Thursday, September 23, 2021

Custom Baking


Peanut Butter Pound cake

Peanut Butter Pound Cake anyone?  If you know me well, you know that I love to bake. I bake when I'm happy, I stress bake when I'm  not-so-happy and if it's a rainy/snowy day.... then I really bake up a storm. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Harvesting Faith and Good

Soul restoring Montana style

The one thing that I learned from being on the farm for so many years, is that despite your best efforts, sometimes things don’t go as planned. And perseverance and faith are your best friend, along with a good dose of hope. That learned life skillset has served me well and as I continue to learn new lessons from less than desirable circumstances, there are blessings and silver linings to be found.

And the reason I am sharing this is because of a setback on a goal of mine.  Without getting into the weeds too much, my application to host other events at my barn was denied by the Planning & Zoning Committee.  All the events Rod & I had dreamed about hosting were now in ashes.  The application hearing & process as a whole was basically awful and I was unprepared for mudslinging at me by one distant neighbor. (I now have even greater empathy for politicians who endure name calling). Anyway, after the dust settled and a recent soul restoring trip to my beloved Montana, a new dream is in the making.

Let me share my story on the magic of when things don’t go quite as planned.  After the P&Z hearing, I was feeling a bit off balance and said to my “Mr. Right” that “this girl’s soul needs Montana”. His response was, let’s go!  As Rod described a leisurely trip up Lolo pass and on over to Philipsburg (P-burg), I could hardly wait.  Bless that sweet man of mine.  Anyway, we arrived in Montana late afternoon and hungry. We were beyond disappointed that our favorite brew pub diner was closed… on a Wednesday of all things.  So after a quick bite at another place that wasn’t all that great, we discover that our hotel reservations were for Philipsburg, Kansas…. Not Montana.  Ugh. No hotel room was available in this cute little tourist town.   I was trying to not be glum as this evening was turning out not as I envisioned… so we decided to console ourselves by getting a beer at our other fav brew pub.   There the magic began, as we were sipping our adult beverage and getting a game plan, we struck up a conversation with another couple who didn’t live in P-burg, but spent a fair amount of time there. This couple were nothing short of being fascinating (she was an appellate judge in Ohio & he was a contractor building a small cabin here in Montana) and we felt like instant friends.  We head over to a different bar so the other couple could grab a bite to eat and (only in small towns) is a hoola-hooping contest in progress.  Out of the blue, a woman walks up to me and hands me the hoola-hoop, so I give it a try and win the contest. I guess I impressed Rod with my new found skill and got high 5’s from all the patrons…. Lol.  Basking in my new fame, in walks the mayor & owner of the beautiful historic hotel to find us as our new friends had called him after learning of our hotel situation.  He has a drink with us and says he has one room available with a king bed. Glory be! We follow him and the hotel is spectacular, the great room has comfy chairs, a wood stove and books that made you want to stay all winter and read your way through the room.  All the rooms were themed and we had a rustic style room decorated with skis and sleds and a divine plaid Eddie Bauer down comforter that you melted into on the chilly rainy evening.  The universe was putting just the right people in our paths and let me tell you,  I felt blessed beyond measure.  The next day we headed over to see my cousin Ginny & Scott with plans to see their fav Western themed dinner show in Jackson Hole, WY.  Family, music, good food… heavenly! On our way home, Rod & I do a day trip through Yellowstone and opt to spend the night in Virginia City, again another historic hotel and good conversation with the manager.  Getting to soak up the magic of Montana, spend quality time with beloved family…. this girl’s soul was filled up and I was ready to move forward as I felt there was just something better out there for me to do.  

Picture perfect in Jackson, WY

Barn envy

Yellowstone and Old Faithful, be still my heart

Once home, I connected with a lovely woman named Sara who sought me out and asked if I wanted to partner with her and do an antique show as this was also a dream of hers.  We plotted, planned and found a venue at the fairgrounds and now have two dates, the first will be a Spring event, April 2, 2022 and the second will be a Holiday sale November 12, 2022.  We’re starting to attract other cool vendors and I’m beyond excited!!!!

In the matter of a 3 weeks, I got my soul restored and a new events partner by trusting in a higher power and that Our CREATOR had something better in store for me.  The power of good people put in the right spot in the right time and seeing the magic of silver linings in situations that you didn’t plan for.

Again, those lessons learned from my time in Agriculture, this is an industry unlike no other. Besides feeding the world, I got to see firsthand how hardworking farmers/ranches paychecks depend on circumstances beyond their control – weather and the market.  This creates in you the power of faith and hope in all situations.  So no matter what speed bumps come up, I’m grateful to have gotten through them, I’ve prevailed and come out strong.  As for the barn, well we are blessed to have a large family and it will be the central point for our family gatherings, and that is  always a good thing.

Wishing you a very blessed Sunday.  Here is a special blessing I came across and want to share.  “May you always have enough happiness to keep you sweet; enough trials to keep you strong; enough success keep you eager; enough faith to give you courage and enough determination to make each day a good day”.  All my best, Gayle 

 

 

 


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Life as a new Retiree

 Life in the slow lane....


It’s a gloriously beautiful Spring evening and I can’t remember what day this is, which isn’t Alzheimer… no it’s called retirement.    I’ve had roughly about a little over a month of it to know that I love it.  I’ve poured a second glass of wine, lit the mosquito candle (as I discovered 5 areas of attack on my body from yesterday… ugh), grabbed a shawl and  parked myself on my patio with the laptop.  I call it pure bliss.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Oh Happy Barn Construction Day!


Feb 9 the power pole is set
Day 1 February 10 

  
Oh happy day!  Excitement abounds in this girl's world, let me tell ya!   Last Tuesday, Clearwater Power set the pole and on Wednesday Cleveland Construction arrived.  This was construction on Day 1.

I've had Cleveland Construction do some work for me before, but never to this extent.  I have to tell you, when the owner, Brandon says he and his crew will be there, they are.  These guys show up, they are fast, efficient and the amount of work they get done in a day is mind boggling.

Monday 2/15/21 - progress!

Here is what the barn looked like this Monday.  The guys showed up in the midst of a snow globe

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Gathering Treasures

 Greetings from the farm

As I countdown the days to retirement, my excitement grows.  Both Rod and I are beyond excited as we plan for upcoming  barn events. 

In preparation for either a late summer or early Fall  Barn Vintage Treasure sale, I have begun repurposing my finds and increasing my inventory.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Faith and Retirement

 

A PLAN FOR MY LIFE....inspiration and guidance that came to me one day

Reading my daily devotionals, these were excerpts from 3 different books, all on the same day  -  they all spoke about “FAITH”.   In them contained these phrases that jumped out to me…. “faith is nothing without action”, “what fills you up so you can share your gifts with the world?”,  “leaning to live with faith is to take the next step  and faith is a conscious decision that our Creator has a plan in mind”

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Sweet Stuff



The day was sort of a cloudy dreary day, but the mood inside this gal's farmhouse was just the opposite.  The grand-angels, their momma and her honey spent the afternoon in a cookie making marathon. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

I Love America and My Freedom, How about You?



So how are you?  I mean really?  I saw something recently posted by a cousin on social media that had said “ It feels like Americans are in divorce court and just waiting to see who gets custody of us”. It hit the nail on the head.  Whatever side you were hoping to win may have you now feeling elated or feeling just the opposite with yesterday’s announcement.   For the most part, I see as a nation that we are weary from COVID, racial issues and a contentious presidential race.  Our emotions are upfront and center and for many, they are very vocal about where they stand.  I get it. There are so many factors out of our control but yet they affect us. I imagine there are many things in play that we may and may not know about and I for one feel a bit over-whelmed with so much emotion swirling all around. 

Either way, there were things I liked and didn’t like about each of the presidential candidates and their respective parties.   I’ve listened to conversations from some that worry about American becoming the next “socialized nation” and I have to admit that scares the you know what out of me and is there someplace else better than America to live in?  I ponder for a few minutes and think, no there isn’t anyplace else like the U.S.A.   I love my freedom and all that comes with this amazing  privilege that I think so many take for granted.  Or at least I have.  It comes down to the fact that there isn’t anywhere else I would rather live than in America.  I am going to put my trust in something bigger than who is our next president.  Tonight, as always, I will get down on my knees and spill my soul to our Creator and then ask for divine guidance for you, me and all of America.

As I write this, it is basically a snow globe outside my window and it beckons for comfort both physically and spiritually.  

Sharing a beautiful winter sunrise from my farmette

Today I will be do the things that help calm my soul, for one – it helps me when I write to you, next I will bundle up and take a long walk outside which is another place to talk to God.  Then later on I will be baking Oatmeal Cranberry cookies that have been dipped in chocolate. Recipe is here. I will save a few for my Mr. Right when he gets off work, but the majority will be taken to my fav law enforcement office with sincere thanks for all they do.  Giving helps me and it feeds my soul.

And as you navigate through your day, I wish you well, truly and sincerely.  My hope for you, me and the rest of America is to move forward as we work towards keeping our freedom and realizing how fortunate we are. There will always be differences and I hope we all realize we can’t change anyone but ourselves.  We can choose how to navigate our everyday life and it is up to us.  And my choice will be to follow our Creator’s words of wisdom as best I can.  I am human, I fail and then I get back up and try again to do better.  This quote says it perfectly to me…..

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  
Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you
2 Chronicles 20.17 

Wishing you and your family all the best.  As always, thank you for stopping by and sharing part of your day with me. As always, feel free to post a comment and by all means share the post if you so feel inclined.   All my best, Gayle


Sunday, October 18, 2020

You, Me and Respect

 


Greetings friends,

On this splendidly glorious rainy Sunday, it’s a day to cocoon, pull on a sweater and comfy jeans maybe read, nap, bake or enjoy some comfort food.  And I fully plan to do all of the above, except I have some thoughts and the words that want to come out regarding something that is bothering me.

A couple days ago I had a childhood friend that I keep in touch with send me a very long impassioned message about who was the best candidate (in her opinion) to run the country.  And I read the lengthy text, but what really bothered me was the last sentence in which she said, regardless who wins the election she hoped we could still be friends!  It took me by surprise, literally!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

July/August Home and Harvest Article

Hi all, in case you missed the sell out version of the July/August 2020 edition of Home and Harvest Magazine, here is my article:

 

Greetings Friends. As I write the July/August issue in mid-June, the world is in a bit of chaos and I’ve chosen to turn down the noise of the media and take a breather. Instead of watching the news, I sit outside sipping coffee in the early morning soaking up nature’s quiet soothing sounds.