January 4, 2019

Filling in the blanks...

2018 went by so fast... hardly had time to realize it until it was gone. It seemed like at times it would be a year of "losses".. but then a bright spot would always appear. Starting in late January, we lost one of our ewes, Dolly, who'd been sick for a few months before but took a sudden turn for the worse in cold weather. Then we lost our sweet red rooster, Big Otis, in the spring along with another sheep from our flock, Meatball, who passed unexpectedly one morning. I found him unable to get up and by the time I got back to the barn with my vet on the phone, he was gone.... now our little flock of sheep is down to four, and they're all ten years old, so time is catching up with them as well. *sigh* We also lost two hives of honeybees this year... we're still scratching our heads over that one. We will hopefully try again this year if we can find some nucs from a local beekeeper.

In November, we found out Lily had an inoperable mass in her stomach and we had to let her go. I was devastated... and swore I didn't want another dog for a long time, if ever. Two weeks later I had to eat those words when a little bulldog came into our life unexpectedly and stole our hearts. He's not Lily, and that's okay... I will always miss and love her but there's always enough love to go around, and you can't help but to love this little guy... meet "Tuggy". (Or Tug, for short.) He's all boy and loves to chew on anything, but he is also a snuggle bug and has no clue what the phrase "personal space" means. But that's okay by me.

One of the brightest spots of 2018 (and a dream come true for me)~ I finally have my very own little apple orchard. I tucked away a small part of my inheritance when Dad passed away in 2016 for the day when I would be ready to start planting. Twenty apple trees went into the ground in March and April~ five of each: Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps, Winesaps; three Arkansas Blacks, and two McIntosh.
Then we had a drought...*sigh*... thankfully we were able to get a water tank, and every night for two months we watered trees.

Hubby also saw his dream of a vineyard realized... he built three trellises and planted red and white grapes, along with a row of muscadines. We are anxiously looking forward to spring, hoping all we planted last year continues to grow and will one day bear not only fruit for us but enough left over to share.

Now that the holidays are over and life is finally slowing down, I'm looking forward to doing some weaving in the next few weeks before really warm weather arrives and I have to spend most of my time outside... once Tuggy is "potty-trained", maybe....
Until next time,


  1. your story is breaking my heart, all of it, from sheep and Lily to the honey bees. so sorry for all the losses you suffered last year. Welcome Tuggy, absolutely adorable. I have much the same story on Fourpaws. Our dog Jake blind and deaf and demntia left us in Octorber. I said no more dogs, we are to old, a week later, the empty house was driving us nuts. I said no big dogs, no pit mix and then we fell in love with 5 and 5 months old, BIG black dog and Big moved in... I just had a crying jag this morning over Jake but Big has filled our hearts with love.

  2. Oh Paula!! Not Lily...all that sadness in a year. It’s only got to get better! Starting with Mr Adorable Tug!! What a doll baby...and the orchards...I sincerely hope you keep us updated on how they work out for y’all. Posting once a year!! Bad Paula!🥴🥰
    We miss you sweet friend...
    Bigs hugs to you💗

  3. I have missed you!!!
    I'm sad about Lily....and your bees. I know how hard that is for you-I remember you petting one of your bees! But oh my, to lose Lily...I know Tug will fill a different spot in your sweet heart. It's so good to see you blogging again, and I can't wait to see the progress of the orchard and vineyard!

  4. Paula, I have so missed visiting your blog and was delighted to see a comment from you and to see that you have returned! So very sorry for all of your losses and I hope this year will bring you much happiness!

  5. Sending {hugs} for your loss, and for your new beginnings.
    I love seeing your posts again, and wishing you guys a year filled with much happiness and rich blessings.
    Your 'Tug' looks like a sweetie!

    Smiles :)

  6. As I was reading about your livestock losses it reminded me of my first flock of Poland chickens. I lost Goose this year - the last of the originals. I'm down to 4 birds now. One large fowl and 3 bantams. All mixed. Brought a tear to my eye hearing about Lily. I always loved seeing her riding in her trailer. Heart felt condolences to you and yours.

  7. Paula, I read your blog frequently "in the old days" and have missed it. I saw it on Kerin's sidebar at Mill Hill Meadow this morning, and came to take a look. I am so glad you are still having adventures at your place in the country. I am sorry about Lilly's loss, but Tug is the cutest boy ever! So glad to have found you again.

  8. I know this is an old post but I am sure you still miss Lily, so glad you have your new sweet bull dog. When Jake died a year ago, we decided to never have another dog. 8 days later we had our Big Boy, the house was to empty.

    1. LOL Yes, same thing happened at our house. I said, "nope, no more dogs." Then, a week later I had to eat those words. HAHA


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