Twist and Shout

I’ve been twisting and shouting too much if you ask me.

I’m quite conflicted about the whole affair. You know, should he stay or should he go? Da-da-daaaa-da-da. We talked about this a few posts ago, remember? My barn snake. Some of you said–keep him! Others said–get rid of him! I was full-on conflicted about this snake. Until Saturday evening. Well, let me back up for a minute.
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  1. Nancy says:

    I say red–I love a red barn. And you need to paint an Amish design above the door.

  2. donna FL says:

    Hey Lady…been shopping "red" for my barn…Behr Paint "DozenRoses" was my pick…check it out !!! LuvLuv the snake, He will keep the bad ones away and if it is a racer, they are harmless…But can really relate…I have overcome with my Indigo’s we have on our property…It Helps to name them…lol…hugs from FL

  3. Cathy R says:

    LOL! I’ve been reading your blog awhile and know how scared you are of snakes but I couldn’t keep from laughing ~ I grew up with all kinds of snakes and I felt like I was reading one of my stories. Sorry you hurt your knee. I Googled the black racer and coach-whip snakes and they say the black racer is less threatening but just for peace of mind ~ call the snake re-locaters ~ mouse bait and traps are a lot less frightful! C:
    I vote for a red barn and love the barn quilt idea! It’s looking great! Walk softly and carry a big stick! C:
    Blessings from the hills of Idaho, Cathy

  4. Sippie says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the image of the snake in your hand as you realized what it was … but omygoodness, if it had happened to me, I think I probably WOULD have had that heart attack. Even though I KNOW logically that not all snakes are poisonous and that some are even beneficial(!), but o yes, they are scary.
    I’m grateful for this blog – and for what you are doing to restore this property and care for the horses and share your journey. I say red barn with white doors. And the barnquilt of course.

  5. Marion Armstrong says:

    I say, GET RID of the snake! I share your fear of them, and you need to have peace in your barn! Yes, a quilt, definitely; and I lean to a red choice also. You have a nice start on your barn–don’t let the snake ruin it for you!

  6. Meredith says:

    I vote for the red barn. I don’t like snakes, and could feel your anxiety! You could consider getting Guinea fowl for your farm. They need a place to roost at night and a little feed now and then, but otherwise, are self-contained fowl. They are free ranging, good for eating insects and keep snakes away! They also are good alarms for "bad things" coming onto your property. Check them out. Always, love your blog.

  7. Sharon says:

    Personally, I come from the good snake = dead snake camp. I would much rather go into a barn and find barn cats than a snake. Lots of barn cats. And one for in the house.
    Red or white on the barn, your choice. I’m sure either will look great. As for the barn quilt, why not paint one on plywood and change it seasonally? I also agree with Donna from FL, you need a nice Hex sign too.
    You are living the life, woman!

  8. Beth says:

    Just remember, the snake you know is better than those that might show up later. Around here (Missouri), we have black snakes that are even larger and I hated them when I saw them stick their head in a bluebird box and eat eggs/babies. But they kill timber rattlers, copperheads and cotton mouths, so I let them be. With poison, always a chance something or someone else might get it. My soninlaw used to kill all snakes until the day a cottonmouth in their garage eating the dog food got between him and my granddaughter. As he says, he screams "like a girl" when he sees a snake, no one was bitten and that snake which he swears chased him, was in pieces, he now lets the good snakes alone. Don’t know if you have these to deal with, but it is a don’t bother them and they won’t bother you type of relationship. And dark red barns are great!

  9. OMG! I would’ve not only had a heart attack but probably would have peed myself…lol..I agree about good snakes bad snakes but I like the idea of barn cats better…And you know if you wanted to you could get a pet pig,,,I have heard pigs eat snakes or at least keep them away…I love the barn and I think Red would be great or white with a red steel roof…I love the idea of the quilt and the lady who said make them so you can change the out each idea..Hope your knee heals well, and I think you will not have any peace going into your barn if you don not relocate the snake…have one of the workers who is not afraid load him up in a feed sack and haul him off….wayyyyyyoff…lol Be Blessed and I pray you continue to enjoy your farm life. Neta from NC as well…

  10. Rose says:

    I just love your blog! I was a city girl gone country seven years ago. I vote red for the barn and paint the quilt, its a great idea. As for the snake, I don, t like to touch them but they eat mice so I tolerate them because mice and rats give me the hee-bee-gee-ees. Although, i did vow to never buy a black hose again. You definately need barn cats, they don’t always end up in the house, I held out for two years. Good Luck

  11. Debi Dalton says:

    You had me laughing so hard! I feel your pain! Last year we pulled two huge black snakes out of our hen house at the same time! Just yesterday we pulled another one out! I don’t like them being that close to me or my chickens but, we don’t kill them because it is true, they kill the poisinous snakes and keep the rats from taking over. I think your barn is looking beautiful! It would be so pretty red! PS: Our hen house is small. Last year I was inside getting the eggs and looked up over the door (only way out!) and there was a very large black snake hanging there waiting to drop on my head! I couldn’t move! I had to run out and pray that it didn’t drop on me! I lived to face them another day.

  12. bobbie calgaro says:

    Definitely red. Definitely feel your anxiety over snakes. Barn quilts are great. I made one for our shed. I vote for a traditional quilt pattern with lots of color.

  13. Mary Beth Schwarz says:

    Oh please spare the black racer snake! What a fine snake it will be to keep the poisonous snakes away from your gorgeous red/white barn (and a fine decorative Pennsylvania Dutch HEX sign would be fun on it!)and the horses. You could name it Racette and call to it when you enter the barn. If you had seen a large rattlesnake or other deadly one in your barn you would feel more appreciation for your "good" snake. Truly Racette was as startled and frightened as you when you picked him/her up! Using a good flashlight would help you be more comfortable until you become better friends. Farms have many animals for you to live with, and most of them will have a special purpose in the ecosystem that is your amazing land.
    Your barn is looking so much better and indeed you want it to be welcoming for you and the horses. Red is a classic barn color, but I have seen a picture of a lovely blue barn, and why not creamy white if you want to try it?
    Cannot wait to see what you decide to do! You will enjoy the process of restoring your special old barn.
    Mary Beth

  14. Carol Norwood says:

    I love your blog too! I had to laugh at your snake story – not because I’m laughing AT you but because I can relate. I grew up on a farm and one day a little garden snake slithered across my bare toes. I was only about 8 years old but I screamed bloody murder and still remember it like it was yesterday. I’m not sure I could live with that snake being in my barn. I vote for a RED barn; just imagine how beautiful it will be in the snow and it’s so traditional. I was going to say I liked the idea of the Christmas quilt for the barn until I saw another reader suggest you do seasonal quilts. I really like that idea. Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you decide about all of the above.

  15. Lorrie MacKenzie says:

    I sympathize with you. Being that frightened feels really bad. But I’d like to put in a good word for the snake. He’s lived in your barn a long time and only been helpful. Is there another building on your farm he could live in? In his pink house with the fuzzy pink pad inside? Maybe something like that could work for both of you. Having read your blog lots of times, it seems like you work well with live and let live. But if that doesn’t work, you shouldn’t have to be scared. I have faith that you’ll find a safe place for him. In the meantime, I’d think twice about barn cats. The first time a cold cat sat outside my window asking to come in would be the last time. I would decide that the cat would look pretty good sleeping on my couch and I would sleep better at night not having to worry about him. But this is just me. Whatever you decide is good. In the meantime, congratulations on picking up a snake and living to tell the tale. Ain’t life grand?

  16. Keleen says:

    If you need inspiration for a barn quilt, you should take a road trip on Follow the Quilt Trail. If you’re in north Georgia, then Tennessee is not far away!

  17. Jo says:

    I have to say I agree with the vote on snakes-be-gone,,, but such a hard decision when they are such good mice/rat hunters. But what about your chickens? I prefer cats way more! Yep, they might sleep in your bed, but that’s a nice payment for the good job they do in the barn, right? I am not joining the group on red for the barn tho –eeek! Sorry, ya’ll! I love the idea of a white barn. You see so many red ones, and not many white and there is something so serene about a white barn. Red is very traditional and I am a HUGE fan of the color red, but white on a barn, especially the style of your barn,,, "ohhhh yeahhhh". 😉 Love it!! But I’m just one vote….. and I’m sure whatever you decide and whichever direction your heartstrings pull ya, is what you should go with. The barn will tell you. Changable barn quilt — now that’s the way to go for sure. Seasonal fun! Enjoy! I love reading about your farm adventures. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Marjil says:

    Wow, your adventure has been my nightmare for years. I grew up in Texas and now live in Alaska where there are no snakes. If that had been me, I would have taken the .22 and shot me a snake. I don’t care how good they are for the environment, they can’t live at my house. Now maybe you can find a science teacher at a local school that wants a pet project for the students and catch the bloody thing for you. That way, you can enjoy your new barn as much as I love reading your country adventures and nothing lost is life. And by the way, red barns are a must have. Oh, and keep that knee wrapped when your out and about. Looking forward to your next installment. :))

  19. katieB says:

    Keep the snake but introduce a young cat so it can adjust to the snake, be buds and keep the bad snakes out. Paint a giant red heart to remind them that "Love Lives Here!"….

  20. Tammie says:

    Sorry to hear about your twisted knee Rebekah. I hope it feels better soon!
    Love the post, I love reading your blog and posts here.
    On the barn, it looks great! Definitely an improvement. White or barn red, it will be lovely on your farm.
    Take care

  21. Denise Ross says:

    Wow, the snake would’ve had me jumping out of my skin too, ouch with your foot and knee. White barn to match your house and a red quilt background with your white horse in front would look lovely I think and tie in with your house. Love your blog, have a great week

  22. Amanda says:

    I love your blogs because I can totally relate! First, about the snake. I feel conflicted, too. We have tons of little garden snakes, black snakes, copperheads, and eastern diamondbacks. I’ve only ever seen garden snakes (so far!) and I know they’re useful, but I’m still afraid of getting bit. I keep my kids at a good distance and call my husband to shush them away where I can’t see them. Second, the barn. I like red barns and if you ever think about Hex signs (very popular here in PA Amish country), make sure you choose the design carefully because they all have a special meaning. And third, I hope your knee heals quickly! I moved my entire kneecap up by stepping down off of something and it was THE worst pain EVER!! Barn work got done very slowly for awhile! Your place looks great, snake or no snake!!

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Lonely and Afraid

Anne Frank’s words:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God….I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

What do you do when you feel that way? Afraid, lonely, unhappy? How do you make things better? Hey-if you feel any of those things right now, don’t read this post.

Go to see this video instead. Put it on full screen and then watch.

And after you watch it, come back here and we’ll visit for a while. And then let’s follow Anne Frank’s advice and go outside. Let’s get up from this computer and head to the door, if only for a few minutes.

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  1. Maureen says:

    This topic spoke to my heart. I’m going to try to be the blessing too!

  2. diana henretty says:

    Your words and pictures blessed my heart this morning so much, here’s a huge thank you!
    Just what the doctor ordered, or as my mom used to say "just hit the spot".
    After waiting for warm weather to arrive here in the Ozarks, we planted our gardens 6 weeks later than usual.
    I carried 40 pd. – 5 gallon buckets to water each plant individually from our
    water storage tanks, 32 buckets total in a few hours time and something happened to my back, from my right shoulder all the way down to my leg.
    Realized then, I am not 30 yrs old any longer!
    So, with my back brace on, and ice tea in hand, I go outside and tour my gardens for inspiration and dreaming, reading, praying, and hoping.
    Sometimes we are forced to slow down, sometimes coming to a complete stop,
    to see what we are missing!
    Your thoughts just made my day today, thank you so much for reminding me
    to stop and smell the roses along the way!
    Hugs from the Ozarks, Diana, Noel, Mo.

  3. Diane Van Horn says:

    Beautiful and inspiring, thank you. I have no other words.

  4. Lisa says:

    Lovely. Thank you for the video link. As I write this, I am at my office desk on the college campus where I work. My new-to-us rescue dog, Fozzy, came to work with me today, so there have already been two walks throughout the campus! As we were walking, I realized that without him, I wouldn’t have made the space to get outside — I would have stayed at my desk for hours without a nature break.

  5. Tina Wagener says:

    I love this blog! I relate to it so well. Thank you for this post and for putting the link to that video in it. It’s amazing! Made me cry. I will be sharing it on all 3 of my FB pages. Thank you for this today. I know people that need to see it.

    Blessings to you! ~ Tina ~ 😀

  6. kay says:

    I was just watching a butterfly get a drink from my backyard birdbath…..nature is the best. Thank you for the video, we all need to be reminded occasionally.

  7. dianne Beach says:

    Rebekah: The video is beautiful isn’t it? I hope I remember the message every day. Just be. I agree with you about being the blessing to others. Each day I try to make a point to greet others with a SMILE. The gift is seeing them smile back. God gave me the gift of Kindness. He gave me the gift to see what is around me and be grateful for just seeing. I am not in a hurry anymore. The world may seem to rush by but I chose to get off the merry-go-round. Thanks so much Rebekah. God bless

  8. JoEllen says:

    Love your thoughts of gratefulness Rebekah. I must say that today was one day I needed to hear what you have said. Unfortunately I wasn’t much of a blessing to the young man and his son that is living with us. But, time alone with our Maker brings everything into perspective, especially my attitude. So, thank you! The video was great and much appreciated. I sit in my back yard of flowers and inhale the perfume they offer and the solace that is free for the asking, and say thank you for my life.

  9. Debbie says:

    Beautiful message…Love you sister!
    Deb ( Beachfarmgirl)

  10. Susan Margetts says:

    Thank you I am blessed and grateful that you shared this and honestly feel like a little bit of a better person because my eyes are open a little bit larger now and I can see more clearly…. <3

  11. RebeccaThornton says:

    So very nice. Thank you for your words and mental pictures. I agree with your thoughts. They are peaceful.

  12. K aren Olson says:

    From my very earliest days, I have been a nature girl. Outside roaming, dreaming, observing, learning, appreciating, enjoying. As I got older and life got more complicated; no matter where I was, God always provided me with a little bit of nature to calm me down and "ground" me. When, 25 years ago, I had to run away from the life I had just then, I took my two children and asked God for a place with a tree on it. I got a beautiful 4 acres in the Mother Lode. God is so good! And I LOVE my land. Every day, all the time. I really liked this blog; and I wanted you to know that it touched me. God Bless.

  13. Pam says:

    That is awesome. It reminds me to appreciate each day that I have. At one point in my life I might not have had these days.

  14. Joan says:

    WOW!!!!! Thank you!!!! Blessings abound. For once I am speechless and HAPPY. God Bless

  15. Stella says:

    For the record — you ARE a picker upper. A sister-at-heart and inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful video – the dance of the flowers is amazing, the words of the speaker a gentle reminder. I think it’s time to go outside now, on our side porch, and do one of my favorite things in the summer – be still… be totally in my skin… be amazed at the beauty around me… and watch the fireflies. Good night Rebekah… good night to you and yours and God bless.

  16. bonnie ellis says:

    Rebekah: I think you are that person you wish you were. Nature IS good for the soul and you have expressed it well here. I think we farmgirls are all in tune with it. How can we not be. Our gardens, our animals, our land are all so very important to us. Thanks for your blog today. God bless.

  17. Charlene says:

    I am new to your blog, but I could not have asked for a better introduction to you. It was so amazing and heart felt
    and you did touch me more than you know. I will be back again, Thank you.

  18. Carol in NC says:

    Wow. Thank you for posting this video. I LOVE Ted talks!

    I’ve so enjoyed finding the wildflowers on our new property, Bloodroot, spotted wintergreen, tons of Solomon’s seal and false Solomon’s seal, even a huge clump of ghost white Indian pipe. All kinds of things. This house is a flower gardener’s dream when it comes to landscaping, but I find myself looking past the nursery plants, running into the house shouting to anyone who will listen to come look at a tiny bloom on some obscure wildflower. Ahh. That’s the good stuff.

  19. Beverly says:

    Thank you Rebekah for not only sharing this amazing video which touched my heart in more ways that I can express) but for sharing your beautiful life and family with us all. I find being in Nature eases my troubles and reminds me what is truly inportatnt in life. There is NOTHING more beautiful than what God has created for us all. Bless you always….

  20. Cindy says:

    I decided a while back in order to live a happy life I needed to "be the blessing". I look for ways everyday to bless those around me. When we open our eyes to this miraculous world and really "see", we instantly partake of the the happiness that is free for everyone. It’s hard to feel lonely and sad when you become aware of what is all around you, and if you do feel sad, get outside, look around, and SMILE at someone! The world NEEDS you! You’re a kindred spirit Rebekah, and thank you so much for posting the video link…I shared it on Facebook.

  21. Amanda says:

    LOVE the blog! I was sitting out in the veggie garden this morning with a cup of coffee watching the colors of the flowers and plants get brighter (even "glow") as the sun came up. A woman (friend of the family) called and asked for a recipe, told me a few stories about life 63 years ago, and told me that it was a blessing getting to talk to me today. An older gentleman always says may God bless you as people leave the grocery store. I love the simple things that automatically make me smile. We gotta pass this stuff along! May God bless you all!

  22. Rachann says:

    I grew up between my grandparents farms and small factory towns. It never once occured to me that people didn’t watch weather or trees or animals or insect patterns all the folks did. People move around…folks walk and watch. I learned this for the first time in college, then again in my first corperate job. A co-worker and photographer commented on my 3 year old…"you’ve already taught her to be alive in her world not live in it…so many people are dead in their surroundings". How practical purpose and beauty combine so completly in nature…don’t pick the pretty ones …let them go to seed…

  23. Nancy Boyd says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this website. It was just what I needed to put things in perspective.

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The Art of Being a Neighbor

“A good neighbor is a found treasure.” Chinese Proverb

I found ME some TREASURE up here in the mountains where I live now. In fact, I’m a little teary eyed writing this post. Do you know how to BE a good neighbor? Have you ever lived in a place full of good neighbors? Do you know how to accept the kindness of neighbors (because accepting and doing are two different things entirely)? I don’t think being a good neighbor comes naturally in this old world any more. I think it’s something we have to learn, to practice. We have to master the Art of Being a Neighbor, of being neighborly, of being only one, yet part of a whole.

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  1. Holly Holt says:

    This pretty much sums up country living and why a community is so necessary (actually anywhere you are). We are building ours now after buying an old farmhouse. I moved out of NY to the country and I have to say, community was equally important there, for different but similar reasons. Navigating the crazy world is a challenge and it is best when you have support and knowledge from those who have "been there" and "done that" to ease the pain.

  2. Nini Betters says:

    Rebekah – I always love your posts, but this one is my favorite! What a blessing to have found that amazing tractor and attachments, and what an even greater blessing to have mighty good neighbors – I believe they are a testament to the kind of neighbor YOU are, too! Congratulations! I’m sure you’ll be driving that big beautiful machine in no time! You GO girl! Hugs – Nini

  3. Denise S says:

    you are truly lucky to have neighbors and friends like that!!!

  4. Adrienne says:

    You are truly blessed to have neighbors who will drop everything to help you and are determined to complete the task. When you and your tractor are doing what a tractor is supposed to do, create a special dinner for your neighbors and invite them to enjoy your harvest. That’s what I’ve done and everyone is happy.

  5. Frannie Meshorer says:

    You are the darlingest of darlings! You attract your good neighbors because YOU are a good neighbor .. yessss .. they are indeed there anyway … but they are there for you because you are YOU!

    I adored your funny story .. what a great ‘memory’ for your ‘remembrance bank’! I’m sending your story to my ‘bestie friend’ Grace Parker and her honey-man Charles. They have a Christmas Tree farm in Creston, N.C. .. and are "the good neighbors’ you speak of! I do so hope that someday you will all ‘meet’. You would adore her and she would adore YOU! xoxo, frannie

  6. Joan says:

    Yepper that is the REAL COUNTRY way of living – so glad to hear that it still exists! Oh how people like to help those less knowing in the farming way – but you are for sure giving it one of the best tries I have heard of in a long time. No wonder your neighbors want to help you – they appreciate all you are doing for the ‘ole farm’, it is hard to see a neighborhood not be taken care of and you for sure are seeing to this one. What’s the tractors name? gotta have a name. My neighborhood is a newer suburb out on an old ranch, we are 11 miles from town but only 3 miles from the ‘hub’ grocery, eateries etc. so we as neighbors do help each other, just not quite to the extent y’all do. We had lots of helpers with the Black Forest fire here lately and still helpers everywhere and I’m not sure but I for one do not expect to be paid back but I will guess there will come a time that I too will receive more than I give and you too will some day know exactly how to repay. Thanks for sharing, always a joy to hear from you. God Bless

  7. Pamela deMarrais says:

    Rebekah, you are the little farmgirl that said, "I think I can, I think I can", and you did! Congrats on another great accomplishment towards having the farm that you always dreamed of! It’s so good to have folks nearby that want to help each other. You are blessed!

  8. Denise R says:

    Rebekah, what a wonderful post. So beautiful to hear neighbours being neighbourly. Helping one another out when needed is what being a neighbour is all about.
    I love that you’re continuing with your dream and all the lessons being learnt along the way. I’m certainly learning a lot from your experience. I’d love that kind of life one day.

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