Dear Casey

Today, there was something missing as I drove up the driveway, walked up the stairs, went out to the garage.  Your smiling eyes weren’t greeting me in the lane, there were no rocks rustling under the deck as you shuffled to get out to say hi, I got no face licks or nudges.  You’ve been a huge part of my life for eleven years but today you’re no longer waiting for me when I get home, when I sit in the hammock, when I work in the garage.  Today, there’s a huge void in my heart.

I’m so sorry I didn’t sit with you longer last night; I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it better.  I hope you didn’t suffer long and I hope you’re not angry with me.  I’m so sad to be home without you tonight.  It’s so quiet around here, it feels wrong.  Wanna remember with me?  Wanna look at some pictures?

Casey Puppy

I took this one the day we got to the lake to go camping the year you were born.  It was my birthday weekend and there was fireworks that night for Canada Day; you peed in the backseat of my cousin’s car while we drove you away because the fireworks scared you.  (Don’t worry, I didn’t tell her until after she sold the car so she couldn’t get mad at you).

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Remember in the old house when you and Baby Girls used to sleep in the blue room?  You’d curl up in there with your Dad and lay on his belly while he watched TV.

Casey and Babygirls sleeping

When you wouldn’t sit still he’d kick you onto the floor and Baby Girls would follow so you had some company.  Then you’d fall asleep together and I used to watch you both thinking how the two of you were so cute.  I’d watch until I couldn’t stand it any longer and then I’d wake you up to cuddle with you and tell you how cute you were.

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At our wedding when the two of you had no idea what was happening and we had to tie you up to the boat trailer so you’d stay put.  You sat like the good dogs you were while we ran around all day having fun, waiting patiently to be taken off the leash and played with.  You were so well-behaved.

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And when we built our house and you and Baby Girls would do QC for me?  You checked everything out!  Remember the night when I stapled down the subfloor and you kept me company wheeling around all night with the air compressor running?  You never laid down to sleep like Baby Girls, you were never as relaxed as she was.  You just didn’t want to miss out.

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Then at the old house when I wanted to take some pictures of you to frame and I couldn’t get you to stay put while I took them; you just would not sit still!  All the shots I got of you were action shots.  Something was always moving on you.

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I was annoyed with you for not listening, for wanting to be a puppy!  I wish I could take that back.  You showed me though!  When I got inside and got the pictures off the camera I saw how beautiful they were even if you were never still.  I made these quotes with them and framed them.  They’re still up in the new house today.

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Remember when we’d go to the lake and you would pull me all the way across the campsite at top speed to get to the old boat launch?  You were so excited to get in the water and swim!  As the years went on, you stayed in there longer and longer and longer until one year you wouldn’t get out.  Your Dad called and called but you just swam in circles and eventually we had to throw your stick further away from the launch because someone wanted to load their boat and you wouldn’t get out of the way.

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And when we’d be out trying to sort cattle and Baby Girls would do everything perfectly and get the right cows out and in and you’d run along after her and mess up all her hard work?  I can laugh about it now.  I wish I could see it again.

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You were the prettiest puppy.  You had the most beautiful blue eyes and the most mischievous face.  Your eyes eventually went a yellow-green but you were still the most beautiful puppy, they matched your fur.  Everyone told us that you’d be crazy until you were at least 2, but you were crazy until the day you left me, Turkey.  My Turkey Pants!  I will never forget your personality.

Remember when we brought the daughters home from the hospital?  You didn’t know what to think!  But you never showed them anything but love, always letting them hang off your neck or try and ride you like a horse.  They cried with me today too.  They asked me to take you to heaven and I promised them I would.

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Your kind eyes, your cold snout, the way you always had to have someone petting you all the time, your excited run, the never-ending love in your face.  Those are all the things I will miss about you most.  I won’t really miss you digging up my rock bed but now that I look at it all messed up, I miss kicking you out of there .

I’ll miss picking up all the bones you’d drag onto the lawn when I have to cut the grass.  I’ll miss cleaning up the garbage bags you’ve ripped into when you know there’s chicken bones in them.  I’ll miss that stinky slough smell on my hands every time I rubbed your belly.  I’ll miss when I sit in the hammock and you want me to pet you so badly you rub me right out of it with your snout so I fall onto the grass.

I bet you’re saying to yourself, “why is she gonna miss all those bad dog things I did?”  You know why I’ll miss all those things?  Because you loved every bit of me every day for the last eleven years – EVEN MY FAULTS – and never batted an eye.  You never judged me, you never criticized me, you never made me feel bad about myself, you were always there with a happy face and a kiss to lift me up when I was down.  Because you did it all these years for me, it’s the least I can do for you.

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Thank you for loving all of me me all these years, I owe you another apology because I didn’t always treat you like you treated me.  I feel like I almost didn’t deserve you for a companion; I hope you can accept my apology.

I hope Heaven has a lot of hamburgers and deer bones, you love those.  And maybe every now and then God could get you some leftover lasagne or a big fat pork chop. Or maybe they just make you lasagne up there since you’re the queen of your domain now.  Drop me a line sometime and let me know how you are.  And go find Baby Girls and tell her we REALLY miss her too.  I hope you two can run down the lane together again, you were always so good at that.  42 km/hr was your fastest speed, try and top that!

Well Crazy, this is not the last of you, I know.  I’ll see you in a few when I pick you up and I’m already thinking of something cool to do with you so we can see you everyday again.

I always used to bug your Dad about choosing the dog with the blue collar; I chose the one with the pink collar first and he trumped me and picked you out because your collar was blue and “blue was better than pink.”  For a while, I used to wonder what happened to the dog with the pink collar but that didn’t last long because your Dad was right; blue WAS better than pink anyway.  I wouldn’t trade these last eleven years for anything Casey, you’ve made my life so much greater.

Casey and Me

Forever in my heart, forever on my mind.  Casey, my love, it’s time for you to rest.  XO, your family.

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Give Thanks Thanksgiving Challenge

I woke up this morning relatively sore from yesterday’s bumpy ride raking hay so I was a little slower to get out of bed.  I rolled over to grab my phone to see if any important emails rolled in which led me to my Instagram account and eventually to Facebook.  As I was scrolling through my newsfeed I immediately saw two very disturbing and hateful posts.  Don’t misunderstand, these were not posts that were created by friends of mine, they were rather shared by my friends because they were shocked and outraged at them as well.

One post was a news story out of Paris showing acts of violence against native Parisians who were simply walking down the street, riding their bikes or getting out of their car.  The second post was of a particular group from Facebook insinuating that people with tattoos beat their children and when you’re tattoo-less, you’re a better and happier person than those with tattoos; they believe there is a correlation between crime/hate/anger/violence and tattoos.

Reading it made me so sad; I’m so sad for the future if this is the way society is thinking and acting.  I would hope these two incidents are part of a huge minority process but I really don’t know.  If we all paid attention to how we can improve ourselves instead of how we can improve each other, we’d have a self-help/self-love epidemic (or hopefully pandemic) and instead of random acts of violence we’d be talking about random acts of kindness.

Because Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up on October 13 (and American Thanksgiving shortly afterwards on November 27) I decided to create a small challenge called the Give Thanks Thanksgiving Challenge.  Every day until at least Canadian Thanksgiving (and well afterwards) I am challenging myself as well as all of YOU, my loyal and kind followers, to post a picture or status about why you are thankful or what you are thankful for that day.

Give Thanks Thanksgiving Challenge

Simply tag your photo #givethanks #thanksgivingchallenge and once it’s been posted to any of your social media accounts, you can tap the hashtag and it will open up all the posts that include that tag as well.

Read others thankful posts, take a minute to think of them and how they might affect you or how they have brightened that person’s day.  Tag your friends in your posts, share the happy.

I am well aware that this is only a raindrop in the ocean but every little bit counts.  Lets remember why this special time of year is happening and what is most important to us all.  Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.  Stop accepting the things we cannot change and start changing the things we cannot accept.

Love, PEACE, happiness, Kim.

Sweet Potato Chicken Bacon Hash

Who doesn’t love bacon?  I made a sammich for lunch today and thought to myself, “how did the people of this world survive before ham?”  I just don’t know how anyone could live life without cured smoked cuts of pork.

This weekend I was in Radium, BC for the Columbia Valley Classics Autumn Show and Shine.  This was my third year going and I went with all the same peeps as last year so no new introductions necessary.  (If you want to check out the rods I ride down there with, see my I Love This Car post from last year).  This year was the 25th Anniversary of the show and even if death itself was knocking on my door I would not have missed it for the world.  On top of being the best trip ever with my dearest Daddy-O, it is one of the most enlightening experiences I have ever been able to partake in.  I had an endorphin rush all weekend and the biggest smile ever plastered on my face that I could not get rid of.

Sunrise in Radium
At sunrise, lined up to park on the course

The people, the place, the drive down, my Mom and Dad and their friends to share my time with – I am truly one blessed individual.  Who can knock this view?  It’s the one time of year I don’t need an alarm clock to drag my ass out of bed.  Almost like Christmas morning when you’re a kid but now I’m an adult and Santa delivers all these people and hot rods to Radium each year; there were over 1000 cars in the show.  The weather was phenomenal and the highway between Radium and Invermere and the streets of both towns were absolutely PACKED with people waving and hooting; we’re celebrities when we drive in that parade.

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Tess even made a new friend.  a little Italian Greyhound/Chihuahua mix named Grayson that was rescued from Cali, it’s the first time in my life I’ve seen a dog like my girl Tess that’s got bigger ears than she does.  You may notice a small notch in the top of his ear, his owner told me that the owners he was rescued from pierced his ears with large rings and they were ripped out in dog fights, man that got me steamed!  So glad he has a new home where he’s shown love and affection.

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Tess and Grayson

Of course, I parked beside my bestest best love Dadski and we had another great time.  “Another car show in the books, Kimberly” he looks over at me and says right before we take this picture.  He’s there for me whenever I need him and never turns me down when I need help, he’s creative and full of ingenuity, he’s kind and loyal, he would give anyone he loves the shirt off his back.  You may be thinking I’m describing the perfect specimen of a human being here but he’s also stubborn as a mule so trust me, he’s well balanced.   I cannot even begin to express in words how much my Dad means to me; my eyes well with tears because he’s truly my hero.  The Daughters are so lucky because I see it in their faces when they look at the Farmer too; there is no bond stronger.

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Dad and I with Harriet and the Merc

I headed home in Harriet yesterday morning in the gorgeous sunshine with my tunes blaring and Tess cuddled up on my lap.  I’m already counting down for next year because it is the time of my life.  TIME. OF. MY. LIFE.

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Harriet

You may be wondering what all this has to do with hash but it actually has a lot to do with it; bacon is involved in all life always.  After spending 5 hours in a tractor with no AC in 30 degree heat today I was really hungry tonight (starving actually) and I wanted something quick to make for supper.  I came home with a pack of bacon from Radium because there was one less morning than bacon.  Plus the Farmer had two chicken breasts left in the fridge so I decided to make a hash.

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Last week I threw out a “what do you want to see?” post on my Facebook page and one of my cousin’s answers was quick and easy dinners.  Well my friends, you cannot get much quicker and easier than this.

Hash is one of those catch-all terms that you can use when you fry a bunch of stuff together in a pan and call it dinner.  Don’t be fooled though, it’s so tasty you’ll want to be hashing it up every night of the week.  Besides this one, another of my favourite hashes is potato, sausage/bacon/ham, egg, green onion, and cheese.  It’s the perfect mix of fats, carbs and protein and tastes like a scoop of heaven.

I chopped the chicken in cubes, sliced the bacon and added them both to a large skillet-style frying pan with a lid.  Cook the meat until the chicken is done and, if you desire, drain some of the grease off.  With farm raised bacon there’s really not a lot of grease there and what is there is great flavouring so I leave it in the pan.

Add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan along with the cubed sweet potato and cover on medium heat until the water is boiled away (about 7-10 minutes).

Remove the lid and stir everything around to marry all the wonderful flavours.  Since there’s no fibrous carbs in it, I had a half plate of the Farmer Sr.’s cucumbers with it and that balanced out my dinner nicely.

Sweet Potato Chicken Bacon Hash
Yield: 2 servings

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium sized sweet potato
5 slices of thick cut (preferably local raised) bacon, chopped
1/2 cup water

And that’s it!  So simple, fast and delicious.  Plus you can add whatever you’d like to it to suit your tastes – peppers, onions, carrots, apples or even hot sauce if you’re one of “those” people.  I love bacon and sweet potatoes together because the sweetness of the potatoes  matches so well with the richness of the bacon.  It’s the same principle as maple syrup and bacon at breakfast!

I’ve been at this blog for over a year now and I see no signs of stopping.  Thank you to all my followers and for all your comments.   Blessing to all of you, I can’t believe September is almost over!  Cheers, Kim.

Epic Failure Bars

Ever hit up a blog posting of a super amazing recipe and been like, “yah, I’m gonna make that and I’m gonna rock it too!”?  Like, I mean you see one of these pictures and you want to lick your computer screen so you read on and pfffffffft, this’ll be a cakewalk.

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Found these bad boys over at Passions and Musings, a pretty sweet blog by Consuelo Bernardi out of Ottawa.  Totally made me want to put on pants and head the 20 minutes to the closest grocery store to get the ingredients.  BTW, Consuelo’s blog is awesome.  She grabbed Donnie Wahlberg’s ass.  Twice.  Not only was he once a NKOTB, he’s also got a hotter younger brother that probably has an ass somewhat like that one.  That’s a score in my books.  High five Consuelo.

Less Wahlberg’s, more baking – right.  The next day, the Farmer made the Daughter’s some soup and left the soda crackers out on the counter.  Score, I didn’t even know we had any so I decided I was going to totally rock these bad boys out.

Epic Failure Bars

NOT.

I screwed the royal shit out of these so badly I decided to let you know how in case you ever feel like dangling a carrot in your rabbit face and then ripping it away in the world’s meanest PSYCH ever; these were doomed from the start.

What you do first is get all the soda crackers lined up on some parchment on your cookie sheet.  After that, get a pot on the stove and turn the burner on but forget to put the butter in.  Walk away and fold some laundry for 5 minutes.

RUN YOUR ASS BACK TO THE KITCHEN when you realize you left the burner on with nothing in the pan and throw some butter in it without letting the pan cool down.  Get out the brown sugar and dump it in without measuring because you only have one hand since the other one is still holding 4 pairs of wet pants you forgot to hang up before leaving the laundry room.

Stir it a bit but stop because you thought you remembered hearing on the Food Network that when making caramel sauce you’re not supposed to stir it because it “disrupts the caramelization process”.  Cool, makes that easier.  Head back to the laundry room and hang up the wet pants you’re still holding.

Trip on the vacuum and stub your toe on your way back to the kitchen then put away the dishes in the dishwasher.  Stir the almost solidified caramel sauce.  Remove from the heat and pour over the soda crackers all the while wondering how these are gonna turn out because you think you solidified the caramel.  Put in the oven at 350F and forget to set the timer for 10 minutes.

Head upstairs and put the daughters in the bathtub.  Head to the younger daughters’ room and start sorting through her wardrobe for clothes that are out of season and don’t fit anymore.  Throw them over the railing into the monster heap below that you plan on sorting later on (or stuffing in a bag and throwing in the basement) and get the daughters out of the bathtub.

Help them get their pyjamas on and continue to organize the sock drawer until you smell something super delightful like, for instance, warm caramel sauce.  SHIT.  Yell at the Farmer to GET THAT PAN OUT OF THE OVEN! and hope it’s not super burnt.  Holler down “IS IT BURNT?” and when he says “mmmmmmmm kinda….” tell yourself that he never bakes and probably has no idea.

Keep sorting through shoes while telling yourself you should head down and get the chocolate chips on top before they cool down.  Don’t move because you’re tired and lazy and 14 stairs “is a lot right now”.  Once you’re done sorting kid-stuffs, head back downstairs and see how warm the cracker mess is.  When you see it’s cooled right off and there’s no way the chocolate will melt on top of these now, add the chocolate anyway and put them back in the oven on broil to quickly warm them up so the top layer will melt.

Don’t set a timer again because the appliance company didn’t install them for a reason, you know better and your brain is more on-track than any manmade computer ever produced.  Turn around and start making lunches and packing backpacks.  Turn back and swear loudly.

Epic Failure Bars

Pick around them at what’s kinda burnt but not as badly as the rest and then it’s a choose your own adventure.  You can turn to page 28 and sadly weep over spilt milk or you can skip to page 17 and laugh your ass off at yourself because you’re a busy Mom and can’t be perfect all the time.

Epic Failure Bars

Epic Failure Bars.  You read about them here first.  Peace, Kim.

The Benefits of Babywearing

Last month some dear friends of ours welcomed their son 7 weeks early.  Yes, that was no typo – SEVEN weeks early.  Baby R has been in the hospital since his birthday on August 11.  He was 3 pounds, 3 ounces when he was delivered but has been steadily growing ever since.

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Our great friend Momma C started getting sick in the weeks leading up to his emergency delivery and she found out she had HELPP Syndrome; it’s a scary condition that affects less than 1% of pregnancies and stands for Hemolysis; Elevated Liver enzymes; Low Platelet count.  I had never heard of this disease before and I wanted to do some research so I checked it out on Wikipedia.

HELPP Syndrome usually develops in the third trimester and the mothers often do not appear to be sick at all.  Heartburn-like feelings, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting as well as a general feeling of “something’s just not right” are some of the symptoms expecting mothers may feel but when you’re a first time mother, those symptoms are so generic you would never think you’re harbouring a condition that less than 1% of expectant mothers get!  In Momma C’s case, she was slowly dying and the only way to save her and Baby R was to get him out right NOW; delivery of the baby is currently the only proven treatment for the disease.

Naturally, because these three have had a rough go so far (Daddy B too) I wanted to get them something that was going to assist with bringing Baby R home.  I immediately thought of a baby sling and how much it would benefit him to be in one and his new parents to be wearing one.

There’s many different kinds of carriers you can get for your kidlets but my preference in this situation is the ring sling.  While it’s something I could have sewn myself, I haven’t had much time for that lately so I checked around and found exactly what I was looking for on Etsy at the Little Bunga shop, excellent price, shipping was fast and the pattern selections are beautiful!  It’s easy to throw on, it’s easy to load Baby R into, and it will get him in really close contact with his parents which will help to strengthen his bond with them even more.  It’s not easy being ripped from the warm, cozy confides of a uterus 49 days earlier than expected.  Think about it, it’s like getting shoved out of bed in the middle of the night into a snowstorm.  #instantshock.

Babies that are delivered early are robbed of the final months of development that take place in the last trimester of pregnancy.  They have to finish those weeks outside the womb, usually in the NICU of a hospital, where they are put into a manufactured environment that closely resembles the human body but still comes nowhere close to the real thing.

BabyR

When babies are “worn” close to the skin, they are receiving extra warmth, feelings of security, additional respiratory stimulation (by listening to their parents breathe), they learn facial expressions and body language, and they’re enticed to feed more often which helps to aid in weight gain and development.  It’s also a great benefit to the parents because when babies are held close, it raises oxytocin levels which helps increase breastmilk production and lower the risk of postpartum depression in Momma and it also strengthens the maternal/paternal bond in Mom and Dad both.  However, once you’ve left the hospital and have baby home, it’s not always feasible to sit in the recliner with baby to your chest.  In a perfect world, it would be done all day long but most people require their hands for tasks and this is where babywearing comes into play.

When parents adorn themselves with a carrier, daily tasks become so much easier.  Two hands are free for laundry, food prep, grocery shopping, and even simple tasks that are no longer simple when you’re a new parent like tooth-brushing and hair-combing (don’t laugh, it’s true).  If breastfeeding is the chosen method of food for baby, it can also be done while in the sling which accustoms baby to their environment and prepares them for coming weeks of growth while still nurturing them with the feeling of the womb.

I’ve just touched on a few of the major benefits of baby wearing but there’s so many more out there.  It’s been done in many countries around the world for decades already but in the last ten years it’s also taken off rapidly in North America and coming up from October 5-11 it is going to be International Babywearing Week where it’s celebrated around the world.  This years’ theme is “Share the Adventure”.

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It’s a week-long event used to showcase and celebrate the many benefits of babywearing.  Babywearing International has a great deal of information on the event if you’d like to read more about it and find out how to get involved directly.

For now, I’ll leave you with a photo of Baby R almost one month after his surprise delivery into our lives.  He’s had his feeding tube taken out and is doing incredibly well.  He’s up over 4 pounds already and I believe he’s days away from being released from the hospital.  I wish I wasn’t a province away so I could help and cuddle him more easily!

BabyR

Watch your mail my dear friends, your sling is on its way.  ALL our love to you and your beautiful new family, give Baby R a big smooch for us, ❤ Kim.