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.