Saturday, December 31, 2016

Miss Kit Cassidy...

Once again, I hardly know what to say on the birth of our grandchild…A year ago, I had this to say:Miss Emma Pearl

And it’s still true today. The wonder of it leaves me speechless. Now we have had a year of enjoying Emma, so we are more aware of the joys ahead of us; yet already we see that Miss Kit Cassidy is a different little girl, and will have her own particular set of wonders.

How blessed is that?!

Kit arrived 18 days before her due date, and though I expected that Cait would deliver early, I didn’t think it would be THAT early! So when she texted me to say that they would be missing Emma’s birthday party Saturday afternoon, Dec. 10, I didn’t suspect she was in labor. She had been having contractions off and on for the last few weeks, so I did wonder if she was having some more. What I didn’t know was that she and Jon were already at the hospital when she texted her cancellation.

It was snowing and the roads were pretty slick, so Emma’s party got postponed. Dillon, Tiffany and Emma ventured out to our house and Emma opened our presents for her because… FIRST BIRTHDAY! Who can wait?! While they were still there, Jon called, and confessed that they were at the hospital; had been since 6am, and now asked if we would go take care of their animals.

Of course, we were pretty excited, and amazed that the new baby might be sharing a birthday with Emma! What are the chances?! But, as Jon and Caitlin desired privacy, we could say nothing to anyone. Being able to talk with Tiffany and Dillon was certainly helpful to that end! I needed the pressure relief. Oh the anticipation!!

The rest of the evening, we waited on the edge of our seats, but heard nothing until late when Jon called to say things were going better (after a failed first epidural) but that progress was slow. I did wake a few times during the night, mostly because Olive and Angus were now in residence with us; and by that, I mean sleeping in our bed. I would take the opportunity to check the phone in case I had missed the alert but nothing… By morning, I surmised that baby had been born during the night, and they had just decided to wait until people were awake to send out the news.

Alas, when the anticipated text finally arrived, the report was that things were going well, but very slowly.

It was now Sunday morning, and the day that Emma was to be dedicated at Dillon & Tiffany’s church in Canada…What to do, what to do?? A final consult with Jon, who said there were likely a couple of hours to go, we dared to proceed out of cell phone range, and enjoyed the lovely service where our sweet Emma was dedicated. So glad we did not miss this.

On our way home, I kept checking my phone for service…And halfway there, I caught a few bars and saw that there was a voicemail from Jon! As I went to download it, we moved out of reception, and the rest of the way home I had to look at that alert, knowing that the answer was in; the unknown was known and I couldn’t hear it.

Oh, the humanity!

Thankfully, the border officer didn’t require much info and I could call Jon as soon as we were through the gate. On speaker phone, Jon and Cait told us that we had another granddaughter, and her name was Kit Cassidy. Seven pounds, 3 ounces and a full head of hair! Thirty hours of work for momma, and patience for dad… Apparently, they handled it all well as the nurse was sure to tell me how well they had done, and how much she had enjoyed helping them. I’m so proud of them!



And little Kit?! She is beautiful, and in an opposite way from her cousin…Kit is not fair, and has dark auburn hair, in contrast to Emma who was blonde and fair and mostly bald. What a pair they will be!
Kit has been a good little eater, and is doing well with sleeping. She has her fussy times, but they are occasional. She seems SO tiny, and it seems like Emma grew a bunch in one day after we got to hold a newborn again! I love her name, and it suits her. She seems to already exhibit a tiny little stubborn streak, and expresses her displeasure with great flailing of tiny limbs and high pitched squeals. It’s so adorable!! (Though I expect it seems less so in the middle of the night…) One afternoon when I was there to help, Kit was having a hard time settling after I had given her the bottle. When I finally handed her back to her momma, she visibly relaxed, and settled in to sleep sweetly. Yep, she knows what she wants.



Once again, it is a joy to see our child become a parent. Jon and Caitlin are doing well, and it is plainly fun to see them so smitten by their little cowgirl! So much joy has come to our lives with this precious little girl!


And so much more ahead…God is so gracious and generous! We are full of joy again!
Great Grandpa and Grandma Likkel

Great Grandma and Grandpa Honcoop

Our sweet Christmas elf!





Thursday, December 8, 2016

Why I Like It When the Weather Outside is Frightful...

I love winter weather, so I am thrilled with the current, and potential, conditions we are experiencing this week. It’s been too long since we’ve had a real winter. For me, there is no more depressing winter weather than 50 degrees and rain. It might as well be June.

So I am rejoicing with this winter weather. However, for those of you who are not rejoicing, you must understand that a.) I don’t have to go anywhere if I don’t want to, and b.) there is nothing berry farmers HAVE to do outside right now – even the pruning and tying can wait. I am free to stay warm inside, with my cup of coffee, and enjoy the beauty through the window.

I’m a lucky girl, I know it.

But, I have to admit that winter weather would not be as fun for me if I did not have the goat chores to force me outside twice daily.  It gives me great satisfaction to make sure they are warm, and well-fed, and the water is warm enough to drink. I love closing up the barn at night so they can stay cozy inside. I have the great good fortune of living out a very romanticized version of farm chores.

My romanticized picture of winter chores dates back to the winter of ’68-’69, a legendary season of weeks of missed school, blizzard after blizzard creating walls of snow along the roads, milk trucks stuck on farms and roads, everyone sleeping in the living room because the bedrooms were too cold…It was the Queen of All Winters!

And I was a kid, so it was all a big adventure!

One of my best farming memories was the day in that stretch of winter when Dad needed help in the barn, which was located a good walk from our house. Mom couldn’t go because my youngest sister was just a baby, so Dad entrusted me to brave the elements and be his helper. We bundled up, and filled a back pack with things we might need while we were out there, and trudged over the big drifts to the barn. In the barn, sheltered from the wind, was refuge, warmed by the feeding cows and the insulation of hay, shavings, and the drifts around the walls outside.

We did some cleaning and feeding, and I suppose I helped tend calves. I don’t remember the actual chores very well. I’m sure it was a big hassle for my dad, and a time of stress – but for me it was so satisfying to be a contributor, to be entrusted with sharing the difficulties of the day with my dad, to be his helper.

And to this day, I carry that sweet memory which comes so close again every time the weather is wintry. To a larger extent, the way our family functioned together during that stormy trial is the background of that good memory…moving mattresses to sleep on the living room floor; keeping the oil burner hot enough to beat back the cold creeping into every corner; Mom keeping us fed when you weren’t sure you could get to town for more supplies; putting Vaseline on baby sister’s chapped little face; wondering where Dad was when he was digging out a milk truck right in front of the house, obscured by the blizzard… I really had no idea of the uncertainty the circumstances brought. I was secure in the belief that my parents could handle all of it, and that we would be fine together.


I know. Being a grown-up changes your view and experience of winter challenges, but I am holding on to my emotional attachment to winter as long as I can. I plan to make the most of it whenever it comes. I’m sorry for those for whom winter weather means inconvenience and stress and even suffering. I don’t discount your challenges, and you have my sympathy. (I’m talking to you, dairy farmers!) But for me, winter is the most wonderful time of the year!!

About Me

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