Just another Manic Monday

School starts here tomorrow. And as bad as I feel for saying it…I can’t wait. I need some routine, some down time, some “regular” stuff. You know?

Just when I thought a week of plane crashes, hospital stays and sick little boys was looking up, fate stepped in. Big Bro was bit by a dog at the local park. Said dog had no vaccinations. It all adds up to Big Bro having to be on a round of antibiotics for the sore, and the dog being quarantined for 10 days to watch for signs of rabies. Even indoor pets need vaccinations. (Let’s not even get to why an “indoor” pet was at the park.)

For those that don’t know…let me explain to you what rabies all entails.

  • Rabies attacks the brain and spinal cord. If it is not prevented, it WILL cause death.
  • This year, more than 55,000 people will die from rabies. That’s one person every 10 minutes.
  • Rabies is 100% preventable. There are vaccinations for animals and treatment for humans that are in contact with infected animals.
  • It can only be passed through saliva, not blood.
  • More than 40% of the people bitten and affected are children under the age of 15.
  • Dogs are the source of 99% of human rabies death.
  • There are no tests available to diagnose rabies infection in human prior to the onset of clinical disease.

Well, enough of that, I think you get the point. Rabies is serious, rabies is deadly, and it’s simple to prevent. This is all a situation that didn’t need to occur. So please, have your pets properly vaccinated and cared for by veterinarians. If you can’t afford to do that, then do your animal a favor, and find them a new home.

I will know within 10 days if we have to go through the rabies series with Big Bro. Sooner if the animal dies between now and then. Is it likely that the dog has rabies? No, but even “indoor” pets can have contact with disease-carrying animals. Is it likely that the animal will get sick? No, but with a 100% fatality record, it’s not worth the risk.

What a way to start the week…and the school year!

Wordless Wednesday – Weather…nothing new

The storms keep coming, the sky keeps turning sickening shades of green…and I keep shooting pics.

Here’s the latest batch from July 26, 2011:

Is it a blizzard? No, just rain. As in 1.75 inches in 25-30 minutes.

 

Starting to clear up, right?

 
 

The sun is there...somewhere.

 

As my 4-year-old says (EJ), "These clouds creep me out!"

 

Tired of the storms...

 

Even when they bring beauty.

 

The Littlest of Blessings

A few weeks ago, I received a great surprise in the mail. The boys were so excited because it came in this HUGE box…

So COOL!!!

It wasn’t what they expected, but I was still really stoked about it!. It’s a beautiful garden bench plant stand from Avant Garden Decor.

I LOVE IT!!! It’s so beautful, and fits in with any outside decor.

And it’s tough. (But I’ll get to that in a minute.)

First, I purchased some flowers to plant, and prepared my area.

Getting everything ready to go!

Then, I got to work and it turned out wonderfully! I was so excited about my planter!

It fit in so nicely!

It was growing to well, and the flowers were really taking off…and then the storm hit. I thought for sure that my beautiful little planter would be toast, gone with the wind, vanished into thin air. For pete’s sake, the wall to our shop was caved in, how could a little plant stand stay put???

But it did.

A little rough, but still standing...hope for us all!

The flowers were a little rough around the edges, but they’re coming back. My precious little planter withstood winds that our great cottonwoods couldn’t stand up to…and it taught me a lesson.

Sometimes in life, it’s not the largest, strongest that survive. And sometimes amid destruction, you can find a little beauty.

If you would like to win a Hanging Basket of your own head over to the Real Farmwives of America & Friends Blog and sign up for their giveaway!

Avant Garden Decor did provide me with this product to review, however the thoughts, opinions and photos shared about this product on this blog are my own.

Wordless Wednesday – The Beauty Behind the Storm

This storm passed by our farm on Sunday.

 

 

If you remember, we were hit by 125+ mph winds just a week before.

 

 

Thankfully, we sustained no damage this week...

 

 

although communities just to the north of us sustained tremendous amounts of damage.

 

 

My attempt at a full-rainbow picture. Mother Nature can be difficult, but there's beauty in it all.

Wordless Wednesday – Storm Damage

My last few posts have been just about our yard and things that are damaged pretty close to the house. Let me give you a little tour of the rest of the farm…we were truly blessed with no injuries throughout the area that was hit by Sunday’s storm.

I found EJ's tractor...but it didn't make it.

 

  • Yep, no fixing this. Anyone know where I can purchase another? EJ promised not to leave it outside anymore…after shedding a few tears over losing it.

These horse trailers were moved a few feet...and their jacks are buried.

At first I just thought this sheet metal was laying on the seeder.

...but it was impaled.

Our corn choppers can also slice sheet metal!

Cattle trailer injuries.

Something hit the trailer with force!

I found this rock that landed on a corn leaf. Strange!

Yes, that's a hay rack. And yes, that's a shelterbelt. Not sure how we'll get it out of there. It's impaled on a tree.

Our barn is missing three doors and a few windows.

The loading and working area is pretty well shot. Mark's been meaning to update for years...now he doesn't get a choice!

We were indeed blessed…indeed.

Clean-up – Day One

Well, we have a good start on clean-up from Sunday’s storm. But it’ll take awhile.

We spent most of yesterday cleaning up the major stuff…downed trees, clearing out George’s soaked room, picking up fence chunks, etc. Today we’ll start coming through the yard, piling up debris, deciding what’s salvageable and what’s beyond repair. Measuring windows, figuring out which doors will need to be replaced, making plans.

It’s actually a great way to take stock of what you need, what you don’t and where you want to go from here. It’s a tough way to do it, but it gets the job done in a hurry, that’s for sure!

Two of my nieces are here to help watch the boys at my Mom and Dad’s while I’m out here getting things settled down. The girls have been such a help! I would rather the boys not see things the way they are, and have things look a little cleaned up by the time they come out here. (Plus, it’s so much easier to do things without the “help” of a 2- and 4-year-old.) I have pictures to show them when they want to see what it looked like, but sometimes this is a little much for me, I can’t imagine involving them right now.

Thank you to everyone who has given us encouraging words, stopped and talked, helped out and pitched in. We live in a wonderful community, and with so many having so much destroyed, it’s just amazing to see it all come together.

Mark hooked up the generator first thing Monday morning.

 

 

The Dakota Valley Electric crew was AMAZING and worked hard and fast to restore our power. THANK YOU!!!

 

 

My Dad can't use a regular chainsaw, thanks to his pacemaker, but he did what he could with his electric chainsaw. It worked wonders!

 

 

The roots on the cottonwood were amazing. Not the easiest job to get out!

 

 

This was the pile from day one...let's see what today brings!

Wordless Wednesday – Mini-veggies

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve been working hard on getting our garden to make it through the year. You see, it’s not just because I like vegetables, or I think we’re the only ones who can grow a tomato right, or I don’t like getting vegetables from my store or anything like that.

It’s much more simple…I want to provide for my son.

George’s condition? George’s diagnosis? George’s illness? Hmmm…what do I call it…let’s just go with OTC. George’s OTC will not allow us to provide him with the wonderfully delicious beef that the rest of our family gets from the farm. And he never will be able to enjoy it…at least not much. George is limited to 10-12 grams of protein per DAY…and well, that just isn’t much in the scheme of things. And meat is basically out of his realm of menu options. Completely.

George loves his fruit! It's a good thing, since that's about the only thing he can eat a lot of!

 

 

So we go with fruits and vegetables. And since North Dakota isn’t real high on the fruit scale of production, we’re going to do our best on the veggie side. Like these:

These sugar snap peas are just about ready!

 

 

The cucumbers are showing up! Yahoo!!!

 

 

These peppers aren't much yet...but they're getting there!

 

 

Tomato...tomahto...can you say salsa???

North Dakota nice…even when flooding

Have you heard the term “North Dakota nice” used before? Around here, it means that no matter what, you’re polite and kind, even to total strangers. And it happens…a lot.

And now we use it for our road signs…as I saw yesterday on the way to baseball/tee-ball:

Please...and thank you.

 
We’re flooding around here. And although it’s nothing like what’s going on north of us, it’s pretty significant for our area. Now our roads are flooding in places that have never flooded before…but we’re being nice about it. We’re remembering our manners and asking nicely for everyone to “take turns.”
 

The highway now has water over the road. It's one vehicle only crossing, so please, take turns!

 

My Mom tried to take a picture of the water we were driving through, but it's basically just a picture of her taking a picture. LOL! 🙂

 

If you're traveling Highway 11 east of Ellendale, please be careful!

 
 
But, it’s not just that way here. If you check out the Minot News Facebook page, you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands of instances of “North Dakota nice,” where people ask for help and receive it. Or people offere assistance without even being asked.
 
People have offered truck driving assistance, storage spaces, places to sleep, walking pets, watching children, packing items, you name it, it’s been offered. (Even licensed massage therapists have offered their assistance!)
 
A lady posted on Facebook that an elderly woman needed assistance evacuating. Within seconds, the call for help was answered and more than 30 people showed up to pack what they could and help her out.
 
I guess you could say that’s just how we operate. You take care of what you can…and when you can’t, someone will usually be there to help you out. Most of the time, you don’t even have to ask for the help, it’s just there.
 
But, back to the ball game…and a very important announcement! The boys love their summer ballgames, even when they don’t have many opportunities to play, thanks to the rainy summer we’ve had!

It's a big swing for this little batter!

 

Happy Birthday Big Bro!!! Where did the last 9 years go???

 
Today is a very special birthday for a very special boy…HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BRO! Nine years ago we were blessed with you…and every day I thank God for having you in our family! I am one lucky Mama indeed!!!

Wordless Wednesday – Rain

Rain. That’s the story around here. And quickly behind that is flooding.

My husband always says that we’re only one rain away from a drought…I guess the same is true for flooding. And unfortunately, that story is the same in many areas of the country.

But here’s some pics that I took anyway:

When it's muddy and you're bored and your wagon needs a side, make do with the materials you have on hand...right?

 

 

Clearly, it's raining. Picture taken through the shop window.

 

 

Little wet tractors - picture taken with shop door part-way down.

 

 

Another shot off the bottom of the shop door.

 

 

Trees appreciate the rain. Although this storm in the background produced a tornado shortly after this shot was taken. Thankfully it was already north of us. And no one was injured.

 

 

Loved the slow drip of the rain off the fence...even if we didn't need the moisture.

 

 

My poor little begonia - I didn't realize this pot didn't have a drain hole. Poor thing was drowning!

 

For those in dry areas, I will pray that our extra moisture heads your way. And for those that are flooding and losing your homes, your farms, your land and your livelihood, I will also pray for you! May the weather straighten out soon!

Family Drive

On Friday night, after a few rain showers, we decided to take the family for our version of a “family drive.” Actually, we were checking the cows in the pasture, but the boys loved the adventure!

We brought with our trusty sidekicks:

Our new puppy, Maggie, and our old foster-dog, Junior.

 

 

The scenery was beautiful.

 

And the cows LOVED getting their mineral and lick tubs!

Yummy!

 

 

Mmmmm...a treat, just for us!

 

And when we went to check on the heifer pasture, they were all hams for the camera! Apparently even our young cows like their 15 minutes of fame!

Ooh, does someone have a camera?

 

 

On a count of three...CHEESE!

 

 

And we saw some wildlife, too! Although, they’re more of nuisance than anything.

Gophers...destructive little buggers.

 

It was a great trip. And we ended with supper and ice cream at the local drive-in. Who could ask for a better Friday?