Waking up. The process.

Waking up is hard.
Not waking up early, just waking up.
10 am is just as difficult as 6 am; even more so, because at 10 am I’m disappointed in myself.
But 6 am Dani is very convincing that 10 am Dani will be gracious.

She never is.

I love being awake early.
I am so motivated!
But the process of waking up, especially those first 20 minutes of consciousness, is excruciating.
And it doesn’t matter what time I went to bed.
An object in motion stays in motion, and a Dani asleep will stay asleep for 10-13 hours.

When I was in my early 20s, I would wake up right away to my phone alarm only on vibrate.
Then I became self-employed. And I live alone.
So my alarm had to become louder and louder.
And further away from my bed.

I realized that I wasn’t getting out of bed because I was feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list for the day.
I began telling myself at night: ‘Just get up and sit at the table and drink coffee. Don’t even worry about feeding the critters until it’s light out.’
(Because sometimes they don’t get fed until 9 am, anyway…)

I decided to try an experiment:
Is my love for drinking coffee and doing nothing stronger than my love of sleep?

It’s a tie.

But with a coffee pot set to ‘auto,’ a super annoying alarm placed next to it, and a friend who texts me every morning asking, ‘did you finally wake up on time?’

I am successful.

My kitchen table stocked with a laptop, books, journals, a blankie, and the only chairs in my house that are too uncomfortable to nap in.
Maybe I’ll read.
Maybe I’ll write.

Maybe I’ll just stare at this grumpy reflection in the kitchen window until that frown turns upside.

But I’ve found that the most effective trick is to set a coffee date with Felicity. 

I just CANNOT cancel on that little face.




One Year with HarleyDoneGone.

One year ago, my life changed forever.

I drove to Lewiston, ID and acquired my first pet.
Not a dog.
Not a cat.
A six year-old, 16hh Appendix named HarleyDoneGone.

His sales ad looked like every other horse’s:IMG_0072

“No buck.
No rear.
No cribbing.
He’s sound.
Stands tied.
Great for farrier.”

As we attempted to load Harley into the trailer for the first time, we learned that people lie.
He threw a fit and refused to get in the trailer.
We looked at his recently former owner with quizzical expressions.

“Oh yeah. He pulls back. He’s broken out of a halter before. I don’t recommend tying him once you get him in there. I just let him trailer untied. Byeeeeeee.”

Upon returning home, delirious from driving for 24 hours straight, we noticed something wasn’t right.

Dani: “Uhhh. Why can I see Harley’s face in my side-view mirror? Shouldn’t I see his butt?”
Hannah: *Expletive* “Yes. Yes, you should.”

That’s when it began to sink in that this relationship would be a roller coaster.

We put him in a little pen in the pasture where he stood like a total space cadet.
Didn’t acknowledge any of the horses poking and sniffing and trying to say hi.
Just cribbed constantly on anything he could find.
(Despite his previous owner saying he wasn’t a cribber, if you remember.)


On the second day, we had our first real ride together.


The cutest face. So innocent on the outside. Plotting discontent and destruction on the inside.

I asked him for a trot. Wildly insulted, he threw his head back and busted my lip open.


This was the first time I seriously considered lip injections. The swelling evened out real nice. I actually didn’t hate it.

On the third day, I was afraid of him.
Hannah hopped aboard and asked him for a trot.
Wildly insulted at the request, he gave her 38 seconds of bucks, rears, spins and kicks during which I didn’t breathe at all because I was sure one of them was going to die.

Everyone lived.
And he earned 45 minutes of cardio.

A couple weeks later, he broke a lead rope while tied and escaped into a field.
Hannah spent a full hour trying to catch him.
(As I stood crying in the driveway being of no help at all.)

Finally we had breakthrough!
He warmed up to his new herd, and began making friends.



We don’t know that gray horse. But they seem to have an understanding.




He learned that good boys get lots of kisses and cookies.
He slowly turned away from his life of creating chaos and began showing us his cute personality.


He learned that snuggles are pretty great.

He made a tiny best friend.

We met some creatures we didn’t trust.

He handled this one better than I did, as proven by the blurry and panicked photography.


That spider was on his foot. It was huge. Horse for scale.

He learned to politely communicate his feelings.
Like when I made him a unicorn and he was less than pleased.
Yet my face was not smashed by the back of his head.


He learned how to photobomb QUITE well, and is proficient in ruining almost every picture that I try to take.
(I was trying to get a good shot of that shelter that I built..Got a cute, squishy nose instead.)

He learned that water isn’t so scary, and splashing is very fun!

We wore matching outfits to our first race.
Our goal was 25 seconds.
We ran a 25.65, so I count it as a win.



We bought our first house.
(In matching outfits, of course.)

And we kept our composure when he wandered a little too close for comfort.

Cheers to an eventful year.
A year with my soulmate in equine form.
(Hannah also pictured because she’s as much work into him as I have.)IMG_1532



Felicity Stands on Things.

My horse has a pet lamb.
Her name is Felicity.
She makes her own rules.

Here she is, standing on things.
(Some of this photography is sub-par. She is quick, and prefers that her antics are not caught on camera. I disagree, and do my best to win. But she’s wily.)


A ramp. Cautious to meet her large, new friend.


The wrong side of a fence. Creating concern for her large, new friend.

Beneath this blanket. Hiding from anyone who may try to snuggle her.


Construction materials. Certifying quality.


This table. Reason unapparent.

Under her large friend. A courageous and trusting little soul.


A raised garden bed. Checking for produce.


The manure pile. Just looking for trouble.

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This log. Asking for smooches.


This table again. Looking for cookies amongst Harley’s accoutrements.


Under the hot fence. Showing a blatant disregard for the power of electricity.


The dinner cart. Creating frustration for her large friend.

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The snowy ground. Contented and pleased.

The dinner cart, again. Her dominance fully asserted.

A lovely vinyl plank.

The window frame in the door to the kitchen. With murder in her eyes.

The outdoor entertainment area. Ready to party.

Stay tuned for the next Felicity Photo Journal.
I am currently working on one in which she chews on things.
You don’t want to miss it.

Fort Harley: A Place of Adventure and Discovery.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little unprepared to purchase my own piece of property. I’ve never had to worry about boring things like gutters and disconnecting garden hoses and hooking up the dryer vent in a way that won’t start a fire.

These are my stories from the ‘acre of hard knocks’:
(Everything mentioned below occurred in the span of 4 days. You can imagine the wild ride that has taken place in my life since September.)

*Shoeing Day*

Dani: That plug you usually use hasn’t been working. So I put an extension cord in there for you.
Farrier: Do you need an electrician?
Dani: I don’t know. I hope not. But do you know one? Who also works on trailer wiring, per chance?
Farrier: I do. *Quizzical look* Did you try the GFCI?
Dani: I don’t know what that means.
Farrier: The little button. Did you push the little button.
Dani: It has one of those?! I didn’t notice that.
Farrier: *Deep sigh* I’m going to push the little button.
Dani: Good idea. Let me know what happens.
Farrier: It’s working again.
Dani: Hey, look at that!

I don’t know why he continues to tolerate Harley and I every six weeks. But I am sure glad he does!

*My Realtor-Friend Visits*

Realtor-Friend: It’s colder inside your house than it is outside.
Dani: My gas bill was outrageous last month! And my power bill was a little high. So I’m not using my furnace. Just two strategically placed space heaters. My power bill will go up a little, but hopefully my gas bill will go down a lot.

Then I find this alarming information regarding my energy usage on the Avista website:
Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 12.24.21 PM
Is this something a *good* adult realizes before purchasing a house?
Was I too distracted by a loft, original Fir floors, and my new lamb to pay attention to the finer points of the real estate agreement?

I text my realtor-friend instantly.
Dani: My water heater is GAS?!
Realtor-Friend: Uh, yes.
Dani: Well my plan to lower my gas bill has gone wildly off the tracks. I have been doubling my hot showers to make up for the frigid conditions in my house. I am horrified to see my next gas bill.

And now we wait.

*Dad Checks In*

Dad: Your irrigation lines haven’t frozen, have they?
Dani: *vomit-inducing flashback to my neighbor saying their irrigation has a crack and it will cost $10k to find and fix*  Uhhhhh. I HOPE NOT.
Dad: You have that exposed valve. It makes me nervous. Probably should have made an insulated box to go over it.
Dani: Well I have straw, bailing twine, and a tarp. I GUESS THAT WILL HAVE TO DO.

The valve is now covered. Macgyver-style.
1 out of 3 isn’t bad.



Last night I spent the evening transforming myself into a presentable human being.

Vacuumed the bedroom.
Washed some dishes.
Decluttered a bit.
Toenails polished.
Legs freshly shaved.
Chin hairs plucked.
Covered up my blonde roots.
Conditioning treatment on my flowing locks.
I even attempted to do something (anything) with these brows.
(I know the Lord is perfect in all his ways. But when I look at what He gave me for eyebrows, it does trigger a tinge of doubt.)

I was feeling fresh.

‘If bein’ fresh till death is a crime, I think it’s time for me to see the jury.’
– I commented into my mirror, regarding my freshness.

I climbed into bed,
Eager to wake in the morning and wear my new pleather jeggings and fancy red high heels.

*Spoiler Alert:

So fresh.

I awoke in the middle of the night to the feeling of a spider running across my face.
Not just a feeling, guys.
A spider. Was on. My face.

‘This is the opposite of fresh. The jury needs to take a recess. Chamillionaire would be so disappointed in me.’
– I sighed while trying to keep my composure and refrain from reaching for the hatchet I keep under my mattress.

The room was dark so I couldn’t pinpoint the creature’s exact species.
It did have a gray cloud of death floating above it, so I remain convinced that it was a Bitey McDoom.

It disappeared from view almost instantly.
Where did it go?

Fight or Flight Mode: Engaged.

Pillows, blankets, mattresses, and giant stuffed caterpillars flew through the air as I attempted to draw the beast from it’s hiding spot.

– I snarled as I ransacked my own belongings like a feral raccoon.

It was to no avail.
He gone.
Didn’t even pitch in for the heating bill.

Now I face a crossroads:
Where do I go from here?

Clearly my apartment (nay, all of Central Point) is wildly uninhabitable;
Especially after I release 6 bug bombs and a full can of Raid in my bedroom.

(As I’m sure you know, a ‘species’ is defined as a group of animals that can inner-breed and produce fertile offspring. During my research to find out if spiders are a ‘species’ or a ‘breed’ (I take the accuracy of my vocabulary in these posts very seriously.) I found that it is ‘unlikely’ that cross-breeding different types of spiders would be successful. Only ‘unlikely.’ This information gave way to a whole new league of horrors in my imagination.

‘I don’t have time for this! I need to get some sleep. I almost met death this evening. I need to look fresh tomorrow. What if I see the jury?!’
– I said out of desperation when Jesus refused to give me some supernatural NyQuil or Xanax.)

Will I take this far enough to find out if one six-foot princess can sleep soundly in the back of a Ford Fiesta?
I may.

Will I impulsively buy a house and some cows and a slew of miniature and useless animals?
I may.

Will I simply move back into my bedroom and cry a lot and trust that the dominion the good Lord gave me over the animals will be enough to protect me?
Most likely.

– Dani
😉 🙂 😀

Cherry Blossom.

I’ve said goodbye to a car that’s been in my driveway for over half my life.

  • 13 years
  • 8 states
  • 5 jobs
  • 4 schools
  • 1 tumultuous teenage love affair
  • 8,365 coffee spills

We’ve been through much together.

Car seats and fishing poles.
Flat tires and Tow Truck Driver Joe.
Belly laughs and sunset chats.
Best friends and break ups.
Dead batteries and awkward conversations.
Mid-day naps and volleyball games.
Sliding through barbed-wire fences and smacking into poor baby deers.
Nice cops and mean cops.
Freeways and mountain tops.
Fender benders and friends wiping boogers on the seats.
Piercing shops and house parties.
Midnight Taco Bell adventures and rainy talks with Jesus.
Goodnight kisses and forever goodbyes.
Uptown Funk and Eye of the Tiger.
Beach days and bonfire nights.
Mount Rushmore fog and Montana snow.
Eating donuts and doing donuts.
Puppy dogs and bowling balls.

There’s no better way to say goodbye than with a photoshoot by Renagade.
(Swanky slideshow below. Be sure to linger.)

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– Dani
😉 🙂 😀