It’s been one of the hardest years of our lives. Much has changed and some of it has been hard to swallow. Through it all, however, we have never lost faith in each other or our Savior. As always, we have much for which to be thankful. This holiday season, we want to thank friends, family, and customers for their continued support and belief in us. We want to remember the hard work of our children who support us whether they agree with us or not. We are thankful for the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. We are thankful for love, friendship, faith, hope, and prayers. We are thankful for each other. We are thankful for the Gospel, which sustains us in our darkest hours. We are also thankful for the men and women that serve our fellowmen–law enforcement, emergency personnel, military–all of the unsung heroes–and of course farmers who work tirelessly to feed the their families, the nation, and the world.
How do you get away when you have a farmer’s market to attend, chores to do, and cows to milk? It’s not easy! With the help of our milker and our son, we were able to escape to the mountains for the changing of the leaves. This was a first for both of us. We had such a good time–driving, hiking, shopping, riding the gondola, and eating. We are already planning a trip for next year.
I’ve made the opportunity to take a few minutes out of my schedule as of late to have a little fun. I spent last Friday at the zoo with my daughter and the grandkids. I wanted to see the awesome Lego sculptures before they move on.
As I normally do on Friday mornings, I arose early to make deliveries. Once the rancher loaded the car, off I went. One, two, three, four stops, and I was ready to head toward the zoo. I was running a little late (as usual), but my daughter was running even later. I bought a $5 drink (ack!) and sat out front to wait for her. She arrived before long. Almost as soon as we entered the zoo, we happened upon our first Lego creature.
We had a wonderful time. The weather was cooler but still beautiful. The kids were very well-behaved. We spent the whole day at the zoo. I made it home in time for chores. Then, I spent the evening–late into the evening–making milk products for Saturday’s customers. Once or twice, I cursed myself for being stupid enough to waste a day having fun! Now that I am past my sleep deprived Saturday, however, I am glad I took the time to spend the day with my babies and enjoy a little bit of life.
One of my favorite times of year is harvest. I love going up to the garden to see flowering plants, fruits growing on the vine, but not yet ready, and ready to pick fruit. It makes me happy in a way I can’t even explain.
We planted late this year. It rained and rained and rained. We weren’t sure we would harvest anything. But we hoped. And we prayed. It looks like it worked.
I live for Sundays. I love them. It’s the one day that I can rest from my worries for the day. I just let the day unroll. And, I have to opportunity to commune with the Lord and renew my baptismal covenants.
Last week, I was out of town with my son and brother for a family reunion. We were looking for a ward to attend prior to the reunion. The nearest ward meeting at the best time happened to be the Tongan ward. We decided to attend. It was one of the best sacrament meetings I have ever attended. The ward had such a spirit about it. They sang with gusto (we could learn a thing or two from them), they eagerly stepped forward to bare their testimonies, and they were welcoming to us. We were touched by the spirit. I left with the resolve that I would approach my meetings in a more heartfelt manner.
Sunday, as I attended sacrament meeting, I tried to sing with more gusto (I’m sorry family!). I can’t say that I am less guilty of the sins that I commit over and over and over again, but I am grateful for the Gospel and especially grateful for the experience.
He makes me crazy almost daily. I want to walk him through the right way to wash eggs, do the dishes, and make the bed. I want him to take care of business when I want! I want him to feel my urgency. I want him to get the road fixed and repair the things that need to be repaired–Now! I want to tell him what to do and have him jump up to do it. He never listens. He doesn’t jump. He is stubborn and will not let me push him around. Mostly, he just nods his head and says, “Yes, honey” even though he doesn’t mean it. He exasperates me.
Regardless, I don’t want him to be anybody else.
He falls asleep long before I do. Every night, as I climb into bed, I smile because he is laying next to me–hogging the bed. I’m so glad he is in my life. He’s goofy, but serious and stalwart. He’s hardworking and consistent.
More than anything, he’s just good. He has a good heart. He wants to do good. He wants to be good. I need that. I need him in my life. I’m glad he’s in my life. I love him and he loves me. In the end, that’s all that matters.
Happy Birthday to the Rancher. The love of my life.
I love Farmer’s Markets. Some of my favorite memories are of joining my in-laws on a late summer’s day for a trip to the farmer’s market. I looked forward to those days more than they probably know. I’m not even sure they remember the trips we made. On those days, we would climb into the car and head north of Denver to visit the farms. I bought tomatoes and corn, beans, cauliflower, and cabbage. The cabbage turned into homemade sauerkraut, which my husband loves.
I’m so thankful for the farmer’s market this year. I buy peaches nearly every weekend. I made peach cobbler, peach ice cream, peach-mango salsa, and grilled peaches. Peaches. That’s where I’ll start my list.
10. Peach butter. Apple butter is to die for, but peach butter is a close second. The Jelly Jar makes some killer peach butter. Yum!
9. Lavender. I love lavender and have been thoroughly enjoying both my lavender goat’s milk soap and my minty goat’s milk soap. It’s like having a spa in a bag.
8. Stress-free Christmas shopping, I’ve managed to knock out some Christmas shopping for my mom, sister, daughters, grand babies, and my son-in-law. I love that the gifts are simple, organic, and homemade.
7. Roasted green chile. It smells good. It tastes good. And, I made an incredible chile relleno casserole with my chiles tonight.
6. Custom-crafted coffee. I don’t drink coffee, but the breakfast burritos and secret recipe coffee cake are delectable.
5. Monsanto’s profits are down and we want to keep it that way!
4. Real food. Simple ingredients. No secret concoctions.
3. Hand-picked fruits and vegetables. We’ve had beans, corn, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, plums, peaches, apples, and a plethora of fresh greens. I shop Saturday for ingredients to use in an awesome Sunday dinner.
2. Fresh eggs. Eggs are a nutritious, inexpensive complete protein and farm fresh eggs pack more B vitamins and taste than their counterparts. Plus, they’re fresher. Our eggs are usually not more than a few days old when they reach our customers.
1. Support local farmers and artisans. Did you know that 68% of funds spent in locally owned, independent businesses returns directly to the community? We should all buy from local small businesses when possible.
It was just another day. We were up before the sun. We packed he pickup with a freezer full of meat, 18 gallons of milk and several dozen chicken and duck eggs. I headed off to make deliveries and the rancher started on the chores. Later, he would join me at the market. My daughter and granddaughter also joined me.
We had a fair amount of traffic and talked to lots of customers. I enjoyed having plenty of help and company with my family around. The little one enjoyed herself, too. She snacked on some delicious coffee cake, and later ate a fair amount of mine as well. She also went home with a new ring, a lavender sachet for her sock drawer, and a lavender shower fizzy.
The highlight of my day, however, was doing chores with the rancher. I love working along side him. It makes my step a little lighter, as if I’ve been sprinkled with a but of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust. After chores, the rancher went to work some extra duty. I had big plans for the evening, which were interrupted when I unintentionally fell asleep.
It was just another day. Nothing spectacular happened, but it was still a great day.
I drive for the ranch six days a week, but Saturday is the big day. Saturday mornings, I set off early to make my rounds in and around Denver. Then, I spend my day at the farmer’s market.
Most of my customers receive delivery on Saturdays. As a result, Friday is a big prep day. On Fridays, I tally up the number of gallons to deliver on Saturdays. I also make a list of additional products customers have ordered. Customers often order eggs and meat, but some customers also order yogurt, cottage cheese, cream, or kefir. I don’t want to make these perishable products too far in advance of Saturday. I want our customers to have the freshest products possible. Invariably, my Friday afternoons (after morning deliveries) are spent making milk products.
Milk is quite messy. I feel like my house is spotted with milk and my dish towels are permanently milk scented. In fact, I feel like my life is permanently milk scented. Thankfully, on this Friday, I had some enthusiastic helpers. On this particular Friday, I had the grand babies join me while their mom was off painting a mural. First, I showed them how to make yogurt. They immediately asked if they could have yogurt for lunch. “No,” I told them, “this yogurt won’t be ready to eat until tomorrow.” However, after lunch, a rest, and some play time, I put them to work cleaning up spots of milk. We had a good time cleaning. It was almost like playing for them, and my kitchen looked pretty good afterward. I might tell their mother that I’ll borrow them regularly for the extra cleaning help.