Dogwood Ramblings

For a while the weather was tolerable for those wanting to be out in it.  I’ve spent some time applying wood preservative in the cool of morning.  However, my yard is crunchy underfoot and we sure do need some rain!

The celebration of our Independence is behind us.  So many folk celebrated with gatherings and fireworks, etc.  About 90% of all fireworks sales are for the 4th of July, upwards to $930 million a year.  One would hope and pray that the reason for this is to honor our country, not just an excuse for partying.  Fireworks are beautiful from a distance although the noise can be overwhelming.  It was quiet here during the day.  Randy & Kim came for breakfast, Rory called for a phone visit.

A few of the neighbors did some fireworks at nightfall.  I hope you protected your pets as many of them are frightened from the noise partly because their hearing is so much greater than those of humans.  My pets were protected because as for many animals the noise produces the fight or flight syndrome.  The neighbors were still having their fun when I went to bed.

I’ve mentioned Ivan Lawson’s twin grandbabies before.  Little Emmett is now out of ICU and hopefully little Makenna will soon be able to go home.  Mama Julie remains at the McDonald House so she can be with Makenna daily.  Daddy Scott gets a leave every chance possible to visit his family.  The Lawson family had a gathering over last weekend here at Dogwood.

Randy switched out the blades on my ride-on mower and he will sharpen those removed later.  Then Randy put a much needed new burner in the BBQ grill.  On Sunday we enjoyed pork ribs prepared on the grill and had our first gathering on the deck under the new canopy.  Very enjoyable!  Rex did a couple of chores for me.  While the grill was going we noticed a noisy little nest of newly hatched peeping wrens on the side of my garage, on a lamp, and mommy and daddy weren’t there.  While we were eating I noticed some noisy activity and it looked as though the mommy and daddy were flitting about and thought they were feeding their fuzzy little babies.  We were wrong.  Mommy and daddy were trying to drive away a black snake.  Before we realized what was going on, the babies were eaten and the snake was coiled on top of the lamp, probably in digestion mode.  Nature, but sad.

I visited some Sunday morning with a recently widowed woman.  She is still having difficulty with her new situation.  During a little nap Sunday afternoon and I dreamed some about Willie, woke up with a start and wondered where he was and should I start supper for him.  Things like this happen on occasion and my dear Willie passed away in December of 1990.  To all my family and friends who have lost a loved one, you have my sympathy and my understanding.

Monday morning on my way home from Seymour I was behind a farm milk truck the whole way and it went beyond my place.  This got me to wondering how many dairy farmers remain in Douglas County.  There were many of us when I quit dairying in the fall of 1991.  Milk prices are still at 54% of parity and I also wonder how the remaining dairy farmers can survive.  The hours can be horrendous, the labor can be overwhelming.  Dairy farmers continually face higher prices for feed, vet bills, antibiotics, electricity, etc. and yet a few have managed.  Willie and I arose at 3 a.m. on Sundays so we could get to church on time and arose at 3:30 – 4:00 a.m. the rest of the week.  Evening milking was at about 4:00 p.m. and of course, depending on the season, all the other chores such as putting up hay were done between milking hours.  The bulk of the milking and raising the calves were my chores, as well as keeping house, doing the bookkeeping, cooking, etc.  When I had to do everything after Willie passed away it was more than overwhelming.  Then three of my sons cornered me and insisted I sell out instead of killing myself.  They came to help me multiple times but had their own livelihoods to care for.  Hard saying how many times I cried watching the cattle and equipment being sold as each item brought memories, some sad, some funny, but the sale was necessary.  I laud those who have been able to remain dairy farmers.

Good news!  Son Ryan and family moved over the weekend from Riverside, CA to San Antonio, TX, safely.

Check on your elderly neighbors, provide food, water and shelter for your pets.  Check your ponds so the cattle and horses have plenty of water.  Until next week…….