Well it has been a while since I sat down at the computer & wrote. In all honesty, I think my last post was right before we finished harvest, and we finished back in October–October 22 to be exact.

While I haven’t been entirely away from writing; I have been doing a few articles for the Alberta Farmer Express. But most of all I wanted to write this post to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

I have never been one to make new years resolutions. I do set goals for myself throughout the year. Mostly goals of what I want to do, where I want to take the family to travel, and we also set goals for what we want to do on the farm.

Personally, my major goal right now is to stress less and be happy more! Now, many of you might be giving me the side-glance as to what is so stressful about farming. Farming is often pictured as the ideal lifestyle–cattle happily grazing green grassy fields, crops growing abundantly, perfectly manicured farmyards and fences, etc.

Well, reality is, it’s not. Farming is a pretty stressful lifestyle. Cattle need to be properly managed to have that grass for the summer, hay needs to be put up with certain weather conditions, crops need rain to grow, farmyards do not maintain themselves, and don’t even get me started on fences–cows that break through them, fences that need replacing–seriously I could write all night about the stresses of fencing alone!

So you take all the stress of farming, now let’s add the farm family. For me it’s my husband (who farms with me), our 10 year old son, 3 year old daughter, and soon to be baby in April. The two kids have their activities that I take them to, plus their needs to have time with mom and dad away from farm chores. My husband has things he wants to do, and then there is me. Being pregnant on the farm is hard, especially when I’m used to doing a lot of the work myself, and now I have to ask & wait for help.

So I have given you a glimpse into my life. Yes it is stressful at times, and most days have their stress-inducing moments, that I struggle to get through. But I have decided to try to combat the stress in order to be happy.

  1. Take joy in the mundane activities. So far this has turned into giving our 3 year old daughter sled rides behind the Kubota while doing chores. Her laughter and squeals of joy while yelling at mom to “go faster” makes me happy. Yes it does take me a little longer to do chores now, but I’m also incorporating quality time with her and making memories which I know she’ll fondly look back on.IMG_0060
  2. Look after me. I am the worst person on this. I am a people pleaser, and have always been. But now I’m saying screw that–I’m making time for me! I have been working out 3 times a week on my elliptical and this week I start yoga again. I have been practicing yoga for almost 15 years off and on, and I’m the happiest in my life when I’m practicing.
  3. Having a Pinterest Perfect life is a crock of $hit! For any of you that have kids in school, you know what I mean by this. To all those mom’s that spend time making Pinterest Perfect treats, having your kids fashioned perfectly, your house perfectly decorated, cleaned, etc. Kudos to you. But it’s not for me…so we’ll just leave it at that!
  4. Make simple yet nutritious meals at supper. With having 3 of the 4 of us with food allergies, deciding what to have for supper is often a challenge. We have a rule in our house–If you suggest something for supper, I will make it. But the problem become when no suggestions are made and I ask what do you want for supper, and am met with the response of “food” or “I don’t know/care”. One way I’ve started combating this is by making a big meal on Sunday (say ham or roast beef), and using the leftovers in dishes throughout the week, or freezing leftovers for use in future weeks.

One of these meals I just made is very allergy friendly and features lentils, a pulse crop. Since we are talking New Year, 2016 is the International Year of Pulses. Our farm also raises a pulse crop–Fava Beans. Anyway, I wanted to share with you that small piece of information along with the recipe! One of my final goals is to blog a bit more as I have time. But no stressing over it when I don’t!

Slow Cooker Lentil and Ham Stew

adapted from AllRecipes.com

1 c. dried red lentils

Chopped Celery, Carrots, Onions–I don’t measure, I just chop until it looks like there’s enough 🙂

2 cloves garlic minced

1 1/2 c. cooked ham chopped

1/4 tsp Thyme

1/2 tsp Oregano

1/4 tsp Pepper

1 Bay Leaf

4 c. chicken broth

1 c. water

4 tbsp. tomato sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a large crock pot. Stir. Cover & cook on low for 8-10 hours until the lentils & vegetables are soft. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.