Transitioning to life on the farm

farm, farmer, Enumclaw, polka dot farmer
Never a lack of work on the farm

Life on the farm is busy. But it’s amazing.

Let me first start by saying, we both work in the city, so we commute an hour and 15 minutes each way on the train to work and are in the thick of downtown Seattle by day, and take that same commute each evening to the heart of pure country by night.

It’s different in the country. It’s dark, it’s quiet. Except for the sound of frog song, wind in the trees and a faint din of traffic in the distance. I’m not sure you can ever escape that in the Seattle area. But it’s peaceful and there is a sort of zen that takes over you when you are here. It feels like home.

Our farm is just under 5 acres, in Enumclaw, with a peek-a-boo view of Mt. Rainer. So it’s not a large farm, but it’s a beautiful place to land. In our first 12 weeks on our farm, we have built a chicken coop and raised 7 baby chicks to hens (no eggs yet), added a farm dog (full Pyrenese puppy) to watch over us and adopted 4 nigerian dwarf goats. In two weeks, we are picking up a couple of barn cats to help keep the mouse population at bay in our feed “barn”. Suffice it to say that our two Westie dogs who have had the world centered around them are figuring out how much bigger that world is than they thought…I’m not sure they love it, but they will come along. And they are the only ones allowed in the house, so they are still top dogs.

There is never a lack of work to do, but it doesn’t feel like “work” – it’s just what you do. Our routine has changed significantly and I can tell you, there is a whole lot less TV in our life than there was a few months ago. I have already seen my waistline shrinking and my stamina building. It’s good work, hard work, but good.

I hope you’ll come along as I share this journey of our life on the farm and transitioning to this little piece of heaven on earth. I hope it will be a place you can enjoy with us and be blessed by.

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You had me at sea salt caramel chips

Seriously…it’s #chocolatechipcookieday but these cookies might just have trumped them all.

Chocolate cookies with sea salt caramel chips. #died
**A friend pointed out the dog hair on the cookie. Please excuse the reality of my world. ūüôā

Goat Errrrrrrr.

We were not seriously looking, but one day at the train station a lady is recommending a realtor to me. So we end up meeting her in Enumclaw, Washington to look at a house with land on a fluke. There was an instant connection. Fast forward 12 weeks and we are sitting in our new home, all settled on just shy of 5 acres, peering out at the sunset over the lower pasture and blueberry patch.

Dreams of flowers, fruit, vegetables and plans for our goat herd are in motion. Sleep comes easy with the quiet, dark country setting and things just feel right.

I am a goat errrrrr and so grateful for the many blessings in our life. I work in Seattle and get to come home every night to the country and check on my 7 hens and dogs, the garden, the home.

Amazing! I am a lucky, lucky girl!!!

Starting my 30 day diet from complaining.

In a meeting wpexels-photo-414586.jpegith a colleague at work, we had covered all the necessary things – strategy, planning, next steps, etc. What was said next caught me completely by surprise.¬† “Are you having fun at work, Sally?”¬† That stopped me in my tracks. I love to have fun, to be silly, to enjoy and be playful, but was I having fun at work? No. Not really. And I hadn’t in quite some time.

Then on my commute home, I stumbled upon an article in Simplify Magazine about how to deal with stress.  One of the things it mentioned was to stop complaining.  It went on to say that the energy and time I put into complaining robs me of my peace, of my strength and my truth. As I sat on the train trying not to look like I had just been stung, I was suddenly so aware of how much I complain. Somewhere along the line, I let pessimism and pain and struggle become my focus and that led to a joyless, striving life. What.a.drag. Both to live and to be around.

So I determined then and there that I am going on a diet immediately. No complaining for 30 days. Just to see what happens in my life when I change my position from victim to owner of my life and attitude.

So, this is the end of day one. I did ok. My boss was out of town, so it gave me a lot of time alone to do projects, so that was a sort of grace to set me on my way.¬† I have to say, I don’t think I complained…I teetered a couple of times pretty close, but didn’t jump in. The awareness alone will be transcendent, I can tell.

So the end of day one – how do I feel?¬† Nothing. I feel nothing. I’m not mad, not sad, not glad. Just am. I guess that’s better than all bundled up and stressing, so I’ll take it.

Join me as I walk this diet and see what changes in my life.¬† I can’t wait to share this journey I am on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awakening the Dreamer

86345d893e8c92606e46b12773d84e152017 was an interesting year. I received pay checks from three different companies, my hubby finished his Masters degree, he changed jobs, I changed jobs, then changed again….it’s been interesting. Defining and fulfilling, but interesting.

The thing is, in 2017, I changed. Truly, deeply changed. I was re-introduced to the real me, the “old me”.¬† After a big hit to my pride and paycheck, I was laid off in the holiday season of 2016 from a company and job that nearly sucked the life out of me. I let the stress, hours and challenge eat me alive. I changed. I was a shell of myself and no fun to be around. Frankly, I let the job redefine me and am just grateful for the people I still am friends with from that role. I was not a great person to be around, I know it.

So, getting “laid off” was a gift. Sounds cheesy and forced, but sincerely, the months of severance was just what I needed. I was paid to grieve, be angry, read, sulk, pray, study, contemplate and heal. I took classes, learned new skills, slept…a lot. The amount of sleep over those months was surprising. I organized, puttered and learned to feel again. I enjoyed coffee, the garden, the weather, my life again. I began to feel again and just in time for the final payment of severance, I had a new job offer. Perfect.

Now I know if you have never been through this, you may be thinking, “this is all very melodramatic.”¬† Perhaps. But I can tell you, as cheeky as it sounds, this valley has led me to the best high I have seen in a long, long time.

I have vision. I have reignited dreams. I have begun to be vulnerable again. I miss people, friends, my family. I want time with people over everything else. I miss the church. I want to belong. I have balance. I love, feel, yearn. I want to pursue the dream that has been in my heart for years and I feel strong and brave enough to do so for the first time in years.

The dreamer is awakened!  I have a feeling 2018 is going to be amazing.

 

Ok, so maybe you ARE the boss of me.

216773_1031748287320_3793_nThis little girl came into our life by “accident” ten years ago. Sweet little Sadie. We were¬†NOT going to get a dog. We were¬†“just going to¬†look” at the litter of 11 golden retriever puppies. Just looking. Yes, we took both kids with us, but we were NOT leaving with a dog.

Despite¬†a 40 minute drive of reinforcements, “we are NOT getting a dog, we are just looking.” Forget the insistence that we aren’t ready, don’t have, can’t, shouldn’t. I’m telling you, even a heart like a ten pound hammer would find a litter of¬†brown-eyed-puppy-breathed-yipping-jumping golden retriever puppies to be¬†kryptonite. My steely position lasted strong….for about 2.7 seconds.¬†The kids took about 4 seconds to find THE one. We left with a puppy and my husband was grinning ear to ear. He knew it all along.

We worked hard to train her, make sure she knew she wasn’t the boss and she caught on. A golden always wants to please so they are very trainable and will do just about anything that makes their owner happy. They are genetically¬†designed as professional beggars as well¬†and will eat¬†nearly anything and at any time.¬†Rocks, dirt clods, grass…you name it, they eat it.

A couple of months ago she was diagnosed with lymphoma in both kidneys and given about 6 to 8 weeks to live. We were offered the option to do chemotherapy, a treatment that lasts about 5 months, costs nearly $10,000 and results in an average of 4 to 5 months longer to live. Does that weird math escape any of you? We thought about it and decided to let her live out her days happy and stress free (well as stress free as possible since we brought ANOTHER NEW PUPPY home in this time frame). Since lymphoma is not thought to be particularly painful, she seems to do ok. Feels better some days than others, but still a sweet, sweet girl.

Despite the terrible timing of a puppy added to the mix (don’t judge – have you seen a WESTIE litter…kryptonite 2), Sadie is doing ok, but she has¬†caught on to the situation. She knows. She gets scraps more often, more treats, extra loving. If told no she gives us that, “you can’t say no to a dog with cancer” look. She’s¬†been golden mind melding us since that¬†spring day ten years ago, but is pouring it on with the “I have cancer” look. No, I’m not making it up. But I have firmly come to the conclusion that our pets let us live here because we feed them.

We are so not the boss of us.

 

 

Standing Out.

I don’t look that different, I have worked at the same places with hundreds and thousands of other people in a field that has probably millions of employees world-wide. I’ve tidied my resume¬†just so as the recruiter suggested, I’ve studied the job descriptions and the company. I know how to answer your questions. So how do you choose? What makes me so special?

I’m bad ass. I’m me and there’s only one of those! Standing out means being yourself.