Meet Jane and Emma

We adopted these lovely ladies in early August, and they have made a lovely addition to our hobby farm.

Jane (without horns) is the mother and Emma (with horns) is the daughter. They stick very close to each other.

Enjoying a Feed mix of Alfalfa Pellets, Oats and Sunflower Seeds.

They don’t mind sharing treats with Silkie , aka Bow tie.
Their main job is Weed Control around the property. We stake them where we can see them during the day.m, and they are able to graze on the edges of our “yard” where the woods begin.
Jane likes to be pet and cuddled, much like a dog. However Emma wants no part in that.

Come Over to My House

I don’t have formal dinners. While my husband and I love to host, we don’t entertain.

If you come to my house I will feed you, I will listen to your stories, and I will use pretty dishes.

If you come to my house, I hope you feel special. Welcomed. Eagerly anticipated.

Zach’s smoked pork butt is the best around, and I’ll offer you more than or helping.

Feel free to heap your plate high.

Dinner will be delicious.

But it won’t be complicated. It won’t be stuffy or formal.

It won’t be impressive.

I’m not here to impress you. We’re beyond that.

We’ll talk, maybe cry alittle, hopefully laugh a lot. Well eat good food, then get comfy on the couch to talk, maybe refill our glasses a few times. feel free to move the pillows on my couch to get comfortable, maybe curl up or tuck your feet under you.

We have nothing but time.

There’s nothing pressing. Nothing urgent.

There’s you and me. There’s relationship. Communion.

Would you like a glass of tea?

Relics from a Time Gone By …

I like Old Things.

Antique Cameras, jaunty little pillbox hats, antique dishes. Give me the sound of a typewriter over a cell phone everyday.

But I hadn’t considered stories through the lens of Relics until I came across this quote by Stephen King…

“Stories are like relics, part of an undiscovered preexisting world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”—

Stephen King

Mr King appears to suggest the story is already there, and the writers job is to uncover it without destroying it.

I appreciate this perspective, but for me it was merely a jumping off point.

For, if we care to extend the metaphor, then that means Folk Tales and Folk Lore are also antiques, like heirlooms passed down from our ancestors.

Folk lore has the unique ability to transcend cultures, time and space. That means that it can teach us about what it means to be Uniquely Human.

Folklore endures because the things we prioritize and the things we fear are universal.

The dark. The unknown. The woods. Being lost. Half human, half -other beings. Monsters.

For all our supposedly sophisticated ideas, for all our technology, it seems that people haven’t advanced far from their original fears, prejudices, and assumptions.

If you aren’t Like me, then you are Other.

If we truly know so much, why do we struggle with the same fears our forefathers did?

We have the World of Information at our fingertips, and yet as a People we know less than any other age.

Ancient Egypt figured out a practical geometry in order to build the pyramids . Ancient Babylon had developed a brilliant form of Astronomy. Ancient Mesopotamia had libraries full of knowledge by the time Father Abraham lived. Ancient Rome had a Sophisticated intelligence agency that would rival our CIA- without phones or computers or the internet.

What do we know? Isolated facts, dates, trivia? We know self help quotes, the Bill of Rights, and that Pluto is no longer a planet.

Our founding fathers had a 90 percent literacy rate, and little “formal” schooling. For the most part, they were fluent in three languages before eighth grade, and shortly afterwards were able to go to universities .

We currently have a 46% literacy rate, according to an article in Forbes Magazine, and Compulsory Education for 13 years.

Education is broken. But we have Google and Tesla. The machines will do our thinking for us.

It’s fairly easy for all of our electronics to seem Smart, when the humans operating them are increasingly dumb.

All that Glitters

These photos are of antique dishes at my grandmother’s house. I took them because I needed to practice using my 50mm lens in less than ideal lighting conditions.

While that backstory is not interesting, the quote they brought into mind is.

It is in a book I read when I was 8 or 9, entitled “Jennifer Murphy’s Toad” by Bruce Coville.

It started with the Shakespearean quote of “all that glitters isn’t gold” but Bruce Coville continued on, speaking about how “most Mirrors are Errors.”

I searched for the exact quote and was unable to locate it. And my copy of the book was destroyed by my children long ago.

But the idea all that glitters not being good and most mirrors are errors remains.

I look great in my bathroom mirror and terrible in the mirror at church.

Does anyone know what I’m talking about? And it’s not just the fluorescent lights, either. I can look decently put together at home, and when I take Bella to the restroom at church I have somehow morphed into a Bag Lady. My hair hangs limp, lifeless and flat, except for where it stands straight up… when half an hour prior I had tamed it into loose golden curls.

The concealer that I diligently applied under my eyes is gone, and purple half moons are in their place.

What gives?

I’ve decided that this falls into the Most Mirrors are Errors category.

I don’t look as good in real life as I do in my bathroom mirror, nor do I look as terrible as it appears in the mirror at church.

There’s a lot of chatter about Body Positivity, Body Neutrality, and Body shame these days. But that’s not what the Mirrors being Errors has me considering.

Most Mirrors are Errors.

Meaning we cannot even trust our own vision.

So we don’t Really know what we look like.

Then I realized, I think that’s where my heart is right now.

The heart is desperately wicked, sure. And I am certainly capable of any and every sin under the sun.

But Christ saving me, and sanctifying me, means that I am somewhere on the map between sinner and saint.

I sin because while I am saved, I still have to wrestle my old nature. But I also try to give myself away to others, not because I’m a good person, but because I have a new Reason to live for.

I try to follow Him, and I blow it.

I forget myself, give myself away to others , and I feel Him smile in encouragement.

It’s the conundrum.

I’ll never be Good Enough, but the Good News is that I don’t have to be.

And you don’t have to either. The whole reason Jesus came was to bridge the gap between us and God. We can never be good enough to make it. He knew that, and made a provision for us.

So while I’m not certain exactly what I look like, or what my heart looks like for that matter, He does.

And knowing that is Golden, and that’s no Error.

Sunflower Field Shenanigans Part 2: Candids

Sometimes the photos that capture personality best and lightly prompted, instead of heavily posed.

These photos are all precious to me. I’m glad I have them. I may not send them to everyone we know, but as a mom, these are exactly the images I want to have. To cherish in five years , ten years, twenty years.

Birthday Cake , our 8 year old selves, and connection.

Madeleine L’Engle: “The great thing about getting older is you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

This was a quote I spent considerable time with last year. Many of us have very specific, even visceral memories of last March. For me, reading through many of Madeline L’ Engle’s nonfiction books.

And this quote stopped me in my tracks.

We add. We don’t subtract.

Just because I’m 34, doesn’t mean I have stopped being 8.

I am her, I am more, and I am still becoming.

And so are you.

And , to this point, we do well when we remember to take time to re- Engage with those parts of ourselves .

My daughter recently turned 8, she is reading Mr. Poppers Penguins, as I did for the first time at her age. And this has been a glorious point of connection. I didn’t plan it, I didn’t even suggest it, it’s just one of those serendipitous things that happens sometimes. But the amount of joy we have received by talking over the book has been unmeasurable.

Is there something simple in your life that you could share with a child or young person? Some connection that you could make, a simple bonding activity? It doesn’t have to be elaborate. The older I get , the more I realize connection happens best when we are in our most natural, unforced state.

We don’t have to wrestle and plan and force connection.

We can take pleasure in simple activities.

We can take the time to look into our children’s eyes, and Lauren to their thoughts on a book.

We can empathize and sympathize because we are still that age- we haven’t lost that part of ourselves, we’ve simply carried it forward into adulthood.

It’s all good, and it all matters.

You haven’t lost your childhood self. You can still access those things that made you feel alive and green, right now, this very day.

Go have some fun and make some connections!

Skating Indoors

Bella found skates on one thrift store journey, and a roller skating Minnie Mouse doll on another trip.

We have allowed our children to skate indoors for years, sometimes joining them.

Floors are not precious. Children are.

We can redo a floor.

We can’t redo these moments.

No matter what else is going on in the world, we have this.

We have these moments.

These treasured memories.

She may not remember how we spent this rainy Saturday , but I hope she remembers how she felt.

Valued. Seen. Treasured. Free.

I hope you feel the same today.