Life isn’t perfect. It’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be REAL: a messy “learning lab” of experiences, mistakes, and practicing our ability to reflect on all of it—hopefully cultivating a positive outlook. An outlook that creates a meaningful, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind life. A life we can share by loving and uplifting others…..and, ultimately, ourselves. So, here’s the thing: Life isn’t a picture-perfect bowl of cherries, but with the right perspective, we just may end up with a banana split. Yes, a messy dessert to be sure, especially with all of the gooey and sticky syrups, melting ice creams, and whipped cream; but, you know what? Those garnishes sure do make that banana a lot more interesting….and definitely worth enjoying! After all, it’s the messy stuff that teaches us to be our best selves. And, let’s be real….being our best selves is truly the “cherry on top” of the banana split of life.
We all know life can be challenging. But, we’re hopeful that most of the time, things go smoothly. And, to that end, we work to avoid disappointment and vexation. Maybe, if we modified our view of these challenges as a course correction, we wouldn’t be so upset when they occurred. Also, what if we stopped attaching to these experiences and interpreting them as positive or negative? They're happening, accept, and move through it. You know, stop judging the stuff. Of course, this is A LOT easier said than done. Some situations look really negative–even devastating. And, it's hard to be philosophical, especially when you feel like your life is a wreck. Which brings me to a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert that I absolutely love: “Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” What if the hard times we’re facing are part of the journey to an authentic life? This is when our faith must be bigger than our fear. And, when we have to believe in our ability to navigate challenges with strength, competence, and grace. After all, it’s only when we’re knocked down that we truly learn how to rise. You may wonder where I’m going with all of this. I'll be the first to admit that I want to keep my life on course. I'm an all my ducks in a row kinda girl. I try to follow the rules, keep my word, and act decently, […]
When I think of old houses or antiques, I’m reminded of the Japanese philosophy called wabi-sabi. Loosely translated, it’s the art of finding beauty in imperfection, revering authenticity above all. It celebrates cracks and scratches and all other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. A good lesson in appreciating old houses, and…life in general. Some of the things that I love best about old houses are the creaky, uneven floors, the lack of right angles, wavy glass windows, hand-planed woodwork, and hints of the lives of those who lived there long ago. It’s this character, charm, and history that attracted me to the idea of restoring a 200-hundred-year-old house that’s been in my family for over 100 years—my family’s ancestral home or homeplace. I relish the sense of continuity; I literally follow in the footsteps of my ancestors as I walk through this house and around the farm. As one can imagine, caring for and maintaining this home is of the utmost importance to me. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the other thing I love as much as an old house is a well-appointed, everything in its place, clean house. I know that it’s mainly because I’m wired this way. However, the other view is that restoring my family’s homeplace was a significant effort and expense, and I value and want to take care of it. So, messy, unclean rooms, scratches on the floors, and dings […]
Farmgirl celebrating her 4th birthday September is my birthday month, and thankfully, I’m turning another year older. I’m celebrating my 50th this year. So, I started considering the passing years and what “age” means to me. As someone who’s studied viticulture and winemaking, I began thinking about aging in wine as well as aging in life. I thought about […]
“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.” ~Cheryl Strayed “My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to […]
September is my birthday month, and thankfully, I’m turning another year older. I am now firmly into my fourth decade–or as Farmguy corrected–fifth decade, because you count 0 to 10 as your first decade…..okay—whatever! The bottom line….I am forty-something and well into the journey of my life. And, with this understanding, I started considering the passing years and what “age” means to me. As someone who’s interested in wine and recently completed the WSET Level III Award in Wines through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust this year, I started thinking about aging in wine and aging in life. I thought about the grapevine’s journey versus our own journeys. Young grapevines have vigor and brightness, but it’s the older vines that are the most sought after to make the best wines. This is partially because the vines take on the nuances of their environment: herbs, mushrooms, and flowers as well as the minerality of the soil; and, as vines age, they produce a delightful complexity and intensity in their fruit. These extra years are prized and celebrated, because in viticulture, time is allowed for character to express itself. It’s understood that many vintages will pass before a vineyard will start to show its magic. From the vineyard to the cellar, respect for the aging process continues. A particular set of environmental conditions is cultivated to help the wines age: dark cellars, correct humidity, constant and perfect temperature, and no excessive […]
Farmgirl and new lamb, Tino *Tino–short for Vermentino, an Italian white wine grape 🙂 Green Hill Farm June 2018 Have a wonderful day!
Farmgirl with Hamish and Rosebud “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~Dr. Seuss Most of the windows of our 200-year-old house afford a scenic view of the pastures and our beloved sheep. Often, during the day, I will pause for a moment to look out on our little flock, either grazing or lying serenely in a field. It’s a simple pleasure that creates gratitude and lifts my spirit. Sheep typically flock together, especially since they’re prey animals. So, each time I cast an eye over the pastures, I always count to make sure I see all ten of them: Clover, Hamish, Rosebud, Heather, Button, Fern, Olive, Daisy, Ivy, and Violet. Sadly, from now on, I will only count nine of our wonderful woollies. After a decade of loving care and interaction with these beautiful and amazing creatures, we will have to say goodbye to one of them tomorrow. Violet’s front legs have become arthritic, and late last week, she injured one of them and can no longer bear weight on it. The veterinarian visited and said there was nothing to be done to repair the leg. So, we’ve kept Violet comfortable in the hospital pen, administering pain medication for the last few days until we can both be home to humanely say goodbye and have assistance burying her. We are heartbroken. To many, Violet is just a sheep; however, to us, she’s much more. She’s a […]
“Hold fast to what is good.” Romans 12:9 Today is September 8th and my birthday. I’m so grateful for this past year’s journey around the sun. Not because it was perfect and wonderful, but because it was filled with difficult lessons—lessons which really forced me to see, reflect, accept, and grow. And… It. Was. Hard. This may come as […]
Life isn’t perfect. It’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be REAL: a messy “learning lab” of experiences, mistakes, and practicing our ability to reflect on all of it—hopefully cultivating a positive outlook. An outlook that creates a meaningful, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind life. A life we can share by loving and uplifting others…..and, ultimately, ourselves. So, here’s the thing: […]