Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daisie's back!

She's able to get up into her favorite chair again...and she looks sad, but that is just because I am taking her picture. She learned this from the human kids...
I am happy to report that my once stoned and miserable dog is back to her normal self. She has passed beyond the pain and the meds and is back to her happy demeanor. She still limps, and she still has some stitches in her leg, but she seems to be free from misery and has begun using her leg in a normal way.

I didn’t expect her to be doing this well, this soon…because, I took my normal view from the negative perspective.

Oh so much emotion wasted on pessimism…When will I ever learn?

But let me just say a little more…Two weeks into a 2 month recovery, Daisie is trying to run and play. That leaves 6 weeks of restricted activity with a dog that thinks she is ready to take on the world as normal.

I predict there is still SOME misery ahead and pain of a different sort – more the kind you feel in your neck or your butt. However, I will force some optimism here and say that it is a better problem to be dealing with than pain, and narcotic stupors.

I’m really so happy to have a happy Daisie dog around the house again. It is great to see that she will be back to her normal routine and activity by the time Spring arrives.

And I might just have the bill paid by that time too…

I’m only complaining a little bit because the companionship and entertainment that Daisie gives is worth it…and I’m serious about that statement.

It just might be easier to have made monthly payments over the course of her whole life…just sayin’…

Friday, January 17, 2014

Winter on the Raspberry Farm...

A big cup of coffee, sunshine on frosty ground out the window, a comfortable snoozing dog at my feet…perfection!

The only thing bothering me is that Barack Obama is speechifying on the radio. Perfection will return when I turn it off. I just can’t listen to the guy. It’s all blah, blah, blah to me because he says things, but doesn’t do them. I believe the Bible talked about those who like to tickle our ears, and he is one of them. And woe to our nation that we are so content with tickled ears.

Enough of that…

Today I am thankful for the frost because it reminds the berries that it is still winter. The temperatures have become quite mild, and it doesn’t take too many days like that before the berries start believing they should grow. Then we have tender little buds pushing out, only to be frozen when winter reappears.

I haven’t even looked to see if buds are beginning to push. Ignorance is bliss, you know, but a couple of frosty mornings will help…and I will wish for more!


Our winter crew is out in the field, pruning, tying, making the jungle rows all tidy and precise. They’ve been working since November. We had hoped that they would finish before the end of the year, so we could include that expense in 2013. One of the vagaries of the berry business is that, while you sell your product during harvest, you don’t get paid until the buyer pulls it from the freezer to be shipped.

The fruit from Harvest 2012 sat in the freezer until Spring 2013. The fruit from Harvest 2013 hardly got to sit in the freezer. Most was pulled for shipping before the end of 2013. The result is that we took in 2 years of income in one calendar year.

The IRS likes that…and we don’t.

So we try to get any appropriate expenses pulled into the double income year, and try to anticipate our needs for the coming year and buy ahead…but there is only so much of that we can do.

Of course, other berry farmers are in the same situation. Everyone wanted the pruning/tying crews to be done by the end of the year. As it turned out, the crews would work a few days here, a few days there, to keep everyone on the hook, As a result, none of us got done before the end of the year. And really, I think that’s about as equitable a solution as could be crafted. I know the workers were just trying to prevent us from giving their job to someone else who might come in and finish when we wanted, but it also made it fair for them and for us. We all got some of the expense to claim, and they kept more work for the rest of the winter.

I do so appreciate these guys. Their job is hard manual labor, sometimes done in miserable conditions. (We don’t require that they come in terrible weather. In fact, they work on their own schedule.) What they do in the field can make our crop good or bad. The Farmer is responsible for growing good canes for them to tie, but the way they tie the rows makes it possible for us to get the berries off. We need them to do a good job.
Each arc is a bundle that has been tied by hand in multiple spots!
I’m proud that The Farmer is generous in his payment, appreciating that they are raising families and making a living doing a job that few would. We respect that they are taking the opportunities that are available to them and making the most of them.

So that is winter out in the field, along with a bit of tractor work for The Farmer. When it is dry enough, or frozen enough, he chops the canes left between the tied and finished rows. It looks so nice!

The rest of winter hours, The Farmer spends going to meetings, meetings, meetings, and does the paperwork required for end of year record-keeping. He ventures into the shop once in a while, but it is cold out there. He saves most of the maintenance for early spring when he is itching to farm, but there is not much to do yet.

Oh – and we always save a few (?) things to do at the last minute before harvest – because it just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t make sure we have high stress to begin.

I could really live without that part, but it ALWAYS happens…so be it.

Since Harvest Time is always frantic and a frenetic pace, we are so thankful for the freedom and flexible winter schedule. I know we couldn’t keep going if we didn’t have the offset of our winter schedule.

{Sigh} I love Fall, and I like winter…I might love it too, if it weren’t so close to Spring.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I hate suffering...

       (She looks barely alive, but she was snoring while in this position.)
I’m sitting here at my desk in the work room. Behind me is the crate where Daisie is lying, glassy-eyed from pain meds, and occasionally whimpering in spite of it.

Oh the angst this causes!

It causes me to contemplate my years of parenting young children, and the similar trauma that their suffering caused. I would do ANYTHING to make sure that their suffering ceased, and they were feeling good.

The Farmer, on the other hand, didn’t care if they suffered. Well, that’s what I thought about his attitude. In fact, he had no problem leaving them to the consequences of their actions. He was more concerned that they be good than happy. Although, he did tend to get a bit out of balance on the consequences…

It’s obvious now that we were perfect foils for each other. If we made the effort, we could have balanced each other for a very beneficial parenting relationship.

But that isn’t what we did.

Instead, we each committed to proving that our way was the RIGHT WAY, and the other’s way was the WRONG WAY. In our quest for dominance, we became more and more polarized. I had to make up for his “harshness”. He had to make up for my “wishy-washiness”.

Young parents: don’t try this at home.

It was bad for our kids, and even worse for our marriage.

By the grace of God, we are still together, and our kids have become productive members of society.

And if you hear me say that God is great, I mean GOD IS GREAT! Because it could have turned out so differently -- And should have, except that God brought us to a point of misery that forced us to make changes.

So Monday, when I expressed my doubt about putting Daisie through surgery, The Farmer said, “Hon, I know she will be hurting more after than she is now, but her leg is weak, very weak, and we have to do it.” And then this morning when I said, “I’m doing everything the vet told us to, but she is still whimpering!” I heard, “It’s going to hurt. Just because it hurts it doesn’t mean anything is wrong…”

Finally, on the dog we are getting it right…

That seems a bit pathetic, but I’m just going to focus on the good in it. Too soon old; too late smart, as my dad would say.

I fear a complete role reversal when it comes to grandkids. I base this on The Farmer’s behavior with the grand-dogs. I can’t believe that when I chided Angus for an accident in the house AGAIN, and sent him to his crate, The Farmer actually said, “I don’t think he meant to…”

{insert look of incredulity}

This only goes to show that in youth we tend to take ourselves much too seriously. Age and experience have made us more willing to consider the other side of an argument, and sometimes, try it out.

And we are the better for it.

Oh, that grace was not so hard to come by…

Now, Daisie is trying to move to her other bed, which I have made cushy for her comfort, so I must go and help her along…I believe I shall try to get her to eat an scrambled egg…Some comfort things which The Farmer might not think to do.

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (