The Art of Morning Chores

I open up the curtains and begin my morning. Make the bed, throw a load of wash in, head downstairs to make a pot of coffee. No cream or sugar, just plain and simple, black. Let the dogs out and follow close behind with my boots on. My boots are still wet from the last nights rain storm. As I walk across the yard, I take in the feeling of the morning. The humidity is high and the clouds are scarce enough they are allowing the morning sun to shine through lightly. Grab the goat’s bucket fill it with food and head out to see Homer and Super G. The goats begin to cry out as they see me (I would hope) or the blue bucket that I am carrying. As I open up their door and watch them skapper into the pasture near by. Once the goats settled in I was on to the next 19 pets we have, chickens. I like to fed the chickens first before letting them out, the battle of 19 birds following you around while you fed them is not my cup of tea. As the Rooster crows close, I know the morning has begun on our little farm.

Some days, I go through the motion and not able to appreciate the simple chores of the morning. When I am rushed and off to the next place, next topic, next activity I feel this pull to take time for the morning. But today I was able to slow down, which is what I believe is one the points of having this farm. To slow down a little, to appreciate what we have going on around us. The observations of each animal as they wake too and start their day. Today, was one of those days. I took my coffee out with me this morning to enjoy watching the goats. As I sip on my warm black coffee and fill up their water bucket, their tails flutter happily. I then decided to head to the garden. As you know working in the garden is instant gratification for me. This morning I was able to pick 3 handfuls of green and yellow beans, 1 zuccinni to add to the 4 we have sitting on the counter, lots of snap peas and 3 cucumbers. I guess you can say I went grocery shopping in my backyard. Cleared out some weeds and listened. I listened to the birds chirp in the nearby trees, the sound of the rooster calling and hens clucking, the goat’s bells ringing as they play on their ramp. The raindrops falling from the leaves to other leaves as they sway in the wind. The silence of the morning, the feeling of gratitude and blessings from near and far that our Mother has shared with me.

Its funny when you take time for your daily steps in life and become all there with yourself and the surroundings. Mindfulness is one thing that we often look past in our daily lives. Even if its just realizing the process of getting ready in the morning or driving to work. Being mindful is key to the meditation of life. The flow that we all experience but often not recognize. Take time for you today, even if its sitting on a bench in the nearby park, using all your senses, putting your phone down, stop scrolling (your thumb can use the break). Listen, hear, see, feel, and smell what is going on, 10 minutes a day will help you get to the present moment you are in all the time. Not thinking about your past, future, worries, doubts, and other thoughts and feelings that will often cross us. Its for your health its for the balance. Other people will appreciate you more and you will also appreciate yourself. Just like chickens, just like the goats, just like this morning, I appreciate it all. 

“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Be There, Be All There.

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Mandingo: The Rooster

Mandingo the Rooster, the one I fear 

When he calls, the next county can hear.

He puffs up his chest 

And puts the other hens to nest. 

Mandingo the Rooster, how tall you stand

And oh my look at your wingspan 

Some may laugh when they hear your story 

But I know you deeper, as you crow in your glory. 

Mandingo the Rooster, we’ve had our fights 

Morning, Noon and some nights 

Why don’t you like me, you big black cock?

I protect you from that red tail hawk. 

From these hands I feed you every day 

Yet you still won’t stand down, I am your prey

Mandingo the Rooster, lets call a truce

If not done soon, I’ll be getting out the noose…

It’s Your Choice

This morning while checking emails NaturalNews sent me an article talking about how Californians are spraying their lawns with a chemical that is the color green. The effect of this chemical is to color people’s grass the color green to bring back the luscious color they once saw. For California going into their 4th year of drought folks may tend to miss seeing their grass green…

Everyday I look out and I am grateful for my lawn because of Ben’s preparation last Fall. We are now able to look out and see a beautiful green that lights up with sun rays casting down upon it. A little hard work and time goes a long way to see the change throughout the seasons. We started this season in growing early due to the warmer air and the impatient part of me that says, why wait? It is really paying off with seeing sprouts of cucumbers that are finding their way through the soil this morning.

The way that I look at it, its all a choice. A choice to spray your lawn green or start early planting. It is the perspective we have: to work hard in the fall to see what spring can bring or call a service man to spray chemicals on your lawn to turn it the color green. Its about taking time, yes time, to put the work into whatever you may want and your results will show. If California ever gets rain this chemical too shall pour down the drains into the waterways that they have. Its your choice and well, every action has a reaction.

Its a fight that i believe might not end due to time, energy and the quick pace that society has now created on our daily lives. But it is your choice to grow your own food, work on your lawn or even spray your lawn green, so even Californians too can see green grass in one way or the other.

A

Kisses, Lilacs and chicken poop, the story of our lives

Recently, in a very joking manor, Amy and I started talking about the good, the annoying and the not so fun things that have happened in our lives. As a code for each of them, we, in our best british accent, stated we were all about kisses, lilacs and chicken poop. This alone makes me laugh, but also makes me ponder life’s finer points and the way that most people I know look at them. First, kisses. The sweet things that happen, the first flower of spring, the first flake of snow, the opening of a pool, the little things in life (including the random kisses stolen by the garden, under the tree or as we sit on the back deck). Second come the lilacs, the seasons of smells and stability. Although they flower infrequently, the trees and, more importantly the thoughts, are there all year long. They represent the positive, the stability in life. Dont bring you up, doesnt bring you down and every once in a while you become overly grateful for the stability or the feeling that this gives you. Maybe you take them for granted and then one day, BOOM flowers. So, I guess the flowers could be considered a kiss too, but that is neither here nor there. Then there is the chicken poop. A daily activity that something comes up and wham, your feel down. Here are my thoughts, we have three items two of them inherently good things that happen on a daily basis and one of them just doesn’t make you feel the way you want. So, what i have noticed more and more as of late is that we (we in the figurative sense) allow the chicken poop to define and more importantly influence our day. As I have thought about this I have been intently listening to conversations around me. I hear complaints of money, not enough, owing to much, can you believe he/she bought that, how to earn more ect. Then it turns to work and how miserable we are, what an A$$ the boss is, who did what to outshine who. Finally, kids. It starts with how much we love them and almost always turns into how busy they make us, how they did something bad at baseball, who knows, but it goes negative. Then I look at the news, high divorce rates, murder, financial chaos, ect. My point, its chicken poop. We can, and yes all in almost every circumstance we have a choice, get up wipe of our shoes and move on paying more attention to whatever it is we need to in an effort to ensure that we do not to step in the next pile or we can sit and dwell on the fact that there is some poop on our shoes. We can then tell the neighbors about our poop, smell it in disgust and spend the next twenty four hours dwelling on the poop, whatever it is. Here is my advice, find something you love. The sunset, a hike, your dog, your spouse the fact that the chickens are playing or that goats are a coming, it doesn’t really matter. Focus on that when you step in chicken poop, dont worry about the poop. So, take time to savor the kisses, relax and dwell in the smell and feel of the lilacs and simply ignore the chicken poop, it doesnt have to define you.

B

DIY Wine Bottle Tree

Lately I have been trying to find ways to not only plant a great garden but decorate our garden! At Wrightway Farms we have created this space for not only food supply, but to also serve the purpose of peaceful, mediative quality space. I have been all over the web trying to find DIY’s, crafts and other posts about garden decorating.

Recently I have been working on a wine bottle tree. Well, it takes some time if you are not a heavy drinker of wine like myself. But friends have also been contributing to the tree.

What is a wine bottle tree?

A wine bottle tree started back in what was to believe in the A.D.s in Africa. Some background on the wine bottle trees, Tales began to circulate that spirits could live in bottles – probably from when people heard sounds caused by wind blowing over bottle openings.It is believed that the spirits are dazzled by the colors of the bottles in the sun. Once they enter the bottle, they can’t find their way out, much like flies. Legend had it that empty glass bottles placed outside the home could “capture” roving (usually evil) spirits at night, and the spirit would be destroyed the next day in the sunshine.Blue is a favorite choice of bottle tree lovers.  Many believe that blue bottles also contain some healing qualities. Whatever your color of choice for your bottle tree, know that it is from a long and proud tradition of trapping and keeping bad things – including the Blues – away.

I thought that this was NEAT idea for our garden. I reached out to some wine drinkers and they are saving their bottles as we speak. Here are the steps in creating your own wine bottle tree:

1. Drink WINE! (what a good first step).

2. Keep the bottles once they are empty and let them soak in warm soapy water for around 24 hours. Peal the label off as best as you can. Use a scrub bush or knife to help the process go a little faster!

3. Grab 6 inch nails from your local hardware store. (I bought around 15) and you will also need a hammer.

4. Find a post or make a post. ( I am currently using one of the fence posts and nailing into that.) You can also use an actual tree.

5. Begin to hammer the 6″ nails into the post and angle them however you want. (It is a really fun project to use your creative mind) Once you have the nails in place your collection of bottles onto each nail!

6. Enjoy the sun shinning through and have a great time in the outdoors!

IMG_2435                                                                     IMG_2437

I will post pictures once the tree has been completed!    

A

The Fulfillment of Gardening

As I sit on the back deck waiting for this cloud to hit so the rain will pour. I see the trees of our property in full bloom. The grass is a luscious green as the dandelions appear. Apple and dogwood trees flowers are bright as white. I hear the birds chirp, “drink your teeeheee” says the Rufous-sided Towhee

. We have almost completed the planting of the garden.

Our garden includes:

-Tomatoes, cherry and beef.

-Peppers: green, red, yellow, banana and cayenne Zucchini

-Squash

-Yellow and green beans

-Herbs of all kinds.

-Onions

-Cucumbers.

It is hard to put in words the feelings I’ve been having lately with putting in this garden. The pure joy with a combination of nerves. The fulfillment I feel after a long day out in the sun. Digging, moving dirt and planting the seed and then repeat. It is the consistency and effort to not lose focus on what other tasks can be completed. The nerves come from the, “what if’s”: nothing grows, we get pests, is it planted right. So you might ask, how do I overcome the “what if’s”. I talk to each plant or seed that goes into the ground. I talk to them daily. From the book, “The Findhorn Gardener” they also used nature’s spirit to grow their food in sand with little money. But they became a part of the gardening history around the 1970s. I took this idea and have been applying it. With positive attitude and paying attention to each seed that is planted, I too hope to flourish in our crop. I have also observed the development of spring more this season than I ever had in my life. It might be that I am forcing myself to slow down in life. Stopping and truly smelling the lilacs. People have been asking, what I am up to these days? I respond with, I have been in my garden at home with my chickens. That answer to me, wakes up my brain as my heart dances. The process of allowing your self to be grounded can be found through gardening. Whether you enjoy flowers, vegetables or both like I do here at Wrightway Farms. It might have to be forced at first. But the fulfillment that some seek of meditating or reading a book, this feeling too can be found in a handful of dirt. The next time you want to stop and smell the lilacs be sure to and enjoy ever sense that it has to offer.

A

Its a Simple Life

Its the simple things. I literally cant tell you how many times I have heard that from a variety of people. Yet everyday I get up with the sun, do some chores, drink a cup of coffee and away I go to work. This past week in Western Pennsylvania was hot, so hot it made field work almost unbearable. I came home on Thursday night exhausted, hard and long day with many obstacles overcome, I guess it was similar to most days. I hadnt been feeling right, questioning a path and so on as the day went by with problem after problem presenting itself in the way of progress. I grabbed a glass of wine and went and sat on the deck to enjoy the sunset. As I sat there sipping the wine, the thoughts of the day ran through my head. I was determined to solve problems and remain focused on what needs done. Then I noticed the chickens hunting for insects in the leaves through the woods, my mind captured them and couldn’t help but notice the green grass of the yard in contrast with the blue sky and brown leaves was brilliant. Insert the blooming dogwoods and apples, the beams of orange shooting across the sky as the day fades into memories like the thousands before it. What I cant remember as I write this 5 days later is what happened that day that had me so upset. Was it a person? People? A variety of incidents? I simply don’t recall. What I can recall is the way the sunset, the chickens, green grass and blue sky’s made me feel. A simple sit on the porch with someone you love taking note of the colors and surroundings has the ability to make anything better if you let it. We constantly seek pleasure in vacation and material, yet as I look around at the tractor the four wheelers, bikes, guns, furniture and other countless items we have none of those bought happiness as promised. Instead, I find myself looking to the garden, the trees, my dogs and Amy and wondering why the other things were even in consideration. As always, I urge you to take time to smell the roses, enjoy those around you, and realize its a simple life, keep it simple and everything will be OK.

B