Can also check out what the Dreamcatcher Hill Puppies and Rescue family has done in the past years (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)*.
*These years are not including the untech-savy years of raising puppies since 1989. The years included are the ones where the new skill of posting to a website has taken place.
2022 started off terrific on the family front. Our past child was excelling at his families, and we welcomed a new daughter, with plans to add another teen son.
We hired a new person to help fill in part of the gap of the last employee who quit when Covid started, she was terrific. The terrific college student who came up with some spread sheets and computer stuff to make life easier and could do anything with an excellent attitude and hard working ethics. He is working toward a Dr. degree, and no doubt is going to be a good one! Art has had chronic health problems and has been unable to work much at all almost 2 years now. This time he developed a hernia first of November 2021 and its now February 2022. Its not healing right. He can drive to the vets, when the dogs need to go, and does some dishes occasionally. I have been drowning with all the child care, doing all of his usual job, and still attempting to do my usual 2 peoples worth of work in the office, with puppies, and on the farm. Mali, our new help is terrific and can do videos and tech stuff I can’t do! Plus has that great work ethic and great people skills, better then mine! I hope she wants to work a lot! Kim, one of my daughters, is following her long term goals of only working here a few years then doing house flipping with her husband, which started last summer. She’s rarely here, but it is SO wonderful when she can make it over. She’s organized like I can only dream of, and just great at everything! Mike has been working 2 years now and took over all of the outside work Art, and Libbie used to do before he started working here. I milk the goats, and bottle the babies. Its so nice to have someone on call when I run into problems and Art isn’t up to fixing it. He is off on weekends, which I then have to do almost everything. Keith, my son, builds things and fixes all the many things that fall apart on the farm, including the tractor, and sometimes helps me do farm chores on the weekends.
The new kennel took a back seat when we were so short of help keeping the basics all done. The critter care and family always comes first. I am hoping with Mali working that the guys can go back to building the kennel. Its a really big project.
2 weeks into January Brandy, Mike, and Keith all caught covid, 4.5 days after they started Art got it. Mili is only 13, and though she was only here a couple weeks learned how to milk the does, and bottle feed the goat kids. Plus she helps me on weekends and has been just a joy to have around. Full of personality and when everyone got sick I don’t know what I would have done without her help. Not at all how I pictured her first month here! It was also freezing cold so chores are much harder to do. I don’t need a gym membership, just need to do the farm chores instead of office work. She loves the idea of having a job that she can work if she wants, or not as she wants. At 13 school, and doing kid stuff is the priority.
Things have changed a lot over the summer until now. Mali didn’t work here more then a few months. Kim has been working about every other week to help with paperwork. Mike and Brandy moved to Gilispie, but he works part time, 4, or 5 days a week. Maddi and sometimes her sister come to help a few times a week. Keith, my grown son, has been helping out whenever I am unable to cover for people not showing up to work plus he has started working on the new dog kennel again. Mike also help with construction and whoever else they can get to help. With having 3 or 4 kids at all times since May, only 1 of which wants to help regularly, (only 9 years old,) it is hard for me to keep up if we don’t have regular outside help!
Art had surgery 10-26-22 to remove the hernia mesh they had put in almost a year ago. He was unable to do anything but help with driving and talking to the kids for months. It had become just so painful for him. We are praying when he recovers from the surgery he will be able to be comfortable and do things again! I am really enjoying being a parent again. It is very different then what it was like to raise my bio kids 30 plus years ago! Art is low key, but has anxiety so he is good with them one on one. The kids soak up the individual attention.
We went on a first family vacation in June. Drove all the way to Washington state in a mini van with 4 kids! Anyone with kids can probably imagine the car ride, but not likely the full extent of having 2 sets of siblings who all could have used Nanny 911’s help! We stoped overnight at various places for sight-seeing on the way there, and on the way back. We got to see SO many things it was well worth it. I really need to do a photo album for each of them. Yellowstone was closed due to flooding. I had really wanted them to see the geysers. That was a disappointment, but the buffalo we saw in another park was great. Art was able to walk a bit at that time still, so he was able to see some of it. He would rest in the motel rooms when I took the kids swimming, or into some of the museums. We stopped at one of the badlands overlooks. The kids were much more interested in the little wild bunnies that were hopping under the raised walkway. It was quite an experience. After getting home I dont think any of us wanted to get into the van again! The kids keep asking about another trip and if I mention driving they say no lets fly! Its all so costly we won’t be going anywhere as a family for quite awhile. Hope to fly with really cheap ticket deals to FL to visit my oldest daughter and only taking 1 kiddo come with me.
In September Uncle Al, Art, and I all had covid. Fortunately Uncle Al and I didn’t have a very bad case. Art felt awful for several days but didn’t need to go to the hospital. Somehow none of the 4 kids had it. I tested them with a home test regularly, not that those are very reliable, but they showed positive for Art, Al and I. The kids were always negative. Having it was not as bad as the complications of having our help not be able to come in the house, or me not able to help with a big part of the dogs and puppies. No one was able to help with paperwork for a few weeks. I had to do all the inside stuff. Plus trying to limit contact with the kids. I gave up on that, they were not capable of behaving if I was not in eye contact with them. The ripples from trying to quarantine for just a few hours the very day I tested positive are still happening. It caused one of the kids to be moved to another home in September, against our wishes. The system is messed up.