Other stuff about the farm and your's truly!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


I’m got back from my training on Friday, went to a DART training (Disaster Animal Resouce Team) on Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend and the holiday trying to get some control of my life.

That being said, I spent a few hours on Tuesday evening on self-care. I’ve been wanting to take part in a group riding lesson. I vacillated back and forth agonizing over the things I could get done at home. The desire to ride won over. Thank goodness. For the first time in a long time, my mind had to focus on one thing. I am not a confident rider, but I want to improve. That means I couldn’t let my mind wander. Luckily Scout is a solid horse but he made sure I had to work with him. 

On my way to meeting this evening I listened to a podcast by The Minimalists on their definition of self-care. I realized that last night was something I need to do more often. It forced me to get out of my head and I really needed it. 

Wishing you hope, joy and faith.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Always learning...

I am currently in a small town 7 hours away from my home. I am taking a training that, when I finish, certifies me to teach youth ages 13-19 how to prepare themselves, their friends, family and community in the event of a disaster. It is called My PI (you say it My P-I, not MY-PI). Check it out on the web. The national site goes into details about the history and long-term goals of the program. The Oregon site provides more specific details on what we want to accomplish here in our state.

There is a lot to absorb. I feel fortunate to have already had an interest in disaster preparedness and attended a couple of CERT training's, so I'm a little ahead of the game. I have worried for years about the fact that my community is not prepared. Little things, like someone taking out a line that runs our wireless plans causes our social media to explode.

Where I am going with this? I'm excited to be learning. This is an important topic and I want to know more about it. I'm not gonna lie, I'm praying there isn't a test at the end. Because I don't do well on tests. But the learning inspires me, it creates a positive mood that helps me think. I've learned to move slowly, writing down my thoughts and ideas.

Take time in your life to learn. Don't stop growing because A: You think you are too old or B: You think you know it all (you don't).

Side note: Are you interested in finding out if My PI is available in your state, check out this image.

If you want to find out if this opportunity can come to your state, contact them here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Just some pictures of my favorite holiday season...

Meet Charlie... I helped his owner find him a forever home a few months ago. He really loves his girls and these photos show the delight they find in each other.

Some of the decorations... I am decorating a bit more this year than I have the past couple of years.

My youngest daughter, one of my good friends and myself dressed up as the Sanderson Sisters to go watch Hocus Pocus. I dressed up as Mary. The whole costume was created from either Goodwill purchases, borrowed or already had. I had so much fun (still a child at heart, love pretending to be someone different.)

Hope, Joy & Faith Farm was invited to be part of a Halloween Night Harvest Festival tonight. I still have a ton of apples on the trees, so I picked a bin full to hand out tonight to trick-or-treaters. I made some homemade caramel dip (click here for recipe) for grown-ups to try out and will give them business cards with the link to the recipe on the back. 

Kinda sad that my favorite month is ending. I'm setting a goal to enjoy the rest of fall... No Christmas decorations are allowed up at our house until the day after Thanksgiving.

Wishing you hope, joy & faith...

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Finances on the farm

I just hosted the first (and maybe last) pumpkin patch at Hope, Joy & Faith Farm. I loved it, having all the families around, with lots of little people picking pumpkins, making apple juice, bobbing for apples, jumping in leaves, eating cupcakes and popcorn, petting the horse, sheep and calf and just hanging out. It was sooo much fun.

But it was a heck of a lot of work and though I don't mind hard work and I love to make people happy, it really didn't figure out with the math. I bought a lot of "perishable" items for the event and so that took away from my profit. I asked for donations, because I am not at the point of having the right insurance for events and it felt less intrusive. I made a decent amount.

Recently someone asked me why I wasn't a non-profit. Here's the thing...

Non-profits are one of the most valuable resources that we, as a society, have. They are set up to benefit those in need, with donations of time, supplies and money being tax-deductible. I do believe that any larger non-profit business needs to have paid staff, but the truth is that volunteers are the life blood of any successful non-profit.

Hope, Joy and Faith Farm is a small business for my family. We work on the property to raise produce that is healthy and local. I offer social media marketing (for a fee) to small local businesses and am branching out into event planning. I do a lot of things for no cost, because I like helping people. But reality is, owning a small business helps us tax-wise by creating income doing things we like to do.

Right now, I've been working a part-time job doing security at the Incident Command for the Klondike Fire to earn extra money. I've earned enough to buy my winter hay for the horse, pony and sheep. I also paid for the horse and pony to have their feet trimmed. I am trying not to count my chickens before they are hatched but this next week's pay will go towards helping my middle get moved to their new apartment in Portland. Then after that, I see what else I can accomplish.
Not gonna lie, I want the fire to be done, tired of having one of our neighboring communities in danger. But it's helped my finances quite a bit. I almost wish the job would last longer, as I need about $4000 to build my lean-to and turnout area for my horse and pony.

I would like to think that the farm income could be used for that but reality is, it won't. The income is not enough to build the shelter to keep the critters sheltered and out of the mud before winter starts. Do I bite the bullet and apply for a loan? Which then creates more interest debt that I've been working so hard to pay off. I really don't want to do that right now. So, I'll just keep on keeping on, because I'm making progress. The next bit of extra money that comes in will pay for some road cloth and some pea gravel to keep the current shelter floor drier. I'll get on the roof and patch the holes to keep it from leaking. Baby steps will get me there. I've seen other bloggers and writers ask for help. It's funny. I'm the first one to step forward if I can help out, but I won't be the one asking, at least not financially.

It's about working hard and succeeding. And I'm proud to say that I am a small business owner.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wildfires and livestock evacuations

See the cute goats? I know you are thinking "When did Ruth get goats?"

There are lots of goats, 6 to be precise. Yes, they all have long horns.

I don't own goats. But there is a wildfire raging towards a small community approx 30 miles as the crow flies from me. Last year I ended up taking charge of livestock evacuations for the Chetco Bar Fire. (see article here). Early on, I had been in communication with property owners who had livestock and had spots arranged for the animals. It was going to be a low-commitment thing for me, with nothing much to do. The fire was contained and I was firmly convinced that evacuations weren't going to be a thing. Sunday night, the fire-breathing dragon known as the Klondike Fire  reared up and literally blew apart. The weather phenomenon that we call the Chetco Effect took over and blew embers over 5 miles, putting homes and people in danger. A Level 3 evacuation notice was immediately issued and the local Sheriff's Officers were knocking on doors at 12 pm. 

One of the folks I had talked to earlier was very proactive and loaded up his goats into a cargo trailer and headed out, in the dead of night. He left the goats in the trailer overnight and called me first thing in the morning. Because we had all thought that livestock would not be evacuated, the person who was going to be taking these goats had brought new livestock in, so there was no where for them to go. I had a small paddock area behind my garden so I told the guy to bring them to my house. Luckily they are all pretty tame. They did take out part of my fence and got to enjoy some of our grapes, but I'll just have to do a little repair once they are gone. 

I also had 11 hens and rooster at the farm for a day or so, but luckily a friend was able to take them in. I do have the chick that came with those hens in my spare room under a light (her momma kicked her out of the nest before the fire flared up). My daughter Lyndsey named it Klondike after the fire.

I don't know why I feel the need to help others. It makes me feel good and being able to help livestock makes it even better. I'm still working security for the Fire Camp on the fairgrounds where I work full-time for 4-H, so I've been a bit busy. Is it worth it? I don't know... but it feels right. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Happy October...

My favorite month.
My middle's artwork. I love these. Check her out at Joyful Expressions

And of course Halloween and Fall themed clothing is always a must.

My all-time favorite Halloween movie.
My first major event.

Monday, October 1, 2018

God, grant me the serenity...

In November I will have 20 years sober. I am proud of it and not ashamed. That does not mean my soul and spirit are healthy. I need to remember to say this often right now.

I currently feel like I’ve been hit by a truck...

I went out of town to spend the weekend with my 80 year old mother, my almost 60 year old sister (who had a fairly severe stroke 10 years ago) and my younger sister.

I wouldn’t necessarily call my relationship with my immediate family toxic, but it is uncomfortable for me. It would take forever to explain the behaviors, snide comments and etc that make me feel unworthy within about 5 minutes of being with my mom. I give myself prep talks, take a lot of deep breaths, play solitaire on my phone when we are in the car and try to remember that I should be grateful for still having my mom and that she lives SO close to me (about the length of a football field). Last year I was able to use the excuse that I was overseeing livestock evacuations from a forest fire in my community and couldn’t go. I’m still on the “naughty” list for that one.

It is hard living so close to her because it is really obvious that I don’t go see her, etc. and she constantly comments that I am too busy to visit, etc.  A few weeks ago she told me I spend too much time watching my grandsons and that I shouldn’t be helping my daughters so much. It cut me like a knife. I just feel the words bubbling up inside whenever she says things that hurt. I bite my tongue, get physically sick or like yesterday in the casino, when I’ve said something that pisses her off, I just get up and leave. An hour later after, sitting in a chair of the keno lounge, tears silently trickling down my face, I go and find her and apologize. It’s just easier to apologize then to try to tell her the truth. She is 80. She won’t understand and can’t change at her age.

I’m writing this on my phone as we travel home, 4 hours plus to go. My mother keeps making comments that I am worse than a teenager on my phone. I want to tell her to shut the “f” up (excuse me) and smoke another cigarette, since that’s her stress reliever. We are all tired and I’m just holding on with all I’ve got to keep the emotions in check and the tears from falling.

** Follow up: finishing this post on Monday morning. I survived, probably have driven my husband Steve bonkers with all my negativity about the trip and I'm safely at work. I saw this (see picture below) on a friends social media page and it hit me right in the gut. I will break this cycle.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

It just needs to be said: Cigarette smokers take notice

Chapter 1

It is totally your right to smoke. Do I wish you wouldn't? Of course I wish you would quit, for your health. Studies throughout the year have proven it increases your risk for many types of diseases, including cancer. But, unless you are related to me, I will never judge you for smoking. If you are related to me (dear husband Steve, who I know won't see this, you NEED to quit), I'll give you a little grief (80 year old mom, who has a husband with emphysema and on oxygen, you NEED to quit).

I even have had periods in my life where I briefly smoked. I was lucky and never got addicted. Yes, it is an addiction. Usually when I went to a bar and drank too much, I'd have a cigarette. And I worked for a Transitional House for people with intellectual disabilities and the only time you were allowed to take a break was if you smoked. So I'd grab a cigarette and lighter and take a break, lighting up, letting it burn slowly, occasionally taking a puff for appearances.

But I've digressed a bit from my topic. I have decided that I cannot allow myself to judge others because I'm not perfect. But now and then there are just things that need to be said. And this is one of them.

So go ahead and have that cigarette, cigar, pipe, etc. I understand it is as important to you as my Double Stuffed Oreo's on a bad day. I don't love or like you any less because you smoke. But don't flippin' leave your butts on the ground. The last week I've been working security for a fire camp. As I walk the grounds watching for transients, fire workers who can't find the place they are supposed to be and the locals who just don't understand why they can't come on the Incident Command Base and wander, I've been picking up trash. Believe me, 90% of the stuff I'm picking up is cigarette butts in various stages of "decomposition" and only about 5 out of each 20 butts I pick up are newer looking (so probably been on the grounds since our fair in August). One of the worst things is where I see a bunch of cigarette butts on the ground or in a parking lot in a pile. That means that you DUMPED your ashtray right there. Seriously, some of the times I've seen the piles 5 feet from a garbage can. That is pure laziness in my book. Did you just have a smoke and there's no trash receptacle? Do what's called a "field strip" from when soldiers fought in the war and didn't want to leave a trace that they'd been there. 

What that means is that they DON'T decompose. Click HERE to learn more. They not only look unsightly but leach damaging chemicals into the ground. And when you put your butt out, even in the grass, it stands out like a sore thumb.  You put it out on the beach and bury it. Guess what, sand blows and the butt becomes visible. Which means that toddlers, pets and wildlife pick them up, smell them and even ingest them. I only took a couple of pictures because I didn't have time to take one of every butt I've picked up over the last few days (well over 100, probably closer to 200, just in the area I'm working).  Be a polite and responsible smoker, that's all I ask. It just needs to be said.