Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gratitude, of course

In the midst of my beloved animal companion being euthanized, in the midst of my father struggling through a coma, in the midst of people being killed in terrorist attacks, in the midst of all this, there is immense gratitude - maybe because of all these tragedies.  Because when these things happen, we realize that life is finite, and that our relationships with the people and animals that share it are precious, blessed, special.  

The outpouring of love and support from you, my blog readers, has restored my faith in humanity.  

Also, like always, living in nature helps me be balanced and grateful.

I took the picture above at our neighborhood creek after weathering torrential rainfalls and two severe storms that blew lots of trees down and eroded riverbanks.  Living in a cabin in the woods doesn't feel so romantic when the huge trees around it are falling like toothpicks. 

We've been hiking at Rockport State Park, only 20 minutes from our house, where large trees dwarf my 6 foot 4 husband.  It's a magical place filled with filtered sunlight (when the sun finally comes out, that is), moss, lichens, and mountain lions.  We actually found a cougar track, or at least my wilderness/tracker/survivalist husband thought it was one.

Other outdoor activities these days include fishing, of course.  The huge Chum Salmon are here, eagerly awaited by my boys and the eagles.  You have to catch and release these monsters, but it's still fun.  Just hanging out at our world-class scenic rivers without catching anything is at treat.

Steve and Luke like to get up at 6am to go fishing.  It is COLD then, really, really cold.  They don't mind, being afflicted with fishing fever.

To keep my guys warm, I knit them fingerless mittens out of wool yarn.  They love them, and Eva begged me to knit her a pair, so I did.  Her choice of color is more vibrant than the boys'.  Ahem.
Eva also demanded I knit something for her Barbies, and I gladly obliged.  These must be the best-dressed dolls in Skagit County.

After the crazy rains, we've enjoyed a stretch of sunny, blue, cold skies and views of snow covered mountains.  Below is the view of our pig pasture.  It's not a bad place to be when you're a pig, don't you think?  Except the pigs live in our freezer at the moment, so they can't really enjoy this view.

The sun calls us outside to have wheelbarrow races in the yard, or to hang out with the goats.  I posted the picture of my kids and the rearing-up buck on Instagram, and one of my followers chewed me out for letting the buck do this.  I promise you, though, that this was a one-time occurrence I happened to catch on camera.  This borrowed buck is a gentle sweetheart, and he got excited when my children ran around in the pasture.  I know that bucks can be dangerous and shouldn't be allowed to do what this one is doing.  Rest assured, we are being safe and are NOT allowing bad habits.  Amen.


  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. There is still much good in spite of the evil...must keep focused on the good. Is there a share-able pattern for those fingerless mitts? Would love to knit some. Thank you!

    1. Yes, focusing on the good is good.
      The pattern for the fingerless mittens is from

      The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd

      There actually for real mittens, but I just made them fingerless, which is easy to do.

  2. Gratitude and nature are exactly what kept me going when I lost my parents, and my marriage. Nature's beauty always seems to wash away the despair.

    The mountains and rivers surrounding my home are my free therapy, and I am thankful for them everyday.

    1. Michelle,
      here's to gratitude and nature! And aren't we lucky that they are free?

  3. You've got that exactly right about feeling gratitude in the midst of loss. I just lost my best friend who taught me how to crochet rag rugs Anna Dearing 88 yrs old and I am so filled with gratitude that I was able to make her acquaintance and be honored to be her friend.

    Question: do you feel that milking breed wethers and small pigs (pot bellied who get no more than 100 lbs give or take) could live in the same livestock yard (75' x 100' enclosure not including separate pens)? Eventually the pigs would outweigh the goats by a lot so I wonder. I wonder if there's any circumstance under which they could live in the same pen?

    1. Renee, I've never raised pigs and goats in the same pen.
      The pigs will root up the pasture and destroy it.
      The goats will probably eat the pigs' grain.
      You need really good fences for goats.
      I wonder if they spread parasites to each other?
      It's worth googling it and seeing what other people have to say about it.

    2. OK makes sense. Two separate pens. I will ask the vet about parasites and whatever else he has to offer. He's a good ole country doctor and has seen it all. I think he's 70 years old.

      By the way, you is the most handsome couple! Lawdy, lawdy! I hope you is as happy as you look!

  4. What a good blog you have here. Please update it more often. This topics is my interest. Thank you. web development with wordpress


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