November 17th

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Genesis 3:19

19 “By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

Bandit came home this week.

We’ve never had an animal cremated before, but for this special girl it seemed right.

They put her in the most beautiful mahogany box, and although it hurt to look at this beautiful box, I knew I had to photograph it.

I set her on an old table near the window so I could utilize the soft window light, but as I looked through my viewfinder, I could see the light was on over our dining room table. I almost turned it off, but I decided I liked the added light. After I clicked my shutter and looked at the back of my camera, my breath caught. The way it came through my camera looked heavenly.

That brought me one step closer to peace. Those small reminders are the most precious.

November 16th

Thursday, December 16th, 2017

Ugh, I hate to do this to you guys, but today’s image is a secret.

I took an image of a Christmas gift Paul and I purchased for my parents, and didn’t really stop to think that I can’t share it because my mom (hi mom!) reads my blog.

However, we are exchanging early gifts on Thanksgiving, so I promise to come back in and update the image. I’ll be sure to make a note in Thanksgiving’s post that I’ve updated this one.

November 1st

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Oh friends. This day was one of the worst.

I was on the phone with my mom this morning when she found Bandit (our family dog for you newbies), deceased, on the front porch this morning. From what we can decern, it was a stroke.

So today, we’re snuggling our smallest furbaby just a little harder today.

As most of you know, we live only a half mile from my parents ( same piece of property, just different ends) so when my mom decided to do a walk-around the house because Bandit hadn’t come out to greet anyone that morning, we rushed out the door to my mom’s panicked wails over the phone.

“Oh, sweet girl.” That’s all I could say as we rushed up to her. The tears didn’t come at first, because the shock was so raw.

Growing up on the farm, we lost countless animals. Bandit makes four dogs, four horses, and multiple cats. But she was the first to go on her own. No signs, no symptoms. Just gone in under thirty seconds. No time, no opportunity to tell her how much I loved her, or to show her my best self, my biggest, strongest love.

I’ve already been struggling with mortality this week with Katie’s one year anniversary, but this knocked me breathless. My best gal pal, as I always referred to her as. A true buddy, she was where you were, no matter what. She wasn’t allowed within the fence, so she would lay at the very edge, always toeing the line. Ranger rides were her FAVORITE, and you couldn’t go anywhere on that thing without her. The woods was her favorite place – so much to smell and explore. Her joy was contagious, and the farm lost a little of it’s personality with her gone. It’s too quiet.

Her love for her humans was so deep, so unconditional. Her loyalty so steadfast; the ultimate protector (except in thunderstorms), she was my safety net. The farm was hers, and we were hers – and she knew it. One of my favorite pictures I have of her is of her in front of the barn with her characteristic confident smirk. She was extremely camera shy (major avoided eye contact when the phones or camera came out), so to have this image is so so precious.

No matter the circumstances, when your best, most loyal gal pal has been a part of just under half of your life, it’s painful to say goodbye.

I’ve been thankful for my 365 project for multiple reasons throughout the year, but today proved to bring the most thanksgiving. Because of that project, I have so many more images of her than I would have otherwise. Today as my family struggles through the shock and grief, I am so incredibly thankful for these.

While I’m struggling down here, I know that you’re not anymore, Ban. All of my love and belly rubs, xo.

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September 3rd

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

You all know about our sweet girl, Bandit.

She rarely sits still for pictures (and she’s extremely camera shy!), so I took advantage today of her willingness to participate.

Her arthritis is getting worse, and her body is slowing down, but she won’t be left out.

On a photography note, this was my first try for a black background with my new camera, and it was marvelous! So much easier with a full frame sensor.

June 25th

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Sundays are for mending fences. Literally.

This morning we drove up to the barn to do chores, and my horse, who normally greets us over the fence when we arrive was MIA. Paul even said “Where’s Buck? No greeting this morning?”  That should have been our first clue.

As we climb out of the truck, we noticed shattered bits and chunks of our white vinyl fence in the yard. We went to check it out, and this is what we found:

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While this may not seem impressive, trust me, it is. The top board is pushed out and the bottom two were shattered. Those things are hard to break!

And still no horses came to greet us. I ran into the barn. No horses. Paul and I both run through the pasture. My panic rises the farther we get into the pasture. My thoughts were a tangled mess: Not only are they missing, but someone is bound to be bleeding or injured. WHERE ARE THEY?

Well, we did find them. In the very corner of the pasture, tucked all the way back behind the building. And the crazy thing? No blood. Not one drop. Thank the Lord!

The mystery still remains on how the heck they BOTH went through the fence. Especially with the way it was broken. We were just thankful they were still inside a fence, even if it wasn’t the one they were supposed to be in.

So since we had all of our fence mending materials pulled out to fix the fence, we spent the afternoon pulling out old broken posts and replacing them with new ones.

Bandit was a big help.

June 21st

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Happy sweet summertime!

A lot of people in the world love dogs. But this dog is the ruler of my heart. If she were a person, she’d be my best friend. Loyal, patient, steadfast, gentle, devoted, protective. Each day she finds new ways to weasel deeper into my heart.

Today for example: Our kittens are currently being housed in an empty stall in our barn until they’re acclimated and a little bigger. We’ve all been in the stall with the kittens all week, and she’s had to sit outside the door and listen to everyone coo and fuss over them – not knowing what is going on in there that’s got everyone’s attention. So what does she do? She lays patiently at the door.

So today, we cracked the door and let her peek in on them and see them. At first, she excitedly sniffed in their direction, but when the kittens arched their backs and hissed, Bandit’s expression changed and she backed off and quietly laid down. After that, the way she laid in front of the door was a stance of protection. These little guys are helpless, and scared, so she’s there to watch out for them.

I know this may seem silly, but it was all in her eyes. She’s fircely protective and loyal to her “pack”. If her humans think the kittens are special, that’s all the reason she needs to accept them.

So we took a walk together today for some “her” time, when I looked down and saw our shadows. I love this dog.

March 22nd

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

This sweet old dog.

She just turned ten, and while she’s moving a little slower than she used to, her mind is still sharp. And in ten years, she’s NAILED the puppy dog guilt act. We’re farm sitting for my parents, and leaving this dog at the end of the day after doing evening chores has become a process. Lots and lots of snuggles. Followed by her whining and lots of guilt shaming eye contact. She knows I’m a softie. I think I got in and out of the truck to leave about three times tonight 🙄