I’m Baaaaack just in time for the YOU Challenge and Bee’s Knees

The stories are too numerous, the adventures are too complicated. I simply can’t begin to explain where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing since we last visited some months ago.

But, I am here to tell ya that MAY is on its WAY! Together, we celebrate US, ourselves, in May as we enjoy the You Challenge together. It’s a month of YOU, yes- precious YOU. You, the bee’s knees. It’s a time of sharing our daily journeys in a safe and special place. We recognize the beauty around us and share it through photogrpahs of our various spots on earth.

My new favorite mug. For obvious reasons.

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If you are interested in learning more before you join our You Challenge, here is a link to some previous posts about this remarkable YOU time. Hope you’ll join us for the Merry, Merry month of May.

You Challenge Posts

Now, on to the “bees knees” news part of the post!

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Bring on the Hope and Joy and Peace and Love

The events of 2020 have impacted how we experience the holidays, AND LIFE.

Won’t you take a moment to share something with us? How are you doing this holiday season of 2020? How do you feel? What are you doing differently? Are you hanging in?

Me? I say:

Bring on the HOPE.

Bring on the JOY.

Bring on the PEACE.

Bring on the LOVE.

We need it.

By the way, I don’t really have any relevant photos, so I’ll just share some random ones from the year.

After an odd Thanksgiving, I’ve thought a lot about our holidays this year.

I am definitely experiencing the holidays differently both externally and internally.

What I’ve learned so far during these last 9 months is that if we look hard enough, we can find goodness in our current situation.

IMG_9209                                  I picked the last of the season a week or so ago

 

You might remember, if you’ve visited with me here for a while, that my quest has long been for a simple life. I’ve begged you all to tell me your secrets. I’ve read all the books. I say it every Christmas.

I’ve struggled with society’s demands for expensive complications for the season. My heart’s desire was to capture the “old days.” I’d long for the nothing other than the hope, joy, peace, love. I’d vow to leave behind all the trappings and commercialism.

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 This was in my local FaceBook feed. One of the joys of living in the country. 

 

I remember the first Christmas at my Christmas tree farm in the Appalachian Mountains. It was 2012. My daughter and I joined the local church for caroling. A local farmer took a crowd of us in a tractor-pulled hayride throughout the community. We’d stop at houses and carol. We sang all the traditional carols as loudly and as best we could. Sometimes we’d struggle for correct lyrics, but it didn’t matter.

I remember an elderly woman who insisted that we come into her warm house. We squeezed into her den like sardines to sing while some carolers crowded into the open front door and others sang from the front porch. I recall two things about that stop. One was the woman’s face. She had the sweetest smile and blue eyes that sparkled. The other memory is how hot it was in her home. We were in major winter wrappings and her house at 85 degrees inside. It was perfect.

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  Do you see the sweet red church with a steeple on a hill behind my horse shed?                            That’s the community church where I used to live.

I had lived long enough by then to realize that I was making a special memory. I drank in every moment, gluing it to the corner of my brain where lovely memories are stored. It was a cold, clear, magical night. I remember looking up to the moon-lit heaven as we bumped along a country road and felt that special thing in my heart. You know the thing? It’s warm and open and fluttering and peaceful and gentle. It penetrates you.

That was a simple Christmas event that meant the world to me. If only I could capture that every single year.

But I fail and fall into the rush, rush, rush.

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And then along comes 2020, and suddenly I’m well on my way. It’s shown us what is what. We see better the value in what is truly valuable and the frivolousness in much of what we thought was important.

For real: this year does anybody care about the trappings and commercialism? The stuff and the gifts? The over-decorating? The waste of food? The rush, rush, rush?

This Christmas my energy is focused more on the foundation of the holiday rather than the glitzy decorations, fun parties, and fabulous presents.

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             The quiet munching of Merlin. Pure peace.

              Excuse his witch’s knots on his mane and his fur stained with Georgia red clay.

THE TREE.

In about a week, we’ll go find a live tree to cut down, or we’ll bring home an already cut tree. It won’t be the largest and most perfect tree. It will be a medium-sized tree, probably flat and missing branches on one side. We’ll put the bad side towards the wall and put a few strings of brightly colored lights on it. Then we’ll add the ornaments that we have. (When we packed up our belongings to move to the new farm, no Christmas decorations jumped into our moving boxes. We’ve started from scratch.)

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  Last Christmas when we brought the tree inside.

                                                    That’s Jimmy.

                                     He loved the tree-in-the-house concept.

THE GIFTS.

These days, I don’t go shopping unless it’s necessary, so there will be no rushing around looking for perfect Christmas presents. Any shopping I do will be at the sleepy, local shops that really need the business. My town has a coffee roaster, a candlemaker, a liquor store, and a bookshop. Who wouldn’t want fresh coffee or a candle or a bottle of brandy or a book?

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  I just opened a Dove Peppermint Bark piece of candy.

                                                  This is what it said. 

THE FOOD.

Oh yes, they’ll be cookies. Yes, they’ll be lasagna on Christmas Eve and a turkey on Christmas Day. They’ll be buttered rum and eggnog. Oh yeah, they’ll be Dutch Babies for breakfast. But this year, we won’t make more than we can eat or share. This year we vow that NO FOOD will go to waste. That’s a challenge.

After my late summer dance with figs this year, I’m determined to find a recipe and make “Figgy Pudding.” Let’s hope it’s good since we will have to eat every bite.

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December 2020 has begun as a month of deep gratitude and simple merrymaking. This year our holiday will be more simple, sweet, green, modest, and holy.

Let’s do what our grandparents did: make the most and best out of what we have.

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                        I paused to admire the sunset the other evening.

Bring on the JOY.

Bring on the HOPE.

Bring on the PEACE.

Bring on the LOVE.

Bring on the MERRYMAKING.

Welcome.

Until next time, Friends,

Savor the Flavor of Life

Rebekah, The City Farmgirl in the Country Continue reading

Big Fig Pig Does A Fig Jig (Because She’s Content)

I wondering if you are a Fig Fan?

“The proper way to eat a fig, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy,
Moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.”

San Gervasio DH Lawrence (1885-1930)

I originally named this post “Fig Jig.” You see, it’s fig season in Georgia, and I love figs.

But somehow, in the midst of spell-check, autocorrect, and clumsy fingers “jig” became “pig.” Ah! I knew instantly that the new name fit perfectly, much better. My Dears, I confess that I am a fig pig, a big fig pig. And yes, I’m known to do a jig.

And to demonstrate that love, I’m doing the fig jig in my red shoes and goofy socks.

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You Know Why Mary is so Contrary? I Do.

“Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,

How does your garden grow?”

Tell us. How is YOUR garden growing this summer?

Won’t you share with us? Hit up the comment section with Your name, Your name, Quite your mood, How does your garden grow?” And then tell us about your garden, or lack thereof.

Ok, I’ll start.

“Rebekah, Rebekah, quite frustrated yet for some reason rather perky, how does your garden grow?”

Well, why don’t I just show you my harvest so far?

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Whether the Weather?

Hi! Welcome! Come and join me in the swing by the creek. Night is falling, and I’m about to build a fire. I baked tea cakes earlier for you.

What kind of tea woud you like? Or would you prefer coffee? Water? Wine?

IMG_8443I looked out my kitchen window one recent morning and saw a male Red Cardinal in my yard in full “come hither” mode. I didn’t know what I was witnessing at the time, but I did know it was spectacular. I watched him stay in this unusal position on the ground, displaying the plume of his generous red tail feathers.

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Going ‘Round that Ole Mulberry Bush

One thing’s for sure. I’m not going to use the CV-19 word in this post. No way, no how.

Or how’s this: C for Colorful. V for very. And guess what? My Baby turned 19 yesterday. So, Colorful Very 19.

So what are we to do about Colorful Very 19? I think the answer is, “enjoy life even more.” Leave our worries behind. Focus on today. And just go ’round and ’round that ole mulberry bush with a smile on your face.

Because, My Friends, spring is here. And that is happy news for us all. If spring hasn’t reached you yet, just wait. It’s headed your way…

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Backwards or Forwards?

I started writing as the MaryJanesFarm “City Farmgirl” a long time ago. Don’t ask me when. 2006, maybe? 2008?

It’s been a FUN ride. I always enjoy writing my posts and then, the best part, hearing back from you all! And the folks at MaryJanesFarm? Well, you can imagine how inspiring and encouraging it is to work with them. I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to share with you here than I am. It’s great.

Recently I had to purge some photos from a photo storage site that I used early on in blogging. I received a notice about their fees increasing, so decided to see what I was storing there. I wound up sitting in front of the computer for hours as I looked at hundreds of photos. I hadn’t seen these since I put them up on the blog years ago.

Doing this turned out to be an emotional experience. It was a weird sentimental journey, a wistful wondering, a deep look into the eyes of me, back then.

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CHICKENS: IT’S A LOVELY RIDE

Yesterday, as I stood by the grave where my father and I had just buried my big, beautiful, gentle, and kind Cochin Rooster, I considered the chicken journey I have travelled for the last 7 years.

This friendly, engaging, and noisy Rooster was a large part of that experience. He was the epi-center. His name was Mr. Coshie.

Mr. Coshie was one of the ambassadors of my farm.

I started with 17 babies back in the springtime of 2013.

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Finding Peace and Nurturing Hope

I can’t tell you how proud I am of you (and me) this holiday season.

I’m proud that you (and me) stopped and took a moment to ourselves, that we gathered here.

Me, I’ve got a cup of mulled, spiced Wassail beside me, the only light in the room is from the Christmas tree lights and the burning fire. What about you?

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Life is Like…

In my very best southern drawl Forest Gump voice (which, My Friends, is pretty darn good), “Lie-ph is lack a waul-k through them woodz.”

There are places that heal. We, as humans, are especially drawn them. They help us (re)connect our mind, heart, and soul to something bigger than ourselves. These places offer us a peace deep within if we allow them to. Sometimes people call them their “holy ground.”

What is your place? Is it a particular spot on earth? A cabin? Or do you go to the mountains, or the ocean, or a cathedral? Or the woods?

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