An Unexpected Visitor. Meet Gretel

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Tuesday, March 20, 2012 10:50 AM

Hello Everyone!  

My name is Gretel.  I'm a 5 months old Nigerian Dwarf.  I get to hang out with all the other cool kids at Havenscourt Homestead.

I'm so lucky!  I have a new playmate who is only about a month older than me.  Candy is my new best friend.

There is this really cool pile of branches that are fun to climb under and over.  They taste good too.  Bark is really delicious!

I found this really cool hollow place under the branches.  It's like having my own private little fort.  Right now this is my favorite place to hang out.  There's room in here for Candy too, but she hasn't joined me yet.

My Human decided to have a two legged kid who is now taking up most of her time.  Two legs?  Why would anyone want two legs when they could have four?  Ridiculous!

So this new Human named Kitty came over to my old house and picked me up.  I was a little scared at first.  But then she brought me to this new barnyard and I was really excited.  There are a bunch of other goats and all sorts of critters and places to explore.  

There is one big goat, Snowberry, who chases me around a little, so I guess she's the boss.  Last night she wasn't too happy about me sleeping inside the barn.  But Kitty came in and sat with us all.  She kept Snow away from me and gave her lots of scratches to assure her she was still the boss.  Then she gave me lots of snuggles until I got really tired and had to lay down to sleep.

When I woke up this morning, it was all better.  I think I'm going to go crawl into the fort and chew some cud.    First breakfast was delicious.  Now it's time for my second one.

I hope you come to visit me soon.  I'm excited to meet everyone.


Sometimes Foresight is 20/20 too!

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Monday, March 5, 2012 4:41 PM

It's 4 PM on Monday March 5th, 2012, and I'm sitting in my Mom's recliner in her apartment up in Arlington, Washington, while staring at this big fella.  Why? 

Rewind the clock by about 3 or 4 weeks.  As you might be able to tell from the counter behind and the chair beside this Papa Bear, my Mom at 86 is rather fond of stuffed animals.  They are all over the apartment.  So my father decided to buy her this HUGE teddy bear for Valentines Day.  He said he wanted to give her something special.  This guy is quite literally 4-1/2 or 5 feet tall.  He's super soft and cuddly and extremely hug-able.  Mom loves him!

Fast forward to today.  Why am I in my mom's recliner?  Because I got sent home from the hospital to try and get a little rest.  We're all taking turns, you see.

Saturday in the middle of the night, my father had a massive stroke followed by several seizures.  No, this was not unexpected.  He'd be 91 in April.  We thought we were going to lose him about 6 years ago, and then again 3 years ago.  Both times he pulled through.  But this time?  No.  He's hanging on right now.  But the pneumonia has settled in so it's only a matter of time.  Mentally, I believe my father is already gone.  But I sit by his bedside and hold his hand and talk with my Mom or my sisters or whoever is visiting.  I'm thankful to be by his side.

This morning, my Mom was in a bit of a fog and exhausted.  She decided she wanted me to take her home (literally 3 minutes away) so she could shower and change her clothes.  That's when I met "the bear".  Yes, I gave it a huge hug.  Why?  Well, if you were in it's presence you would have to as well.  It's just sort of necessary somehow.  He beckons to you for a hug.

I think Mom needed a break, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  After a shower and a little rest, she was in better spirits and felt better able to deal with the hospital.  So we went  back.  Her best friend is by her side and Mom seems much more comfortable and pulled together than she was earlier today.

Dad is sleeping with an oxygen mask to help him breathe.  He has a DNR, so we're keeping him as comfortable as possible.  He has just enough pain medication to ease his pain, but not enough to dope him up.  My hope is that his breathing will just become slower and he will pass peacefully in his sleep.

Me?  I'm running on straight adrenaline.  So that's why I've got my laptop and a glass of wine.  It's the way I unwind.  I needed to talk with a few friends and center myself again.  I'll probably lay down and try to nap once I finish this post.

But back to the bear.  Somehow, sitting here staring at this big fella, I wonder if in my Father's heart he somehow knew that his time was near.  I imagine when it's all said and done, the bear will take up residence in my Daddy's recliner right next to hers.  He'll keep her company and remind her of his love for her.  Personally, I can't think of a more appropriate parting gift.

Oh, and yesterday?  He was responding to her voice by looking her way.  And he was mentally aware enough to pucker up and give her a little kiss goodbye.  It's amazing that he could muster up the where with all for that final show of affection.

Me?  Once I've rested I'll head back to the hospital.  I'm going to take one of my fathers books with me and read to him.  It just seems right somehow.  If you've seen my garage that I converted to hold his library, then you'll understand.

Anne McCaffrey was his favorite author.  I just went to his book shelf, and Lyon's Pride was sitting there on it's side.  Yes, I think perhaps that will do.  A nice evening reading to my father.  Now if I could only sneak my glass of wine into the hospital with me.