Sad time at the farm. I've been working on the farmhouse, doing some paint-up, clean-up. When the new furnace was installed last year, all of the dust and dirt in the system blew out into the house, and now I have time to do something about it. The dust in some places is inches deep and permeated into fabrics. I've done some painting in the kitchen that I've thought about for years - I painted everything white. It's a small room that always seemed smaller because the maple colored cabinets seemed to hog all the room - the room seems twice as big now. I got rid of the refrigerator, mostly because I just didn't want to clean it. The seal was broken on the freezer and lots of mice droppings were on it. Now I'm looking for a new refrigerator small enough to come through my 28" doors.
While I was working the other night, the dogs all started barking. It wasn't their arguing with each other bark, it sounded like they wanted me to see to something. I looked out the window, didn't see anyone in the driveway, finally went outside and looked around but didn't see or hear anything, and then the dogs stopped barking. It was really cold and windy, icey rain and snow blowing almost straight across the ground, so all four of the dogs came inside and found warm places to lay down. What I didn't know was that one of my horses, Tam Burn, had somehow crashed into two fences and died. I hope the fact that the dogs stopped their barking so soon means that she died quickly and didn't suffer. Tammy was 25 years old, by Big Burn TB out of Chi Chi Deck, AQHA, a beautiful buckskin who took over leadership of the herd when her mother died.
Tonight, when I was spreading hay in the indoor arena, Manly, Tammy's close friend, couldn't eat. He'd take a bite and then turn and watch the back door, walk a few steps, and stand at alert watching. He doesn't understand she's gone. That makes me think she did die quickly because he didn't hear her calling. I will never know why she was so far away from the herd. Manly broke my heart, I had to leave.
Trying to not be too upset, I checked out some reports on my funding on Kiva. Kiva.org is an internet microfinancing non-profit where I can make small loans to farmers in poverty areas around the world - well, I don't always loan to farmers, sometimes I make other kinds of loans. One current loan is to a weaver in Guatamala, and one past loan was to a group of 12 women who were starting home businesses in the Phillipines. I've been making loans for a couple years, using the same money over and over again. I'm not even sure how much money I have rolling around in different Kiva loans, but so far all of my money has been returned and reloaned - the borrowers pay back a couple dollars each month and when all of my paybacks add up to $25, I make another loan. I always look for women farmers first, but usually can't find women. There have been times when Kiva loans were going out so fast that I couldn't take much time looking into the borrowers, but there is always a lot of information available about the borrower and about the bank that has partnered with Kiva to make the loan. I made two new loans recently, so the funds in my account aren't enough to make a new loan, but I'm going to check out borrowers anyway, maybe I'll find one I can't resist, then I'll add some new money.