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Loving Life

What does loving life mean to you? I believe that loving life has an individual meaning for everyone. My hope is that we all find and create the life that makes us feel fulfilled and whole. Well balanced comes to mind along with complete and utter joy in our hearts.

I am loving life more now than I ever have in all of my 54 plus years. I have a husband, best friend, lover and personal cheering squad all rolled into one individual. I believe this to be a rare creature and a special find. Lucky me! It almost seems mystical or fictional at times and yet he is real. I know ’cause I pinch him every now and then and he yells. Lol

I think it is a fantasy that we all grow up dreaming about. To have that special someone who fills your heart so full it almost feels like it’s not real. Like it is some kind of dream that you don’t want to wake from. If this is a dream for me, then I never want to wake up. I know this sounds kind of mushy, but after everything I have been through, I feel like I am truly blessed to have come out on top for once.

I live in one of, if not the most beautiful places on earth. The changes of the seasons are breathtaking to say the least.
Our winter snow storms have a beauty all their own. Especially when one is curled up around the wood stove, while listening to the crackling of the wood as it burns and watching the color of the dancing flames. Maybe with your companions, reading a great article or listening to your favorite piece of music while the snow falls outside the window creating a blanket of the purest white you will ever see. The spring brings with it the sweet nectar from the maple trees as they wake from their long sleep. As the sap runs up the trees to nourish, the frozen tree starts to thaw and grow beautiful green leaves that will shade you from the hot summer sun. Summer brings an abundance of new fruits and vegetables as well as the beautiful sunsets over the farmer’s fields and the many beaches and lakes that surround us. Fall, which is my absolute favorite time of year brings a bright palette portrait of bright orange, reds, and yellows mixed with a little green to complete it. The cooler temperatures bring on harvest and a welcomed reprieve from the heat of the summer.

As the seasons change it is a good reminder that all living things have a cycle. I watch these cycles progress in a much more appreciative manner now, knowing that I too have a cycle and that I can now enjoy watching as my own seasons change. I look in the mirror and see someone who has seen many seasons, and it shows. My past seasons have left many scars like an old maple tree that has lost a branch or two in a winter storm. The tree healed and keeps growing in spite of the reminding mark that the wound left behind, and so shall I. I have had many blessings in my life some of which brought to me by some very wonderful people and animals alike.

In addition to my many blessings, there have also been some undesired actions or situations from people. All of which taught me many great lessons, which I am grateful for. After all, to live is to learn.

I have been told that my life most likely will not last as long as someone who is in better health than I am. But, who knows, I have beat slim odds before. That said however, I feel blessed to have had the time to build and grow a truly loving family. One that I have chosen for myself. If I were to meet my last season, I would go into my long sleep happily.

Jam, Jelly, Berry and Missy are my cat family and I could not have asked for more loyal, loving, beautiful beings to share life with. They make me smile, laugh and most of all feel loved.

Hank, our 14 week old mastiff puppy has made me feel more alive with his active, loving and protective manner than I have felt in a long while. He is sassy, stubborn, smart, persistent, and very handsome. All qualities that I absolutely love about him. He is an amazing young dog and my hope is that I get to watch him grow and blossom into full adulthood. He is catching on to his training very quickly which is a good thing because he is already over 35lbs.

Miss Waffles our laying hen and Hank the puppy have become the best of friends. I couldn’t shake the feeling however, that in the evenings when it was time for her to go to sleep on her roost, that she was still feeling lonely. I have been on the hunt to find Waffles a couple of hen friends to keep her company especially as the cold winter weather approaches.
My search lead me to a couple of 3 year old laying hens that a good friend of mine had. She decided that because she only had two hens left that she would re-home them an no longer keep hens in her barn. This lead to them coming to live with us on our homestead. I am very pleased to announce that we now have the two girls to keep Waffles company. I have named them Juno and Pixie. They all seem to be getting along well and though it is still very new for them, they seem to love our clean barn, loads of land to hunt for tasty morsels and of course the odd treat from the kitchen. Hank the puppy, on the other hand, they still aren’t sure what to make of.

Waffles still comes to hang out with Hank and I when we’re doing our yard work, from time to time and even though Juno and Pixie are still settling in, I am sure they will come to love this place as much as I do.

My husband and I just had a lovely two weeks staycation together. We did some day trips in the truck and took our sidekick Hank along. We had a road trip to pick up a “new to us” wood cook stove for our off grid camp. I have already baked a batch of bread in it and I’m happy to say that it works beautifully! We also started to build a wood shed on the back of the camp. Which is something that we have wanted to do for some time. It is always a work in progress, but it’s definitely a labor of love! We also cleaned up and burnt some brush while milling some logs into boards for the wood shed roof and other building projects, over the past two weeks. We also went out on our ATV’s a couple of times and had a picnic at the river with a little fire to roast some locally made sausages. Which we served with open fire toasted homemade buns. One day, we took Hank to the beach to see if he liked the salt water but he didn’t seem very interested in the sand. I don’t think he liked the taste of it. I think he is a fresh water boy and will like the river much more!

Most of all we spent quality time on our homestead with our little family and made it a priority to be present in each moment and enjoy some time to rest.

Who could love life more, when it looks like all of this, I ask?

As Always,
Love Tanya Jean

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Piece of my Puzzle

I will start by saying that this summer has been the best summer of my life. It was full of fun, peace, love, and joy. What more could a kind soul ask for?

I made a choice at the beginning of the summer to relax and not put as much pressure on myself to be productive to the point of exhaustion. I decided to set and work toward small attainable goals. But, first and foremost I decided to enjoy and really be present in everything that I attempted.

I tried a new way of gardening this year which didn’t yield an abundance of food but I chalked it up to a learning experience. That said, I am very happy to have an easy and relaxed harvest season this year. The items that I did harvest will help out nicely with our winter food needs and grocery bill, in the long months of our Maritime winter. With my harvest duties and time requirements being a little lighter this year, I will have more time to enjoy the fall season. Which is my absolute favorite time of year!

We had more rain than usual this year in our portion of New Brunswick. Which had a contributing effect on the growth and yield in my gardens. I will not complain however. It seems to me that other parts of our Country and the world had far more devastating weather patterns to deal and live with. In my opinion, we are fortunate to have only had a rainy summer. Some parts of our Country had historic fires to cope with.

I made the most of the days that were sunny and beautiful and spent a great deal of time outdoors enjoying every second. It is amazing how much one’s degree of presence can improve one’s view on life.

I learned some new songs this year and in doing so pushed myself a few steps outside my comfort zone. Some of them really stretched my abilities and I am extremely pleased with the outcome. With my new songs, I attended some music gigs, outdoor parties and jams with the band and had a blast!

As I mentioned in my last post, I checked off some of the items on my bucket list this summer. In addition to those events, I also spent a fair amount of time out on my ATV enjoying nature and our wonderful New Brunswick trails with my husband and some great friends. Now that we are getting into the fall months, we have decided to make the most of the beauty of autumn here in our neck of the woods by planning some off-road day trips and excursions on our ATV’s and truck. This year, for the second year in a row, my husband is going to take two consecutive weeks of fall vacation to spend with me and our growing animal family.

Speaking of our growing animal family, I have a big announcement to make. After a lot of discussion, we have decided to get a puppy. We have been without a dog for the last few years, since my heart attack. This is mostly because I had it stuck in my head that we should not have any more dogs due to my health and mobility issues. This along with being told by my doctors that I most likely will not live as long as someone who has fully functioning heart, played on me. That said however, after the summer I have just had and how good I have been feeling, my outlook is now a little different. I have changed my thought patterns and done my best to look after both my physical and emotional health. I have decided to free myself from the good opinions of other people and do and experience the things that make me happy. Having a puppy makes me happy! It makes me extremely happy, in fact! I have sooooo missed having a dog friend in my life. Dogs have played a huge roll in my life ever since I was born and not having that kind of friendship over, the last few years, has always felt like something was missing. It was like putting a puzzle together only to get to the last spot and find that the final piece is missing… I just put the last piece into my puzzle and it is now complete.

My new little boy is a Mastiff. I have recently come to learn that there are 14 different types in the mastiff breed. My Hank has lineage from the Canary, Italian and Neapolitan mastiff blood lines. In my opinion, with the traits and characteristics of these three breeds combined in him, he makes the perfect boy for me. He was born on July 19th of this year and he has been with me for two weeks now. He is a sweet, goofy, silly, clumsy and loving little boy. I’m in total love with him and though my husband would not want me to say this or tell anyone about his soft side, he has grown quite fond of him as well. The family that I have chosen finally feels complete.

The way I look at it, even if something were to happen to me sooner rather than later, I have made the most of my opportunity to share happiness, love and life with such a beautiful creature. Hank already loves going for drives in our four wheel drive truck. He knows his name and is coming along nicely with his basic obedience commands. His is also doing very well with house training and adapting to our schedules and routines.

He already weighs almost 20 lbs and will end up weighing between 120 – 150 lbs once fully grown. We decided that a big dog would be best so that we can train him to be somewhat of a service dog for me. I fall a lot because of my mobility issues and he will be big enough to help me in my times of need. I still have bad days from time to time and having him here to help me will help to put my husband’s mind at ease, when he can’t be with me.

Hank is slowly gaining the trust of my girl Jam. She was used to dogs being around in her younger years and politely tells him when he is invading her space and comfort level. Jelly and Berry don’t really know what to make of him yet. They are cautious around him so I make sure that I carve out a little extra attention time for them both. I think this will help with the gradual association process nicely. Our outdoor friend Missy, who came from the farm across the road, is no stranger to the ways of dogs and puppies, as they too had dogs. Of course last but not least, Waffles the laying hen is standing her ground with him. Hank listens and responds well to me when we’re doing the chores in the morning, where she is concerned. This is especially good when he starts to get the zoomies and wants to play. Waffles starts to cluck and I tell him to leave her alone. He then will sit in front of her and almost hang his head in disappointment. It is really quite funny to watch. Waffles is the boss and puffs up to tell him when to back off. I am truly enjoying my life and the animal family that surrounds me.

I will keep you all posted on Hank and the rest of my little farm family. What I would like to ask all of you is this. Are there pieces of your puzzle missing? Which pieces are they? Have you ever thought about it? Or, do you have the right number of pieces, but some of them are just wedged into the wrong space. Maybe you have been working some pieces from a completely different puzzle? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

As always,
Love Tanya Jean

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Restoration and Adaptation

This has been an interesting spring to say the least. In my neck of the woods, we have had temperatures in the thirties and then down to four degrees, Celsius. I can’t remember ever having to light a fire in our wood stove in June before. We have lived here twenty years and this is the first time that I have felt the damp, cold weather in such a drastic change. I was fooled by the early warm weather, for a couple of weeks. Some of you may remember from an earlier post, that I was starting some plants in the green house earlier than usual, this year. I did however transplant a few of my starter plants outside because they were getting root bound. It did shock them some but are starting to come along better now. I have had to cover them at night when the risk of frost is high. I still have my tomato plants that need to be transplanted very soon and moved outdoors but I am holding off until we get through this cold snap. Planting and keeping most of what I am growing in the green house this year, is proving to be the right choice. Considering how everything is growing so far, I believe my yields will exceed my expectations. I have already picked some lettuce for salads. We have also had a little bit of baby spinach and baby swiss chard.

The pots I planted wild flower seed in are coming along nicely. Hopefully the flowers will bloom before too much longer. I am so looking forward to the warm weather that brings with it the beautiful colors of fresh blossoms here in our little piece of heaven. This time of year I always take note of how vibrant the new shades of green are with the new growth. To me, it is a sign of restoration and renewal. The green that is showing now is the brightest it will be all season. This reminds me that all living things have a beginning and an end. All of life has a cycle.

I am sprucing up the yard by restoring some ornaments in the form of my painted rocks. I have had great joy over the years painting many rocks to brighten the yard. Until flowers come into bloom they add beautiful color. If the rocks have been in the sun they will fade over time.

This is one of the first rocks I painted over seven years ago. It lasted well but like most non living objects, it needed some restoration.

We as humans sometimes get so busy that we forget that life is a journey that needs to be savored. Sometimes even living beings need some restoration. Every step of our existence should be experienced, noted and appreciated for what it is. At times, we all need to restore ourselves in the way of adapting to new ways and or belief systems. I used to resist change and unpleasant experiences. The unpleasant parts of life happen and by accepting them rather than resisting them, I have found it easier to the lesson in them. Find the teaching moment as it were. I used to try to push through those unpleasant moments with great force and speed. Now, after all of my experiences in life, I have come to a place where I take the time to feel what is really happening and do my best to live it fully for that very reason. If I continued to file these experiences away and not feel the full effect, it comes back to haunt me. Then the teaching moment could be lost forever.

Speaking of unpleasant experiences, my little Tiny, one of our laying hens suddenly passed last Sunday. I found Tiny laying lifelessly on the ground, with Waffles nudging her, trying with all her might to lend the strength that she thought Tiny needed in order to be revived. Waffles was making distressing noises and it broke my heart to see them both in such a state.

I had felt a very unpleasant chill just moments before I found Tiny. I guess it must had been her heart giving out. She was old for a commercial laying hen and there were no signs of any other types of stress. Tiny just laid down and passed peacefully.

The commercial breed of laying hen we have are genetically designed to live producing an egg almost daily and because of this there life span tends to be shorter. I did not realize that there life span was going to be so short. I may have thought twice before getting them. Alternatively, I may have chose to get a heritage breed instead, although I have no regrets at all now. Tiny was only three years old.

As I rushed down to the barn, Waffles seemed to be in great distress watching her best friend pass. The noises she was making stopped as soon as I picked Tiny up. I could see in Waffles eyes she so hoped that there was something I could do for her friend. I was too late, she was gone and there was nothing I could do. I felt useless and extremely sad.

As I prepared Tiny’s body for burial, Waffles watched quietly. In her own way I believe she was saying good bye to her companion.

I have been told that laying hens have a brain the size of a raisin. Some would say that, it was just a laying hen, with no real empathy for the life that was lost. I, being the empath that I am, know that even though they have small brains they have individual personalities. They show affection and they also have enough intelligence to understand what has taken place. I have had enough hens to know that they recognize there favorite humans and hens alike. They feel a lot of the same emotions that humans do, in my opinion. Their long term memory may not be as long as a humans. Or is it? Regardless, it seems to me that there are some humans who can choose to forget some events, why can’t a hen do the same.

Waffles is by herself now and she seemed depressed. I could feel her sadness. She seemed lonely so I have been spending more time with her. She is enjoying the extra attention I have been giving her but I am not about to roost on the pole with her at night. With my balance, I would not be up there very long. Lol. I have taken an old stuffed animal down to the barn. Hens are weary of anything new.

One of Waffles favorite treats are a small portion of my homemade crumbled biscuit. I put a little on the floor beside the stuffed animal and she analyzed the situation for a few moments observing that the stuffed animal wasn’t motioning toward the delightful tidbits. Inch by inch, she moved closer, as her stomach was telling her, if you snooze you may loose. It wasn’t long before she was standing beside the stuffed animal and the treat was gone. Throughout the day I would periodically check on Waffles and her new buddy, most often Waffles would be standing beside this new odd little creature pruning herself and acting content.

As nightfall came, I tied the stuffed animal on the roosting poll close to Waffles’ regular spot is and sure enough when I went to close the barn up for the night, the two were side by side cuddled up nice and close keeping each other warm.

You are probably wondering why I don’t just go and get another hen. They are flock animals and need companionship, which I am fully aware of. I have decided that I will not have any more laying hens. Waffles is three years old now and it is hard to say how much longer she will be with us. She has stopped laying and it is for this reason I believe that her days may also be numbered, much like my own. To introduce another hen at this point would be too stressful for her and myself included.

Some would suggest to place her in another flock but I believe at her age she would get picked on and this is the only home she has ever known. I have always said that once an animal has a home here, to live with me, they will stay for the rest of their natural days.

I have loved having the hens more than I can express. I started out with twelve three years ago. They were excellent companions and good therapy for me. I named everyone and treated them with great care. As they passed I would bury them in our own pet cemetery on the property with a hand painted stone to mark there resting place. They were all my friends and family I choose for myself. As I get older, and after all I have been through, I take loosing a friend or a family member harder and harder each time. A piece of me dies every time I loose another one.

I have no way of knowing how long I will be on this spinning ball and I really do want to make the most of it. That being said having animal friends that require the kind of care that the hens do coupled with what I believe they should have puts me at a disadvantage for being able to partake in some adventures that are still on my list to do. I want to have the freedom to be able to experience all that life has to offer and seize all opportunities, here and now, in my last chapter.

Waffles is adapting and not totally alone because she also has Missy, our cat friend that decided to make this her home, who she visits frequently. The stuffed animal seems to be helping her night time blues. So I will do all I can to keep Waffles healthy and happy for the rest of her days.

To me, restoration and adaptation are all part of the cycle of life. Looking forward and not backwards is what both Waffles and I are trying to do. We will remember Tiny and celebrate her happy life as it was. We said our good byes to our friend and now it is time to make the most of the time we have left. As I watch the living world restore and grow, I try to restore and grow spiritually with every passing day. Making way for the new!

As Always,

Love Tanya Jean

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My Grammy… My Angel

Another Mother’s day has come and gone without you here. I can not begin to express how much I miss you and the way you were with me. I even miss those dry old scratchy hands you used to rub my back in such a soothing way. I know that sounds weird but even though the skin of those hard working hands was rough, the touch was soft, soothing and loving. When I was sick or even just having a hard time to sleep I could count on those incredibly healing hands to mend all that was wrong. Not to mention the long talks we would have about anything and everything. There was never any judgement just a loving ear to bend and an encouraging word if needed.

Mother’s day has been very hard for me since you passed. I miss your laugh and the way you used to lovingly scold Grampy. I can still hear you saying, “oh Eddy”, with the tone of a grin on your face. I clearly remember the way you used to be so meticulous in the way you kneaded your bread or cut vegetables for pickling or super.

I can still smell, even though I lost my sense of smell years ago, your turkey dinners and bacon cooking for a special morning breakfast on the weekends. You always took such care in preparing your meals and put a little touch of love in with every stir of the spoon.

What I wouldn’t give to be sitting in the living room with you watching one of your favorite daytime soaps or a good nature show listening to the clicking of your knitting needles. Every stitch so precise without even watching what you were doing. The beautiful afghans you had knit me still keep me warm and remind me of you everyday. Even my animal friends can feel the love of every stitch as they always pick one of many to cuddle up on. Those beautiful warm pieces of your art work is all I have left to hold on to you now. They wrap around me like you are sending me a hug from the heavenly afterlife you now reside in. I cling to them like they are my life line on a difficult day remembering you and what you might have said to me with encouragement.

I know you were sent to me in this life because I needed a living angel. Perhaps that was part of the reason we share part of the same name. I am proud to have your name in mine. I can only hope to live up to it. You have big shoes to fill for a short woman. I would like to think that I have your kind but broken heart. Thank you for your loving guidance and reigning in reality for me. You taught me many life lessons, and yet somehow, I feel that I still have more to learn.

I understand why you had to go even though it shocked me at the time. One day you were here and the next day just a memory of a great woman. I know you would not have wanted to go any other way and so I can respect your wishes. Grief can temporarily blind ones perspective when it is such a quick passing at a young age. You worked tirelessly to make sure your family was well looked after. It was time for the big long sleep and for you to reunite with loved ones that had passed. I know how much you must have missed them because I am sure it compares to how much I miss you now.

Know that my life was whole because you were in it, even if it was not for as long as I had hoped for. I want to thank you for being you and loving me. I know we will meet again in the afterlife. Until then, I can feel your presence in what remains of the working part of my heart. Love and miss you dearly Grammy. Rest well my heavenly angel.

As Always,

Love Tanya Jean

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My First Empath Feelings

I have always felt sensitive towards people, plants and especially animals. From a very early age my instincts were always to listen to my heart, and my heart always told me to be kind. Naturally, I wanted to treat others the way I really wanted to be treated. I believe that everyone, at their core, wants to be treated with kindly and with gentle and loving intentions, by those they share a life with.

My first family pet growing up was a dog named Candy. She was a gentle yellow lab mix that loved to eat. Candy would eat anything and everything. In particular, she had a real taste for the baseboards in our home. On one occassion, she ate an entire pin cushion that was full of pins. It is truly amazing that she lived to the age of sixteen. Candy was my first friend and I loved her so. Her and I basically grew up together because she was just a puppy when I was born. Our connection was strong, and to me, at the time, it was because we had just always been together. I am very thankful for the friendship that we had in my early childhood years and today understand that there was much more to the dept of our connection than I realized back then.

My grandparents, on my mothers side, were very loving and gentle people with whom I spent a great deal of time while I was growing up. They always had dogs and a deep appreciation and respect for nature. They loved to feed the wildbirds, chipmunks and the odd squirrel that would show up with their young. In addition of course, they would also feed the odd human straggler that came along for a visit and a lunch. As I saw and shared in this mindset, I too embraced this approach of being helpful and kind to those in need. It seemed natural to me and I liked the way the world looked through those lens. It made me feel good, and at that time in my life, I was drawn to all the good feelings I could get.

My grandfather was a big kid and I loved his youthful antics. He was always joking and teasing. Especially when he could get a really good laugh. He loved to make himself and others laugh that hardy laugh that comes right from the belly. We would laugh until it hurt. It was so much fun and felt so good. I admired his love and respect for the woods and everything in nature really. It was plain to see, for anyone who knew my grandfather, that being in and surrounded by nature is where he belonged.

As a child, I spent a great deal of time with both of my grandparents at their camp in beautiful Albert County, New Brunswick. This would eventually become the location for their home in later years when they retired. It’s a place that still feels like home to me. A beautiful country home filled with warmth and positive energy, carved into the hillside, looking down on the winding brook, leading to the pond below. If I close my eyes and quiet my mind for just a moment, I can still hear the wildbirds singing and the sound of the babbling water flowing into the pond. It was my favourite place in the world. Alot of the time, I could be found in the kitchen with grammy. I would be helping with the preparing of meals, baking bread or making preserves.You see, Grampy had a huge appetite and loved to eat well. Her kitchen was well known in the community and they would frequently have folks popping in for a visit. She always made sure she had some tasty treats to offer when visitors would come calling. Believe me when I say TASTY! She was the best cook I have ever known! I think that might have been a big part of the allure for the nearby neighbours and visitors. Even the dogs would line up, in hopes of retrieving a tiny morcel or scrap from the floor or maybe even having something thrown to them by Grampy, when Grammy wasn’t looking of course. They had to wait on the outskirts of the kitchen though, she would not allow any unnecessary traffic in her kitchen, and no one questioned Grammy. I can remember hearing Grampy refer to her as the “Warden” a time or two, in a most loving way of course, and only from a distance. When there was absolutely no danger of her hearing him. LOL. At other times, I would be out in the shop or in the yard helping Grampy with one of his many, many projects. He was a brilliant man and could build or fix anything! I just loved spending time with both of them! They always made me feel so special and like my suggestions and opinions were important and mattered.

The camp, for me, was a magical place. We were surrounded by nature and wildlife. Grampy would have wild birds land right on the top of his hat. While he was wearing it! I think it was because they knew he was no threat. I was completely in awww of his connection to them. He had even tamed a squirrel. Or, so I thought at the time. However, looking back now I realize that he had an ability to comminicate with these beautiful creatures. Without me realizing it at the time, Grampy passed his gift on to me. It was the gift of being an animal empath. Grampy showed me how to quietly observe, communicate with and earn the trust of a chipmunk. We got to a point, this chipmunk and I, where he would eat right out of my hand. I was about six years old at the time. Well, I thought it was a “he”. So, I called my new friend Henry! Then, one day Henry showed up with her young ones and from that point on, Henry would be known as Henrietta. LOL

I did not know that I was an animal empath at the time, or that there was even such a thing. Or that others could possess the same or similar gifts. I believe that it was this time spent with my grandfather that helped me to realized how special my connection with animals could be. A bit later on in life, I felt a calling to work with animals and trained to become a pet groomer. It was a profession I worked in happily, for twenty five years. There was a period of time, after my heart attack, when there was very little I could do physically other than feed and attend to our pets and the wildlife at our home. This gave me such joy and a feeling of purpose. Not to mention that it was very good therapy for me at the time. Both physical and mental, I believe. It was a time when I felt I had very little. I had lost a great deal of my independance and felt very low.

Now, after all these years and some most challenging times, I still live here in the country, surrounded by nature. Right where I belong, just like my Grampy. Quietly observing, communicating with and earning the trust of the wildlife around me. I am forever grateful for my many blessings and animal companions. Thank you very much for the lessons you taught and the example set for me Grampy! You will be forever loved and missed!

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Welcome to my story

So here’s a little about me and why I’ve decided to do this.

The picture you see above is of my girl Jam and I approximately 10 months or so after coming home from several months spent in hospital.

I have always been an animal person. I have always felt a connection and found comfort in the presence of animals. Though it wasn’t until recently, after doing a great deal of research, that I started to understand what this gift of mine really was. It was like I could hear them and understand how they felt or what they were trying to communicate. It was with this in mind, some twenty-five years ago, when another “just for now job” fell through, that I decided to become a pet groomer. A perfect fit I thought. I would get to work with animals all day, everyday. What could be better for someone like me? I so loved working with the animals. Until one day, completely out of nowhere, I had a massive heart attack. It was the type of cardiac event commonly referred to as the “Widow maker”. I had a 100% blockage and was in full cardiac arrest for approximately 35 minutes. I was forty-eight years old, at the time.

We were told by my medical team that less than 5% of individuals who experience an event such as mine survive. Add to that the “arm’s length” list of complications that I had to overcome and it is truly a miracle that I am still here. It’s a miracle that I am here and able to share my story with you. It is in writing this blog and the book I am currently working on that I find strength, comfort, healing and purpose. It has helped me to not feel so alone…

I thought my world was complicated before, and it was. However, it is amazing how an experience such as the one I am living, can change one’s perspective in such a powerful way. It certainly gave “complicated” a whole new meaning for me. This “arm’s length” list of mine has opened up a whole new world for me. A world that I’m sooo looking forward to sharing with you.

Its been one hell of a journey… A journey I hope you will find interesting and enjoy following.

Maybe it will become something you would want to share with someone close to you. Or maybe, someone you know who is experiencing challenges and difficult times in their life or with their health. It is my hope that through sharing my experiences, we can help those who are struggling in their own life situation. Maybe they too will come to see that they are not alone and that there is always hope… even in the darkest of times.

With love,

Tanya Jean