Time to Rock Orange

Last May when we came to the end of the YOU CHALLENGE, many folks asked for another round later in the year. The YOU CHALLENGE is such a special time of fellowship, encouragement, sharing, and walking together every day. So here we are! It’s time for our Rock-tober Challenge. This one is a little bit different than our spring challenge.

For October, you are challenged to do something THAT IS GOOD FOR YOU, THAT YOU ENJOY for 30 minutes every single day of the month. That’s 31 days.

We’re not just going to welcome autumn, or enjoy autumn, we’re going to ROCK autumn.

Maybe you’ll get up 30 minutes early and do yoga. Or enjoy a special time of prayer or meditation every morning. Perhaps you’ll decide to write every day. Or sketch. Or engage in random acts of kindness. What would you like to do? Give up sugar or salt? Drink more water every day? Eat 5 fruits and veggies every day? Or, of course, walk like we do in May?

What will you do just for you? Maybe you’ll take a bubble bath every evening. Or work on your knitting or some other craft. Paint? Journal? You could add one thing every day to a “to be” list (rather than a “to do” list).

Check this out, you could go outside every day and forest bathe. I like the sound of that! (https://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/2017/09/18/how-forest-bathing-can-improve-your-health-story)

Or visit someone every day. Perhaps you’ll volunteer at the local school or nursing home. Or bake every single day. Maybe you’ll go to your barn to visit your animals. Maybe you’ll start that exercise program you’ve been forgetting to start for 20 years or so. It is up to you!

If you’re not sure what to do for yourself for the 31 days of October, think about it for awhile. Focus on what do you need most right now? Is it quiet time? Calm? Or is it adventure? Or nesting? Or organizing? Or…?

Ask yourself what you need and listen to the answer you give yourself. You are the one who knows what is needed right now in your life. For you heart; for your soul. This autumn.

Share your Rock-tober Challenge! Post what you decide to do in the comments or join our Facebook group and post it there.

I’ve definitely been looking forward to the coming of October. It’s one of my favorite months of the whole year (even before this YOU Challenge, which is surely going to take it over the top!) October means leaves of yellow and orange and red. It’s pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. My coffee was pumpkin spice this morning and so was my toast. Even my dog’s treats are pumpkin flavored.


October is cool nights and sweaters. Hay bales and pumpkins. Chilly air and the first fire of the season. I love that wood smoke aroma of a fire burning.

I am told we have already had one frost, though I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of that frosty fact. I missed it if it was here.

It’s only just beginning, but autumn so far has been fabulous.

I went out to the corn field and cut down some corn stalks to make some fall decorations.IMG_5143

I drove Elvis the Blue out there. Good ole reliable Elvis the Blue. Rusty, raggedy, road hard and put up wet Elvis the Blue. My 1989 Nissan that I’ve had since 1991.



I don’t really know how to do it, form those cute corn stalk cones. I’ve admired them from afar in other folks’ yards. I bet I can get the details on Pinterest. Maybe just tie some twine around the stalks?

Speaking of Elvis the Blue, I got him a new bumper sticker the other day.


Can’t wait to add it to his others.


Elvis also has some signs on the interior. The door handle has broken off, so I have to remind myself (and others) not to roll up the window. The sign has gotten a bit wet through-out the years, but is still hanging on.


I bought some punkins at the grocery store. And an interesting HUGE squash at a roadside stand. That’s Oreo, the dog, being nosy, as always.


Fall is also the time to harvest black walnuts. I’ve seen many people under their trees, picking up nuts. I’ve got to get out in our black walnut grove to see if we have any this year. Most years, the worms beat me to them. If I can find enough, I’ll bake a black walnut pound cake.

I’m actually not even sure which ones I harvest. I have black walnuts in the yard that look like this (good thing I didn’t see that little dude when I leaned so close to snap this photo. I don’t enjoy spiders…I don’t kill them, but they freak me out a little…)


and like this


(And for a public service announcement, keep your horses away from black walnut trees. They are toxic to horses. I had one cut one down in my pasture when I learned about this. Horses are so sensitive.)

I also walked by a tree in a park (not on my property, sadly) and saw this nut

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Anybody know what that is?

It’s a chestnut!

And BIG NEWS. My parents came to visit us! It is so nice to have them here. I really want them to move here, but so far, it’s no go. We enjoy them so much.

My father gave me another lesson on the 1951 Chevy truck. He’s taught me many times before how to drive it, but it never sticks. (What is that saying? Old dogs, new tricks?) I get nervous and don’t want to pull out of the driveway. So when my Dad comes, he always helps me. My father taught his three kiddos how to drive when we were teenagers. He has the patience of Job. Perfect teacher.

This truck was my grandfather’s, then my father’s, now mine. A friend who was working the day my father took me out in the truck talked about how monumental it was. “Your father is teaching you to drive ‘three on a tree’ in his father‘s truck. In-cre-di-ble!” It really is. In this part of the country they call it “three-on-a-tree” when there are 3 gears on the steering wheel. We hadn’t heard that term before. In Georgia we just called it “hard.”

Now, I can drive a stick, no problem. I learned to drive a stick shift years ago in Atlanta traffic. Crowded, busy roads where you’d back up lots of traffic if you stalled. Where people would shoot you a bird and cuss you if you blocked traffic or couldn’t get going quickly enough again after stopping for a red-light. I don’t have that pressure. These are country roads filled with nice neighbors. But. The “three-on-a-tree” freaks me out a little. Or maybe it’s the old dog thing.

So my Dad pulled it out into the street and gave me a lesson before I took the wheel.


I tooled around the country roads a bit and then when I was trying to down-shift going up a hill, the truck stalled. I gave my father the wheel again, but he couldn’t get it running. So he rolled it off the road.


In no time at all, a neighbor happened by and stopped to help. That’s the place where I live now. I could be on the side of the road for hours in Atlanta and no one would stop. But here? Five minutes and we’ve got help. He and my father worked on the truck to get it going. It was out of gas! (Which is funny because we were headed to the gas station. That’s my farm in the background.) The filter was full of gunk because the gas I had in there was so old. Like 3 years old. So we got some fresh gas and got the truck going again. And we took it out again the next day with no problems. I think I’m ready to go it alone???

I took this photo when I was behind my Dad’s truck in another car. That’s my farm on the right. The shiny thing is the roof on Merlin’s barn.

IMG_5100 Another thing I enjoy about autumn in this sweet community is the ATV rides. This past Saturday we went on a community ATV ride that the local church leads. Here I am about to head out. All autumn’d up with my sweater poncho and my favorite hat.

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It was fantastic. We went through woods and up mountains and down rocky roads. We ate a picnic together. I loved every second of it.

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We had to turn around because a tree had come down and blocked our path.


Here’s a group shot one of the riders took. This group of people are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

atv ride

And then I went for an autumn walk on my farm. I love this particular combination of colors. I need to do a room in them. Golden yellow and purplish blue.

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When I haven’t walked down this path in a while, it’s always covered in webs. So I pick a flower and let it catch the webs and spiders instead of my face. This flower leads the way.

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Here are  my woods, with the sun shining through.


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And here is the old chimney stack from a one room cabin that fell down long ago. I keep thinking about what I’m going to do with this….

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We interrupt this blog post about autumn to show you my autumn barn cat in my autumn plaid chair. This barn cat now spends 23 and 1/2 hours in my house, 0 hours in the barn. He loves lounging in chairs, sleeping in my bed, snuggling with us on the sofa. As you can see, he has a hard time relaxing. Jude is not. a. barn. cat.

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Another thing that happens on crisp fall mornings is that my farm is covered in cob webs wet from the dew. It looks so magical.


Merlin says he can’t wait until cooler weather when the flies GO. AWAY.


I love him.

Have I ever mentioned that before? haha

I also have an addition to my farm.



A swing! Our friend made it for us out of an old stair thread. How cool.

Okay, so now it’s time for me to pick the thing that I’m going to do for myself for 30 minutes every day in October. 31 days in a row starting this Sunday. I’m leaning towards a gentle yoga session every morning. But I might decide to do a nature sketchbook. Or wouldn’t it be cool to write a poem every day? Or even just swing in this swing and SWANG. Or write a chapter in the booklet I’m working on about the history of our little farming community.

What’ll it be? What’ll be? What’ll be?

Myself tells me that the answer is yoga. Yoga it is!

What’ll it be for you? What’s your answer?

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl with hay in her hair, Rebekah

  1. Sherriberri says:

    Walk in the woods and talk to Jesus 30 minutes a day

  2. Deborah McClure says:

    I just love to read your blogs!! Yes autumn!!! Great idea!!!

  3. Denise Ross says:

    What an awesome post Rebekah. Loved it all. For me October is spring here, all the pretty flower smells, freshly mowed lawns and fire pit fires, BBQ and longer days with daylight saving beginning this coming weekend.
    I’ve already begun my special morning time with a half hour wake up run before work. I’m less stressed through the day, sleep better and happier for it. Waking up with sunrises, birds chirping, seeing the little bunny rabbits that sometimes play near the road I run on.
    It’s a special time for me, fresh and hopeful and thankful fir the gift of another day.
    I love those old Chevy or dodge? Trucks they’re so full of character and history. There is s fellow who lives in my suburb that drives s similar one and I love it. It’s all rusty in colour and so cute, I’d love to have one.
    I think I’d like to get back into doing my gratitude journal, it brings the joy factor back into life and reduces anxiety and worry fir me, so I’ll do that beginning Sunday.
    I love your farm, the history stories and the history you’re making there with your family. Always look forward to your posts.
    Have a fabulous day and definitely do that room in the yellow and purple, keep some white in there and it’ll be gorgeous.
    Happy days

  4. Cheryl Bell says:

    Hi everyone, my name is Chery, l For this challenge I will be walking everyday and on days that I dont get out to walk I will dance or do yoga.

  5. Carol says:

    I will accept your Rock-Tober challenge. I will either be reading or doing a craft project. I also plan to get up 30 minutes earlier to aid in getting more done in my Pink Zebra business.
    I have heard three on the tree many times. I lived in the south for a while and I believe that I heard it more from my grandpa than anyone. I love that truck! Treasure it because of what it is and who it belonged too.
    Your farm looks nice and I love the ATV trip that you took. I love my ATV, but I am well aware of the dangers of them as well.

  6. Marlene Capelle says:

    I’m going to stop for 30 minutes a day. Stop thinking I have to accomplish something every minute from 7:30am until 9:00pm. I will do yoga, meditate or read but I have to stop everything. I know, doing one of those things is still doing something but everyday I want to do one of those things and I don’t stop and do them. So that’s it.

  7. Nicole White says:

    Terrific post. We’ve recently relocated to Virginia so I’m looking forward to some beautiful fall color. I’m going to write every day either on a story or in my journal. Time to, since this move, get back to something I love.

  8. Kathy Poulsen Romero says:

    Hi Rebekah!! I was so excited when I received the message about the upcoming fall YouChallenge. It was so uplifting to be a part of the spring challenge. I’ve got a very exciting reason to challenge myself in the next nine months. My daughter got engaged two weeks ago and is planning a July 2018 wedding. So….not only do I want to be my best for her, but for myself as well. That gives me 9 months to loose 40 lbs, which were gained oh so gradually from lack of exercise, health problems and medications with weight gain as a side effect. I can do this, and I’m looking forward to being part of this awesome group and your positive influence. Thank you!!

  9. Sandi King says:

    Yea for October and the Me Challenge. I just read everyone’s and they are awesome. I love Sherriberri’s talk with Jesus – and Denise’s ‘gratitude journal’ – and Carol’s craft something and of course ‘walking’ which I have continued year round as often as I can. So I am into Family Genealogy and there is so much to do in that and I spend a lot of time on the computer already so besides keeping on walking as often as I can, and trying to work on my craft’s as often as I can and talking with Jesus I do every evening before I sleep, being grateful sounds like a good idea to start writing it down. But I think I need to do something else that will become a habit for me and improve on my health. i think I will try ‘meditation’ for 30 minutes a day. I will start learning about it before Oct 1st. Thanks for posting Rebekah. I really enjoyed it.

  10. Krista says:

    What I am really needing right now is some quite and me time. I need to step away from the world and all the things needing to be done. I will take my half hour at he end of the day so I can recollect my thoughts and feelings and go to bed feeling refreshed rather than stressed. I tend to relax the most with crochet but I would love to try meditation or yoga. Maybe I’ll try both until I decide which works best. I am so happy that October is almost here. All the colors, smells, tastes, and temperatures make it such a great time of the year. Plus, I look forward to decorating from here until the end of the year! Happy Fall!

  11. Cheryle Duffy-Lehrer says:

    Great photos and post Rebehah! This is my favorite time of year – I love to get out and watch the showy color change of the leaves. I will pick up my daily walking again for this challenge but I think along our River Front here in our small town. The Riverfront walkway is not far from the house and should be a nice way to celebrate and enjoy Falls arrival.

  12. Barbara rynn says:

    looking forward to this challenge. I plan to spend 30 minutes each day just walking and listening to all of nature around. Until Oct 14 I am in China for our son’s wedding, so my posts will be sporadic . But I am always thinking of this great group.

    Barbara Rynn

  13. Rebekah Teal says:

    Oh goodness, I’ve already changed my mind. What I really, really need is 30 minutes in the barn every day. So, yoga, out. Merlin, in. Yes now that feels right. 🙂

  14. Joan Hendrix says:

    Omg, where do you find this stuff (forest bathing. Really? Am I just clueless?) I love it! I’m at a weird place. Have been for 5 years now, which is weird in itself. Love your note. Thx.

  15. Shirley says:

    Love the challenge and my first reading of your lovely blog. Each day I will either sketch a scene from my yard or the surrounding mountains, or write a prayer, or write a short poem about this amazing season of the year

  16. Susan a says:

    I always enjoy reading your blogs,,,wish i could get your email address so i could get it in my regular mail.,,i had to dig through a thousand emails in the junk section of the mail to find you…love the photos.,i feel like im right there with you.,,i miss our farm and the adventures we had.,,,but i don’t miss the spiders and snakes. Thanks for the beautiful adventure. Susana

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