November 30th

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

She is cute (and naughty!) as heck.

A busy morning and early afternoon meant not a lot of time spent with this munchkin. I rushed back to the farm after changing clothes once I got home, and naturally in the rush, brought my camera back to the barn without my memory card.

Oh well!

This girl is learning quickly. Her nipping has become manageable, and each day gets better and better. She sits SO well, and is starting to know her name.

Out of pure fun, we’ve set up small jumps, and we’re learning “jump!” Maybe if she’s interested we may do some casual dog agility at home. We’re working on “out” to leave rooms and the horses stalls, and “wait” to be invited through doorways, stall doors, and gates.

Aaand we’re still learning that although playing in the shavings pile is great fun, it’s off limits. But then she looks at you like that and it’s hard to stay stern.

Each day is an adventure, and I’m enjoying living day by day.

November 29th

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

I feel as if all of the animals have deserted us. All except the swans.

They are a steady presence here on the farm. While the geese, ducks, and many songbirds have fled for warner climates, the swans press on.

Water for roosting overnight, empty corn fields for feeding during the day.

These two cygnets weren’t very happy with me for slowing down to photograph them today. Lots of big displays of wing flapping and trumpeting. A couple weeks ago they would have flown in concern; now as they’ve gotten used to the vehicles they stand their ground.

November 28th

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

I made it four days without posting a photo of Henna.

It took some doing, but I resisted the urge. I mean, look at that face!

But today I was on puppy duty because everyone else was at work. So naturally, by spending my day with her, today’s image will be of her.

For those of you who haven’t met Henna, here’s a rundown:

She’s 3/4 Australian Cattle Dog (Red Heeler) and 1/4 Border Collie. She has both herding instincts (Cattle dogs herd with their body and by nipping, Border Collies herd with their presence and their eyes). The cats are her favorite herding subjects, and they have been UBER patient with her.

Her toys are her favorite things. Squeaker toys, ropes, balls…she LOVES them. So much so that she learned to sit very quickly because she’s learned she has to sit and wait before we give her her toys. They were a great motivation. So now she sits and waits anytime she wants something. She’s a quick learner!

Buuuut her urge to nip is strong. That’s a constant battle. Always wanting to play plus herding instincts means constant reminders that fingers, scarves, cameras, coats, and ponytails  are not for chewing.

Her favorite napping place is a lap.  We almost named her “Crash” because she plays hard and naps harder. She’ll play and play and then out of no where climb into a lap and cuddle in. She’s full of sweet love and kisses when she’s sleepy.

Henna is an independent spirit. She goes where she wants, when she wants…Until she realizes she’s alone and then she comes running for love. More than once we’ve all been in the barn and she has decided she’s going up to the house. She left us all behind and plopped herself by the front door. When no one followed her, she came running back.

It took her very little time to find her place on the farm. Each day brings new learning and new discoveries, and I can’t wait to watch her as she grows.

November 27th

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Paul is the king of quiet moments.

He can slow down, appreciate his surroundings, enjoy life moment by moment. I’ve learned a lot from him about the importance of living in the present.

So naturally, when I walked around the shop to this this morning, I couldn’t help but smile.

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Just two boys hanging out, appreciating each other. Communing in silence.

Junior would reach out and nuzzle Paul, Paul would stroke his face, they’d go back to standing quietly.

Savoring a mutual love for one another.

*Cue the heart squeeze.*

November 26th

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Another full day of puppy and husband.

Paul hasn’t had a weekend off since June, so this was a treat for us. And the weather couldn’t have cooperated any better! Temperatures in the 50’s with light wind. Perfect for being outside with Henna, perfect for getting a lot done on the farm.

One of the items on the to-do list was removing a Poplar tree. It began to grow next to our machine shed 15 years ago, and it’s now grown so large that it is starting to crowd the building, so the boys began prep for bringing it down next week. That meant pulling out all of the machinery to have better access to the tree.

November 25th

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve slowed down to appreciate.

You guys have been keeping me crazy busy with holiday orders and ongoing sales (which is AWESOME!), and with the new pup, I feel like there’s a new baby in the house. I’ve been scheduling my time around Henna’s nap time.

It’s easy to be a person of quick glances, too busy to see the love notes that God stashes in the quiet places.

Tonight He got my attention.

I didn’t think to photograph the sunset until it was almost gone, but that’s alright because I was too in awe to think to pick up my camera. The best part? I got to enjoy it with Paul.

All of life’s blessings all brought into focus through a few minutes of spectacular color and majesty.

What are you thankful for today?

November 24th

Friday, November 24th, 2017

Happy Black Friday!

Are you one of those crazy shoppers that wait in line for a store to open? I am definitely not. Crowds and crazy people are not really my speed.

Cyber Monday? Sign me up!

Anyway, I’m hosting a sale through Facebook for Small Business Saturday so today I photographed the pieces that will be a part of my sale. I’m doing a “Make Me An Offer” sale, so it’s totally new for me. We’ll see how it goes!

November 23rd

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

You all know I’m an animal lover. But I have fallen head over heels for this pup.

How do I know this? She makes me cry. And if you know me, you know I’m not a crier. Glancing blows of emotion that hit me square in the heart.

She sat on my lap on the way home, and she wouldn’t stop loving on me and licking my face. Big tears.

She lets loose a loud unlady-like snore. Wet eyes.

She’s been a fairly quiet pup, but on a walk today she saw a flag for the first time and barked (and scared herself). Laughing happy tears.

Sitting in the barn with her on my lap, and she falls asleep sitting up and proceeds to faceplant. Laughing happy tears.

We’re standing inside the house watching her nap on her bed on the back porch. Sentimental tears.

Losing Bandit was a hard hit for me, for all of us. And although she will always be missed, and I still feel her sometimes, Henna is our shining light into new memories.

I caught myself having a hard time bringing Bandit’s face to my mind today, and Henna’s face kept replacing the traces of Bandit. I was full of guilt, not wanting her to be replaced. I felt like I was leaving her behind and I wasn’t ready to let her go. But then I heard a whisper. A small divine whisper, to let it go. To let her go. He placed it on my heart that He designed us that way. We’re made to cherish, to love. He gave us the gift of long term memory, but for good happy memories, not for guilt, not to live in the past. He placed this perfect pup in our lives to bring us forward, and for that, I am thankful.

*Head back to November 16th’s post for an updated image!

November 21st

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

Friendsgiving was a success!

So much laughter and love – we couldn’t be more blessed with better friends. The 3am friends, the ones you call when life gets tough, and those who see your dream and climb up highest in the stands and cheer you on the loudest. Friends that overflow your cup.

Friends that you’re so invested in that you only get one picture taken the whole day because your phones were stowed all day. Friends that remind you that time is more precious than technology.

Fellowship around the table, cooing at the baby, sharing life and love. Full bellies, full hearts.

November 20th

Monday, November 20th, 2017

I’m attempting to be domestic this week. Anyone else?

Paul and I are hosting Friendsgiving tomorrow, and we’re making almost everything from scratch. Cheesecake, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and a first for me – Rosemary Dinner Rolls.

The recipe was one made for a stand mixer, but I’m modifying it for a bread machine so it will make the dough for me. The rosemary smells DELICIOUS. Crossing my fingers that they turn out!

November 19th

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Today was joyous!

While you can never replace one, you can make new memories. Name still tbd (as Dad says, the perfect puppy needs the perfect name), but she came home this morning and has stolen all of our hearts with her abundant love and joy, her wit, her love of toys, and most of all, her snores.

Plus, she cooperated for pictures, so she’s a winner in my book. 😉

We kept it under wraps that we were looking for a puppy. Losing Bandit was still so fresh, and we weren’t sure just how dedicated we were to commiting to a new addition, so we weren’t advertising  that we were looking.

Our family has always (ALWAYS) had Red Heelers. Blues are fairly common, but purebred reds are difficult to find.

There were breeders in Wyoming, Georgia, Montana, but local? Nope.

A couple of random “oops” litters on Craigslist, but many were mixes.

We found one last weekend that we went to see who wasn’t old enough to leave mom yet, and while we did put down a deposit, we came home feeling lukewarm about him. Dad contacted a couple other people, but nothing came about from it.

Then this morning, dad wakes us up with a text “Going to pick up a new puppy at 8:15, you coming?” New puppy meaning one we hadn’t looked at yet? Yep. This one was a little girl.

So off to Wisconsin we went and two hours later we pull up and the guy met us with her. She wriggled and crept into our arms, snuggled up close and it really was love at first sight. So home we came.

It was a full day (play hard, nap harder seems to be her motto), and we all couldn’t stop smiling. The cats felt differently, but by the end of the day they started to come around.

As I type this, I’m getting ready for bed at home alone because my husband is sleeping in the barn with her tonight. He packed an overnight bag and hit the road.

I told her she was lucky she was cute.

So here’s to loving and cherishing old memories and old friends, but also to new ones, who open our hearts to new adventures and new memories. Both are what make us grow.

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