Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nesting

Mama cardinal built her nest in our holly bush while we were gone on spring break.  Now that we have returned, I suspect she is regretting her choice of location as it is right in front of a spigot that The Mister needs to get to frequently to get water to the cows.  

Poor Mama.

She is patiently sitting on two speckled eggs.  I am amazed that it takes less than two weeks to incubate cardinal eggs!  It's such an amazing process!

We will keep our eyes on the nest, but we'll try to give Mama as much room as we can.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Evening Walk


Robin out splashing in the bird bath.

Samson peeking to see if we brought a treat or not.

Outside our bedroom window, a cardinal has set up nest in a holly bush.
Yesterday, there was one speckled egg.

Tonight there were two!

Peach blossoms!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

He Always Cracks Me Up (Just Not Always in the Way He Intended To)

While browsing through Tractor Supply (what?! YOU don't browse Tractor Supply?!), The Mister thought he would be clever as he came up to where I was standing.  "I've just got to say, I don't know your husband, but he is one lucky woman!"  he said, almost perfectly.

I couldn't even respond I was already laughing too hard.

"Darn it!  I always mess it up!"

No, Babe, you always make it funnier still.

Why I love The Mister, Reason #498.

The North Pasture

Today was a great day to be a cow at Someday Farm!  The Mister decided to open the gates and welcome Samson and Delilah to the North Pasture!
We invited Robby to come watch as we thought there might be much excitement and fanfare, but we forgot to think about it from a cow's point of view.  While The Mister and Robby are thrilled to be done putting in fence posts by hand (they might have even done cartwheels in the pasture to celebrate), the cows were just excited to get to the grass that is always greener on the other side of the fence!  They took their time grazing their way into the new pasture and then never stopped!

Two VERY happy cows, indeed!

I've been hearing this bird for a long time, but I hadn't been able to spot him until today.

The Tufted Titmouse decided to make an appearance while I had my camera out.  
(I am pretty sure I was supposed to be doing lots of other things, but sitting on the porch identifying a bird seemed more important at the time.)


He didn't mind posing one little bit.

While snapping pics today, I also got to catch sight of my first turtle this spring.
It was a great day for sunning on a log!!

Spring Break


Once again, we abandoned the iffy Michigan weather and headed south for Spring Break.
We stopped to see Garrett, Diana and The Littles before heading on to Dad's.
While at Dad's we took a trip to Chattanooga to Lookout Mountain.

We loved the view...



...but most of all we loved the company we shared it with.
Thanks, Dad and Judy for another great vacation!

Feelin' Frisky


I know, you all think this post is going to be about The Mister.  But it's not!




 I'm not sure which one of us was more curious about the other.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Shit Happens

As if our week wasn't going badly enough, yesterday, the septic system decided to join in the game.  In hindsight, we are glad we were home as we were able to somewhat mitigate the two leaks in our basement (until a plug we had gradually been opening in order to slowly release the back-up pressure suddenly came off completely - I will spare everyone the details, but it wasn't pretty).

The Mister still amazes me in such situations.  He talked with the septic guy a time or two, but he knew how to find the tank in the yard, how far to dig to get to the cap and what to look for once he got it opened.  He also knew how to unplug the problem, and how to remedy the situation well enough that we could survive until Monday when the septic guy could come out to pump the tank.

To say it was The Most Disgusting Thing Ever doesn't begin to describe it.  But, we dealt with it side by side, standing in shit - dealing with it, solving it and cleaning it up.  It's part of life - it's part of owing a home (hopefully avoidable from here on out - ) but it's also part of being married.  Problems aren't his or mine, they are ours.  Big or small, fun or crappy - we're in this together.

Later, soaking in the hot tub, we laughed about the day's events.  We were so grossed out and yet we were so glad to have each other there to help the process.

I am always grateful for The Mister, but I now know that no matter how shitty life gets, he won't ditch me!

(I am certain my dad and second mom are very relieved to have been here LAST weekend!)

Too Soon

To say we weren't ready is an understatement.  We had just been to the vet two weeks ago.  A clean bill of health and all our concerns swept away with a diagnosis of "age".  We could relate to that.  Choosing to stay near the house instead of running all the way out to the barn is a choice we could understand.  The stairs being okay some days and a scary proposition another was something we chalked up to deteriorating eyesight.  But overall, our beloved Eli was in fine shape and as happy of a dog as ever.

Until Tuesday.

He came down the stairs reluctantly but still he joined us for our movie.  Curled up on his blankets, he stayed nearby.  Part way through the movie, he stood and was unsteady on his feet.  The Mister jumped out of his seat and started checking out Eli's legs, to see if he had hurt one.  I got down on the floor and looked my puppy in the eyes and immediately we knew something was wrong.  Very wrong.  He was dazed, immobile and unsteady.  As The Mister ran for a phone, I petted my puppy saying, "Not today, baby, not today" but somehow, deep down I just knew it was today.

A speed-breaking drive to the emergency vet a half hour away and a set of x-rays later, we knew the reason.  A large mass pressing on his heart and lungs.  It explained his quirky behavior.  It explained why some days he seemed to be panting for no reason; why storms seemed to upset him more than ever (harder to breathe); and why those runs out to the barn with The Mister were skipped some days to just stay closer to home.  It explained, but it didn't solve.

The vet talked options, but they were risky, uncertain and not likely to succeed.  He was unable to move and having difficulty breathing.  He barely lifted his head and he hadn't made a sound.  There was only one choice, but it was excruciating to make.  We weren't at all ready.

I can say he had an amazing life.  We made him promise to live long enough to join us on the farm, and he did.  (I also made him promise two weeks ago to live out his three-year rabies shot and dog license - that didn't work out.)  I tease that The Mister only married me for my amazing dog, but there's probably more truth to that than jest.  He was our constant companion - being outside with The Mister while he worked around the property, being inside with me while I cleaned or baked.  He jumped up on the bed every night for some love before curling up at the foot of my side until finally deciding he'd get kicked less on his own bed.  Every morning he got up with The Mister, had a quick jaunt outside, a bite to eat and then up on the bed, on The Mister's side now, to sleep until I got up.  He laid right outside the open bathroom door while I got ready every morning, requiring me to step over him many times as I got dressed and ready for work.  He greeted us at the door when we came home, stayed close the entire evening and wanted little more than to run around outside and to get some rubs behind the ears.  I can say he had an amazing life, but the truth is, he made our life more amazing by being a part of it.

He was a rescue dog who rescued us as much as we did him. He made us laugh, he made us smile and he gave us comfort.  The sorrow we feel is so intense because the joy he brought us was so immense. We buried him under a maple tree overlooking the farm and pasture.  James found a couple of his stuffed animals abandoned out back in the snow and put those in the grave with him.

We are still struggling with the emptiness, the silence, the missing piece of our day.  We still can't seem to get our minds around it - it happened so fast.  We are so grateful for our years with Eli.  We are so grateful for all the ways he blessed our little family.  We are grateful that he didn't suffer long.  But he will be missed for a very long time.  We could not have asked for a better dog.  We will never know exactly how old he was, or how he became a rescue dog in the first place, but his eleven years with us were precious and we will forever treasure his memory.

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 every.single.day.  And I love this man more than I ever knew was possible.

Happy "Day We Met" Anniversary, Chief!!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Four

"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..."

"Ahem."

"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..."

"Chief?"

"Yes?"

"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."

"But..."

"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?