We will give him a bit more later tonight & again in the morning if he is tolerating it. As long as he continues to progress you can pick him up tomorrow around noon. He will go home with medicines, but so far so good.” Relief!
Saturday morning: from Little House, “This is Dr. Frevert. Dixon has done really well & can come home today. He would eat everything in sight if we would let him, but we need to still limit him, feeding every 2 hours or so. He will also need to be isolated from Mason for a week. We close at noon so please arrive around 11:30 & we will talk about his meds & hopefully have the results of Mason’s stool specimen.”
Excellent! No quiet Saturday morning on Arrow’s Keep Farm!
Dear Husband & I construct an isolation kennel in the garage. I drive to Spring Hill for puppy piddle pads. Woo Hoo! Puppy is coming home today!
Driving up our driveway hill, I swing quickly into my spot outside the garage. No, I can’t park in the garage yet because of furniture & boxes. DH? Of course he parks his little toy-of-a-car inside!
I get out to unload piddle pads & hear, “Pppsssttt!” OH NO! I picked up a giant screw in the tread of my tire!
Unload the pads & set them in the kennel area. Go upstairs to find DH vacuuming – good man.
Get out the book, find the jack & spare tire, change the tire. Look at the clock – got to get to Little House!
Leave everything on the gravel driveway. Jump into DH’s little toy & head for Grassland & Little Hosue.
In a small examination room we wait. “Mason has Giardia (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/giardia-infection/basics/definition/con-20024686) & Coccidia (http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2102&aid=727). He will need to be treated for this & the Roundworms that Dixon has. We will not have Dixon’s specimen results until Monday, but it’s safe to say he has the same things. Evidently Dixon’s immune system was compromised enough that it allowed the Parvo to take hold. Mason is stronger but we don’t want him to fail.” Given a bag of meds, a bag of easily digested food for Dixon, & finally Dixon, outside the isolation kennel! Poor little puppy had his IV & plastic head collar removed. The assistant handed him to me & I got kisses from my puppy!
Why do these two pups have intestinal parasites. I have some talking to do with a breeder!
Home. Unload Dixon into his isolation kennel in the garage. Drive my Prius with the small spare tire to Roberts Toyota in Columbia. I love Road Hazard insurance!
While I am at Roberts, I get many text messages, “Dog is bonkers.” “You have a Houdini.” (Note the “you.”) “He is out faster than I can put him in.” “The dog is barking like a crazy dog.” “If there is a hole he finds it.” “Afraid dog is going to wear self out.” “We have a major lady bug issue.” “Unbelievable! They are coming out of the insulation in the attic & in the screen porch. Millions.”
Funny. When the boys were young, we had 2 Lhasa Apsos, 2 Golden Retrievers & a cat. DH was working 24/7…& so was I! He had absolutely no idea what I was doing at home with Houdinis, crazy, noisy critters & the wonderful, exhausting life of a young mother. Looking back, those were the best days of my life! Fun! Exhausting! Exciting! Exhausting!
Mason: good, big dog whines a bit when we walk away from the outside dog yard. Dixon: sings at the top of his lungs all the time when in the garage.
Mason medicated & kenneled in the sleeping place, whined a bit when I walked away until I started singing “Jesus loves me.” Now sleeping.
Dixon medicated, fed with a bit of dry Eukanuba puppy food added to the vet food, iPod playing my classical playlist, finally he is asleep. Oops! I hear him singing again. So very glad the garage is on the opposite side of the house from our bedroom. Poor Lucy who sleeps in the laundry room.
Moxie fed & locked in the barn.
Lucy fed & upstairs with us.
It’s been an exhausting day. An exhausting week.
God is good. All the time.
Thanks to everyone who prayed for our little pup, Dixon. The Lord God made the animals. He made the first wolf walk toward man’s campfire & from that we have Man’s Best Friend, the dog. They greet us when we come home from work. They snuggle with us & bring comfort. They are our furry children that we don’t have to send to college.
Genesis 1:25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.