I’ve heard it said that New Year’s Resolutions are To Do Lists for the first week in January. Yup, we all know the statistics about the unsuccessful nature of New Year’s resolutions. With that in mind, and added to what I’ve learned by reading my private journals for the last 30 years, (lots of gratitude for Jim, dogs, farm, and friends–interspersed with innumerable mentions of losing weight, eating better, teaching the dogs more tricks and working less), here are my 2018 New Year’s Resolutions:
Resolution 1. Running a business, answering 200-300 emails a day, etc, will now be defined as PLAY. Slothing on the couch, walking the dogs, working sheep, cooking and gardening will now be defined as WORK. Thus, my first resolution is to WORK MORE, and PLAY LESS.
Resolution 2. Nails. About mine and the dogs. None of them are ever in the shape that I think they should be. Every time I trim the dog’s nails I will eat chocolate. (See Resolution 3.) Every time I do something about my “farm-enhanced” fingernails I will eat more chocolate. (See Resolution 3.)
Resolution 3. Chocolate. Is a health food. Nothing more needs to be said. And gin is made from the fruit of the juniper tree. Fruit is good. So maybe I should have a martini more than once on Friday nights. Just saying.
Resolution 4. Facts about Weight: Five + pounds over the weight I want has many benefits. a) If I get lost in the woods I’ll have something to tide me over. b) Stores always stock size 10’s. c) It was 14 degrees below zero Farenheit this morning. There is just so much a down jacket can do to insulate a person. d) I have boobs now. Therefore, I resolve to never again resolve that I’ll lose weight. (Note: This is no way relates to Resolution 3.)
Resolution 5: “Dog Tricks” will be defined as rolling over for belly rubs (on cue or not), sleeping in the sun, and rolling in dead animals. I hereby resolve that having dogs who a) are great working sheep dogs (Tootsie is excused from this), b) will stop within one or two strides when asked, even if bursting after a just-flushed deer, c) jump into the bathtub for baths on cue and stay there of their own volition, even when we all know they don’t want to, and d) sit, lie down, heel, back up, leave it, go into crates, pause, jump up, spin, weave, high five, come when called no matter what–is actually good enough. I do not have to teach my dogs every trick possible to be a good dog owner and professional dog trainer.
And, in all seriousness:
Resolution 6. I will love and cherish my dogs as much as my heart can hold. I will thank them every day for what they give me. I will thank them for gagging before they vomit so that I can move them onto the wood floor instead of the bed or carpet (as one blog reader reminded us). I will pretend I don’t care that Maggie thinks frozen poop is the best food known to dog. I will rub their bellies and laugh as they play and tell them every day that I love them to the moon and back even while washing gag-inducing fox poop off of their fur.
And you? I can’t wait to hear your New Year’s Resolutions…
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: I’ve been quiet on social media the last three weeks because Jim’s 94 year old mother (Maisie–best name ever), fell and broke her hip. She has Parkinson’s and the combination created a non-stop three-week tunnel of family emergency, the kind that takes over all else and leaves no time or energy for anything else. She’s been in assisted living, 10 minutes away from the farm, for the last 13 months, but after the fall things degraded so much that she is now in skilled nursing care and hospice will begin, starting tomorrow. Many of you have gone through this and understand when I say that it’s beyond hard. Trying to assuage her confusion, fear, anger and suffering, making good decisions and arranging the best care for her has pretty much taken up every bit of energy we’ve had. The good news is that she is in a good place and she’s accepted into hospice (bless them), and things should stabilize soon.
This morning Jim and I are home together with a free morning, because Jim’s brothers flew in and are giving us a break. How sweet every hour at home is right now.
And cold. As I mentioned earlier, it was 14 below this morning. Last night it was a balmy four below, as we gathered with some friends for a New Year’s Eve bonfire at the home of M and J. Jim and I expected a “big bonfire” but did not expect the towering Twenty Five Foot Teepee of Tinder we were led to after a yummy dinner of butternut squash soup. Here are some photos of the bonfire. We all asked that everything bad about 2017 go up in flames with the wood. (For many of us, that required an extra large fire, right?)
And I did get time to do a little Christmas’y decorating. Here are my Santa’s beside a Christmas cactus that, miracle of miracles, decided to bloom at Christmas.