Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas Message

Holiday Blessings from me to you....
Beauty on my Farm

This is my  holiday letter from me to you……..

It’s early, precisely 3:28 a.m. on a very cold December 6th morning and my mind awoke with a message that couldn't wait to get down on paper at a more reasonable time of day. So sitting here in front of the fireplace, cup of peppermint tea next to me and soft Christmas music playing, this is a letter of gratitude and thanks that I want to say to you.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Farm House Kitchens, A Favorite Spot

The grand-angels making cookies & memories in my farm-house kitchen
Last week I had the grand-angels over and we made home-made pizza and then cookies, and every time they come over, the first they ask is can we make cookies?  (yes, even before heading for the toys in the closet)  =)

No matter where I have lived throughout my life, the kitchen has always been the central spot for family and guests to gather. I have had exactly 4 houses in my married life-time, each time getting a fixer-upper, doing most of the work myself and then selling it and starting the process over again. That is until the final house, the one I am living in, I actually got to choose what I wanted.  It was pure heaven, and besides having a large kitchen, the 2 most prized choices for me was the walk-in pantry and double ovens.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Family Blessings

A  picture perfect Thanksgiving morning
Sitting here in my comfy flannel PJ’s by the fireplace, a bit under the weather with a cold/flu combo and watching the outdoor temperature plummet from 12 degrees to the projected -2, I was thinking about my past Thanksgiving week-end and how important family is to me.  So while the outdoor temperature is cold, my thoughts are warm & happy with recent memories of our holiday week-end. And while we are far from perfect, we do enjoy the time we spend together and that in itself is a huge blessing.  And with that I wanted to share some of those special moments  from my Thanksgiving holiday week-end.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Growing some of Thanksgiving Staples


Today as we gather around a table heaped with good food, we are reaping the benefits of the long hours and expense toiled by the 2% of those whose job is to feed you, me and the other 319 million people in the USA.  There is a prayer excerpted from the book Bless this Food: Ancient &Contemporary Graces from Around the World © 2013 Adrian Butash and in it my favorite prayer (#90) talks about this very fact.   Unfortunately I don’t have the authorization to publish that prayer, but I did provide a link for the book as it is an interesting read that will fill you with true gratefulness as we celebrate Thanksgiving and the blessings bestowed upon us, not only for tomorrow, but in our daily life.  I will however be able to post another prayer from this comforting book in the event you need one for your dinner today.  So read on…. =)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Early Frosty Morning Walk

Early frosty mornings have a beauty all to themselves.  And while the nut behind the camera would not have won any “best dressed outdoor wear” awards, rather I most likely would have ended up on a “what not to wear” list with my own stamp of grungy rural look…..

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Inspired Farm-chick Living

Fall +Pumpkins = Fabulous
My front porch display at my farmhouse

Now that Fall weather has arrived …. So has my inspiration for cooking and creating.   As I write this the smell of pumpkin brownies makes me want to rethink eating something healthy for breakfast and just go straight for one of my favorite flavor combinations, pumpkin and chocolate.  Two flavors that I never would have put together had it not been for this cake….

Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Year Ago Today, the last of the firsts...

Today marks the one year anniversary of when my world shifted and I found that I was going to be single, and it was just exactly 9 days earlier that my daughter, Kaitlyn’s world crashed as well.  Together we have braved the “firsts” of holidays, special events & celebrations that had in the past been shared with the men in our lives, and getting through this period was made easier with the love & support of family, friends & the kindness of strangers.  And frankly, it is a relief now that the first year of new singleness is behind us and the future is bright with new people, places and adventures.  Through it all, I compare myself & Kaitlyn to the rolling hills around my farm-house,  meaning no matter what kind of storm blows into our lives, we are like the land, solid, strong and able to weather squalls.  It made us appreciate the little things in life, the kind acts of others, whether it was from little ones to our elders, the warm sun on our faces, making sure to enjoy each day & remember that it is all we really have, as tomorrow is not a guarantee, and to honor the past, live in the present and plan for the future

Me & Kaitlyn this summer

I know it has been a while since I last wrote to you… and you have been on my mind a lot.   For the first time in a long while I didn’t know what to write.  I had started several blogs, but the words wouldn’t flow.  This past harvest was the last "hard first" for me.  My feelings were all over the place  with the smell, sights & sounds of harvest which all served to remind me that I wasn’t a part of it anymore .  I felt somewhat unsettled as the activity of tractors, semi-trucks and combines were everywhere I looked, busy bringing in America’s food and I missed  being a part of it.  And it I guess it is because “ Harvest” has been such a big part of my life and as I’ve said before, farmers only have 3 season’s ‘before harvest’, ‘harvest’ and ‘after harvest’.  It’s true, that is how the we refer to the timeline events in our lives. (example:  before harvest we went to the Oregon coast…. Or after harvest we are going to get new carpet in the living room.  You get the idea).  Ag is still a big love of my life, but now in a different way, but still important to me.  I saw this sign and loved it, so I wanted to share it with you. 


While out for a walk last month, here is equipment of  Chris Schultheis who is my farm neighbor next to my ground and farm house.   It again struck me that it takes a lot of equipment to feed America and Chris's  operation is just like the Anderson one, 2 combines and several semi-trucks.

And to help me help myself, I I kept myself really busy with a great cause, called Chicks n Chaps, a breast cancer fundraiser and it was an awesome experience... lots of work but so worth it. Below was a picture of the wonderful women I worked with, all in our official Chicks n Chaps T-shirts for a promo picture for our program.

I've still been baking (surprise!) and with Fall now here.... well I have to make my very favorite flavor of cakes and of course they have to be  pumpkin  pared with chocolate....
So as I close, I will be writing more about cooking and featuring some yummy recipes, as well as my Farm-Chick projects that I have been working on in my "chick-pit" shop that now features a chandelier....   

So as you can see, I've been keeping busy.....And like the old saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is so true. And while it was a journey from dark to light, I am changed (for the better) Kaitlyn too.  And today I am pleased to report that we are happy, whole and feel good, really good.    I hope you come back often and I promise to begin writing more about food and fun project stuff as winter on the farm is very quiet here in the Northwest.  But even as the growing season for crops has ended,  I am coming more alive that I've felt in a long while and hope to share fun things and projects with and for you.  Take care.  All my best, Gayle.
(as always, I love to hear from you so drop me a line at or leave me a comment.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Organic or Non-Organic???

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably have figured out that I know my way around a kitchen fairly well. And my girls will tell you that I also like to feed people who are within 3 feet of me.  I haven't gone so far as to grab strangers off the street to feed them, but if you are a guest in my home, well it is safe to say that you will be well fed......   

I believe in American Agriculture and the American Farmer, but then again it’s because I’ve been involved in producing one of the two most common ingredients found in pantries ….wheat.  Even though this harvest is a bittersweet one, as I am no longer a farm partner, I still am grateful to all those men & women whose job is to raise the food you & I eat, as I know firsthand the long hours spent getting the crop from seed to harvest.   
Feeding America. Semi's lined up to get weighed in before being unloaded at the grain terminal.
And as wheat harvest in Northern Idaho is in full swing, here is a picture I snapped while doing some errands in my small farming town……. semi-trucks all loaded up with wheat straight from their fields. While I can pretty much guarantee those loads are not “organic grown” but rather grown with careful applications of herbicides and pesticides, I am okay with that. In fact I personally am picky on what goes on my dinner table and  I think you, my reader friends, are too.  I am not afraid of conventional grown food and typically do not buy organic, but feel that whatever your food choice is, that it should be one that is an informed choice, not one made out of fear of how we grow your food with our conventional way of farming.  And I understand how media can play a part in those food choices.   So when I was contacted by Lisa Turner, an author whose degree is in  Food and Nutritional Sciences  who offered to write a blog for me, I jumped at the chance and asked her to please write about Organic vs. Non-Organic food.  And with that, here is her excellent article.

Whether You Opt for Organic or Non-Organic Foods, Limit Intake of Processed Items

Ask the public whether organic food is a healthier option and the answer will usually be yes. Those involved in the production and sale of organic produce have certainly sent out the message that their food is a safer, healthier and more environmentally friendly choice, which has boosted sales of organic items; according to the Agriculture Marketing Research Center, between 1990 and 2011 sales of organic food in the US jumped from $1 billion to $31.5 billion. However, are organically produced crops really as beneficial as consumers believe them to be?

The debate surrounding pesticides and fertilizers
Pesticides, whether artificial or natural, play an important role in increasing yields and ensuring plants are free from disease. Although artificial pesticides are potentially hazardous, those used in agriculture have received approval and when applied appropriately there is minimal risk to farm workers and even less so to consumers as limits have been set to ensure food sold contains residues at safe levels. While organic farming uses no artificial fertilizers and pesticides, leading to the assumption that they are free from residues, plants resort to their own methods of defense, producing substances called phenols to ward off pests. There is evidence that phenols, as antioxidants, may offer protection against the likes of heart disease and cancer, but as yet it is still to be proven the higher concentration of these in organic plants offers additional health benefits beyond those found in standard varieties. Chemists are also concerned that their higher phenol content could potentially bring with it its own risks to health. Use of manure as a natural fertilizer has been suggested to increase the risk of bacterial contamination of crops, increasing the likelihood of food poisoning, but research has shown that as long as manure is appropriately prepared the risk posed by use of manure is kept to a minimum. Organically grown plants are also more vulnerable to attack by hazardous fungi, as natural fungicides are less effective, though the avoidance of nitrate rich inorganic fertilizers does offer a degree of protection against this.

The debate surrounding nutrient content
Intensive farming has been blamed for the decline in the nutrient content of the soil in recent decades due to the overuse of fertilizers, soil erosion, focusing on single crops and not using traditional practices such as crop rotation, which allow the quality of the soil to increase. A soil with a lower mineral content results in plants that also contain fewer minerals, which is one of the reasons why organic farming is reported to be more favorable. However, studies that have investigated the nutritional content of organic produce have produced mixed results with regards to whether they offer a more nutritious option than crops grown using standard methods. While a review of 41 studies published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine showed that organic items contained a significantly higher amount of micronutrients including vitamin C, iron, magnesium and calcium, this has not been consistently found. With any method of farming, practices differ from one farm to another; not all non-organic farms use intensive practices and not all organic farmers will use natural practices to maximize the quality of their crops, which can explain the variability in nutrient content across both types of produce.

Either way, choose fresh produce
While parents may feel under pressure to purchase organic produce for their families, with the higher costs of these items and the uncertainty surrounding the degree of benefit that they actually offer over non-organic produce, they should not feel guilty if they decide to opt for the latter. Some perhaps choose to purchase organic versions of those foods that have been identified as having the highest pesticide residues, still leaving sufficient budget to buy plenty of fresh produce in general. Whether you choose to go down the organic or non-organic route, the important thing is to ensure that your family’s diet contains predominantly fresh food; there is little point in choosing organic fruit and vegetables if that then means the rest of their diet is made up of processed items. A diet that contains a higher proportion of plant-based foods (however they might be produced) and less processed food is richer in vitamins and minerals yet lower in fat, sugar and salt, creating the perfect balance for kids as they grow and helping to protect their long-term health. By mainly choosing fresh items you are also avoiding a whole range of artificial preservatives; while some of these are harmless, others have been linked to health problems and the long-term safety of others is still unclear. For instance, while some parents of children with ADHD opt for organic produce believing that pesticide residues are behind their children’s behavior, it is advisable that they provide a nutrient rich diet for their children that also contains limited processed foods. This is because an adequate intake of essential fatty acids and minerals may have a positive impact on the symptoms of ADHD, while additives (particularly food dyes) have been shown to worsen their behavior.

As you can see, the debate surrounding whether organic or conventionally farmed produce is a better option is not clear-cut and your purchasing decision is no doubt based on a range of factors. People often say that they want to know what is in their food and as a result purchase that which is organic. By the same token, buying locally produced food and opting for fresh rather than processed items is another way in which you can have a better idea of the origin of your food and that it is a nutritious option. ~ By Lisa Turner

And yup the farm-chick has been making a mess in her kitchen again.... so when I came across a recipe that not only uses whole wheat flour, but had chocolate and raspberries in it.... well I couldn't help myself and had to try it!  =)   It is definitely a Cake of the Month contender.  I hope you try it, as it was quite yummy! The recipe is located on the page, or just click on the above link.

                                                                  Chocolate Heaven

Also, don't forget to enter to win the contest from a blog or two back on "Care Labels"  as it closes at the end of this month.  If you do choose to email me rather than posting your label on the blog, make sure & email me your name, address and size of shirt, so if selected I get have it sent to you.  =)  As always, thank you for stopping by and if you have questions or comments, contact me at   All my best, Gayle

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stronger..but Changed

"You really don't know how strong you are until being strong is your only option".  I received this comment from reader, Sarah Schwall ( a big thank  you)  and it is one that will forever resonate in my heart and soul.  It says it perfectly and that is my new answer that I give to people when we talk about last year's events.....   

And so today’s  blog post will not  be about farming, it is more about the personal life of a former "farmerette", now a farm-ground landlord but still an Agra-Diva, ME!  Since I started sharing more about me, my family, and a very candid behind the scenes look at how one farm family has been coping with multiple tragedies, my readership has increased as I think people can relate to life not always turning out the way you thought it would. Those of us who blog and  open our lives to others are willing to  share our life’s story about what is going on in an  up close and personal view, sort of like going to a movie and watching someone elses life story on the big screen.  My main purpose is to show that those of us in the Ag industry have lives outside of growing  America's food and sometimes the "good life" can come with the not-so-good parts.  There are the unpredictables, for instance with farming  the crops have weather & market prices as the wild card....  our personal lives have people & events that can create chaos that will forever change the course of your life.  AND more importantly.... it is how you choose to navigate through those rough waters. 
As I write this tomorrow, Sunday, July 14 would have been my daughter, Kaitlyn's 1st wedding anniversary with Andrew, her now deceased husband.  And she will be spending it with me.... her mom.  It  is not the way  we both had imagined a first year wedding anniversary would be spent. ( I linked those "life turning blog posts" about me & Kaitlyn for new fellow readers. ) As I was doing it, I came across other blogs I had written on July 14 from 2010 and 2011 and reflected how different my life (as well as Kaitlyn's) was back then.   And so I will be there for her and we will get through this hard day, which I am guessing will have tears, hugs,  perhaps some laughing at some goofy memory, probably more tears and red wine,  pasta & chocolate.  Comfort food & each other as  Kaitlyn and I are each others "safe person" and together it will just be one more challenge to overcome.   Plus we  both know we have a couple more hard days coming up this Fall with the anniversary of when both of the men in our lives left us.    But we are strong... We both have been to HELL & back and  we are here  to tell you that Life is best lived in a positive & good way and that the power to create that is within each of us.....
A girl's night out...
 Just the other day, Kaitlyn and I were chatting about how we had emerged stronger but changed.  The challenges we have faced have made us different people than we once were and while some days we didn't know if we would ever feel whole again, we had hope that the sun would shine again in our lives.  We also found out how kind people are and those simple sweet acts of giving had the power to completely help heal a wounded soul and heart. I appreciate those small everyday miracles all around us and try to remember each day is a gift.  While it isn't easy and some days are harder than others, I value all the people who have come into my life, some have been a fixture in my life and will continue to be the  long-timers.... while others have briefly touched me in ways that will forever be special.     The love bestowed upon us  by family, friends, community & strangers were our "lifesavers"  and for that I am blessed.  I value the blessings, whether deserved or undeserved,  and will forever be grateful to all of you.

 A new friend in my life sent me this quote of which I want to share with you...Good words to live by.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

As always, thank you for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment or email me at   Also don't forget to post or email me your "care labels" for a chance to win one of those great shirts from Duluth Trading Company!  ( From last week's blog.... so make sure and check it out!  Plus a few labels that have already have come in are great... made me envious of why didn't I think of that!) So keep 'em coming. And I'll post the ones I've received so far.

A special thanks to my  family, Mom, Jen & Soren & their 3 angels, Barry & Denise (who gave me an "unhitched party"), Rivers & Edie, my crazy Montana crew, Lisa & farmer Jay & Zack.  Then the unconditional support from the "Co-op Queens"( Jacie, Heather, Lezah & Vickie), Gwenn & Dave, Pete & Karen, Kristi & Kris, Dorene, Kara and the wild women's wine group ! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A "Care Label" for Maintenance

Driving through “Big Sky” country which some refer to as Montana,  is  the  place I spent the first part of my childhood and that the wide open spaces seem to inspire creativity where thoughts seem to evolve and take form on topics that I want to write about, such as “care labels”.  I began thinking about a seminar I attended called “Choosing Happy” and maybe you are wondering my I’m telling you about the topic of being happy on a farm blog, well read on and I’ll explain…..
Happiness has many forms, people, places and sometimes things, but mostly it must originate from within.  The seminar talked about “care labels”  as in the kind you find on the backs of clothes.  These labels tell you how to properly care for your item .  And it hit me, wheat plants (as well as the other crops) and humans all have “care labels” for optimum growth and nurturing (properly cared for = HAPPY).  A plant’s instructions are pretty simple, soil, sun and adequate moisture.  If it gets those things and the farmer helps keep the weeds and bugs to a minimum, and assuming the weatherman doesn’t throw in any bad weather, then you can pretty much be guaranteed of a good yield.  But for us humans…. Well we are a bit more complex in what it takes to keep us in good shape.  Wouldn’t it be great to see another person’s “care label” the first time you met them?  You would at a glance know all about them… for example my care label would look like this: 

                   Made in PNW (Pacific Northwest)
                            Lot number: March 31
                            30% optimistic
                            20% driven
                            20% sarcastic
                            20% caring
                           10% organized*
*Other minor trace fibers may contain sassy, impatience, impulsive
Wash in warm water; add coffee, chocolate, beer/wine, fresh fruits/veggies & pasta for best results
For optimum care add in music, aesthetic settings, fresh air, honesty, love, volunteerism & farm-chick projects 

Do not use negative attitudes  or leave in chaos or muggy/hot climates










 And with that, the crop report so far is that the plants are doing great and from the last time I wrote, I said we needed some rain (so thank you for sending it our way); it was again the “million dollar rain”.  The wheat plants have formed their wheat heads & the recent moisture will help the plant fill the heads with kernels that are a farmer’s paycheck.  The garbanzo plants are getting bigger and will soon be sporting their little purple flowers which will then turn into garbanzo pods.

                        The green headed wheat will soon be golden &
                        then the combines will come out to play (which is also called "Harvest")

As my farm is in the business of helping to feed America, I also like to showcase other American businesses or companies because American made is the best, whether in crops or products!  And so getting back to the care labels…. As I mentioned in other blogs, I often get companies that offer to send me products to test out or review.  So when the Duluth Trading Company contacted me to inquire if I wanted to try out some of their products, I asked if their clothing was made in America and did they use American grown cotton for their jeans?  The reply was yes on the cotton and some products were made in the USA, while some were not .  Farmer Jay was excited to get to try out the jeans (as he had seen their humorous commercials) !!
Farmer Jay ( modeling his jeans) with son, Mr. Z
                 As for this picture, I added it  just because I liked this as one of dad & son.....
and what they advertised was true, the jeans according to Farmer Jay are well made, sturdy & enough room for everything… you will have to see the commercial to know what I’m talking about on the roomy part!   (Info on the jeans: #84011: Burly but soft 14.5 0z denim fabric is made with 100% domestic cotton, 12" deep side pockets, triple-stitched seams for extra strength, extra large zipper pulls)
As for me, I had the opportunity to try out a new shirt (Armachillo shirt #53225)specially made for wicking away moisture,UPF40 sun protection, plus a sun hat (#50227)which also has sun protection & is lightweight too.   The day I wore it, it was 97, sunny & therefore a good test.
                                              Me with my "new favorite shirt & hat"
 I love truth in advertising and the Duluth Trading Company delivered what they promised.  So as a way to pay a good thing forward, I will offer another give away ! Win a shirt like mine (men or women's).  One shirt will be given away & the winner will be selected by  impartial judges (as I would love all the care labels sent & unable to choose!)  All you have to do is email me (or post on this blog) what your "CARE LABEL" is!  Please note my NEW email address .  Remember if you post your care label to this blog, then please email me your contact info & size if you are selected.    (contest ends August 31, 2013)

As always, I am so glad you stopped by to see what was happening in this farm-chick's world.   One co-worker says all her staff have their "care labels" posted on a bulletin board at their work site.  After all, care labels are meant to get the best use for optimum results with the right treatment!   So why wait, get to work on that care label (hmmm maybe I should add "bossy" to my care label!)  =) 

 All my best, Gayle

P.S. Hope your July 4th is a wonderful one. Be safe.


Friday, June 14, 2013

A Farmer's Paradise

It’s early as I write this blog, 4:19a.m. to be precise and the start of another fine day here on the Palouse where my farm is and where I call home.
Sunrise on the Palouse
Last night as dusk was descending on the green farm fields that surround my farmhouse, the thought struck me that this is my little paradise. A place where the newly planted fields are various colors of green, the smell of clean air greets me as I step outside, and I hear nature telling me good morning with the chipping of the birds or good night when I hear the crickets chirp and the coyotes start to howl.   My Google search gave this definition, Paradise is a place of contentment, but it is not necessarily a land of luxury and idleness. Paradise is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, in contrast to this world.  A farmer’s paradise may look somewhat different than someone who lives in a city, but that is the beauty of it, each of us has a vision of our own paradise and what it looks like.  Although I must admit, a farmer’s paradise probably takes a bit more care and expense than perhaps an urbanite, but that is what it takes to keep our dreams successful.   A farmer’s paradise is not only a holy place in our hearts, but it is our paycheck as well.  Activity on the farm ebbs and flows, and after the flurry of activity to get crops seeded in the ground, it was quiet, now there is a bit more activity - in that tractors are back in the fields spraying the crops to control weeds.  I see and hear the crop dusters as well, and they are used for applying products to help the crops stay healthy, as weeds and insects are the enemy. Right now our paradise could use another “million dollar rain”, so as the definition said, paradise is not a land of luxury and idleness, it takes work to keep it up.  Here is what my paradise looks like right now......

                                          Garbanzo plants with their pretty little lacy leaves.
and a bigger view of the fields, both wheat (the greener color in the back of the picture) and the lighter green which are the new garbanzo plants

A picture through the lens of my camera. My views of the farm, everyday. A sea of green.

click here if unable to view the video (also the best browser to read the blog from seems to be Internet Explorer)
                                           Here is what we do to keep our Paradise healthy

On a personal note, my farm-chick paradise looks like this…(in case you haven’t figured it out yet… yes I am a true farm geek who likes to play in the dirt & get dirty)  I know that my manicurist wonders where I have been and what I did to get my hands looking like that ... But it always makes for a good story to chat about!

Farm-chick play time.... a pile of dirt, boulders, river rock and my tractor!
These things put a smile on my face.
 and so does baking.....
Peach Pound cake.... a new temptation to bake!  
Also, if you have been reading the blog for a while, you may remember the blog post about Karla from New York City who while never having been to Idaho, felt a connection to the land through my blog…… well Karla & a friend have made their way to Idaho and are in the process of exploring it.  I am excited to get to meet them next week!  And to showcase some of our beautiful State, here are some shots of Idaho that is not farmland and to show what small town fun in America looks like...

This coming week-end I am traveling to central Washington  to chat with a farm manager who helps run a large irrigated farm.  So more on  that as I showcase other kinds of crops and  see what their "paradise" looks like. 

And while crops  in wide open spaces (plus rocks, dirt and tractors) are my vision of paradise, I realize that everyone has their own vision of what their paradise is, and I hope you get to enjoy it this week-end.   Feel free to email me ( to ask questions or leave a comment.   All my best, Gayle
P.S.  To update you on the dating thing... well I have gone on a few dates, met some nice men - nothing serious.... and while it is sort of weird dating again after all these years it is an interesting process.  I kind of look at it as going into Baskin Robbins Ice Cream shop and viewing all the selections & then taking the time to find the right flavor that you like the best.  The process may take some time, but once you settle on what you like best then you know what to look for.

Kaitlyn is doing well and she spends quite a bit of time working on her MaryKay business.  She has had a date or two as well, but like me, nothing serious.   She already had the experience of knowing what perfection was and she is selective as well in whom she wants to spend time with.  I know one day another perfect man will share her life, but for right now we get together as much as we can, drink wine & have made some travel plans.  She also put me to work putting in her slate patio over Memorial Day weekend, so it is never boring being a single farm-chick, especially since I know how to use a shovel.... =)

PPS... the other fun things I have been doing is hunting for "treasures" with other daughter, Jen.  It makes her husband very nervous when we are out together finding things to drag home .....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tractor Tracks, Cowboy Boots & Glamin' it Up on the Farm!

A few years ago when a female farm friend, Caroline  and her farmer- husband Mark divorced, I remember giving her what I thought was the best advice ever.  And what I told my girlfriend was “now that you are single, you can paint your whole house PINK if you want to!”  (and she did just that!) But what I was really conveying was the fact that beginnings and how you choose to shape your new life are just like a farmer’s Spring work, in that what you sow is what you will reap, and the method of how you do that, will not only affect you, but will also affect  those around you.  

Note - my "pink shop door". Love my little tractor too!

My Red Boots!

A chandelier in my farmhouse kitchen. As I "girly up the farmhouse"

And this blog is again what I have learned from a wheat plant and what I am discovering about me and my new beginnings.  I had the title of this  blog for 3 or 4 months and  didn’t know how I was going to integrate  Tractor Tracks, Cowboy Boots and Glamin' it up on the Farm all I knew was that one day I would  know what to write, and then… it all came together yesterday as  I took an early morning walk.....

Welcome to the  S-Wheat Farm
Enjoying the quiet beauty of the fields, I started noticing the tractor tracks in the fields all around my farmhouse and ideas started forming.  Farmers leave all sorts of tracks in their fields from the initial seeding of the fields, to doing the maintenance of the crops, and then there is a flurry of many tracks when it is harvest time, and again ending with more tracks when seeding winter wheat in the Fall. The tracks left in the fields are necessary.  Depending on the stage of the plants, usually they will recover from being heavily trod upon, but sometimes not and their growth will be affected.  It depends on much they are driven on.  If it is often (say for  a road through the field) then the plants will die out, but if it is once or twice, they  will usually  produce a good wheat head but their size may be stunted and the difference between rows of hard use and untouched are markedly different.   Just like in life,  people all leave tracks in our hearts and souls, sometimes tracks are barely noticeable,  sometimes deep rutted tracks get left when going through a trouble spot (just like our personal lives) and then those kinds of tracks leave deep impressions,   other times the tracks are noticeable but not problematic. 

                                                          Light tracks in the field


A trouble spot in the field where deep tractor tracks (or ruts) are made. 
                                         Tracks in the wheat field, noticeable, but not problematic
I want to tread lightly and leave only the tracks that leave good imprints in the minds, hearts and souls of people I come into contact with. And as I pull on my cowboy boots each morning, I realize some of the tracks I have left on people were not the ones I intended, so sometimes I have “repair work to do” to mend those ruts, but hopefully the tracks that I leave are ones that will evoke fond memories of life and laughter from family, friends and those I come into contact with knowingly or unknowingly.   And speaking of cowboy boots, I have never worn any (really) in my entire life until last Fall! And.....well I have become a boot collector… and I have black boots, brown boots,  a pair of gray boots and my favorite, my red boots.  I now think I need to get some PINK boots as well as turquoise boots.  Then maybe my boot collection will be finished.  And I LOVE cowboy boots and was almost sad as I have had to replace my boots with sandals for summer  (but living in Idaho, summer really only lasts about 2 months- so I will survive).  
 YUP a very PINK front door           PINK Flamingos go well with the PINK flowers

As for "Glamin' it up on the farm"… well I am changing up the house and grounds for me.  I have never really been a “Pink kind of girl” but I am starting to really LIKE Pink and I painted my shop door PINK, and then I painted my front door PINK and I planted PINK FLOWERS all over.  So in a sense, I am taking my own advice!  I am in the process of painting and distressing my kitchen cabinets (that are NOT pink) and I put in a green chandelier that took the electrician  and I about three hours to put on all the doo-dads and crystals & stuff…. And he seriously was begging me not to tell anyone about this job as it was way too feminine for him!  Ha ha ha.  So now you have the story about Tractor Tracks, Cowboy Boots & Glamin' it up on the Farm.

Plus I have some new recipes to put on the Cake of the Month page.... 
Carmel Nut Pound Cake 
Did I mention I LOVE to bake.... all these cakes are found on my Cake of the Month page
Lemonade Cake,  Coconut Lime Cake, Root beer Cake &
Carmel Nut Pound Cake 
On a personal note... well after a couple of false starts, I think I am ready to start dating again, but apparently I must be sort of, for lack of a better word... socially inept when it comes to flirting...  And how do I know this? Well after I related a minor interaction with someone of the opposite sex, I got the same reaction from not only my youngest daughter but the other girlfriend who was present... and  it was the slap the forehead, roll the eyes and have them blurt, "I can't believe you said that!"  Geez, now  my girlfriend from Spokane is coming down to spend the night, as she says "she misses me", but she has never come down in the middle of the week in the 12 years she has lived in Spokane, so all I can surmise is that I must be in serious need of "Girl 101 talk"  (my words not hers).  So when she arrives, I will invite her to come sit on my deck, we will drink beer and I guess I will get lessons on how to flirt.... Lord help me! =)  ha ha ha...  I guess when it comes to talking to the opposite sex, there are other topics other than tractors, weeds, crops and insects! =)  I will listen and take notes as I really do not want to be the "Erma Bombeck of the dating scene"... although it could be an amusing chapter in my upcoming book. 
And  with that, I hope all the "tracks that you leave in others lives" will be the ones that they cherish and are  happy that you were there, just as I will forever from here on out be mindful of the kinds of tracts that I leave in other's lives.  All my best, Gayle 
P.S. you can always email if you have questions/comments at .