Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Spring on my happy homestead

We are having a typical Idaho spring. It is cold, snowy, rainy, and windy most of the time, but now and again, the sun shines. My grass is greening up, and we are busy getting ready for our short growing season. I decided to share a blog post today about all of the wonderful things going on here on my little piece of the world.

This is my early herb garden. The chives, oregano, and chammomile are coming up nicely. We have already planted some early greens in this garden. Radishes, lettuce, chard, spinach, beets, and peas all do just fine in cool weather. With a few warm days, they will all start shooting up. I can't wait to start cooking out of the garden again.

Speaking of cooking, our hens are laying tons of eggs right now. In the spring they start eating the tender shoots of new grass, and their eggs are amazing. The yolks stand up tall in the pan, and they are a deep, golden color. We have a variey of chickens. Most are Rhode Island Reds, but we also have Black Sex Links, Buff Orpingtons, and Barred Plymouth Rock. The eggs range in color from brown, light brown, and white.

The hens are really nosy. They are following Scott around to see what he is doing. I like to pick them up and stroke their soft feathers. They are really fun to have around.

We are in our second year of raising turkeys. They are a heritage breed called Blue Slate. Heritage means that they are an old breed, not genetically modified. Blue slates are considered to be a dying breed. We chose to raise them with the intent to grow the flock to a decent size, to help the breed to survive. They are really cool. The toms are the ones with the blue faces. They are always puffing up, showing off for the hens.

We were so excited to discover eggs in the turkey coop last week. These eggs went in to the incubator last night. Hopefully we will get chicks! Blue slate turkey chicks are very expensive, so we are really hoping to be able to raise our own babies. In 7 days we can candle the eggs to see if there is anything growing inside. I cannot wait to see them hatch. What a miracle eggs are!

Another miracle this spring is that our bees lived through the winter. I was very concerned that we had lost the hive, but they are alive! While they do seem to still have some honey to live on, we started feeding them sugar water as well, in an effort to ensure their survival. I have not been a great beekeeper. I need to find someone who can help me this spring. I think that we need a new queen. I am really hoping that we can harvest a box of honey for ourselves this fall. How cool will that be?!

We decided to try something new this spring, and we built and indoor bean trellis. These are asparagus beans, and they are growing really fast. Scott did a great job building the stand. We hope to be eating beans by June.

We have a lot of seedling growing big and tall, getting ready for that blessed day when we can move them outside. Our cucumbers are growing so fast, however, that we moved them to big pots and trellised them up.

They are sweet pea trellises for Mothers Day. In a month or so, they will have these posts filled with greenery, and be starting to blossom. I can't wait for the finished product, they are going to be so beautiful!

I love the miracles that spring brings to my house. I am constantly in awe of the beautiful place that we live. It is my honor to find beauty in every day, and wonder in every experience!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Your bliss is within your reach!

For the last few weeks I have been noticing an interesting trend among many my friends and clients. They are frustrated with each other, angry, and hurt. It seems that emotions are running high and folks are feeling the full weight of it.

Yesterday one of my Facebook friends commented that she had high hopes for the day, but someone had said something to hurt her, therefore her entire day was ruined. In my optimism, pointed out that no one can hurt your feelings unless you let them. My comment further irritated her, and she responded with a curt response, "Well, I'm sorry. Not everyone can be perfect." I realized a little too late that what she really wanted was someone to commiserate with her misery, and tell her that it was okay to react that way. The fact is, I love her too much to do that. I care about all of you too much to do that, so I am going to share with you my thoughts on this.

Simply, no one can hurt your feelings unless you let them! Sorry, but it is true! If someone's mean comment ruins your entire day, then you are allowing yourself to feel that way. The truth is, people who are behaving that way have a lot more issues than you. Their actions are a result their own drama, their own fear, and their own unhappiness. When you can step back, refuse to take things personally, and see the bigger picture, suddenly, you have no need to get offended. You may even decide to feel a little bit of compassion for that person. That is great, but NO saving allowed. Gone are the days of always having to be responsible for other people's happiness. Right now, you are only in charge of yours. After all, when you are happy and operating through love, other people with catch that bug. You don't actually have to DO anything.

So, how do you operate through happiness and love? You just do. You make a conscious choice to be "that person". I read an article on MSN the other day that claimed that happy people on Facebook make other people feel bad. I think that is rubbish. It is not "bad ass" to be dark and unhappy. It is ego. Truly happy people have simply decided to be happy, regardless of their immediate situation. I love this quote: “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”-Ghandi. With that being said, you owe it to yourselves to surround yourself in people and circumstances that feel good. There is nothing wrong with weeding toxic people out of your lives.

Sure, the rain will fall in your lives from time to time. That is a part being human. We all have moments of anger, sadness, grief, etc. It is the way we react to that emotion that is the key. Can you emerge from it stronger, wiser, maybe even happier? Or will you allow it to destroy you, set you back, rob all other happiness from your life? The choice is yours.

Give yourself permission to be happier, love more, forgive more, and laugh more. It is the greatest act of love that you can give yourself. I am pulling for you! I know that you can do it, because I know that I can do it, and we are not that much different, you and I.

Today, I choose to live in my bliss, embrace happiness and spread joy. Join me!