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It’s late November and the farm is beginning to slow down.
The garden has been put to bed for the winter, after a bountiful year of fruits and vegetables for the family! All of the canning and freezing is complete, and the canning supplies are put away for now. We’ve got plenty on the shelves to last until next year!
Our beef and chicken is safely tucked away in the freezer, which is a wonderful feeling. I do not miss buying meat from the grocery, even if it was labeled “organic”. Raising our own meat has taught me quite a bit about our food supply. There is no label for how the animal was treated…no happy face. It is a good feeling to know that the animals you raised for food had a good life, a natural life where they frolicked about and ate well.
The bees have largely given it up, there just isn’t anything to eat for them at this point. All the hives have plenty of honey, and as long as we don’t have a crazy-cold winter, they should be fine. Just in case, though, I’ve been waiting for some sugar blocks from the beekeeping supply house, so that I can give them a little insurance. You can’t open a hive in sub-freezing temperatures to see what’s going on, it’s certain death for the bees. Many beekeepers will add pollen and sugar patties to the top of the hive, just in case the bees need it. If they don’t use it, I remove in the Spring.
Much more going on, but all points to a slower season…a time to reflect and be grateful. So, along with preparing my grocery list for next week’s Thanksgiving meal, I decided to share a bit of gratitude with you all. Hopefully, you’ll find a few minutes during these busy days to reflect on what you have to be grateful for as well.
I have so much to be grateful for, we all do. Here’s my top 5 list!
- Warren Buffet often says that his greatest blessing is the fact that he was born in this country. I couldn’t agree more. Regardless of where you find yourself at this time, hope and opportunity is always just around the corner, if you’re willing to go for it.
- I’m grateful for family. I know, everyone says that. Having a family and being grateful for them is two different things. Gratitude encompasses all of the imperfections, all the problems, all the time and energy that goes into building quality relationships with other flawed human beings. Just because we share the same surname doesn’t mean there’s some gene that guarantees easy relations. My personal gratitude for my family is for how I continue to grow and change because of my role and mom and Nana, not because of what my family can do for me.
- I am married to a wonderful man and for that I am grateful. Mr. Strong and Steady has put up with all of my antics for 26 years now! He is my absolute best friend.
- I’m thankful for books, teachers, libraries and learning. I’ve gained so much from people who have been willing to share the information or skill they possess, which just goes to show that no one ever has to stay at the same point. I couldn’t keep a house plant alive 30 years ago, nor could I boil an egg. People and books have taught me how to raise children, how to be a good spouse, mom and Nana, how to keep a home, how to can, how to garden, how to sew and knit, how to be a good friend, how to give, how to set healthy boundaries and how to heal from hurts. I can only hope that I pass the gift of learning to someone else.
- I’m grateful for the sunrise in this picture, taken by me outside my back door yesterday, and the God who painted it.
I would love to hear your gratitude list!