Saturday, April 18, 2015

Half The Spots Gone! Antlerstock 2015!

I wanted to announce that Antlerstock will beheld once again, this October, Columbus Day Weekend 2015! For those of you new to the blog, Antlerstock is a private Homesteading Festival held right here at CAF.  It is a Celebration of like minds, music, stories and skills. It's a taste of everything from draft horses to small livestock butchering.  Last year there was a blacksmith demonstration with Living Iron Forge , traditional timber farming and harvesting with Brett McLeod, Draft horse demo from Livingston Brook Farm, backyard livestock classes (me), Herbalism 101 with Elizabeth McCarty, Sourdough Bread Baking with WindWomen Farm, and more! There were timber sports, archery for beginners, and soap making - just to name a few events. As the spring and summer continues more events will be added but right now for certain there will be:

Draft Horse Harnessing and Demonstrations
Traditional Horse Logging 101
Small Holding Livestock Classes
Soapmaking with lye and fat
Archery 101
Prepping 101
Mountain Music Demos/classes
Barter Blankets
Cider Making (hard)
Campfire Potluck & jam
And More!!!

The cost to attend this two day, all day-long, event is $200 a person if purchased after July 2015. It is $150 a person if purchased before. However, if you sign up now the first five people who sign up can attend for $250 a couple. AND I will include an Indie Day with that price. So, you could come for Sat and Sun and stay for Monday to cover anything else in detail. Or come this summer as a couple, and return for Antlerstock in the fall. Email me at to sign up

Come in, sit down.

Welcome new readers and old friends, I often post this: Come in,  Sit Down, which means introduce yourself here on the blog by your name and location, and maybe share a little more about yourself as far as homesteading dreams or goals are? If you don't feel comfortable giving your name online, you could always just leave your location and perhaps a suggestion for the blog. It's a way for me to see who I am writing to and say hello. It makes the place a little more friendly on this side, as you know so much about me, but I know so little about you. A simple introduction makes it feel like I'm talking with a group rather than writing to the sky. If you never comment this post is an exception worth making. You might even make a friend or two...

It's also a way for you guys out there to connect with other folks with like interests. If you're sitting in your Sausalito apartment dreaming of mini angus bloodlines and rototillers you might just see another name from Sausalito a few comments down dreaming about coop plans and explaining his container gardens.... and before you know if you've made a farming friend. The internet is great—you'll never hear me say otherwise—but it keeps us inside a little too much. It should be a tool to network and learn from, not a replacement for three dimensional conversations and relationships. (I am talking for myself right now as much as anyone) and by saying hello here you might just spark book clubs and dinner potlucks, meetups and work parties, farm visits and advice, or just someone to grab coffee with in the Philadelphia Barnes & Noble and pour over the new issue of Hobby Farms together while chatting about why your husbands think chickens are ridiculous.

So come on inside, pull up a chair, and say hello.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fiddle Day Campers?!

Hey there! If you signed up for the Fiddle Day Camp on May 2nd, please email me at to check in? Some I have not heard from in a few months and want to confirm I am prepared for all attending? Or if you have changed plans - let me know so someone else can take the spot?

Bourbon Red Eggs

Merlin doesn't like limitations...

Remember that newly electrified paddock I put Merlin into last night? Well, this morning I was out in the rain repairing the part he burst through so he could just stand under his favorite apple tree. Seems like a good balance to yesterday's love letter, no? As wet and frustrating as it was I had to appreciate the poetry. And it's mornings like this that make days like the one's I caught this week so creamy and good. How about you guys? Ever have a "perfect" homesteading moment and then something go textbook WRONG the next day?! I bet you guys have some stories to tell. Share them! I'll even mail a signed copy of one of my books (your choice) to the best story out there!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Seeds in the Ground!

This morning was bursting with chilly sunlight, yet the farmhouse was warm. Warm in the way that only mugs of coffee and red coals can keep promises. They offer us this; "You do the work of brewing beans and kindling fires and in return we will offer quicker wits and and warmer bodies." I took them both up on their promises and started this day with my daily mug of hot coffee with heavy cream and little heat.

Chores were done with the efficiency you gain as the days get warmer. I go about the normal rounds and then realize slowly the chores have been growing. There are pregnant does of both rabbit and goat kind waiting to give birth (probably both around Beltane) and the chickens are once again laying eggs. I find eggs everywhere. They are in the back of the pickup truck, among the sheep, and hidden in the barn in an old bucket. They are green and white and blue right now. The dozen chicks I am brooding are doing well. Thety are Buff Orpingtons and Golden Wyandottes. Now at a week old they jump clear out of their first brooder. I had to upgrade them to a stock tank. Hot dang, those gals have some gams.

Like all weekday mornings I spent this one in my living room working on logos for design clients. I am pretty happy with this recent completion, a berry farm that needed some good marketing. The farm is called Knock Knock, after the sounds ravens make when they are using their beaks to call each other. It was fun to work on and I was grateful for the opportunity to add a little more to this farm's fund. I have four pigs to pick up next week and am hoping to do that, make a mortgage payment, and keep up with other obligations to truck, friends, and farm. So far I have been keeping my head above water. So I design and play records and drink my thick coffee and have to wear sweaters because I am not moving. Even with the sun shining outside my sweat is dry from the work of hauling morning water in buckets and throwing bales of hay. I know soon there will be goats and dairy chores added to the morning mix and so I make a mental note to download some new audiobooks for that rough first week. Getting my arms used to milking will require a good story.

After design work was done it was early afternoon and I went back outside. I jogged a few miles and did my workout routine. That got me warm again so I got bow and quiver and shot 30 arrows into an old thatch circular target. I am up to 30 heavy arrows from 20 last week. My arm needs to get used to the 50lb draw of my hunting bow. I was shooting 50 arrows at 30lbs easily and realized I was ready to size up. I need more practice at that draw but I only broke two arrows today, not bad for a spring's beginning.

After all that business I checked on the turkey hen's nest and found another speckled odd-looking egg. So far four have been collected for the incubator in an attempt to raise Thanksgiving dinner from the womb itself. My turkeys are always caught in the "act" so I am pretty sure they are fertilized. I guess time will tell. I'll bring more to Patty's farm soon to set into her incubator of goose eggs. She hosts Thanksgiving but the deal is I always am the one who brings the bird. This year it could be a Bourbon Red hatched, raised, and slaughtered right here between both our farms. If that isn't an exercise in proper gratitude I don't know what is.

My big achievement of the day was the Kailyard. I got out there and repaired the perimeter fence. I used hoe and pitchfork and turned year-old goat manure. pig bloodied hay, horse poop and rabbit turds into the food to feed it. Isn't it funny how carnivorous vegetables are?  They love to eat the blood, bones, manure and compost of living beasts that usually eat them. I planted snap peas, spinach, and two types of heirloom lettuce (Nevada and Deer Tongue) I set up the four-foot row poles and covered the freshly planted earth with cover cloths that let in rain and sun and protect the baby seedlings from cold, high wind and curious birds. It felt so good to plant a seed, work earth, and add the fertility that comes of keeping a small farm. On days like this you can see the whole dance from the balcony.

As the afternoon light started to gently kiss my mountain I decided to take Merlin out for some groundwork and a ride. He was not as good as last ride, but nowhere near as bad as a few weeks ago. Miles in the saddle all make a better horse, so I rode him up int the mountains on a new trail. The first time we ventured to that part of our usual summer loop. He was a little nervous but it was also new ground covered so I considered it a fine ride. It felt so good to be on that black horse, with saddle bags and our old tack. I was in bare legs and my usual riding clothes of tall socks, paddock boots, half chaps and kilt. I wear riding breeches under the kilt that I cut off above the knee so there's no rubbing or chaffing all day and I can ride in comfort. I am starting to feel like my summer self. It was mighty fine. I picked off a few ticks. Those buggers are the worst.

After the ride I moved Merlin from his winter paddock to his summer one. It is smaller (half an acre instead of 2) but that pasture needs to come back and I plan on expanding the kitchen garden in the spot he spent the whole winter waiting for hay and pooping. I need to look into some good pasture seed. Before turning in for the evening chores I walked his paddock fence and made sure the electric was on and all was well. It was, and so now it is the field's turn to do the work of growing.

The day is coming to a close and my night consists of dinner, the new episode of Outlander, and a well-earned restful evening. I had taken care of a farm, planted seeds, trained a horse, rode up a mountain trail, bottle fed a lamb, seen to young poultry, and now it was time to enjoy a night in with Jamie and Claire and know there set of a rainy day ahead. Tomorrow will be a good day to work on more design clients and plan workshops and other such indoor activities. I adore these days of growing physical efforts but my arms are sore from arrows, my legs sore from jogging and saddle, my back a little bent from the gardening and I think it is time to kick back and be grateful for another wonderful day at this little mountain farm.

Into the Kailyard!

I am so enjoying these warmer days. So very much. Today I am going to tackle the kale yard and move some year-old goat manure and hay into the now thaw soil. It is early but I am planting snow peas and lettuce under some hoops with garden cloth. I'll be posting photos later and some details on this simple hoe, pole, and cloth planting for early crops!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chicken 101 Vlog Series!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hail Spring!

I could barely believe the forecast when I saw it, sunny and 75 degrees! That is what I saw before tucking into bed last night and that what was on my mind when I woke up this morning. It was a glorious day here at Cold Antler and I want to tell you all about it!

Morning chores were done in a tee shirt. A tee shirt! I carried buckets to horse, sheep and goats and refilled rabbit feeders and crocks. I walked flakes of hay around and threw the sheep their hearty half bale. The last bit of morning chorus is the graining of the flock and pregnant goats. It was happy work and done with Gibson back and my side and little Victory romping around us. Before I headed indoors for coffee I checked in on the chicks in their brooder. They were doing well and chirping away. Once they had fresh cold water and their feeder topped off I headed inside. I was already working up a sweat and I couldn’t be happier. I had not sweat in a tee shirt in lifetimes. Hail spring!

I wish I could say I spent the rest of that morning playing fiddle in the sun or fishing for early trout in the Battenkill, but I didn’t. I spent it working on several design clients and answering emails. When the office work was done it was around 1:30 and I was ready to get outside!

Oh, how wonderful and warm it was! I got in a good jog up and down the mountain and worked on my forms and techniques for my black belt test. Afterward I grabbed my quiver and bow and shot 50 arrows in the target before my arm was too sore to continue. Running and Archery are two of the three pieces of a perfect day and I had one left to accomplish...

I slipped on half chaps and breeches and got Merlin out of his paddock. Boy, was he covered in mud! It was dried and caked on his flank and he seemed happy as a pig all dirty and hair blowing in the gentle wind. It’s no trouble getting him in halter and leading him from his pasture. We did our ground work and then headed up the mountain for a mile trail ride, a bit longer than yesterday’s adventure. For the first time this spring we were able to reach the top of the mountain and overlook the old Birch tree and the view of Cambridge and Salem. Merlin was so great. No attitude, not fuss. I barely used my hands at all and the trip was as joyous as any ride in memory. It ended with him splashing his snout and hooves in a fast-moving little mountain creek and making me laugh. I hugged his neck.

I came home and groomed him like the prince he is. It is fantastically mindless work, brushing a horse. I felt like an old friend had moved back into place in my heart. When he was back in his pasture with hay and cold well water I repeated the morning chores and then headed out the door to visit Mark and Patty. Their farm is large and faces the west and sunsets are gourmet there. I wanted to end this day right.

And so I did. This amazing day of lambs and light, arrows and ariats, work and weather - it ended with raised glasses and good friends. I checked out Patty’s four new Romney lambs in the barn and congratulated her on the amazing new additions! She had spent the day with her husband using their 1948 tractor to move firewood from field to woodshed. She was glowing with pride in repairing and using that little beast. I was proud of her, too.

Winter seemed so long and spring is finally here. Today was downright magic and a day to be so very proud of. After so much cold and dark I am seeing so much light. May the blessing leak all over the place.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

So Much Better!

So if you watch my videos then you already know about the last ride with Merlin. A week ago (It rained here all week) Merlin and I had quite the disagreement about how horses should be enjoyed. He felt they should do whatever they want, buck, crow hop and bitch. I felt they should walk quietly in a straight line. And the reason it went so poorly was I thought I could skip the ten-to-fifteen minutes of ground work I learned from Natural Horsemanship Trainer (and farrier!) Dave. Today I didn't skip it. We worked for twenty minutes or so and I felt and saw the change in his attitude. Then he was groomed, tacked, and worked again in his tack. I wanted to do this to see if it was the gear he was wearing that caused his attitude change. It wasn't! So we went for a short 1/2 mile muddy trail ride and there were very few problems. There was no tugging or hollering. There was no circling or fear. That time on the ground made all the difference. I also wore a helmet for the ride (to relax a little) and all went so well. I even snapped a selfie afterward!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


How sad is it that when I came home from my 2-hour talk about Raising Chickens at Merck Forest I saw the barn door swinging open and felt a pang of panic. I could not remember the door being opened and the barn right now isn't being used for anything but goat shelter from the rain, and even then - just one corner. The rest of the barn needs to be cleaned out and readied for milking space. The pig pen need to be mucked, emptied from 6 months without use and chickens just pecking and molting feathers in there. I went about evening chores and I was worried the whole time because someone who wanted to ruin my life and livliehood could take pictures of this weird block of time on an early spring afternoon and draw all sorts of foolish conclusions. Sounds paranoid, right? Well it is happening all over America.

The horse had spent the afternoon rolling in the mud and knocked over his water rubber tub (10-gallons) and someone could say he was neglected and filthy and denied water intentionally. They wouldn't see his body condition, just-trimmed hoofs, or the fact he has 2 acres of field to run and enjoy. They would just see a horse that looks like a mess. The rabbits had not been fed since morning and their water crocks needed refilling, so they must never be fed or watered, right? The dogs were inside, the sheep's water had run low, the place needs to be raked and woodpiles restocked. You get the picture?

And that person could break the law and trespass on my property and snap photos. They could accuse me of neglect, and slander me online and the whole time they'd holler I had no anti-tresspassing signs on the front lawn and their constitutional right of free speech meant they could say whatever they wanted. All this based on one afternoon in early spring.

I just finished evening chores and if someone walked around now I'd get a friggin award for their care and condition. A gorgeous horse just brushed with perfect feet, great hay, and water overflowing. They'd see the romping free range space for a flock of birds and healthy lambs running in the field as their mothers chew on a pile of second cut goodness. They'd see happy, pregnant goats with trimmed hooves eating minerals and grain with their red bucket filled to the brim. They'd see new chicks in the brooder with paste-free butts. Why? Because at this moment everything is perfect. Twice a day this place is perfect, morning and evening chores. The rest of the time it is a farm.

A farm - like your kitchens, changes all day in appearance and usage and performance. If someone broke in from child services and you hadn't gone grocery shopping yet and there was dirty dishes in the sink and pizza take-out boxes by the door they could snap photos of your private property and say you had failed as a parent. You failed to ensure proper care and nutrition of your household and child. Didn't you know that mold could grow on those dishes, and the toilet wasn't flushed and had urine in it, and there was nothing planned for dinner and the floor had mud on it...You must be a filthy, horrible person. They could type that up, take photos and show evidence of poor planning and slander you and take away your children. But we all know that if that happened thousands of families would be outraged and rally and say that this was is insane and idiotic.Yet, if you raise animals in 2015 and the place doesn't look like a County Fair exhibit 24/7 you're a deadbeat, animal abusing, criminal.

I hate that that fear filled me. I hate that this is all true and neighbors right in this state are dealing with criminal charges because a dog bowl froze in February. I hate that this is what it is like to have animals and be a public person in this modern world of iPhones, anonymous comments, and ignorance of livestock and their care. Most of all, I hate that I felt I had to write this in case some crazy person snuck into my barn when I was teaching strangers about brooder temperatures and flock health.

First Chicks of This Season!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Food and Safety?

It is a rainy week here in Veryork and today may be the cloudiest of them all. Looks like a solid downpour all day. The butchering team is coming on this foul day to help with the four large pigs I have raised through the winter. It's their turn to help keep the promise of pork to the co-owners who supported this farm. I'll be out in the rain helping as well. It will not be pleasant work, but necessary. It makes me a little pensive, both the weather and the work ahead today.

I am often asked if I grow attached to my pigs? I don't. If I raised them like puppies in the house and cuddled them and taught them to sit, I might, sure, but these animals are beasts right now. Last time I walked in the pen to help spread their straw bedding in the Pigoda they snapped at me, ripping my kilt and taking taste tests of my limbs. How often we forget that the only livestock that is happy to eat us, is pigs. I know James Cromwell went Vegan after filming the movie Babe, but nature doesn't follow the same rules. If Mr. Cromwell passed out cold in a pig pen with grown-up Babe? Well, let's just say he'd win the award for more ironic death in the history of agriculture.

More than ever before people want nothing to do with their own care and feeding. I'm not talking about something as grand as homesteading either, I mean just basic care and feeding. There are folks without basic staples in their cabinets and without microwaves and can openers wouldn't know how to cook a spaghetti dinner. Some of us even believe it isn't our job at all, anyone. There is a huge service industry out there now and when quarter pounders cost just four quarters, why should they? Never before has a people lived in such luxury and wealth with constant resources for education literally at their fingertips and instead they are watching cat videos. Sigh. Sorry guys, just a rainy morning here.

Oh another note, there is a discussion about gun ownership on my Facebook page. I wanted to feel out the readership for their thoughts on firearms. Do they own one? If not, what is their reason? For some it had to do with their country's laws and limitations. Others felt it wasn't safe with small children in the house. Others were hunters and target shooters, while a few were staunch pacifists. Some wanted fund but felt they couldn't afford one. It is so interesting how many different opinions and views came out of that discussion. Feel free to join in, but that is another issue for another time.

All right, off to say my goodbye and thanks to the Pegs out back. Check back for updates on their harvest and other news here at Cold Antler Farm!

Promote Your Site!

Okay folks! So, I have a new offer I have never done before. I am looking to gain some new Logo Clients/Ad Sales. If you have a small business that could use branding AND want some more exposure - I am offering a Logo Design/ Ad on CAF blog combo deal right now. The price is more than the regular logo price but offers you professional branding plus your company on my blog along with BIG homesteading names like Lehman's, Hoegger, and more! Get your company out to a larger audience and look professional. If interested please email. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Vlog! Should Goats Be Dehorned?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sheep Are Good

Sheep are good. They provide so much to the small holder and ask for very little in return. The learning curve is steep, but the rewards are fantastic. What other animal provides you with so much yet only desires simple shelter, grass, water, and sunlight to thrive? From a trio of sheep (a ram and two ewes) your small piece of land can enjoy wool, meat, fleeces, horn, lambs, milk, and complimentary lawn mowing. They are generally quiet and peaceful and if you have a stock dog you just became a tiny god in his eyes. I have been keeping sheep for a few years now, since 2009, and even with all the mistakes, heartbreak, and sore muscles I must say I have learned more from these critters than anything I else I raise for the table around here. I am proud of the growing flock at Common Sense Farm and of the three romping ram lambs here all sold and on their way to new farms in the next few weeks. Yes indeed, sheep are good.

photo by Miriam Romais

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Stink.

This Monday morning started with a trip into town for feed and hot coffee. Soon as I closed the door on the sun-warmed truck I could smell....myself. Hooo. This single-woman-farmer-self-employed thing can get away from you. I was wearing a worn in shirt (with hand-mended patched parts), tights, kilt, and canvas vest. The same worn in shirt, tights, kilt, and canvas vest I'd been wearing around the farm the last few days. When you work outdoors for yourself you don't really care or notice being a little shabby. You don't shower and do laundry every day either. What's the point? Honestly it comes down to this when it pertains to wardrobe: there are farm clothes, house clothes, and going-out clothes (also known as "clean" clothes). And if all you are doing is farm work, updating blogs, designing in your living room, and making business calls you just don't need to be pretty. But this morning.... Man, did I stink. It was time for a bacterial exorcism.

But before I could get the laundry done or hit the showers I needed to finish my morning chores. So I grabbed the grain bags from Noble Ace and then made the trip next door to Stewart's for hot coffee. Walking inside I was self conscious so I kept a wide berth between me and the morning commuters. I watched men in polo shirts, button downs, and clean pants and slip-on shoes get into their 4-door cars for their trip to their respected carpeted offices. I watched women with perfect hair, liquid eyeliner, and heels get coffee from the same trough I was. I had one of those moments when you stop to remember a past life. I used to come in here before heading to a corporate office just a few years ago. I was clean, hair washed and ironed, makeup on, clothing crisp and fresh. But nowI was feeling grimy and honestly looking forward to my cup of coffee with genuine fervor while watching ghosts from my past life. I smiled. Dress for the job you want, not the job you had.

Don't worry, I showered. I also did the laundry. I got hay bales loaded, feed home, chores done, fires started, logos delivered, novel added to, new work started, jogged, ate dinner, and here I am updating the blog before crashing for the night. It was a good Monday, and a lot more productive of a start to the week than when I worked under someone else's name. I wasn't as diligent but I sure smelled better. Sometimes life is a happy little game of Go Fish.

In other news: I split orders with another local farm for laying hens and vegetable row covers and hoops. The ground is still frozen here but Speckled Sussex Hens and Lettuce rows are already in the plans. The four fat pigs I raised all winter are being harvested soon and repairs to the pen and new piglets will arrive in their place. The does are getting fatter, and kids will be romping in the living room soon. All the ram lambs are sold and waiting to wean off milk so they can start their new lives on other farms. There are also meat birds on the way (100!) as well winter barn mucking, goat barn repairs, a milking studio to start (inside the barn) and a spring Fiddle Camp to plan. Things are moving right along. I feel like all of April (my least favorite month) is going to be preparation and saving up for the explosion of energy and life that will be June. You know, this June it'll be three years of self-employment living a life I'll never stop pursuing or give up. I should accept that means I'm going to stink around people in polo shirts and heals. I should also be damn grateful for it. Sometime freedom stinks.

 Photo by Miriam Romais

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Where I Started

This is going to be a musical post. That means that I would like you to play the music here. Click "here" and another window will pop up with a song. Once the ad is skipped and the song has begun, you minimize the music link and just set your volume so you can hear the music and read at the same time. This is a post about this morning. It deserves the right backup. Got it? I thank you in advance.

I woke up and the sun was shining. Real sun. Not the winter sun that glows behind frosted glass and bounces off ice to bite our eyes, but the sun that heats soil and moves water. The house was cold enough to see my breath but I didn't care. I can't remember ever feeling so warm. It is spring. To wake up to a farm not covered with snow and bathed in dancing rays is enough to send me tripping on Vitamin D.

Gibson was against me in bed, as he has been since he was a puppy. I smiled and kissed his head and in return he curled his spine, pushing back into my chest and covering his head with his paws. That is border collie for "five more minutes". My smile grew wider and I turned over on my back to look outside the window over the daybed. A pair of crows were watching, perhaps ten feet away.  I laughed and Gibson stretched all his limbs out and turned his head to look too. He saw the crows and knew not to bark. We don't heckle angels around here.

Light and laughter literally started this morning.
There is no greater blessing than a pair of crows to this farm.
It was going to be a beautiful day.
That decision was made right there.

I turned on the record player. It is such an old beast, but it has such an amazing scratch and crawl. New music on an old machine enchants me. It speeds up my endorphins as much as hugging black fur and drinking light. I put on this record you are hearing now. Old Annie stretched and yawned. I looked for heavy socks to protect my feet from the shock of cold wood and set a percolator and kettle on the stove. I started a fire to warm up the living space.

I am a volunteer for light. Sunlight, firelight, candlelight, musiclight - that is how to begin a morning. Victory was let out of his crate and he ran to me,  tail wagging. I poured warm kettle water into a bottle of lamb formula. Once it was ready I sat by the fire and fed him. It is Easter morning and I am woke kissing wolves, mothering lambs, and blessed by crows. I know to some people a farm is a fortress or a prison. To others it is an empire or a career. These are choices for fools.

This wonderful mess of a farm and woman, is light. I know that angers people still looking for their own light. Some people search for it in passports, credit cards, and sex. Others have no idea where to begin. That's one way to live but my light is here. A light I fought to catch and store in a mason jar one firefly at a time. So many disparate points of light needed to be hunted one by one and then held in my hand before they could fill a farmhouse with enough to read prayers by. I used to see that as a burden - needing to collect income, energy, and hope a from so many small things to turn into one farm life. How could I have ever seen a jar of swirling light as anything but beautiful? Why did I choose such a foolish idea?

One of the greatest things you can realize is you don't have to believe everything you think.

So this day will be started with music and coffee. It will continue with chores and then a jog long and hard enough to make my head pound and stomach turn. That is benediction, too. I do not work on design clients or any deadlines on Sundays. This is a day for horses and arrows. It is a day for dogs and fiddles. It is a day to invite friends over for games, whiskey, and stories. It is a day to stop and actually realize what is happening all around me. A day to feel a heavy horse move beneath my legs as I hug his neck. A day to inhale lamb wool. A day to run until my heart bursts. A day to realize that the light around me - all those fireflies  - are not here because of chance or luck or the blessing of corvids. They are there because I asked them to be.

Ask for light.
What are you waiting for?
Call your dog.
Grab your reins.
String your bow.
Ask for light.
Catch it and hold fast.
Love it enough to tear you apart.

These are the places I will always go.