Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quote for the Day

"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works;
if from the head, almost nothing.'
~Marc Chagall

Friday, January 29, 2016

Farm Friday

This time of year is quiet on the farm. Almost all of the gardens have been put to bed for the winter and what little we have left isn't enough to take to market. What we do have to offer is pork, garlic, eggs, and craft items.

One of our goats, Sharona, had triplets this week. She's had them several times before and is a great mother. We have a few more expectant mothers so I'll have more updates.

Newborns! (Photo credit: Bill)
Since I've returned to working in an office, I've needed to upgrade my wardrobe. When I made my goal to not buy any new clothes and to only shop at thrift and consignment stores, I had no plans to work outside the farm. But things changed and I needed a few new pieces of clothing. I'm happy to say I was able to get almost everything used. Here's a trailer for a 2015 movie that reinforces my commitment to avoid new clothes:

For readers who aren't aware, many of the clothes we wear are made by slaves in other countries. Although they're not "legal" slaves, they're slaves nonetheless. Human trafficking awareness is rising and I'm glad to spread the word.

We're going to the farmers' market tomorrow with our few offerings. Last week's market was closed due to the snow. And we had a nice long weekend of hunkering down and enjoying the solitude. We took a long walk by our pond when it stopped snowing and it was so interesting to see all the animal tracks and realize how much activity takes place when we're not around.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wellness Wednesday

Sharing another article about the health benefits of yoga (and a reminder to self about what I should be doing):

The New York Times reports that yoga is also good for bone health - something that is increasingly important as our population ages with some even reaching the century mark. The article recommends a series of poses that take 12 minutes to complete: 
The 12 poses...were tree, triangle, warrior II, side-angle, twisted triangle, locust, bridge, supine hand-to-foot I, supine hand-to-foot II, straight-legged twist, bent-knee twist and corpse pose. Each pose was held for 30 seconds [on each side]. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Quote for the Day

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees.
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
~Mary Oliver

Friday, January 22, 2016

Farm Friday

Just the beginning of today's storm
Since I've been working away from home full time, I haven't been good about keeping notes of significant events during the week. So I'll just include a few highlights in this week's post:

  • Had our monthly sustainable living group meeting - over 20 in attendance! Topic was medicinal herbs.
  • Had to go to the office one day this week. Fortunately, that will be the norm so I won't spend a lot of time commuting - especially since my office is over an hour away.
  • Bought some more clothes at a new-to-me consignment shop not far from my office. (Sticking with my plan to buy only used clothes.) 
  • Had our weekly farm meeting. Now that the gardens are done, the meetings are pretty short.
  • Ordered seeds for our spring and summer gardens. We're going to be trying a few new varieties this year.
  • Although it snowed on Sunday, it was nothing like the blizzard that started around 6:30 this morning. It's supposed to last until mid-day tomorrow. The Washington Post says to expect to stay where we are until Sunday or Monday. Being homebodies, we don't have a problem with that. (Today's farmers' market was cancelled.)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wellness Wednesday

Having trouble sleeping at night? Try some of the yoga practices mentioned in this Huffington Post article.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016

Farm Friday

Ready for business at the winter market
Spent a good part of these last couple of weeks decluttering in both the physical and digital sense - getting rid of unnecessary paperwork; filing away what I need to keep; deleting blogs that I no longer read from my reader; cleaning out my email inboxes; etc. We also had our annual farm retreat where we go over our finances (both farm and personal), talk about what worked and what didn't, and make plans for the future. The first time we did it, we spent two days on it. This time around, we only spent part of an afternoon. Planning makes such a big difference!

We also had our first day at the new winter farmers' market which will tentatively run January through March. We had a great first day - as did other vendors we spoke to. Lots of community support. Hope that keeps up.

Now my time is filled with learning my new job! I'm excited about it but it's a big change for me. Of course, I'll still be part of the farm, just my role won't be as large. Over the last couple of years, I've streamlined a lot of the administrative and routine farm chores so it was a good time to branch out.

Due to time constraints, I probably won't be blogging as much as I have in the past. I'll have to play it by ear as I don't want to abandon the blog after all this time but I know I can't spend as much time on it as I have in the past. Will keep you posted....

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wellness Wednesday

I found this 2014 article about the difference between paper and digital reading to be quite interesting. The bottom line is that paper reading is important for brain healthas you use a different part of your brain when reading print versus reading electronic documents.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Avoiding New

This week I started my new job so it will be interesting to see how my blog evolves - and if I can even keep up with it.

Since one of my goals is to buy no new clothes, I thought this blog post would be helpful to those who are embarking on a similar journey. The blogger shares some very simple but effective tips on avoiding temptation when it comes to buying.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday Morning Amusement

Something many women can relate to:
Seen on Facebook

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Quote for the Day

I found this article in Christian Century that introduced me to a new poem. It's a beautiful way to think about our relationship to our creator and a good thought to begin the year:

As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace. 

Denise Levertov

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Goals for 2016

I try not to be a resolutions person. Instead, I try to set goals that I break down by month or by quarter. This year, my beginning goals are:

  • Only buy used clothes over the next quarter (with a few exceptions). I've been doing this for the last few months and I've gotten some really nice things at thrift and consignment shops. In fact, when I buy from a thrift store run by a nonprofit, I feel like I'm doing doubly good - refusing to participate in the international garment industry that enslaves its workers and providing funds to worthy causes.
  • Eliminate my nightly wine for 31 days, beginning on Monday. This article from MindBodyGreen convinced me to give it a try:  better health, youthful looks, restful sleep, more money - what's not to like. This is something I usually do for Lent but have decided to move it to the start of the new year.
  • Reduce some of the clutter around the house by doing a daily "toss" - find one thing a day that I don't need or want and get it out of the house. At the end of the month, I'll have reduced the amount of clutter by 31 items. Less clutter means less distraction and more room to breathe. When it comes to decluttering, PopSugar shares 12 helpful rules here. 
If you're looking for inspiration for the new year, another article on MindBodyGreen has a great list of intentions - rather than resolutions - to help you refocus your life and priorities.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Farm Friday and Happy New Year

Happy 2016! Once again, the year seemed to have flown by and I'm grateful that we've made yet another trip around the sun. I've been trying to wrap up some loose ends this week. I finished some of my annual reading and have selected some new books for my morning reading in 2016:
Morning reading
I didn't do "Farm Friday" last week due to the Christmas holiday. These past weeks have been full, with family visits, homesteading chores, and future planning taking up a good chunk of time. I was able to get some serious down time Christmas Day, even taking a mid-morning nap with the cat joining me (so very unlike him). Here are a few updates:
  • Had to take my car in for service. Had some kind of oil leak that turned out to be a loose line from when the transmission was rebuilt. Yay for work under a warranty!
  • Cooked up a storm. We had to harvest the last of the cauliflower and a lot of the broccoli, plus some of the cabbage so I: blanched and froze some; made broccoli soup (froze some of that, too); made a new cauliflower casserole with green olives, pine nuts, roasted red peppers, and other yummy goodness; made more of the faux oyster po' boy sandwiches using cauliflower; and made a big batch of vegetarian minestrone using some of the cabbage.
  • Picked up our granddaughter on Christmas day so she could spend some time with us and her aunt who was visiting for the weekend.
Enjoyed spending time with my "girls"
  • Picked up the pork we had processed. I managed to clean out our second large freezer so we barely had enough room to store it all between the two freezers.
  • Met with our handyman and talked to him about some repairs and upgrades that need to be done to both our house and the farm house.
  • Had last minute guests at the farm stay over the weekend - a homeschooling family of six that wanted to spend some time on the farm. They opted out of the farm tour and instead walked the loop that goes to our pound, into the woods, and then back out onto the road just a short ways from the farm house.
  • Had our last "date" of the year. We had an order to drop off at our farm-to-table restaurant so took advantage of being in town by going to a Thai restaurant then heading to the movie theater to see the latest Star Wars movie.
  • Made a big decision for 2016. Out of the blue I was presented with a job opportunity that was an offer I really couldn't refuse. It's an amazing opportunity for me, doing the kind of work that suits me, working with someone I've worked with in the past, and telecommuting most of the time. Bill and I have talked about how much need there is in the world and he believes that you just need to pick one passion and work on that. Although I'm all about food issues - I did get my master's degree with a focus on health and wellness after all - but I also am passionate about other issues:  lack of clean drinking water, human trafficking, disaster relief, the refugee crisis, and of course food insecurity (my list can go on and on). With this new position, I can work in all those areas.
Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!