Proceeding Without Much Ado…

Last week, the weather forecast remained fairly solid that New Year’s Eve would bring a winter storm. I was hopeful that, at the very least, the timing of the real danger of ice and freezing rain would start later at night so that Forrest and I would not have to cancel our dinner reservations to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Having dreams last year of international travel for an anniversary trip, we had already had to downsize our plans because of COVID-19. Now it looked as if a simple dinner out at our favorite restaurant – about an hour’s drive from here – was not even going to be doable.

We had the earliest reservations available, hoping the storm would arrive long after we were safely home, but ended up having to cancel our plans by mid-afternoon. At that time, rain began pelting down, thunder boomed, and the wind picked up. Before long, the temperatures dipped down to the freezing point, so Forrest and I opted for a simple dinner at home with a warm bowl of chili and a nice bottle of fine Cabernet Sauvignon. Later, we settled down together, along with Oscar and Lollipop, to watch a couple of good movies. In the background, we could hear the rain pounding down on the roof, and thunder continued to rumble.

When I let Lollipop and Oscar out just after midnight to do their bathroom business, freezing rain was still coming down and the trees were shimmering with ice. As is my usual routine, I swept the area around our house with the beam of my flashlight and, not too far south of the house, I saw all four of the fawns bedded down out in the open, braving the elements. Despite having the barn door open where they could get dry feed and bed down in a shelter if they wished, they always chose the outdoors.

The fawns kept busy foraging for eats in the snow. The cold and snow didn’t bother them a bit!
On higher ground in front of our home, the girls kept from the more soggy areas in the yard and pasture. The night before we received a lot of much-needed rain!

It was snowing when I got up to let the dogs out at around 5:00 New Year’s Day morning. We had about three to four inches of beautiful, wet snow on the ground, and it clung thickly to the iced trees. Gracie deer completed the amazing vision of the landscape as she came running towards me. I gently stroked her face, noting that, while her hair was damp and flakes of snow adorned her back, down underneath her thick, winter coat, she was warm and dry. Later, when the skies lightened, I found Ruthie, Scout and Penelope had returned from their morning outing in the woods. They foraged for greens under the snow, and eventually all four fawns settled down in front of the house, in the only dry area to be found.

By mid-morning the snowfall ended, but the clouds and wind made for a cold and blustery day. A short while later, the deer moved to the feeders down below the slope and eventually trekked out to the orchard. As I stepped out to a cold, wintery blast of air on my way to get the chickens set up for the day, I imagined the fawns must be headed to a place more sheltered from the wind. I opened the little trap door in the chicken barn, but none of the hens nor Dale the rooster emerged. Even the chickens seemed intent on having an indoor day, settling down in the straw on the floor. I chose to remain indoors myself, keeping to some baking and cooking, while Forrest enjoyed a day of watching college football.

From the left – Scout, Gracie, Penelope and Ruthie.
Gracie’s hair is so bristled out to keep warm from the cold, it completely changes her look. In the bitter cold, the deer look much larger than usual!
Penelope and Ruthie almost always can be found together. Despite that Ruthie used to occasionally display dominance over Penelope by gently conking her on the head or shoulders with a hoof, they have become close companions.
Scout has always been independent. She’s often the lead when the four venture off for a day in the orchard.

The year 2021 will be full of excitement and adventure for us, as Forrest is retiring this Friday. We are both elated and excited for the experience ahead. For many years, we dreamed of what retirement would mean for us – often imagining travel both here in the states and abroad. But the times now dictate something different, and so we will roll with it. We will be more rooted to life here on our place, and embrace that. We will remain open to whatever is presented us, because what the Universe provides is always enough, and finding joy in the moment is always possible, even when it means proceeding without much ado.

May you all find happiness and adventure in each moment the New Year brings to you!

I wonder what adventure awaits the girls today?

© 2021 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


40 thoughts on “Proceeding Without Much Ado…

  1. How sad that your dinner on the occasion of the 20th wedding anniversary could not take place because of the bad weather. Fortunately, you made something cozy at home. The winter has been very hard on you … The deer are used to more I think, as long as they have a place where they can find shelter. My congratulations to your husband on his impending retirement. I quit my career last to May 1. Greetings, Rudi

    Like

    1. No worries, Rudi! We plan to celebrate our anniversary and Forrest’s retirement this coming weekend at our favorite restaurant! The weather looks to be good, so this time it will happen! We’ve already begun some cleanup from October’s ice storm and that will continue for a while – that and repairs and remodeling on the rock house. We will have much to keep us busy during the pandemic. I hope you are enjoying your retirement? Do you have plans of some kind or hobbies lined up?

      Like

    1. Thank you, Paulette! Gracie adores Forrest mostly, and she does not venture out with the other three as much. She’s content to stay here, waiting for Forrest to walk with her in the woods. Ha ha! Yesterday she followed us around (keeping a distance) while Forrest ran the chainsaw and we moved cut wood to the burn pile. Back and forth she followed us. At the end of the day she made a grand run all around the property, displaying her agility in running and leaping! It was beautiful. Shortly after, her sisters showed up from their afternoon outing. I imagine Gracie will stay around the place like our other deer have. It will be interesting to see if the others do too. For now, I’m happy that they venture out some and are enjoying the wild. It’s such a rewarding feeling!

      Like

  2. Happy 20 years, which is a fifth of a century. (At a third of a century we’re a twelfth of a century ahead of you, but you’re many fawns ahead of us.) You traded your restaurant dinner for a white anniversary celebration. And happy retirement to the other half of the 20 years. By the middle of 2021 travel may be feasible again; let’s hope so.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Steve. We are hoping to at least travel to visit family and friends this year. Wait and see I guess. For now, there will be plenty of work cleaning up ice damage, and then there is the rock house – we have a lot to do over there with repairs and remodeling. There will also be pretty days to walk with the deer. I look forward to toting my camera along and discovering more about the wildflowers and plant life on our property!

      Like

    1. The deer really look beautiful in the snow. I am always amazed at how they love the cold and get frisky out in the most bitter, cold weather. Not me!! I’m still freezing all bundled up in my warmest clothing! Ha ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “We will remain open to whatever is presented us, because what the Universe provides is always enough, and finding joy in the moment is always possible, even when it means proceeding without much ado.” You are a soul after my own heart, Lori. That last photo looks like a scene from a painting. I can’ recall ever having a bad birthday, but the one that stands out in my mind the most was sitting at the table on the patio, with another couple, eating fish and chips and watching the sunset. And chilli sounds good too!! Congratulations on your 20th anniversary, and also for reaching an important milestone with Forrest retiring. We were uncertain what retirement would mean for us but it has been very good and I hope it is for you as well. xx

    Like

    1. Aw, thank you for that lovely comment, Ardys. The deer truly provide us with so much enjoyment at this stage. We get to see them evolve in personality and observe how they proceed instinctually in the wild. I know Forrest is enjoying Gracie especially, who seems to think of him as her mother. He will have many days of walking with her in retirement, just letting that stress melt away. It’s all good timing.

      Retirement brings uncertainty for most everyone, I think. One can have all of the plans and preparation in place, but we never know the future of things. We’ve just had so many positive signs in the last months, that this is the right time to retire. We look forward to the adventure of it all. Meanwhile, we have a lot of work to do here – we hope someday to leave this place better than we found it. We have our work cut out for us!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Arlene! We plan to celebrate both the anniversary and retirement this weekend! The weather will be much better. Ha ha! The recent snow was lovely, and as typical for our part of the country, it melted just a couple of days later.

      Like

    1. Those deer were so beautiful in the snowy landscape. If it hadn’t been so bitter cold out, I would have followed them around for more pictures. Ten years ago I might have been game, but at this point in my life, I’m content to stay inside on inclement days!

      Like

  4. A retired husband, how wonderful!
    Lockdown here and teleworking has given me a taste of what it will be like when my husband retires, hopefully in 2 years time. I like having him around.
    Enjoy your new chapter and stay safe xxx

    Like

    1. Like you, Henrie, Forrest working from home most of the time gave us a taste of retirement, and we liked it. There have been other signs along the way that spoke to us about this being the right time to dive into retirement. Already the mood and excitement about being together on this new adventure, feels wonderful. It’s amazing how free we both feel at this point, and how happy we are just having made the decision.

      We are fortunate here that our governor is wise and most of the businesses are open in our state, with Covid precautions in place. It’s kept the economy from tanking, as we are seeing in many other states in the US. Each state has different restrictions and orders in place – that alone could keep us from much traveling. We will wait and see.

      Like

  5. So delightful to study your photos… around here we see neither deer nor snow! Wishing you happy anniversary [I’m glad the celebration was pleasant and that you get to do another] and happy retirement. Although my husband [aka the G.O.] stopped paid work 5 years ago, he officially retires mid year… up ’til now our life has been busier than we ever imagined… I wonder what actual retirement will be like, for us and for you. I hope it is all you anticipate and more… despite Covid there is still much to be made the most of.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Dale. Deer in snow is quite a scene. And because the deer enjoy the cold, watching them scamper around later in the day was a real treat! When I was younger I would have been out there with them. Now I’m more content to be inside in the warmth. We are very excited about retirement. Already (this is the first week of our retired life) we are all smiles and feeling less stress and a slower pace. It’s been too cold to work outdoors much but we’re both excited about getting busy with projects around here. I have a feeling what you said about life being busier than you ever imagined will be true for us too!

      Like

  6. Happy Anniversary, Happy Retirement, glad everyone survived the ice storm and no news on power outages (though, I assume, if it had, you all would have kept warm, dry, fed and watered (wined?). LOL just the same! Happy 2021!

    Like

    1. Thank you, TamrahJo! Fortunately, we had no power outage and with the ground being so warm from nice temperatures in the last weeks, everything melted quickly so by the next day, conditions improved greatly. And you know me… I’m always prepared for storms, or whatever else might come down the pike! LOL I hope you are doing well in your neck of the woods?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well….the SO totally, unexpected arrived – it’s WINDY here! LOL – – Just kidding, but for my fellow Colorado eastern plains natives and Wyoming family members, I can say such things to ‘get a laugh’ out of the crowd! :). The small snowfall (only one storm have I bothered to shovel after) has melted back in – – I’m slogging along in front of the computer, killing snakes instead of creating gardens – and well – the man-child-roommate-unit is back to only 5 days a week at his ‘essential’ job but they are short staffed and he still logs OT every week – But we have a home, we have work to pay for the comfort of heat, water, energy & trash removal (I still haven’t figured out how to efficiently recycle EVERYTHING!! I mean, chip bags? The boy loves a brand that I’m certain can’t be recycled and I don’t have time to home make that flavor to cut down on waste….) – But, again, overall, we are fed, we are working, not in danger of being sick or evicted from our home – and well? For me, after this year of so many struggles, for oh-so-many on so many fronts – I guess, I personally feel like we are really lucky. That said, losing more classmates, neighbors, friends and family – sometimes to old age, sometimes to COVID, sometimes to Cancer – and this year? Breaks my heart I wasn’t a true rampant capitalism robber barron – so many need help with medical costs or to bury their loved ones – – and I just don’t have the funds to help – which is the one downer for me – everything else? Overall – – we shall see how it all plays out – eh? And I am trying hard to update my blog – but I just can’t find a way to write without speaking to recent events on many levels and well – you know me, I try to either go for the ‘it’s okay to be okay, just now” or ‘go for the laugh’ – – It just seems rather – – dare I say it? Blasphemous or flippant to go for the laugh when so many folks are so stressed out – so I comment, I read, I interact – but I just haven’t quite yet figured out if ‘me writing something’ just now is the best overall choice – – LOL – – Thanks for asking – sorry for the long response!

        Like

        1. I understand on so many levels. Especially, the writing. I have not been so motivated for myself – usually I feel strongly or led to publish a story, but the last month or two I do see that people need something positive to feed on, so I have put off writing about some of the real concerns and decisions we’ve made in the last year. Sometimes it’s more about being sensitive about what people need, instead of what we want to put out there.

          You’d be appalled at Oklahoma’s lack of recycling.

          Our decision to retire was made because we have been open to what is presented to us. What you mentioned about losing folks to Covid, cancer, old age – it spoke to us too. Did we want to be the couple who didn’t retire but could have and later wished we had? Is it important to be available to help those who need it? You bet! Already this first week of retirement, both Forrest and I feel well-rested and feel the stress just peeling away, layer by layer. Are we financially ready, which seems to be a concern for most people? Heck, who knows… but we are good and we can survive on little. You’ll know when it’s good to write something, and when it’s time for the next move. I have no doubt!!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I am glad retirement is option for you all. I realized when I was 42 that my investments and work over decades would fail and I will never retire. Best I can do is live all and be choosy over who I sell my energy to on schedule. 😀

            Like

  7. Thank you, Lori for a wonderful series of posts about life on your property. I especially enjoyed the post about Punkin and the spider. You obviously are enjoying watching the four young deer transition to independence. Even with restrictions on travel, there will be plenty to keep you and Forrest busy at home. I wish you both well in this new phase of your lives.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Margaret. We are already enjoying this first week of retirement – sleeping in a bit later and not having the stress we were used to. There is plenty to keep us busy around here. It’s really an exciting time of life for us.

      The critters are all doing well. Punkin won’t be hanging around so much one the trees begin to bud. All mammals love to nibble on the new shoots. And the deer will begin venturing out further too. Forrest has walked with Gracie a good bit, and generally finds the other girls bedded down on the west end of the orchard. This is all good. They’re discovering so much at this time – new eats and areas. It will be a fun year to follow them some and learn more about their habits and ways.

      Like

  8. Happy 20th and, as I am late in commenting, the date has come so happy retirement to Forrest as well. I am envious of retirement. Although I don’t mind working after so many years, 43 at this one job and several before that, I am ready to do what I want when I want…if Mary Beth approves, of course. 🙂
    I am sorry that you didn’t get to your favorite restaurant but your evening sounds like just what a happily married couple should be doing on a cold winter’s night. You have already had a much more wintery winter than we have experienced here in Western New England. I am always amazed at our own frailty when I witness or read about how animals such as your deer wards can survive what would surely harm us.

    Like

    1. The deer (and all wildlife) are quite resilient. In fact, many species do better in the winter months than they do in the summer heat. Nature has prepared them well for conditions that would surely do a human in!

      Already this first week of retirement has been busy, yet stress-free and enjoyable. I imagine we will have a much slower pace, yet find joy in all that there is to do around here. Forrest has been walking with the deer some. What a lovely way to de-stress and enjoy nature. I am enjoying not having such a busy schedule around here too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. We love the work we do here. Protecting wildlife and being good stewards of the land is important to us. We are thankful for a close connection to nature, and being able to observe and learn so much about the environment around us.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy Anniversary — and happy retirement! I’m not at all concerned that retirement will bring you boredom. No matter whether it’s travel or time at home, both of you seem to have more than enough to keep you happy and occupied — if occasionally frustrated!

    The photos are beautiful. I didn’t know that deer “bristle up’ to help themselves stay warm. It’s great that you included photos of that, too. Seeing deer at a distance is something fairly common here, but being able to see those little details is something else. And the snow! I love watching snow fall, and the way it coats the landscape; it’s far better than ice, that’s for sure. We’ve been in the 30s, even here at the coast, but no snow. I always think that, if it’s going to get this cold, we ought to get snow! This time, it stayed about a hundred miles north. Maybe next time!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Linda. We’re enjoying our first week of retirement. We both walk around with big smiles. For years we’ve had this schedule to adhere to, and orderly work to be done. Now we sleep in a bit, go with the flow, and follow what we feel led to do. It’s a strange, but welcome adjustment! And you are so correct – we will always keep happy and occupied – there is so much to be done here!

      We learn so much about watching wildlife. For years I worried about our fawns in the cold. But over time I watched them actually frolic and run in the cold and snow. I saw how well-insulated their bodies are – they often get up in the mornings with a layer of frost or snow piled on their backs! Punkin the squirrel is the same. Her hair is fluffed out and her size looks much bigger on a cold morning than when she visits on a warm afternoon. Critters are built for the weather and all elements.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One thing I look forward to in retirement is the sense that it all doesn’t have to get done now. There’s always tomorrow if it doesn’t get done today. Animals are wonderfully adapted to their environments. I wonder how we would have fared had we not the wherewithal to create shelter and warm clothing.

        Like

        1. Oh, and btw, for some reason your replies and the comments of others here on your blog go to my spam folder. I’ve asked WP about it and all I got in return was crickets. At least I know to look for them. 🙂

          Like

          1. Thanks for letting me know about that, Steve. There have been some other issues with WordPress on my end. I’m not sure what is going on. I contacted support a while back, and am still waiting for an explanation or solution. Unfortunately, this is the way of poor customer service (or lack of) that we’ve gotten used to. I often wonder if it’s because they’re pushing me to upgrade and making life difficult to get me there.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Last year I was having a problem getting notifications from WP for comments left on my posts. There is a box in the dashboard that kept getting unchecked which determined notifications. No one ever had an answer as to why but it eventually stopped. And…this reply of yours was in my spam bin.

            Like

        2. This first week of retirement has been lazy and enjoyable. The weather has been cold so it’s been perfect to sleep in a bit and catch up on what needs doing indoors. I think right now it’s nice not to be on a schedule at all, and for Forrest, not dealing with day to day stress. And best of all, there will be plenty of time to walk with the deer.

          I admire the wild things. They seem to manage much better than humans in many ways.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.