Sunday Morning Walk in the Garden (at work)

Some Thoughts Before My Wedding 

My marriage to Mike is now two days away. Everything is all set and has been for a while. People laughed at me a year ago when I booked a tent, caterer, ice cream, minister and toilet facilities but after all I’ve been through over the last two months it was a blessing to have everything all set. I am happy to have both my mom and step dad doing very well after their car accident one month ago. It was quite a shift for them to rely on me for things most take for granted. They are still not 100% but are darn close. Mike had a health scare a month and a half ago but again all turned out well. 
Mike has been reflecting a lot on our relationship and how it has developed over the past two years. Our relationship has been fairly easy without much friction. Mike is very kind and gentle but doesn’t take crap from anyone. He is more relaxed now and quick to smile. His brother has told me Mike did not smile for seven years prior to meeting me. Mike has brought me a sense of peace that had been just out of my reach for much of my life. I always believed and still do that you have to be happy with oneself before you can allow another in to share your life. I ran hard and fast from others before Mike who states to me “I can make you happy and complete you.” I did not need that in my life and told men I was already happy and did not need them to make me happy. Yuck. Mike did not push that agenda on me. He and I allowed our relationship to develop through texts, phone calls and time together. 

In getting ready for the wedding I was unprepared for the hundreds of questions everyone has-what flowers do you want ?what colors do you want? what should I wear? I need directions to the location. etc. I found that most stressful not the actual planning and paying for the wedding itself. I am proud to say we are not in debt with the wedding and it is completely paid for and not on charge cards. Sunday May 7 we start a new chapter and do not have to worry about paying for the wedding for the rest of the year. I am a similar stickler in buying for Christmas. I hate carrying much debt. 

I am looking forward to a week and a half off from ups. And hope to get much done. We are honeymooning in October in Maine.

Mike has told me he will plant me an iris garden for next spring as I love irises.


I played  with filters with the tulip blooms. I am aiming to take a photo a day and see how the filters change my perception of what I initially saw. Much as caring for my mom and stepdad has changed my perception on many things-the goodness in people, quality of life, being happy with small victories and realizing how others act may not be in line with how I think. Feel like I am emerging from a long trek filled with lessons.

Sunset April 5

My Weekend at the Farm

Life Happens & Rebalancing

My life came to screeching halt Thursday when I received a phone call from a hospital in Oklahoma telling me my mom and stepdad had been taken following a serious car accident. For the next five hours I was on the phone with family members-both my sisters, niece, nephew and brother in law as well as my step dad’s one son, I talked to many nurses who shared as much info as the laws would allow and finally was able to talk to both my mom and stepdad. Given their injuries they were in separate parts of the hospital. It was difficult being so many miles away and hearing the pain and confusion in their voices. It didn’t all hit me until this morning when the phone calls and texts started again. I found myself in the position of being the go to person for info. Finally when I got off the phone around noon I called Mike and broke down crying in sadness, frustration and fear. God bless Mike as I had to repeat myself quite a few times I was crying so hard. I am at a pet sitting job and the family is overseas so it’s not like I can drop everything and go. 
I found myself searching for something to ground me and found it in cleaning the stall of the horse i am caring for. I have been cleaning stalls for thirty years and to me it is meditative and satisfying. I also enjoy the company of the dogs I am watching. They are characters. I tried hard to find something to photograph but given the gray rainy day it was nothing popped out at me. I took the photos two days ago in the sunset. 

On the bright side my mom and step dad hope to fly home Monday. I will be there to pick them up. I think I did ok handling the situation that arose and I learned a lot about others. I am grateful for my friends and Mike, without them I would have been a hot mess. I’m looking forward to the farm tomorrow and hoping to photograph the lambs and their moms. There are twenty nine lambs this year. I also look forward to starting to document the flower gardens at work. I suppose I look to creativity to ground me too. Namaste

Remembering a little lamb

As a pet sitter with almost thirty years of experience caring for a wide variety of animals I know that the circle of life is ever present. I have been present for numerous lambs entering the world, I’ve seen chicks hatch from eggs and puppies be born. I have been present for the deaths of horses, cows, dogs, cats, chickens and sheep. But the one that hit me the hardest was just this weekend when a day old lamb died. I fell to pieces. The ironic thing is the sheep are raised for meat so I know many will not live to adulthood but they have the very best lives from birth until they leave for the butcher. I found the lamb had gotten himself wedged under a board in a freak accident. I pulled him free and made sure his mom knew what I was doing. She did not leave his side and still had his twin at her side. I could tell the lamb who had been stuck was dehydrated and I tried to get him to drink some milk from his mom but he was too weak to stand up. I handed the lamb to Mike while I ran up to another barn to get milk replacer. I ran back to the sheep barn and helped Mike get the lamb, his twin and their mom into the lambing stall. I gave the injured lamb some vitamins and tried to get him to drink from the bottle. I had him resting in my lap and gently put my finger in his mouth to encourage him to take the bottle. I knew he was in rough shape when his tongue felt cold to me. The lamb drank a little bit and tried hard to keep going. Mike offered to bring the horses in alone and feed them, the chickens and elderly sheep. I was nervous about letting Mike bring the horses in but he has gained a lot of confidence around them in the past year. He went quietly out of the barn and drove to the horses while I stayed with the lamb. I kept him warm holding him close and he drank about three ounces of milk. He stood up on his own after ten minutes and stopped looking dehydrated. I was warily optimistic he may just need rest to recuperate but it was not to be. After working with him for half an hour his little body could not keep fighting. He lay down at my feet and I kept petting him. His mom came over and gently pawed at him. I think we both knew he was leaving us. My boss came to the barn after talking with Mike who told him what was going on. Mike and Kevin my boss set up a heat lamp to keep the lamb warm. I knew when I left the barn the little guy would not make it but kept a small glimmer of hope he would make it by some miracle. As Mike and I drove home, I started to cry and cried the whole way home and most of the night. I am still weepy about it and as I said I’m not sure why this little guy dug his st into my heart but he is there. 

I have struggled for two days to find an answer. Mike said the lamb and I made a connection. I have witnessed over two hundred lambs grow from birth onwards and as I said earlier I have cared for hundreds of horses, dozens of dogs and cats, had my own horse, cats and dogs. I know death is a part of life and perhaps I needed to feel this death differently. It will not change how I feel about caring for meat sheep but I sure will remember the little guy for a long time. 

The first photo is of another lamb running through the fields as I wish the little guy could have done. The second photo I took prior to leaving the barn Saturday. I guess I did not wish to forget him.

Cherry Blossoms & Daffidols

Saturday Afternoon Playing With the Setting Sun

Searching for Definition 

It sometimes feel as if the days blend one into the next. I have been trying get myself to leave my office more at work and interact with people. I walk to the front of the building to take photos of the sunset or clouds and today the moon. I used filters on all of these. I finally understand what Deborah Glessner was trying to explain to me about making a photo rather than just taking a photo. I am gaining confidence in the program I use and am hoping to branch out to other ones in the future.

I realized today as Mike and I paid the caterer and tent rental company that our wedding is a little less than two months away. We have kept our costs low and well within our means. We have requested no gifts as we truly do not want for anything. That has made some uncomfortable but it is something Mike and I feel strongly about. I think I am finally getting excited about the wedding and reception. 

When I divorced twelve years ago I vowed never to marry again. I did not date again for a long time. My nephew Jeremy would gently ask me whenever we talked if I was dating yet. And after four years I said I was trying again. Many trials and tribulations in dating ensued over the years-between people wanting to play match maker and navigating the many online dating sites-I finally found Mike. The first man I wanted to date more than a first date. When we made it past the fourth date I started thinking hmmm this may be a long term thing. Now two years after we first met we are living together, looking forward to a marriage in May and blending our lives together has been amazingly effortless. 

I find Mike’s support and encouragement in my endeavors a big help-photography, writing and soon horseback riding.

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