Saturday, December 26, 2015

Things that make you go hmmmmm.....

I woke up at around 3 am to the sound of a barking dog.  I lay in bed for a bit listening to an odd thumping noise coming from downstairs.  After a bit, I head to the bathroom still hearing the thumping noise below.  At this point I was curious, figuring it was just the dogs rough housing in the family room, I decided to head down and investigate.  As I rounded the corner from  the stairs into the hallway, my eyes beheld a bewildering sight, there was a small pile of sheet rock on the floor and a gaping hole in my wall.  My darling dog Pearl had gnawed a roughly 8" by 14" hole in the hall wall.  After recovering from my disbelief, I neaded upstairs for the broom and dust pan.  I could at least clean up the mess on the floor.  Nate wandered downstairs and began laughing, you really had to in this situation.  Now that the dust has settled, literally, Nate had the brilliant idea that we put a cat door in the wall since it leads to the basement.  That way we can keep all of the litter boxes downstairs.  So our crazy, late night disaster has turned into a blessing in disguise!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Please do not take offense to the above music video.  I find that Melanie Martinez's song "Dollhouse" to be very poignant.  We may not be facing children on drugs, alcoholism, or adultery, but we are all hiding things behind closed doors.  I am tired of this way of life!  No, I do not want to air all of my dirty laundry for the world to see, but I also want to stop hiding behind the happy life facade.  I am a broken person.  I've made poor decisions, hurt those around me, done and said stupid things.  In making this realization, I have freed myself, I'm getting my mind right, I'm getting my life back in order.  I've hidden behind the picture perfect image for too long.  I'm opening the doors to the dollhouse, to be more authentic, to live in the here and now.

Clean Slate

The past few months have been fraught with challenges; things I can't control, things I should have controlled, things so old I'm surprised they are popping up now.  It's just par for the course it seems.  It's not just in my house either but in the lives of the people I love as well.  I've been drawn to my Bible more, to quiet time with the Lord.  He alone has been my strength.  More and more I see his work in the difficulties I face, little glimpses of the changes coming and the personal changes I need to make.  Verses from the Bible pop into my head out of nowhere, odd thoughts creep in, I know they are not from my own mind.  I was running errands yesterday and received yet another odd phone call.  All I could think was, "why now, I've got enough on my plate, I don't think I can handle more."  Then a simple phrase drifted into my mind, "clean slate."  Normally, my mind whirls into a panic, but I began to think maybe many of my past mistakes are coming to light so 2016 will produce a clean slate.  I see lots of good in the bad, glimmers of how life can be.  There are things at work that I can't see.  I know the next few months will not be easy as I begin to deal with things I've ignored and put off.  I'm going into 2016 with a new mindset, new goals, new plans.  The winding, rocky path I am on will soon be smooth and clear.  I need to make the heart and mind shift now, so my family's future will be bright!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Saving Pearl

Fifi Jo and Pearl.

I have to admit, I am not always the most observant person.  When you feed critters in the dark, morning and night, things get missed.  How I missed this, I have no idea!

Six of Pearl's adorable pups left in mid-October to live with their forever families.  One pup stayed behind as a beloved house dog. After months of lots of attention, Pearl was back to full-time livestock guard dog (LGD) duty.  I had her in my doe pen, but after her mate, Sunny, figured out how to escape the buck pen, I moved Pearl.  Pearl seemed fine in the buck pen for a while, calm, happy, eating.  Then the warm days of October slid into the cold days of November.  Pearl wasn't as active, she spent most of her time in the goats' shelter snuggling a buckling.  I finally took notice when Pearl ceased to leave the shelter to get her meals.  My darling hubby suggested that she may be depressed, my naive mind said no.

Over Thanksgiving break, Sunny's sister came for a visit while her family was out of town.  Having moved Sunny into our dog run during this time, I decided to move Pearl back to the doe pen.  I figured she just didn't like my stinky bucks.  Pearl was scrawny and moved slowly.  I tucked her into the small shelter in the doe pen, where she began to shiver.  My daily hurried pace had neglected to see that the pups and cold had taken their toll.  I immediately grabbed the heat lamp from the chicken coop, extra blankets, and filled a bucket with fresh water and electrolytes.  Maybe hubby was right, maybe Pearl was depressed, that and the bitter temperatures were just too much for her.

I began feeding her puppy food, and any scrap I could get my hands on.  Pearl has been enjoying leftover turkey, meat stock, goat's milk, bread, gravy, pork bones, hot dogs and bacon grease.  If it's fatty and yummy, Pearl gets it.  Recently, I've moved Pearl into the house.  With the cold and snow of late, I wanted her to gain weight without trying to stay warm.  Her little shelter with the heat lamp is cozy, but it doesn't compare to a warm house with a roaring fire on a frigid night.  I'm beginning to see sparks of Pearl return.  She's drinking more, eating better, and is slowly gaining strength.  The other night she woke me at 4:30 am, alerting me to something outside.  She jogged around the house excitedly trying to keep some night creature at bay.  This was the first glimpse of the LGD I know and love that I had seen in weeks.

Our journey to health will be a long one.  Everyday Pearl grows a bit stronger.  She's spending time with her daughter, Fifi Jo and enjoying lots of snuggle time from me.  Pearl and I need each other.  We are both struggling in different ways, yet we very clearly feel each other's hurt.  I am so blessed to have Pearl in my life, my spirit animal.  Get well dear friend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Snow Day, Hooray!!

Today was a glorious gift when the world stops for just a moment.  You go to bed expecting inches and wake up to a mountain of fluffy white powder.  Snow day!!!!  It seems to be a rare occurrence around here despite our mountain locale.  The busyness of everyday life and the hectic pace of the Holidays came to a screeching halt.  Yes, the older kiddos spent the day studying for finals, the younger ones enjoyed crafts and Christmas movies.  I was finally able to work on my ugly Christmas sweater for an upcoming party and fill my house with pine boughs left over from putting up the tree.  The whole family snuggled in, unwound, and enjoyed some peace and rest.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hope for the Hopeless

Little black and white roo out with the flock.
I have a little rooster who doesn't seem to see very well.  He's usually found hanging around the coop, not too far from his food and water.  He is a very sweet little guy and holds a special spot in my heart.  

Two nights ago I noticed he wasn't in his usual spot on the roost.  Figuring he was huddled somewhere else in the coop, I wasn't too worried.  I didn't see him bumbling around for breakfast yesterday morning, and he wasn't out with his friends when I checked for eggs.  I started to worry.  He still wasn't around at bedtime either.  Occasionally he does disappear out of the run, I'm not sure how. I've never seen him fly, but I have found him in odd places, like my dog run.  I started to look around the yard a bit, but it was getting dark and the battery in my headlamp was dying.  Today I decided I'd look again.  It was a long shot, little rooster had been gone for over a day, and our woods are full of predators.  I checked the old recliner that has become "yard art" behind the goat pen, nothing.  I started to check the scrap wood pile beyond the chair, low and behold hiding in a gap between two boards was my little rooster.  The sweet little guy had to have been hiding out since Monday when he went missing.  I still have no clue how he got out, there weren't any little chicken tracks in the snow.    

In the gloom of all of the challenges life is throwing at me right now, finding my little blind rooster alive and unharmed was truly a miracle.  This simple thing reminded me how truly blessed I am, and that God is watching over me.  If He can keep little rooster safe, He can definitely keep me safe too.  I am a product of my own free will and free thinking, but I can rein that in with a little help from the One who gives me hope.