Friday, September 18, 2015

Ruminatings of Life

Ruminatings of Life

What ho! My dear followings! (Forgive me, I've been reading far too much Shakespeare for my own good...).

Dear, dear me; how I've missed you all so much! So much has happened, and is happening in my life that I can scarce formulate my thoughts in an orderly manner. But, I shall try my best to catch you up on what has been transpiring in me' life.

First, I don't believe I announced it on my blog, if you follow me via Facebook or Instagram, you would have already heard of these sad tidings, but our dearest Rusty, passed away in July. I won't go into the details, but lets suffice to say that my heart is still broken into teeny, tiny pieces and will never recover from his passing. ever. period.
Love you sweet boy! Momma misses your big, furry mess snuggling with me in the covers and your silly tail twitches! <3

*grabs handful of tissues...sobs..sniffle* On a happier note, I would like to introduce our new, sweet Aussie pup, Steele. 

6 weeks old-the day we got him:

Aprox. 12 weeks-several days ago:

He is helping to mend the gap that we all felt with Rusty's passing, and is already part of the family. You can find him about any time of the day on my bed, or asleep with me, biting my toes and chewing on anything and everything that comes into contact with his needle point teeth.

The last few months of summer have been spent in the company of good friends, and adventurous gallavantings of all sorts. I'm so blessed.
As summer steeps into fall (insert happy jig!!!) and the days are (sometimes) cooler, its makin' my little ole' heart right glad! I've only been looking forward to fall/winter since last year. *ahem*

Tail gait star gazing-the finest seat in the house! I saw over 50 shooting stars that night. It was gorgeous!

Or that exciting time when your family leaves you home alone and you busy yourself with singing opera, crying bitter tears of emotion over a wonderfully sad movie, and trying not to burn the house down.

(FYI. I successfully managed not to burn the house down...).  

We've started school back up; I'm busily working on finishing up my last few projects. Such as literature, science, learning to speak Irish, and a few other odds and ins. 

I'm not a multi-tasker, I prefer to tackle one project at a time, hog tie it and knock'er out, and then start on the next thing. Currently, I'm trying to balance my love of literature with my other assignments. Yah. That pretty much ended up with my going through one of my two literature study books in a week; which, is supposed to take several months to go through. Oh well! That's the joy of homeschooling, you can do it on your own time, however fast or slow you want. 

So, the past few weeks I've pretty much immersed myself into Shakespeare, his works, world, and history. 

I've read almost over a dozen of his plays over a week and a half span, wrote more papers, sonnets, ballads, and poems than I care to mention, as well as watched a production of one of his plays. 

Tom Hiddleston reading sonnet #18, which also happens to be one of my favoritest of Shakespeare's sonnets. So. Lovely! 

 *sniffles..* Wasn't that beautiful?!

Or watch this wonderful performance of Hamlet's soliloquy:

I believe I could happily be a poet and do nothing except watch excerpts from Shakespeare plays, spout poetry, read and write.

My mind has adopted sixteenth century dialect, and my brain speaks it fluently. I catch myself throughout the day just talking to myself in Shakespearean English, making up ridiculous rhyming poems, and creating (laughable) dialogue between unknown characters that could easily be found in one of Shakespeare's plays. So yes, at just about any hour of the day you can find me tucked in my room, in my rocker reading Shakespeare. 

So yes, the goal is to be done with school (completely) by spring, or possibly sometime this winter. I don't plan on taking any breaks--so we'll just see how it goes.

 Can you peeps believe its actually mid September???

 I'm still trying to get my head around't. I'll be turning eighteen next month, and all I can say is wow! Where did the time go?

 Adulting is a lot more than I bargained for, and while I'm in a philosophy mood, I'd like to share a wee bit of advice for all those maidens out there who are waiting for their Prince Charming: don't rush it. There. I said it. 
But it's true.
 I know waiting is hard (tell me about it!!), you want to start your own life full of exciting adventures with your future husband-to-be, but don't rush it. Embrace all those God given talents that you've been given, right now. 'Cause trust me girlies, time flies by quicker than quick and before you know it, *boom*, its here. God's timing is the best, so just wait on Him and don't try and make things happen yourself. God will give your handsome prince a steed and a leg-up when His timing is right. OK, I'm done with my philosophying. 

So besides the ever-active school duties I'm trying to keep up with, I'm desperately trying to put into motion some long term dreams of mine that have been in the making (some of them) since I was a little girl. 

In the next month or so I hope to have my Wildlife Rehabilitation license in hand. I can't even tell you how excited I am! This is something I've wanted to do ever since I was 7. But, when I was told you had to be 18 to apply for it, I stored that dream for later. And now, here we are, 11 years later, and I'm fixing to make that dream reality! 

A rather recent ambition of mine, that was placed on my heart, is becoming a herbalist. I've always loved plants and nature, and the idea of nature as your doctor and administering homemade remedies to yourself, family, and others, just makes a heap of sense to me. So, Lord willing, as soon as I save some pennies, I'll be taking that online course around mid-summer.
 The main reason for doing so, is stated above. I do not plan on using traditional medicine or doctors now, or in the future. So having the 'know how' stuck up my sleeve, is very important to me; as I know I will be using this on myself, my future family, as well as my friends. I'm already known as the crazy health nut, and have people come to me for health advice (with which I am a complete amateur), so it makes double sense to actually have the knowledge to back up the name. Yes? Of course yes!

On another note, does anyone know of any online courses that teaches basic (or extensive) vet skills? Or any books/sources that you'd recommend on the topic?

You all know I have a love for writing; so I thought, why not use that in making some money? I submitted an article to a website several weeks ago. Something I've never, ever done before and I was quite terrified to be honest! Unfortunately, it was no published, but Rome wasn't built in a day, so I shall try, try again! 

Speaking of writing, in among all these other things, I've been trying to find time to write one, of my many, many, books. So far, I haven't been able to work that into my busy schedule, but we're gonna make it happen.

  On a very muchly, and extremely exciting note, I'd like you all to know that my dearest brother, Laredo, is engaged to a lovely, beauteous (< there's another Shakespeare word...) young lady, Andrea. Of whom I already consider and love as a sister. <3 You may go stalk her blog, here.

I feel like one of my theme songs currently is, 

 Seriously, so many things have changed over the past few years and the good times really do fly by like a freight train! Now, I'm not saying that good times aren't gonna happen in the future, not saying that at all. Rather I really miss having all five of my siblings at home. Being the oldest single, at home is something I never thought I would experience. Let me explain...
I told my two older brothers that they were not allowed to get married, or even look at a girl for that matter, until I was gone and married. That a-way, I wouldn't have to be an emotional mess and deal with them leaving my the eldest at home. And now look what has happened! :0 
ANDREA! COURTNEY! Y'all ruined my plans! And I'm so very glad you did.
 I've never seen my brothers so happy, and it makes my heart happy to see them so happy. Phew, that's a lot of happies! Are we all happy, happy, happy now? Good, good. Let's run after a fresh rabbit trail, shall we? Of course we shall!

I know the next question in your head: "Whats it like being the eldest sibling at home?" Well, I'm glad you asked me! 

My life as the eldest at home is promptly summed up with this quote from "Brave":  

There you are. A perfectly accurate description of Aspen, as the eldest sibling at home. However, I do in fact want to get married--just waiting on that good ole' God timing I told y'all about. ;) Until then, I have every intention of riding through the glen, letting my hair be a messy-tangled wreck, and shooting arrows into the sunset......

As we fade into fall, I find myself pining to go to another civil war reenactment. And dance. Mostly dance. What can I say? I'm a dancing addict, and even saying the word 'dance' to me will have me in a spazzy mood where I commence to hop around my room in excitement. Yes, I know. I'm a commited nut.
 I've never been a huge workout person, but somehow or another I got drug into it by, they know who they are, *ahem* and here I am running a mile almost every morning, as well as other simple (and intense) workouts. Still not real sure how that happened, but I'm really glad it did. Being able to finish chores in the morning and take a run while the sun is coming up is one of my favorite parts of my morning. Not to mention I feel (mostly) amazing afterwards. And, as an added bonus, I get to watch our young heifers and their newly born calves frolic around the flat whilst I run. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

 My favorite heifer, who actually just had a calf this morning!
If you want to know what I look like running, just picture a hobbit trying to a marathon. Or a penguin trying to keep up with an elf. Yep. Not much of a runner, but its called determination, and it helps to have some motivating friends who constantly inspire you to do better.
Nan is consistently giving me about a quart (or sometimes over) of milk every morning, then Cassia gets to enjoy her bounty for the rest of the day. After November, I have plans on getting her bred. So if my plans work out, we'll have ourselves some goatlings (stealing Reyna's term..hehe) before too long. I'm excited!

 Now, then. Onward to several delightful and newfound movies and songs that just make me all happy inside!
First, is "Gladiator". I'd recently become semi-obsessed (OK, I lie. Full blown..I was full blown obsessed) with the Roman time period in which the gladiators existed. Now, even though this film isn't fully grounded in history, it is sprinkled with historical facts, names, and events. And man, oh man! This movie..bring tissues and lots of them! I bawled like a baby all during this movie. Call me sentimental, but this movie tore me up inside and....made me feel happy. Figure that one out. Yes, yes, I is that even possible, but trust me, it 'tis. 

  And the end credit song...*faints* it gets me anytime. I just loves it! So, if you ever catch me singing in another language, chances are, its this song:
And, if you want to just bawl your eyes out, like me, for the thousandth time-thanks to this movie, then watch this music video from one of my favorite artists, Peter Hollens; who recreates "Now We Are Free", beautifully:
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't crying at the end of this video. The amount of emotion and depth that is packed into this short video, Peter's voice, and this song-wow! 

And, I finally jumped on the band wagon and watched the fabulous, new "Cinderella" movie. I'm only going to dip my toe in the waters of the fabulousness of this movie, and will save my all-out review for another post, but suffice to say I love it! Here are a few snippets from the movie...

First, I'm just going to say, I adore this quote and am going to hang it from every wall, and maybe even my ceiling.

Her dresses. Can I please make a wardrobe of her dresses? They were so, so gorgeous! And, by the by, I happen to know of a dear friend of mine whose sister recently recreated Cinderella's ball gown, go see it here and try not to swoon with envy! Put me on the list for a dress, Bella dear!!

Her horse. Can I please have her horse? 

And...her good fortune to find a prince while riding said horse? Please and thank you!

Us girlies in the family, loved this movie! It's such a perfect film; just the right mixture of fantasy, romance, love, forgiveness, kindness and just a scosh of magic!

Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen (a.k.a Merida) 


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Meet The New Additions!

Meet The New Additions!

Please allow me to introduce Cassia,

and Nan, our goats!

 They are Alpine x LaMancha crosses. Nan is 2 years old, Cassia is her 4 month old doeling.

Currently I'm milking Nan in the mornings and letting Cassia have the rest. Nan hadn't been hand milked before so we (my dear cousin and I) had to train her. Boy! Was that fun! Thankfully, she's gotten much better now and we're getting ourselves a little routine down. 

Little sis' and I are attempting to halter train Cassia and get her used to being handled, so far she is responding well to the constant supply of treats and attention...she may even get spoiled! 

I can't even tell you how excited I am to have goats again, after years? 
And in case you're wondering where the names came from, let me elaborate for just a moment..

Nan's name came from one of my favorite movies of all time, "Tammy and The Bachelor." Debbie Reynold's character, Tammy, lives with her grandpa and her pet goat, Nan. They (Tammy and Nan) have such a cute relationship in the movie and it makes my heart happy. So naturally, when we picked up my two new darlings I just had to name one of them Nan!

 And the name Cassia came from another one of my favorite movies, "Pompeii".

 I'll save the details of this movie for another post, but let's just suffice to say that I have emotional attachment to this movie and yes, that's where Cassia's name sprung from.

Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Do You Believe In Magic?

Do You Believe In Magic?

I do. 

And I'm not talking about the 'bibbity bobbity boo" magic; rather the extraordinary day-to-day magic that takes place daily, yet is hardly noticed. I talk of the tender music that flows and drums from the slender stems of the grasslands, of the silent hum of the trees as they sway back and forth to the music of the wind that howls and bemoans it's voice in the great sky. And of the sky itself, who reigns over the earth with its cloudless blue depths that dive into the interspersed star clusters that pour into the boundless black recesses of the forever night sky that towers over the azure blue sphere that melts into the great vaults of heaven itself.
Of the soft feeling of awareness that comes to your hand when someone touches it with their own, the small magnitude of the millions upon millions of crystals that make up the dirt and sand of the earth. The earthy, fresh scent of rain that  pours from the seemingly downy clouds that are forever suspended in the air, or the calm feeling and voice that your soul finds when it comes in contact with nature. How can you not look at these things and call them magic, worked by our beloved Creator-for He created them so we could enjoy them. He obviously finds immense pleasure within it, otherwise I doubt he would have created it. 
It breaks my heart daily to see people continually stuck in the negative aspects of life that blacken their vision, clouding their minds and thoughts until all they can see is their own troubles, sin stained pasts and how 'unlucky' they've been.  Oh! But what a beautiful future they have ahead of them! Everyone has their own past mistakes and regrets, I know I have aplenty. But don't dwell on them! Look to the ever brilliant future that burns bright on the horizon, shedding new hope, freedom, dreams and most of all God's love that reigns and covers us all-if we allow Him to. Stop slapping away His hand of help and refuge. He wants nothing more than for you to be reborn into His kingdom through His Son's blood that was freely shed on your behalf;-so that you can fully appreciate and accept the treasure trove of blessings He's been reserving for you. So put a smile on that gorgeous face of yours and praise our mighty Father, for He is indeed entitled to our wholehearted praise and admiration. He is the one who created and sustains these potently beautiful creations (and us) that are yet simple and unique for His glory. For His artistic taste in all of his creation can be so majestic and full of beauty that it can at times seem like magic, but what your truly witnessing is His holiness fueled into this earth that we live in to give us a tiny scosh of a glimpse of His true beauty and nature that we barely sample upon the earth, but will be able to revel in when we reach His holy city.
And Amen.

Do you believe in magic?

 Tell me some of your favorite beauties in nature that you love to admire!

Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Lend a Helping Hand

Lend a Helping Hand

The West Ladies, consisting of Vicki West and her three daughters, Jasmine, Cecilia, and Hannah, have been living off the land in a self-sustaining, homesteading lifestyle for over 20 years. Because of their agrarian lifestyle, they have been blessed with the opportunity to share this knowledge of simple living through their website ( and the Homestead Blessings DVD series, helping countless friends, family, and complete strangers learn the forgotten skills of the American homesteader.  They have also blessed many with their music, by performing and composing songs, bringing a smile to faces, and reminders of thankfulness for the simple wonders of life. 

Now they could use our help.

Due to unavoidable and unfortunate events, the West Ladies had to move from the farmhouse and land that they leased, cultivated, established, and loved for over 14 years. They were provided temporary shelter in the form of a travel trailer, but they will need to vacate it by October of this year!

They had hoped that income from their small home business and DVDs would come in, and make it possible for them to have their own home, and piece of Tennessee land, continuing the art of homesteading.  However, that was not the case, and they now need to raise the funds to purchase land and build a new home.

With much labor already donated by their local community, the goal is to raise $50,000 for building materials for a small cabin, and a piece of land that they can call their own.  Please help the West Ladies meet this goal!  Thank you for giving from your heart!

To read more about The West Ladies' recent adventures, and need to build a home, visit here:

Go to this webpage for more information on how to donate.

Help spread the word! Repost this via your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.

Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen

Friday, August 7, 2015


 In July I did something that I've never before; I participated in NaNoWriMo. I wanted to do it last November, but it just didn't work out. I decided to jump on the band wagon for camp NaNoWriMo when I found out about it just a few days before it started. 
I worked on a rather new story I came up with several months before, which had aprox. 3,000 words already scribbled on its person. I decided to plunge into that and attempt to write 50,000 words (i.e a novel). 
I did not meet my word count, but came just a few hundred words shy of 30,000 words-which I consider a feat; considering that's the most I've ever written during a month! So even though I didn't knock out my goal, I am well pleased with my writing efforts and (excuses) July was one of the crazy-busiest months I've had in a long while, so I'm still patting myself on the back on a job well done.

Did you participate in NaNoWriMo last month? What story were you working on? Do tell!! I'd love to hear from other fellow campers on how their month went.

 Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Infinity Dreams Blog Award

Infinity Dreams Blog Award

I was nominated for this award by the ever-lovely Deborah of The Road of a Writer

Let's kick this popsicle stick, shall we? Of course we shall!
Firstly here are the rules and regulations:

  • Thank the blog that nominated you.
  • Tell us 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them.

  •  I've been told numerous times that I look like an Indian. 
  • I'm a research nut.
  • Camo, black, and grey are my favorite colors.
  • I love mud.
  • My dream pickup is a black, jacked up, dual tired Dodge. <3 If that isn't an option then I'd settle for a red and black flatbed pickup.
  • I hate shopping, like literally hate it-unless it's TSC. And if you don't know what the abbreviation is, I feel for you. ;)
  • I love, adore and otherwise like the smell of horses. I may or may not be known to rub their scent on my clothes just so I can smell it throughout the day. Me? Crazy? Nah!
  • According to the Meyers Brigg personality test, I'm a INFJ ( Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). And since I've announced that, I'll limit myself to two pictures that best describe me:

 That pretty much sums us up.

  •  Silence is one of my favorite things.
  • I muchly love swing and English country dancing!
  • I want to live in a castle located out in the middle of nowhere.

 Deborah's questions:
If you could have any superpower/ability, what would you choose? (My cruelty knows no bounds. ;))
 The ability to talk to animals/nature.
 Would you mind sharing a snippet of your latest work-in-progress? Do so! (Alternately, tell us a little about what it’s about?)
Oh dear! You do realize I don't even share my writing with extremely close friends, right? Can't believe I'm doing this-but-your wish is my command.
My current (of the many works-in-progress) is a medieval fantasy/adventure novel. Here is a synopsis that I wrote for it during NaNoWriMo:

 Evil is rising up in the land...Two young men's lives will be changed forever when they are thrust into a dark world full of treacherous nobles seeking power by whatever means possible. Framed for a crime they did not commit, they are forced to become wanted outlaws, running for their lives. An adventure full of peril, betrayal, love and a battle for freedom.

  And a couple excerpts from the rough draft that I'm working on at present.

"Dirth! What on earth is the meaning of this? Come man, out with it! Before I give you a second thrashing that you no doubt deserve!  What have they done to you?”

“They’re over reactin’ is all.  All I did was kiss a girl!” Was the reply.

As night fell, Dirth lay in his bed, wrapped in a blanket, peering out at the stars that shimmered in the dark canopy that enveloped the sky. The stars, like bright jewels suspended in the heavens, radiated their brightness like tiny white orbs in the night sky. He breathed in the night air that flowed through the window over his bed, ruffling his dark hair and marking his features in dark shadows. He had always loved the stillness and peace that reigned over the lesser populated land, like theirs, that stood on the outskirts of the village and castle, and offered a quiet homestead, sheltered by the great trees and hills that surrounded them. This is where his heart was, this was home. 

“I know what ye be going through, lad, I do.” He said with sadness in his eyes, the look of a child who had been injured in his childhood and had carried the grief with him through his years, never being able to relieve himself of its mighty burden. “I watched as my brother was torn from my grasp, slaughtered in front of my eyes, as I looked on, unable to do anything but stand there and watch in horror as this grim scene played out before me.” A sigh of remembrance escaped his lips, “Aye, you have not known true helplessness until you have experienced being wholly feeble and unprotected as I was, no one being there to shield me from the world’s wicked black heart that takes delight in all things foul and unwholesome. As a wee child, I was vulnerable to the hatred and deceit that seems to reign in this world, and for many years-before I came to this place-I carried that hatred, fear and loathing for my fellow man with me. It was no small load, I can tell you.” He said with a slight grin before continuing; “But it was then that I found myself; I found myself in the hills, in the mountains that kissed the sky, in the dew dribbled grass of the valleys and meadows that poured into the thick forests. It is from there that I harvest my gratitude, happiness and contentment. Without them, and this raggedly group of scoundrels, who knows where I would be!” He said with a smile to fit his massive being. “So my lad, I learned to take pleasure in the small, unnoticed beauties that are sorely overlooked by this greed and lust filled world; taking joy from nature, the flowers, trees, butterflies-the small beautiful things that you do not appreciate nor miss, until they are gone. It is no different with people, lad. We do not truly know what we had until we’ve lost it. Your father will become a treasured memory, something no one, but yourself, can take away from you. It is something precious; hold it with great value and …” Marek stopped, “My how I’ve been rattling on! You must be getting a mite weak o’er there, best have something to nourish that lean figure of yours before ye keel over, eh?” Marek quickly sprang to his feet, and like a frantic mother tending her young, he set about procuring a meal for Talon, before the latter could offer a single protest.


 “...can this outlaw, Conner or whatever his name is, be trusted? He is an outlaw, hunted by the crown.”
“Yes father, he is. But it seems that every noble hearted man in the shire has been driven to such extremities, for they are among those who do not wish to bend and conform themselves to the daily fancies of the rulers of this land. Instead, those who should be praised for their valiant deeds as noble hearted men, are driven into the woods and made to live lives of animals, constantly on the lookout for danger. This is not freedom! This is oppression by a dictatorship that should have been cast aside many years ago for his cruel reign and selfishness!” Talon fumed.

What’s the best book you read recently and why did you like it?

 "The Wild Frontier" by K.M. Rice. I was able to relate to the story and characters, their struggles, their imperfections, and their yearning for a wild frontier.

I had fun with this! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I loved posting it for your viewing pleasure! ;)

 I know I'm leaving some peeps out, I can feel it on m'bones-but these are the only two bloggers I can think of currently, so if your a blogger and would like to do this tag, go for it! And yes, I know everybody says this and nobody ever takes them up on it, but seriously,  if you want to do this tag you have been officially tagged by me, myself and I. Now go do it!!  Shew shew...

 My questions:

  • What's the story behind your blog name?
  • What do you do when your home alone? Be honest now, what do you really do? ;)
  • List some of your favorite smells.
  • Favorite food you like to make? Do you have a signature food? (Mine's chocolate chip cookies!)
  •  Top three favorite movie soundtracks?
  • Describe what your hair looks like. 
  • Name several someones from the past (history) that resemble you in personality/character. Tell why.
  • Favorite midnight activity? (Come'n now! I know you have one! Mine's scrambling through the house, at night, while everyone else is asleep, at top speed. It's exhilarting! You should try it.)

 Love and Rich Blessings - 

~ Aspen