Saturday, February 12, 2011


Okay Red Gate Gal's time to come clean.  I'm not feeling very encouraged this morning.  I sit here with coffee beside me and lap top in hand, but I am having a hard time coming up with an encouraging topic for my Saturday morning musings.

The last year has been tough on many fronts for hubby and I.  Some things I've shared with friends and family and other things I've kept within the safe confines of the farm.  It's been a year of change and a journey of self discovery on my part.  At times life has felt very frustrating and overwhelming.   Having a Type A personality and being a perfectionist is a sure fire recipe for disaster. name is Red Gate Gal and I am a perfectionist who cannot say NO, I have issues with setting boundaries and realistic expectations for myself.  I am learning that the person I have been creating these 37 years to meet the expectations of others may not be who I am really am.  It's been a long battle of fighting against this person who I've suppressed for many years.

This is a scary place to be...funny that I'm excited at the same time.  I know I'm not alone in this journey.  And that's the ENCOURAGEMENT I'll leave with you this morning.  God walks with us, although at times his footsteps are soft and quiet.  But he is there so willing to catch us with big arms of love when we just collaspe from exhaustion.  We forget this, we try to handle it on our own never wanting to trust him completely with our burdens.  I can't wait to see what this year brings and I'm a little lighter this morning.  Giving a little to GOD each day...but hey I'm a recovering Perfectionist...I can't give it all to him at once now can I???  LOL.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Farmgirl's Hope for Spring

Living on a farm in the winter can make you question if ALL the hard work is worth it.  The snow and the rain turn the ground into fields of mud and muck.  I am lucky that most mornings my husband handles the farm duty to allow "The Queen of the Farm" her full dose of beauty rest.  But there are those mornings when he is traveling that the farm chores are left on my shoulders.  I don't complain, but it's not a walk in the park.  It's a trek in the 9 degree, snowy, rainy, dark, cold tundra.

The animals depend on us and we depend on them.  Therefore, I make my way to our mud room and put on the farm garb.  My stylish attire consists of dirty bib overhalls, a ski mask, $5.00 down jacket (what a deal!), and my gloves.  I grab a flashlight and head out the door.  As I walk through the gate, I pray the cows don't hear me before I can dump feed in their troughs.  Walking through thousands of pounds of beef as I get stuck in the mud is extremely scary for me.

I walk and have a conversation with myself.  A little like Sally Field in Sybil, but I know you understand as I've laid out the visual in the previous paragraphs.  Sybil and I continue our chores from the muddy (an understatement) barnyard to the chicken coop.  I open the henhouse door and throw corn as I yell....Here Chick, Chick, Chick.    The "girls" as we call them, are reluctant to leave their warm laying boxes.  I can't really blame them.

As I make my way back to the house, I hear the cows who have now arrived at their troughs.  If it's late enough in the morning, I can see swollen bellies filled with calves who will be dropping soon.  Then it dawns on me that Spring is on it's way.

I begin to dream of putting my hands in the dirt.  I can see Henrietta with her calf suckling in the field while Guido our bull is deciding whose next.  The excitement of days to come of picking strawberries and peaches begins to find hope inside me.  I can taste fresh tomato on bologna sandwiches and it is more than I can stand.  Taking morning four wheeler rides with my husband to experience the day waking up before us are times that I treasure.  And my oh my, rocking on my porch watching bird after bird come to the feeder is something you just have to experience for yourself.

When I was a little girl, living on a farm was no where in my plans for life.  But, thank GOD I have this wonderful blessing.  As I sit here and write this morning, I can hear the winds of winter outside and feel the cold draft in this old house blow across my feet.  I'm reminded that good things are always better when you've had to work for them.

So we'll continue to work through the winter as we do each year.  Because the mud, muck and cold are so worth it to experience the amazing blessings of Spring!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out Julie Andrews!

Oh the things that make us happy!  Ever taken the time to write down your favorite things?  On days when I'm feeling down or the forecast shows no sun for days, I remind myself of the things that bring me joy.  Today was one of those days.  I have just returned from the doctor and was given a prescription for round 2 of antibiotics.  Z-Pack to fight a cold I've had since December 26th.  I battled wind and rain going into the pharmacy.  UGH!  Julie Andrews's performance in The Sound of Music is playing in my ear.  I am now in my PJ's with a warm blanket and thinking about a few of my favorite things.  A good exercise to make you smile.

Yellow roses
The first veggies that start to appear in the garden
Noticing a newborn calf in the field
Being moved by music
Receiving cards in the mail
My husband
Rocking on our front porch
Being a grandma
Making homemade bread
Watching the birds at our feeder
My friend Vickie
Wearing strappy sandals
Fly Fishing
Our Dogs
Walking in summer grass
Walking on the beach
Indigo Bunting's song
Conquering a fear
My "Sista"
The love of my family