Monday, July 21, 2014

Back-2-School 2014 - the Annual Tear Jerker






Miles began Middle School and Wylie began High School.
It is the end of an era.
No more elementary students at my house.
And I didn't walk in with them on their first day.
I don't work at their school anymore and there was no need.
They are big now. They want to go it alone (mostly.)
And so I let them.
And then I cried.

Luckily the tears didn't last long.
Look at those faces.
Who'se got time for crying with goofballs like this running amouk?

Cannot believe they are so big.
Cannot believe I have so little time left with them at home.
Cannot believe how lucky I am to have them.

Cheer's y'all!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Even the Birds - Tiny Thoughts on Fretting and Desire and Prayer

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(from the Book of Common Prayer)

26 Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap—and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you.
Matthew 6:26The Voice (VOICE)
Control and Certainty and I have a complicated relationship.
Throw prayer into the mix and it is just a great big ball of hot sticky wax.
Today specifically there is a healthy dose of uncertainty in my life and I am a bit of an antsy hot mess because of the lack of control that I have over it.
Even the control I do have - the decisions I can make - are unsatisfactory to me.  
Which leaves me feeling convicted and petulant simultaneously.
I am petulant because I think I know what I want and how I want it.
I am convicted because in truth I know better. 
I know that if I will back off things will shake out as they should, because that is the pattern of my life.
I have a kid who has a bottomless desire for sugar. 
He has no ability to self-regulate or monitor this.
We have to be careful how we guide him about his choices because I do not want it to become a body-image issue. 
I do not want to hear him saying that we think he is Fat. 
Because we don't.
And because in our society that is death to a kids self-esteem.
And as sensitive and perceptive as he is, he doesn't need any help figuring out how he is different. He is more than well aware.
But he cannot consume the amount of sugar he wants without killing his body. 
And as his parents we have to find ways to help him curb this desire until he is old enough to curb it himself.
We have discussions about health, we save dessert for special occasions, and we say No a lot more than we would like.  Which can be annoying for all of us, but is still necessary.
Because he ask all the time.
I wonder if I ask all the time.
I wonder if I want more than I need at this moment.
No I don't wonder. I know.
The truth is that I would gorge myself on All the Things I Want if left to my own devices,
Killing some part of my soul unwittingly.
I am trying a new way of prayer.
I am trying to look for God and keep a record of all the places I find him.
I am trying to take my eyes off of what I want and instead put them onto what is already. 
Onto God and all the ways he makes himself known.
This morning as I drove to work through some back country roads I saw bird after bird flitting about on their morning hunt.
They flew over my car, and onto bar roofs, and off of telephone lines.
and I had this thought:
"Today the birds are not hungry. If the birds are hungry tomorrow I will fret about how It Will All Turn Out. But today the birds are not hungry."

Today I found God in the flitting of the birds.
I did not find control or certainty, but I found some smidgen of peace that I didn't have before.
And I know enough to know that even a smidge of peace is the better gift.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Farmhouse Pining

So we are into month two of the house being on the market and I go back and forth on daydreaming about moving to a farm and getting to decorate a farmhouse.
Some days I am too anxious and daydreaming only leads to impatience and fretting.
Some days I am at peace and daydreaming is exciting and hope-filled.

Today I am hope-filled, so I thought I would strike while the iron is hot and blog a bit about it.

We  have spotted a couple of properties that show some potential, and I play the various options in my head. One option would mean building a house, the other would mean updating an existing house.
Both would give us the opportunity to do a little farming, raising a little livestock, have a little orchard.
Neither are guarantees, they are just ideas and possibilities that I toss around when I am commuting from work, or falling asleep.
And of course they have instigated a barrage of late night pining.

Here are some of my current favorite inspirations for my wish list via Pinterest:

Screen Porch
I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, want to have a screened in porch.
Mosquitoes love me tooooo much to just have a patio or deck.

A Soaking Tub

This or a huge clawfoot.
But mostly this.
I am not a shallow kind of girl.
I need some depth in my life.
Including in my tub.

Inexpensive Painted Wood Floors

I have been dying to paint wood floors for YEARS.
I think this next move will be my chance.

An excessive amount of painted wood in all directions

There will be planking or shiplap or painted paneling by golly!

White Gas Range

You do not know how much I would love to have a gas stove again.
And a 6 burner white one is my dream.
This one may be a bit over the top, but that is what daydreaming is all about, right?

Raise up Laundry Appliances.

My back needs a break. 
And I love the built in look and extra storage.
I would do this in our laundry room if we were staying put.

A Pet Mini-Potbellied Pig

I mean, seriously.
How can you not love it?

A canoe to float in.

Can we say Anne of Green Gables and the Lady of Shallot?

A Barn for Dancing.

I am turning 40 this year. 
Sister needs a party place.

Ok friends, there it is.
Some of  my farmhouse day dreams...

What are yours?

Friday, July 04, 2014

All American, Arkansas Grown, Arkansas Made

*this post was made possible by a day spent at the P. Allen Smiths farm, sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. They fed me lunch, gave me a t-shirt, some lip balm, and the opportunity to meet local farmers. All opinions are my own.

Happy Fourth of July friends!
Today is the day we celebrate Independence, the opportunity to make fresh starts, the freedom to work hard for our dreams, and the privilege of living a life where the choices are abundant.

To me nothing sums up the American ideal of hard work, big dreams, and go-get-em pioneer spirit, more than the life of a small farmer or small business owner, so I thought today would be the perfect day to share  a little sample of what I saw and learned about small farm farming at P. Allen Smith's farm during the Farm2Home event.

Arkansas moniker is The Natural State, because in theory we naturally produce everything a state would need to survive the apocalypse - food, water, oil, gas, wood, art, music, literature, liquor, ice cream, presidents...

Based on what I know and what I saw at Farm2Home I would say that that claim is accurate.

Arkansas Grown is a new website that highlights and organizes the information about local Farms, Farmer's Markets, Restaurants, Retailers and other Arkansas Grown and Arkansas Made services and products. The website is still new and growing, but the basic info is there and is super helpful when trying to sign up for a CSA basket or find a pick-your-own location to take the kids.

All of the farmers and retailers that were at Farm2Home (and pictured above) are listed on the their website, along with their contact info and hours of operation and crops.

I always love going to see Allen on Moss Mountain and learning about a variety of products and services, but this event was the most personal to me as Sweet Man and I hope to start a small farm of our own in the next few years. Spending the day with real life small farmers who could answer questions and give insight was such a blessing for Nathan and I. It gave us hope that our dream - with a lot of hard work - is indeed possible.

What is more American that?

Happy 4th friends!

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Happy Place - Moss Mountain Love

Some people make annual trips to the Beach or Disney World.

Recently I had the honor of attending two events at MM (P. Allen Smith's farm,)
Garden2Blog and Farm2Blog, and of course I loved both, (and I will have more to share about Farm2Home very soon because it is a topic very near and dear to my heart.)

But what I really love is just being at Moss Mountain. 
Working with Allen and his crew the past couple of years on various projects has only become more fun as I have gotten to know them better, and as much as I love to go and hear what the sponsors have to say at each of these events, my favorite part is getting to hang out with the P. Allen crew and blogger friends who I only get to see once or twice a year.

I also just love every little inch of the Garden Home and farm. The attention to detail is beyond wonderful, without being overly precious, and the part of me that loves design gets all a flutter when there. Allen's home is beautiful AND comfy and appropriate to the setting. Sigh.

And of course there are all the animals.
Why I love farm animals as much as I do I have no idea, but oh my.
Be still my heart.

So just for kicks here is a random assortment of photo's snapped at MM that might give you a little glimpse of why I love it so.


Whatever you do, don't bury the crown of your strawberry plants!

The Magnificent Mimi San Pedro who leads us all. 

The Chicken Palace

I am a sucker for old fashioned farm packaging

Lettuce beds in wheelbarrows.

Beauty at the original Garden Home

Spin the Flower Wheel

Gerry Bruno, Producer Extraordinaire

Duck, Duck, Goose
One day I will have my own little flock...

Debbie doing some snooping in Allen's pantry

Alaskan Rhubarb from my friend Nancy's yard ( a little gift for Allen)

Well appointed sofa in it's summer frock.

Family room off of the kitchen. A very well loved and used room.
Those chairs in the back are to die for.

Office space in master bedroom.
Allen and I both have an intense crush on Thomas Jefferson and pieces like this little nook show off how much Allen's personal design style has been influenced by TJ.

Brent who makes us look good

The Man in Charge

Beautiful Bounty.

Mixing Station

My beloved sheep with their summer do's.

Now you understand why I love it so, right?
I wish I could tuck you all in my pocket and take you there with me!

Happy Monday friends!

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