Tonight, my hubby and I did something we have never done before. We joined the rest of our town and the next town over and watched (while some played) D o n k e y Basketball. Oh my goodness what a kick! Everyone was very respectful - no donkeys got hurt - there was a lot of falling off the donkeys, and there were also some very cute moments where the riders would just sit or stand next to their donkey's and pet them!
Our friend Cody (from Chaos Acres) visited us tonight and brought Lil Bear with him. She is growing up so fast! She loves riding in the car, changing the radio station and playing with shiny things :) I totally fell in love with her tonight! We gave her some green beans to munch on - she LOVED those! The cherry tomatoes she got a little freaked out with - she bit down on one and it exploded with juice in her mouth - the look on her face was priceless!!
Yes, Lil Bear is a raccoon. And yes she lives on my friends farm. They have taken care of the 4 raccoons since they were abandoned as babies.
All of these photos are the sole property of Jennifer Velasco (aka Rural Housewife) Any copying, downloading, using as your own is strictly prohibited. Please don't steal - it isn't nice!
HI! My name is Jennifer. I live in a small town in Nebraska with my husband, 2 cats and 1 dog. Our town is quite small - less than 1,000 people. I never considered myself much of a small town girl. Most of my life I have lived in fairly large cities or very close to them. The closest Wal-Mart was always no more than 5-10 miles away and fast food restaurants were on every corner.
In 2009, my best friend from my "single" days, called me up and said she was going to be in Denver for a medical appointment and wanted to know if we could get together for dinner. I was so excited to get the chance to visit and reconnect. So I made dinner and took it to her hotel room. When she came to the door, I was overwhelmed with emotion. You see, my friend has been struggling with a severe heart disease called Pulmonary Hypertension and also has lesions on her lungs which require her to be on oxygen 24/7. That evening while eating dinner, she gave me an update on her condition. It was bleak. She proceeded to tell me that the doctors had informed her that with her health was declining rapidly and that she had about a year to live. I tried to hold back my tears, be strong, and ask what I could do for her. But all I could do was cry. How could someone so young (she is a year older than me) be so frail and terminal? I was able to gain my composure, so we could continue to catch up on what else was going on in our lives.
As I hugged her good-bye for the evening, I thought to myself...I need to do something. I got in my car and all I wanted to do was call my husband, but I knew that crying and driving did not mix. So I talked to him briefly and told him I would tell him more about it when I got home. At that point, I just needed to get home so I could just sit there in my husbands arms and cry. When I got home, my husband was waiting there with open arms. We talked all night, trying to come up with something we could do for her. We talked about moving to Nebraska to be near her, we talked about visiting more often, hanging out with them when they came to visit, going to dr's appointments with her, etc. We knew we needed to "sleep on it" before we made any decisions.
I went to work that next day, everything around me was different. Everything seemed petty. It was hard to keep the emotions in, and I found myself hiding in the ladies room just so no one would see me cry. I knew she had been sick for quite a while, but I thought it was "under control".
Over the next few months, we visited quite a bit. We would drive up to meet them, brought dinners and just chatted like old times. One evening her hubby asked us if we wanted to move to Chappell, Nebraska to be near them. I kinda chuckled and looked at my hubby for him to respond. He didn't know what to say either. I mean I am a "city girl" - through and through! Plus, what would we do in Chappell for jobs? We told them we would pray about it. And that is exactly what we did. We asked all of our family and close friends to pray for us as we decided if this was where God wanted us to be. It started with little things like, my friends sister had a house up there that she would rent to us, job openings that my husband started interviewing for. In no time at all we realized that this was going to happen. We, the big city folk, were moving to Chappell, Nebraska - where they don't even have a stop light, and the nearest Wal-Mart is 30 miles away.
It is now September 2011. My friend is still going strong. She proved the doctor's wrong! And just recently I have been asked to be her Care Giver. Which I am going to glam it up a little and call myself her "Personal Assistant".
Well....that is how one person changed my life forever!
Yesterday started out with the hopes of insulating the top floor of our house. It was definitely a great day for it - 80 degrees with a cool breeze. My hubby had pre-drilled the holes the night before, ladders in place, white suits ready to be worn, and respirators ready and waiting to make us look like aliens from another planet. Then we find out that the machine used to pump the insulation into the walls was already spoken for. So… now we have a whole day to play, go on adventures and meet new people! And that is just what we did!
We decided to take Petey for a walk. We went downtown (which is about 3 blocks from the house) and checked out the vacant property that a bunch of us had been wanting to turn into a fabric, coffee, bakery, and book place for women to gather, learn and relax. Once I saw the inside of the front room, ideas flooded my brain! What an exciting adventure this will be!
As we were walking home from downtown, we noticed that our friend Doug was in his wood shop. So we went over to say "Hi" and look at the fun machines. He was cutting down some wood that he had let dry out for 2 years. It was amazing to watch the power of his machine just slice through the wood like it was butter. He then showed us his wood collection, which he uses for his many projects. I was in heaven! The picture does not do it justice. The smells, textures, grains, and beauty of the different woods he showed us was way better than any lumber yard I had ever been to. I could have stayed their all day! Once we were done drooling over his wood collection, he took us over to his house and showed us his garage. This is where we got to see his wood working tools, air filtration system and the counters and shelves that were all dove-tailed and made from mostly recycled woods. I was in awe! The picture shows a floor to ceiling set of drawers that took him 3 months just to cut out all the pieces. All of the boxes had dividers in them, all sanded, stained and polished.
When we thought the tour couldn't get any better, he took us inside his house where we were welcomed with a mouth-watering aroma of fresh pepper jelly that his wife was making from the peppers in her garden. She gave us a taste - I was hooked by the sweetness of the jelly and jalapeno kick at the end. Luckily she sells it at craft fairs so I know where I can get some for the holidays! He then proceeded to show us the grandfather clock he had made, the kitchen cabinets, all of the wood furniture in the house and the antiques that he refinished and repaired. The entire time I thought about the times I watched my great-grandfather, grandpa and dad work miracles with pieces of wood. As the tour ended, they gave us a huge bag of apples from their yard (YAY!!!) and his wife and I talked about the pumpkin butter that she was planning to make the rest of the day.
What an amazing day and it was only 1:00PM - we then get a call from a friend of ours to let us know she has a pot belly stove in her shed if we to come and look at it. We have been looking for a wood burning stove for our living room to help with keeping us warm this winter so of course we did! So we took a nice drive out to their farm, when we got their I realized flip-flops were probably not the greatest footwear for tracking through weeds and goatheads (pointy little stickers - not actual goat heads). She took us back to one of the wood sheds where there was a pot belly stove from 1904 - sold by Montgomery Wards. It was beautiful in all its rustic, cast iron glory. It needed some work - I mean come on, it's from 1904, of course its going to need a little work. We took some pics to show a welder in town to see if he can reinforce the areas that are weak. We knew we wanted it - now it's just a matter of seeing if it's practical - so we didn't take it home with us but she is saving it until we can find out from a welder if it is fixable for our needs. After watching the pigs play and run around we headed back into town to look for the welders shop. On our way we stopped and talked to some friends who we haven't seen in a while. They were insulating the bottom of their daughter and son-in-law's new trailer. So the guys worked and the girls talked, we had so much fun talking and catching up.
While on our way home - I thanked God for such an awesome day! What had started out with one plan had ended up with a day full of adventures and excitement.