Creature Comforts

We all have a list of favorite things that comfort us. I’m referring to little everyday things that my put a smile on your face, refresh your soul or simply polish the shine on your sense of well-being. My list is too long to record here. There are so many things that have the potential to lift us up. And, new ones get added all of the time. Right? There were several that qualified as comforters for me this past week.

How about you? How were you blessed with different flavors of comfort in recent days? Sometimes, we get so caught up in the daily hub-bub of life that we forget to take time to count our blessings. That, in and of itself, is a comforting habit well worth developing.

Comforting things are like pretty pillows. They’re not just cozy — they add beauty to the corners of your mind just like they do to a sofa or chair.

Sometimes, warmth is a wonderful comfort – like wrapping up in sheets or towels fresh out of the dryer. On a hot August day, an icey glass of your favorite tea is the perfect comfort. Oh, and by the way, I just bought a couple of Stevia plants at the nursery. Never had this plant before. My goodness, you just don’t expect a leaf to taste like sugar — and it is such a lovely kind of sweet, soft & natural rather than sharp. I’m looking forward to adding bruised sprigs of Stevia and Spearmint to my tea this summer.

I’ve been ‘puttering’ in my flower bed, planting a few seeds … and waiting for a few other hope-they-return perennials before I start digging around too much. Grass has invaded the bed, so I’ve been pulling it out. I take my baby Buff Orpingtons out with me and they busy themselves learning to be free-rangers while I work. It amazes me how cautious even baby chicks are. Should they hear a strange noise, they dive for cover. Watching them play and explore is most definitely a sweet comfort.

This is nesting time for wild birds. The bluebirds and swallows have laid claim to the birdhouses I’ve mounted here & there. I love to watch mated pairs take bits of hay and grass to their nests. When I went out to my friend, Anita’s the other day, she showed me where her mama turkey made a nest in their yard … in the tall grass under a juniper tree in the wind belt. When she saw us, she made a soft chittering noise, a protest. I only stayed long enough to snap a photo. I’m not sure comfort is the right word for how I felt watching her, but she was so quiet in her cozy little hiding place that, yes, it was comforting.

While visiting Anita, I snatched the opportunity to take a few photos of her and one of their bum lambs that had been given a bath early that morning so that he could be a ‘visual aid’ at church. The sermon focused on the comforting power of Psalm 23 and the Good Shepherd.

When I saw the photos, I was reminded of the many images of the Good Shepherd and the underlying message: We, too, are to be caring shepherds and comforters.

“A righteous man looketh well to the care of his animals.” Proverbs 12:10 (That goes for farmgirls too :o)

Some of us have other livestock animals to look after. For me, it is horses and cattle. One of our young heifers had her first baby the other day. Some new mommies don’t always ‘get’ the idea of their new job and role in life, but she isn’t one of them! Oh my, she is so proud of her bouncy baby boy. She nuzzles him, licks him all the time, lays next to him and basically never lets him out of her sight. She is exceptionally sweet and very tame also. There are times when working with cattle breaks your heart, frustrates you to the enth degree and angers you – specifically when a mother cow violently refuses to be a mother. But, this lovely young cow reminded me once again how marvelous it is to make a living close to animals. Good-hearted animals that encourage you by their kindly ways are a comforting balm.

This is my FAV-O-Rite marking on cattle … the classic panda bear face. Isn’t this baby adorable?!

On May Day, my other farmgirl pal and I went on another junkin’ safari. Our friend, Don, took us over to a very old ranch nearby. We were FAR off the beaten path! The lady who lives there is a shirt-tail relative of mine. Her mother and my great grandmother were 1st cousins … and her father and my grandfather were very good friends. Folks in small communities keep track of those things :o) It was a beautiful day in the piney foothills. Wild plums were blooming, bluebirds and nuthatches were flitting about in the scrub oak trees. It was comforting to meet someone who knew two people that I absolutely adored as a child – my ‘gramma and grampa’. Donna is in the process of getting some of the old ranch ‘junk’ hauled off. There is a lot of iron — much of which was horse-drawn. She led us to every outbuilding and there we went shopping for ‘junktiques’. We learned so much in the process … as Don (the veteran farmer-rancher) identified many Ag-antiques. Like what? Grain fanning machines, hand forged implement attachments, blacksmith tools, ancient woodworking tools, various saws etc.

And here is the ‘May basket’ bouquet that I made from one of my finds – an old grain scoop filled with lilacs and honeysuckle.

ELSEwhere, I’m gearing up for Glamping season! My little 1958 camper is ready to go. To take her on the road, I’ll have to tuck away some of the decorative goodies or they’ll be scattered all over the camper. When my camper & I aren’t out on walkabout, she’s going to serve as a guest cabin — a cabin in a can . SO, I’ve stocked her with creature comforts and vintage goodies. The ‘Sisters On The Fly’ gals claim that glamping makes girls out of women and it is oh so true! I’m 56 years young and having a lot of fun with my new playhouse.

I found the above book at a 2nd hand store and plan to read it when I go camping this summer. Even if the book isn’t that great a read, I love the the look of it. The book offers a comforting invitation backward in time to the now make-believe world of camping in a bygone era … the era of scotch plaid picnic containers, metal ice chests, wooden fishing poles and indian print blankets.

Are you relaxed yet? My mind wandered off to far away camp sites where marshmallow trees grow.

Nearly every day of our lives, there comes a time (or 3) during the day when we need to take a deep breath and push the hurried, harried demands of the world back and away from our personal space – out of our comfort zone. It is all too easy to get sooo busy that we let Life crowd us into a corner. When you feel that happening and the tyranny of the urgent insists that you cannot take a break, it is then that you most need to tell ‘it’ to Back Off. It only takes a few minutes in your mental ‘happy place’ to re-charge. Comfort is a soft spot to land, a place to duck out of the driving wind, a sanctuary with a gate that closes and when it does, the noise stops … like ‘shhhoooop’, and all is still. I bet you have a mental haven. What does your happy place look like? The beach, a quiet corner near a sunny cottage window, a woodland path in the fall, an old rocker in a screened porch?

Mine is a pasture — an open, grassy meadow and if there are Aspen trees and maybe a horse, Ahhhhhh, heaven – on – earth. I love to lie in the grass and watch the fluttering leaves of quaking aspen. And, if you are very quiet, you can hear their gentle tap dance. My name literally means “from the meadow” and I cannot imagine a more wonderful place to be. Here, I’ll scoot over and make a place for you.

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  1. Karen says:

    Shery, what a lovely comforting relaxing message. After an extremely hard day with some life changing decisions ahead, you brought me back to the things I love most. Family, beauty all around us and love of life. I look at all these other things and wonder how and why I have let problems that I can control into my life. Beauty is all around us and life is too precious not to grab every minute.
    Thanks for the inspiration……..

  2. Colleen says:

    The tablecloth in your camper is made from the same fabric I have as the curtains in my window above my desk. We have great taste! Love your pictures, love your blog. Thanks so much!

  3. Shery, Everything looks so beautiful, I miss my home in La when I lived between a dairy farmer and beef cattle farmer, (Father and Son) and every spring I would see the new colts and baby calfs romping around all frisky and happy. And I had my own little section of woods so there were always plenty of other baby critters as well. I remember waking up one night to see a family of raccoons sitting around my patio table like they were having dinner. HA! I love love love your glamper and cant wait to get me another one. We are looking at an airstream bambi and I am praying things will go my way and I will soon have one to fix up in the 50era decor.
    Love your blogs, Be Blessed Neta

    ——–

    An Airstream?……Wowwwwww. They’re the cream!!  shery

  4. Treese says:

    I don’t know about your cattle, but our bucking stock cows have a real social circle. One cow is chosen to babysit for a few hours and this goes on all day as they take turns(except nursing time). We have an old barren cow I couldn’t bear to send to the rail because she is such a good sitter. I laugh when I look across to the pasture and see one cow chewing her cud and keeping her eye on the calves.

    Yes, the little chicks like to peck and dive. I have to be careful as I have a herd of Bloodhounds (my breed of choice as I grew up with them and they were my babysitter’s) and one likes to go after them. I think he would kill them if he had a chance. Now, my baby girl Miss Scarlett O’Hara (all 141 pounds of her) is terrified of chicks after one pecked her nose when she was a pup. LOL!

    Boy, that little camper is a cutie.
    Treese
    —————

    Hi Treese, Yes, on the babysitter thing. I think all cattle do that. I can remember asking my Grandad about it when I was very young.   shery

     

  5. Debbie says:

    Howdy Shery! Oh, I do feel relaxed! Your words today reminded me of so many comforts I am grateful for…like you, too many to list. And I agree; it’s so important to push away the crazy, hurried world and let comfort do it’s magic! One of my favorite comfort spots is also laying in the grass and gazing up at the bright blue sky… so thanks for makin’ room! Loved your post. As always it’s a bright spot and a comfort in my day!
    much love,
    your beachy farmgirl sister!
    Deb

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    SOMEday, I want to give the beach a try! Your cottage is the thing dreams are made of.   Thanks D-Boz for stopping in. You’re always a bright spot for ME.  shery

  6. Grace~katmom says:

    Hey Shery, so true, "making girls out of women"…. & "we have more fun than anyone"…our 2 favorite Sisters on the Fly mottos.
    I have my little Serro Scotty parked out and ready for a lazy day of relaxin’ and napping,,, now if only the weather would cooperate! lol!
    Enjoy your trailer and Get Glampin’ :>)

  7. Ange says:

    Good morning,
    What a peaceful picture you and Deb paint for me each time I read. I too find comfort spots and though I live in the mountains, I grew up on the beach and can still remember walking the ocean beach and finding a spot in the early morning without people and sitting quietly with my cup of tea and watching the sun come up over the water. Besides restful and comforting it is healthy to take just 10 to 15 minutes for spirit rejuvenation. But now I can sit on the side of the mountain and look out over miles of green lush fields in the valley and think of the farms and farm families that have been up for hours nurturing their animals and working so hard and making my view one of peace and tranquility before I too have to "get to it". But sometimes only 10 or 15 minutes to say "Thank you" is enough to last the whole day long. (Love the Airstream)
    Ange

  8. cora jo says:

    Shery, Spring IS a time for reflecting on new and rebirthed ideas and a time to take in the multitude of blessings we have been given. This weekend I got to visit my new grand-kids. There are 9 of them…oh, they truly ARE kids…baby goats. Dwarf Nigerians. My personal fav is "Rodeo" who is a little billy smaller than the tom cat! He spends most of his awake time springing straight up in the air on all four legs and boinging around the yard. This being a farm, I know some of these little cuties will end up on the table. But, same with the calves and chicks. I also find such blessing in the flowers coming to life around our place right now. Almost as beautiful as my granddaughter who modeled her dress for the upcoming semi-formal dance at her school…When did THAT happen, her being old enough to go to a semi-formal dance! Great job, again, Sheri, I do so love sharing your life out there. keep it coming! cora jo

    ————-

    Thanks Cora!  There is nothing cuter and more joyful than a baby goat hopping around like popcorn!! :o)  Yes, this is prom season in these parts also. It tickels me to watch young gals teetering around as they try to manage walking in heels ;o)  I shouldn’t laugh — I’d fall down nowadays. No, I couldn’t wear them more than about 10 minutes before my feet began SCREAMing OWWWwwwwwwww!!  shery

  9. bobbie calgaro says:

    Loved your blog today. I have many places that are comforts to me but here at school, I go outside every day and eat lunch in the court yard. Its quiet and gets me away from the fray. Just me and my lunch and a book. Then I’m ready to go back and face the rest of the day.

  10. May Lund says:

    I felt such a connection when I first read MaryJanes farm first book but when I saw and read your part in her magazine, that clenched the connection for me. #l, you are a ranch girl and #2,you have a Morgan, the best darn horse ever. I have wanted to write a note to you as I know we would have such fun corresponding. My children have tried to encourage me to write of all my life experiences on the ranch and of course we never make the time but…. wow…you are doing such a wonderful thing in sharing your life with everyone, you truly inspire me to think of this seriously. You have such an incredible gift of making us feel like we are right there with you, thank you. I would love to share some moments with you, so if you ever find the time please respond. We ranched for many years in the interior of B.C. canada and I had 4 magnificent Morgans, they ranged from the Jalopy, the Chevy, the Ford and then I was blessed with a Mercedes as well..!!!! Everytime I get a chance to read your blog I step back in time and am once again lying out in a field under the aspens in complete bliss. Remembering the hours riding,exploring, laughing and sharing the day with my daughter as we chased the darn cows is something no one can ever take away from you and I have been so blessed with my way of life…I feel that I can write these words and you know what I am saying. Have a wonderful day and I truly hope that we can cross paths. Thank you again for your wonderful blog..Sincerely, May Lund

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