It can always be worst …

A few days ago, I wrote a friend of mine telling her I was depressed.  I am … but she didn’t respond so I called her yesterday morning.  During our conversation, she told me that she was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I guess she had other things to think about besides my depression.

That’s the second friend of mine this year that was diagnosed with cancer.

Scary.

At least I have my health, for the most part.  I am still hacking from the cold and I’m hoping that I can keep it out of my lungs.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to ride this weekend or not.  I’m afraid of getting up on the mountain and having an asthma attack and not being able to get back down.  It’s going to be quite cold this weekend which doesn’t help the asthma.  My ribs and chest hurt from coughing.

I’m going to call Catawba County Social Services this morning and set up an appointment to go and apply for food assistance.  That’s about the only assistance I believe I can apply for right now.  I’d like to try to get utility assistance, but as best I can tell, you can only apply for that during certain times of the year.

Yesterday, I heard on an NPR story about the tough economic times, a woman saying that every week she has to decide between buying groceries or a Christmas gift.  Huh?  That’s a no-brainer for Wally and me … we’d buy groceries! Screw Christmas gifts.  Wally and I are so lucky that we have the food that we have here.  We sold enough beef from Spot to pay for the processing so what we have in the freezer right now is essentially free food.  That’s extremely gratifying.

The food seems to be free, but it really isn’t.  There’s an awful lot of work involved in caring for these animals.  As I am writing this, I realized that I forgot to prepare the horse grain last night.  They are not going to be happy campers this morning; they’ll have to be happy getting hay.  Wally is picking up a round bale of grass hay on his way home from work tonight and we are going to place it up against the fence so Gwen can eat on one side and the horses on the other.  We’ll see how that goes.  I hate to have hay wasted, but I don’t think they are getting enough to eat.  Gwen got into the hay house Wednesday night so I don’t think she’s getting enough.  One day we’ll have a good set-up for the animals and it will have a real roof, no tarp!

I’m going to drive to Lincolnton at some point today and drop my unemployment appeal off at the local office.  Hopefully that will have a good outcome.  I don’t see how MM can possibly win the appeal.  If I was indeed “taking merchandise from the store without authorization” i.e. “stealing” then why didn’t they have me arrested?  I’m pretty proud of the appeal that I drafted.  It was good to use my brain and writing skills.

I cleaned the whole house yesterday.  It took quite a few buckets of soap and water to get all the floors cleaned.  It’s a muddy mess outside and it’s difficult getting the animals inside without the floors getting mucked up, so the floors were patterned with muddy footprints.  I got up yesterday morning and was appalled at how bad they were so I was on a mission to get it done.  Today’s project is getting the rabbit pen cleaned out and getting fresh straw in it for them.  I’m pretty sure the New Zealand doe is pregnant.  Not sure about the Creme doe.

Gwen’s production dropped off considerably earlier this week, but yesterday, she was back up to full production and then some.  Maybe the drop in production means that she conceived this time.  I sure hope so.

The goats are all looking really, really good.  They are in good shape, not too fat with plush, shiny coats.  When I let them out in the morning, they bee-line up to the Christmas Tree farm where they’ve found a honey hole of green grass and brush.  The only problem with that is if they get into the blueberry bushes or heaven-forbid munch on the Christmas trees.  On the agenda this weekend is getting a new cover over the front part of the goat shelter.  That’s a project that has been long over-due.

I culled three chickens yesterday and plan to cull as many more today as I can catch.  I decided not to deal with cleaning them.  It’s too much work and mess for little good.  I can clean five rabbits in the same amount of time as it takes me to do one chicken.  I want to aggressively lower the number of chickens that we have, especially the darned roosters.  It’s too bad the roosters are such worthless beasts because they are so pretty.

Several of the cats are under the weather.  Since she’s been spayed, Tootie has been coughing (she’s almost better now) and Buckwheat (her son) has a cold that he probably caught from Tootie (luckily he’s almost better too).  Confetti, one of the adult calicos has a hurt foot.  She won’t let me look at it.  I brought her in yesterday and put her in a cage and that’s where she’s been since.  I didn’t think she’d settle in there, but she has.  Hopefully it will heal okay.  I see no wounds so it appears it’s internal damage.  Maybe she got stepped on by a cow or horse.  Nettie has a bite wound on her rear leg, it’s almost healed, thanks to Gel’s cleaning efforts.  It abcessed and the hair came off around it.  Gel’s been following her around cleaning the wound.  This isn’t the first time he’s done that.  Whenever any of the cats has a wound, he cleans them.  Weird dog.  Birdie, Buckwheat’s sister is aggravating as all heck, but she’s so damned cute you can’t be mad at her.  She had a rough time as a young kitten with diarrhea, but she’s over that now and fat and fit as a fiddle, eating anything that doesn’t try to eat her first.

I guess I had better get out and get the chores done … can’t put it off any longer.  It’s cold!!!!  At least it’s not raining!

Until later …