Other stuff about the farm and your's truly!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

I'll give it my ALL (After Lyndsey Leaves)

I'm still here... just overwhelmed from the holidays (though I will say, I definitely made progress on making the holidays have a slower pace, more family and fun) and with Lyndsey's departure date coming so quickly.

I promise I do have other wonderful children... and I will share more about them soon. Right now, the baby of the family is leaving for 27 months to be a Peace Corp Volunteer in Ghana. We take her to the airport in Portland (Oregon) on Sunday, January 13th. She flies out to Washington DC with no layovers that morning, meets for a training session with her cohort on the 14th and flies non-stop to Ghana on the 15th.

We are finalizing the few things that still need done (getting her Durable Power of Attorney signed, the cell phone "cleaned" so she can use it with a new sim card in Africa, etc). and I'm trying to get things done at work. My energy is not in it, truth be told. I'm tired and doing all I can to keep my emotions in check. Someday I'll tell the story of our New Year's Eve. Mind you, I'm sober, hubby and Lyndsey are not. Yah, maybe I won't share that... I did blow up at the end of the night (or early the next day) a little bit. It's hard being so proud and excited for her at the same time that I am wanting to tie her up and hide her in a closet to keep her from leaving. I feel like I'm losing my "mom-ness" if that's a thing.

She does have a blog started (no posts yet) where she'll be sharing her "life". The address is Gone to Ghana

Anyhow, my blog and my web presence for Hope, Joy & Faith Farm is first on my ALL list. It's followed by self-care, planning some vacations and trips, etc.

I'm stalking everyone's posts and will share a few photos of her "leaving". Here's a few from a small party we hosting last weekend, sharing hugs with some of our close friends.

Friday, December 28, 2018

A teachable moment!

There was a major delay on our little coastal highway yesterday. A big tree came down, blocking both lanes and halting traffic for quite a few hours. People were not happy and I don't blame them. My daughter and her husband were parked for a long time with a very irritated 1 1/2 year old and a bored 4 year old. Other's were worried about getting home to ill family members, tired from working all day or just didn't want to set and wait. I get it, I really do.

That could have left a mark
I don't imagine it was easy to get the tree out of the road way (I heard from a good source that it was at least 6 feet in diameter).

Now that I've taken CERT and other disaster classes, I have found the ability to look beyond the immediate need. There are reactions to every action and it could have gone from bad to worse. The root end of the tree was lying uphill, and going in and just cutting out of the middle meant that there was probably a real danger of the tree rolling down and severely injuring the workers. They also had no way of knowing, after a few days of heavy rains, if the hillside was going to come down on top of them. The road is narrow, so getting big equipment in there so that the job could be done without endangering the operators was probably a bit difficult.

See, here's the thing... they could have gone in there and just started cutting so that they could get one lane cleared for traffic. But if anything had gone wrong it could have meant an even longer delay along with possible injuries or worse. And once traffic was going through on that one lane, then it would have been almost impossible to get the other lane cleared in the dark. If they'd have opened one lane and that tree or another came down on one or more of the vehicles, that would have resulted in longer delays and, with today's society, possibly a lawsuit or 3.

So yes, it was very stressful for everyone who had to wait hours to get through Humbug. They sat there, essentially stranded, for hours, probably hungry, thirsty and definitely bored. I got to thinking about it... it can be what is called a "teachable" moment.

Do you have a "bug-out" bag in your vehicle? If not, now's the time to put one together. Because a bug-out bag isn't just for huge disasters. It can be used for situations like this.

Keep some easy to eat snacks or meals in it. Peanut butter and crackers, fruit leather, protein bars, jerky, even a can opener and some canned fruit. Bottled water is an important item also. Side note, the FDA says that bottled water is good indefinitely but of course that depends on where and how it is stored. Heat, cold, sunlight can all affect the quality of the bottled water. That being said, keep a few bottles in your bug out bag and change out when you change your smoke detectors. Drink what you pull out and put in fresh. Kids will drink plain water if they are thirsty enough but if you want to keep the whining to a minimum, keep some flavor packets such as MiO or Crystal Light in your bag (I buy store-brands all the time). Throw in some fuzzy blankets, color crayons and color books or paper, some playing cards, glow sticks, flashlights, maybe a new story book (keep a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in there to read aloud) etc. and keep your occupants at least somewhat entertained. Another suggestion is a Car Kit, designed more to entertain rather than rescue (when you have children, everything is a rescue situation in my book).

And to share one important thing I finally learned after so many years of stressing from things like this. If it is out of your control, take a breath and let it go.

Wishing you Hope, Joy and Faith!

Thursday, December 27, 2018


I think I've mentioned in passing that the youngest child is leaving for Ghana mid-January. My husband and I got married 25 years ago with 3 children between us (two 5 year-olds and a 3 year-old). We had the youngest in 1996. That means that we have literally never "not" had a child in some form of residence at our house. Though Lyndsey will be leaving belongings at home when she departs for the Peace Corp, she will be truly gone this time (no weekend trips home or holiday vacations).

I am very lucky that the oldest daughter lives on our farm (separate home) with her husband and 4 year-old and 18 month old sons. I've been wondering what we (hubby and I) were going to do. Our marriage has been filled with the typical ups and downs of any married couple, along with some extra stuff thrown in (ex's, my alcoholism and recovery, issues with letting go of the past, etc). I've been trying not to worry about it, but I'm not gonna lie, it's been a concern. Left alone, we might find we have nothing in common.

My husband amazed me the other night, finally telling me it'd been on his mind as well. He was genuinely worried. After a little bit of a blow-up by me (I've been trying to address half the things he brought up for years and he always blew them off) we decided to start looking at positive changes/growth we can make together. I brought up his quitting smoking, which he quickly shot down. Oh well, I'll keep working on that one.
In the meantime, I had already seen an advertisement for this concert on social media. So I asked him about it and he agreed it would be fun. I bought our tickets and am waiting for payday to get our airbnb. I have never really paid much attention to Kris Kristofferson, but I like his music for the most part and he's easy on the eyes. I'm a country music gal and hubby is an rock & roller. Kris is a bit of both, so we'll both enjoy it. It's a night out of town, off of the farm and just the two of us.

For those of you who are empty-nester's, how did you cope?

Wishing you a day filled with Hope, Joy & Faith...

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas in pictures....

The Vista House, an amazing view from a beautiful location in the Colombia River Gorge. Cold but amazing.

Our ride on the Train To Christmas Town, 4 year old grandson loved Bumble Bee the Polar Bear.
Snow at the Airbnb, enough to qualify.

My sisters and I...

 Tucking my momma in the middle.

A present to myself. I had a valance made of my great-grandmother's and grandmother's handkerchiefs. 

I remember having these as drinking glasses.

A wonderful gift from friends...

Mason, our sugar-plum fairy. He smelled cheese.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Holiday vacation

Does 2 nights away from home count as a vacation?

I don't know, but I'm calling it a vacation. We leave tomorrow morning to travel to Hood River, Oregon. About an 8 1/2 hour drive figuring in stops to drop off gifts to my nieces.

Since Lyndsey is leaving in January, this is our last Christmas all together for a few years. I'm normally really laid back about the girls not being home for the holidays. My mother always insisted my sisters and I were at her house for all of the major holidays, with our children. It wasn't always fun. But this year I wanted to do something special. It's not a frugal Christmas, but it will be a fun, never to be forgotten trip. I rented a nice airbnb for around $790 (which sounds horribly expensive for 2 nights, but when you factor in 7 adults, 2 children and being able to cook there, watch movies, play games (including pool), etc. it ends up being very reasonable. Then I got us tickets for The Train to Christmas Town. And for once in my life, I splurged. I got the good tickets. $70 for an adult. You do the math, $60 for the 4 year old and $85 for the mom and 18 month old. I am excited. We are gonna see SANTA, drink cocoa, eat cookies...

I am paying one of my 4-H alumni to house-sit (we have a new baby at the farm who needs her bottle and the dogs need let out regularly, so it is worth the money).

Here's a picture of part of the living room we are staying at.

Meet Noel... I got a call on Saturday telling me she needed a family who would take her in. She was a twin and momma rejected her. She'd already gotten her colostrum but we were lucky enough to have a friend with goat colostrum so we were able to give her a little extra for just in case. She seems to be doing well. Hubby Steve is a little nervous to be leaving her for a couple days but we need this trip out of town.

I'll be back here Christmas eve with some pictures of our trip... I can't wait to see the grandson's expressions on the train (and my own, I've never ridden in a train either...)

Wishing you Hope, Joy & Faith this holiday season.

Monday, December 10, 2018


I have suffered from depression for more years than I can count. I believe that even as a pre-teen, it was there, hiding. After many years of struggle as an adult, admitting I was an alcoholic and going into a recovery (or rehab?) center finally helped me to realize that depression is just as real as alcoholism.

I thought that would make a world of difference. Guess what? It didn't. Even now, after so much growth, I can find myself down a rabbit hole. I'm there. I woke up that way. I'm cranky (okay, down right mad), I had a weird dream and I came awake just pissed off. Part of it is stress (Lyndsey going to Ghana) and some other underlying issues that I won't discuss here. Part of it is the season (the feeling of too much to do), some resentments, etc.

So today I hugged a puppy (realizing I looked like crap because I haven't slept well for two nights) and decided to try to focus on happy thoughts.

I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, what do you do when you are in a "slump" emotionally?

Friday, December 7, 2018

77 years, lest we forget

The diary entry from my great-grandfather, Ralph Nilsson on December 7, 1941.

I get chills every year when I open the diary to read this entry. I was not alive, or even close to being born when this happened, so I have no memories. My grandmother told me that my great-grandpa was a very gentle, quiet man, so for him to write this told her that he was greatly affected by the event. He'd likely heard it on their radio that day. He had two sons who were in the military at that time. Neither of them was at Pearl Harbor. He never mentioned the event again in future entries.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

I clean up pretty good...

From wedding officiant (having fun with a new-to-me unique jacket)...

To horse owner, getting ready to go out into the dark, rainy weather to walk through ankle-deep mud to put blankets on the critters (having fun with the headlamp.