The year 2018 truly started with a "BANG"!  The banging of the barn door in a wind storm, during January, severed the top of middle finger of my right (dominate) hand.  I can tell you shock is such a strange thing.  I knew I had caught my finger in the door, it stung but when I looked at it or lack there of ...well let's just say an action plan was in order.   I was on the prairie alone on this day so being the decisive person I am; I grabbed some towels, wrapped my finger, elevated it over my head, jumped into the truck and headed to closest ER.  That is a 20 minute drive, called my husband from the truck; which of course created panic because I lost signal and he thought I was in the ditch somewhere.  I did get to the ER and the first doctor thought they would remove it to the knuckle, however the orthopedic surgeon, stitched what he could to close it, looked at me and said it would be deformed......I looked back and said "So ? I can still hold a leash!"  So ends January.

February the month of "love" wasn't very lovely.  Rob, my sweet hubby, was diagnosed at the Mayo with cancer.  So they scheduled surgery for Valentine's Day.  It is strange when your told you have cancer, your brain or at least mine, sort of goes into war strategy mode.  However, it's another whole thing when it is the love of your life, best friend and partner.  I felt pain.  A pain in my heart, no deeper.  I stopped the "what if's" immediately; knowing he would need me to be his helper, warrior and shoulder. 

Surgery went well, 11 hours of prayer, then finally the news!  He's in recovery!  He spend several weeks re-cooperating.  Family and friends came out to the prairie to help with the dogs, brought meals, cleaned the house and sat with us.  The news then came that they had gotten it all and he didn't have to do chemo or radiation was a blessed relief!

March we made several trips to the Mayo for follow up visits and waited for spring to arrive on the barren prairie.  Seems the old saying, "In like a Lion and out Like a Lamb" isn't true!  Who knew!  Rather Old Man Winter hung on with bitter cold and snow.  Rob was on lifting restriction, which meant I had to do snow duty......that's fine but my finger was still healing, and I have no feeling in it would get cold and I didn't realize it!  Socks on my hand inside my mittens worked great, new use for all those loner socks that come out of the dryer!  One day while at the farm store, from the back of the store was the sound of chirping!  I could just feel the soft down in my hand.  Grabbing my cart, I wheeled the aisles until if found the heat lamps, the chirping and CHICKS!!!  Now I wanted chicks so bad I could taste it....oh that sounds awful!  I mean just that it was the year......I was getting chickens.  There was one small problem..........we had not gotten the coop built yet.  Hmmmm, minor detail right!  So I head home, the cab of the truck filled with the sounds of baby chicks, who needed radio when you have nature!  The chicks now need a place to stay....okay this could be an issue.  I did have a plan and my hubby, ever patient with his wife, listened to my thoughts of how we can house the babies while we build a coop!  Whelping box!  So the chicks move into our house, yes...inside our house, to the room reserved for older pups.  I assured him it wouldn't be for long......

April, how we longed for a peak of green, a tulip head breaking through the earth or a Robin.  April fool was not a day but rather a few weeks of strange weather, cold and a wondering if Spring had forgotten to come!  Do you ever wonder what "the April Fool" looks like?  Me!  With this dopey look as I stare out the frosted windows for any sign of Spring coming down our lane.  Easter Egg hunts were inside and not as magical as the lawn dotted in pastel colors.  We learned our Rob's daughter and granddaughter were planning a summer trip to our prairie homestead!  This is huge as they live in Spain, we facetime weekly and Dahlia has loved watching the dogs, puppies and kittens.  Now she could touch them and trust me at 3 years old that is huge!  Being ever the Grandma for adventure, I decide Dahlia needed her own pet here.  I loved the Velveteen Rabbit story as a child and to this day...........yes, Dahlia needed a bunny!  So Cadbury joined our ever growing furry, feathery family!  By this time the chicks weren't really chicks and they were out growing the whelping box, it was too cold yet for bunny to be outside.  Solution:  Cadbury joined the chicks and now the room was feathers and fur!

May, it not spring, but summer!  We skipped our Spring and it's magical moments to the warmth of summer rains, turning the brown grass into green almost over night.  It came so quickly that I didn't even get my garden in!  So rather then miss my summer vine tomatoes, did pots of herbs and tomatoes.  I did get my famous and favorite flowers seeds in....Sunflowers!  The bigger question was..................what to do with Cadbury and the "girls".  I am sure he was wondering about who lived on the other side of that wall, making all that racket and the feathers!  Oh my, the girls were molting as they went from chick to pullet!  I had a problem!                                              Then it happened.....the klutz fairy strikes again!  I am playing with the dogs in the pasture.  Throwing balls, the dogs frolic, leap and entertain me.  I love watching the dogs do ballet; wham!  I am falling, face forward onto the ground.  I had caught my foot in a hole.  Of Course the first thing any every does is to see if anyone saw this ungraceful move!  Nope, all alone, the dogs swarming me like sharks in the water.  Then it hits, the a fire in the knee.  I push myself up and try to stand, well that's not working to well,  Walking is out of the question too.  I am not near the house, no one is around, so....yes the hobble walk to the house begins.  My knee swelled like a balloon.  By the time the dogs escorted me to the veranda, I was ready to crawl vs hobble.  Ice, yup that would help.  So I get an ice pack, elevate the leg and sit there, thinking "now what"?  Rob determines a trip to the Orthopedic ER was needed.  For once I didn't argue the point.  So after x rays and an MRI, oh yes and fluid removed from the knee (oh yes that's a party!) the doctor says what you don't want to hear.  Fractured Tibia and torn meniscus.  It's going to be a long summer.................

June, Rob was doing great with his healing, however building a coop with just the 2 of us...........hmmmm not going to happen.  So the light bulb of and idea arouse.  A BARN, well COOP raising!  We purchased a kit for a shed and then invited family and friends to help us raise the roost....roof!  It took 2 weeks of people helping, eating together, laughing at our mistakes and celebrating our successes!  The moment arrived.........drum roll.... the chickens were carried out, one by one to their new home.  I think they were slightly traumatized by the size of the place, after living for weeks in the whelping box.  The memory of this time with friends and family will always be a precious gift.                Cadbury, needed to move out now as well.  I also was told he was lonely.  Hmmm, really?  So my dear friend, Dawn, brought me a birthday guessed it, another bunny.  Company for Cadbury.  I named her Fou Fou (yes after the children's song), she is blue and white.........a multi colored bunny.  Only problem is:  FouFou is a female and Cadbury is a male................yup, problem!  So two separate condo's were purchased.  They live side by side, babies is not an option so a spay and neuter are in their future. 

I am off crutches....well two anyway and using one.  So my help has been limited to pointing, painting and applauding all who came to help make it possible!

July, has been peaceful.  Grandchildren came, played with dogs, rabbits and fed chicks.  As of yet there are no eggs, but I am ever hopeful and each day excitedly head out to the coop.  Looking in each nesting box for eggs.  I didn't share my chickens will lay (well I hope) blue, green and brown eggs!  What fun this will be for the kids at breakfast, as we crack Easter eggs for an omelet! Well, it's my dream as of yet!              The month isn't over what adventures lay ahead?  Stay tuned and check on the Prairie is never dull!

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AuthorKaren Winters