King of My World

King of My World

“I want to do things so wild with you that I don’t know how to say them” Anais Nin

2018 has proven to be a profound year for me and we’re only halfway through the year. Our lives have forever been in flux due to my autoimmune disorders and severe environmental allergies to mold, but this year is of particular note. It was the year I ridiculously fell deeper in love with Dominic. I didn’t think it possible to love someone this deeply, and it scared me so much that I didn’t even know how to tell him.

I often think back to when we first met in 2002 and how as colleagues we enjoyed working together. It was a blessing to work with such a talented chef and healer. I would have never known back then that he would be the greatest love of my life. He has always been someone who encouraged and listened to me as if I were the only one that existed on the planet. The support he offers strengthens me daily, giving me the confidence to keep moving forward.

His unwavering compassion in the face of my ill health is everything to me. He loves me as I am, all of me. To be loved this way is a treasure. A gift that doesn’t seem to have an end to it. My life would be very different if he never invaded my soul.

I’m unsure how it happened, this new deeper love I have for him, but it rocked my world. You know how when you first fall in love, there is this infatuation and desire that can’t seem to be extinguished? It’s thrilling and exciting to look into your lover’s eyes and feel your heart race a little more as he/she smiles warmly at you. Well, I was disarmed this year and knocked over with this new wave of feelings.

In trying to express myself, I would start to shake, and then cry. I couldn’t get it out in a way that would make sense. I was a wreck.

Generally, when two people are in love, it’s kind of mutual…don’t you think?

I had to think about why I felt so emotional about falling in love deeper, and it hit me. Fear crept into me for the first time ever. I began to wonder if it could be possible for me to be more in love than he was. What happens then? Can one person be more in love than another? What does that look like? Self-preservation is a strong and devious advesary to deep lasting love and friendship, and I felt like I had some sort of self-preservation creeping up in my heart.

Self-preservation says to its selfish desires, “Don’t love too deeply or you’ll be vulnerable and exposed.” or “Only love as much as you are loved.” Self-preservation is something that Dominic and I don’t practice. Neither of us has ever felt the need to defend ourselves from one another or be on guard. And yet, here I was with self-preservation rearing its ugly head.

I put to death my self-preservation because it only leads to self-pity, selfishness, false motives, the need to be ‘right’, and the desire to further my own agenda.

Instead, I choose to fully accept this new deeper love I feel and lavish it all on him every day.

I thought this last move to New Mexico was going to break us emotionally. The traumatic events of leaving Maine three years ago broke us emotionally and stripped us of the ability to make sound decisions. We endured it together. Over the last three years, we have had to move a total of nine times. Most of the time it was because of my severe mold allergy or being electrohypersensitive. It didn’t break him, and it didn’t break me. This last move did the opposite; I fell in love all over again. He and I were exhausted, I had to recover physically from biotoxin illness, my lungs were not working right (they are still recovering slowly). We were (and still are) financially underwater. And yet, here I am stupid in love.

Beyond my own feelings of deep love and admiration for him, I feel he exemplifies what it means to be a father. He is always there for our children if they need to talk. He cares for his stepchildren as though he was their father from the day they were born. He stepped into the role of a father embracing my children as his own. They are his children even though they are not biologically his. When Simone was born, he didn’t emotionally distance himself from our other children but instead felt an even deeper bond to all of them.

He is their protector if and when they need him. He never pushes them or forces his beliefs on them. Instead, he gracefully loves them right where they are. His warmth, care, joy, love, laughter, positive outlook on life, generosity, and gentleness have had an impact on our children and I believe have even impacted how they choose companions for themselves.

I trust him fully. Admire him breathlessly. He is king of my world.

Meet Mr. Scrumpy

Meet Mr. Scrumpy

Is that the sweetest little face, or what?! Meet Mr. Scrumpy, the newest member of our family. A few months ago I was looking for a puppy that would be a good companion for Silly. There were dogs we could have chosen, but in the end, we chose to search for a puppy.

There was one other contender for the coveted spot of becoming Silly’s companion, and that was a 6-month-old great Dane. However, I couldn’t make the long trip to northern Vermont to meet this mammoth canine because Silly is a bit neurotic when going for car rides. She never quite calms down and car rides cause her a great deal of stress. If we need to, we will take her in the car, but the incessant whining and high pitch squeals drive us all right up the wall.

So the search continued, until one day a woman posted that she had puppies coming the end of April and that they would be a Corgi mix. I said to myself with a half-cocked pirate smile, “Corgi mix, eh! Mixed with what?” So I contact the woman and she said the puppies would be a corgi chihuahua mix. I started cracking up because in my mind’s eye, anchored into the deepest parts of my brain were images of the most preciously awkward ugly dog in the world.

I talked with Dom about it and he cracked a half-cocked pirate smile too, and I knew we were destined to have a homely dog. When we met Silly, I thought she was an ugly dog, but I think Mr. Scrumpy will have her beat!

Then the puppies were born, and I had to choose between 7 puppies. How do you choose? They were all so ugly and alien-like.

We knew we wanted a boy, and we knew that Simmi wanted a white dog, so that’s how we made our choice. The boy in the middle would be Mr. Scrumpy.

Look at that silly looking alien face! We melted at the sight of him. We sent our deposit and then got photos of him as he grew.

At 5 weeks old, his mother ran out of milk with so many puppies to feed. He was started on solids, and by the next week, they contacted me to ask if we wanted to come get him early. We weren’t supposed to get him until the end of June.

We said yes, and I traveled to New York state to get him on Father’s Day.

This tiny creature has captured our hearts. He’s smart already, well on his way to being house trained, and enjoys being held and cuddled.

We haven’t formally introduced him to Silly yet. He barely weighs a pound and she towers over him with 30 pounds of full excitement. Mr. Scrumpy doesn’t yet know to be a dog, and to Silly, he is some sort of weird animal that doesn’t speak her language. He isn’t even interested in knowing her, so of course, she was way too excited.

At no time are they ever allowed to be together without one of them in a crate. That will change as she mellows out to his presence, and she has, but I’m taking baby steps. I want the experience to be a good one, and for her to fully accept him.

When Silly first saw Mr. Scrumpy she kept barking and making quick jerking movements towards the front of her crate. She does the same thing to squirrels and bugs, and I wanted her to be in a calm and submissive state before introducing them without the crate.

We’re getting there! I was able to bring Scrumpy out on the deck where Silly was leashed and sat between them as she calmly approached me for assurance and love. Reinforcing her good behavior has gone a very long way in getting Scrumpy acclimated to our family dynamic.

I don’t foresee allowing them to be introduced without a crate for at least another week. If it’s wise for other animals to be separated before introducing them to a flock or herd, then it’s good enough for dogs too. If Scrumpy was a year old, that would be a different story, because he would already know the rules of being a dog.

Anyway, I want the bonding to go smoothly. At night they sleep right next to one another. Silly can smell Scrumpy, listen to his whimpering and crying at night, and is getting used to him walking around outside her crate or outside on the deck.

Both dogs are on grain free dog food. If they were on regular food, we wouldn’t be able to have dogs at all. We figured out that Simmi isn’t allergic to dogs if they are on a grain free dog food. Any dog that is on regular food, however, causes her to sneeze and we need to give her Benadryl.

The first two days Scrumpy was with us, Simmi needed Benadryl, but as of this morning, she hasn’t needed it at all. The same happened with Silly when she came to live with us.

Scrumpy is one hungry little puppy, and he was able to find his bag of food and started whimpering for more. Does his little belly in the above photo look like he could possibly fit any more food in there? Haha

Just for a point of reference, Dom’s boots are bigger than Mr. Scrumpy!

We look forward to seeing him grow into the cutest/ugliest dog in the world and have many adventures with Silly.


Dedication Figs

Yesterday we went up to Albuquerque to get our dedication fig trees.
What an experience that was! First we went to see the “Fig Man” and then we went to Jericho Nursery for the rest of the fig stock.

Our visit with the fig man was filled with delight as he shared his knowledge of each different type of fig he had.

I am not usually one to listen to stories (true or fiction) but looking back over yesterday afternoon, I think I was mesmerized by the fig man.

When we first got to his home, he leads us up to the porch where he shows us this little fig tree that is from a 100 year old tree.

It was called “The Hotel Averado fig” (I’m sure I probably spelled that one wrong!)

I fell in love immediately with this little thing. The leaves were delicate and almost looked like a hand. The photo to the right is of the Hotel Averado.

This particular tree is dedicated to my daughter Hannah. Yesterday Hannah turned 21 years old! My god how time flies.

Hannah, we love you so much! I’m proud of who you are becoming and how much you are maturing.

Every time we eat figs from this tree, we’ll be thinking about you! You are as unique as this fig tree and twice as sweet. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow for your Birthday brunch.

These days I’m out from early morning till sunset doing things around the house or property…that is, unless the heat has kicked my ass, then I go in and lay down for a few hours until I feel refreshed.

It is supposed to be extremely hot this weekend, so I got a head start watering at 5:00am. Yesterday, I started at 6:00am, taking the ducklings and chicks out of the duck house at 8:00am.

By 11:00am they needed more food and water. By 1:00pm they needed EVEN MORE food and water. They are growing so rapidly that we in the last two weeks now we’ve gone through 25 lbs of starter feed.

The little feeder that I thought was so big turned out to be too small now! So off to the feed store I went yesterday to get 25 lbs of starter feed, 50 lbs. of starter wild game feed and feeder that holds 12 lbs of feed.

I think that may not be big enough for them in the next two weeks! Its not like these feeders are going to go to waste though.

When we get our chickens, we’ll need to have a large capacity feeder anyway. Anyway, yesterday’s adventures were filled from morning till night. After going to the feed store, we headed up to ABQ to see the fig man, Jericho Nursery for the other five fig trees and then headed on home.

The second fig tree we got from the fig man is called a Black Baca.

The Black Baca is from a 148 year old fig tree. I’ve dedicated this tree to Dom for Father’s Days.

The fig man told me the story of this tree, and while I won’t repeat the whole story, I’ll give you the run down in a very ‘revised’ version…basically this black baca was saved from the saw wielding hand of crooked priest.

Okay, as I said before, I’ve revised the story a bit because the fig man, while disturbed by the priests’ actions, was still filled with grace as he told the story of the white and black baca figs trees.

To know the full story you’ll have to contact him! Anyway, this tree comes from very old stock, has three harvests and I felt that it was perfect for Dom.

We need to harden off all seven of the fig trees because all of them were in green houses under filtered light.

It will take about a week for them to acclimate before we plant them. After the planting, Dom will be writing up a blog about these fig trees, who they are dedicated to and the impact each has had on his life. Right now, I’m writing about them and will touch on each person briefly…I want to leave room for Dom to blog too!

The fig trees we got from Jericho Nursery are five in all.

Three are Celeste figs and two are Italian Everbearing figs.

The Italian Everbearing fig trees are dedicated to Dom’s mom who just turned 60 years old this June (Happy Birthday again Mom, we love you), and the other Italian Everbearing fig is dedicated to my dad for Fathers Day.

The three Celeste figs that are left are dedicated to Dom’s dad for Father’s Day, Noah and Shoshie’s dad Jonathan for Father’s Day and the last one is mine from Mother’s day…we just never got around to picking it up till now.

We also still need to get a few more trees in honor of Dom’s brothers’ birthday (twins) and we haven’t decided what kind of trees they will be. June is a big month for birthdays! July is looking like another big month for birthdays as well.

Oh, I almost forgot! While Simmi was in the greenhouse at the fig man’s place, she crouched down and low and behold….COMFREY! Yeah baby! I was almost more excited about the comfrey than even the figs! I wanted true comfrey and not the bocking Russian sterile comfrey.

We scooped up two comfrey plants and I can not WAIT to plant them!

All in all, yesterday was a great day. Today, if there is time, we’ll be planting our potatoes and possibly our lettuces.