Sunday, January 24

At Peace with Time

Do you remember those days when you were in grade school (elementary school for all you younger readers) when the hours would seem to drag by ever so slowly?  Time itself seemed to stand still? Then you graduated from high school and the minutes seemed to fly by like nobody's business?!   And to amp that up a bit, you get married and have children right away. As you witness the exponential growth of your child, that itself becomes more of a tangible marker of how fast the days, months and years truly do march on.

None of us will live forever on this earth. None of us will hold onto our youthful radiance as much as any one of us might like.  In fact, it is fleeting. Fleeting? We have all heard that saying, Beauty is only skin deep. For I myself, have seen some of the most beautiful people, then when I had the opportunity to witness their personality and attitude towards mankind my eyes readjusted and saw them more clearly - ugly, morally repugnant, repulsive.  Then I have seen some that our culture would not give a second glance, to be some of the most beautiful people I have ever met.

Once I hit the big 40 I started  to notice much change in my appearance.  Looser skin. Wrinkles. Age spots. More gray hair.  All of which are temporal. I can say without much reservation that I am at peace with most of this.   To some degree I am even at peace with my gray hair, I once let all of my beautiful auburn hair dye grow out to reveal all of the shinny silver strands that hid beneath.  I may be embarking that again soon....  but for now I am back to enjoying the deep browns in my hair.   Do I want to be youthful? Mmmm. I think as a near 50 year old woman, I don't seek to be youthful. I seek to be energetic, fruitful and at peace with the stage of life I am in.  I seek to be healthy, wise and useful. I seek to be active and always growing.  I seek to be involved and I seek friendships with people of all ages. I learned a lesson from a dear lady years ago... having friends who are not only in our age group, but also a bit younger than us will help to "keep" our minds young.

We (as a culture) are constantly taking selfies.  Is there anything wrong with taking photos of ourselves, no, I am not saying that at all.  But we have become a culture where everything revolves around staying youthful, being youthful and in the meantime discarding older people as obsolete. No wonder a large number of those starting to see aging show up on their physical bodies are scrambling to attain youth at whatever cost.

It is strange as I think back over my childhood. My dearest aunt was pretty lively. She was always smiling and always a blessing to be in the presence of.  Oh how I have missed her. It has been almost 25 years since she passed and I can not recall a moment of her discussing her weight, her aging, or her failing body.   She was one of the most beautiful people I knew.  The same goes for my grandmothers - I do not recall either of my grandmothers fussing over their silver adorned heads, their ages spots or even the first wrinkle on their faces.  I like it that way.  I hope I am able to carry on as they did in their aging years, gracefully.

Strange as it is, even though my body is showing signs of age, I find myself at most peace with who I am.  I am sure for me, that has just come with maturity.  Am I unhappy from time to time with my body because my pants fit to tightly...yes. But as a whole, I am at peace with where time has taken me.

Friday, January 22

Give it Some Thought

“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.”  
~Maya Angelou

Thursday, January 21

As The New Year Rolls Around

In the last days of  2015 and as the new year began, we were walking around in pure bliss. We can hardly wait to have both of them home again with their families!

 I remember when Eric and I first started our little family, I always loved each stage we found ourselves in and felt that nothing was sweeter than raising your own children. Watching them as newborn babes. Listening to them as they began to learn to communicate.  Celebrating their birthdays each year with friends and family surrounding them marking that milestone.  All the time, each season we walk through with them, is the best season. OK.. so some of those seasons were NOT so great. Those teenage years were a challenge to both us and our son's I am sure.  But we survived it!

While they were here, we had three additional pairs of hard working hands to help get trees cut down, and fence preparations done.  

Sunday, January 17

Making Changes


Each January comes with a fresh new start for the upcoming 365 days.  With that comes either a list of resolutions of things you will and will not do. Perhaps a list of goals with steps on how to attain the finish line for each of them.  During the first of the year we did some goal setting and it was fantastic!   My favorite oldest daughter, Renee, was recording everyone's spoken words in her planner as we all gathered around and discussed our dreams and goals for the upcoming year.

Seven days ago I, along with Renee, started WHOLE30.    We pretty much just jumped in with both feet and we haven't looked back.   We are already pretty clean eaters, not perfect - but pretty clean.  I have really been enjoying this exciting journey of clean eating this past week and look forward to the upcoming weeks.

The past few days I have had burst of energy and things are getting cleaned around here!  These books were all on a shelf alone in a dark dusty corner in my pantry.  After I pulled them off to relocate them, I couldn't put each one down as I went through the stack. So.. I piled them back up in a neat pile and this is a portion of my books to read this year. Some I have read already, some I have read a portion of and some I have wanted to read for some time now.

Getting things in order is so freeing.  Take a moment each day of this week and purge one room in your house.  I bet you have some things in that one room that you choose to purge that either needs to be thrown in the trash, given to someone who can use them or maybe even sell some of the items on a local for sale list.  Tomorrow I tackle the buffet in the dining area!

Thursday, January 14

All in a Hard Day's Work

 We had both of our boys and their beautiful wives here through the Christmas holiday as well as some time after - so yes, I was given the best gift ever!  Since all four of our kids were home for the holiday we made sure to book a photographer and get some great family portraits done to mark this time in our families timeline!

Our year has started off with a bang!  You know those old wives tales , you know the ones:  The Farmer’s Almanac had a delightful list of these to help all of us get off to a great start in 2016:
  •  One of the more popular beliefs is that kissing your beloved at the stroke of midnight ensures twelve months of continuing affection. Failing to do so is said to produce the opposite effect.
  • Never begin the New Year with unpaid debts.
  •  Empty cupboards at the turn of the year foretell a year of poverty.
  • The first person to enter your home after midnight foretells the kind of luck you’ll have in the coming year. A tall, dark, handsome male bearing small gifts is said to bring the best luck. According to this same tradition, no one should leave the house until someone first enters from outside, and nothing should be removed from the house on New Year’s Day.
  •  Opening all doors and windows at midnight lets the old year escape.
  •  Babies born on New Year’s Day are said to have the best luck throughout their lives.
I am not sure which of these things were done or not done in our busy household this year, but I recall another one that my mom always said.... make sure you are not working hard on New Years Day or it will foretell how your coming year will be. HARD WORK. Truth be told, I am not really afraid of hard work (nor is my mother). I have found on most days when I have done hard work, whether here or elsewhere - I am pretty fulfilled.  We have actually had a mild winter thus far, making for ideal working weather!  

So, all of that to say...all the Sanders clan have all been hard at work on our family farm.   We are so grateful to have had both of the boys and their wives here for a few weeks, their help was immeasurable to us in so many ways.  I cannot imagine a better way to end a year and begin a new one!

 This is happening all over the property. Fences. Gates. Divisions.

This is happening every day, all day. 

Our hens have gone from fully pastured and free ranged to having to be contained in a large area due to our youngest dane having hunting instincts, but just today a new fantastic change came about for these hens and their two master roosters!  More on that later!

Sunday, January 10

Moo-ving into the New Year!

Fiona is our newest addition to the farm, and she will be calving sometime in May!

Our pigs that I last posted about ( in FEBRUARY of LAST year) were finished out and have been made into some of the best tasting sausage ever!

I am so excited about writing here on my little blog and invite all of you to follow along, comment and interact as often as you would like!  Happy New Year!