every life lesson can be learned

Month: January 2016

His Mother Said That

My in-laws, husband and I were still sitting at the kitchen table.  Our day had begun more than an hour ago with some delicious breakfast tacos made with our scrambled farm fresh eggs.  I was sipping the last of my second cup of coffee as our children chatted with us from their stools at the kitchen bar.  The kids and I were still in our pajamas.  It was a lazy morning on the franch.  But, little did we know, that was about to change.  My father-in-law was in mid-sentence when my husband suddenly got up and went down the hallway toward the laundry room.  Before my father-in-law finished that same sentence, my husband was back with his overalls pulled over his jeans and his Franchlife long-sleeved t-shirt.  He didn’t have to say anything to our children.  Up they dutifully stood and carried their plates over to the sink.  Our children know what daddy in his overalls means.  It turns out our lazy morning didn’t last very long, abruptly ending at 8:52 a.m.  It’s moments like these that I know why my husband’s father nicknamed him “light-switch” as a boy.  It’s something he never grew out of it.  You really don’t know what’s going to happen from one moment to the next with that man.  “What are we going to do, daddy?” inquires our youngest as my husband helps her into her pink and white striped John Deere overalls.  “We need to butcher the last of those chickens before your piano lesson this afternoon and I have to go to work.”  When they all head out to the barn, my mother-in-law and I start to clean up the kitchen.  The back door opens, “Kel—,” he doesn’t even finish my name before I yell back, “I’m coming, sweetheart!” even though I’m still in my pajamas.  I grab a sponge to wipe the counter.  My mother-in-law says, “He’s like a force, isn’t he?  It’s amazing how you don’t resist the force.  You just go with it.”  (You know by the choice of her words that grandma gave into her grandkids last week and went with them to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens!).  I reassure her that I don’t mind it most of the time because it makes every day of my life with her son an adventure.  Her comments remind me of an email she wrote over a year ago after she read the first four blog posts on franchlife.com.  It reads, “Your renderings are precious.  You’ve reminded me of the basis of a recent Bible conference at our church.  The speaker stressed for us to look at nuisances to life-challenging circumstances in our lives as, ‘What are you trying to teach me, Lord?’  Thanks, dear, for loving my son.  If you didn’t know Jesus, I’m sure it would be a lot harder.  You have to have extended much grace and forgiveness.”  Of course, I had forwarded that immediately to my husband for a good laugh.  I keep that email in my archives for those times my husband forgets what I put up with.  His own mother knows what it takes.

Easy to Make Lasagna

My husband suggested that if I want more readers, I should share some of our tasty homemade recipes.  I came across a Garfield book in the bathroom thinking about which recipe to share.  Since Garfield loves lasagna, this one is for all you lasagna lovers.

Homemade Lasagna on the Franch

  1. Find dairy goat.
  2. Breed goat.
  3. Deliver baby goat.
  4. Milk goat.
  5. Use goat milk to make mozzarella goat cheese.
  6. Use the whey left over to make ricotta goat cheese.
  7. Grow tomatoes in garden.
  8. Make homemade spaghetti sauce from tomatoes.
  9. Use oven ready lasagna noodles (sometimes you just have to cut corners).
  10. Layer lasagna noodles with ricotta goat cheese, homemade spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella goat cheese.
  11. Sprinkle fresh parsley from windowsill and garlic powder from your father-in-law’s garlic patch on each layer.
  12. Bake in oven.
  13. Keep warm, as you never know quite when chores will be done.
  14. Serve with a tall glass of goat milk.

And that’s how you make lasagna on a franch.  Sound easy enough?


A Poem in all the Mess

It’s a brand new year!  The party is over.  It’s time for the resolutions!  This year, I resolved to spend a little less time in the barn each day so I have a little more time to de-clutter my very disorganized home.  I decided on that because it’s way better than, say, eating less chocolate!!  And a quick Google search gave me lists of reasons why a de-cluttered home will make my life better.  It turns out though that the most motivating reason is the one I found out for myself on the first day of the year — you  may very well find something precious that was lost and forgotten in all that clutter.  Under a stack of papers in a drawer of my office desk, I found a folded and wrinkled poem written to me by my husband during the first year of our life on the franch, only four years ago.  It was the second time I ever read it.

The Garden

We saw what could be a garden where there was a pile of soil.

We had big dreams for this garden, looking forward to the toil.

We talked of the green, fruit, and flowers,

Without any doubt the dream was within our power.

The task was daunting and grand,

But our desire was ready for any obstacle that might stand.


Tools news and unused, just like our muck.

Put to the task, with prayer and hoping for some luck.

We began turning the dirt,

Muscles, emotions, feeling the burn and hurt.

We knew it was up to us to make the garden that we had dreamed.

No one would do it for us, fill the gap between our hopes and what it might seem.


The grasses and wildflowers came up at first,

With the energy of youth, believing in better, we didn’t mind the curse.

Other bright flowers were planted and watered with love,

We searched for weeds and pulled them quickly from above.

The spring was beginning to warm with the sun,

The first years of our love had their share of fun.


We had our first bloom and what a blessing was she.

The most beautiful flower that we imagined we would ever see.

A tree began to grow, signs of strength and comfort in his eyes,

Still so small, but protector and calm would be his bind that ties.

A precious rose arrived with a beautiful smile,

As they often do, taking some nurture and a different style.


The garden required attention, love, and care,

So many challenges, unforeseen, always needing to be aware.

The garden looked so perfect in those few moments of calm,

But so many times busying to prepare for the storm.

Precious and unique in every way,

Cultivating and careful with them, always the first and last thought of every day.


Our love is the nutrients before and even now,

We can work the ground, sweat, and plow,

But in the end, a plant needs fertile soil in which to reach full prospect,

Without our love as the fuel, nothing would be nor could achieve respect.

As we see our bounty, be reminded that our love has taken us here,

And the greatest of these will achieve this garden, as we hold each other near.

Have you ever found something so dear lost in clutter?  I’m looking forward to what else I may find going through our mess a little each day.

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