Back in the beginning of January I made the resolution to post on here at least twice a month. As it is now mid March you can see how well that resolution has gone. Much has gone on here on the Unfarm since I last posted in (oh, the procrastination, the embarrassment!) November. Here are some of the updates which I hope to be following up with more in depth posts.
An out of sorts sort of year: The whole of 2014 was unusual in that much of what we traditionally do each and every year did not get done. I had planned on taking Axel and Maia camping but my sister couldn't come out here from Colorado during the summer and I know too well Axel's desire to be near me that I feared if I attempted a solo trip I would come out of the campground showers to find him sitting outside the building waiting for me, having left an Axel-sized whole in my tent. In addition to a lack of camping there was a similar lack of berry picking. I don't think we went out once that summer. Usually we visit local farms to pick most of our strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and peaches. In addition, we had a bunch of home improvement projects planned that never got done. Let's hope we can get at least a few of them done this year - if not I think the chances are pretty good that someone is going to fall through the rotting pile of wood that we call a deck (the result of building a deck out of wood in a climate that is nearly perpetually wet.) As it is we have roofing tiles nailed to the deck to keep us from looking like a cartoon character who has stepped on a banana peel, windmilling our arms as our legs slide out from under us on the algae/slime that no amount of scrubbing and washing seems capable of reducing. The year went out with a fizzle as well when we failed to decorate gingerbread houses and bake our usual assortment of cookies and candies to give out to friends and relatives. We did manage to make a batch of fudge, some butter toffee, and rocky road but that's about it. No sugar cookie decorating, no cranberry coconut cookies (they are actually much tastier than they sound), and no chocolate covered cherries. We barely even decorated the tree for Christmas. Let's hope that this year is better than the last one.
Addition, then subtraction, then addition again: No, I didn't take a math course at the local college (child, please!) I bought a pet mouse back in August and named her Bernadette. She was a secret mouse in that Dad knew nothing about her (I figured ignorance was bliss.) Unfortunately she died after about a month (here is where that subtraction comes in) and I decided to get a new mouse (addition) and name her Caroline. In November we finally told Dad about our secret mice. He took it surprisingly well.
Another addition: The Saturday before Christmas we decided that we needed to add another dog as Axel seemed somewhat down since his friend Stella died of cancer recently and we know that Maia probably wouldn't be around much longer having just turned 19 years old and the thought of having only one dog seemed too lonely to bear so we added Scout, an 8 week old pointer mix from the Maui Humane Society. He was adorable which was good for him since puppies are, as everyone knows, rather obnoxious.
A loss: On January 3, 2015 we made the tough decision to put Maia to sleep as she had started whining, unable to get comfortable and her quality of life was diminished. It is never easy to make that decision but we try to do what is best for our little ones and I want to make sure that it is understood that it was not motivated out of a desire to reduce any "hassle" on our part. She got to leave with all of us (except Liz, who had gone back to Colorado already) around her.
A gain: We discovered that Axel likes having a dog to walk with but doesn't really care to actually play with anyone so we decided to add another dog for Scout to play with - enter Molly, an unknown small dog mix who is supposed to be about the same age as Scout (about 4 or 5 months old.) Two puppies at once. Clearly we would be good candidates to enter some sort of in-patient psychiatric facility.
Another loss: In February we lost Sakari, the last of our original three chickens. She was my personal chicken and would have been 11 years old this spring. She got a sort of throat infection and despite treatment she was unable to beat it. We had been hoping she would make it to old age - 11 is actually only middle aged for a chicken. Poor Penny is on her own for now.
And yet another loss: Just a few days ago we lost Basil to a gut upset. I have come to hate gut upsets in rabbits as they have taken several of my little ones now. Basil was an especially sweet little bunny who was the best cuddler of the group and preferred to spend his time out of his cage next to me so that I could pet him the whole time - he would actually demand it if I stopped for more than a minute.