In North Dakota there is not much in a garden growing in mid- May. We may have high temperatures of 90 in April and 40 in May. Not too many plants like that severe temperature swing!
Some gardeners have asparagus, perhaps some berry plants or bushes coming out of dormancy, but at this time of the year Rhubarb is available in abundance! Lucky me- I LOVE rhubarb!
Today, I decided to take a break from farm office work and tackle rhubarb sauce. I often use this sauce as a “mix-in” in things such as frozen slush, pancakes, and muffins, as well as a sauce for cheesecake and on oatmeal. Today’s batch included fresh frozen mixed berried to sweeten up the sauce and give it a bold color!
So, rhubarb sauce, hmmm. How does one make that? It’s fairly easy…
In a large pot add:
*12-14 cups of chopped rhubarb stalks
*1 cup white sugar
* 2 cups water
* optional: fresh or fresh frozen berries of choice (no syrup on the fruit)
Bring to boil stirring occasionally. Once boiling, turn down to simmer. Cook about 20-25 minutes simmering, stirring fairly vigorously every few minutes to break the fruit up. Once in a sauce form, let cool for 30 mins and divide into serving size desired. Freeze or place in refrigerator.
Last forever in freezer, I try to use within a week in fridge.
Quick refreshing treat: On a hot summer day try using the berry rhubarb sauce mixed with Sprite over ice. Add Gin, Vodka, or Rum if desired!😊
Life can be overwhelming! It can be calm and rewarding. Life can be filled with excitement and adventure. It can be lonely and wrap a person in helplessness. Life likes to keep us on our toes and allow us to explore every emotion created by God.
I have always been a strong unemotional person on the outside. Generally I am not one to shed a tear, but over the last 18 months or so I have found that, although generally not in public, the tears flow a bit quicker.
More often than not, when I close my eyes I cry.
I cry for those who struggle.
I cry for my inability to meet the needs of those that ask each and every time.
I cry for the all blessings I have been given.
I cry out of pride I have for my kids.
I cry in admiration of the commitment through hard times my husband has.
I cry for those who choose to make life difficult.
I cry of thankfulness for true friendships.
I cry for the pain of others that I can not take away.
I cry for the frustrations that I can not make go away.
I cry because I know that no matter how hard my day is, how exhausted I am, how much I didn’t get done, that someone else has it worse.
When I close my eyes, I cry and pray that when I open them that the shimmer from my tears crosses paths with a ray of light forming a rainbow seen by someone in need, making a difference in their life.
I know I am far from perfect, but I strive to do better each day. I focus on being a servant leader where helping and thinking of others comes first. For it is what I leave behind, that determines what will be in the future and isn’t preparing for what is to come what we ultimately need to be doing?
When I close my eyes I cry, flushing pain, excitement, helplessness, and pride down my cheeks.
When I close my eyes and cry I find peace, answers, and some resolutions to my struggles, for it is water that cleanses our souls.
So, the next time you close your eyes and cry, think about those that you reach each day. Remember that you do make a difference and can be that rainbow that brightens someone’s day. When the tears fall, be thankful for all you have and your ability to pray for peace for others!
When you close your eyes always remember that water cleanses and when you open your eyes, a new beginning presents.
Take advantage of the time you have to reflect and feel by closing your eyes and crying.
Blessings by Laura Story “What if blessings come through raindrops, What if your healing comes through tears, What if a 1000 sleepless nights is what it takes to know you are here, What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?”- Laura Story
“Crying is feeling and feeling is being human.” – Ray Charles
So this may be late, but late is better than never, right?!
Mother’s Day is always a busy one. It is one that is generally a little different every year. This year we were planting corn, cleaning the barn, and tackling cleaning up the yard.
Sunny and 70? Isn’t it always?
Yep, it was in a variety of ways!
- I got some amazing handmade gifts and notes from my kids!
- We were all busy working together!
- Yard looks a million times better!
- Kids realized how much effort goes into something as simple as raking and picking up corn stubble/ debris that invaded our yard!
- Order was restored in the barn!
- The garden is ready for planting!
- Our moods were uplifted and we soaked up some vitamin D!
- We laughed, cried, and got frustrated TOGETHER!
- Several got the stomach flu together- so nice they didn’t suffer alone!
- The sun was out and the temp really was 70 degrees!
- was able to honor my kids and husband with a treat personalized for each! ( Who doesn’t like edible prizes- right?)
Mother’s Day is a day that moms are recognized for all that they do, but for our family it is those that made it possible to have the title of “MOM” that are recognized too. For without them, I couldn’t be me!
“The best thing she was, was her children.” ― Toni Morrison
After my Farmer and I met in October of 1998, we dated from opposite ends of the state of North Dakota. I was going to college at Concordia in Moorhead, MN ( Fargo’s twin city) working on a degree in elementary education and he at Dickinson State in Dickinson, ND on an Ag Sales and Service and Farm and Ranch Management. The trip was about four and a half hours straight down Interstate 94. So needless to say we supported the fuel and telephone industry heavily for a year and a half.
In the first six months of dating, I had visited the farm a few times, but being that it was the end of harvest when we met and spring’s work hadn’t ventured into full swing when this part of my journey took place, I hadn’t experienced a lot and didn’t know exactly what farming was all about. Despite my lack of insight, I did pick up on a few things…
- Farming was not just a job, but a lifestyle and business.
- That yes, there are “slower” times, but there is always something to do.
- That times can get tough- family, money, balancing multiple tasks, etc. – but that hard work, faith and looking ahead can make all the difference.
- This was something that my Farmer had in his blood and when you looked into his eyes, it was something he was honored to have the opportunity to be a part of.
And so it was this information that I kept tucked deep down inside as we spent months emailing, on the phone, in the car, and of course on our college studies. Little did I know that these four thoughts were really even there or that they would come in handy!
You see, one day, I believe in April of 1999, I headed out to Dickinson from Moorhead. I decided to switch a work shift and leave a few hours early. I am a planner, so something spontaneous like this was not of my nature and out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, I jumped into my car and off I went.
As I pulled into Dickinson it was about 11:30am. I knew my Farmer would be working at the front desk of his dorm. I figured I would be sweet, stop at Hardee’s, and pick up some lunch. I got lunch and drove up to his dorm. I walked in the front door and noticed his back was to me. I approached the window and realized he was on the phone. He spun around, his eyes bugging out and his finger held to his lips- shh! What? I drove all this way and I get the “What are you doing here?” look and a shhhhh?
So I went and sat in the sitting area. A minute later he was finished. He called my name and I walked back to the window. He told me to come into the office and that we had to talk. Again, I was thinking, “Great. Now we have to talk. He didn’t even say ‘hi’!”
As I entered, I handed him his lunch and sat down on a chair. I instantly got that “you are going to dump me” feeling, but I sat patiently. He started talking about his telephone call. Explaining to me whom he had been talking to, why, and that he wasn’t sure how I would respond. My Farmer had just been offered the chance that he had been hoping for since before he could remember, the chance to farm a piece of land that was all his. He was nervous as he told me. I was a city girl. One who didn’t know much about wide open spaces, dirt, or machines. He wondered if this news would chase me away.
As he explained his phone call I felt a sense of relief. He wasn’t dumping me and there was no one else. He was excited. He was ready. He was going to be a farmer. Inside I was nervous, but also jealous. His dreams were being set into action and I felt like my plans were still liquid jello being mixed up without a mold to be poured in.
It was at that minute that those four little pieces of information came floating to the surface. Although I cannot recall the words I said, I know I shared my excitement for him. I knew that this was an opportunity not to be passed up. I knew that if things were meant to be, that our relationship would endure, grow and work out. For as I have told many people, land cannot be picked up and moved, but teachers are needed everywhere. And in the back of my mind, I knew that if nothing else, I could wait tables at the cafe’…. a full-time farmer, farmer’s wife…. I had no idea that was even an option, nor did I have a clue what I was getting into. Sometimes what you don’t know is so totally worth it!
And so, my farm journey continued.
Stay tuned for the next “My Farm Journey” post when I share about some of my transition challenges.