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March 15, 2014

Happy Saturday y’all. It’s another beautiful day, I’m getting a major case of spring fever!

So many times I use words .. Overuse words.
So much, they lose meaning.
Full of thanks !!!
Full of gratitude!!!
Heart swelling with feeling that is completely ineffable !!!
Love is the word that comes closest.
Still feels overused and inadequate!

Doxology dialect.
I read this in an Ann Voskamp passage yesterday.
The Doxology immediately jumped I to my head.

It’s the song that I always sang by rote in church and never listened to the words for …
A song full of thanks and praise..
This time, in my head, I heard it ! Really heard it !
I want to develop a Doxology Dialect in my own life !
The difference between
Believing in God ..
Knowing Jesus …
Intimacy with the Holy Spirit…
Praise God from whom all blessings flow…

My apologies if this is a bit disjointed. Just random thoughts ruminating in my head !

Love is a verb y’all. Get out there and do it ūüėČ Nancy and the critters


Ruminating on a Peaceful Sunday Morn

December 29, 2013

Happy Sunday y’all!

Usually when I blog, I am looking out the windows from my kitchen, inspired by the early morning waking of the farm. Noisy silence….

Not so this morning…. For 3 weeks Mama and I have been living at Forsyth Hospital. An MRI revealed a mass ( that’s a kinder gentler way for medical professionals to say tumor) on her brain…and here we are.

It is for sure that God has used this time together to teach us to be more tender towards each other. ¬†His grace…….


This has been a daily journey of letting go for me.. So I reckon the time has not been wasted. A body , a mind, can do a lot of thinking when all it has is

Not letting go of Mama. No no I’m not ready for that yet.

Letting go of the dream of the farm… That was hard! Grace. I know it wasn’t a failure, I know that we touched some lives. And I know that it’s time to move on. And I am at peace with taking it one day at a time and letting my path be guided by the Spirit.

Letting go of what I thought was a rest- of -my-life-soulmate-one-great-love (you know the drill) relationship. Without guilt and regrets. Grace.

Letting go of control. Grace.

Letting go of the past.
Letting go of the future.
Learning to live in the now.
Trying to do some good in the now.
Cause that’s really all there is.

Mama talks of selling the farm. If that’s what she wants, I think, with Grace, I can accept that and go on to the next step. Joyfully. Grace.

May Grace be yours too
Love and Peace , Nancy

I am here only to be helpful
I am here to represent Christ who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or to do
Because He Who sent me will direct me
I am content to be
Wherever He wishes
Knowing He goes there with me
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.

–A Course in Miracles


December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas y’all!

I’m ¬†sure ¬†most of you already know that this fall has held ¬†many challenges and changes for the crew ¬†in the Holler. ¬†We have felt and appreciated ¬†your love, prayers and support more than you can know ¬†Thank you!

Mama and I have been hanging out at Forsyth ¬†Hospital for 16 days now, you’d think they would be tired of us, but we’ve been invited to stay ¬†another week, reckon we’ll take them up on it… The food’s not bad and the service is fantastic!!!

Funny, you would think it would be awful to be stuck (no pun intended) at the hospital for the holidays. ¬†But it hasn’t been… we can look out the window at Hanes mall ¬†with thanks that we aren’t part of all the commercialism and craziness this year.. ¬†So much in here to be thankful for.. Fellowship with other families who are fighting cancer, has given us a glimpse of what is real and honest in this world. ¬†The staff here is amazing. ¬†We have not encountered one nurse or CNA without a genuine smile on her face. So many new friends made during this time.. So much to be thankful for! ¬†I am so tempted to name names… But sure as the world I’ll miss someone, so I won’t…. If you’re reading this you know who you are And I hope you know how much you are loved and appreciated

this time out of time has given us ¬†a chance to think and reflect … Make decisions for what is next for our family and the farm… Stay tuned!!!!


ok. Enough rambling and rattling on. Love is a verb y’all , ¬†get out there and give some away. ūüôā

Merry Christmas… Be blessed and be loved! Nancy and the Critters

ps… I’m typing this on a phone…. Please forgive my errors!


Chickerdiddles & Other Useless Ruminations

May 28, 2013

Morning y’all, Just getting in from morning chores, thought I’d get a cup of coffee and pay a little attention to the blog. ¬†The sky is Carolina blue and the grass is a blinding lush green.. what more could you ask for ?

We planted tomatoes yesterday, had some limbs from trees we had taken down… used those for stakes. Skyler got here this morning and said “Mamaw, you’re growing trees??!!” ¬†I didn’t disabuse her of that notion, she is now watering the trees. Uhhuh, warping them for life!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are the chicks Skyler and I took out of the incubator and took to the brooder this morning.. Now that’s what you call a basketful of diddles!

There has been so much going on that I really just don’t know where to begin, our first batch of meat birds in mostly out in the tractors on grass.. I just couldn’t bear to put them out til it warmed up some, so they were up about a week longer than normal.

Penelope got sick, ate something toxic, maybe? ¬†Over the weekend… I didn’t realize how attached to her I had become til I was sitting down there with her head in my lap crying and praying. I’m very thankful for good friends who came out to help and lend support.. Charles and Carla Young, Celeste… She’s better now, and we don’t really know what happened to cause it. Thank God she’s ok.

I am heartened by the results of the Hershberger trial. I’m glad the he was found not guilty. Raw milk CAN make people sick, so can all kinds of other things. It’s wrong for the government to try to control the food I choose to eat. Conversely, I am saddened by the Monsanto Protection Act that our wonderful prez signed into law. This is just wrong on so very many different levels, not the least of which is the implementation of a law giving a corporation the right to be above the law. Well, that’s my opinion of course…anyhow! ¬† I could go on but I need to plant some stuff and weed some stuff and water and feed some stuff .. you get the picture ! I do believe this is what I will continue to do, so that my family can be taken care of when the stuff finally hits the fan. Reckon that’s all a body can do.

OK .. Coffee’s gone, breaks over. Reckon I should get my sorry hiney to work for a bit.

We have some pigs and chicks for sale. Pass the word if you would !   My number is 336 384 9463

Much love from the holler, Nancy and the Critters


Learnin’ to Keep My Mouth Shut Whilst Having Aha Moments

May 10, 2013

Hey y’all .. Man, the¬†sky’s¬†so blue and the sun is shining. I went down to the road to pick up Skyler in shorts and tshirt this morning! ¬†Spring has sprung ūüôā¬†

I feel that, since I publicly¬†epiphanized¬†yesterday, I should publicly apologize today. So if y’all who are not part of my family will just bear with me for a moment, I would like to clear something up.¬†

My post yesterday was not about my children, it was about my reactions to people who require my interactions. I’ll tell y’all what, I’m not much of a pill taker atall, but I have to tell you.. going on an antidepressant was like coming out of a very long, very dark ¬†tunnel. I find myself waking up to poor relationship habits quite frequently. It’s not all about princess Nancy .. really .. Can you imagine? Every silly thing that my children or my mother say is not designed to make me feel guilty! ¬†Wow … When Christy was huffing and puffing and sighing over the lack of TP, I took it all on, internalized it, made it about me… An emotionally healthy mama would have said, “Quityerwhinin’ and tear a page out of the phone book or go out in the woods and find a leaf or ¬†something, for pete’s sake” ¬† When Lori was huffing and puffing and sighing over my need of her car, I should have used a variation on the same theme. ¬†My children feel free to use big sighs and eyerolls because, for the last 4 years, my guilt over Larry’s death… Well … I’ve just flat given them permission to, I’ve said.. in effect.. I’ll play the martyr here, because you lost your dad at such an early age blah blah blah… ¬†The girls themselves sat me down and explained, just a week or so ago, that my issues with Matthew at 16, compared to Josh and AJ at 16, are a symptom of single parent syndrome. ¬†Overcompensating to make up for what I feel is missing in his life. ¬†Anyway, my epiphany was about owning ¬†these silly over the ¬†top reactions to equally silly little stuff… and my desire to end that cycle. ¬† So to my wonderfully awesomely amazing children and grandchildren, I am very sorry that I upset you. ¬†And the organic white chocolate candy bar that you brought from The Eclectic Pantry has no bearing at all on this apology… Really…¬†

Ok .. now on to farm stuff, we have a few piglets that I have decided to sell. They are $100 dollars each, firm. They are worth it. ¬†We still have Buff Orpington pullets for sale, but that won’t last long. ¬†If your doggie has food allergies and needs raw milk, we have that too. ¬†Call me, I’m having email troubles right now. I can get to Facebook, usually early in the morning, or you can call, but email seems to be really iffy.

In the incubator, we have tray of 60 eggs that are due to hatch on the 12th, ¬†and about 150 more on the 24th. ¬†They will be $2 each as 2 day old chicks. These are a barnyard mix of heavy ¬†layers, brown and blue eggs, from my own laying flock. ¬†I would love to buy some guinea eggs to hatch if anyone knows of any for sale ! ¬†OH ! ¬†Nearly forgot.. We have some beautiful Buff Orpington roosters, 5 dollars each. The Buff is a gorgeous bird, very dual purpose, so if you are looking for a meat bird… these will be ready to butcher in about 5-6 weeks free ranged, less if you keep them up. ¬†


OK … I’m late to milk, but I wanted to get this out there. My thanks to all of you for being so patient with me! ¬†

Sending much love from the holler, Nancy and the Critters ūüôā¬†




Mama Guilt

May 9, 2013

Morning y’all,

Ok so here’s my epiphany for the day. This has been driving me nuts for a while now, and yesterday my dear friend Nancy Ikeler posted something on Facebook about single moms and the weight of the world on your shoulders. ¬† We¬†commiserated¬†a little bit, and I didn’t think another thing about it. ¬†Then just a few minutes ago, Chrissy walks into the kitchen, sighing and huffing and puffing. Finally says “Where the heck is all the toilet paper? ¬†I just bought toilet paper and now it’s all gone” ¬†Immediately I get a knot in my stomach, and over react, in my head, not out loud. ¬†Oh my goodness, I failed as a mother, a daughter, where did I go wrong to have run out of toilet paper? Now this is on the heels of going to the bottom of the driveway to meet Lori and get Skyler at 6 am, and listen to her long suffering sighs when I told her I had to use her car to take ¬†Mama to the doctor today. Then Chelsea comes down here and tells me I am not to let the doggies get hold of her new inflatable horsie from Tweetsie. Did you close the door to your bedroom? No, Skyler’s babysitting him today Mamaw, ¬†just you watch and make sure the dogs don’t chew him up. ¬†As I sit here writing, there were 3 more “have you seens? I’m hungrys” ¬†etc etc etc …

Oh law, well there’s some more responsibility for me today. ¬†Now, this 15 minutes worth of guilt over teensie weensie tiny things. Not anything that’s going to matter in hundred years, or change the course of history, yet here ¬†I sit ¬†feeling overwhelmed and the day hasn’t even started. The sun is shining for the first time in days, and there is a glimmer of hope,¬†germinating in the back of my mind is the thought: Christy doesn’t have class after 10 today, she could take Mama down the mountain, and I could work uninterrupted all day long. ¬†But of course, my children know me way too well. ” You would be the most awesome mother in the world if you didn’t make me go down the mountain today” ¬†There we go, I’m saved now! ¬†I can attain awesome mama status. ¬† ZAP ! ¬†Guilt! ¬†Flush that idea right down the toilet… Without wiping, cause , well … we’re out of toilet paper. See ? It’s a full circle.

So … are we just born with the weight of the world? I actually cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t feel that it was incumbent upon me to fix everything. ¬†How the heck did I wind up agreeing to babysit a toy? Not even ¬†my child’s, but my¬†grandchild’s¬† inflatable toy? And we wonder, as women, as single parents.. why the weight of the world is on our¬†shoulders¬†.

I’m going to go feed chickens and pigs, milk a cow, pet a dog or two. At least they don’t talk back.. much ..

Lots of love from the holler, Nancy and the Critters

Just catchin’ up.. Cause I’ve been slackin’ on the bloggin’

May 7, 2013

Hey y’all, hope¬†you’re¬†staying dry. On the upside.. everything is really green. On the downside, it would appear to be monsoon season. ¬†I think instead of building a barn, we should be building an ark!

Things have been really busy here, we are going from daylight ’til dark thirty and then some. Still haven’t gotten the gardens in, but I did work some cleaning out beds and such today. Amazingly enough… I still have a strawberry bed ! ¬†They are blooming and looking good. The herbs are coming back really well, and we have harvested a little asparagus twice now. This is the first harvest year for it, and I’m loving it. Although, getting all the way to the house with it is a bit of a trick.. I sure do love raw asparagus!

The old shed is now almost completely converted to a hog barn. ¬†I have arranged to buy a new boar from Collette Nester over at Crosscreek Farm and we are retiring Bubba to freezer pasture. The new guy’s name ¬†is Big Boy and he is a Tamworth Hereford cross. He should make a wonderful addition to Foxfire Holler. ¬†I am holding off to breed anything back til he gets here around the first of June. I wish I could have sold Bubba to someone for a boar, but I’ve just not had any takers. Boars at the sale are worth about a quarter a pound, and are just way too easy to come by. But, by golly, he’s about 700 pounds of sausage, so I reckon that’s just what we’ll have to do.

All the sows have farrowed now, and we wound up with about 40 piglets. Tater is Matthew’s sow, and he chose to sell all of his at weaning, and has all of them contracted now. I thought he should have kept a gilt or two, but the temptation of that thousand dollars was just too much for a boy who is “in lerve” and fixing to get a drivers license. ¬†Most all of the babies are outside now, just Blossom’s nine are still up, at just a week old. ¬†They are almost as much fun to watch playing as the lambs are ! ¬†And the mama pigs don’t care who belongs to who, they just lay down and here will come 30 piglets to nurse … I get so good tickled watching them!

The barn is so close to being done, I can just about taste it. Chicken coop is complete, 4 of the doors are up, the feed room is nearly done, the milking stall is finished. ¬†And we will NOT discuss how that particular room came to be called the napping stall…

We still have about 20 or so Buff Orpington pullets for sale, and plenty of Buff roosters too. Holler if you need some.  We finally got a batch of meat birds started, it feels so late!  But honestly, the ones that get started late like this grow better and more efficiently with fewer losses. They were a week old Sunday, hard to believe in another week we will begin moving them out to the chicken tractors. Reckon my project this week needs to be getting the old ones all fixed up and ready and a few new ones built!

Got Ada, my tractor ¬†fixed. Yay! ¬†It was a simple thing, it’s just that I have so little mechanical ability, that I can’t figure out stupid simple stuff. I named her after one of my heroes, Ada Miller, Ader we always called her. ¬†All my life I have said I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She had a huge farm out on the river across from my grandparents farm on Hartzog Ford, she was widowed at about my age, I reckon… and she survived and farmed… She did farm work for a lot of other farmers in the community too, ¬†when I was a teenager and picking beans for my Uncle Edward, Ader was too. She would holler ‘hammmmmmmppppppppperrrrrrrrrr” ¬†when she needed a new basket, I swear they could have heard her in West Jefferson. One day she kept on all day bemoaning “them ol’ rollovers” don’t know what we’re going to do about them ol’ rollovers. Finally, at dinnertime, sitting around on the back of that old green truck of Grandpa’s, Uncle Edward asked her, “Ader, What in the world do you mean about rollovers ?” ¬†She said, ” you know, when the bank takes your money and rolls it over to a different account” ¬†Uncle Edward bent double, the woman was picking beans, working in the tobacco, whatever she could do… and worrying about rollovers. ¬†One day, we went out to play in the river, Mama and the kids and I. ¬†Stopped at Ader’s to let her know we were there, so she wouldn’t think someone was messing in her cattle or garden. I walked up to the house on the hill, she was always tickled to see us. “Where’s your mama?” I said she’s in the car, didn’t think her knees would make it up the hill. Well Ader probably had 20 years on Mama, but she grabbed her walking stick, which was an old broomstick, and we walked down to the car. She say’s “Law I know what you mean, I just about can’t go myself, I got to get the milking and the gardening done before the sun get’s up much or I just about can’t stand the heat” ¬†She went on til she put us all to shame, she did more by 7 am than most of us do all day. I don’t think we ever did make it to the river that day, but it sure was a good visit with Ader. ¬† She was something else. I figure my tractor is almost as hard working as Ader Miller, or at least it has a name to live up to !

Lori just bought 2 new milk goats, Rose and Mary. They were Hub Lewis’s goats, and his widow didn’t feel like she could keep up with them. They are registered Saanens, bred to a Nubian buck. ¬†So, Lori buys goats and I get the benefits of pretty weedeaters. Skyler is looking forward to having her own milking to do too. ¬†The girls are really sweet, they follow us everywhere, and when you holler ‘RoseMary, come on girls’ ¬†they holler back and come running. I’m just in love with them! ¬†I’m thankful that Mrs Lewis entrusted them to us, and we are looking forward to lots of good cheese and smiling children as a result.

Reckon it’s way past my bedtime, have to try and get chores done early, so I can take Lori’s car in for an alignment at 9 tomorrow for her. I did want to catch up a bit though, and let y’all know I haven’t forgotten the blog. It’s just springtime, and I can’t stand being indoors much!

Mama’s oldest brother is home from Florida for the summer, and is coming down to visit tomorrow. I adore my Uncle Gordon… One day in the building of this house, he was tired and a bit grumpy… he says I don’t know what you’re doing and I don’t think you do either… I just about cracked up, said well of COURSE we don’t, Uncle Gordon. Did you think we did ? ¬† I try to tell people he built this house, and he says “Now don’t you blame that on ME ” ¬† It will be awful good to see him, and I know Mama is really looking forward to it. ¬†Mama’s pain is down some, and we are thankful. She starts a new chemo on Thursday, prayers welcome please ! ¬† I dread the trips to Wilkesboro for her. With all the fractures, it’s hard for her to sit on her hiney, as she says, and car riding is just awful for her. We’re praying it will help some and kick the cancer back a notch or two.

Much love from the holler, Nancy and the Critters

PS. I added a contact form to the blog. We’ll see how that works out!