I Choose Happy!

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I’m not one to dwell on negative things in the news or world events.    It’s not that I want to bury my head in the sand either, but I guess I just choose to dwell on positive things.  Things that warm my heart and make my days happier.

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Summertime always does that for me.  I love everything about summer.  But honestly the thing that brings me so much joy is the (very small) flower farming business that my daughter and I have together.  And of course my little grand-girls are part of our business too.  They are right by our side; picking and arranging flowers.  (In between butterfly catch and release and playing with their dolls.)

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The above picture was taken by my daughter and she posted it on her Instagram with the following words, which I love so much and describe our mornings so perfectly:

“Starting each day in the flower garden amongst the bright, cheerful blooms never gets old. It’s peaceful and quiet and after we fill our little stand with bouquets, I leave with a smile and a heart filled with thankfulness.”

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Even weeding and mowing in the flower garden is a happy thing!

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My vegetable garden has done amazing this summer and I’ve had a bumper crop of awesome heirloom cucumbers that I pick by the gallons and make pickles by the quarts!

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And my happiest past time?  A snack of cucumbers right out of the garden, salt in a vintage shaker and MaryJanes magazine of course!

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I love the early summer of fresh picked fruit:  strawberries from the local farm and wild blackberries all over our farm.  Nothing tastes better than my home-made wild blackberry hand pies.  Right out of the oven… oh my.

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I love that our grand-girls spend one night a week with us all summer long.   I’ve been teaching my grand-daughter Jillian how to sew  and that brings me so much joy to see her enjoying it as much as I do! (The above sewing project was a picture she drew and then cut it out of fabric and we sewed it together, turning it into a little wall hanging.  It is called Illustrated Sewing and deserves a blog post all of its own!)

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And boating.  Oh how we love boating.  We raised our kids boating all summer long and I’m so happy that we get to share that same joy with the next generation.

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Summertime meals that are completely and totally from our farm:  fresh tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peaches, wild blackberries and our own grass-fed beef!  Seriously, there is no better food than what you’ve raised yourself.

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And I guess I even have to admit that hard work in the summertime makes me happy.  We are building a post and rail fence around our hilltop.  It is a huge, huge amount of work.  But every bit of the sweat and exhaustion will be worth it.  And when I look at it, I smile.

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And our home on the hilltop.  The place my husband and I have spent the last five years building from the ground up, just the two of us.  It makes me so happy to call it home.

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In a world of doubt, fears, sadness and unbearable tragedies I choose not to dwell on them.  I choose to be happy.  I choose to think about the things that bring peace and contentment in my life.  I choose kindness.  And I choose to be thankful for every blessing and every moment that I have to enjoy the precious things that surround me.

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And you, my friends, are one of those things!  Thank you for always reading, commenting, sharing and encouraging.

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Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.

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Dori

Leave a comment 54 Comments

  1. Denise Ross says:

    Lovely post, Dori. There is a lot of awful things happening, but we do need to concentrate on our blessings. Love your photos too. You have a beautiful home and I love nothing more than working up a sweat on a project and looking at it when it’s finished with satisfaction And delight. It it one of life’s joys for sure. Happy summer days to you and winter to me here in Australia. Take care and blessings to you and yours.
    Denise

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Denise,

      We can sure get bogged down in worrying over things and forget to look beyond it.

      I agree… nothing like working up a sweat to make a person happy and thankful!

      Happy Winter in Australia!

      – Dori –

  2. marilyn Khadduri says:

    Hi Dori,

    Thank you for that great advice! Philippians 4:8 gives us the same advice, and a
    list of all the things we should keep our minds on. Like you, I choose to keep my
    mind on all the blessings I’ve been given.

    Blessings,
    Marilyn

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      I too love Philippians 4:8. All the things we need to think on that keep us happy and content.

      Thank you for writing!

      – Dori –

  3. Carol says:

    I love the photos you have here. Your home looks like it has a spectacular view and please continue to focus on the good things.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Carol,

      Our home is a work in progress… I never knew it would take so long to get it all finished and the landscape done! Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t know!!

      Thank you for writing,

      – Dori –

  4. Barbara Purvine says:

    Thank you, Dori! This post just might be a turning point for me, my attitude, and my life!

  5. Krista says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I am not a fan of dwelling on the negative. I like to think that I am a fairly positive person. Life is to short to be negative and not enjoy the beauty that is all around. I actually found loads of happiness last night as I was out picking veggies from my garden for dinner. It’s the first time I have grown a garden so the excitement is amplified! At the same time it makes me grateful for all the blessings I have and all the positive in my life. Thank you for the reminder of the importance of happiness and the small things that create it!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Krista!

      Even though I’ve had vegetable gardens my entire adult life, they still bring me loads of happiness! So don’t think it is just because this is your first garden… you’ll actually probably love it more every year! I always say there are so many life lessons learned in the garden!

      Thanks for writing!

      – Dori –

  6. MarciD says:

    Awesome post…your blogs always warm my heart. Farmgirl-ing at it’s finest. Please do a blog out the sewing project with your granddaughter. I would love to do one with my daughter. She has been asking to learn to sew.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Marci,

      Your words warmed MY heart!

      That project with my grand-daughter was so much fun. She and I have been doing several fun sewing projects but I think that one rated right up there as one of the funnest! It really does need a blog post about it!

      – Dori –

  7. Maxine says:

    Your post just makes me smile. I would love more on the sewing too…it looks like such a fun project, and you know I have the perfect Littles to do it with!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Max,

      I’m thinking to do a blog post on that project soon. I’ll let you know!!! :-)

      Hugs,

      – Dori –

  8. Karen says:

    Dori,
    Thank you for you great advice! I enjoy reading your post and would love for you to start a blog some day. You have a lot of wisdom to share with all of us! I just ordered a subscription to Mary Jane Farms Magazine! Have a blessed day today!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Karen,

      I do write a personal blog where I share a lot about my life on our farm and my projects. You can follow it here: http://www.theredfeedsack.com

      SO happy you got a subscription to MaryJanesFarm magazine! It is my very, very favorite magazine to read!

      – Dori –

  9. Deanne says:

    Beautiful blog!

  10. Debbie says:

    Beautiful words, beautiful life, beautiful photos, … Creative and wise living at it’s best!
    Love it all… Thank you for sharing your slice of happiness and your friendship!
    xoxoxo Deb ( Beach Farmgirl) …

    Your flowers are looking amazing, as always and those little grand-girls of yours are precious!!!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Thank you Deb. You are such a special friend… so thankful we have each other.

      Tight hugs,

      – Dori –

  11. Mary Pitman says:

    I just feel like we’ve had a nice visit. I just LOVE your posts. I love working in the garden in summer and my flowers. I don’t love the heat of summer here in the south, but do love the fresh, home-grown veggies and flowers blooming

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Mary,

      I love that you felt like we had a nice visit and I’m so glad that you wrote and told me. It made me so happy.

      The heat in the summer here in the South is pretty stifling isn’t it? And then I remind myself of the heat we had out West and I’d take the South any day because at least it is green!!! :-) And we have amazing gardens don’t we?!

      Til next time friend… :-)

      – Dori –

  12. Lisa B says:

    Hi Dori,
    Thank You for the reminder to choose happiness! With all of the bad things happening in this world it would be easy to get depressed and feel hopeless. Focusing on my family, home and garden heals my soul. We just picked our first watermelon of the season. It’s the best watermelon I have ever tasted! I love both you and your daughters blogs and enjoy looking at the pictures on your instagram accounts. They bring happiness to my day!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Lisa,

      So exciting on your first watermelon of the season!!! I have tried to grow watermelon and they never get anywhere near the ripe stage before the raccoons destroy them. It is so sad.

      Thank you writing to me and following along elsewhere too. Big hugs…

      – Dori –

  13. Marie says:

    Love your post. I agree with you. I’m caring for my mom, loving every minute of it. I’m tired but it’s a good tired and I wouldn’t want to be doing any thing else.
    We have so many blessings around us so continue to take the time to smell the roses.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Marie,

      It warmed my heart and made me so happy to read what you said about caring for your mother. What a beautiful, beautiful attitude to have. It really is a beautiful example of making the best and happiest of some of the hardest experiences.

      Thank you for writing!

      – Dori –

  14. bobbie Calgaro says:

    Dori,
    What a lovely post. Enjoying the precious gifts of life is important no matter what is going on in the world. We can’t necessarily fix what’s wrong with the world but we can choose to celebrate what’s good and right about it, pass it on to our succeeding generations, treat each other with love, respect, and kindness, and hope that it makes a difference to all.

  15. Sandi King says:

    Inspiring to say the least, Dori. Thanks for this blog. I always read every comment, every blog, and it feels good to belong to this. I think we all could use uplifting stories that keep us happy, inspired, and looking for the good things in life and being thankful for all our blessings in the small and big things we encounter every day. Inspired by your building your own home – we are trying to fix ours up – smoke damaged throughout – lots of work here. Got a rash from tearing out carpet. Itchy and painful all in one. But so glad to get rid of it. Hope to move in by October this year. Need prayers if anyone is willing. Thanks for your blog.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Sandi,

      It is so wonderful to have readers that read our blog posts, comments, and encourage us! You’re always there.

      Building a house all by ourselves was such an undertaking, but gutting and remodeling is a whole other undertaking that is almost harder in a lot of ways. Such a huge job. But how awesome that you are one your way and have a goal of October!!! I’ll be thinking of you. Keep me posted!

      – Dori –

  16. Denise says:

    enjoyed your post and totally agree with you!!

  17. Lyn moon says:

    Thank you for reminding me of that. It’s wonderful advice. Have a great week.

  18. Cindy says:

    Love and peace! We need so desperately !! GO TRUMP !!

  19. Joan says:

    Thank you Dori, love n peace and all that God will bring.

  20. Diane Loehr says:

    I just loved your article this month about being happy. I have been going through a horrible time with my husband being in ICU for more than 2 weeks now. The doctors have also decided that there is nothing that can be done and have given him 1-3 months to live. Talk about stress. Your final paragraph made me very happy and I have cut it out and put in on my refrig to read every day or when I am getting depressed with everything that is going on. I too want to be happy again! I too want to laugh and take joy in the simple things life as to offer. Even if it is to pick up a craft project again and try to relax. Have a great day – Diane

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Good morning Diane,

      My heart goes out to you and I wish I could just give you a very tight hug.

      It is such a miracle how we can find peace and joy in the simplest of things and I know that happiness is in your future again.

      With love,

      – Dori –

      P.S. Please keep us posted on your husband.

    • Meredith Williams says:

      Prayers for peace, comfort and love going up for you Diane! ❤️

  21. Maureen says:

    Thanks so much for the great post! I also choose to be positive and believe we all have many blessings. When life gets hurried, step back and take stock. Kindness is always in season. BIg Hugs!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Maureen,

      Stepping back and taking stock is such a great thing to do. So often I forget to do that.

      And yes, kindness is never out of season! My mother used to say, “In every situation kindness is appropriate”! :-)

      Hugs back,

      – Dori –

  22. Dori, you are the best! Every Sunday as I drive our red bus into town for supplies, I look up at your hilltop and wonder what is going on up there. And I am thankful that your farmstead is so beautifully fit into the land, without shouting, “Hey, look, I have commandeered the view of the hilltop!” You are always considerate. I need you to come teach me how to can and grow veggies in general. I do believe I recognize those strawberry baskets. That is something we can do right! Now the strawberry field is a pumpkin field. I love your posts.

    • And thank you so much for always being a positive influence.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Dear Wayve,

      YOU are the best. Your words mean the world to me.

      And yes those are you strawberry baskets. I use the buckets too! :-) I actually said to me daughter the other day, “I wonder how many people use their strawberry baskets all summer for their produce?”!

      And your strawberries? Absolutely THE BEST ever. You definitely know how to do that! And oh how I love your strawberries. My very favorite thing about early summer.

      Big hugs, Wayve. We’ve got to get through this busy season and then WE ARE GETTING TOGETHER.

      – Dori –

  23. Alex says:

    What a lovely post, Dori! It’s so great to see the amazing abundance of food and beauty you are getting from your farm. Your tomatoes are weeks ahead of ours up here ;)–but we, too, have had a bumper crop of cukes!

    Your hand pies looks scrumptious! Thanks for a bit of Farmgirl eye candy amongst the maelstrom of current events, we all need it.

    Best to you and yours,
    Alex

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Alex!

      I’ve been hearing about your gorgeous summer! I bet it is positively beautiful. Oh I need to visit Alaska again!

      Hugs to you,

      – Dori –

  24. Nicki says:

    I loved your encouraging and uplifting post! And yes, please do tell us about Illustrated Sewing!

  25. Debbie says:

    What a beautiful blog post. I’ve followed you for quite a while…loved watching your house become a home. My youngest daughters name is Jillian! She loves to cross stitch…just like me :)
    I see a “I choose to be happy” quilt sampler in your future!
    My mouth is watering thinking of your pickles!
    Take care,
    Debbie

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Oh thank you Debbie! And how fun you have a little one named Jillian? What is her nickname? We call our Jillian things like Jilly, Jilly Billy, Jills, and on and on! :-)

      Oh a I Choose Happy sampler is a great idea!!! I used to cross stitch; but something happened and a number of years ago I quit. Something to do with the counting really got to me. But I loved it. Maybe it is time to give it a try again.

      Thanks for writing!

      – Dori –

  26. Nicole Christensen says:

    Beautiful post, Dori. I had to smile at the shaker…I have similar shakers, by Tipp City. Mine are milk glass with red cherries, but so similar.

    I thought of you and your grandgirls recently. My little nieces from Denmark visited recently. They are six and four. We went in the garden together, they helped me feed the chickens and make dinner, we baked cookies and I read bedtime stories…things I did with my girl when she was their age. It was so fun – and I thought, “this must be what it is like to have grandgirls someday like Dori!”

    Love the flowers and the post. Much love!
    Farmgirl Hugs,
    Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl)

  27. Pam says:

    Dori, I have so enjoyed reading all your posts. Each time I am reminded how fortunate to be living in this country and enjoying the abundance of so many things. You and your family and all the love and togetherness is what it is all about!!

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