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New farmhouse puppy

New farmhouse puppy

We have a new puppy at the farmhouse!! While we are all very excited, it is a little bit of a happy/sad tale to tell and I have my daughters permission to share.

Late one evening in early February, our dog Bear bit our daughter in the face. While she is ok, she did have 17 stitches to put her lip back together. The plastic surgeon feels she will always have a scar, but we are doing everything we can to minimize that as much as possible. Our daughter is one of the strongest people I have ever met. Although she did absolutely nothing wrong and only went to kiss Bear on the head, when he snapped, she still felt in her heart it was her fault. We have reassured her many times that he had mental health issues and we had seen a few things that led us to be careful and to increase his training.

On the other side of that coin, our wonderful son, feels responsible because he played with him as a puppy a little rough. We have reassured him over and over that is is not his fault that Bear was just not right.

Hubby and I feel responsible because we feel we should have let him go when we first saw signs of him not being quite right. We truly felt that he was 95% amazing dog, but 5% not quite right. We felt in time, that that 5% would go away, unfortunately it did not. We consulted with the vet and even they couldn’t recommend re-homing him given what had happened. We had to say good-bye to Bear and start the healing process, both the physical and the emotional ones.

We promised the kiddos that there would be another dog in our life and it wouldn’t be too long. Just the right amount of time for everyone.

So, here we have…. well, he doesn’t have a name yet, but we have our new puppy. He is a border collie/Australian shepherd mix and so far a delight. It has been less than 24 hours, but he has adapted to his new family quite well and is already having me regret an upstairs office!

We love him and are looking forward to warmer weather and fun times outside!
annaepp_puppy-3He is super fluffy right now and loves to chase me and his tail, all around the living room. I will update with his name as soon as we figure that part out.


Categories: Family

You are the Parent

Raising children is hard enough on the best of days. As they grow up and start to get a mind of their own (what they can think for themselves now??) the arguing starts. Although I don’t remember arguing with my parents as much as my children argue with me, it seems it is the sign of the times. I am sure I did, but I also knew that when my parents said ‘no’ or ‘go clean your room’ we seemed to just do it. Because they were the parents.

When asked ‘why’ when the answer is no, I often have used the good old fashioned, ‘because I said so’. This was old when I was a kid, so I am feeling like it is old now too. Or I was until I attended the Dad2.0 conference in Washington D.C in February. I was there as wing woman with Julia Rosien and Restonic Mattress ,who was one of the sponsors. On the second full day of the conference Michael Strahan was there doing a Q&A that mostly talked about healthy living and waking up happy. One of the questions asked by the audience was, “How to you get your kids to stop eating junk food?” Michael’s response has stayed with me since February and has changed the way I answer my own kids when they don’t want to do something or I just say ‘no’.

Michael’s response was “Just say no.” and then, very animatedly “Because you are the Parent”!!  Brilliant! Why should we even be questioning this? Have we come so far into a different world that we have grown up with that our own kids feel they have a choice in each and every thing?

I will be the first to admit that sometimes just letting them do whatever, eat whatever, wear whatever for the sake of not arguing seems like the easier way out. But since I have tacked on, “Because I am the Parent!” when my children as ‘why’ or ‘why not’ my life has become increasingly easier. They have nothing to say to that because it is true. It ends the argument right there. They may still ask for clarification on why I said no, but I don’t always give them more than that. I shouldn’t have to because…. wait for it…. I am the Parent!


Categories: Family

Until We Meet Again

My cousin passed away recently and so unexpectedly that it leaves just a wee little hole in my heart. We had not seen each other in person in many years, however, we had some great phone calls. Some on purpose some accidentally dialed.

Way back when, he lived with us, I think I was around 10 or 11, but I remember him staying with us and it was like we had a brother for a while amist all us girls. I would like to say he was here for a year, but it may have only been 6 months. For some reason I related to him in ways that I did not with others. He was a straight shooter, no fuss, no bs, if he disagreed with something he let you know or called you out on it. He was a gifted man with a generous heart.

Not long after he lived with us, he left the East to work in the forestry industry in West. Not an easy life to live in a remote town, but he did it and did it successfully, only returning to the East a handful of times over the years. It is there that he married an amazing woman and created a family. A family to be proud of.

Last week he would have turned 54, to me that is just too young to say goodbye. He left behind four wonderful children, who will miss him dearly but will carry him with them where ever they go. My heart goes out to my younger cousins who must go on without their Dad. He may not have done things the way others would have but that just wasn’t his way. He was the guy who danced to a different tune. He would give you the shirt off his back if you said you needed it, even if it was his only shirt. His laugh was contagious and his smile will forever be ingrained in my mind.

You will be missed. Until We Meet Again.

Two of my favorite images I have of him (both scanned from film prints taken 25-30 years ago).

1984 Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

IMG_0004_21989 Bella Coola, British Columbia


Categories: Family, Uncategorized