Tag Archives: Country living

Testing testing… Is thing on?

Well, tonight seems like just as good a time as any to hop back on the old blog and say hello.  I’m thinking I need a hobby (other than my standby hobby of singing stupid songs, cursing at facebook, and complaining loudly), or the very least a sounding board, so here I am. Shall we do a quick catch up?  Yes?!  Well ok!

Since last I visited this hallowed space, little has changed. Life is still busy, I still fight the good fight against the laze, and my children are still amazing little time sucking whirlwinds. They are both super great humans, and they make me proud daily.  For reals.  Josephine is 7 (and a half, thank you very much), and Little Lucinda just turned 2 (historically my least favorite age to parent, but gosh darn it she isn’t cute as all get out).  Taylor is still rocking my world as the coolest and most amazing dad, holding it all down on the farm. We’ve still got our crazy dogs, our chicken crew, and the goats roaming around out here. We also have a cow and a pig hanging out in the pasture right now too. It’s a crazy animal party up in here. Livin’ the good life, folks (but seriously, I’m super grateful for all of this).

Since we last spoke, Taylor painted the house, we started and then stopped, and then started again in our garden plot (ever closer, each and every time we take a whack at it), and I discovered the joy of mowing our extensive lawn (is this a teaser for a blog post about mowing??? You’ll have to wait and see, my friends…wait and see). We’ve reorganized many rooms in the house, and have started work on the barn to turn it into a functional music/whatever space for Taylor. There are never a shortage of projects, that’s for darn tootin’ (can you tell I have a two year old who likes to say things like, “God dammit, you get a time out!” to her dolls in front of company?  No idea where she picks that up. None at all #badmom). 

Anyways, my intentions are to start back up here in a more robust and less sporadic fashion, but time will tell if my ideas and actions are in synch. In the meantime, let me leave you with this photo, because you know what they say:  a picture is worth a thousand poorly executed blog posts. Hope to see you all real soon.  


Where has the time gone…

Hello… is there anybody out there?  My goodness.  Has it been three years?  What in the freaking world, you guys?  Man.  I think I need this space now more than ever.  I suppose I always knew I would return (since I kept paying for my site name and all), but prioritizing it into my overly scheduled day… not on my top five list of things to do before I crash ungracefully into bed and try to sleep.

Since it has been, oh… for fucking ever, I will do a brief recap.  Taylor and I still live on the ranch with our smart, strong, beautiful daughter Josephine (who is now 6 and three quarters, unbelievably).  In addition, we went ahead and added on a second daughter, Lucinda Jane, a little over a year ago.  She is a spitfire.  Determined, hilarious, smart as a whip, and oh so sweet all at the same time.  Lucinda was born quickly and hit the ground running, determined to do everything as fast as possible.  She had no interest in being a baby, and so she really wasn’t for very long.  Other than the fact that sleep is a thing I do in two to three hour spurts each night courtesy of said baby, I think we have transitioned well.  Josephine loves Lucinda to absolute pieces (sometimes she thanks me profusely for giving her a sister, and I burst with love), and we couldn’t imagine life without this second crazy kid, and time is going too fast, and my kids are growing up, and all the other cliches about kids and time and I’m one big weepy mess, y’all.  Here’s a picture while I dry my eyes:

13754229_10207487121476042_7790809175522452873_nSeriously… those kids are good people.

Anyways, onward and all that.  We are still out here and the ranch.  We now have a herd of goats and a flock of chickens, and two crazy farm dogs, and a whole mess of thistles that have made themselves at home and are feeling pretty safe since I haven’t been out tending the pastures for the past two summers (you better watch your back, thistles.  Your time is coming).  I still have the same Program Coordinator job, which seems to grow in responsibility and stress each year.  I still have the same salty attitude, and life marches on.

With the addition of Lucinda Binda Boo, time is even more precious.  I have even more need to kick my laziness to the curb and kick it into HIGH GEAR!  So here I am.  I liked the accountability of this space, I enjoyed the way it made my mind work, and I need a hobby, so that when I’m doing icebreakers at work I don’t sound like a sad old lady (“I used to have hobbies, sometime before I had kids.  I liked to, um, well, yeah, I don’t remember, but I am sure I had hobbies).  So here I am.  Back in the virtual saddle.  So much to say, so little time to type it in.  Let’s see how this round goes!



Pasture Play

Josephine and I spent some time in the goat pasture today. Me hunting thistles, her playing pasture games, the goats following us around hoping to get some new weeds out of the deal. I cleared out the thistles in the main goat pen, and since Josephine was having fun, I decided to walk the small pasture next to the goat pasture (which is currently open to the horses) looking for more thistles.
-an aside: I have a clear view of Josephine from both pastures and we have calm friendly goats, so I didn’t feel neglectful, however this story may sound slightly neglectfulish-
About halfway through my thistle hunt I looked up as Josephine was scooping water out of the goat trough into her mouth! HER MOUTH! I yelled, “NO! STOP!”, which I guess I yell too much, because she looked up casually and said, “What, Mama?” as I ran toward her. Now, here’s where it gets even more interesting.
I have been wearing Taylor’s dad’s old size 12 Wolverine work boots so as to protect the bottom of my feet from bruises while I viciously dig up thistles. They are, however, a tad too big for my feet. See:

20120419-161305.jpgAnyways, as I sprinted across the pasture towards my goat water drinking two year old, I flung open the pasture gate and immediately tripped over said giant boots, falling on my left knee pretty freaking hard. As I fell, Duck (the goat) took her opportunity to leap over me out of the open gate into the horse pasture. Awesome. I jumped up, slammed the gate (as Billy (the goat) was hastily trying to make his escape and Giselle (the Pygmy goat) was hot on his heals), explained to Josephine that that water was yucky, contained tiny ugly germs (thanks Yo Gabba!) that could make her sick, and told her to keep her hands out of the water, or else (or else what, I don’t know).
Quickly, I turned my attention to the goat in the horse pasture and headed back out to wrangle Duck back in. As you may have guessed, Duck was quite reluctant to be captured and returned to her own pasture, so I chased her around for entirely too long (all the while keeping one eye on my disgusting, cute child to make sure no more goat water was imbibed) before I finally outsmarted her and forced her back to her home. All the while in giant shoes, tripping here and there, on a hurt knee.
And so there it is folks. My kid drank goat trough water and my knee is battered and bruised (and really hurts a whole lot). If anyone wants to buy me some ranch boots in a (clumsy) ladies size 10, I’d be much obliged. Or if you want to go halves with Taylor on taking out some life insurance on me, I’m sure he’d split the profits when I break my damn neck and die. Oh, country life.
At least the three stooges are all in their places with weed eating faces.

And who would want to leave this pasture, anyways? Foolish goats.


Good morning

I’ve had quite a busy and beautiful weekend, spending play time with Josephine, having fun friend times, and helping to bless two different friends as they journey into (and further into for one having her second child) motherhood. I feel tired, but full of love and hope. And I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of walking out my door at 6 am to this. Beauty.


I love my neighborhood

This picture was taken on my way home from work just down the road from my house. It doesn’t do it justice. It was beautiful. Right after I took this picture, a flock of 15 or so pheasants flew over my car from the orchard next door to my house. Man, I love my neighborhood!

Like a good neighbor

This past weekend we lost our dog.  Good old Buddy Boy got out of the yard when we were at a wedding Saturday night, and when we got home he was nowhere to be found.  Since he has lived at our house his entire 9 years (or 63 dog years, depending on how you look at it), we figured he might just be out carousing, and would be back in the morning.  When he wasn’t home when the sun came up, we started to worry.  Taylor did some reconnaissance up and down our road, and learned that Buddy had been picked up the previous night by a spanish speaking family who had a white SUV and a white mini van who lived somewhere in our neighborhood.  They thought he was scared and lost because of some fireworks at a wedding nearby.  We located a household that matched that description, however, when Taylor stopped by only the monolingual grandmother was there and she was not able to understand his request for a dog.  In fact, poor Taylor frightened her a little when he innocently asked if there were any children at home (to translate).  Unfortunately, a big bearded man who speaks a different language showing up at your door asking for kids is a red flag.  🙂

Taylor had to leave in the afternoon on Sunday, and at the moment we only have one vehicle (Tay’s truck is broken, so we are a one Subaru family until it is out of the shop), so we just figured we’d have to wait until Monday, or hope they would stop by while asking neighbors about a dog when they got home.  Taylor was unsettled about this, and after nap time I started to get uneasy about Buddy being gone (Josephine, fortunately, had been easily distracted and not realized Buddy was MIA), so I called Ga Ga Jane to come help.  Jane, Josephine and I started driving around the neighborhood.  We stopped at the house that Taylor had already been to in the morning to see if we could get any more information from them, and this is where our great Buddy Scavenger Hunt began…

Josephine doing her nightly chore...feeding Buddy Boy.

The children were home and able to give me my first clue of the day.  They had picked Buddy up the previous night, but in the morning the mother of the family decided that she thought he lived at a home down the road about a half a mile, so she had dropped him off there.  She said he ran right in the back yard, so she thought he lived there.  I tried to smile and thank her for the information, all the time thinking, “Really!?  You just dropped our dog at some house?!”  The mother nicely offered to drive me to the house, which I gladly took her up on.

So we drove down the road about a half a mile, and I spoke with a nice older man and his wife.  Lo and behold, he said that Buddy had been there (HOORAY!) earlier in the day.  He had pet him and given him a chew bone, but then Buddy took off down the road.  He apologized for not keeping him for us, but took our info and let us know that Buddy had taken off down towards the next street (Pioneer), and was last seen hightailing it in the direction of Valley Home.  I thanked him for the information and we went on our way…

We decided to drop by the big Equine Hospital on Pioneer Road.  Jane (rightly) figured if someone found him they might take him there.  Her instincts were correct, as one of the ranch hands told us that someone had been by with Buddy that day.  He said that the people who picked them up had a client on Pioneer, so they weren’t from the neighborhood, but he had directed them to a home across the street and two doors down that had a bunch of dogs.  They thought Buddy might have belonged there.  Although we didn’t have Buddy in our hands, at least we had another clue!  Off down the road we went!

Our next stop was disheartening, as the property the ranch hand directed us to was locked up.  I called for Buddy, and four other dogs came running out (some were pretty seedy looking), so I got back in the car deflated.  I started to think we weren’t going to get our little Buddy back at all.  And now, Josephine was fully aware that we were looking for him (we told her he was adventuring, and our adventure was to look for him.  She got very excited about that!), so the stakes were higher.  I was worried that some out of town family had Buddy and they would take him to a pound in another city, where he might be really hard to locate.  Ga Ga Jane, however, didn’t lose hope!  She suggested that we go next door to see if they knew anything.  I thought the people weren’t home, but Jane said to knock on the door anyways. 

Miraculously, when I got up to the door I found this sticky note!

I jumped in the air and shouted, “HOORAY!”  We found him!  I called the number right away and got an answering machine message.  I left my phone number, but wanted to go pick him up right away! 

Jane and I decided to go looking for the ranch that the woman on the answering machine said we had called, but when we didn’t find the ranch on Pioneer, I thought we’d just have to go home and wait.  Jane (the smartest dog finder ever!) suggested we stop by the Valley Home store, since they would likely know the ranch and the woman we were looking for.  Our local general store did not disappoint, when they said that they had, in fact, seen Buddy earlier in the day, when a person who had picked him up brought him in to ask if they knew whose dog he was.  They then politely directed me to the ranch I was looking for (go four ranches down on the right, you’ll see a pasture out front and a barn next to the house).  We were all so very happy!

When we drove up, we found the ranch owner, and we were both beaming with happiness that Buddy was FOUND!  Her husband asked me (jokingly) if I could prove he was my dog.  Just at that moment Jane brought Josephine out of the car, and she yelled, “BUDDY BOY!! BUDDY BOY!!”, and he ran right over and licked her and jumped up and down!  All the proof anyone would ever need!  It was pretty darn amazing.  We all laughed, and I thanked them profusely!  Such nice, warm, animal loving people!  They had even given dirty old Buddy a bath!  A bath!  Imagine that!  These people are so fantastic!  I am definitely baking them a thank you pie!  They welcomed me to the neighborhood, smiled big, and we were on our way home. 

I just have to say…I feel so very grateful to live in a community where people are so connected to one another and where people look out for their neighbors.  In a lot of neighborhoods, no one would have bothered to pick up a stray (although I might argue that if he wasn’t picked up to begin with he may have come home on his own, but I digress), he might have been out wandering, shooed away, or hit by a car with nary a thought.   The people in my community cared enough to not only take notice of our lost dog (which speaks to country living and actually being outside), but to feed him (he was fed at least two of his stops), drive him around, take him to safety, bathe him, and post notices about him being found  around the neighborhood.  That wouldn’t happen in very many places, and I am so very thankful and lucky to live in the amazing Valley Home Community.  We love our Valley Home!  And I have to say…I didn’t realize how much we love Buddy, until he was gone.  We are so extremely happy to have our stinky little guy back home!

We're so glad you are home, Buddy!


We got water this morning and Taylor had to leave around noon to play a show, so Josephine and I trekked across the neighbor’s pasture to shut the water off this afternoon. I was nervous to have Josephine so close to the canal while I turned the valves, so I called Grammy Jane to come help. While we were waiting for her, we decided that we could actually do this alone. So we got out the trusty ergo, climbed over the fence, hoofed it through Mister Cow’s pasture (so exciting for Josephine, she LOVES Mister Cow), climbed up the canal bank, and shut the gate. Success! Grammy Jane showed up right when we finished, and was able to snap our victory picture! We’re gettin’ the hang of things 🙂