Monthly Archives: September 2015

It Could Have Been A Bad day

When I got up Monday morning, and went to make a pot of coffee, I discovered that for some reason the coffee pot was not working. I tried jiggling the cord, flipping the switch a couple of times and even though the green light was on, indicting that it was getting power, I unplugged it and plugged it back in. I left it on and walked away from it for a few minutes, as if I was going to somehow will it to work. It didn’t, and oh how disappointed I was that I wouldn’t have a cup of coffee to start the day. Can you imagine anything worse than having to start the day without that cup of coffee, that little, or big, (depending on how strong you like your coffee) boost of caffeine, to get you going. Does it get any worse?

Well, the truth is that, while my coffee pot did not work and I did try several things to get it to start and yes, I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t going to have that first cup of coffee to start my day, this was nowhere near the worst thing that could have happened to me today.

You see, I had already woke up of my own free will, with no alarms to startled me awake, no emergency phone calls, and not even the dogs barking to wake me. When I woke I opened my eyes to see that it was nearly 8:00 a.m., so I knew that I could see. I could hear the blower from the air conditioner running, so I still had my hearing, the power was not off, and it was a comfortable temperature in the house. Before I got out of bed I kissed my husband and he kissed me and said “I love you,”. He too was alive. I stood up and all of my body parts seemed to be functioning fine.

As I walked out of the bedroom Scout wagged his tail at me and Trooper followed me to the living room and then waited for me to let him outside. The dogs were ok this morning.  When I went outside the sun was shining, it was a beautiful morning, and I thought about how much fun we had yesterday with so many family members and friends spending time with us at our farm. It was a really good time.

I decided to let my husband sleep while I went to the farm to let the chickens out for the day. Since I didn’t have my morning coffee, I grabbed a bottle of iced tea and took it with me. The van started and ran good, and I drove to the farm without incident. I was greeted at the farm by my second youngest daughter who had camped at the farm with a friend. She and Trooper went for a walk, while I tended the chickens. When I opened the coop the chickens began piling out. I didn’t have to battle the rooster this morning, even though I didn’t stick around long for him to see that it was me there.

After chatting with my daughter for a few minutes I decided to go into town for coffee, so I asked if she wanted too go. We picked up coffee and breakfast for my husband and youngest daughter as well. Upon returning home, I was joined by my two youngest daughters on the deck for breakfast and coffee and a nice visit. These times with the girls don’t happen much anymore as they are busy with college and working and leading their own lives. Their older sisters are married with jobs and homes and responsibilities of their own. So I do value our times together.

The day went on with clean up at the farm, a siesta, a swim in the pond and an fun afternoon with my husband, and trip to Kmart to buy a new coffee pot.

I was blessed in so many ways today, and I certainly can imagine many, many things worse than my coffee pot not making me my early morning cup of coffee. But our society is so dramatic and programmed to think negatively, that we let the little things that we take for granted become the big things that cause us stress. So many times I hear, or read, about things being “the worst thing that could happen” and I think “no, I can think of far worse things.” Often times, we or someone I know will have an issue, like a flat tire for example that is stressing them out, and my thought is “if this is the worst of my (or their) problems then I (they) should be on my (their) knees, thanking God.” I remember several years ago reading a blog that was written by a mother who was homeschooling her children. She was about to start teaching them algebra, and said she couldn’t imagine anything worse. My reply was, ” be thankful that you are not sitting in a hospital by their bedside, praying for them to wake up from a coma.”

I’ve said this prayer many times in my life, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Well the wisdom came when I realized that, for the most part, I can’t control people, the way they think, talk, or act. I also can’t control many situations; things like the coffee pot not working or a flat tire. What I can control is the way that I react. If I choose to react negatively then I will only cause myself stress. I will not have the serenity that I pray for. It may sound cliché  “seeing the cup as half full instead of half empty”, “don’t cry over spilled milk”, or “count your blessings”, but I find that having a true realization of all the blessing that I have been given can minimalize my stress and help me deal with the “crises” of everyday life. Yes, I believe that attitude is everything.  I could have chosen to let my situation, and my disappointment, control my life, but instead I chose to make it a good day.

Sharing Some Photos

I thought I would share some photos that I have taken recently. Starting with some of our pond. This really is the center piece of our property, and it serves many purposes. It is a source of fresh water, it is amazing to see how many of our honey bees drink there daily. We use it for irrigation. It is a food source; we stocked it with fish, and the frogs, turtles, crayfish, and clams arrived on their own.  We use it for recreation or just a way to cool off on a hot day.

Our Pond Looking From the Beach
Our Pond Looking From the Beach

The windmill aerates the pond, or it can be used to pump water out of the pond for irrigation.

Our Pond Looking Toward the Beach
Our Pond Looking Toward the Beach
Our Prayer Garden
Our Prayer Garden
Another View of the Prayer Garden
Another View of the Prayer Garden

This next picture is the rest of our irrigation system. The windmill pumps the water out of the pond and into these strategically placed holding tanks.

Our Watering System
Our Watering System

My husband put spigots at the bottom, so we can connect a garden hose, and it is gravity fed.

Next up – our farm sales wagon. This picture was taken on day one. Today, day two, we set up a 10×10 canopy tent over it instead of the umbrellas. It did provide better shade.

Our Farm Sales Wagon
Our Farm Sales Wagon

Protecting our crops against deer has been a challenge this year, so when my husband finally had enough of them eating the young squash, we pulled out this roll of net he found in a neighbors trash. The net was unused and there was a lot of it. We  were able to roll it out over the entire squash bed, and he just secured the edges with some sticks. Yea! No more deer in the squash!

Netting the squash field against deer.
Netting the squash field against deer.

One last photo, this one is dedicated to my daughters, who don’t know, or care, much for cooking.

Egg Plant and Egg
Egg Plant and Egg

No, eggs do not grow on egg plants, and chickens do not lay the egg plant fruit. Although they have the same name, they are not related.

Where Did August Go?

Wow, where did August go? I  just realized that it has been over a week since I actually blogged. I haven’t gone anywhere. I have just been so busy that there hasn’t been much time for blogging. Now I am trying to recall everything that I’ve done that I should have been blogging about, because not only can I share my activities with you through my blog, but it also acts a journal of my activities for me.

With lots of vegetables being ready to pick I have been doing a lot of preserving. To this point I have frozen several batches of swiss chard and kale and some green beans and rhubarb. I have also pickled beets and green beans.

My husband harvested honey and we filtered and bottled, I think it was, about 45 lbs of honey. It is always fun when he brings in a new box of honey because each one has a different flavor. That is the way honey should be. The flavor of the honey depends on what the bees have been foraging, so the flavor, and I would imagine the nutrients, would depend on what is in bloom. In this most recent honey harvest I’m sure that there was honey made from clover, buckwheat, lavender, sunflowers, cone flowers, and those are just ones where I saw the bees foraging. I’m certain there were more. Right now the bees are still foraging in the clover and squash, as well as goldenrod and probably other things where we haven’t seen them.

I have also been processing the bees wax for use in my balms. This is a long process as it takes several rounds of boiling the wax and then letting it cool. When the wax hardens any particles that are not wax will have floated to the bottom and are scraped off. This cycle it repeated until the wax is clean.

I have been working on cleaning garlic, now that it is dry, and getting it to markets. Click https://wordpress.com/post/92701152/407/ for locations where you can purchase it.

We have had our farm stand set up since Friday and a few people have stopped and made purchases. We thank them for their business. In addition to garlic we are selling soap, raw honey, free range eggs, and whatever veggies we have available. Our farm, and farm stand, is located at 8650 Crawford Road, Columbus Township, Michigan. We are only picking small amounts of veggies at this point because I would like to preserve or eat whatever we don’t sell, and preserving takes a lot of time. Currently we are picking green beans, swiss chard, kale, cabbage, green beans, hot peppers, mild peppers, beets, carrots, and pie pumpkins, and did I mention green beans. Thus far we have only used folding tables under an umbrella to set the produce on, but because my husband worked so hard today, we will begin using our farm wagon tomorrow. (I hope to post pictures soon)

The weather has been hot and dry for the most part with the exception of a  couple of flannel shirt days. Pretty much what you can expect for August in these parts. We have had to water the gardens regularly and do what we can to protect then from deer. I think we finally got that part (protecting them from the deer) figured out, and I’ll post some pictures soon.

My honey/oatmeal soap is ready. I named it “Don’t Eat It!” Breakfast Bar Soap. I thought it was kind of cute.

The rest of the week is going to be busy as well, but I will try my tech support, who by the way just graduated from Specs Howard’s Digital Media Arts program, (Congratulations Lindell)  to help me get some pictures up.

I hope you are enjoying this summer as much as I am. Until next time. 🙂