tea and a toast.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Today, I'm needing some extra energy. Not as in "Dude, I need some good vibes", but more like "Tea! NOW!"

This was just the beginning...

Know what I mean, Vern?

I have more things to do than I have the energy (or time!) to accomplish... Piles of clean clothes that need to be folded. Dinner that needs to started. Business stuff that needs to be completed. Chicken projects that needed to have been started weeks ago. Acres of grass to be mowed. Plants that need to be planted. A new venture that needs attention. Oh, and a messy house. (No way to forget the toy-ridden, unorganized, ain't-got-no-time-for-it house.) Plus a family (and farm!) that seems to need every ounce of attention all day, err day.

Fresh butter in the makin'.

And, let me just throw in the fact that we're about to move and start building our house.

Oh, yes, our house...

You remember the dream house I told you about? And how you'd been so kind and reassuring? Said that everything would work out and all would be fine? We even drank some Koolaid together?

Well...you were wrong, my friend. Wrong by around 12 months. Don't worry, though... I know you had good intentions.

(Wait, but what's that they say about good intentions and a hot, fire-y, brimstone-y place? *I kid, I kid.)

And here's where I'm gonna tell you the same thing I've been telling myself - It's okay. It's oh-kay.

...and even though this is so true, panic is starting to set in a little.

Not so much that we just might have to move in with my mom, but that through all of these changes, we have a family to hold steady. I want to do everything in my power so that my little lady never knows instability... So we're trying to focus on the fun of it all and how we can paint her room "regular blue", drink fresh lemonade on our new porch, and hear our eager roosters crow every morning. And, thus far, she seems unfazed and up for whatever. (She's a rockstar like that.)

I keep reminding myself that with each passing day, my family is getting closer and closer to our dream house. And for that, I'm so thankful. I'm thankful for this sweet, sweet life and all that it brings. And even though I'm up to my eyeballs in this adventure and feeling all of the effects of its roller coaster-ness (the thrill of the hills and the nausea of the valleys), I've been trying to soak it all in; knowing everything is short-lived and life is fast-paced.

So let's have a cup of Earl Grey and *toast* to land that perks and a basement that doesn't leak. Cheers!

thirty is flirty. (not)

Friday, May 6, 2016

I'm feeling old. And reflective. And emotional. But mostly just reflective.

Why? Because I'm 30. 

Yep. It's hard for me to swallow too. I mean, I still get those looks like "Aww naw, you can't be no older than 14; 16 at the most."

And I still get stopped at least 12 times to have my ID checked when we go to a casino.

And don't even get me started about me looking too young to have a kiddo...

So, of course, my mind just cannot wrap around how in the world I've gotten so old, so fast.

(I know 30 is not old in the grand scheme of things, but it feels a whole heck of-a lot older than 29. So, knowing that I'm aware of that, let's precede with this old lady's thoughts...)

And, I mean, I still have nightmares about high school. 

You know the ones - you're late a final, but you make it somehow...only to find out that you cannot even understand the questions on the test. I mean, they're total jibberish. Then you remember that if you fail this one test, you can't graduate. So, basically, your gonna be stuck in high school forever. 

And a nightmare like that couldn't happen to someone who's 30, right? 

Wrong! It can. And it does. All.Of.The.Time.

So, back to my birthday...

I was up in the middle of the night, thinking about what the day would bring. You know, because the first day in my 30's would have to be different than the last in my 20's. And that made me a little ill.

I kept thinking about my journey and how I got here. I mean, I'm okay with this new year I've added. (Kinda.) And I'm sure age is like a fine wine - the older you are, the more...well...fine...Right?

Plus, the 30's are where it's at. It's the cool age. 

No? See, that's what I'm feelin' too. 

I actually told a friend that 30 is not the new black - it's the new grey. Because, as luck would have it, 30 has ushered in a wave of grey hairs. And not just a few - a whole tuft of greys; right in the back of my head. And that's just the cherry on top of this ol' cake I'm already chokin' down. 

But before I just throw in the towel and embrace the fact that life as I know it is over and it's all downhill from here, I'm trying to think of all of the good things that elderly life will bring (because there has to be a couple, right?)...

The first difference I should tell you about is my musical taste. Just a few weeks ago, I was happily driving with my windows down, not a care in the world, listening to Taylor Swift. Now, I prefer to clean my kitchen to the sounds of instrumental folk or Cat Stevens, stopping every few minutes to sip my warm, aged Earl Grey tea.

See?! Old lady behavior. It came outta nowhere and slapped me right in the face.

And with every day, I've been taking more and more notes (which is totally not like me), so I can know what I've been up to and keep my thoughts straight.

I know life's just begun and it's gonna be great and all, but sometimes it all seems so fleeting.

One day I'll be truly grey and laugh at myself for being young and dramatic. But today I'm devastated.

Okay... maybe not devastated. But definitely a tad bit uneasy about the whole thing... ;)

So, on that note, let's all raise our Earl Greys to this new decade, watch a little of The Lawrence Welk Show, and take a good, long nap! 

one chick, two chicks...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ever heard of chicken math?

Yeah, I hadn't either...

...until Spring sprang and I was caught in it's deceptive little web. It's sticky and tangly and just pulls you right in. Before you know it, you're elbows deep in baby chicks and being called a chicken lady.

P's teaching the cats how to have patience...and balance...

And, if you know me at all, that's the furthest thing I could have ever imagined being called... Birds in general have never been my thang. I was totally like Eww! Those nasty things - peckin' and poopin' everywhere...

And here I come to you, asking for understanding as I have turned a corner somewhere and now fully and completely get this so-called "chicken math".

Georgie and her new babe 

I'm calculating and recalculating...and they are adding and adding...

But, rest assured, I do have a plan. Or plans. Loads of 'em...

Some of them are obvious (eggs and meat) and others being more creative (like compost help and garden tilling). But let's not get ahead of ourselves; right now they are just tiny little peepers without a care in the world.

(Don't tell them that we have high expectations and will be putting them to work soon. Let's just let 'em bask in the constant warmth and coziness that is my garage...where the food comes easy and the pace is slow.)

So, until next time, don't count your chickens before they hatch...or you might get a little "math" lesson of your own...


Sunday, April 17, 2016

When I was younger, I didn't know what the future would hold for me...

I've never been the type of girl that dated a certain type of guy. I wasn't going for a look or an attitude, a swagger or a walk...

In fact, I wasn't really looking for anything or anyone. 

Not that I didn't want all of that gooey fairytale stuff, but I was busy with normal 20 year old life - working and going to school 24/7. There wasn't a ton of time to slow down to find the one. 

(I will say, however, that somewhere way down deep, I knew that I would marry a blonde-haired guitar player. Don't know how or why, but I did.)

Then, one day, I was where all good stories begin - at the ol' Wal-Mart. My friend and I were in the houseware isle looking for who-knows-what. 

I looked up and there, walking right towards me, was J. 

I remember it like it was yesterday. And I swear, when I think back on that moment, he was almost glowing. He stood out like a sore thumb. The best sore thumb ever. It was like time slowed down. And, for all I would have cared, everyone else could have disappeared and I wouldn't have known the difference. 

It was love at first sight and way more than anything I could have hoped for.

Right away, in true 20 year old form, I bet him that he wouldn't eat chocolate flavored dog food treats. 

I was playing the whole thing cool, you see. Before I could think he was my knight in shining armor, I needed to make sure he was man enough to step up to the dog food challenge.

And, luckily, he was. 

He ate that dog treat and I was sold. 

That night, we bought kites and invented one of the most dangerous pastimes you ever did hear of - Electro-Kiting. 

"What is this Electro-Kiting?" you may be asking yourself.  

I'm happy to tell you! It's just what it sounds like - you simply drive with your windows down, kite flying in the wind, avoiding all electric lines for as long as possible. Then, when your kite gets caught in the very wires you've so diligently been dodging (because it will get stuck in those lines), you haul tail outta there! Don't stick around to see if you can remedy the situation - just GO!

So, back to my story...We Electro-Kited for hours, then (as I have warned you about above), our Superman kite became caught in the most giant power lines ever. And that was that; we were outta there! Gone like a trio of roaches when someone flicks the lights on. (Trio? Remember, my friend was the third-wheel on what turned out to be our first date...)

Game over.

I should also tell you that is was probably as closest to being an outlaw as I've ever been. Or, to be clear, will ever be. I'm too old and nervous for that junk.

Following our Electro-Kiting adventure, as any normal folks awake at 3am would do, we went to Waffle House. 

I know, classy, right? And though it may not have been the best move 1) for my belly or 2) for my schoolin' (since I had a test coming up that very same morning), it was one of the best decisions of my life. 

(And if you're wondering about that test and how I did in the class? Well...let's just say it wasn't pretty. Stay in school, kids!)

So, why am I telling you all of this foolishness? What does this have anything to do with anything? 

Well, that day, my friend, was 10 years ago. 

That means for 10 years, I've gotten to spend each and every day with my best buddy. And I'm so grateful.

So, to those of you who have made it through this long, nutty story - *high five!* You are a trooper. I'd have been bored to tears by now...

And to J, my love, I couldn't be happier or luckier to have you. I love you more than you'll ever know and am so proud of you and the life we've made together. God couldn't have given me a better partner. Thank you for being on this crazy journey with me...

And, if you are still reading this blog, another *high five!* to you. Now you know that sparks fly best when they are ignited at Wal-Mart and followed with a little high voltage kiting...  

An Electro-Kiting cookie cake, of course.

savoring on the daily.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I've been thinking about writing for a while. Ideas will pop in my head and I'll mull them over, then toss 'em to the side because I'm sure no one wants to read about that.

But today...today that's all changing.

I realized that I love to write. And, though it's always fun when people read what I have to say, that's not what it's all about for me.

I want to write to remember; remember what something felt like, smelled like, sounded like. I love to recall the big stuff, but it's the little stuff that really deserves the savoring, right?

The stuff like worms. And how they are collected and saved from a chicken's belly. (And those hands...I need to remember those sweet hands...)

A cat that loves to cuddle and ride with P in her carseat.

And J finding a zillion tiny springs and making a little creek.

Or our first fairy egg. It was the size of a quarter, perfectly round, and contained only the white.

The first little beauty that comes from planting (literally) hundreds of flower bulbs.

Or the princess gracing us with her presence. (And making a royal mess of the house. Every. Day.)

And let's not forget about breakfast. And how this heart was eagerly noticed and claimed by a three year old.

See? Those things may not add up to much of anything, but for this momma, those are things that make me remember to stop and smell the crocuses.

And since we're on an adventure here, let's talk about all of those things - both big and small. Because after all, everything doesn't need to be grandiose...that's life. And I like it that'a way.

moving on and just plain moving.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

In life, we have to take the good with the bad. Today, I'm going to catch you up with what's been going on - both good and bad.

Let's just go ahead and get the awful, horrible, never good for nobody stuff over.
(I'm taking a big ol' deep breath now while I try to gather my thoughts and see through the tears...)

My husband's momma and my (sweet, smart, wonderfully witty, amazingly talented...) mother-in-law passed away. One day she was here with us and the next, she wasn't. And what a hole in our lives there is now. Whew, if only I could explain the shift that took place when she left this earth. I'd like to say now that I don't want to linger with this awfulness. I'll keep it short because I have good things to tell you about and that's what she'd want to read about. Doesn't mean the the sadness isn't crushing or that our hearts aren't broken, but we have to move on. So I'll keep all of those precious memories in my back pocket, and carry them with me daily. That way she never really feels completely gone.

Onward and upward. Thank goodness the sad stuff's over.

On to the good stuff...

One fun thing on the farm is we had our first event! Even though it wasn't anything more than having some friends (both old and new) over and watching a movie outside (via projector and on a huge screen!), it was perfect. The kiddos played with the chickens and climbed around on hay bales. It was simple and sweet - just what we were hoping for.

Another thing - the chickens! The chickens are growing and even starting to lay eggs.

Ah, who am I kidding?!

Let me rephrase that - the chickens are growing and even starting to lay egg.

Here is our first egg from our one and only layer. Hot diggity!

Yep, those lazy, good for nuthin' feathery chumps are able to live like queens and they still don't care enough to lay us an egg every now and then.

 (I know one day I'll be flooded with farm fresh eggs and I'll look back at this time as the calm before the storm, but today I'm tired and grumpy and want some durn eggs.)

Meet Veronica, the queen of the coop.

As we become more and more familiar with our goals and dreams for Greenbriar Farm, my list of things I'm so looking forward to beginning has been growing and growing. From the outdoor movie to a garden to selling eggs (haha!) to getting a couple pigs, it's a little outta control. Which, I should say, is what I seem to always gravitate toward.

I like the thrill.

I've never been the jump out of a plane kind of thrill-seeker. Or even the smash a soda can with my bare hands girl...I'm more in line with the a how many chickens can I get before I'm officially known as a chicken lady or the can I possibly sneak into this beehive without getting all suited up kinda thrill-seeker.

You know - living on the edge. And it is a thrill. But more on granny-speed side of things.

So, as I catch myself gearing up for far too many things that I simply know nothing about, but are too eager to wait for, the excitement is growing. And I just keep reminding myself of how I always seem to get myself in much too deep with big plans and more research than I have time for...

And speaking of being in far over our heads already...we are about to embark on the second craziest journey of our lives. No, I'm not talking about another baby. Law knows that's a recipe for sinking this barely-floating ship.

What I'm trying to say is that we are finally going to build a house! It's something we've talked about for years, but the time's now. As in, we have until the end-ish of June to be moved in. Yep, moved in. The home we're renting is needed when our lease is up.

"Oh, you have eight months. You'll be fine!" you say.

And I say to you, "To have plans drawn? Pick a contractor? Choose everything down to the colors and sizes of the hinges? Then to move in?"

"Yes. I'm sure it'll all work out," you say again.

And to the waiter (because, as it turns out, we're obviously sitting at a bar and you've obviously been drinking a little...) I say, "I'd like to have what they're drinking!"

*Fast forward a couple of minutes and I've chugged that Koolaid you've been drinking.*

Now I need to tell you how mush I app-rish-iate your posisive words...

(I should admit here that I'm only kidding, as I don't drink. But you seem to have been and I need that kind of optimism in my life right now. ;))

I also need to say that I kinda have this feeling way deep down in my gut that we won't be able to finish the house on time and we'll have to move in a hotel for a few weeks. Or even worse - in my parent's house.

And that don't sound too purty.

But until I know if that's for sure in the cards for us, I'll listen to you and your Koolaid drinkin' self and have hope that we can pull this all off.

Lookout, farm! Here weeee coooooommmee!!

our first blueberry season.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The season has come to an end. And no, I'm not talking about summer - I'm talking about our first season as blueberry farm owners and operators!

It was a hot, fun, sweaty and exciting one. 

Up until about a month before the season was to start and the farm was to open, we didn't know we'd be running the farm this year. 

But, lo and behold, it was time. Time for us to take the torch and carry on. Time for us to put up a tent and a table. Time for us to discover what it felt like to be farmers (I use farmers loosely...). And it went without a hitch. 

The berries started out plump and plentiful.

They stayed that way for about six hours.

Yep, you read that right! Those puppies were picked at the speed of lightning.

So many folks came out and we were overwhelmed by all of the faithful berry pickers that have loved and cherished the farm for many, many years. Some even knew my grandma. It was amazing!

And those funny little chickens were a hit!

Everyone wanted to meet the chickens. And pet the chickens. And hold the chickens. And cuddle the chickens...

*Side note here: this is my cuddliest chicken. She was so sweet and would come up and nuzzle me to love on her. I'd always oblige and we were buddies. But then..."she" turned out to be a "he" and stopped being cuddly and started being a pain. So now, let's just remember the good ol' days when Ellie was a girl and not an obnoxious, in-your-way-ALWAYS rooster.

And until you've cuddled with a chicken - don't judge. They're just as huggable as any other feathery, scaly-legged, sharp-beaked pet... 

Seriously though, we had so much fun with those sweet, fuzzy, dirty ol' chickens! 

Then we'd pick and eat those delicious blueberries and we were happy.

And isn't that was it's all about? I do think so.

So, until next summer, friends...eat, drink, and love on some chickens!

See ya'll next year!