News From the Ranch, Episode 1776

Posted on April 7, 2020 by prairiemoonquilts in Prairie Moon Ranch

Well, I accidentally took today off! The world just kinda caught up to me all at once, and it turned out to be too much for me. Even tho it’s been a beautiful day out, I went back to bed and buried my head under the covers.

One week ago yesterday, I came in from evening chores to the news that my brother had passed away quite suddenly from a massive heart attack while at work. I had just talked to him the Saturday before, and of course, you never imagine that it will be the last time. He was only 59 years old. Up till now, I was pretty sure that we’d be calling each other on our birthdays later this year, as we do every year, teasing each other about getting old. I’m really having a hard time believing he’s gone. He was always there for me, and I had somehow thought that he always would be.

I had also forgotten how the world just continues swirling on around you, while for the affected, time seems to stand still for awhile. It’s all been compounded by the fact that we can’t have a proper funeral for him right now. I guess I failed to realize how much that event actually provides a bit of comfort and closure, and we’re not getting that. I also had to write an obituary, not something I ever thought about having to do. It’s awful to have to sum up a life in a few short paragraphs that seem to not mean anything.

Gary was a kind-hearted, laid-back, gentle soul. I’m trying to think if I ever saw him truly angry — I sure can’t recall. He just took everything in stride, and kept everyone around him on that same even keel. We were constantly laughing together, and a lot of it involved our memories and stories of growing up together (“Remember the time when you ….?”). He was a hard worker, dedicated and loyal to his job, and was close to retirement; he had been working to save up for a comfortable retirement, and be able to travel more with his husband, Steve. It breaks my heart that it will never happen for them. You can read his obituary HERE. Some of his coworkers have left the kindest messages, for which I’m grateful.

Meanwhile, here in Missouri, the governor issued a state-wide lockdown effective yesterday morning. Altho we’ve been staying in pretty much ALL the time since the beginning of March, I have to go out about once a week simply to pick up prescriptions for My Cowboy. When I do that, I stop at the little local grocery store to pick up a few perishable items (milk, bread, eggs, cheese, butter, etc.). I’m thankfully usually the only person in the store when I’m there, which helps me feel a bit safer.

But even that doesn’t stop me from having a near anxiety attack at the mere thought of leaving the farm. My stomach starts churning, I get a headache, and then I force myself to do it anyway. Thanks to the new drug laws, they won’t let us stock up on certain medications My Cowboy has to have, and naturally, they all run out at various points in time. So for instance, last Thursday I was able to pick up one prescription, today I got three more, and on Friday, I’ll have to go back for two others. If they want people to stay home, they should make some special considerations for things like this right now. It makes me angry that they’re saying “stock up for at least two weeks so you don’t have to go out AT ALL”, but then they won’t actually allow you to do that.

Thankfully, we’ve had plenty of food. And lucky for Louise, we haven’t reached this point yet!

I worry about my sister on the daily — she works at a Walmart store, altho in the back away from the public, but still . . . She’s also been doing all the shopping for our parents, who are in their 80s, and staying in like they were told to do. And I am a worrier.

But in and around all that, I’ve been continuing to quilt. I did promise to post lots of cheery stuff to help us all keep a positive attitude, didn’t I?

I have made a few face masks for family, I’m working on the new Block-of-the-Month quilts, longarming for customers, working to finish up a whole pile of charity quilts, and trying to get my fabric stash and my UFOs under control. Staying busy helps take my mind off of things, and keeps me from having too much time to worry.

Something else that helps . . . is having FIFTEEN little goat babies now! The last two popped out of the oven this afternoon. I don’t even have pictures of them yet.

We have a set of triplets this time! Lily is a first-time mother, and certainly outdid everyone else in the numbers department! Triplets are a bit worrisome because a nanny goat only has two teats, but there are three babies vying for them. Sometimes low baby on the totem pole has to be bottle supplemented, so I’m keeping a close eye on them to make sure they’re all nursing. Lily has plenty of milk, and is a very attentive mother! And so far, so good.

Then there’s my baby girl, Sissy, who, along with her sister, Sassy, are just my pets. I never intended to breed either one of them, but Wyatt broke in to the nanny pen, and had other ideas, so Sissy ended up pregnant. She gave birth to twins last Friday, and she’s a super mother. Aunt Sassy is helping her, being the best aunt ever! They are so sweet.

And these two cuties belong to Bella. After a plethora of funny suggestions for naming them appeared on my Instagram post, we’ve decided to name them Dot and Dash!

And that’s where I stopped with the names. They started popping out so fast, I couldn’t keep up! So I have a few more names to come up with.

And this sweet, darling fellow turns three years old tomorrow! Of course, I’ll fix him a birthday treat, altho I don’t know if I’ll make him wear his Birthday Boy ribbon this time.

I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of my oldest UFO on the frame. I’ll tell you more about it when I get it completely finished.

In fact, I have a lot of finishes to show you over the next week or so. It only just got nice enough out to get some pictures, and even then, my photography sucks, but oh, well. Stay tuned!

I hope you’re all well, and staying safe!

40 responses to “News From the Ranch, Episode 1776”

  1. Ranch Wife says:

    Whew, Girl! OF COURSE you want to hide under the covers and I hope you really did take the time to do that! Sheesh, enough already! I am SO sorry for the loss of your brother – he sounds like a GOOD man and those are pretty rare. I hope you’ll be able, in time, to find some comfort in your memories…I can only imagine what a hoot you two were growing up! And yes, if they want folks to stay home, then they need to make allowances for prescriptions! Just dumb.
    So I can barely read your words through my tears and then you have me laughing through them with your “Loise ala-crock-pot” and your sweet, sweet babies.
    Go hug a goat…that HAS to be therapeutic!

  2. Maureen says:

    Shelly, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother! Keep your memories close; they will help you get through this.
    I love the pics of your baby goats!

  3. Dortha says:

    So sorry about the passing of your brother. Funerals do give people comfort and closure. May your memories and God comfort you. Love the goat pictures. Stay safe and healthy.

  4. Sorry about the loss of your brother. Just love seeing your babies.

  5. Andrea OBrien says:

    Many prayers for you and your family with your brother’s loss. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but hope your fond memories will help bring a smile to your face. And, as somebody else mentioned, hug those baby goats–they would surely bring a smile to anybody’s faces! Lastly, please let me know if you get desperate enough to cook a cat. I will be happy to make a run to the store for you! haha

  6. Paula in NE OH says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother’s death. He sounds like a wonderful person. After all he had you as a wonderful sister. Your goats are really cute. Please stay safe and healthy.

  7. Kerry says:

    Oh sad news, my condolences to you and the family. Yes I worry too. I heard today that my mum who is almost 92 allowed her gardener to come in and use the toilet. He should have been prepared for that and shouldn’t have even asked her – no telling who he’s been in contact with and she shouldn’t have let him indoors! Gardeners are allowed to continue working because they and builders are mostly outside. Except when they need the loo apparently. My brother who has also been told to stay indoors because of health reasons has read her the riot act!

    Love the kid photos – how lovely. No ducklings here – all eggs were fertile, but she had sneaked a fair few more eggs than I thought – must have been hard to keep them all warm. I’ve removed the eggs as it is well over the latest due date. Meh. Still at least I know they are fertile – still got 2 other girls and one is eyeing up the chicken house – much to the chicken’s disgust. Plus my Evil Twin chickens have been put in lockdown for pecking the bantams heads and jumping on them.

    Then the sun is out, seeds are being sown, plants have been transplanted and it has been a beautiful day. Off to do some sewing now!

    Do keep safe – I went to the pharmacy the other day – yes it was horrible and stressful – but the ride away from home was nice.

  8. Andrea says:

    My deepest condolences for your loss.
    Then add your concerns for your cowboy and the
    and the uncertainties of the world right now,
    Pat yourself on the back for even crawling
    out from under the covers. Your humor
    shows how strong you really are. Hang in
    there and be kind to yourself.

  9. Pam Desilets says:

    Thank for the cheer up pictures.
    And I am so sorry for your lose.
    We to had a lose last week so strange not having a service. I know it will be held later but is not the same.
    Keeping you and family in my prayers.
    I have been making masks (62) and bring them to a local hospital. No other sewing though.

  10. Kate says:

    My condolences to your whole family. I am the last sister in my family. Just the other day I found this haiku I wrote after my last sister died

      Wrapped in your old robe
    Good memories enfold me
           Sisters forever

  11. KT says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Glad you have all your goat babies to help distract and comfort you. Take care.

  12. Cindy says:

    Shelly, I’m so sorry about the passing of your brother, and the way things are in the world right now just make it so much more difficult! I’m just praying we get to see each other in July–it’s kind of what is getting me through right now as so many things have been canceled! Your goats are adorable. Keep safe and healthy. Cowboy is lucky to have you.

  13. Candice says:

    My deepest sympathy to you, Shelly. Losing a sibling is a very deep cut indeed. But I know those cutie pie baby goats and all the other animals give you some joy each day. I’ll keep you & your brother in my prayers. Stay well – follow the rules. Deaths in NJ are horrendous!

  14. Carolyn Schomaker says:

    So sorry for your loss. Will pray for all of you during this difficult time. You earned the right to stay under the covers. I sometimes find it a little harder to get up and face another day. Take care of yourself and your cowboy. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Be thankful for today.

  15. Angie in SoCal says:

    Ah, Shelly, so sorry for your loss. Gary seems a gentle soul and we need more like him. It’s been hard around here also. My brother-in-law in NJ passed away from a whole lot of things. And now his son and wife have the virus. We’re praying for them. They’re in their 50s. My sister-in-law is finding it very hard to cope. She’s in her 80s. This December they would have celebrated their 60th anniversary. I’m so far away all I can do is pray and call her to listen. Then too, the funeral will be sometime in the future. That makes it harder. We’re fine – my husband is on the slight edge of stir crazy cuz his days are usually spent outside with his plants, but it has been raining for the last few days and there’s not much he can do. Good thing he’s a reader. Me-I’m quilting and making masks. Still trying to get to that design wall that hasn’t been changed in a year. Its time will come.

    Take care of yourself. Your babies are so precious. Louise made me laugh out loud. What a bummer about the drugs. Our health plan mails them to us even though the closest facility is only 16 miles away. They want less people coming to the offices as to reduce the chance of contagion. Can you call and see if that’s an option for you?

    Prayers being said for you and your family and Gary.

  16. Suelynn Williams says:

    Oh, Shelly, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. Laughing together like you did is a wonderful memory. Congratulations on all the babies and doing so many things to care for them and your Cowboy. My husband also has prescriptions running out at different times after his heart attack last year, so I’m like you in dreading going out to pick them up. Wearing a home-made mask the first time yesterday to the pharmacy was stressful but necessary. I look forward to seeing more pictures.

  17. Elaine says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Stay strong!

  18. Angela Neese says:

    I am so sorry to read this! I have 3 brothers, and I can’t imagine losing any of them, ornery as they may be. My heart breaks for you this Spring day. The world is so upside-down right now, and yours must seem just frozen in place. My deepest sympathies, my girl.

  19. Kari Elliott says:

    Hi Shelly….I was so sorry to read about your brother…it is a tough loss to lose a close family member and friend in that manner. My heart goes out to you. And grateful somehow that the goats keep arriving to bring you some joy and comfort. Take care..,thinking of you and your cowboy at this time.

  20. Crystal says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family. With regards to the Prescription’s, I contacted my doctor and my insurance company and have them work it out so I could get all prescriptions at one time and get it all on the same schedule. It took a little finagling that makes it so much easier. I chose mail order. And they all come at one time. Something to consider.

  21. Judy S. says:

    So sorry for the loss of your brother. I’m sure you needed a day off. The kids are adorable!

  22. mimisdarlins says:

    You wrote a beautiful obituary for your brother Gary. This is a lovely picture of him….he looks the way you describe him…a kind soul. There are no words that can adequately convey sympathy when a friend loses someone so dear. I know from experience that life will never be the same without your dear brother, but he gave you a gift that you will always have, reasons to smile and memories to cherish.

  23. Randy Menninghaus says:

    oh love love love coming all the way from Maine. Maine urged people to get a month supply of drugs , waived the times they were due… and and I got them free. Don’t know what that was about but some how you need to get some one to sort out the drugs for you. that is CRAZY, you having to go in to pick it up. I just had two day where I just laid in my chair and did nothing … We are here for you Shelly…

  24. Karen E. says:

    I am so very sorry to learn of your brother’s death. Losing those closest to us is the hardest thing we deal with, I think. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. Take good care of yourself and your cowboy.

  25. Paula Hedges says:

    Shelly, you deserved to feel the sorrow, frustration, and anger(if you haven’t felt angry, you will – part of the grieving process). You are a strong and caring person with a lot being asked of you with this world turned upside down. You wrote a very nice obituary. Sometime perhaps in the future, a memorial get together can be planned so family and friends can gather to share stories and experiences with Gary.

    The photo of your cat made me laugh outloud. And of course, the kids are so precious. Looks like you will have quite a herd by summer! Now you need llamas to guard them.

    Take care of yourself or you won’t be able to take care of your Cowboy. My daughters just went out and did grocery shopping for us. Dad is 84; I’m 70. The girls said no way were we taking the risk.

    Is it possible to have the prescriptions filled by mailorder? I had all mine transfered from the local pharmacy to one that mails 90 days worth of pills, and automatically refills when it is time, allowing for mailing. What is even better is they only charge for two months! Something to discuss with his doctor.

    Take care of yourself, please.

  26. Beverly says:

    Sorry for your loss. It must be hard where you cannot have your closure. But I do enjoy reading about the farm. Both of my grandparents had farms when I was growing up, and I have very fond memories of the farm.
    You do deserve to take some time off. I have taken two days off this week. I need to get back to making masks and quilting though or I won’t have any blocks to report even though we are at home. Thank you for encouraging us.
    Take care of yourself and your cowboy.

  27. Rose Marie Smith says:

    Oh, my sweet Shelly. Life is very, very hard for some of us. Another of the dark-clouded days. I love you.

  28. Meloney Funk says:

    I’m sending warm thoughts, hugs, and prayers for you during this time of loss. It is a difficult time and quilting will surely help you get through it. Remembering all the wonderful times together will help. It’s fun to think about all those experiences. Love your goats. So many, so cute. Your quilt is beautiful. I love your quilting.

  29. Sharon says:

    So sorry for your loss. Coming from a farming/ranching family, I love seeing all the baby goats and kitties. You and Cowboy take care and stay safe.

  30. Mary says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your brother’s passing. I lost my sister in Oct after a 5-year battle with breast cancer and her husband the year before from liver failure after he started drinking as a way to cope with the cancer. He was only 57.

  31. PAULA M MORGAN says:

    I am sorry for your loss Shelly. So young! Hugs to you.

  32. Ginabeth says:

    Shelly my prayers are with you for the sudden loss of your brother. Being such a good guy and brother is hard to accept. My father pass from a heart attack at 58, which makes it hard to accept at such a young age.
    Take the time to mourn no matter how you have to do it. I’m sure all your followers would love to hear a story about Gary every now and then.
    Your goats are so cute. You take pride in all of them. Sorry the laws about medicine are so tuff. Your quilting is beautiful! Looking forward to all your pictures❣️

  33. Jill says:

    I am at a loss for words, Shelly and my deepest respect goes to you. The overwhelming loss that you are dealing with along with the new realities of today’s world and you still come out smiling. Go back to bed and enjoy. God bless.

  34. Marlene Clausen says:

    I am so sorry for you loss and for Steve’s. I know how awful that unexpected phone call is. I lost my big sister and found out that way and no funeral either. It has been years, I miss her every day and the lengthy phone calls, sometimes several times a week. She was one of my best friends. I think that missing is a good thing as that way they stay alive in our hearts. Your goat babies are adorable and I’d take Dot and Dash off your hands if I still had my country acres!!

  35. Marilyn Holder says:

    So sorry for your loss. Buried under the covers is a way of mourning, I think. Your brother sounds like a kind-hearted individual I would have enjoyed knowing. I fully believe that remembering him with friends shows that he will never be completely gone.

    Baby goats are so sweet looking. Is that a guinea in the picture? We had guineas for 4-5 years; very interesting to watch them interact. They have a permanent bump on the head!

    Take care and don’t push yourself. Quilting helps.

  36. Ginny says:

    Sorry for your loss. Like will not ever quite be the same without that special brother. Losses take a toll on us but good memories live on.

  37. Debbi says:

    I’m so sad for you, sending you hugs and prayers. 💕🙏🙏🙏💕I always feel especially sad when someone dies before they make it to retirement, the reward for working. It never seems fair to me…but truly what is? Do take care of yourself too, hide under the covers all you need! These times are definitely anxiety producing…keeping to your normal routines is helpful and you have a lot going on with the farm…love those little babies! The cat in the pot was hilarious! I thought they had made some exceptions about prescriptions during this time…about being able to get a longer supply…it would at least be helpful if they all refilled at the same time!

  38. Shelly I’m so sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. Saying a prayer for you, your family and for Steve. Losing a loved one is so very hard without not having the comfort of sharing memories and grief at a service. Just take the time to crawl under the covers as you need it. Find comfort in all the frolicking those sweet babies do. Take care of you and your Cowboy. You seem to have the staying safe while making those necessary trips for prescriptions. It is so frustrating that we can’t get them all in just one trip to town. Hugs.

  39. Dawn says:

    Oh Shelly, I am so sorry for your loss. I can tell from the photo of your brother holding the dog tight what a sweet and caring man he must have been. Gone way too soon. I hope your wonderful memories of him help sustain you during this difficult time. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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