Aunt Dolly Llama, Chickens, and Hebrew Class

This weekend was pretty busy.

Saturday EJ and I dropped our HHR off at his friend’s house. The car desperately needs brakes. EJ and his friend help each other out whenever they can, and his friend often does minor work on our cars when they need them, and he is going to fix the brakes for us.

Aunt Dolly Llama

Meanwhile, I need a vehicle. We had parked our red van at the friend’s house. RB lives on a busy country road, so the guys parked the van there in hopes that it would sell. We’ve had strong nibbles and promises to buy it, but nothing has come of it, so we use the van when one of our cars is getting worked on or we have to haul something, and we have lent it out to people who needed a vehicle after their truck got hit by a deer.

We bought the van several years ago from RG’s brother, who is a llama farmer. He used it to haul llama equipment–and maybe to transport baby llamas? It smells strongly of llama, so we named the van Aunt Dolly Llama. We got into the habit of naming our vans “Aunt” because years ago we had a decrepit van that shuddered it’s way up hills. It had a personality, and reminded us of an old quirky aunt, so we named her “Aunt Mable.” Every van since has been an Aunt. Since our red van smells of llama…well, Aunt Dolly Llama sounded appropriate. When we got the van, she was old and rusting (and smelly), and she’s developed even more quirks as she ages–she’s now rusted even more, the windshield is cracked, the driver’s inside door handle fell off so we have to open the door by reaching through the window and opening the door from the outside. The driver’s window is automatic, but often gets stuck as it sloooowly closes. The passenger window doesn’t open at all, but the wing window still opens. We need to have the windows open because of the llama smell. Aunt Dolly Llama has her faults, but it’s been kind of fun having such a quirky van–anyone can have a new car where everything works, but how many people can boast of a van with personality that smells like llama?? What funny stories we can tell of our llama van! Aunt Dolly Llama’s engine has always been strong and she’s never left us stranded. I’m quite fond of the old dear.

Chickens following EJ

Our friends have free range chickens who are very friendly and follow people around everywhere. They even let people pet them. As we walked to where the van was parked on their property, the chickens ran after EJ. It was so funny that I laughed and took a picture with my phone.

We were able to retrieve Aunt Dolly Llama. Yesterday, JJ, his friend who spent the night, and I put away lawn chairs and lawn mowers for the winter. Later, EJ, JJ, and I drove to a house about five minutes from us where people have firewood for sale. We bought a cord, and loaded the wood into Aunt DL, and then unloaded the wood in the grape arbor when we got home. We live in a small village of about 650 people. Our yard is not huge, so we have to make it serve many purposes. Our whole yard is a garden. In the front yard I grow flowers and herbs, which I dry, and EJ grows veggies and raspberries in the back yard. We have a retractable clothesline along a garden path that we can put away when not in use. Our grape arbor has a picnic table in the summer and holds firewood in the winter. We have a woodstove and heat mostly with wood. We pay very little for heating.

JJ and I had our first Hebrew class at 10 p.m. last night using the video-chat on Google+. I was nervous about it because I didn’t know what to expect or how good the other students were. We didn’t have our book yet (it arrived in the mail this afternoon) so JJ and I just listened while the other students worked through the lesson. One student is very good at Hebrew (he’s been to Israel), but the others seem to be newer at it than we are. Mostly it’s just a group of regular people practicing Hebrew together. I think it will be fun. I was thinking, after seeing the other people in the group, that these look just like regular people–mostly housewives that people wouldn’t look at twice at. No one seeing us at the grocery store would ever believe we were all learning Hebrew! I think even the most “ordinary” people are interesting in some way and have interesting stories.

This morning it was back to school. JJ was VERY tired because he didn’t get to bed early enough last night. He is a night owl, but I have been requiring that he wakes up at 7 a.m. for school each morning so we can get started on school since my morning schedule is tight. He is adjusting to the change of hours, finding it more difficult to stay up later and getting to bed earlier. I think he would have been ok

I am very tired today because I didn’t get to bed early enough either. EJ wanted me to stay up some and keep him company, so I stayed up until maybe 1 or 2 a.m.–until I was so tired that I couldn’t stay awake. This is like the third night that I have stayed up too late. I didn’t get a nap. When I finished teaching my part of school, I went to the laundromat to wash clothes. I wanted to get them done today because it’s a nice day and I think tomorrow it might rain. When the clothes were washed, I brought them home and hung them on the clothesline. It is very pleasant hanging up clothes, and I really enjoy it–it’s a time to ponder, pray, and enjoy the quiet beauty of outdoors–but when school is in session, I have to get the clothes on the line as early as possible so they will dry before sunset, and this adds to my already busy morning.

After the clothes were hung, I came in and fixed lunch. After EJ left for work, I finished housework while JJ finished school. We drove back to the place where we bought the firewood yesterday to buy another face cord (we’d like to get 10 face cords in the next few weeks), but the owners were not home. Oh, well. I’m tired today and we can do it tomorrow if it doesn’t rain. I came home, took my son and expectant dog for a walk, stopped at the post office, and found the Hebrew book in the mail (yeah!). Yikes. It looks sort of hard!

[Oh, I had to stop just now and get the clothes off the line. It was getting darkly cloudy so I checked the radar on my computer and noticed a storm had suddenly popped up not far from us. JJ and I ran outside, brought in the clothes, and as we were entering the house it was beginning to sprinkle. Then it began raining so hard it was raining sideways. We brought the clothes inside without a second to spare! The jeans are a bit damp yet, but everything else is dry. Before sitting down again, I made supper for JJ and cleaned the kitty litter box. Now I am back!]

We still don’t have a stackable washer/dryer or oven yet. My husband was researching stoves on the internet, thinking a oven was the highest priority, but I told him that I am managing fine with the stove (we have a gas range, and I can light the burners and use the stove. Just the oven doesn’t work.) and the crockpot. I don’t even mind having to wash the clothes at the laundromat, but as the days grow shorter and the weather worsens, not having a dryer will be more of a problem. We have to have a stackable washer/dryer to fit in our bathroom, which is the only place we have for a washer/dryer. The bad thing about having a combo is that if one part goes out, the whole thing must be replaced. I could dry the clothes at the laundromat expect the dryers are hungry monsters that eat quarters and don’t actually dry the clothes. I can use my dryer, but it’s not drying as well as it used to, so I use the clothesline as much as possible and the dryer only when I have to.

Not long ago I was very discouraged at all the difficulties of the last year, but I began to refocus on my blessings, and now the stuff going wrong seem like mere inconveniences. I can manage with Aunt Dolly Llama for a short time, with using the stove and crockpot, and with doing the clothes at the laundromat, etc. I still have incredible blessings and my needs are provided for. I have a loving (and loved) husband, a beloved son, a sweet dog and cuddly cats. I have a van that makes fun memories, plenty of food, a decent house. I have dear friends. I have people to study Hebrew with. Most importantly, I have a God who is at work in my life.

How incredible is THAT?

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3 thoughts on “Aunt Dolly Llama, Chickens, and Hebrew Class

  1. thewomanatthewell says:

    Your posts are always like going on an adventure for me. You describe your world so well that I feel as if I could be standing next to you, riding along in the wonderfully smelling Aunt Dolly Llama, watching the chickens walking behind EJ,online in hebrew class, teaching, washing and hanging clothes on the line wondering how long till the cold will come and steal your warm breeze, cooking not baking, I feel exhausted! I love your vibrant and colorful world thank you so much for allowing me a glimpse! May God bless you with a stacking washer dryer and an oven soon as well as the transportation you can depend on to carry out His missions, because it's obvious you have learned and have testified as to how we should praise him in all things!-WATW

  2. TJ says:

    Thank you, WATW! You bless me with your encouraging words!

  3. thewomanatthewell says:

    You are welcome and I am glad I can retun the blessing, then God has blessed us both! Have a great day friend – WATW

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