10 Minute Fixture Makeover

My BFF and I have been taking turns working at each others houses lately.  Lots of work that we want to get done so our yards can look #awesome all summer long and for years to come.

Today I found some beautiful lavender and thyme perennials at Costco for CHEAP and that sparked up the want to get some flower beds finished that have been sitting idle for the past 2 summers.  Dilemma – I needed a rototiller to break up the dirt again because it’s been rock hard for a long time so I called my BFF C to come over.  She’s always there for me when I need her plus whatever tools I don’t have she usually has and we tradesies each other’s labour and get our jobs done in half the time.  Our kids play amazing together too so that’s a bonus, it keeps them out of our hair while we work even if they make an entire garden into a mud pie sometimes.

We’re both very like-minded women, we know what we want and when we want something done we do it ourselves; it’s faster than waiting for the Farmer or her husband, the Welder, to help us and it saves them from having to do more work around the home.   She’s a beaut.  I’m so incredibly blessed.  (PS, check out the two creepers in the back of this pic haha, Volbeat brings them all out!)

Me&MyBFF

While I was waiting for her to show up so we could #dowork today, I decided to do a quick change up in our ensuite.  I’ve slowly been replacing things here and there: changing pictures around, hanging new vinyl, touching up paint, making everything new again.  My staircase collage from January has been inspiring me to redo all over this house so I’m making the most of it.

I grabbed a can of matte steel spray paint and some Edison bulbs today because I haven’t been able to find the right fixtures to change out the ones we had (I also love to upcycle anything and everything because it means less goes to the dump and ruins Mother Earth).

I took down the fixtures, cleaned them off, removed the glass and bulbs, plugged the sockets with rolled up paper towel and proceeded to spray them with the paint.  Turns out I had a faulty can and I currently look like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz but the fixtures look amazing so what do I care.  Once my hand was covered in paint I wasn’t stopping!

10MinuteFixtureMakeover

I replaced the standard bulbs with Edison bulbs also.  If you don’t know what an Edison bulb is, it’s a really cool retro bulb with extra filaments that gives a room this incredibly warm and vintage feel.  The extra filaments throw light upwards and outwards and leave really neat patterns on the walls.  They come in lots of different shapes and filament patterns too – some even look like Christmas trees!  I’ll be seeing a lot more of these, especially when we get downstairs and start finishing our basement.

If you’re looking for an economical fix to change up the look and feel of a room in your home, try this before getting rid of your fixtures and buying all new ones.  For the cost of a $10 can of spray paint and some new bulbs (they’ll run you anywhere between $6 and $9 each depending on the style) you can have a next-level look with low-level wastage.  And that’s Canadian funds too so it’s even less for all my American shoppers out there.

And don’t be all “I’m gonna sue you, I electrocuted myself” on me, you need to use common sense and flip your breakers when you do this kind of work.  Be careful and cautious.

More coming soon in the DIY and outdoor gardening departments!  Now get out there and #dowork, Kim.

Nab My Style – www.farmwifestyle.com

Recently I’ve started out on my newest adventure – Farm Wife Style.  I’ve always had the creative itch so a few months ago I polled my best friends about some jewellery designs I’d come up with and much to my great delight they were in love!  Within 15 minutes, Farm Wife Style was born.

FarmWifeStyle

It’s rose gold, silver, and leather, food, farm life, sparkle, beach spirit, sunshine, nature – all things I love.  It’s my heart and soul and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

NightOwlLightning bolt

Sterling Silver DeerPhoto 2015-01-19, 4 07 17 PM

Personal style isn’t just what I wear either, it extends past my limbs and into my home.  I love anything with character so an old piece of wood or an antique window will always have a soft spot in my heart; I can easily give them a little love and they’ve got a new lease on life. Not to rip off the Home Depot or anything but if you can dream it I can do it.

HouseIsMadeMoneyHappinessCows

HelloHandsomeIf you’re tired of giving gift cards at wedding showers and housewarming parties, let me help you punch boring in the face.  Check out the website today and drop me a line; I always love to hear from my followers!

Thanks for your continued support!  Wishing you peace, love and style, Kim.

Nana’s Clam Chowder

It was raining today.  RAINING IN JANUARY.  We live in on the Canadian prairies, it’s not supposed to rain in the middle of winter.  All the roads are literal skating rinks right now.  Seriously.  Take me down to the paradise city, G&R.  #WTF.

On top of the ridiculous weather, I have a super sore throat.  Mama don’t got NO TIME for this – NO TIME – because the last few months I’ve been working on something super, super exciting.  It’s been keeping me up late so I likely got run down but I’m about to ninja kick it in the face and in the next week I’ll have a super new launch to share with everyone.  There’s another site and more awesome than you can handle so please stay tuned and remember, sharing is caring.

Tonight, however, I needed some warm soup, hot tea, a bath and snuggly bed so I made Nana’s Clam Chowder for supper.

Nana'sClamChowder

Ever since the beginning of time, Nana has made the best clam chowder; it’s as epic as her Arizona Lemon Pie.  We always have clam chowder on Christmas Eve with fresh, homemade buns and it’s so filling and tasty #nomnomnom.  I don’t make it often but when I do it’s usually because a) I feel like crap, b) I miss Nana, c) it’s cold out, or d) all of the above.  Tonight was an all-of-the-above kind of night.

Nana’s Clam Chowder
Yield: 6-8 servings

1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (284g)  baby clams, NOT DRAINED
1 can (184g) crabmeat, DRAINED (optional)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, sliced in coins
2 large potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, diced
8 cups liquid (I used 6 cups chicken stock and 2 cups milk)

1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cold water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Get out a dutch oven and preheat it on the stove.  Throw in the bacon, onions, celery and garlic and fry it all until the onions are clear and the bacon is cooked and quasi-crispy.

Add the clams WITH LIQUID and the crabmeat WITHOUT liquid.  Let it simmer on the stove on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.  Add the rest of the vegetables and the remainder of the liquid and bring to a boil.

Shake or whisk flour and water together so it’s not lumpy.  Once chowder is boiling, add the flour/water mixture and stir to thicken.  If it’s not thick enough, add another flour water mixture.  Add the salt and pepper to your taste liking.

Serve it with crackers or FRESH BREAD.  I have the best fresh bread recipe.  It takes at least 4 hours to make but it’s worth every second.  I promise I’ll post it soon, it’s my ace-in-the-hole and I know as soon as you all get it you’ll drop me like a hot ostrich so I’m clutching onto it until you rebel.

Nana'sClamChowder

Enjoy your evening, I’m off to self-medicate myself and hit the sack.  Until next time, Kim.

New Year, New Staircase

Happy New Year loyal followers!  I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas break and are enjoying the first few days of this, the middle year of the decade.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything but I’m happy to be back in the swing again.  I love to take time off around Christmas to be with my loved ones, decorate, bake and create but the new year always brings about minimalist feelings for me as well as the urge to change up what I’ve looked at forever.

This is my staircase.  The photo is meant to showcase my Christmas decorations on my banister but you can see the framed prints in the background as well and that’s what I’m wanting to point out.

Christmas staircase

I bought these two prints from HomeSense in March 2007.  I saw them and fell in love knowing they would look wonderful hanging along my staircase once our house was done.  When we moved in in October 2007 I hung them and they’ve been there since.  Until two weeks ago when I walked by them and decided they’d had a good run and needed to come down.

I don’t change things up often but every now and then I get an urge and stuff gets moved around.  Never as bad as the Farmer’s Mum who moves cups, dishes and all her kitchen tools around so often I need to flip through 3 cupboards before I can find a water glass.  And it’s not just me because I know the Farmer Sr. has a hard time finding stuff too and he lives there!

Anyways, I digress.  I walked by those prints and decided they needed to come down so I took them down and patched the holes and was left with a blank canvas to work with.

Christmas staircase

It was empty like that for about a week while I decided what to hang there.  I was on Pinterest everyday looking for ideas and inspiration.  I found some neat collages using old barn windows (which I have a collection of), photo canvases, barn wood, vinyl art, and even yarn but nothing that was really jumping out at me.

We don’t have a lot of wall space in our house because we have a bunch of angled walls and a lot (and I mean a lot) of windows; there’s 16 just on our main floor.  There’s been small things hanging in small spaces all around my main floor all these years too so I decided to collect them all and see what it would look like.  Turns out, they all fit together perfectly and I made a large collage with them.

Staircase decor

There’s photos from our family photo shoot last fall, our trip to BC this summer, candids of the four of us from special weddings and events we’ve been a part of, the Farmer with his elk Norman, me with Harriet and Tess on my way back from Radium, our old barn, and special trinkets like our John Deere licences plates, what I like to call the “Farmer’s Creed” sign, and a few old boards with sayings I’ve collected throughout the years.  Oh and my super cool rustic star I bought from a silent auction this Christmas – love that star.  The only thing I’m missing is a large “D” to hang under the photo of the Farmer and Norman and I just haven’t had a chance to head into town to take a look for the right one yet.

I laid everything out on the floor first and moved things around as I needed to then started by hanging the Farmer’s Creed in the centre of the staircase and worked my way out from there.  I used a variety of colours, shapes and styles of frames and items that I collected from around the house which made it so easy to put together.

I’m sure there will be people out there that will look at that photo and say “what was she thinking?! That arrangement looks horrible!” but to me, it’s us.  It’s our family.  It’s our adventure.  It tells the story of our lives and I love walking by it everyday and enjoying all the memories displayed there.

What a wonderful year 2015 is going to be for me and our family.  Lots of exciting things on the horizon for my brand and for our farm plus we’re finishing our basement so there’s a lot of DIY in my future!  I can’t wait to make even more memories to post on my gallery wall and I wish for all of you the very same.

Make the most of this new year.  It’s a fresh canvas waiting for you to paint, don’t waste a day!  Set measurable realistic goals for yourself and work towards them everyday.  Eleanor Roosevelt said “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” and I couldn’t agree more.  Life is so much more exciting when you’re working with a purpose, enjoy!

Best regards for a happy, healthy 2015 from My Husband The Farmer and our family!  Kim.

Farm Wife Flu Shot

I’m not a huge supporter of flu shots and by saying that I’m not looking for a convincing argument to get one nor do I want to pick a fight with someone about immunizations.  Our entire family is up-to-date on our immunizations and I believe fully in those but I just don’t like getting flu shots so I never do.  Instead, I make my own.

Farm Wife Flu Shot

Getting a good sweat on is another great way I rid my body of toxins.  Last night I went to hot yoga for the first time ever and it was one of the best things I’ve ever tried; I cannot wait to go back.  I learned so many new things and pushed myself so hard that I felt so rewarded when I left.  And the best part was that I went with two of my three bestest best friends and we got to hold hands during shavasana.  My girlfriends light my fire so it quite literally warmed my heart.

I drink a variation of a green smoothie every day.  I know I don’t get enough veggies during my day and this is the easiest way to do it.  There’s so many different things you can throw in and blend up, there’s no reason not to get more than your daily dose of micronutrients.  Leaving the skin on all the veggies and eating the pulp means you’re getting a lot more fibre than if you were just to juice the ingredients; fibre is our friend so make sure you’re getting enough!

I used to make my smoothie in my Magic Bullet but it got too small so I pulled out my blender thinking it would be chunky and not mixed well enough but it does a great job.  And it’s a regular blender too – not high speed and over $400 to buy.  I’d rather buy new shoes with $400 than a blender – priorities right?

Farm Wife Flu Shot
Yield: 1 serving

2 large handfuls of baby kale or spinach
1 sprig mint leaves
1 green apple, cored
1/4 of a long cucumber
1/4 of a lemon, peel and seeds removed
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1-2 cups water, depending on consistency

Put everything in your blender and mix until smooth.  Pour out and enjoy!  Merry Christmas, Kim.

Creativity: What Inspires You?

Because my work/life situation isn’t as conventional as most, I have the opportunity to use my surroundings a lot more than the majority of the population.  Although I have an office that I love to work in every day, I’m not chained to it and can shuffle between a few different spaces to maximize my grey cells.  Being able to have the freedom to choose where I’m working (even if it is just my bedroom, my garage, or my office) helps my creativity a great deal.  And since I work out of my home I can have my friends and family over whenever I’d like to host workshops for or bounce ideas off of.  Freedom – it’s an amazing catalyst for creativity.

For us, everything we need is right here because we’re a family unit of four; we all work together to achieve our goals.  For organizations with more employees, it’s a little more difficult to harbour a family-like environment in an office with walls of separation dividing everyone.  Until now.  In the early fall I was introduced to a company called WeWork, they’re huge proponents of “do what you love” and the basis of their company is to promote flexible, enriching environments for small and large businesses so resources are better utilized for entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and advancement.  They’re creating the family unit environment in offices in major cities all over the United States and Europe and organizations are knocking down their doors to get in on the action.

For entrepreneurs or freelancers that are only required to be in one place temporarily and don’t want to tie up funds with permanent office spaces, WeWork is the perfect solution.  They’re offices are accessible 24/7, they have a range of desk options to choose from as well as health benefit offers, and they co-brand with companies like Zipcar (the world’s largest car sharing company) and offer it to their customers at a reduced rate.  In a world where e-commuters are steadily on the rise, WeWork is an ideal solution for any business that requires flexibility.

All of my employees are four-legged so right now I’m not in need of these services but when I heard about it I loved the idea so much I had to share.   Just look around, maybe four walls isn’t what’s good for your business anymore.  Do you want to be inspired?  Maybe it’s time for you to leave it behind too.

Since I’ve been home and really embraced my role as the Farmer’s Wife, I’ve been working more and more towards my goals of live to work and not work to live just like WeWork does.  Living to work means loving what I’m doing and what I love is being creative.  And I’ve been told I don’t suck at it either.  I think it comes partly from genetics but partly from being able to look around and come up with more than one purpose in everything I see.

Example.  In the spring, I came across this old house.  It was abandoned but still had so much character.  The siding was painted red and all the doors and windows were intact (for the most part).  I’d guess it was built in the 1940’s or 1950’s, small a-frame with a quaint front stoop and 45 degree ceilings upstairs; I could just see a Farmer’s Wife from bygone days ringing a dinner bell on the porch.  I’ve always loved anything with character and antiquity that’s well-crafted so I wanted to save a little bit of this farm history.

We live in a small community so it wasn’t hard to track down the owner.  I found out the little house was scheduled to be demolished.  I would have loved to save it all but that was impossible so I asked if I could at least have the window frames and doors to repurpose and the owner agreed.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them yet but I just knew they had potential and I wanted to save them; there were many years left on their lives and I didn’t want a backhoe to cut them short.

The Farmer, Papa and I went there in June with crowbars and hammers and took them all out.  I brought them home and put them away because I wasn’t quite sure what projects I was going to make with them yet.  I spent most of the summer in the tractor but also was able to take in a lot of things in Alberta and BC on vacation.  I took in a lot of beauty and learned a lot of tricks that this fall I was ready to try out.

Antique Door

With mild difficulty, I brought the old door up to my garage workshop.  It’s solid wood and weighs around 80 pounds so it was a loooooong walk up here with it.  The backside of the door was discoloured from cigarette smoke and the outside was chipping, splintering and cracking from sun damage.  There was one broken window from an obvious “I forgot my key” incident, there were three extra holes drilled in it to house deadbolts and handles that were more burglar proof than the ones originally installed and both the escutcheon and original doorknob were MIA but I could not look past how beautiful the door was and just wanted to display it somewhere; I decided to turn it into a welcome sign and showcase it on our porch.

Welcome Door

 When I was in Radium for the car show this year, I stopped into a quaint, inviting shop in Invermere called The Painted Porch and met the owner, Teresa.  She was incredibly helpful and obliging and told me all about her secrets, techniques and tips for using chalk-style paint.  She repurposes and creates with anything and everything and also retails The FAT Paint Company – a Canadian born company out of New Westminster, BC that’s perfected chalk-style paint and come up with an amazing brand of their own.

I asked Teresa about shipping because I’d never seen or heard of FAT Paint in my area and although she does ship, she told me about Twila from Marmie’s Empty Nest in Camrose, AB.  I called her up when I got home and my BFF and I took a workshop from her at the beginning of October.  I came out of there with all the supplies I needed to transform my door into the vision I had in my head for it.

I started by sanding down the door and then washing it with hot water and vinegar.  I had to scrape a lot of old paint off the windows that had been there from any one of the white, blue, green, or grey paint jobs the door had gone through over time and when that was done I washed it all again.  I puttied the extra holes up so it looked as close as possible to it’s original condition and then I sanded once more.

After that, the fun part began.  I dry brushed the door in FAT Paint Bitter Chocolate and let it dry.  Then I sporadically added FAT Paint Tuscan Sun as an accent and finally, I painted the entire door in FAT Paint Parchment.  Once the last coat was dry, I started to sand it all back and expose the different colours.  FAT Paint is so versatile.  It can be painted onto virtually anything to give it a facelift and there’s a lot less prep work required than with regular paints and stains.  I didn’t need to strip the door of it’s many colourful layers, just sand it smooth and start painting!  The best part was that once I started to sand back the layers, the original white layer came through too adding one more dimension.

FAT Paint - Bitter Chocolate, Tuscan Sun and Parchment

Final touch was the doorknob and, of course, vinyl decals; I don’t do many projects that exclude WordPlay Designs.  I’ve been a consultant for almost 7 years now and I love it because it’s so versatile and can take any project from beautiful to AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL.  I added a custom “Home Sweet Home” graphic to the centre window and a personalized welcome greeting to the panel below the window.  The doorknob was a cool find from Winners a few months ago and adds a great finishing touch and then the entire piece was waxed with FAT Paint Natural.  

Welcome to the Ducherers'

After all that, all that was left was to get it onto the porch and set up the rest of my outdoor decorations.  There is no such thing as too many Christmas decorations at our house.  I love the spirit of this season so much, it warms my heart immensely.  The time I spend with our family and friends, the giving, the decorations, the music, the magic.

Christmas Porch

So there you have it.  An incredibly long post about creativity and how you can increase your creative juice flow.  I hope I’ve been able to inspire you a little bit whether it’s through DIY, upcycling or even corporately.  If any of this interests you, please check out the links embedded in the post.  They’re products I recommend and love to work with and I hope you will too!

Welcome Door

Christmas is upon us and what better time of year to take what’s around you and turn it into something meaningful and festive for the season?!  I wish you all happy creating and hope I’ve left you inspired.  Cheers!  Kim.

Remembrance Day – I Remember

There’s been a lot of controversy lately over Christmas decorations coming out right after the Halloween decorations have come down.  I don’t really have an opinion on it the because if you remember what Remembrance Day is all about, it doesn’t matter anyway.  I don’t take down my fall decorations and put up my Christmas decorations based on what the big box stores are doing, I do it based on my schedule and what I feel is important.

That also means I don’t allow what the commercial market is doing to overshadow one of the most important days of the year for all Canadians; Remembrance Day.  This day means so much to so many of us because without what our ancestors did, we may not have all the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.

Remembrance Day signifies the initial agreement to the ending of the first world war on November 11, 1918.  It was during the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month that the Germans and the Triple Entente (the Russian Empire, the French Republic and the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) signed the armistice to end WWI which began July 28, 1914.

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People wear red poppies in remembrance because during WWI they grew across some of the most dreadful battlefields in Flanders, Belgium and their bright red colour became a symbol for the bloodshed of the war.  On May 3, 1915, a Canadian physician active in the war, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, wrote the poem In Flanders Fields after presiding over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier.

In Flanders Fields
by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
between the crosses, row on row,
that mark our place; and in the sky
the larks, still bravely singing, fly
scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
loved and were loved, and now we lie
in Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
to you from failing hands we throw
the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
we shall not sleep, though poppies grow
in Flanders fields.

As a tradition, the poem In Flanders Fields is recited during Canadian Remembrance Day ceremonies around the country and in Ottawa it is sung by choir after the Royal Canadian Air Force completes a 21-gun salute.

In 2000, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected at the war memorial in Ottawa and at the end of the official ceremony for the general public, people remove their poppies and place them on the tomb as a sign of respect and gratitude.  Veterans Affairs Canada recognizes the significance of this date as “remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace”.

The majority of the younger generations will never know or understand what times of war were like.  Try to imagine sending your husband, brothers, fathers, or sons to a land divided, handing them weaponry they’ve never fired before, corresponding via letter mail, waking up each day not knowing if they’re still alive.  Left behind, your wives, mothers, sisters homes are no longer their jobs, they’re sent to work in factories with all the other bomb girls to assemble guns and ammunition in less than desirable working conditions where one slip could blow the factory sky-high.  In the countries of war, your backfields become battlefields and your lives are turned upside down.  No where to call home, no one to enjoy it with.  Makes no cell phone reception seem incredibly minuscule doesn’t it?

To learn and know this history and pay respect to the many people that fought for our freedoms and lost their lives is something I am happy to do each and every year and I will teach the daughters about it as well.  Don’t forget about November 11, the war veterans that risked and gave their lives so their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren could live without the threat of war deserve our respect and recognition.

If you see a member of our armed forces or a veteran retired from the line of duty, please thank them and on November 11, at 11 am please observe 2 minutes of silence for all the fallen that never made it home to their families.  In remembrance, Kim.

I_Remember

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).

David and BG&C couch2

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.

casey - quote

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.

baby girls winter quote

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.

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.