Feeling overwhelmed? How to be happy anyway.

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“I only clean up after my horse” artwork by Lesley Bruce, available on a T-shirt here

According to author Martha Beck, PhD, society these days has evolved in such a manner that folks think they’ve got to be prancing around gleefully (think: Swiffer commercial) in order to be truly happy. On the contrary, Martha says “True happiness is sustainable delight in the beautiful moments of everyday life.”

Martha’s article in Oprah Magazine How to Find the Kind of Joy that Lasts also says; Continue reading Feeling overwhelmed? How to be happy anyway.

The Best Place to Bury A Dog

German Shepherd Dog Zack joined our family in the summer of 1999

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Most people don’t realize purebred German Shepherds can be all black, but it is not uncommon; baby Zack looked like a little bear.

He was a cute little bundle of fur at first, but quickly became “legendary” among mail carriers, delivery people and bicyclists in the area. His thunderous bark and menacing presence was enough to make anyone who didn’t know him more than a little nervous. Just to make sure everyone knew he was serious about his position as “Chief of Security” here at HoofPrints and on the Keesling farm, he often escorted (read: chased) visitors off the premises whenever they left. Continue reading The Best Place to Bury A Dog

Remembering Puppy-Girl

REMEMBERING PUPPY-GIRL after a tearful goodbye in 2015…

Puppy came to live with us 11 years ago. Like almost all of our dogs, she was unwanted by someone else – dumped here at our “house in the country”. Most disturbing about Puppy’s start here with us – was the fact that she was just a young puppy – not much past weaning age – and she ended up in the bushes in front of our house on a sub-zero January night. The struggle with frigid temps would later prove to challenge her throughout her entire life. Continue reading Remembering Puppy-Girl

Part 2 – Rob and the Emergency Media Stand

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Here’s my husband Rob doing his best impression of the alien face in this rough sawn board.

Fall of 2015 saw us in a bit of a mess; figuratively and literally. In sharing some pictures of our house remodeling project, I’d piqued the interest of Angie’s List Magazine photographer Mike Fender. Continue reading Part 2 – Rob and the Emergency Media Stand

Somebody should DO something!

We found this Red-Bellied Woodpecker flat on his back on the driveway beside the garage. He was still alive, quite warm, though stunned and/or gravely injured. My husband Rob and I were both heartbroken; I was nearly in tears and I suspect he was, too (more about why, later). Because I spend so much time on the internet “for my job” Rob is somewhat skeptical of the actual productivity of all those hours spent staring at a monitor. In my efforts to justify said usefulness of all that time spent, I am continually cherry-picking and pointing out to him – interesting and useful information I have gleaned from my hours spent online. Birds are one of my favorite topics. Continue reading Somebody should DO something!

Rob and the Emergency Media Stand

I will start this story off with a nod to my parents, whose mantra is:

“If you really want to get your place cleaned up, schedule a meeting.”

They practice this philosophy often, as they frequently host car club events at their place, in my dad’s shop where he works on his old cars and trucks.

The last time we had a foray with this way of thinking was a few years ago when our son Jordan graduated from high school. We hosted a little reception here on the farm, we didn’t even bring anyone into the house, instead we tidied up Rob’s semi truck bay, put some paper down on the workbench to house a mini buffet so folks could get a bite to eat, and hang out for a bit.

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However, the graduation reception endeavor also morphed into an emergency landscaping project that involved renting things like sod cutters, hauling in 2 ton boulders and dump truck loads of landscape stone.

The whole family worked hard for days – we were still working on the morning of the event – a tired and sweaty Rob dashed off to shower as the first guests were arriving. It turned out great, but I had no interest whatsoever in doing this sort of high-pressure home improvement ever again. It’s a little embarrassing to say I am too old and tired for it – as my parents pull it off on a regular basis. Continue reading Rob and the Emergency Media Stand