I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but honestly, where does the time go? I can't believe once again another week has passed, and like so many this year - a total blur. I have had my fair share of obstacles this past week, and for that reason I feel this post may "feel" different. It is no secret to anyone who knows me that my childhood was less than ideal. My family definitely faced hardships and challenges that many others didn't, but that is OK. Through it all, we ALL survived and have come out the other side of those trying times. Moving forwards in our lives, we've EACH had individual choices to make about how to move forward and live our lives. We've all made different choices and are all now living very different lives from the years growing up together. The choices we each made are the ones we need to live with. Although my childhood lessons were hard and left some deep scars, I try to move forward each day instead of dwelling on the past and what might or could have been. You can't change the past, and quite honestly, I've spent enough time there already! One of the hardest things I had to learn to do was to set boundaries in my life and personal relationships. (...this is still an ongoing battle - who am I kidding?) Setting boundaries can be difficult as it will cause a shift or change in the relationship. Not all relationships will survive the setting of boundaries I've learned, but for the sake of self preservation it is essential. So, I am the BLACK SHEEP of my family! This fact used to really bother me, but it hasn't for a very long time. The choice I made was not an easy one. I chose to walk away from all of the toxic, negativity and abuse, but that also meant walking away from my family. It's been quiet for years and I have become settled and very happy in my life. This past week a ghost from my past tried to enter back into my life to try to derail me. This person was once a huge influence in my life. After 5 years of no contact, suddenly a message on social media, attacking me, my integrity, my choices - just lashing out in general - how quaint🤨🤭 With as vulnerable and emotional as I've been recently, this really did knock me off balance for a few days. Then I remembered all that my childhood taught me;
I am a survivor!
I am resilient!
I am strong and courageous!
I am kind, compassionate, honest and authentic!
I am enough!
I am LOVE!
I remembered that no one can take your power without your consent. Guess what....sure you may have caused a little sting (shows me I'm still human) Guess what else? I'm still standing and your attempt failed. Hindsight continues to show me that I made the right choice years ago. I think this year is giving all of us a wonderful opportunity to reevaluate what is important in our lives. To check in with ourselves, and to make sure our hearts are in alignment with the lives we want, and choose to live.
Happily moving on from all that, what a week it's been at the farm! Guess what we spent several days doing? Bet you didn't guess making more hay! LOL So far our grand total of small square bales made is 1358. The weather forecast shows me that hay making days are now done for the year and that actually makes me sad! I find it crazy, but I really do enjoy making hay! It is a job with a purpose that is easy to understand. There are steps and stages and the progress is trackable, making it feel like each hour is a huge accomplishment. Sure it is itchy, dusty, hot and heavy work, but the reward is a happy, healthy fed herd for the winter ahead. To me, that translates to: I can sleep easy knowing the hay is in. This past week we hustled in the fields with Emma, Laura and Ben, with my business advisor J'aime also coming out to pitch in and see what all the fuss was about. If you didn't catch the video she made, please check it out on our Instagram account. J'aime was such a trooper and proved to herself that she is a lot stronger than she thought! I also don't think she minded getting dirty too badly either. Don't worry J'aime, there's more hay to be made again next year!
The beauty of the fall colours is dazzling this year! I marvel and the changes scene each day. With the cooler mornings, the fog is quite heavy here off the lake. It gives the feeling that the farm is contained in snow globe until the sun warms the day enough for it to dissipate. It also seems that summer hadn't left after all but just took a temporary hiatus. At least she returned giving us the best hay making weather of the entire season! I had thought that the heavy frost we've had here recently had ensured the end of my garden for the season. Oddly though, the squash are reblooming and sprouting once more, with new babies growing more amazing bounty! For my very first vegetable garden this year I'd say it was a massive success! We've enjoyed tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green and yellow zucchini, acorn and butternut squash, as well as an abundance of swiss chard and kale all summer long. I am excited to expand the garden next season to include the old dormant Woodfield garden across the road. I learned just how amazing goat manure really is this year and plan to haul a lot of it over to the new garden beds in preparation for next year. Having a large garden here will mean another way you can get involved as a volunteer. Do you have gardening skills, or are interested in learning alongside us as we start the planning process? A year ago I swore I had black thumbs and couldn't grow a garden to save myself. I am so glad I was so wrong. Not only did I grow a lot, but I also learned just how therapeutic spending time with my garden was. I spent hours lost amongst the plants, talking to them, picking out the bugs and weeds, and admiring all that grew there. I am so grateful that I took a chance and challenged myself to do it. What a wonderful way to recharge, destress, BREATHE, and embrace the magic of life and nature. Haven't grown a garden yet? I highly recommend it ❤
I promised myself that I'd get away this past weekend to take some more time for myself. Relaxation and some extra sleep were on the agenda, with a side of hiking and kayaking. Sounded like exactly what I needed. Why is it always so much work to get away? I laughed out loud at my own To-Do-List on Friday while also trying to pack and tie up loose ends. I think this is part of the reason I avoid going anywhere, as it actually IS a lot of work to leave behind, and catching up isn't always easy either. Fred and I packed up the truck and kayaks and headed north to his families cabin on the Vermillion river. I won't get into the details of what turned out to be a less than relaxing weekend. If I am to blame the lack of relaxation on anything, I will blame the black flies for sure! September 2020, in northern Ontario, there are swarms of hungry black flies! I don't know who they think they are, but everyone knows that autumn is enjoyable because there are NO FLIES! We fed, fought and contended with black flies all weekend long. I'm a little chewed up but none the worse for wear. The best part of the entire weekend away has to be one of the best wildlife encounters I've ever experienced. While sitting on the riverbank enjoying morning coffee on Sunday morning, a pair of wolves popped their heads out on the other side of the river. Both Fred and I got a good look at them both before they disappeared, and we continued to chat and marvel at how lucky we were to see them. A few minutes later father downstream, the wolves popped out of the woods again and followed the riverbank. This time we could see there were actually six wolves! There were 3 adults and 3 pups. The alpha came out of the woods and sat on the edge of the bank watching Fred and I while his family continued to move along the bank. That big guy sat watching us for what felt like quite a few minutes before finally getting up and moving on. Later in the day when we headed out in the kayaks I paddled over to the place where the alpha male sat watching us. I took a photo of his paw print as I didn't have my phone on me during the encounter. I feel like I was given a magical gift to be able to witness a wolf pack in nature. I recently learned that the wolf is my spirit animal and this encounter makes it even more special. After a rough week, it was a great reassurance to receive the wisdom of the wolf this past weekend. I was actually blessed with quite a few wildlife encounters on Sunday which included a red fox running within 5 feet of me. Startled by Fred on the other side of the cabin, the little fox didn't know I was sitting there until it was practically upon me. Gave us both quite a fright! I am always so happy when I see wildlife that is healthy and thriving, as these all were in the north. Truly a gift!
Well dear friends, that's all for this week as I need to get back to the herd and all the things I left undone in order to get away. I'll return next week with some updates and information about the upcoming workshops I'll be launching.
Until next week, please be kind to one another. Love is so much easier than hate! ~ Angee