New Year, Never Dull

The following is a compilation of my recent posts to Instagram & Twitter, in case you missed it….


Here’s Daisy following me to the house so I could put her in the front yard. Sir Baby broke out of his quarters on March 31 and bred Daisy when he WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO. Nine months from March 31 = now!!! Daisy’s in labor and I made a nest for her in the yard so I can keep a close eye on her.

I’ve tried to keep Daisy and Sir Baby apart the last few years because she’s had a lot of trouble with his calves. Nervous and hopeful. Emergency number of my vet on speed dial. Thankful for the mega moonlight but ughhh about the negative temps. Currently 12° and the sun just went down. Thinking of live tweeting since I’ll be up all night….

•  •  •

Hauling drinking water for Daisy. Yard water is shut off during winter so I tote gallon after gallon from kitchen sink to a tub in the yard for her.

Moon is rising….

Currently 5°. Maybe it won’t get below zero tonight! Daisy is still standing up with her tail out. Early stages.

She’s lying down and chewing her cud and I’m making tea and it’s still 3º

So many stars even with the bright bright moon

Feeling sleepy so I went outside. Brisk! Nothing new to report.

Zero degrees, cold enough that it hurts to yawn outside. Daisy just wants to be brushed! “Brush my moonbody in the moonlight,” she says.

Charlie’s dancing for us. He doesn’t sleep if there’s activity outside. And he has SO much fur, the cold doesn’t faze him.

So Mike has this trick where he feeds his cows in the evening and then they don’t calve at night. It works surprisingly well. I gave Daisy a lot of hay this evening…Would not be mad if she waited until the sun came up, it would be so much easier on the calf. Still watching tho!

No news is…. no news. Took a few 40 minute cat naps and they were delectable

All the other cows are coming up to say hi to Daisy in the yard. They’re having a proper gossip sesh over the fence.

Daisy is still in a (somewhat frustrating) holding pattern btw but feeling quite good about herself and sunbathing.


Daisy Update: She was in labor, but never to the point where I saw hooves, and then the next day acted like she wasn’t in labor at all. But she didn’t show any desire to be with the other cows, wasn’t mooing to them, was happy to be by herself. Which is a labor sign – they like to go off alone to calve. But she was no longer showing the physical signs of labor. None this is how it’s supposed to go if it’s going right. So yesterday I took her in to have an ultrasound.

I’m very sad to report that her baby was dead inside her. She was fully dilated so the vet was able to deliver the calf. The calf wasn’t properly formed and its death triggered Daisy’s labor (versus labor issues causing its death). Daisy has a low fever (her body’s response to the dead calf inside her) but she is OK and will be OK. This makes me OK.

The saddest part is that Daisy loves being a mother…. she made the “Mommy moo” when she birthed the placenta and it totally broke my heart. But I’m milking her twice a day to keep her body producing milk and perhaps she will adopt an orphan calf when calving season begins. They say rural life, farming life, ranching life is the simple life. It’s not simple at all.

•  •  •

I have a story for you!! Just as soon as my hands uncramp from milking four gallons twice a day….


I Woke Up To This


Rudolph, The Little Red Reefer


I am totally Santa. Yesterday I drove merrily through the snow, my little red reefer truck laden with gifts. My local post office can’t handle such volume (there is but a pickup truck with a topper running between our post office and the bigger post office in the neighboring town), so I loaded up several hundred boxes of books in my reefer truck and delivered them to the loading bay of the big post office. So exciting!

I am still far from done.

Here’s the book status: I got the books two weeks later than expected because when they left the book binder, they were loaded on a truck that went to California. I still don’t know the full story on that because I was out of my mind with stress and frustration. And once that truck got back to Wyoming, it had to wait out a disastrous wind storm. I finally got the books Thursday (Nov 30) and have been packing like mad and driving them to the big post office every other day.

– All international orders are en route.

– All orders of two or more books (this includes signed and unsigned books) will be en route as of tomorrow (75% are already en route).

– About 1/3 of the unsigned single book orders are en route. I’ve been going in chronological order from when orders were placed (April orders shipped first, etc). All single unsigned book orders will be en route by the end of this week.

– My goal is to get all single signed book orders en route by the end of the week, too… but the signed and personalized book orders take TIME. Even with two banquet tables set up, I can only sign a certain number of books at once (I leave them open for a bit to make sure the ink dries completely) and then I must wrap, package, and box each order one by one to ensure each personalized book goes to the right person with the right shipping label. There’s no way to “assembly line” the personalized book orders so packing is less efficient and takes longer. Know that I’m going at 5000% to get these done beautifully and packaged safely and off to you as quickly as possible.

– All books are shipped via Priority mail in the USA. The USPS cutoff date for Christmas delivery via Priority mail is Dec 20. All books will be en route well before that date.

– If you NEED your book by a certain earlier date, feel free to email me and I’ll make sure it goes out asap. Please be aware that such requests entail rearranging my computer shipping program and this takes time, adds work, and pulls me away from packaging books for everyone, so use this option only if absolutely necessary for gifting, etc.

thank you thank you ho ho ho

Snippets: Losing My Mind Edition

Last I knew anything, the books were en route to me on November 15 and I expected them to arrive a couple of days after that. They are still not here! Unbeknownst to me, they were put on a truck that was making other stops (I thought they were literally a day away from me and had no idea they’d be going on a road trip in a wayward semi). So then they were supposed to arrive the day before Thanksgiving. And they didn’t. And then Thanksgiving happened, and then the weekend, and yesterday, when I called to find out where in the world my books are and when I would be getting them, I learned that eighteen semi trucks had been blown over on a certain stretch of road in Wyoming, south of where I live. The road on which the semi truck carrying my books happened to be traveling. The truck with my books did not blow over. The driver decided to park and wait out the wind. So delivery is further delayed….. but the books are safe. And I have an entire room filled – floor to ceiling – with boxes built and ready to be loaded with books, and mailing labels all ready to be printed, and a pantry of coffee to fuel my packing marathon. I’m so excited for it! Fingers crossed I get to start tomorrow. {technical note: we are still on track for Christmas delivery worldwide}

•  •  •

Sage is such a good puppy…. with one aggravating habit: he takes *ages* to poop. We take him outside and he gets so distracted by everything – a chicken! A leaf! An elk toe bone! A bird in a tree! A blade of grass! And he runs around sniffing and exploring, overcome by wonderment – so overcome, that he will have (TMI warning) a very tiny bit of poop actually pushing out, but he won’t stop running around to poop. For like 30 to 45 minutes. Which is irritating/painful first thing in the morning before coffee or when its blowing freezing sideways wind or when I know the maniac FedEx driver is due to speed up the driveway. There are times that Mike and I have each gotten sick of waiting outside and bring Sage back in and then he immediately poops on the floor. So I had an idea. Incentive for fast pooping. I filled a tupperware with dog treats and put it in a basket in a tree in the yard. Then I waited waited waited the standard 40 minutes for Sage to get around to pooping outside and immediately gave him a treat from the tree stash. That night and the next morning, whoever was outside with him gave him a treat right after he pooped. And twenty-four hours later, Sage was pooping within the first five minutes of being outside. It’s been a few days now, and he poops immediately when we go outside (and still gets treats for it). Yay!

•  •  •

I’ve been using the time I have from not packaging books (arrghh!) to photograph some gorgeous new jewelry from my silversmith neighbor Fred. It’s in the shop, and you can find it HERE….

•  •  •

Thank you SO much for your patience and excitement re/books.
Your emails make my days!!!

Snippets: It’s Winter Edition

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.

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