Tuesday, July 31, 2012


It will soon be a year since my Dad has his stroke over at Centre County Grange Fair. There have been so many changes in his life and in ours. It is so sad to see how he can't do so many things he used to do. He would spend hours on the computer and could figure difficult things out in minutes. Now he can no longer even figure out how to get on the computer.He used to go to the basement and work on his jewelry . He made beautiful pins, earrings and necklaces with his gems and rocks. He tumbled stones and has beautiful slabs of rock.Now he can't get his left hand to work right . He can't do the fine work to fashion a wire wrapped gem or fit the small beads on the wires for a pair of earrings. ( The loss of his left hand is worse because years ago , when they lived in Florida ,he cut his hand with a table saw. His hand was terribly cut and required months and months of surgery and therapy. It was unbelievable how they were able to sew his hand back together . So he never regained full use of his left hand even after all the therapy . It was already weak and the stroke made it worse. )So in about a month he will be selling all his many, many gems, rocks and equipment. It has made us so sad for his sake that he can no longer do something he loved. He has collected so many rocks from so many places.He always loved showing people the many rocks he has . He could tell you where they all came from and what they were called. My Dad was a very, very smart man . He was in the cable industry for years and years . He could tell you anything you wanted to know about cable . Now, he can't even figure out how to work the remote for the TV. He can't push the right buttons . Now , since the stroke , his brain does not work the way it used to. If you sit and talk to him , you would never know there is anything wrong with him. But when he has to use his brain , it just isn't there anymore. He tries to put a large pot inside a small pot. He has trouble with dressing himself.It breaks our hearts to see this man, who was almost a genius , now at a 2 year old level of thinking. A stroke is a terrible thing to happen to a person. The person they were is lost . But we are lucky that he knows who we all are and can still function to a point.But it is very hard on Mom to deal with her husband being like a 2 year old sometimes. Dad always did a lot for Mom. He can no longer drive. Which is hard for Mom . She has to drive all the time. We try and drive them places to give her a break now and then. He can't be left alone for very long. So friends or family stay with Dad to give Mom a break. Our Dad was never an affectionate person. He never showed you he cared. The stroke has made him very emotional. He gives us hugs now. And he cries very easily now. Other people have told us that happens when someone has a stroke. Dad's life and ours have been changed in many ways. But we all do the best we can and keep going .

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Milk Prices Low Again !

My husband was talking to our Amish neighbor yesterday. He is getting only $14.25 a hundredweight for his milk. He told Jim they can't even afford to go to the grocery store and get groceries. It makes me so mad to know dairy farmers STILL are not getting a decent price for their milk. All the work a farmer does , the endless hours of chores and fieldwork seem even harder to deal with when you are not getting paid a decent price for the milk you produce.
As many of you know , we sold our dairy cows last May after 39 years of dairy farming. It was a sad time for us. But I remember all the many , many times of constant stress and fear of how will we pay our bills ?? How will we pay to have our gas tank filled for our tractors so we can do field work ? When there wasn't even enough money to pay for feed for our cows. It makes me sad to think of the many farmers struggling with low milk prices and wondering .... are we going to be able to hang onto our farm and land ? The politicians just say they will investigate , they will hold hearings. Those hearings will really help me hang onto my farm and land ! While you all discuss everything and decide what to do , more and more farmers are losing their farms . The costs of running a farm are rising and the farmer is getting less. I wish I had the answer to the situation many farmers are facing right now. Some people say the farmer should stop whining . Well I say to them, we are not whining !!!!! We just want a fair price for our milk and to know all the hard work we do is worth something !