"Celebrate Life" is the fourth theme in our year of conscious living, and I recognize that this phrase may mean different things to everyone. The birth of a baby, green buds on new shoots ready to burst open with the sun's warmth, a child's graduation, a spring wedding: all of these events are joyful celebrations of the preciousness of life.
Our little great-nephew also celebrates his first birthday today -- a wonderful occasion to celebrate life and the happiness he has brought to his parents and first time grandparents on both sides.
Spring is the season on the farm when we herald in new life, and this year has been no exception. Several sturdy calves have made their entrance and it is fun to watch them as they take their first wobbly steps to where they are now chasing each other around in play. Sadly, we recently also lost twin calves and their gentle mama cow during a difficult birth, a bittersweet experience not uncommon on farms in the spring.
I must say at the outset that this blog is terribly late because I was being present, very present, in several other areas of my life throughout March. Being present for this particular blog to capture the messages of this important theme was too important for me to rush or multi-task my way through!
What is it to be present: in one's life, in our loved one's lives, to our friends, to our co-workers, to our faith?
Our modern society certainly provides plenty of distractions that can keep us from truly being present, even to ourselves. Although largely - and thankfully - debunked as a means of efficiency now, the practice of multi-tasking exhorted in the last couple of decades by time management experts is still widely used by students at exam time; by parents juggling jobs, kids, activities, and marriage demands; and employees and employers alike. We are one frazzled and preoccupied society!
Most of us know that being present is important...
I am not quite sure where February went, and here we are into the last week of March! We are rocking it! Are you?
I have another blog that I am working on for this, our third month of commandments, Be Present, and that essay will be published tomorrow, March 25th. But in the meantime, we have so many exciting things to share with you!
Grande Prairie Women's Show:
Just a very early shout-out that we will be at the 2019 Women's Show in Grande Prairie, Alberta over April 26, 27, and 28, 2019! Grande Prairie is my birthplace and I am so excited to get back up there to introduce our awesome products to the thousands at the show! We will feature a beautiful gift basket to win that you won't want to miss out on. We know that Mother's Day is only two weeks after the show, so this is perfect timing to pick up a beautiful, unique gift for her. We have a sizable customer base in Grande Prairie already, so if you are one of our customers and are in the area, we hope you will stop by our booth. If yo...
In one of my January blogs last month, I mentioned my delight in discovering that my new daytimer included a unique commandment for each month, and we explored that month's missive: Seek Peace. I was both happy and humbled to watch that blog message become one of the most well-read on this site. Thank you for taking the time to read that message and in your thoughtful and kind comments.
This month's message is Cherish Love. Given that February includes all things chocolate, roses, and (often over-priced) hyped up Valentine's day activities, this seemed pretty predictable. In considering this topic, I wanted to expand from the usual Valentine "couple" messages and take this blog in a slightly different direction.
How do we demonstrate to each other that essence of deeply cherished love? In a world full of vapid, superficial gestures and trinkets claiming to be love, what then has meaning?
In ancient times, both the Hebrew and Greek languages had different words to describe different types...
Those of you who read my most recent blog a couple weeks ago know that this week's blog message would be a return to all things soapy. Liquid soap-y to be exact.
I am so pleased to introduce a new product to our growing line - liquid body wash -- and I want to spend a little time here to break down how liquid soap is made and how we came to choose the specific ingredients for our new body wash. But firstly, I want to give it a shameless plug. This body wash is amazing. It dispenses cleanly from our BHA-free bottle via an easy-to-use pump into your shower pouf or sea sponge and lathers up beautifully. One of our 8 ounce/237 ml bottles of body wash should last a month or more. I have been using the Orange Mint version and its citrusy scent smells wonderful.
Liquid soap consists of oils combined with potassium hydroxide and a fairly large proportion of distilled water. Our body wash formula is also known as a "bastille" type soap because its oils are plant-bas...
I recently purchased a calendar refill for my daytimer -- yes, I know there are electronic ways to stay organized, and I use them too! -- and was delighted to discover an inspirational theme for each month of 2019. For January, the theme is Seek Peace and I knew I wanted to share this message with you, as well as the one for each month this year.
What do you think of when you hear and breathe in the word peace? Does your heart fill with hope, or with despair? Do you believe that you already promote peace in your life? Over the last couple of days, I took stock of my relationships -- all of them -- and I know I came up short in this value. I think that if we're being completely honest, most of us do too. It can be as minor as a transitory temper flare-up in traffic with an inconsiderate driver, to a feud with your sister, to a deep, unresolved conflict or deep damage from someone who once meant a lot to you. Those negative emotions, whether as fleeting as a bad driver disappearing into...
Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a joyous holiday season. Are you ready for 2019?
I love fresh starts. When our children were little, my favorite time of year was September, when they would head back to school with new backpacks and clothes, and pencils freshly sharpened. While I enjoyed summer and vacation time, by mid-August I craved a return to routine, schedules, and order. The chaos -- albeit fun chaos! -- had become just a little too much for me by then.
In some ways, the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season can also feel a little like summer vacation, without the heat of course, but with the same unstructured playfulness that often masks the true meaning of the season. It's fun and exciting and heady.
For me, when the Christmas decorations are all put away, the stray pine needles vacuumed up, furniture moved back to its usual place, and everything dusted, the home feels lighter and fresher. Perhaps even a little spartan. But that's exactly what I know I need, especially af...
For many, these next three and a half weeks before Christmas are a blur of activities. There are decorations to put up, trees to trim, stockings to hang, food to prepare, parties to attend, cards to mail; and for far too many folks, a seemingly endless shopping spree in overheated malls and box stores that are hard on nerves, patience, and pocketbook alike. It's hard to project a spirit of "goodwill to all men (and women)" when just getting out of a shopping area takes more than two hours due to bumper-to-bumper traffic from other shoppers also trying to do the same thing. I speak from personal experience.
In many parts of North America, particularly in the U.S., the economy has been humming along nicely this past year. In other areas, this is not the case. Job loss and fears of impending job loss are weighing heavily on the minds and hearts of many I know. Please keep them in your prayers that they will find employment soon to support their families. Other families a...
November is an important month here at the Farmhouse. Aside from three family birthdays and managing the consequential calorie overload from multiple birthday cakes, as a military family (retired), we also solemnly observe Remembrance Day each November 11th.
This year marks the centennial of the Armistice -- the treaty that ended World War I. My husband's grandmother had two brothers serve in that war for Canada. One did not come back and the other suffered for many years from the after effects of a gas attack. Since that War to end all wars, Canadians have answered the call on several occasions, both in wartime and in peacetime. The most recent engagement was in Afghanistan, where my husband served his fifth and final overseas tour before retiring in 2010. Since then, the desire to serve others forged a path for Chris and, at the age of 53, he joined our local fire department where he continues to serve as a firefighter with specialized vehicle extrication training. I am very proud of...
We are officially into the last three months of 2018.
October generally brings in orange pumpkins, crisp sweet apples, cool days and chillier nights, woodstove fires and cosy sweaters. Days are definitely shorter, and work on the farm is focused on getting the new hen house insulated and heated for the coming cold, servicing farm equipment and putting them away, mending fences, and raking, raking, raking leaves. Our long driveway and half of our lawn is lined with maple trees, so there are a lot of leaves!
Fall has always been a favorite time of year, but not every Fall season comes on gently at the farm. This year, unseasonably cold (not "cool", but darn cold!) temperatures accompanied by rain and three snow storms have wreaked havoc for many of our farming neighbors. We were fortunate to finish our field work just before the first storm hit, so we feel blessed that while those bales are still in the field waiting for ground to dry out enough to bring them in, at least that hay is baled...