4.23.2022

feeling alive around here with the coming of spring!

We are lush and technicolor green over here and its been absolutely perfect for having quite visitors, and let me just say that Poptart has loved every second of it all…. She’s gotten maximum belly rubs GALORE!




I’ve been getting back to my love of thrifting (the ‘frugal fashionable friday’ segment may start back up next week!!) and have also been continuing to learn about plants and why some things aren’t thriving where I’ve tried my very best to have a green thumb… boooo!

Turns out, all these pecan trees we have on the front lawn, poison the soil with a naturally occurring herbicide when the leaves fall, and they break down into the earth. In a way I’m relieved to know there is a reason besides my lack of natural green thumb, but also now I want to try to find some evergreen flowering shrubs that won’t be affected like my gardenias have been. Anyone have experience with this? So the next few days, I will likely be uprooting my poor little plants that have been struggling for the last year, and moving them somewhere they can actually thrive …. 

Rose and Buddy are doing super and I’ve been letting them keep most of the acreage up with their grazing. Last night when I was walking Reece down the dirt road, seeing the horses in the front yard, for a moment it was just a bit surreal… I never imagined ever that I’d have this cute little 30’x30’ simple little old farmhouse with horses grazing the front lawn. It’s quite the site, and it’s been really fun to share this with visitors lately. 


We aren’t usually much for entertaining, but with Hazel’s passing, and also the same week, the sudden death of Christian’s trusty ol’ Saturn, we had folks coming out of the woodwork offering help and bringing gifts, flowers, and reminding us how amazingly beautiful our friends are…. 

Christian’s vehicle was quickly replaced by a super nice Honda Pilot, and all is back to a normal flow around here after sharing a vehicle for a week….


I’ve been working really hard on my new web-based storefront for selling my farm prints, and have gotten tons of pre-orders already! The site officially launches June 1st, but here is a little preview of what’s to come! 





I’m excited to be able to share my little slice with so many in the form of really pretty affordable wall art! 

Each piece ranges from $30-$35, and free shipping or local pickup are offered as a means to receive them! I’m also currently working on the very first ‘Doo-Dah’ at Neat Pieces since covid hit and forced us to shut them down in the spring of 2020, so if I can get that going, I’ll have several pieces for sale there as well!

I was immersed with lots of soul fueling on earth day yesterday which started with checking a shelter dog out of the loud shelter for some quiet time at the farm, then ended with another fire…. As much as I hate the aftermath of big storms around here, picking up all those limbs and sticks actually does result in some pretty therapeutic release when you start those flames…. Last nights fire was a solo affair, but this year I am going to have more of the the s’mores, fancy cheeses, cava, hard seltzers, and good company, because it is oh-so-good for the soul… 



This morning I’m off to the fabric store for some supplies needed for a few thrifted pieces that I am mending and embellishing, then heading to a studio sale of a local lady who screenprints the most beautiful fabric!  


I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! ❤️


Xo

-S

4.16.2022

eight years.....

Eight years ago I stumbled across a small ‘for sale’ sign for this little 30’x30’ 100 year old house down a quiet dirt road, with old towering pecan and walnut trees in the front yard, a gigantic 200+ year old oak in the back, and a hip-roof with the kind of  impressive pitch that old houses used to be built with to ensure the house would last through generations..… 

I was not looking to buy. I had no idea even how to go about inquiring about this perfect little place, but with the help of a realtor friend, the next day I got to have a closer look….

This little place was honestly what my dreams had been made of. Sleepy front porch. Wood stove just like the one in the small house I lived in as a child. An old peach orchard. Simple, no dishwasher, no room for luxuries like that, but oh-so-beautiful and practical. The one feature that sealed the deal? The attic fan. That is when I actually cried. I frantically looked for the switch to see if it worked. My realtor/friend was also trying to help me locate it. Tucked away deep within a kitchen cabinet, was the switch. Did it work? Flip….. and that very distinct hum had me signing the contract then and there. 

The land was pretty, but had been neglected for a long time and there was no fencing, but with a little love, sweat, and muscle, I’d have it right in no time to bring my animals to OUR farm. You see until now, Christian and I lived in downtown Athens, and I kept my animals at a small farm about 15 minutes away. So at least twice per day, I’d go out to the farm. Once in the morning before work, sometimes just after work, and/or just before dark. It was a lot of driving, but I’ve always thought dreams can come true if you put in the work, never say never, and push through any opposition that tries to come between you and your dreams. 

Fast forward to 39 days later, and we closed on this place. Keys in hand.

One of the catches for us getting this place and moving far away from the little in -town blocks with cute manicured lawns (which our landlord paid for) was that I promised Christian if we could PALEEEEZE get this place, I’d be the one to take on the land maintenance. I offered to clear, cut, and maintain all 8.5 acres because Christian would have never picked a place to take on so much work. I knew it would be SO worth it. I could already see what this place could become…..

For starters, I cleaned up all the burn piles. Yes, out in the boonies, people tend to burn whatever they can get away with. Furniture, trash, etc. Knowing I was going to have animals out here, I deep cleaned these burn piles and made sure to get all nails, screws, and wire that could possibly cause harm to my animals. 





Then, I started building the chicken coop with the help of a friend, then built the goat shed all by myself, then the fencing…..


By August, it was time to move the chickens & goats to their new home. Having no proper livestock trailer, I borrowed my stepdads trailer and put everyone in large kennel crates to finally complete the dream and bring them here … the home I’d dreamed of for years. 

One where I could sit on the porch, drink my coffee, and look out at my animals. Where I could wake in the middle of the night, shine a light out in the field and see that everyone was ok…

I was literally living the dream. Except there was more to the dream and it was still developing…

Over the years I’ve carved trails, cleared parts that were completely inaccessible, built out and remodeled a complete mess of a concrete building, and turned it into a very nice work space/ studio/ vintage clothing storage for resales (one day). 



I’ve planted a very large garden and sold produce to the local diner, and then decided it was too much work for one person, without my own tractor, so let the garden grow back into brush… 


I’ve toyed with outdoor bootcamp style workouts here, had dog training classes here, invited trainers to come out and train me and my friends, thought about yoga in the horse pasture….

I’ve hosted a couple of campers, and let a skoolie park here briefly. 

For Christmas Santa brought me a trampoline that I’ve yet to really take full advantage of because of a torn meniscus that happened less than a month after I got my trampoline…

Not being able to jump and bounce to my heart’s content, I dove into my creative side and decided to start making small affordable art pieces from prints of the farm, it’s residents, and creatures. With a lot of really positive feedback and support I will be launching my site June 1st. 

This little place has brewed lots of really cool ideas and personal experiences over the years and this summer and fall I’ll be getting back to exploring more with gardening again…. I have the time and mental space now to really give more than I could in the past. I know it may sound weird but the farm chores are truly sacred things for me and honestly that’s why I prefer to do most of them alone… the hardest part about any of the farm chores is getting out there. Whether it’s picking up limbs and sticks, mending a fence, repairing a shed, moving animals, or weeding a garden, I commit to only good thoughts about myself and try to change any negative thoughts to those that are positive and uplifting. 


For the past week, I have been procrastinating on giving my favorite tree on the property the care she deserves… the last big wind storm took down small branches and limbs and I walk by her daily making plans to ‘come back in a bit’ to clean up around her base. Today I even soaked in a two hour epsom bath to avoid this task…. but (!!!) 


I got a good start on it, and gave some love to that tree, and piled up the fallen branches for a few nice little fires this eve... 


So, I’m off now to walk the dogs and feed the goats and horses who live here at this beautiful place that I still cannot believe is ours. Eight years since I first laid eyes on her while out on a country back road drive with Baby, and I knew in my heart she was what I’d dreamed of, before even bringing Christian out to see it. The rest, is history…. 

Happy Saturday…

Xo

-s

4.14.2022

hellooooo......


It’s been a week since I spent my last day with sweet Hazel-girl ….  and I wanted to share a few sweet details of Hazel's passing and how things have changed since ....

I had no idea where in the pasture I wanted to bury Hazel until literally the vet pulled his truck in. My friend Adriana, was holding Hazel, and I was holding Rose … She asked where should she stand and I just pointed to a grassy spot that looked like a soft place for my old gal to fall… I knew Hazel was gonna be ok, but Rose was my biggest concern. We put a lot into protecting our loved ones, and she was my wild card for this, but the vet was insistent that she be right there. He knows Rose well and her bond with Hazel. Turned out as always, he knew Rose needed the closure of seeing Hazel go down. She left quickly- faster than I’ve ever witnessed before. She actually died while standing - almost as if the life was just plucked in an instant from her physical vessel. Rose stood there as calm as could be as Hazel’s lifeless body fell to the ground, without a sound, under the only oak tree in the pasture, with the grace that only Hazel would have fallen. She fell with her perfect side facing up, the one with no cancer, where all her braids naturally fell. She looked as though someone positioned her perfectly, her front legs crossed…. Rose went over immediately and sniffed, investigated, and then quietly walked away and started grazing in the field. I sat with her before she was buried. Her muzzle stayed soft and warm the whole time. I was amazed at how she seemed to just be peacefully sleeping, and the shadows of the oak tree branches even confused me a few times as they blew in the wind, softly dancing on her body, making it seem she as if she was moving slightly. I checked and the only movement was just the surface of the wispy remainder of her winter coat blowing. I closed and cupped her one eye, as her death was so fast, she fell with it open. I was happy to have this time alone with her, just me, Hazel, the blue sky, wind, and Buddy and Rose in the distance. Christian had his time with her afterwards and it was breathtaking for him as well. It’s strange to see something that once had such a big presence, with such an enormous spirit, be lifeless and still. He never dreamed of a farm with animals like I did, but he appreciates it all and loves them all deeply, and I’m grateful he understands it all. 

I haven’t posted much here on the blog in months, but this experience deserved a spot. 


Rose and Buddy are going so well and I’m really pleased with how Tuesday's farrier visit went. It’s never easy losing a companion, and Rose was especially close to Hazel. Hazel was a real stabilizer for Rose and for every single farrier visit, Hazel stood right there, so close, that I now understand how she calmed Rose. I posted something I learned recently on Instagram about how horses can hear a heartbeat from 4 feet away….. that was an eye opener and made me more aware of the energy I walk up to the horses with… I can tell that Rose misses Hazel, but at the same time I can also tell she is starting to assume the calming role that Hazel once played. She’s been settling into her new role as Buddy’s bestie, and I can already tell how he has started to benefit…. I’m excited to see how he grows and changes over time with this new dynamic. 

Life goes on for us all left behind and now mine gets to be a little simpler without all the specialized care for Hazel. You don’t realize really all you do on autopilot for someone until they are gone. Evening rituals have been simpler. No cleaning of Hazel’s face, no meds, no applesauce, no molasses to ‘help the medicine go down’, - just regular ol’ horsey snacks. My hay & feed bill in winter will also be a lot less because it costs a lot to keep an old gal plump over winter, and let me tell ya, my vet and others were amazed at how she looked when they saw her last week. I’m happy I gained the experience of keeping an old horse well fed and hope it serves me well when Rose and Buddy get on up there in age.

I do think I’m gonna try to start sharing more here as I do enjoy the writing that doesn’t fit within the maximum amount of characters Instagram allows. 

I do appreciate all the conversations, gifts, prayers, and kind words regarding this whole loss and especially having an experienced handler here to handle Hazel for her final breath so that I could focus on my Rose. Life is fleeting. Live it while you are here. I’m fortunate to have other animals that depend on me to help me through hard times such as this…. I’m attaching a slew of pics of my sweet Hazel over the years in her memory. ✨✨✨ hope you all are enjoying your week - it’s still rather magical here despite the huge loss just five days ago…. Having Hazel laid to rest in the field she grazed, honesty has helped keep it feeling sparkly around here...


...her first day here just over 6 years ago....


..her beautiful speckled slick summer-wear <3




her prepped evening snack her last week with me.... a mixture of molasses, applesauce, senior feed, MSM, and pain meds & anti-inflammation drugs to keep her pain free and comfy so I could plan out her best week...
Her foster before me came to say goodbye...
a dear friend made this beautiful 'necklace' of floral fabric and roses, that i chose to bury her in...
...her last winter here. no filter on this one. Just absolutely magnificent like her.

and here are a few pics of Hazel's various visitors...











Happy Thursday, all! 
xoxo
-s