Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday Walkabout 4-22

It’s been a hard week on the hill…

I hesitated to write those words. I really did. Because writers are supposed to write for their readers, consider them with every word. And, it seems like I have written about the hard-ness of life a lot lately. Honestly, I envision someone somewhere reading that and thinking, “Again? isn’t that all she ever says? “geez, she must think everything is hard”…or “hard? She thinks that’s hard?” I don’t want to put out a whiny, feeling sorry for myself vibe.

Spring is finally coming to the Valley

You have to believe me that I long for those “green pastures” and “still waters” of Psalm 23. I'd love to tell you nothing but success stories with happy endings. But, that doesn’t seem to be how life has been going for quite some time now. I'm not making the news here, I'm just reporting...

When I started the farm blog, it was to share the actual experiences of our small farm. I wrote so others could see the good, the bad, and the ugly of making your life in small-scale agriculture. To make some sort of connection between rural and urban. There have been great successes and dismal failures. And, a whole lot of the same old, same old. It is entirely possible that I have used the words “meh” and hard far too often. Maintaining livestock, tending gardens and promoting the products can be a grueling monotony. Throw in a few life-altering experiences, normal aging and just the passage of time and well, it gets…plain old hard.

signs of Spring in the Valley

So, bear with me…I’m looking for the positives and hoping this all gets better…

At least I think I have identified what makes it so hard. It’s that feeling that we have no control. That Life is just going to happen, and our wants and desires have no real effect on anything. Sometimes it feels like we’re…I’m…just hanging on by my fingernails. We're at the mercy of the weather, market trends, other people's lack of consideration/ethics, pests, disease, the list of variables seems endless. I’ve read all about positive thinking and the Laws of Attraction, manifest destiny and God’s perfect will. But, from my vantage point none of it seems to make any sense sometimes. And, not to belabor the point... it is just plain hard.

I would like to just once make a plan, work the plan, note the successful completion of the plan and head off to something else. But, it’s been one of those weeks where I wonder WHY we even attempt to plan anything. I would just throw my hands up in despair and just let the chips fall where they may. But, I can’t shake that Biblical reference “where there is no vision the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18) and even Toby Keith says “if you don’t know where you’re going, you might end somewhere else.” And, while I realize that my thought processes sound like an eclectic mess at best, everything seems to indicate that plans are good. Even when everything seems to go awry.

This week was a good example of that.

Happy 30 T-bone!
Sunday’s birthday party plans were affected by volatile weather. Ever since the Derecho, those images of big thunderstorms with high winds freak me out a little. And, then to see our little village in the TORNADO WARNING zone was scary. Knowing the kids and grandkids were on the road was even more frightening.
big storm comin'

It seems wrong to rejoice that everything on the hill remained unscathed (and the kids are fine) by the wind and rain when others were devastated by a tornado and flooding. When you live at the top of the hill, 3.25 inches of rain just makes for general sloppiness, not danger.

creek's up!

wet farm dog

some of the potatoes washed right out of the ground!

Since it was going to be super-wet on Monday, we put off the first broiler processing of the year. But, then Tuesday was too windy. (not a little breeze…gale-force winds---the kind that always seem to follow precipitation)
You know it's windy when the birds have a hard time staying in the trees!
Not to sound too much like Goldilocks, but we needed a day that was “just right”…

Okay…so, Wednesday it is.

well, HELLO, little chick!

But, Wednesday was also chick-delivery day. That meant a trip to the Staunton Post Office before we got started. Although that worked out, too…because the morning was frosty COLD. (I can assure you that processing chickens with near-freezing fingers is not fun)

the first broiler of the year
We sold well over 50 pounds of chicken at Market!

The rest of the week seemed to have a mind of its own. The continued cold weather and sustained winds made it impractical to do any planting. So, there is essentially nothing in the garden/hoophouses. The Boss did finally get the sheep out on pasture. That was a good thing…we have a half a bale of hay left.

putting up electro-net fence

early morning grazing

one sick sheep
(she's been treated and seems to have recovered)


Concerns about a feverish grandson caused a change in plans for a weekend family get-together.

And then…there was the almost unbelievable news…

Got the news on Friday mornin'
But a tear I couldn't find
(honestly, I haven’t stopped crying)
You showed me how I'm supposed to live
And now you showed me how to die

On Friday our dear Bonnie was called to Heaven. Read.  Words fail to convey the sense of loss I feel. And, judging by the countless posts from family members and friends, I am not alone in my grief.

Bonnie and great-grandson at the Market
Summer 2015

You couldn’t meet Bonnie and not see LOVE in action. Knowing Bonnie changed my life. (I’ll tell you about that some other time)

So, right now, I am sad…so very sad. Life seems very hard. Borrowing words from Toby Keith (again), “I’m not crying ‘cause I feel so sorry for you…I’m cryin’ for me!” (watch/listen here)

But, despite our sense of loss, Life goes on.

frost and 34*
April 21,  2018

Saturday, it was off to the Market as usual. Things got off to a chilly start with temperatures in the mid-30s and a heavy frost. Things warmed up…the people came…and all in all, it was a successful day.

You can see the Boss’ photos on Facebook and/or Flicker

There were lots of other things I planned on writing about today. But, for now, I just want to say…

I hope you have a Happy Sunday! 

Hug your dear ones and make sure you say “I LOVE YOU” every chance you get.

And, above all…be kind. (Bonnie was)


  1. My dear, dear Barbara. I send you my love. It was her time and when that time comes there is nothing we can do but weep and then remember them and the love that they gave to us.

  2. So, so sorry for your loss. Prayers and hugs your way. I hate the struggles you have had this year and now this. :( Hopefully there is a bright spot in there. Looks like a fun birthday cake in spite of the dang weather!
    The weather has been crazy everywhere it seems, this year.
    prayers for healing....xo

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Barbara.
      I truly appreciate your concern.
      I'm hoping that some calm is coming, both in the weather and in the rest of life.
      Hoping things are well with you.
      Much love...