Oh, Nuts, How We Love Thee.

Finally.

Autumn, Sweet Autumn.

Where have you been hiding, My Friend?

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Oh, how I’ve been longing for you on these hot summer-like days.

And now you’re here.

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A Gem of a Place

Last we met, I was headed off on a journey.

I went to a gem of a place….and danced in the pastures. Guess where?

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Come to the Creek

 

IMG_7052This blog post is different. It is the first blog post EVER, in ALL the years I’ve been blogging here at maryjanesfarm, that I composed in my head.

Most times I’m sitting at the computer in my home office, occasionally I’ll be outside. Sometimes I have an old school composition notebook and a pen. This time I was outside without computer, without paper, without pen. Just my mental notes. (Which, by the way, are not what they used to be. But I’ll do my best. We’ll see how it goes.)

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3:48 in the Morning

warning: this post contains only words, no photos. You see, I didn’t take my phone; I took my eyes and head. I’m such a radical. E-radical. Eradical. And it was dark, so… 

“Happiness is a form of courage”

Holbrook Jackson

My dog, Blue, woke me up at 3:48 this morning.

He wanted to go out.

So I went with him outside into the dark night.

FARM night is much different from CITY night.

FARM night is much different from SUBURBAN night.

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April’s Showers Bring….May’s YOU Challenge!

How do I know it is May?

In my meadow, the yellow dots of yesterday have transformed into fluffy cotton balls sitting on top of straws. Tomorrow they will be in various stages of disarray, like my hair.

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In my pond, the chaotic anthem of peeping fills the spring night with noise. The silent nights of winter are over. Holy nights are year-round.

On the street corner in town, the strawberry man has set up rows and rows of farm baskets, strawberries toppling over the sides. He tells me he drove to the South Carolina flat lands last night, to a farm, just to share these large, sweet, fresh lovelies with us mountain folk. (okay, so yes, he was also selling those No-Bake Chocolate Cookies I love so much. Got a bag. And okay, yes, fresh cheddar cheese curds too. How could I resist?)

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On a neighboring farm, the baby cows born in late fall have left their mothers, forced to a new life of independence on a different farm. I hear the mothers’ wailing for days, until they accept the stark reality of life as a mother cow. Or maybe they forget why they were lamenting. I wonder what the memory power of a cow is.

Just a few weeks ago we got hit with more snow. My garlic, having just popped up from its winter slumber to see the light, was unimpressed. My chickens agreed with the garlic: they had a meeting and boycotted the out-of-doors this snowy day.)

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And then. The sunniness of this past weekend gave us all confidence that winter had moved out. I dragged my potted fig plant outside, the one I’ve been babying all winter in my garage. I made a fatal decision to leave it out last night. We were hit with a freeze and heavy, thick frost. RIP fig dreams.

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And I write this blog post OUTSIDE, for the very first time in months and months. HELLO, MAY!

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May makes me…

happy. hopeful. revitalized. alive.

It has always been so, but I find it to be even MORE so where I live now. I think it is because of the real winters here. Winter is harsh and snowy and cold and blustery. Back in Atlanta, the seasons are all blend-y. Winter there is not much different from spring and fall. (well, except for summer, which is not blend-y at all. Georgia summers are “hotter than Satan’s house cat.”)

But May. Oh May. You usher in loveliness.

AND YOU ALSO usher in the special time of the YOU Challenge. It is our 5th year! whaaaaaaat? Yep!

So let’s grab our shoes and put a song in you heart.  Let’s go strolling together every day in merry, merry month of May. You, My Friend, are the You in YOU Challenge. Not your family, not your co-workers, not your church family, not anybody else. Just you. This month is dedicated to you, at least for a few minutes each day.

I know at first just the thought of taking time for yourself gives you a twitch in your eye. I mean, how can everyone get by if you take 30 minutes a day for you; hey, they’ll live. They’ll do fine. And that twitch will be gone by the end of the month. Your head will be clearer. You’ll breathe in more oxygen with each breath you take. You’ll feel better, physically and emotionally. And it’s so easy. Just go outside and put one foot in front of the other. The combination of fresh air, movement, and togetherness is magical. Doing something for yourself, declaring that you are worth it, is a transformational thing.

The original challenge was this: each and every day in May, lace up your walking shoes and head outside, no matter what. No. Matter. What.

Then, it evolved for some folks into doing something other than walking for themselves,  swimming, biking, journaling, drawing, etc.

One year we added drinking lemon water in the morning before our coffee. That was refreshing and hydrating, so that’s a permanent part of it now.

And share. If you share your journey, you’ll bless us all.

And we all want to see where you walk! Take photos! And we want to hear how your walk was! And how you are feeling! Or if you are choosing to do something besides walking for you, we want to hear about that too.

So. You in????

May Day, May 1st,  is the day we begin, but you can join in any time. When you read this post, make an agreement with yourself to do something for YOU. We have a Facebook group (Here’s the link. It’s private, you have to request to join.) where we post pics and chat up a storm. We encourage each other and enjoy our time together. So much fun. And so inspiring and encouraging. JOIN US!

I’ve particularly excited this year. I have been looking forward to it! In joyful anticipation, I got home this evening and mowed the overgrown path on my farm that I like to walk. It takes me through the rows of Christmas trees and out into the horse pasture. Whew, my winter months were full of heavy lifting; it has taken a toll on my soul. Of course, I say that every year: oh I’ve never needed this more; oh, this came just in time; oh, this and that.

But it is true every single year. I need this month of May challenge with my sisters. Shall we, Dear Ones? Let’s!

Want more info on the YOU Challenge? Check out these posts.

Here’s the original post from 2014.

Here’s the post from 2015. (boy, I miss those trail shoes. Got my money out of those babies.)

Here’s the post from 2016.

Here’s the post from 2017.

So, come along!

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, Rebekah, City Farmgirl in the Country

P.S.

“Life’s a trippy thing.”

I heard this song for the very first time today. It’s weird and perky and fantastic. Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Here’s a link. It’s sure to make you smile.

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A Give-Away To Celebrate MaryJanesFarm

AND THE WINNER IS JULIA! CONGRATULATIONS!

(sorry to be posting later than promised, but I couldn’t access the website earlier.)

Julia says: Mary Jane has inspired me so much throughout the years! Her make do with what you can attitude and tips have helped me become even more resourceful!
email me your mailing address at rebekah@maryjanesfarm.com

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I know I’ve gushed about MaryJane Butters many, many times through-out the many, many years I’ve been here. I know I go all fan-girl when I talk about MaryJane. She is the original, the authentic, the one and only. Many moons ago when I discovered her writings, she changed my world, rocked my view, made my head explode with inspiration. (I thought, “I want ME some of THAT!”) Many moons later, she still does. Constantly.

Now it is time for you to fan-girl, to gush.

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Leave a comment below about how MaryJane herself, MaryJanesFarm, the Farmgirl movement, or other farmgirls have positively impacted you, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of the new MaryJane Butters books. Amazon will ship it straight to your doorstep! You’ve got one week to enter. Only one entry per person.

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Can I Have this Dance?

Old Man Winter is getting ready to pack up his bags and head out. I realized that this morning when I saw two Canada Geese at my small pond. The 12-month resident, the Egret, was there as well.

My horses were keeping their distance. It takes my horses a while every year to get used to small, noisy, bossy geese when they return from their winter vacation elsewhere. The geese, with their aggressive charging and honking, run my horses away from the pond.

Three great, magnificent, powerful horses bullied by geese. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

 

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The Incredible Edible…

**EDIT Friends, Cowboy Dan died. My heart is broken. Thank you for your words of hope and thoughts and prayers.

Did you just sing that jingle in your head when you read the title? I sure did when I typed it.

“The incredible, edible egg!”

My chickens have come out of their winter non-laying phase and have started to gift me with eggs again. I’m always looking for new ways to cook them. What’s your favorite? Any go-to, easy recipes you can share?

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In My Mind, I’m Gone To…

Where do you go in your mind? When you need a moment of peace or comfort or happiness or clarity, what scene does your mind’s eye play for you? Even as adults, our imaginations can help us–if we exercise it.

Hold up. Wait a second. I have an announcement to make. A big one.

The other day, out of nowhere, the famous and feral mustache cat jumped on my lap! I couldn’t believe it. I know many of you told me it was only a matter of time, but I couldn’t imagine that cat would ever trust humans enough.

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He didn’t stay long. Just testing it out. Look at his little face, so uncomfortable.

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Autumn is Suh-Weeeet!

Autumn pulls me in.

In fall, my trips to town that should take 30 minutes become 45. Or more.

I roll down the windows, turn on the heater, and crank up the music. My old friends, James Taylor and Johnny Cash, and my new friends, The Avett Brothers, ride with me as I take back roads and side roads and dirt roads and curvy roads through the mountain countryside.

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