Monday, October 20, 2008

Deaths in the family

On Monday, October 13, my 2nd husband, Niels van Everdinck, died from a brain stroke after being hospitalized for pneumonia. Niels was only 50 years old. He lived alone, save for three cats, estranged from his two wonderful sisters, in the same apartment he and I shared in The Hague, The Netherlands (Holland) in 2001. A neighbor had noticed that she had not seen Niels leave the apartment in as much as a week, and notified the police, who after bashing in his door, found Niels half conscious and sick with pneumonia. He was rushed to the hospital, but died the next day. One sister contacted me for a hint about who his friends were and luckily I could put her in touch with one, who was a link to the others. As you can imagine the news was quite a shock. I can't say I thought of Niels often, or maybe even thought of him at all, but this end was certainly a sad ending.

[The balance of this post was entered at a later date] The following Monday, the 20th, my stepfather, Ernie Pfannschmidt, died from a cerebral hemorrhage that resulted from a fall in his home on the 18th. Dad was 90 years old, still living and running his home in Anoka, MN.

My two younger brothers (Ernie's sons), Mark and Matthew, and other close family members were at Dad's hospital bedside when he died. It was very peaceful. His pastor was also at the hospital and conducted a wonderful bedside service. Dad's funeral was at his home church in St. Francis, MN on October 24. Mark played Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring on viola while wife Laura accompanied on piano. Later during the service, Laura accompanied Matthew as he sang, "I Need Thee Every Hour." I'm confident Dad is happy to join his 2nd wife Gladys, who preceded him in death in 1999.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall update

I bought six Pilgrim geese at a local auction. There are 4 ganders (males) and 2 geese (females). The sex of both goslings and mature Pilgrim geese can be distinguished by color. This is known as auto-sexing. Males are white and females are grey. Bills and legs are orange in both sexes, while the eyes are blue in ganders and dark brown in geese. Only the mating pair came assigned with names; George & Gracie. The remaining geese are their offspring hatched in 2007. They spent the night in the barn aisle and their days in the horse pasture eating grass and drinking from puddles. I filled the wading pool I had some our first set of geese and they like to visit that too.

I continue to work part-time at the local post office. Lately, I’ve put in fulltime hours because the postmaster Helen is out on medical leave. Helen does come in a few hours a week, which is very helpful.

After not working since February, Ian began a consulting job just after Labor Day. He commutes an hour to the Cities and enjoys the work. It’s nice that gas prices are getting lower, as it makes the commute much more affordable.

The horses are all fine. They’re all situated in the pasture closest to the barn munching on two round bales of hay we bought last weekend. The three 2008 fillies are growing nicely. They’re stabled in the barn and learning halter training and being handled.

Renoir enjoys his big box stall and his outdoor paddock. In late September, we took him to the Minnesota Fall Fest at the MN State Fairgrounds for the Minnesota Arabian Horse Breeders Stallion Parade. Ian did an excellent job showing him off to the audience. Ian showed a 2 yr old stud colt for a friend of ours at that show too.

Weekends are spent getting the house ready for the MN winter. Ian’s installing thick insulation panels around the first floor of the house and sealing the window edges with foam. We’re planning to install a new main exterior door, which will help cut down on the draft. The in-floor heating system needs to be hooked up too, which along with the pellet stove, will keep us very warm.

The autumn colors are lovely – lots of oranges and yellows and the occasional red.