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So, originally I was planning for this post to have some good news with some bad news sandwich in the middle.  But!  Our bad news turned into possibly good news.  I’ll start from the top (this is all animal-related btw).

Over the weekend, one of our ewes gave birth to our first baby lamb.  She was very no nonsense about it (the momma, that is). We didn’t hear a peep from mom or baby when she was in labor overnight.  One day she was pregnant and the next, she had a jet black lamb cuddled up beside her.  We had been hoping that our sheep were pregnant. You can’t really tell just by looking at them, and we weren’t expecting any babies  until spring.  But, here she is!  Gregg says he’ll keep her since she’s a girl.  She’ll make babies not meat.  She will also make some very pretty wool which I could turn into yarn.  I’m not sure I’m up for the challenge of combing out bits of poop/grass/debris, etc., then spinning the wool into yarn either by hand or otherwise.  We’ll see.

Now for the bad news turned good.   Aspen, our Great Pyranese, was diagnosed with heart disease after an appointment with our local vet.  One of her eyes started swelling, and we thought it was infected. When the swelling didn’t go away after a week or so, we took her in to get evaluated.  She’s only two years old, so the prognosis of heart disease was not a good one.  We took her back to the Great Pyranese Rescue, so their vet could give her the full work-up that she deserves.  We were really sad about it.  We only had her for 3 months, but we loved her.  We got a call yesterday that she doesn’t have heart disease afterall.  Our local vet had made the diagnosis after seeing large amounts of fluid on ultrasound.  The  other vet was saying that the fluid was coming from her gut, and that her heart is totally fine.  Good news, but nothing conclusive yet.

Another bit of good news is that there’s enough daylight for our chickens to lay eggs.  Gregg collected 15 over the weekend.   He warned me that since we have a rooster out and about with our hens there’s a chance that when I crack an egg, an embryo will pop out.  😦 I’ve been nervous about it  ever since.

It really feels like we live on a farm now.

I have watched this video of the U.S. swim team lip syncing “Call Me Maybe” several times, and it makes me so happy every time.   So, I thought, what else is making me happy?   This isn’t my normal train of thought. I tend to be vulnerable and focus on what’s hard, but I’m going to try something new.

The Olympics, in general, are making me happy, although I’m really sad that gymnastics is over.

Ruffle Scarf

Ruffle Scarf by Jennifer Lang

Knitting is making me happy.  My first project of the season is this scarf.  By this season, I mean the Fall/Winter/cold months.  I’m starting very very early, but its something that makes me feels productive and relaxed at work during down time.  Supposedly once school starts, things get crazy around the office.

Two Dogs and a Truck

This precious picture is making me happy.  Doesn’t it look like a professional took it??  That would be the work of Gregg and Instagram.

Trying to be Tech-savvy is making me happy.  So…what’s making YOU happy?

Our dogs love our new house.  They love sniffing and rubbing themselves into whatever it is that they are sniffing. They love prancing around (and pooping) in the soy fields that surround our house.  (I’m banking on the fact that the soybean farmer doesn’t read my blog, because I don’t think he would appreciate the prancing.)

The dogs have been banished to the kitchen full-time.  We have carpet in the living room and bedroom, and they treat the carpet like the grass.  Digging up carpet and rubbing fur all over it is not ideal for our rental house.

Look how happy they are, though!

Max is having his 12 week(!) check-up with the vet to see how well he’s healed.  I hope it goes well–please, oh, please.  I hope we spent our money well with his surgery.  We just got to a point where we could not keep him down.  We were supposed to give him a much more stringent recovery schedule than we did.  You can’t keep a good dog down!


This is Max the day after his surgery.  He’s depressed.  This photo shows his Fentanyl patch, the tape that was used to keep his catheter in place, and his shaved leg with freshly inserted staples.  Poor baby.  The photo was taken a month ago, and he’s doing so much better now.  He’s bounding around the house with pent up energy and going on short walks per the Vet’s orders.

Gregg and Max

Gregg nursed his puppy back to health.  He did not take seeing post-op Max very well.  (Those pink house shoes in the background are my mother-in-laws.  She bought them so that she would have a pair to wear when she was visiting us.  I was borrowing them because my feet were cold, even though they are about 4 sizes too big for me.)

Me and Roo

She didn’t have surgery.  She’s just being a happy beach dog.  I thought some of you might like  seeing these green sunglasses that I just can’t bear to part with even though everyone hates them.  🙂

Hammock Dog

I realize that this is an awkward angle.  That’s what I get for taking picture while swinging on a hammock.  Very cute though, right?  She just jumps into the hammock when I first get into it.  She doesn’t stay long.

Me and posting pictures do not get along.  But, Brenna asked to see pictures.  So…here you go.


You know that cutie picture of the happy dog that I posted yesterday?  Well, he has been limping around for the past month or so.  We finally sprung for the vet since he wasn’t getting any better.  Turns out that that cutie dog Max has a torn ACL.  I know!  How can you be that happy when you are in pain?  Good question.  I was very impressed by the vet, by the way.  I’m so used to the hospital where the providers have to either take pictures (X-Ray, CT scan, PET scan, etc.) or at least draw blood to figure out what’s going on with the patient.  Not this vet.  She just put her hands on Max’s left leg and told me that his femur (thigh bone) was sliding over his knee and past his tibia (shin bone).  She said its sliding because there’s no ligament (the ACL) to hold it in place.  So, now what?  Surgery is the only way to fix Max’s knee.  Without surgery, it would continue to get worse, and eventually lead to arthritis.

If a human tears his ACL, you get the surgery, no question.  But, for this dog, there’s no pet insurance, so we will be paying 100% of the cost for the surgeon, anesthesia, and even disposal of the hazardous materials that result from the surgery.

This brings me to my question.  How much is a dog’s quality of life worth?  We got Max from a shelter, and paid less than fifty bucks for him.  He’s a Border Collie mix.  Full bred dogs cost close to a thousand dollars, right?  So, if worth is measured by money, Max is worth fifty bucks.  And surgery costs more than $50.

But that’s not the only measure of worth, right?

Why is Max worth more than fifty bucks?  He’s a lover-dog, he’s funny (not intentionally), he’s happy, he’s a protector (at least tries to be).  How do you explain why you love your dog?  I can’t.  And I can’t explain why he’s valuable to us.

Before my dog-loving days (before I married Gregg), I didn’t understand why people dumped so much money into their pets.  Its just a dog, I thought.

I don’t know how to end this post without sounding incredibly cheesy.  We’re going to pay for the surgery.  We’re going to pay to fix Max’s knee.  We want him to live the best dog-life he can, because he’s worth a lot.

I have to confess that baby fever is creeping up on me.  But, I have to be thankful of the children I have, and the children yet to come.

Children I have.  I’m so proud.  They actually smiled into the phone-camera for me!

I wish I was always this happy.

Roo Roo

Children to come.


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