Isn’t that something …

August 19, 2009 at 10:39 am | Posted in art, blogging, country life, dating, dogs, faith, family, gardening, health, knitting, Life, love, marriage, pets, photography, pumpkin recipes, relationships, romance, summer | 25 Comments
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fieldofdreamsI started writing this blog on August 6, 2006. That was just a little over three years ago and I had just recently married my husband, driven across the country with him from Los Angeles to upstate western New York and joined him to live on the farm. It was all so fresh and new to me then, and still is in so many ways. But man, how things have changed and evolved in just three short years.

Moving from Los Angeles to a farm in New York was, needless to say, a mind-boggling change in life. Getting married after almost twenty years of being a very self-sufficient, independent single/divorced woman was an enormous change. I remember so crisply the moment when I was sitting out back on the stoop the day after we arrived “home” following our cross-country honeymoon drive and watched as my new husband circled the barn on his tractor and saying in somewhat stupefied* wonder, “I live on a farm. I live on a farm, and my husband drives a tractor.”

*stupefy: verb: “2. to stun, as with a narcotic, a shock, or a strong emotion., 3. to overwhelm with amazement; astound; astonish.” (Dictionary.com)

haybales2When I started writing my blog, I had no idea where it would lead me much less where it would lead you as a reader. I just intended to write a blog about whatever knitting projects I was working on and participate in that online community a bit. It was an experiment to find out what blogging was about and to learn what I could about the process. I chose knitting as my subject because knitting is something I know a thing or two about and so felt I could say something sensible on the subject.

What happened though, is that the blog became an outlet for the process of discovery that I was involved in. As I got to know my new environment here I shared my discoveries in my blog and my readers enjoyed coming along with me on that journey. So, off I went discovering more and more about where I am now and what my new life is all about.

oldcornYou know how it is when you are watching a movie or you see something in life that is amazing or amusing and you want to have someone right there who you can say, “Wow, wasn’t that something?!” to. It is more satisfying and electrifying if you have someone to share that moment with. I think you get more out of the moment or the joke or whatever if you have someone to share it with. Well, so it is with what has happened in my life. This blog, and you the reader, have worked together to expand and enrich the experiences I am having here. It is as if all of you readers as a whole are this great big combined person I have to share a beautiful childlike sense of wonder with as I go about exploring and discovering my new life.

Whenever I am out and about in the yard, or at the river, on a nearby farm, etc. I see interesting or beautiful things and I think of you and I want to say, “Hey take a look at this … isn’t that something!” The funny thing is, I feel you right there beside me in this universe. I grab the camera and shoot a photo to capture whatever it is, and I have you my reader in my mind as I do it and I can feel the moment in the future when I share that photo with you and you get it. You are my companion and my friend, and I know you are there.

Now, isn’t that something.

I know my posts have become fewer and farther between lately, but that is because there is a baby in the house and I have this momentary opportunity to experience first-hand my granddaughter’s development and growth as she begins her journey into a new life with all of the discoveries that go along with it. My blogging will return to a weekly routine before too long, and I will have even more to share with my readers. I promise I am not giving up on this adventure.

cinderellaMeanwhile, what a summer we are having. Three years ago I was a woman freshly arrived from Los Angeles who had tried to grow a garden in the desert and only created more tumbleweeds. Now I am partly responsible for a thriving pumpkin patch on a piece of earth measuring 36′ x 36′ … a trinket sized garden on a fifty-acre farm in Western New York. Not only do we have many pumpkins growing out there, we have big pumpkins growing out there. For me, this is a huge and happy win because I have not had success before this growing plants in or out of the home. Now I can go out back and pick my way among huge happy pumpkin vines with big ol’ cheerful leaves and find white, green, yellow, and orange pumpkins in various sizes, shapes, and stages of development. None of those pumpkins would be there if I hadn’t dreamed up this Sincere Pumpkin Patch, ordered seeds, helped get them started indoors, organized a work party to plant them outdoors, and participated in the activity of planting and christening them.

Of course, there has been some prayer involved and I know it has helped our pumpkins along. If you have prayed for our pumpkins, thank you so much for lending your support as well.

Three years ago I was also a woman who had made one small batch of somewhat runny strawberry preserves in Los Angeles. Now I regularly make preserves that set up right properly to a fine, even perfect consistency. Last year I made more than 100 jars of various preserves including sour cherry, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and peach. This year I have made wild raspberry preserves, rhubarb, rhubarb-cranberry, and ginger-peach so far. The rhubarb-cranberry and the ginger-peach are special recipes I have developed and they are quite tasty, I must say. I will be making even more peach preserves, and this fall I will make some more of the apple preserves I started developing that first year I came to the farm. I am producing so many jars of preserves that I actually am in need of a jelly cabinet.

cottoncandyNow, isn’t that something.

Last year I even canned four jars of sour cherries, and four jars of peaches. That might not sound like much, but for a first-time canner it was a pretty big deal to me. This year, I have signed up for two canning classes at the local 4-H club, one for peaches and one for apples. Next summer I intend to can more cherries and peaches, and I also want to do something with some tomatoes (which my husband seems to be good at growing).

Another recent development is that we are attending obedience classes with Blu. Blu is a dear dog, and we love him almost desparately. However, he has tended to be an unstable dog who is capable of misbehaving, stealing (and eating) entire bricks of butter, barking inappropriately, and running away in the opposite direction when I say, “Come.”

Last night we attended our third class and he is doing great. I can tell he appreciates the training, because he has become even more affectionate and has become more relaxed as well. I enjoy the one-on-one time we spend together out in the yard each day reviewing his lessons. It is great to be able to walk with him now without having him constantly going in circles around me. He actually walks by my side and trucks along with me. If all we accomplished from the class was just that one thing, that would be plenty right there. Blu, you old silly dog. I do love you so much.

webeelittleBlogging, knitting, and painting have all slipped a bit by the wayside over the past few months because life has been demanding my time and attention in other areas. Now I am gearing up again for quite a bit of painting production for two reasons. One is that five of the paintings I hanging at Zambistro Restaurant have sold over the past year and their walls are begging me for more. On top of that, a lady phoned me recently who is opening an art gallery across the street from the restaurant and she wants to put on a show of my work this coming January, shortly after she opens. I am also supposed to display again at the Cobblestone Society Museum for their Olde Tyme Days event on September 12, coming up here shortly.

I have hardboard panels laying all over the place now being prepped for many paintings to come and I’ve been pouring over photographs choosing my subjects and getting my thoughts all organized. I am up for the challenge and life seems to be arranging itself more harmoniously for the kind of production I need to get into. Somehow I will make it all go right and get everything back on track.

Life, as it turns out, is a great big glorious moving river. Sometimes it slows down a bit, sometimes it gets all muddy and roars right past as it hurries you along. Sometimes it absolutely sparkles with jewels on a perfect summer day, inviting you to jump in and have a swim. Other times it glows under the sublime light of a full golden moon, giving you a few minutes to contemplate the joys and loves and smiles you have been blessed with in life.

sincereAs always, I am grateful for it all. Even the muddy waters that move too quickly and leave me feeling temporarily dazed. They too serve a purpose and I embrace them fully, now that I understand the way life works. It is all good. There are jewels hidden in any and every experience, and it is up to me whether I discover those jewels or not. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t … but I am certain they are always there somewhere.

~firefly

P.S. Today my mother begins chemotherapy. Please pray for her, and for my father. My father is on his fourth round of chemotherapy. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for them to be going through this at the same time. They are the kindest, most loving and gentle people you could ever hope to know and quite strong. I know they will get through this, but I also know that extra love, thoughts, and prayers headed their way will help. Thank you.

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25 Comments »

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  1. excellent photos , good job ;) and best of luck.

  2. Love the farm!

  3. Awesome pics.

    The Country-way of Life will change a persons life for the better.

    I’ll keep you, your husband and your parents in my thoughts and prayers.

    Raven

  4. Many prayers come your way for many blessings.
    Is there a place to see your painting online?
    -cheryl

  5. Firefly,

    I love reading about your adventures on the farm and can’t believe it’s only been 3 years that I’ve been reading!! It seems as if you have been my internet ‘friend’ forever!! You amaze me that you constantly seek new learning adventures and are continually growing from an amazing woman to an even more amazing woman! Glad the lessons with Blu are going well, post a picture of the dear boy soon. Sending prayers for your parents as well. love ya,

  6. You have had an exciting adventure so far, and I am grateful for you sharing it with us.
    I will keep your mother, father and you in my prayers.
    Thank you for sharing your life.

  7. Hello firefly!

    It has been far too long since my last visit here and I am so happy to be sitting here sharing this moment of time with you. I know exactly what you mean about having enough time. It seems as though there simply has not been enough hours in a day to complete those things I desire. I must say my blogging time has been pretty limited this summer as well.:o) Continue to enjoy your life on the farm, and know that I will continue to keep your sweet parents in my prayers. Take care my friend.

    Smiles…

    Beverly

  8. Your pictures bring me smiles, your comments make me think sweet thoughts, but your knitting brings me back again and again.

    I have been along for the ride for a couple of years now, and am thankful you blog. Keep up the inspiration.

    Your parents are in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. That sweet grand baby has to be growing fast now. Hopefully you will have time to help her create some wonderful memories for later in her life. Maybe do some things with her that you couldn’t do with your own children because you needed to make a living. I send only the best wishes to your mom and dad during this difficult time. Please continue to take my hand.

  10. Seeing all those beautiful pumpkins & knowing you want to create memories for/with your grandbaby – have you considered putting her name on the pumpkins as they ripen?? You simply make a stencil of her name & adhere it to the pumpkin in the last days of its ripening, the area not exposed to sun will stay light while the rest brightens & exposes whatever you put there – as clever as you are you’ve probably already thought of it! I so enjoy reading your musings – we live in the same area & can definitely relate to your observations!! Glad to hear you’ll be writing more often…

  11. Always a delight to read your musings and look at your photographs. Thank you for sharing, and have a lovely Autumn coming:-)

  12. Thank you SO much for sharing you thougts!

  13. I will pray for your Mom and Dad. I just lost my Mother to cancer May 1st. It was a miracle, She had a rare type of cancer. The life span of that type of cancer is three to four months. Mama lived almost 2 years. God is so Good. My prayer is that God will give you all the strenght that you need. Put on the Armor of God every day.

    I have hairy cell luekema. I was diagnose in October 2008. I was in the hospital almost a month. I had eight units of blood. All I wanted to do is to come home and see about my Mama. I am doing good. God is blessing me more than I deserve. What a awesome God.

    I live on a farm too. It is such a blessing to live in the county. I wish I had more time to spend at home but I owe so off to work I must go. I have cows, a goat, a horse and chickens. I have so much fun.

    I enjoy reading your blog. Your pictures are just beautiful. God’s wonderful creation.

    Thanks for spending a little time with me.

  14. Beautiful writing as usual. I am praying for your parents, for you, and for the precious baby.

  15. The farm is beautiful. How at peace in the mornings and at night you must feel. God is great. I believe that God has a purpose for our lives and the experiences that we go through. Possibly to help others that are going through the same thing. Your family is in my prayers.

  16. I remember when I first stumbled onto your blog. I believe nothing happens by accident, not coincidences, it was a God send. At that time in myh life I needed some peace, a quiet place uon which to reflect. Your blog supplied all of those things. I was drawn in by your pictures and the knitting just solidified the peace that I felt. Imagine that!!
    May He Who created us all continue to bless you with the peace, strength and love that you have found. Any may our prayers bring only good things for you and your family.

  17. May He Who created us all continue to bless you with the peace, strength and love that you have found. Any may our prayers bring only good things for you and your family.

  18. I am looking forward to reading every new entry to your blog. Some of them are as if you had been reading my thoughts and I can relate to them very well, especially since you put those thoughts in such succinct and beautiful prose.
    All our very best wishes to your wonderful parents.

  19. Firefly:
    Always a peaceful moment when I sit and read with you. I am working the Lavender Scarf now. I am back in school(again) and these 4 days off flew by…My prayers are with you. We lost my brother in law who had a great respite of 8 years in mid-August and two weeks later his mom needed heart surgery. Life throws us curves that make us appreciate it more and love, more. God bless you all.

  20. Hi, I recently came upon your blog and I must congratulate you! I moved from Norwich in the UK which is a small city in the East of England out into the country, by no means as far as you travelled, but for a ‘city girl’ to move to a small village, no street lights and hardly any neighbours! I now find myself making jam, growing pumpkins, pickling walnuts!!! I LOVE IT! Also, in the last three years I have opened my own knitting yarn shop in Bungay Suffolk UK!!!! Life has many surprises! Best wishes to your mother – Gilly

  21. Hi, I love this blog! its very lovely…x
    I moved to the country side in rural Essex, we have a cottage on an old country estate, there is a small community up here on the edge of a village and I have never looked back, we now have a green house,beds for growing veg, chickens, jam making, black berry balsamic and have started knitting the list is endless since moving here and love it.
    I look forward to seeing any developments, best of wishes to you and your family, Sarah

  22. Babies have been taking my free time too, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Always enjoy your entries.

  23. Dear firefly,

    Thinking on you today and wanted to drop by to wish you and your family a beautiful week. Your precious mom and dad are still in my prayers.

    Smiles…

    Beverly

  24. Just wanted to drop in again and say hi. Letting you know I still read your blog, my very one I ever read.
    Love your thoughts, and will keep your parents in prayer. You too as you support them in all of the medical journys they are on.

  25. I love your blog – your word pictures and your photographs make me dream about living on a farm. I will keep your parents in prayer.


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