Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 5-11 (Mother's Day)

As promised, this week’s temperatures neared record-setting highs.  It was 85* on Wednesday! During the long and frozen winter, I promised never to complain about heat again…so, no complaints, really.  But, I was really glad that the Boss completed the hoophouse ventilation project AND we got the shadecloth in place before the high temperatures.  Here’s an old post about how we do that. Read this. 

The shadecloth also covers a hole in the top of the hoophouse that the Boss discovered Monday morning. The whole top will need replacing (again…it seems like we just did this… Read this one. ) but, at this point, we will have to wait until fall when we remove the shadecloth. 
not what you want to see on a Monday morning
...or ever, for that matter

Other signs of summer included moving the tomato plants outside to “harden off” prior to planting in the garden.  They are presently living in the trailer in the backyard.  This will enable us to move them to a safer location should the cold weather return.  Not that we are expecting that, but you never know.  One year it was 25* on the 28th of May!

Despite my concerns (and impatience) the beans have come up…all of them!  The countdown to fresh green beans is about 6 weeks. Yay!

On the other hand, every single one of the cucumber transplants succumbed to the combination of cool nights and high winds. Sad days, indeed.  We will replant those this week.
this WAS planted in cucumbers

The effects of the brutal cold were finally evident in the broccoli garden.  One variety (we planted three) did indeed “button” up.  That means that although there will be some sort of harvest, the heads of broccoli will never get any bigger than this, reducing the crop to about 20% of what we expected. Bummer!  The other varieties seem to have fared better and,  next week I will be seeding for the fall crop, so maybe we’ll be able to make up for it then. Here's hoping!

The warmer weather seems to agree with the animals, too.  The lambs are growing well.
The hens are cleaning out the brooder yard (when they aren’t peering in the brooder at the chicks)

and the layer chicks have gotten to the adolescent stage of life where they somewhat resemble baby buzzards.

The rest of the animals are fairly unremarkable at this point.  The broilers are just getting fatter and the ewes and ram are steadily eating their way across their paddocks.

The week was capped off by another excellent Market day.  Mother’s Day weekend is always a big one for the Farmers’ Market, but I think this one set a record. The people came out in droves and the rain held off until after the market closed. As always, we are truly thankful for all our customer-friends! Here's the link to the Boss' photos of the Market.  Click here for pictures.

For some reason, Mothers’ Day has been on my mind all week. I usually try to just gloss over the whole deal…it’s a sad, difficult day for those who don’t have a mother to honor, so personally, I’d just rather ignore it.  I don’t usually ask for anything, or want any sort of fuss.  But, I kept thinking about 2010…when I did ask for something.  As a matter of fact, I begged, I pleaded and I even asked other folks to join with me in my petitions.

On April 22, when a self-centered, careless juvenile having decided to combine alcohol, excessive speed and a dark country road crested the hill and plowed into my children with an impact of well over 100mph, my daughter, her husband and their dogs very nearly became just another traffic fatality statistic of Virginia’s highways.  However, due to the heroic work of those in the Draft that night, we didn’t have to face that tragedy.  Despite desperate odds, she made it over the mountain to University of VA Medical Center, the nearest trauma unit. It was horrifying to be met at the hospital by a chaplain and given details by a flight nurse and the injury list was impressive to say the least. Life became a blur of doctors, worries and trips over the mountain to the hospital.

By Mother’s Day, we were at day 17…Toughchick was still in ICU, there had been surgeries, procedures and plenty of setbacks and some progress. It had taken two weeks, but she was able to speak again.  However, we could still only visit two at a time. We still had no idea how long the hospital stay would be.   They couldn’t give us a rehabilitation time, or even (at that point) the absolute reassurance that she would ever fully recover.

If only she could get out of ICU, it would be such progress…we could be together, we would all feel better…and THAT is what I wanted. …and I wanted photographic evidence.  Friends, family and strangers from Facebook joined me in my request. That is the only Mother’s Day present I have ever asked for…and yes, oh yes, I got it!

Mother's Day 2010
a day I will never forget

It was another 17 days until she came home. Recovery was long and slow and at times, excruciatingly painful. It was a long time before life began to return to “normal”.     But, perseverance won out in the long run.

I hadn’t looked at the pictures from that period of life for a long time. The images are disturbing on many levels and while I’m always willing to listen to her talk her way through her recovery…I try not to think about those days too much myself.

Fast forward four years…

As we celebrated Mothers’ Day after the Market at a local pizza place, it occurred to me that people who don’t know the story would never even guess there was a story.  It took a long time, a whole lot of effort and more than a few tears…but, recovery did indeed happen. And every time we’re together, I am slightly overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude that we are all still together.

I learned a great deal from each of the five folks in that photo above during that hard and horrible time. My family is a pretty amazing bunch! So, on this Mothers’ Day, I want to take a minute to be grateful for those who make it possible for me to celebrate (or not) Mothers’ Day and say…

                                       “Yer old Mama LOVES YA!” 

To everyone else…

Happy Sunday!

       and Happy Mother’s Day!

thanks for the flowers, Blondie!