Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Magic of Life is in the Ordinary Events

January 1, 2015
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day” ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New to You !
After a recent trip to Montana, I was reflecting on the powerful impact that family and friends have on a person’s life. That thought struck me as I was gazing out the oh-so-familiar view from the kitchen window in my Auntie Lois’s house. This was a place that held many of my favorite memories growing up, but it really wasn't the kitchen that held the magic; it is still the people that gather there. A colorful (and loving) cast of characters that has helped keep balance in my life.
Auntie Lois, Me, my mom GiGi
My Montana crew who were good sports with the hat gear

A slight costume revision for my brother's wedding reception

And just like many other families, we have had people come into our lives and had some leave, we've shared many good times, weathered the not-so-good times and strong bonds were formed forever more.  As I grew up, my “inner circle” has grown and still continues to grow, and I find myself fortunate to have many people that I consider my “mainstays”.  Even though some are not related by blood, they are family to me. The best part is, they all know the real me and still love me despite all the crazy & weird stuff that I do!!  Sometimes they even go along  with my antics, imagine that! J Yup… I’m a lucky gal.
Cousin Russ, me, cousin Todd &  nephew-ette, Barry - at his graduation

On my personal home front, here are some of the highlights this year:  a promotion at work now means I am back to working full-time again (guess that makes the streets one day safer with me not running a-muck), I gained a new son-in-law, a new sister-in-law, and started dating someone special. Last year I also gained two new cousin-ettes from the Montana side of the family too. All the new additions fit in quite well as it takes a special kind of crazy to fit in with my side – but we’re mostly a happy bunch of nuts!



Me and my sweet girls, Kaitlyn and Jen
Kaitlyn and Daniel
Posing before the luau, Soren, Miss M, Miss N, Miss B & Jen

 My family and I were able to squeeze in a vacation over Thanksgiving  and time spent with them is like frosting on the cupcake of life.

And in-between the highlights are the everyday moments, the ordinary times – the ones that make up the bulk of your life, (the cupcake of life).  For me it meant I have spent quiet moments enjoying sunrises with a good cup of coffee, watching sunsets, taking walks, finding vintage treasures and having good conversations with those that I love. 

And the way I see it, is even though each of us is the “star in our own story”, in order to have a beautiful life story it must include the wonderful crew of people who bring you love and joy, those who you consider to be in your inner circle. 

And so my holiday wish for you is that you will continue to be blessed with the love and support of those that fuel your heart, soul and spirit. And that the blank pages of your “2015 Book of Life” will be filled up with wonderful high-lights to mark important events in your life, but more importantly that you fill the in-between moments with the beautiful but ordinary times, as that is the real magic.

 "Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance." Oprah Winfrey
And as I close,  thank you for your love and friendship as that fuels my heart, soul & spirit.  

With Love, Gayle

My co-conspirator & buddy - Jen
Posing with good friends, Lezah, Jacie, me and Elizabeth



Sis in Law, Denise. 
Dear friend, Gwenn & GiGi, my mom



My sweetheart, Randy & brother Barry

Fun Fall times with the Jen's family

Posing with Randy's cool jeep

A fun get away with travel buddy, Kaitlyn

A favorite pic of Randy and me
Miss Aubrie



My family and most of the Montana crew

GiGI, my brother, Rivers and  new sis-in-law, Edie



Miss Sarah & her dad



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas at the S-Wheat Farm

Christmas at this S-Wheat Farm-Chick's house is a big event.  It means a focus on rural Americana, not only in decorating and food but in gift giving as well.   My grand-angels love to read and when I came across this company that specializes in personalized children s books about farms, well I couldn't resist and wanted to share a really cool company with you. Here is a link to  the I see me books  . 
A unique gift and way to make learning fun
As for me, well when it comes to Christmas, I'm like a big kid and love all the decorating, baking and festivities.  I have at least 14+ totes filled with stuff I've collected  throughout the years and my theme changes each year, so it's always chaos when I'm decorating. (It usually means a few evenings spent puttering until I get the look I want, sipping on wine with Christmas music playing in the background).  My style is  a mix of traditional and usual items too, so come along and I'll show you want I've been up to lately. Click here if unable to view.






I love vintage ornaments and the boxes they come in


An all blue tree, red tree, green tree and a mixed one with ornaments that are from my travels

I love this old paint splattered ladder found in a barn,
perfect setting for a Christmas vignette 

And when I get stressed... well I'm a stress baker - so when I start feeling like I have too many things to do and not enough time.... I bake.  Sort of crazy, but then again that's just me! 

Sugared cranberries ( 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water - bring to  boil for simple syrup.
Drop in cranberries for about 30 seconds and roll then in sugar). Easy and pretty.


Chocolate Cranberry cake. Recipe is on the OMG dessert page

Yummmm
This is what my kitchen looks like when I bake, some call it messy, I call it being exuberant!  


New recipe, I'm trying, Spiced Cranberry cake.  If it is a keeper, then I'll let you know !

And my next fav thing to do, is watch Christmas movies.  Here is my collection that I try to watch every year.  Best part is that my sweetheart likes them too! This makes me a very happy camper.


 As always, thanks for stopping by, feel free to email me at swheatfarmlife@gmail.com or leave a comment. I am excited that I'm going to learn to how to  make a German bread that I get every year from my Auntie Lois.  So more stuff is coming your way!  Talk to you soon.

All my best, Gayle

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Words Tell the Stories from Your Soul

My oldest daughter  texted me a newspaper article titled “women wears  a  colander for driver’s license photo”  followed by “mom, this is something you would do”……  I got a good laugh over the visual image painted by the words in that article.

The power of a word.   It can create images, evoke emotions and we are surrounded by words whether in print, music or spoken, and they all have an impact on us.  I recently wrote my November blog for the American Farmer’s website  (It’s under the column called Recipe for a Good Life), wherein I mentioned how people and food are my favorite subjects to write about.  Writing, like cooking, takes time, a little bit of talent and the desire to turn out a perfectly crafted end-result. And having that hope to create either “a melt in your mouth” dessert or an article that inspires, soothes or amuses the reader is my goal.  I am aware that other successful bloggers write about everyday things and on a daily basis, but when telling my singer/songwriter friend that I just can’t force myself to write about mundane things like washing the dog,  he said to me, “you are not a blogger, you are a writer and there’s the difference”  and suddenly those 13 words freed me and just gave me the permission to just be me (thank you Mark!!! ).  And it suddenly made sense that I am a quality vs. quantity kinda gal, and when I write to you, it’s because I feel it’s meaningful to me and may have some value to you.    I get inspired every time I think of the comments from you telling me that you found a nugget of worth in what you read, and that is what fuels me to write.   I am also particularly fascinated and inspired by song writers as they not only have to get words down on paper, but put a tune to them as well, and their songs have stories behind them.  My friend Mark creates his world in lyrics put to music and he paints out his emotions on a canvas.  He is one of my inspirations that I have the good fortune to call a friend.  This is Mark....  Click here if unable to view videos.

   )

I also had the opportunity to meet and host a young Nashville singer/songwriter in my home and got to know AnnaLise Emerick, who is an amazing young woman.  I attended her  performance and  I loved the fact that before each song  how she gave a brief reason why she wrote the song.  So let me introduce Annalise….


Both of these gifted people possess a talent that I will never have and that’s okay, what we share is the desire to tell our story in the way it best suits us.   Even though this blog started out mainly as a tool to tell about farming and the life behind a farm family, it has evolved and expanded into to more of an upfront and personal side of a now divorced farm-chick who still like to bake, create and talk about how our food is grown.  But it is still MY STORY in my own words and you have been kind enough to be by my side throughout everything (thank you from the bottom of my heart).  Here is a short version of what I've been up to. Click here if unable to view.



I am always thankful that you took the time to read my blog, perhaps make something yummy like.....

Gingersnap Maple Cake

http://www.idahofarmwife.net/p/cake-of-month-club.html or get inspired to paint a project like this....
Create something cool from paint and a bit of vision - so easy!

And I invite you to tell me how  you tell your story and/or what inspires you.  I also wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving.  Please use your words to tell those whose dinner table you are sitting at just how thankful you are to have them in your life. As always, if you have a thought, question, comment, feel free to email me at swheatfarmlife@gmail.com or leave a comment.  Blessed times to you and yours.  All my best, Gayle

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Living a Kaleidoscope Kind of Life

This saying says it all and  hangs in my living room, a gift from daughter, Jen
It's been a while since we chatted and the random thoughts and words have been rattling around my brain for a few weeks now, waiting patiently until I had a moment to sit and let them flow.
As for me the art of rebuilding a new life has been a bit like living in a Kaleidoscope with swirls of thoughts, feelings, smells and re-connecting with the old Gayle, all these things are scattered about to form a crazy colorful pattern of what I guess is my life.  I still don’t have the big picture of what this life will look like, but each day seems to unfold in a way that makes me observe, listen and see things anew.   While experiencing this new chapter, the recent wheat harvest was bittersweet.  The dusty/earthy smells of wheat being cut, hearing the sounds of the machines as well seeing them move methodically through the fields were reminders of what my former life looked like.  And while I have adjusted quite well and am happy, this part of the Ag industry will forever tug on my heart strings. And that is why I continue with the blog – reporting as a landlord rather than a farm partner and talking to you.  It’s a creative outlet that keeps my creative juices flowing.  
(Make sure and check out Luna, the farm dog’s thoughts on harvest)
The Hallmark Bag says it so well

Without intending to, I've been playing more than writing and working around my place.  And it feels good, but it is still a learned and conscious effort to remember to relax and enjoy the wonderful people around me.  My warped sense of humor keeps finding ways to emerge in full color to poor unsuspecting folks…. Like for instance,  I, along with my outrageous Montana cousins, 
planned  a surprise “re-hitching ceremony American style” for my brother and his new wife at their wedding reception held a few weeks after they had gotten back from being married in Jamaica.... 

This is what a "not-so-normal" family picture looks like
 Before that, I attended my a family graduation... and again, the crazy cousins and I showed up like this..
 and we made our moms wear the animal hats too.....(after this I'm probably gonna be cut out of "Mom's Will")

Then I did this... if you can't view it, click here


(plus it is amusing to make your kids wonder about their “gene pool”!  LOL – I think it’s called payback!! Ha ha ha.  .. Yup if you counted all the goofy and crazy things that I do, well this would be about number 982 reasons why my daughters wonder if I'm normal! =)

Then my  love for cowboy boots - a completely new thing for me and so far I am now the proud owner of  14 pair of cowboy boots, and 5 pair of non-cowboy boots.  These are now standard gear both in and out of the office.  They pair well with my jean jacket and dresses and I rarely wear
 girl-shoes now.

I’m still baking, not as much during the summer, but have to share this new cake recipe…quite yummy if I say so myself.
Berry Centered Yellow Cake 
And last but not least when talking about dreams that come true, I am excited to tell you that Kaitlyn eloped last week!  She is so happy, she just glows, which puts a smile on her mamma's heart. As soon as I get to see pic's of the wedding, I'll share.


As always, thanks for stopping by and I'll do my best to not let it be so long between chats. I just uploaded a few new photos too on the At Home Page too.  Feel free to send me an email at swheatfarmlife@gmail.com or leave a comment, as I love to 'em.  Also I am still writing for America's Farmers blog site, and mine is always called "A Recipe for a Good Life" series. The  September blog is slated to be published this month, so hope you check it out. All my best, Gayle



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Picture Postcard Life


As the 4th of July is just a couple of days away, I am thankful to live in the land of the free 

Miss M wishing you a happy 4th of July

Where I live, it often times makes me  feel like I live in a picture postcard world and I wanted to share some spectacular views of what I see every day.  It’s hard to not be inspired by rural living in my little piece of heaven called the Palouse.  And inspiration comes in so many forms for me, landscape, people and….. and as crazy as it is – a box of tomatoes.  So read on…….

A field of wheat
 
A field of Canola as viewed through the iconic "wheel fence"

If you use Canola oil, this is what the plant looks like when in bloom

A stormy sky

A view of my house nestled in a sea of green wheat
A few blogs back I wrote that I was excited that my sense of humor had returned and then publicly admitted I was weird – in a funny/goofy sort of way.J   And then another milestone happened, I walked  past my box of tomatoes last Monday and by Saturday a margarita and salsa party was in full swing in my  “Chick-Pit” shop that sports a chandelier and a pink door!  It was then that I realized   that I actually was 100% back to my old self because as I hadn’t thrown a party in about two years.  And it felt great!!

Fresh Salsa




                  Lime Infused Vodka



                                                                                                                                                                                                            Habanero Honey Whiskey                                                                                                

Me with my fav drink of choice
The menu was pretty simple & easy, fresh salsa & chips, sweet & sour meatballs, BBQ beef,  crunchy veggie dip & veggies, plus have to support the garbanzo farms (like mine) and served hummus too.  Besides margaritas, I made my own “lime infused vodka” and “habanero honey infused whiskey” – all those recipes can be found on my Good Farm Eats page.

And as always, thank you, thank you, thank you  for stopping by.  I am only a click away – so feel free to drop me a note at swheatfarmlife@gmail   or leave a comment .  Also don’t forget to see what the sassy farm doggette says about me and living on the farm!  Wishing you a safe & wonderful 4th of July.  All my best,  Gayle