Sunday, March 15, 2015

the farmhouse in snow... lots of snow


Hello and welcome back.  
I want to thank  you ALL once again for the love, support, prayers, comments and emails you have sent to me, Dan and Ella in the unexpected loss of sweet Amelia.  We are slowly healing and have felt the undeniable comfort of the power of prayer by having so many people say a prayer for Amelia and for us.  Every night when I light candles around the house I say a prayer of gratitude for you... each and every one of you.  Words can not express the depth of my gratitude and appreciation for all of the love you have sent to us.
From my heart I thank you.


I felt it was time to start blogging again and I have been asked by quite a few people (especially those of you in the south;) to show the farmhouse in all the snow we've gotten this winter- and it has been a lot!  Some of the photos need an extra foot or more to depict the true height of the snow, but every time I would take photos for you I couldn't imagine that we'd get even more snow on top of what we already had! (I think that is called "survivalist thinking" :)   We heard on the news several weeks ago that this is the third snowiest winter in New Hampshire on record.  Considering that we landed in New Hampshire smack in the middle of the second snowiest winter on record back in 2008 we feel we have definitely earned our "New England winter survival" scout badge!

I once wrote on the blog, years ago, regarding living through the snowy winter in New Hampshire...
"It is absolutely beautiful, but what truly surprises, delights and amazes me on a daily basis is how natural this winterscape is to the soul of this born-and-raised Texan."
I feel sooooo grateful that I still feel this way.  While it has been a long, snowy winter (even as I type this post- with feet of snow still on the ground and a snowstorm blowing outside:) I have loved every second of it.  Winter in New England is magical to me.  Yes, I'm sure in a month I will be antsy for spring to arrive in May, but it "is" winter here and it is beautiful and I am embracing it.  That's why we moved here to experience all four seasons fully and.... we are!

So, take a look around and see how pretty the farmhouse looks in all this snow!






The stone beehives at the entrance buried in snow.









The snow came up to the top of the porch steps after this snow storm.




Ella loves the snow!




The south french door in the barn room.  Needless to say we weren't using this door;)




The snow up against the north french door in the barn room.




The "snow trail" out the front door.

\


We have amazing sunsets all year, but they are especially beautiful set against the snow.




The cutting garden.








The terrace off the barn room.








Note the footprints in the snow on the gravel drive to see the depth of the snowfall after the tractor has scooped away the snow.








Sweet Ella ready for a walk wearing her sassy coat and her protective Pawz boots to keep the road sand, salt and cold snow off her little feet!


Warmest regards, 
xxojoan



Saturday, January 24, 2015

we are so grateful....for Amelia, and for you



Dan and I are absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support and prayers you have given to us and to Ella.  We have read each comment on the blog, each email, and each comment on Instagram aloud to one another and we have cried and sobbed.  We have felt so loved and held in this time of shock and grief over losing sweet Amelia so suddenly and too soon.    Your words have soothed our broken hearts, your tears have made us feel understood in our grief, and we have felt the love of your comforting hugs.
Knowing that so many of you are saying a prayer for Amelia has brought us the most special gift.  It is as if  all your many prayers are carrying her on wings of love and she is being ushered into heaven by you.  I can never thank you enough for making us feel this and making Amelia so loved in this moment.  She was our gift, and you are our gift also.  I cherish each and every one of you.  While we might not know each other personally I feel we know one another's soul- the soul that loves house and home and dogs (pets.)
To all of you who have mentioned your lost beloved pets- our sympathies to you. We are so grateful that you told us about your loves.
Tonight when I light our candles we will do it as a family and say "Thank you" for each and every one of you- you have given us the gift of love and prayer and understanding and we are so very, very grateful.
Through tears we Thank you.  
with much love,
Joan and Dan and Ella



"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own,
live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."
- Irving Townsend -



Several days ago I realized that we did not have any photos or video of Amelia running through the woods,  We always assumed we would have the luxury of time.  
Then, last night I found this photo on my phone (Amelia is on the left.)  
This is how we will always remember her...



"They come to us,
from shelters or friends or in any number of ways,
these beings of fur or feather or other outer shells.
They come to us wanting only
to be fed, sheltered, and loved.
And we take them into our homes and our hearts.
They may have prized pedigrees,
or they may be abandoned or abused
and rough around the edges.
But there is something about them,
some sort of light in their eyes
that tells us they are meant for us.
And a sweet dance of love
begins with our new friends.
We watch them delightedly discover their new home,
laugh at the antics of kitten or puppy,
smile as the former lost soul
settles comfortably into our arms.
They become a beloved member of our family,
a reminder of the uninhibited joy
that we have often forgotten how to feel.
The dog that excitedly runs
to greet his human friend returning home,
or the contented cat curled up on a lap
remind us of how large
unfettered love can be.
They come to teach us to remember how to love.
They come to teach us that our hearts,
so often battered by this world that we struggle through,
are still open enough to feel wonder and mystery
and a precious connection to another being.
And we love them, and care for them,
and experience the joy
we thought was lost from our lives.
But life is fragile.
One day, perhaps unexpectedly,
or perhaps after a long struggle with illness,
our precious friends are gone.
And we mourn them deeply.
We feel lost, and alone,
and that the joy is once again gone from our lives.
We feel anger, and pain, and fear.
We question Deity, and wonder why.
Life is fragile.
Their lives are more fragile than ours.
We cannot escape death,
and for it to take our most precious friends,
who ask so little,
seems unfair and too much for us to bear.
But they leave us always with a gift.
They leave us with that love they gave, that joy they sparked.
Our hearts are larger for having loved them.
We are enriched by having these special souls in our lives,
even if it was for too brief a time.
Love never dies.
And the love that was created
by our special friends who came into our lives
is a living thing,
always a part of our being.
We may think our hearts are closing again,
but we cannot erase the fact
that they have been opened.
They teach us love for a reason:
so that we will have it in our hearts always.
Each day, each act of kindness or love,
is a tribute to our pets who have moved on.
Honor your special friend with kindness and love.
Each day, reach out to your living companions
and let them know how precious they are.
Reach out to others in your life
and let the love your friend brought you live on.
Reach out to others in need, whether human or animal.
I can think of no better gift than the love they teach us.
And I can think of no better way to honor their memories
than by extending that love.
In this way, they will truly live forever."

- Ginger-lyn Summer -


Dan has said many, many times over the last several days that I have the most wonderful readers on my blog.  I could not have said it better or agree more. 
Right after Amelia passed Dan said a quote from the movie "Shadowlands"...

"The pain now is part of the happiness then.  That's the deal."



We both thank you so much for reaching out to us.  We are blessed to have you here,  
We are so very grateful to have had sweet Amelia in our lives, and for you.




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

broken...


It is with broken hearts that I tell you that today we had to put our sweet, beautiful girl Amelia down.  If you had told me yesterday morning as we were having a cup of tea in the living room with the fireplace going and Amelia's head on my lap (Ella chose to be upstairs on the mama's bed) that I would be penning this post today I would not have believed it ... not in a million years.  




Just after sitting in the living room Amelia and I came upstairs and joined Ella while I checked emails. Several minutes later I heard Amelia re-position herself and moan.  She did it a second time.  I had not heard her moan like that since the day she came home from the vet a month and a half ago after having her teeth cleaned and several bad teeth pulled.  I knew she was in some kind of pain.  I went downstairs for a moment and when I came back up she had jumped to the floor.  I loved on her and tried to get her to walk to the rug that was bathed in sunlight, thinking it would feel good to her.  She walked towards me and stumbled.  I rushed to her and sat with her as I called Dan telling him to bring the car that we had to take her to the vet.  
We left her at the vet for them to run tests and x-rays.  All tests were normal.  Our vet had us take her to an Emergency Clinic for overnight monitoring.  Upon arrival there they did further x-rays and found that she had fluid around her heart.  Her sweet little heart.  We were told there were one of three outcomes, and would know more today from a Cardiac specialist who would do ultrasound on her.  We cried and prayed for her all night, but sadly early this morning we learned that it was the worst case scenario.... she had a large, aggressive, bleeding tumor on her heart.
 She was diagnosed with Pericardial Effusion caused by a massive bleeding tumor on her heart.  Fatal.  We would have moved the sun and moon for her if there was anything.... anything we could have done, but we were informed that due to the size of the tumor even if they had removed the fluid around her heart that it would reoccur- within minutes or days- but more likely minutes/hours, and even then she would probably never make it out of the hospital due to complications of the procedure.  We didn't want her to suffer for one single second.  She was uncomfortable and was quietly moaning this morning, but she wasn't in pain they said.

We drove to the hospital so that we could all be with her.  Ella came in to see her before she passed and then again after.  We stayed with her and petted and loved her for hours telling her how beautiful she was, how wonderful she was, how much we loved her and how grateful we were to have her in our lives.  We told her she was good, and precious, and adored, and loved over and over.  We told her how much joy she had brought to our lives, and how she will always live in our hearts.  She was used to hearing these words of love as we had said them to her each and every day of her life with us.
She passed quietly in her soft car bed (she loved riding in the car with a passion)  that she loved so very much with Dan and me petting her, kissing her and telling her how much we loved her.  
My first words to Amelia when she arrived on the transport a mere 2 months, 1 week and 3 days ago were "Amelia, I'm your mama."  As I held her sweet, precious little face in my hands for the very last time today I told her  "Amelia, I'm your mama."




Our hearts are broken.  2 months, 1 week and 3 days was NOT enough.  

I didn't think I would be able to write these words to you earlier today, but once home I realized that I had to, I needed to.  You were all so dear and sweet and welcoming upon her arrival and I wanted.... needed, you to know.



sweet Amelia would always sit on the sofa with her paws crossed; such a kind and gentle soul







so many people who met them thought Amelia & Ella were from the same liter








Prior to late yesterday morning Amelia had been perfect- a perfect six year old girl in perfect health.  She was the best girl and so wanted to please and learn, and she was learning.  She came to us not knowing her name, how to walk up stairs, how to play with toys, chew a bone, go for a walk,  the joy of going for a car ride.  She had learned how to do all of the above and even to walk off the leash running through in the woods.  Always a good girl, and coming back when called.  She ran like the wind and I can not put into words the joy on her face as she ran in our meadows and through the forest.  And then there was the overwhelming joy that the sight brought to both Dan and me.  It made us so happy that she was getting to live this amazing, wonderful dog life.  We are so sad for her, and us, that it was cut so short.  What a gift her short time with us was.  What will get us through is knowing that she couldn't have had a better last 2 months, 1 week, and 3 days of her sweet.sweet life.  And in the end, even though our hearts are broken, and even if we could have known, we would have still adopted her and loved her with all our hearts for 2 months, l week and 3 days all over again.  I would always tell Amelia and Ella that they belong to us and we belong to them! 
We are so very grateful to have belonged to her


It brings more tears to look out and see her sweet footprints in the snow. While they will melt and fade away her footprints will forever remain on our hearts.  
We are all so sad.


It would mean so much to us if you would say a prayer for our sweet Amelia.  She was, and is, a puppy-angel.
Thank you for understanding.


~~~~~~~~~~~~
post script

Dan and I are absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support and prayers you have given to us and to Ella.  We have read each comment on the blog, each email, and each comment on Instagram aloud to one another and we have cried and sobbed.  We have felt so loved and held in this time of shock and grief over losing sweet Amelia so suddenly and too soon.    Your words have soothed our broken hearts, your tears have made us feel understood in our grief, and we have felt the love of your comforting hugs.
Knowing that so many of you are saying a prayer for Amelia has brought us the most special gift.  It is as if  all your many prayers are carrying her on wings of love and she is being ushered into heaven by you.  I can never thank you enough for making us feel this and making Amelia so loved in this moment.  She was our gift, and you are our gift also.  I cherish each and every one of you.  While we might not know each other personally I feel we know one another's soul- the soul that loves house and home and dogs (pets.)
To all of you who have mentioned your lost beloved pets- our sympathies to you. We are so grateful that you told us about your loves.
Tonight when I light our candles we will do it as a family and say "Thank you" for each and every one of you- you have given us the gift of love and prayer and understanding and we are so very, very grateful.
Through tears we Thank you.  
with much love,
Joan and Dan and Ella

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