4 month old boy

My boy is 4 months old.
My boy is the most beautiful thing in the entire world.
He loves his toes and loves to smile and is surprised by his laughs and then by his sneezes.
He thinks momma is funny when she’s not trying to be.
He thinks daddy is silly and he is, which is one of the reasons momma loves him.
We are forever momma and daddy, and in the evenings and baby is asleep, Country Man will say he’s never been so happy and I couldn’t agree more.
Our boy, how we love him.
And he’s turned 4 months old.

theo-monster-naked

Halloween 2015

theo-snow

First snow, not so sure

14weeks-theo-face

Loving his feet

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News from the Farm

What a rainy Sunday.

Country Man is feeding cattle and I am refereeing wrestling yorkies who think the perfect arena is by my feet.

Our garden is planted and I even snuck in wildflowers as a border.

But the most important happening around here is…

…. we are expecting a baby boy in July!

This baby has been a long time coming and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

shoes

I can’t wait to see the pups with him. I hope they all like each other because I don’t know what to do with the baby if they don’t (haha!).

Tobi the Model

Tobi is ready to resign her role as main subject, but as long as she’s the most cooperative, her modeling days are far from over.

Tobi the Model

The nursery is ready to decorate but have to wait on things like new windows to get to the fun part. I’ll update that later when it’s finished.

All in all everything has been going well and we’re excited to be in the home stretch and to share this part of our journey with you.

What’s going on with you?

Walk Along the River

I don’t know about you, but we’ve had a non-dog days month of August so far.

along the river

It has been 60s in the morning and 80s at the highest throughout the day. July behaved poorly though, but August swooped in for the save. For our sake and the electric bill… not the crops so much.

along the river

By the water I seem to find myself much of the time this summer. It seems the older I get, the more I appreciate the privilege of being near the catfish and walleye (and garfish!) filled river.

Along the river

Some of my best Sundays are spent walking along the beach, helping Country Man look for arrowheads while behind us easily distracted small pups try to keep up, to later find their short legs tightly wound with burrs and weeds.

frog toad

During these excursions, we watch as the pups chase toad and butterflies along the riverbank until something else becomes more alluring. The sounds of fish splashing can be heard in the background.

butterfly

On one side of us is the water, responding to the sun with a twinkling fury, the other a lane of tall murky weeds where the sneaky ones prey. I feel them watching us whether they exist or not. In my mind a bobcat is stalking, fixating on Milo because he lags behind and would be the tastiest.

little-frog

Soon enough it will grow colder, and my boots will replace summer sandals, sweaters with swimsuits to go on our walks. It will be a different experience.

river-feather

One of these days I will find an arrowhead.

Waiting on May Flowers

When will it be summer? We had a few nice days and now we are on day three of rain. Yes, the ground needs the rain, but I need the sun. Apparently Mother Nature is indifferent to my pleas.

We did have some nice days last week, which allowed us to get some projects done around the farm. Mostly feed and weeding the grass, mulching and so on.

Orange Kitty is a happy free cat, no longer locked away in the shed. We made the mistake of allowing a young kitty free range and he never came back.

We also spent a beautiful weekend at my parents over Easter.

We woke up late Easter morning and walked down the trail to the fort my dad built for us. My 90’s version dad was determined to build us one but he’s an entrepreneur at heart, and we abandoned it early on in fear of loose and rusty nails.

Even though it’s collapsed under it’s well-meaning craftsmanship, I like seeing it there as a reminder of one man’s attempt to create a home for childhood memories.

So yes, the rain. It will let up one of these days and we’ll have more like this:

Meanwhile, the buffalo doesn’t give a darn about the weather and runs around charging into hay bales. Something to learn from him I suppose.

Replanting Fruit Trees One More Time

Growing houseplants (or fruit trees, in this case) is a labor of guilt. At least it is for me.

So often I want to give up on them, since only the pomegranate has produced fruit in the five years we’ve had them.

It’s around springtime that I think it’s time to let them go; start fresh with something that will do what it’s supposed to do.

But every year, I repot, breaking off the old soil from the roots and replacing it with the nutrient-rich.

One more year, why not?

At least I have good, yet trouble-prone, company while I decide if the plants will receive a thumbs up or a thumbs down this year.

Before I go, I wanted to mention we’ve been doing some shed hunting these past few weeks and thought I would share a not-so-old post if you’d like to see what that all entails.

A Journey Called Infertility

I always wanted a natural birth.

From the moment we decided to start trying all those years ago, I had a plan. It would go such and such a way, because that’s the mode life works, you know?

A natural birth, an opportunity to demonstrate my strength, a metaphor for the transition from girl to woman, from caterpillar to butterfly.

So we began to try, and oh, did we try. And when each try ended in failure, our hearts broke a little more and we rested our weary head on wet pillows, sometimes together, sometimes not.

To describe this time of pain is difficult, because it’s so completely personal and most people only half-listen but are fully ready to answer with an optimistic solution that only amplifies the loneliness of this journey.

It can’t fully be understood by those who don’t know it for themselves.

Two people in love, too much love for one another that they urge to let it spill over onto something they’ve created together, something pink and wrinkly that smells of heaven. And they can’t do it…

A pain so life changing.

However, while this journey does not define us entirely, it has changed us, me, so much I hardly recognize the person before. It has changed me for the good, and that was a daily choice,  oftentimes a battle.

The reason I share this is because someone reading might need this, and because infertility is a condition with no need of shame.

And if I want to keep this blog going, I have to be willing to share the unpleasantness. A year of vulnerability, perhaps.

If you know someone going through this, they need your listening ear, kind heart, and empathy… no pity, no advice. That’s what everyone needs, I’ve come to realize.

Thanks for reading! And Happy New Year. May it bring renewed hope and wonder.

D & D Designs Shop Christmas Code

Country Man & I have been busy bodies as we plan for many upcoming events, including a vacation away from the cold part of the earth. Can’t. Wait.

So I wanted to mention that we have a few things left in our Etsy shop. If you’re still looking for a Christmas gift idea for that special someone, check out these babies!

Antler Letter Opener

Antler Letter Opener

Wine Rack

Antler Back Scratcher

Antler Back Scratcher

We don’t currently have a wine rack listed, but can custom make them as requested. This one up here is going to my sister, who thinks she wants one though her wine never last long enough to display it.

Use the coupon code “HOLIDAY2013″ to receive an extra 15% off your purchase.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Pepper of the Earth

I’m a Midwestern gal. Have been since the morning I squeezed red-faced through my momma & into this world.

We’re often referred to as the “salt of the earth” people, give ya a firm handshake, never in too much of a hurry to pass up a weather status exchange.

Trustful, reliable, hard-working.

South Dakota gal's husband

And, we are, for the most part. We really are.

South Dakota dog

But sometimes, I also know that’s not the whole story. It’s not the entire experience. I need the truth.

The truth is, while salty people can be found next door, there is also lies the pepper of depression. Just look and you’ll see it.

There is also liberalism (gasp!). Just go east of this conservative state and you’ll find it. Or the west. Or the middle.

The truth is, the nonreligious speckle the plains and are growing, finding their footing in a world that tells them they don’t belong.

We’re a people of the cold winters and hot summers, of corn stalks and half-decent coffee. 

We’re a people who don’t buy the school-taught Thanksgiving story because we see the pilgrimage aftermath with our own eyes.

We’re slow to change, maybe slow to accept, but quick to welcome neighbors into our homes.

Yes, we’re a mostly salty bunch… but if you look hard, you’ll see pepper scattered about, too. And that makes it worth sticking around.

well hello

Do not pass by my epitaph, traveler.
But having stopped, listen and learn, then go your way.
There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon
No caretaker Aiakos, no dog Cerberus.
All we who are dead below
Have become bones and ashes, but nothing else.
I have spoken to you honestly, go on, traveler,
Lest even while dead I seem talkative to you.
– Ancient Roman Epitaph

It would be nice if I could filter death, compartmentalize the reminder of mortality and pain and move on. Instead, it seems to stay with me, whispering the images in my mind, creating a mental scene that I hope is worse than the truth.

So when the cattle died out west, and I drove past them on the interstate, their bodies lying against the fence, one with her head against the wood post leading her nose to the sky, I couldn’t stop, I just had to drive.

I thought of their fear and confusion as they traveled with the wind, and wished more than anything for a Superman to come down and put Mother Nature in her place.

That is why I haven’t blogged about it. I am eternally unforgiving of random senselessness.

~~~

You know what else has been going on in this girl’s world? Combining.

South Dakota combining

Lots and lots of combining.

Also, gardening.

Lots and lots of gardening.

I dug up a row of sweet potatoes, regular potatoes and carrots this weekend. So much dirt goodness.

Well, I hope you have a wonderful Halloween. I am loving the nostalgia it brings. Talk to you soon.