Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Science of the Hug

Hug Count - feels like one zillion (more like 500)

In the last few months I've had all sorts of hugs:
- The too long, wish they'd let go already, hug
- The too short, please hug me til it stops hurting, hug
- The tentative, handshake/hug
- The too tight, this is not nice hug
- The hug with a whisper of encouragment
- I've even had one with a kiss on the way out (by a near, stranger...)
all of the above seem uncomfortable, awkward and un natural is some way.

Then there are those awesome hugs. The ones that feel so warm and comforting. You can feel the love (unromantic love) that person has for you. I'm like a sponge when I get one. Soaking up love, encouragement and good vibes. These hugs are perfectly timed, just right in every way. Just enough to get me through the day/night/next 10 minutes.

My advice to anyone reading this is to HUG. but MEAN IT when you hug. Like the words I love you, a hug can be a powerful, wonderful thing or awkward and all wrong...

My Heart Still Feels (a good thing? I don't know)

Things that PING my heart these days:

- Any mention of the word "mom" by a friend, acquaintance or voice on the radio

- When my kids ask to talk to Bobby. (they think that the operator's voice on the phone is Bobby, she keeps telling them "there is trouble completing your call" and they just keep yapping away.)

- When T sings "Finkle Finkle Little Star"

-Seeing (or worse/best) holding a baby

- When T says "It's purfic mom!"

- When I go to church and sit in "our" pew without her, I can still feel her there

- When I drive by the cemetary (every day - at least twice - to and from town) and see her yellow flowers peeking out of the snow bank

- Rach's around the neck squeezes and sweet sweet kisses

- A "Good Morning" or "Good Night" text (BBM!) from Dan

- A perfectly timed hug from a good friend

Mixed Up Feelings...

I wish it was me, but so so so thankful it's not.

A friend is faced with the terrifing news that she might have cancer. The next 2 weeks will feel like years to all of us - especially her, as we wait for a biopsy and results. Just a few months ago we went through this with mom. Not again, I can't believe it.

As she told me, I couldn't help but wish it was me. I'm a helper - it's my nature. If I could do it for her, I would - but on the other hand I'm an so incredibly thankful that it's not me. I've been there before, with the mixed feelings... When a friend's love was killed, I wished she didn't hurt, that it hadn't happened, but was so greatful that it wasn't me who had lost Dan. I couldn't imagine.

So today, THANKFUL PAIN (?) is what I feel today.

My friend is a beautiful woman, with 2 lively kids, a career - an awesome life to LIVE for. She is a strong, healthy person - not a pack-a-day smoker with a Big Mac Habit! Why does it happen to the good ones?

I love her and could not have made it through the past 3 years of my life (especially the last few months) without her - and we'll make it through this challenge too. Fingers crossed that all of this is just a scare, a terrible mix-up, a non-cancerous polup of fatty tissue.
Regardless - through the POWER of FRIENDS and PRAYER - she'll be alright (and so will we)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

For Five Cents (or for F**k Sakes..) A Tober Chore Circus

Everyday chores for me include: drive or walk down to the arena to pour 2 5 gal pails of chop to the bulls. (Lovingly named: Big Boy, Eddy, Tommy, and the 4 "babies") Check that their waterer isn't froze and that they still have a salt block. While in the area I try to spot the horses - positioned in a different pasture, on the other side of the arena. I need to get a visual on 5.

Then to the cats (down to 2, see future blog post for life of a Tober cat saga...- who's new feeding turf is a flax bale positioned between the shop & arena (so much snow that the dogs could get up on the cat's table and eat all the food!) that is 2 scoops of chow and whatever table scraps my children have gratiously donated to the efforts (cats don't like carrots - but they always get a healthy helping of them...) After these cats I drive to Bob's Farm (just down the road) to feed his 3 cats (Bob, our eldery neighbour just passed away and asked us to keep an eye out for his kitties) These cats are not-so-creativily names Mangey, Blackie, and the big one. this feed stop is another scoop of chow and sometimes scraps too. Easy peasy everyday chores

About once a week chores get a bit more interesting... This is when the bulls and horses need bales. So usually after work I load the kids up in the tractor and off we go to get bales. 2 for the bulls, 2 for the horses from the stack behind the house. Pretty easy, simple job, right? maybe.

The bulls are dumb. Drop 2 bales over the side of the arena and they instantly start chomping away like they havn't eaten all winter (it's been maybe 10 minutes since they last had a piece of hay in their mouths) They are so intent on the bales that I can open the big gate, drive in, shut the big gate and pick up a bale without so much as a sniff towards the tractor or that green metal portal to freedom. They are so stuck to the bales that I actually touch them with the bucket of the tractor before they move out of the way. The kids expertly point me in the direction of the empty feeders and pick out the most suitable new spot to move the feeders to, when manure begins to accumulate at the current sites. The kids are also on the look out for prairie chickens, deer and moose (we've never spotted one of those while in the tractor...)
Cutting the strings off the bales involves me leaving the kids unattended in the tractor while murder some strings with a steak knife. It also involves Rach revving the tractor, T turning on the "swishers" (wipers) - front and back ones- Rach movin the steering wheel back and forth a million times, T finding the hitch pins, Rach putting a hitch pin in her mouth, T honking the horn, Rach honkin the horn, and someone turning on the signal light(s). This is repeated for the second bale.
Then to the horses. The horses are dumb too - but in a wild way. The sight of the tractor with a bale sends all 5 of them into a bucking, snorting, running fit like they are all wild mustangs or Stampede Stock! They are unpredictable in a predictable sort of way. Shit will happen when they lose their minds like this. A fence will get broke, a panel will get knocked over, they will get out the gate.
I've had pretty good luck this winter - of all the times I've put out bales I'm managed to keep them chased away from the gate long enough to open the gate, scurry back into my mini-van of a tractor, drive through the gate, climb over Rach and down the stairs to shut the gate, without any of the bronc's escaping.
Today however was not a lucky day. I thought that they were all kicking and snorting far enough away from the gate - but one sneaking guy - Ice - saw an opportunity to get out and he took it - at full speed. His success signalled the other 4 to stop what they were losing their minds about, orgainze and run out the gate as I desperatly tried to drive through the gate. Shit. Shit. Shit. they're out. I'm in the pasture with 2 kids in a tractor and I've got 5 horses on the loose. The kids know it's bad. They are mesmerized by the running horses, they recieve a stern warning from me to SIT HERE. as I launch out of the tractor and run toward the oat bin, gathering 5 frozen pails on my way. The frozen top layer of snow rips through my jeans and into my skin (I'm in running shoes) I sink to my knees every third stride as I hurdle the snow banks like a sinking, pathetic hippo. I watch as they run toward the house, behind the house, to the bales, back to the house, take a look down the lane (please don't go that way..) and then back into the arena. I make my way over to the gate and call them for grain. I'm likely supposed to give them grain every day in the winter (I do throughout the summer), but it's just too inconvienent and doesn't seem overly necessary... regardless, they know what that sweet golden goodness is, and as I call and shake my pails they all 5 gallop through the gate! Phew! If they had taken a left instead of a right and went down the lane, side road, and/or main road my swearing would have been more colourful and the kids would have seen a frazzeld, cold mommy chase, call, catch and hopefully lead home 5 horses. It's happened in the summer, which was bad enough.

But for another week, the bulls, horses and free loader deer, have bales.