I have two girls. They both look like me – one more than the other. Every time I see a picture of my mother at a young age or one of my daughter’s most recent ones I think of the proverbial apple falling from the tree. It’s strange how uncanny it is.
I remember someone holding my daughter as an infant. She was facing me but across the room. With the distance the lines of time blurred and I saw not my baby, not myself, but my mother. Weird. Very deja vu.
I was looking through some of my junior high and high school photos not long ago. I was surprised to see myself now through an older me’s eyes. I was cute and funny and active. I wasn’t the ugly duckling that I remember feeling like.
Now I look to the future and I see my beautiful girl. I tell her nearly every day that she is beautiful. I tell her even more often that I love her.
When I see my mom again I will hug her tightly and tell her I love her. I am so thankful to be given the blessing of a wonderful mother and the opportunity to mother a lovely daughter. I just happened to get sandwiched in between! This is one time I don’t mind being caught up in the middle 🙂
Ok, so I am by nature a crafty sort of gal. I was confused when I would throw together some random art project and people would stare and ask “How did you do that?” To me it was simple. You just get creative and stuff happens. It took me a while to see that I actually had a gift.
As it happens this sort of thing is not really in demand for too many basic jobs. So I have a unique skill set that I have not yet marketed. I may never market it. That’s not really the point anyway.
I have found that over the years being creative has made my life more enjoyable and exciting. I have been able to bless others along the way. I have been able to stretch my small means further than anyone thought they could go.
It’s funny when I google money saving tips and I see things that I have been able to make for less than half of the cheapest purchase price. I feel good about that. I don’t want to take it for granted.
I am blessed to have had parents who lived a DIY life out of necessity and taught me how to work with my hands. My mother painted and arranged flowers and created an inviting home with very little money. My dad built and welded and was forever knee deep in projects. Both are extremely creative thinkers.
The things I remember most about my growing years were that we were allowed to be kids and to learn by error. We climbed trees and built our own tree forts. We used that dilapidated band saw to make wood projects. We used the wood lathe to create gifts for friends and family. We gathered flowers and branches from gardens, woods, fields to make elaborate arrangements for gatherings and holidays. We planted, we grew, we were given the right of way.
My amazing sister blew everyone away when she built- from the ground up- a tiny house complete with wiring and insulation. Mind you, this was WAY before tiny houses were cool. She was sixteen. I did not get that much talent *sigh*.
If DIY isn’t your thing there are so many tutorials online to guide you through. I encourage you to try it. You might find yourself with a better product that cost you less to make than it does to buy. Word of caution *it can be addictive*.
We woke up to a beautiful clear sky this morning. The weather is doing one of it’s famous fooled ya acts. Some seriously cool fall temps have been switched up for a last bit of summer. I can’t complain about that.
We get just a bit longer before we put the garden to bed and before the world turns crisp then frosty then frozen. I’ll take it! It does however cause some issues with sniffles and sinuses. What is it with quick weather changes that our body just can’t handle?
Anyhow, as we were trying to take advantage of the nicer working weather we went great guns last night. We had a huge brush pile burning – burn ban lifted, yay! We had the wood splitter running full blast. I decided that the hens needed a freshening so to the coop I went.
Those girls can make a stink I tell you! They were happy to get things cleaned up and it will be much easier to go collect eggs now 😉 We save the ash from the indoor fireplace for the coop. When I finish removing the yucky top layer of dust and dirt I sprinkle out the ash and rake it in. I usually top it off with a bit of ground cinnamon for scent and cleansing. If I have it I’ll sprinkle some diamotaceous earth on the chickens and the ground.
The ladies have been slacking on the job lately and I wanted to know what was keeping those eggs in. A clean coop should help some. If that doesn’t get them going I’m going to pull out the heat lamp to see if that helps. Chickens can be so fickle. Come on girls! Mama needs eggs!
A picture is worth a thousand words. This one was snapped by a friend of mine as we chatted outside. I have to say- this makes it all worth it. The beauty of a country sunset cannot be beat. I am a blessed lady for sure!
More glory from the garden.
Giant marigolds- no joke, these guys got about 4 feet tall!
Another day, another cup of coffee. Here we are again. It’s a Monday and it’s time to get it all done…. My list is forever growing and right now I am thinking about all of the winterizing that needs to be done.
-Heat lamps for bunnies
-Heat lamps for chickens
-Drain water hoses
-Pick veggies from garden
-Can or freeze veggies from garden
-Repair any doors on out buildings
-Insulate water pump
It goes on and on. As long as we live here I think we will forever have to dos a mile long. This particular morning I am trying to remember my promise to myself. I will do something for me today. I do not have do do everything.
I am looking forward to the quieter months and I know that our workload will decrease a bit as we head indoors. It is always a flurry of activity before we get to the real hard weather of winter and to be honest I just don’t have the energy at the moment.
I remember the story of the cricket and the ant. The ant worked diligently through the summer to store away food. The cricket played music late into the summer night’s and slept through the heat of the day. In the end the ant was well fed and warm that winter and the cricket had to humble himself to ask for food and shelter. I am all ant- all the way… until I am all cricket- all the way!
Well, I know my half ant temperament has at least given me a few canned items on my pantry shelf. I also had a lovely garden this year. So I’m letting the cricket half win at the moment. It’s time to slow down and watch the leaves turn.
Today I am a bit out of sorts. There has been a bug going around and I was the lucky one to kick it off. It has traveled through all the kids and it’s now on it’s second round. I am resisting for all I am worth.
Confession: My daughter has been sharing her stash of library books and I have now on my third Sweet Valley High. Yes, this is part of my get well program. Chicken soup and not thinking too hard. Thinking makes my head hurt when I have a cold.
I am an avid hand washer. I use thieves oil. I have a stash of lysol wipes in my classroom. I have immunity boosting supplements in my desk. I am not going down without a fight! And yet the sinus pressure is real. Ugh, more vicks!
Another part of my resistance program is to nap as frequently as possible. It seems to be working… wait, I’m not certain on that… better test that theory some more.
I have been getting outside for walks as well. A good walk will help a lot of things. Now that our weather is cooling we may not have the opportunity to hang out in the lovely out of doors much. I had a problem with low vitamin D last year so I’m soaking up as much as I can now.
Ok, enough. I’m overdue for my walk to the mailbox and I still have that nap theory to prove…
I began blogging in an effort to ease myself out of my introverted tendencies. I don’t hibernate and I’m not a hermit but I do keep to myself. Pent up ideas, emotions, thoughts, energy and opinions that never get out can eat you up if you aren’t careful. I treasure the quiet times and the peaceful moments just as much as I do the happy gatherings and visiting friends but I was never truly myself. As time wore on and life continued it’s demands I found myself pushing back what I really wanted to say and do in favor of what I thought I should say and do. This is what I want to break.
I want to be authentically me. My thoughts, opinions and views. My hopes and dreams and goals. I know God has a plan for each of us and I want to reach my full potential. I wasn’t doing that. I was waiting for some little fairy to come and tap that wand on my shoulder. Sprinkle a little pixie dust maybe.
Isn’t it amazing how we are told that we can be anything we want to be but so few of us know what it is that we really want? Life has come full circle for me at this point. The ideals I held in my mind were really just mirages in the distance. They don’t ring true anymore. The true me was there underneath it all the whole time.
Truth is- I don’t want a career. I want to be a farmer. I want to dig the cold damp earth of spring and to pull weeds under the hot sun. I want to cultivate things of the earth so it can in turn feed my body and spirit. I want the open air and the seasons hot/cool/mild/freezing. I want to feel alive and grounded and to know that the animals around me are serving their purpose. I want to appreciate the bounty that is around me and thank the God above me for not only providing it but for allowing my body to be fully active in the work. This is the real me that I never knew.
I probably wouldn’t have discovered this fact if my kids had not become involved in 4H. The daily work with my son’s first goat set something stirring in me. I became almost more attached to that animal than he did. We both grieved on sale day. We will grieve every sale day.
I know that our farm is small and we are very inexperienced. We have a couple strikes against us there. There are even more in our favor. Strength and our family and the blessing of God upon our home. I am so thankful for the opportunity given to us!
I thought was only fair that I include a post on the man of my dreams after talking about my kiddos. Ok, so this guy was really-kinda NOT going to be the man I married. I was pretty intent on that. Yup, I was positive. No small town boy for me! I was going to find the cultured and well read man that would tell witty jokes and take me to the opera and art galleries.
And then the internet happened. We ended up chatting online and the next thing I knew we had a face to face. Mind you, this was when instant messaging was BRAND NEW. I actually didn’t know how to use it and my friend was giving me my first tutorial when I met the man pictured above. Ironic, isn’t it? I’ll just agree with myself right here and say yes, it surely is.
So, one date lead to another and soon I was sporting a diamond on my left hand. I remember my college ceramics class discussing the horrors of online dating. I innocently went about my work. Then I very quietly chimed in…”That’s actually how I met my boyfriend”. They all stared at me with terrified/repulsed/indignant/ I don’t know what all stares. Awkward. Finally one asked, “So… how’s that going for you?” I held up my 1/3 carat round cut diamond for them to see. “Um, pretty good actually!” *crickets*
That was our humble beginning and just a year and two weeks later we were married. It has been a ride people. We have stuck it out for sixteen years now and I think I can safely say we are gonna make it!
Anyway, back to the man at hand. I think it is so funny that the idea of perfection I had in my mind was the complete opposite of the man I married. What I got instead was way better. Kind, humble, generous, gentle, long suffering, patient, hard working, loving… I could toss around adjectives all day and never cover them all.
What I thought I wanted was really just who I thought I should be attracted to. Who I really am is a simple country girl. God knew the man for me would match those things and that I would complement him. I am proud to be a working man’s wife. I am thankful for the food and shelter that he provides for us.
At the end of the day I may not have much in the bank account but I can call myself rich. I may never get a dozen long stemmed roses delivered to my door but I can count on a chocolate bar finding it’s way onto my bedside table every now and then.
So here are four of the reasons I get up each day and face the world. My sweeties. I am so thankful for this group right here. I want to forever be mindful of that.
How many times have I focused on the bad and not seen the good? Oh, don’t answer that! I caught myself the other day thinking murderously about how the children leave messes, don’t close the door, are needy, etc. My mind was a swirl- not a good one. I felt a small check and in my mind I could hear a voice saying. “Your children are a blessing in so many ways”. Thanks God.
Nobody else heard it but it came to my mind as plainly as if it were spoken. I love that. I love that God cares. He cares about our mommy hearts. The part that worries and stresses over our babies. He cares about our everyday needs. A decent shower and not being interrupted in the bathroom to name a couple. He also cares about how we treat His gifts to us. Our children.
When your mind is a mess of messes take a little time to reframe it. This is a continued effort in my world as some of us *ahem, ME!* are born with a natural skepticism. Not always a helpful trait.
As we head into fall and enjoy the cooler temps and cozy fallish things I am going to make a concentrated effort to keep my eyes on the good.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Our hound recently found the freedom of the doggie door. Since then she is quite content to come and go as she pleases during the day. This was a fine arrangement. At least, it was at first. Now we are wondering.
I was fixing dinner the other night and noticed my utensil jar on counter held nary a one. No spatulas, no wooden spoons. Hmmm… I scouted through the dirty dishes and managed to find a workable substitute that I scrubbed up.
I came downstairs yesterday and found old oatmeal scattered like confetti over the counter top and floor. None of the kids were the culprit this time. I knew it was the pooch but where did she stash the evidence? In this case it was the old ice cream tub we use to hold kitchen scraps. (which we feed to the chickens)
My gaze happened to wander to her place of choice. The back yard. There was an assortment of kitchen items. All having been in contact with food. Thief!
My question is- how did she get that tub through the doggie door? Animals are amazing!