Saturday, February 25, 2017

Signs of Spring

I always wondered why we only see bluebird for literally ONE day each spring (when snow is usually still on the ground).  Today I found out.  They are just here for the berries.  Between the bluebirds and the robins, the berries will be gone in one quick day! 

We have woodpeckers all winter.  The Mister puts out suet where I usually have hummingbird feeders and the woodpeckers love every bit of it!  Of course, the juncos do, too!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Celebrating the Beginning

All great "How You Met" stories have some embarrassing element, and ours is no different.  We got started because The Mister's roommate called him a pussy.  He had had a crappy day, a crappier week and he didn't feel like going out to the pub and hanging with the usual people.  His roommate didn't take "No" for an answer.  He called The Mister a pussy and pissed him off enough that he finally agreed just to get his roommate off his back and ended up on a bar stool next to me.

As my story goes, I had had a pretty crappy day as well, which made for two of the most unlikely characters for this love story, but love story it is.

The rest of our "How We Met" is equally as remarkable.  Having unknowingly lived within two miles of each other in Pennsylvania several years before always gives us pause, as we wonder how many times we might have messed up God's plan for us to meet until He finally just decided a pub in Michigan was just as good a place as any.

All I know is, six years after that fateful night, The Mister still has renovation plans - only now they are for OUR house.  The Jeep is still parked in the garage, only now I drive it every day.  We still tell each other about our jobs, our families and our dreams, only now it's over dinner at the table or lying in bed at night, side by side.  He still makes me laugh  And I love this man more than I ever knew was possible.

Happy "Day We Met" Anniversary, Chief!!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


"Chief?  Why is it when I do the towel load, do I always find four towels in your bathroom?  What do you need four towels for?"

"Well, one is for the floor."

"You couldn't just buy a bath mat?"

"I've been a little busy."

"Yes, I know.  Those eighteen hour days you work..."


"Fine.  What are the other three for?"

"Well, one is for the hot tub."

"Okay, fine.  You still need TWO towels for your daily shower?!?"

"Yes!  One is for when I first get out of the shower.  It's my pre-drying towel.  It gets most of the water off..."

"Your 'pre-drying towel'?  What is the other one for?"

"Well, that big yellow one is so fluffy and warm, it's for after I'm mostly dry..."



"Where is your wallet?"

"My wallet?!  What do you need my wall....oh, wait.   You want my man card, don't you?"

"Yes, Chief.  Four towels demands you surrender your man card."


"No 'buts' Chief.  Them's the rules."

"Fine.  But I want that yellow towel as soon as its out of the dryer."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Spring Day in January

57 degrees on a mid-January day is not to be taken lightly in Michigan!  While The Mister and George were putting in fence posts in the other pasture (they put in 23 by hand today!),
the cows enjoyed the sun.
Delilah was pampered with lots of treats today when friends came to say hello!

Samson thought the sunshine was a perfect spot for a little rest.

He is getting more "frosting" every day it seems.
The breeder says he will probably lose it but it will come back next winter!

Too cute for words!
Samson will eat apples right out of your hand, and you can touch him for a second or two, but then he scurries off.  He will come towards the gate when we arrive now, instead of running in the other direction, so there's definite progress!  

Delilah, of course, comes running any time you are near the gate and will take anything you have to offer her!  She loves to be brushed and rubbed!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday At the Farm

"Whatcha got in your pocket?"

If you hold the apples up high...

...Delilah will lick your beard to make sure she got every last bit.  
(Only The Mister would let her do this!)

Cutie Pie Samson.  He didn't seem to like the new treats I bought for him (Delilah thought they were pretty yummy, thought).  Apples are still the big hit.  He is getting much tamer, though. 

While we were hanging with the cows, a Great Blue Heron flew over.  I thought it was a sandhill crane until I looked at the picture later.  I've seen a heron a few times out back as well.  This one took off from our pond and circled over the house, so I wonder if this is the same one. 

So That Would Be How Many Square Miles?

I love when The Mister sings.  Whether it is Johnny Cash on his Sunday morning classic country station, Hank Williams while he hangs drywall in the basement, classic rock while we play cards or a little Quiet Riot while we run errands in the truck, he is usually singing along with whatever is on. He once even serenaded me with "What's Up Pussycat?" while traveling, making me laugh so hard I was crying.

Yesterday, it was Def Leppard that was on while we ran errands together.  The Mister, doing his best 80's-band-lead-singer impersonation, was jamming out, "I don't want to touch you too much baby.  'Cause making love to you might drive me crazy" he sang.  "I know you think that love is the way you make it, so I don't want to be there when you decide to break it, No! Love bites!  Love bleeds!  It's bigger than Germany..." he belted out in the truck.

"Wait, what did you just sing?" I asked.

"It's bigger than Germany"

"Love is bigger than Germany?"

"Yeah, you know, it's not small like Rhode Island..." he said, realizing maybe he had the lyrics slightly wrong.

"But your love isn't as big as Texas.  Just Germany!?!?"

"What do you think it says?" he asked incredulously.

"It's bringing me to my knees." I replied.

"Well, yeah, maybe that's what they sing NOW, but the original version was all about Germany.  You see..."

Ah, yes, only The Mister can justify his mistaken lyrics. At least I know he loves me more than Luxembourg.  

Four Years

The Mister and I recently celebrated our fourth anniversary.  We were both recovering from winter colds, which reminded us how sick we were when we wed (at the time, we both chuckled when the pastor said, "In sickness and in health...")  The Mister kept up his tradition of making my co-workers envious by sending a beautiful bouquet of flowers to school.  I thought it was only fair to get him a little something, too.  The "traditional" gifts for a fourth anniversary are linen and silk - neither of which seemed appropriate for The Mister.  The "modern" gift included electronics, which fit my idea perfectly.  I was able to give him the battery charger he been wanting.  Nothing says romance like a power-tool accessory.  But, it makes him happy, and he makes me happy, and that's what matters.

We had an amazing meal at on of our favorite restaurants.  It's the kind of place with beautiful furnishings, waitstaff that makes every occasion special and food that is always delicious.  Being who we are, though, we actually went a night early to celebrate as the restaurant offers a discount on Mondays and we are just frugal enough to make that the priority over celebrating on the precise anniversary.

Over dinner we celebrated all the goals we've accomplished in our four years.  We've sold two houses and bought our dream home.  We converted overgrown woody acres into a beautiful pasture where two of our favorite creatures on earth roam every day.  We have enjoyed countless hours relaxing in a hot tub, sitting on a deck watching wildlife, and sitting on the porch watching the sunset.  We have taken a trip to Maine and trips north and south to visit family.  We have helped each other with projects big and small; fence posts put in (and taken out), shelter built, gardens planted, rooms painted.  We have paid off two cars and bought a truck.  We have put a child through three years of college and me through grad school.  We have bought more life insurance, written our wills, changed our health insurance and started getting serious about taking our vitamins.  And we are wise enough to know that every single thing on that list is an "I love you" statement.

We both agree that there is no greater joy in our day than coming home.  While it has a lot to do with the property, the creatures, the wildlife, the natural beauty, it has absolutely everything to do with whom we share this place.  I don't have to imagine my life without The Mister, I lived it, for nearly forty years.  I know that I never want to live without him.  Together, we have everything.

Happy Anniversary, Chief!!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Family Pictures

We haven't taken a family picture in...well, ever, probably.  I made it a point to get us all together for at least one attempt this holiday season.  While we try to capture a moment in time in a still frame, the laughter in the moment cannot ever truly be captured.  Even as I flipped back through all the pictures we took in front of the fireplace, we laughed at our expressions and wondered what had just been said that made us laugh (or cringe!)

Jacob, Carissa, Amy and James

 Not sure what was so funny then...but there's always something we are laughing about!

This is a "Caption This" contest photo.
What in the world must Jacob have been doing behind the lens to get us all looking like this?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Childhood Memories

A few days ago, we went to northern Michigan to see The Mister's mom and stepdad.  We were glad the weather cooperated while we were both on holiday break and allowed us another chance to go see them.  His folks are always thrilled to see us (or at least they convincingly act as though they are!) and we have a very nice visit for the day before heading back home.  Of course, as typical visits go, his mom had a stack of things to send home with us - old movies and books she though we would enjoy; chocolates they received for Christmas that she isn't allowed to eat; magazines and catalogs; and of course, beef.  They always send us home with beef.  (It's a good thing we aren't raising our cows for meat.  We'd never have the freezer space!)

This time, when we arrived, his mom had a special treat for us.  She was almost giddy with anticipation as she told us what we were having for lunch, especially when she added - "And I made cream puffs for desert!  With pudding - just like you used to make them, Amy!"

From a conversation in September, she remembered us talking about cream puffs.  While I can't recall what prompted the subject to start with, I do remember that she was surprised to hear that my mom filled cream puffs with vanilla pudding.  The Mister's mom always enjoyed the opportunity to make homemade whipping cream and fill them with that.  For this visit, she had cream puffs all made and ready to be filled with whichever (or, in The Mister's case, both) filling we preferred.

To say she was tickled is an understatement, but to say I wasn't touched would be as much of one.  I nearly cried.  They were exactly as I remember from my childhood.  I can't even say the last time I had one.  I'm not sure I've ever made them for Jacob.  But on a plate, in front of me, was this piece of my childhood, complete with powdered sugar on top.  Mom would have been tickled, too.

Thank you, Evelyn, for taking a stroll down memory lane with me, and for taking the time to make this memory possible.

The Bovines

Samson - without his halter!  He is making slow but sure progress in learning to trust us. We have been talking for awhile now about how much we'd like to get his halter and short lead off of him.  The other day, while he was eating, I was able to rub him quite a bit and I thought I might just be able to unbuckle the harness (while he was somewhat distracted with grain).  I hollered out to The Mister to make sure he was still in agreement with me taking it off.  I didn't know it then, but he later confessed that he actually rolled his eyes when I asked that, despite responding with, "Yes, of course!" as he didn't think I could possible get it off him.  Samson let me unhook it (it took a couple tries, with him scurrying away, but he comes right back to the grain bowl) and then it dropped right off!  We were all happy to see him run around without it on for a change!

The Mister has built a little pen for us to work with Samson in.  It's inside the shelter, so it's a little intimidating as two sides are completely blocked in with the walls of the shelter and the other two are fence panels and a gate. I went in with him today and gave him some grain and carrots.  He was fine as long as he had food, but got a little nervous when it ran out and he had to face the fact that he was trapped with me in this pen (I was a little nervous, too!) 

However, after much calm prodding, and being very still, he did finally take some apple quarters from my hand, the last time, I even got to scratch his head with my other hand while he took the apple.  We were all happy to have The Mister open the gate back up, however!  Trust works both ways!

Of course, while we are trying to work with Samson, we have to keep Delilah away.  The Mister ties her up to a nearby tree and gives her just a little grain.  Today, when she finished (which doesn't take long) she picked up her bowl and tossed it.  She did it over and over again.  I think it's bovine for "Waiter!  Waiter!  More carrots and grain, please!"