Snippets: It’s Winter Edition

☆ November 14, 2017

I’ve been away from this space for a long time. For a while, all my words went to my book. After that, my words swirled around and around in my head like butterflies because I was too tired to write them down. I am so tired… It’s dark at 5pm now. There’s snow on all the north-facing hillsides. It’s November! I worked so hard this year, so fully and completely, and I’m trying to tell myself it’s OK to lay around and read books and hang out with friends and not dive into the nine million new projects I want to dive into but don’t have energy for at the moment. In the past month, I’ve read Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl – which I loved, particularly because Sleater-Kinney was the soundtrack of my early 20s – and The Autobiography of Malcolm X – which is one of those books I’ve had on my shelf for years but never committed to because it’s 500 pages. It was worth committing to. I found myself replacing “white devils” with “The 1%” and his messages from 6o years ago are still so relevant – to all of us.

It’s also been hard to force myself to attend to the tedium of daily life. I had an excuse to ignore it all this summer (bills and laundry and cleaning the house and stuff of that nature) – the book demanded everything from me; demanded, as books do, that I dive head first into the never-never-land of creation. I loved it. I loved being in that space, being a disciple of the project and nothing else. But now it’s over…. and I still have a sleeping bag on my bed because I need to wash sheets and haven’t yet, and I have a one-inch-tall stack of paperwork and bills on my desk that I must (MUST!) attend to today, and I have cauliflower in the fridge that needs to be turned into soup…. switching gears is hard and I’m a little depressed by it. I’m glad summer is over and I’m glad the book is done but I miss the summer, I miss sitting outside in the shade with my pen and paper and Charlie curled up next to me, I miss being in the cocoon of pure creation. From this distance, now that it’s over, I can easily forget the stress and anguish and tears and sleep deprivation and look back at it as a pocket of time and space of pure magic.

There’s still magic in my life. Two days after I turned in the book, Mike came home with a puppy. The cutest smartest sweetest softest cuddliest puppy! His name is Sage and he is amazing. Chloe is crazy about him (the feeling is mutual) and Ivan, our demon cat, is crazy about him, too. Thanks to Sage, Ivan has grown a heart. They roughhouse together and nap together and it’s the sweetest thing. {The hyperbole is REAL with this puppy.} Charlie is not a fan, and I wonder if that’s because Sage arrived in October and now it’s November and this reasoning will make sense when you read the book. Mike wonders if it’s because Sage is a male canine. We shall see. Charlie was watching cows while sunbathing yesterday, looking very peaceful and sweet, and when Sage and I walked over, Charlie looked up at me with heart eyes, then shifted his glance to Sage and bared his teeth. He didn’t bother growling, his pupils didn’t dilate; it was the most nonchalant baring of teeth I’ve ever seen. It was the equivalent of blowing cigarette smoke in someone’s face to make them leave. Maybe they’ll be friends by Spring. Maybe not. Regardless, there’s plenty of love to go around….

But seriously, look at this puppy:


More magic: I went on an incredible, life-changing adventure at the very end of October. It deserves a full blog post of its own. Coming soon, now that I’m writing things down again…..
Also deserving of blog posts: the bees, the cows, a full Farmily update. One reader suggested an update in the style of a “Farmily holiday letter,” an idea I love. Soon, soon….. the short version is that all is well.


32 Responses to “Snippets: It’s Winter Edition”

    November 14th, 2017 @ 10:34 am

    LOVE!!!!! The new puppy – what a precious picture. Happy to hear from you and sending love and blessings to all the Farmily. xo

  2. Steve
    November 14th, 2017 @ 10:38 am

    Charlie is probably worried Sage will replace him in your heart. Us guys can get pretty jealous you know…

  3. David Michaewl Kennedy
    November 14th, 2017 @ 10:46 am

    LOVE the puppy!

  4. Wendy Smith (UK)
    November 14th, 2017 @ 10:56 am

    Love the puppy… what breed is it?
    Cant wait to hear about the farmily… and hopefully the horses. I’ve just lost my beautiful mare and it has left a big hole in my heart. My head says Im too old to get another and it costs so much but heart says one last one and an older one so we will have to see. I need something to get me out of bed before midday!

  5. Barbara Sanchez
    November 14th, 2017 @ 10:57 am

    First thought of Sage’s photo: that Gorgeous & Adorable all rolled into one! Love him!

  6. Caitlin
    November 14th, 2017 @ 11:05 am

    Oh, so good hear your blog-cogs whirling again.
    Hey, I just did a session with a household’s new puppy and the older one and learned that as long as the family took great pains to show the older one she was the higher ranking, all went well. They began feeding her first, having her go out first, the puppy was always second. And of course he didn’t care. The older one started harumphing around dramatically at the intrusion but finally started playing with the pup. Cute!

  7. wright1
    November 14th, 2017 @ 11:10 am

    Nice update; appreciated, Shreve. I know what you mean about missing the high of creativity, when it just seems to flow into you from some window opening into a wider landscape. I was doing that last night with a poem that would NOT let go…

    Great news about the new puppy. The consensus of the Farmily seems against Charlie; the latter will just have to deal. As Eli did before him, back in the days when there were fewer of you.

    Sail on, sail on.

  8. Liane B
    November 14th, 2017 @ 11:36 am

    I cannot handle how seriously cute this puppy is. Cannot. Handle.
    Thanks for the update. :)

  9. Patricia Long
    November 14th, 2017 @ 11:44 am

    The little puppy is so cute. You can be sure that Charlie is jealous but the puppy will grow on him in time–like your update!

  10. Cinda Mefferd
    November 14th, 2017 @ 11:46 am

    Your delightfully descriptive writing says so much and it will be amazing to read the book and see the photos. Thank you, Shreve. You painted pictures in my mind’s eye with your words in this post, especially, and Sage is adorable. I hope Charlie bridges the gap to loving him. If so, his warming up to Sage would make for a heartfelt series of photos it seems.

  11. Holly
    November 14th, 2017 @ 12:30 pm

    Oh my gosh Shreve…..just love this puppy named Sage… He will fit in with the farmily in no time. I think, if Coyotes are anything at all like dogs, that Charlie will accept in his due time, this new addition. He really is a lovely looking pup and I am sure his personality matches his look. I can hardly wait for my book to arrive so I can see all that you have anguished over this past year and can share in on it. If I was there I would give Sage a big kiss on the side of his nose. Always a special spot for me….

  12. Krisper
    November 14th, 2017 @ 1:02 pm

    Thanks for the short version! The puppy is wonderful, but Charlie is the oldest child (I am also!) and so it’s hard having a new sibling take what feels like all of the attention, so give Charlie plenty of one-on-one time :)

    By the way, I’ve missed your posts. I hope your wonderful words and musings start coming out of your head again more frequently.

  13. Sherri Cox
    November 14th, 2017 @ 1:10 pm

    Hi…wish you could tell me what your life changing adventure was as I could sure use one! :-)

  14. Marg
    November 14th, 2017 @ 1:32 pm

    I did not realize how much I missed your posts until you posted this one. Your words seem intimate, like a phone conversation, for me and I’m sure all of your readers. Rest up, savor your high and take a slow glide back to everyday life. We await your next post.

  15. Sandy G.
    November 14th, 2017 @ 2:08 pm

    Shreve, you have so many of us out here who care so much about YOU and your growing farmily! Thanks for sharing with us. Yay, a new puppy to hear all about and see photos of! I’ll betcha Charlie will come around and enjoy the new addition also.

  16. Theresa Szpila
    November 14th, 2017 @ 6:20 pm

    Ooohh, Shreve, I knew I was right to worry about your lone Elf’s sleep deprivation! But I so get it. Please just leave the housework for another week or so and just sleep and play with the Farmily.

    I just love Sage! Is he an Australian shepherd? As long as Charlie knows he’s still Number One, they’ll end up friends.

    As for comment # 4: To Wendy in the UK – read your post and thought immediately of the Brooke…and then of UK rescues and trusts dedicated to horses ~ perhaps you can adopt an older horse who really needs one last home….

    Shreve, thank you so much for being who and what you are. You enrich our lives soooo much!

    Hugs and blessings to all!

  17. Nancy Dean
    November 14th, 2017 @ 6:54 pm

    I’ve missed your blog posts, looking forward to reading more. Your new pup is so adorable!

  18. Deborah
    November 14th, 2017 @ 8:27 pm

    Write on!!!

  19. christine
    November 15th, 2017 @ 7:58 am

    Aussies. Prepare as best you can to have your heart stolen forever. I have two. Cuddle bugs.

  20. Bev
    November 15th, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

    Sage is one adorable puppy! Looks like a fluffy stuffed animal. Enjoy!

  21. MJ
    November 15th, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

    Good to get an update. Love the puppy picture. Looking forward to the Farmily Christmas newsletter. Hope Charlie can find love in his heart for Sage.

  22. Laura
    November 15th, 2017 @ 8:51 pm

    Sage is super cute, and thanks for the update! I’ve missed your words and pics so very much!!

  23. Jenny C
    November 15th, 2017 @ 9:13 pm

    Ha! Well… welcome little Sage. I cannot look at this picture of so much cuteness in one little package without laughing. Loved your post.

    Charlie will obviously decide for himself if Sage is acceptable to him, and you will smooth the way any way you can, as always. In the meantime, please tell him how much we adore him, and he will always be Alpha in our book. Looks like Chloe and Ivan will continue to roll Sage seamlessly into the farmily, and Charlie will continue to be your loving muse. All is well in Ten Sleep.

  24. Alyxx
    November 16th, 2017 @ 9:01 am

    Wendy – Theresa said exactly what I was going to. One last rescue, one last for you, one final loving home for a horse….

    Shreve – I am so excited for the new family member. I suspect Charlie will figure it out sooner or later, once he remembers he is your #1 love!

  25. LJ
    November 16th, 2017 @ 11:42 am

    Sage has a “Snow nose”!! Adorable. Glad all is well & SO looking forward to the book.

  26. LJ
    November 16th, 2017 @ 11:43 am

    To clarify, my husky’s nose is black, but when it was snowing, part of it would turn pink ;-)

  27. mlaiuppa
    November 16th, 2017 @ 11:08 pm

    What a cute puppy.

    Could be Charlie feels threatened the new puppy might want to be an alpha or at the least, be higher up the pack order than he is. Perhaps he’ll change after the puppy is neutered and he’ll feel less threatened.

    I’ll be Chloe is delighted to have a playmate.

  28. Jackie
    November 20th, 2017 @ 7:42 am

    Sweetie, Charlie is just older now. Not old, just older. He was still a bouncy youngster when Chloe arrived, and that does make a difference. He will probably never be as close to Sage but that doesn’t matter at all, they will all find their proper place.

    Welcome back to reality, by the way. It’s a pleasant counterbalance, and lovely in it’s own way.

  29. Jenny Dodge
    November 20th, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

    I think Mike is right about Charlie not liking the puppy because a) it’s a competing male and b) all the other animals seem to love the puppy.

  30. Jenny Dodge
    November 20th, 2017 @ 5:02 pm

    Also, they have Doggy Sun Stick which is sunscreen for dogs in case the puppy’s nose burns. I use it on my Border Collie.

  31. Judy
    November 25th, 2017 @ 7:53 am

    You are a magician, surrounded by magic. Enjoy all the magic you’ve made, rest.

  32. Carolyne
    December 18th, 2017 @ 9:56 am

    That nose! I’m in L-O-V-E

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