Wednesday, December 30, 2020


The chickens haven't laid an egg since Christmas Day; we haven't had water in two days and counting; we'll be paying for everything but a new well – pipe, wiring and pump; rain has moved in for the foreseeable future; the son is sullen and unhelpful; I had to make a college down payment today in order for said son to leave soon; and the dog just threw up. Add in the sadness I feel over the Facebook memories popping up showing pictures from my parents' last visit three years ago and their current crisis caring for my step-brother. Can I just go pull the covers over my head until 2021?

Monday, December 28, 2020

Cheers and jeers

I've collected another cache of miscellaneous photos; beautiful things small and large and in between, gifts given and received and self-indulged. These are things to cheer about.
Pretty little parasols near the Ram-ada Inn
My favorite mountain is looking magnificent
We're celebrating a year together!
Waiting for daddy to walk in; such a sweet pupper
Any winter day with sun is special
But rain gives gifts, too
more mushrooms
Found one on eBay after seeing lots of Insta-ads,
and it works like an absolute charm!
A lovely gift from our neighbors
and one from a spider, with holiday decor
A gift I'm knitting with a gift I got

And maybe the best moon shot I've gotten with my iPhone

Also, I took Brian to the doctor today and he tested negative for COVID-19. Since I really didn't think he had it, the results only make his total slothfulness more aggravating. Boo. Also, we have no water. This morning we had a trickle; Rick did something to restore it, but by afternoon NOTHING – not a drip. Seems that 2020 is going to "be that way" until the bitter end. Jeers.

That's it for now from . . .

Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Birthday, Immanuel!

It has been a low-key holiday here, as it seems to be for nearly everyone this year. Just the four of us – my guys, Poppy, and me; Rick's mother flew to Colorado to be with her daughter and extended family. I do hope she comes back COVID-free; I hope we are COVID-free. Brian complained of a severe headache last night; he has spent most of today in bed with that headache, a sore throat and sore lymph nodes. We thinking/hoping mono rather than COVID....

Yesterday dawned clear and cold, a heavy layer of frost on the ground and ice on the buckets. The valley was blanketed with fog that tried to envelope us as well, without complete success. On my way home I noticed that the fog had frozen to the roadside weeds, flocking them for Christmas; so pretty!

We all got home around the same time, and wanted to take advantage of the daylight. For the guys that meant some holiday explosions, target shooting and blasting clay pigeons out of the air. For me that meant working with Stella and exercising Lance, which didn't seem like an option in a 'war zone.' But I turned Stella out in the arena to run around, and after a few big spooks at the gunfire, she actually handled the rest better than I would have imagined. I was even able to work her a little bit, but ran out of daylight to ride Lance down the lane. It was Christmas Eve, and I wanted to make a festive supper for us to enjoy before opening presents – yes, on Christmas Eve. Rick hasn't always been willing to follow the tradition I grew up with (my mom's parents were both European immigrants), but this year he was amenable.

It was Poppy's first Christmas really, since her eyes may not have even been open yet for last year's. After we had opened our few gifts I picked up hers and called her over. She understood immediately that the package was for her, and could hardly wait for me to free it from the box. I should have taken a photo of the plush, holey log filled with five little squeaky squirrels before handing it over; she wasn't about to let me get close enough for a good snapshot of her treasure afterwards! At least until she started pulling out the squirrels:

She also got a new bed, since she's been slowly destroying her old one:

I'm watching that she only uses the new one for comfort.

I was wanting us to watch a very good presentation of the story of the Nativity that I had seen at our church's Women's Ministries Christmas party last Saturday night*, but Brian just wanted to go to bed. So instead Rick and I stayed up very late watching two Christmas movies; this morning we all slept in. When Poppy started stirring before we were ready to get up, I asked Rick if she could snuggle with us for a bit. This was her Christmas morning treat:

When we did get up, there wasn't much to see; it was a dreary, WET day. So I cooked, we talked to distant family on the phone, Rick turned on his lathe, Poppy played with her squirrels, we watched more TV. It would have been nice to have some family time to focus on 'the reason for the season' but as I said, Brian rarely came out of his room. Rick and I ate 'Christmas dinner for two'.... Like the rest of this singular year, it was a strange little Christmas. Still, our blessings are abundant and we try to focus on gratitude.

* The sole holiday 'party' on the schedule this year, our women's Christmas gathering was held in the Fellowship Hall where we could maintain plenty of distance from one another. We didn't have a gift exchange, choosing instead to support a charity that works to protect girls. There was also a Christmas ornament craft kit to make there or take home; here is what I created:

I've intended to post about so much more, but personal burdens have made creative thought difficult. I know all of you are carrying burdens of your own like never before, too. I pray that Christmas brought an interlude of peace and love to your heart, even if you couldn't have family in your home. I will try to get back here to show you some nifty things before the photos gather figurative dust, or the calendar turns another page . . . but don't hold your breath. 😉
That's it for now from . . .

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Happy birthday, baby girl!

Miss Poppy is a year old today! I so wanted her to be able to have a playdate or two, both for her enjoyment and make it easier for her to be cooped up tomorrow when I'm at work, but it was a wet, dreary, sloppy, stay-mostly-indoors day. I took the above photo when she was laying on my bed and saw the neighbors' chickens through the window; that was about as exciting as it got. I did take her down to the basement to do a little agility work, and played with her as usual, but it's mostly been a 'bored puppy' day. Fortunately, she didn't have any expectations. 😉

This little nugget has morphed into a leggy, lovely lady and treasured companion. Poppy had pretty big pawprints to fill, coming into our lives less than a month after we lost dear Jackson. But as she learns and matures and becomes more dependable while entertaining us with terrier antics, the ache of missing Jackson lessens . . . and the pain potential for a future good-bye grows. Such is giving one's heart to a dog; may there be many, many years together before that happens.

Following is a flood of photos from my "blog photos" folder that I don't think I've shared before, in chronological order from last April through tonight. Time to 'clean house' to make way for more photos!

Poppy's first year is a wrap at . . .