One foot in front of the other

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Today was one of those mornings. I started off by falling down all the porch steps and hitting my back on each one while taking the dogs outside for their morning pee. No dogs were harmed during this fall, they all just stood there, one leg in the air, peeing, starring at me... None looked surprised to see me lying on the ground... again. It was my own fault, I've fallen twice in the past few days and it's because I wore the wrong shoes, slippery shoes, shoes that are easy to slip my feet into to take the dogs outside, but also seem to have accepted a contract to kill me. 

Then I came inside and drank four cups of coffee and the puppy pooped all over the floor. Sigh. 

There are just mornings when you'd give anything to just be able to go back to bed, curl up, close your eyes, and be quiet for a little while. Days when you feel depleted and when you are not quite feeling as strong as you usually do. We all have those days. You know exactly the kind of day I'm talking about.

The truth is, this entire month has been more of a struggle than usual for me. I have a condition, a disease, a constant problem that will not go away. It won't kill me, but it's made me wish it would at times in my life. I've had five surgeries to try and help me feel better, tried a bunch of different medications, and the truth is, nothing has helped. Sometimes the pain is less, and I have more energy. But it's emotionally draining as well as physically and there are times when I have to admit it feels hopeless. This month, the pain has not lessened or gone away for a while like it usually does. It's just been persistent and nagging. And when I fell this morning and hurt my back, my body just wanted to scream. 

So many people live every day with chronic illness or pain, and I am not mentioning my problem looking for sympathy. While it is a part of what makes up me, it's a small one. What I want to remind all of you, no matter what issue in your life might be draining your physical or emotional resources at this time is this:

When you feel you are at your weakest, you are really at your strongest. 

I can't sit around and feel sorry for myself all the time (maybe sometimes I'd like to) and life is too short to miss out on. There is no time for crawling back into bed and trying to hide for a while, animals need to be fed, bread needs to be baked, things need to be cleaned, water needs to be carried... goats need to be kissed.

As soon as I got over myself and started my day, my spirits lifted so high, nothing else mattered.

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As I trudged, yes, trudged through the snow up to the barn, Max came bounding towards me, probably hoping I had a plateful of pumpkin biscuits with me again.

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Horace stuck his face in the snow and tasted some of it, just in case it tasted like a snow cone.

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Everyone congregates in the plowed areas of the yards right now.

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Sammy: You need a kiss ma? I'll make you feel better! 

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Bulrush: Want some hay? I could give you a few pieces... 

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Sammy: I'll give you as many kisses as you need, but I'm not sharing my hay. I'm hungry. 

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Flavious: I'll give you a kiss too! I love kisses....

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Lets just sit here and enjoy the sun, it's nice and warm. 


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I could sing to you, would you like that? "Look around, leaves are brown 
There's a patch of snow on the ground... and the sky is a hazy shade of winter..." 

Don't ask me how he knows Simon and Garfunkel but he's actually quite good. 

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There has been quite a bit of plowing done to get our road back open, so we can actually get out if we need to and more importantly I can get a load of hay in.

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The snow is still sitting in the trees and with the blue skies we've been having it's quite beautiful. This is one reason I adore winter, it's like living in a painting.

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After morning chores I asked Kevin if we could go out in the Argo, our track vehicle for a ride in the snow. I knew getting out would do me good and I really wanted to check our trail cameras. Kevin got the tracks on the Argo last night. It's the only machine we have that can go through this amount of snow. For us, it's better than a snow machine because it also floats, so if you break through ice you are not immediately oh say... drowning. 

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It goes through and up pretty much anything although it did struggle some with the amount of snow in the bush - since we were breaking trail. When I got out of the Argo to check the cameras the snow was up to my knees. I know I'm short, but it's still a lot of snow - more than we had all of last winter combined.

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Most of the trees were very heavy with snow.

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Across our dry beaver pond I spotted about seven or eight hen turkeys all sitting in the snow, hunched over having a nap.


photo from Government of Alberta website

On our way back towards the house, while we were coming through the area of our farm we call the maples, for obvious reasons, we spotted a weasel, a very surprising thing to see. Usually you just see their tracks. Of course we tried to take a picture but he was on the run, he ran right in front of us, inches from us, but they dive under and over snow like it's not even there. It's rather hilarious to watch. I wish I could move through the snow with that kind of ease.

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By the time the house was in sight it was early afternoon but we were pretty cold. We only checked two of the three cameras we have out because we started to freeze up... our bodies, not the Argo.

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I was very excited to find that on one of the cameras we caught a Snowshoe Hare for the first time ever! It was a real surprise.

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Of course we got deer wandering by all our cameras and a few pictures of a coyote heading towards the house.

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After I got back in the house and cleaned up a bit, I decided now would be a good time to just take a bit of a break with the dogs and relax for a while. One of the lessons I'm trying to teach myself is to be kinder towards myself. I push myself pretty hard and feel like I should accomplish about 300 things (at least) each day, so I'm trying to just let myself sit down and relax. I'm lucky I'm able to do that if I need to, and I really should take advantage of it and not let it go to waste.

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The dogs always enjoy a good rest and never once complain or think they should be doing some other chore instead of resting. They know how to really enjoy life.

I did get a huge pot of chili bubbling away on the stove, just what we need to warm us up tonight.

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If you've ever wondered what it's like when I update the blog, here's an idea. I use one hand and one arm, because that's all that available to me at any one time.

The sun is starting to go down, and it's time to get the wood stove roaring again and head out to the barn for evening chores before I can enjoy a steaming bowl of that chili and relax some more.

Those evil shoes, their numbers up and I'm on to them. I won't be letting them get anywhere near my feet anymore. 

Comments

Primitive Stars said…
Afternoon, oh I feel so bad about your fall, do not where them out anymore.......will keep you in my prayers to feel better.......Love to see what wildlife roams around at night, so interesting.......Beautiful weasel.....winter wonderland.......Take care, Hugs Francine.
Ruth Dixon said…
Hope you are feeling better after your fall... I took one yesterday, with a handful of carrots for the sheep. Dang mud and wet grass. And of course, as we fall, all we can think is "this is gonna hurt..." Your pictures of the snow are all beautiful.
Ellen in Oregon said…
Hope your pride & your tailbone heal quickly. I think it is totally OK to have a pity party (as I call it) as long as you set a time limit. After a few minutes it can get pretty boring & nonproductive. I think you hit the mark when you mention that it is helpful to alternate periods of rest w/all that activity. The amount of animal caretaking, housekeeping & cooking is far more than most "condition-free" people get done in 24 hrs. A time-out now & then will keep you going in the long run. Never feel guilty for taking care of yourself. 'Nuff said.
When I look at the pics of the dogs all laying togather on the sofa it is hard to believe they were strangers just over a week ago. It seems like the adjustment period was almost nonexistent. Apparently Douglas & Norman have survived the shake-up.
I am going to make the cranberry curd tomorrow, but I need to make a run to get the Grande marnier. This would make a great gift for next year's Holiday gifts & I can eat the 1st batch quilt free since someone needs to make sure it is good enough for everyone else. It would also be delishious inside a muffin or spread on a scone.
You are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. I am looking forward to the pics. that your trail cameras will catch. That outdoor ATV is amazing and must be so valuable in getting you guys around the property.
Take care & Happy New Year to everyone at Forest Haven. I so appreciate your blog & all the work that does into making it happen.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
falls! i hardly ever have them but when i do, i do them well. my front porch turns into black ice in a heartbeat. a couple years ago i went out front for some reason and hit the brick path, wedged behind an iron planter in a nano second when i slipped on the porch. i think i blacked out for a while. i hobbled for weeks and was bruised from head to toe. 2 years ago i caught my big toe on a tassle on my carpet and fell full speed ahead. i got a concussion and ripped a tendon that i should get fixed but don't want to. oh well...shit happens! i love what you pick up on your cameras. it is so very interesting. your pups are too cute. i wish i could sleep like that! i usually type my posts with one hand because that is teddy's scratching time and she gets jealous of the computer. it looks like all of the pups are getting along. what are you doing for new years eve? i am sure i will be in bed by 8:00. i have been baking breads and making soups to take to the homeless shelter.
jody said…
i soo love your blog and i know i tell you all the time.. im sorry your fell..i think its the after holiday rush too. sometimes we sure need to push ourselves.. good think we have fur babes... tomorrow i need to get out as im running low on dog and cat food. otherwise i wouldnt be going out. i to need to get the right shoes by the door. i have my summer crocks which arent good on icy steps.. and now i find i have to help sally girl both down and up the steps. needless to say i to have taken a few falls. just glad i have a fence and no one can see me. i look like a bag lady in my comfy clothes.. we havent gotten much snow up here. its been staying right around 0 tho. my daughter bought a snowblower so i hope it waits til it gets put together. my poor sons have a list to help angie and i with everytime they come home. mom/dad have one so i need to put my big girl pants on and just do it this year.. your fur babes sure enjoyed their treats. dad saved me a recipe out of the paper for dog treats so next year i want to make them for my grand pups. and of course mine too. i cant believe how beautiful it is at your home. with all the snow and the wild life, and the best part is you appreciate it soo. i love how torn ear knows hes ok in your yard..i live in a small area surrounded by the river with one way out. they have done some dike work and we are seeing more deer then ever right here. i have been putting seed out by a tree and hoping to see some. my daughter has them all over in her yard at night shes about 3 blocks from me. i am really thinking about investing in a night camera. i think it would be fun. i sure enjoy yours! enough! enjoy your evening and tomorrows another day..
DaisyGirl said…
Hi! I found your blog thru Edgar, and I must say, I totally feel your pain! I have Psoriactic Arthritis and Sjogren's Syndrome with Lupus factors. Some days are great and some are just not! I hope you feel better soon, and I love all your pictures! Loved seeing the SnowHare! Awesome! I'm gonna add you to my blogging list if that's ok!
DaisyGirl
O'Quilts said…
You are an inspiration. Your sharing of the tough stuff helps the rest of us know we are not alone! And the stunning scenery, uplifting!!..Now I am going to give my old cat his thyroid medication...ha ha..that is a big deal here..:) And, it is done in the warm house. Heal fast!
Your winter wonderland is beautiful, but bet it gets annoying after awhile, especially when you have to get out in it to feed the animals, no matter how bad it is. Must be difficult to be in constant pain.
Last photo of the pooches sleeping- looks like everyone is one big happy family without a care in the world!! They have you!!
God Bless!
Wow, great snowy shots! Looks like you guys have a lot of snow.

I'm so sorry to hear about your condition. It must be hard to get up each day if you're in pain. I hope the new year brings you some relief! You are an inspiration for continuing to trudge through every day! Seems like your animals help you out a lot :) I know they help me out when I'm having a rough time.

Wishing you a happy new year and all the best in 2013!
I've been fortunate and never had a chronic pain or illness. You have a good attitude and that helps rather than feeling sorry for yourself as so many people do.

Love all the pictures.

Since I'm behind, I see the new puppy!

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