Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Mountain

Tonight, as I was making my nightly dog-trail trek to the Wee House,
I couldn't hold back a knowing grin.

Tomorrow would be my last day of employment. 
I will no longer work for the State of Michigan.
I will be officially retired.

It's been a good ride. 
A good job.

But now, it's time to live a life like I've envisioned for a long, long time.

As I was smiling in the dark tonight,
I couldn't help but picture in my mind's eye Iditarod champion Lance Mackey
as he crossed the finish line in 2007, when he exclaimed to his wife Tonya,
"Life just changed...life just changed..."

That is exactly how I will feel tomorrow night as I leave the door of DHS one last time.

But tonight, I feel like I'm at the Iditarod checkpoint of White Mountain...
waiting for my 8-hour layover to wind down,
so tomorrow morning I can make that one final trek. 

One final day at my desk, in my office,
answering to hundreds of clients, before I am set free. 
At the finish line. 
Ready for a new adventure.

Ready for 1/3 Living...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Away in the Manger

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were filled with fear.

And the angel said to them,
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
Luke 2:9-12

Merry Christmas from Russ and Sherry at
Russ-Stick Acres...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Heart

The lunar eclipse on the same day as the winter solstice.

Big doin's in the sky.

I woke at 2 a.m., on my own, and made a trip to the frosty outhouse. 
At that time, the moon was half eclipsed. 

I shrugged and stood outside for a few minutes in the nearly single digit cold,
wondering where the beautiful moonlight had gone. 

Quite frankly, I felt robbed. 

It was getting darker, and dreary. 

It was then I decided I wasn't a fan of the full moon eclipse. 
I love the full moon too much to give up any part...for any reason.
Wonderful things have happened in my life, during a full moon. 

I believe our 20+ sled dogs felt the same way.
As if on cue, they began a slow, mournful howl that carried into the night's sky. 
One I had never heard before and perhaps never will again. 
Sled dogs howl for many reasons. 
A "thank you howl" at the end of feeding. 
A "don't leave for work" howl. 
A "member of the pack died" howl. 
A "rainy day" howl. 
And last night, I heard a howl that mourned the loss of the full moon. 

The beautiful light, illuminating shimmering crystals of snow, was gone. 
In its place - darkness.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

FLASH MOB - Russ-Stick Style

Our Farm Flash Mob.

They may not be singing Hallelujah...

Or know the lyrics to "Don't Stop Believin'"...by Journey.

Or know about the fuss Glee is causing.
(Click on the link to check it out...)

Sheep photo taken at Amish Farm.
Our Flash Mobs are quieter...
but no less orchestrated.

All you need is one excited participant to begin.

Then you've got something to crow about.

Don't hide...join in.

Joy comes in many forms. 
Even a Flash Mob.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1/3 Living - Laughter

This past week has been difficult. 
I'm saying goodbye to a lifetime of "clocking in".  Of being confined in an office setting.
A fellow co-worker, who has long since passed away, said it best...
"We're bureaucratic moles..."
We arrive to the office at dark, we leave at dark. 
Doesn't leave much of a life.

I'm retiring from State employment.
From determining who's eligible for this and that...

The obligatory party is over.  Congrats are said. 
Now the reality begins.

Upon arriving home Friday night from yet another party, it struck me.  
I've been hiding under the guise of work.
Of being too busy to be "me".

But that comes to an end.  Here and now.
No more excuses. 
No more looking in on life, but being too busy to participate.
No more "Weekend Warrior".

The time is near.  I'll soon be cut loose.
I'll be home. 
I'll be plugged in.

After arriving home Friday night, teeming with emotion,
I trudged through the snow up to the Wee House, carrying a festive gift bag, 
to open in the quiet of the night by the glow of the firelight.
It was from my dear friend, Mo.
Mo and I have a common bond. 
Upon peeling back the tissue, I see she has given me a plaque, with a card to match.
Laugh until it Hurts.
Smiling, I placed it on the shelf over my computer to view daily in the coming years.
Laughter - it must be a component of my daily routine.
It won't be difficult, as my life partner and husband, Russ, is firmly rooted in laughter.
I hope it's not too late for me to get it back...seeing the joy in everything.
This new 1/3 Living is going to be tough, in so many ways,
but the joys and freedom it will bring should produce one sure crop. 
And we plan to Laugh until it Hurts.

Stay tuned as we explore the ways to live on little, but have more. 
Project "Less is More" is about to kick in on 1/3 Living.

Friday, December 17, 2010


See if you can count the "wild" animals in this photo.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season

For breeding pigs...

There's been lots of squeals this past week.

Some from delight, some from surprise.

According to our handy Pig Pregnancy Calendar,
we expect 2 litters around April Fool's Day.

No foolin'. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'll Fly Away...

Just a few more weary days and then...I'll fly away.

To that land where joy will never end...I'll fly away.

Nine more (work) days until I retire...and then...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Running Dogs Daily

Mushers are nodding their heads.  All knowing.

Non-mushers may be scratching their heads.

What does Running Dogs Daily actually mean?

For us, it means we have switched from Horse training...

To dog training.

And getting settled into the rhythm of the winter months.

Of play, and work.

Hauling provisions for our wood stoves.

And just enjoying the day with our furried friends.

We hope you are getting your winter rhythms set also...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Silent Night...Holy Night

I love simple.
Sun, rain, snow, wind.
So it stands to reason I love being in my little hide-a-way. 

The Wee House.

I love the end of the night, when I turn off the computer, unscrew my reading lamp's lightbulb (the on/off chain fell off months ago), and dive into total darkness.

However, the darkness doesn't last but a few blinks of the eye...
because the world outside enters through the windows and fills the Wee with wonder.

Still, calm, and silent. 
The quiet of the night invites the Lord. 
Pure peace. 

Silent night.
I hear Zip let out a sigh, and resume her gentle breathing. 

The moonlit night filling the Wee joins hands with the flicker of the wood stove's hot fire,
dancing a jig of amber reflections through the glass stove door.
It fills the night with natural light, one that makes me smile with joy.

Holy night.
Sweet wood aroma fills my small nest. 
I can see snow resting on the tree limbs outside.
It's a good feeling to know all the animals are warm in their sleeping quarters.
And so are we. 

Sleep in Heavenly Peace...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter at the Wee

It's here...

A white winter.

Cold and beautiful.

Sometimes a tad overwhelming...

But always elegent.

May all your winters be white and wonderful.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Early Morning Coffee

Shared with a friend.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Focus on Him

I've been enjoying a little devotional book by Sarah Young
with the title of 
Jesus Calling.

Published by Thomas Nelson.

If you're like me, this stretch of holiday starting with Thanksgiving,
right up to Christmas, is a roller coaster of emotion. 

Missing family members who are no longer with us.
Or living far away. 

Remembering the sweet childhood memories that were filled with wonder. 
The list goes on.

This little book is a life line to Him. 
It's a personal conversation.

Check it out and see. 
Who knows,
it may also be a perfect gift for those on your Christmas list that are hard to buy for each year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Good Deed for the Day

Over the weekend, I had noticed one of the wild turkeys didn't quite trot the same due to a perfectly tied "bow" on his right leg.  There was a sash made from the top of a feeding bag that had somehow looped and fastened to its leg. 

I had wondered if he could "shake it off". 

However, I had failed to mention it to Russ. 

It seems I didn't have to, because he noticed on his own.

Yesterday, Russ made a snare and patiently waited for the big fella to step in.

Once he did, there was some squawkin', but Russ got the sash untied and rescued the bird's leg from a painful bondage.

Russ said "He thought he was a gonner..but settled down eventually and was grateful for his freedom once I could get the tight tie cut off..."

Small task, with a big outcome ~ a wild turkey who knows the hands of kindness.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday Mornings ~ 1/3 Living

Only 4 more Mondays.

Once I'm "retired", Mondays will blend into the other days of the week.

No line of demarcation.

Every day, except Sunday, will be nameless.

But full of work, like last year's snow-filled days. 


And wonder...

And celebration.

And raw living.

1/3 living.

Stay tuned...it's going to be quite the ride.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snowy Sunday Simplicity

On Sundays, we like to take things slow.

Sabbath slow.

Although we started out with some wind and snow on Saturday...

Sunday ended up nice.


And sun filled.

Our two goats, Rachael and Levi, are now bedded down in their new winter location.

Attached to the barn for inside warmth.

And some of the chickens are still making up their minds.

Deciding on a winter roost.

Or to simply enjoy the mild weather.

The rabbits have many options and love the snow.

And the room to roam and run.

 Everyone is welcome.

And no one goes the cold winter alone.

We hope your Sunday was simple and snowy.