Category Archives: The Heart of This Woman

  • How’s those goals coming along?

    I read yesterday that by February 4th most people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions.
    I thought that was kind of sad, so I figured it was time to check in!

  • New year rambles, goals, pigs, writing, walking and more

    It’s January 2nd, 2016, er, .. I mean, 2017 and we’ve done so much already. I’m tired just thinking about it.
    But in a good way. In a “I’ve got my list, and I’m getting things done” kind of a way.

    Speaking of lists, in the back of my prayer journal this morning I made up a list of goals I’d like to accomplish each month. I’m not real big on ‘resolutions‘, but I’m very big on goals. Not just on New Year’s day though, all the time. I actually LOVE Monday’s even, for this very reason. Monday’s are a chance to start a whole new week with a whole new set of goals!

    This year I’ve decided to break up my big goals into smaller monthly goals, which are kind of like bite sized pieces. For example, I’ve been wanting to write a book for some time now.  Pretty much my whole life really. The type of book I would write was never totally clear in my mind. I knew it would either be nonfiction, or some time of ‘self help’ book, as that’s simply the way my brain tends to be geared. But I wasn’t totally set on exactly what. The past while an idea kind of fell into my lap, or maybe slapped me in the face would be more accurate, so I’m running with it, and my goal is to write a new chapter each month. By the end of the year, I will have at least 13 chapters (I’ve already written the first one) and this is a very realistic goal for me. I work a lot of hours with my two home businesses (HomesteadEmporium.com and doTERRA) so I feel I need to set small bite sized goals, rather than one big goal of simply – Write a Book.”

    My other goals are simple too, and designed to help me end the year off on a better, less rushed, slower pace of lifestyle than I normally tend to run at. I always AIM to live a slower paced life, but biting off more than I can chew causes a “rush hour”  panic much too often in my life. My whole list of monthly goals are:

    1 ~ Write one chapter each month
    2 ~ Make one homemade gift each month (these will most likely all be for Christmas, I never have enough time in the fall to finish them in time for Christmas!)
    3 ~ Sew myself one article of clothing each month (I have all the fabrics, and even the patterns, sitting here just waiting for me to finally sew for me!)
    4 ~ Learn how to cook/bake/create one new food each month (so much food stuffs that I want to learn, such as yogurt (made that today!), pasta, all types of breads, fermented foods, and foods from other countries, the list goes on and on…)
    5 ~ Walk 20 times each month (this is a big one for me, even though it’s the most simple! I LOVE being outside, yet if I don’t get out first thing in the morning, I tend to procrastinate and get busy with everything else. When I’m outside here on our prairie homestead, I honestly feel rejuvenated and refreshed every time. It always makes me feel a little like Eve in the garden of Eden. We are blessed with so much greenery, space, and even fruit trees and wildlife. I love walking, and talking with God. The gorgeous vast prairie views and silence are just the icing on the cake. When I spend too much time behind the sewing machine and not enough time outside, I feel it in my whole being. I must make walks a priority!)

    And that’s it, that’s my list. Pretty simple really. I think these bite sized chunks are doable. I know they are as long as I stick with them!

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    Below is a photo from my walk this afternoon (just 19 more walks to go this month! lol).
    It’s cold in them these here parts, I tell you!

    I do love these types of winter days though, when the skies are bright ice blue, the hoar frost is on the trees, and the snow sparkles like diamonds in the bright sunshine!

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    Before my walk I had been wrestling deer carcass in my freezer. I had to move it from one freezer to another, and it wasn’t co-operating…
    When you have many dogs (and cats, too many cats) and you let everyone know that you feed all those many dogs and cats a homemade raw food diet, you tend to have people offer you all sorts of things. Carcasses (is that even spelled correctly??) being one of those things. Deer, moose, antler, even a buffalo. We’ve dealt with them all. Not to mention the beef and pork bones we get on a yearly basis as well when it’s butchering time. One day we’ll do our own butchering, but that day will have to wait until hubby and I are not both working 50-60 hours a week.

    After my walk, and before I could make it back inside, I got coerced sidetracked into helping move pigs in the barn. We’re getting close to butcher time, and we’ve started breeding our sows, so it seems moving pigs from one pen to another is a weekly ordeal right now. Warmer weather would be nicer for this work, but you do what you have to do, when you have to do it. After getting coerced sidetracked from my leisurely stroll outside, into helping move pigs, I then was coerced sidetracked into pig poop scooping…

    By the time I got back into the house my legs and butt were numb… I had a numb bum…. yes, I said it. My kids will die of embarrassment now… we’ll call it payback.

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    Anywho… here’s the yogurt I made!
    For over 20 years I’ve been wanting to make yogurt. My mom made it when we were kids, and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. I’ve tried different ways several times over the years, and never had success. The last time I tried about 18 months ago, I ended up with absolutely perfect… cottage cheese! Who knows what I did wrong each time. lol But this time, I used my brand new Instant Pot, and had success, finally! Here’s the recipe/instructions that I used: http://www.homemademommy.net/2016/02/how-to-make-homemade-yogurt-instant-pot.html

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    One last photo from my walk. It’s almost time for bed, I can hear it calling me now…

    How about you? Have you created any goals, or resolutions, for yourself this year? I’d love to hear about them!

  • A Night On The Homestead

    I’m all out of things to write today, so I thought I’d share something I wrote a while back that was published in Bear Essential Life magazine.
    I love the cartoonist depiction of my story!

  • The United States of America has a new President. What to do now?

    Many have spent the past 18 months voicing their opinions very loudly on why Trump should not be voted in. Perhaps some of that time would have been better spent listening to why your fellow country men and women did not agree with you. Perhaps further discussion could have occurred if over half of your population had not been quieted, but instead been encouraged to share, and been heard.

  • Death of a pet

    Instead, I asked myself what would I want if I were Teagan? I know, again, some are moaning that he’s ‘just’ a dog…. But he’s MY dog. He’s MY responsibility right to the end. So I asked myself, what do I want in these days that could be Teagan’s last?

  • Taking a leap

    For many years now I’ve struggled with one thing that I can not seem to shake.
    Fear.

    If you’re up for it, stick around.
    The future could be a train wreck you won’t want to miss.
    Or… maybe… just maybe…
    You’ll see me learn to fly.

  • DSC_6465

    A new school year… minus the school! What to do, what to do?

    So there you have it. My big long ToDo list now that we’ve finished school.
    How about you? Do you have any new plans this year? Are you going to be decluttering or organizing your life? Or perhaps you’ve been wanting to, and need a little push to just do it, or help on how to start? Here’s a handy list I saw on facebook the other day! Maybe it’ll help some of you too!

  • This is me, not making resolutions.

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    Just last night I posted about how I don’t really make resolutions.

    However, I think our minds just can’t help but wander and ponder the topic of resolutions when the new year comes along, no matter how hard we might try not to!

    But here’s an example of why I don’t really do resolutions, no matter how much my mind may try to tell me I should do this one, or that one.

    My mind would like me to make a resolution to blog more regularly.
    However, what my mind does not realize is that it’s simply not that simple!
    It’s not as easy as just deciding, “I’m going to write more, because I really want to!”

    You see… in order for me to blog more often, I would have to figure out a way to create more hours in my day. I tend to be a painfully slow blogger… I’m not really sure why, I’m not sure if everyone is a slow blogger, or if I’m just special.

    A blog post can easily take me at LEAST an hour to put together. Quite often, if I’m blogging about a topic I need to research a little, or dig through my photos, it can easily take me 2 hours.

    So where, and how, can I just fit in 1 or 2+ hours of something extra into my daily routine?
    I’ve decided that the only way to do it would be to get up earlier then I do now.

    And thus begins my reason for not doing resolutions.

    One resolution of wanting to blog more then becomes a whole lo.oo.on.nn.ng list of even more resolutions. In order to keep a resolution to blog more, I will need to get up earlier. In order to get up earlier, I will either have to get to sleep earlier, or forfeit sleep. Since most nights I usually sleep no more then 6 or 7 hours, I’m thinking forfeiting 1 or 2 hours of that sleep may not be a great idea. I sew a lot, and cut a lot of fabric, and it wouldn’t be so wise to fall asleep at the machine or while slicing through some thick fabrics with my fingers nearby…

    *shudder*

    Now that I’ve most likely seared a horrible image into your mind (I have a wild visual imagination, I should know better),  you see why I don’t do resolutions.

    A resolution is not just ‘a’ resolution. It really seems like a pretty good set up for failure. Unless of course you’re one of those rare people who have all the time in the world to rearrange every other part of your day in order to fit in all these new resolutions.

    Nah… I didn’t think so.

    However, I’m also not one to give up on at least TRYING to attain something I feel is important to me.

    I enjoy writing. I enjoy connecting with others through my writing.
    Besides, my one word for this year is ‘fear’ (overcoming fear) and one of the fears I have is to write without readers.

    So… I guess I’m not setting myself up for a resolution in wanting to blog more, I’m just working through my one word! Yay me!

    How’s your second day of the New Year going?

  • New Years Resolutions

    Bunny in our Barnyard

    Bunny in our Barnyard

    I’ve never been one for New Years resolutions.

    Instead, each year I like to choose one word that I feel my life needs to put into focus. Last year my one word was “joy”.

    This year, before 2014 was even close to being over, I felt a nudging towards my new word for 2015. Fear.

    Actually, it’s more like two words. Overcoming Fear.

    All my life I’ve had much too many fears. It’s been sort of embedded into my daily routine. I won’t bother to share the whole list of fears I have, most of them are more ‘worries’ and not true ‘fears’ but those worries continually instill fear into me and I’ve grown rather weary of it.

    I figure if I’m not able to tackle ‘fear’ at the age of 43, soon to be 44, then I will most likely succumb to my fears the rest of my life. I’m simply not ok with that.

    The first step I took in overcoming ‘fear’ this late fall was to teach Adult Sunday School.

    That’s a big one for me. I’m an introvert extraordinaire. I enjoy conversations, one on one, possibly one on two, one on three. But to speak in front of a group of people, and not just speak, but TEACH, was a very big step for me.

    But I did it, and I survived!

    I kept reminding myself that it’s a lot like a visit to the dentist. I could sit and stew, and stress, over every detail ahead of time and freak myself out real good. Only to feel totally foolish once it was over and it wasn’t as bad as I had stressed myself out to think it would be.

    OR…

    I could simply study for the lesson I was teaching and not even allow myself to ponder on the fact that I would be speaking to a bunch of people, and everything that could possibly go wrong. Just focus on studying, learn what I needed to teach, and concentrate on how I was going to teach it.

    And that’s what I did. And I survived teaching a lesson. I taught Adult Sunday School twice actually.

    I quite enjoyed it.

    My next step to overcoming fear was to decide that this year I would participate in our church play. A speaking part even. Mind you, I only agreed to take on a very teeny tiny speaking part, but I was proud of myself regardless. I had never been in a play before (I don’t think being a part of the choir for Fiddler On the Roof many moons ago counts) so this was another big step for me.

    Again, I decided I could either fret and stress over being on stage in front of a church full of people and all the things that could go horribly wrong.

    Or…

    I could simply study my line and think about my part, and how I would pull off being an old scribe. An old man at that! I even made myself a beard out of a head of hair from a waldorf doll kit I have.

    It turned out to be fun. I got to spend a lot of extra time with our twins Shaylah and Julia who both LOVE to act, and, I got to show them that no matter how old you are, no matter how long you’ve lived with a bad habit (my fears), you are never too old to change your ways.

    And guess what?

    I survived! I think I actually did alright too.
    Enough so that I may agree to a slightly larger speaking part next year…

    So that’s me getting a jump start on overcoming fears for 2015!

    How about you? Do you have an resolutions, goals, or plans for 2015?

  • Thought patterns, for teens (and adults!)

    If you, or someone you know, struggles with negative thought patterns, this article explains proper thinking really well. *(Link at the bottom) This is something I spend a fair amount of time talking over with all my teens. But even many adults fall into a trap with their thought patterns. This psychologist & his student have really nailed it in simple terms.

    As a Christian, I also remind all my teens to think how God’s LOVE would view what they are thinking/seeing/feeling, and ask themselves if they are believing negative ‘lies’ in their mind.

    Teens especially need to be on guard to keep themselves from believing destructive thoughts about themselves. And they ARE ‘lies’.

    I’ve shared before how one of my daughters often struggles with thoughts that she’s not pretty. This is the same daughter in the ‘Red’ costume I shared on Facebook on Halloween! If you look at her photo, you know how false that thought is! (Not that beauty is important, this is just one example I can give that is so obviously a lie.)

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    Our teens must learn to SEE the ‘lies’ so they can learn to see & think otherwise. It’s their best defender against even worse thoughts, like not being worthy to live… We’ve all been touched by suicide in our lives, some of us many times over. I know 3 personally, or their families, who committed suicide. I attempted to commit suicide myself when I was 15. The approximate age of my three youngest girls now.

    Fight for your kids (and your own) minds! Make them aware of how to win the negative battles in their minds.

    And while we’re trying to think better about ourselves, let’s do the same when ‘assessing’ others too. I see WAY too much online ‘bullying’ happening between ADULTS lately. Be kind to one another, so our children can see it in action. It seems many think its ok to rip each other apart from behind a screen. Yet we all know its destructive, and leads to hurt, sometimes… even death.

    I personally feel that speaking unkindly to (or about) others online is the equivalent of drinking and driving, and thinking no one will get hurt. We ALL know drinking & driving takes lives, and people get hurt. It’s about time we realize that speaking unkindly, bullying others, participating in tearing people apart online is just as foolish. (Even on ‘famous’ people’s Facebook pages- they ARE people- Robin Williams showed us all just how human even the highest profile celebrities are!)

    We can’t be unkind to one another, and never expect to truly hurt someone.

    We’re just FEEDING into one another’s negative thought patterns. Do we really want to continue doing that?

    Forget Positive Thinking – Try This to Curb Teen Anxiety