As life ticks on and there is more days behind than ahead I’m reminded age comes to us all. I’m in no way ready for a retirement home but life’s realities have come increasingly clear.
This is no more visible than grey hair. Silver…frosted…classic. Old. I looked at renewing color from a box. Threatened a purple wig.
Then realized like the laugh lines and scars those grey hairs have been hard earned. It comes from half broke horses who forgot whoa, cows who became running trainers complete with motivation and close calls of a wide variety. It comes from teenagers and losing friends and burying good dogs and horses who knew more than most people but never told anyone.
It comes from life. A life not experienced by so many who never had a chance to celebrate their 25th birthday. Or 20th. They will be forever young in our memories.
Why cover up history? Long days, sheep and cattle who had lessons of their own, mistakes and misery as well as good times.
Seeing most US states has been interesting. Experiencing backstage at the Grand Old Opry with Mark Wills, a variety of events and experiences and driving through this beautiful and sometimes not so beautiful country.
Not all experiences are good but many are memorable. Fire, flood, homeless, storms rage. Many didn’t survive those hardships.
So for those who scoff the grey hair…every one is earned.
As the 4th of July approaches we celebrate independence. Food choices are everyday ways to buy direct, from a store produced in volume or a host of in between.
As a small direct to consumers seller at farmer’s market I don’t expect every person likes what I do. Some resent my very existence. Some love the options of different things. Some buy and enjoy hot pepper jelly, or mint jelly or homemade from scratch bread.
Some appreciate a sugarfree homemade blackberry jam at $8. Regular sugar options are a bit cheaper.
Once in a while someone snorts about paying $6 for a jar of jelly. others undercut the price. Why $6…in the store…well, in the store there isn’t the small scale producer. I, and people like me, may raise the peppers and process them into jelly. The jar alone is 70 cents and $1.50 for pectin. Add the peppers, sugar, vinegar and other ingredients. Add the unseen power bill and labor of growing, harvesting and processing as well as transportation to a convenient location to buy, with a shaded area to buy and fans to deal with the heat… $6 is too much?
Any food large or small produced and processed food is yours for an exchange of money. I am not getting rich. I am happy to be comfortable. I don’t resent people who buy elsewhere.
Don’t resent the small farms for offering choices and expecting a fair living from it.
One year ago, June 8, life as we knew ir changed. Starting over.
It’s been a year of trials and struggle and tears and hope. It’s shown the worst and the best in people.
A year ago I didn’t know how we’d get by. Today I baked goodies to go to the farmer’s market to sell.
A year ago I questioned why. Today I see what has come from it.
A year ago I wondered about survival. Today I saw reality.
It’s going to be ok.
It has been some time since the blog has been updated but doesn’t mean nothing is happening.
Quite the opposite! We have tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, herbs and more. Blackberries and raspberries, rhubarb and other tasty things are growing. Ducks and Pharoah quail are in residence.
Our trial share customers just received a small first drop of greens and edible flowers. The spring events are underway and we’re signed up for the county farmer’s market. A year ago we had trials pending we didn’t know of. We’ll be sharing memories of that and looking forward to a bigger 2016.
Easter is a time of renewal. For Christians it celebrates an empty tomb and Jesus triumph over death, being a sacrifice for our sins. SlowMoneyFarm has been blessed and is not going away.
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.