"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We've Reached an Agreement

We will be closing on the property before Christmas and I should be able to get some better photos when I have a chance to go out there and take pictures at my own pace.  The ones I have here were just shot as we quickly walked through the property and I didn't want to hold anyone up while I spent ten minutes to catch a good shot of a bug. 
The land is 53 acres and about 40 of those are suitable for farming.  There is a hill in the center of the property, near the back, that has not been developed and has a lot of trees there.  It covers a couple of acres and is quite nice.  I saw a HUGE hawk using it as a base to hunt.
Several acres have cedars and a few hardwoods sprinkled here and there.  There is also a grove of Sand Plums.
 About 32 acres are flat and open for farming and another 6 - 7 have scattered trees and groves of trees.
The land hasn't been grazed or farmed for several years so there is a lot of different grasses that should be dealt with.

We also have a lot of trees with ice storm damage from back in 2007.    When I say a lot of trees, I mean a LOT of trees.  It would be a full time job to cut out all that dead wood and most of it is on the back side of the property where there aren't any roads. 

I am not sure how we will clear that out because it is in an area we can't drive to in the car and don't have a four wheeler.  We'll probably just trim things up and find a place to stack the firewood, nearby. 
This is no golf course - it is rough and needs a lot of attention to be anything other than an old cow pasture.  Fortunately, we aren't under any compulsion to make expensive "improvements" at this time. 
The ponds cover about 1 - 1.5 acres.  They are just shallow but are fed by a creek.   In a very long dry spell (a year or two), it could go dry but it should usually stay wet.  We'll get someone out there to test the water, soon, but it doesn't seem to bother the neighbor's livestock.   I heard a frog or something plop when I was out there but didn't get down close enough to see if there were any fish.  There is a deeper part but how deep that is, I don't know. 

We have access to city water but may not set it up since the fire station is on the edge of the property.   The sellers deeded an acre to them to build an outpost.
 That's the fire station in the white building:
A hill with the grove of trees covers about 3 acres.  This time of year, it looks bare but after walking back there, I think it will be quite pretty, next summer.
The farmer cleared off the majority of the cedars, which is good because they take a ton of water and are a fire hazard.  Most of the ones that are left don't touch each other. 
We'll take the girls out to roam around after closing.   I think they'll have a ball.  I wish we had a grandchild or two nearby to let them go out and explore.  The place was absolutely teeming with wildlife even this time of year.  I am excited at what might show up in the spring.  I may take my birdcam out there.

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Late

The above photo was taken a couple of mornings ago.  I thought it was kind of cool

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home on the Range

Husband and I are frugal savers but the state of the national debt has us concerned that the value of our savings won't hold.  Accordingly, we've been looking for land to buy for investment purposes and we have put an offer down on about fifty acres of ranchland about thirty minutes from the house.  We already have someone lined up who is interested in renting it to run his cattle on.  We have no idea if we'll be able to reach an agreement on the price but spent a couple of hours this afternoon walking it off.  It was a ton of fun. 

There are two ponds, a small creek and several places for run off but the farmland part of the land is terraced and the little creek is not very wide.  You can jump over it in many places. 
Several acres on the hill are wooded and unimproved and we saw lots of wildlife, including hawks, there.   

 Love the Oklahoma sky:
 Lots of different kinds of grasses.  Not the best grass for farming but not bad for grazing.

 There is some old farm equipment on the land:
 This was very cool - lots of wooden parts and falling apart leather belts:
This tree is in bad shape.  It had a trunk with a good 7 foot diameter.  It was huge.  The ice storm several years ago that devastated the state hit the place hard but it was after the farmer had passed and his heirs haven't cleaned it up. 

Here is one of the ponds and you can see the wheat field to the south.  West is another wheat field and there is a milo field across the street to the north.  I don't remember what is to the east. 

We don't plan to move, anytime soon and even if we end up buying it, we've no plans to build and move there.  That being said, not a car drove by the whole time we were there and I sure liked the solitude as well as the abundant wildlife (hawks, deer, birdlife, armadillos, assorted varmints).
Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet Jezebel

It's been nearly two years since we took Jezebel to the vet for a "routine" biopsy and they lost her on the table.  What a horrible day.  Technically, they "brought her back" but by the wee hours of the 26th, we let her go.  She was too far gone, too much damage.  She wasn't coming back.  I sent in a vibrant, happy dog, full of life although at the last minute, she resisted and didn't want to go with the vet.  I insisted.  I sent her in there, casually, thoughtlessly.  Maybe she knew something I didn't but I didn't listen to her. 

 Jezebel was a good traveler:

The next time I saw her, she was lying on her side on that slab of a table, utterly still, hooked up to every kind of tube and wire, surrounded by silent vets and techs.  I stood and looked down at her.  She looked dead.  The spark was completely gone.   I asked the vet if they've brought me back there to say goodbye to her and they hemmed and hawed and then said sometimes dogs will respond to their owner but only 1 ot 2% come back.  So I called to her and before long, she responded.  The staff went wild - thrilled that we'd reached her, that she'd heard us.  Her heart began, her temperature began to rise, she began breathing on her own.  We thought we were going to bring her home the next day - that we'd seen a miracle. 

But we hadn't.  We left her to stay at the vet overnight, fully expecting that she would come home the next day - even though she'd not regained consciousness by the time we left.  Looking back, I'm sure they knew the odds were that she wouldn't recover but no one told us that.  We thought she was going to be okay which made the decisions we made thereafter all the more painful. 

They called us around 3:00 in the morning asking for permission to let her go because she was not getting better.  They'd put her on pain meds but couldn't control her fever - it was all over the place.  She was still unconscious.  Her vitals were unstable.  Her brain was sputtering out.   In shock, we gave permission and she died without her family there to comfort her or say our last goodbyes or kiss her beloved snout one last time - and it just kills me. 

Husband says she never really came back and I believe he's right.  When I looked down at her on that table, Jezebel really was dead - at least the part that was Jezebel was gone.  At some primitive area of her brain, she heard me calling her and that jump started her system.  But she wasn't really back. 

We could have had them wait for us to get there to put her down but we were hours away and she was unconscious and in a bad way.  Chances are she wouldn't have lasted until we got there and there was no point in risking her suffering for our sakes.  I didn't want to risk her suffering a single second.   But it still kills me. 

So I was looking through old photos, this morning, crying.  Pearl was across the room and I saw her watching me, alarmed.  She came over, reared up and covered me with kisses.  She's very attune to how we feel.  Jezebel was that way, too. 

Here are some photos taken of Jezebel and my mother, just days before Mom passed away from cancer.  Mom was not a dog person and Jezebel didn't know her before she came to stay with us those last weeks.  But she immediately attached herself to mom and appointed herself mom's caregiver.  Jezebel was a complete angel and brought mom a lot of comfort.  I honestly believe she helped mom deal with pain.

 Jezebel wouldn't leave her.
When Mom's mental faculties had eroded, Jezebel stayed right with her "herding her" to keep her away from unsafe areas.  On the night she became bedridden, Mom made one last wander down the hallway, lost.  Jezebel came and got me, thank god. 
 What a darling, she was.   She loved her sister, Sapphire (that's Jezebel on the right):
 Jezebel didn't consider this to be "Evelyn's" chair.  She claimed it and Evelyn could just deal with it!
 Jezebel was a squirrel hunter:

 Jezebel (left) - Evelyn (right):

Husband came by, in a good mood, then saw my tears and told me to stop - to quit torturing myself.  He hates to see me sad and he fights his own grief.  Jezebel was like our little girl.

I continued to look through old photos but started to feel a little better, especially seeing lovely Ms. Evelyn as a cute puppy and an awkward adolescent. 

Jezebel and Evelyn as a pup:
 Jezebel in the middle.  Check out Evelyn's puppy ears!:
 The girls (Sapphire, Evelyn and Jezebel):
Evelyn adored old Sapphire.  She'd bring her toys because Sapphire was too crippled up to go get them, herself.  Sapphire didn't care that much about toys but she'd indulge Evelyn with games of tug of war:
 Taken when Jezebel first met Evelyn:
 Baby Evelyn:

 Evelyn and Jezebel were good friends:
 That topknot!:
I love this Christmas photo because it shows why Husband used to lovingly call Jezebel his "slick headed dog:"
 Evelyn (left), Jezebel (right):
Jezebel would just be nine, nearly ten, if she had lived. We'd still likely have a few more years with her. It hurts so much to think about her not being here. I still have a lot of tears left to shed over my baby but not everyday and only for small periods of time.

This was taken the week we learned she had cancer (which she beat).  Jezebel (left), Evelyn (right):

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl