Friday, January 8, 2010

So this is the view this morning from my front porch, and though you can't see it well, it is snowing, really snowing! None of the weather personalities predicted this morning's snow................but the Farmer's Almanac did! In fact, the ol' reliable alamanc has been on the money for what this winter would bring our part of the Country. In fact if you look at where this winter storm has been this past week, you will see the map in the almanac and it is almost exact!

Had a client in the office this week who told me all of the persimmons he opened had the spoon shape, and sign of winter snow and bad weather, and there are so many other 'farmstyle' signs................all point to snow, and lots of it as we welcome in 2010.

So as we end this first week of the New Year, I hold out hope that it is to be better than 2009 in many ways, that it will a fresh start to those who had troubles, and that it will a good year for all!

Tonight I am dog-sitting for a friend, and will take a sewing project along, and my snuggie! If I keep my hands busy, it may be easy to keep to my healthy eating and not sit with snacks and watch tv!

'til tomorrow, Stormy

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Resolution Hiccup.............

The Resolution Hiccup………………….ahhhh, six days into the new year, and already I find myself struggling with old habits, but in true farm girl style, I will pick myself up by my boot straps (if my boots actually had straps), and forge ahead. I look at my resolutions as an evolving process, not something that overnight I can just change or become, after all it took years to make these habits, so it will take time and determination to change them.

I find that it is easy for me to become discouraged, there is so much I need to get done, so much I want to accomplish, that in a state of being overwhelmed, I have a very, very, bad tendency to just do nothing, but go from project to project and finishing none! Oh my, and I wonder why I have such clutter…………

So today, I will use my lunch break at work to make a three item list of things to accomplish when I get home. Just three small tasks, that I will complete…………I know that, that small sense of accomplishment will strengthen my resolve to move on to more things, longer lists and bigger projects. So for the rest of this week, I will take those baby steps. Three things on a short list for each evening after work, and perhaps three small things, and one larger project for Saturday……and since this is already Thursday, I will adopt that same approach next week, because you know the experts say, it takes the repetition of 45 consecutive days to change or alter a habit.

As for our weather here in SW Missouri, it is frigid! I mean really frigid…………………last night we added an fourth bale of straw to our kennel for “the boys”, which they really love….it’s play time to romp through new mounds of fresh straw, we raised the heated water bucket off of the ground, and wrapped their dog house ………….it’s an 8ft x 8ft outbuilding…………in plastic weather sheeting to help against the predicted blizzard condition winds. They of course took it all in stride, knowing that whatever I was doing, it must be needed, or I wouldn’t have been out there doing it.

So as I jump into this busy Thursday and head off to work, I wish you all of my fellow Farm Girls, a great day, stay warm, and just for the heck of it, make yourself that short list of things you will accomplish today!

‘til tomorrow, Stormy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Life Lesson Learned - Farm Girl Hospitality

Another frozen day in the Midwest, I feel guilty complaining when I hear how others are fairing even worse with record breaking cold in the minuses……………………oh my.

Well I learned a self taught life lesson in humility last night. . . . , I have a very bad tendency to resent when people just drop in. My mother was a firm believer in being invited, or at the very least calling ahead to see if now would be a good time to come by………………… anyway, a lovely friend dropped in, and I was very put out……………, shame on me.

She came bearing bags of clothing that she had wanted to share as we are both losing weight and our sizes are shifting fairly quickly. Three large bags of clothing she came bearing in the frozen darkness of night, with children bundled in the car. She was so incredibly gracious and giving, and her usual wonderful self, that once she left I was really consumed by guilt for my un-neighborly thoughts……………

Why shouldn’t friends be welcome to just drop by, in true farm girl spirit, I should welcome any and all, and if my place is a bit messy, so what! If I was in the middle of putting in laundry, get them comfy, and finish throwing in the load. I always have coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot cider and other beverages to offer, I have a plethora of mugs and dainty cups to suit most any mood or season, I have a lovely dining room complete with a sitting area, perfect to sit and chat as farm girls love to do.

So today I put out there, that yes my house is always a bit cluttered, and there are always numerous projects underway, but then my friends already know that about me – so on this 6th day of this wonderful New Year, I am adding another resolution to my growing list of self-improvements I will make - to take on this New Year, this new refreshing decade – friends are welcome, and in my Farm Girl Heart I will be more neighborly, more tolerant, and more welcoming to all who come to my door!

Stay warm my farm girl friends! ‘til tomorrow, Stormy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2 Degrees

Two degrees, oh my gosh, two degrees, I forgot just how cold that could be. The snow from yesterday has frozen over and under, so from a fluffy white blanket, we are now a treacherous skating rink. But off to work we go!

Before I left this morning, "Big Boy" our old Tom Cat that has been adopted, came up to the porch begging for breakfast, and I felt so bad, he had ice on his whiskers! So dry food topped with a can of his favorite moist food was hustled to the porch followed by a dish of warm milk with an egg whisked into it. And I wonder why he keeps coming back to our house..................yes, all are welcome here. Needless to say, the dishes were empty, and I watched him amble off to the place he hides and calls home, but the ice on his whiskers were gone, and his belly was full.

Today will be my day to organize my work space, get rid of those scraps of papers with notes, and start my year off in a more orderly fashion! I have a large desk calendar to keep my To Do's posted and more importantly checked off. Is there anything more satisfying than checking off items on a list, such a sense of self accomplishment it gives us........I love it. I'm into making lists, a Honey Do for the guy at the house, my to-do for housework and organizing, a craft to-do to help keep me on project and not jumping around to more than a dozen I have going, a shopping list for the grocery so I spend less, a daily "get this accomplished" list so when I put head to pillow, I can tell myself well done, and of course the work to-do list, as this is a very busy little office, and my tasks are many. This is a great use for those small journal books you find at the dollar stores, keep all your lists handy.

Brought my healthy lunch with me, and the lovely tea pot my Mom gave me for Christmas - a square desk style, and a bunch of the delicious teas it came with. So I am back to work, after I go make some tea.

Have a wonderful day my Farmgirl Friends, 'til tomorrow, Stormy

Monday, January 4, 2010

Snow Day

So it’s the first work day of the New Year, and we have a grown-up SNOW DAY! Five inches of fluffy white flakes have fallen since Saturday night through late last night, and here in our part of the Midwest, everything comes to a close!

Albeit I preferred to remain under the layers of warm toasty covers, I was a good Farm Girl when I rose at the appointed hour, prepared to head off to work, and even allowed an appropriate amount of time to go out and shovel the snow from the kennel walk, and check on the “boys”. Buff, Rock and Baby are our three beloved dogs, each weighing in at the 90 pound plus mark and very spoiled. You’ll meet them individually in future blogs, I promise.

So the kennel is shoveled, water and food levels checked, chewies distributed to all, and I headed out to dig out my car and begin the warm up for the trek, short as it is, to work. Back inside gathering my stuff, I received a call from the Boss, who spent the previous week out of town, and was calling for a road conditions check. She pronounced, that officially, we were to have a Snow Day……………Wahoo!

What to do with my day? I don’t want to squander it watching television – another New Year’s resolution is to limit the amount of wasted time spent in front that squawking box – so I made myself a cup of hot cider – sugar free – got Granny settled in for the morning, started a load of laundry, and pondered my morning.

I have already cooked up my chicken breasts for my lunches for the rest of the week, portioned out my salad into individual lunch containers, loaded the dishwasher, fed the cats, cleaned the litter box, and changed all my holiday red candles out to my winter whites, and now I seek the guilty pleasure of doing something just for me.

I have decided to spend my grown up snow day sewing aprons, so I am heading off to my craft room, a pot of hot water and my favorite tea bags in tow, and I will make aprons. I have dozens of pieces of fun fabrics laid out and ready for picking. Oh and let me share my most fabulous resource for inexpensive, all right I’ll say it ‘cheap’, fabric. I scour the thrift stores for curtain panels and valance panels, that’s right, for a dollar each, I find wonderful fun patterns and textures, and once you take out the hems both top and bottom with a seam ripper, you have well over a yard and often much more of great fabric. Many have great ruffles and trims perfect for the bottom edge of your apron creation! I feel good that I have been budget minded, and feel even better about repurposing discarded fabric.

So on this snow covered day, I bid you, my fellow Farm Girls a warm Good Day, and I will sign off, and go indulge myself with yardage and trims and buttons galore.

‘Til tomorrow, Stormy

A City Girl with a Farm Girl Soul

These are the ruminations of a city girl with a farm girl soul, not just a farm girl heart mind you, but a farm girl soul. I know that deep down somewhere my destiny took a turn and left that country road that led to a farm filled with animals, numerous children, and the perfect garden, and took me to suburbia somewhere south of the Motor City where I grew up in the 60’s.

While the little girls I played with had their one or two dollies, their pretend husbands went off to the office to work, and they tended in their pretend kitchen - my “husband” was a farmer, and all of my dollies and stuffed animals made up my “brood” of the ten children I was sure I would have one day, once I became a mommy for real.

Alas, I had no farmer husband, not for the lack of trying-on more than one husband to find the right fit, and although I do not have a brood of ten children, I am the Mother of one perfect son.

I have lived in cities my entire life, though moving to a small town in Missouri a little more than a decade ago, hoping to find that small town rural life. . . with out much success. I find that my farm girl soul has been screaming a little louder for recognition as of late.

Perhaps with my discovery of Mary Jane Butter’s wonderful books and magazines, the silly Farmville game tens of thousands of become addicted to on Facebook, or just looking for a simpler more fulfilling life as I have topped the peak of 50 and moving towards yet another birthday.

I come from a very small, and I mean very small family. As a child I was a voracious reader, and loved books about family, especially big families. I remember reading a story about a wonderful Jewish family with many, many children and cousins and aunts and uncles, and how they coped with life during the Depression. I must have reread that book several times, and somewhere convinced myself that I had a secret Jewish family looking for me, waiting to welcome me into their loud, laughing, large family.

I read dozens of stories of pioneer families, and families making their homes in the Appalachian Mountains, all with that common thread of a large loving family, and looking to the earth to give them their livelihood and their home.

So now as we enter this new decade, I have my list of resolutions readied, and as always, it includes all of the same ones from years past ….lose weight, become more organized, do something I really love to do………….I have given them a new look………….losing weight will come with living and eating healthier, and the garden I am already planning for our first sign of Spring; becoming more organized will go hand in hand with my looking to make do with what I have and no more shopping as a matter of convenience, only out of necessity. I will de-clutter and donate, I will have yard sales to pass along my treasures to fill the need or become the treasure of someone new, and I will take and make the time to do the things I really, really love to do. I will sew and craft, and garden, and care for my animals…………….and if the City Ordinances allow, this year I will have chickens. Three lovely bantam chickens housed in a delightful all-weather chicken coop!

So here you have the beginning of my Blog. The blog of a City Girl with a Farm Girl Soul, the blog of a romantic who formed her image out of the hundreds of books she read as a child; the wild ramblings of a 52 year old woman, who this year, this new decade, will finally decide what she wants to be when she grows up!

I hope that you decide to come along for the ride, I promise it will be one that will make you laugh, make you take pause, make you remember, and even once in a while it may make you cry……………………but no matter what road we travel, it will be a great ride!