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Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

The end of March 2017
It is the end of March, it is going out like it came in...raw, rainy and windy. There might be some snow coming down, but temps are too warm for any serious accumulation. Just nasty outside today and probably tomorrow, which will be April Fool.

I have been looking for tires for my Volvo. Since it is an older car, they don't make many 14" rim size, not many manufacturers, anyway. I wanted Nokian for the car, but no 14" size. Only 15", that means new rims. My rims need some sanding & painting, nothing drastic, just cleaning up. Snow tire (winter only) rims need more work than summer rims, but it is time for summer rim rehab. The summer tires I have now on rims, two need replacing and I figure since I need two, I might as well buy 4 and have them all the same age.

Today, I am doing research on tires with little satisfaction. I might end up ordering them online since Dean has a tire changer (almost brand new, he assures me) and can do the work here. Besides, I have to do the rehab on the rims and it is just easier to get the tires dismounted here where I am going to work on them rather than haul them from the dealer back to where I will do the work.

I am going to send the NexGuard back to the seller (less 25% restocking fee) since I am not going to give any more to BB the dog. I just printed out the return label and will package up the product for mailing. BB has recovered from the initial dose and is once again his silly self Relief!

I went to storage two days ago and dragged some stuff I hope to list on eBay for sale. Now, to clean up my messy camper! I have several loads of laundry, all clean and folded to put away. This is always a challenge since I store my clothes in totes on the top bunk. I will have to remove all totes to the bottom bunk so I can put the clothes into the totes. Always a challenge, but so happy to have clean clothes! So nice to have a washer here! Yesterday was the only sunny day in a week, so I did get some laundry out on the line to dry. I have been using the indoor drying rack for several days prior.

I still need to install the new door pockets on the Volvo. These are plastic pockets on the bottoms of the front doors so you can stash stuff...maps, tire gauge, ice scraper, extra gloves, etc. I have sorely missed them since my "new" volvo didn't come with them...and they are pricey and will break easily if someone isn't careful. I can only hope I haven't spent $120.00 on them so they can get broken! I also need to find out some code numbers and what they mean for my car.
Several weeks ago,I met a guy in the parking lot at the market. He was parked next to my Volvo in his own Volvo. I couldn't resist asking him how he liked his ride. He was very nice, said he had an '89 240 station wagon at home and he loved Volvos. He showed me how to check out codes (who knew???) under the hood to see what, if any, problems there were. I came up with two codes in the #2 space, 131 & 232. Can't find out what they mean, but the man called me later and told me what they were. I need to replace a crank sensor. Fortunately, I have that part, new in box! But haven't gotten to that yet.

I am hoping to collect the rest of my money from Shirley by Monday. She has owed me since December, I had to call her to prompt some payment two weeks ago. I did take some of the payment out in her grass fed beef, but wasn't going to take it all in meat. I need tires for my car!!! Beef doesn't equal tires!

I still need to connect with an accountant so I can find out a couple of things out about my (supposedly) delinquent student loan. Seems it should be paid up, but I am NOT going to contact them since they have been crooked since the 1970's in their entire collection. Threats, incorrect information...and when I offered a buy out ($.60 on the dollar) they wanted to know where the money was coming from. My mom was going to pay it off, but when they wanted to know where she got her money, I justĀ  went wild!!!
As if it is any of their business where the money came from! After that, I just ignored them. I got unlisted phone # since they were calling me 3 or 4 times a day to harass me. Since then, they took an income tax rebate for over $200.00 and the $700.00 incentive check that Pres. Obama gave to all. But I have not seen any credits to my account for this $900.00 (and my balance is only $1,000.00, all interest and late fees). Principal has been paid for years. If you can ever manage it, don't take any student loans! You will be paying when you are collecting Social Security!

Well, I have to address the laundry...it won't put itself away!

March 28, 2017
Dean did go for the follow-up appointment yesterday. I believe he wanted to be sure he could go back to his regular working habits and be able to lift heavy objects like he normally does. And be sure there wasn't any evidence of infection in his nose. When the nurse practitioner looked into his ear, she found a lot of impacted wax. She used a long probe to remove it. After we left the office, Dean said his ear hurt, by day's end he was complaining of pain in his ear. I made up some fresh pressed garlic in olive oil and heated it, put four drops into his ear. This morning, he says his ear is blocked but not much pain.

Hollis is having her plate overflowing with all the sick family members as well as her own health issues. She took her mother to the doctor this AM b/c her mother's legs are so swollen she can't walk. Hollis took a pix of her mother crawling up the stairs this morning (her mother stays mostly in the finished basement, watches TV and smokes. There is a bathroom in the basement) to get ready to go to the doctor's appointment. When Hollis showed the doctor the picture, her mother flipped her the bird...and the doctor saw it...and laughed. Mom is scheduled for an ultra-sound on her leg this week...and they put her on Lazex (sp) to reduce the swelling, gave her a Rx for a wheel chair. Hollis' father has had two falls recently. Wayne has survived two cancers but is very frail. He also has been having some night time accidents in bed. He will go for more blood work this week but isn't telling anyone the results. Then there is Keith, who is an alcoholic, just released from hospital when he was discovered unconscious on the floor. He wants to go to rehab but no beds available that will take his insurance. The other brother, Erik, is drinking to excess too. Hollis is taking care of all of this via phone and online. Plus her own health issues and her horses. She does all the household laundry, cleaning & cooking for the family (five members). She says her mother is the worst, leaving behind all her dirty clothes on the floor and dishes in the basement. But it is hard to crawl up the stairs with anything in your hands!

I guess I have it easy compared to her.

The weather is very March-like...cloudy, raw, foggy. If it isn't that, it is so windy, one can't go outside and stand up straight! I am behind in the laundry since clothes blow off the line, even with extra pins. The dogs are bored out of their minds b/c it is lousy out. I have been taking BB the dog on walks with Bitty and Hollis, but today my back is screaming in pain, surely due to the lousy weather.

But April is not far away and maybe things will improve. Hope so!
Marching into April, but still March
Another week has flown by, but not without events. Tuesday morning, Dean came to my camper early with a nosebleed he couldn't stop. I threw on some clothes, took BB out for a pee and drove Dean to the ER. Took them over 10 minutes to get him into see a doctor. The doc worked on his nose and packed it with a rayon plug. A very nice man whose name was Erik took Dean's blood. Dean said he was the best vampire ever, didn't feel a thing. On the other hand, he said the doctor was pretty brutal. He was dismissed with information to contact a ENT specialist and set up an appointment to have the packing removed in three days. We made a couple of errand stops on the way back to Dean's and arrived without any more bleeding.

When I went inside Dean's house to help him dress for the ER, everything was covered in blood. It was obvious he had panicked when his bleeding wouldn't stop (he said he didn't recall having a nosebleed previously) for there was blood everywhere in the bathroom, hall and in his bedroom. There was blood outside the front door too. He was more upset about the blood soaked face cloth and hand towel than anything else. He had strict instructions to "take it easy, no lifting, no bending, etc" from the ER doc.

On the way back to Dean's from ER, I stopped at my storage and picked up my (old but faithful) Fuller Brush string mop so I could address the bloody floors. We stopped at Phoenix for breakfast, then headed back to Dean's. He went outside to wrap up some items for eBay and I made up a bucket of water and got the mop. I spent about two hours washing floors and walls, got all the blood up. Took three changes of water to do the job on the floors. Blood was spattered all over the
bathroom wa lls, in the shower and on the shower curtain, all over the sink and the toilet. Hall walls were splattered with blood and there was blood on the bedroom area rug. I got it all out, used hydrogen peroxide to remove blood from fabrics. Washed towels in hydrogen peroxide, too. The nosebleed had started in the shower, so there wasn't any blood in Dean's bed.

The rest of the day, I kept a close eye on Dean while trying to set up an appointment with the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat specialist). They said he needed an antibiotic to stave off infection which can happen when there is some kind of packing in the body (does anyone remember Toxic Shock Syndrome from forgotten tampons?). An appointment was set up for Monday (not Friday as the ER doc said) and the ENT said she didn't understand why Dean wasn't sent out with a Rx for an antibiotic. I think the ER doc thought Dean was snorting coke and that is why she was so brutal in his treatment. But Dean hardly drinks, doesn't do any drugs except for his hypertension meds. So much for stereotyping. It was 4 PM by the time the Rx was ready at the pharmacy. Dean started the antibiotic Tuesday evening. He was suffering from a lot of pain due to swelling in his nose and face, I put Arnica on his swollen areas, he said he had some relief, but wouldn't ice it. He didn't sleep well Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, a friend of Dean's dropped off a humidifier minus the wick/filter. I went to the drug store to get a replacement and was unsuccessful there. No help from the staff there, they were totally clueless!

The ENT said Dean shouldn't take ibuprofen but could take acetaminophen. I bought some but got the one with the sleeping aid (Benadryl). He took it anyway at about 7 PM and got sleepy! He fought it off and took more just before bedtime and slept. Antibiotic and Arnica before bed, too.

Thursday, I went on a shopping binge and still couldn't find a wick/filter for the humidifier, tried three places. I texted the friend who had dropped off the humidifier to find out where his wife had bought them. CVS.

On the way home, I stopped off at the health food store and bought some vitamin K & bioflavonoids, both which assist in healing blood vessels. Dean started taking them that evening. I also bought some
acetaminophen (generic) for only $2.00 vs the generic stuff I had paid almost $8.00 for that had the sleeping additive.

Friday, I went to walk with Hollis, BB and Bitty. Dean was feeling better, but still having a hard time with his nose packing. But the swelling was going down. It was good to be outside, but the wind was really howling, gusts up to 50 mph, sustained winds were about 30 mph. I had some clothes that I sorted out of Dean's closet (they had been there for many years) and passed some onto Hollis.

It is Saturday and I have finally found a wick/filter for the humidifier at CVS. But I stopped in at the other drug store and spoke with the manager. I told him his staff was less than helpful in my search for a replacement wick/filter for the humidifier. The manager (who looked like he was still in high school) and I went over to the very small display of humidifiers. There were five or six different models available but only one wick/filter. I remarked that I doubted the one wick/filter fitted all the models sold. He agreed, apologized, said they stock only what corporate sends. I told him to tell corporate to get their heads out of their asses and start serving the customer. And told him I had no other option than to go to CVS.

On a brighter note, BB seems to have recovered completely (two weeks later) from his dose of NexGuard. We may go with Hollis on a walk today if the rain doesn't come.

Now, I am going to make myself a smoothie and relax.

March 2017 storms
After loosing two posts earlier this month, I am attempting to save this blog before it disappears into cyber space a third time. Seems the previous two times, I clicked the wrong keys and lost them.

The most recent news is that I inadvertently and without doing the right research, I poisoned BB the dog with a new type of flea & tick control. When we went to see the homeopathic vet last month, she suggested using NexGuard instead of Sentry. NexGuard is an internal rather than a top-spot (on the skin) control for fleas and ticks. I researched the different prices online and ordered a six month supply of NexGuard, which is a small chewy tablet and four times more expensive than the top spot. BB got his first dose last Sunday. He seemed to be OK for the next few days, but on Wednesday, he had a very loose stool in the morning. For the rest of the day, he had diarrhea. He wouldn't eat and wasn't drinking very much water. He was lethargic and seemed to be out of it. Thursday, I became concerned since BB always eat his meals (he is fed 2X a day) and refused to eat anything. I called the vet and they suggested a different kind of meal for him, a potato diet composed of white & sweet potatoes and turnips, steamed and mashed together. I cooked the two potatoes but didn't add the turnip since I know BB doesn't like them. I put the cooked potatoes into the blender and offered them to BB. He refused to eat. By the end of Thursday, I was really worried since BB hadn't eaten in over 36 hours. I cooked up some of the burger meat I get from Shirley and added it to the potato puree. He did eat some of that, but not much. He didn't poop all day Thursday or Friday. Thursday night, he threw up during the night. Have I mentioned he sleeps with me in my bed? Needless to say, I had to wash my bedding on Friday. Two quilts to the laundromat for washing and drying. I was able to wash my sheets in my washer and put them out on the line, but the quilts are too big for washing in my washer.

Friday night, he did eat his supper, which was about 1/3 of his normal ration. Saturday, he showed more interest in food and ate h is breakfast (again, only 1/3 of his normal ration). He was showing more interest in things on Friday, but still no stool. Saturday morning, he ate his breakfast (potato with cooked burger meat) and was feeling well enough to go for a walk with Hollis.

Hollis normally calls me sometime after noon for a walk. When I hadn't heard from her by 2:30 Saturday, I gave her a call. She was having a bad day after finding her brother Keith on the living room floor, drenched with sweat. Keith has a bad drinkingĀ  problem, has been hospitalized at least once for liver problems in the recent past. Hollis called the bus and Keith went to emergency. When I spoke to Hollis, there had been no information about Keith's condition. She was on her way to see him, so I took BB to the bike path for a walk. BB did very well on the walk and made a poop (not too loose but not quite up to par) on our walk. He was very happy to go on a walk and I am happy that he is feeling better and ate his supper without any hesitation. Guess it will be the top spot flea & tick control rather than the more expensive oral control. Maybe I can get my money back from the manufacturer or sell the remaining doses on eBay. I surely will tell the vet not to recommend this brand of flea & tick control for her patients.

I must say the winds have been terrific as of late. There have been two snow storms since the first of March and both have had wind gusts up to 60 mph. The most recent storm was predicted to bring up to 18" of snow. We got about 4".

Every time a storm is predicted, the entire area goes into a panic! When I went grocery shopping last Sunday, just before the storm was to hit, the entire supply of bananas was bought out! There was a special of $.39 a pound, but that is just ridiculous. I heard the market in Raynham, just up the highway about 20 minutes, had sold out of milk by noon. At the local market, the bread isles were almost bare and all the whole cooked chickens were sold out by 5 pm and there were no more for the day. We got about 4" of snow and it was melted in 36 hours. I know of no other profession where one can be more wrong than right and still keep your job...weather forecasters are the only job this can happen.

So, we are awaiting another storm. Earlier this week, the threats of heavy snow coming had everyone in yet another panic. It is as if we don't live in New England where winter brings snow! As if we live in southern Cal where it never snows and this is a reason to get your undies in a bunch! Like we haven't had snow in centuries! Not to mention the drivers when the roads are bad.

It is early Sunday morning and we still haven't had a drop of anything and the temp is 37 degrees.The wind is pretty active, but guess it will increase as the day progresses.

A lot of nothing has been going on here. Basic daily chores continue punctuated with unusual events. Wood must be brought in for the wood stove, ashes have to be removed from said stove. After a cold snap (the temps went down into the single digits and the wind chill factors were below zero), I emptied the wood stove ashes into a coal hod. I set the hod of hot ashes outside the barn door three days ago. The bucket was still warm to the touch yesterday morning. Wish the wood stove would hold the heat as well as a coal hod!

I went to Shirley's yesterday to collect some of the money she owes me since December. I did take some of the balance due in beef from her freezer and she still owes me almost $200.00. She offered a check, but I declined in favor of cash, which she didn't have on hand. I asked her to call me when she had the cash. I will follow up mid-week to collect.

Right now, BB is sleeping peacefully on my bed. He is wrapped up in his blanket, sleeping on his back, feet across his chest. He looks so content. I can only hope I didn't cause him real harm with the oral flea & tick control. As much as I hate using any of this insect control, ticks are a serious problem in this area of the country. BB sleeps in my bed and I am not interested in contracting Lyme or any other tick-borne disease. Having BB is so different from having Jack Russells. BB is so easy-going and (mostly) obedient compared to the terriers. The only challenge with BB is he doesn't always come when called, especially when he is sniffing out a "calling card" left by another animal.

The neighborhood Vixen is probably in heat since BB & Jake (Dean's dog) have spent (what seems like hours) sniffing where the Vixen has market. And I have smelled the musky odor myself. I think the fox comes around the yard at about 10:30 at night. Jake starts to growl and bark, I never see anything outside, but Jake hears something. When BB and I leave Dean's in the evening to head for the camper, often I smell the musky odor the Vixen leaves. I do leave her food out in the back yard by the wood chip pile and she cleans it up. Dean said he saw her the other morning and she looks very good. I think she has a fairly good food supply around this area with all the houses and compost piles to choose from. There are some chickens next street over and I often wonder if the fox has had a meal from that flock.

Friday, I took Dean to the doctor so he could update and renew his blood pressure meds. Monday, he called the doctor's office to make an appointment for a check up (his pharmacy said he needed to renew his Rx with doctor),told them he was out of meds for his blood pressure control. They set him up an appointment for Friday am but didn't give him a Rx for meds till Friday. Can you believe that? He went without his meds for four days. Dean has very high blood pressure. When he saw the nurse practitioner, she couldn't believe he went without meds till his appointment. It took his pharmacy the entire day to fill the Rx from the doctor. By the time he got his meds, it had been five days without. Today, he didn't feel very well, I expect it was b/c he took a full dose of the Rx and his blood pressure bottomed out.

Well, the "spring ahead" thing happened last week. I have a hard time with the time changes. It takes me weeks, if not months, to adjust. Every year there is a big discussion on WBUR Boston's Public Radio show with Jim & Marjorie (11 AM - 2 PM) about throwing daylight savings time to the curb. I think they are right. It costs so much money to make the time change twice a year. There are more car accidents, heart attacks and other health related problems when the time changes. There are some parts of this country that don't adhere to this policy and I bet they don't have the same problems as those that change times. Did you know China has only one time zone? I'm sure they don't have anything to do with daylight slavings time!