Friends, Then and Now.

Having and making friends as an adult is different. As a child, it seems to happen naturally, almost organically, wouldn’t you say?  As children we’re thrown together in heap, and left to sort ourselves out.  “You like gymnastics?”  “Me too!” Instant friends.


I have been blessed with a few very good friends over the years, for that I am grateful.  But, I found myself sitting and wondering,  why was I was sitting alone on a beautiful saturday afternoon. I soon came to the conclusion, I only had myself to blame for that one.  I have chosen a life that requires me to be near home all if not most of the time, There are animals to care for, gardens to tend, stories to write and paintings to be painted.



These are not things you can do anywhere. Granted, I could slip away from time to time. (I will work on that, maybe)


I still feel the warmth of friendship, though I may not see them as often; lives change and family and responsibility lead us in different directions.  I suppose you could say we have grown apart. Grown separately, maybe. Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.


As Jane Austin once said, “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

My life is full, and I have no complaints, I enjoy my company.


Time and commitment, now…this, this is truly my dilemma.

Be well,



New Furry Babes and One of Cast Iron.

With the arrival of warm weather brings with it fluffy babes of gold.

babes 2


Buff Orpington chicks.  They are so sweet and docile, and after our experience with Mr. Nasty, ( one time he jumped up, thrust his feet forward – right into my husband’s…yup. Right there.)

So, I did a bit of research; I wanted a more docile friendly breed. I thinks these will do just fine.

We were also lucky enough to add this beautiful girl to our pasture.



She is a half sister to Our Phantom of the Opera; a  big boned, heavenly fine, lustrous fiber. Delicious. Would you just look at that face. ( Go ahead, I’ll wait.)

Last fall she had a haircut, a full body haircut. I can’t wait to see her fiber when it has grown out a bit more. (insert little girl squeal here).


When I put her in the pasture with the other girls it was clear I’d need to move the Angora goats girls to another pasture; she had no clue what they were and she was not eager to be friends.


So, they ate my dress. Well, not all of it, just a nibble; but it was an ancient cotton dress and tore easily. I was a little embarrassed to be walking about the pasture with my bottom wobbling in plain daylight. They didn’t care, they gave a look back, stuck out their tongues and walked away.

Do you think that could be a goats version of pants-ing someone? Let’s move on. No need to give them much attention for bad moves.


We get a little giddy around here when new animals arrive, but I have to say I was over the moon with this arrival.  A vintage 1970’s era, cast iron, work horse of a tiller.


Troy built. Please dry out this week, garden, please. I wanna till.


Isn’t she lovely.

Be well,



Do you sometimes feel too comfortable, like you need to shake things up a bit to keep from standing still? DSC_5236

Is there some deep down craving, a story left untold, a path grown over from lack of treading? Or is it just me that has to push, to find detours, over mountainous obstacles, brought to a dead end; only to turn around, catch my breath only to be propelled forward yet again.


Its only human, I suppose, to want to hide from change. To stay snugged in your box of contentment.  Why venture out; it’s warm and cozy there.


We should leave our lives open to serendipity; creative souls are not meant to be boxed in. There are discoveries out there that may make our hearts quiver, or shake us to our souls.


(Howie is so cute in his hat.) You only have to take the chance. Bring a friend, or go it alone. DSC_4580

Come out from behind your self imposed barriers, (yes, you Sidney) DSC_5044

We have dreams, we have fears to conquer. (Well, Sidney; I do)


We have an adventure ahead. Let’s not waste a moment. (You’re not coming with me, are you Sidney?)


How does the saying go? ” “I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way!” (No wonder Sidney doesn’t wanna come.)


Maybe Cicely will come? Maybe not.

Be well,


Butterflies and Ruby

Why do I associate Ruby with butterflies? I’m not real sure, to be honest.


It may be that at the time she was born my beautiful niece Courtney was terribly ill. Butterflies and babies are hope. Oh, and she was a marvelous baby, with a sweet, spunky demeanor. A face you immediately fall in love with.


I tend, as you do, to find beauty in things I love. Photographing these things is only natural; capturing the simple things in our lives, where we go and where we’ve been.

DSC_3864(Ruby loving on a friend.)

It may be that butterflies are a lesson of letting go, their beauty is only with us for a short time. As was our beautiful Courtney. Her beauty, deep within, touching every facet of our lives. She became our glue. She kept our hearts close, our spirits yearning for one more minute.


Courtney, with butterfly’s wings will fly gracefully and beautifully; a gentle dance on the breeze, from flower to flower.


“I like living, I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” ~ Agatha Christie


Be well,


The cuddle chemical effect….no, really.

Everything that lives, lives not alone nor for itself…

Blessed with animals in our lives…did you know there are actual health benefits? Real health benefits – lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduced stress levels, and better mental health. Attachments or bonding of any sort stimulates the limbic system; releasing the (oxytocin) “cuddle chemical” known for its role in facilitating trust and attachment. Bonding with your pet…is also associated with higher levels of vasopressin, and reduced stress and stress-related hormones. Going for a walk with a llama, bonding through the grooming process, going for a trail hike with friends, just providing everyday care encourages us to interact and to get out. We benefit from the exercise and fresh air that we may not seek out on our own. This does wonders for our health and emotions. I became acutely aware of life’s connections and the value of my beloved animals and friends this passed week. Some of us got together at Dakota Ridge Farm to “finally” meet a new llama, to bring bring new llamas home and to connect as friends. It was a wonderful day, full of laughter, food, and sharing. A day that may not have occurred if not for the common connection and passion – Llamas ..well, animals in general really. I am still smiling.

For this I am grateful.


Have you ever thought of sharing your favorite animal? Pet therapy is something many llama owners are involved with. You can actually see the positive health effects; both for those receiving therapy and those who bring in their animals to children’s activities and nursing homes. To see a nursing home patient light up when they see you and your llama or dog come through the door is an unforgettable experience. You may hear heartfelt stories of patients who haven’t interacted with or spoken for awhile- open up, relaxes, talking with, and interacts with a new friend…your animal. What a beautiful feeling. Can you imagine the impact your pet could make in a Children’s Hospital, or a visit with an autistic child? What a wonderful experience for the recipients of such a visit.

To get involved in pet therapy, please refer to some of the links below. There are national and local organizations. You could even become affiliated with a therapy organization. You may also wish to visit this beautiful blog; she visits with her dog Ton-Ton, and soon a precious lamb named Minty.

Also check out: Her therapy dogs have been registered/certified with Therapy Dogs International ( She says, “Wouldn’t trade this life of sharing my animals – dogs, llamas, donkeys, goats… for anything.” (Lots more under the Therapy Animals category in her sidebar.)

I just had to take a moment to add this to the post: It was a reply from Katrina of Dakota Ridge Farm, she says; “As far as pet therapy goes, we’ve been doing that for over 20 years and the smiles on the visitors faces as they pet the llamas and horses are worth more to me than words can say. I still get tears when I remember the day a blind girl wanted to know what a llama looked like, so I took her hand and traced the llamas profile, this girl was so happy, will never forget this day. ” As I read her comment I had tears trickling down my face. She is such a beautiful person with so much love to share. I just thought you would want to know!
The Delta Society (
“Improving human health through service and therapy animals.”
Angel On A Leash (
Therapy charity of the Westminster Kennel Club

Is your animal appropriate for animal therapy ?
Does your animal enjoy interacting with and being touched by people?
Is your animal confident in new environments?
Is your animal calm around other animals?
Is your animal vaccinated ?
Does your dog reliably respond to basic obedience cues (“sit”, “down”, and “stay”)?
Is your dog/animal polite? (does not rush at, jump on, bark at, growl at, snap at, or kick at others)?
Important characteristics of a therapy animal are that they are confident, reliable, predictable, and controllable. A therapy animal should be very social.

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France

Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to. Alfred A. Montapert

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
Albert Einstein

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”
― James Herriot

If you are interested in further information or if you are just curious, perhaps you work somewhere that could benefit from a beautiful animal visit…check out this site.
ASPCA Animal Assisted Therapy Programs
or your local shelter or human society

Be Well,

The real things haven’t changed…

Are you, like me, at times worried…well maybe not worried, perhaps it’s more like a sense of disenchanted with the world? I watch the news; after all, I probably should be aware of what’s going on around me. I musn’t get used to living life in a bubble; the comfort and most times, tranquility of our life here on our little cottage farm. Yet, hearing of stabbings, and child abductions, bombings…you know what I mean; can sometimes leave me with a feeling of: “What is going on with the world?” I guess, information now, just moves so quickly, coming at us from all directions; for the good and for the bad. There has always been strife, loss, war…there has always been, love, family, and joy…truth is, the real things haven’t changed… most people are still honest and caring, they make the most of what we have in this world. Most of us are happy with simple pleasures.

In the end, I don’t want to be confined by self-absorption it has a tendency to smother empathy and compassion. When we focus only on ourselves, our world contracts. When we focus on others, our world expands. When I care about what’s happening with others; I find I center less on my own problems which are usually much smaller in comparison. Caring and listening can only serve to increase my capacity for connection — or compassionate action. ~ ~ To matter ~

The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. (Frederick Buechner)

For me it all comes down to connections ~ and through this blog; this new rapid communication has allowed me to make connections, share with others, in a world so vast and full. I probably never would have been afforded such a meaningful opportunity without this digital revolution…bringing with it all of these wonderful benefits… but also driving change in the way I live and interact with the world around me. I am, indeed, we are unconfined by national borders…I can interact with people half way across the world with a push of a button. Who could have imagined this? After all, we don’t accomplish anything in this world alone, we are all connected to the rest of the world.The web of our lives are a mingled yarn, good and bad together.

If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it. ~Lucy Larcom Here are some heart warming photos I hope you enjoy.

LOVE pure and simple

Be well,