Jun 22
by Maryclaire Mayes

Independence Day

Why do we celebrate Independence Day, the 4th of July?  Is it just the first holiday of Summer or another day off from work for a party? In the past it was always called Independence Day and there is a reason for that. Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by delegates from the 13 colonies in 1776. The Declaration of Independence changed the course of history. It celebrates the experiment of a new kind of government. For the first time in history, the people, not kings or conquerors, would rule a nation. Delegates elected by the people would vote, representing the will of the people, because they declared it is a natural right for people to be free. This was a radical new idea that would allow people to pursue their own dreams and see their own hard work benefit themselves and their family. No where in the world before, had people been inspired to be independent and self sufficient.

After the vote, John Adams writes to his wife, Abigail: “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which never was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony ‘that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, …This . . . Day . . . will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

Was it perfect? No, but it was a daring experiment to throw off the yoke of class and let people govern themselves and strive to be better. America has been striving to be better since its inception.

So on this day, July 4th, Independence Day, celebrate… just remember what you are celebrating. I am celebrating the vision of our founding fathers and the brave men and women who have sacrificed to make us free, the right to worship God, love my family and friends, live my dreams, be independent and own my own business making our healthy skincare products! What about you? What are you remembering and honoring about the 4th of July?

May 22
by Maryclaire Mayes

New Adventures

Looking at manatees.

The new adventure is that our daughter’s family have moved to Florida, and they had the nerve to take their five children with them! Just kidding, sort of. For us it is the end of an era. We know we have so been blessed to have them live close by for so many years. Our grandkids are a real joy to be around (mostly) and always make us feel so loved.

In the time we live in now we can Facetime with them on the computer (when we were kids only Dick Tracy could do that in the comics). Anyway it’s not quite the same, but it is better than nothing. We will miss watching them play here with their cousins, laughing and making us laugh with their crazy kid antics. We will also miss all the help they have given us over the years working around the farm, in the garden, for Alabu and darn they were old enough now to be really good at it.

Oh did I forget to mention we will miss our daughter and husband too? Yes we will, even though we are still not talking to them, just kidding. We love them all so much and wish them all the best. We will surely miss them all so much but we are proud they are putting their family first and doing what they feel is right for them.

P.S. We are blessed that our son’s family is still close by so we are not completely without grandkids.

Apr 22
by Maryclaire Mayes

Last Goat

Midnight is our last goat ( we have been buying milk from a friend for many years now). He is 13 years old, which is pretty old for a goat. We lost his mother 4 years ago at age 12. Midnight has always been on the timid side. We didn’t have much time to handle him when he was a baby. He was born right before our grand daughter, Miss Number One was born. As many of you know, Miss Number One was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect that needed surgery. So our days were filled with helping her parents care for her, before and after her 40 day stay in the hospital.

Midnight learned from his mom, Allie, to walk under a hand gate to wander out and eat where they pleased. They always stayed out in the field and thankfully never strayed into our gardens. Midnight was always like her shadow, never far from his mom. Since she passed away he has bonded with our pony Caddy and hates to be away from him. The last two Autumns we thought he would not make it through the winter. Last Fall Midnight was so thin, Dean dug a hole just in case. I had even made an appointment to euthanize him but cancelled a week later. Midnight just seemed to have too much of a will to live, even though i could see his arthritis was progressing. I bought him some goat grain trying to get him to gain some weight. He reluctantly ate it for a week. Since I knew he loved sweet potatoes, I would bake him some, mix in a joint supplement and pulverized grain and made treat balls for him. I am happy to report Midnight seems to be walking better and hopefully in less pain. So far he loves his treats, but doesn’t seem to be gaining any weight. I am hoping he will continuing to enjoy his treats. I have grown rather fond of him and he is putting up with. us!

Mar 22
by Maryclaire Mayes

Seasons by the Birds?

Does anyone else tell the season by the birds?

Even before the official date of Spring, the birds that are year round residents start singing their Spring songs. I always love hearing them signaling not to give up hope, Spring will surely come.

The Spring flowering bulbs begin their growth in fits and starts with every tease of warm weather we get in late winter. But many times they are rewarded with frigid cold temperatures and even ice or snow.

Growing up in rural NJ, we always said the first Robin was a sure sign of Spring. My mother- in- law, who grew up in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, always said the red winged blackbird were the first sign of Spring. Now living in upstate NY, it is not really Spring until our cute little round Juncos leave for Canada. The other day I thought, hmm I haven’t seen any Juncos lately. A few hours later I saw one and another a little later, and now the warmer than usual weather is gone and the cold temps are back.

Jan 22
by Maryclaire Mayes

Fresh Snow – Different Perspectives

I enjoy the beauty and renewal of a fresh snowfall, even though I have to shovel a bit, mostly because I choose to have animals out in the barn to feed. Dean’s job however, he doesn’t actually enjoy. He takes on snow blowing our 800′ long driveway, on our 20+ year old tractor. It doesn’t sound too bad except he usually gets all the snow blown back on him. It can take him hours depending on how much it has snowed. He ends up looking like a tall thin frosty the snowman and he probably feels that cold too.

Now the grandkids come from a whole different perspective. What is not to love about snow when you’re a kid? Do you remember? Our daughter is homeschooling so they don’t actually get a snow day from schoolwork. But they still manage to get up here to relish the newly fallen snow. They know when the snow is great for sledding or making snowmen or snow forts. They love our longer north facing hill, we love it too since we get to watch them from our window. We watch and pray they don’t get hurt. Anyway, if there is no snow for a while the hill gets icy and fast, really fast. The kids were not happy when Papa told them it was too dangerous to sled today. But being the smart kids that they are, they found they could sled on the lawn and had a blast. And then it is always time for hot chocolate.