Welcome Spring

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
Spring has sprung in our valley. It has been here for a couple of weeks, yet I have been feeling much like I did as a young mom, when my boys would wake and hit the floor running while I was left rubbing my eyes and clumsily reaching for a cup of coffee, not quite ready to greet the tasks at hand.

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  1. Reba says:

    Hello Rene, I so remember the feelings that you are writing about. I was standing in front of my window, crying, after we left our daughter at college in another state, saying, "what am I supposed to do now?" And I heard a small soft Voice say, "you can choose to enjoy life with her no matter where she is or what she is doing, or grieve yourself to death." I chose the first part. Since having made that choice she has traveled to some awesome places while in college and beginning her own new life. And because of her my hubby and I have enjoyed some great travels and our view of the world has been opened up. I guess that day I realized life was not ending just turning a corner. Now as she is settling in the USA I am looking forward to this new time in her life and ours as I do each new Spring, smelling the daffodils or just living life simply.

  2. carol McElroy says:

    Oh what good timing, my youngest will leave home next year, and of all the kids he is the one most ready to go…….I will miss the friends he brings, and I do not know what I will do with my self. You are right Rene, we spend their whole life getting them ready to go. And then they do. I had a long talk with myself about that very subject while I was in the garden yesterday. I know you are proud of the man he is becoming. ENJOY Spring, Carol

  3. Gary says:

    What a excellent Bloggie Rene’…
    Straight from the Heart… that’s your best writing style, as through your words we join you in your Spring meandering and melancholy.
    When I was a very young child, I remember laying by the fireplace on the living room floor and telling my Mom and Pop that we should just all "stay here because we’re happy", and she tried to explain why we couldn’t do that.
    I too find that, as I grow older, there is a odd "Peace" to Winter, which is shattered by the arrival of Spring.
    Looking back, I recall how it seemed like time had no end, and looking forward, I wonder how it all went by so fast.
    I think "living well" is the business of making good Memories, for while the time goes by and is gone forever, the Memories are ours to keep.
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa

  4. Carol says:

    Oh Rene! I can totally relate as the last of my four is a senior this year and I’m feeling the same heartaches. It is ironic that we prepare them to go, but when they do it’s like a slap in the face! I had 3 girls first that have all successfully made it – whew!…. But there is something different about the boy – pretty much young Man – flying the coop. My girls still feel close even tho totally busy with where their own lives have led them but the Boy, aaaaah – hard to let go of for some odd reason! It will really be quiet around here as we are the house he and his friends all land at most of the time and gather in our ‘pit’ in the basement as well. One thing’s for sure – the grocery bill will be cut in half and the house won’t have that ‘just baked cookie smell’ going on and that will be sad…. I’ve yet to have my "Springy" day in the garden – HOPEfully next week !

  5. Sunny says:

    Lovely, Rene’. The sharing of your feelings in your blog is always heartfelt and inspiring. Thank you.

  6. Amy says:

    What a wonderful posting. I loved what you said about your hesitation not slowing down the hands of time. I try to stop and take in the moments of my girls, 7 & 9, as they grow, but as hard as I try to slow it down, time is moving so quickly.

  7. What a really sweet post. It is so hard to see them go, and yet, they are often back before you know it….for the laundry, as you said or for some homemade chocolate chip cookies, or to just tell you about the latest fun they had. It’s all good!

  8. Oh Rene’ sometimes I feel like I am on a different planet…when I go into town I see gardens and flowering trees and then I return home & nothing! Today I awoke to a layer of frost on the ground…the past days we have had drizzle & hail…I sooooo want some sunshine,,,can I borrow some of yours? I’ll trade ya some wind..oh wait you have your own wind!lol!!!
    Hugz & I am off and running, got a million & one things to do and just one cup of Java to ‘geter done!’…
    Have a Wonderful, Wunderbar & Fantabulous day today & everyday.

  9. Tonya says:

    Thank you for sharing this. As our oldest child (of 6) is sixteen now, my thoughts occasional think of what it will be like when he goes off to make a life of his own.

    I know what you mean about walking around the homestead and observing new life – such a gift.
    Warm wishes.

  10. kay says:

    It’s hard letting go of those kidlets.

    I’m so excited, I have a pumpkin seed popping through
    the soil in the greenhouse.

    Welcome spring, and by the way happy Easter!!

  11. Skye says:

    I loved your article..I’ve been waiting for spring and yet, yesterday saw a bit of snow falling in the morning..However, this morning I awoke to sun and 28 degrees..My strawberries are showing signs of life but alas, my raspberries are taking their time…I’m hoping to get outside and soon but like you, I do feel a bit of hesitant..Yet, I think once I head outside finally, I’ll feel all that springs gifts us…Thank you for your lovely blog words…They really touched my heart…Good luck in your preparation of the huge family event. Watching my 3 children one by one leave the nest made me a bit sad but then I have my beautiful grandchildren who warm my heart all the time..Many blessings and happy spring!!! best wishes, Skye

  12. Janice K. says:

    Yesterday, I hopped on my riding lawnmower and began the process of the ‘first mow’. This always makes me think how lucky that I am to live in a space of birdsong, sunshine, and garden space. I was riding along and feeling the happiness of that springtime day and then I thought of mom. My mom passed in December. This will be the first Easter that we won’t share, the first year of not planting together, caring for our charges, reaping our harvest. There I was, riding along and crying my tears, thinking that I was the only person feeling loss. Of course I know better! Thank you for the idea of planting something in memory of my mother and father. I truly believe that they are just over my shoulder, just out of sight..
    Hugs to you all,

  13. Nancy J says:

    As I was reading your blog, my mind traveled back when my own five children, 4 boys & 1 girl, were small. When each one went off to kindergarten, I cried. It never got easier for me. When each one moved out, either for school, the armed services or got married, I cried. Still, didn’get any easier. But out of all the times of separations, there are three that are the most painfull. My oldest son married to at the time seamed like a sweet girl. She has turned him against our whole family. I pray for restoration, even though it has been over 10 years. He has five children, we have never seen. Our middle son & his wife moved across the country and I was so afraid we would never see them again, either. After a year, they moved back to the area. But the most painfull was having our son, second oldest, go off to the war in Iraq. We are proud of him…but the pain of watching your child go to such a horrid place…the pain was undescibable. I thank God every day he made it home safely & now has two beautiful little girls…Life is hard but God is faithful.

  14. Bonnie Ellis says:

    Oh Rene: I feel your heart grieve as your children become men, ready to test the world. I did that and still do that as my two boys live in other states and no one is at home.I remember them dressed so spiffy for Easter and looking for eggs hidden in the yard. I remember their weddings when you give them over for wives to care for them. In a mother’s heart is a special place for those dear little ones we cared for, care for and just a little sadness creeps in until we realize they were only entrusted to our care. As we let go, the love deepens. Bonnie

  15. Nancy says:

    I have three children that have flown the nest and your post brought back the memories of the times that I was facing an empty nest. I cried…But the nest has quickly filled back up with my elderly Mother who came to live with me and then a son and 2 grandsons that came back after a difficult divorce because he/they needed help and time to heal. Life has a way of filling our hearts and homes with other things and that’s the way it’s suppose to be. Still I long for the times that all of my chicks were under my wing. Most of all, I hope they have fond memories of that time and want to their children to know the love and warmth of being home.

  16. carol branum says:

    hi Rene,I love spring,and am just starting to enjoy it also,it was 86 degrees outside today,but windy.I picked flowers for a boquet,it is bueatiful.My gathering of "Annies Project"farmgirls turned out great.One of my elderly neighbors made me a lamb cake to serve,it turned out great.She had her cast iron pan she said for 61 years.You can purchase them from Lemans.We also are shareing seeds,and haveing a ball gathering.I am happy,Have a nice Easter weekend,blessed be,Carol Branum,Lamar Mo.themofarmersdaughter@blogspot.com

  17. (sniff!) I have tears in my eyes as I read this! I only have two little birdies in my nest- and the oldest one is only a Sophmore- but I am already getting wistful thinking about him flying away. I know it will come too soon!

    I love the idea of a seed/plant swap! Do you have any tips for organizing one of my own?

    Many of our Prosser Farmgirls started saving seeds in the fall, and were happy to exchange them. But it would also work for gals who have purchased seeds or who might have plant starts to swap..

  18. Debbie says:

    Oh Rene’,
    What a wonderful post… spring does have it’s way of working it’s magic on us if we can let it… it’s a new season for you too with your son striking out on his own…
    We are in the teen years at our house… so the begnnings of them pushing and pulling have begun… so far so good, but I know our time will come when they must go and be on their own and it won’t be easy…It makes me so much more grateful for the time we have with now…
    Hang in there my friend, let Spring warm you inside and out!

  19. Kate Ferry says:

    I feel the same thing with my 19-month old moving quickly out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. It goes by so fast – pretty soon she will be a rambunctious teenager that is leaving the house.

    I really love the idea of a seed/plant swap. It’s a wonderful way to share favorite plants and stories on what grew well and what didn’t. Plus, I always have tons of seeds left over and could use a place to share them. I might have to get started on one of those around here on the west side of the mountains!


    Take care – and enjoy spring!


  20. Hi Rene`, I love the idea of a seed & plant swap. I’m gonna borrow the idea for our little chapter in Wyoming. My girlfriend already got it started when she dug up 4 cedar babies yesterday. Thank you for the idea!
    Shery Jespersen

  21. Valynne says:

    Well, as I have mentioned before Paul and I have no children of our own but I still got a lump in my throat reading this post and all of the heartfelt comments it inspired.

    My baby sister has been accepted to Cal Poly and will be a college freshman this time next year. We are twenty years apart and have lived thousands of miles away from each other since she was a toddler…but still I am wistful.

    Your post puts things into another perspective – Mom hasn’t said much (we don’t talk enough, really) about how all of this makes her feel – bet it is tough for her right now. I think it is time I gave her a call. I will be sure to mention your blog : )

  22. Peggy S. says:

    It is so wonderful to feel Spring in the Air and to see our favorite blooming trees and spring flowers in full glory. I truly enjoyed reading your post and some of your followers comments. I am a new Farm Sister but I am enjoying everyones Blogs and the Forums etc.

    As one of my City Bosses once said to me, upon seeing me wear a lot of denim to work…"You can take the girl out of the Country, but you can’t take the Country out of the girl!" Truer words were never spoken. Blessings to Each of You, Peggy

  23. Juile says:

    Rene~ Thanks for your musings. I also have seen my children leave the nest. I remember as I, the youngest of 5, left home , my mother was mourning that fact that she was no longer in direct communication with the "younger world". She stated that it kept her young. I guess that is one of the reasons that I enjoy working in our local high school. Even though my youngest of 3 has left home, I still get to stay in touch with the "younger world". I would encourage anyone that is feeling lost because of an empty nest, to adopt a local student that might be feeling lost due circumstances beyond their control and need an anchor to make it through. You’d be amazed at the difference you can make in their lives.

  24. Julie Watson says:

    A few months ago, the ladies of my church showed up for a surprise "kitchen shower". We were in the midst of remodeling our kitchen. What a blessing when they all came and brought food and gifts and we all sat and had a great time. I was reminded of that when I was reading the most recent MaryJane’s Farm magazine when someone was talking about having a garden party. Surprising someone when everyone shows up with bedding plants to make an "instant flower garden" for a friend. How fun!

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Random Acts of Kindness & Dreaming BIG

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
Have you ever had those moments when you just get so emotionally exhausted trying to figure out the next step? You know, times when you find yourself praying—begging really—that a plane would fly past pulling a banner with the answer clearly written on it? Boy, I have. I find myself standing at the crossroads of change and I feel frozen as I debate the “right” path. I would imagine that no matter what one does for a living, we all take pause to evaluate life from time to time. Yet now that I’m finally doing what I always dreamed of doing, it is easy to be convinced that dreaming of more is somehow selfish.

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  1. Catherine says:

    What a wonderful answer to your prayers. I love that it came via a fellow farmgirl!
    Praying your big dreams come true!
    Thanks for the encouragement to continue following my own dreams, as well.
    Catherine 🙂

  2. Beautiful post and wonderful bracelet! love it!

  3. katmom~Grace says:

    Oh No! you are going to give in & become a Guinea Pig Rancher? lol!
    hahah, you know I am just kidding…
    Love ya & support ya in heart & prayer girlfriend.
    "Tag…U.R. it"
    : > )

    April & June are fast approaching…is Back-40 ready?

    Gracie, What would I do without you? Back -forty is a little behind schedule, but she will be ready to roll.. (Back 40 is my vinatge trailer) I will be posting more about her.  Gracie sent me the cutest pillow for her…

  4. krla says:

    How true! Too many time we blow past new opportunites & don’t even take the time to think of all the wonderful new things that could be waiting for us. In this world of new technologie, electronics, & whiz bang toys we often miss the quiet moments we are meant to savor. Turn off that phone & take a walk-watch the robins who are back for spring! Yes, get off the computer for just a bit & look out your window because the grass is starting to turn green & you don’t want to miss it! Go out to the garden because you just might find something to surprise you-I know I did. I have spinach that over wintered in Iowa-what a rare treat that was! Fresh spinach in March!Yummmmmm!
    Slow down & look around you-the world is waiting to be discovered!

  5. Gary says:

    Good Bloggie Rene’…!
    What a timely Gift that is…
    You are right about those "crossroads"… we usually "get" an answer to our deliberations, and often it is from a unexpected source.
    Looking back over the years, I can see that some of the events, which I considered disasters at the time, were actually just God clearing the way for something new and better.
    Whatever our Hopes and Dreams are, if Love and Faith have a place in them, then we will be Happy when we get them.
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa

    Very well said, Gary. Thanks!

  6. Robin says:

    I, too, am at a crossroads waiting for the universe to nudge me forward. Thanks for the inspiration. Best wishes. Robin

    Crossroads…. they are our friends. I am sure of it.. Best wishes Robin!!!!

  7. April says:

    As a young mother of 2, I was climbing the ladder of so-called success and thought I was on the right road until recently. I have never "fit" into the corporate life and have also felt …wrong. Then our sweet Lord sent a word – I have not given you a longing for the ability to do things you are not able to do. Your longing is your path I have enabled you to do for me….just thought I would share. Thanks for the encouragement
    April – South Carolina
    Keeping it Simple Sisters – KISS


    Love the KISS.. too cute! 

  8. Susan says:

    What a lovely answer to prayer!! I love it!

  9. Valynne says:

    Wow. Love this post, Rene. It seems like more of us are replacing "more is better" with "less is more" these days…how freeing!

    Paul and I have simplified (in a BIG way) this past year – neither of us miss the huge house or the extra car or any of the other "stuff". Everything is clearer, now.

    "I was able to recognize the growth that had taken place inside of me, and I was much more aware of the small choices that we make (or don’t make) that get us either where we want (or don’t want) to be"

    Cheers to honoring your decision place. And I love how your prayer was answered! Here’s to climbing your own ladder and dreaming big while you are at it!



    It is always such a joy when I hear from you. I am glad that you an Paul are doing well.  I feel so honored to have met you (in person) at Farm Fair.. Keep me updated girl, you are one of my favorites… such a sweet spirit.

  10. Yes I know. We are living our dream as well. Although we still have so much work ahead of us. But that is life – a work in progress.
    You will know what is right I believe, if you pray and listen.
    Warm wishes and joy, Tonya

  11. carol branum says:

    Hi Rene,Just what I needed today..I have been takeing a class for the last 6 weeks at the University of Missouri Extention office called Annies Project,or how to marry a farmer ,we all joked,Its been a lot of fun,and I met 25 new ladies,most, from different counties other than mine,I have learned a lot about estate planning,farm business planning,fence laws,insurance,It covered everything I need to know to start farming.I highly recomend the class to everyone of your readers.The ladies and I plan to keep meeting and have started a new farm girl club.I signed up to be a chapter leader,but need some more information from you.I haven,t had time to look up all the infor…But…It made me start worrying myself sick about needing more money,But,just when I think things are hopeless,I get this shot of encouragement,thanks,I have to keep thinking positive.I need this bracelet!I love your blog,and thanks to Mary Jane for changeing my entire life,Can you believe just a year ago I was ashamed of being just a farmgirl?Now,I see myself in a entire new light.Blessed be,Carol Branum,Lamar Mo.,themofarmersdaughter@blogspot.com


    I am so jealous, I am so intreged with "Annie’s Project" and have read up on it… You have to keep me updated on all that you are learning.

  12. Timi says:

    THANK YOU! I needed this post today. I have been sitting here wondering what to do, should I do it, should I wait, should I react or just let it go?
    Thank you! I’m going to dream big and go with it!


  13. Heather Hansen says:

    Oh I loved this article. I have some dreams too and not sure what to do about them yet. Yes, it’s important to DREAM BIG 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 and no it’s not selfish at all. I think God puts those dreams in your heart for a reason. Sometimes we don’t know what that is yet. Sometimes we may never know. But I know that I’ve been encouraged by the dreams of others..and that gives me hope too 🙂 🙂
    Another thing I firmly believe is to keep committing all of those dreams to prayer… and just because we don’t get the answer right away, doesn’t mean no..it just means "not yet"..
    Oh thank you so much for writing this 🙂 🙂 Yeah…I’m going to dream big for myself 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. Judy says:

    Always thought things would make one happy. Oh this would look so nice there or there or the kids would love this and now have a house full of stuff and it doesn’t matter. One needs crossroads to change things about ourselves and situations that we don’t like. Dream Big that’s the only way to know what you need for you.

    I so agree…. crossroads always produce the oppertunity for change.

  15. Tammie says:

    Thank you Rene for sharing your inspirational story!
    I have been touched not only by your words but by the thoughts and stories shared by each of these sisters that have responded to your story as well!
    In 2004 the slogan was "Less is more in 2004". I don’t know how six years have passes since then so quickly but I am finally down sizing and getting rid of all the clutter.
    I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though and it truelly looks sweet.
    My new favorite slogan now is in the words of Mary Jo… KISS (Keeping It Simple Sisters) Love It!!!!

    Tonya I went to your blog as well and found it more than touching and inspirational. What a wonderful way to raise your family and by the way your little guy (the two year old) looks like he loves learning!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts everyone.
    Tammie in Oklahoma

  16. Shery Jespersen says:

    Dear Rene`,

    What a masterful job of creating a movie in my mind…and with a great ending too…so important in a good movie. It is so amazing how the Lord works within ALL circumstances…and in the hearts of others who minister to us when we most need it. The answer to your question is right there on your wrist if/when life might try to make you question the size of your dreams. Wow, what an uplifting message for you…and then for us. Yessiree Bob, why dream your way to the middle.

  17. Judy Hall says:

    Someone told me once Rene’ that "Life is a Gift, the Purpose is Joy". I think this goes right along with "Dream Big" – follow your dreams, do what you love to do, and think positive thoughts always. The sky is the limit! Thanks for this inspiring story Rene’. Change is the one constant I have learned to live with. Isn’t change wonderful, and so are people like the reader that was thoughtful enough to send you that bracelet! Joy, love, & Happiness are the words that are speaking to me right now after reading this article! 🙂

  18. carol McElroy says:

    Don’t you just love how just the right little something shows up just when you need it most.

  19. Blair says:

    As usual you have hit close to home with me on this subject. I am at a crossroads of sorts…trying to figure out how to be happy and still make enough money to have the things I need and want. I love Aprils Keeping It Simple Sisters motto.
    Farmgirls rule!! 🙂


    It can be a tricky balance for sure….. But I think one worth finding… Living life with eyes wide open was the first step for me, as it seems I lived much of it on auto pilot. Once I became clear on what I wanted… the rest were/are doable.. even those jobs that just pay the bills… because I was now able to put them in their proper place…. I too love the KISS, too cute needs to go on a tee shirt!

  20. Reba says:

    Hey Rene, Isn’t it amazing how so many are thinking along the same line? I get encouragement from reading yours and others comments. I remember writing at the first of this year about "revelation" instead of making "resolutions." That has stayed with me, and now I am at a crossroads. It is exciting, scary, breath-taking, tiring, and all the emotions you can think of wrapped up in oneself at times. But I am ready to move forward. It is a whole new life, waiting to be lived and to "dream big" for the next part. There is no guilt over missed resolutions, only room for more revelation. Thanks for the thought-provoking type of writing that you do. I always look forward to it.


    There certainly is sisterhood in the shared experiences…. I am always so grateful for the comments people leave as it reminds me that none of us are living life "alone". It often helps me to connect with the fact that if  I am experiencing it, I can be fairly certain that someone else is too or has experienced it….I have come to like crossroads as I know that they lead to personal growth no matter what path is chosen.

  21. Marisa Hayes says:


    Reading your words, always brings me peace and comfort. I, too, came to a crossroad a couple of years ago. When I lost my mom in 2001 I just couldn’t sew or do crafts again. It was a part of "our" lives together since I was about ten. I sold "all" my sewing thing at a yard sale, and didn’t sew for about five years, but then, my youngest daughter wanted that "unique" prom dress, that was simple and "her", and then my oldester daughter blessed the family with a granddaughter (Lily – our Lilybug – can you guess why I go by MyLilyBug), and she wanted those "unique" dresses that no one else has . . . hence, sewing at full throttle again …. I quit my job, and now have my own little clothing business making little girl clothes. It was a very hard decision going from two nice incomes to one, but sewing again, and being available to help with my granddaughter has brought me more happiness than any amount of money can bring.
    Simplify and be happy. Marisa


    What a beautiful tribute to your mom as well; being able to pass "her" onto the next generations. Way to go

  22. Debbie says:

    Do tell….! Are you really considering Guinea Pig farming? I just knew you would eventually fall in love with them…!
    O.k. all funnies aside… 🙂
    I love this post because it’s really about serendipity and keeping the faith… You are not alone my farmgirl friend…I think we have all been at a crossroads at one point or another and need that extra " praying or meditation" time to get a clearer idea of which fork in the road to take…10 years ago I left a very rewarding 18 year career and a business to be a stay at home mom, which turned into homeschooling. All these years as at home mom have allowed me to grow so much as a person, and to tend to the things that my heart longs to do…I have grown and stretched and many " bracelets" have come to me along the way to guide me and keep my on my path.

    I belive it’s the gifts of insight (or braclets ) we recieve along the way that make these times more bearable and rekindle our faith in spirit! We are once again reminded that we are not lost… we are just unsure because we have lost faith. I think we talk ourselves into feeling less hopeful when we allow our doubts to take over…

    Times like these remind me of a phrase a dear friend and I used to say," The MIND is a terrible thing to listen too"! Best to listen to your heart!"
    Many blessings!
    Deb ( who has no doubt you are just where you need to be )

    Beautifully stated Deb.. I knew we were friends friends for a reason…LOL.. and NO, there are still  no little furry friends in my future..LOL

  23. Margie says:

    This is the first time I have logged onto this blog, after receiving my first Mary Jane Magazine. Your story has inspired me. Here is my story… I am 48 years old and have always wanted to be a "farm girl". We have bought a house in the country with 4-5 acres (I know that is not really enough land to be a "farm", but to us, it is a lot.) and the ability to have some farm animals and a garden. My 11 year old son needs me at home, and I have a need to keep a good home. I keep thinking God has been trying to tell me this is what I am meant to do. Yet, I am sooo afraid to quit my job. How can I quit a good job with the economy the way it is, and so many people out of work? My husband is supportive of this change, but what if, when we can no longer afford to have or do the fun things we are used to doing, everyone complains? What if my husband gets sick and can no longer work? I will really regret giving up this job. However, if I suddenly were to get terminally ill, I would feel I had not fulfilled my true calling. My son is growing up so fast and will be a teen soon. Do I remain practical and deny my dream and him my time, or do I close my eyes and jump? Any feedback will be appreciated.

    WOW… been there, I do get it. It is so scarry…Please keep me updated on where your story goes from here…

  24. Deb says:

    What an inspiration ! I find myself sitting at the crossroads myself as of tuesday i will have to make a descion that will greatly alter my life .DREAM BIG ! Just what I needed to hear thanks for being my airplane in the sky ! Blessings Deb

  25. Nancy says:

    So many times the answers are there for us, if we look for them. You were lucky that this message hit you right in the face, so to speak, and it was able to guide you to your next decision. We often forget to stop and take the time to enjoy what’s around us and just "let go" and find the right answers.

  26. Heather says:

    I am always amazed at how God works in our lives. He drops little signs here and there, like Hansel and Gretel leaving breadcrumbs behind so that they can find their way back home. Our pastor this past sunday gave a sermon on dreaming. He said that God intended for us to dream, and dream big. Not only does He want us to dream, he is pleased when we do, and when we follow through. I say anyone that has a dream should take a leap of faith! We only live once; might as well do it right and enjoy every minute wholeheartedly!

  27. Janet says:

    I too am at a crossroad in my life. I have been in an upper management position for the past 11 years, while the money and benefits were great, the stress was killing me. Everyone thought I was crazy when I decided to resign this past september.I have been teaching part time but the salary is much less and no benefits. My husband supports my decision and I really enjoy the teaching. I have been told how much better I look without the stress (never knew I looked stressed). We have 4 acres of land in South Carolina, which is part of a farm my mother grew up on.I feel so blessed to be here, to be able to enjoy the smell of fresh plowed land, hear the whipperwills (? spelling), and enjoy the fresh smell of sheets hung out to dry,etc. Recently I feel God is telling me to do something here to supplement our income but also to still have the ability to be home. We have a very small garden and I love canning and freezing everything I can get my hands on. I am looking for some ideas for a small farm business if anyone might have something to offer. I love Mary Janes magazine and read every inch of it. Thanks for listening and God Bless

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Rodents, Vermin, and Silver Stars, Oh My!

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
One of my favorite pastimes is to visit other farmgirls’ blogs. It is just one more way that I gather evidence of all the brilliance in the world.
However, I must now say good-bye to that part of my life…Okay, I’m just kidding, but after last week I will be more cautious as I enter through those virtual gates.

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  1. Saska says:

    We lived in a farmhouse infested with mice and no matter what I did, they would not go away. So, needless to say I can handle the mice but rats and snakes…why does it ALWAYS have to be snakes?! Hamsters, gerbils, anything little and crawly belong outside hiding where I can’t see them. This farmwife/girl says NO when it comes furry critters in the house. I’ll give that showpig a bath anyday.

  2. Debbie says:

    Dear Readers of Rene’s Wonderful Words,
    I will be the first to comment on this post since it is I who must confess to being the one who prompted that terrifying flash back for Rene’ as she innocentlty perused my blog last week. We were chatting away all friendly-like over on the farmgirl connection and like Rene said, she popped over to my blog for a visit. Little did I know that one of my most recent posts (what was supposed to be a little heart warming story about a child’s first pets ) would send her memory hurling back to silver stars,a bloody nose and broken glasses. It was the photo above that was the culprit. How was I to know she had a fear of Rodents? Rene’ popped right back to the connection after her "startle" and let us all know how she felt about rodents in general and shared a smidgen of her horrifying book club memory with us,then she thanked me for inspiring her next blog post here! One kind farmgirl even wrote back defending poor Oreo and Scooter! I guess that’s when it really started to hit my funny bone hard. Well,the more I thought about her reaction to the piggie pic’s the funnier it got and the fun began, albeit at Rene’s expense. I laughed on and off about it all day!
    Rene’,today you are my hero,you have clearly grown from this experience just by sharing your "irrational fear" with all of your readers. I wish you further "recovery" on your fear of the little furry ones. As promised,I will keep up my end of the bargain with warnings about any future appearances of Oreo and Scooter adventures over at Dandelion House!

    This farmgirl plays nice~

    You just never know where a dandelion seed will take root!


    HEEEE…. giggle, giggle…. You have no idea. As I tried to post the picture of your beloved pets, Photo bucket refused to work correctly, so I spent way more time seeing these little ones then I had ever intended…. they are wearing on me…. or NOT.. LOL  thanks Deborah!!!

  3. Catherine says:

    I’ve had some dealings with "vermin" in my home recently …
    WARNING: There are photos of the little (or not so little) critters. I don’t want to be responsible for any more fainting! 🙂


    Oh, no!  But, thanks for the warning.

  4. I am not a rodent lover either. My oldest daughter always wanted a pet rat when she was growing up. I said NO. Of course we all want as adults what we could not have growing up. She now has three. I keep my distance and she does not get them out when I am around. I grew up in old farm houses which usually had a mouse or a few of them during the winter months make their way in. My room had a built in blanket box in front of the window and the little critters loved to make a home there. I did not have to see them just let me hear them and I would take a flying leap from my bed to the doorway if I could make it and run for cover. I have not passed out yet at the sight of one yet I think I’ll leave that for you. There are no rodents at my blog it is safe for a visit.

    Good to know Brenda, I will enjoy visiting your blog… thanks!!!!

  5. Gary says:

    I understand completely Rene’…
    We all have our "Nemesis Creature"… with meee it’s spiders.
    A spider is a BAD thing, and if seen by me, it is a dead thing. I am a member of the SPCA and HSUS, however I will actually stop my daily walk across Campus if I spie a spider and go kill it.
    Ok… I too know this is irrational, but it’s my version of your "nose dive"… about a year and a half ago, a southern house spider came into my home. These are spiders the size of your hand…
    I got the Ortho and dropped it on the third blast… went immediately to the store for product… bombed the crawlspace under my building… bombed the attic… sprayed an entire container of Ortho all over… caulked every crack I could find… pulled the shims off the plumbing and stuffed steel wool in the space around the pipes, and finally I nearly passed out from the fumes, and had to get a stand-up fan and open my Home up and blow it out…
    I have no worries now though… Midnight, my Bombay Cat, can hear a bug’s little footsteps or wing flutters… he’s the "go-to" guy for bugs… he even knows the word "bug", and it sets him off on a Mission.
    Rodents… like I said Rene’… I understand… my doggie Gaia would have loved you, as she HATED them, especially squirrels, which I had to spell "s-q-u-i-r-r-e-l" in conversation, or she would go beserk.
    Yep… everyone has a "Nemesis Creature"…
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa


    Ha-ha-ha   Gaia would have been my best friend Gary…. Thanks for understanding. I have a friend that freaks out over spiders and she calls me to her rescue often….My little dog (Schnauser) Abby kept the rodents at bay.. she has been gone for almost two years and I miss her.

  6. Kady says:

    The only varmits you’ll see on my blog are of the furry feline or canine variety. Come visit anytime. Oh, you might see some burned eggs in a pan – so beware. I had an eggstroidinary eggsplosion yesterday. Love your stories.

    Thanks Kady,

    I can’t wait to visit it!  I can "handel" burnt eggs….LOL

  7. Michele says:

    I know the feeling.
    I hate all of them!!!!! I used to joke that "I don’t break for squirrels". If they have the bad luck to run in front of my car just to taunt me…. oh, well.
    Then my sister moved in with me. Turns out she loves the danged things. She puts bread on the deck for them and will say as one of them scurries psat…"Oh, there’s Frankie or Jojo or Jonny or Hermione" Well, she’s so nuts that her bathroom is filled with ceramic squirrels names Verl, Merle and little baby Pearl.
    My granddaughter even calls her "Aunt Nuts"
    What am I going to do???
    Michele aka vintagediva1

    hahhah.. Love that.. Aunt Nuts!!!

  8. Ann Haas says:

    I’m with you about mice! Every place we have lived, it seems like I am the pied piper of mice. We were especially plagued with mice when we lived in the country. Imagine my surprise when we moved to the city to a lovely 1920’s Tudor and rounding the corner into my kitchen one day and being confronted by the biggest rat I have ever seen in my life. The basement door was locked from thereon in and a cover over a drain in our basement floor. When living in the country, I had a 45 minute commute to work. While sitting at a light one morning as I was almost to work, here comes a little mouse crawling out from under my truck hood and staring out me through my windshield. The Country Mouse became a City Mouse very quickly. We did have a lot of laughs sometimes at the mouse antics but they certainly can be a nuisance.

  9. carol branum says:

    hi Rene,we had a rattlesnake in the house once,and I have never forgot that,it crawled through the front door,but luckly it was not coiled,and was layed out and it got killed right away.mice and rats were a problem too,but since we have gotton a lot of cats,and daddy will refuse to kill a black snake.Black snakes will kill rattlesnakes.Also we have Guineas,and they keep rattle snakes away some too.Daddy had 3 possoms and a coon on the porch this morning eating the cat food.He loves them,and says oh thats ok,they are hungry too.But,then he complains about always being out of cat food.We havent had a big rattle snake problem really since I was about 10 years old.That year daddy and my Uncle freddy,and several men from the church came out with gunny sacks and had a rattle snake roundup,I remember Momma "Hallie telling me ot to ever tell any body that we had ratlesnakes!After the roundup they cut off the rattles,We have a counter in the Kitchen behind the stove,and daddy lined up the rattles on the counter,I remember as a little girl being afraid to go into the kitchen at night when it was dark,coz I was afraid that the rattles would come back alive!I bet we had about 2 dozen tails on the counter.Some of them had as many as 14 rattles on them.Some of them were hudge 7 foot almost and fat snakes.I was so scared when I was a little girl.But,we havent seen any in a while,not nearly that bad.I am sure they are still out there.But,Daddy says,that he has actually seen Black snakes fight a rattler and kill it.So,keep a few blacksnakes.If the population of blacksnakes gets to thick,I make him kill a few,but,he don,t want too.And,we argue,But,daddy has lived there for over 50 years,and he knows best.I am still totally terrified of rattlesnakes,and I dont care for black snakes,rats and mice don,t bother me,spiders don,t bother me,but,brown recluses do.I am afraid of Cougers,and feral hogs.And I am not fond of long horn cattle.they look great,but,daddy had a few long horn cattle one time that terrified the crap out of me.We still put out mice poision in the house.But,daddy says he hasn,t seen a mouse at all for a couple of years,I guess 14 cats outside helps.I still think he needs to get a cage at Orchelns to trap those possoms,he says he shot one of the big ones,I asked him if he cooked it,and he just smiled.lol,have a dood day girls,Must I say,the Ozark hillbilly,Carol Branum…themofarmersdaughter@blogspot.com.

  10. Oh Rene’
    You would have hated coming to my home years ago….our home always had 4 legged critters as well as winged ones…
    from 3-rabbits, one of which thought he was a dog, and another that we called "Deamon Bunny-figure it out! lol!)" , 1 suicidal hamster, 3 guinea piggies, 1 Iguana,(husbands idea), asst fish, 1 cocatial and asst dogs & kitties…..thank goodness my daughter was not in to creepy crawly insects!
    As for the rodent population, I have discovered that if I "plant it- they will eat it" uugghh!…I actually had my "1st Kill" a few weeks ago…I drowned a mole who had burrowed his way around my Iris’s and lavender….
    Next timw you come visit, I will make sure we are clear of any rodent’s, don’t want ya fainting on the property,,,,might scare off the deer…oh wait! heeheehee!
    luv ya,

  11. Nancy says:

    I can handle almost anything outside, but in the house is another story! Bats are my biggest fear…can’t stand the things!

  12. Debbie says:

    Since we’re having Frank and Hernest hour here, it’s Bee’s that terrify me. Yellow Jacket’s in particular. All this talk about the fear of vernmin, snakes and squirrel’s, has brought up a funny memory for me involving my most feared insect. My husband and I along with some friends were having a nice row on a fresh water lake in the high Sierra Mountains one late summer day. We had packed a wonderful picnic and had made our way about half way across the lake when we decided to stop rowing and eat. We pulled out our subs and started to prepare the rest of our feast on the paper plates I had passed around to our crew. It wasn’t long before we had company… and lot’s of it! Our peaceful spot in the middle of the lake had become a war zone…It was us against the bees! My other boat mates were calmly trying to shoo the bee’s away,I however was already hysterical and had tossed my plate over board. They tried to calm me down but I grabbed their plates too and over they went! Whew… No more meat eating jellow jackets in the boat with us!

    We all still laugh over that day… I think we stopped for pizza on the way home!

  13. Betsy Lou says:

    I personally don’t mind little critters unless they cause a problem. Though I will tell you that I had a very creepy experience one day when I put my riding boots on in a hurry and noticed one seemed a little spongy in the heel. To my horror when I took my boot off there was a very dead squished
    mouse. At least I think that’s what it was as it was no longer recognizable.

  14. carolj says:

    There is a poem that begins, "I think mice are nice." I cannot agree. It’s their tails!!

  15. Sonia says:

    I can appreciate your terror of rodents, only not so much on Guineas and gerbils/hamsters. I can even stand mice but rats completely freak me out. I was in a pet store one day and nearly started hyperventilating when I saw myself face to face with a giant albino rat. Something about their tales, so thick and long and so, so WRONG completely derails me. But then the only other animals that scare me are skunks. Their white stripes give me goosebumps. Not their faces or their smell. But. Those. Stripes.
    We’re moving to the country in the Fall and I’m petrified of running into them up there. Lord help me.

  16. Heather Ozee says:

    Hi! I believe our heavenly father wants us to be happy. And we should bring all decisions to him in prayer. Here’s a verse that makes me feel ok about praying for things/changes I desire in life:Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
    Have a Great Weekend!

  17. Marilynne Adams says:

    I love all creatures, big and small, and it is hard to understand the fears most women have. I have a close friend who goes completely stupid if she sees a snake! I have to admit I do not like a spider to GET ON ME, but critters and creatures and crawlers are all part of nature, which includes US! And if you act crazy when a mouse crosses the floor with your children present, they will most likely grow up to do the same. Try to pet a rabbit sometime,feel how soft and sweet they are (other than biting occasionally!) Chinchillas are the softest things ever. We had a pet rat one time that was a real character, would sit up in the corner of the couch and "box" with you. They each have their own personalities, just like dogs and cats. I hope you outgrow your fears, you are missing so much.

  18. Girl: I am grinning so hard my cheeks hurt. Yes, I understand your feelings about Vermin. I too suffer greatly w/heavy heart pounding, hair standing up on the back of my neck, just the heby-jebbies in general when I see mice, rats, squirrels, chipmonks, all of those kinds of Rodent-types. I don’t have the same reaction to much of anything else like snakes, rabbits, or much larger creatures. I dislike cleaning up rodent leavings and just wish that they did not chose to exist anywhere around me. I am sure other people love them, and I don’t hold it against them. Just had to grin w/you in your story as well as the other comments left here. This is my first visit to the Farmgirl website since I started subscribing to the magazine a few months back. I will be back. I was raised on a dairy farm in Texas, and have never lost my farmgirl ways or roots for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  19. debbie selland says:

    Oh my, I can handle almost any thing, but a mouse or heaven forbid a RAT I just can not tolerate. This all began on a hot sunny day when I was about 13 and wearing a pair of bell-bottom jeans. I was helping clean out a granary on our dairy farm, when a mouse ran out of the old tarp I was shaking on UP the right pant leg of my jeans and lodged itself at my thigh and got stuck. Well, I shucked my jeans faster than you can ever imagine and ran for the house. I can still to this day remember the feel of that darn mouse on my leg and that has be some 30 some odd years ago!! I was forever scared.

  20. Web Forms says:

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and hardly found any specific details on other sites, but then great to be here, seriously, thanks…

    – Josh

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