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.

Lyra-Girl

It’s been a sad couple days for my Hubby and I. Our hen Lyra died  two nights ago. A raccoon got into the coop and snagged her. We’re both so sad and feel incredibly guilty. For the past two years, we often wait until well after dark to close our coop up. We’ve never had a problem. Well this one time we weren’t so lucky. We got home late and following our normal routine we started to close everything up. As Matt approached the coop he noticed a raccoon scurry across the yard. He soon discovered poor Lyra-girl. We must have been just a few moments too late. She was in-tact except for an injured neck. We pray she went quickly. We buried her in the back yard and held Miss Marple for a long time. She narrowly missed being a raccoon snack as well. Now Miss Marple is out there all alone. Luckily for her, she’s got six buddies who will join her in a few weeks. Until then I take a chair out into the run and sit with her to keep her company.

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It’s odd. Matt and I actually grieve the loss of Lyra, not just a hen. The fact that I had about 80 pictures of her to choose from should tell you something. We’ve been talking about her individual quirks, her beautiful  feathers, her puffy cheeks and beard, her green eggs and memories of her crazy chicken-hawkness.

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I’ve come to realize that it will always be hard to loose a hen. The grief might become less and less shocking, but in reality hens die all the time. They get sick, they get eaten, they get in fights with cats/dogs/eachother, they don’t have very long life spans. Chickens die in chicken ways, which is usually not graceful. But when we think of our pets, we hope they die in natural and graceful ways. When they don’t, when they die suddenly and painfully, it’s all so tragic. So I’m working on how to reconcile these two elements of my pet-parenthood. How do I keep loving my chickens as dear pets, but grieve for them appropriately when they die not-so-pretty chicken deaths? Cause we’ve got 7 more to go folks and I’m really not looking forward to sobbing that much.

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If you feel like it, pop on over and read these old posts about Lyra (“A Brood Awakening” and “She’s Back.”)…they are some of my favorites.

P.S. To those with chickens…if you have a run to enclose your ladies make sure you lock them in there if you’ll be away past nightfall. If you don’t have a run, make sure you get them closed in their coop when it gets dark. You honestly never know when something might happen and it’s best to err on the side of caution.

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.

Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice.

Meet Gianna. My lovely Niece. We had a slumber party.

At Auntie Haley’s house, Gianna is all sweet. With little bits of spice here and there.We had SO much fun. It’s amazing how much she reminded me of what it was like to be a little girl myself. To brush hair, tie bows, dance, read, and play pretend. It was a breath of fresh air. The reminder that I needed, to pay closer attention to small and simple things.

We went on walks, carrying cherry tomatoes for a mid-walk snack.

We waved goodbye to Jack, the black neighbor cat…several times.

We folded laundry.

We danced around with ribbon.

Looked intently into the mirror….finally deciding that mirror-Gi needed a kiss.

We flirted with Uncle Matt in the morning.
Ate heart-shaped pancakes.

Pointed out all the resident cats, squirrels and birds.

We found goodies in my wallet,

and read until our heart’s content.

My heart was full by the time we dropped Gianna off at home. Her sweet “I missed you” hugs to Mommy and Daddy were almost too cute to watch.

Here’s to many more slumber parties with my favorite little girl.

Four years and counting.

Mmhhmmm…how to celebrate four years of marriage? I know. With trees, caprese sandwiches, sparkling river water, laughter, swimming, goat cheese, a corgi, sun basked naps, good talks, long drives and ice cream.

It’s interesting how our idea of celebrating our life together means we leave behind our home, the place where we spend all our time, and head out somewhere that is beautiful, but has no personal significance whatsoever. The property, the house, the stuff inside the house, what does it matter in the light of eternity? Our love and commitment go far beyond those things. Some day the stuff will all fade away. It feels really good to get away and be reminded of that.