Intertwined with Whales

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A woman on the boat showed us a picture of a dolphin head just coming out of the water.  She had missed the jump.  She had a long telescopic lens and a very expensive camera.  Doug pulled his IPOD out of his pocket but then placed it back in.  I was proud of him.  Doug has an amazing eye for photos and I cannot imagine the work he could do with a real camera.

The water was amazing.  A calm day six and a half miles from shore gently rocking on the ocean.  We were gifted an amazing memory.  Fin whales blew their breath and water straight up in the air around us.  A mother and baby among them.  They were about a quarter mile from the boat and as they went for a deeper dive their backs arced over the water in graceful movement.  They were large and gentle.  The cow and calf came closer to the boat and as their water shot from their blow hole their faces could be seen.  Their arched backs and dives sent the boat rocking.  Like the little boats we had in the bathtub years and years ago with the thick bases that rocked and stayed up in the waves of the tub.  We were a toy in the whole depths and miles of the magnificent waters watching these creatures swim and forage under the filtered sun.

The sky and the ocean fall together in an embrace making it difficult to see where one ends and the other begins.  The whales and playful dolphins the same color as the currents.  The birds swooped down, rested, bobbed, flew, caught our boat, rode the breeze easily on.  Our spirits were deeply connected with every living thing around.  So intertwined with the shy seal who came by, the sea lions, the birds, the sea life, the water, the sky, the sun, the sand, the people around us in similar awe.  We are all one.

“Stop planning.  Prepare for opportunities.”

I heard this as clear as if my friend had said it out loud next to me.  I heard it in the sky.  I heard it in my heart.  Most of the chaos I create within revolves around planning.  We limit ourselves.  Buy a house.  Get a job.  Take a vacation.  Work.  Stay where you know.  Do what you do.  But, what if my future isn’t on a farm?  What if I am to rent an apartment on the beach and write a novel?  What if we take that trip we planned across the country documenting life on small farms?  What if we nestle into our community and have a small garden and chickens and run our shop forever?  What if we don’t?

I know better than to plan.  This time last year we played bocce with our kids on the lawn, the gardens turned and ready to be planted.  A few days after the bees would die.  Then a few weeks later our dog would pass. Then we would receive a letter demanding our demise from farming and the life we knew.  We would laugh, cry, grow, and strengthen and a shop would seemingly appear.  All would be well.  Doors open, doors close, without my planning.

“Be still.”  This I hear a lot as well.  No more planning.  We are ready to take the ride and just see where it leads us.  Leading us out on the ocean to commune with singing whales and playful dolphins was a gift not planned.

 

Glittering Grace

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” Across the plains of glittering grace,

behold Winter’s beautiful face”

“…But all along the Rockies you can feel it in the air
From Telluride to Boulder down below
The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere
Is a quiet Christmas morning in the Colorado snow…” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

“Country Roads Take Me Home…” John Denver

The deer pictures were taken from my front door.  The rest were taken driving to see our daughter.  Colorado is certainly a beautiful place to live and we are lucky to see all the seasons in all their glory.

A Photo Journey of Adelaide’s Birth

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The morning was quiet and spring-like.  The birds sang brightly as the dawn arrived.  Isabelle was pressed against the wall of the lean-to and was quiet.  It was time.

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I made a strong tea of nettles, motherwort, red clover, and red raspberry leaves and poured it into her drinking water along with molasses.

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The chickens were maniacal in their calling as I waited and prayed for an easy delivery.  They were driving me mad as their cacophony seemed to rise with each contraction.

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"Why can't I come in?" Elsa wondered.

“Why can’t I come in?” Elsa wondered.

The lambs stayed quiet, face to the sun.

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The contractions increased.

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“A foot is sticking out!” Doug yelled and Maryjane and I came running.  One of my students happened to be there picking up herbs so she held Maryjane while Doug held Isabelle and I pulled lightly on the feet during a particularly difficult contraction.  We had called our friend, Jenet, who just went through a goat labor, to ask last minute advice and were as ready as we would ever be.  I thought she would throw the baby against the wall in her violent turn to release her but I caught her and lay her gently on the hay.

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Isabelle lovingly and dutifully cleaned off her infant.

Isabelle lovingly and dutifully cleaned off her infant.

We waited for another baby to arrive.  She was huge, we were just positive there were more infants to come but the placenta came an hour later and that ended our birthing session.

Just before the baby was born Doug had milked some colostrum from Isabelle and we had a bottle all ready.

Just before the baby was born Doug had milked some colostrum from Isabelle and we had a bottle all ready.

We are trading this beautiful little girl for Jenet's first female born in June.  I will have a Nubian and she will have a Saanen.

We are trading this beautiful little girl for Jenet’s first female born in June. I will have a Nubian and she will have a Saanen.

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Everyone welcomed Adelaide to the world, including our kitten!

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It is amazing how quickly they gain their footing.  Soon Adelaide was jumping on the couch with Maryjane, making her away around the house, and drinking bottles every few hours.  She stayed tucked under Doug’s arm throughout the night.  She is precious and it is bittersweet that she is going to her new home Monday.  I am thankful that mom and baby are well and a new miracle has joined this world.

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Welcome Adelaide!

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The Magical Homestead (and spreading positivity)

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We have moved to the most beautiful place on Earth, I am certain.  I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have been given such a gift.  It is a different world out here.

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The certain way the prairie hills undulate and the distance from neighbors makes it feel very much like we are alone out here, the sky seems to fall at a curve leaving us to believe we are ever in a snow globe.

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The chickens are snug in their warm coop and the goats look like abominable snowmen with their thick fleece.  The views from their pens are utterly graceful and lovely.

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I have found myself wanting to stay in this marvelous time capsule forever.  To breathe in fresh air and hear nothing but wildlife rustling in the brush.  Snow shaking softly from trees.

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Today we are taking a little trip though.  A ride through the mountains to our favorite hot springs in Idaho Springs.  Just a daytime jaunt.  A bit over a year ago my favorite graduating class gave me a gift certificate there and I can’t wait to feel the warm mineral waters on my skin.

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The world has seemed a mite colder as of late.  So much negativity.  Today won’t you join me and consciously put out solely positivity into the social media world and in your meetings with people?  How many compliments shall we give unbidden?  I think I will give four to strangers.  The world is a wonderful place, let us add to the magic and spread joy.

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(Doug captured some beautiful scenes in our yard, don’t you think?)

 

A Halloween Blessing (and my favorite goblins)

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May your trick-or-treat paths be not so dim,

may the monsters you encounter be not so grim.

May you get your share of the candy out there,

but not the belly ache from eating your share.

May the goblins that haunt you be your own,

may the grandkids and children find your home.

May the winds calm down and the moon shine bright,

may you have a spectacular Halloween night!

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And now, if you’ll indulge me, I have to do the grandma thing and show you a million pictures of my monsters…

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Trick or treat!

 

A Tour of Our Farm in Photos

The old garage and chicken coop have character.  The sunset that evening was spectacular. Can you see the ducks in front of the coop?

The old garage and chicken coop have character. The sunset that evening was spectacular. Can you see the ducks in front of the coop?

The inside of our beehive.  The ladies have been very busy and have six rows filled with beautiful wax.

The inside of our beehive. The ladies have been very busy and have six rows filled with beautiful honeycomb.

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Four of our eight cats, Louie, Booboo, Frankie, and Clara create a lovely pattern on the bedspread. They are our least productive farm workers.

Four of our eight cats, Louie, Booboo, Frankie, and Clara create a lovely pattern on the bedspread. They are our least productive farm workers.

Twila giving Isabelle ideas of things they probably oughtn't be doing.

Twila giving Isabelle ideas of things they probably oughtn’t be doing.

Farmgirl in training. Maryjane rides Isabelle in hopes of convincing Papa to get her a pony.

Farmgirl in training. Maryjane rides Isabelle in hopes of convincing Papa to get her a pony.

The littlest farmgirl helping water.

The littlest farmgirl helping water.

She uses a screw driver and makes sound effects like rushing water to pretend like she is watering plants.  She is so fun to watch!

Maryjane's first radish.

Maryjane’s first radish.

Come on over and visit!

Come on over and visit!

Looking out over the fairgrounds as we say goodnight to the farm animals.

Looking out over the fairgrounds as we say goodnight to the farm animals.