Monday, November 5, 2012

Just How I Roll...

I love all the thankful attitudes I'm seeing on facebook lately.  It's a great idea, to force yourself to think of something every day to be thankful for.  I learned a long time ago that living with an attitude of gratitude all the time made life so much better in every way.  If you are focused on being grateful, that leaves less time for negativity and worry.

I saw this on pinterest the other day and it really spoke to me:  "Worrying is praying for things you don't want".

So be grateful, even for things you don't have yet!  The blessings will come!  I'm not doing the thankful a day posts because this is how I live...all day, every day.  Just how I roll. :)

I'd love to reshare a post I wrote almost 3 years ago though.  It brings back great memories of the wonderful farm experience!


The choices for internet in the country are extremely limited.  We went with a portable USB modem that unfortunately has a 5 gig usage limit.  We haven't come close to exceeding the limit, yet.  However, this month we are 12 days into our billing month and are more than halfway past our limit.  Whoops.  I guess I should have resized all those pictures before I uploaded them.  My picture uploading for the rest of the month has been cut short.  Sorry.  I was really enjoying sharing my photos!

Anyway, thinking about that and the fact that the last few days have been fairly uneventful, got me thinking about gratitude.  It's not an easy thing to do, trying to always find something to be grateful for.  It's something that takes a lot of practice.  It's something that I've been working on for years, but it makes me a happier, calmer, more peaceful person.

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” — Denis Waitley

It's easy to be grateful for the wonderful things in life.  Try sometimes to be grateful for the little things or the unpleasant things.  I was grateful for the person who was driving way too slow in front of me on the way home the other day, because we got to finish the audio book we were listening to.  Even though I'm getting sick of it, I'm grateful for this nasty winter weather, because it makes me appreciate and look forward to the other seasons.  I'm grateful that there is a window right in front of me, because I'm really enjoying watching the squirrels running around in the snow outside.  I'm grateful for my country internet; without it I couldn't share this blog.

Gratitude is a way of life that nutures the soul.

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” — Henry Miller

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Born

Baseball is over.  I have no more excuses to ignore my blog.  What better day to dust it off than my favorite boy's birthday? 

August 1, 2000...A day I'll remember forever.  It was a once in a lifetime kind of feeling, a feeling so strong, it felt like my heart was going to burst right out of my chest.  I never believed in love at first sight until that moment.  It was the day my heart felt like it would forever live outside my body.

We struggled at first.  Neither of us had a clue what we were doing.  But we figured it out.

The years really have flown by.  First smile, first words, first steps, ....

First haircut...some things haven't changed at all.

Yep, you are still the same little boy I've loved since the moment I felt you in my belly. Same little boy who loves balls...

Loves his momma...

Still a little bit silly at times...

Still loves baseball more now than ever....

Still loves his sister, even though he won't admit it...

But you are turning into a man before my very eyes.  It makes me proud and sad at the same time. 

Eleven years of moments, gone by in a flash.  I'm so proud of the man you are becoming and so happy that I got lucky enough to be your mom.

Happy Birthday Reece!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Blizzard

We just experienced our first ever blizzard!  It wasn't so bad where we are now, but where we used to live got it really bad.  We got somewhere between 6-10 in of snow on top of 1/2 inch of ice.  This is our 3rd day we've been stuck in the house.  We took advantage of a little sunshine yesterday and went outside for approximately 4 minutes.  This is the only member of our household who absolutely loved everything about the day:

It's hard to tell in the picture, but he was running full speed, with a huge smile on his face!  He should have been a sled dog. 

This started a fun game of catch me if you can.

 Can you guess who won?

Meanwhile my baby girl was doing this:

There are monster icicles on our house, ( how sad is it that I had to ask the 10 yr old how to spell icicle, and he knew without hesititation)

I got a few down and handed them to the 7 year old.

Hmmm.  Walrus with giant teeth or kid with a really bad snotty nose? 

To be seven again...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tragedy and Triumph

We lost our chicken coop last night to a fire.  It was after dark when we got home from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and a neighbor came over to tell us that the fire department had been there to put a fire out.  I guess the heat lamp that was keeping them warm somehow caught something on fire.  Maybe it got knocked down and lit the straw.  We don't know.  All I know was that my little girl, the lover of all animals and keeper and protector of all her beloved chickens, was devastated.  We could see the charred remains of one of the little guys in the pile of rubble.  There were four in the coop.  We assumed that all of them got trapped and burned.  This is what was left of our little coop. 

So we went to bed, but didn't get much sleep.  We were visited during the night by a heartbroken little girl so much that we gave in and let her sleep between her momma and daddy.   Then right after I pushed the snooze button on the 6am alarm clock, I heard something outside.  I was still half asleep and didn't believe my ears at first.  Then I heard it again....a cock-a-doodle-do!  We all jumped up, got our coats and boots on over our pajamas and found this outside our door:

I have no idea how these guys escaped and survived.  I guess the fire department got here in time to save them.  We were so happy and started looking for other survivers. 

That's when I heard a rustle on the other side of the yard.  We ran over there and found this sweet girl, my kids' favorite little hen, the momma to the rest, Martha.

I've never seen a happier little girl.

Anybody have a chicken coop for sale?

Don't you love happy endings? 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Chapter

There have been lots of changes in our lives and I am sorry to say that I have thoroughly neglected my blog lately.  We made a difficult decision to leave the farm and move on to a new adventure.  We just came to the realization that living 45 minutes to an hour away from everything was just not practical for our sanity or our financial situation, especially since there are two children in our household who still want to play a lot of sports.  So, we started searching for an acceptable solution, one much closer to town.  We settled for a little brown two-story, very old farm house on 1 acre.  We are still sort of "country", definitely still secluded.  Unfortunately, I had to give up my horses and my beautiful views of the sunrise and sunset over the pastures.  We do still get to see cows and horses on the drive home, the 10-15 minute drive home instead of the 45 minute drive home!  We still have a few chickens, but the larger livestock will have to wait a while. 

In spite of all of this, we do not regret for one minute the decision to move to the farm in the first place.  It was a year none of us will never forget as long as we live.  We had the education of a lifetime out there.  We have a brand new appreciation for all things, good and bad.   We now know that we can do it.  We can survive without the hustle and bustle of modern life.  It was a hard, fun, humbling, exciting, wonderful experience. 

Now, to catch up on our life's happenings over the last couple of months!

My little Daisy became a brownie and I became her troop leader.

We went trout fishing for the first time.

It was absolutely beautiful there.  Perfection in nature.

The water was so clear, you could see all the fish in it.  I guess they could see us too, since we didn't catch many!

We didn't catch enough to keep us alive, but luckily I brought a cooler full of food, and we were with great friends who are much better fisherman!

We got to watch our favorite hen hatch 4 eggs! 

We were very sad to leave our beautiful garden and all the fun that went with tending it.

especially the heart shaped tomatoes...

Store bought tomatoes don't even compare.  We have already picked out a place for next year's garden!

The best news of all though is that we now have real Internet, not slow, unreliable, limited country Internet.  Do you know what that means?  That means I can upload as many pictures as I want!  Yay!

I'll finish up today by sharing some Fall themed pictures I took of my beautiful babies.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Garden Update - Lessons Learned

We finally have ripe tomatoes!!  This is so exciting.  It's been torturous for them to walk around the garden waiting patiently for them to turn red.  The funny part is that I plant so many kinds of heirloom tomatoes (that I started from seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds),  I don't remember now what is what.  Yes, I was an organized gardener and labeled each plant as they were put in.  However, I learned a very important lesson.  Wooden Popsicle sticks written on with a Sharpie do not endure the weather for long.  None of the wonderful tomato variety names are legible now, neither are the pepper's or the cucumber's or anything else.  So, our harvests will be total guessing games.  I know I planted other colors of tomatoes, so that will be interesting.

Look at these beauties.  I think these are Anaheim peppers, but I'm not positive.  Doesn't matter, they are delicious.

Overall, I think my first EVER in the ground garden has been a total success!  I no longer have to hear my husband point to other people's gardens and say, "Their garden is kicking your garden's butt!"

Now, mine is kicking butt and he is very proud of me.  The kids and I have had a blast nurturing this little patch of land and helping it go from weeds to food.  Here are some lessons I've learned along the way.

Lesson #1 - Label plants on something weather proof.  I read somewhere about cutting up an old mini blind and using that to write on.  I wonder if the Sharpie would stay on them.

Lesson #2- Corn gets really tall.  I'm really glad I planted it on the northern edge.

Lesson #3 - Do not underestimate the recommended space between paths.  Oh, and my trellises for the cucumbers and beans are nowhere near tall enough.  They have climbed to the top and now have nowhere to go.

I have no idea how I'm going to get in there to reap the benefits of my harvest.

Lesson #4 - Tomato plants get really big.  I'm really glad I used the sturdy wire fencing between T-posts and twine to trellis the tomatoes instead of the flimsy nylon trellis. 

Lesson #5 - I hate squash bugs.  Picking them off did not work.  Neem oil did not work.  I finally caved and bought some Seven dust, but I think it was too late.  This zucchini plant is not going to survive.

Lesson #6 - Teeny tiny baby okra are the cutest thing ever.  Oh, and the flowers that come before the baby okra are beautiful.  Too bad it was closed when I took this picture.  I can't wait to pickle some okra.

Lesson #7 - Nope, I was wrong.  Teeny tiny watermelons are the cutest thing ever!

Lesson #8 - Winter squash grow really, really, really fast and invades EVERY thing.  It needs much more space than I gave it.

Lesson # 9 - Basil is yummy eaten straight off the plant.

Lesson #10 - The three layers of newspaper covered with straw is totally worth the effort.  I completed one half of the garden (where my daughter is standing above) and the paths are beautiful and weed free (except for occasional stragglers that pop up on the sides, but they are easy to pull).  Next year, I'll do the entire garden that way. 

If you have any other tips for a newbie gardener, please leave me a comment and share them!