Home again, home again! Because of the shortened trip, we spent the rest of our 2 weeks off in awesome Staycation mode. I rarely give these kinds of things credit, probably because just a week off at home seems dull? But if you take 2 weeks off and have 1 week of travel and 1 week of staycation time? It’s the perfect combo – and also prevents you from returning back to work exhausted from travel. Kinda awesome. With us, it meant preparing for the inevitable – SPRING! Nothing like the end of January to make me think of “Peas before St Patrick’s Day” and other planting reminders that are creeping upon us much sooner than we think! And we were blessed with 4 straight sunny days in the low 50’s, a real blessing in January (especially with what the rest of the country has been going through). So because of that, we got busy busy busy, stopping off at Portland Nursery for a bunch of goodies before making the drive back to the coast, along with getting a huge armload of coffee bags from one of the roasters there (half the roasters these days CHARGE for their USED burlap coffee bags, ugh…fortunately we found one that does not…but they are like scoring front row seats to a show, you gotta get there early!) to use in the garden. I know, I know, it’s January, but we’re not in a deep freeze area thank goodness and winter is actually tree-plantin’ time out here, y’all!
These actually happened during our time in Santa Barbara, but I wanted to wait to show them off until after they’d finished healing. Y’all, I’ve not gotten a tattoo in over 20 years so it has been a big thing looming over me what one I was going to get, after deciding that I wanted to get a new one after we lost our baby. I’d seen a similar design online with two birds on a branch and a little one flying off that I loved so I worked with the artist at the tattoo shop to customize it, and he came up with these awesome block-print style birds which we loved. Yep, inside of my wrist. Yep, it stung like hell. But after you’ve been through the pain of multiple failed IVFs and pregnancy loss? After you’ve had your cervix manually dilated eight times during those years and your uterus scratched and biopsied? This is nothing, y’all. And I lovvvvvve it. Some may say it’s upside down but the philosophy is, are you getting it for YOU to look at or for OTHERS to look at? And this one was definitely for ME. Every time I see it, it reminds me of what I survived and of our little Henry we never got to meet. And I must say, it provided a ton of closure for both of us. My husband got the little bird on his finger (don’t ask me, he’s always wanted a finger tattoo), which we say is the hope for our future. And yeah, no fucking way are we getting matching tattoos – we all know that you might as well fill out your divorce papers if you get matching tattoos, hahaha…
We also agreed that because we were getting refunded for a week’s worth of hotel, that we would invest that money wisely into our home. Making homemade pasta is something we already do….but without a pasta maker! So husband got the Atlas 150 made in Italy, and this was our first go-round. SOOOOOO good (we had it with a simple butter, mushroom and home-cured pancetta mixture), and it was so much faster than hand cutting, let me tell you!!!
And for all our fellow meat lovers out there? Our home-cured lomo (this is the Spanish version of lonzino that has added paprika) finished its 10 week curing this week and it is DIVINE. My husband really has a knack for cured meats and this one was in his Top 3 as far as I’m concerned? Not for the dietary-obsessed – this is pork loin from the pig we butchered, cured in spices and then slathered with lard to keep it moist during that time. Hella yum. Hella yum. Hella YUM!
Not the sexiest of photos and it looks so insignificant right now, but we have FINALLY planted some trees in our big pasture! “We” of course means I pick out the trees and Dan does the shovel work. We’ve got 6 supposedly deer-resistant incense cedars in the ground staggered along our fenceline on the road side of our property, and six more I picked up locally today that the husband will be popping in soon. They are fast growing and will provide some nice aesthetics, shade, and bird habitat soon enough – but even though cedar are supposedly deer resistant? We’re still spraying the stinky stuff around ’em just in case ’cause those four legged bee-yatches are everywhere!
And saving the best for last…we adopted a dog!!!! While Lucky is not the livestock guardian dog we had planned on, and has no chance of ever taking that role on, we fell in love with her when we met her a couple weeks ago dropping by the shelter, and after talking about it we went back this week and visited her and another pup (the latter which was younger and much more what we had on paper that we were looking for – agile beach/farm dog that wouldn’t be dying in a couple years), but Miss Lucky stole our heart. She will be 12 in July so she’s definitely no spring chicken, but this girl was so sweet that we could not resist, and once again are parents to an elderly dog. She gets along fine with other dogs so later this year we WILL be getting a LGD puppy to train up for farm life, but in the meantime, we’ve got a sweet lovebug cuddle monster passed out on her bed in the living room as I write this. Being her age and her breed (pitbull terrier), she was at the shelter for ELEVEN months even though she is the most affectionate and docile girl – acting as their mascot and sitting behind the counter with the staff. When we took her to the vet for her first visit (she’s in great health and unlike our last girl, no back or joint issues and the shelter took care of her skin issues when her owners, who had become homeless but had her since she was a pup, relinquished her). She mostly sleeps curled up in a ball, or trying to tackle Dan with sloppy kisses, or sits next to me as I write, nudging me for a pet, but we have discovered a few of her quirks…
- She loves to chase her tail, both fast and in a slow “I’ve got my eye on you MoFo” circular fashion :). The shelter says she loves laser pointers as well but I can’t convince myself to buy one of those annoying things.
- Our new cordless stick vacuum cleaner in action has thus far proven to be the only time we have heard her bark, as it was definitely something she felt we needed to be protected from. Gotta watch out for the Hoovers.
- She is fine sleeping in her bed all night long…well until about 4AM where, all three nights we’ve had her so far, she attempts to sneakily crawl up onto our bed and cuddle with us. Yes, it’s tempting to just let her stay but no, I don’t want paw prints or dog hair on everything (short hair still sheds!) and anyone who has a medium to large size dog knows that they do NOT stay curled up at the end of the bed – sooner or later the humans are relegated to tiny sections while aforementioned dog is sprawled out like royalty.
- Due to her past life living in a car with her previous owners (who trained her well and apparently loved her a ton, fortunately, so she didn’t come to the shelter with massive behavioral issues like many pitties), she is definitely a car dog. In fact, when we go into the front yard she sits by the car waiting to get in. We’ve decided that’s where she’ll go when we vacuum, hahaha…
- She’s most likely never going to be offleash while our ducks are free-ranging, unfortunately. So we always make sure they are in their run or down at the creek when we let her out to pee, as we only have pasture fencing and aren’t confident that installing invisible fence would do much if she was determined to go out and fight crime without us (She is responsive to all commands inside the house…thus far outside, beyond ‘leave it’, is pretty much when she turns off her hearing aid if you know what I mean. Our girl has most likely never done the country life so there is a LOT for her senses to experience and it’s going to take some time before we even take her out to pee offleash because so far she doesn’t even turn to look at us when we’ve tried to do so and called her name).
- On nice days, she loves to just stand there in the living room sunlight and…stare off into the distance at nothing. Heh.
- She is so worth every bit of accommodating we need to do to give her these last couple years of her life, and while we know it means our hearts will break again sooner than we’d like, adopting an older dog, like we did with our girl Ruby (and like I did with my girl Daisy before Dan moved here), is so worth it.