Happy New Year! The first day of a sparkling new season, a meandering story certainly worth telling. I am so happy to still be here writing, trying to document our life stories and capture some of the learning curve along the way.
Regarding the above photo, two things: I am very excited to soon finish some extensive dental work that could end a lifetime of front-tooth replacement drama. This means I might soon smile for photos with my mouth OPEN, ha. Also, I am loving winter garden tasks lately. So much. Just looking at this, I can smell the cedar and feel the crunch of leaves.
How are you? How was your December-January threshold celebration?
Our last day of 2018 was quiet and well spent. Yesterday while Handsome was at the Commish, I took down all of our Christmas decorations and started cleaning the house. Klaus helped by requiring lots of fetch in between. I also grabbed my final run of the calendar year and started cooking and setting up for a casual dinner with Mickey and Kellie. We had “church” on Monday evening this week, and it ended up being a sweet and perfect New Year’s Eve, just the four of us. I promise to tell you about this project soon, as in this month. Pinky promise.
After we hugged a lot and the Sperrys went home (around 10 p.m.), Handsome and I got into some pajamas and cuddled up to read aloud our 2018 Grievances. This is only the second year we have done this, but we both know it is a favorite tradition that will likely stay with us for the rest of our lives.
It’s so simple, too. We just keep a large empty jar in our bedroom and a supply of blank slips of paper near it. Both of us are free every day throughout the year to scribble down little memories and love notes, details of daily life we want to remember. As with yours, our life is brimming with variety and roller coasters. The details each of us chooses to harness are a lot of fun to read at the end of the year! We cover everything from romance and super romance (brown chicken brown cow, haha) to family updates, farm projects, stressors overcome, community stuff, funny animal stories, excellent meals, and all the stuff in between. You name it, one of us has documented it in short sentences and messy handwriting.
So we accumulate them all year long. Then on New Year’s Eve, at least an hour ahead of the countdown, we take turns reading aloud the other person’s notes. Oh! We call them “grievances” because at some point in 2017 a joke started about filing grievances, something funny, I don’t remember now because we forgot to write that down, ha!
Example, an entry of mine following our Second Annual Talent Show which was rained out and which my husband rescued in one million vital ways:
Anyway. It’s heartwarming and funny, and it is amazing how many big and little events tend to otherwise blur together or standout in weird ways until we read our real-time reactions to them. Does that make sense? It’s a tiny, easy little time warp into our own minds. The things that mattered to us on no particular days in the past. We both love it. And it is funny how many events we both chose to document, unwittingly along with the other.
Okay, moving on.
Speaking of writing and keeping history, this year one of my seven million happy intentions is to blog more regularly, to keep an actual account of daily life. I don’t know whether I have a specialty niche to offer the internet, but as they say, each of us is an expert in our own selves, in our own lives, so that much I can definitely offer. And I will gratefully and freely admit, my husband and I have built and enjoy a really beautiful life here on these nine acres. Lots to share if I just take the time. I hope you will follow along.
I am reading for the second time the small daily devotional called “Jesus Calling.” It was a soothing and inspiring little daily ritual for most of 2018, and I am excited to dive more deeply this year. Plus, I get to read over again the notes I wrote on each calendar date from last year. So much has changed in our life, so many miracles, so much growth! It’s going to be fun to re-experience all of that, including the hard weeks.
Today’s standout scripture is from Romans 12: “Be ye not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This speaks to me more vividly all the time. It all starts in our minds, truly. And I crave deeper transformation than ever before. As for the worldly part, also yes. Yes a thousand times. It takes effort, but resisting the push and pull of trends and bandwagons is good. Cultivating our own paths, learning to ignore outside pressures and actively choose to not be conformed, that is all so good and juicy. “The Joy of Missing Out” has been on my mind all month long. Ironically, I don’t feel like I have missed out on anything that matters. It’s a pretty nifty little paradox.
One of the television programs that made a big impact on us last year was The Kindness Diaries, and my husband especially has taken up the chance to connect with the show’s host and author, Leon Logothetis, via social media. As a result, he has received two books in the mail and is excited to read them. One is a memoir of the making of the show’s first season. The other is called, Live, Love, Explore. After my guy studied The Book of Joy with me, helped host that amazing discussion dinner, and then propagated that material to his friends and employees, I am so happy deep in my bones for this next experience.
Farm Census to Start the Year:
We still have two fat, sassy horses, Chanta and Dusty. Both male, both cut, both extremely affectionate and smart, but neither trained. No, before you ask, sadly I guess, we do not ride them. But we do love them so very much.
We have one slightly famous llama, Meh, who is approaching five years old. He was born here at the Lazy W to registered and beloved parents Romulus and Seraphine. Meh is one of those animals who is more than the sum of his fuzzy parts. We just plain love him to the moon and back. Meh was recently immortalized by local artist Emily Williams, and as long as I am lucky enough, the artwork is hanging in our living room. Pretty sure Handsome will scoop it up and take it to his office before long.
The Lazy W has two South African geese, one gander named Johnny Cash (we always say his full name) and one mostly blind, barely walking, still elegant and beautiful female named Mama Goose. We are amazed she is still with us after so many years, so much extreme weather, and so many predator encounters. We love her. We love them both.
Along with the geese we currently have nine chickens. Two of them are mature roosters, and the other seven are gorgeous little hens, all hatched here at the W. My “pet” is called Red Shoulder Chicken, so name because in good weather she has a penchant for hopping all the way up to my shoulder to perch. She rather demands (and therefore receives) lush and colorful kitchen treats before settling for pedestrian chicken scratch.
Lately we have been getting two large, heavy fresh eggs every day or so. Our hens are young. It will naturally increase as weather improves and the hens mature, but I also want to increase our laying flock this year. The trouble is that we want to keep them safe in the penned yard (hash-tag hawks and owls), but space is limited. We want them to be super happy and have room to play. We shall see.
Three barn cats grace us with their presence and for food and cuddles, and each of them has a distinct personality. Klaus loves them like the small, vulnerable siblings they are. He roughs them up violently and with great zeal. I taught him this.
Fast Woman still appears when the stars align, and I recently dreamed that she was shrinky-dink size but three times as loud as normal.
Also, of course, you know Klaus, and if you have been reading here very long you know Pacino, our adolescent macaw. We have some possible life-improving plans for Pacino his year. Stay tuned.
Have you ever taken a meditation class? Handsome and I and a few of our friends are flirting with the idea of attending some being offered near the farm, and a Buddhist Monastery. I am pretty excited. Reading, studying, thinking, journaling, and staying in contemplation are all easy for me. Quieting my mind, not so much. But I crave “spaciousness” and ease, and this could be a pathway to that. Plus, one of our happy intentions for 2019 is to explore other faiths. Love it. I will keep you posted.
Ok, I am so glad you stuck around for some thoughts and reintroductions to the farm. Again, thank you for reading. Thanks so much for giving me a chance to share some of the things I find to be truly amazing in this life.
More than ever, I feel the cascade of Grace and Joy, and I am eager to write it all down. Happiest of the New Year to you, friends. I hope you can take hold of this wave of good energy and make it your own. See you again soon.
“We are all gardeners,
planting seeds of intention
and watering them with attention
in every moment
of every day.”