Glory Downs Farm

Glory Downs Farm

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lies told to a Pregnant Mum.

So long toes!

Buy Maternity Clothes!!! 

Whoohoo! So exciting! I remember, just those few short seven months ago going out and buying maternity jeans as soon as I found out about our little miracle!  I couldn't fit into them quite yet, and it took me a bit to realize that they would continuously fall down until I actually had the belly to hold them up. Sure I felt bloated and pregnant right away, but the belly was not like it is today. She was just the size of a lentil bean and here she is now over a foot long!  So when I first put those full belly panel jeans on, and they fit nice and loose and comfortable, I thought to myself- wow- this is gonna be great! I'll feel like I'm wearing pajama jeans for nine months- great!

Not so much.

Lately, as our belly bump grows, those jeans are getting more snug.  By the end of the day, the legs fit tighter from swelling, and the belly panel just seems to cut and squish, instead of holding up my jeans.  If they stretch a bit and fall down, I walk around with parts of the jeans where they shouldn't be, and it makes me feel even more like a giantess.  I have maintained gaining on the lower end of the appropriate weight gain, and exercise regularly, which really helps with the self esteem of your changing body, but still you can't escape the third trimester poundage coming on in preparation of future feed stores and energy for the miracle about to come. And it comes on fast!

So I google this.

"third Trimester jeans."


What? No such thing?!

Man- I love chat forums.

It comes to find out that all those maternity jeans that I spent money on- work mainly for first and second trimester. Only.

What? Why didn't anyone tell me?! Oh- I should have read the reviews........

And the trick of wearing your normal jeans, unbuttoned, with only and elastic band tied around the button to hold them up- yeah, same thing, great for the first and second trimester "bloat feeling."

So what is the deal with third trimester clothing? Do they sell any jeans that would comfortably fit? Yes, but the are 189 dollars. And let me tell you, I am WAY to cheap to spend that kind money for the remaining two or so months. And after looking up reviews on more affordable jeans that are cute, and nice skinny models sport them beautifully, I see that they are "great for first and second trimester comfort only." (why can't models have hips and butts? Why must they all look like thirteen year old boys sporting a baby bump making you feel bad about your own, curves, bone structure, hips, boobs, butt, everything?!?) 

So whats my alternative?

More chat forums suggest yoga pants!

Sigh again.

Now I love yoga pants. For working out or lounging around the house. But I do have a bit of a tif regarding ladies who do everything including "go to the bars," in yoga pants. Just because they are more flattering than sweatpants doesn't make them legal to wear as a fashion statement, or any less of a sweat pant. They are called yoga pants for a reason- yoga- working out- doing housework- sweating. Not- go throughout your day in them and then straight into bed only to get up and do it all again. If you have the time to put on makeup then you have the time to change your pants. There. Opinion stated.

Ok, so another suggestion was to "go to your closet and look for those jeans that were just a little too big before you were pregnant!" I laughed out loud....people have such things? Not this girl. All my jeans "just fit."

But after looking at my closet I come across a bunch of dance pants I used to wear EVERYDAY while I taught ballroom dancing! Whooo~!!! .......But they are black, and stretchy, and might possibly make me come across as one of those "non sweating yoga pant wearing girls."  Unless I wear ballroom like clothing, and wear my hair in extreme again, then maybe I can get away with it, but right now I don't have the guts, (or the abs) to do so.

Next option- "buy a size or two up from your normal jean size! Get them on clearance and save some money!"

Ok, Ok, I like this idea, but have a seriously, vain, mental block as to buying jeans in a bigger size. I'm just being an honest girl.

Last suggestion-

"Wear overalls!"

I questioned this.

People still wear them? 

(Importance of reading well) I saw that this chat forum was from 2005 and happened in Great Britain. 

Ok cool- people don't wear them anymore. Overalls are meant for the baby you carry. Not Mum.

So whats a Mum to do? Go to Marshalls and try on alot of jeans and pants and just give into the buy a size or four up from your normal. Now I might come home with some black dressy mom pants, or leggings of all colors, or even a pair of jeans that make me look like a garbage man, but hey- I will be comfortable. It is now my mission to find third trimester comfort!

So whats the moral of this third trimester story?

The moral is that the uncomfortable, fat, swollen, aching feeling that I have in an ever changing body that is no longer "mine," is the best discomfort I have ever felt.
(Also- women who say "they fit into their regular jeans their entire pregnancy" flat out lie. They lie like the models sporting pregnancy jeans. Ain't no such thing.)

When I come home after standing on my feet for eight hours at work, and change into pj's, sit on the couch with my husband and watch as our baby dances, makes all the discomfort and the anger towards jeans vanish. I will for the next few months revel in the change that this body is going thru to house this precious baby. I would not trade this body for another. No way. Sure I can't wait to be able to tie my shoes in less than fifteen minutes- but I will cherish the fifteen minutes it now takes to do so.

I can't wait to meet our little girl, but I can wait to take in all these new feelings and changes and lock them away in my good memory box:) Until then I will not look at the sizes of my jeans but instead of the fact that there is a baby girl ready to knock down doors in this world, in my belly right now. It ain't about the size of clothes you are wearing but the fact the God gave you a being to care for.  Soon enough I will be running around the house chasing after our little girl, and I will do so with a body I "remember." But I will also love these quiet moments of her kicking me after I "wake her up," or watching her dance after I eat supper.

Thank you God for Your love<3

This Yankee is Riding on Midnight.

The Redcoats are coming?

The Redcoats are back?

The Redcoats might have come and visited us the past three nights.

Its been a solid five weeks since our last "official," visit with our redcoated friend Ash, and my hopes and prayers is that he or she has been busy making/having babies.  Even though we haven't seen the little fox, I still leave food out in the hopes that he or she might stop by for a snack.

Well, I have had these four hotdogs (if you remember Ash's favorite) in his dish for the past week. The hotdogs were looking pretty ripe and I wasn't about to touch them. Instead I figured the crows would eventually catch on that there is some free grub and come and get it. Well, they haven't.

I was surprised to go out the other morning (before sunrise) to see that three of those four hotdoggies were gone.....hmmm

The next morning (again before sunrise) the last hotdog was gone.

I put two more out last night, and again, they were crows have been here.

Could it be our dear friend?

I realize that this might not have been too much of exciting news for you readers, but I couldn't help myself to writing this down. I apologize for any boring, inconvenience, to your reading pleasure this might have caused.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sometimes, you have a few bones to pick with your friend.

A Valentine for the bees

Yesterday was a mild day with some sun. It reached around fifty degrees by noon, and the birds of Spring were singing in the morning.

Anytime its nice out and I'm out with the chickens, I have to take a peak at the bees.  They were buzzing about and taking their time coming in for a landing so I went in for a closer look.

I noticed that the bees were flying in with their back legs splayed open.  When their legs are wide open for a landing, it usually means that they are full of something. Typically its water or nectar, and on a brief occasion, soda from a can that someone dropped in the yard.  Knowing that there is no nectar to be had I sat and watched their flight path to see where they were getting water from.

While watching I was surprised to see some of the girls coming in with pollen.

What?! Pollen?!  In February?!!!!


No lie folks, the bee's were coming in with two different kinds. A ash gray colour, and a bright, ruby red. Heavy with pollen too- so much so they had it on their furry little heads.

I was so excited I called my husband. You can imagine when he answers the phone with a "hello," and gets a "the bees have pollen!!!!" response.

So looking up where gray pollen comes from I find out it comes from Red Maple, which we have in our front yard. Sure enough- its budding.

I know, I know, I'm just being hopeful right? It couldn't possibly be blooming and budding going on THIS early in the year. All I have to say to that is- Panxsutawney Phil- you were wrong.

We were lucky to have a mild winter. And if you think that 30 degrees at night is fricken freezing, then you should look into early Floridian retirement.

Bee's don't lie peeps. And speaking of peeps, you should wake up early and listen to those Spring birds singing those lovely songs.

So springtime might be earlier than expected, which who could complain?  Those of you with allergies- get ready.

So why do bees collect pollen anyways?
Babies eat pollen. Their babies do:)
How awesome:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is someone else excited ?????

Anticipation of our baby girl perhaps?

Even though the nursery is not anywhere near ready, I was charmed to see our Indie laying down in here by herself. Something she has never done.

I'm excited too Indie:)
I can't wait to meet her either<3

Animal Calculations.

1 Hawk + 41 chickens = 40 chickens.

1 Hawk + 40 chickens + 200 crows = 0 hawk.40 chickens

200 Crows + 1 Fox = 0 Fox.

1 Fox + Unknown Gender = MIA Fox.

Fishing line + Hawk= 0 Hawk.

I always hated Math.

Since Elementary school, I have despised math with a passion. So much so that the very thought of fractions makes me break out in a nervous sweat. And since I'm a girl, and girls don't sweat- you can imagine how nervous I really am. (Girls get dewey, we glisten....we don't sweat.)
So on Sunday, when I was researching hawk behavior, in protection of my feathered 40, I saw that hawks were all part of a greater equation.

I can't believe I just used that word.

Comes to finds out that if you have a hawk around, and you own chickens- once that hawk discovers that the chickens are there, the hawk will pick off the chickens one by one until they are all gone. All that I have read says, that a fake owl, wind chimes, even soft rock music will  not scare a hawk away. They will grow smart to the owl being fake, and the wind chimes, being cliche, and the soft rock being actually tolerable, swoop down and get the girls. But there is a warrior that will help protect the chickens, and that warrior is a crow.

Now I have mentioned before that we are surrounded by corn fields.  Crows naturally like corn, so on occasion we have about 200 or so crows land in the corn field and have a picnic for the day.  Since reading about hawks and crows and their inability to get along, I have been watching their behavior.  If the crows are around pinicing- there is no hawk.

That being said, crows are ALSO coming into mating season, and this means some high strung activities on their part.  Crows will basically kick the ass of any moving creature that comes within the territory of their nest. From small birds, to cats, to hawks, to foxes. Even though a fox will not climb a tree to eat the eggs of the crow- the crow will still give it a whoppin if it comes too close to the crib.  I can appreciate their fierceness.

So since I have read this- I have been paying attention to not only Ash- but all his (or her) fellow friends that we usually see on a regular basis.    
There have been none around.

We are used to seeing at least two other foxes in the field across the street playing and eating mice. I asked David if he has seen any- and he hasn't either. So I went a little further. I checked out the fox holes in the locations near our farm. No activity whatsoever. Hmmm. That makes me feel even better about Ashs' MIA status for the past month or so. ( No fear- we have some idea that he or she has been around once in awhile to eat- but we have not seen his or her face for one month)  And being the end of their mating season- I have come to the conclusion that someone besides myself might be carrying a cub (or nine) themselves.

(Side note: Fox mating season is in late winter in the colder climates like Mass and Maine, meaning January and February. In warmer climates below the Mason Dixon-ahem- Maryland, fox mating season can come earlier.  We witnessed Ashs' "odd," behavior start around November, when he or she sat in our yard listening to the mating calls go on across the street.  It was soon after that that Ash stopped storing his or her food, and instead- ate it.  Males make mating booty calls. I mean mating calls. Females listen. First trimester=starving)(More math!)

The only problem with having crows around is that they can become a nusiance, and possibly rob the chickens of their eggs.  I don't see how a crow can actually get into our coop so I'm not too concerned about that, but I will keep an eye open for the "just in case."  We did have two crows last summer, that were quite charming. They would come each morning and get their drink on at the bird bath. Since no other birds used it- and mainly it was the honeybee summer pool, I enjoyed their morning meetings. I look forward to seeing this again in the summer, and now I know to encourage it.

So what should be done for the feathered 40 and the Patton like Hawk?

Fishing line.

I spent a good afternoon walking fishing line back and forth across the chicken yard, while the fourty sat and watched me eventually growing bored. I spaced it a good six inches apart and basically made cross sections over the entire yard.  What will this do in hawk protection? It will allow the chickens to still free range peacefully out in their yard even if a hawk is present and they are unaware.  The hawk can see a blade of grass tremble if a mouse is underneath it from 300 feet up. If they can see the fishing line (which  gives a good shine) they will not attempt to dive through it. (Hopefully)  I have read that if a hawk can get through it- but not out of it- they will not try.  What else does the fishing line do? It saves us from putting up a net over the entire yard, which wouldn't work for longer than two weeks. Leaves, snow, rain, and wind, stretch out the netting and before long its hitting the ground, and the hens are pissed. Also since the human eye can't really pick up on the fishing line- it makes a unredneck look possible. ( caution tape, windchimes, and colored socks hanging six feet above a flock of chickens isn't really fifth ave. yah know.)

So we will see how this all pans out.  Its been the second day since letting the hens back out into the big yard, and they are positively happy. They were out at six am this morning, waiting for the sun to rise, and stretching their wings. It feels good having all that space.....I can relate.

And as far as Math is concerned, I am done for the year. These calculations, have used up any math possibilities that I might have possessed. I am happy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Party Rock Boxers.

When I walk on by- dogs be looking like damn she fly.

I jump to the beat, running down the street in my new lafreak.

Girl look at that Boxer.

Girl Look at that Boxer.

They work out.

This is how I roll 
Animal print pants out of control.

When I'm at the yard, security just can't fight them off

When I'm at the beach, I'm in a Speedo trying to tan my cheeks

This is how I roll, come on Harlem it's time to go

We headed to the bar, Indie don't be nervous

No shoes, no shirt, and we still get service

When we walk in the spot, this is what we see
Everybody stops and they staring at me
We got passion in my paws and we ain't afraid to show it

We're sassy and we know it.

Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicken Down.

I walked out to check on the lower 41 and quickly realized we were down to just 40...

Yes folks, we lost a dear feathered friend.

One of our four blondes, the youngest one to be exact, had her life taken from her by a hawk.

How do I know this?

When I walked out to their yard, I saw the hawk "getting her fill," of what was left of the chicken. Sadly, but thankfully, it didn't look like the chicken knew what actually hit her. There was no blood, no feathers sprawled all over the place- nothing. Just what was left of the pretty blonde, and a hawk sitting on top of her.

To make matters worse, the chickens were in the yard while the hawk sat there eating one of their friends. Seemingly unaware of the danger that was around them.

Did the chickens call up the hawk to do this deed?
Did they quickly make friends with the hawk to lessen their chances of being next?
Or was some sort of feathered inner wild side that was unleashed upon the unexpected crime come out of the chickens, and they joined the carnage?

I feel pretty bad about the poor girl.
I really, really, love my chickens.

But now I am questioning if I should fear for the rest of them- or be in fear of the rest of them.

All My Babies!

Six month baby bump!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

With a cluck cluck here....

Happy Chickens.

After cleaning out the coop the girls wistfully re-enter ready to lay eggs, and head for the brood boxes. 

One other crafty hen jumped onto food bucket and proceeded to get her fill.  No need for lady like behavior from her. Ain't no rooster to impress.

Check out my waddles..

Yah thats right.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A special moment between two buddies.

"Indie I'm really enjoying our nap together, especially after such a great day."

"I'm pretty sure there is a parade going on downstairs. I think there might even be some peanuts...."

A quiet moment between friends...

"Hey Indie, I think I see a place over the field where we can dig a nice hole!"

"I think I just heard a rhino! I like squinting! Stuff is fun!"

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It.

As humans we all like to feel a part of "something." Whether you find your identity in music, clothes, your job, or the fact that you can make pouty lips look like a serious medical condition on facebook-. We have all felt the need to be a part of some sort of "group."

I myself struggled with this for years. I found my identity in my (once upon a time glamorous) job, until I was no longer able to physically do it anymore. When that was taken away from me I had some tough days knowing who I really was and what I was good for. I would tell people that I retired, to avoid the fact of the truth. A physical injury had left me unable to do my profession, my interesting job, my love of life, that I thought was the most important thing- ever.  Thats where God came in. 

Now you see God has always been there, but there are many times that my ears were not open to Him. If any of you are familiar with God, He will gently tap you on the shoulder with a great suggestion for you. If you don't listen, then He will whack you upside the head with a hammer. And that usually hurts.  

Well long story short, it took God whacking me upside the head with a hammer to find out what my identity was- His daughter, made uniquely, and in His eyes.  Its really a wonderful feeling, knowing that your job, clothes, or music doesn't define you. Freeing in fact. But God Himself who made you unique is what is your definition.

So what does this mean exactly? Well, here's where beekeeping comes in.

I always had a liking for bee's. If I saw the word "bee's," on facebook, on that sidebar where adds usually are- I would hit the "like" button. I often get asked- "What got you into bee's and beekeeping?" And the only answer I really have was the memory of my brother doing a school project on a bee's nest and its inner structure. My brother did well on the project and he thought it was really cool and neat. Anything my brother liked I did as well- I looked up to everything he did (and still do) so a passion formed. We would go around my Grandmothers small farm in the summer time looking for bee's nest to throw rocks at.  This was fun as kids- so it shaped its way into learning about bee's and falling in love with them.

For a long time growing up I to wanted to "keep," bee's. Upon getting this house and having the acreage (and supporting husband) to do so I did. Filling this passion of mine helped me to feel as though I was doing something God had made me for. Some might read that sentence as weird, but I don't really care. Maybe your calling is being a doctor- which is a great and amazing thing. My calling is bee's and caring for soft and fuzzy things. I'm just figuring this out so bare with me.....
Well I can remmeber the first time I mentioned what I "really wanted to do," to a group of girlfriends. Figuring that they would be OH so excited for me and supportive taht I "found my calling,"- I blurted out- "I'm going to keep bee's!"

The response I got was less than exciting. In fact most girls thought I was talking about the "stinging kind of bee," and the "kind of bee that is always flying around trash cans." "How do you keep them?" "Why would you want to?" "Aren't you afraid?!" "i would never want to do THAT."   I was disheartened. I remember walking away from that night in tears. Here I was happy as can beee about finally finding my calling....ahem...and my girlfriends thought that I was just a weirdo.  I was back to square one figuring out "whoooo I ammmm."

"Who are you?" said the caterpillar.
"Well I don't know said Alice, I've changed so many times since this morning!"

Or was I?
I went home and talked to my husband about it. He reminded me that we are all created uniquely, and that although my girlfriends would never want to play with bee's on a Saturday afternoon, doesn't mean that I shouldn't. In fact, that should give me all the more reason to play with bee's for a hobby- because its was something God had put into my heart alone.

I went on to do it- obviously. And obviously you have read about what it has done for me in my life. I am able to see God through the little golden gals, and feel close to Him when working with the bee's.  I love bee charming, and know that it will remain a passion of mine for as long as I'm able to walk out to the bee yard. And as long as I am able to walk out into the bee yard, and feel His presence while I work the bee's, I will remain close to Him and His creation.  But even though I have found my "niche," in life I still struggle with the "who am I's," that seem to knock on the door every once in a while. I am only a mere human (although I often want to dispute this fact).

Do I still struggle with wanting to belong to a certain group? Sure. Think about conversations you have with new people you meet- "Hi I'm so and so and I'm a engineer!" "What's your name?" "What do you do?" That inner part of me still wants to say "Hi I'm Lauren and I'm exciting- here is my list of reason why." But nowadays I tend to hold back a bit more, and reply- "I bag groceries."

A friend I work with came in the other day excited to tell me that she read something I might find interesting.  Knowing that I was a lit major in college she went on to tell me how she learned that Sherlock Holmes when upon retiring, went into "tending bee's."  She thought I would like that.

I loved that.

Sherlock Holmes had pissed me off in college.
 I got into an argument with one professor about one of Holmes' stories. When the professor asked me what I thought about the Hounds of Baskerville, I confidently replied that "it was a dissipointment and a rather boring end."  That professor quickly put me in my place by saying "If you were expecting aliens and robots to be the culprit then you are a product of todays times and culture."  (For anyone who hasn't read Hounds of Baskerville I suggest you do- merely for the fact of understanding what exactly I am talking about.....I'm working on my selfishness ok?) After realizing that she was indeed right, and that I was a product of expectations and explosions for entertainment. I saw that I was a bratty, self centered, typical, college student, and I let Holmes forever put a marker on my heart, for valuable lessons learned.  Don't judge a book by its cover.  Over complicating stories leads to let downs. Keep it simple stupid.

So when my coworker friend told me about Holmes and his passion for tending bee's I had to smile.

Was this God letting me know that the one literary character who forever reminds me of the lesson learned in college, and is also a beekeeper for another lesson?

"Elementary my dear Watson. Elementary."

After reading Holmes take on bee tending I realized what it was. This literary character also spent "pensive nights and laborious days," over his beloved bee's.

The struggle I have with "fitting in, and "here I was "fitting in," and comparing notes with the character who rocked my little college brain, and forever shifted my literary learning.

We both "retired," into bee tending.

Thank you God for your ever creativity.

Sherlock Holmes was a beekeeper. According to Arthur Conan Doyle, he retired to Sussex in the early years of the Twentieth Century and divided his time “between philosophy and agriculture.” Later, details were provided when his hitherto unknown work on beekeeping played a role in breaking a spy ring on the very eve of the Great War:
“But you had retired, Holmes [says Dr Watson]. We heard of you as living the life of a hermit among your bees and your books in a small farm upon the South Downs.”
“Exactly, Watson. Here is the fruit of my leisured ease, the magnum opus of my latter years.” He picked up the volume from the table and read out the whole title, “‘Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.’ Alone I did it. Behold the fruit of pensive nights and laborious days, when I watched the little working gangs as once I watched the criminal world of London.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Miss Independence Task List Number Two.

Another one of Indie's daily activities is to get her paws good and muddy, wait until you take a shower, then walk into the still wet floor of the shower.

What she does in here I don't really know....

I've seen her lick the shower floor. I've also seen her sniff the good smelling shampoos.....

but after those two things are done the shower is hers to do with it who knows-

The season of love.

Its been since last week that we physically saw Ash.

He came by when David was outside (naturally) and the dogs where on the porch. He watch the dogs cautiously, but was unalarmed by them and enjoyed his meal.  He came each night till last Thursday where he enjoyed a nice roast beef sandwich.

After that night I had a dream where the phone rang and when I answered its was a voice I didn't recognize saying "Ash is up to no good."
I sat straight up in bed, and thought to myself- "that was so weird."

(hang tight I promise this blog post is going somewhere.)

Well- Ash did not come show...Saturday....and the worst night was Sunday..when he didn't grace us with his wonderful tail.

He has done this before and normally I wouldn't worry too much about it. The nights have been mild and the mice are out running around in the woods (yes if you sit outside at night and actually listen- you will here them) So when food is plentiful, its normal for this otherwise, punctual fox, to not show for evening dinner.

So why was I worried?

On my way to order bee's this past Sunday (which is right down the street from us) I saw it- something I morbidly look for and pray not to see- a fox that has been hit.

My heart sank. And when I walked into the place to order bee's I wasn't my usual excited self. All I could think of was the fox I just drove past and how I would have to stop to get a good look at the poor thing to see if it was our best buddy, wild friend.......

I left the bee farm and drove all of 100 feet to where the fox was laying. I held up traffic as I slowed down to get a good look at the tail ( something I can clearly identify on Ash) I saw that this fox's tail was not so bushy and there was no white tip.....I passed by the fox two more times, to make sure what I was seeing was correct.

Ash has a white tipped tail. So white tipped that  you can't miss it. When his tail fully grew back in, the white tip of his tail got bigger and bigger. I sighed a bit of relief but really was still pained to see a fallen fox. I have come to not only admire the species, but love them dearly........

With all that in mind my dream came back to me- and I prayed each night that Ash would give us a visit so I know that it really wasn't him that was down the street from us fallen.

Well last night I had another dream.

I dreamt I was back home in Massachusetts looking for our friend Ash.  Some people that I haven't seen in a while drove up and saw me walking my old street. When I said that I would catch up with them later, because I was busy looking for "my," fox- they jumped out of there car and joined me.  I walked towards a farm where I saw him- He had his sly "I'm just waking up and its still sunny," look on his face and he came running over. I fed him chicken nuggets (?) And as soon as he ate from my hand I woke up.

I looked to see it was five am and ran down stairs to check his dish.

Normally his dish is at the bottom of our steps, and whatever he doesn't eat the crows in the morning come and finish. Last night I did something different. I opened our gate to our porch and put the dish on the steps,  knowing that he was the only animal that knew his dish would be there- and knowing that the crows where not brave enough to come up onto our porch...

Well I ran downstairs at five am, (before it was sunny enough for the crows, and right after my dream) and saw that there was no dish!  I ran outside and saw that Ash had knocked his dish off the steps getting one of his hotdogs.

I felt so good waking up this morning and seeing that.

Its fox mating season right now. And its time in which foxes that usually stick around in a familiar area, venture a little further to find their mate.  Its typical for a fox to find a mate and stay with him or her for a year or two. I'm praying that Ash will fair out safely in this season that can be a bit more dangerous for him....or her...

It wasn't until this past week that I really realized how much I love this little fox. I knwo I have said how much I love having him part of our life, but this past week had me reflecting. He came to join us last July Fourth, and almost every night since. He almost didn't make it when he got ill, and the medicine we were advised to give him worked out very well. Its been a gift to see his journey in becoming a fantastic fox, and we have loved every bit of it.  I know that Ash was not an animal promised to stay with us (something always in that back of my mind) but I now realize just what a gift from God he really is.

To sum it up perfectly, Ash has been my little Muse.  In the time that he wasn't here I didn't have a passion to write. My mind was to focused on the thought of not having his precious self here in our life anymore..a thought no mater what- will never sit well with me. Ash has brought so much joy to all of us in the past year.  He has quite a following. There is not many places that I can go and see friends that don't ask about him. Not a week goes by that at least a couple people ask me, "What is Ash up too?" I pray that if Ash is a female that she will have her kits over for visit as well. Selfish I know- but I am enamored. If I could better explain what a little red fox has done for our farm, I would....but words right now don't seem to suit the situation. If you could see my smile when I think about Ash, then you would know what I'm trying to say.

Miss Independence.

Our dog Indie suits her name wonderfully.

She has her own agenda, is unappologetic, and has one mood- happy.

So, this picture here is just an example of one of the tasks that is on Indie's daily agenda. 

While sitting on our bed, Indie will walk into the room and sit and stare into the mirror. She will not be looking at herself while staring into the mirror but instead, you. As you sit comfortably she will watch you until you notice her watching you. It is not until you notice her watching you that she will then stop- come over and lick you or whatever else she deems fit for the occasion of notification.

This morning was a little different. I sat watching her watching me. For quite a bit of time.  To play out her unique situation I waited to see what she would do...

She got bored and went to bed.

I don't blame her.