Friday, April 26, 2013

TGIF 4.26.13

Hallelujah! Friday has arrived!

This is what I feel like doing tonight:

Funny story: The day after I got the ducklings, I let them loose in the pond to play. However, being the skittish creatures they are, I couldn't get them out again. And they were still too little to manage to get up the bank on their own. So I had to wade in and get them, forgetting that I had my cell phone in my pocket. After getting a new cell phone, I'm only letting them play in the stream until they're bigger.

Stuff that made me smile this week:


Text of first note: "Dear Neighbor - This is going to seem ridiculous, but I thought you should know that my dog (who lives next door @[redacted] with me) is madly in love with your cat...and has been for probably 6 months! Three x a day, he puts his paws on our railing to look @ him/her in your windowsill. Now that you have potted plants there, he is heartbroken...but keeps looking for your cat every time. Maybe your plants to switch to a different window??! From, Your neighbor + her adoring dog!"

Text of second note: "FOR TRUE LOVE!"



Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

Today is Mr. Tan-Man's 16th birthday!

Little did I know 13 years ago that I'd have such a companion to share both the highs and lows of life. Together we've gone through middle school, ringbone (bone growing around an ankle joint), high school, moving to Missouri and Maine, boyfriends, a serious leg injury, fatigue, success, heartbreak, and jubilation.

There were a few years where we barely saw each other and the dreaded s-word was brought up more than once (aka, selling him). But we stuck it out, and very importantly, my parents kept paying his upkeep.

He's carried me and my loved ones with such good temper. He's looked after a two year old when she was around him. He's listened to my tearful monologues and forgiven me when I took crankiness out on him.  He's gone willingly near fire and in water, trusting me more than his own natural instincts.

And now we have our own farm together...I couldn't ask for a better partner.

Happy birthday, bud. Here's to many more.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


The first poultry have arrived at Blonde Bomber Acres!

Meet Mother Ducker and Duckin' A:

These little cuties are four or five weeks old. Once they're settled in to the chicken coop, I'll let them out to play in the pond. They are a little skittish yet; hopefully they will warm up when they realize what an honor it is to be a Blonde Bomber!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Sometimes I catch onto trends way after they start (aka Throwback Thursday). But with Facebook's reordering of my page, I came across a note I had written about an adventure in horseback riding that is kind of hilarious.

Instead of subjecting you to the terrible writing of the note, I shall dramatically retell the tale.


Once upon a time, there were two fair maidens named Schmeather and Smelsey. Schmeather and Smelsey had driven their noble steeds, Beezlebub and Bucephalus, to a fellow's home in the far off land of Oshkosh.

After frolicking amongst the flowers, Schmeather and Smelsey loaded up their mounts and headed back home. But alas! The road was blocked by a stampeding herd of cattle, who were intent on reaching the dangerous highway, their eyes rolling and steam pouring out of their nostrils.

A hapless pair of men awaited in their carriage on the side of the road.

"Ah lackaday, what are we to do?? Yon cows are headed straight for traffic, where they art surely to become ground beef!" one said.

"Let us attempt to block them off at the pass!" the other said.

And so they traipsed off into the adjacent meadow, shortly joined by the local sheriff. They circled round the maddened beasts and got them going the other way, only to be thwarted when the cattle swung back toward the busy road.

Schmeather and Smelsey, seeing that the way was clear, pondered whether to offer their lowly assistance or to go while the going was good. However, another pair of farmers had arrived to watch the chaos. Schmeather and Smelsey consulted with them, facetiously suggesting that they ready their horses and chase after the cows. The farmers took them at their word, crying "Yes! The beautiful ladies have found a way to save the day!"

Smelsey and Bucephalus

Off came Beezlebub and Bucephalus from the transport, snorting and pawing the ground, eager for the chase.

"Mount up!" cried Smelsey.

"Chaaaaaaaarge!" cried Schmeather.

Necks stretched out, Beezlebub and Bucephalus pounded across the field, neighing at the sheer joy of the hunt. The cows, hearing such fearsome creatures bearing down upon them, reared their heads up, mewling with fear.

Schmeather and Beezlebub

Such did the visiage so intimidate the wild creatures that they quickly became docile and dumb, meekly obeying the fair maidens and their great steeds.

The sheriff shouted out an order to one of the farmers to open her shed and allow the cattle in until their owner could be found. Beezlebub and Bucephalus, snorting and pacing, drove the beasts away from the road and into the shelter. The doors were slammed shut and the cattle were contained.

An impromptu cheering arose. "Huzzah! Huzzah! All hail the fair maidens and their noble steeds!" The sheriff sank to one knee and effusively thanked the ladies.

"Fair maidens, thou hast saved the day! Had ye not bravely faced those terrible creatures, the village would have been in uproar and it would have been a dark day indeed. Is there not nothing we can do to show our thanks?"

Schmeather and Smelsey looked off into the distance.

"Nay," said Smelsey. "A good deed was done today. That is all that matters."

"Tell thy farmers to keep close care of their animals, so that no child may fear being run down, nor any driver fear their carriage strike such a beast," said Schmeather.

And the fair maidens and their beasts rode off into the sunset, never to be seen by the villagers again. Their story was handed down from grandmother to granddaughter, and from grandfather to grandson, so that they may never forget the day Schmeather and Smelsey, Beezlebub and Buchephalus, joined together to save the day.


True story. You can read the boring version here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Okay guys, this is a serious-type and probably rambling post. I don't mind if you tune this one out and wait for the next TGIF or animal update.

Today I read a post called "21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You're Depressed" and it really resonated with me.

I've been on antidepressants for almost 6 years, and was depressed for a few years before that. Lately it's been compounded by recurrent health problems as well as big life changes. If I have a choice, I sleep most of the days away on the weekend, and spend the awake hours on the couch watching TV. Some mornings I'm late to work because I can't get myself out of bed. Part of this is because of my health issues...being constantly tired makes me tired of being tired and triggers depression, which makes me more tired, and around and around it goes.

There is so much stigma around depression. I try to be open about it, but I still find myself feeling vulnerable and paranoid about what others think of me. She's just a wimp. She just wants attention/sympathy. Everyone says they're depressed these days...something something Prozac Nation.

What the link above addresses is another one of those pervasive thoughts: She's just not trying hard enough. I know people who have successfully gone off of medications through diet and exercise changes, therapy, or sheer force of will. I am sincerely happy for them, but it really sucks to be the one "left behind," the one who can't pull herself up by the bootstraps.

There is certainly something to be said for thinking happy thoughts when you're down in the dumps. Expecting that to fix everything, however, is not helpful. Because when you try super hard to think those happy thoughts and are still sad, or you can't even muster any happy thoughts, you feel even worse about yourself. And you start looking at those happy people and resenting them and their happiness.

This Hyperbole and A Half post explains that thought process so wonderfully. Sometimes you just have to muddle through and keep your shit together until it passes.

There really isn't a point to this whole post, except to be open about what I'm struggling with. I'm still working on getting my health issues figured out, I joined a gym and have started eating better, and I try to appreciate what I have.

It helps to have all the animals...some days I'm resentful that I have to get up and feed everyone, and I start to beat myself up for thinking I could do this whole farm thing on my own. But I feel better having gotten up, even if I go right back to bed afterwards. Having the animals rely solely on me forces me to put one foot in front of the other. And of course there are the physical and emotional health benefits to having animals too. That little voice that suggests I made a huge mistake gets silenced when I look out the window and watch the ponies grazing, or see the look of sheer joy on Finch's face when she races as fast as she can around the pond, or hear Hattie's ridiculous bray. One foot in front of the other.

So to anyone else struggling out there - I'm sending good thoughts your way. These pictures help me keep on keepin' on...maybe they'll help you too.


Friday, April 12, 2013

TGIF 4.12.13

Spring this year is a fickle, fickle beast. My parents in the Midwest got hit by a huge ice storm, and we're preparing here in Maine for a possible 4-8 in of snow tonight. I have no words.

So instead, a round up of things that made me happy this week:

1.  The story of Belle Gunness - macabre, but kinda awesome.

2. This gif (thanks to Alana and Alex).

 3. The amazing story of the North Pond Hermit that is coming to light. (I crashed my car in Rome...I drive through there to work!)

4. Pretty much any animal on a tortoise.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My So-Called Life

Some of you (okay, one of you) wonder what my daily life on the farm is like. Most days are pretty boring...get up and feed the animals, get ready for work, go to work, come home, and feed the animals. The end.

Some days are more complicated than others. The water pump in the run-in (the open shelter in the pasture) stopped working a while ago. I could just call someone to come fix it, but instead I'm hoping that it's just frozen and will work once everything thaws out, so I'm just hauling water from the barn in trash cans on the back of the four-wheeler.

Other days I have to move hay or 50 lb bags of feed. On cold wintry days I put the horses' blankets on. Some day I squirt dewormer paste in the horses' mouths. 

And the feeding has its own routine. Jax and Cooper get more grain and a fat supplement because they're too thin. Tanner can be a real a-hole and steal their food, so he has to be tied up while everyone eats. The dogs have to be shooed away from also stealing grain, and I have to pretend that I don't notice them gnawing on poo.

But otherwise it's pretty simple. I've got some spring projects in mind, if spring ever decides to stay. Thursday evening I started on the tack room. Behold my handiness!

After reinforcement
With saddles!
(That pile of sticks was there when I arrived, and I really don't know why they are there. But who am I to mess up the feng shui?)

However, my handiness only goes so far. Half the electrical sockets in the barn didn't work (aka 1 out of the 2), and most of the lights didn't. So I called up Handyman Jeff to come take a look at the wiring, and to also make sure it won't start a fire.  The first thing he did was replace the bulbs, and voila, let there be light. Derrrr. I felt like a total moron. How many Blonde Bombers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

It wasn't a total waste though. Jeff is going to fix the socket and replace some of the lighting with different types, plus take a look at the water faucet.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Party Like It's 1899

Alright long-distance friends and family, it's time to start planning your trip to Maine in June. Maine friends, consider this your Save the Date.

If you have the means (I know time and money are scarce for lots of folks these days), I would be ECSTATIC to have all my loved ones here to celebrate this big adult milestone. While you are more than welcome to come visit any other time, this will be a special shindig with lobster and everything. You can bring friends, family, people I don't know, hitchhikers, long as you make it too!

There will also be lots of floor space in the house if you want to bring an air mattress or sleeping mat.

It'll be fun, I promise.

RSVP here

Monday, April 1, 2013


Gather our signatures now, because the Blonde Bombers are rising in fame.

In October, Finch and I attended Planet Dog Foundation's annual Woofminster fundraiser. They have an amateur dog show with categories like Best Mix, Best Trick, Happiest Dog, etc. Each category winner then went on to compete in Best in Show. Finch swept Best Mix and took home the Best in Show.

Part of her prize was to partake in a photo shoot, and if the pictures turned out well, she could be included in the next Planet Dog catalog.

Feast your eyes on the winning shot that will be making its appearance in the catalog, on the website, and on Planet Dog's Facebook:

How freakin' cute is that??

I have also enjoyed some fame recently.

Last year, my friends Alana and Alex and I attended the Stache Pag in Portland. It was a beautiful night filled with moustachioed men and we managed to get our mugs in the Boston Globe.

And then, this year we graced the opening of the Stache Pag ad.

I've just had the BEST IDEA EVER. Put a mustache on Finch. Instant billionaire.