About Farmer Gal's Market

Welcome to our sweet little online home! In real life our home is a sweet little farm in Minnesota. This blog is our place to share our simple day-to-day farm life, faith, family and fun!

Farmer Gal, Mr. Blue Eyes,
Miss Peaches, Little Blue Eyes and Short Stack!



Me: Genius

Not to overstate things, but I am.

I'm a genius.

Martha Stewart should have me on her show.

I am someone who does not do well when I'm surrounded by a lot of stuff. If it clutters my life, it clutters my brain. The older I get, the more I notice that this is true of me.

Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify, simplify, simplify! ... Simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.

Can anyone tell me who I quoted this from?

And is anyone else craving an apple fritter, right now?

Anyhow, a few weeks ago, the toy situation was getting away from me, as you might gather from this photo:

I think I actually took this after I had already packed up two large totes of toys and banished them to storage in the basement. But notice a) the misuse of one tote and b) the three empty totes stacked in the background. At this point I had a plan, I just hadn't gotten quite there yet.

Today, I am happy to tell you, I'm there.

Kind of.

There's still toys strewn about, but it's much more controlled.

My multi-tiered, scientific-method-using, flow-chart-applicable game plan was this:

  1. Pack up all the misfit toys (a.k.a. the ones the kids never played with but always seemed to be lying around) into the two large totes, mentioned above and banish them to the basement.
  2. Pick up the remaining toys into the four clear totes pictured. Except there's actually five.
  3. Establish and implement the following rule: Only one tote can be 'dumped out' (Miss Peaches' favorite mode of removal from the totes) at a time. If they want to play with the toys in a different tote, they must first pick up the toys that are currently 'dumped out' and put them away before we open a new one.

We also use the baskets in this shelf for miscellaneous odds and ends, books and puzzles...

Notice that my methods do not completely eliminate toys from being hither and thither, but they do cut down the mess quite a bit. And sometimes... Sometimes... I even convince Miss Peaches to 'dump out' the toys inside of the play yard and play with them in it, making it a snap to pick them up when she's done.

See? And look... She's smiling. She likes it.

At first, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how this was going to go. Would they actually be able to handle putting the toys away and not having all of them at their fingertips? In the beginning there were a few tears and meltdows (and the kids had a hard time with it too) but together we have overcome, and let me tell you, when Miss Peaches puts away a whole box of toys all by herself, I almost shed tears of joy.

I've decided to start calling myself 'Mother Stewart.'

You know, like Martha Stewart?

Because at this point in time I feel like my organizational skills are right up to par with hers.

And because I'm a mother.

And because mother sounds like Martha when you say it fast enough.

Now if I can only get them to start washing and folding their own laundry, all will be right with the world.


Big Daddies

As I've mentioned before, my family sort of has a weak spot for acquiring dogs, and for procreating offspring and populating the earth.

It's just what we do.

We're dog people.

We're baby lovers.

We can't help ourselves.

But seriously now, looking at this handsome specimen, could you? Could you help yourself? Could you help yourself to not want to take him and pet him and love him and make him yours forever?

Luckily he's not for the taking. This is my brother's dog, and I can't even tell you his name because every time I see him I get lost in his clear blue eyes...

Oh, somebody save me.

This particular state of infatuation and disarmament is why I find it increasingly peculiar that, to the best of my knowledge, no one in my family is a) gettin' hitched, b) gestating a baby, or c) acquiring any new pets. In fact, I don't think anyone has done any of those things for... oh... say a good three weeks now. 

Something is amiss.

This is especially perplexing given the fact that a good portion of us were at my brother's house a couple weeks ago for our family Christmas party (the one who owns the aforementioned canine casanova) and there were some of these there...

His offspring!

Oh yes, just running around willy nilly, enticing several of the attendance to fall hopelessly in love with them.

The good news is that I had reenforcements with me... Promptly after laying eyes on these alluring creatures, Mr. Blue Eyes announced, "We're not taking one home. You can take pictures of them and bring those home."

Okay, okay, okay. Obedient wife that I am, I shall comply. No more puppies.

After all, I do get lost in his clear blue eyes too.

We're already married, so I guess the only option left is... More offspring. It seems we've ruled out everything else.

But not today.




"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1: 10-14


One World

If I were a 'Twitterer' (tweeter?) I would be typing in: "Watching the Hope for Haiti Now special. Feeling so small. So insignificant. Though I feel worlds away, my heart reaches out." But I'm not a twitterer so you'll have to indulge me here instead.

What do you do when your entire life is reduced to rubble?

How do you survive being trapped in the darkness?

How do you not fear that the bottom is once again going to fall out everytime the wind rattles the door?

The parallels between the literal and figurative seem to be endless.

I honestly haven't been that tuned into the news this week (the kids are usually tuned into PBS or the t.v. is off) and so I haven't been bombarded by the stories and images as some of you may have been. But one particular snippet of a story did stick with me. It was that of a one-year-old girl being pulled from the ruin after being trapped there for five days.

Miss Peaches is a year old.

As a mother, I can't bear to imagine my baby girl enduring something like that. It breaks my heart.

What struck me the most, though, was thinking of it in terms of, "What if this were my own child?"

What if this were my own child, who I snuggle and cuddle and play with and bicker with daily? What if this were my own child, with her quirks and spirit and sweetness? What if this were my own child, who I know intimately and by name?

The idea of knowing her by name... That stuck with me.

Because we name those we love.

And even though we don't personally know those in Haiti who are suffering, I can tell you one thing: they all have names.

Someone loves them.

Someone loves them who also loves you and me.

So as I sit here, feeling worlds away, I just keep reminding myself that the suffering is not beyond my help, not beyond my compassion, not beyond my capacity to pray.

Because God is there, between you, me and them, and He hears us all.

Though it seems such a small offering, I hope the peope of Haiti feel our prayers and take comfort in knowing that the gates of heaven are wide for all those who love Jesus.


Remember When

This morning I awoke and asked myself, "To grocery shop or not to grocery shop? Is today the day to go or should I do it tomorrow? Is today the day to tackle the laundry and general cleaning or to go grocery shopping?"

I was perplexed for an hour or so, then I became fully awake, glanced around the house and decided -- oh yes -- today definitely must be the day for laundry. Today MUST be that day. 

Besides, I got milk, eggs and budda (butter) so we can survive one more day. The laundry, on the other hand, may soon be piled higher than the snowdrifts outside. It's definitely laundry day. A few weeks ago I bought several tall laundry baskets with aspirations to keep our laundry sorted in an orderly fashion. Today is the day I'm gonna' make it happen.

Yesterday, however, was not laundry day and I was considerably more lax in my housewifely duties. Somehow or another I came across a CD of pictures from 2004 and thought, "Hmmm... I wonder what we did in 2004?"

"Oh, that's right... We got high..."

High on a mountain top, that is.

For our anniversary that year we took a mini vacation to a little town south of Vail, CO. One of the days we spent road tripping from Vail to Aspen to Grand Junction and back to Vail again. Somewhere along the way there was a four-wheeling adventure company and Mr. Blue Eyes insisted that we must do a little four-wheeling.

I wasn't too resistant. Of the many things that I am too chicken to do (water ski, fly, eat worms), four-wheeling is not one of them.

See? Here I am...


("Burn dust! Eat my rubber!" Know what movie that's from?)

Before we knew it we were up above the clouds.

O.k., maybe we weren't quite that high, but we were a whole lot closer to them than we were a few hours before.

This is pure, unadulterated (unedited in Photoshop) Colorado. Remember that line in George Strait's song, Baby Blue... "Baby blue... was the color of her eyes... baby blue... like the Colorado sky..." This is what he was talking about.

I can't believe I ever forgot this view.

A view like this should be seared in your memory forever.

Evidently the altitude must have affected our mental capacity at some point because I came across pictures like these...

I'm sure it was the altitude.

Otherwise we would have never acted so silly.

Yep, I'm sure that was it.

Well, I'm off to tackle more mundane tasks at a significantly colder and lower altitude environment. But don't worry. Once again I shall be...


"Burn dust. Eat my rubber."

(Chevy Chase. Christmas Vacation. Best movie EVER!)