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July 4, 2020: The Woman who Had Everything

The Woman who Had Everything. Someday I’ll write a book with this title. It will be autobiographical. It will be about how unappreciative I was for most of my life and how I took all I had for granted. Then one day . . .

Actually, I think I am appreciative more than I’m unappreciative. Some days, like today, I look around and am awed by this place, and what we’ve made of it. And I’m awed by the surrounding beauty.

The animals, of course, all my idea to acquire them, reside in this Peaceable Kingdom. Every single animal that’s graced this place has been loved, and they’ve loved in return. Chickens, we’ve had quite a few – the best chicken ever was Red Hen who was very personable.

Manure and goat bedding in compost station

She’d follow me around and talk to me. One of her favorite activities was to sit on the compost heap and in a soft voice, cluck at me. Very endearing.

Goats – we’ve had five here total, two are still with us. Ranger and Rover were first and came as a pair. Rover died a few years back. Ranger loves me the most of any animal here. Dogs, we’ve had five total, two are still with us. We came here with Bootleg, who accompanied us on many journeys and lived to be 17. She’s buried up on the hill, next to Rainbow and Jenna. I stop by the gravesite on my way to the upper cabin, and in this way remember her spirit, as well as the spirits of the other animals who are buried there.

Horses, we’ve had six here total, Siggi and Signy are now just here in spirit. Raudi, Hrimmi, Tyra, and Tinni are visible presences.

All the animals interact with one another. The newest member is Shadow, a ten-week old Australian Shepherd puppy. We got her because I was concerned about Ryder – her only dog friend, Fiona, an English Shepherd, moved to North Carolina some time ago with her owners. Since, Ryder has been spending most of her time by herself. Not good. It took a few days, but Ryder has now taken it upon herself to teach Shadow how to act when around other dogs. She’s taking this job very seriously and giving me a much-needed assist. I’m not a good dog disciplinarian.

When I look around, I see more than animals. I also see this place. Pete’s gardening efforts are now the most visible. We have three main gardens, all of which contain our home-based compost. We have one worm farm and a compost pile with visitor worms – they will either go into our garden or take up residence in other people’s gardens.

We’re now eating strawberries that Pete grew in the hoop house. He figured out they needed heat and light. We aren’t talking about just a handful of berries, but a freezer full. Today we had berries for breakfast and for lunch.

We have hay in the barn, wood in the shed (I got off my lazy ass and split it). If anything is amiss, it’s that we don’t relax enough. Lately though, we’ve been taking short breaks and watching Ryder and Shadow play.

And so, virus concerns are distant. I talk often with Eleanor who lives in Portland, where the concerns are right in everyone’s face. I wish she was here right now. It depresses me to think that I might never see her again. This is a very sobering thought. So I guess I’m not the woman who has everything, just more than most.

Next: 186. 7/5/20: The Garden of Eatin

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