Our sweet Poco seems to be taking a bit of turn. It’s not so bad that we’re horribly worried, we’re starting to notice changes.
It seemed only a few weeks ago that Poco was a champion cookie catcher. It didn’t matter where you threw it, he’d manage to catch the cookie in his mouth. Now it could hit him in the nose and he wouldn’t catch it. He can’t seem to follow the ball when we throw it and he seems to go by sounds.
We’re worried that our little Poco is going blind.
He’s nervous and fearful. He tends to bite more and is easily startled.
When we got Poco we knew he was badly damaged physically from the years of abuse he sustained at the hands of his previous family. We knew his life expectancy would be shortened by malnutrition. The vet has a hard time getting blood from our little guy because his cardiovascular system is not the best.
When Brent and I decided to adopt Poco from our rescue group we talked at length about the medical attention he may need in the future. After much though and a few sleepless nights we decided we’d make Poco’s life as happy and wonderful as possible without putting him through the trauma of excessive medical tests or procedures. This is our choice.
Modern medicine can’t fix the damage done by five years of starvation and physical abuse. Nothing can and that’s the saddest thing.
Our little Poco is still spunky and I think he’ll adjust to his blindness. He’s relying on Gizmo and Taz to help guide him in the right direction. He’s still eating well and sleeping lots, even if he’s started to pee in the upstair hallway at night.
We make sure that Poco is safe. We’ll keep him warm and love him until the time when his life has more downs than ups. Poco hates the rain, we already know that today will not be a good day, but tomorrow is full of sunshine.
Our wedding tent is sixty by sixty. It’s huge. It totally kicked our ass yesterday. With only three days before the wedding and an thunderstorm predicted for Thursday, Wednesday became the day to put up the tent and move tables.
It would have been a thirty minute sitcom with lots of physical comedy, except it took over five hours in real time.
After we managed to sink all twenty-four of the three foot long steel tent pegs we tried to put the side posts up. We’d get one side up and the other side would fall over. We run around to the other side and then the front would fall. This went on for an hour with lots of grunts and a few swear words (okay, more than a few).
We gave up on the sides and decided to put up the centre pole. This was much harder considering we didn’t know what we were doing.
There was five of us in the middle of the tent trying to get the massive centre pole up. We struggled against the weight of the tent and the sides we’d already tied down. We tried brute strength, but we were no match for the tent.
Huffing and puffing we were getting frustrated and a little snappy with each other when Brent’s dad had the idea that if we take the tension off the sides perhaps we might stand a chance of getting the centre pole up. Hmm… sounded good, but we still were not strong enough to lift the weight of the tent.
My dad offered advice based on watching circus tents go up on TV. It seemed they put the poles in and then pulled them up from the outside. It was worth a shot. We’d be at it nearly three and a half hours, so it was really time for some progress.
We untied all the sides facing the lake and sent Brent and Chuck to man the pole under the now collapsed tent. I don’t know how they could breath. With the rest of us on the outside pulling like mad towards the lake the pole began to rise.
Our excitement fueled our muscles and we pulled harder and the post rose a little more. With a cheer from inside and outside, we pulled. Our feet dug into the sand and our backs and arms screamed as we pulled with all our might.
Once we got it going the centre pole reached the magic point and suddenly it was upright. We cheered out loud. Breathing hard, covered in a slick layer of sweat mixed with gritty sand we popped the tops on our beers and congratulated each other.
It didn’t matter that the sides had all fallen down or that we had to reconnect everything – that centre pole was up.
After struggling to move the heavy hardwood picnic tables into place we sat under the tent, cracked another beer and watched the sunset behind the windmills to the west. Billy and Chuck made jokes that they signed up for a wedding and not a construction crew. Dad joked that we’d get his invoice soon.
I think we all felt a little satisfaction that we’d managed to kick the tent’s ass.
Funny side note: My sister Lisa and I got a pedicure this morning and in order to preserve the delicate yellow flower that was glued to my big toe I refused to wear shoes. The tent erection was done in bare feet and moving the picnic tables by loading them onto a trailer manually and driving them onto the beach with the tractor was done in thong sandals.
Several people asked if I was crazy, but I shrugged my shoulders and said it better break my foot without damaging my pedicure. Go big or go home I guess. My feet and toes survived.
I refuse to wear shoes today or until after the wedding. Wish me luck!
My house guests sleep peacefully as I wake at the crack of six and am filled with excited energy. Two days till the wedding. By eight I’ve got the dogs fed and walked, the living room dusted and the kitchen tidied. I feel the steady calm that comes when I clean.
It’s a wonderful feeling I get when I can quietly clean my house. The structure infuses me with waves of calm as appreciation for the tender ministrations. I am usually filled with joy when I clean. I know it sounds a little weird, but I love to take care of this house. This old century farm house that needs so much care. We have found each other and out of love and respect we take care of each other. Brent says I’ll wash the pattern right off the floor, but it’s therapy and way cheaper than shopping.
I am envious of my house guests as they sleep on into the morning, but I’m happy to steal this moment to write and relax. Jenn and Billy are my best friends visiting from afar and I am so grateful we have more than just one day together. I’ve realized the wedding is about more than one day. It’s about family and friends coming together to build a foundation for the future. When I hear couples who have been married for over twenty years speak of the best man at their wedding or the maid of honor with pride I know what they’re talking about.
Our wedding party is still reeling from all the work. I thank them with my whole heart. Without our friends and family there is no way we could pull this together in typical Brent and Amy fashion: cheap.
Yesterday we set up the tent and move twenty picnic tables to the beach. It’s sounds fairly simple, but let me tell you it was a bit of a struggle. We made up for the lack of tractor power with man power as we pounded in twenty-four, three feet tall steel tent pegs with sledge hammers. There’s no better work out than the sledge hammer, but there’s not better way to hurt yourself either. The sledge can be oddly daunting until you figure it out. It’s all in the swing and let the hammer do the work.
There was seven of us taking turns with four sledgehammers. You can only swing that thing so many times before you need a break. I was standing over a peg huffing when Billy came over and offered to take a few swings. Gratefully I handed over the sledge and stood back to watch.
Billy is one of those people who was never exposed to tools – power tools, hammers, screw guns or the dreaded circular saw. He doesn’t really have much of an interest in learning for long term used, but he does light up once he figures it out. Last time he was visiting we were building the picnic tables and Billy learned to use the chop saw. He is so proud.
With a gentle swing Billy brought the sledge down onto the steel peg. With a ring and a giggle of delight he pulled back and took a harder hit – he missed. I hate to admit, but we were all watching out of the corner of our eye. Actually, I was standing beside watching in earnest everyone else had a soft smile as they watched from a distance.
I offered the advice of “letting the hammer do the work” and “keep your eye on the peg”, but Billy was going to swing that sledge his way. Much like a princess. It took about ten minutes, but Billy did sink that peg and he stood staring at his new nemesis with pride. He handed the sledge back to me and smiled. I am so proud.
We got the tent erected with a few attempts and as we all sat at a picnic table under the tent eating slightly charred hot dogs watching the sunset, covered in sweat and sand and dirt, I began to realize that this is what is was all about. Working hard together and bringing memories that will last a lifetime.
I can hear the stories decades from now: “Remember when we set that tent up for your wedding and I used the sledge?”
I wonder what today holds in store for Jenn?
I’ve been a little crazy with the wedding stuff, but it’s important to write this down.
First of all: The Farm Update!
Mr & Mr Smith are learning to fly! I’ve found them in the driveway, the bunny pen and beside the house. They’re usually hunting for bugs. I call them and they waddle over excitedly and follow me back into their home. Even on their own they return to the safety of their pond at the end of the day. Once winter comes, the bugs are gone and the only feed is the stuff I provide I imagine they’ll hang out for the winter to eat and take shelter. They seem a little more aggressive and I believe a female might be in order.
The pigs: no change. Still fat and happy strolling around their paddock that they share with the goats, chicken, bunnies and Oreo the cat.
Nelly and Willow are doing well… except…. well, Willow has grown to take great pleasure in head butting everyone who enters her paddock. She does a playful little dance and then: POW! Usually right in the bum. Nelly looks healthy for a nine year old goat. She really needs her hooves trimmed, but I think it would be more of a struggle than it’s worth. Pick your battles.
I watched Willow and Oreo have a play fight yesterday. Nothing like seeing a cat and goat duke it out to remind you that size doesn’t matter, but claws do.
Nugget looks good and her passion for Ginger the pig has grown. The pair spend all their time together under the watchful eye of Charlotte. Nugget gets so excited when I cut the grass stirring up all the bugs. She has grown to love the sound of the lawn tractor.
Gizmo is really coming out of his shell and runs around playing more than ever. It’s very heartwarming.
Many months ago Gizmo stole a plastic teething ring from JR and every night he insists that we play a rousing game of fetch. It usually lasts ten minutes before he feels the need to wander over to the feed dish, but it’s a delightful ten minutes.
Taz is doing well and takes her career as bunny/kitty patroller very seriously. Our large feral ragdoll cat Athos is currently sitting under a tree outside the livingroom window driving Taz insane. He’s sitting and staring at the house. When Taz first spotted him she tried to go through the window head first. It did not go well. Taz and Athos are about twenty feet apart and separated by a pane of glass. It’s a little creepy that the cat is trying to watch us as we watch Monday Night Football.
I decided to try my hand had making home made dog food. I use chicken, rice and veggies and grind everything up in the food processor. Brent loves the stuff even if it’s a little bland. The dogs love it too and they seem to be having healthy poops and less scratching.
Poco has taken a bit of a downward turn. He’s become more aggressive and confused. He seems to be losing his vision and is very wary of everything. He seems so unhappy. He shakes most of the time and we can’t trust him with anyone in case he has a bad moment and tries to bite. I feel so badly for this little guy and I’m at a loss as how to help him. It might be time for some more serious sedation to help calm his nerves. This constant state of fear can’t be good for his heart.
Brief Wedding Update: It’s Saturday!!! Oh MY! I’m mostly excited and a little nervous. Brent is all the way excited and it’s contagious. We’re back to laughing and smiling and joking about everything. It’s at a point where whatever happens is going to happen and we’ll make it beautiful.
Brent and I didn’t register. We weren’t comfortable registering. We tried to think of stores we liked and places we could go, but it didn’t seem like us. I’ve had lots of people ask what sort of gift, so I came up with the following:
We’re heading south after the wedding for two weeks. A gift certificate to a restaurant where could have a honeymoon dinner might be nice. We love to camp, so fun devices that don’t require plug in power.
We love our dogs… so any kind of doggie gift would be fun. Gizmo has bad allergies, so grain free treats please!
Any fun thing that would work on a farm or the beach is a good idea. I think we’re pretty easy going for the most part.
Okay… those are my ideas, but please don’t feel the need to buy us anything. We’re so happy you are able to come out to our special day. Thank you.
I have twelve hours of work separating me from being engulfed in insane wedding planning… I can barely wait!! I had no idea you could do so many things with your hair.
I noticed the basics were starting to go off line. I was having trouble eating without feeling sick. I would wake up at 0430 and be up for hours without having to go to work. Wine was replacing Brent as my best friend. I was cranky with family, friends and Brent. I was starting to wish that this whole wedding thing was over. I was starting to think that things would be better after the wedding.
I started to recognize the signs of … Bridezilla.
Oh dear. Was I?
I didn’t have high demands of the wedding, my groom, my family or his parents. I wasn’t looking for perfection. I hadn’t made my bridesmaids wear aqua-marine taffeta. I didn’t want the most expensive dress or an exotic honeymoon. I didn’t demand the flower girl/puppy dye their hair pink. Please don’t import special flowers that cost a fortune. I would like candles, but if you don’t have blue that’s okay… we’ll manage. I’m pretty sure the groom won’t be wearing shoes.
No. I wasn’t Bridezilla and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, I was just worried.
I worried we’d never meet with Pastor Tom and in the end we’d not have an anyone to officiate the wedding. Really… did this matter? Naw… we could always white chapel it later.
I worried we wouldn’t find a band and we’d be playing music from an ipod in the house. Would our friends really mind? They’d still have a few drinks and dance like next year wasn’t coming.
I worried the cater wouldn’t make it. Would my family and friends mind take out pizza? Probably not.
I worried the weather would be horrible – rain and wind. Can I stop it? Nope.
I worried the picnic tables wouldn’t be ready in time. I worried the green barn would never be cleaned out. I worried the port-a-potties wouldn’t arrive.
I worried about parking, high heels in the sand, Gizmo licking himself in the middle of the vows.
I never worried Brent wouldn’t show up. I never worried my puppies would run away. I never worried my wedding party would have a huge fight and leave.
My family and friends love us. They support us and care about us. Thanks for listening to my worries and I hope that with your good wishes I’ll finally have a good night’s sleep. This eye cream I’ve started using will only work if I get a little sleep!
ps…. I’m a closet country music fan. I thought you should know all my secrets.
The time is drawing near to the wedding and we’re just starting to kick it into high gear. Up until now we both thought it would come together by magic. Most people complain that there are too many people with input, but we seem to be fairly input free.
We have lots of help and I can’t thank those enough who’ve built picnic tables and helped us do some cleaning. Don’t forget about us on the 18th when Brent will be in charge of all the set up while I’m getting my hair done. I’m starting to like the pageantry and rituals.
I was watching the movie Angels and Demons and it reminds me of going to church as a child seeing grown men dress up in long gowns, lighting incense, candles and chanting. I thought it was odd and made me feel uncomfortable and a little embarrassed.
For many years I studied some less common religious ideas – Wicca was a favorite, but I was often uncomfortable with the costume, candles and ritual until I was watching this movie and realized it was the same stuff.
Millions of people go to church and are comforted by the pageantry of the ceremony. Sunday church in our Sunday best with brunch and tea afterwards. A gathering of the community to worship a deity. I believe in community, family, higher beings and the power of the earth. Why fight it?
This is why I’ve decided to embrace the ritual. We will be getting married by a pastor and there will be readings that we’re choosing. There will be an element of God at our wedding and I’m a little relieved.
The clothing, bling, puppies, wedding party, readings, speeches, friends, God and family are all part of the ceremony. We’re a pretty important part of the process too.
The wedding is the foundation for the marriage. It lets you find out if you can cope with stress together, if you can work together, if you have similar ideas. It’s an eye opener and I must tell you that Brent is incredibly patient and often a saint.
Even if you don’t believe in God, my dad always said you have to believe in something. There must be some higher power out there that we can be thankful. We cannot be alone.
On September 18th in front of God, the higher power, family, puppies and friends I’m looking forward to the ritual and ceremony of getting married. I’m a little nervous, but I have no doubt in my choice of husband, ceremony or venue. Actually, I’m incredibly lucky to have the venue (thanks ellen and brian).
Now, to find a band… it’s only a few weeks away – it’s about time.