Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Grandpa's Funeral

This day came and went so quickly. Most of the family has been together at my parent's house since Sunday. The service was held at Grandma and Grandpa's church and then there were a few more words at the graveside.  Jayme sang so beautifully at both settings. Grandpa's favorite hymn was There's Room at the Cross for Me. She also sang Amazing Grace and The Battle Hymn of the Republic. There were supposed to be thunderstorms throughout the day, but the clouds cleared while we stood at the grave and a most beautiful September sky peaked through. The rain came later when we were all inside relaxing. There's just something about rain that makes a funeral day so much harder to get through.
The church provided a delicious, comforting meal for the family and then we gathered again at Mom and Dad's. The out-of-towners are traveling again in the morning except for Jayme who leaves on Thursday.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A great help and comfort

* So many dear friends who reached out to me and my family with their prayers, comforting words and physical help.
* The meal schedule set up by a friend and the many, many meals prepared for my parents in the last several weeks when Grandpa's care required a twenty four hour vigil.
* The Hospice nurses who came in this last week who treated Grandpa with such tenderness and respect. They brought help to my mom as she had reached the limitations of her abilities.
* The sweet guys from Alec's Home Medical who brought in and set up the oxygen tank and the hospital bed.
* My children who brought life and laughter into the sick room. They were not afraid which was such a sweet reminder of the Lord's love for us, even and especially at a time like this. 
* My husband's strong embrace.
* Hot salty tears.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hospice is over

After a difficult week, my Grandpa went home to be with the Lord this morning.
He had been very fearful, but yesterday a sweet peace fell upon him and he was ready.

The house was so quiet. My heart breaks for Grandma left behind. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

At the farm

Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn

The sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the corn. . . 

Well, our cows are in the meadow and there are no sheep. There's no corn either. And Little Boy Blue was not fast asleep in the haycock, but hard at work helping me with the cows this week at the farm.

These are the darling calves: Dolly, Lucky and Smarty Pants
They frolic and play like puppies, but they are sky and didn't really want their picture taken.

Notice anything in this picture? Look closely. Right there, in the middle of the girls. Yup, that my dears is a bull. And he has a nose ring. 
This is Bo, our borrowed bull. He is here for one reason and one reason alone. No, make that seven reasons and seven alone. He is here to, uh, do what bulls do so our girls will be bred and have calves in the spring.  
I was not prepared for his massive size. The girls are so dainty. Bo is just massive. But he is a baby. As long as you don't turn your back on him. And if he gets pushy, because he takes his job so seriously, you just face him and stare him down. He backs down easily. He has soft black eyes. He really is a baby. Did I mention his nose ring?
Monday went well considering I haven't worked at the farm in about six weeks. Tuesday was another story. Farmer Susan came out to help because we are transitioning the girls from afternoon/evening milking to morning milking. She forgot to close the gate to the hay we are storing in the barn. In the past, this was not a big deal because it took up the far back quarter of the barn. The girls would come in and mill about until it was their turn to go to the milking line. But now, we are storing up lots of hay for the winter months and the stacks have taken up almost half of the barn and now there is no room for milling. They come to the barn and have to go right into the line, or wait outside. 

Tuesday. TUESDAY they came so well from the pasture and fell right into single file perfectly heading to the barn. By the time Susan and I got there all of the cows were in the barn. They all went into the barn and into the hay. ALL of the cows. Seven cows, one yearling heifer, and the bull. They were all in the hay which was stacked in small bales nearly to the ceiling. Bo, the bull was climbing the stacks. It was a feeding frenzy. If they could have been squeeling they would have been. I thought I heard squealing. I think it was Susan yelling, "THIS IS SERIOUS!" If Susan said it was serious I was about to panic. She knows cows. It looked serious to me and I don't know cows that well. I only know what I've read from James Harriott.
Now, if you know anything about cows, it may be that you've heard that they can kinda snap and tend to go a little crazy, and it might be the smallest thing that sets one off. They may never be set off in their whole life. Probably not. But this situation, in my mind, was something that could set them off. Somehow, we got them all out of the barn. And somehow we got four of them into the milking line. And somehow we got them hooked up to the milkers. But they were so upset from the whole ordeal that they did not milk well. The other three escaped back down to the pasture twice and would not come back unless they were allowed to have at the hay again.
So, we turned them all to pasture and Susan said she would let them calm down for a few hours and would try to milk them in the afternoon. 
In case you've made it this far and want to know what finally happened, Susan did milk them later but they were still somewhat cranky and didn't milk all that well. Then I came back the following morning and it went much better but I felt they were still holding a grudge. Susan says they aren't even thinking about it anymore, but are having a hard time adjusting to the morning schedule. They still look to come in in the evening.
It went much better today.

This is our new cow Buttercup. She just freshened with her first calf and is new to the milkers. She is very skittish and if she's not squeezed in between two of the bigger cows, she gets scared and tends to kick the milkers off. I don't blame her. I would hate to be hooked up to those things. They're cold too.
But she gives lots of milk.

That's all from the farm today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eighteen months

Annabelle Ceridwyn 
Photos by Noah. 

I'm not sure what she's saying to him.

Probably something like, "Hey Noah, can I see that camera?"

"I want to take a picture."
"Let me see that camera!"

"I'll be your best friend."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Brown represents wholesomeness and earthiness. While it might be considered a little on the dull side, it also represents steadfastness, simplicity, friendliness, dependability, and health.
I've enjoyed the colors of summer and seeing them in your lives too. Here's to your health as we welcome autumn and wrap ourselves in the rich earthy hues of such a comforting color.

My favorite brown haired, brown eyed boy

My favorite brown eyed Brownie

A scrumptious place to read, Annabelle finds it irresistible.

Brown is a natural, down-to-earth neutral color. It is found in earth, wood, and stone.
Brown is a warm neutral color that can stimulate the appetite. It is found extensively in nature in both living and non-living materials.

The color brown and its lighter cousins in tan, taupe, beige, or cream make excellent backgrounds helping accompanying colors appear richer, brighter. Use brown to convey a feeling of warmth, honesty, and wholesomeness. Although found in nature year-round, brown is often considered a fall and winter color. It is more casual than black.

Shades of brown coupled with green are an especially earthy pair, often used to convey the concept of recycling or earth-friendly products. Very dark brown can replace black, adding a slightly warmer tone to some palettes. Brighten brown with a mellow yellow or rusty orange. Go smart but conservative with a mix of brown and deep purple, green, gray, or orange-red.
Sienna, bay, sand, wood, dapple, auburn, chestnut, nut-brown, cinnamon, russet, tawny, chocolate, tan, brunette, fawn, liver-colored, mahogany, oak, bronze, terra-cotta, toast, umber, cocoa, coffee, copper, ecru, ginger, hazel, khaki, ochre, puce, snuff-colored.

Riley, our chocolate lab's chocolate nose

Monday, September 22, 2008

A time for everything

 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-- 

      A time to give birth and a time to die;
         A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 
 A time to kill and a time to heal;
         A time to tear down and a time to build up. 
      A time to weep and a time to laugh;
         A time to mourn and a time to dance. 
      A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
         A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. 
      A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
         A time to keep and a time to throw away. 
      A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
         A time to be silent and a time to speak. 
      A time to love and a time to hate;
         A time for war and a time for peace.
"What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?
I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.

God Set Eternity in the Heart of Man

   He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

   I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor--it is the gift of God.

   I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

   That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.

All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.

I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot. For who will bring him to see what will occur after him? 

Ecclesiastes 3

My grandpa, my Yanchi Bachi, is reaching the end of his life's journey. And what a journey it has been! He celebrated his ninety second birthday last month, just days before a serious heart attack took a third of his heart and propelled him nearer the finish line. He and Grandma celebrated their sixty sixth wedding anniversary in April, six weeks after the stroke that set him onto this path. Last week and again last night at bedtime two more strokes stole a little bit more of his mind.

Grandpa is the proud father of three children - two girls and a boy - even after the doctors told him he would never be able to have any because of the high fever that Malaria visited upon him while building bridges in East Pakistan during WWII. His legacy continues in-perpetuity with nine grandchildren, nine additional by marriage and eleven great grandchildren.

Yanchi Bachi is a fighter. On his own since the age of sixteen, the second to the youngest of six children, this Hungarian man knew what he wanted. Grandpa met Grandma and in a whirlwind romance married her . . . the next day. He was sent overseas with the Army and she joined the Navy to do her part while awaiting his return. After living and breathing the Great Depression, he knows what it is to work hard to provide for his family. In his later years his grandchildren find that the crusty exterior is easily breached to reveal a soft heart, a heart that loves his God, his family and his country. His days have been long and I hope truly happy. But now, his mind crippled, he faces The Transition with fear and anxiety. Not because he is unsure of Eternity, but because he is unsure of the process and afraid to be alone. 

"Hurry, hurry . . . return!" He called out this morning after a long, fitful night. He said he was calling for Jesus to return - still hoping, longing for the rapture to take us all together before he draws his final breath.

It's okay Grandpa . . . let go . . . Jesus will catch you in His infinite embrace. You will not be alone. 

I love you.

Great Harvest

Autumn is here. It has been whispering, tempting us for a few weeks now, but I have stubbornly clung to the last days of Summer. 
Now its time to embrace the changing seasons, the beautiful transitory colors, the crisp morning air and dark cool nights. I love Autumn. I think it is my favorite. 
But then I say that to each of the seasons, "No you're my favorite - really you are."

I do look forward to the comfort foods of fall. I think it supplies the best in comfort food.
Yes, I love Autumn most of all.

Nine Grain bread

Fresh ground 100% Whole wheat flour, water, honey, 9 grain mix yeast, salt, and eggs

Picked this beauty up from the market this morning, but Great Harvest also has a store on Grape Road. Let me just tell you, it is so delicious. In our quest to become sugar free, without the artificial sweeteners as a substitute, I am finding honey to be a delicious natural alternative.

Another favorite shop is Breadsmith on 23 in South Bend.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Goodbye Summer

As the last few days of Summer have been tiptoeing, slipping away the realization of just how fast the rest of it went is sinking in. August was a whirlwind of setting my plans in place for the new school year - and then changing them at the last minute, waiting by the phone to hear news of my ailing grandfather, trying to help my mom, his caregiver, whilst trying to keep my own home going. The absence from extra curricular activities has been in an attempt to take a step back and reorganize my self: body, soul, and mind . . . to re-prioritize and to try to find something I've lost. 

I think I always feel like this at the end of Summer. It's like saying goodbye to a dear friend for awhile.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First day of school

Today is the day! Make no mistake, there is plenty of excitement around here for the first day of school. Backpacks are stuffed with the new folders, pencils, crayons and art boxes - the *must* haves for any good student. Oh, and there's also a few books, creatures, cars, dolls and other *cannot* do withouts.

Bronwen has been asking about the first day of school since the middle of summer break. She is by far more excited about this than Noah is. She wants to be big like Noah and do lessons like Noah. She's been watching for awhile and now she is ready to go. Slow down little one, you have plenty of time to catch up.