Good morning All,
Can you believe it is mid-November and Winter–according to the weather–has officially arrived in the Northwoods. As a person that usually loves Winter, I have to admit that I wasn’t quite ready. But that didn’t hold it back. The snow and cold arrived with a vengeance and apparently is here to stay with predicted temperatures below freezing for something like the next 10 days.
Winter’s arrival has made for some striking skies, however!
I did not get much snow here, at the south UP farm, because there was a period where the temperatures warmed being so close to the bay of Green Bay and the snow turned to rain, and then ice. At the north, UP farm (about 3 hours away), however, there is 2 feet on the ground. So, we have yet another delay in finalizing the move, or at least getting the rest of the dogs and kennels moved. 🙁
It’s been a very frustrating Summer-Fall with just about anything you could think of holding up the moving process–from all the work on the big building that will house the kennels, to our aging vehicles plagued with lengthly, costly stays at the auto-hospital for surgeries, discovering my beloved 24′ enclosed trailer is no longer road-worthy so, useless in helping move the dogs, to hunting and training season, and now, we were walloped with the snow storm, delaying things yet another week or so!
I seriously considered just holding up here and wait to move until spring, but husband says no and we had to decide on where to concentrate all the firewood, and that was there. And in the Northwoods, you go where the firewood is! And, this morning I am soooo wishing I was there, let me tell you–brrrrr!
I’d like to have an all-out screaming, kicking temper tantrum, but that would do no good, right? Won’t change a thing. But we have a litter due in like 2 weeks! Come on, palease!
You might wonder why on earth we are moving again (I just moved to this place a little over 3 years ago). So, I thought I would tell you the story, if you have a minute.
You see, when I moved to the UP, from PA, the other farm wasn’t for sale, but it was always the dream and then, this past Spring the owner wanted to sell–and fast. I couldn’t even imagine the thought of someone else living there or of not ever being able to go there again. I tried to fight it off. I tried to just say, no. But, “Northwoods Wild Bird Camp” had become my dream. I couldn’t let it go to someone else without a fight! Why the dream you ask? Well, it’s just the place we’ve rented for 2 months a year for 8 years. It has 176 acres of fields and woods and access to thousands of acres of public hunting land nearby (this place also has a lot of public hunting, though, too).
In some ways, it is taking a few steps back because we will have to put up a lot of fencing, build a puppy building, run electric and water to the kennel building, the farmhouse needs even more work than this one does–but it is bigger and maybe I’ll finally have a room for a real office and studio!–and the list goes on. But, to walk out the door and be able to work the dogs on our own property is an amazing feeling. To be able to finally have my organic farm after more than 20 years of dreaming about it, is amazing. Yes, it is located in an even less-populated area and obtaining some things will mean a longer drive, as well as a much longer drive to take puppies to the airport in much worse driving conditions (ahhh… Lake-effect snow along the shores of Superior to Duluth or Marquette). Oh, and there are pretty much no jobs, but then again, the Llews are now our full-time jobs and I am a creative, entrepreneur-type person with loads of drive and spirit and have dozens of ideas and plans to start work on as soon as I get that minute to do so. It means a lot more snow to contend with. It means a lot more work and we are no spring chickens. But, it’s that crazy dream for the dogs, a healthier lifestyle,–and hello look at the view!–a freezer full of Grouse, Venison, wild-caught Fish you can actually eat from clean waters, and hopefully organic veggies, grass-fed beef, chickens, and freedom that make it all worthwhile–if we ever get there! 😉
There are many things I will really miss about this place and wish I could take with me. I love my barn! I have wanted a ginormous, red barn my entire life. No barn at the other place. We’ll just have to build one someday, right? And, the 3-car garage here that Scott loves. And the giant, really cool shed that I had visions of turning into a guest house. But, that’s all just “stuff!”
So, while we wait for the driveway there to get plowed so Scott can get the dog- and (borrowed) flat-bed trailer out of the building and then, out of that driveway, and/or I can get in that driveway, we are still under two roofs, 3 hours apart, and half the dogs here and half the dogs there. Much better than 15 hours apart, though, right? Husband sends me phone photos of our Northwoods farm occasionally and we dream of the day we’ll finally all be under one roof again.
Any who, while I am stranded here and he is stranded there, I am surrounded by boxes, totes, and complete and utter disarray–and so is he because I am not there to unpack anything already moved there and I don’t want him to–I am trying to keep the dogs and pups happy here among the chaos of living out of boxes and trying to work on the 2015 Calendars in the wee hours. We will, I think, have both a puppy and adult LML Llewellin Setter calendar and I will begin working on taking your own photo submissions for the 2016 calendar. We tried to do this a few years ago, but the cost ended up being too prohibitive. Now, there are alternatives for the process and I think we’ve finally got something pretty spectacular and folks will be able to order directly from the printing company.
All our Llews are doing fantastic–they got to hunt a lot and had some brilliant bird work. We will hope for the possibility of a mild December, when the season reopens after the rifle, deer-hunting season, to get back out there for a more bird hunting. The three remaining darlings from summer’s litters are coming along fantastically. They are growing into lovely bird dogs. So, today I leave you with a few recent photos of them.
Have a great day all!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a good hunting season so far.
Hug your Llewellin Setter tonight!
Now, in which box or tote could my gloves be hidden?
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