snowy days

The meteorologists were right. I’m sssssooooooo happy about it. Being holed up inside is one of my favorite things to be. And watching Gideon bunny hop through torso-deep snow brought so much happiness to my heart.
IMG_8566Gid could not get enough of the snow. He looooved it. Rolling, spinning, running, hopping, rooting, eating, barking and what seemed at times like dancing through all the powder. IMG_8300IMG_8275IMG_8276 IMG_8323 IMG_8390Tea, walks, bathrobes, fluffy socks, crunching snow, little puddles, netflix, naps, games, boots, cookies, blankets, icy fingers, and bright blue snow light.
IMG_8507 IMG_8567 The ladies would only venture out to an area we cleared of snow. They were not amused. IMG_8570 IMG_8568 IMG_8569Quickly the hens, and most humans in the neighborhood made their way indoors. To warm by the heater and look out the windows in wonder. I’m so sad to see melting this morning. Sigh.

Favorite snowy days moment: Matt and I stalked a few pre-teens around the neighborhood. Throwing snowballs and then hiding behind cars in hopes of confusing them. When they didn’t noticed, we decided an ambush was in order. What ensued was a 15 minute snowball fight that reminded me how hard it is to maneuver in snow.

Every morning…

…at the first sign that we’re waking up, a leg stretch, a yawn, any rustling whatsoever, and up he comes. Flipping and flopping, yawning, licking and softly woofing.

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Sometimes I just lay as still as possible and try to stealthily check the time. He’s got a sixth sense about us though and just knows. Or he’s already been awake for hours, sitting there on the floor watching us. Creepy little cutie.

Growing Things.

We went camping a few weekends ago. Of course we took Gidmaster-Fresh. I love it when Gideon comes camping because with his bed on one side and Matt’s on the other, I stay toasty and dew-free in the middle of our tent. When I woke up in the morning, I looked down to check on Gideon. This is what I saw: IMG_3888 He’s my favorite thing on the planet. It was so cute to see him tucked in under his blanket, sleepy and content. But back to the point of this post, look what I discovered today!IMG_4159Our first cherry tomato of the season. We’ve had a heat wave here recently, which I assume encouraged the sudden blushing of tomatoes. The corn, squash and beans are growing visibly taller by day. And the potatoes are loving life right now. Here is a glimpse of what we’ve got growing in the little raised bed section of our yard.IMG_4164We’re already done with broccoli and garlic, while kale, cilantro and some lettuce on their second plantings. New this year are the brussel sprouts and celery. We’ve had good luck with everything but the broccoli. This is the second year we’ve attempted it and somehow it never fully flourishes. Maybe there’s a trick I don’t know about? I was super happy with my choice to grab elephant garlic over the small cloves this year. It seemed to produce a better head of garlic more quickly.

One very cool and literally very big new thing we’ve got planted is asparagus…but more on that another time.

What are you growing? What’s flourishing? What’s ending up in the compost?

Empathy wins again.

Well, it happened again. For some reason stranded/wounded animals are drawn to me like a magnet. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Long story short, this poor gosling was found severally wounded. It’s leg (which you can see there) is almost assuredly broken. It was bloody and unable to walk. IMG_3775 IMG_3777This baby’s family was desperate to keep it safe. The flock (a handful of adults and several babies) would cross the street to a nearby pond and when they realized that this one couldn’t follow, they would stand in the middle of the road honking…practically yelling at it to come with them. The whole flock would then turn around and head back to the injured bird. They were fiercely protective. Well we all know how this story would have ended. The bird would have either starved, drowned or been eaten. That and the flock was in high risk of more injuries crossing the road so many times. Another concerned animal-lover helped fend off the geese, while I gently tossed a towel over this baby and placed her in my car. Then over to the Audubon Society in NW Portland we went. While they cannot guarantee that they will release him/her back to it’s original location, their goal is always rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wild. They get hundreds of injured goslings a year. They group similar aged geese together, and over time they bond and create their own flock. Then they are released back into the wild with their new posse. Sounds a whole heck of a lot better then a slow painful death.

What is it with my intense empathy for animals? A couple months ago, Portland had this bizarre heat wave. Two very large and very hot looking dogs were spotted wandered around my church, where I work. A man told me they were following him around and narrowly escaped death-by-car a couple of times. My first reaction was, “Oh I’m sure they live right around here.” In my head, “Those are some huge and scary looking dogs.” The guy insisted they were really nice but didn’t want them to keep following him into the busy street. He also pointed out that the one very big and very furry black dog was struggling in the heat. Well there we had it. I was suddenly hooked and immensely worried for these pups.

So I gave them some water and called the local shelter. There are so many strays on the streets that shelters can’t pick them up unless they are aggressive (a danger to others). They just don’t have the resources. In the meantime the pups had begun wandering back into the busy street. So what do I do? I opened up the back door of my Ford Escort sedan and hollered, “Come on guys! Up! Come on! Get in!” And up/in they went. They were so huge that my car visibly sagged when they jumped in.  IMG_2774 IMG_2773So here I am suddenly with two hot, slobbery, huge dogs in my car, heading towards a dog shelter. I was so worried about dropping them off. I’ve heard horror stories about animals being mistreated in places like that. But the moment I got there, they assured me the boys would be kept as close to each other as possible (as it was obvious they were “siblings” at this point), and that if someone out there loved these dogs, they would check the local shelters and they would be going home.

The next day I got a call from the animal shelter, letting me know the owner had picked up her boys and wanted to speak with me. She was overjoyed! Her dogs had never left their backyard until that day. Huckleberry and Shadow just decided that it was the day they were going to dig out of the backyard and as it turns out, travel 20 blocks away from home. I was so thankful their momma found them. I can’t imagine losing Gideon. The shelter posted a description of the dogs on their website the same day, which the owners happened to see when looking for the shelter info online. So they knew they babies were ok!

I felt that God had opened up an opportunity for me to care for those pups and in turn to help out their owners. I went with my gut (AKA God saying, “Just throw them in your car!’) and it worked out. I’m so blessed to helped their little family. I know they were thankful too. Look what she dropped off at my work a few weeks later.

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A Celebrity in Our Midst.

Three things for today:

1. I’m back from my short hiatus. Sometimes I just get tired. And crafting/cooking/living are hard things to do…let alone take pictures and then write about those things. But I’m rested now.

2. Gideon is a celebrity. He’s always been a celebrity to us…but now it’s official. He’s Dog-of-the-Day, on The Daily Corgi! Eeekkk! We tried to tell him, but he just stared at us. He must be in shock. Go check out the article on him, and leave a comment to show your support!!

3. Tomorrow is the last day to enter the birds nest necklace giveaway!! Visit the Homespun Haley Facebook page, and share the giveaway link, to be entered to win! There are 22 entered so far, get your name in there while you still can!!

Christmas time is here.

Christmas CardIsn’t Gideon the cutest thing since baby ducklings?

We decided to do a Christmas card, mostly because this year we’ve felt so settled at our home and with our little family here. People like to hear about the chickens and Gideon. We thought it would bring a smile to their face to see them. We literally just turned to each other one afternoon and said, “Hey let’s go take a picture”. It was raining. We rigged up my dinky digital camera onto a ladder with a backpacking-tripod, and balanced an umbrella over it. Gideon got thrown in the wheel barrow, where he stayed freakishly calm. The chickens were swooped up, Matt and I posed. Done. Originally I wanted the picture to be a little chaotic. A chicken flapping around, Gid in mid-jump out of the barrow, Matt or I with our eyes closed, but it was all just so peaceful. I couldn’t bring myself to toss one of the chickens in the air. So I’m satisfied with this. Plus based on what I hear friends say, after you have kids, you consider yourself lucky to get a Christmas picture that’s not chaotic. And if it happens it’s usually after 50 takes. This picture is very reflective of our lives this past year. Busy little people, building our home and shaping our future together.

Have a great Christmas card idea? I wanna hear it! Merry Christmas to you all!

Adoption Day

Gideon. You’re the best.

Always right by my side. Looking up at me with those big brown eyes, just waiting for a head pat or belly scratch.

That’s all you ask of me. It doesn’t matter what I say, or how often I’m stressed, late, messy or grumpy, you give me your best all the time. All you ask of me is a little attention. Some scratches, tug-a-war and a walk around the block.

So today, Gideon, I celebrate you. It’s your “adoption day” on Saturday. You were 4 months old when we brought you home with us 3 years ago. I’ve never regretted it for one moment.

So to celebrate, we bought a big bag full of doggy treats, food and bones to keep in the car, for when we notice homeless dogs who are looking for some kibble. Gideon also got to lick peanut butter off a spoon and he’s sporting a much needed new doggy tag.

 So happy we belong to each other, Gidster.

*p.s. If anyone is interested in this dog tag, I bought it from a fantastic shop on Etsy called,   J Hollywood Design. These would make great Christmas gifts, for the animal-lovers in your life. My phone number is actually on the front of Gideon’s tag. But ya know, I used my re-touch tool to remove it. I trust you…but there’s always that random person who shouldn’t have access to people’s phone numbers.