A Tiny Life

Friday morning, November 11th, 2016, I had picked up my car after getting new tires and getting everything done that a 45,000 mile car needs done. I was too upset by the election to go home, so I did some grocery shopping and grabbed a bunch of socks and underwear for the Christmas collections for the poor at work.

As I drove into  my driveway, I received a text from Sarah. “I think my water has broken. I am going to the hospital.” Sarah was 7 months pregnant with a baby who was anencephalic. The skull had not formed and Adam and Sarah were told that the baby would not survive, would pass away at any time, or would go full term and only live a  day  or two.

I waited until I got the text from Adam. “Sarah’s water has broken and we are not leaving the hospital until this baby is born. Anyone is welcome to come down.”  I had been packing and headed to the hospital in Ohio, a four hour drive from home. Ken stayed home to run his business and take care of the household.

I arrived at the hospital around 7 pm. My phone had taken me cross-country in the pitch blackness, with only deep ditches and cornfields along the two-lane roads. I had visions of zombies coming across the field, but only encountered a couple of deer, and an Amish buggy.   It was a slightly scary drive, but it kept me awake.

Sarah was having contractions, but nothing much was happening. After visiting for a couple of hours, I took my leave to go stay at  Adam and Sarah’s house, and to allow Sarah’s parents to visit as they were just arriving at the hospital at 9 pm.

I managed to sleep, woke at 5 am and 6 am, but no texts. Finally, around 730 am on Saturday, November 12th, I got the text from Adam. “Elliott Joy Shooltz is here. 621 am, with the sunrise.” (We still (Sarah’s parents and I) didn’t know if the baby was alive or not.)

We went immediately to the hospital and met tiny little Elliott Joy. She was stillborn. She weighed 1 pound, 9 ounces and was 10 inches long.


I will post more pictures in the future, but for now, she was just a tiny peanut. Beautiful face, and perfect little hands and feet. We held her and sang to her and played “This little piggy went to market” with her toes. A professional photographer came in and spent an hour and a half taking pictures. Adam, Sarah and I made clay casts of her tiny footprints. There was love and laughter and tears.

Ashlee and Anthony visited. Sarah’s dearest friend, Jessica, visited and everyone loved on EJ. Adam and Sarah spent the night with Elliott at the hospital. A young man from the funeral home came to collect Elliott Joy on Sunday morning. He shared with Adam and Sarah that he and his wife had lost their first child. He took EJ and promised to take good care of her. She will be cremated and returned to her mom and dad.

I only was able to be with her for 13 hours, but it was a loving, happy, caring, blessed time. Who knew you could miss someone so much after only knowing them such a short time.

Thank you for letting me tell Elliott Joy’s story. My granddaughter.

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I woke up just now. I don’t have to go to work today, but I woke up and realized that President Pussygrabber is real.

So, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

Pot isn’t legal in this state and it’s 615 am. I can’t start drinking.

I decided I am going to wear a black armband. From now on. So……anyone have any suggestions on how to make a black arm band??? I’m serious.

Cut up yoga pants? That’s all I can think of.

I totally appreciate everyone who is trying to “get on with it”. I just can’t do it. This is one time in my life that there is no “getting on with it”. No “accept it and move on”.

This will do eternal damage to this country, this fucking planet, and to me, my friends and family.  Nope. Can’t move on. I have to think of a way to show this, forever. Black arm band?


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Random pics from the yard.

I have been purging pictures from my phone, so I might as well share a  few here. It’s better than hanging out on FB right now, let me tell you!

The goats were helping Ken work on the goat shed.


Get a load of those bottlebrush tails!

Next, Toad and Dog Toys.

And, this last one I entitled “Goat Pffffffft”. This is Gus saying “Hi”.


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Trying not to freak out

Hi, guys. Without the wonderful sane Vox peeps on Facebook I don’t know how I would survive.

This election is a daymare. And a nightmare.

So, not saying anymore about that. Instead I must post the fantastic family photos we got taken while we were all together in Florida.


The whole bunch! Such a good group of kids! Camden was giggling up a storm and making us all laugh.


Ken and I and our all-growed-up kids.❤

And the little dewd and his daddy!🙂


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Wonderful Family Vacay!

I turned 60 years old in February and Ken turns 60 in October.

As a surprise gift, the kids all went together and planned a long weekend family get together in Key Largo, Florida. The vacation happened last weekend, and I sure wish that I could teleport right back there for one week every month. It was just so nice having all the kids and grandkids there.

Ken and I flew down with Aaron, Laura, and Camden. The travel day (Thursday) was long and grueling for a one year old who doesn’t want to be buckled into a carseat or confined on a plane. Much hollering was done that day.


We had so much fun, swimming, glass bottom boat ride, snorkeling, hiking, eating and drinking. It was a grand family time.

We got home last Monday and it’s been difficult adjusting to “normal life”. Thank goodness for pictures!

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Hi, hi!

We’re all doing fine.

Sarah is getting a cute baby belly. She can feel it kicking  The heartbeat is strong. The prognosis at the last ultrasound is the same. The baby won’t survive. But, they are enjoying the process anyway.


The Great Dane girls are thriving. I just had them out on their second leash training walk. One at a time. They are learning. They are sometimes walking sedately by my side, sometimes bucking like broncos, and occasionally, when I tell them to sit and bend to push their rumps down, I get two giant clubfeet on my shoulders.

Progress is being made. They are smart, even though they are huge toddlers.

After the first leash walk, I saw Dottie go over to where the leashes are hanging and just look at them as if thinking “I wonder what all that was about?”.

They LOVE riding in the car, something which Orion hates. So, it’s fun to take them, along with Sheldon and Ellie.

The Danes and goats are getting along just fine, too!



Dana, especially, loves the goats. She’s kissing Gus’s ear through the fence.

The girls are great at helping make beds.😛


Camden had his first haircut. The look on his face in the mirror had us in stitches!


He’s walking, just a step or two or three at a time, but climbing up on the couch, no problem! Oy! Keeps us all on the run!

Ken and I are going out for our 36th anniversary tonight. Yay, food and wine!

I hope September finds you all well.

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Tired to the bone.


I’m too tired to do anything except type. So, I may as well do a catch up



I’ve been working a ton, as is usual in the summer. But, man, being 60, it sure wears me out!   My oldest son and his wife (Adam and Sarah) found out they are pregnant, which was awesome, because they have tried for 6 plus years. But, an ultrasound two weeks ago showed that there are many problems and the baby probably won’t survive. After about 24 hours feeling truly awful we decided (separately, but simultaneously) that this is always going to be their baby and it is now warm, nourished, and cared for, so we will cherish each moment it is with us and grieve when it is not. They came up last weekend and we enjoyed the gardens at Michigan State University.

Another reason I am exhausted….. One and a half weeks ago my husband, (veterinarian) was contacted by the local Humane Society. They needed vaccination records on two of his patients, 8 month old Great Dane sisters. The owners had left them at the Humane Society because they were tearing their house up (hello, Great Dane puppies). These two pups are sisters and are related to Orion. So after a few days of thinking, and a couple of visits, we brought them home. So, yes. We now have five dogs, three of whom are Great Danes.

Dana is on the left, Dottie is on the right. In reality, everyone is settling in very well. The girls are learning manners very quickly and they have their giant dog crates, which they love, so the house won’t be any more dismantled than it already is.


This weekend, Ashlee and Anthony and their two dogs came up. So we had SEVEN dogs, three of them crazy puppies.

Thus…….tired. There, I think I caught you guys up on most everything. So, here is a gorgeous cloud.


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A Post of Pics

Ken was working on the goat shed and he had helpers.
IMG_5744Gus in wheelbarrowIMG_5743Last post was werds, this post, pics.

Some garden pics.


And baby pics!🙂


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Mid July

I’m bad about posting.

(Mandatory first line of any post)

I have hit mid-summer, when I am either working every day, or traveling every day. (and in a rare day off, I have Camden overnight, to give his mom and dad a break).

So, whilst the little booger is napping, I am tapping. On the keyboard.

Camden is teething, whining, drooling and tearing the house apart. I’m so happy to have him over. Really! I know that I will rarely see any other grandchildren I will have, so I’m delighted that he can come over frequently.

But, I sympathize with moms and dads of busy teething babies!

The dogs/cats/goats/chickens/fish are all doing fantastic. It’s been a beautiful, but dry, summer.

My flowers and tomatoes have required frequent watering.

I had a wonderful trip down to Ohio around July 4th where I golfed with Ashlee and Anthony and Anthony’s mom, we went out to dinner with his parents and then to a Cleveland Symphony concert where they performed Scheherezade, and The 1812 Overture with real cannons! And then fireworks!

So much fun.

Other than that, I have been working and grandparenting.

Nice to see you!🙂

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Time to post baby goat pics!

Chicks and goatsHello to all!

I am posting so rarely that I’m very awkward at even starting a post. I’ll start with a complaint about this past week. My cousin’s husband dropped dead of a heart attack. Age 63. Ashlee’s bf’s uncle dropped dead, possible aneurysm, age 56. A dear friend of mine attempted to commit suicide. She failed, thank goodness, and was in hospital for a week, but is now doing a lot better. My dad got stomach flu, but had chest pain and shortness of breath, so ended up in ER and then hospital for the night. Happily, all of the tests showed his heart is fine and he probably just had a virus.

So, this week has been a bit traumatizing. My nerves are a-frazzled.

But, as always in life, the trauma passes and things will stabilize.

The good news! We picked up our baby goats two weeks ago! They are ADORABLE and the friendliest little guys. They are so small….barely taller than the chickens…but, they are hefty little buggers. Probably 20 pounds each. They just love attention and scritches and they jump up on us wanting to be picked up. Pretty funny little dudes.





This little dude is Newt. The two white babies are Gus and Woodrow. We named them after characters from Lonesome Dove.

So, here we have the goats and chickens all settled in together. Peace and harmony!🙂

The peace and harmony picture is up at the top of the post. Like I said……awkward!😀

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