Showing posts with label Confessions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Confessions. Show all posts

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Farmhouse Project: Bedroom

Hi guys!  How've ya been? I have been working on sooooo many things I can't even tell you.  But this is one project I wanted to share with y'all.

The master bedroom in the old farmhouse has been my focus lately.  First, Prairie Granny and I took apart and dragged out the no-longer-functioning, therefore unused, huge treadmill that had overstayed it's welcome by about a year.  Next I decided we needed to squeeze another large dresser into the not-very-large room. 

The only space I could do that was along one wall, right next to each other.  So I scrounged around the house and gathered up enough wall décor to make a collage big enough to span both dressers and treat them like they are one.  I think the result was pretty good!

The next thing I did was figure out what to hang above the bed that was more "farmhousey" than the little sparkling thing that has moved with me from house to house over the years....

Ta-da!  I still used the sparkling thing!  I just hung it from an old window frame that used to be in the chicken coop here on the homestead.  No kidding! I have been loving the ideas I see in magazines and on Pinterest that use old windows and doors as wall décor. Like these....

 I know I still have a ways to go with this room.  With this house, for that matter.  But A little at a time, we're getting there.

There are some things I love about this room now.

My nail head trimmed headboard.
The wall color. Sorry, can't find my can to get you the color. What kind of blogger am I !?
The bench that sits at the foot of my bed. (Found down in the barn at my previous farmhouse.)
The original wood floors.
The ceiling fan that my mom and I installed. Ahhhh....
The original closet doors with their very old hardware.
And of course my new "feature" above the bed.

My "wish list" for this room is:
To someday refinish the floors.
Some nicer, more sturdy and decorative curtain rods.
Fresh, farmhousey, stuff for the bedding.  Like some new pillows and a throw maybe.

But for not spending a single cent on décor to update this room, I hafta admit I am tickled with it.  I would've shown you 'before" pictures but I would have been embarrassed. And I didn't take any. Ha!

Thanks for checking out my little farmhouse project and sticking with me on my little blog.
I've been living a double life.  Well, kind of anyway.  I have two websites.  But I am seriously considering simplifying my online life back to just this one.  Anyhow.... If I figure out how to consolidate all my content I think I will be hanging out over here on "Why Geraldine" a lot more often.

Now make something beautiful,

Friday, April 25, 2014

Blooming Tulip

I didn't think this story would get written. I don't like to write sad stories and I didn't think this was gonna end well....
Ten days ago Miss Ivy had her babies.  Twin girls that came just a bit earlier than expected.  Sadly, one baby did not make it.  I don't think she even took a breath.  But one tiny, precious thing was alive.  She was the oddest color for a goat.  In the sunshine she almost looked pink with a black stripe down her back.  Immediately I knew her name was "Tulip".
Tulip's first hour of life.
 I quickly noticed that Tulip wasn't in perfect health.  She had a very large, abnormal swelling in her throat. She was weak, cold and had no interest in momma's milk.  Not a good sign for a baby goat.  If they don't get momma's colostrum milk within the first few hours of life they usually die.  Colostrum is how most baby critters get their immunities. And she wouldn't eat....

I reached out to a network of Farmgirls for advice and information.  I also read on the internet about "goiters" in goats and how they are caused by the mom not getting enough iodine. It said the Boer breed is particularly susceptible to being iodine deficient and Tulip's daddy is a Boer goat.  The prognosis was not good.  But I am a "never say die" kinda girl.  While I know that losing animals is a part of ranching, I refuse to just accept that.  I'm stubborn and I hate it when any kind of critter in my care dies.

So I tucked tiny Tulip into my lap on my 4-wheeler and led her momma across the farm to a warmer place in my main barn.  Then I fashioned a make-do goat pen inside the feed room, moved the feed to a safe spot, bedded it deep with straw and hung a heat lamp from the rafters. I used two different ropes to secure the heat lamp because hate those things and the risk of fire associated with them.  But they are a necessary evil.  After getting the heat lamp to just the right height, I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket for a chair and sat with tiny Tulip on my lap, soaking up the heat.  After an hour or two, I milked some colostrum from Ivy and fed Tulip, one drop at a time from a syringe.  She still had no desire to suck and would not even try a bottle. The swollen thyroid gland made it difficult for her to swallow.  I wanted to cry....

Finally, late that night she had an almost normal body temperature so I tucked her into the straw, said a silent prayer and left her and Ivy to themselves.  I really didn't think she'd last the night, but to my surprise she was still hanging in there in the morning.  She ate a bit more from the syringe, protested the iodized salt I mixed into the colostrum, forgave me when I rubbed molasses on her gums.... the day went by and she was still here.

On day three she started to come to life!  She even gave a few half hearted sucks on a bottle!  More syringe feeding, lots of time under the heat lamp but she was ok.

Day four she finally nursed on her own!! Just a little bit, but she did it.  She started with just tiny sips and still needed the syringe but she was getting stronger and her swollen thyroid was shrinking!  I started to allow myself to have hope that she'd live.  I finally allowed my little boys to see her and pet her.  Up to that point I hadn't because I didn't want their hearts to break when she died.  She did start to develop a slight fever and raspy breath sounds so I began an antibiotic treatment right away.

Today, I am pleased to tell you that after 4 days of doubt, 5 days of antibiotics and Prairie Granny and I watching her like a hawk, Tulip is thriving!

Her swollen thyroid continues to shrink.  The pneumonia symptoms are completely gone and she is a happy little goat!

There is nothing cuter than a happy, baby goat!  I think they are even cuter than puppies!

I'm kinda glad I'm stubborn.... and I'm really glad Tulip is too. Stubborn enough to live against the odds. 

Bye for now,

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello March

Ok, it's the first day of March.  Almost spring.  Could it please, please start to act like it??  It's -14 this morning.  We have a good six inches of snow.  This has been the coldest, snowiest winter in about 15 years. I'm over it. So, I am going to reminisce.... Just to remind myself spring will eventually get here.

I took these last spring and summer.

Here at the farm or just down the road....

Mostly just as I wandered around my yard in my bare feet with a coffee cup in one hand and a camera in the other....

Or from the porch....

Sometimes I had to set the coffee cup down.....

Ahhhh.... I don't know about you, but I feel better.  Maybe I'll go lower all the window shades, crank up my heat, put on some capris and a tank top and pretend it's spring.

Bye for now,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Being Followed

This is the start of a new week, thank goodness!!  Last week was a tough one.  There are times when we all have more on our plates than we think we can handle.  Days that almost shatter us.  I'm sure that all of you have had times like that too.
But now I'm just feeling grateful.  Saturday the weather was still quite chilly, but nice enough for my big boy and I to actually talk a stroll around the farm while doing chores.  Most of these winter days we have had to take a pickup, for heat and also to haul hay.  That little walk with my kid and my critters was just what I needed. 

As we stepped out the front door, the calves perked up, bawled at us and began to follow us along the fence. 

The little black mare took a break from grazing and came over to the road to say hello and joined the parade along the road towards the barn.  She thought I should definitely show off how hard she works to get good and dirty!

The alpacas met us at the gate and made a little marching formation, following behind us as we made our way up to their little barn and the feed room. This is Genesis making her, "feed me now!" face.

The chickens all swarmed around me, clucking contentedly and following behind as I went around straightening up their pen.  Even though they had a fresh meal in their house!  Happy little hens just hanging out to see what I was up to....

That was the moment.  The moment I looked up and took my first deep breath in a week.  The moment I realized everything really is going to be okay.  Even on my weakest days I have these happy little children and happy little critters to help me "pull focus" and remind me what's important. I felt like all of them had been following me around the farm, just to say "Hey! Don't forget! Life is good!"  Sometimes being followed is a good thing....

Bye for now,

Friday, February 7, 2014

So You Wanna Be A Farmer?

Lately there is quite a movement happening.  At least it looks that way to me.  There are more and more people, men and women alike, that are craving a more organic, agricultural lifestyle.  To put it simply, they want to be farmers. On websites like Pinterest there are oodles of boards named, "My Dream Farm" or something similar.  All of this is such a great thing!  The world needs a lot more people devoted to farming and feeding the world!

The images we see of small farms and homesteads are all pretty idyllic.  Happy little chickens, adorable baby goats, perfect cottage gardens with flowers every where.   A lot of that is truth!  The baby critters we have in the spring are precious!  The chickens are truly a joy to watch scratching in the dirt.  Sometimes there is time to tend a flower bed or two....
It can seem like a perfect life....
All the sunshine and fresh air a person could need for a happy soul.  The rewards of growing the food your family consumes....

But today, on yet another sub-zero day in north central Montana, I have to ask the people with the dream of farming dancing in their heads; "Are you sure you wanna be a farmer?"  I have a little list of things for you to consider before you jump into an agricultural life with both feet.
The day when the automatic waterer, frost free water spigots and hoses are all frozen.  Water gets hauled by hand, in 5 gallon buckets for whatever distance it take to keep the critters alive.  Of course it's usually -30 below when we're out hauling water. 
The day when the wind blows so hard it literally blows the doors off the barn and your sheep scatter into the wind on a grand adventure.  So then they have to be rounded up in the 100 mile an hour wind.  By a person, aka. you.
The day the both of your livestock guardian dogs do a great job of defending your farm from a porcupine and end up with faces full of quills.  Off the vet for enough drugs to keep them from biting your hand off when you yank the quills out one by one.
The day when you find yourself giving an alpaca an enema and helping him extract the blockage that is giving him colic and threatening his life.
The day when a hail storm comes and completely wipes out your entire garden just as it's starting to look so promising.
The day that your out riding your horse for some actual fun and relaxation and it's interrupted by a not-so-lovely rattlesnake that crosses your path and spooks your horse. You instantly envision getting bucked off right there on top of that rattler!
The day a coyote gets a hold of one or more of your chickens.  The ones you nursed along for two months in your garage to keep them safe.... I could go on.
I have had each and every one of those days sometime during the year.  I am not sharing this to discourage anyone from chasing their farming dreams!  But yesterday, as I hauled that water 300 yards, through 18 inches of snow, in -20 below temperatures, I was questioning my sanity just a little bit!  Then I thought of others with this dream and had to ask, "So you think you wanna be a farmer?"  I hope you do!  But be careful what you wish for because it just might come true!
Bye for now,


Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's Quite Possible That I Am Strange

This morning was a gorgeous morning here in Geraldine!  The wind finally quit and left us with sunny, warm weather!  You would never believe it is mid-January.  This was the perfect morning to get my calvies vaccinated and the sick alpaca doctored up.

For those of you that aren't ranchers, I'll show you a little about how we do that....

First we tell them good morning and ask them to pretty please go over into the catch pen like good boys....

Then once they are in the catch pen, which is behind the chute, we open the chute and ask them if they would please all go in the chute all nice and orderly.... The alpacas watch and laugh at them!

Everyone was perfectly well behaved today as did just what we asked....

Then I walk along the foot rail, on the outside of the chute.  I lean over each one and give them a little shot under the skin of their necks with this thing....

After about two minutes, everyone had their shot and they were ready to be let out to go eat breakfast....

See... there ya go.  Piece of cake!

I know it's a little weird.  But for some reason there is almost nothing I like better than messing with cows.  I am far from being any kind of an expert at any of this.  I've been lucky enough to occasionally participate in brandings, gathering, vaccinating, calving and such throughout my life.  I know I have so much more to learn. But I love the accomplishment of the work involved.  I love being outside in the fresh air, even though it usually smells like manure.  I love the sound of the cattle bawling.... The only thing better than working cows, is being on a horse while working cows!
Now that is my idea of a great day.... I know, I know.... I'm probably a little strange.
Bye for now,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How Was Your New Year's?

Another year has passed.  Last night was the annual fundraiser and dance for the Geraldine swimming pool.  It is always such a fun time and last night was no exception.  Cowboys in costumes, good food, a silent auction that was at times quite a wrestling match, dancing and a good ol' gab fest.  The snow was falling in large, fluffy flakes that begged to land on eyelashes and the tip of your nose as we walked into the old auditorium. Perfection.

My companion and I decided to enjoy the dance until nearly midnight, then hit a long standing tradition of a house party out in the hills west of town.  We drove the road over the mountains as midnight rolled around and the snow swirled.  Friends and laughter were found in a lovely, warm farmhouse.  Stories were told and plans were hatched until yawns outnumbered the laughter.

We headed out the snow buried driveway and down the gravel road until we were just to the pavement. The truck didn't sound right.... an unidentifiable noise.  We went a bit further....  Then the "low tire pressure" light was flashing and it became obvious we were going to have to fix a flat in the middle of the night, in the middle of a snow storm, in the middle of nowhere.  We were then disappointed to discover that the necessary parts for changing said tire were not to be found.  Both cell phones were mocking us with their "no signal" status.  So there we were.  Not a house in sight, no phones, no changing the tire. We decided to lay back on the heated seats and take a snooze until morning.  At least we had plenty of fuel and wouldn't freeze.  In daylight maybe we could flag someone down for a ride to town.

Morning came finally and the snowstorm had moved on.  In the distance near some ancient grain elevators there stood a little old shack of a house and I saw a light come on!  "Hey! Does someone live down there?" I asked my partner in crime. Turns out yes, an old codger named Kenny lived there.  Surely we could use his phone to call for some best friend back up.  "Does he like you?" I asked.  "Think so...." was the answer.  We decided to creep the truck slowly towards the shack, hoping to not destroy the wheel.  My traveling partner disappeared to the house and came back with Kenny and the key to an old pickup truck.  I guess he did like us okay.  "Kenny, you are a scholar and a gentleman...." and off we went with the old man's truck.  Quite an eventful first day of 2014, I'd say. Now, I'm ready for a long night's sleep.... Happy New Year everyone.

Bye for now,

Sunday, December 8, 2013

That One "Special" Calf

I'd like you to meet "Superman".  He is a very distinctly marked calf, with most of his body being white.  So it's very easy to pick him out of a crowd....

I'm not all sure why this happens....  But it seems that without fail, in every herd of cattle, there is one special calf.  It doesn't matter if your herd has one hundred calves or ten, like mine.  There is one calf that stands out right away.  He's the one who will push through the feed room door and just about knock you over, just to see what's in there.  The one who tells his buddies to squeeze through that hole in the fence to check out "greener pastures."  He doesn't care if he's been munching all morning, he'll stand there and bawl real loud, just to see if you'll dish out more groceries.  Or maybe he'll just absolutely refuse to move to the next pasture.... even when the water is frozen solid, there's a blizzard going on, it's -20 degrees below zero and his life literally depends on moving through that gate.  Nope.... forget it.... ain't gonna happen.

That's what Superman was up to on Friday.  I had to move the calves to another pasture due to their automatic waterer refusing to operate properly at -25 below.  The wind was blowing pretty good, so it was kicking up a little ground blizzard.  I was dressed in my super duper winter gear and was still getting chilled to the bone.  The exposed skin around my eyes was burning and I knew I was at risk of frostbite.

I called to my "babies" and they followed me and the bucket of feed I was shaking, right across the road and through the gate.  All but two anyway.... One of them was "Peter".  He's always been a slowpoke at most things. But eventually, he did decided to amble over and through the gate.  Superman was bringing up the rear.  It looked as though we was going to cooperate for once.  He followed Peter through the gate.... But as soon as he got past the gate post, he screeched to a halt and took off the other direction at a run.  He trotted all the way back where he came from.  So I trudged through the snow drifts and fought the bitter wind again.  Got some more feed in my bucket and called, begged and pleaded for him to follow me.  He just stood there.... I tried chasing him.  But with my bum leg from a badly pulled muscle and the snowdrifts, I wasn't making a very good "cow horse".  So I gave up.  I threw a bale of hay over the fence and slammed that gate shut.  Then I had to rig some water up for him for the night.  By the time I got back inside I thought I'd never thaw out!

The next morning, my "special" calf was at the gate, bawling to please go over across the road with his buddies!  I happily opened the gate....

He quickly found his friends up in the corral with the horses and alpacas all sharing a hearty breakfast.  Then he had the nerve to not even say thank-you!

So I leave you with a moo....

Bye for now,

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oh December

December is here.... the proof is in the white stuff that is falling from the sky. I spent the morning chasing, catching and leading my sheep from their summer pen into what used to be the pig pen.  It has a nice shed and power for the water tank de-icer. There's a big storm setting in today and the ungrateful buggers will be much more cozy in their new pen. 

The first five were pretty easy to catch and move.  Some even got to ride with my big boy in the back of my SUV.  The last two were the hold outs.... They refused to go into the catch pen no matter what!  If they did go in, they ran right back out as quickly as possible!  They didn't want any part of a new, cozy shed and ice free water! So Hired Man Jim and I headed out this morning with a plan.  We set up a temporary fence that was in the shape of a funnel that went to the catch pen.  Sort of like they used to build to trap wild horses.  Once that was set up, we were able to run them in there and shut that gate.  Then it was my job to put a rope on them to lead them to their new home across the farm.  I found it was easiest to catch them after they jumped into their water trough in the corner of the pen.  Then I had nice, muddy, soggy, ticked off sheep on a rope.....

I'll bet you all are wondering why I didn't just herd them across the farm to the new pen.... Well let me try to explain.  I have seven lambs left.  They are all young and not very bright.  The minute a person tries to herd them anywhere, they scatter like ping pong balls on a concrete floor.  Like my Grandpa says, "It's like trying to drive a pig on ice."  Ain't gonna happen.  So they either got to ride in the car, or they got a little lesson on how to walk on a leash.  The hand walking was more like a lamb rodeo than a stroll.  Jumping, running, laying down refusing to cooperate really at all.  So we sort of drag them along until we reach our destination.  Quite a work out for us and the sheep!

At least we were successful. The sheep are tucked in nice and cozy.  The alpacas and horses have a nice warm barn and Prairie Granny gave them all hay.  The calves are munching their hay under their lean to.  The chickens have their heat lamps, heated waterers and plenty of layer mash to keep them happy.  We are ready for this first, December storm..... Now it's time to drink my coffee and eat some pumpkin pie.

Bye for now,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Hardest Part of Farming

This is something that is on my heart....

I absolutely love what I do.  I am beyond blessed to be able to live my dream and raise my sons on this little piece of heaven.  Most days are enjoyable to me in almost every way.  Rewarding, challenging, interesting and fun. In the last week there has been a few days that were not fun.  Those are the days we butcher the animals we have produced.  We raise them with a very holy purpose.  To provide my family and others with clean, healthy, ethically and humanely raised meat.  We love our animals and enjoy the process of raising them.  When I say "we" I mean my sons as well as myself.  They are a huge part of this even at such a young age.  They're right there with me every day.  Helping fill water tubs, carrying buckets, gathering the eggs....

The other day I hauled some lambs to town.  That was quite a story, as you all know....(Check it out here if you missed it!)  I didn't have to participate in their processing, but it was very hard to walk away, knowing their fate.

Yesterday we butchered our three hogs.  One for my family, two for other families.  I was an active participant in the processing this time.  Just me and one guy from the butcher shop.  I'm thankful for the respect and kindness Chris showed towards my hogs.  He came to the farm, which greatly lessens the stress for the pigs, since they don't have to be gathered, loaded in a trailer and hauled to town.  We now have an abundance of wonderful, organic pork for our freezers.  But the necessary events to get them into the freezer, are with out a doubt, the hardest part of farming. 

I write this to shed some light I suppose.  Just because you can buy meat in a neat, tidy little package at the store, doesn't mean it was without cost.  Please respect what it takes to put meat on the table and if at all possible, buy meat that was ethically raised.  Get to know your farmer!

Last night we were able to enjoy a meatloaf made from our own grass fed lamb.  It was delicious, lean and healthy.  Absolutely worth the hardest part of farming....


Bye for now,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I Took Your Advice


A couple of weeks ago I had written about some rainy day projects that involved redoing some things in my room.  That post turned out to be one of the most popular posts I have written.  Go figure!  I never saw that coming. I received a few suggestions after publishing that post.  So enough I had to try them!  Prairie Granny came into my room to find me flipping over my king sized mattress.  "Are you crazy?!" She asked.  "Yup! I probably am," I said.  Then she helped me move my big ol' bed....
One of the suggestions I got was to go ahead and put the bed along the longest wall of the room.  Since I discovered I would still be able to see the pine trees through the window, from my bed, I love it now!  I also covered my box springs with the fitted sheet as suggested by cousin Joellyn. You should check her out over on!  She is an actual  designer and always has great ideas.

The cowhide from my great room asked to please be put in my bedroom.... and the bench that I had dragged up from the barn, moved to the foot of the bed from it's old hangout by the window.

I also like the way my photographs "pop" against the darker wall....   So ya see I took the advice of my dear readers and ended up with a room I can finally say I love!    Thank you!!

I almost forgot!  I also wanted to share with you some of the inspiration I had for my room.  This bedroom was one of my favorites on Pinterest.  Over time I have been able to find little things that helped me with my dream....  Now go make something beautiful! ( If you want to.) 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Good Enough Is Perfect

I'm not a perfectionist.... well, maybe I am sometimes.  But, like many of you I have dreams and visions of the way things should be.  Here on the farm I have wanted things to be a certain way.  I do not like clutter and junk laying around.  I wanted all my barns and sheds to be clean and bedded deep with fluffy, gold straw.  The garden was supposed to be abundant and weed free and the yard ought to look freshly mowed.  The animals are supposed to always behave themselves.... My little farm is supposed to be perfect.  Ha!  I bet your laughing at me right now!  That's ok because I am laughing at myself.

We've been on the farm for only six months.  I dove right in to many projects.  We raised thirty five baby chicks in the garage if the town house before we were able to move out here. We invested in two wonderful, Livestock Guardian dogs and went to work on their obedience training. I bought a small herd of alpacas and quickly learned all I could about raising happy, healthy camelids.  Then came the ten bottle calves.  Twice a day, every day, for sixty days we were tackled by ten hungry babies. I brought home ten lambs to help with our weed problem and provide us with another source of grass fed, all natural meat.  The weaner pigs arrived in June.  An acre of garden was planted including several raised beds that are scattered around the yard.  Irrigation hoses were laid out. By the end of June it was set up for perfection....

The first week of July brought the biggest, nastiest hail storm I had ever seen.  (I wrote about it here.) The garden had just enough time to get a good start and then it was annihilated.  It looked like there was no way we'd see and produce from this years efforts. The roof of almost every building was damaged. We were lucky though, the animals were all fine no one was hurt.

Soon after the storm we discovered our water system couldn't support the garden that had survived.  We had planted too big for our britches.  We saved what we could and watched the rest wither on the vine or get overtaken by weeds.

One of the "LGD's" had taken a liking to killing chickens instead of guarding them.  We lost about eight before we solved that issue.  We were sure she was going to have to find another living arrangement.

The lambs absolutely refused to stay anywhere we wanted them to stay!  For a while I had a daily round up using the four-wheeler.  Then I put them in the "riding arena" that happened to be full of grass and forage and they actually didn't escape from it. Except one.... We had a lamb just up an vanish.  I like to say it was abducted by aliens.  It was there one day and then "poof", gone.  No sign of a struggle or a coyote feast.  I actually think it must've been a cougar that stopped by for a sack lunch.

The pigs weren't much trouble except for when they figured out how to push their shed door open.  Thankfully they like their home and didn't run too far.  It's just that they like to pick nasty, windy days or the day I'm on vacation for their little excursions.

The tractor broke down and my mechanic was out bringing in the wheat harvest for month before he went on vacation for a month.  Needless to say, the sheds didn't get cleaned out all summer.  The poo piled up until Hired Man Jim bought himself a little tractor and  tested it out on my barn.  We're still waiting on the parts to come in....

Somehow I haven't found the time or energy to get the shop area cleaned out and free of junk.  I have seen worse, but there's definitely a few trips to the scrap yard that need to be made and some clearing out and organizing to be done....

In all of this I have learned a valuable lesson. Joel Salatin has a saying that I just love! "Good enough is perfect!"   If it is working, if there is a profit, if things are trucking along ok, it's perfect.  For the most part, things are working. The kids and the critters are all thriving....

 I have so very much to be thankful for!  I did get an amazing harvest of tomatoes after they regrew.  The alpacas did provide an abundance of fleece that is becoming yarn that is so beautiful it has inspired me to learn to loom knit and people actually want to buy it!  The lambs fleece happens to be just the thing to blend with the alpaca to make even more amazing yarn. 
 The chickens are laying wonderful, fresh, organic eggs.  The calves are all healthy and looking fat and sassy.  The hogs grew like the weeds and are ready to harvest a month ahead of schedule.  The dogs now do a great job of holding off the coyotes and protecting things, most of the time.... I was blessed with a yard full of flowers and beauty all summer.  So even though this year hasn't been just like I had imagined it.  It always feels good to come home.... because it is perfect.

Bye for now,