Monday, June 19, 2017

One Moment

A fatal accident occurred this weekend at an intersection we drive through regularly.  It's a back road, the straight shot from my home to my sister's four miles away.  An 18 year old ran a stop sign and the 30 year old driver of a passing car died.  I drove by the site this evening and cried.  Not just for the man who lost his life (whom I don't know) but for the child, the 18 year old whose life is forever changed from that instant in time.

I am not afraid to die.  I'm not afraid of what comes next.  I know my family would all be okay.  But I cannot for the life of me imagine what my life would be like if it had been James who had been struck, or Jacob.  I cannot begin to think of how I would even cope if one of them was taken so suddenly.  It doesn't just take a car accident.  My dad reminded me just yesterday of a well-known family fact: one trip to the doctor can change your life forever.

I know James loves me deeply, I have no doubt.  And I don't have one single regret or wish for our life to be any different than it is.  I wouldn't mourn for all the things we never got to - we live our life as full as possible most every chance we get.  I would just miss him so.  I would miss him dreadfully so.

And Jacob.  I don't see him very often now, and I don't hear from him too often, either, but if he was gone forever?  Oh how my heart would break.  He is such an amazing person, I just want to see where his life takes him and all the happiness that surrounds him.

In the blink of an eye, it could be gone.  Life redefined.

This 30 year old man left behind a fiancee.  Her life redefined.  The 18 year old who ran the stop sign will never ever be the same, nor will the passenger that was in the car with him/her.

I am so grateful that was not my James, nor my Jacob.  But my heart and soul aches for those affected by this one instant in time that went horribly wrong.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Contented Creatures

It's hard to catch the cows napping.  Not because they don't, but because they are convinced we always have a treat and they come running to the fence just in case.  Today, the hottest day so far, I was able to sneak up and catch Delilah under the pines, enjoying the very spot The Mister specifically included in the pasture for days such as this.  The grass she and Samson were snoozing on was carefully planted by James last spring, after tilling, grading and even later raking away all the pine needles.  

Samson was there, too.  He was keeping his eye on me just in case the camera really was a sweet treat for the hot day.  

All we wanted was to create a pasture that was beautiful and practical, where our beautiful beasts could enjoy as much contentment as we do on Someday Farm.

Mission, accomplished!

The Gift

The past week was a bit stressful.  My last full week of school, complete with day-long meetings, field trips and assessments, and the ever-changing plans of out-of-state company made things more frantic around here than normal.  Friday afternoon, our company arrived and within a couple hours we were enjoying the deck, take-out pizza, wine and each other's company.  Saturday brought a trip north to see James' folks along with his brother and sister.  The frenetic pace of getting everyone accommodated for, snacks packed, plans made and finally the drive itself was tempered by a day of sitting on their screen porch with a beautiful summer breeze, laughing, talking and catching up.

In the midst of all the goings-on, I found myself sitting comfortably in a chair, watching a nearly 90 year old man tease his 87 year-old wife; a baby brother provoking his much-older sister; and an older brother try to remain stoically unemotional when surrounded by his loving family.

I could feel it with every heart beat, "Be Present".  I need not think about the upcoming last few days of school, or the long drive home, or what health ailment might next prove overwhelming to James' aging parents.  I need only to be.here.now.  I took a breath and I watched, I listened, I laughed.

I saw my husband wink from across the room, something that always makes me smile.  I saw a sister, walking with her mom through the yard, ostensibly to look at the flowers, but as it had been two years since their last visit together, I knew it was a chance for a mom and a daughter to say anything that needed to be said - just in case.  I saw an elderly man who seems anything but on most occasions - a man who still mows his lawn, makes the traps for the gophers and invents devices to make watering easier on his back - laugh at the antics of the grown children.  I heard jokes, teasing, discussions about each person's life and James' never-ending quest to learn everything Henry has to offer.  Wisdom is always shared with humility in this house.  I heard a compliment from a master-of-everything to The Mister about his syrup making - a compliment that will never be forgotten, coming from the wisest man we know.

I heard it again in my soul, Be Present.

This trip was a reminder that time stops for no one.  It's a thought that's always near the front of my mind but watching it unfold reminded me of the preciousness of the moment.  We long-ago stopped taking our cell phones into his mom's house.  Everything else can wait.  Beyond just feeling over-full from all the food they are intent on us eating, we leave with our souls feeling full; our hearts overflowing.  We always part knowing the next time is never promised to us.  We leave knowing their love abounds and everything else seems unnecessary.  We leave knowing, in every way we could, we wanted these people to know how much they matter to us and how much their love shapes our world.
I pray we have many, many more such visits, but if not, I pray that these beautiful people know without a doubt how much their very presence was a gift to us, each and every time.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Bird Watching

The Mister and I have a pretty slow pace around the farm.  We have a few "must do's" and lots of "should do's" but in general, we limit the "have to's" as much as we can.  I could spend paragraphs justifying my leisure time on the porch on Sunday, but it doesn't really matter if I have good reason or not, our porch is one of my favorite places in the world.

Out back this week, we saw a heron.  The Mister spotted it first and I grabbed my camera as fast as I could as the herons tend to be very skittish and fly quickly.  This one was apparently of the same mindset we were as it stuck around and didn't seem to mind us opening windows to get a better picture.  In fact, when I finally said, "I wish it would fly so I could see its great wings," the Mister tried everything he could to get it to fly and it wasn't going to be bothered.

It finally decided it was time to go, but it didn't go far.
Apparently it thinks our house is a pretty cool place to hang out, too.

This goldfinch stopped by for a drink.
I didn't realize their beaks were orange until I looked at the picture later.  

I was super excited to see my first orioles this week!  I had actually been hearing their song for a couple days (not knowing what it was) before I saw them.  After seeing the first one, we went out and bought two feeders, hoping to entice them to stay.  

We've seen them a few times now on the birdbath and I hear them singing a little ways away, but so far, they haven't found our delicious jelly or nectar.
(The hummingbird doesn't mind having another stopping point, however!)

I loved this guy, who seemed to really enjoy his bath!

This mysterious bird still baffles me.  Not sure what it is.
Saw it several times but this was the only picture I was able to capture.
Any ideas?

Same with this bird.
So regal sitting on the branch, but I don't know what it is.
(I have so much to learn!)

The bluebirds have also made themselves at home here at the farm this year!
I've heard them singing and finally figured out they made a nest in one of the birdhouses!
We normally only see bluebirds for one day in very early spring when they come to eat all the berries off one of our shrubs and then they are gone.  I've put out a special dish of mealworms to welcome them to the neighborhood, but so far, they haven't discovered it.

Isn't this little guy adorable?


He came down from the branch to have a little bath.
Seems to be the going thing.

But perhaps most excited the last couple of days has been the fledgling cardinal.
We like to think it's the same one that hatched outside our bedroom window.
This guy is so fun to watch!  He chirps back and forth to Mr. Cardinal, who is busy getting seeds from the bird feeder.

Then dad comes and feeds the fledgling.
He tried and tried to land on the feeder, but just can't seem to stick the landing just yet.  

We so enjoy the cardinals, and watching this family this spring has delighted me so!

So, if you're in the neighborhood, stop by.  Pull up a chair or a branch and stay awhile!
We can spend hours just sitting, listening, watching and marveling at God's creatures!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

From the Porch

We listened to a wren sing her heart out.

We saw our baby cardinal learn to fly.

Mom Cardinal, Dad Cardinal and even an indigo bunting came out to watch the fledgling.

We saw our first hummingbird of the season.

The robins came to enjoy a cool bath.


Even the titmouse couple came to get a drink and freshen up.

The Mister and I agree there is no more peaceful place than our front porch.  At the end of a day of working in the yard, pasture, garden or around the house, sitting on the porch, listening and watching the world around us brings us such contentment.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Out On a Ledge

The Mister noticed the beginnings of this nest a couple weeks ago when he was working on the hot tub.  We thought it might be a barn swallow at the time.

Watching the last several days, I think it's a Phoebe bird, but when I saw the egss were brown today, I'm not so sure. (My book says the eggs of the Eastern Phoebe are white.)  Today, a cold, windy spring day with frost warnings out for tonight, a caught momma sitting on her nest.  I am in awe of the architectural skill necessary to create a nest on such a tiny ledge of a window! 

The view from above was even more amazing!  How many trips must this bird have taken with a bit of twig or grass or moss in its mouth to build this masterpiece?  
And five sweet little eggs inside!
I left quickly, so momma would come back and keep those eggs warm!

A Poultry Sunday

Due to a power outage at school on Thursday, we had to bring the chicken eggs my second graders are incubating home.  In addition to our five incubating eggs, we also brought home one little chick that another teacher had hatched who desperately needed his heat lamp to stay warm!  We spent the weekend with all this poultry taking over our counter (can't put them out in the potting room, Charlotte would think they were toys just for her!)

Today, we returned them to school, just in time for our eggs to hatch in the next day or two.  We could hear the little chirps coming from one egg (I absolutely love that!) so we know at least one of the five should hatch.  We took the one little chick to my classroom as well so the parent who is taking the chicks can come get him tomorrow.

After getting all that set up, we headed to Tractor Supply for some chick feed.  We buy a bag every year, use maybe a quarter of it and then donate it to whomever is taking the chicks.  Next year, we hope we are incubating chicks for our farm and will use the entire bag (and then some!)

From Tractor Supply, we headed up the road, stopping to buy eggs from a local farmer.  We keep him in business, I tell you.  We eat A LOT of eggs right now!

We swung by Julie's to drop off a few things (and as it turns out, to pick up a few things) before heading home.

Once we arrived at home, we pulled out chicken legs to thaw for dinner.

Seems like we are a little obsessed with feathered friends today, doesn't it?  From egg to chick, hatching to the dinner table, I think we have it all covered today!

Growing

The cardinal baby is sure growing!  Only a week old and he is getting more feathers and has more than doubled in size!  I cannot believe he fit into an egg that small just a week ago!  His eyes are open now and we see mom and dad cardinal fly back and forth from the bird feeder to the nest to feed the baby.  Sure is fun watching him grow!


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A Great Day for a Birthday


Momma cardinal wasn't too happy with me.  I thought she was off her nest when I snuck out to see if either egg had hatched.  I should have known she wouldn't have been off her nest in 40 degree weather.  She flew to the nearest tree where she squawked at me while I peeked at her babe.

One little cardinal chick.

Reminds me of a day 21 years ago when I brought home my first born and all these people showed up who wanted to hold him and talk to him and I wanted to scream from the rafters "HE'S MINE!!  BACK OFF!" but that seemed rude and these people meant no harm. 

My boy, my child, my baby, my only turns 21 years old today.  I text him, sent him a package and talked to him on the phone, but I won't see him.  It's finals week and he's studying hard for his tests.  For some kids, that might just be a line they tell their parents, "We've been studying since nine this morning." But even on his 21st, I know my child is being responsible.  His grades matter to him (now, after all those agonizing high school years).  He'll "study" in the form of drinking when finals are over I am sure.

It's hard not to see my baby, but it's something I guess you get used to.  He'll come visit soon he says, and I will hold him to that.  He is as precious to me as this little one is to its cardinal momma.  Even more so, I dare say.  I'd do more than chirp from a nearby tree if a stranger came too close to my baby.

It only took 13 days for this little guy in the picture to hatch.  It won't take too long to grow wings and learn how to fly.Of all things I am thankful for today, it's that it takes human babies far longer than that to grow wings and fly.

Hold onto your babies as long as you can.
It will seem like it's only been a week when they do fly away.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Charlotte

Someday Farm has a new addition.  No farm is complete without a barn cat it would seem.  Charlotte is here to be the official mole killer of the farm.  The critters are tearing up our lawn something fierce and The Mister is Not.Pleased.  So not pleased in fact, that he agreed to a cat!! Granted, she has to live outside and May Not Under Any Circumstances Come Indoors, but still, it's a cat and so I took the deal.

Of course, The Mister has been seen holding and playing with said "mole catcher".  And just yesterday he said he thought about bringing her down to the basement where we were watching TV.  Ahem.

So, she currently lives in the garage and gets to play in the potting room when we are in there.  She loves going outside to romp and play under the bushes.  And we enjoy watching kitten antics and see hunting instincts take over.  She's a joy and a wonderful addition to the farm.

Welcome, Charlotte!
(Now, go catch those moles!)