Ms. Margaret and the Past Little While

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, June 2010 – January 2012]

WOW! It’s finally here – the dandelions and robins are the harbingers – but this spring is different on our farm, different than any other in so very many ways. Things come and go, and this year there are some biggies.

First of all, however, over the past few weeks I haven’t been around here much – and for that, I truly apologize. I love writing and reading your comments and am so encouraged by you all and what you’re doing – AND that you care to tell me about it.

First, the biggest change we have had is that a week ago, my dear “Auntie” Margaret moved up to Salt Lake City to receive hospice care. I have hardly been able to stand it – going through her things; making sure that the arrangements that she wants are all set up right; feeling the emptiness of not having her here… If you haven’t been introduced to Margaret, you can read more about her here: . She is the last living woman Marine veteran from WWII – fitting to be thinking of her this Memorial weekend.

We also lost Doc, our beloved horse, a few weeks ago. He has been William’s constant equine companion for a couple of years now, and there is something so, so, heartbreakingly difficult about watching a 7-year-old say goodbye to an old horse. Faretheewell, old horse. Nope, I’m not sure there will ever be another Doc, but, we are starting to look for another kind, gentle beast for him. (If you’re in Utah and have a good well-trained horse for a 7-year-old, please let me know!). I’m sorry about the overexposed photo below, but everytime I try to “fix” photos, I end up with results worse than the originals. I AM learning, though!

In the midst of all of the sadness of losing those we love, we have also found tremendous joy in the small beauties of everyday on the farm and in a small town. It’s wonderful how sustaining the small, predictable parts of daily life can be.

Now, we’ve had a lovely addition to our family over the past month, too. I would like you to meet Henry, our new little pup. He is absolutely the most incredible thing around, all soft and floppy with too-big-feet and a really soft mouth (except for those little puppy needle-teeth *OUCH*).

And you know those owls I was talking about a while ago?

Well, I’d like to introduce you to one of their two owlets, which are now about the size of fluffy footballs with amazing yellow eyes. We now have two adults and two babes living in our trees. How cool is that?!?!

Spring is finally breaking through the wet, cold, wet, wet, wet weather we have been having here (and not just here…sending love and farmgirl strength to those for whom the spring has brought flooding and wildness).

The robins are going in full force around here – nests and eggs EVERYWHERE! William found this one and has provided you with these photos:

There is a saying that sort of “goes” in our family. I think it started with my great-grandfather, but I know for SURE that my grandmother and mother say it to me when I get in that whiny and somewhat depressed mode. “Out of emotion and into motion.” Yeah, it know, it’s sort of dorky, and yes, it’s probably not too great to stuff a WHOLE lot of emotion, but there is also something so wonderfully energizing…uplifting…purpose-giving about doing the thing in front of you. When you’ve finished that, look around and do the next thing. When the blues hit, let me tell you from experience, opening your eyes and doing the thing in front of you can bring you back a sort of “can-do” feeling that just isn’t that easily achieved by anything else I’ve found.

So, the gathering of dandelions has begun – jelly is on the way! The spring cleaning is in progress (albeit slow progress!). The family is fed, the animals are happy and the garlic is growing like a weed, which, incidentally, we have a bumper crop of this year. Weeds, as well as garlic! The skies are clearing every now and again, and I find myself humming “Peace like a River” when my mind is at rest. All is right with this little section of the world.

Wishing you all the newfound joy of the springtime – and remember, if you get stuck, bothered or upset, do the thing in front of you. Even if it’s cleaning the kitchen floor, and sometimes ESPECIALLY if it’s cleaning the kitchen floor!

Much love and farmgirl hugs,


  1. Brenda says:

    I chuckle to see your bag of Dandelions because my husband has been attacking them like crazy this year. Digging, digging and more digging because we are having a wedding in our back yard this summer. Our youngest daughter is getting married July 30th and the dandelions can take over our lawn in a matter of days. Yellow is not really the color she is aiming for. Now I am sure jelly would be a much better way to use them. Sorry about the sad times you have had but you are right just need to find something to keep us busy during those times.

    Libbie here: Years ago my grandmother came over to visit from Hawaii. She really hadn’t left the islands very often at all, and our lawn had dandelions ALL over it. She wondered how everyone grew those pretty little yellow flowers in their lawns! Greatest wishes on the wedding – I just KNOW it’ll be wonderful…

  2. Connie says:

    I really like your family saying! There is wisdom in that "dorky" advice. I’ve practiced it for years but I am thrilled to have a concise saying to prompt myself with.
    Life does have a way of happening doesn’t it?
    I’m so sorry your little one is feeling the loss of his horse. I lost my faithful companion when I was 12. Hard times. I’m sending good wishes on finding another horse.

    Libbie here: There really IS wisdom in "doing" sometimes, isn’t there? I am so happy that you like the "saying!"

  3. Debbie says:

    Hello dear Libbie!
    So nice to have you back in this space! I’ve yet to make dandelion jelly, but certainly have had enough of them around to try it…I’m sorry for your little guy and the loss of his best buddy, but that sweet face on your new puppy will make the hurt go away a bit faster maybe? Spring in your corner of the world looks sunny and bright… Best wishes for more sunshine!
    Deb ( Beach farmgirl)

  4. Nicole Christensen says:

    Hi Libbie! So glad to see you are back! I always love reading your blog. So sorry to hear you have had so many tough things to deal with. Your new pup is ADORABLE! As always, your pics are great…love, love, love the owls! Hang in there, sweetie. Big Hugs to you and your family! -Nicole, Farmgirl Sister #1155, Suburban Farmgirl Blogger

  5. Shery says:

    Dear Libbie, I so enjoyed every detail in your blog…the owlets(!!!), the puppy, the nest, dandelion jelly (??) etc. Recipe?? I’m so sorry about the loss of your son’s old friend. I know what it is to lose horses … as a child, an adult and a breeder. It *never* gets any easier. Someone once said to me that a person can avoid such losses by not having horses (or other animals for that matter). Maybe that is true, but you would also be missing so much love and added meaning in life. I would rather have all the extra love in life that pets offer and then lose them than to not have such love at all. Ideally, there is a lot of love in a person’s life, but with it comes loss. Absolutely unavoidable for us all. Learning to cope with loss is such an important skill. The acceptance of harsh losses never hurts less; it is the moving on skill that is so important and you never get any better at it if you don’t learn how breathe, let go and move on. Just my 2 cents worth. I’m 55 and still learning :o)

  6. Karin says:

    Libbie, so glad to see you back. I’m sorry for the sadness you’ve had to deal with. Isn’t it wonderful to have beautiful memories though? Hope your little one is recovered from his health scare from a while back. Also hope you find a new friend soon for your son to ride and have fun with.

    Farmgirl #2708

  7. Sharon says:

    Hi Libbie, I am new to your blog, and I just love it! I am in awe at your home and all the love you have apparently put into what your family has built. My sympathy to you at the loss of your loved ones, It is always hard to let go of those we hold so dear to us, however we alway’s have their words of wisdom and fond memories. I am wonderring about your dandilion jelly, I have never heard of such a thing… would you be interested in sharing the recipie? I have been trying to rid my lawn of the pesky things, however if I can find another use for them, I am always willing to try a new venue! Thank you in advance, from a "northern" farmgirl! Sharon

  8. Love the writing, just what inspires me.
    I used to enjoy the beautiful style of VICTORIA magazine and some similar European magazines, love this one, fits my holistic lifestyle.
    Thanks for a great job designing and writing this.

  9. Elsie says:

    I am a rural farmgirl too, but yet, I have so much to learn about the farm life and it is nice to pick up "tips" from you about this life. I LOVE dandelions! I love to see a field or yard full of them! I don’t feel they are a weed at all! They make the yard look so lovely!

  10. Kathy says:

    Libby have you read Farly Mowats book The Dog who Wouldn’t Be, He write’s about his two Owls. Wol and Weeps There is another book just about The Owls, what a wonderful home you have.

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