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So, my Christmas gift from John was supposed to be an auto start for my car. A wonderful luxury when the temperatures look like this…IMG_2579

or this…(sorry for the dust on the dash. We live on gravel. I can’t keep up. If I tried to, I think I would get a stomach ulcer from anxiety.)IMG_2578

or even this…IMG_2734

On December 27th, we attended a Christmas party in Missouri with my second-cousin-in-law. We purchased my vehicle from him. He asked how I was liking the vehicle.

I said “Ya, I love it. John got me auto start for it for Christmas this year. It is going to be installed on the 20th of January.”

He looked at me with a really dumbfounded face. Then he said, um, it already has auto-start.

To which I said: WHAT! WHAT! WAIT…so you’re telling me…I have been freezing…FOR NOTHING!

Then I hollered across the room, “JOHHHHHHNN, you’re not gonna believe this!”

Then, they went right outside and learned out how use the dang thing.

So much for reading the manual.

(Who does that anyway? Obviously not me!)

Wait, aren’t farmers supposed to do stuff like that? And, aren’t they supposed to be super mechanical and stuff? 

Turns out, all I needed to do was press the lock button & then the circle-arrow-thingy button.IMG_2749

The next day was the 28th. John was officially without a Christmas present for me. That’s when my dear Mama comes in. She completely sabotaged her new son-in-law. Earlier this fall, my Mom and sister got a puppy from a family friend. Bruce is five months old now. Such a cutie. He goes to feed the cows with Mom almost daily. IMG_2644

My mom knew that I really wanted a puppy. In fact, I’d been begging John for one the whole time we were in Missouri. We knew that our family friends had one puppy left in a new litter – just 8 weeks old!

So, the night before we left for SD mom called her friends and invited them & the puppy over….unbeknownst (what an odd looking word) to John and me. When they arrived, I said the typical “I-really-want-a-puppy” things like:

  • Awww…John she is so cute. We have to take her home.
  • I need a buddy in my office.
  • You don’t have to get me a Christmas present.
  • Think of how much fun Mom & Schyler have with Bruce!

How could he say no? After all – he didn’t have Christmas gift lined up anymore! And, this man was not in the mood to shop!

Of course, you know how this story ends. The next day, we drove home to South Dakota in our vehicle – which already had auto-start – and a super cute puppy named Roxie and now we are living happily ever after….

She and John napped together. IMG_2655

And because we didn’t have a pet porter/pet taxi…my sisters sent us home with their doll-size baby crib. Ridiculous. We put the puppy in a crib. IMG_2654

So, that’s how auto-start turned into a puppy. I just needed a little help from Mom, Schyler, Bruce, and our family friends.

Merry Christmas & thanks John for the awesome gift!


  1. Laurel Wilson

    Great story about a dog and a man and a Christmas present. It looks like some bonding between man and dog has already happened as well as dog and woman. Great pictures.


    • Sierra Shea

      Thank you!

  2. Joy shelton


  3. Sally

    I bought 150 rawhides for Bruce today! You better stock up.

    • Sierra Shea

      OMG – where did you get 150?

  4. Lori

    It was the best look on your face when you found out you had remote start!!! Mike has had the best time telling this story.

  5. Caitlin | The Siren's Tale

    Those temperatures are scary! So glad to hear that you had a nice holiday with an adorable new puppy 🙂

    PS – Could the car makers at least design a button that references there was an auto-start?! Years ago, I was in the same situation and ended up finding out I had to press 3 buttons and magic – I had a car starter. If only they could make this simple and straightforward on the key.

    • Sierra Shea

      Ya, no kidding the symbols are very, very confusing – nothing that signifies remote start!

  6. Kathy Hasekamp

    Love the puppy in the hoodie pocket picture~ great stuff!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!