Finding Balance

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
I love the wildness of springtime in Prosser; it resonates with my own spirit somehow. I love when flowers pop up out of seemingly nowhere. Well, all but the tulips that keep cropping up in my Shasta beds. They irritate me, although I have to give them their due. Every year I am convinced that I have killed every last one of them…and every spring they seem to come back with a vengeance. Although they are my least favorite flower (if they were yellow, white, or purple ones I would be fine, but these are red and orange), and I dislike them with a passion, I have become fond of their tenacity.

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  1. Debbie says:

    Hi Rene’,
    This is so true.. To everything there IS a season…Not just in nature, but in life…I think this might be the toughest lesson to learn for us "gals".. We try to squeeze in a whole life into one season sometimes… If there is anything nature has taught me, it is that even when it seems nothing is happening in the garden, they are! Right now,the ground is thawing making it possible for warmer days to do their magic on the roots of my plants. I’m always amazed at how my crocus are able to bloom so early with such brilliant color.. It’s as if god gave them and they alone the job of announcing to all..Hang on everyone!Spring is coming!
    After a fun day in the "farmyard" yesterday I went out "camera in hand as well" to visit my winter garden which has been covered in snow for a few weeks. Dead seed heads on my black eyed susans provided food for the birds,and the ornanental grasses now the color of fresh straw add such a pretty texture to my winterscape. it was a gray day here too, but I snapped away none the less… It snowed more last night and today the sun is out and everything is sparkling.. I’m headed out with my camera again… Hey, it beats sitting inside pining away for spring…It’ll get here no matter how I wait for it 🙂
    Thanks for more wonderful words here Rene’!


  2. Karen says:

    What a great article. Living in Oklahoma, I have been having the same feelings that winter will never end. My dogs a restless and wanting to go on long walks. The short walks to the mailbox are not satifying them. I am anxious to see what sprouts through the ground as the weather warms to Spring. Balance is a good thing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Bonnie Story says:

    Hi! Honey, why kill tulips??? Let them shine!! They don’t last long anyway… I dunno, the deer around here (I’m in Quilcene, WA) don’t let me have tulips, and the idea of you ripping them up for being the wrong lovely color makes me… SAD I guess. You must have some really good deer fencing, or an army of large dogs!! Moving on from the tulip thing, I too find winter really relaxing in the lack of stimulus. The picture says it all – a blank canvas against which we can really see truth without razzle-dazzle and rush-rush. Thank you so much for this post, you really put your finger on something sweet that I have been missing. Have a great day! Bonnie

  4. Gary says:

    Perfect timing Rene’…
    Your Bloggie speaks to our longing for "change for the better"… we do it even when what we have is Swell, albeit not perfect.
    "Gray days"… my career brought me to Florida, and when I arrived, I declared I would "never" miss those long "gray days of Winter" back Home in the Smokeys. Well, guess what… sunshine every day will just wear you out, and after 20 years of it, I sooo long for those "good ol’ gray rainy days".
    Balance… hmmm… I’m sure it’s somewhere, yet I have no clue where… meanwhile, I shall find it within myself and return to my beloved Mountain and it’s "gray days".
    Hey… I bet there is someone within a few miles of you, who is saying: "I love Spring, if I could just keep that awful shasta out of my beautiful red tulip bed.
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa


    Hahahah…. You be kind to those Shastas…LOL

  5. Nice writing, Rene’. This has been such an unusual winter…one that can challenge the emotions. A ‘long-timer’ from this area said that the last time he saw a winter like this it was 54/55.
    so, the two positives here are:
    1)maybe we won’t have another one for 50 years
    2)spring ‘should’ be here much sooner than last year

    If we get a few days like yesterday and today, I think that I can work in my flower beds….we’ll see

  6. Nancy says:

    This post was so beautiful Rene. Balance for one person may not be balance for another-but you touched on something so very true….and that is finding an honoring the balance that works and is real for our individual selves.

    Nature never fails to offer us Her inspiring ways of helping us find ourselves, or sweet pieces of calm, nurturing, strength and balance to our lives.

    When in doubt, in drought of the spirit, troubled, or simply feeling out of sorts with our life or Life in general….my motto is always….."Go Outside"….

    hugs and blessings,

  7. Kitty says:

    My husband is out plowing snow AGAIN! Overnight the howling winds whip the snow into place.Our days have been without sunshine,also. When I feed my birds I think of the misplaced sunflowers that will show up in summer. They bring joy and interesting imbalance to my balanced flower gardens.I love photography and also find that winter offers many beautiful and restful photos. Keep looking at the hill in our field….wonder if the sled will work????

  8. Grace~katmom says:

    hey girlie, send me those tulip babies…I run a home for wayward tulips! lol!

  9. Cameron says:

    Well Dear Rene,

    One thing Winter does for you is bring out the poet and philosopher! Wonderful!! Your thoughts echo a conversation that’s been repeated here (Northern Indiana) more than a few times over the last several days. Fellow "Farmgirls" are feeling the Winter ‘blahs’ bigtime. We don’t remember what green grass looks like…….the ground has been a blanket of white for weeks upon weeks! Your comment regarding how long this Winters’ seemed is a feeling most of us are experiencing.

    On a cheerier note………the Canada Geese have been flying back for the last week or so, I KNOW Spring is coming with them! If it isn’t my imagination, the deer are beginning to lighten in color and the finches are exchanging their grey feathers for the far more becoming daffodil yellow every day!!! Oh, how I want to see that shock of vibrant color……, orange yellow, purple!!!

    At least the weather is recession proof!!! Spring can’t be mortgaged or laid-off!!

    Out of all the many things to be thankful for, I must admit I’m thankful for Winter the most, Spring just wouldn’t seem as magical without it!

    Happy thoughts to add to yours, Rene. Thank you!

  10. Linda #583 says:

    I’ll dig in your tulip bed any cold day! One’s trash is another’s treasure; and, I LOVE those colors!

  11. julie zastera says:

    I loved the articele and your reference to the verse at the end.. It really helps me keep balance as I try to do to much .. Thank you. Julie z

  12. Pat says:

    Rene, I love your pictures. I really really love the Mary Jane newsletter that you do. Those old vintage pictures you use are so cute. Thanks you for sharing. I am Farmgirl # 227.

    Thank you Pat….

  13. meredith says:

    I too have been worn down by this winter in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia- we have had snow since before Christmas and while I love snow, taking care of our farm (many, many cows and 10 equines), the traditionally "slower" season when we rest and relax and gear up for spring- crops- hay has never materialized this year. I can see needing a good vacation when this snow is all done and mud season dries up. I try, each day, not to complain with everyone else about the snow and cold- I do love snow, even when I have to work in it-and remember that the good earth has needed this moisture for some years here, and the corn and hay will flourish with all the water they will have. God provides what we need, when we need it!

  14. Marisa Hayes says:

    Rene, Your words and insight to the surroundings are so beautiful and true. I, too, struggle sometimes with winter. I can’t imagine doing without it, but I do wish it could be "shortened" by a few months. But winter does have its own beauty, and I do LOVE to play, I mean shovel, snow (ha! ha!), which my husband appreciates and my granddaughter loves. So, Rene, maybe you can do what I do for the winter "blues" and bring summer inside. I make new curtains/home decor and give my house a "warm" feeling with … greens, yellows, blues,(I love the summer sky!) and plant more greenery!!….. just stay away from neutral colors … hence, winter. You can always rotate your colors each year if you want or make it a fun project of deciding what you want to do "this winter". It can be fun and it doesn’t have to cost a lot if you’re a bargain shopper. Since you love to take pictures, take pictures of your creations as a reminder of the ever changing beauty of both inside and outside your home. LOL Marisa


    Thank you for the challenge. I have been working on re-doing my office space…. Bright yellow!!!

  15. carolj says:

    Thanks for reminding me that there is beauty in every season. This Georgia girl is grateful for a few days of sun and warmer temperatures, but like Rene I am finding it hard to be motivated to live in the moment or face the few deadlines I have. Maybe today is a good day to start culling magazines for pictures for the collage I need to make just for the fun of it.

  16. Reba says:

    Hello Rene,
    I can’t believe it! It is 60 degrees and sunny outside…just last week it was snow, even here in Georgia! I walked around outside and found so many daffodil buds just waiting to pop open! My flowering quince? has pink blooms already on it! I could’nt believe how beautiful after the snow! But we get such a small amount of snow, I enjoyed that as well. I have been cleaning out a "sewing closet" so that has kept me occupied until today…I just had to be outside. And when I looked out I saw about a dozen robins pecking away at the ground. Now that is a sure sign of Spring! Reba

  17. Linda Rogers says:

    This Texas farmgirl has also had it with the cold weather and even some sleet and snow,we don’t usually have this cold this long. Even had hubby plow the garden, got the tractor stuck, oh, well, I know its too early, but guess I was trying to rush Spring. I have been trying to appreciate the winter and know there is a purpose for every season. I am new to Mary Jane’s and learning the web site. Have gotten several ideal, and can’t wait to try some.
    I too enjoy your blog, would like to find others from Texas. I am Farmgirl #946

  18. Well said! We really do need to appreciate what is around us at the moment and let the rest just come naturally.

  19. Darcey says:

    Thanks so much for this post Rene! I know I am not the only one facing these grey days. (I’m in Wisconsin) I am so ready for spring, though. I, too, have had a hard winter with my health and with my little one who wants to be outside all the time.

    I’ve had thoughts about packing up and leaving this place forever, just to avoid winter…but then I get a smell of spring, and I can’t wait. My heart picks up and I remember. I’d hate to miss that transition.

    And there are moments when I love being inside, in a snow storm, where we can just unwind and live quietly for a moment. Life can never be perfect can it!

  20. shelley says:

    wonderfully and beautifully written! i could see everything you described in my own minds eye and it ushered in a sense of peace this morning. i have been sitting here contemplating what to do for the day and although quilting is on my adgenda, i think i’ll be finding my way outside to play in my pots and ready them for spring. also, i thought it was so cute that you don’t like tulips! i love them. i guess that’s like having straight hair and wantin’ curly! i have a lone pot of tulips on my kitchen windowsill and i love them. they are a beautiful red and my husband who has never bought me flowers in 20 years of marriage brought them home to me the other day. he’s slowly changing! it was a fabulous gift to receive. i wish for you peace and love in your day.

  21. estelle says:

    Hi, Im brand new to farmgirl and what a post to start with. I am sitting here listening to the wind and rain knowing i should go to bed and surfing instead then i find my feelings in words better than i could have described to my self, thank you Ill be a regular soon im sure

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Summoned by the Queen

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
Sometimes something as simple as answering the phone can change your ho-hum day into the most perfect one. It is in those moments that a beam of sun is somehow interjected into the drabness of a winter’s afternoon.

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  1. Maria says:

    When the queen summons, you put on your best dress, your best shoes, (your best everything!!!) and you jump in the carriage and go!!!

    How fun and exciting!!!

    The pillars on the front (or back) porch look amazing, I can only imagine how the whole house looks….

  2. auntpammy says:

    Wow, a regular Lady-in-Waiting! How lovely for you. From reading your lovely blog posts I can see why she wanted you to have an audience with her. Good luck with your celebration, I know it will be a true success.

  3. Sounds wonderful!
    I love the way you describe the impact that other women can have in our lives. Sometimes that’s a hard thought to put to words and you did it well!
    I choose ‘rose’ for the color of my lenses! 😉

  4. Gary says:

    Brings back memories Rene’…
    I always notice when someone lives with Style and Grace…
    While we never had a "mansion", my Mom and Pop were such people. I recall many Summer evenins spent with invited Friends on our back lawn, which was divided by a row of cherry trees into "the back yard" and "The Croquet Court". In the yard there was a barbeque going and tables loaded with Old Southern foods, and the ice cream churn cranking, and games of badmitton being played by us kids. After Supper, everyone went to the Croquet Court and my Pop turned on the floodlights and we played in teams until time for coffee and dessert. In Winter, Friends were invited for Dinner and games of canasta, while us kids played carom, hide and seek, and Chinese checkers. There was no tv… just people sharing stories and jokes and having fun.
    You are correct Rene’… people who live with Style and Grace make an impression that is everlasting in the Joy it brings.
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa

  5. Kelly says:

    It seems when we are open to opportunities and possiblities they will come. Your story is a great illustration of this. The connections we make with others (in many cases great women) I believe can be inspiration to do and become more. I found your story just that sort of inspiration. It sounds like it will be a great experience.

  6. Just like cinderella, for sure. It sounds like a divine house and wonderful company. I must say that some credit goes to you, as well. After all, you must have made a wonderful impression to be asked to come to tea. As you always do. You are a fun, creative, joyful person, who celebrates all people, who wouldn’t want more of you? 😀


    Thank you for such kind words… I am deeply touched. I have determined to see the brilliance in the world, and I am never dissapointed as it always shows up!!!!

  7. Reba says:

    Rene, You have such a way of writing that is with style and grace. I do so enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing and teaching us to choose the type of lens that we want in our lives. You are so blessed to have met the Queen! I have met one in my life, and they do always seem to send the sun into our lives on a beam. My mother passed away early in my life and I was careful to guard my heart for any other to take her place. But when I met this lady that is like a queen with style and grace, I chose to call her "my second mom." What better mentor!! I can’t wait to hear more about your encounters.


    I will certainly share more in this adventure. As I have thought about this encounter, I have been mostly struck by the servanthood of the woman that I met. Pat. It is her simple elegance that raises her to Queen Status in my eyes…. Not as someone who "lords over" but rather as someone who has determined to serve. While her home is a beautiful Manor… I never felt more at home or welcomed anywhere. I feel honored to be in her court, so much so I asked her to adopt me 🙂 . Just like your story, life gives us what we need. If we will choose to be open to it.

  8. Betsy Cline says:

    Where is this lovely house and antique shop at? Sounds like something my sister and I would love to visit but we do live in Florida so it would have to be on one of our sister trips together.

    They are located between Sunnyside/and Zillah WA. Although their address is Wapato, WA. and of course if you guys come out this way, let me know.. We will make sure that you get the farmgirl tour 🙂

  9. Grace~katmom says:

    oh Rene’,
    thanx for sharing with us…I feel like I was there….hugz

  10. carol branum says:

    hi Rene,Good for you,it will be fun…I had an aunt that lived in a fabulous victorian as a child I felt just like Polyanna in the Walt Disney movie.I helped polish her large collection of silver,while she tryed to teach me manners.She slept with her rare silver teaspoons of the apostles under her pillow at night…Have fun,and enjoy!carol branum,

  11. Jamie says:

    Wow, how lucky of a lady are you? What a wonderful opportunity and experience to get to be apart of. Can’t wait to see and hear how it goes.

  12. Janeen Breyman says:

    Your story has inspired me! I will be helping with a tea May 8th; the theme is Honor Your Mother. We will be bringing aid to a local agency who’s focus is to help low income pregnant women. I love the themed idea and the selling of products that you mention. Please let us know how this celebration unfolds as I might be able to implement some of the ideas.

  13. Nancy says:

    Rene, What a wonderful story! I look forward to hearing about the event and seeing more pictures. You will have such a great time!

  14. Marcia says:

    Often we are surprised when someone requests our insight, talents, knowledge, creativity, to be of help to them. Take the gifts that you have been given, be yourself. After all was it not another Queen that Pat met?!

    Thank you, what a kind thought!

  15. Sabrina says:

    The way you wrote this blog, I felt as though I was there with you. Thank you for inspiring me to see the beauty in the women that are in my life. They each have a gift that makes me want to be a better me. Thank you so much for sharing this story. have fun and let your creativity flow

  16. Shery says:

    Oh Rene`, what beautiful visuals — your writing put me right there (virtually that is). I wish I could have tagged along.

    You can tag along anytime Shery!!!!

  17. Valynne says:

    Happy Heart Day, Rene; and thank you for another inspiring blog post. I love what Marcia had to say:

    "After all was it not another Queen that Pat met?!"

    It takes one (brilliantologist) to know one, methinks.

    Hope to see you and the other farmgirls again soon, and here’s to a perfectly wonderful centennial celebration at Sawyer Mansion!



  18. Edie says:

    Rene, the house looks and sounds lovely. Hope to read more about your adventure for the May 15, event. Made me feel elegant reading your discription of the house. Hope your having fun in the planning. Edie

  19. Andreamss says:

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    Some time before, I really needed to buy a house for my business but I didn’t earn enough cash and could not order something. Thank goodness my father suggested to try to take the personal loans from reliable creditors. So, I did that and was happy with my car loan.

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