December 30th

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Waking up to an air temperature of -15 was brutal this morning.

But it always amazes me how much the birds still love the sunshine, even in the cold. Five roosters and four hens meandered the field for corn this afternoon, seemingly oblivious to the bitter cold.

December 29th

Friday, December 29th, 2017

This morning was like a weird dream.

I looked outside at about 10am, and three does we’re standing at alert in our backyard. Wide-eyed and ears constantly swiveling, they must have been roused by something, as they were nervous.

They were SO close and it was daytime so I thought – jackpot!! I quietly ran for my camera, but naturally they were gone when I looked back out.

Bummed but not surprised I went back to doing what I had been doing. Then when I went to turn off our fireplace, I looked out the back window and there they were, trotting across the pond. In all my years living on the farm, I have never seen deer cross the pond. Especially long-ways, right down the middle. It’s a ten acre pond – that’s a lot of ground to cover.

And to top it all off, our horses were oblivious. Normally that’s something that would’ve had them running around the pasture. No one even lifted their head.

Had I not gotten this on camera, I would’ve thought I dreamt it.

December 28th

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Taking a break from personal images today to bring you one Mr. Red Tailed Hawk.

He was absolutely beautiful sitting in a tree in the farm today, but I couldn’t get close enough in time.

Still beautiful, still fun to see. I had forgotten just how big they are until I spotted him. He stood out from the trees, even from hundreds of feet away.

Maybe he’ll stick around and I’ll catch him another time. Just another reason to always keep my camera on me. 🙂

December 27th

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

How do you all stay warm when the weather turns?

Drink a lot of coffee? Stay in bed all day? Wear wool socks to work?

One of the best things about working for yourself is that I can pick and chose what days I don’t leave the house. I obviously go out and do chores for animals and make sure all is well with them, but other than that, I grab my favorite blanket and work with a full cup of coffee in my sweat pants (don’t judge!).

The main thing on my list today was updating my website. Didn’t completely finish, but I feel like it’s always a work in progress.

Burke was extremely supportive of my decision to stay inside today – he happily soaked up every single minute of sunshine!

December 26th

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

 

It’s hard to get work done with this face peeking at me.

Henna isn’t allowed into the stalls while I’m cleaning. We’re attempting to teach her to respect certain boundaries, and that she has to be invited into certain areas of the barn. The horse stalls are one of those areas. But of course because Henna is Henna and she’s a little too smart for her own good, when I go in to clean stalls, she wiggles her way underneath the cart so she can see me and watch. She’s technically not in the stall, and she does a good job of just observing, so I let her do it. Not to mention that soon she’ll be too big to fit under the cart, so it’s not worth fighting over.

And she’s pretty darn cute.

December 25th

Monday, December 25th, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Our day was full of joyful family and sweet critters – absolute perfection.

The day flew by and before we knew it, family had left for home, and Paul and I were relaxing together on the couch with a sleeping cat on either side of us.

It’s worth repeating – absolute perfection.

As Paul and I cleaned up the kitchen, we came back to find Colt deep in sleep (everyone say it with me…awwwww), and then I caught his expression as he surfaced back into consciousness (above), and it riled a good belly laugh for both Paul and me.

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December 24th

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

Cue the Christmas music and arctic blast, it’s Christmas Eve!

Below zero temperatures have me hibernating, can anyone else relate? Cleaning the house doesn’t seem like such a chore when at least I can be inside and be warm.

But then something completely magical happened as I was pushing the vacuum across the room – I looked outside to bright blue skies and snow flurries. The snow was sparkling as it fell, like a veil of frozen mist. I rushed for my camera and tried to photograph it, but it was one of those times where the image didn’t do it justice.

Even the birds were singing!

December 23rd

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Whew baby we’re into the full blown Christmas swing around here. How about you?

Last minute gift wrapping (dang – I ran out of tape!), meal prep (which means hectic grocery store runs), and scheduling minute by minute where we’ll be, who is coming over (read: Is my house clean?!).

But amidst the holiday crazies, Paul and I took some time this afternoon to bring our “kittens” into our home. They’re too sweet for Henna – she treats them like one of her stuffed animal toys – so the boys are claiming sanctuary at our house.

We aren’t sure if this will be a permanent arrangement or not. Introducing them to Burke is going to be our real determining factor. If everyone can’t get along (prey-predator responses), the cats will be going back to the barn. It may not be until spring when the weather changes again (and Henna hopefully matures a bit), but we’ll see where it goes.

For now, it’s taken a total of 29 minutes for them to decide that being inside is a really fun thing. 😉

December 22nd

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

SINGLE DIGITS PEOPLE!

Single digit countdown until the new year. Which means many things to many people, but for me it means that my 365 is nearly complete!

I’d be lying to you if I said that I never doubted that I’d make it. And I suppose it’s still to early to really say that because it’s not December 31st yet, but I’ll be a little presumptuous and daring 😉

Daring like a certain 13 week old pup who doesn’t realize that she’s only ten ponds compared to Junior’s 1,000+.

I let this little scene play out today, and it ended positively so we can all give thanks for that. Luckily, Junior is extremely patient with any animal who isn’t me (haha), so he slowly approached her and gently stood his ground while she spun in circles, jumped, yipped, completed minor acrobatics, and stretched her little herding muscles. As you can see, he was not at all intimidated, haha! She also kept her teeth to herself and obeyed my instructions to stay “Out” (of the paddock) which was a great thing to see.

She also MASTERED her “Wait” today when I fed the boys. Proud mama right here! To even get her to focus for more than 5 seconds is a victory in itself, so for her to “Sit” and “Wait” at the edge of the open stall door while I went in and fed horses was a HUGE accomplishment.

We gain a little ground each day, and it’s fun to watch her grasp and learn new things. Junior provided her an excellent opportunity to excel today, and that makes all the difference.

Just like with kids I suppose (for all you mamas out there 🙂)

December 21st

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

It is the season of gratefulness, and I’m loving it.

I’ve always loved horses; it’s like they’ve been infused into my DNA. Many little girls love horses, I get that, but I was lucky enough to have brave parents who not only entertained my love for them, who didn’t just say “we’ll board one for you,” but who embraced my love as theirs. They built a barn, put up fencing, went to first time horse owners classes, asked for help from other horse owners, and eventually brought two horses home. Two grew to four, and at one point, four grew to six.

We kept almost all of those horses until old age took them, and as you all know, we’re now we’re back down to only two.

Two goons that have a way of reminding me that joyfully is simply the best way to live.

You want a pick-me-up? Come down to the barn – Junior would love to give you a kiss…or playfully steal your hat…or just snuggle (he is a really good snuggler!).

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Buck would love to stand for a good grooming session and big hugs…or he’d happily do some liberty to show you how smart he is. But really, I opened the gate today from the indoor and he walked right through the barn to his stall. First time since last winter and he got it the first time.

Their love is so unconditional; just like any dog, they greet me each time I come down to the barn, and they haven’t held it against me that the puppy has taken up time that used to be theirs.

They just loved the fact that for a half an hour, I did nothing but stand quietly with them. With no agenda but to love on them and simply spend time. To be ok with “productive” meaning kissing soft noses and burying my nose in long winter coats while breathing deep.

Today, I was thankful for not only the present moments I spent today, but for the journey that got me here.

For passion and for brave parents. ❤️

December 20th

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

I rarely get excited about snow.

A little because it mucks up the roads and can be inconvenient, but mostly because they predict lots of it, and then we get a dusting – ultimately leading to my disappointment.

So when I looked at the weather forecast a few days ago and it claimed 8″ between today and tomorrow, I tried to rein in my anticipation. They slowly started to back off from large predictions as today grew closer, and I began to give up. Then it did start to snow a little today, and my hopes came shooting back up… and then the snow stopped.

I hate to be the pessimist, but I highly doubt a large snow system will magically appear tomorrow to make my snow dreams come true. Boo.

Either way, the little dusting we got today was pretty. It always feels a little bit more like Christmas time when there is snow on the ground.

Anyway, about today’s image.

I attempted to catch snowflakes in focus against a dark background for awhile, but the flakes weren’t big enough nor was it snowing heavily enough.

I happened to glance back toward the pasture, and sure enough the boys were out (the two specks by the power line pole). They can come and go in and out of the barn as they please, and it always seems that come snow, sleet, or heavy rain they choose then to frolic.

Whatever makes you happy right?

December 19th

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

Today started with me photographing the clouds during sunrise, and ended the same way.

I rolled over in bed this morning to a sky full of beautiful pink popcorn clouds, and I rushed for my camera.

Then as I’m sitting at my desk working this evening, I glanced out my window and saw a sky full of orange. With the warm weather we’ve had the past couple of days, the top layers of snow has melted and created an icy glaze over everything, which reflected even more of the sky’s majesty.