Soup Grant Night for Firefly

The holiday season is upon us!  : )

Please join us this Thursday for a Thanksgiving celebration featuring great food and great conversations!  We will hear from two awesome projects: Firefly Farm LLC out of Mason, and Backwards Burglar!

All you need to do to support these great projects is make your way to SoupGrant this Thursday!!  We will provide a buffet of delicious Thanksgiving themed soups for FREE, so if you have $5 bucks to spare, throw your cash towards the “micro-grant” to support good ideas and positive change in your community!

Here are the details that you need to know:

·  This month’s dinner event is this Thursday November 17th at 6:30pm at Grace Lutheran Church off MLK (in the basement)!

·  What to bring:

o Your bowl, spoon and cup

o Yourself, family, friends, co-workers

o $5 (if you want to vote for a project that is!) (At the end of the night, the project with the most votes takes home ALL of the cash donations – as a “SoupGrant!”)

·  Eat up!

o The soup is FREE!  There is always a buffet of delicious, homemade soups that our “soup guru,” Terry whips up!  There are soups for every taste including meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans!  If you want to bring soup or another goodie, that would be awesome!  Just email us back to let us know what you’re bringing so Terry can plan accordingly!! : )

Other Info:

6.30 – Doors open

6:45 – Soups on (and bread)!

7.15 – Proposals are presented, votes are cast, and more soup is eaten!

7.45 – Winner announced/SoupGrant awarded!

Hope to see you this Thursday!  As usual, these are two GREAT causes; so please come out, eat tons of soup, have some fun, and support them!

-SoupGrant Lansing

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The Bun

The soft, warm creature in my arms twitched as I counted his tiny toes.

“He smells better than I expected.”

“His nose is perfect.”

“His ears look too big for his head.”

The little one in my arms observed the world around him, occasionally seeming to watch me as I moved around.

“What should we name him?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why don’t we have complete strangers decide?”

“Sounds good to me.”

The Bun. The little bun in my arms twitched his nose as he sniffed the air around him.

“I think he ought to be wrapped in a blanket so he won’t pee all over.”

“Good idea.”

“It’s too warm. Let him be nekkid.”

The little one’s ear wiggled as I touched it. Funny, I mused. Most people think ears that are too big aren’t a trait to be desired. I disagreed. His ears, as well as all of his other parts, were perfect.

“We’ve only had him a day.”

“We can still bring him to Meijer Gardens.”

“How will we take him?”

“How about a cat carrier?”

Our Bun traveled in a cat carrier to and from Grand Rapids without uttering a peep. Or a cry. Or whatever Buns say. Our Bun is Fun.


Oh–and his name is now Sir Hops A Lot Freight Train.

Because we had a contest among kids at Meijer Gardens, and I liked the name Sir Hops A Lot, and The Husband liked Freight Train.

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“I love a Parade”

On Independence Day, Melody, Hart, Erin, Allie M., Jasmine, Jami, Allie B., Isabella, and I entered Mason’s annual parade. Our horses were champs and the students handed out business cards and candy.

Thank you for Allie M.’s hard work on the sign we used.

We also made it into the Mason Newspaper.


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The Traveling ‘Peep’ Show

Their little legs and wings blur in a flurry of activity as they greet me in the mornings.

“Peep peep peep! Cluck cluck! Squak!”

Every day, the chickens, ducks and turkeys follow me, begging for food and attention. They love to be petted and adored. They see a mealworm (treat) bag and gallop toward me.


But there are feathers everywhere. Chicken ‘leavings.’ Ducks in the arena, chickens in the hay. Eggs that I find months later, many moons longer than I’m comfortable eating them.

So I finally invested in their future.


The lovely, retro/vintage monstrosity here will now be referred to as “Firefly Farm’s Traveling ‘Peep’ Show.” It’s a gloriously perfect gutted camper which isn’t usable for humans any longer. It’ll be just what Doc Brown (as in, Back to the Future) ordered.


This is the beginning of the end for my little feathered friends’ “nighttime excursions” to the pond or the hay pile. The welcoming committee will be penned up soon with this trailer as their new home at night, but they’ll be allowed out during the day. I know it seems harsh, but my ‘peeps’ will be happier in the long run. This trailer will allow them to lay eggs in peace and sometimes hatch babies in a quiet environment. This will be a huge boon for poor Gloria, who is currently laying on a nest in the worst possible area for any duck to hatch babies.

12743984_932535840176210_8735108353766968307_n.jpgI can’t wait for Firefly Farm’s Traveling ‘Peep’ Show to be on display. I’m already cleaning out the inside to prepare it for nesting boxes.




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We Part–and not Amicably

Twelve Years.
We had a great run.
A warm, comforting relationship, but with one single move, it’s now shredded.
If only Melody hadn’t hip-checked the gate when I let her out this morning, everything would have been fine. Instead, she ripped the left side of her blanket to pieces.
Her Horseware Ireland Rambo Turnout blanket lasted twelve winters and it’s not done yet. It’ll take me hours to fix, but I’ll mend it. Hopefully Melody won’t need a heavy blanket again until after the new one arrives–or better yet–until next winter.
Ethan Birthday and Feb 24 184
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A Leap Forward



Mud oozes under one boot while snow crunches under the other. The remaining piles of powdery white “frozen fog” are a jarring contrast to the warm breeze carressing my face.

Today is the first leap year day I’ve experienced at Firefly Farm. There’s an extra day to live my dream. An extra day to plan for the future.

An extra day to mend horse blankets before I need them again this week.

The twelve inches of snow that surprised us last week was problematic. Luckily, The Husband had a snowday, so he helped shovel paths so I could open the gates and barn doors.

The snow that fell seemed endless–but now it’s almost gone.

Today I’ll plan for our upcoming shows. Our first show will be an English, dressage-like show where we’ll have kids perform mounted patterns with the potential to win ribbons. After setting up the show date, I’ll put together the summer camps. I’ll schedule my life for the summer.

March 25, 2012 194

Squishy mud will turn to solid ground and become green. The mounds of snow will dissappear, replaced with flowers.

This is my life, and I was granted an extra day. I’ll enjoy every moment even if it means cleaning my boots afterward.

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Cold Turkey

The Husband offered to go with me to the barn tonight.
“I can dig out the gates and the back doors if you’d like.”
“I’d like.”
We trod outside as the wind blew snow sideways into our ears and onto our necks. We walked past Josie the Turkey as she huddled against the house.
“She’s shivering.”
“We could put her on a sled and drag her to the barn.”
“She’d fall off.”
We considered Josie as I set The Husband up near the gates to dig. I fed the horses and then led him back to the tack room.
The Husband held my hand as we regained warmth in our extremities. “I could carry Josie.”
“I could put her in a muck bucket.”
“Good idea. Then we could each take a handle and carry her together.”
That’s how we ended up coaxing a shivering turkey into a muck bucket in the dark. My cold turkey, confused, watched us as we carried her to a stall in the barn so she could become a warm turkey.
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“You Bought $20 Llama Socks?!”

Saddles, both gleaming and musty, surround me as I walk through Pinckney High School. A chorus of voices greets me from all sides, and I feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast as she walks through her Provincial Town in France.

A nearby woman sells socks. Socks. I curl my lip as I spot the price. Twenty dollars for–socks?! I don’t spend that much on a bag of Strategy.

I take another look, and read the packaging. “Will keep your feet warm and dry. Wicking fibers…Made from 100% Alpaca.”

I’m allergic to wool, and I miss my wool socks. I take a chance and buy some. As I speak with the vendor, we realize we have a mutual friend, and chat.

When I get home, I stare at my new purchase. Twenty dollars is a lot of money. I rip open the package and try them on.

Cozy. I wiggle my toes, enjoying the thick, plush fabric around my tootsies.

“I spent a lot of money on socks,” I tell a friend.

“What kind of socks?”


“What’s an Alpaca?”

“Kind of like a Llama.”

“How much did you spend?”

“Twenty Dollars.”

“You bought TWENTY DOLLAR Llama socks?!”

I had to laugh. “Yes I did, and I don’t really regret it. I only regret that I didn’t buy two pairs.”

If you want your own Alpaca Socks, go to:

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“Why don’t you live here?!”

Liquid, dark as steeped tea, circled the drain. I scrunched my nose, watching the water sluice from my body; disgusted about the amount of dirt I’d dragged into my house.

Today was phenomenal. Fun. Silly. Lots of dirty, hard work.

A few days ago, one of my favorite people in the world (who lives in Virginia) emailed to tell me she was coming up here to play for the weekend. I made her come to the barn and join the Saturday morning group lesson. This group, comprised of my more advanced students, practiced lead changes. They’ve been practicing a change of rein, simple lead changes and flying lead changes. My dear friend (who is 11) fit right into the group.

Afterward, we unsaddled, put together a folder for her, and then sent her on her way.

And I was sad.

My brain refused to relax, so I started sorting. I went through plastic bins, threw away certain things, and cleaned others. Random recruits (including some Minions and a parent or two) helped sort through brushes, putting together colored totes for each horse. I shredded paper and swept and cleaned hay off of the floor of the indoor arena, covering myself in dirt and dust.

But I was still sad.

I can’t have every kid who comes here be a part of my Minion program. I can’t claim them all.

But I wish I could.

I really, really wish I could.

Hugs and love, Aubry (who has NO e in her name and who is from Virginia!), from Michigan. Firefly Farm loves you.

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The Pin Ups are BACK


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