Tuesday, February 14, 2012


We had a little tragedy here at the farm. Due to a heater in the uphill barn house too much carbon monoxide built up and suddenly took out many of my ducks and chicks. Everybody up there is either a rabbit, a hospital patient, or too young or fragile or precious to be mixed in with the flock. I lost many. Too many to list.

I originally thought it was the food or water and in a panic removed it all, but when more birds began to die, that had been fed different food and different water, I knew it was not that. It happened too quickly if it was an illness, as they would have got sick at intervals. Not all drop at once. By the time I figured it out, more were going down hill. Rusty and I rushed to open windows and pump fresh air in. We desperately picked up ducks and brought then to the windows, attempted to keep them awake so they would keep breathing and cycle the carbon monoxide out. We worked on everybody. Talking to them, holding them. Trying to will them back, when they had no more will in them to come back. For many it was too late.

All I could do after the house aired out was to make them nice cozy nests and keep warming lights on. After being emotionally and physically exhausted, I said goodnight to them and tucked them all in.

This morning, as much as I had hoped for the best, it was somewhat expected to walk in and see that all the birds that were affected badly the night before, did not, in fact, make it through the night. I guess I went into shock, and systematically picked up dead birds and stacked them in a box. I then cared for all of the survivors and went outside with ice pick in hand to break the thick ice in the all of the water bins and pools. I broke the pick doing so.

It has been a tough week.

Last week, I found out the results of my thoracic MRI on my back. Basically, from discs 5-6 all the way to 10-11  are bad. That was just the middle back scan. I have yet to have them do a scan on the cervical or lumbar. The neurologist said it would likely get worse.

Also, I found out that my 24 hour heart holter showed "frequent PVCs" (nothing new just documented) and some sort of tachycardia event. I have an appointment at the cardiologist. I went through all of this in FL. Beta blockers make my blood pressure drop too low, and heart anti-arrhythmia medicine makes my heart go crazy.I was set to get a cardiac ablation in FL, but my heart specialist felt the need to tell me how I needed to find Jesus and gave me a bible at one of my appointments. He had obviously saw what I listed as my religion when I was in the cardiac unit at the hospital. A heart ablation is when they go in through your groin up the main artery to the heart and kill the misfiring cells. Imagine, me letting this doctor burn this witch's heart. I left and never went back to him. I refused to pay the copay too. (I am so tough.) My primary doctor was LIVID when he found out and called the specialist up while I waited in the exam room. The walls were thin. He was mad, swearing mad. I was supposed to go to another specialist, but I moved and I have been busy healing myself, and stuff here.

The weird thing is, I feel, as a whole person, much better than I ever had. I feel healthier, even though all hell  might be breaking loose around me. I feel more strong, satisfied and centered.

How is that?

Anyway, I was not happy hearing I was worse. I am better, damn it! I hated loosing the very little ones I had brought in or raised up, and had an obligation to protect. I do not like things happening that is beyond my control... because I would have to admit that there are things that are beyond my control. Ok. Fine I admit it. BUT. I do not have to succumb to it. I do have control of how I react to what life gives me and what I choose to do with it.

Not everything was tough this week.
I learned a whole bunch. I got many surprises.
An artisan crow necklace came from Nicky, my wonderful friend who when moving to Scotland gave me her ducks and geese to care for. I held the clay crow pendant in my hand today, thinking of her.
A card from my Mom and Stepfather that said they were proud of who I have grown to be.
A box of hospital supplies, from my dear bloggy friend. I mean everything. More about this later.
Same friend left a song for me... One of my very favorites that I haven't heard in a long, long time. It was spooky that she left this for me. Good spooky. I got the chills.

Today I received an awesome homesteading book from my brother with a live lizard that hopped out of the box when I opened it. (Spooky time) Immediately, I had to look up the Animal Medicine Card for the Lizard. I mean I had just got done stacking up dead birds, when I came inside and sat down to open the box. Here is what the lizard card says:

"Lizard medicine is the shadow side of reality where your dreams are reviewed
before you manifest them physically.

If you have a Lizard totem, listen to our own intuition above anyone else's.
Pay attention to your dreams for they show us
what we do not perceive when awake.
Dreams are shadows showing your fears and hopes.
Make a dream log and record your dreams.
Look for your symbolic and reoccurring dreams and study them carefully.

Lizard can also teach you to become more detached in life.
Sometimes it is necessary to separate yourself from others
to accomplish what is necessary.
Lizard helps you awaken the ability for objective detachment.
It can show you how to break from the past."

Just tonight and out of the blue, I got something back that I wrote to a friend when I first moved here. (He is a healer, a clergy man, and obviously a tad in tune with the flow.) Here is part of what I wrote:

I know the body is the last red flag that the ship will go down if you do not go down to the hull and see the hole. I have to tell my cells and organs that have lived so long in battle, that they/we have won. I have to go there, not for long, but I have to visit the core. I travel as not a victim, but as a victor.

I would say my ship is sailing despite the rough seas. More good spooky stuff.

Today, as I told my bird friends or (friends with birds) about my farm tragedy, I got messages of love and support. Offers to help, and loads of compassion. When something like this happens, what you need most is to feel loved. I do. Nobody judged me, as I tried very hard not to judge myself.Thank you all.

Perhaps in all of this is the answer to my question above:

How is that?

I guess I have to add it all up. All the pieces to the puzzle are always right there in front of us on the table of life. One just has to figure out how to put together all the pieces.Nothing like death to make you go back to the basics of puzzle solving.

I better stop rambling and get some sleep.

good night, or good morning-- good everything



  1. Blessing my crow sister. Somethings are beyond our control, no matter how much we wish otherwise....love you my dear friend....

  2. My dear sweet Crow.
    I've been wondering how your tests went. I hope you have a good-hearted cardiologist and a feeling/caring neurologist now. Both should have those requirements in their respective fields and I'm sorry your former cardiologist did not. Listen to your body and to their recommendations.
    I am so sorry for your losses. In their short lives they knew love. Who could ask for more.
    You are a strong woman with a wonderful partner. I'm sure lessons were learned and many tears shed. Although is seems woefully inadequate I wish you peace and love today.
    love you

  3. Oh, that is terrible! I hate it when my animals pass away for what seems like no reason. And then when I find out, I feel so dumb!

    Nanny Blessings,

  4. I am so sorry for your animal loss... after all of that hard work.... chin up dear girl

  5. We had the woodstove roaring Saturday night, to stave off the 9F cold that froze the windows shut. I fired up the kerosene burner, as well. As we left for the night, she asked me if it was OK to leave it. I said yes, then thought about it, and said well we can heat the place up again in the morning. So it was off for the night. The next morning I happily lit the burner thinking it would be nice and warm for them. By mid-afternoon we could tell something was wrong, but there was no odor. By the time we figured it out, it was so late at night. The saddest for me were the ducklings; they had been so full of promise. The biggest blow was the growing flock of Marans that Crow had rebuilt more than once - cats, cold, etc...

    I think back to the first few chicks we picked up at TS, only a few days after closing on the house - we kept them in a closet in the un-heated house while it was under repairs (i.e. - weeknights and weekends when I wasn't at work). They had a heat lamp. As we moved in, and they feathered out, Crow and I fashioned a small outdoor pen out of 4' surveyor's lathe, poultry netting, and some sisal. The learning curve from there to here has been exponential, and I see Crow's efforts and the fruits of her labors (despite numerous mistakes, many of them mine) and I can't help smiling.

    Happy Valentime's day, baby, by the way. Maybe we can send the kids to bed early, wrap up in a few heating pads and Indian blankets, crack open a bottle of Blackberry Wine, and watch it snow. Or we can spend our last waking hours tonight trying to convince the kids to get their stuff done before bed, then feed and water the animals last minute before falling asleep to Home and Garden TV, with you on the couch and me sprawled off the comfy chair, across the ottoman, snoring like a broken washing machine while my laptop crashes to the floor and Bella and Tonka take turns farting in front of the electric heater's blower...
    Either way, around 2AM, the Norfolk Southern engine will rumble past, and Bear will bark at nothing in the wind, and we might wake up and strain to hear a snow-plow's crunch-scrape along the river road, and maybe a little bit later, the pitter-patter of feet overhead as someone magically wakes up to see if school is canceled, or at least delayed...
    And if you think of me, or if I think of you, or if we both are awake then, we'll probably realize that its all OK.

  6. Crow, I was so sad to here about your loss at the barn and as I read further and further, I am now concerned about your health and well being. From one to another, take care of yourself and let others help you as well...love and caring heal...:)JP

  7. That is a real tragedy; not only for the animals, but for you too. They look to us for everything, and when it goes wrong we tend to think it's our fault. Of course, it wasn't; it was the faulty heater.

    Keep battling, have faith in yourself, self healing is REAL. Bisou, Cro.

  8. Sorry my friend. That's hard to take I know. And so out of the blue, I mean carbon -monoxide poisoning?!? No one would have seen that one coming. You live and learn.

    People with true backbone take a lot of stick and carry a lot of weight. You've carried a fair bit K, so it's not suprising you have some troubles with it. Nothing that's gonna stop you though right? :-)

    Take it easy please.x

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of so many of your beloved animals. I just can't imagine. It is so hard on me when I loose just one that my heart hurts for you for loosing that many.



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