Farmhouse Fourth of July
Here at Everyday Goodlife Headquarters, Mondays are our “down days” to do paperwork, organize, and reflect on farm chores, project updates and sometimes just admire or relish the amount of stuff we got done over the weekend!
We anticipated the Fourth of July with plans to work until noon and then head to the river; however, when we got to our low water bridge we discovered, with another group of kayakers, that there was a flash flood and the river was rolling! It had not rained here substantially, so we were puzzled. Later we discovered a town upriver had the torrential rain that impacted our plans. It was for the best, though because the day ended up not going as planned when the cows were moved. A tractor repair, pasture clean up from a previous flood and finally the cow check and move…
I take these kinds of plan changes with stride at this point in my life: I’ve been through some big changes with my family when my husband lost his battle with cancer. Everyday Goodlife took on a whole new meaning and perspective shifting to reinvent our lives as a family and the dreams I held for this season. My three adult children, each with one daughter, inspire me daily to live my best life and dream big!
I live on a little over 100 acres in the Ozark highlands of Missouri. As a native Californian, I adjusted from neighborhood to forest as one big camping trip. I love the trees, bluffs, rivers and streams as much now as when I was a kid camping in the Sierras. When we moved to the farm and my children were little, my husband and I made camp on the river that runs through our pasture behind our 1890s farmhouse and past the front of our house below the bluff. Today, my children re-created camp with me, on the farm for my granddaughters, right off the summer kitchen and garden.
We named our land Riverbluff Farm for the steep, rocky outcroppings above the changeable waterway that is slow and easy for floating and fishing or rolling and dangerous, sweeping into fields and filling the cavities of the bluff. The best part of flooding after checking that animals are safe, are the crashing waterfalls making their way from high land back to the river as it continues to define its flow through the solid rockfaces of the bluff.
When my husband was dying, he asked me to sell the cows and downsize; he did not want me to struggle with all that farming entails by myself. He also, told me to do what I wanted with his warehouse and transportation business. Sometimes, not letting go of your previous life is what holds you together as you figure out who you are by yourself. Really, I can honestly say keeping the animals and company has allowed me to let go of what I want, and keep what I want as a gradual understanding of who I am. I bought a small parcel of land in Northwest Arkansas near where my son and his wife established a home, which is also near my mom, brother and sister. What I soon discovered is that the farm is me. My everyday good life happens right here – struggles and all.
My daughters, April and Amy, and I are a team. We always have been a team, and now it includes my son-in-law, Amy’s husband, Eric. We are a small team, but mighty! We have expanded our farming, re-defined our roles, and are continuing to grow into our dreams. There’s truly a camaraderie that pulls our lives together. My daughters have been part of all that encompasses our original Riverbluff Farm label when I was soapmaking and herbal crafting.
Today, each of us share the dream of an everyday good life and we would love to take you on this journey with us. You will find us in the middle of a dozen projects: Farming intentionally and what some deem as “outside the box” as we continue to grow and ship premium meats from our farm to your table; reinventing and renovating our 1890’s farmhouse and gardens; preparing the barn to continue as our venue; and renovating our 1909 storefront on Main Street, which is our Co-op market and AirBnB space.
Every day I continue the dream my husband and I wished for ourselves and family. I know he is with us every step of the way and there are days I laugh because I can see the veto on his face when I go a direction he may have felt skeptical about, like tearing out walls and ceilings in the farmhouse, or building an outbuilding for the animals because I don’t want them to mess up the barn!
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