Category Archives: Health

Spinning workshop, and Preparing to move away… March, 2015

Giving things away

Giving things away

I’ve been going through corners in the garage again this morning, combining things, deciding who to give things to.

Fire’s burning this a.m. in a cool rain—cozy. The fire wood is a lot of branches that have fallen in the woods, which I’ve dragged up for Dirk to saw, if they’re too big for me to break up. They make just as much warmth as  real firewood, and it’s free!

Tye, Mira, Sindry, Judy, Mineko

Tye, Mira, Sindry, Judy, Mineko

I had a spinning workshop the first weekend in March, with four students. The two who live near-by are already interested in joining the spinning guild, and one has bought a wheel (my Majacraft Suzie, one of my first and favorite wheels), and the other is shopping for one. It’s so rewarding to teach people to spin, and watch them get into the guild for ongoing inspiration and support in their new craft.

Our move to RI will be in about 1 1/2 months. I realize, as I give things away, that I’m drawing a line between what I used to do, used to be able to do (wallpapering, for example), and deciding which of my friends might use some of these old things. We don’t need to downsize, since the house is a similar size in RI, but I won’t have a garage beside the house to reach out and get things from. All those things have to go somewhere, and much of it will be in the basement, after I give away a good deal more. Going through old pictures, cards and letters—what a lot of people have sent me those over the years. I feel humbled, and wonder if I returned the favor. Twenty-three years of memories from this home I’m packaging in boxes, memories of activities of my now-adult children, of vacations, of a flock of sheep, of shepherd friends, and many years of assisting with shearing, mine and others’. Things I’ve given away, I’d held in my own care, gathering dust, in many cases. I’m feeling lighter knowing others now can use those things, which I had held on to, “just in case.” We’ve been careful and done without all these years, and I’ve watched others older and wiser than me, who had done likewise, and “aged out” at home, which is what we choose to do, also. Irene, who died at 90, was at home until her last month of life, when cancer, which none of her friends knew she had, brought her near-death. Hospice couldn’t help because she lived alone, so she went, briefly, to a horrible nursing home, and for the last 2 weeks, UNC’s cancer hospital, then to a Hospice home. She was comfortable those last 2 weeks, and I don’t think she was aware where she was or who was with her. If God is good, Dirk and I will be able to live in our North Kingstown home for the rest of our lives, also.

Making the home more simple, thanks to giving lots of things away, is a good way to prepare for that life, as we are older, I can’t climb the ladder to put up my own wallpaper now, so I’ll give away the equipment to someone who can do so. Letting go is hard, because I’m confronting my new, gradually increasing, loss of ability to do anything I chose to do. Now, I have to choose what I can do, how much of that I can do, and how much I need to let others do for me. That feels embarrassing, needing to ask for help, when I’ve always been the helper. I feel vulnerable and frightened. Letting go of things, I’m pondering how to let go of that attitude, also.

With that comes the fear that I won’t be able to find anyone to be my helper, and that eventually I won’t be able to afford to pay someone.  Since my income is fixed, and the cost of living constantly rises, in 15 years, I’ll have lost 1/2-3/4 of my income, just by the way the world works.I can’t advance the clock, to know how all this will work out, but I do know I’m moving to a cold place, equipped with lots of wool to make things with, to trade for services rendered, as much as I can. Instead of dollar amounts, I’ll need to put HOUR amounts on what I’ve made, and trade for services.(Wish me luck…) In the meantime, I sit in front of the wood stove, and relax in the warmth, and am thankful I can make things of beauty from my wool and mohair, remembering each sheep with their individual personalities, as I spin their wool.


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Filed under Aging, community, Compromises, Friendship, Health, moving, spinning workshops

First six months without sheep; preparing to move north

When we had sheep, they kept the fences clear. Now the birds enjoy the shelter.

When we had sheep, they kept the fences clear. Now the birds enjoy the shelter.

June, 2014 to Jan., 2015

Long walk in the woods, 1 1/2 mi.

Long walk in the woods, 1 1/2 mi.

This morning I captured a chipping sparrow away from Boots and Liam, and released it to the suet block. It shook itself and flew off, thank goodness. The two rescued stray cats run between my legs, or walk under Emily, the Pyr’s stomach, and move out the door with her. If I haven’t succeeded in re-homing them before we move, they may die on RI Rt. 1, which runs right in front of our home there.

Those who keep carnivores as pets need to be prepared to deal with carcasses of helpless small creatures pets consider their rightful prey. Last week it was a possum in the garage, probably after dog food—the 20-pound bags were tossed all around but not spilled…The dogs got the poor thing. Liam the cat had slipped out at midnight when I took the dogs out for their last walk, so I left the garage door ajar. Fortunately the possum didn’t come through the doggie door into the house! Life seems so complicated sometimes. Was the possum dead, or playing possum? I waited an hour to pick it up, then left it in the hole uncovered the rest of the day, dogs inside, to be sure it wasn’t going to just walk away, which I have seen them do. Not this time. A couple days before that I opened the back door to feed the birds and found remains of a squirrel on the rug, and a mouse a couple days later.

Woke this am. to find a raccoon “treed” in the firethorn on the back deck. Two dogs in the yard provides high risk for the night visitors… Maeve, our Aussie, has killed two raccoons this past summer, and is the best-rabies-immunized dog in the neighborhood. When I called for help, hoping NC Wildlife would come and trap the raccoons and take them somewhere, the employee advised me to take in the bird seed at night to discourage their coming here, and after two weeks, that did work. They don’t move raccoons, since they might be incubating rabies. I, of all people, should know that. I did a Masters’ paper on wildlife rabies, costs to NC when it got here, and oral rabies vaccine for wild things to control rabies exposures to pets and people. Nights are quieter in the house, too, since Emily barks with great volume and enthusiasm at possums or raccoons on the deck in the night. She’s shut in, but we have doors with windows to the floor, and she keeps watch. It’s her job, in her mind, to protect us from wild things who invade her territory. She’s done a great job of it over the years, also. We’ve never had coyotes in our pasture, killing our lambs or sheep, as many of my friends have suffered. Large farms require multiple Great Pyrenees or similar guardian dogs, to keep predators out.

Jan., 2015
A New Year, and still recovering from the surgical repair of damage done in the accident last April. I guess healing always takes longer than they lead you to expect.

We’ll move to RI in the summer, so we’re going through cupboards and closets, as well as boxes in the garage, to see what we’ve stashed, and wondering why we kept these things! I’m donating a great many things to friends who will use them, or organizations who will—for example wallpaper rolls from houses dating back 45 years—perfectly fine to use on a loom to keep the threads from tangling. I’m keeping a little of each to remember, and I’ll use it in weaving in the future, also. Common Thread in Sanford is a weaving workshop with many women volunteering to spend some mornings at donated looms, making rugs, tote bags, dish towels, table runners, place mats, etc., for sale both in the shop and at craft shows far and wide. Proceeds go to womens’ support organizations, such as Interact. They also compete in the Lee County Fair, have a wall full of prize ribbons, and the prize money also goes back into the organization. My box of old wallpaper will go there, since each loom requires a roll of wallpaper, and it wears out eventually, of course.

I’m spinning up great amounts of wool that is not from my best fleeces, just to condense the amount of bulk somewhat. Yarn takes much less space than wool. I’ve started an afghan for us to keep this time, which will have sheep and Australian Shepherd dogs (in their own fur) knitted in with the design. I’m still hoping to find a Great Pyrenees dog pattern to knit in, but so far, no luck. There is no hurry with this project. If we were not moving, I’d be aiming to have it ready to compete in the Carolina FiberFest in early April, but we’ll probably be very busy then, as moving time will be getting near, so I don’t plan to enter anything this year. I will be there to watch the sheep dog herding demonstration, and sit and spin with my friends in the Twisted Threads Fiber Arts Guild circle, however.

The pasture seems so empty and still, the fences covered with stilt grass, sheltering birds over winter. Emily, the Pyr, goes out to the back pasture every day on patrol, as she always has, keeping an eye on what predators may be threatening her acres. We miss the sheep, but our arthritic joints do not. Each year it got harder to clear gutters so water could run away from the barn, to trim hooves, move hay and grain down the hill to the barn, and keep things down there relatively tidy. It was great exercise, and that we do miss. Walking the dogs a mile up the road has to do now as a substitute, and the dogs enjoy it as much as we do. Emily used to live in the pasture only, unless the sheep were up grazing in the yard, when she came, also. Now she can explore the neighborhood, on a leash of course, but she loves reading the signs night critters have left along the road and on the woods trails we walk with them. We’re wondering where in RI we’ll find the same opportunity to walk with the dogs in the woods—we’ll have time later to look, but it will be much colder in winter there.

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Filed under Aging, Birds, cats, community, Compromises, dogs, dogs and cats, Family, Friendship, gardening, Grief, Healing, Health, Homespun yarn, sheep, spinning, Weather, wildlife

A cherished aging sheep, Suzie


Our oldest sheep, Suzie, is 17, and quite suddenly has started to slide. You can see her picture in the header of this page, in the red coat. Deborah is on the left–she died with arthritis and old age last year. I think Suzie’ll be gone within the week, and we’ll find a home for Vanity, the “companion sheep” my friend Elaina loaned us. She won’t breed her again, which is why she was “dispensable.” A lady in our spinning guild is just starting in sheep, has several angora rabbits and some alpacas, but does not plan to breed them, and she’ll take Vanity Fair (my shepherd friend chooses a category for sheep names each year, and this year it had been magazines… she may have a Playboy around 🙂 I’m glad to have a future home for Vanity, the companion, because they don’t do well at all alone—they need a flock. I’m looking at all the sheep-related things in the garage and will put them together to share with my friends. This will be a big transition for us, since for the past 18 yr. we’ve had sheep to care for, and to groom and fertilize our lawn and pasture. The deer will have a holiday out there, eating the rye grass, vetch and clover I’d planted for the sheep to graze. The dogs will now have a full two acres to ramble, and will enjoy the extra space, exercise, and night-time critters to chase.

Letter to a friend–

Hi, Laura (another shepherd),

I went out at midnight for a last check, to be sure Suzie didn’t have her legs tangled in the elastic loops at the back of her sheep coat (I’ll take it off when the nights aren’t so cold). I had her ginger snap, which she no longer eats from my hand, so I broke it up and put it in the feed dish. Emily the Pyr decided to eat the cookie—I shooed her out of the barn, and Vanity, the Shetland, took off at the same time. Poor old Suzie decided she was not going to stay in that barn alone, and high-tailed it right out of the barn and up the hill after Vanity, baaing all the way! She hasn’t moved that fast since I can remember!!  As soon as I was a little way up the hill, and they knew I wasn’t going to do anything unpleasant to them, they walked back into the barn again.

I wanted to thank you for mentioning Aspirin (ASA), and what a little pain med can do. I saw it happen when I worked Labor and Delivery:  a mother who was teeth-gritting determined to do natural childbirth, and her painful muscles couldn’t relax, so labor had stopped advancing the baby. She was persuaded by her husband, after I persuaded him, that just a small dose of pain med was not going to hurt mother or baby—and within 1/2 hr. she had her baby. She just needed that little bit of relief to relax her muscles and let Mother Nature take over. Suzie just needed that baby ASA today to feel a little better—I’m amazed! She wasn’t even limping on her bad front leg, just trotted right up the hill. I almost fell over!

Thank you so much. I know it won’t make a big difference in her length of life, perhaps, but it certainly seems to have made her feel a lot better today. I put a baby non-enteric ASA in a 5-cc syringe, pulled up 1 cc of water, it melted instantly, and just put it in her mouth, as you said. I followed it with a little bit of ginger snap with some molasses on it, which she chewed right up, but I had to push it in, of course. I can’t remember—can I give it every day, or only every other day? She certainly did respond to it 🙂

Blessings with your elderly animals—I know they get TLC galore at your farm,


P.S. I’m copying Sheryl, who will become Vanity’s “Mom,” eventually, because all these little sheep care tips come in so handy sometimes. Even after all these years, and having given ASA to arthritic sheep a few years back, I had forgotten.

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Filed under Aging, gardening, Health, Life is a cycle, sheep, Weather, wildlife

Danger in dogs entering unfamiliar house; 17 staples fixed it :-(

IMG_2547June 6, 2013

Today I learned to check out a new home I’m visiting on vacation–especially to locate flights of stairs AND railings…

We arrived last evening at the Upper Peninusula in MI, and today my cousin, Bob, toured us all around Macinac Island–lovely day! The two dogs, his and ours, had been out in the yard all afternoon, and I went to let them in. They both had to come through the door at the same time, of course, Bob’s big German Short-haired hunting dog, and Maeve the Aussie. I stepped back as they both pushed the door in, and my toe encountered–nothing!! There’s a flight of steps down right in back of where the door opens, the light was out, we’d just gotten there last evening, and I had not been down those steps to find out there was a railing behind my back… Fortunately, the steps were carpeted, but the floor below was linolium over concrete 😦   Well, Dirk responded to my scream as I fell– the last thing I remember. About half-an-hour later I began to wake up in the ER. Bob had called 911 when Dirk’s hand was covered in blood, and I was unconscious. I can’t say enough for the ambulance crew and the Newberry, MI, hospital  and Dr. Vick, who promptly took care of me, including sending me off with a CD of the CT scans & other x-rays they’d taken, for my doctor at home. Also for my cousin, Bob’s patience with my unexpectedly sailing down his steps. He’s also sent his house insurance folks to talk with the hospital to deal with my co-pay, which is most generous, and unexpected. After all, I allowed the dogs to shove the door–wasn’t anyone’s fault, really, but makes me feel very klutzy and vulnerable.

I was very lucky to sustain only a cut requiring 17 staples in my scalp to close it, and a concussion that left my head swimming for the following week. If I had not been wearing a plastic clip to hold my hair up, it might not have been as bad. One of the teeth of the clip broke off on my skull. I went back to using my cane as a “third leg” for balance, and when my pain pills were nearly out, started supplementing with Irish Creame in my bedtime cocoa so I could sleep. Splitting headache that first week was no fun at all, nor the whiplash injury to my neck that prevented me lifting up my own head without using my hand to grip some hair to lift.  I still have a colorful bruise across my lower back 2 wk. later, and plenty of pain to go with it. But hey, I’m not paralyzed, did not get a subdural hematoma, broke no bones–I’m thankful it was no worse. We continued the vacation on schedule, but came home a day early to get the staples out at my own doctor’s office, and I’m declared well by the resident who removed them. I love vacation, but I guess I need to be a lot more careful about checking my environment!


Filed under Aging, dogs, Family, Healing, Health, Thanksgiving, Vacation

Fiber arts guild activities that build our community

Twisted Threads Fiber Arts Guild in Raleigh, NC created and assembled 12″ squares made by 30 different women to give a guild member with cancer

Our spinning guild is a large group, about 60 individuals per month attending various meetings in different locations, which I started in our living room about 16 years ago. I know most of the people who attend. We’re a serendipitous group with related interests, although most people specialize in individual skills–such as making fiber dyes from natural materials (of no interest at all to me), some grow fiber animals, some buy the fiber to spin, or grow cotton and process it themselves (also of absolutely no interest to me). But it’s a big world, even among fiber enthusiasts… we all have complimentary skills, and support one another through veterinary complexities, tornado strikes and cancer, among other things.

Attached is a picture of a secret healing afghan (in progress) for a guild member recently diagnosed with cancer. Each square is from one of the Twisted Threads Fiber Arts Guild members, in fiber and design of their choice:

wool, mohair, angora, pet fur, alpaca, probably some silk or cotton blends. Some are knitted, some crocheted, one woven, in an infinite combination of stitches and colors. Each is unique, and each square has a note on the back with good health wishes for our friend. Handspun Shetland yarn to edge the squares and do the border was donated by one of our guild members who doesn’t crochet (but she does knit and weave). I also coordinated two earlier afghans four and eight years ago for guild members, and they have both been successfully treated, and continue to belong to our guild.

Projects like this build community, as we nurture a friend experiencing adversity. I called for help the day my husband was to be discharged from the hospital after breaking his hip. Snow was predicted the next evening, and wood he had split before he fell was scattered around the wood pile, waiting to be moved to the deck and stacked. We frequently lose power, and our wood stove is our only heat in that case. That next day, before the snow fell, I had a committee of six arrive after breakfast to move and stack wood, and after lunch, another work crew arrived, bringing a husband or two along, who split more wood, and moved it all to the deck and stacked and covered it for me. What a blessing!

Come shearing time in spring, those of us with flocks of sheep or Angora goats can expect a few helping hands to manage skirting, bundling and labeling fleeces, holding a lamb while its mother has her haircut, dragging and pushing a ram or billy goat from its pen to the shearing area, or handing a pre-filled syringe of tetanus vaccine to the shepherd.

You can find us on Yahoo groups–just do a search for the name of the guild. If you’re in the Triangle area of NC, or visiting here on a guild meeting day, I hope you can join us sometime for a meeting. The calendar is on the group site, after you enroll to the email list. We enjoy hearing about activities of guilds in other parts of the fiber-world.

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Filed under Aging, community, Crocheting, Friendship, Healing, Health, knitting, Satisfaction, sheep, spinning

Summer Solstice in NC

Warm steam envelopes my air-conditioned skin. Humidified air needs no machine to provide air-borne water. Peep-toads whistle over the wetlands to fireflies floating around the tomato plants. Perfumed gardenia surrounds the beauty of blooming double pink and bright purple petunias, white pansies, red snapdragons and sage, pink and white verbena with a pink and green sweet potato vine curling toward the deck over the edge. Lantana matches marigolds, but fragrances compete. Red petunia and dusty miller’s yellow blooms tower over salmon-pink verbena peeking through from behind. Lily stalks are tall and heavy with flagrant pink perfumed blossoms, sunflowers stretch for the sky bobbing under bumblebees. A chastened rose bush is half its May size, trimmed of the spent vines, blooms and hips, loved by sheep. Lush new dark red and green leaves on soft vines watered daily with dishwater, shoot out to catch hair and clothing. Neighbors’ dogs are sleeping. In full dark the whip-or-will begins to sing, its voice echoing around huge pine trunks, making location impossible. A shhhh indicates water trickling on gardens, soaker hoses making tiny sprays of water up under leaves of tomatoes, peppers, acorn squash, kale, butternut squash, chard, beets, string beans, and cucumbers. Gone are the sugar peas and spring onions of the cool spring, and the massed pansies in all my pots, thriving through a mild winter.

White smudge of magnolia bloom peers at me through the near-dark, holding its fragrance for me to get near to wrap myself in the heady perfume, sweet and musty. One bloom fills a large bowl and scents a large room.

The sundial  is completely in shadow, and points to no time passing at all. Time is suspended in this silent peep-toad stillness. Trees have lost their color, moving from green to a shadow outline against a pale blue sky, empty of planes, even the birds are asleep.

Possums and rabbits silently roam the woods. Shining my lantern toward the wetland, I see hundreds of shining eyes peering back at me.

Birds’ nests peep from forks in holly and in a bag of pine cones not used for kindling last winter. Friendly wrens keep close company, nestling on little brown splotched white eggs in a cozy bundle of leaves, like the wind blew them there, shaped the small tunnel of pine needles, twigs, leaves and bits of soft grass and left-over wool. Soon the nest will arrive in a classroom to teach and charm children.

A yellow warbler clings to a butterfly bush branch working at a bit of partly-felted wool too short to spin, dangling there just for nests. I waited and watched as she struggled with the stubborn fibers, finally tugging a mouthful free and taking off in a flash. She was back in no time, lining her nest with our soft Romney wool.

The whip-poor-will is in a tree very near me. He doesn’t know I’m here. In winter they come to search the yard for bugs, ignoring bird seed. Summer is bug-time, birds are overjoyed: blue birds, fly catchers, cardinals, chipping sparrows, titmouses, chickadees, nuthatches, orioles, grosbeaks, gold finches, robins, catbirds, even the cow birds; especially the woodpeckers, tap, tapping on the pine bark.

Night things will be out in the barn, mice, an occasional rat, and the large snakes who hide well, and thrive on the rodents. In the yard our snakes eat moles, voles. Black racers, garter snakes, rat snakes, and ordinary black snakes need to dodge my Aussie, who hasn’t learned which are poisonous. She has yet to meet a copperhead. My Great Pyrenees, Emily, is wise to the difference– knows a corn snake from a copperhead, a prudent and sophisticated analysis. Emily ignores snakes unless its aggressive and could hurt us, her, or the sheep she protects.

Coyotes are in someone else’s fields and woods tonight–no yipping pack of predators and barking neighborhood dogs, lead by my Great Pyrenees, tonight. The danger is real: my friend’s Aussie was killed by coyotes last summer. Our fences are a mere impediment–if coyotes want in, they’ll get in. Sheep pasture has sturdy fence as well as a fierce 4-footed very loud protector.

Mosquitoes are waking up and finding warm blood to feast on (mine) while I revel in the solstice evening, clear and quiet.  One mosquito bite too many and I glide toward the house. Standing by the door, I hesitate to leave this magical dusk . Rain barrel is nearly empty, flowers gulp water in 90-degree summer. No respite at night when “cool” is 79 and humid.  Rain barrel and buckets of saved rain water breed flying bird-, toad- and peep-toad meals. Flowers have the benefit of extra compost in the squirming black noodles swimming in their water.  Highest-priority watering bucket is dark with embryos, air is thick around it with freshly hatched flying blood-suckers. Fewer of them to bite and breed, after I pour the bucket along rows of vegetables.

In dry summers, a dozen empty buckets and the rain barrel sit and wait for rain.  Kitchen gray water and compost coax gardens to thrive. Hot summers yield a pale-blue twilight, as the summer sun fades in the shadows of the yellow pine and oak, revealing a carpet of stars, by its absence. Dark arrives and “too-hoo” echoes off invisible woodpecker-drilled trunks of 90-foot yellow pines.


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Filed under gardening, Health, sheep, wildlife, Writing

Washing wool in the NC springtime


Today is so beautiful outside. I’ve spent two or three hours each day this week working through wool “seconds” from shearing, so the mediocre wool, that takes a long time to process, can be used for lovely yarn. Neck wool falls into this category, and it’s the softest, finest wool on the sheep. Trouble is, as sheep eat, they take a bite of hay, pull their head up and turn their head to see whether another sheep may have a better selection of hay next to them, and sift bits of chaff down on the heads of the animals on both sides of them. I have coats on the sheep beginning the end of the summer when their wool is long enough for the hay to stick, so the wool in their backs and necks are somewhat protected, but living in a barn is a messy business… Working over this dirty fleece involves carding the tips of the locks to remove hay and second cuts, the bits only around 1/4” long which the shearer occasionally makes when he smooths off the side of the previous clip. Grass and hay have to come out, or the wool will be itchy. And then I drop the locks in a bowl of warm water, solar heated, with a good amount of cheap and fragrant shampoo. Washed wool needs not to smell like wool, or moths will want to nest in it. The soap melts the lanolin and dirt off the wool, so I can process it inside the house with enjoyment when it dries. Lanolin needs to be removed within a year of shearing or it will turn to something like chewing gum and be impossible to soak off. Since tree blossoms are now raining down, I leave the fleece outside for a few hours, then bring it in to finish drying inside, so it won’t accumulate any more pollen and debris than necessary. I have several old window screens that do just fine for wool drying racks. Another blessing of this work is that my skin is soft and pliable after this immersion in lanolin. There’s good reason for this element to be included in the best hand lotions, especially for nursing mothers, and the feet of diabetics.

While I stand there working over the wool, I listen to podcasts from my favorite NPR channels, “State of Things,” “Diane Rehm,” or “The Story.” I watch red-breasted woodpeckers hang from the side of a feeder heaped with “chickadee seed,” loaded with nuts, and enjoy breakfast. Cardinals come after sunflower seeds, and very small chipping sparrows like the thistle seed and millet best. Titmouses and chicadees seem to feast on anything on the buffet line. Parasitic cowbirds have arrived, and I wish I could dispense with them, but I don’t have a gun. They lay eggs in the nests of other birds, and their large and aggressive babies toss songbird infants out of the nest to die. If anyone wants to come over and trap them somehow, you’re welcome. They must be good for something. If they stayed in the pasture and ate flies, I wouldn’t mind as much, but I certainly hate to think of paying for their breakfast.

In flower are azelias, dogwood, holly (white flowers, the bush seems to move with all the tiny insects hovering over these sweet blooms), wonderful fragrant southern lilac, (see picture of syringa with tiger swallowtail butterfly) and plenty of pine, the tips of their branches fluorescent yellow with pollen. Thanks to this abundance of spring and surge of life in all the trees and grasses, I’m taking several different allergy preparations, and need to wear a mask outside, and wheeze when I come back in–the price of enjoying my environment. Temperature has been reaching the mid-80’s during the day, so I try to finish by lunchtime with outside work. As the summer progresses, that time becomes much earlier, usually in mid-summer I will return to the house by 9 a.m.–too hot and humid for me out there.

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Filed under Birds, Compromises, gardening, Health, sheep, spinning, wildlife