Category Archives: appreciation

Golden Birthday

10/15/18 Otis turned 15!  15!  I know right?!

We got Otis when he was 6 weeks old and he is now 15!

We celebrated his golden birthday (because he is 15 and the day of his birthday is the 15th) by going to work and letting him sleep at home.

That night he went for a ride and got a pup cup from Dairy Queen.  He got to wear a party hat (a real one and not a muzzle – vet calls them party hats).  He snuggled with me and we just loved on him even more.  He slept in the middle of the bed on a fuzzy blanket.  He also got a new food and water dish.  He seemed super excited about it.  We also built a fence around our backyard and I am calling that part of his gift too (even though it has been more of a gift to me and Andy).

He is showing his age.  His eye sight is going and his hearing is selective, but going too.  His little face is gray and he is a tad skinnier now than he was.  He has moments of being a puppy when he tries to chase a ball in his new fence, but sometimes he just can’t see or hear the ball.

Happy birthday to my sweet little puppy.  Ok my old man dog.  He drives me crazy sometimes, but he has been such a support through the difficult parts of life and comfort when I have been home alone.  I don’t know how many more years we get with him, but we will cherish each and every one.

random little nuggets

I keep a running list of things I want to blog about….not that I can always find that list and not that I always use it…but I have a list.

this post is about some of those little nuggets that don’t really need their own post.

  1. little rock: we dodged a bullet there.  at the time it seemed like a great idea to move to Arkansas but we have been talking a lot recently about places we have been and where we thought we were headed and we both agree that we dodged a bullet by not going to little rock.  I think I can honestly say that I would have been miserable and thankfully we never loaded up the u haul and moved!
  2. computer clean up.  I have a mini laptop (so it is not meant to house a ton of pictures and videos) and my storage is running low and my computer is running slow.  (a little rhyme maybe?)  anyways…I have been in the process of “organizing” my photos so that I can easily transfer them to an external hard drive and hopefully that will solve the running slow issue and I will be able to store it in a safe place in case of mother nature or stupid mean people that could potentially break in.  on night it was late and i had been working for a few hours and went to stop for the night and DELETED all of my photos…ALL of them.  i dealt with it like any normal mature adult and started sobbing.  not the cute tears welled in my eyes threatening to spill over my eye lids but the ugly crying with snot bubbling and incoherent shrilling.  andy came to my rescue and restored them.  i decided i needed to just go to bed (andy i only work a few minutes at a time so i don’t get tired and stupid).
  3. while doing the computer clean up i found several attempts of some photos that i took of jasper on the windshield.  it made me laugh.  i remembered sitting in the kubota taking the pictures (there had to be about 15 of them).  all of them taken the same distance from jasper…all of them same lighting…all of them the same angle…all of them the same perspective…all of them the same view….each and every single one of them blurry.  i would take the picture look at it and sigh and try again.  it made me thing of the saying: insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (Einstein).  proof that maybe i am a little insane….?
  4. we got Otis a lobster costume for Halloween (and when i say we i mean that i pestered andy in the store for one and to prevent a scene he caved).  it was too small and andy refused to get a bigger size (i think it was premeditated)!  (so you can officially blame andy for a lack of AWESOME photos of Otis as a lobster).

so there you have it.  now you will be able to sleep tonight.

furry happiness

we go to the farm to feed animals i have stated before that it is more for my benefit then it is for theirs.  they can eat grass and be happy with that, but who doesn’t want a little treat every now and then.  it doesn’t matter how bad of a day that i have had going to see the animals and ride around makes me happy.  some people go to happy hour and have liquid happiness i go to the farm for furry happiness.

i have enjoyed being able to go see the mountains and have enjoyed being “responsible” for animals.  pancake has come such a long way.  do i trust him yet – not at all, but i feel a lot more comfortable around him and he does me too.  i can now put my forehead on his and he crosses his eyes and looks at me but doesn’t jerk away like he has been shot.  he has gotten to the point where he always wants to run to us.  which is awesome but a little scary when he is flying down a hill and you are at the bottom. pancake also does this thing where he will just stick out his tongue after eating!

DSCN6324 DSCN6306 DSCN6317

pancake has always had personality (which was evident when he tried to take dad out and escape the horse trailer) but it is really starting to show in a fun way.  he loves treats.  sometimes he gets really excited and tries to eat your hand with them but he responds to ouch and stop and a firm hand on the forehead.  he tries to steal other animals treats also.  he also loves the camera.  i will get the camera out and he comes to see it.  he wants to smell it and lick it and see if it is a treat.  he loves having his picture taken even if it mean photobombing another picture!

DSCN6394 DSCN6395 DSCN6396 DSCN6400 DSCN6401 DSCN6404 DSCN6408 DSCN6440

he still gets antsy around the horses but has gotten more bold and will come around them.  i recently learned that he slurps his water.  he will put his lips in a bucket of water and uses his lips like they are his personal straw.  it is really funny but could be a little annoying if he did it all the time around me.  (the horses also drink this way too).

DSCN6833 DSCN6838 DSCN6847

now that the weather is getting cooler all the animals are feeling a little frisky.  pancake is running circles around us and jack.  jack has gotten a lot more mobile since pancake has come to live at the farm.  jack runs and kicks and makes a weird heehaw noise.  it is a little more like a screech noise but still gets the point across.  jack also gets excited about treats.  he doesn’t bite as much as he lips.  he will take the treat from me but my hand ends up in his lips.  he really loves the caramel treats that we recently got.

DSCN6384 DSCN6309

argyle is growing up so much.  we put the halter on his….and he lost it.  we are still looking in brush and on limbs to see where he got it caught..  he is almost taller than me.  he is fuzzy (with his baby/winter coat).  he loves for his butt to be rubbed.  he will let me rub his head and neck and then he turns so that we can get to his back and butt.  he also will still rub/lean up against me like a big dog.  he loves attention and treats and is getting a lot more bold with the big horses.

DSCN6299 DSCN6332 DSCN6422 DSCN6424 DSCN6434 DSCN6435 DSCN6436 DSCN6441 DSCN6879

the other horses are still crazy.  they love treats and being bullies to the other animals.  flag is getting a lot nicer and actually will listen to me (well sort of).  abbey and penny are still a little jumpy and bossy but they are sweet and get treats too.

DSCN6875 DSCN6876 DSCN6877

dinozzo…he is getting big!

DSCN6366 DSCN6369 DSCN6373 DSCN6824

we love to take my camera (in part for the animals but also for the mountains).  you never know what you will capture.  (all of the pictures are from the last several weeks).

DSCN6826

my dose of furry happiness.

the country: a beautiful thing

growing up we took a lot of family vacations.  i say a lot but i have no idea how many we really took because when you are younger things seem more often.  i know that we travelled all over and i am amazed at some of the places my parents have told me i have been but i don’t really remember.  some of the memories i have of those vacations are of me and will running through museums trying to get through them as quickly as we could so we could move on.  i remember waiting on my parents (who according to my younger self) were the slowest people in the world.  it was a race to get back to the hotel/camp ground to go swimming in the pool.  ah the joys of family vacations as a child.  when we loaded up for vacations as teenagers it was more of the same, but instead of running to the end, it was more avoid and hide from my parents (who according to my teenager self) were the most embarrassing humans alive.  it was a slow form of torture.  looking back i realize that it was actually (dare i say) fun.  now looking back it makes me a little sad.  not only because of the carefree vacations but because i missed out on a lot of things because i was too hurried to really look at the things in the museum or appreciate the sites.  i was too busy making fun of things that we had to do to really absorb it and the history.  as a teenager i was so annoyed that i wasn’t with my friends that i missed out on a lot of great experiences.  i might have been physically there and going through motions but i didn’t really “get” it – whatever “it” was.  this is true for our trip to washington dc, the nasa space center in fl, countless museums across the south, the cherokee reenactments etc. 

that rambling leads me to this:

i grew up in the city, yes i spent time in the country visiting family on some weekends and in the summer but let’s face it…i’m a city girl.  there are times i pretend that i am a country girl…like when we go feed the animals and i move a branch out of the tractor path and act like the world stood still until those tasks were accomplished.  i pretend that i know what i am doing when i grab the horse’s halter to put fly medicine on her face – but in reality i am thinking “please don’t pull me through the fence.”   i pretend that i trust pancake when i think he is really plotting against me (especially when he flattens his ears).  i pretend that pancake has come a great ways and it is all because i am a self-proclaimed donkey whisperer.  i pretend that if it wasn’t for me and andy, argyle would be so skittish around humans that he would be considered for the rodeo.  i pretend that when argyle goes to his new home (whenever that might be) that i won’t miss him because he is just a horse when i actually think that i love him and there is a great possibility that i will cry when i drive up and he isn’t standing in the field with his lanky legs running to the fence to greet us.  

i pretend that i have always enjoyed doing these things…but i haven’t.  i can remember when i was growing up and was “forced” to come to tn with my family.  it was a time when i was starting to really have a social life outside of neighbors and family friends but wasn’t old enough to stay at home so my parents did the responsible thing and took me with them.  i drug my feet the entire time.  i longed to be with my friends in the city and hated that i was missing all of the latest things.  i was worried that my best friends would replace me in the 72 hours that i was out of their sight.  i missed the beauty in feeding animals with my grandmother.  i missed the knowledge in riding around town with my grandfather making deliveries and picking up boxes.  i missed the freedom in running through a tobacco field looking for tobacco worms.  i missed the experience of riding on the tractor around the farm.  i missed the familiarity of walking through the barn yard with the cows.  i missed the understanding of why we picked and shelled beans and cut up apples.  i will take a moment to make it clear that i did all of those things and for the most part i plastered a smile on my face but it isn’t until now – years later – that i fully grasp what i was missing out on by not truly living in the moment.  i didn’t take advantage of the situations and now that we are living here there are things i wish i could do again and wish that andy could experience because they really were life changing things – if i had only let them be.  no one in my family grows tobacco anymore and when we pass a field i am reminded of running through the rows and looking for worms.  it makes me sad that andy may never see one and get to step on it.  we won’t be able to walk into a barn and smell the dried tobacco.  i missed out – i took for granted those experiences because i wanted to be somewhere else.

i have been thinking a lot about all of this in the past year and have come to the conclusion that if i would have moved to tn earlier in my life (or if i was born and raised here) i would not be as appreciative as i am today to be doing the things i am doing.  if i lived here when i was in high school i would have applied to college and moved far away because i wouldn’t have appreciated the experiences that this little town has to offer.  i would have been the first of my class to skip town and get on with my life.  i would fled and never looked back and honestly would have never realized what i was walking away from. 

it took moving to the country to realize how much i took for granted and still take for granted.  i feel like i am more aware now (as compared to when i was younger).  i see the outline of the mountains in the morning sun and notice the way the sun highlights the ridges.  i see the clouds casting shadows in the valleys.  i laugh when argyle leans into me to be rubbed like a big dog.  i practice tough love when i take the feed buckets away from jack and pancake.  i practice tolerance when the horses try to steal each others sweet feed.  i sit in awe listening to the creek at night in the cool mountain breeze.  i enjoy riding around the farm looking for baby cows and wild turkeys.  i do all of these things now with a true appreciation and it isn’t because i am a farmer or a country girl, but because i don’t want these experiences to pass me by again. 

living here in the country with a second chance: it’s a beautiful thing.