I think during the holidays, I seem to find myself thinking about the blessings that I am fortunate to have. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes people happy. What makes me happy. I mean truly at the core. I’m not talking about the happiness that is fleeting, like when you buy a new outfit. I’m talking about the kind of happiness that lives in your heart and soul. What I am discovering is that despite being surrounded by “friends” on social media and interacting with them on a daily basis. Many people rarely touch on their loneliness and lack of belonging. I rarely talk about a dark time in my life. It was oh so long ago, but it was a time filled with self-discovery, mistakes, miracles, and the sense of belonging while on the brink of death.
Feathered friends are the best.
My flock is in many ways how I recharge my batteries, ground myself, and take time to relax.
This past weekend, I had a fantastic time presenting at the Country Living Fair in Ohio. I shared my love of keeping bees, chickens and gardening with the audience. I also got to meet many of you in person, signing books. For those of you that couldn’t make it, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things that I discovered at the fair. I find these so inspiring and I hope you do too. I have loved the magazine for years and the best way to describe attending one, is that the pages of the magazine come to life.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought this week to our beautiful country. The anniversary of September 11th was earlier this week. I was saddened to see so many of those images and stories that had been burnt into my mind resurface. There is so much palpable pain that still lingers on in the lives of so many. I also remember the one positive thing that came from the ashes, the melting pot we call America had never been so united. We came together as brothers and sisters. We showed a solid front and for a while, it seemed as though the good in everyone came shining through. Unfortunately, it was fleeting. Fifteen years later, I think to myself, how did we become so divided on so many issues these days? Like usual, this week, I looked to the flock for answers. I wanted them to share their wisdom.
I turned everything off today. The television, social media and unplugged. I decided to take the kids and get a breath of fresh air and visit the neighbors. With eggs in tow, we decided to slow down and visit with the neighbors. We decided to spread joy.
She’s been this way for a few weeks now. At first, I thought she was just enjoying lingering in the nesting boxes perched upon the bounty of beautiful colorful orbs each day. Yet soon enough it was clear. She had morphed into a dinosaur-like shrieking pancake that simply did not want me lifting her off the nesting box. She was definitely broody. So each day it has gone on, I pry her from the box, give her a good scratch, a wing rub and send her on her way to poo, eat and drink. However, what happened the other day left me speechless.
I knew that the day would eventually come.
I buried her underneath a beautiful hosta that still has not emerged from its winter slumber yet.
A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to my last original chicken, Oyster Cracker. It was one of the most difficult things that I had ever done. I guess it is why it took so long for me to write this post.
Last week, I was off to the Country Living Fair Nashville. I had a blast speaking about backyard chickens and beekeeping. I got to meet lots of peeps and sign a bunch of my books too! I just adore going to these fairs because to me, it is like a little slice of heaven. The people at the Country Living Fairs are sweet and kind and make you feel good about the world we are in. It is country living for sure, just like the pages of the magazine come to life.
A few weeks ago, I was in Texas speaking at the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, Texas. When I finally looked at the map, I realized that Waco was less than an hour away. I was going to have to make a trip to Chip and Joanna Gaine’s Magnolia Market silos. As a big fan of Fixer Upper, I too was curious to see what the silos were all about. I actually caught the episode where Joanna first shared her silo dreams with Chip, and it was surreal to be so close to their latest endeavor.
Scientists have shown that speaking to plants can be a good thing. Plants respond positively to music, engaging them in conversation, and even touch. A few years ago, an article came out that discussed plant intelligence. I was fascinated. But even if you aren’t a plant scientist, there is something to be learned even by the person who, dare I say has a brown thumb. You see to me, plants speak volumes. You just have to know how to “listen”.