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Farm Life

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Spiritwind
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Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:57 pm

This thread will be a continuing saga of farm life. Sometimes interesting, sometimes very humbling, sometimes joyful, sometimes sad. It is a different life for me, one that took a long time to get to. In a way, it's a return back to my roots. My favorite memories in childhood were mostly farm related, interestingly enough. First up is:

The healing power of animals

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, how important the animal kingdom is in relationship to ourselves. I could go off in several different directions with this, from how they have been viewed historically, to the wide ranging relationships they have with humans. They range from being our friends, to food, to wildlife, and more. Each of us is at a different place in our views on this. For some, they don't have a problem raising an animal, being friends with it in a way, and then subsequently slaughtering it for consumption. And I'm not even going to go into the whole "factory farm" business, and what I think of that.

I have been all over the place in my views on all of this. I have been vegetarian at times, and moving back towards that now, and taking my husband with me. I don't think it's just our eating habits that have to be examined here, it's a whole range of beliefs that are mostly unquestioned.

I still eat chicken and turkey, but sparingly and with awareness always about the life that was given for mine. I absolutely don't eat cows or pigs anymore, and cringe when I drive by cattle with the little tags hanging from their ears. And I definitely don't eat my goats. I pretty much don't eat fish much anymore either, with the effects of Fukushima still radiating out. And I know they, too, are sentient beings in their own right. I think about how many people feel quite strongly about the notion of alien races farming and possibly even eating us. I really don't see how we are any different though.

Goats are a strange passion of mine, and I remember quite clearly another life where I lived in very close relationship to them. I do drink and use their milk, and I do realize and gratefully accept the gift they have given me. After several seasons of being there with them during kidding season, I know they know what love is, and form very strong bonds, and have great memories to boot.

But one of the things I have noticed is how happy people feel when they are around them. I have raved on and on about how much fun it is to take them all out for foraging walks. It reminds me of how fun it is to watch fish swim around in an aquarium. Very soothing and relaxing, for some reason. They are happy creatures by nature, and they exude an energy of confidence, community, and even joy. People generally don't get it until they actually come out and experience such a simple activity as walking the goats. Once they do, though, they do get it.

And this is especially true with the little ones. You just can't watch baby goats and be in a bad mood. Watching children interact with goats is also very rewarding. They are similar, in a way, because kids, like human children, are very curious. And they love to run. And jump. And butt heads. They are fairly horny too, LOL. But that is for another time, perhaps.

I have often thought about what fun it would be to have a variety of farm animals for children to come and interact with. Especially for city kids, many of whom have never had the opportunity. There are so many children now who did not grow up as I did, on a farm with the whole outdoors as my playground. Where we came in for lunch and dinner, had a few chores, but otherwise spent almost every waking moment outside, exploring. I climbed trees, swam in the irrigation pond, caught polliwogs, killed potato bugs in the garden, and had dirt clod fights.

Nowadays many children go to school all day, then come home and spend their time on their fancy phones, or play video games, many obsessively so. I find the more time I spend outside, and off the internet, the better I feel. And I have noticed when my grandsons come out, they both behave more relaxed and more content after they have had a good long walk with the goats. My oldest has been diagnosed ADHD, and takes medication during the school week, plus has a sugar addiction. He can be quite a busy guy. But each time he comes out he gets a little less ornery when we are out walking. He still wants to pick up sticks. He found that all he has to do is stand near the goats and wave the stick around and they will run. My younger grandson, who is two, has a different approach. He found out that when he stands next to them and screams in a high pitch they scatter really fast too.

Slowly, though, they are learning that when they run away from them, the goats tend to follow, because that's what they do. And it is just as fun as making them run away from you, with the added benefit that they want to stick around even when they are not running with them. I feel that teaching children to humanely and responsibly take care of farm animals is a great way for kids (haha) to learn about things that really matter in life. This is the kind of learning that can carry over to other areas of life even. And it teaches, in a real life setting, the cycles of life. Much better than any book learning, in my view.

I know my fondest memories as a kid was all the time I spent outdoors, with actually no supervision at all, just letting my imagination run wild. That's probably why I resist society's imperative to tame the wild out of me, still. I think we could all use a little more of that wild. Time to stop medicating it out of existence. Being good little subjects is about to lead us straight off the proverbial cliff, because those in charge lost their imagination a long time ago. So I will continue to choose the road less traveled. There may not be as many on it, but those I have met, both human and otherwise, along the way continue to enrich my life in innumerable ways. And everyone of those being's understands the sacredness of all life. That is one of the greatest lessons that making friends, true friends, with the animal kingdom has to offer.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Naga_Fireball » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:31 pm

Thank you so much for this thread. I know you are worn out but can't wait for your next farmlife installment.

If you go to Imgur website, click the cloud with arrow icon, then on the next page click the phone icon after closing advertisement about android etc, you can generate a link to post here. If you hit the dropdown arrow on left side once your image appears, you can select "direct link" then lay your finger on it hard to prompt copy paste, then that just goes into an

Code: Select all

[img]
tag.

Because your goats are that cute, people should see how adorable. I wish i could see the babies. .. guess what though. I have court monday morning ughghg. And the social worker took a lot of poetic license with his report this time since child moved and doesn't talk.

:( cry.

Here one sec. Let me get a couple up for you.

Image
Picture credit: Spiritwind

And

Image
Picture credit: Spiritwind
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Naga_Fireball » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:25 am

Fish are definitely capable of learning from and empathizing with, ie delighting in human company. A thing to keep in mind perhaps is that they are quite cannibalistic without a caregiver.

Also I believe some of our guilt regarding the hunting and killing of animals lies in the fact our species drove many of the other apex predators into extinction.

When we are not hunted ourselves, we gain quite a bit of leisure time. But back before humans wiped out the other terrestrial species capable of returning or even outmatching the harm that we do, we were also prey, and our traditional interactions with animals reflects that.

It's obvious that humans, particularly those identifying woth conservatism, are resistant to change. Even when change needs to be observed actively.

I don't actually consider myself a "higher" species than the smaller animals. Humans are indeed gifted with longevity, but empathy itself may be a side effect of longevity.

The so called lower animals are gifted with freedom from guilt to act because of their status as prey.




I tend to agree regarding a trend toward vegetarianism but can't stop feeling sorry for the plants.


Any way we look at it, like Frank Herbert pointed out, we all eat from the same bowl and must contend for the free energy in our respective system.



Hug
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:03 pm

I know some of what I wrote above I have said in other places, so I apologize for that. I just kind of wanted a place where I can keep this sort of together. Everyday life has so many interesting things that happen, and this way I can even go back and have a laugh now and then.

I know as soon as I posted I went back out to check on everyone in the monsoonal rains we have been having here, only to find little Miss Jinjer hanging out in the feeder by herself. The other four does are all related, two mom and daughter pairs. Jinjer's mom, Cookie, is normally the herd queen. So Jinjer has enjoyed her mom's reputation, and nobody dared push her around. Unfortunately for Jinjer her mom just had a difficult birthing, and so she is in a special pen we made for her to convalesce in with the two little bucklings she had.

I felt so bad for Jinjer that I went down the road, where we are moving to, and drug the little igloo back out and loaded it in the back of the pickup, again. I drove it up there and rolled it over and had a great time trying to get it over the fence, in the mud and rain. Only to find that little Miss Jinjerina (as I affectionately call her) won't use the darn thing anyway. Figures.

Miss Cookie's birthing was quite the story of its own. But first I will explain how Cookie is the goat that started it all. It was the fall of 2012, and I was still working the graveyard shift as a night auditor at a local hotel. I wanted to get a different job and move to the country in the worst way. My husband was still down south in California helping a family member with some remodeling. I had been looking at goats on Craigslist, and saw a picture of Cookie, a half Alpine, half Nigerian Dwarf doe, that supposedly had been bred and might be pregnant. I took my daughter, and her then boyfriend, with me to go "just take a look".

We both fell in love with her, and since you can't keep a goat by themselves, being a herd animal, we took Wally (I called him Squally Wally, and the name definitely fit), a whethered Nubian, along with her. Since we were driving a car, the woman even threw in a dog crate big enough to hold both of them that we managed to put together in the back seat. And they spent their first night in our backyard chicken coup (I had NOTHING prepared for them, of course). But that is another story entirely.

By next spring, my pushing the envelop did lead to a new job and a move to the country. Our life was about to get even more wild and bumpy, but to stick to the story, Cookie remained "Queen of the Herd". See, I have entertained the idea of letting her move on several times. I can't keep them all, and I can really only take good care of about a dozen (more during kidding season). And, as most who get into this find, I want to breed animals that are physically sound, and that will be sought after by those wanting to do the same thing. That at least makes it more likely they will go to homes that will take good care of them. And since Cookie was eating more than anyone else, she was a little on the hefty side, plus, she was kinda mean in her asserting herself. She had been put in with Jupiter, the buck I was trying to breed her to, several times, even faking me out that she was pregnant a couple times. Being over five years old and having kidded only once, last spring, made her a good candidate to find a new family, where they were looking more for a pet.

I noticed that she appeared very interested in Jupiter one day, who was just on the other side of the fence for breeding another doe. She was hanging out, wagging her tail a lot, and (a big clue) not that interested in eating. So I threw her in there with him, and, wallah, five months later she looks like a torpedo. The other doe gave birth to two little doelings (the one Naga so graciously provided the picture of) that are just a freaking adorable. The very next day, Cookie is clearly in labor and seems to give birth okay to the first little buckling. But then three hours go by (a long time - too long) and I know there's at least another one in there. It's a Sunday, of course. So I call up my friend, who I have bought and traded goats with, and she says "do you feel comfortable going in", and I'm thinking "hell no!" But I just say emphatically "no, I don't". She kinda laughs, and tells me I can bring her and her buckling over and she will see what she can do. So I get my friend/neighbor up and, along with my husband, manage to load this 80lb. goat in labor into the back of our SUV. I climb back there with her and they hand me her kid, and away down the windy road we go. Of course, it's raining too.

We get there safely. Poor Cookies eyes are bugging out pretty good, but otherwise seems to have made the trip all right. My friend gets her tool box out, and begins to prepare several syringes. I watch everything carefully, knowing I need to know all this stuff. Cookie received a shot for pain, a shot to keep her labor going, one with nutritional supplements, and one called BOSE (you have to get from a vet, unfortunately). She also got a shot of antibiotics afterwards. I can understand why after watching my friend stick her arm in up to her elbow, find the legs of the stuck kid, and pull him out. My husband even got pictures of that. He was a medic while in the military, and we know if we are going to keep doing this every year, we need to learn how to do this stuff on our own. I was happy to see the shots just go in under the skin. I have had to give our diabetic cat an insulin shot twice a day now for the last two years, so I know I can do that myself from here on out. Good to know.

Anyway, I think I have wrote enough for today. Cookie is fine, and little Miss Jinjerina is really going to appreciate mom when they get reunited here soon. The rain has finely has abated since yesterday and I have a lot to do. Bye bye for now.....
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:53 pm

I look out the window at where we set up the barn yesterday, to see Heidi looking out at me through the rain. So incredibly grateful it did not rain the last two days, since almost all the work we had to do was outside. So incredibly grateful that we will soon have everyone right outside so I can see them, and they can see me. It's been part of the challenge of the last two years, having part of the goat herd down the road, a distance from where we could see or hear them well. And such a much better area for Freckles, who may finally get a shelter this winter, after roughing it for the last two (another time I will tell the story of how she got the original barn we made her stuck on her back end and ran with it about ten feet - she wouldn't use it after that - one of the funniest things I ever saw though).

Freckles is an 11 year old POA, and just thinking of her makes me smile. In fact, I must be one of the most blessed people on the planet right now, at least in some ways. I have memories that span many lifetimes, of close relationships with goats, and horses, and even wolves. Being around their combined energies has been very strengthening in my own endeavors to achieve a state of balance in my day to day experience of life, in this here and now. I don't have any direct wolf energy in my life at the moment, but we do have two Great Pyrenees, whose ties to wolves are still quite close.

There is something about just moving through the seasons in a rural setting that has to be experienced to be fully understood. From the deep felt energy of winter, where activities move more inward, to the birth of new life in the spring, to the frenzied activities of summer, where energies are usually directed outwards, towards growth and production, to the harvest time energies of fall, there is always a sense of being in tune with the flow of the earth herself. It reminds me of time I have spent on the ocean, and the ebb and flow of the tides through each day.

The rhythm of nature is totally different than the artificial nature of so called civilization, where they start measuring out pretty much everything from the time you are born. They tell you when to sleep, when to wake up, when and what to eat, what to believe, what "fashion" you should wear. They measure out every minute of everyday, if they can. You should be doing blah blah. Go to school, sit down and face the front of the classroom, jump through your butt when the bell rings. All this in preparation for the "work world", where your time is usually measured out in 8 hour work days, 5 days a week. Weekends are spent trying to catch up on all you didn't have time to do during the week, and then there is even the programming of your spare time. Between religion, sports, and other types of socially acceptable recreation, there is no time left for anything. And that's how "they" want it. Because it has to be that way for what "they" have created to sustain itself. And it is a totally made up, use up all the resources for greed and profit, until there is none left, game. "They", of course, always have more hidden resources to cash in on, and the rules of the "real" game are hidden. They have to be, because otherwise, many of those that actually sustain this system of fake freedom, that is actually slavery in a sugar coating, would choose to put their energy elsewhere, into creating a more life affirming reality to engage in.

That can be the only reason there is such a push to vaccinate everyone, have a complete history on every single individual member of "their" herd, and why such silly things like ordinances are being passed that inhibit or prevent people from doing such simple things as learning to be self reliant. You know, things like growing your own food, providing your own energy resources, taking responsibility for your own health without buying into their very expensive and ineffective system of medicine they are so ardently trying to sell everyone. Even going so far as to spray whole areas to supposedly kill mosquitos who may be carrying a made-up virus that they are using to scare everyone with (to get the, you know, vaccine they want to roll out), and killing even more of our precious bees!

What, you don't want what "we" are trying to "give" you???!

Anyway, enough of my rant. Farming is how I cope with this absolutely bizarro stress and death inducing fake reality "they" created for us. I definitely do have my own ideas about who "they" really are, but, this is a thread about farm life, so enough about that! Let me just end this with my thought that just because we are all running around in human body suits here, we are definitely not all the same. Any more than just because all dogs came from wolves, that all dogs are the same. Same species, but many different breeding programs have went on, for innumerable reasons.

For instance, I have some goats with blue eyes. For some completely unfathomable reason, people seem to think that the blue eyed goats are cool, and will often purchase one over a goat with different colored eyes. I have often wondered about this. But I think it stopped raining for a bit so I gotta get out there and feed everyone while I can. To be continued.

Oh, by the way, Heidi is the black goat in the pictures Naga posted with her newborn bah-bie.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Naga_Fireball » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:26 pm

This is the most brilliant post. This is the kind of thing people look for in biographies etc. I love this thread.

Lol at Freckles running with the barn on her butt, oh dear. She seemed really happy and friendly. I'm glad you can see them and know they are well.

Winter must be really hard up there. After bundling up I'd imagine it's a bit hard on your heart to really move around much. I better get used to it, eek.

Heidi is such a cute goat. I love the black ones with brown eyes, lol. I guess because the dogs of that color are so good natured.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:24 pm

This seems as good of time as any to continue here. It is just after 5:30 am and I am awake and can't go back to sleep. Yesterday was back to the monsoonal rains, not really that common on this side of the mountains. Not sure which direction to go in this morning. We found a snow plow that is inexpensively priced, with a pickup with it even, on Craigslist yesterday and will go look at it this afternoon.

Which makes me think about our neighbor up the road that I have mentioned elsewhere some time ago. There is a possible war brewing there. You see, even though he has 50 acres, and claims to love animals, he just left us a box of dog poop that he claims is from our dogs that he found on his property, with a note saying he is at his wits end and may resort to shooting them (he left his dog on a chain his whole life). This is maybe three months after I talked with him and he had agreed to wait until next spring when we could get a fence put up on the property down the road we had just purchased.

We have sped things up, at great expense, and are moving there now. But we haven't even got all our pens and barns moved yet. We are going to scramble this next few weeks and make it a priority to get the rest of the goats moved, and another fence put up around them all so our dogs can do their job, which is protecting the herd. That's a lot of fence posts to pound in. And we know there are several stray dogs that we have seen and heard out here, coming from the direction of his property, so he doesn't even know if the poop he has picked up and obsessed over so much is even from our dogs.

He suggested I come and discuss the matter with him again. But, though it seemingly worked well last time (at least bought us some time), it doesn't seem like the appropriate response this time. There is really nothing I can say to him. He is a type of person who just has to have some imaginary sense of control. We have seen and heard all about his relationship with his relatives, sisters and nephew etc. and he just really isn't a nice guy and likes to throw his weight around. So we already knew he would not be able to keep his word.

But now we are down the road and he has to pass through our property to get to his. If we get this snow plow (we will be getting something this winter for sure!) then my husband and my neighbor (whose property is right next to ours and the access road continues through his property) will be plowing the biggest snow berms you can imagine just to make his (our neighbor we call Dick) day. I know if he shoots one of our dogs it's unlikely there will ever be any kind of good neighbor action there. And that is why I might write a response to his wife instead, explaining just that. For it really does seem kind of silly, over a few piles of dogs poop spread out over an entire year.

The funny thing is, our friend who is now in between us and Dick's property, had dogs off and on for over 30 years that he let run, and Dick never said a word to him. So we know he just doesn't like us anyway. You know, he plowed the road last winter with his little Scout, and a blade just wide enough for him and his wife's car. Our vehicles are wider and we messed up the road trying to get home a few times last winter. He has been pissed off about that ever since. I know this because he brought it up during our conversation earlier this year. It didn't matter that the tractor we bought last fall had nothing but problems and turned out to be not very effective for plowing snow. We did actually have good intentions. But he's king of the hill you know, at least in his own mind. I figure if the sheriff comes again I'll just accept the citation and go to court. Not much else I can do.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Anders » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:49 pm

Scary situation. Many people deliberately seek conflict with other people. It's an unconscious attempt to get rid of excess stress hormones (such as cortisol). I have noticed that people in general seem very stressed these days. Massive frustration below the surface just waiting to find an excuse to be triggered.

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Naga_Fireball » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:24 pm

I am More Than Happy, if my car would just go, to try to assist you in talking to that asshole or to the authorities. He has not only harassed but threatened you.

Don't buy in to that psychopath or his threats. If the local sheriff fails, should go up the chain and also maybe get an animal rights group to help you.

Imo. Hug :(
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:04 pm

After I posted earlier today, I went up to the little cabin we built on our friends property to stay in. Our two cats are up there for a few more days, until we've mostly finished moving stuff. One of them is diabetic (inherited from my daughter) and has to have an insulin shot twice a day. She is ten and turned into an amazing mouser late in life. She impresses me regularly with her single mindedness. And then Simba is 13 and has many miraculous stories to tell himself. It's a pain living in a small space with older cats (that are used to being pampered and indoors), but they are part of the family and will be until they decide to move on to the other side. But the thing that actually motivates me to write at the moment is strange, to me anyway.

It has to do with wasps and yellow jackets. I have been stung at least a half dozen times this year, and the wasp stings are the worst. I found out that baking soda is amazing stuff. But I admit, every time I got stung I wanted to go on the warpath, and open a can of woop-ass on them. I did put up a couple of outdoor traps, but mainly because there were so many and I didn't want my 2 year old grandson getting stung if I could help it. But, and this is where it gets interesting. My feelings towards them are actually very ambiguous. I have arthritis in my hands, worse in my right hand, which I have injured several times in the same place. I got stung on that hand several times, and noticed that the pain I normally experienced from day to day use had abated significantly after being stung. Maybe a gift in disguise?

And so this morning I find a wasp in the drain of our kitchen sink in the cabin. It is, amazingly, still alive from the day before, when I found it seemingly floating in a cup of water left in the loft. I had poured it down the sink the night before, and was surprised to see it trying to climb out of the drain. I didn't do anything, and actually did not use the water on purpose, not wanting to deliberately take action to speed up its demise. That is why I was so surprised to see it still alive this morning. So, in order to use the sink, I rescued it with a fork. I later saw it crawling around on the floor. Somehow, I just can't have any sustained animosity towards any living thing anymore. I tend to think that is a good thing, overall.

There is one thing that I am very happy about, though, and that is that our two dogs are finally figuring out where they are supposed to be, down the road, guarding the goaties. A little coaxing, and especially bribery with Misha, helped them sort out the confusion of moving from where they have spent most of their lives. Actually Ranger, the male, found us on my birthday a year and a half ago as a three month old puppy. But that too, is another story.

As far as the neighbor goes, I'll have to get back to you on that. I like trying out different approaches, to see what actually gets the results I want. So even though he is being threatening, and a passive aggressive jerk, I probably won't act on the feelings he seems to engender at times. That would actually probably play right into his hands, in fact, it's probably what he is used to. See, he sued the neighbor about something and won, and was quite happy to tell me about it. I have to outsmart him, and that shouldn't be that terribly hard to do if I give it enough thought. I know he is acting aggressively towards our dogs, who are normally very friendly, and so they probably don't like him either. And I know they originally went up there because they were following his nephew, who they knew, when he walked up there one day. The nephew and Dick are kind of feuding also lately, so I'm pretty sure they came upon him acting and talking aggressively towards his nephew. So there is more going on here than just him not liking our dogs. They also (the dogs) gave him (Dick) away when he was right by the property line way away from his house, but right by our back porch where I sometimes had went out half dressed to look for clothes I have packed away. He claims he was looking for noxious weeds. Sorry, but that does actually sound kind of ludicrous. My husband, and our friend and neighbor, both think he was actually might have been spying on me. So this does get a bit complicated, and weird.

I'm just glad the dogs are sticking close around home lately and hope that continues until we can get our fence up. Then I can laugh when he tries the "your dogs are pooping by the gate or in front of my garage" line again.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )


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