We All Have Dreams.

It is a decision

It is a decision

A common theme that I like to talk about is passion. We all have it. It drives us. It makes us do what we do. Fall in love, enroll in higher education, plan a future or just participate in a hobby.

I have been pretty open about my passions. Loving my family, sharing with my friends, even posting about my life for the world to read. Most recently, I have been sharing about my dream to someday have a larger place to take my gardens and animals to.

I only post the positive stuff, because that is what I concentrate on. Besides, I do not think that anyone would be entertained by any whining that I might want to do. So I keep my blog positive and both of my Facebook pages full of cute fluffy things, encouraging messages and joyful images.

Most recently a reader messaged me and suggested that because I had led a “struggle free life” and was happy in my marriage; that I was able to attain a level of joy that she could not, because of the struggles that she has had to endure. The rest of this is for her (and anyone else who may want to read it).

Dear friend, my joy does not come from my husband or my circumstance. I know you say “This is where she starts to preach”. Though I am a “Christian” I am not going to do that to you. What you believe is your own business.  I just made a decision to be happy, because it felt better.

I was the oldest of 5 in a very poor family. My parents lost the 10 acres that we grew up on in Lake Elsinore California; and could not afford to help us with higher education. There were even times that we shared our school clothes. But I was selfish. I made the decision to be happy anyway, because it felt better. Crazy, I know!

I married young and had two beautiful children. (Who are now my best friends) Though I have always dreamed of  having a small farm of my own, it never happened. So I continued to believe in a dream. Believing, somehow just felt better than loosing hope, and I chose to feel better. I guess that I am just selfish like that.

I believed in love, but went through two divorces. I raised my two kids myself, in a house that I bought. I had a job and worked hard to raise my kids. I also worked hard at finding and holding on to joy. One of the secrets that I discovered was that when I did something to help others, it made me feel good. So I learned about sharing whatever my abundance was. We all have an abundance of something, even if it is just a listening ear or a hug.

Steve said that when he met me; he felt sorry for me. I could not understand that. I told him that he was the one who needed rescued; not me. He says that he fell in love with me because of the joy that I seemed to find in everything. I had lots of practice by then, because of that one decision that I had made long ago.

I have never allowed my happiness and joy to depend on who my husband is (or the lack of one), or the amount of money that I have (or do not have). I always thought that the farm was just a make believe place that may never come. Again, my happiness is a choice that I have made, because I like to feel good, and I am selfish like that.

So, if you do not find that you are happy, there is some work for you to do. You could be rich, with a wonderful man; and still be an unhappy person. Find a way to help or encourage someone else, I guarantee that will make you feel better.

In the end…

The dream of this farm has been a very long time in coming. My patience is finally being rewarded. I have a man who truly loves me, I will be a nurse very soon, I will have a hobby farm and I finally have a (some)grandbaby (ies) coming.

May you make the decision to be happy as well.

Your Friend,

Donna

 

 

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More Goats for Us!

 

So, we have talked about goats. I have told you what my plans were. I even promised that I would share each step along the way. I have been pretty patient, I only hope that I have not lost any of my beloved readers along the way.

Now that we have a hobby farm under contract, I have been sharing my excitement with my friends. One of my farmer friends and I got to chatting. His turn to talk. He has two Nubian ladies that he needed to breed in order to re-freshen them. You (my dear reader)may already know that you must breed a cow or a goat every year or so, in order to keep receiving milk from her. When you do this, (year after year) eventually you end up with more goats than you need and find yourself forced to re-home some kids. He is in such a position. He has some kids to re-home. Two of them are little girls.

Sharing Life's Abundance Belle

Sharing Life’s Abundance Belle

My turn to talk. I plan on keeping my Nigerian doe (Bambi), because I love the Nigerian milk. I may even end up with two Nigerians (now that I have a bigger place to keep them). I love this special milk for yogurt, and ice cream too.

I would also like to explore the art of cheese making, but one batch of cheddar takes 2 gallons of milk. That is a lot. Then we would end up with far more whey than I could use.

I have also been talking to other farmer friends who raise pigs by feeding them milk, garden scraps and pasture. But I know that 2-3 qrts of Nigerian milk per day would not be enough to feed a pig. Enter the next step of my plan.

Two Nubian ladies once bred, could give me 2-3 gallons of milk per day. Can you say “Cheese?”

His turn to talk. I (Donna) have some stuff in my backyard that he (my farmer friend) wanted. So we shook hands. He is coming to pick up the stuff this weekend, and his two baby goats will be coming to live with me, once we get moved.

In keeping with the Disney names for my goat herd, we are naming the little girls Belle and Elsa.  Elsa is the white one, nibbling on her brother’s ear. (No Elsa, he only looks like a chocolate goat.)

Sharing Life's Abundance  Elsa

Sharing Life’s Abundance Elsa

 

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Home Inspection

What a view!

What a view!

I took time out from studying to meet with the home inspector today. Steve had to work, so I had a long list of questions and this guy was awesome. Not only did he answer my questions, he had some suggestions about what we could do about irrigation and fencing.

His verdict-the house is in pretty good shape. There are a few things that need addressed, but nothing that cannot be fixed or replaced.

One of my good friends came along to see the inside of the house. She suggested that we ask for the owners to arrange for flood irrigation to be ordered during the escrow period to keep the pasture, trees and landscaping alive until we take over.

Our realtor told us that the water will be kept on, so that we can go over and give the flower beds a drink. While we were standing around and chatting, I showed them that my garden beds will go just off the back patio. It is the south side of the house. We also noticed the view of the San Tan Mountains. This will be a lovely place to sit and have a glass of wine with friends.

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Welcome to Our New Home!

The new headquarters  of Sharing Life's Abundance Farm

The new headquarters of Sharing Life’s Abundance Farm

After many months of zig zagging down the path of home buying. We have finally found  the right place, for the right price. It is a home that is as grand as Steve could have ever imagined; on the irrigated acre that Donna wants.

 

The  front walk

The front walk

As you get past the front gate, visualize the vines and flowers that will greet you.

This is the front door.

This is the front door.

When you get inside, you could go straight into the master bedroom, but I am most anxious to have you step down into the living room and head into a magical place where I will be spending many hours.

Brand new cabinets and stainless steel appliances, granite and travertine.

Brand new cabinets and stainless steel appliances, granite and travertine.

Now turn back and look at the dining area and the step down into the living room.

Love those beams.

Love those beams.

Oh and a little something for Steve…

3 car garage and a secret work shop.

3 car garage and a secret work shop.

Sorry, I do not have a picture of the inside of that shop. My only fear is that I will never see Steve again.

Stay tuned for more posts to come.

If all goes well, we will be closing May 1st. I will be moving in the same week that my grandson is due, then Bambi will kid and after that finals. Sheesh!

 

Posted in The New Farm | 14 Comments

This Farm Shopping is….

… a fun, frustrating, exhausting, roller coaster ride.

For those of you just tuning in, Steve and I have been searching for a hobby farm for Ms Abigail. She wants to raise healthy-organic food year round; for our large family. Between Steve and I, there are 7 grown children, 4 spouses (spice?) and 7 (soon to be 8 or 9) grandchildren.

I sold my rental house last June. It was the house that I raised my two children in. I rented it out once the kids were grown and I married Steve.  We are in the process of selling this home and purchasing a future home on an acre of irrigated land.

Although this home is beautiful, Steve has been very particular about making sure that all the details are just right before hanging out the “For Sale” sign.

Fortunately we are pre-qualified for the amount that we wish to spend on our future place; so we have been searching patiently ( ahem ).

If you have been following on Facebook, you know that we found a place that we completely adored. The property had the farm charm that I was after and the house had the newer look that Steve desired. It also had a shop for Steve (everybody say “Awww!”)

Though the house had been on the market over 80 days, there were 23 showings and we were the only offer; we were strung along while a divorced couple bickered over the court ordered sale. Steve and I were both dreaming about where we would put gardens, trees and animal pens. But we were recently told that this battle could tie up the property for a very long time. So sadly, the search continued.

Could this be the one?

Could this be the one?

Our second choice is also lovely; in a very different way. It is Spanish Territorial (can you say “hacienda”?) – red brick and  wrought iron, but with brand new- updated everything inside. (It feels quite fancy actually, how will I ever deal with it?) It lends itself to visions of vining flowers and hanging pots of herbs  It was part of an orange orchard, it is irrigated and the soil is just yummy! No, I did not taste it, a true gardener would understand that term though. I am pretty passionate about the soil.

The property is full of a wonderful mix of pasture grass and weeds (did she say weeds?) that would delight even the pickiest of goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and maybe even a bovine (Google it). This  place  will certainly challenge my imagination of how to make it look like the quaint little farm of my dreams. Do not worry, I long for the chance at a challenge like this. Besides I also have some very creative friends. Steve and I put in an offer and hope to hear back by the end of the week, whether we are the new owners or not. Meanwhile, we have scoped out several 3rd choices.

I feel like watching an old episode of “The High Chaparral”. Who remembers Big John and Uncle Buck, or my mom’s favorite-Manolito. My mom… she also loved Barnabus Collins in “Dark Shadows”. Ok stop, I am scaring myself.

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Talk about Sharing!

Chain of  sharing

Chain of sharing

This is so exciting, I just had to share.

In one of the forums that I belong to, a chain of events is occurring that is so amazing to me.

So, I live in Chandler; which is east of Phoenix. A farmer in our group asked for black berry starts and pomegranate trimmings. I told him that he could have some of mine from my black berry bush. A lady in Glendale, which is North and east of me told him that he could have some of her Pomegranate trimmings. The problem is that he lives in Tucson.

Now, you have to pay  attention to follow this one. My daughter is having her baby shower in March. So, my mom (who lives in Tucson) is coming to spend the weekend at my house to go to the baby shower. My son (who lives in Glendale) is coming to bring his wife to the baby shower and to see my mom. So we worked it out. The lady in Glendale will bring her pomegranate trimmings to my son, he will deliver them to my house when he comes to see my mom. I will give my mom the blackberry starts and she will take this abundance to Tucson. When I mentioned this to the farmer in Tucson, he said that he will get with my mom before hand and give her some abundance from his farm to bring to us.

Who’s to say where this lovely chain of events will end? Me, I hope that it never does.

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Another Gem

Opal

Opal

Today was Steve’s birthday. So when he asked me to go yardsaling with him, I agreed. He goes e-v-e-r-y Saturday. I go sometimes, but most days lately with school and all, I just do not take the time.

Anyway, when you go yard saling-you follow the signs, you park in front of the yard sale host’s  home. You mumble hello, they mumble back. It is early and no body has drunk enough coffee yet.

But one lady was different. She seemed shy, but friendly; I liked her right away. I asked her a couple of questions to see if she was friend material. She was. As she slowly warmed up to me, she shared that she was planning on moving soon. I kept up the line of questioning, blowing on the kindling, until the she went from warm to glowing with a her shy passion. Once she realized that she had a friendly audience, she told me how her life’s dream to live on a lake was going to finally come true.

We chatted for a bit, but I noticed how happy she looked. She reminded me of a soft opal, calm on the outside, with a glow just under the surface.

We exchanged contact information, with the promise of keeping in touch, and that my friends, makes me happy.

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