Friday, July 19, 2013

Attitude adjustment

We’ve been having a hard week. Or rather, month. That’s because we’re in the midst of the busy season for our home woodcraft business. All four of us have been working our buns off.

We getting ready for my annual selling trip to Portland, and we’re regularly putting in 12 to 16 hour days, building huge amounts of stock. This is in addition to farm chores, writing commitments, and household duties. I frequently set the alarm for 4 am just so I have time to do some writing and catch up on some kitchen tasks. My time is so stretched that it’s been hard to milk Polly as often as I'd like.

It’s gotten to the point where the two hours it takes to water my beloved garden has become an irksome chore rather than a relaxing undertaking. My days are sliced into precise wedges, and when inevitably those wedges get interrupted, it sends me into… well, a snit.

Such was my attitude last Tuesday when my precise wedge of time designated for watering the garden was delayed, which meant I wouldn’t be able to get the whole garden watered before I needed to leave for the city for an afternoon of errands and lessons. I was not, to put it mildly, in a good mood.

So when my dear husband (who has been putting in longer, hotter, and more difficult hours than I have) came out to the garden for a few minutes, I confessed how stressed and stretched I was feeling.

But to my surprise Don was cheerful and happy. “I was just listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio,” he told me [he listens to talk radio while in the shop]. “He was inviting people to call in who were envious of wealth. It made me realize that I’m not in the least bit envious of the rich. They might have more money than I do, but they don’t have a better wife or better children. They don’t have the landscape views we do. They can’t look out their windows and see the forest or the prairie. They don’t have the lifestyle we do.”

I took a deep, cleansing breath and realized he was SO right. My goodness, the very reason we are busy is a blessing – it means people were interested in buying our products. It means people are interested in my writing. It means the garden is thriving. It means Polly is trained and gentle and giving wonderful milk. It means we have a warm and inviting (if messy) home.

Wow. What blessings we have. How much worse would it be if we had endless time on our hands because we had no work, or no livestock, or no garden, or no writing assignments, or no money to give our girls French or music lessons in the city?

Without even meaning to, my wonderful husband managed to give me a verbal slap upside the head and remind me that our lives are rich, indeed, with blessings unmeasured. The biggest earthly blessing of all was the man standing in my garden. He is back in vibrant health after his surgery and feeling wonderful.

This is what’s known as an Attitude Adjustment. I just needed to be reminded.


  1. Yes, my dear lady, you are very abundantly blessed and you did need an attitude adjustment, like I (all of us) often do. My awesome husband does the same to me. Your plants look awesome! You're in my prayers and wish I lived nearby to visit you with some extra hands to help you with some chores. :)..Have a great weekend! Hugs and many more blessings your way...Alicia

  2. Patrice,

    I'm happy to hear Don had his surgery and he's doing well. Every now and then we all need an attitude adjustment.
    Your annual trip to Portland will be a big success. Your tankards are beautiful and make great gifts. We love ours!!

  3. Attitude Adjustment: The feeling we get when we reach the end of the rope and realize we have to hold on to that end. :)


  4. Just lovely! Thanks for sharing your experience. You are blessed, and a blessing to us all.

  5. Patrice,
    We hope you and your family will be attending this coming weekend to the Northwest patriots and self reliance meeting next weekend at the Faragat statevpark in bayview ID.
    As for Don being really busy, I could provide help during this busy,, even if all i did was t o water and weed your garden. I have some time available and my wife and live somewhat close.

  6. Patrice,
    We hope you and your family will be attending the N W patriots and self reliance rally next weekend at Farragat state park in Bayview, ID.
    As for don being extremley busy, i could help out with what ever needs done, weeding, watering.
    My wife and i live relativly close and would be glad to meet and help friends.

    1. Thank you for the kind offer to water the garden! -- but as long as we budget time for it, we're fine. Sadly, we won't be able to attend the Patriots Rally because I'll be in Portland and Don will be working. Pity, because it sounds excellent.

      - Patrice

  7. I love this post! we all need that "verbal slap upside the head" sometimes. not to mention, are all those mugs COOL LOOKING! I bet you'll sell the whole kit and caboodle.

  8. Very timely for me! Thanks to you and Don, as I have been a little grumbly about tending to the animals and garden in this heat. We are blessed with great livestock and healthy plants (except the tomatoes that the deer have demolished!) I needed that verbal slap on the head too! Hoping you have safe travel and make mucho sales in Portland!

  9. When a family is as busy and successful as yours is, your home is not messy. It's "Lived in".

  10. Glad to hear that Don's surgery went well and that he is recovering. Have you ever considered making a hose to drape over your tire raised beds? I envision getting a regular hose and a soaker hose and cutting them so that the soaker hose is over the raised beds and the regular hose is cut to bridge the gaps. That way you could hook up the water and go do other things for 20 - 30 min while the hose does the work. You may very well be like my wife that just loves doing the watering to commune with the plants. It takes her about 2 hr to do our raised beds as well.