Fall forward? Or fall backward? Or just plain falling?

 I just got through cleaning up vomit. I say that straight-faced. That’s how much I’ve changed over the last 10 years. I say that and don’t flinch. I do that and don’t flinch. That’s what being a Mom has done to me. I’m un-flinch-able.

I would have FALLen over and fainted 10 years ago. Now I don’t care in the least about cleaning it up; I care only about the poor child that feels so horrible right now. My child has a 104 fever and is throwing up. Nothing matters other than her getting better.

I vividly remember realizing that things were forever changed. I was sitting in a meeting in a suit. I looked down at my leg and saw wet cheerios stuck to the stockings. I laughed because I never saw myself as a mother. And yet, there I was, cheerios stuck on my $20 pair of hose. I loved it. I had FALLen madly for my child and being her mother. I loved this new way of seeing myself. I loved this change in me. I was soft and snuggly and, and, and….sweet? Yes, sweet. Before that, I was hard and edgy.
Has anything ever changed you like that? Or maybe you’re the same as you’ve always been?
Motherhood did it for me. And FALLing in love. I can’t go on without saying I FALL for my husband every day. Almost 20 years now and still FALLing.
And another thing that changed me is when I started seeing myself as a Farmgirl. I have FALLen BIG TIME for the Farmgirl Movement. I thank MaryJane Butters every day for bringing this to all of us. Allowing us all to come together in sisterhood as we strive to get back to the important things in life.
I discovered MaryJane Butters when I picked up her magazine at the local grocery store. Wham, bam, thank you ‘mam, I felt VALIDATED.
I always enjoyed gardening and learning about older methods and traditions. I always enjoyed creating with my hands. I always enjoyed simplicity and adventure. I was drawn to all things natural and organic. Now I had an actual “movement” to hang my hat on. She provided us with a place to gather, albeit virtually. A place we can share our paths with other people who feel the same.
Farmgirls never fail to empower me. They help me develop and explore that part of me. They refine me.
I remember someone coming to my house to visit one day. He laughed and said, “You ain’t nothing but a country girl.” And I said, “Thank you! You’re sure right about that!” (And just so his meaning won’t get lost in print, let me say that he fully intended it as a compliment. And I fully took it as such.)
“I’m a member of the country club. Country living is what I love.”
I can’t live the country life now and may never be able to do so fully. But I happily incorporate some of those country ideals into my current life. And they enrich me; they make me a better person.
One of my struggles has always been to BE IN the moment. To slow down and appreciate where I am NOW. What I’m doing NOW. Being a Farmgirl has helped me with this.
This past weekend, we had our first freeze warning of the season. This is early for us, and my garden patch was chock-full of tomatoes. So I picked them.

Now what? What to do with more than 20 pounds of green tomatoes?

 I fried some. Nothing like Fried Green Tomatoes. Love them!

And then I decided on Green Tomato Marmalade. I combined several different recipes and oh my! It is delicious, Y’all! (I’ll post the recipe at www.rebekahteal.com just in case you’re interested.)

As I made the marmalade, I realized that I had changed about this too. I slowed down and enjoyed it. When I did the Grape Jelly I spent my time thinking—wow! this is A LOT of trouble! Too much! The time involved! Whew! Remember? I was wondering then if the simple life was really simple!

I listened to your wisdom in the comments to that post. I came to understand that yes, the process is a  long one.  And one needs patience. I slowed down and only chopped. I didn’t chop and think the whole time about everything else I should be doing. I didn’t look at the time it took to make this and think about it in terms of billable hours. I simply looked at the beautiful results. And when I tasted the delicious marmalade, I was pleased.
I’m looking for ideas of what to do with the rest of the Green Tomatoes. Pickles? Relish? Any ideas?
Another part of the Farmgirl Movement for me has been my relationship with the great out-of-doors. Reading about MaryJane and other outdoorsy BRAVE Farmgirls inspired me beyond measure.
Now one of my favorite places in the whole wide world is the woods. I especially like to be alone in the woods. Danged, but if I could get over my phobia of snakes, well, I’d surely have many moments of inspiration and peace there.
I have also become very aware of the seasons and the weather.

I watch birds come and go. My bluebirds showed back up the other day, right before our freeze.
I watch the stars and the phases of the moon. I notice the way the sun hits the earth each day.
I stop to admire the sun come up; or set.
None of those things do I take for granted any more.
And so it happened Saturday night, we all FELL backwards. We set our clocks so that when we woke up on Sunday, it was an hour earlier. We had an extra hour, they told us. What did you do with yours?
I am one of those people who wish they’d leave our clocks alone. My own personal clock doesn’t change. I wake up at the same time. I’m tired at the same time. Doesn’t matter what the illuminated red numbers show on my clock.
Whether the clock or calendar says it is true, FALL is definitely here. You can see it and smell it. Our Autumns in the south are gorgeous. Our hardwoods decorate our landscapes with red, gold and orange. Our Autumn weather, with breezy sunny days and cool, crisp nights often lingers well into January. We build fires for the ambiance, if not for the warmth.
I’m realizing now that I should have warned you of the rambling nature of this post. Just part of my FALL I suppose.
Perhaps I’ve FALLen from Grace? Or fallen for Grace. Here’s our kitty named Grace; she is a cute little thing, but takes a terrible photo. She’s been with us for 13 years and I’ve taken tons of pictures of her and they are all like this. Not so good. Elvis (our cat), may he rest in peace, was her brother…

Anyway, Tell us. What have you FALLen for lately?
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. Like you I fall for my husband and tomorrow is our 14th wedding anniversary. It is my second marriage, the first left me with three little girls to raise on my own. Then came along this awesome man that married me and moved into a house that included 3 preteen and teenage girls. We are now grandparents of 6 and I fall for those grands harder than anything. They make me smile more than I have ever smiled my whole life. I am enjoying their childhood more than I could enjoy my daughters childhood. I was a farm girl growing up, lived 30 years in the city and am now back to the country life and am settling in. I have a dozen chickens that are laying now and one has become a sweet pet. We are gardeners,were even in the city, and you are right it does take a lot of time to put those fruits of your labor up. But it is so worth it. Happy Fall!

  2. carol branum says:

    hi,why didn,t you just make chow chow?I absoulyely love chow chow,it is great on a sandwitch or with brown beans,and fryed catfish dinner.Did you put cinnimon in your jelly?wondering,I think I would of added some hot peppers and served with with meat like lamb,maybe,or with a Mexican dish.I had to laugh,fallen from grace,or fallen for grace,made my day so much better today,thanks,I am haveing a wonderful fall too!carol

  3. Pam Scott says:

    This summer I made tomato sauce. It took about 45 pounds of tomatoes to make 6 pints. I kept thinking, how is this worth it. It isn’t simple or inexpensive at all! Last night my daughter called to tell me that they had eaten a jar of the spaghetti sauce that I had canned and that our 17 month old grandson Jack hadn’t spoken throughout the entire meal, he was too busy eating! This daughter (who was raised on Air Force Bases, not the farm) who will not eat the eggs from our chickens, talked about how fresh the sauce tasted. She loved it! My attitude about canning changed in a moment! I can’t wait till next summer to can some more!

  4. Genevieve says:

    Great post, Rebekah,

    MaryJane recently published a green tomato chow-chow recipe in her Everyday Organic column, here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/lifestyle/50469260-80/green-tomatoes-tomato-chow.html.csp

    I’ve made it and it’s WONDERFUL. Great with meat, hot dogs, on hamburgers, etc…but The Boy and I have just been eating it out of the jar on crackers with a smear of cheese. Deliciously mustardy and still with plenty of crunch, even after cooking.

    Have fun!
    (MJF’s "Urban Homesteader")

  5. sue says:

    I fall for my husband and kids every day I am blessed with their presence.I also fall for everything in the world around me, the beauty of the ocean I look out on everyday,my amazing garden that feeds my soul and my tummy,the little birds that come to the feeders everyday and so many other wonderous and simple things in this world.
    I also fall for writing,beautiful words strung together to give you a small peak into someones soul.Thank you for sharing.

  6. Jennifer says:

    You are so right about slowing down while cooking. I think that’s why I like cooking so much. You have to stop, and carefully read the instructions, and then follow the instructions one by one, and then you will have made something great! I think the way we approach cooking is a good way to approach life. Slow down, follow the steps you need to accomplish the goal. Don’t think about too much other than what you are doing at each step and enjoy each step as you take it. Enjoy cutting those tomatoes! Then at the end you have a yummy dish, or a satisfying life, to share with those you love.

  7. Pamela says:

    Rebekah, you can line a big flat box with newspaper and lay the green tomatoes in there and cover with another layer of newspaper. Check every day or two and you can get some of the tomatoes to ripen and turn red. Not as great as ripening on the vine, but better than having too many green ones. Thanks once again for the wonderful post.

  8. laurie kennedy says:

    I love fall and the season of change. I am also loving it getting dark earlier, and coming home and falling into family time we all tend to slow our life down just a bit.I also am one who loves to cook and i do love to take my time and enjoy the process and the result of a good meal. I being a single Mom love having my special time with my children make every moment count they pass so fast!

  9. carol in nc says:

    Set them out in one layer in a cool dark room and you’ll have tasty ripe ones maybe even until christmas.

  10. Shelby Clark says:

    kids are almost grown and I’m not so necessary any more so I went to A WITO event for women at a state park and lake. I had forgotten what the season change looked like. wow. I learned hitching and driving a Clysdale, fly fishing, wool processing and spinning. I’m alive and excited again. I may live in the city but there is a lot a farm girl can do here.Life is gonna be different, even in the same old house.

  11. Yoshihei Haynes says:

    Im a 24 yr old & my husband 23,we got married as teenagers & for our fifth anniversary this august. We decided it was time to start trying for little ones. Im very excited to see what parent hood has to bring as a little scared to be a young mom. I hope the changes that you experience, grace me too. I love the farm girl movement and everything about it. I love vinegar on my hands, dirt under my fingernails and the feel of yarn in between my fingers. I can’t wait to start my family fresh with a new lifestyle. Im also doing my best to share it amongst my young friends & co-workers. I wish my world was organic.

    Thank you for sharing with us !

  12. Beverly says:

    I agree with you! I wish they’d leave the time alone. I fall for my grandkids over and over again. I can’t wait to spend some time with them over the holidays! Thanks for the blog!

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