We’re Baaaaaaack!


Losing Cook Dollar Barn was one of the worst experiences we have lived through. It wasn’t just a store; it was an important social hub for the Pajari Girls, and our little town, too. Every day, the list of people and things we miss gets longer. And when people told us that there must be something even better around the corner, we KNEW they were lying.

Now, we are headed back. Back in “A Barn, if not “The Barn”.

So here’s the scoop: barring zoning, insurance or licensing issues, Her Highness The Queen of Poo (Lois) is hoping to open the Peterson family homestead as a petting farm/ event location this summer! Can we get a whoop whoop??

farm barnherd, pony, llama, goat, sheep

farm, barn, cat  

great pyrenees, dog, boy, farm

walli, corgi, dog,

goat, farm, pajari girls

alpaca, farm, pajari girls

pony, farm, horse. girl guinea hens, fowl, poultry bunny, rabbit, zip, hens, chickens, farm, eggs Flemish Giant, rabbit, bunny donkey, the farm, pajari girls

Dancing in Graveyards


I made a Fairy Cemetery for Halloween this year. It seemed appropriate, considering what a year of loss 2013 has been.

I’ve always liked cemeteries. We grew up close to the Cook (Owens Twp.) Cemetery. Micki, Melissa, and I would meet there on bicycle and ride around the circular drives, marveling at the children’s stones and looking for relatives.

When we got older, Lois and I would take dad’s pickup for an unauthorized joyride, we’d be forced to go to the cemetery’s circular drives (because it was a standard and finding reverse was tricky.)

As an adult, I spent some time mapping, cleaning, photographing and transcribing stones at a few small local cemeteries for a genealogy project.

This year, unfortunately, has been a year of visiting friends and loved ones at Hillside, a beautiful local resting place. And you know what? The closer I get to 40, the more names I recognize on the stones.

Saying Goodbye--Harley and Katherine 017

Saying Goodbye--Harley and Katherine 023

This year we lost Karla A., Katherine L., Vanessa C., Cindy P., Mrs. Oles, Rich W., & Dave B., and others in our little town. And though they are not human, the loss of Mr. Stinky Droolface and Mad Bird and The Dollar Barn has been hard, too.

If you or someone you love is grieving a loss (and really, who isn’t??), maybe something here will help:

Delta Rae, Dance in the Graveyards is a song our friends Kris and Dan shared with us. It helped them; it helps us. I hope it helps you, too. Please, please, please watch the video!! “When I die, I don’t wanna rest in peace. I wanna dance in joy. I wanna dance in the graveyards….And while I’m alive, I don’t wanna be alone, mourning the ones who came before, I wanna dance with them some more, let’s dance in the graveyards.”

Bertram’s Blog is about grieving, and I have found the author’s writing to be empowering and soothing.

It also helped me to be able to know that all these fricking FEELINGS will pass. It’s all part of the process. Check out The Five Stages of Grieving. Chop chop. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance will come and go, usually when you don’t expect it.

This week, I started decorating for Halloween. I don’t feel like it. I hurt physically and emotionally, but am trying to do something I would normally do were I not grieving.

So back to my Fairy Cemetery… A year ago, I found this lovely old Planter’s Peanuts cookie jar (it was probably my grandma’s), and decided it would make a lovely terrarium for my Venus fly trap, Audrey Two. This year, I found some Halloween miniatures and added them to the terrarium for Halloween. Fast, cheap, and easy. And it makes me smile,

fairy cemetery, fairy garden, grieving, loss, venus fly trap, terrarium, halloween

fairy cemetery, terrarium, venus fly trap, pajari girls, halloween, graveyard

As usual, thank you for reading. If you found this useful, pass it on. Like, Share, and/or Pin at will.

Loveyabye.

Goodbye Mr. Stinky Droolface


We said our final goodbyes to Stinky on Friday, when it became apparent that the cancer was hurting too much for the pain meds, and he started throwing up. There are so many things I want to say about this gentle giant, but for once I’m pretty much speechless. Here’s to the world’s biggest lapdog, Mr. Stinky Droolface, aka: Harley the Mastiffosaurus Wrecks.

The following is a WordPress Gallery, which is a fancy, foofy name for a slideshow. Click on any image to start.

Here is Part One and Part Two of Stinky’s Story, if you missed them.

Here’s a video I took a few weeks ago.

When the Change Was Made Uptown…


clarence clemons, jake clemons, bruce springsteen
Photo credit: www.backstreets.com

Last night, my daughter Harley saw Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band live for the first time. It broke my heart a little that the Big Man and Danny Federici weren’t going to be there, and for the first time, I didn’t do my usual prep for a concert. I didn’t study setlists, read articles about the other shows on the tour, or cram by listening to every song ever recorded by Bruce and The Band.

We wondered if she’d get to experience  Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, Badlands, Jungleland, and Born to Run, and how we’d feel about someone else playing Big Man’s solos if those songs were performed. She asked me if I thought I’d cry.

Throughout the show, I kept looking for Big Man and Danny. (See Kubler Ross’ 5 stages of grief…especially denial.) We didn’t see them on the stage, but they were there. I closed my eyes and I heard them. Felt them. Finally, during Tenth Avenue (aka “Roll Call”), it happened.

“Now this is the important part,” he said, and sang, “When the change was made uptown….” As he repeated that line gently, pictures of Clarence floated across the huge screens. Jake Clemons (C’s nephew) made his way out of the horn section as the Boss sang, “AND THE BIG MAN JOINED THE BAND!” I thought he played this solo (and the others throughout the night) perfectly, which is exactly what we needed. I know I appreciated that Jake didn’t improvise–that Miss Harley was able to hear it live, exactly as C would have played it.

Researching this post, I found an interview by Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene with Little Steven Van Zandt in which Steve said it better than I ever could:

“It’s literally classical music for my generation. They play it note for note, which is how it should be played. You wouldn’t improvise on Beethoven’s Fifth, would you?”

Amen.

Author’s Notes:

Thanks to The Daily Prompt: This Is Your Song for helping me focus 🙂

Boss fan or not, you really ought to read these too:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/exclusive-q-a-steve-van-zandt-on-new-show-life-without-clarence-clemons-20120214

Star Tribune article

As always, if you enjoyed this post, please like, share and/or comment. Pleeeeeease??

Mr. Stinky Droolface


“Stinky’s getting to be a Grampa Dog,” my sister pointed out two years ago when gray started showing in his muzzle and he started limping like me on rainy days.

Impossible. In my head he is still a puppy. He’s 180 lbs of drooling, woofing, farting Mastiffosaurus Wrecks, so it’s not his size… I guess it’s because my son is still a boy, at 10 years old. They have grown up together, and I think that’s why it’s so hard for me to accept that his life is very nearly over.

baby and mastiff puppy
My sister Lois refereeing Stinky and Danny Boy
Mastiff
UNCLE!! He took my ball again!!!

Over the last few weeks, his knee had begun to swell, so Lois took him to the vet. It’s cancer, it’s growing very fast, and he is too old and arthritic for amputation to be an option. We are treating him for pain and inflammation, but the bones can’t take much more. Very soon, he’ll have to be put down.

I keep telling myself that dying is a part of living. That 8-10 years is the life expectancy of a large breed dog.  This still sucks. So I reviewed the 5 Stages of Grief Model.

I believe Kübler-Ross is right; grieving is a process. It’s normal to be angry, try to “bargain” loss away, get depressed and/or accept it. Sometimes all in the same day. These stages don’t happen in order, one time each, and then go away.

I always thought denial was such a terrible thing. Then a few years ago someone very wise explained that denial is actually a very useful coping mechanism. It gives our minds and hearts a little time to catch up to reality. While part of me is saying, “No no no no nope. Not today. Forget it. NO storm. E-I-E-I-NO,” etc. another part of me is slowly accepting life on life’s terms. And one of those terms is that nothing lives forever.

Sometimes, people use this as a reason to not have pets (or relationships..been there!). And I can see why it’s tempting. Losing a pet is painful. Every time we lose an animal, part of me says, “Eff this; never again.” But that doesn’t last long. (Anger, lol 😉 ) The benefits of unconditional love far outweigh the inevitable pain of loss. Every time.

So I guess now it’s real. I’m gonna go rub his belly and let him slobber on my face and WOOF at my big purple hat because it scares him when we wear different clothes.

mastiff

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