When it Rains…It Pours

This past month has been very full and overflowing literally!  The last week of March my mom and dad came down for a visit from Wisconsin.  It was such a blessing to spend time with my parents and they just love seeing their grandchildren.  It was pretty cold outside, so we spent time cooking together and visiting.


My mom and dad
While my parents were here visiting, my brother and his family stopped in for a wonderful brunch.  We had my cinnamon pecan biscuits and egg bake.  It was delicious.  They were visiting family in Florida and were driving through to Illinois.  The same day, Mark’s sister and family came to stay for 5 days.   By this time my parents were on their way back to WI, so we had our attached apartment clean and ready.   The weather was so nice.  The kids were able to play and play outside in the sunshine.  While the boys were having fun doing campouts and making tin can stoves, the girls were happily playing dolls and having tea parties.  It was fun.  We actually made the hobo dinners with Anne and Scott’s family.  Yummy.


The Eppler Family
While they were visiting, I started coming down with a fever.  I had 103˚ fevers for days.  Right after their family made their journey back to Wisconsin to the great, cold, Northwoods, another family came to stay at the Harrison Hotel for 2 weeks.  This lovely family was from Delaware.  They were such kind people.  They have 9 children that most were able to come for a visit.  They have four girls around Molly and Megan’s age, so that was fun for the girls to have time to socialize as well.  Miles had a buddy from that family who was a little older than him.  Daniel was a big help to Miles in the barn and doing other chores around the homestead.


The Hugh family

The entire time they were here visiting I was battling with fevers, chills, GI troubles, and a bad cough.  I tried to be a good hostess and show some hospitality, but I was so sick and barely able to function.  We did have some great fellowship despite my reclusiveness at times.  One evening the Hugh family made us supper.  They made a lovely taco salad bar.  Wow, that was so nice.  To top it all off, they made ice cream sundays.  What a blessing.  It truly was fun to get to know the Hugh family.

I finally went to the doctor after 3 weeks of sickness and fevers.  The doctor said I had bronchitis pretty severe.
He put me on some antibiotics which seemed to help for a day or so.  Enough for me to plan a sewing day!


Grandma Evie measuring for the darts


Amanda, my apprentice, helping sew on Megan’s dress
We took a 1950’s style dress apart to make our own pattern.  Molly and Megan did most of the work on them but we were so blessed to have Amanda and Grandma Evie help guide them along.  The dresses turned out so lovely!  I can not wait to make one for myself!


Molly and Megan in their new dresses

The second day of sewing I was so weak, I could not even sit by the machine and the sickness had come back.  The Hugh family had just left our home and I guess the medicine was not working as it should.  I had another fever, so at this point Mark was worried that I had pneumonia.  He brought me back to the doctor and they did chest x-rays.  I had mostly bronchitis but they were worried that things were starting to get into the lungs.  We caught it in time, thank the Lord!  I had a shot and another antibiotic.  By the next morning, I was covered in hives and I was all night having hallucinations.  Obviously I was allergic to the medicine!

You all come and read my blog each day and I just thought you should know what was really going on in the background.  There were days I could barely get myself out of bed, but I did not want to let anyone down.  Finally, my husband said I needed to rest.  Okay, rest?  Well, now I will tell you what happened next.

I set the blog aside for a couple days and then I got a call from another friend from Wisconsin who wanted to visit us the very next day.  So, as I sat in my bed sicker than sick, I said, “Oh, come!  We can’t wait to see you!”  I did a few mustard plaster poultices and switched up my medicines and tried to get the Harrison Hotel back up and running.  The truth is, we are trying to fix up the attached apartment to become a real working bed and breakfast that we can use as a supplement to our income, but, we have had a lot of people stay there  like friends and family who are our special guests.  They love the apartment because they have enough room for the entire family plus a full kitchen and laundry.  It is really a great thing!  Sometimes I want to move in!!!

Back the the visitors from Wisconsin…
Our friends, the McGlone family.  They have 6 children and we had a great time visiting.  The first day we had a big campfire cookout and invited other friends and neighbors.  The weather was great and the kids could not have had more excitement playing together outside.  All was well until….

The Flood!
This past Monday, when it started raining, it poured!  We were hearing the terrible news stories about families in AK that their homes were being blown to the ground and lives were lost.  So tragic!  We wondered if the tornados were headed our way.  What we cou
ld see was a progression of water flooding the banks of the creek.  To see the progression, just click on the icons below this photo…

The McGlone family was not able to continue on their journey from our “hotel” to Florida as scheduled.  Thankfully, we ended up having such nice fellowship.  They stayed an extra day until the dangers were gone.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Our fencing is a little beat up, but we are all safe and dry!  Take time to pray for all of the victims in AK who do not have a home or have lost loved ones.


The McGlone Family
I am finally now just starting to get my energy back.  It was over 4 weeks of sickness with my home overflowing with friends and family all the while.

Dairy Days…
We recently weaned the calf so we are overflowing with the milk supply.  Time for dairy days again!
Just a couple days ago us girls made buttermilk yeasted bread, 3 gallons of yogurt, 1 gallon of kefir, 2 pounds of butter, and 3 pounds of colby cheese.  What a blessing!  It smelled like cheese in my kitchen but boy it was delicious and we felt so productive.
We picked up our 100 chicks at the local hardware to raise for meat birds.  They are so very cute!  They look like little puff balls right now.  The breed is called Red Broilers.  We normally get the Cornish Cross for our meat birds, but I was worried that they were genetically modified and wanted to try something different.  Mark is planning to make us some chicken tractors for when they are big enough to roam the farm.
This past month Miles bought himself a new ride.  Her name is Cheyene because she was a wild mustang caught in Cheyene, Wyoming.  He loves waking each morning to milk the cow and then work with his horse.  He brushes her and rides her each day.  I am so very happy to see my son being productive and learning to be more responsible.  That is the beauty of letting your children have farm animals.  While it is training them responsibility, they are enjoying working with the animals.
Here is a knife that Miles just made from scratch.  He filed the metal down after it was cut out of an old saw blade.  Mark used to make throwing knives and mountain man knives so it is neat to see him pass down the skill.
Mikey is enjoying working with his chickens and bringing eggs to the table.  He feeds and waters them each day.  Somedays he gathers about 10 eggs.  Hopefully, we can get a few more layers because we like to have plenty eggs for breakfast and all the baking.
Fiddling Around…
Molly and Megan started taking violin/fiddle lessons and they are really enjoying it.  Molly just bought a cello and I am in the process of borrowing a bass fiddle so we can have ourselves a trio!  I used to play string bass in college in a little jazz combo group.  I loved that instrument.  I think afternoons playing songs on our covered front porch will be very pleasant.
Things I have learned…
I have learned that sometimes in life, when it rains-it pours. There are those moments we feel our world is spinning beyond our control and we seem to have a hard time just taking a breath.   It is not that it was not a fun month full of so many people I love and cherish, it is just all at once and all the while I was so sick, so it just felt a bit overwhelming at times which I believe is quite normal to feel.  We have had such a full month in so many ways but I can see that I tend to over due.  I am slowly learning the art of resting.  There is a time to be busy but their is a time to rest.  When your body is weak, rest is the only thing it needs to get better again.  I am so very blessed and thankful that I have such a beautiful, precious family who loves me so much.  They all pitch in and help when I am sick.  All is well on the homestead and we are so thankful we can share our stories with our readers.

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