eye spy dear pretties....

Instead of doing a 'want/ need' post, I decided to do something different....

I have wanted and needed so many things for that segment, that I have run out of things to write about on those subjects! I am not sure that this will be a permanent segment (I kinda like the way "eye spy dear pretties" sounds though), but for today it felt right.

It was an evening for letting my mind wander on the world wide web. It started when a friend (who is grieving the loss of a loved one) and I started an exchange of writings about grief. I sent her a poem that one of my blog followers sent me when I lost my dad and then my dog last year.

This is my first 'dear pretty', and yes it is about death, but this poem stuck with me and I have shared it with others many times because it helped me during my emotional time of need, and I think it is absolutely beautiful.....

Here is the pretty poem by Henry Van Dyke:

 and then my friend sent me THIS ARTICLE about grieving. Empathy has been a common topic of discussion in the last year, because when all of this happened, I realized more than ever, the tender-hearted-ness of the people that were in my life as well as perfect strangers. This world has a lot of good and beautiful people and things in it, and in moments sadness, or after a good ugly cry because of a trigger reminder, I tend to look at the 'pretties' in my life. 'Pretties' to me, are big-hearted people, things, or anything beautiful really, that shift me back into my natural state of being satisfied with my little life.

Yesterday I had a little wave of emotion come over me where I was really feeling nostalgic about my dad and how nurturing he had become to me and my brother in his last years. How I was sad that I didn't get to have more years of that, and I kind of sent myself on a tailspin of self pity... Then I logged into Facebook and saw these two posts that immediately reminded me that whatever it is you are feeling, there's a pretty good chance that someone else is sharing in that feeling somewhere around the world. To be honest, I do not even know these people personally - don't think I've ever actually met them, but we have somehow connected through Facebook, and seeing their posts - and seeing that myself and these two were all feeling nostalgic about our daddies at pretty much the same time (within minutes), somehow made me feel better and not alone in my feelings. Thanks for that, Facebook...

Now on to more simple pretties.......

Of course now that I have Eddie, I am drawn to look at other Goldens and compare them to him. None have matched his beauty so far ;)

This is a photo of Elizabeth Taylor with her Golden from waaaaaay back:
another pretty:

Everyone knows I love thrifting, and that image defines how I feel when it has been a good day out at the thrift stores, The source web page where I got the photo above is pretty as well and you can check it out HERE.

....annnnd this pretty teal kitchen has me thinking.... It may be time for a little painting soon. 


...this place....

 sunset and scars....
 .... smile for the camera, Eddie!
 ..... my very first shrew sighting EVER!!!
 ...playful bunnies galore
A video posted by Sandice Thrasher (@frugalfashionablefarmer) on

 .... night horizon ....
I finished up push-mowing the yard. It took me both yesterday and today after work to get it all done.....ahhh! One thing is for certain, when I DO get my ol' John Deere back, I am REALLY gonna appreciate that baby like never before - ha! 

I hope you enjoyed a few of the sights I observed while doing yardwork today! 

I am about to hit the hay ......




New Tools...(probably not what you are thinking)

So I recently got curious about how to digitally enhance my photos with something more than iPhoto... 

I took the leap and am now a subscriber to Photoshop! Eeeeek! And it is so complicated I bought a series of online classes so that I can learn how to use it.... I tried when I first got it and was totally lost. My classes are all online based and whenever I have time to take them (which is when it rains and it is too messy to be outside), so I am hoping in the next few days I will learn a little something! 

I have always been into photography, but back in high school it was done in the dark room and the only enhancing was in the developing. The rest had to be captured with your eye... 

So I guess that is why I have been reluctant to get Photoshop. I always use whatever camera I have handy - sometimes it's a small cheap Canon Powershot SX130 that I got years ago for under $100, or my iPhone, and if I plan on taking photos (for my shop or portraits), I do use my ol' trusty Canon Rebel T3i. 

I don't have the money to spend on the latest and greatest new cameras, so I am excited how to enhance the photos I have been taking... who knows, I may not get much out of it, but I am at least excited to learn something new! 

Anyone else out there new (and terribly behind) with the digital photo enhancing and editing stuff? 

I will post a bit more about this subject in the next month or so when I get around to learning and playing with Photoshop! 




Easter & Sweet Stuff Sunday.....

I woke up this Easter morning with a text from my mom and this picture of Rose and I. Mom came over yesterday morning and snapped this sweet pic and I just love it! I hardly ever get pics of me with Rose (or any of the animals for that matter), so when I do, I'm super happy!
 I decided to cook a big Easter breakfast for us. Cheddar eggs, roasted brussel sprouts, fakin' bacon, grits, and coffee. Christian and Eddie approved ;)

 .....and now, today's sweet is a coffee crumb cake with a sea salt caramel drizzle.....very drool-worthy.

for the crumble:

3/4 C all-purpose flour (I used Cup 4 Cup GF flour)
1/2 C brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C melted butter

prepare the crumble first by combining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter and mixing with a fork.

preheat the oven to 375 and butter a 9 x 9 baking dish

for the cake:

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour (again I used Cup 4 Cup)
3/4 C sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 C melted butter

In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. 

In a separate bowl mix the butter, egg, milk, and vanilla. 

Add wet mixture to dry mixture and fold in until just combined.

Spread mixture evenly in your buttered baking dish and then top with the crumble mixture.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

this next step is optional, but makes it super yummy!
***while your cake is baking, make your sea salted caramel drizzle***
 in a saucepan, evenly put 1/2 cup of sugar on the bottom of the pan and cook on med heat until completely liquified and just turning an amber color, then remove from heat. The sugar will continue to cook. Add 3 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp sea salt and whisk until smooth. Let stand about 15-20 minutes and drizzle over the cake! yummmmmm!!!

Christian's old boss and friend, Ross Shapiro, passed away yesterday, so he was sad and wanted to play his music to honor him today.... I did my baking to the sounds of The Glands. Rest easy, Ross.
It was a very dreary and very rainy day. Aside from catching some horseplay in between showers, I stayed inside most of the day. I caught up with my family via texting and chatted with a few friends on the phone, and spent the day inside with Christian, Eddie, and Spirulina for the most part. It was a good Easter. I'm off to dreamland......



Yowza!!! Fence is DONE!!!!

 OK, so here is the recap of the work in photos.....

As you can see, the original fence that was put up not even two years ago, had taken a HUGE beating from Eli. After about a year, I put up that strand of electrical fence, and that trained him as well as the other goats, but the damage was already done :(  - look at that horrid fenceline!!!! And to think when it was first put up, it was streamlined and sooooo straight! Something I was really proud of!
 out with the old.....

 .....and in with the new!!

 ...and the next thing is clearing a path to the concrete building on the property so that I can walk from my house to the building, rather than having to go down the road...
 that's all for now - eeeeeesh. I'm tired and sore and soaking wet. It rained or drizzled on me pretty much all day. But there were no bees buzzing around me and I didn't see any snakes, so that's a plus!




weekly roundup of #100HappyDays

Yip! I had today off in observance of Good Friday! I used the day to help out a friend and then catch up with another friend. It was a very good Friday indeed!! 

You know what I do really love about this little project? Even on rough days like the one I mentioned yesterday here, it forces you to just recognize one moment out of so many throughout the day and be grateful that it brought you even just a teeny tiny bit of sunshine on a dark and dreary day. It's just about acknowledging the good stuff and not taking it for granted, like we all often do. If you are remotely interested in trying this little project yourself, or want to read more about it, you can do so by clicking HERE. I also have heard the other side of opinions about this little project, where people don't want, nor don't think it's natural to have 100 days in a row where you can have a happy moment... um....well, this is my blog, and I personally need and want to try to find at least one little glimmer of hope in each day.... I also post the not so good stuff here on the blog as well, and on those days it IS sometimes hard to find a moment that makes me smile, but I do, and most of the time it pulls me from my funk. It is super late, and I have a long day tomorrow of things I really want to get done before the rain hits Sunday and Monday. I hope everyone has a good weekend! My mom is stopping by tomorrow to meet the majestic Hazel...... <3


day 43:
A photo posted by Sandice Thrasher (@frugalfashionablefarmer) on
day 44:
A photo posted by Sandice Thrasher (@frugalfashionablefarmer) on
day 45:
A photo posted by Sandice Thrasher (@frugalfashionablefarmer) on
day 46:
A photo posted by Sandice Thrasher (@frugalfashionablefarmer) on
day 47:
A photo posted by Sandice Thrasher (@frugalfashionablefarmer) on
day 48:
day 49:
A photo posted by Sandice Thrasher (@frugalfashionablefarmer) on


reminders, reflections, & reality checks....

Yesterday I broke down twice about my dad. It was just one of those days... The first time, was at a road block where the cops were randomly checking for seatbelts. I'm not quite sure why that made me ball like a baby, maybe because it reminded me of how a seatbelt didn't save my dad I guess. The second time was when I came up on a bad wreck on North Avenue after work. There were a few cars involved and an ambulance was loading a woman into the back and she had a young preteen girl getting into the back of the ambulance with her. The moment that I heard the news of my dad's car accident all came rushing back. The news footage of the accident replayed over and over in my head and the reminder that me, my brother, and my teenage sister had suddenly lost our dad in an instant..... I balled all the way home under my sunglasses...

 This morning I had one of those Facebook notices that reminded me of a photo I posted of Baby this time last year when she was having a very good week. And then a week later she left us.

 As each loss from the last year comes up on its one year mark, I reflect on how things have changed. I did learn a ton about loss last year after my dad died, and this time last year when Baby died, I almost had a breakdown- my heart could not possibly survive any more loss,  but it did. I later lost my Milly (the little special needs goat), as well as a close friendship.
I am really grateful of all the things I have gained after and during the losses of last year. I made new friends and gained new animal companions (Rose and Eddie were my dad's) in the last year. When I took in Eddie, I swore I wouldn't get attached, because my heart was still broken over Baby, but Eddie was old, sweet, and had nowhere to go. To my house he came, and he has stolen my heart. As much as I didn't think I wanted him, but was taking him in as more of 'the right thing' kind of thing, I needed him as much as he needed me....
 The first anniversaries of the losses in the last year remind me that I survived the pain. It wasn't easy, but I grew through the grief. I also have moments out of the blue, like the seatbelt check and the car accident yesterday that can send me into a temporary moment of sadness. Then I think of things like the fact that I even HAD a place to take in dad's horse and dog.... and that I had such an amazing partner in Christian that he stepped in and completely took care of all my animals while I was living two hours away with my sister last year,  and that my sweetheart of a mama and awesome stepdad took in my dad's cat... I couldn't have asked for a better support system in my life, and those thoughts actually do outweigh the grief, and get me back in check..

 I met with a friend last week that I had not seen since before my dad passed- since the roller coaster of last year happened. We caught up and in catching someone up on all that happened in the last year, it made me more aware of my strength. I mean, yes, I had a tremendous amount of grief in 2015, but the fact that I was able to keep my heart open and receive new friendships, hang on to old ones, keep trying to honor my dad and my mom with her undying support every single step of the way, overcoming my fears with Rose, (and the list goes on and on and on.... ) means that I never gave up. Even now, I have made it a priority to make my dad proud of how his children have grown in ways he was never able to see when he was here. For the first time, I feel confident even saying that we (me, my brother, and my sister) know each other better, and because of that (alllll the good, bad, and ugliness), we worked through some brutal honesty, and came out on the other side and are closer now, than we have ever been.

  I almost feel like every day in 2016 is a reminder of resilience. Life is crazy, the way it shifts, turns, feels like at times it couldn't get any worse, and when you come out the other side, you see things more clearly- I almost felt like last year when I came back, I was more aware of the clutter in my life, what I truly needed, and what was just sitting in my life acting as a 'catch-all', and I started a mental and physical clean out of baggage that I had put off for so long. I'm so happy to be spending this time at my home this year- last year would have been my first Spring at the farm since we bought this place, but I missed it because of the life I was thrown into after dad died.

I am seeing all this new life blooming day by day and it's so beautiful! Peach blossoms, Iris, apple and pear blossoms....

Slowly but surely things turned around and I'm so happy to have had the growth from last year. Yeah, things aren't perfect everyday, life will always have its ups and downs, and I cannot know when I will be hit with a reminder of my losses, but I see the good things with clearer and more embracing eyes now. The hiccups and bad moments pass more easily now for some reason and I don't let- well, I try super hard not to let things bother me. I pick up my pieces and move on. I no longer hold on to clutter because it's the nice thing to do- I hold on to what's important to me, and what feeds my soul. Everything else can have its place with someone else that will enjoy it properly. Gearing up for a yardsale soon!

I'm off work tomorrow for a three day weekend (Good Friday & Easter) and have a very fulfilling day planned. Do any of you have some extra time off or special things planned this weekend? If so, feel free to share below in the comments!




Longer days.....

...more time for farm projects! 

This evening, I started on a fencing project that will be used as an occasional "snack paddock" for the horses to use every now and again....

First I had to loosen and remove the t-posts..... If you have ever done this, it ain't easy, and in the past, I have had help with a tractor pulling them up for me. This time, there was a lot of loosening the posts, LOTS of weird maneuvering of the posts and after fighting and wiggling them, finally working them out of the ground. This is a great workout and I removed 23 this evening and have only 8 more to go tomorrow before the easy part comes - putting a few t-posts back in the ground and hanging the electrical rope. The goats RUINED the pretty fence I put up when I first moved them here, and the ugly fence has been an eyesore for me quite some time. 

Here are a few pics from the day....

the chickens got to be really free range since the goat fence was removed. I came home from work and a few of them were guarding the mailbox...
 Eddie and I went for a run in the field with the horses before I started on my project....when we came back inside, I ate a snack while he begged, and Spirulina did yoga...
 ...then on to my little fencing business...
 Ouch. As I type, I am in bed with a heating pad under my lower back.  Good core work, I call it....
 ...then back inside and this is what sweet Eddie is up to....
 Before I went to bed, I gave him a good brush out of his undercoat. I suspect he will sleep like a baby tonight...

 I have written about Spring the last few posts, but I REALLY am glad to see it! I feel like I missed out on it last year. This a short list of a few things I love about Spring....

Ten things I love about Spring....

1. longer days

2. the flowering trees - we have pink peach blossoms and white bradford pear blossoms among others, but those two are my favorite!

3. the sweet smell in the air

4. opening the windows in the morning while sipping coffee.... Spirulina is digging the open windows too!

5. the animal's spirits in the Spring are so much more playful than any other time of the year. The breezes that flow across the pastures make the goats and the horses extra frisky!

6. my favorite sitting spot - the hammock. Spring and Fall are the best seasons for that hammock....

7. gardening

8. Spring cleaning and de-cluttering

9. outdoor projects when its cool enough to not break a sweat, but not cold.

10. Yard sale adventures 

Good night! It is late and I am going to try my best to make it to the gym in the am. 4am comes too early sometimes....