A Six Year Reflection

As of Saturday the 18th of October, we have been living on our little farm for six years.  Starting in January, here are some pics from the last 10 months:

Poor Churchill. We still miss him. Best cat evah.

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A rare snowy day here in E. Texas:

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Let’s sing it out loud: “I always feeel like somebody’s watching meeeee…”.  Francesca hates when we are gone too long.

IMG_20140127_192713_786I tried (really unsuccessfully) to capture the coldness outside and the warmth radiating from within. I love nighttime photos.

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One evening in March after a particularly nasty storm:

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Spring is definitely one of my favorite times of the year:

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Here’s a chick, there’s a chick, everywhere there’s a chick chick:

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Baby praying mantises that we hatched from an egg case:

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Always be sure to thoroughly water your ducks….

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I’m happy being a ‘square peg’. Someone has to love Nature’s creepy crawlies!

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Love one another.

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There is NOTHING like homemade!  This is our peach jam.

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It’s been a good year here on the farm.  I planted a fall/winter garden. This is the first time I’ve had one in two years. I don’t know that I have any new farm wisdom to share with you this year that I haven’t said before.  Maybe just this one:

Never stop learning, never give up, never give in.  I always make it a point to learn something new each and every day.  It’s what keeps me sane…my never ending quest for knowledge!  I won’t ever consider my life really ‘done’.  There won’t ever be a time that I will feel as though my life’s work is finished.

Life here on a farm can drive you crazy. Yes, we have set fire to our yard (literally), completely undone years of work in a weekend, watched our garden wash downhill, and I have WANTED to quit. I have wanted to slap a ‘For Sale’ sign by the road, throw everything I own in boxes and just say “To hell with this!”.  I have wanted to sit and cry and throw a toddler tantrum and move away to some mythical place where raccoons, fire ants, wasps, drought, grass burrs, Bermuda grass, hail, cabbage worms, and the like do not exist. I have dreamed of this fantasy place, but I know that it doesn’t exist.  As P.D. Eastman once wrote, “THIS nest is best!”.  My farm, for all of its shortcomings, is right where I want to be. When I’m having a bad day, I think about our ancestors. You know, the ones who DIDN’T have a washing machine, running water, electricity, and the like. Of course, there are millions of people even now without any of these things. I think how spoiled we really all are and how my ‘problems’ are honestly silly, self-made, and insignificant. I don’t depend upon our farm to feed us, I don’t have to raise crops to make my paycheck, and really, I’m fortunate beyond belief.

Once you put things in perspective, it does make it easier to get up in the morning, slap on a smile, and make the best of your day.

Be stubborn. Be determined. Never lose sight of your dream, and never stop asking questions.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda shaw says:

    This morning I needed to read your blog! As the weather gets cooler I find myself stressing more and more and nothing has happened this year – last year was the coldest year on in decades and I encountered so many problems that I never dreamed of when I retired and decided to live my dream of a cabin in the woods with chickens and a garden. My well collapsed and no running water for about 2 months, the weeks of very cold weather caused about 10 water pipes to burst. Running out of wood and kindling. I was the coldest I’ve ever been ( INSIDE MY CABIN)….I’m from Miami !!! But it eventually all worked out – wonderful friends and neighbors and family. On my own at 64. My friends who moved up here with me moved back to Florida – they couldn’t take it! My sister who talked me into moving up here moved closer to Atlanta. Well bring on winter!

    1. msdoolittle says:

      Linda, I laughed out loud at your comment…not because it was funny, but because I CAN SYMPATHIZE. Especially with the ‘inside my cabin’ part. I have a post on here somewhere (I think it is titled “Insulation Nation”) about how our house was literally in the 40s for a couple of winters. And yes, that was indoor temps. You will find that you can NEVER have too much firewood. Ever. Now you understand why you see permanent residents of cabins and country homes with a wall of firewood! As they say “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Well, I think that’s true! Deciding to move to the country can be a pretty easy decision, but choosing to stay is so much more difficult. As I said in my post, when I am very, very frustrated, I stop what I’m doing, take a deep breath and think of how fortunate and blessed I really am. My problems are miniscule when compared to others’ problems. I try to find my inner ‘pioneer spirit’ and so far, that has kept me going for six years. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to scream out loud, and whacking a pumpkin (or a squash) with a machete is oddly satisfying and calming (you can call it “Country Xanax”). Hang in there, but be prepared for when the tough times come. We stock food, water, and all kinds of repair items on hand just for times like you described. Here’s to winter!!!

  2. Linda shaw says:

    Thank you for understanding. Linda

  3. Edna Haberle says:

    Lovely… commentary and photography. Can I draw your white chicken?

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