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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Under a Sturgeon Moon

This month's full moon is known as the Sturgeon Moon, the last full moon of summer. 

Named after the fish and the ease of catching them in this month. 

Here, the sturgeon are leaping up in the air out of the river. Magnificent great fish that can be six feet long or more. 

Huge moons, giant leaping fish, hurricanes sweeping in from the ocean...

its summer going out with a bang as nature flexes her muscle! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Oh Baby, Baby Its A Wide World

Or should it be "Boy meets ocean"?

Or something along the lines of ....
"you are not in Kansas anymore."

Enough of the puddle hopping at home. It was time to see some serious water!

Wind, birds, sky and all the sand a boy could ever want.

The world is never a more glorious place than when viewed through the eyes of a child seeing its wonders for the first time.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Sometimes the way we see something makes all the difference.

A bright summer day, little boy playing at the waters edge

or a lazy afternoon after a summer rain?

Isnt it funny how we see what we think is there until the picture gets clearer?

Just another day of water fun at his own personal redneck Riviera.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Rites of Passage


If  it is Thanksgiving and Christmas that heralds the coming  together of family, it must be June that whispers the quiet reminder.

It does so through its time honored spot as the month of graduations. brides and vacations. 
Extended families come together briefly, new family members meet old ones, memories are re told and new ones are made.

The sui generis month of summer.

We just got a chance to experience this when family came to visit. One of the visitors was the Matriarch of our family, a family treasure to all of us. Here on the farm happens to reside our own youngest family member (of this particular little branch of the family). While this oldest and youngest family member have met before, he was a wide eyed newborn who didn't get much in the way of a memory, being so young.

This time was different. He made a friend with this family member he didn't really know. They colored together in his Winnie the Poo book. He garbled in his little language that straddles an arc somewhere between English and "who knows what" and she answered him.

What was being said? Who knows? But feelings were being forged.

When it was time to go, no one had to tell this little guy it was time for parting. He knows what bye -bye means.

When he was lifted up to say goodbye he launched himself in to waiting arms. Arms that instantly wrapped.around his little self, hands folding in a way that that spoke of may years of hugging   little ones.

It was a thing of beauty to see this child who wont hold still for one millisecond, nestle in with a smile and close his eyes. He recognized this as a great place to be.

This woman making him feel so loved in that moment, once a girl who climbed trees to read her precious books, now a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, had the experienced touch of love that cannot be taught but only comes from decades of doing it.

Many elements make a good picture. An interesting subject, good lighting, perfect framing, all play a part....

but the best pictures tell a story.

Like this one.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Post I Promised

When we got Brigg was when we saw Charley and we just had to have her too.

Charley and Brigg bonded on the way home that first day and do everything together. But our puppy family was still "expecting"...

 Thing was, we had already planned a puppy that was on its way to us before any of the others were even thought of. Dilly (my daughter in law) had done an enormous amount of research to find out what type of dog would be really good around the baby and good on a farm. All her research kept leading her to the Mastiff breeds. Looking at mastiffs led her to the discovery of Boerboels... originally bred to be estate dogs in Africa. They are large, loyal, gentle and yet fiercely protective of their owners.

Just what she wanted!

So a much awaited and anticipated puppy was being born and getting her visa and getting ready to travel half way around the world to come live with us. So three weeks after Brigg and Charley came, we got one more puppy!

her name is Hera, after the Greek goddess whose name according to Plato means "love".

and she is

She is the most soulful and loving
creature imaginable.

Just look at that face!

Who wouldnt just fall in to those eyes and then right in to that big heart shining in them?

We call her "Hera - Beara"

our little(?) lioness!

She is unaware of her size and will crawl in your lap if you let her or sometimes even if you dont.

It could have worked out who knows how - getting a dog from Africa sight unseen. But for us it couldnt have worked out better.

Now we have the 3 Musketeers~

Boy do we feel safe!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Has Sprung! 2015

Winter has done its job and gone.

Beginning of a season, start of a brand new day.

Monday, March 16, 2015

2 Dog Night

Well ok, its not really night, its more like a mid morning nap.

When I went to adopt Brigg, there was the cutest little girlie every just wanting a person all her own to love.

My granddaughter felt those golden eyes on her and turned around, it was love.

So now "Charley" (thats her name) and Brigg are siblings.

They do everything together - including naps.

There is a little more to this story, as you will see in the next post...

Take a nap if you like - but stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Ob-la-di ob-la-da Life Goes On"

Its probably good that life exists on a continuum and not just all highs or lows. Either one is exhausting and drains lifes experiences of their meaning.

So while I walked through a world devoid of joy following Emmes death I tried to remind myself that this was what acute grief feels like and that time would help.

I felt as fragile as an eggshell with the insides blown out and at the same time curiously numb. Im sure many factors contributed to that. The rapidity of the progression of Emmes disease especially.

That time will always serve as a reminder to me that we all grieve differently based on our own unique set of circumstances and that the only thing a grieving person needs or even can comprehend is the language of compassion spoken in the key of kindness.

So as I mentioned in my last entry, I got an email with a picture of a puppy who definitely did NOT know how to "sell" himself.

That alone was pitiful. I was pitiful. He was pitiful. It seemed like a good omen to take each other on.

Salvation doesnt always come wrapped and labeled as such does it? But he has been mine.

I couldnt ever replace or find another Emme if I waited a week or 50 years so it seemed that I should just jump in. Follow my heart.

He was born when a cur stray wandered in to a biker bar one night. The bikers convinced the owner to let the dog stay and they made her a bed, on whence she proceeded to lay down and have 8 puppies.

The bikers took up a collection to take mama and the pups to a Vet who gave them the name of a rescue group which could help. The biker group sponsored the care of the puppies and each one was given a biker related name.

The puppy I would eventually get was named Ryder. He had a hard go of it.. Round after round of treatment for worms. Then a skin infection. Finally diagnosed and treated as ringworm. So all during the month of October, as his siblings one after the other went to homes, he stayed in foster care visiting the Vet for treatments.

This meant he was held just long enough for me to go through my caring for Emme all through that same month of October.

So he sat in no mans land- not adopted and I came out of my grief just long enough to see his picture in the middle of November.

When I went to the agency to see about adopting him they told me I couldn't see him because he was medically unavailable (the ringworm thing). I was about to turn and leave and the woman said "wait a minute, are you the one who sent me the email?" Turns out I was. I thought they would have gotten lots of emails with offers to adopt him but no....

just me!

So I brought him home the same day.

He is a big galoof. Such a puppy, full time chewing and piddling and wanting to play at bedtime. Just like a baby.

I have no idea what breed he is. Emme was Boxer/Pit. I like that combination a lot. He has a boxer trait - that one of turning their head to the side.

But he also points his foot like a bird dog and bays like a blood hound when excited LOL, he is just a bit of this and a bit of that I am guessing.

I love him.

After a week together I changed his name. I like to let my dogs tell me their own name, they will if you observe hard enough.

So his name is Brigg. He has come to it from the first time I tried it.

I freak him out when I sing (see below) especially when I sing Celine Dion (this might be a good place to mention that I cant sing at all).

But other than that, we're golden.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015


What comes to mind when you think of a masterpiece?
A one of a kind creation that even as you gaze upon it you know it will never be duplicated.
A unique stand alone thing.
The Mona Lisa? The Eiffel Tower? Mozart?
Relationships, while not leaving a standing body of work, can be just as much of a beautiful, breathtaking treasure.
A once in a lifetime thing.
Early October. when the air is getting crisp and I was finally painting the front door which had been planned months earlier. Having my best help, helped.

A 2 yr old little boy and my dog Emme who both found the process fascinating, leaving two yr old brush strokes and paw prints that I will forever treasure.

Seven days in to the month, Em started limping. I thought maybe she brushed too close to one of the big semis she now and then chased but thankfully with less frequency as she matured in to an adult dog. It would have been not so likely now as when she was young but not unheard of either.
After some home treatment which didnt help I made an appointment with the Vet she hated - not the Vet, she liked him, she was a country dog and didnt like offices....
So in to the dreaded office we went, as she seemed to really feel injured this time - this from my "toughie". The good news - nothing broken, probably tissue bruising and pain killers to remedy that.

A week later the pain was worse. Back we went to the office for deeper, more comprehensive x-rays where she would be put to sleep. Turns out the limp was from osteosarcoma in her left foreleg. Bone cancer.

Prognosis - 4 pain filled months if no treatment.

12 to 18 with surgical amputation and chemo

6 pain free months with amputation alone while we wait for it to metastasize to the lungs which it certainly will with compassionate euthanasia at that point.

And they call that choices?

I made it to the car.
My only thought "I cannot cry and upset her - I cannot wreck this car."

At this point my phone rang (isnt that always the way?) Poor Handsome Son calling about something totally coincidental and I blurted it all out to him. He mentioned a nearby plaza parking lot and said "GO THERE"

I did and he was waiting with a diet cherry coke from our favorite burger joint across the street.
I went over the options while Em lolled on the seat beside us, happy on pain pills and glad to be out of the office and riding in the car (one of her favorite pastimes).
After sucking down the solid comfort of his presence as well as few gulps of cold soda, I was able to drive home to find a very somber crew of workers and family.

Emme went inside for a nap (pain pills are so awesome) while we all gathered outside to talk and cry and decide.
It took two days and lots of philosophical delving to come up with what would be best for Emme.
Not us.

I loved my friends and family who all strained their emotions and brains to help make this hard decision.
We decided to amputate and go full on with all natural remedies we could find.

A week later she had the amputation and did amazingly well. She did have a slight breathing issue (rapidity) that I hoped was anesthesia related and would pass.
After a very pain free and happy week in which she was loved and doted on by everyone who knew her and eating expensive raw steak and other favorite treats, she spiked a fever. A trip in to the Vet for blood work revealed zero infection in the almost healed surgical site.

The panting and the temp spiking....I kinda knew.
The last night I spent sitting on the couch watching her sleep while the wind blew wild and free outside.

Dawn came and she seemed thirsty and lapped up water and laid down again. I laid down with her exhausted from vigilant watching all night and convinced we had turned some kind of corner. Which it turns out we had...turned a corner I mean.
Laying beside her on floor, my head on the edge of her bed, I fell asleep. I woke up nose to nose with my favorite creature. 

She was watching me. I told her everything I had ever wanted to say to her about her. About her being one of the most wonderful teachers and friends and so much a part of me,
She gave me a look that I hope I can always hang on to in my memory. It was bright and piercing and knowing and full of affectionate humor.

Then she slumped over to one side.
She died there in my arms on a peaceful sun filled morning.
It was November 1.

What can be said?
We buried her where we bury our most beloved pets here on the farm. The men did the burying, I wasnt there - I couldnt.
I heard they all stood at the grave and without anything being said, took off their hats though.

Dilly brought an arm full of sunflowers and food from our favorite Mexican restaurant and a case of Corona.
We all gathered, ate, and told favorite Emme stories.
It was a beautiful, perfect day.

Then the hard part starts right?
Where you try to pick up life and nothing is the same?
I wasnt sleeping or eating and I was trying very hard not to act "sad".

I must not have been doing very well because after a week or so I got an email from Dilly. It said "would this help?"

It was a picture of a puppy splayed out on the ground. He was up for adoption. Poor thing didnt even have the presence to hold himself up and try to look appealing.

I felt my heart zing. Just a twitch, but so nice to feel instead of just to ache. I applied to the rescue online rescue site and after a bit of this and that I got him.

But I am getting ahead of myself....
I wanted a blog post about Em and now I have written this. If I wrote until my fingers fell off, it wouldnt be enough about her.

Her beauty of spirit, her wild untamed heart, her intuitive sense.

I learned so much from her. As one friend said, "she was your spirit guide."

Yes, she was.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Last Moon of January

Peeking through the bare trees

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Hardest Word


                                                                   EMME 2007 - 2014

                                                             One of the lifes most wonderful gifts.

                                           Let not your grief be equal to her worth, 

                                          because then your sorrow would have no end.

                                                                                                  Macbeth Act 5

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Old & New

Antique tractor, brand new farmer.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Learning to write letters on an overturned water trough.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Morning On Fire

Actually it is steam rolling off the hay since it gets a layer of frost that melts away in the heat of the sun but when the bales are clustered together, the collective steam looks like they are on fire.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Summer Winding Down

Just your average busy 2 year old  late summer day......

helping out with the chores, in this case painting a shelf.

coloring a masterpiece

a ride with your best friend

filling up your squirt bottle while trying to pretend its still a hot summer day


warming up while eating popsicles

yep, summer was fun...

cant wait for it to come again!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer

The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional period of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3rd and ending August 11th, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year with the least rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons....

....make doughnuts?

Is that how that saying goes?

I don't think so.


I bet there is a lemon filled doughnut in here somewhere....yeah, that its, that one. You found it.

If you are not in a good position to go make some lemonade at this particular moment in time,

have a doughnut~

on me!

I will even let you have the lemon one.

Or would you prefer the chocolate with sprinkles?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fear Nothing

and the road opens up for you

Monday, May 12, 2014

HiHho, the Derry-O

Hi-ho, the derry-o
The farmer in the dell

um...thats not a dell....

nope...thats not a dell either.

Where oh where is the dell?

Have you seen the dell?

no one seems to know....

Oh well!

The cheese stands alone...

The cheese stands alone
Hi-Ho, the derry-o
The cheese stands alone

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Zen Sunday

Zen is a form of meditation with a focus on the mindful awareness of the present moment.

Animals are so cool however, they didnt even have to invent a word to know all about this process

and then someone comes along with a camera...

and ruins the moment.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April Showers...

bring April flowers!

(sorry for plagiarizing AND misquoting the famous homily)

just so you will forgive me,

here, have a flower!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Whatever A Blue Jay Feels"

Guess  what I found sitting on my deck....

a young blue jay!

He flew in to the glass door and sat there on the ground too stunned to move.

after being picked up and checked for injuries he was carefully placed on the ground and managed to rouse himself to fly in to a tree

Blue jays are known for being VERY outgoing birds. This one is trying to take over the tree the mockingbirds have claimed, so he must be very confident and brave. 

He finally came to his senses and seems fine. He will live to fight another day!

There is more to a blue jay than any other creature. He has got more moods, and more different kinds of feelings than any other creature; and mind you, whatever a blue jay feels he can put in to language.
 Mark Twain's "A Tramp Abroad", Chapter 3 "Baker,s Blue-Jay Yarn".

Friday, March 28, 2014

This Little Light of Mine

I have had this little Dutch girl lamp for half my lifetime. She is a sturdy cast iron (heavy!) standing stoically in her clogs and coat and scarf watching the world go by.

Days like this one is when she gets her moment to shine. Cold, rainy, as though nature has relapsed back in to winter.

This is her moment! She shines and makes her little corner of the world glow

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...” 

― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden