Category Archives: New Adventures!

Ok, now what?

A week after planting our seeds into peat pellets we have seedlings! I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am but it’s not often that things go exactly like a package says they will.

So. Now what? I didn’t exactly have a solid plan for the steps between seed and fork. With no raised beds (yet) and no tilled soil (yet), I wonder if I’m going to have a container garden on the patio overlooking our seven acres!



Posted by on May 21, 2012 in New Adventures!


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Meet Bear, this Funny Farm’s “Yellow Dog”

George Carlin said “Life is a series of dogs” and I believe it! There’s just something about a pet that can complete a family or settle a family into their surroundings. At least it seems to be that way for us.

We were moving into our first home and passed a large “FREE PUPPIES” sign while we were en route. We weren’t in that brand new, freshly-built house a whole day before we had little Griffen tumbling down the stairs. He quickly outgrew our teeny subdivision house and postage stamp-sized lot as we discovered he was part Irish Wolfhound. After he put a few dents in the drywall, chewed up a couch and destroyed a down comforter we found a farmer and we parted ways with Griffin. (I lost all my pictures of him when my camera was stolen a few years ago unfortunately)

About four years passed and a few weeks after we got married we found the sweetest short-haired sheltie. We named him Seamus O’Puppy. What a great guy! He went on road trips with us, cuddled at our feet and we loved him. He raised the bar for all dogs. He was great to Belle and was very gentle with The Little Dude when he was a newborn.

When TLD was about 8 weeks old, we realized he was allergic to Seamus. Our baby couldn’t breathe whenever Seamus was around. We’d just sold the house, were getting ready to move into an apartment, Belle was a toddler and TLD was a wheezing infant- that was a crazy time. I knew my brother loved Seamus so we found someone to foster him till he could claim him. Now, a year and a few foster families later, Seamus and my brother are together and very happy.

It was going to happen sometime, I suppose. With this property and the allergy gone there was nothing stopping us. We wanted a dog. Considering the coyotes and the size of our property a smaller dog wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted a german shepherd.

I found a listing for a rescued “Ramsey” and made a call. He had been a stray and this rescue lady a few counties away had saved him from a pound in Kentucky the day he was going to be destroyed. She took him home, to where she fosters siberian huskies and german shepherds. She found him to be great with her kids and housebroken. At that I knew he was my dog.

“Ramsey” was what the rescue lady named him while she was watching a Gordon Ramsey program. He wasn’t attached to the name so we went with 15 month-old TLD’s suggestion: BEAR.


OK, so he’s big. Really big. 62 pounds big and could double in weight when he’s done growing. And he’s young. A trainer said “just think of him as a four legged 16 year-old”. Terrific. But he is surprisingly gentle with the kids. He must be “thinking small” or something because he hardly nudges them when he can barrel into me and Babe. He’s loving and he’s beautiful.

A few days ago I said in an entry that we were going to give him back to the rescue lady. Here’s why: he runs away constantly. Just like Chevy Chase’s first dog in Funny Farm, this guy will bolt after any bunny or bird, any distraction. It’s hard to love a dog that will skulk off the moment you turn your gaze.

But we do love him.


So now I’m calling dog trainers, invisible fence people and looking at obedience books, all while a giant Bear lays at my feet.



Posted by on May 15, 2012 in New Adventures!


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Photo: Better Late Than Never, Right?


I’ve never started any plant from seed. 72 pellets full of here goes nothin’!


Posted by on May 14, 2012 in New Adventures!, Pictures


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What the heck was that? First trail cam photos

Eager to fiddle around and interested to know what we have taking up residence in the pines, Babe and I have been tinkering with a trail camera. When we first got it we’d stick it up in a tree and wait anxiously till the next morning when one of us would bring it in to see what we captured. Days passed with nothing much except a few shots of my fingertips as I was clipping the cam to a tree.

One of our first trail cam shots…


Then I found a great spot. I aimed the camera towards two paths coming into the pines. Surely we’d spy something…


Ya-HOO! Say cheese little deer-friend!


The camera has picked up a few other creatures. We’re pretty sure we found a coyote in the distance of one shot but we can’t identify this other little stalker. Babe thinks we caught a glimpse of a wild pig. I just don’t know…


What the heck was that?


Posted by on March 6, 2012 in New Adventures!, Pictures


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Looking for Evidence

Since we moved here, I’ve gotten in the habit of taking Belle outside after I take TLD upstairs for his afternoon nap. She feels like a big girl when I let her stay up a while after her little brother goes to sleep and she loves our land.

No matter if it's soccer with Babe or running from tree to tree with me, Belle loves it here!

I point to a tree and we race to it, giggling as we run. Next to me I see her biggest smile behind wind-whipped hair. Her arms are waving, stiff-elbowed. The sound of her small feet hitting the hard ground and laughter brings out my sentimental mommy side. A long time from now there will be certain things that I’ll remember better than my own name. I pray this is one of them.

We reach the designated tree. I catch my breath, which is more of a sob than anything else, and I swallow my new keepsake of Belle. I point to the next tree, fifty or a hundred feet from where we’re standing, and we cris-cross the property till she can’t anymore or doesn’t want to anymore.

Tracks (and "whatnot")

Breathless, we recover with a walk through our pine grove. We are always looking for signs of whatever might have called it “home” the night before. Since we walk through the pines almost every day it’s easy to notice the differently matted needles and other clues they leave behind.

“Lotsa poo today, Mommy” she calls as she tiptoes past me to the trail’s exit. I never thought I’d ever be trying to identify animal droppings but as soon as we get inside and I have her tucked in for her nap, I’m online looking at poop.

While I’ve only seen “evidence” I believe we have a large family of deer living with us, and maybe some raccoons. I’d love to see what’s back there though. Till then the menagerie I’ve started to conjure in my mind will keep growing as I find more exotic track- and poo-identifying websites.

A common path in the pines

The mouth of our "Enchanted Forest" or "Deer B&B"

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Moments, New Adventures!, Pictures


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Ahh! Something that isn't brown or gray!

We’ve been living on The Tenderfoot for a week and I’m happy to report that the time we spent in the apartment is a thick, impenetrable blur. We are so comfortable here that it’s quickly becoming HOME!

The bedrooms and bathrooms aren’t nearly unpacked. I’ve been searching for the same totes of kitchen gadgets and massage creams for a few days. As unsettling as that would normall be for me, I really don’t mind it.

Habits keep us all calm and happy and we have a few in place already. Leo and I usually wake up an hour before Belle and Husband do so we watch the sun rise over the pine grove and point at anything new. We also like to take nature walks together, as a family. Today we found dear tracks and flowers (I’m loving this 60F weather)!

Today was our beautiful son’s first birthday. A year ago today, Columbus was covered with layers of snow and ice and I was holding our newborn in a hospital room downtown. The Homestead wasn’t on our radar. None of this was. We had a house on the market and planned to live in an apartment until we could move to Florida.

Today we’re so happy with our home, our direction, and I wouldn’t think of raising our children anywhere else.

A pleasant birthday gift for Leo from The Tenderfoot


Posted by on February 2, 2012 in New Adventures!


Learning to walk

A week before we moved out of our apartment, the complex came through and tore down all  of the trees in front of the buildings. Ash trees with parasites. Anyway, this happened during nap time, and just outside my daughter’s window were three trees to be cut down. I bolted up the stairs after the roaring chainsaws came over her monitor. My trees gone she cried when I opened the door. A big tear trickled down her cheek. I held her and told her those trees were sad. I said that pretty soon she’d have more trees than she could count, more than we could name. This satisfied her.

For our first nature walk we planned a trek of the whole property, corner to corner and across the creek. She’d been eager to go see her trees so as soon as they were both up from their afternoon nap, we bundled them up and headed out the back door, down a paver path.

She loved the wind in her face, the chorus of crunchy leaves overhead, the grove of pines. What she didn’t expect were the sounds and sensations of sticks under her feet. She froze midstep as she felt a twig snap under her foot and gave a pout. Is tree sad? she asked. I took her hand to guide her but she wouldn’t move her foot. Until we got to the next clearing she insisted that I carry her.

I thought I’d exposed the kids to nature quite a bit before we moved here so I admit this event was deflating. We went to the zoo almost every week and I loved to take them in the stroller down a popular bike trail that snakes around the Olentangy River. They’ve always enjoyed going to the park and aquarium.

I guess that, until now, they SAW nature plenty but hadn’t EXPERIENCED it so much.

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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in New Adventures!


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