Our current population: humans (2), equines (2), felines (3), and--wait for it--galines (6). If you read my earlier SOTF address, you'll remember that vocab word. Award yourself a gold doubloon from petty cash. I had to look up the spelling of doubloon so I guess that's my vocab word.
Health & Welfare: One equine is new to the staff, as Rindle is now buried out back. You'll also note the lack of caprines. I don't believe in an afterlife, but if there is one, those old goats are girdling the celestial fruit trees and tearing out the heavenly flowers as fast as they can. We also lost our rooster and a couple hens in the Fox Serial Murders of 2015, and recently lost the junior rooster Martin to a hawk right in the chicken yard. Construction plans are underway to install wire overhead. Martin's sacrifice was his finest hour, as he had turned delinquent, crowing on my porch and nipping me.
Immigration: The catfish seem to have crowded out all the other fish in the pond. The deer are in my garden less often thanks to new pasture fences, but the undocumented mice in the kitchen are a real problem. The cats are unwilling to deport them, while slaying all manner of wildlife (usually left on the doorstep or in the hallway). I intend to STOP the mice with traps or some kind of mouse-repelling mint stuff I've heard of. Either way, I will make the mice PAY FOR IT.
Employment & The Budget: Always a sticky wicket. It would appear Disability is a job description I may be qualified for. Stay tuned.
Relations With Relations: Much improved! My therapist is always happy when I work through more anger at my parents but it's a tedious, exhausting process. Perhaps I'm actually leveling out. At any rate, I take my them supper every so often.
The Elderly: It's tempting to think of my father (93 now) as Older Than Old, but Woozle (Senior Cat) and I aren't getting any younger, as the AARP mailings CONTINUE to remind me. Woozle is long past the days when he could have been a feline Calvin Klein underwear model, but aren't we all? Or something. Never mind. Soylent green is people. At least we can rejoice: Day after tomorrow I get my new socket.
Outlook: Positive in a way I wasn't expecting after losing Perry last summer. He was an honorary member of HCF and a pillar of my life, though he's not buried with Rindle or the goats (his ashes are scattered at Cornell Plantations, where he worked twenty years, as well as in his home town). I feel him and his influence on me all the time. I'm hopeful about riding my horse and this year's writing projects. I know he's be proud of me. And my new socket will have one of Perry's Plantation t-shirts as its custom finish.
Bring on 2016.