Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why I Love The Farm

In 1987, my family and I moved to this farm. I was 14 years old. Amid the unpacking of boxes and sorting through and organizing of all our stuff, Mom found a little note I had written in kindergarten. I so wish I had it to show you but it was lost in the house fire, but according to my memory, it went something like this...

When I grow up I want to live on a farm
I want to have 3 pupes (puppies)
2 cats
6 cows
I want to live on a farm when I grow up

Mom hung it on the fridge and it stayed there for months after. I remember my dad saying "well, you got your dang wish didn't cha?"

I think it was just some kind of inherit God-given need for me to live in the country. Mom said that when I was a baby, they brought me to Arkansas when I was about 6 weeks old and it was the first time I slept through the night. Like my soul was at peace here. hmm?

Anyway, here is a list of the reasons I love it here.

1. I can pretty much have any animal I want, with the exception of like lions and tigers.

2. I can work outside all day with no make-up and not worry about what my neighbors will think

3. My kids and dogs can roam around freely and my only worry is ticks and chiggers.

4. We can hear a vehicle coming for about 2 miles and I can usually tell who it is.

5. The community of people around here is like nowhere else on earth.

6. When I go for my walks around the loop, there is a stretch of road that is gated off so I can shake my booty to the music in my ipod and act like an idiot without fear of being nabbed and taken to the insane asylum.

7. I keep a pair of binoculars by my big glass door in the kitchen to look at the wildlife.

8. The light pollution is so minimal that I can lay out at night and see almost every star in the universe.

9. My parents are my closest neighbors.

10. We religiously watch the weather channel because our lives revolve around what the weather is doing.

11. We give each other directions by saying things like "over on the west fence line" or "on lightening hill" or "down in the big gully" or "by the big pond".

12. When my parents house burned down it was in the middle of hay season and about 5 guys showed up with tractors and hay rakes and balers and put up my parents hay.

13. When anybody in the community gets sick or experiences a loss or tragedy, everybody pitches in to help them out.

14. I know exactly where my meat comes from.

15. Peace and quite

16. Grocery shopping is an adventure.

17. When we eat at the local restaurant, we know everybody in there.

18. I can see my husband anytime I want to.

19. I have all the resources at my disposal to live off the land if it ever came to that.

20. My soul IS at peace here and I know that I'm exactly where God wants me to be.

An old cattleman told Rodney once, "you either love it, or you hate it." Farming is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure, but for those of us that love it, there is nothing else we'd rather be doing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mean People

It was funny to me that the only "mean face" I could find to represent this blog was on the face of one of the sweetest people I know.

So, here is my little rant about mean spiritedness. In recent history (my recent history), several things have happened that opened my eyes to a little meanness going on around me. I don't now, and never will perhaps, understand where meanness comes from. Don't get me wrong, I can be mean...just ask my husband. What I'm talking about is that underlying spirit of cruelty. I'm talking about people that deliberately set out to hurt others, who seem to get some sort of joy and satisfaction out of causing someone else pain. Are you getting this? Do you know anybody like this? You know...jerks?

If you've kept up with my blog at all, or know me very well...I hope that I've come across as an optimist and someone who sees the best in everybody and in every situation, so this may all seem a bit shocking to you. As a Christian, I try to analyze what my response should be in certain situations. I mean, you have the standby reactions that come with loving your neighbor and treating others the way you want to be treated etc... But what is a girl to do when faced with a blatantly mean person?? My dad used to tell me, "honey, there are going to be people that are just not going to like you. They won't have a reason in the world to hate you, but they will anyway." And here I sit, a 36 year old woman, still trying to figure that one out. But WHY? Why don't they like me? Why are they mean? What makes a person mean and what do I do when it hits me in the face?"

Jesus got angry and told some people off once, remember? But...I'm supposed to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. (Matt 5:44). How does a person go about doing this? My first thoughts were that it is tremendously helpful to know that God is on your side. Me plus God is a majority, right? That is number one. My human instincts tell me to plow right over the mean people, chew em up and spit em out. Prayer is how I can deal with this. I can take my petition before God and say, "MAN I'm mad! I don't rightly what to do with all this, it is so over my head and I'm so angry about it, I don't know what to do. Help me to rise above it and be the person you intend for me to be, and God (here is the hard part) bless so-and-so and help them to be kinder, soften their hearts, ease their pain, and help me to know the right things to say to them."

Whew...that was tough. I guess so far in my life, dealing with meanness has been the hardest for me to understand. What in the world happens to a person to make them knock and old lady down and steal her purse? Who steals a dog from somebody's yard (something that actually happened to me once)...What kind of a person sets out to hurt somebody's feelings just for the fun of it? WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON??? I've been so smothered with love and affection my whole life, that all of it is just completely inconceivable. I guess I prefer to live in my little "fairy land" where nothing bad ever happens. My duty is to be kind, yes, even to the mean people. This heaviness of heart will pass soon, I'm sure, and God will deal with those who need dealing with. I'm glad I'm not the judge and jury.

Oh, and don't's not you that's on my "list".

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Man, things have been crazy around the farm this week. We had our big family reunion last Saturday, which was lovely. Rodney and I celebrated our 18 year anniversary. Taylor went on a week-long trip through the big state of Texas. Kyle has been off his meds (need I say more?)

The biggest of all the news, for little ol' me anyway, is that I made a decision to buy my best friends soap-making business.

For some reason, I just kept feeling compelled to do it. I kept rationalizing how it would be too much... too much time, too much stuff, too much hassle. But this little tug at my heart kept on bringing me back to considering it. After letting God work on me for a while, I finally decided that if He was pushing me this hard to keep thinking about it and considering it...He must want me to DO it.

Now, I'm freaking out about it. Freaking out in a good way. I have spent the past few days clearing out space in my kitchen and utility room for supplies and ingredients. My mind won't quit racing with excitement over what kinds of soaps and other products I will make, how I will package them, sell them, and ship them.

I've been working on a website and hope to have it all figured out by the time I get my inventory built up. I've already got orders from Jill's previous customers and have received lots of interest from people in my little circle.

Coming up with a name was the hardest part! (so far). I wanted to use a locally relevant name, something that would connect the business to my neck-of-the-woods. I also wanted the name to paint a picture of freshness and country. Using organic, green, or natural was also important. So, thanks to much input from my friends and family, I finally landed on this...
My heart just about bursts when I say it out loud now. This isn't the official logo yet, but the picture was the perfect depiction of Ouachita Valley, don't you think?
Oh, there is so much to do, so much to learn, so much to be thankful for. I can't wait to start!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Love Story

WARNING...this could get mushy!

Rodney and I have been married today for 18 years. It frightens me just to say it out I that old? My parents were married 20 years when I got married, married 22  years when Taylor was born. Does this mean in a few more years I could be a grandparent?? Taylor has promised me that she is waiting till she graduates from college before she gets married. Lord please help her keep this promise. 

One thing I have always prayed for my children is that they will find a love like the love Rodney and I share. Much more than I wish that they be financially content, or have nice things, or even have a successful career. I want them to be so in love that they act like idiots, they can't think of anything else, and that there is not even a question mark that this is the person that they were meant to spend their lives with. 

We have often wondered why God smiled so generously upon us when He gave us to each other. Even now, there are times when we will talk about it. How the timing and circumstances had to fall into place for us to have even met, and how God had all of this planned, how we love Him for that. 

In the past 18 years we have fought like only two passionate people can fight, we've wept together and laughed hysterically. We welcomed our babies into the world and lavished them with every ounce of love in us. We have made mistakes that cost us greatly and have walked through some very dark times and even, at times, thought of quitting. What is so exciting to me is looking forward at where we still have to go and it is so comforting to know that we will be right there together, come what may. 

Rodney is my very best friend. He makes me laugh like nobody else can and he can break my heart with just a look. I love that I still get butterflies when he walks in a room and that he still winks at me and smiles when he sees me looking his way. He is precious, anybody who knows him will agree. My parents always told me it was going to take a special man to be able to live with me...I guess they were right. 

I told you I was gonna get mushy! Bottom line is that I am thrilled to death to have spent the past 18 years of my life (half of my life) with my lovely husband. I'm proud of how far we've come and I am looking forward to the next chapters in our little book. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Eddie's New Hobby

Last week, Rodney and I decided that we would pen the goats back up until the fence was fixed. This was after I had cleaned up dirt off the deck for the umpteenth time from an overturned flower pot and had an "episode" because I had no flowers. So...the goats were penned back up and I went and bought me some flowers. 
This morning, I went to the door and found Eddie merrily playing in a ripped open bag of potting soil and the periwinkles I still had left to plant. 
Somehow, this was far less upsetting than it would have been if the goats had made the mess. For one, I already had petunias and periwinkles gracing my whisky barrels which made the scene more lovely to behold. Secondly...look how cute he is. 
I have a hard time disciplining him and I know I'm gonna pay for it later. I was tempted to get down in the dirt and play with him, it really looked like a lot of fun. Now I get to go out and salvage my soil and try and revive the poor periwinkles before they perish. Sounds like a fun mid-morning project to me!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stepping out of the box

I have gotten to the age now that I sometimes have to be reminded how old I am. Also, I think I'm going through a bit of a mid-life-crisis, rebelling against nature and refusing to get "old" stage. Life is fleeting, I've always known this intellectually but am recently starting to feel like I'm hanging on to the side of a speeding train by my finger nails. 

I've also been doing a bible study that revolves somewhat around destiny and what God's will is for my life. There are times when I feel like God put me on earth to do laundry, and I'm not kidding about that. 

Pondering such weighty issues can cause a woman to go somewhat insane. I mean there are only so many loads of laundry you can do, so many bills to pay or so many dishes to pick up off the coffee table or so many times to clean the toilet before you snap. 

Some women might actually take a sledge hammer to the television, or throw their husbands golf clubs in the pond!

I actually know a woman that did that...she is my hero 

They may just lock themselves in the bathroom and weep for hours or eat an entire bag of oreos. 
Some women go as far as to leave their families, hoping that they will somehow escape life's little mundane chores and go live with a rock star in hollywood. 

I have contemplated doing many of these things. I've done the weeping, I've come very close to throwing a sledge hammer at the television, I've never eaten an entire bag of oreos but I sure wanted to.

So, I've said all of this to tell all of you that I stepped out of my little box of laundry, dishes, toilets, chickens, goats, etc...and got a fricken TATTOO!!!

Now before you start thinking that I've gone insane and did this out of rebellion you should know that I've been considering doing this for a while. Aimee was here for a few days this week and she was very inspirational in getting me to "live my life". You know, peer only live once, don't be a baby, everybody else is doing it etc...
Taylor and Aimee got one too. I was much more concerned and worried about how I would be viewed by letting my 16 year old daughter get one than I was about getting one myself. 

The experience was something I'll never forget. This is one of the main reasons I was convinced I should just go ahead and do it. We had a blast! This is the same reason that I took my kids to see Metallica, I kept hearing that song by Kenny Chesney "A lot of things different". 

The truth is, you only live once. Life is short. Time flies. 

I don't know how much longer this phase of mine will last. I'm drifting somewhere in the wilderness of life, wondering what will come next. I'm tired and restless all at the same time. I want to give up but I want to press on. Getting a tattoo, so far, hasn't helped me to come to any revelation about my destiny but I know for sure that there is something on the horizon...I just have to be patient and wait for it.