We Finally Made It!

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Well, we are finally here in the Northwoods!

I think it was the fastest and most unorganized packing job I’ve ever done, but none-the-less, I packed my little truck until I couldn’t fit a matchbook if I had to, and northwest I drove with half the dogs in tow. I had to plug in my Kid Rock Born Free CD and get in the mood….

Fast on a rough road riding. (okay, actually I drive more like grandma, but the roads are very rough and seem even rougher when you are hauling precious cargo)
High through the mountains climbing.
(okay, some mountains, until I got out of PA)
Twisting, turning, further from my home.
(very true)
Young like a new moon rising.
(okay, not so young)
Fierce, through the rain and lightning.
(not much rain and lightning this time, but those fierce high winds on THE bridge–you know what bridge I mean, right?)
Wondering out into this great unknown.
(that’s for sure!)
And I don’t want no one to cry
, (but I did the entire 14-hour drive–did I really just leave all my babies, my parents, my entire family?)
But tell them if I don’t survive, I was born free…. I was born free…
(yep, I was born free!)
Free like a river raging
Strong as the wind I’m facing (you know, the wind, on the Bridge, ugh)
Chasing dreams and racing father time (oh yeah, that is it perfectly)
Deep like the grandest canyon
Wild like an untamed stallion (I’ve been called worse)
If you can’t see my heart you must be blind
You can knock me down and watch me bleed (please don’t though)
But you can’t keep no chains on me.
I was born free. Born free.
And I’m not good at long good byes,
But look down deep into my eyes.

I was born free.
Calm, facing danger.
Lost, like an unknown stranger.
Grateful for my time with no regrets.
Close to my destination.
Tired, frail and aching, waiting patiently for the sun to set. (actually, waiting for the sun to rise)
And when it’s done believe that I will yell it from that mountain high! (and I did, in my own way yell–hooray! We are here! We made it! We are here and living the dream!)
I was born free.
And I will bow to the shining seas (of Lake Superior and Michigan) and celebrate God’s Grace on me.

So, I pulled into our little dream in this little corner of this great big world and got out and hugged all my Llews. 🙂 It’s for you, I said!

From 09-15-11
From 09-15-11
From 09-15-11
From 09-15-11
From 09-15-11


So, we are here! Half of us, anyway.  After a few days of awful heat (if your me, anything above 70° is awful heat), it is now a lovely 50-something degrees with a brisk, fall breeze. There was a frost last night and tonight the highs are to be around 25°F. Oh yes, now that is why I am moving here!

The dogs are settling in. The puppies are not liking all the change so much. I am trying frantically to keep everyone happy. Trying to build some make-shift kennels with my very limited knowledge, skills, and budget. It’s slow going. In fact, my progress could be considered more like none! I built a kennel in the barn, decided I didn’t like the job I had done, so took it all apart with intentions, of course, of finishing it that night. I had to work instead and haven’t gotten back to it. I’m trying to fix a lot of little things that happen when a place is empty for a while. You know, the normal stuff like, why is the water orange? And a few days later, still, why is the water now brown and silty? No wonder Ike just sniffed it and hiked his leg on the bucket. Snot. Okay, now it’s almost clear, but then all the drains clogged and backed-up lovely black stuff into the bathtub. Great, what could that be? And why on earth won’t the stove or fridge turn on? Plugged in. yep. Burner on. yep. Fridge turned on. yep. Try the outlets with something else… hmmm not working…. hmmm… Traced the lines downstairs and as far as I can tell all looks perfectly fine. So, why isn’t it working? Oh, that breaker turns it on! (took me two days and eating soup out of a can–because I am too stubborn to run into town and go to a restaurant when I have perfectly wonderful soup–to figure out the breaker I thought was for the barn was actually for the stove and fridge.) UGH. dumb, dumb, dumb. Now, why is the ice maker spitting out pink ice cubes? Yep, really. Pink ice cubes. Hmmm… I don’t think I’ll use those, but hey, really cool that I have an ice-maker! Looking around for some bargain furniture, supplies, checked the local feed mill to see if they carry or will order my dog food and they will (order my food), but it is going to cost me $7 a bag more than I usually pay. That really adds up… darn.  It’s a lot of adjusting–and I really didn’t even consider that it would be quite this hard, it’s more than a ton of work that I suddenly feel no longer adequate to do, but all worth it just to be here in the Northwoods.


I am learning the area, but am really looking forward to getting another 3 hours northwest to my normal stopping grounds for real bird camp! Don’t get me wrong, it’s good here, I just don’t have time for all the driving and looking for public land and figuring it all out at the moment. I’ll have lots of time for that later and this area will be much nicer for the dogs in the winter than the area at grouse camp. Right now I just want to get all the young dogs into as many wild birds as possible.  I will be making the move to camp next weekend… until then, just getting by and getting used to everything in a new town. Everyone is very, very nice and helpful. The folks at the hardware store were wonderful. The boy at the market actually carried my bag out to my truck–and wouldn’t take a tip from me! He said, no thank you, ma’am, it’s my job! Wow. Then, the lady at the gas station where I got my hunting license said she would take me to the local watering hole and introduce me to everyone. lol. Very nice. Very outgoing and caring.

Today was the opening day of Ruffed Grouse season, and I ventured out into this area that I am not at all familiar with (yet). Found some birds and had a blast. It was only for a few hours, as work was calling and calling and calling… and lots of projects to do and my aging, out-of-shape body and mind is aching beyond imagination… but, at least we got out. And got into birds. My trusty Luke and Lady Bird were absolutely phenomenal (they have to be the first ones on the first hunt every year) and it made every ache and pain, and every penny, and every tear worth it to watch them work, slamming birds, retrieving the few I managed to down in the very thick cover, and to have them up front in the truck with me (because I couldn’t bring myself to hook that danged trailer up and drag it around today and I didn’t have any room to pack any crates) on the ride back to the “new” house. Our new home! And, as they sighed contented sighs from a job well done and snuggled their noses into my leg and arm, I smiled a big smile and a calm and content feeling came over me. We’re here. We are where we are supposed to be. It’s all worth it to see the dogs so content, not to mention the incredibly sustaining dinner of partridge in a cast-iron skillet I got to enjoy! And, because I finally got the drains draining again, and the water looks clear now, my old aching body got to soak in a lovely hot bath. Doggies are happy and content (for tonight). Mom is clean and sustained with delicious food. Yes, it’s all worth it. We’ve finally made it. It’s a wonderful day in God’s country and I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be here.

Hug your Llewellin tonight folks. They are worth it. 😉