Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright.
It is a quiet but blessed Christmas this year. Since June it’s been a trial. Loss in the storm and since has been difficult.
Blessings have been many. While it’s been a case of uncertainty and not being able to give much for Christmas there is much good in the world.
Christmas lists change as one passes through life. It starts with wanting half of the old wish books parents dreaded. Then getting more practical then wanting to give to others. Then sometimes the realization that we can’t out give God.
Then there’s the impossible to us gifts. Paying off bills or wishing a child or relative or friend would be cured of medical issues or one more holiday with loved ones no longer here. Phone calls are more precious. Sometimes the gift is in the giving which is the answer to a prayer of not being alone. Sometimes all is calm depends on us.
Sleep in Heavenly peace. Thank you to so many who have helped this year. Merry Christmas to those near and far.
For some time I have heard negative things about the lazy money suckling leaches on the food stamp system. Living the high life on steak and lobster. I am not sure where that is, but I admit to shamefully having a cell phone.
Most who know us know it’s been a tough year. Some have stood with us, cried and sweated with us, marveled at attitudes and discussed what is needed or not needed. That’s easy to do from the outside and a difference of opinion. In June when a storm changed much, a setback was an understatement.
Picking up the pieces has not been easy. Asking for help…not easy. Asking again…resent doing it. Losses…many this year. Income is in the extreme poverty definition. Shall I hang my head now?
Last month with a little pushing I swallowed the last bit of pride and applied for food stamps. Perhaps someone reading this will sit smugly in judgment. Perhaps ignoring the many offers of things for sale and wanting to work where there is none. So the windfall arrived this week, and am grateful for it. The food budget is a whopping $100 per month.
That is breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks for two people for a month. It’s not going to be steak…probably not a lot of beef unless I find burger on sale. I see that 99 cents to $1.50 pork, potatoes, rice, homemade things. I see bargain hunting and taking advantage of $5 off $25 that most folks throw away. I see soup and crackers for some lunches. Connor likes Ramen so some meals stretch with that. Grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwich or other stretchers are normal anyway.
Some people will undoubtedly resent that $100. Assume money is being squandered somehow and resent for the first time in 8 years we have television. For the first time ever a smart phone to connect with those not nearby. Forgive handwashed clothes as there isn’t a washer here. Yet. We have electricity, hand drawn water, wood heat (thankfully not much needed this year yet.).
We aren’t partying on the help food stamps provides. I don’t resent those with new cars, vacations and expansive Christmas displays. The truck is sidelined so no Christmas parades this year. The Christmas list is pitiful to some.
But we’ve found what we can do without and leading that is prying into managing other people’s lives as it’s enough to deal with this one. Simple things are sometimes good things.
For those who resent our watching a movie or tv show, or discussing not really needing a pantry or should do <whatever > different I am blessed to have the peace of mind to know what I want is possible even in the humbling times this year.
Sometimes the biggest negative times are eye opening. This too shall pass. Who will be there when it does?
It has been a year of blessings as well as trials. Although there are many who will be out shopping on Black Friday, we will not be. We have had much to be thankful for including tree removal, firewood, roof repair, power and so many small things that most overlook. We had a stove to cook a meal. We have a roof over our heads. I’m not sure if there will be much material for Christmas but there is so much more. Good neighbors are priceless and community near and far is valued beyond an electronic device many fight over. Happy Thanksgiving to those near and far.
So worth sharing. On many levels people don’t understand, big or small.
To begin, this is not my field. Or my father’s field. Or my neighbor’s. But it could be and has been in the past.
Last year, during harvest while driving the grain cart, my father-in-law came over a rise in one field and found a car. It was determined by police that the driver and friends took a ride down the fence line and struck out into our field where they got hung up on a low-spot and killed the engine. The group must have walked back to the road and caught a ride or stumbled home. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual occurrence.
View original post 406 more words
It’s been a difficult summer with storms and loss. Our project is going ok but limited with time and heat and money. Stop by our GoFundMe if you can, as it gets worse possibly with more roof repair than anticipated.
Progress is slow but is progress.
Special items have been found – photos and books. Items my dad made were pulled from the rubble as well as photos of my mom. A few salt and pepper shakers from her collection have been found but most not yet.
The crate Bella was in is out. We have a roof and basic power and phone. So many things we really take for granted.
A grateful heart especially for those who have contributed and helped in other ways. Good neighbors are priceless and
we have some of the best. So much is still ahead but in time things change.
Many have noticed the sudden disappearance of posts on social media and, due to access, this blog. On June 8, a sudden but brief storm rearranged SlowMoneyFarm.
We had to immediately get past shock to survival. Rebuilding has begun but it will be a long, long time coming. Trees were down, and crushed the mobile into the living room and kitchen. Our story, in more detail, is in a GoFundMe page. We were very, very lucky.
It buried one pen, destroyed several others and turned birds loose with the tree’s roots creating massive holes in the landscape. Photos taken in the wake of the storm seem like a dream, only it’s real. It’s too real.
We are ok. We had lost some animals in the heat, and stress, following, but we’re ok. Physically.
It is a massive job ahead to get the trees dealt with. Rabbits under still hanging branches were moved immediately. Dogs that were outside were, obviously, moved immediately. We’re thankful for neighbors who brought meals that first few days, and the neighbor who took off work to rush home and get the chainsaw to help clear enough to find Taffy and Bella, feared lost in the wreckage. Both, it turned out, were safe, although Bella’s mangled crate (see tomorrow’s post for more photos), makes it a miracle.
Getting birds caught, moved to housing, making pens, salvaging bits and pieces and keeping them fed and watered has made for full days. We had no power or phone until just recently, and our phone number has changed due to service issues.
There has been good things, and a renewed view of community. It’s been interesting – when there were moments to think – who got in touch and those we haven’t (still) heard from. There isn’t time to deal with stressing about it and enough stress to go around!
But…due to buying “the Office” last year, we have a roof and a nearby base that has allowed being able to get things out, keep everyone as comfortable as possible. Our lives have changed, for sure. The world, in some ways, stopped. No news about pop culture or the outside world.
It was a recovery bubble. In some ways it still is. Rabbits are out in new, but (to me) less than ideal housing that is dry and able to be accessed to care for them, but not what they’re used to. They, too, adapt. The chickens have all been moved, Muscovy ducks and others caught and confined.
We found the living room, found some personal items, recovered books and photos and other odd momentos that don’t mean anything to others but do to me. We’ve pulled out enough kindling to grill for the rest of the summer. We’re working on firewood for the winter. Getting so much done with so little funds is a huge stress, thus the page at the suggestion of a lady in our community.
The Office has been pressed from storage to recovery center and place to sleep. It’s imperfect, but a blessing. There’s not enough time to post much, but I wanted to take a few minutes from the library to make another installment here.
We’re rebuilding and will be trying to post more often. I’ve upgraded to a smartphone, so have phone and some service, but that’s a learning curve and right now there is so much to do it’s hard to spend time learning.
More storms lurk and although this week will be in the 90s, winter isn’t far away when there’s so much to do. A frame for a barn is $3,600 and that’ll take another miracle. There’s no time to waste, so we’d appreciate any help, dear readers, from posting and crossposting to oh so appreciated $5 or 10.
Apologies for the disruption and posting and generating this seemingly frantic post! It will get better. Soon. I hope.