Pictures of Harvest

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There is something exciting about the neighbor stopping by and telling you he is ready to start combining your field. This past week that is exactly what happened and he took out one of the fields of corn. My husband hauled loads to town while the combine kept filling the empty wagons.

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Something about bringing in a harvest is so satisfying. It is like the fulfillment of a promise that was given in the Spring when those kernels of corn were planted in the ground. You watch those fields all summer. You pray for rain and sometimes you pray for dry weather in years like this past growing season.

I was going to say why I like this season…but then I realized I like pretty much all the seasons. Life is such a reflection of those seasons. Everything from raising children to taking care of elderly parents is a season of life. There is something good about each one of those seasons and there are challenges to each of those seasons.

I love the beauty of the painting that is fall. The golds, the russets, the reds make a beautiful picture that fills the senses and satisfies the soul.20181107_164305.jpg

I love the smell of the leaves laying on the ground, the sound of dryers running in the night drying the corn that has just been harvested from the field. I love the vee of the geese as they fly overhead to their winter homes and the taste of hot chocolate on a cool fall evening.

I love the fact that the promise of Spring has been fulfilled by the harvest of fall. It is a reassurance that God is faithful and the promises are real.

May you be blessed in all the seasons of your life. May you be shown the good in each season and see the blessing in the challenges.

“What are you planting today to harvest tomorrow?”
Lailah Gifty Akita

While the earth remaineth,
seedtime and harvest,
and cold and heat,
and summer and winter,
and day and night shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22

 

Winter Prep and the Book Giveaway

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Our View Two Weeks Ago

Two weeks ago we had snow. It was a great reminder that we needed to start prepping as winter would definitely be coming. One thing you can count on in Iowa is the changing seasons!

The past days have finally been dry and resemble what fall should look like. My husband has been busy hauling wagon loads of soybeans to town to the local Farmer’s Coop Elevator. Now we wait for the corn to be dry enough to be combined.

In between those two harvest times we have been using the days to prepare for the cold of winter. We love to burn wood to help save on our heating budget. We have spent the last couple days splitting wood.

A couple years ago my husband had his hips replaced. We borrowed a friend’s log splitter and learned how wonderful that invention really was. The next year we decided, as we were getting older we needed to work smarter. We found a log splitter on a clearance sale and made the purchase. It was a great decision!

We have a few more days to go on wood splitting before the pile is all done. Fortunately the weather looks promising for that task. I get the easy part of just pushing the lever. This year I am doing my job by sitting on a tall chair and just pushing the lever.

The girls tend to wander over while we split wood. They love the ants and grubs that sometimes have found their way into the pile. It is  satisfying to see the split wood, stack up and watch that splitter turn logs into usable pieces.

My husband used to split all of it with a maul and a sledgehammer. As I said….we have learned to work smarter and this wood no longer has to warm us twice!

On another subject……I have finally done the drawing for the book giveaway!  With the help of my husband who was a neutral bystander.  I numbered 1 – 24 and put the names next to the numbers. I then put the numbers on pieces of paper and my husband drew a number from a bucket. I have no idea how to do the rafflecopter thing so we went old school!

Here is the list of those that were in the giveaway:
1. Terri J                             2. Jackie VG                   3. Jo O
4. Donna VG                       5. Kristi K                       6. Michele R (rabbitpatchdiaries)
7. Juliescreativeyear         8. DeAnn T                     9. Lena DK
10.Lisa@Lismorepaper   11.Jessica                       12.Lorna K
13.Vicki                               14.Sheila T                     15.Ruthsoaper
16.Robbyefaye                   17.Miriam B                  18.BeverlyP (moreinkplease)
19. Lindaschaub                20.A.Michelle                21.Judy L
22. Judy B                            23.Robin                         24.Jocelyn M

The number drawn was (drum roll) #3!   Congratulation Jo O….you will be gifted the book: It’s All Under Control and workbook. I will be in touch with you to see that you get it.

Some of those who entered are fellow bloggers. If you click on their names it should take you to their blogs and you can enjoy some good reading!  You will also meet some amazing women that way!20181014_103846.jpg

 

I have not yet read my copy of this book. I do plan to spend some wonderful time…. in a rocking chair…. in front of the woodstove this winter. I plan to be holding that book in one hand….a cup of hot chocolate in the other and enjoying the warmth from the wood we have split.

May you have a blessed weekend and may this post find you doing something you enjoy.

 

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”
–William Blake

“Some books are to be tasted,
others to be swallowed,
and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Francis Bacon, The Essays   

 

It’s All About Perspective

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Sunshine!!! We finally saw the sun beaming brightly for most of yesterday. I told my husband I thought it had been 3 weeks since the sun has beaten out the clouds. Those cloudy, gray, rainy days were probably a blessing for my photo-sensitive eyes those weeks…but it was so good to feel the sun.

My husband hauled a lawn chair off the porch and parked it by an old open front shed yesterday afternoon. My girls (also known as chickens for those who aren’t regular readers) are very partial to this shed as it has a dirt floor and provides safety from hawks and eagles who are always looking for a chicken dinner.

We talk every so often about taking the old shed down as our kids think it is an eyesore. We have a different perspective than our children….we see a building (that is probably using that term loosely) that still has function.

That old open front shed provides shelter for the girls, a place for them to dust bath all year long, and is a great place to store my feed as it is not too far from the coop. I think in it’s former life that shed might have been the original chicken coop for people who owned this place years ago. Maybe the girls feel at home for that reason?

So much of life is about perspective. Right now, I tire easily and being dizzy and a lack of balance has become a fact of my life. Going to therapy has become my social life, though I did make it into the grocery store this week!

I know it is a long road to recovery from West Nile but I am choosing to look back and see how far I have come, rather than look at all those therapy appointments that it will take to make a full recovery. I know people always say, don’t look back, but sometimes it is good to do that; just to see the progress made.

I am choosing the perspective of “look how far I’ve come” to keep me heading towards where I want to end up! Like our weather beaten open front shed….there are things I can accomplish right now…in the shape I am in.

Let’s choose, in the coming week, to see the blessing in the rainy gray days, to see the value in an old shed and to be grateful for how far we’ve come and the ability and opportunity to go further.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed
is always to try just one more time.
Thomas A. Edison

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/thomas_a_edison_149049

 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 ESV

 

 

It Is……. What It Is.

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I can tell I am starting to feel better. When my husband asked if I wanted the tub of fall decorations today, I told him “yes!”  It took me a long time to put this bit up and it was done while sitting on a chair….but, I feel rather triumphant that I got it accomplished. (I must confess when I was done I went and sat in my recliner with my eyes shut!)

Somehow while in the fog of my West Nile journey the season seems to have changed on me. My husband is picking my pie pumpkins and tells me my two plants were over achievers this year as he has counted up to 40+ pumpkins out there in the garden. I have no idea, as I have not been near my garden for 5 1/2 weeks now.

I also discovered that while in this “fog” of healing; another event passed me by. A couple weeks before my illness I became part of a book launch team for a gal that I know. She has written her third book for women called, “It’s All Under Control”.

Part of being on the team was to help promote the book, read the book and let people know what we thought of the book by word of mouth and social media. I did this for approximately two weeks, then got sick, crawled in bed, went to the hospital and cocooned myself in my home with outings to the doctor and the physical therapist.

So…….now I am getting on top of things and would like to do a book and workbook giveaway…..A few weeks late as the launch is over…but better late than never….right? Before I get to that I want to introduce you to the author and how I know her.

Her name is Jennifer Dukes Lee and she is a farm wife and mom who lives about 1/2 hour from me. I first met her when we were both speakers (as lay women) at a Christian women’s retreat in our area.

The day I met her we gave our “practice talks”. She was polished, professional, had her power point ready and even used the “clicker thing” to run it! I, on the other hand, had no power point ready, would not dream of using the “clicker thing” myself and once I started talking, could feel my mouth dry up and turn to cotton.

As I talked I could feel my upper lip creeping up my teeth and my gums and knew it was not coming down as there was zero spit in my mouth. I tried getting a glass of water to my mouth and watched in horrified fascination as my hand started to shake halfway up. I put it back down since having your lip in an odd sneer, stuck on your teeth and  water sloshed over your shirt is not a good look. Maybe some can pull that look off…..but I cannot. ( I did survive giving my talk at the retreat. I found that with a tic tac in your cheek and God …..you can do anything!)

A few years later found Jennifer and me again at the retreat. She was in charge of the speakers and I was in charge of workers the weekend of the retreat. I went to her home to help plan.

I sat at her kitchen table and confessed that I was incredibly intimidated by her. She looked at me with big eyes, walked to her counter and came back with a pan. There was lots of crumbled brown cakie pieces in it.  I ventured to ask what it was and was told they were box brownies she had tried to make. (They did taste wonderful.) I learned from this woman that we all have our own God-given gifts and the gifts we are given, are good enough.

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Back to the book launch – I did get two chapters read before I became sick and knew this was a book I needed to read. I do have to grin at how many times during those first weeks, when the launch was taking place, I looked at the cover, read, “It’s All Under Control” and wondered about the message God was clearly giving me. (Due to West Nile impacting my vision, I was not reading, doing screen time or much of anything!)

I have, on hand, a spare book and workbook that I would love to gift a woman. I specify, woman, because this is a book written by a woman for women. So, if you are a woman and would like this set please put GIVEAWAY in your comments. If you are a man and know a woman, a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a daughter in law, a neighbor that you would love to give this book to, please feel free to also put GIVEAWAY in your comments.

You do not have to be a regular reader to participate, you do not have to have your own blog to participate. This is open to anyone. I have never done this before so I will give it a couple weeks for comments and then figure out how to do a fair drawing and also how to get the books to you!

May you have a blessed weekend. May you find that letting go is okay and may you find freedom in that letting go. And may you echo the words I have said often these passed weeks, “It is what it is.”

 

“Bravery is letting go
when you want to hang on.”
JDLee

 

 

 

In Sickness and Health

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In answer to those who are wondering if I have dropped off the face of the earth……Nope!  I have just been spending time in the hospital getting over fevers of 100-103 and dizziness, achiness and pretty much feeling miserable.

Sooo,,,,,,this is just a very short message to let you all know that I am going to be out of blogging commission for a bit as I recover from West Nile. I am discovering that West Nile takes a lot out of a person and makes me exhausted.

Please bear with me and I will eventually get to reading posts and writing them.

“Every sickness has an alien quality,
a feeling of invasion and loss of control
that is evident in the language we use about it.”

― Siri Hustvedt,

Endings and Beginnings

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There are some events in life that are bittersweet. Farm sales are one of those events. There is the excitement of attending a good sale, but there is also the fact that farm sales can be intensely personal for those doing the selling.

What might look like a jumble of tools and machinery to a bystander can really be pieces of equipment that contain an amazing amount of memories for the family selling those items.

Last weekend my husband and I attended the farm sale of his cousin.  Some of the reason we went, was so my husband could take a trip down memory lane..and some of the reason was we felt it was important to be there for family.

My husband did enjoy wandering through the barn and the grove. He also did a lot of reminiscing when he was looking over the older tractors. He recalled helping his uncle when it was baling time and the old H was the tractor pressed into service for that task.

 

It was fun to visit with the family and catch up on where the kids were at and which grandkids belonged to who.

It truly was a bittersweet day, as this farm place had been in the family for a very long time. Seeing the equipment sold and knowing that soon this family would not have any relatives living on this farm spoke of endings.

The day of the sale also spoke of beginnings. Beginnings for the new couple that will be moving there and starting traditions of their own. Beginnings of new dreams with new people and new events.

In thinking about it…..it really isn’t an ending at all….it is just turning the page to a new chapter.  The land will still be farmed. A family will live in the big old farm house. Eventually children will run across the yard and search for kittens in the barn in the spring. It will not be an ending at all….it will just be a different kind of same.

There is nothing permanent except change.
–  Heraclitus