April 12, 2020

We have a bummer lamb on Skye Moor Farm. On the Saturday before Easter, my husband heard baby lambs mewing in the corner of our barn. Their first-time mother accepted one but not the other twin. Perhaps it was because the second appeared premature, its eyes unopened, its mouth too weak to suckle. So this wee lamb spent the night in a laundry basket in our home where we tube-fed him colostrum.


March 14, 2020

One friend who cares for her aging father, posted the question in green on FB. Another friend, Pastor Dan Morgan, wrote:

What a great time to spend with your families! Read a book together. Sit down and play a video game with your teenagers. Ask your neighbors if they need a roll or 2 of TP. Have devotions together. Go on a walk and talk to neighbors from 6 feet away. Clean the house. Pray! Look at...

March 5, 2020

When I'm feeling DOWN and I need an UP. I take FIVE. It's a simple RX for when you're low.

It won’t circumnavigate full-blown depression, but it interrupts a sadness that might slide into something more. When I offer it to friends, I jokingly sign the RX as "Dr. Ann."

  1. Eat a meal with at least four colors on your plate. (Fruit loops & Orange Cheetos don’t count). A piece of broccoli, a slice of...

February 17, 2020

My husband tried to shear a sheep. Only once. He claims, “It looked like the sheep went through the blender.” This Spring, our sheep will be sheared by a professional; it’s an entertaining event.

The shearer hoists the ewe on her bottom so she’s vertical and rendered helpless, then removes her wool in minutes.  A great shearer can keep the fleece whole and takes pride in her craft.

If I ever dare to...

January 28, 2020

The New Year arrives devoid of December’s color, clutter, and chaos. The holidays are over. Life is quieter. Muted. Barren. What is to come?

That split second between 2019 and 2020 was merely a change in year, marked only by a new number. And yet, what is to come—this wintertime of hibernation— is a uniquely beautiful privilege. A sabbatical.

Fields lay dormant. Trees stripped naked, their stark art...

December 24, 2019

In Kindergarten we learned to politely raise our hands to ask a question. We couldn’t yell out every thought, swear at other students, call each other names, shout “Shut Up!” or intimidate one another on the playground.

"Kinder" actually means children in German, but maybe it's also a good reminder to be kinder.  I wonder if we could try being kinder and listening and learning for greater understan...

September 29, 2019

I have an UPside-Down Bucket List.

It’s everything I avoid. No, it’s not merely a “To-Do” or a “Honey-Do” list. This UPside-down Bucket List demands a learning curve or stepping out of my comfort zone. I put off each item on the list when I need to put on my big girl panties and just do it.

So what’s on my list? You’ll probably laugh. Everything from learning to fold fitted sheets to comprehending t...

July 15, 2019

There’s no UPside to anxiety. No matter the age, anxiety robs us from joy. And for children it’s an UPhill battle with little to be gained and a childhood to be lost.  

Lily is an amazing fifth grader. She’s a middle child in a delightfully caring, smart, and musically talented family. I started teaching Lily in elementary school because she was ready to take on musical theatre roles and wanted coa...

May 24, 2019

A song at my daughter's college graduation made me cry. It's no surprise that I would be emotional as my firstborn, Christine, walked the lawn at the University of Virginia to receive her diploma. But the song that triggered my tears wasn't the one you might expect.

It wasn’t Promenade from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, the piece I processed the aisle to at my wedding twenty-five years be...

April 30, 2019

This February, I lived in a retirement community—though thirty years younger than my fellow neighbors. As mom’s post-hip replacement caretaker, I bunked with her for ten days. It was a little like living in a dorm for senior citizens. Lobby. Elevator. Dining hall. Mail boxes with keys. I have to admit that in the past, this place made me uncomfortable. But since I had to live there, I had plenty o...

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