Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Calm Before the Storm

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Hello everyone!  Today, I thought I’d do a little different type of blog.  Instead of a story, I thought I’d just catch ya’ll up with everything that’s going on around the farm right now.  I love this time of year, but it always makes me a little nervous.  Winter is finally wrapping up and Spring is on its way.  Each new springtime just bursts with the promise of freshness, new life, and warm, balmy days.  Springtime also brings farmer’s market, the end of school (public and homeschool), and a flurry of other activities.  I think of the early days of Spring as the calm before the storm. 🙂  

Right now, I am LOVING the wonderful warm weather!  It’s so nice to run around outside in flip flops and capri pants again.  My feet love being free! Joey has been able to open up the sides on the hoop houses during the day to let out the warm air.  Here is a picture of some of the lettuce growing in our hoop houses.  I can just taste the fresh, healthy, flavor of yummy spring greens!  Mmmm!!!!!

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The greenhouse is, of course, loaded to bursting with plants for the garden and plants to bring to market.  We have some absolutely beautiful herbs and veggie plants! Joey’s green thumb is working overtime keeping everything up and going.  Between watering, keeping a look out for pests, and making sure all the little plants are in the perfect sunny spot, he is always running out to the green house to move something or check on it.  

Another thing that happens at this time of year is that the bees start coming out to tell us hello.  After being snuggled up in their hives during the long, cold, winter, they are full of energy as they buzz around and explore the farm at springtime.  Today, Joey and his Dad went through the hives for a routine check, and filled up the feeders to put on the bee hives.  I love hearing the buzzing sound of the little bees when I walk close by the hives!  

The bees aren’t the only living creatures on the farm that love the warm weather.  The chickens are beyond thrilled to be out and about scratching through the underbrush in the woods finding tasty tidbits of beetles and bugs to munch on.  Our gentle rooster is so funny to watch as he proudly struts around taking care of his “girls”.  

Life on the farm sure is busy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! We can’t wait for market season to start!  It’s always so exciting to get to see old friends and meet new folks.  We are passionate about teaching others how to garden and be self sufficient.  

Along with market season, comes the end of school.  There are always a million and one things that have to be done before I can close out my 2nd grade classroom and send my sweet second graders on to summer break.  Elizabeth’s school usually wraps up about the same time as the public school I teach at, and it’s a bittersweet feeling to see her ending another season in her life.  I can’t believe that she will be ready for 3rd grade next year!  Gulp!  Where did the time go?  I try to treasure each moment of her childhood.  It seems to be racing by!  Another school season will come to an end for me this year as I will watch my Mom (who teaches right next door to me) retire.  I don’t think I’ve ever known a finer teacher, and I sure will miss her! 🙂  At the same time, I’m so happy that she will get to lead a life of leisure. 🙂

Although public and homeschool are ending for the summer, I am starting on a new school journey that is all on my own.  Many of you know that I will start graduate courses to get a certification added to my teaching license to teach Gifted and Talented children.  I am filled with excitement about starting this year long course, but at the same time, I am also a little nervous.  Doubts race through my mind as I wonder how graduate work, homeschooling, teaching public school, working at the market, working at the farm, and being the farmer’s wife will all fit together.  I keep reminding myself to breathe and take one day at a time.  God has a plan and it will all work out.  

So, if you don’t hear from me for awhile, just know that I’m still here.  🙂  Thank goodness for a wonderful family and friends support system!  I’m looking forward to a wonderful Spring, and right now, I’m just enjoying the calm before the storm.  🙂 🙂 🙂

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Life In Mayberry

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Lately, one of my families favorite things to do at lunchtime has been to bring our plates to the couch, turn on the computer, and watch an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show”.  It makes a nice break in the day to step back in time and watch the antics of Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, and Opie.  On one occasion several years ago, my Uncle Tim, who lives in the big city of Seattle, made the comment that we “lived in Mayberry”.  He meant it jokingly, but, all the same, I smiled.  I liked the comparison very much.  Over the years, I’ve let that comment roll around in my brain, thinking about why it pleased me so much.  Here’s what I’ve finally decided about that.

Family was important in Mayberry.  Just as it is in my home today, the family is valued.  Each family member had a role to play and took their job seriously.  Aunt Bea always had a delicious meal on the table, took time to can and preserve food for the family (remember the pickle episode?!), and kept the house looking great.  Andy was the “breadwinner” in the family and faithfully went to work each day.  He also took time aside from his work to spend with Aunt Bea and Opie, often singing a gospel song or two on the porch in the evening while they sat around and visited.  Opie, who occasionally got into trouble, tried his best to honor his father and Aunt Bea’s wishes and to be respectful to others.  Am I saying here that I think all families should be like this with Mom staying at home and Dad going to work?  No. My family certainly isn’t like that.  What I am saying is that I think each member of a family should do their best to fulfill whatever role they have and think about the ways that they can bless their family through this role.  Whether it’s bringing home a paycheck, folding a basket of laundry, or picking up toys in the living room, every person in a family can make a proud contribution to the well being of the entire household.  

Another thing I like about Mayberry is the strong sense of community.  Mayberry was obviously a small town, probably about the same size as Calico Rock is today.  Manners were thought of when folks interacted with each other.  The characters on the show could walk into almost any business in town and meet someone they knew.  Sounds familiar to me!  Not everyone in the town of Mayberry always got along, but the citizens of Mayberry tried their best to settle things in a civil and respectable way.  Christian values were upheld and adults in positions of authority, such as law enforcement, city government, teachers, pastors, etc. were respected and were honorable people.  Neighbors took time to get to know each other and help each other out.  That certainly makes me think of the area where I live.  

Every episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” has a lesson.  Life is truly like that.  There are lessons that we can learn every day, if we stop and take the time to see them.  When I watch the show, I am reminded to stop and think about my neighbor, to remember the difference between right and wrong, and to unplug.  Now, I know that they weren’t invented then, but no one in Mayberry has anything “techy”.  Andy never stops a face to face conversation to take a call on his cell phone, Aunt Bea doesn’t check her Facebook page before dinner, and Opie doesn’t kick back playing on his i-Pad mini.  Do I think there’s anything wrong with being “techy”?  Of course not. I’m writing a blog on a social media network for Pete’s sake!   However, I have noticed how much all of our convenient little “techy” devices can take our attention away from the real world.  Real world?  You know, the other people in the room that are so distracting when we’re trying to blog, or update our status, or send out a tweet?  

The thing is….those people are what’s real.  They are what’s right now.  It is so easy to get sucked into whatever device we have, that the minutes, and sometimes even the hours, slip away unnoticed.  Once those minutes and hours are gone, they are gone forever.  Unlike old episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show”, we won’t get a second chance to see them again.  Think about that.  It’s important.  At the end of your life, do you want to look back and remember all the time you spend blogging, or on Facebook, or do you want to be able to look back and remember all the time you spent actually doing something face to face with your family and friends?  

Now, I know that Mayberry is not a real place and that “The Andy Griffith Show” is completely fictional.  Even so, it still makes me smile to think about “living in Mayberry”.  With family, a caring community, and spending some time being unplugged,  I think that life in Mayberry is just about as good as it gets.

How about you?  Do you live “in Mayberry”?  Do you ever watch “The Andy Griffith Show”?  If so, what does it mean to you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.