Archive for ‘Healthy Living’

April 11, 2013



Oh, Java.  Where would I be without you?

You always perk me up on even the grumpiest of mornings.

You’re tall, dark and strong, a girl’s dream come true.

The slightest whiff of your scent makes my heart race, my blood pulse.

You’re always by my side, whether it’s ridiculously early or brutally late.

Just  hugging you with my hands, warms me all over.

And in the afternoon, when I’m feeling run down, somehow you manage to pick me up.

How do you do it, Java?You have some kind of crazy hold on me.  Things just aren’t the same when you’re not in my life. You really are like no other.

Oh, Java.  Where would I be without you?


Kate 😉

April 8, 2013

Groundhog Day

I’ve figured it out.

Punxsutawney Phil was kidnapped! Seriously, people. How could we be so blind? Someone took him and replaced him with an imposter on Groundhog Day. We are all so totally gullible and self-absorbed that we didn’t notice or even care because the imposter told us winter was over.

Now we are in trouble. It’s been over two months. He could be anywhere!

But it’s a little late to do much about it, isn’t it? I can’t believe we were so gullible. But why else would we be sitting here on April 8th watching a ridiculous storm sweep across the upper mid-west dumping snow?

Yep, as I sit and type, we kind, but gullible folks in Minnesota, are under a winter storm watch for the next three days! It’s April, people! Isn’t anyone else concerned about this? And it’s going to be bad. Depending on which meteorologist you listen to, we will get up to 6 inches, just an hour away will get a foot and others say it’s foolish to even attempt to forecast volume based on what’s coming.

I’ll tell you what, if we had been paying attention, and noticed that we had a Punxsutawney Phil imposter this never would have happened. Okay, the storm may have happened, but we would have been prepared. We wouldn’t all be sitting here expecting spring in April but getting blasted by winter. No sir, we would be perfectly content with winter hanging on for months on end. Because we would have known because Phil would have told us.

But we didn’t. We believed the imposter and here we are… miserable, caught off-guard and missing Phil.

Oh, Phil, I’m so sorry. Wherever you are….



April 1, 2013

April’s New Beginnings


April is here… April first, April Fools Day, April showers bring May flowers.  April is also the month of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  You may wonder why I would attempt this again this year, especially considering that I only got through the letter “T” last year.  Yes, that thought crossed my mind too, but then I thought, “What the heck, its worth another shot.”  Plus, even though my alphabet only had twenty letters last year, it was still fun so I decided to do it again.

So… for the next month expect to hear from me on an almost daily basis (we get Sundays “off” for good behavior).

Ready?  Here we go.

This morning I flipped the calendar to April and smiled.  We made it.  March is finally over.  I realize that March has 31 days like many other months during the year, but somehow, it manages to feel more like 85 when we’re in it.  While I’m gearing up to get outside in the garden, the clouds keep coming through and making deposits of cold, wet white stuff, stalling all of my plans.

April, however, is a different story.  April brings sunshine, and warmer weather.  April brings about new beginnings and new growth.  Trees and flowers begin budding so fast you can practically see them growing right before your eyes. Grass starts poking through the melting snow.  Seeds start growing and babies are everywhere, especially farm babies.  Baby chicks and piglets and ducklings and calves… And every last one of them are so stinkin’ cute I can hardly stand it.

April is also the beginning of a new gardening season.  I don’t know about you, but in my mind, especially in April, the entire gardening season is perfect.  Somehow I’ve forgotten about the 100 year rainfalls and drought of years gone by and only see sunshine and flourishing abundance.   And I like that about April.

New beginnings.  Fresh starts. Clean slates.

I’m ready, April.  Bring it on!


p.s. If you don’t already have it on your gardening calendar, it’s time to cut back your ornamental grasses too. 😉

March 9, 2013

My Evening Walk to Austria

It was routine. Time to put the chickens to bed and let the dogs out one last time for the day, but when I reached the bottom of the stairs I stepped right into another time and another part of the world. Suddenly, I was in Graz, Austria twenty years ago.

Wearing just a sweatshirt I anticipated getting chilled. Instead the air was damp, but not cold, in fact it was warm for a winter evening. Fog hung low in the air, gently hugging my arms as it tried to touch the ground. The snow beneath my feet wasn’t squeaky or crunchy as it has been the rest of the winter, instead it provided a silent, gentle cushion as I walked. The scent of a neighboring wood fire kissed my nose.

By the time I reached the coop I had relived memories I didn’t know still existed. I’d waited for the train in Jakominiplatz, I’d walked my daily route from the bus to my host family’s house looking up to the foothills of the Alps. I’d spent evenings hanging out with friends in some of my favorite pubs and took relaxing walks home. My heart filled with fondness and a sense of peacefulness washed over me. Paralyzed, I stood and smiled.

They say once you leave, you can never truly go home, but the weather tonight triggered memories of my home away from home. A place in time and in my heart that will never change. To go back today would be different. I wouldn’t be twenty one, in college on a new adventure. I would already know what great friends my travel companions would become. My host family would still welcome me, but things have changed there too. My host sisters are all grown up with lives of their own. And while the city of Graz is several hundreds of years old, I’m sure it is different today than it was twenty years ago.

So tonight, when I walked back to Austria, I was happy. Happy to see great friends to share laughter and tears and sleeping cars with as we traveled. I was happy to have my nine and twelve year old host sisters try to teach me to ski while I failed miserably. I was happy to drink coffee with my host father and learn about Austrian politics. I was happy to laugh hysterically with my host mother as she clarified my misunderstandings as she taught me the Styrian dialect over her homemade apple strudel.

And as I looked off at the silhouette of the trees in the distance, the light struggling to make its way through the fog, everything was just as I’d remembered it.

Then I turned, whispered “good night” to the girls as I closed the coop door and made my way back to the house. I paused one last moment to say goodbye and then headed back inside to 2013.