Monday, January 14, 2013

Ma Vie en Gris

I'm 99.9% convinced that Winter is trying to kill me.

In years past, I've hit the wall with Winter weather much later in the game than this, say February or March (or April or May), which usually has more to do with the color outside, or lack thereof, than the actual weather itself. I'm a Washingtonian born and raised, so three feet of rainfall in a season doesn't tend to make me turn a hair. However, the ceaseless grey chips away at my normally sunny demeanor after day 100 or so. I've bought therapy lights (not a very viable route for those of us with light-induced migraines, I'm afraid), taken fists full of B and D vitamins, upped my exercise, all to relatively little avail.

My theory on the death-by-grey phenomenon is in part owing to my being moderately synesthetic. Color is tied very closely to emotion in my addled brain, and even if it weren't, 100 days of blah would kick just about anybody in the butt. So, the grey literally plays hell with my emotional state. It sucks.

But this year it isn't the grey that's doing me in. We've actually had quite a few uncharacteristically beautiful, clear and sunny January days. It's worth noting that those days have been SO DAMN COLD AND DRY that I get a static electric zap every time I pet Rexy and that the freezing fog has been jamming every lock and latch on this place, but other than that, lovely. Those inconveniences are minor compared with what the dry cold does to my joints. My already crappy knees are so swollen and stiff this past week, that I've been sitting on my butt instead of taking care of my family and farm. Again, it sucks.

I never could wrap my mind around those old folks who would say that they could feel the weather in their bones, but let me tell you, now I'm all like Preach it, Granny! I can tell when the barometer is about to swing madly one way or the other, and I can tell with absolute certainty, even before I get out of bed or peek out a window, whether or not we've had an overnight freeze, all because of my rickety knees. What the heck is this crap?!? I'm thirty seven! :(

So, I'll probably be in a mood to varying degrees for, oh, the next 3 months or so. Sorry 'bout that. The painkillers, the heat packs, they help but they don't fix, and I'm kinda pissed about it. I have a lot that I'd like to be doing for my kids, my hub and my farm, but right now I'm lucky if I can slow-mo hustle my butt from the couch to the front door fast enough to let Penny-poo out in time to tinkle. We presently have a collective 50% success rate.

I'm going to try to channel my frustration over the things that I can't do into kicking ass at the things that I can. For starters, I'm a dag-gum knitting machine lately. Sure, my kids are eating leftover leftovers, but their heads, hands and necks are gonna look fly in their spankin' new knitwear. And I'm reading up on all things swine. That's right, people of Olympia, if you went to the library looking for a book on rearing pigs, you're out of luck, 'cuz I've got all four of them right here. I suspect that our library system may actually have more books on underwater basketweaving than they have on pigs, but I know that by the time we urban farm nerds are through, Backyard Poultry magazine will have the same circulation as Us Weekly up in this piece. ;)

So there it is - I'm a beyotch because the evil, rotten weather is making my broken parts more... brokended? But, I'm going to try to put on my best grin and bear it mug and make the best that I can of my crappy situation. In the mean time, if you have any organic pig-rearing books to recommend, or excess uber-soft yarn that needs knitting up, hook a sister up - I'm in the market. ;)

A Lucky Penny

Just when I think we can't squeak one more critter onto this little farm, I accidentally fall in love with one and we end up doing it anyway. Meet our newest baby, sweet & spunky Miss Penny -

You see what I was up against? I was dropping Livy off at her boyfriend's house, when Penny, (who along with her brother, was being fostered by Liv's fella's Mom) came to say hello, her curly tail wagging so furiously that her whole booty was moving. I picked her up to say hello and was bathed in sweet puppy kisses and, well, it was love at first smooch. We were able to adopt her just 3 weeks later, which kinda sorta felt like an eternity, waiting for your baby to come home.

Today was her third day in la casa de Jackson. It's going pretty well. We have had mixed success with the potty pads. She'll pee on them a little more than 50% of the time, but won't use them for poo at all. No, she prefers to take care of that business in the hallway.

Being that she's only about 10 or 11 weeks old, that's not really that bad, but we definitely still have some work ahead of us. I honestly never thought I'd do puppydom ever again, but it seems cupid had other ideas, and so here we are.

There have been a few minor bumps, mostly in trying to integrate Penny & Rex. A 75-pound dog and a 3-pound dog don't mix so well immediately. He's wanting to play with her, and she very rightly is slightly intimidated by the lumbering, happy-go-lucky giant. He keeps wolfing down her puppy food, which has not earned him a ton of goodwill from Penny, but they seem to be ok, if a little leery of/intimidated by one another.

Big Boy meets Bitty Baby.

We're needing to be a little extra vigilant ourselves, as we're used to frequently stepping over an enormous, bright white pooch who's pretty hard to miss. Now we have a teeny, tan (same as our carpet) fluffy shadow that follows us everywhere 24/7. I live in fear of somebody stepping on her. :-\

In spite of the minor chaos that adding Penny-pie has created, we're all already crazy in love with her. She is a world-class snuggler who emits a surprising amount of body heat for her size. I challenge anyone to sit down with a snoozy Penster and a lap quilt and try to stay awake for more than 10 minutes. It cannot be done!

Between Penny's sweet and spunky personality, and Rexy's protective lovebug-thing, I feel about as lucky a pup Mama as you can get. Now - If I so much as talk about adding another pooch to the brood (besides fostering) you have my blessing to turn me in to Hoarders: Farm Nerd Edition.

This may or may not be the right time to mention that we'll shortly be in the market for some piglets...