First Adventure

IMG_2422So…last Wednesday I set off on my first adventure in quite awhile and the first adventure since my diagnosis and all that. I wasn’t even sure it was going to happen. There was so much preparation to do at the farm. I knew that I traveled often, when I got my puppy, Tallulah, I just figured that I would “man up” and board her at a local kennel while I was away. Well at least until she became a little more manageable! Right now she is still kind of a maniac and can’t be left unsupervised. And precisely two weeks after I brought her home I hear about all this terrible dog flu thing spreading across the nation. What? I never heard of such a thing?! Dogs are dying. Keep your dogs at home. Dog parks are closing. Dog shows are on hold. You’ve got to be kidding me? I had planned all these great socializing doggie outings for her. I was going to take my dogs everywhere with me. What about puppy kindergarten? Showing her off at PetSmart. Hiking in the forest. Great!

So…there is no way I want to expose her or any of my other dogs to that, so I try to find a baby sitter, or someone to stay at my house while I’m away. Not much luck. Maybe I will just have to stay home until she has some manners. Dang it! I have the opportunity to go to Puerto Rico. I don’t know if I will ever have this opportunity again. Right now my life is all about living life to the fullest, taking risks, and not passing up opportunities. But my critters are my family and they come first. I don’t want to endanger them in any way.

So…about 10 days before I would be trying to leave for Puerto Rico we come up with this great idea. How about we build an outdoor kennel for the dogs? Make it comfortable for them to stay in while we are out of town. Like a little doggie playhouse. Wow what a great idea. It will pay for itself, boarding is very costly, and our dogs will be safe, and close to home!

So…I get right to work designing this doggie playhouse! And off to gather supplies we go! So now we add dog house shopping and building to the already crazy task of getting ready to go away. Line up the pet sitter, get all the horse feed and dog food, and small animal supplies. Line up back up help just in case. Organizing and cleaning bowls and cages and coops and the barn. Make sure the grass is mowed and the place is at least halfway in order so it looks like someone actually lives here! This is way more than I feel like I can handle…maybe I should just stay home?

It’s Happening

Finally… as I am sitting here writing this, my big dog McKenzie, is playing with the puppy, Tallula! It is crazy how a newcomer can disrupt the whole house! McKenzie has been acting aloof but tolerant. Oliver has actually been a little more willing but the puppy is really too rough for him, he is a little old chihuahua half deaf and half blind. I was beginning to wonder if this was just how it was gonna be? Adult dogs in one room hiding under the bed, puppy controlling the rest of the house. I think they were hoping the puppy would disappear and acting like I was awful for bringing this little thing with razor teeth home and giving it so much attention. They sure know how to make you feel guilty! With their coy attitudes and the “How could you?” looks. Believe me I have been trying to share the love, but with them hiding under the bed and the puppy demanding so much attention, its been hard! One reason I got the pup, she is a Wire Haired Pointing Griffon like McKenzie, is because I absolutely love McKenzie so much. I want her to be happy, so this is a great day!

I was actually hoping McKenzie and Tallula would be best buddies. I hope some of McKenzies amazing personality will rub off on the pup. I want to take them to the park and on hikes together, maybe some dog trials. This is so cool! McKenzie seems to be having fun and she is wearing Tallula out, which is good news for me! Believe it or not, all this disruption in the house wears me out! Feed this one over here, take that one out now, put up the gate, take down the gate, make sure everyone gets treats and plenty of attention. I am always the peace keeper, trying to keep everything and everyone moving along smoothly. I am happiest when everybody in my care is happy and healthy. So I think today shows promise. I guess they (the adult dogs) are figuring out that she (Tallula) is not going away. If you can’t beat em’, join em’! The animals are easy, the people… not so much.

Dog gone it!

I must be a glutton for punishment. Just when things were starting to get better and I was slowly getting back to my routine…I go and bring a new puppy into the house! Omg would somebody slap me! I must be outta my mind! Late nights up walking the puppy, early mornings up walking the puppy, aggravating my back with all the bending over! Cuts and scrapes all over my arms from her tiny needle teeth. Toys scattered all over the floor to trip over or step on. She is a little ball of energy. And she believes she is the queen of everything right now! Everything in the house is hers to knaw on and play with, including me! Her little needle sharp teeth are testing my blood platelets for sure! I’m afraid she is going to think her name is NO! or OUCH!

The whole house is in an upheaval right now. Puppy proofing the house, everything is up out of her reach sometimes mine too. We crawled around on our hands and knees looking for things she might get into. I hope the neighbors weren’t watching! Of course she still finds little bits and pieces that we missed, proudly marching over to me gumming up a small bit of paper or whatever. My other dogs literally roll their eyes when they see her coming. Giving me looks like, What have you done? And if you want, We could take care of her! Everything was so peaceful, why? Why have you brought this hairy piranha into our house? Nothing is safe! She has everyone riled up. She is a pointer and at seven weeks old she is pointing and stalking my little old dog, Oliver. He hates her and I really don’t blame him. She thinks its funny to sneak up on him, bite him on the butt, and run off like a lunatic! My other dog McKenzie is trying to tolerate her for my sake, I can tell. She’s all like, if you say so. They think she is a devil dog! I prefer calling her Tallula, and I love her.  She is full of shenanigans and mischief and I’m pretty sure thats why they made puppies so cute, so you can tolerate all their nonsense! I gotta go, she is eating the carpet right now!

Puppy Power!

I brought home my new puppy last Saturday, she is so cool, I love her! She is a Wire Haired Pointing Griffon. She is seven and a half weeks old and I named her Tallulah Bleu. I have a feeling she is going to whip my butt into shape! She is already wearing me out, I think it’s a good thing. She keeps me busy thats for sure! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a baby in the house.  Puppy proofing and crate training. New routines and lots of walking! I do feel a little worn out and my back is sore from all the bending and picking her up. But it’s all good, Tallulah is giving me that gentle push to get out and play more! I needed that!

I used to have fun riding and working my horses. Right now my doctor says, “No riding. Wait a little longer for your bones to get stronger. “I can’t wait to get back in the saddle again. But I guess I need to give it a little more time. Got my XGeeva shot today, come on strong bones! My blood work looks great, the best it has since I got sick. My hair is getting longer and thicker every day. I actually have eyebrows and eyelashes now! When I look in the mirror I am starting to recognize this person! So I know I will be back to full strength soon. Tallulah is a hunting dog, not that I hunt, but she points and retrieves. So I am thinking, when she gets older, I might try doing field trials with her. She is already showing some skills at stalking her toys. Too cute!

Any kind of baby is a big commitment. And I am so happy to say I am ready for this one. I couldn’t have done it a few months ago but I am having fun with her and enjoying every minute! Well…maybe not the late night walks.

Yikes!

Wow it has been so long since I posted, not good, I know! I have been so crazy busy! I love blogging I feel so peaceful when I am writing. I have created this blog as a journal of my crazy wonderful life. And I have so much to share! So I am going to try a new approach. Maybe, just maybe I will write a “little bit”more often. Sounds less daunting.

I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life that I have been bored, never. I always have things I don’t seem to have enough time to do! I am passionate about so many things! And I don’t like to do things halfway. So…I know there are people out there that are way busier than me, but…I have a ten acre farm which requires constant care, fixing fences, dragging fields, feeding animals, cleaning animals, watering plants, planting and tending new plants, picking up sticks, working horses, and on and on and on! Oh I do enjoy these things but it takes time and commitment, EVERYDAY, it’s not something you do part time! Brushing and washing dogs, grooming horses, collecting eggs, playing with the rabbit, filling the bird feeders, cleaning cat bowls, changing the water in the fish tank, cleaning water troughs. Wow this is beginning to sound crazy! Not really! Like I said, I do love it. But on top of all this, I am an artist, a chef, a wife, a mother, a riding instructor, and an adventurer! Last week I created and, with some help from the guys, made some Christmas decorations for the farm entrance. Oh! And the week before that I designed and created a new name and sign for the farm! New name, new sign, new beginning!

Sometimes it gets tricky juggling all of this at once! My daughter is grown, so I don’t have children in the house any more and I have cut way back on riding lessons since the liability insurance has gotten so high. But lately I have been traveling a lot, which I adore! Something I always dreamed of doing but never thought I would actually have the opportunity to do. It is for work, but we do get to play also! As a private chef I am always learning and trying new things in the kitchen. Cooking, for me, is also a creative endeavor! Traveling has given me the ability to search out wonderful restaurants and new food experiences! Traveling has also inspired my artwork, which is a major focus for me right now. I feel I am maturing as an artist, moving in some new directions with my paintings, feeling alive!

Never one to sit still for very long, last week we went hiking on Paynes Prairie and found some amazing places to eat! Now I am not a huge BBQ fan, but we had the best BBQ at a little place called Pearls, a tiny restaurant tucked inside a Marathon gas station in Micanopy, Fl. And a wonderful little place called Mosswood Farm Store, where you can get handmade soaps and candles and what nots, organic coffee and some of the best bread and brownies I’ve had in a long time! Then we spent the rest of the weekend cleaning out the loft above the garage for more studio space, for bigger and better things to come!

March Mischief!

Before

Before

March and it’s madness is in the air! We have pollen everywhere! Just when the weather is awesome and you want to be outside biking, hiking, gardening, etc. perfect temps and everything greening up and blossoming out! Overnight the oak pollen and caterpillars seem to have taken over. Yikes they are everywhere! On door knobs and gates on bikes and lawn chairs. Be careful what you touch and where you sit! March is usually dry for us and unusually windy which only makes matters worse! Doesn’t matter what color car you have this month it will be coated in a lovely yellowish green powder! Not to mention everything and anything else you might leave outside!

So I thought it might be a good idea to spend a little time inside. I decided to cook up a batch of corned beef and cabbage and bake a lovely cake to bring to my daughters house later on in the evening. I had just picked up the latest BHG and found a recipe I wanted to try by Beth Kirby, it was a dark chocolate cake with fresh strawberry buttercream. Strawberries are in season and so yummy right now, and chocolate…well that’s always in season! So, I spent the afternoon whipping up this wonderful cake. Now I am not a huge cake fan, I normally prefer to just lick the spoon, but this cake was really delicious, the moistest chocolate cake and I just loved the fresh strawberry buttercream! It took some time but I would definitely make this cake again!

So we are getting ready to head out and I set the cake down on the kitchen table, it was pretty heavy so I was gonna get one of the guys to carry it to the car. I went outside to put a few other things in the car. I wasn’t outside 5 minutes. I came back in to get it and, my dog and long time kitchen helper, MacKenzie had very delicately helped herself to a small portion of it! Oh noooo! She has never ever done anything like this before! All I can do is laugh! Apparently she has a sweet tooth and knows a good cake when she sees (smells)one!

As I mentioned earlier, it seems that March has a mischievousness about it inside and out!

Chocolate is not good for dogs but she seems to be fine, except now she has a new nickname…Cake Eater! I will just have to be more careful in the future of where I put things.

After

After

My kitchen helper and cake eater, MacKenzie!

My kitchen helper and cake eater, MacKenzie!