November 30th

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Tif and my weekly walk at Crow Hassan took on a new look this week.

Thirty degree temperatures, but snow on the ground. Nearly perfect for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love warm weather, but if snow is on the ground I want to be able to be out in it.

Today was exactly that.

November 29th

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

Paul and I learned something fascinating about out chickens today.

They don’t like snow.

Evidently, being a “cold hardy” breed of chicken simply means they tolerate cold well, not snow.

Which really isn’t the end of the world, the have plenty of space in their coop and run, but it was just unexpected.

I opened the coop door today, and they all crowded around the front porch, looked around, turned around and went back in. They did the same thing when I opened the run door.

Penny wanted to make sure I understood just how displeased she was, so she stood on the front porch for a few minutes with one leg up as if to say “make it go away”.

Paul and I Googled it, and evidently that’s the common consensus among chicken owners – that you have to lay down bedding or hay/straw on top of the snow for them to walk on if you want them to venture out of their coop.

They may be out of luck on that.

November 28th

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Want to know a funny little fact about Paul and my marriage?

We don’t have designated sides of the bed.

At home, Paul always sleeps on the left, and me on the right. If we’re not sleeping in our own bed though, that isn’t always the way it is.

Paul insists on sleeping on the side of the bed that faces the door. So at home, that means left side. At a hotel or AirBNB, that may mean right side (On top of all other things he is to me, protector is definitely near the top of the list).

Why does this even matter? Well, because that means I always get the window side, and this morning when I opened my eyes to this amazing sunset (with Colt looking on, haha!), I was in awe and thankful that this was what I woke up to.

Quite the way to start the day.

November 27th

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Today’s image is what happens when you don’t have binoculars handy.

Often when I think I see something out in the distance, further than what my eyes can clearly see, I pull out my camera. I take a picture, then zoom in on the back of my camera. It’s not a very clear image at that point, but it often allows me to see if what I’m looking at is indeed an animal or just a bush.

It was 1:30 this afternoon when I had to go for my camera. Paul was on his way home from work, and I was doing dishes at our sink. I was looking out the window and thought I saw a dark spot where there normally isn’t one. It looked deer-shaped, but if that’s what it was, it’s head was down, so it wasn’t 100% clear that’s what it was.

Sure enough, I take a picture, zoom in, and it’s a huge buck.

It wasn’t overly clear exactly how big his rack was, but I was able to count ten, at least. Not a broad rack, but tall.

So I called Paul, and it just so happened that he was 15 minutes away. Paul has a bow tag that he hasn’t filled yet this season, so he asked me to keep an eye on him so when he got home he could try and go out for him.

I quite honestly doubted that he’d hang around that long, but fifteen minutes later Paul pulled up and the buck had only wandered about 100 feet. (This picture was taken right before Paul got home.)

Paul ran in, grabbed his bow, threw his coveralls on over his uniform, and went out the door.

Now, Paul had absolutely zero cover out there; it was an open field. However, our neighbor had said his trick to bow hunting is to crawl toward the deer once it’s seen you, as it can illicit a curiosity response over a flight response.  He claimed that he does it every season and it never fails.

So I watched Paul crawl across our pumpkin field, over my parent’s driveway, and into the soybean field.

If you can believe it, it actually worked better than I thought it would.


Around here, at the first sight of humans, the deer are gone. Like flee the scene, don’t come back for days gone. Especially the bucks.

This deer did eventually move on, so no venison for us, but it was pretty neat to watch.

However, while we assumed after this little hunt took place that he’d move on to different property, my sister texted Paul this evening after dark, saying that said deer was on the driveway when she came home.

So, even if the crawling didn’t get Paul close enough to shoot, it moved the deer out without fear of the area. So there may be something to this whole crawling thing.

November 26th

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Sometimes, I know myself really well.

Do you ever have those moments?

For example, when you find a mini cookies and cream chocolate bar in your camera bag because it’s your favorite, and you placed it there knowing you’d enjoy finding it as a treat later.

Do you ever do that? Leave yourself a little gift that you find later, and love yourself for it?

We all have those insecurities that make us love ourselves a little less. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I’m calling it as it is.

So when I have those moments when I see myself as a friend, who fills her own cup, who surprises herself, who encourages, who says “hey, I know you, and you’re bigger and better than those nagging voices,” it makes me softer towards myself.

Today, that little reminder came in the form of this leaf. A little splash of fall color that reminded me that change can be beautiful, and that made me smile.

The best part is where I found it – my wallet.

It’s more than likely been there for over a month, hiding in the coin purse (an area I never go), just waiting for the day God would have me open it, just when He knew I’d need it the most.

Tiny pleasures, friends. Sometimes the best days are made of them.

November 25th

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

I am going to bed feeling like I’m on fire – in a very good way.

You all came out in force to Melissa’s today, and blew me away! After seeing my event post, I had a line of people waiting to get into my booth today, wanting to be first in line to be sure they got what they wanted. Thirty minutes in, I had to tell someone that I had already sold out of the specific pillow they were looking for. I felt like I was in the middle of a hurricane for the first 45 minutes because I was answering questions, bagging purchases, digging out replacement inventory for that which was sold, and laughing – a lot.

Talk about being embraced by the community – you all knocked it out of the park.

You all had me so busy that the only image I took today was of the sunset after I got home, as I unpacked my car.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

November 24th

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…”

One of my favorite things to decorate for the first year we lived in our house was Christmas. I went to Target and splurged on Christmas lights, stockings and these cute little reindeer stocking hooks for our mantel. All of those things are still some of my favorites to set up.

This year was a little different.

I pulled out all of my garlands, ornaments, my advent calendar, and our beloved stockings and started setting up. It felt wonderful until I got to the bottom of my tote, and I came across Burke’s stocking. A cute little stocking more than likely meant for a baby, but it was perfect for our little furry peanut.

It’s our first Christmas without him, and it brought a flood of feelings.

He used to love when I decorated for Christmas – sitting under the tree was his favorite thing. Ever since he was a babe, he had a thing for snoozing under Christmas trees. The picture below is Burke only a couple weeks after I got him under our Charlie Brown apartment tree. He was only a couple of months old here!


I almost didn’t hang it up, but I thought it was a great way to remember him through.

It’s been seven months since that nugget last wiggled his little nose at me, and I miss him. I think of him often, and how much joy he brought. My sweet sass master, my little bun with a big heart. He got me through a lot, and was there for so many big life events. The first animal who lived in my home with me, who became a part of my daily routine.


So now, I’ll smile when I look at his stocking hanging over the fireplace. Each season brings it’s own “without yous,” but soon we’ll reach our one year mark, and each benchmark will get easier and easier.


November 23rd

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

If you know me, you know I am not: 1. A shopper, and 2. A fan of crowds and busy parking lots.

So put those two things together and the outcome is that I am definitely NOT a Black Friday shopper. Although I do enjoy a good deal, the previously mentioned outweighs the money saved.

So instead, Paul and I opted outside. It felt marvelous, and was probably one of the last comfortable above-freezing days we’ll have until March.

On our walk in the woods today, we came across this downed log that had three perfect circles bored out of it. Our best guess was that a woodpecker had made the tree it’s home after it had died, and had three entrances (must’ve been quite the place!) before the tree came down.

If anyone else has any guesses as to what may have caused this, I’d love to hear them!

November 22nd

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you were all able to enjoy your day surrounded by those you love!

For the first time since Paul was hired at SkyWest, he had today off, so we were both able to celebrate with both of our families. This morning, we went to visit Paul’s parents, Jan and Janis, and his sister and our brother-in-law, Abbey and Mike. Mike and Abbey bought their first home this summer, and wanted a few images of the two of them in front of their house for Christmas Cards, so we did a mini shoot today.

We also were able to utilize the wifi and remote shooting function on my camera, and take some images of all six of us together!


November 21st

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

I went a little abstract for my image today, can anyone guess what this is?

Hint: If you know horses, this was probably an easy one. Or maybe it was an easy guess for everyone, who knows! When you’re the one behind the camera and know what an image is of, it’s sometimes hard to know if it will be difficult for others to see.

Either way, today’s image is of Bucky’s back. The right side of the image leads up to his neck, the back half-circle is the curve of the top of his left hip. The center of his spine runs from the center of the image to the edge of the left side of the image. He had his right hip relaxed, so the curve of his spine is accentuated.

When I was up at the barn doing chores this evening, the warm light coming through the door was really quite lovely. I started by photographing Bucky’s eyes, but his eyes never really relax when I have the camera in front of my face, so he always looks a little freaked out; this isn’t how he normally looks at me, so it’s hard for me to connect with them. When I walked past to go to Junior’s stall, I saw the light gently laying across Bucky’s back, and I loved it.

Buck’s age is starting to show, and it’s a little hard to come to terms with. We’re on the back end of old age at the farm, and there’s been a lot of big losses within the last year. Buck (should be) the caboose of our age train for awhile. Junior’s only twelve, Henna and our cats are just over one, and our chickens aren’t that old (however, I’m staying a little guarded with them due to the fact that predators are always around).

Our sweet farrier, who is my dad’s cousin and who also sold us our first horses, is one of my go-to’s when it comes to horse care. He’s my weight-check guy each time he comes out, and he’s my practical go-to when I have questions about equine physical therapy vs chiropractic work, and everything in between. He’s been around the block, and is my common sense sounding board, especially since he knows our horses’ histories. I’ve been throwing around the concern of Buck having Cushings with other horsey friends for the past 9 months, as I’ve been seeing the symptoms start, and they encouraged me to look into it. Last time Dave was out, he took a good look at Bucky, and I said to him “I’ve been meaning to ask you about Cushings,” and he said to me “I was just about to bring it up.” So we had a conversation about the fact that it was an old age disease, what symptoms he saw, how the test works, what time of year is best to have it done, and what a diagnosis may mean.

So we waited until fall, and called to make an appointment. Convinced he had it, we were prepared for what that may mean in terms of a shortened life span, change of feed, daily meds, etc. Dr. Rick came out, did the blood draw and was out the door again in under two minutes.

“If results are normal, my tech will call, if not, I’ll call and we can talk about our options.”

Well, a week later mom had a voicemail from Dr. Rick, but he must’ve had bad service, as the message was hard to understand. So expecting the worst, mom called him back, and guess what?

His results were dead center of the normal range! Not even borderline!

“Most likely the symptoms you’re seeing are simply his body aging. Here are a couple things to continue to watch for, but otherwise, keep doing what you’re doing.”

It’s rare that we get good news when you have to call an equine vet out, and I’m going to take it! It also gave my heart a little reprieve, as I can handle normal aging, but was having a hard time wrapping my mind around a disease that would be even more of a hurdle for him.

So tonight I gave him a little extra love, happy that that negative diagnosis may mean a couple more years to enjoy the sweet, trusting teddy bear that he’s become, along with all that crazy hair.

November 20th

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Today’s image is not an exciting one.

It’s not a creative one, technically correct one, interesting one…it is 100% dull.

So why this image?

Because this is where I spent 5 hours of my day today. Yes, five.

Last year, Paul and I invested in snow tires for my car and they were fabulous. I absolutely loved them. However, with snow tires, that means you have to have them put on and removed from your car at the beginning and end of each winter season.

The place we go to doesn’t take appointments, they run on a first-come, first-served basis. The longest I had ever had to wait was an hour and a half, and so even though I had a dental appointment at 10:15, I figured if I got there at opening (7:30am), two and a half hours gave me plenty of time before I needed to be off.

So off to Corcoran I went to be at our local tire shop at opening this morning. I got there at 7:36, and I was already number 8 in line. And people just were pouring through the doors.

I was dumbfounded.

It got to be 9:30, and my car hadn’t been pulled in, so I went up to the desk to ask on timing as I had somewhere I had to be, and he just handed me my keys. He apologized over and over again, saying this is their busiest week because this is the time of year that’s easiest for people to take time off, and with the threat of snow over the weekend, people are motivated to get it done. But to call him if I was going to bring my car back today.

So I left feeling like I had accomplished absolutely nothing (well because, hey, I didn’t), and did my dental appointment and other errands. I made it home for lunch, and although I didn’t want to go sit again for my tires, I knew it had to be done. So I called over there, and they were very kind. He remembered me and said he’d put my name on the list, but to wait to come in for another hour then I could at least wait part of the time at home.

That’s what I did. I was able to eat my lunch, get a couple other things done, and then head that direction. And then I still sat for two hours even then. Although to be fair, half of that time was my car on the lift being worked on, which is inevitable.

So, this is the only picture I got today. Not everyday can be exciting 😉

Moral of the story is, I learned a lesson in grace and patience today (because they’re a great company with great people moving as fast as they can – also note the cross above the door!), and if you need to put on snow tires, be a better planner than me!