I’m not back in the saddle again, but I’m back


It would have been much more dramatic to have fallen while putting a horse over a four-foot fence.

Instead, it was a humiliating fall from the edge of my very own bed.

Mother Nature really grounded me this time. The entire winter — including Christmas (never did mail Christmas cards) — has passed me by and I have nothing to show for it. Unless you count pills. (Which reminds me, when did pills become “meds”?)

To top it off, my 23-year-old computer died and my poor editor, Susan Crowell, has to de-code this column in my terrible handwriting. I am too used to a keyboard and I haven’t yet mastered my new IBM laptop.

Silver lining

But the very best part of this abominable winter has been the mail.

All you loyal readers — from eight states (Farm and Dairy is everywhere!) — spent time and money (cards and stamps are expensive), and telephone calls, and prayers. I need all the prayers I can get!

Another “best” part was, and still is, the loving help from so many friends. They have done everything, even my laundry, and bought me food, and took me to the store and doctor. They worked in shifts, morning and night.

We’re all fine

Many of you have inquired about my furry and feathery friends — my family. No one missed a meal, and Apache and Toby looked like circus horses with snow-spangled blankets. They loved rolling in it and were beautifully clean. Now, they love rolling in the mud, and are happy campers.

Winnie has loved my inactivity. She doesn’t have to follow me around, except from the bed to the couch, and regularly turns by bedcovers into a nest to suit herself.

She had an adventure, too. Her wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Valerie Thorn-Baltes, actually came for her one morning to have her teeth cleaned and her toenails cut. They grew back like razors since she’s not “filing” them, running on the concrete aisleway.

Bingo has become a complete slob, throwing herself down so everyone can rub her belly, and some nights I awaken to find her on my pillow, roaring like a freight train.

Sights of the season

I sit long at the kitchen table, enjoying the birds, woodpeckers galore. Now, the gluttonous starlings have moved in, but they must eat, too.

Snow drops are in bloom, and green tips of daffodils and crocus have pushed their way through the frozen soil.

A pumpkin I had left outside has obviously been welcome food for someone, as it has been torn apart and seeds scattered everywhere.

Reading has occupied much of my time. Joey and wife, Marilyn, send great books. If you haven’t read A Walk In the Woods by Bill Bryson, it relates the adventures (true) of two hikers doing the Appalachian Trail. It is hilarious and informative. (Editor’s note: I can second Janie’s recommendation!)

* * *

I have missed sharing my days with you. And I am so pleased you have missed me, too.

(Editor’s note: Cards can be sent to Janie Jenkins, in care of Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)


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A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. Oh Janie~ I have missed you too! When we get the F & D on friday….I check to be sure it’s your week to write your column.
    Keeping you in my prayers for a swift and thorough recovery. So very glad you have wonderful neighbors, friends, and relatives that are there to help with any and all chores, etc.
    Spring is right around the corner…..and you will have many sunshiny days very soon to soak up the rays and regain your strength.
    Take it easy…….go slow…….and you’ll be dancing before you know it!! Well…sorta! :-) Hugs and Love, Liz from Edinboro PA


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