3Splitz Farm

Rain, #1

We knew it was coming. Early morning scrambling outdoors, when I wanted to be scrambling eggs.  Had to get things done before the clouds opened up. Hammer and nails. Pounding through the Sunday morning quiet.  Always with one eye toward the horizon. 

The new day turned darker. The sky began to spit, then stopped. Hammer hammer hammer away.

Finally it turned from darker to that menacing deep gray and in we went. To watch the rain come down through the window. A comforting sound even with the smacks of thunder.  A lamp on in the corner of the room.  Cozy with the sound of drops and pattering waves on the metal roof. Watching the puddles grow on the porch and in the dirt.  Flowers and horses soaking in the refreshment while the humans take cover. 

I grabbed my computer, cuddled under the covers, all snuggled in for nature’s show through my grand window. Then Nashie the plump pup jumped up into my lap, daughter and boyfriend not far behind.  All just sitting there, chatting, giggling, nothing better to do than waiting for the rain to pass.  Part of the plan? Not really, but nothing to be frustrated about. Nature doing her thing.

A game of solitaire starts in the next room.  Drip drop, rumble on and on.  All we can do is wait. And watch. And wait.

3Splitz Farm, dare to be different

Target Dress-Up Day

Cousin Sally thought it was a great idea. She made a post on the west coast about a #targetdresschallenge. the super ugly Target dress experience piqued my eye. Of course I bit to represent the southeast.

Off to grab the ugliest Target dress one could find. Settled on the orangey rust colored frumpy dress fit for a polygamy wife. It might have been the only one available. Set the first photo shoot destination at the rustic paradise named 3Splitz Farm in Blairsville, GA. Put the date on the calendar. Wrangled up some friends to join the fun. Dusted off the cowgirl boots. Now I’m ready for the click-click-click of the camera.

Wonder who will join me? Wonder if there will be a second photo location? So much to think about. It was a sunny Saturday after a long rainy week. Three girls and guy made the trek to farm. We laughed, we giggled, we played dress up. Who doesn’t love dress up day? How to wear your hair or the hair was the next big decision. Hat or no hat?

We used the iPhones to snap away as well as the fancy camera. We heard a lot of click click click in between the giggles. We had a barn as a changing room. Playing the role of a super model is a hard job. We might have even gotten a little sweaty. Each individual had their own area on the farm to pose how they wished. Below is a glimpse just for you.

Serious but sexy Kobe. Working girl Beth. Momma Kim calling out supper. Riding caboose was the infamous brunette named Karen. We got a few group shots to add flair and tossed in some black and white photos.

One dress. Four unique individuals. Four different poses. One challenge. This all leads me to the road called perspective. We each have own unique perspectives in life. Sometimes perception seen on the Internet  is not reality. It’s just for fun.

None of us live the frumpy dress life daily. That’s a given. However we love life and opportunities to have fun or poke fun with each other. Judge as you may. We had the best day ever. Dare to be different daily. 

From dress up to dress down this group was all smiles. No matter the outfit, the smiles persisted. This post may have the most photos I’ve ever shared however it’s a photo shoot post which equates to lots and lots of photos. Surround yourself with a group of people who make you smile. Travel to new destinations. Capture the memories. Hit repeat. It’s pretty simple. 

3Splitz Farm, health

The Rare Snow Day

Sometimes snow days are forecast and nothing happens. All the hype but no results. Nowadays I just go with the flow. If it snows I play, if it doesn’t no worries.

Today it snowed. Big fluffy snowflakes. Just the right temp to play outside without freezing to death. Just enough to add smiles for the variance in the weather.

I was hanging at the cabin in the woods this day which gave me a little extra down time to enjoy the snow. In the mix of it all I forgot to make a tiny snowman as a memory. I can try tomorrow I told myself knowing the rain may turn the perfect snow into ice.

I enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep in the cabin. A little cooler, crisper air than the usual homefront but that’s part of life in the mountains. The cool crisp air. It’s very refreshing.

The snow is still there in the morning but it’s the ice-packed snow. The kind that crunches when you walk. Nevertheless it’s my little winter wonderland. The one day of wonder for me before I head back to the home front.

As the temps warm up with each hour of the day the icy snow turns a little slushy. I am able to make a tiny snowman for my snow day memories.

It isn’t too big and isn’t perfect but it is hand made. It’s been years since I made a snowman by myself. The snow is perfect for snowballs right now. Oh how I wish I could throw them at all the people who make me salty. Sadly I can’t so I will lurk and wait for the moment to toss one at somebody on my property.

It was a wonderful setting to write this post in the midst of my little winter wonderland. Snow covered porch looking out into the fields of snow.

A little snow. A little play. A little time to enjoy nature. My snow day was simple. I didn’t use a sled. I took photos instead.

My rare snow day is one to remember. A simple snow day for this girl. 

3Splitz Farm

Rain

5:00 am wakeup call. The faint sound…you hear it on the rooftop. Pit pat pit pat or maybe its thrummmmm. Rain. Do I drift back to sleep?

Some may say they hate the rain. For a long time, I was one of them. Rain on marching band performances made our heavy wool uniforms stink. Rain on Disney days had us dragging out the dreaded ponchos. Rain on Halloween meant a raincoat over my costume. Rain is taking things away.

Then the rain took on new meaning.

During my mother’s funeral luncheon an enormous storm came out of nowhere. We were at the Stone Mountain Women’s Club. Picture a series of long foldup tables with every variety of salad: chicken salad with grapes and almonds, macaroni salad with bits of ham and roasted peppers, bean salad with vinegar dressing. Allllllll the mayonnaise. Then the hot dishes…chicken rice casserole with peas and melted cheese, macaroni and cheese with toasty breadcrumbs, pineapple casserole under a blanket of buttery Ritz crackers. And the desserts, oh the desserts. Cookies, bars, bundt cakes, and light green pistachio fluff. A meal fitting for one of the members of the cookbook committee.

We sat at the long tables, all gathered to honor my mother. The old wooden A-frame with the floor-to-two-story-ceiling windows. I looked over with my full plate and plastic silverware.

The trees twisted, branches ready to slip off their bending trunks. Leaves and pinestraw flying. Back and forth with abandon. If we had phones back then I’m sure they’d have all been buzzing with warnings. Summer storms come quickly in the South. We all just watched the sky turn green and the rain pour down on that summer afternoon. Wondering if the windows would shatter. Eventually it calmed down, but the storm stayed with me.

Ever since that time, rain is a comfort. But still an inconvenience. My mother is gone, why shouldn’t the sky cry?

And now today. Rain…

makes traffic worse

is a hazard on the trail

keeps me from having fun outside

makes the dogs antsy

messes up my hair

creates an endless need to sweep and mop the floor

matches the sadness inside

and and and. So while the rain seems appropriate, it still brings its challenges.

Then, a life change brings yet another shift in thinking.

This time it’s…

tulips,

daffodils,

crocus,

ranunculus,

anemones.

We’re on our way to flower farming. We just finished our first bed of spring flowers. Row after row of plump bulbs, tucked into the soil with fertilizer, peat moss, and hope. I don’t see them every day so I find myself wondering about them…are they happy in their new bed? Now my peeks at the weather forecast aren’t so much about what I should wear but about the bulbs. Like babies away at boarding school. Do they have what they need? A bit of sunshine and enough to drink?

Rain is their friend. I think of how thankful they must be for the nourishment. The refreshment. I smile when I look through my windows at work and see the rain coming down. It takes some storms and inconvenience in order to grow. Storms may bend us but not break. Welcome every season and the nourishment it brings. A change in my mind. One of many lessons from the blossoms.

3Splitz Farm, dare to be different

A Doctor Digs in the Dirt

I recently wrote a rant-ish post about being a PhD. How I use my degree maybe not as a professor, but more as a thinker every single day.

I’ve recognized this a lot lately as I’ve waded into the first stages of flower farming. It reminds me of my surprise when I had a baby. When I became pregnant, I was immersed in this whole new universe and language I had no idea about. Pick up a baby magazine and I was surrounded by a new vocabulary. So many debates and decisions. What kind of diapers, how medicalized a birth, co-sleeping, onesies, products galore. It was a whole world I knew nothing about, even though it had been there all along.

Flower farming is much the same way. It has its own calendar, its ebbs and flows. So many special bloom varieties to choose from. Growing zones, soil amendments, succession planting…I am wide-eyed and soaking it all in. Just the photos on insta of all the beauty makes me swoony.

On the calendar side, so far I am playing catchup. I’m learning you have to be thinking at least 6 months ahead, and eventually a year. 3Splitz Farm is not even 6 months old (hard to believe!) so I am giving myself a little grace on that. We wanted tulips, but it took a while to find the right ones. In the mean time, I read in all sorts of places about where to source high- quality bulbs and what they should look like. My lightweight crumbly bulbs from the local mega mart weren’t going to cut it. This is a researcher in action. Most major places were sold out, but I finally found a farm with a great reputation that had the flowers we needed. The first set of bulbs went in the ground on the late side, but I’ve ordered seeds now so they should arrive in plenty of time. Slowly but surely the calendar is spreading forward. Soon we will be on pace.

Planning the land is the next challenge. It’s left me paralyzed at times, thinking that where we plant ______________ (bulbs, seeds, plants, veggies) is some kind of permanent decision. What if the flowers don’t thrive there? What if they can’t be seen the way we want them to? What if animals or pests destroy the crop? We took the step and planted the first set over the last couple of weeks. I was guided by my OLW: DO, and reminded myself that mistakes can be fixed. Of course, that’s only if we have the courage to make them! I am listening to the land and trusting that it will tell me what to do. It’s a wonderful intersection between science, wishes, and hard work.