Friday, December 29, 2017

Each Day Is A Gift

There’s so much beauty on a farm.  Each day brings many sights, sounds and experiences that cannot be found outside of a country setting.  This morning held one of those glorious sights.

Morning on the Seine Claude Monet 1840 -1926

Right after daybreak, as the sky appeared to glow with the soft pinks, blues and yellows of a new day, I walked down and looked out over our creek.  A wispy fog rose from the surface of the water and shrouded all beyond it with a hazy, out of focus, ethereal glow.

As I stood there, mesmerized by the beauty, a squirrel scampered along the edge of water and effortlessly sprang onto one of the huge trees that grows nearby.  He leapt from branch to branch until he was so high that he disappeared from sight.

I looked back toward the water and, suddenly, I caught a glimpse of movement on the other side.  I immediately froze and squinted, trying to see what was just beyond the haze.  As things came slowly into focus, I saw two young deer timidly walking toward the water.  I held my breath and waited while they drank and passed on into a stand of trees.  It was like time stood still in those quiet moments while I watched the scene unfold.

Early mornings hold so much beauty and wonder.  How many people miss breathtaking moments like this by sleeping in or not venturing out on cold, frigid mornings?  Each brand new day holds unlimited opportunities to find the beauty and serenity that surrounds us all daily.  Embrace the world around you and find the beauty in simplicity.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”
John Keats (1795–1821)


To A Life Of Simplicity
Happy Homesteading!
~ Susan & Rick
Celtic Acres Farm


If you have a question or comment, you can leave it below, and I will do my best to respond.  Please keep your comments civil and clean.  I reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments. 




About the Author:
Susan along with her husband, Rick, are the owners of Celtic Acres Farm, an organic, self-sufficient, off-grid farm where they raise chickens, ducks, goats and a pig, rescue dogs and cats, grow their own heirloom, non-gmo produce, create handmade crafts and home décor items, and strive to live a self-sustaining lifestyle while attempting to carve out that little piece of paradise where they can live free, breathe free and commune with nature.
Celtic Acres Farms is committed to healthy animals, a greener planet, recycling-reusing-repurposing, while maintaining our rural heritage and sharing it with others. We believe that we must all lead the way to a more sustainable future while never forgetting the things of the past. 

Celtic Acres Farm Copyright © 2011–2017 All Rights Reserved

No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author.
Please note that much of this publication is based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Although the author has made every reasonable attempt to achieve complete accuracy of the content, they assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Also, you should use this information as you see fit, and at your own risk. Your particular situation may not be exactly suited to the examples illustrated here; in fact, it’s likely that they won’t be the same, and you should adjust your use of the information and recommendations accordingly.
Any trademarks, service marks, product names or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms, unless otherwise specified.



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Nature Rewards Those Who Love Her Most

While out for dinner on Tuesday evening, our waitress, Kim, kept coming by our table to check on us and to chat.  At one point in the conversation, she made a joke about our farm.  Nothing malicious, merely something that seemed extremely funny to a nineteen year old.

She said, “since you have chickens, that makes you a “chicken-tender”.”  haha, cute, right?  But that started me thinking about the whole concept of “tending” as the phrase was used so many years ago.  Stewardship of the land (or tending the flock) have both agricultural and religious connotations that have broad, far-reaching implications to us all. 


I have always had a love of animals – all animals – and, in my wildest dreams as a child, I never would have imagined that I would finally reach a point in my life where I could buy a farm, renovate a 130 year old farmhouse, raise livestock, live relatively off-grid and become a true steward of the land.
 “Whatever you do to the animals, you do to yourself.” ― Ben MikaelsenTouching Spirit Bear

The stewardship of the land and livestock are both a responsibility and a privilegeWe should always leave an amount of land as it is, providing sanctuary and a native habitat for any wild animals that find their way onto and through our property.  We also leave "pockets" of undisturbed sections for our livestock as well.  We have an area of hillside that we leave untouched.  Since living here, we have seen several groundhogs making their homes in the side of that hill.  They have raised families and remained in their dens year after year.  They travel the short distance down to our creek for water and remain outside of the pasture fence where we keep the goats, pig and Pyrenees.  We live in harmony with these, and so many other creatures, that pass through our land.

Small changes, when combined together over time, maintain the integrity and sustainability of the land.  When we learn to care for the system as a whole, by managing the individual ecosystems (water, soil, air, livestock, crops, landscape) with holistic methods, we are becoming good stewards.  We need to understand that by living in harmony with nature, we begin to mimic the natural, continuous cycles of renewal of all of the resources we are attempting to conserve.  Our land practices should positively impact the land as a whole and both directly and indirectly affect the flora and fauna of other adjoining landowners as well.
“When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”  -- Aldo Leopold 
We are truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to be at one with nature.  Every new day is a new adventure.  By enjoying life to the fullest every day, we are able to experience all that nature has to offer which, in turn, sparks joy and wonder and excitement in the life we have chosen to live.   There is always something new each day that I open the door and head to the barn first thing in the morning…whether it is the sound of a bird chirping, or a rooster crowing, or the sound of the ducks splashing in the creek, the smell of a nearby wood-stove wafting on the breeze, or any one of a hundred more sensory triggers that evoke a feeling…every day is definitely a new adventure waiting to be embraced. 
 “Land stewardship is the conservation of your property's natural resources and features over a long period of time. Stewardship motives are altruistic, as you also want to be a good neighbor, one who shares concern for the lands that surround yours and the water that travels downstream from your property.
Many consider the late Aldo Leopold to be the father of modern conservation theory and practice. Leopold believed that land stewardship was not only rooted in conservation but also involved ethics, or the search for a higher meaning. He wrote that all ethics rest upon the single premise "...that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, animals, or collectively: the land." This is to say that once we understand that humans are not separate from, but are part of and depend on the natural community, we will develop an ethic to care for the community as a whole.“ – Sargent, M.S and Carter, K.S., ed. 1999. Managing Michigan Wildlife: A Landowners Guide

daviscofood

To A Life Of Simplicity
Happy Homesteading!
~ Susan & Rick
Celtic Acres Farm




If you have a question or comment, you can leave it below, and I will do my best to respond.  Please keep your comments civil and clean.  I reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments. 



About the Author:
Susan along with her husband, Rick, are the owners of Celtic Acres Farm, an organic, self-sufficient, off-grid farm where they raise chickens, ducks, goats and a pig, rescue dogs and cats, grow their own heirloom, non-gmo produce, create handmade crafts and home décor items, and strive to live a self-sustaining lifestyle while attempting to carve out that little piece of paradise where they can live free, breathe free and commune with nature.
Celtic Acres Farms is committed to healthy animals, a greener planet, recycling-reusing-repurposing, while maintaining our rural heritage and sharing it with others. We believe that we must all lead the way to a more sustainable future while never forgetting the things of the past. 

Celtic Acres Farm Copyright © 2011–2017 All Rights Reserved



No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author.
Please note that much of this publication is based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Although the author has made every reasonable attempt to achieve complete accuracy of the content, they assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Also, you should use this information as you see fit, and at your own risk. Your particular situation may not be exactly suited to the examples illustrated here; in fact, it’s likely that they won’t be the same, and you should adjust your use of the information and recommendations accordingly.
Any trademarks, service marks, product names or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms, unless otherwise specified.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Say Goodbye Again To Another Year

Another Christmas is officially over (thank goodness) and we will soon be welcoming in a brand-new year.  A new year filled with hope and wonder and infinite possibilities.  A clean slate on which we will write the next 365 days.  I’m looking forward to a new year – one filled with laughter, happiness, joy, peace, love, creativity, commitment and harmony with unlimited accomplishments, dreams and goals attained.



I want to enjoy my life, to relish in the beauty and happiness of day-to-day living, without all of the negative influences, distractions, influx of depressing news, commentary, gossip, pessimism and hostility that swirls around all of us 24/7.  Do we really need twenty-four hours a day of droning news?  It doesn’t matter whether you prefer the left, or right, leaning news channels, it’s time to turn off the televisions, radios and computers and go outside, or read a book, or listen to music, or create something with your own two hands, or simply commune with nature in silence – spend time enjoying life without all of the negative artificial influences.

I have very deep, strong convictions, beliefs, values and opinions.  Just as I have the rights to my beliefs, I also believe that others have the right to their own beliefs as well.  Just because I respect everyone’s rights to embrace their own opinions, that does not mean that I want, need or desire to read or hear those said opinions, ad-nauseam, in my news, facebook or twitter feeds or in daily physical conversations and interactions.

At the inception of social media venues, the main focus was “social” -- interactions, friendships, common interests, meeting new people, developing new skills in a common exchange of ideas and expanding our views and social circles.   Sadly, over time, it has dissolved into a collective group demonstrating arrogant, narcissistic personality traits, including egotistical, conceited, grandiose behaviors prone to constant complaining, fighting, flaming, arguments, insults and other negative exchanges that I, for one, do not want or need in my life.  I have not personally heard of even one example of someone’s opinion being changed simply by someone else’s “social” tirade or argument. 

In the new year, I am going to spend less time staring at a computer screen or watching a television and spend more time in the real world.  I look forward to experiencing life – real life – with all of the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, feelings and emotions connected with all the wonders that surround us daily.   I don’t want to just exist – I want to live.  It’s time for me to get out, explore, allow curiosity to flourish, broaden my spirituality, be open to new ideas and experiences, see the synchronicity in the random, step outside of my comfort zone, find passion for what I really love, challenge authority, challenge myself, evolve, change, express gratitude, to keep moving and never stop and always follow the road less traveled.

Every day is a new day, filled with new adventures.  Yesterday is just that – yesterday – and nothing can change it.   But, today – today is filled with endless possibilities.  It’s time to stop sleepwalking through life and to actually experience it.  It’s time to stop putting life on hold.   “Someday” will never arrive unless you strive to make it happen with every fiber of your being.  Do the things you love.  Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.  Today is the day – so get up, get out and go do something!

Let go of the past.  Let go of expectations.  Forgive those who have hurt you.  Spend more time with the people who love you and support you.  Find the deeper connections instead of the superficial interactions that don’t feed your soul in the long-term.  Strive to do some good deed every day.   Learn something new every day.  Create something.   Never settle.  Live in the moment and relish the little personal moments that fuel your soul.

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs



There is just so much beauty and wonder and knowledge all around us if we simply take the time to look and to “live-the-questions” rather than reaching for “ready-made answers.”  It is time for me to follow my bliss and live my best life, day after day, allowing my life to speak for itself.  


The purpose of life is to live it, isn’t it?   

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved


To A Life Of Simplicity
Happy Homesteading!
~ Susan & Rick
Celtic Acres Farm




If you have a question or comment, you can leave it below, and I will do my best to respond.  Please keep your comments civil and clean.  I reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments. 



About the Author:
Susan along with her husband, Rick, are the owners of Celtic Acres Farm, an organic, self-sufficient, off-grid farm where they raise chickens, ducks, goats and a pig, rescue dogs and cats, grow their own heirloom, non-gmo produce, create handmade crafts and home décor items, and strive to live a self-sustaining lifestyle while attempting to carve out that little piece of paradise where they can live free, breathe free and commune with nature.
Celtic Acres Farms is committed to healthy animals, a greener planet, recycling-reusing-repurposing, while maintaining our rural heritage and sharing it with others. We believe that we must all lead the way to a more sustainable future while never forgetting the things of the past. 

Celtic Acres Farm Copyright © 2011–2017 All Rights Reserved



No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author.
Please note that much of this publication is based on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Although the author has made every reasonable attempt to achieve complete accuracy of the content, they assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Also, you should use this information as you see fit, and at your own risk. Your particular situation may not be exactly suited to the examples illustrated here; in fact, it’s likely that they won’t be the same, and you should adjust your use of the information and recommendations accordingly.
Any trademarks, service marks, product names or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms, unless otherwise specified.