The BABY GOATS are 1 month away! —Newsletter

Mar 12, 2022


2 new commissions!

This week I've started working on a new commission of 2 pitbull mixes!

Wondering how a commission works? You email me photos of your heart animals and favorite stories and bits about their personality that will help me tap into them and figure out what the pose will be. 50% deposit holds your place in line. I take Venmo, PayPal, check, cash if you're local :-) If you have an idea for a portrait, give me a call, I'm happy to talk it over! 720-635-7015 or [email protected]


A lot of funny (because sometimes if you don't laugh you'll cry) memes going around on one of my farm groups about the soaring gas prices and this was my favorite! Haaaa, so very true!


Do you see that? It's a ROOF! Still looking pretty bare bones but this week Brad has taken 2 loads of Carolina red clay (that's dirt to the rest of you) that we had delivered and has been tractoring it into the new barn and flattening it down. Soon he will rent a compactor to smash it down further and then comes the "screenings" which is just another word for teeny tiny sharp gravel, that when compacted, locks together and is very solid. On top of all that goes rubber stall mats. He's also been digging holes for the posts that will hold up the stalls. We've been going over and over it trying to come up with the best way to create stalls on one side.

Do we have somewhat convertible stalls with interior walls that can be moved? Probably. Right now we have giant Wynter—17.3 hh (close to 6' at his shoulders), 15hh Rayn, and itty bitty Sweetness who is maybe...34" at the shoulder. And does Sweetness want to stay in with Rayn when they are inside stalls? He sticks pretty close to her. Or does everyone want their own stall? Maybe! For sure if Sweetness has his own stall, he will probably want some holes so he can see his buddies! Brad was thinking of making 2 large stalls so each would be 12x20' and then Sweetness would live with Rayn in hers. OR! Those two big stalls with a Sweetness sized hole cut into the wall between and he can choose who he wants to be with? LOL, maybe? They've never been stalled so it's all a mystery. I think the way we left it a few days ago was to make 4 barn doors inside so we have alternatives but we are still debating what the actual stall configurations will be. We have enough space to put 4 12x10' stalls but Wynter is too big for one of those. If you're a horsey person and have any thoughts at all, send me an email!


We are 1 month away from Alaska and Charlotte giving birth! That means that this weekend we will be giving CD&T shots so the babies have immunity when they are born. Charlotte is getting bigger by the day and pretty much eating hay nonstop. My new art studio has a view of the back pasture with the barns and the girl goats and the moment she sees me in there, she starts yelling for attention, "I'm UNCOMFORTABLE and I have to pee all the time! Come pet me and tell me I'm pretty!" :-) Alaska is more quiet about it and much smaller than Charlotte. I have an occasional moment of wondering if she's even pregnant. I did tell her that I wanted two small doelings so maybe she took me seriously. If Charlotte's size is any indication I would say she's going to have an entire litter of baby goats lol.

In other news, my week has been weird, good, bad, scary, and griefy. All of the feels. You? I ran across this and thought I'd share. Maybe you need to read it like I did.

Me: Hey God.

God: Hey John.

Me: Can you end my grief?

God: I could - but why?

Me: So I can stop being overwhelmed by my sadness.

God: There is something worse than grief.

Me: What's that?

God: Feeling nothing.  Let grief come.  Let it stay as long as it needs to.  Let it go.  Let it come back.  It's all a process.  It's all a slow boil.

Me: So my grief will never end?

God: Not as long as you love the one who is gone.  But that doesn't mean that your grief won't take 1000 different forms.  Sometimes your grief will look like clouds in the sky or tears on your pillow or memories in your mind.  Grief is formless.  It will come and go like the tide.  Don't fight it. Don't race through it.  Don't let other people tell you how to grieve.  Your grief is your own. Honor your grief.

Me: How do I honor my grief?

God: Grab a pen and write down what I'm about to tell you.


when somebody else tries
to tell you how you should grieve

smile and forgive them
through your watering eyes

and then imagine
how lonely it must be
to be the person who
audits the tears
of other people

the well-intended
will tell you how
long you should miss
your beloved


you take your time

grief is a hedge maze
and being lost inside of it

is more than okay

don't race through
your heartache

because you might
just miss a miracle
or two

in the teardrops rolling
down your face

don't grieve quickly
just to make somebody
else feel better

if you need to,
let your grief
become a coral reef

let the algae of your hurt
slowly form over the years
into the softest violet hue of heaven

it can take two lifetimes to recover

when our beloved becomes
an empty chair

it's okay

take as much time
as you need

your healing is your healing

and the scars of absence
will itch longer than you can imagine

but that is because you
risked to love so deeply

and that is far better than
the alternative

I am proud of you

and the courage it
takes for you to grieve
so fearlessly

don't listen to those
who want you to go back
to normal

normal will never exist again
for those of us who have
lost a part of our heart

if the moon broke in half
would it feel normal?

to hell with normal

normal was their scent on your collar
normal was their voice resting in your ear
normal was their touch on your skin

you have a new normal

it's looking at the shape of clouds
for messages from the great beyond
that your beloved is fine

you have a new normal

it's building a cabin in
the woods of your memory
where you and your beloved
can meet for lunch

you have a new normal

it's crying and laughing
at the same time
whenever their favorite
song plays on the radio

grief isn't the enemy
of life

numbness is

don't become numb to your suffering

welcome it in
and let it wrap you
up like a blanket

whenever it shows up
at your door

it's okay

I swear

it's okay

your beloved misses you just
as much as you miss them

and someday
you two will
get all tangled up
together again

you two will
push each on a
swing again under
a shower of falling blooms

and someday
you two will ride
comets together
on the edge of everything

and someday
you two will giggle
at all of the people
who tried to tell you

how to grieve

~ john roedel


Congratulations to Holly Babcock, you won the print of "Breathe!" Keep an eye on your email!

See all of the prints of my original watercolors here!

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