Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bad Blogger

I have never been one to only blog once a week, or occasionally.  I blog regularly.  Almost daily, or at least several times a week.  But these past few months have been an exception.  I hope to get back to "normal" soon.  Whatever that is.
Isn't this a beautiful house?  I live directly across the street.  Inside that English Tudor, lives two wonderful people, Carl and Sue.  They built this house in the early 70's and raised their family here.  When we moved in, 21 years ago, their children were teenagers.  I have always been very close them.  Carl and Sue are near and dear to my heart.  One week ago today, Carl suddenly passed away.  His two sons lowered the flag to half staff.  I gulped back sobs when I saw that.  Carl was a Marine.  Big, tough guy.  Heart of gold.  One week and four days ago, Sue passed out, the ambulance came, and I took Carl and followed to the hospital.   Several days in the hospital, and many tests later, revealed that Sue would need a pacemaker.  Wednesday night she had this surgery, which went very well.  Carl came home and passed along the good news to us, about 10:00 PM as he was getting home from the hospital.  He said he would be bringing her home in the morning.  What a relief.
The next morning as I was preparing to take Noah to school.  I was startled to once again see the fire department, ambulance and police cars in front of their house.  The rest you can guess.  Carl woke and got ready to pick up Sue.  Their oldest son had arrived to pick him up and take him to bring Sue home.  But it was not to be.  Carl was called home.  I can't even begin to tell you how difficult this past week has been for my dear friends and neighbors.  I have stayed close to home, to be here for them.  The week has been a bit of a blur, and I have found myself standing in my picture window at the front of the house, looking out across the street to Carl and Sue's.  How much has happened in ONE WEEK.  How we just NEVER KNOW.  How precious this life is.  And how, just like can be over.  Less than two weeks ago, I sat out on the patio with Carl and Sue, and had a cup of coffee.  They called me over to come and get some of their beautiful pomegranates.  We had a nice long chat. Carl loved to cook like me.  We often shared recipes and talked a lot about food.  I will always remember that.  RIP Carl.  You will be terribly missed.
Because I don't want to end this on a sad note, I will share some photos of the past few days.   A friend of mine who also raises chickens, had told me that supplementing your hens with brewery grains is not only a great way to stretch the feed, but also a nutritional supplemental food for them.  She happened to have a friend who lived near me that brewed his own beer on a regular basis, and would throw the wet grain away, once it had been used in the brewing process.  I made arrangements to go pick it up, and boy am I glad I did!  This was 26 pounds of grain, before wet.
I packaged it into gallon size freezer bags.

I kept one in the fridge outside, to give the chickens a bit each day.  Then put the rest into the freezer.  I set the pan down for the first time, and they devoured it in a matter of minutes.
Now, they come running when I walk out there for their evening grains.
They eat, then follow me hoping for more.
Right out the side gate, and waddle on down to see what they can get into.  Mmmmmm, impatiens!
Look at that full crop!!!
If I let them follow me out of the gate often, my impatiens would be gone!
The driveway is littered with these pecan pods from the crows.  They pluck them from the tree, then fly to our roof.  Tap, tap, tap, until they have cracked the shell open and feasted on the tasty nugget inside.
These are macadamia nuts.  Much more difficult to crack open.   I suppose this is why they are so expensive?
The grove is beginning to take on the colors of winter.  The oranges are just beginning to show their color.
In a few short weeks, they will be glowing in all of the trees, like tiny Chinese paper lanterns.
The avocado trees are heavily laden with their twice yearly harvest.  Due about early December.
  Tonight, I walked to the way back, as we call it.  This is what I found.
Boneyard.  Weird.  That wasn't there the other day.  Possum maybe.
The coyotes that visit come in through the back of the property. This was taken standing at the back of the fence, looking to our neighbors.

I have spent a lot of time working on holiday items.  No boutique this year, but I will have my Etsy shop open.
We have to bring the boat down from the lake this weekend.  There has already been one snow.   Saturday night, we are going to a birthday party for a very special young man.  He is turning 21!!
His parents are having a costume Casino night.  It is sure to be a lot of fun.  Greg and I are going as farmers!
I will be back soon.
XO  Kris


Taciana Simmons said...

I'm so very sorry my dear friend about your friend and neighbor. It's so hard when someone who we hold so dear is gone like that... So sudden. I hole you find it in your heart that he will live forever And will be in your heats forever .

Poppy said...


So sorry to hear about your sweet friend and neighbour, Carl. It seems that lately, everywhere we turn, we are informed of loss, either from long battles of sickness, natural causes due to old age, or, sudden, unexpected loss. As you said, life is so unpredictable, even though we have our routines, which could be shaken up, in a split second!

Your oranges and avocados are looking beautifully healthy! Yes, I never thought that macadamia nuts could be so expensive because they're such a hard nut to crack!

I enjoyed your slice of life post today; life is full of the happy and the sad and I guess we have to nourish ourselves as much as we can with the 'happy', if we are to keep going.


Holly said...

Dressing up in costume like farmers isn't really a costume for you two. I've seen the overalls honey! So sorry for all the sadness you've been dealing with these past few months. I will be praying for Sue. What a difficult time for her and her family. Much love and hugs!

Dawn said...

Wow, you are having a rough month so sorry to hear of another death. You are right, you never know when your time will be. Allow yourself to have a splendid time at the birthday party, life must go on.

From the Kitchen said...

Kris: So very sorry to hear about your neighbor and friend. It is always comforting to know our neighbors are there so I can imagine how difficult this must be for the entire neighborhood.

Happy Birthday to your young friend (Chris as I recall?) It sounds like a fun time for all.


priscilla said...

So sorry about your neighbor ,Kris .. I am sure its hard every time you look over there.
Love that you have so many fruit and nut trees..and so many cute chickens !
Pretty scarves ! You've been busy :)
Have a great weekend, sounds like a fun party !

Mereknits said...

Kris, I am so sorry for your loss, and so suddenly. Your heart must be breaking, your friends heart must be broken in two. I will be thinking of you, ou have been blessed to have such wonderful neighbor's. I love the chickens, they are so funny each with their own personality. Have a wonderful birthday celebration. 21 is awesome!

Home Meadows said...

I'm so sorry about your neighbors and friends. Your chickens look full of character and so much fun. I'm in envy of your fruit and nut trees; hopefully in a few years we'll have some edibles to harvest ourselves. I wondered where you had been and missed your posts. Thinking of you. Heather

Anonymous said...

Reading your post really tore my heart for your friends and neighbors. It is so true, we do not know what the next day will bring and we should always embrace life.

I enjoyed reading about your chickens and seeing the fruits of your trees! I don't see those here in the midwest. Autumn has arrived here with chilly nights and frosty mornings a few times. The days are sunny and crisp and fall-ish, the trees are beginning to get more color finally. I enjoy this time of year and wish it didn't come & go so quickly.

Debbie said...

I am so sorry for your loss of your friend and neighbor. I love reading your blog and I feel like they are my friends and neighbors too. I will be praying for Sue.

I love your chickens, and your "orchard" of oranges and avocados. Have a great time at the party and tell him Happy Birthday for me!

Blessings, Debbie

Deb~in~Denver said...

Kris, so sorry to hear of your friends passing. It's wonderful when friends/neighbors become family but it certainly leaves a hole in our hearts when they pass. Carl & Sue (and their family) have been blessed to have you and your family as such good neighbors. Prayers for all of you.
I LOVE the pictures of the chicks, especially when they are all running towards you! How funny! Your groves are so peaceful...well, except that bone-yard! Have a wonderful time at Chris' 21st birthday party! Celebrate those wonderful years!

Big hugs to you, sweet friend!

Debbie said...

Oh Kris I am so sorry to hear about the sudden passing of your friend and neighbor Carl. And poor Sue just getting out of the hospital to deal with all of this. My heart and prayers go out to her and their whole family. It is so hard to see the changes that this life eventually and unavoidably brings about sometimes. No, none of us is promised even our next breath and we all must be ready to stand before our God. Carl and Sue have been soo blessed to have had such good neighbors all these years, as they no doubt have blessed you right back as well. I just know you will watch over Sue now even closer than before, and will help bring about the comfort and care she will need.

Loved the pictures of your girls running after you, haha

Enjoy celebrating with Chris!


Betsy said...

Kris, I'm so sorry to hear about Carl's passing. I could almost feel the sadness and pain as I read your words. Things can change so very quickly in this life. That is why it's so important to cherish every minute and "live in the moment". I have added his wife Sue and the family to my list that I pray for daily.

On the brighter side. I do like those avocadoes. They're so expensive up here. And oranges. Oh my! You have some feasts ahead of you.


my4lilgirls said...

Praying for you & your friends & family, so very hard losing dear friends like that
Bless you Karen x

Teresa Kasner said...

Oh my dear.. what a shock for your friend, poor lady. And such good friends to you.. just like that, so sudden. You're all in my thoughts. Your hens look so healthy and happy.. mine have been molting and looking a little threadbare. You're so lucky to have those nuts, oranges and avocados! You're doing good on your crochet projects. You're simply amazing. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Nana Go-Go said...

It's so unfair when a good life is cut short so suddenly- the same thing happened to my Father - I should imagine the poor woman who has been left behind will never get over the shock of it all. Celtic blessings to her and her family at this saddest of times. x

Gloria Baker said...

Kria ao aorry about your neighbor are many times and many years you know,
I miaaed you :)
Love your chickens!
and have a lovely bisrthday with this lovely Young man!!

Kelli said...

Oh Kris I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend and neighbor. Another reminder to enjoy each and every day because you do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Susanne said...

I am so sorry to hear about your neighbors. It is so true, we never know from one day to the next what will happen. In a blink of an eye things change. Hold tight to the ones you love, they are the most precious gift. Your neighbor Sue is going through a lot, and so have you with the loss of your Nana. So sad.

I always marvel at those sassy hens of yours. They are so pretty, like pets. Your fruit trees are looking so plentiful and it would be so grand to just walk right out there and pick some of it. My apple trees are done now. In a way it is a relief. One day I went out and picked apples off of the ground before I could mow grass. The bees and the hornets were busy working the fruit. I managed to get all the fallen fruit into the wheel barrel, but had to wait till later that evening when they had all returned to their nests before I could dump the bad apples onto my burn pile. Miraculously I never got stung, but the next day I did, in my garage when I slipped on my sandals, a wasp was on the shoes and I didn't see it, OUCH! Now how ironic was that!
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, I am so sorry about Carl-my heart hurts for you dear friend. When hubby and I were young marrieds with babies, we had a neighbor named Carl too; such a dear man.
Hope you have a peace filled weekend!
Love, Noreen

Pat Frank said...

I am so sorry to hear about your good friends, Carl and Sue; Sue with her health problems and Carl, who sounds like he was a wonderful friend and neighbor. All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers. It is so true that life is way too short - we must enjoy each and every second life gives us!

Your groves look wonderful with all that colorful fruit and your hens are also most colorful as well!

Have fun at your costume Casino Night Party and best wishes to that very special young man!

Pat F.
Las Vegas

Grayseasailor said...

Kris, I too am sorry for your loss of your neighbor-friend and am sending you hugs as you process this change in your life...

It is so fitting that you and Jeeps are going dressed as farmers to the birthday party! It is a joy to see your "farm" and appreciate your hard work that makes it so productive.

I love seeing your latest crocheted creations as well. It is hard to realize that your mountains have had snow already as Mt. Hood has and it is already time to prepare your boat for winter, but one of my Grands and I went out this afternoon and brought in the last of the cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and chives, because frosty days are coming!

Blessings to you and your,
Gracie xx

Lynne said...

Hi Kris! I always love your chicken stories! This one gives meaning to the phrase "eggs in your beer".
Looks like you have been doing a ton of crochet for the holidays. Good for you.
I will trade you some lemons for some avocados. The orchard looks great!

Nicolle said...

Kris, sending you and your family hugs and prayers. You've been through a lot lately. I'm so very sorry about your neighbor, and the circumstances surrounding everything just break my heart. Seeing the photo of the flag at half staff made me cry. I know they are blessed to have you and Greg as neighbors. I hope this week brings you peace and happiness. Love ya friend. xo

ps....Those avocados...yum! My dream is to have an avocado tree one day. Not sure I could pull that off in Texas though?!

Valerie Smith said...

Bless your heart.So glad you have some things to look forward to.



Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What sad news about your neighbors! It us so true that we never know when our time will come to see the Lord. It is good to live each day as a gift.

Your chickens are wonderful, Kris! What a lively bunch. I am so envious of your avocado trees, but I'm sure I'd be puzzled what to do with them all if I had so may at one time. I know you skin and freeze a lot of them.

Jeanna said...

Life is sometimes very tough and sometimes very fragile. I'm so sorry to hear about your neighbors but it sounds like you have been blessings to each other.

The chicken are looking good...keep feeding them beer or uhhh...the grains :)

Karen L. Bates said...

So sorry to hear about your neighbors...what a blow. I can't even imagine what she is going through. I know you will miss Carl, so sorry.

Your chickens look wonderful...beautiful. I lost Amelia and Eleanor recently so I am down to only three chickens now. Only one is laying...guess I need more in the spring.

Karen L. Bates said...

I will be waiting to see that Etsy shop open, I need a head band.

Pam said...

I somehow missed this post. I am so very sorry for the loss of your friend and neighbor! I hope his wife his doing okay. Sending love to you & your friends. xoxo

Katie Mansfield said...

I am so sorry to read about your neighbor. How sad. I'm sure that was a huge shock to his wife. Blessings to you all in your neighborhood.