Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grace and Beauty

The Grace is in so much that I see, but mostly in learning that my husband's sarcoma seems, for now at least, to be conquered!  And it may be, forever!  After 5 months under siege of that nasty disease, we are all beginning to breathe freely again.  Howard had surgery to remove the (chemo-killed) tumor in his leg on August 9th.  A month later, he's limping around with a cane, which he should be rid of in future months.  Hooray.
Howard's hair is growing back nicely-- it's longer now.

Friends have blessed us all summer with visits to the farm-- sometimes just to cheer Howard in his recovery, often to do farm chores that he couldn't.  Two or three old friends got to get on a tractor to mow our pastures for us-- thrilling, they say! Tom came early in the summer, while Paul took a turn this month.

Friend Paul hadn't been on a tractor for a long time.
Howard's brother, Mark, cut thistles one 90 degree afternoon, with their childhood friend, Mike B.  Friend, Trisha,  helped plant our vegetable garden, which is now filling my kitchen with  tomatoes, peppers, onions.  Betti, Trisha, Paul and Ann helped prune and clear small trees and vines out of our windbreak in a few work sessions.  Nicole came out and cleaned a barn or two with me, bless her for asking for the worst farm chores and then doing them!  Howard's son helped unload hay last weekend, bringing along his wife and darling baby boy.

My sister, Iris,  and my sister-in-law, Stacey, accompanied my daughter to Hawaii in June, when she attended Ag Discovery, a USDA-sponsored educational "camp" for teens.  My gosh, that's going the extra mile --or 3000!  (Now I know, it was probably more fun to do that than if the camp was in, say, North Dakota).   In August, Iris picked Em up from band camp in Duluth, days after Howard's surgery.

If I forgot to mention anyone here, please let me know-- I am spinning out memories here, as they come-- I want to thank you all.

The Beauty is in all of nature around me-- fall is really coming, now. The maples outside my window are beginning to turn colors, and the fields of corn and soybeans, all around, have gone yellow. We have two apple trees-- Honeycrisp and Freedom-- that produced bumper crops of apples this year. Before the birds could get them all, we picked and brought the apples inside.
Daily, I put apple slices in the dehydrator (did you know that one teen can eat 5 dried apples in a half hour while reading a book?).

Apple butter, apple sauce-- mmm-- these apples don't keep well, or bake well-- the Freedoms turn to mush when baked, or soften while stored. So-- many quarts of applesauce we'll have. I also have the BEST apple butter recipe around.

LOVE my apple peeler/slicer.
Some unemployed ram lambs, next to Little Red Oak Apollo, a polled Shetland Ram.  All are for sale.
Sheep sold really well here, this summer. Good thing, as I never updated my blog sale page. I do have ram lambs left-- a brown Finn ram and black and brown Shetland. But there's always a place for ram lambs.

A Quad brown ram lamb, still available.
I also have about 8 raw fleeces -- Finn and Shetland-- and a fair amount of blended roving for spinning or felting. I will market that now that I have time. 

Mari and Lassi, the sweet Finnsheep ewes.
And I will have time, again.

Things are looking better every day.