Time is a River Lost that Cannot be Touched Again

by Anonymous


I love this story. Lay down what's bothering you, breathe in the fresh air and read to this story.

Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life. As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Apparently, I'm still lost....it's a man thing.

Pinocchio & How Victimhood Creates Tyranny

by Chris Campbell


In putting together the upcoming book, “99 Things Every Millennial Man Should Know,” I’ve (re-)learned some important lessons.

One of them, weird as it sounds, has to do with Pinocchio. And the incredibly profound messages hidden beneath the surface… one of which is how victimhood turns you into a braying jackass.

But I’ll get to that in a moment.

99 Things is a compendium of powerhouse contributors imparting wisdom.

The underlying theme is answering the Call to Adventure (the “call” to your life’s purpose) and how to survive and thrive through your own “Hero’s Journey” (and, no less, the awesome power of archetypes).

A great explainer video on the Hero’s Journey

The book, since its inception, has taken on a life of its own. 

In large part because of my newfound “tribe” of people who are just as excited about, and emotionally invested in, the project as I am.

One contributor, Noble Brown (AKA, @Sociopathlete on Twitter), for example, who wrote an excellent piece for the book, called “Engineer the Future”, wrote this…

(Yes, I’m “@StoicGoatFarmer” on Twitter — which, I have found, used wisely, is a great tool. If you “do Twitter,” let’s connect.)

Two lessons here.

One, the power of the ask. It’s cliche, but I think it’s easy to forget: You never know until you ask.

Out of ten supremely bold asks, nine will probably say no or never respond, but that one yes will change everything.

(In the ask, however, increase your chances by providing unmistakable value to them.  As opposed to, “Please do this for me.” James Altucher is a master of this and has simple ways to get started.)

Second, which is tied to this: Whatever you’re doing, you don’t have to go at it alone. 

Left unchecked, I easily fall into a wildly ineffective “Hercules Complex”… this assumption I should shoulder all of the burden of big projects, lest it lose its meaning.

But working with, and building a tribe of great people in the process, is so much more satisfying.

(I plan to go into more detail on this book, and how I’m putting it together, in the private Choose Yourself Publishing Circle…  It’s one great part of Altucher’s self-publishing course, of which I’m leaning on to write this book. If interested in finally crossing “write a book” off your bucket list, come… join us.)

Tonight, I’ll attempt another BIG ask… Jordan Peterson. I’m suiting up and seeing him speak in Cincinnati this evening. 

His lectures have had a remarkable effect on me, especially his Jungian analysis of… this might sound weird… Pinocchio.

(Had I understood all of this earlier, as I described yesterday, I might not have been such a Hellion growing up… in a misguided pursuit of “fitting in.”)

The film Pinocchio is considered by many to be Walt Disney’s greatest achievement.

Superficially, the storyline is easy enough to understand. It’s about going from a puppet to an authentic individual. One who tells the truth, listens to one’s own conscience, and is capable of taking responsibility for one’s own life.

Pinocchio, you might recall, was brought to life by a blue fairy (the “anima,” as described by Jungians).

The fairy told him he could become a real boy if he proved himself to be “brave, truthful, and unselfish.”

Blue Fairy: You must learn to choose between right and wrong. 

Pinocchio: Right and wrong? But how will I know? 

Jiminy Cricket: (watching) How’ll he know! 

The Blue Fairy: (to Pinocchio) Your conscience will tell you. 

Pinocchio: What are conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: What are conscience! I’ll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to. That’s just the trouble with the world today… 

Pinocchio: Are you my conscience? 

Jiminy Cricket: Who, me?

(Spoiler Alert: The cricket, as it happens, is Pinocchio’s conscience, a good, but imperfect tramp who “bugs” him throughout the movie to do the right thing.)

Going deeper, the overarching message unfolds: The best way to live your life is orient yourself toward the highest good you’re capable of imagining (represented by Geppetto, the woodcarver, wishing upon a star).

Why? Because the capacity for it to come to fruition exists. Not only that, the act of aiming there will open you up to forces which can help you — ones in which wouldn’t otherwise be available to serve you.

What is the highest aim?

To become a fully developed, authentic human being. One who isn’t a marionette. One whose strings are not whipped around by undeveloped (evil) forces of the world.

The Road to Tyranny

At one point in the movie, Pinocchio is convinced by two petty criminals — the fox and the cat — that he is a mere victim of the world. That the world is his enemy. They then lead him to Pleasure Island, a place where all his desires can be fulfilled.

There, boys can smoke, drink, fight, destroy stuff and act like heathens.

Pinocchio and Jiminy discover, however, Pleasure Island is a trap, run by masked goons dressed in black.

With enough badness under the boys’ belts (perhaps literally and figuratively), the boys lose their voices and turn into braying jackasses (donkeys), and are sold as slaves to work in the mines.

The superficial lessons of the overall story are evident:

1. Peer pressure can lead you astray.

2. Growth can emerge from pain.

3. Idle hands do the Devil’s work.

Going deeper, however, the underlying themes present in the book and film are awesome for a mere “children’s story”… 

– Telling the truth will ultimately make your life easier, and taking the seemingly easy route, by lying, has consequences (the more he lied, the more his nose grew and the more complicated his life became)…
– People-pleasing does little more than turn you into a puppet, you give up your own individuality to appease them (when Pinocchio fell under the thumb of Stromboli and became an unearned celebrity he became a slave to Stromboli and the crowd)…

– You have free will not to listen to your conscience (as Pinocchio doesn’t at first) and your conscience is not omnipotent, it is capable of making mistakes (as Jiminy did). The more you listen and learn from your mistakes, however, the more both of you mature and begin to understand the true difference between right and wrong. (Pinocchio and Jiminy grow stronger as the storyline progresses).

And, very apropos to current times… 

– Be wary of those who would have you believe you are a victim. Those who claim to be solely looking out for the oppressed are often on the hunt for unearned power. (Marxist professors come to mind).

– Accepting yourself as a victim, furthermore, will cause you to lose your voice and, perhaps, in the case of Pinocchio and the boys on Pleasure Island, transform you into a braying jackass.

– Great forces will emerge to help you when you aim for your highest good. You don’t have to go at it alone.

– Finally, one of the highest aims is to rescue the old structures from collapse, and reinvigorate them anew. To keep the torch alive and save what is worth saving. Otherwise, all will fall into chaos.

Pinocchio, in the end, is said to represent Geppetto’s ego and persona (how you interact with the external world and mask you wear for it).

Left undeveloped, it’ll remain a young puppet, a slave to the whims of the outside world.

In the end, Geppetto comes to terms with this “inner child” (also giving a nod to the incredible importance of fatherhood — the “outer child”)…

And, ultimately, they save one another.

Geppetto, by giving Pinocchio form and careful attention, and Pinocchio by swimming into the ocean (unconscious) and saving him from the Belly of the Whale (the archetypal Underworld of Chaos).

At the end, Geppetto, though he’s an old man, becomes young in spirit.

And the old structures worth saving in himself (and the world) are given new life, salvaged from total destruction and created anew.

I will tell Millennial Men this.





Published under Creative commons here.

Today's Bible Lesson

by Anonymous


In today’s world with President Trump getting hit daily I decided a little Bible Lesson might be
appropriate. Remember what Jesus said: 'Goats on the left, sheep on the right' (Matthew 25:33).

Jesus also told Peter that if he wanted to catch fish do it from the right side of the boat He did and filled the boat with fish.

John 21:6 (NIV) ... He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

 Origin of Left & Right..

I have often wondered why it is that Conservatives are called the "right" and Liberals are called the "left".

By chance I stumbled upon thisverse in the Bible: Ecclesiastes10:2 (NIV) - "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left."

Thus saith the Lord.

Amen

It surely can't get any simpler than that.

Spelling Lesson: The last four letters in American......... I Can

The last four letters in Republican:....... I Can

The last four letters in Democrats:....... Rats

End of lesson! ...Test to follow on November 6, 2018.

Remember, November 2018 is to be set aside as Rodent Removal month.  

Please share this Bible Lesson with all your friends and email buddies to help achieve that
goal.

Never grow a wishbone where a backbone ought to be.


It's What You Scatter

by Anonymous


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
 
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
 
Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
 
'Hello Barry, how are you today?'
 
'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good'
'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'
 
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
 
'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.' 
 
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.
 
'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'
 
'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'
 
'All I got's my prize marble here.'
 
'Is that right? Let me see it', said Miller.
 
'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'
 
'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'
 
'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.
 
'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'
 
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
 
With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.
 
When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'
 
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man.  A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
 
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
 
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
 
'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.  They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them.  Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ....'
 
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
 
The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
 
Your keys found right where you left them.
I
 
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!



[Story] How to Make a Gangster Weep

by Chris Campbell


[You’ll have to excuse today’s profanity-laced missive. I will tell the story — which occurred last Friday night — as it happened, in all its intensity.]

We watched as the man stood at the end of the road, in a victory stance, announcing his next conquest.

“You hear me!? I want to fight!”

His t-shirt was missing, revealing tattoos on every inch of his skin up to his neck as he growled through the shadows.

He stomped toward us, fists clenched.

I was sitting down on the stoop. He walked up and stuck his face in mine and shouted more profanity-laced threats.

Two minutes later, he was on the ground, weeping like a lost child in Wal-Mart.

I’ll tell you what happened — and how I made him cry in a bush — in a moment.

Last Friday night, I learned the second lesson of 99 Things Every Millennial Man Should Know (a book I’m putting together in 90 days using James Altucher’s The Choose Yourself Guide to Self-Publishing)… 

99 Things is a compendium of powerhouses (heavyweight boxer Ed Latimore, “Gentleman Mystic” Billy Red Horse, kung fu master and mentalist Jonathan Pritchard, and much more) imparting their wisdom.

Hours before I was to leave for C.J. Midlam’s house (self-published author of The Windows Around, we spoke of last week), I received the second chapter to 99 Things, written by Kung-Fu master Jonathan Pritchard (see below).

It was about self-defense through de-escalation of violence.

I read it, appreciated its approach, then left for the long drive to Dayton to hang out with C.J. at Germanfest.

Little did I know, the very tactics described in Pritchard’s piece would potentially save my life.

C.J. and I started at a bar, Dayton Beer Co., and downed a couple beers. 

Soon, we found ourselves downtown, gulping down Jager Bombs (hey, as they say, when in Rome). Then another bar, called “Therapy,” a truly God-forsaken place, in which we had a gin and tonic and I silently vowed never to return. And then, we headed to C.J.’s home.

It was a nice night, we agreed. We relaxed outside on the stoop, under a soon-to-be midnight moon.

As we talked, a man rounded a dark corner down the street, heaving like a wild banshee.

His body flailed as he stormed through, kicking up dust and debris like a bull in heat. His shirt was missing. His pants, drooping. Tattooed from neck to toe.

He was the “bad guy in the dark alley” your mother warned you about.

He raised his arms up like he’d just finished a marathon, stopped, and yelled, “I want to FIGHT somebody! F*CK!”

We took a look around and a realization crept up our spines from our inner-bellies. It was just us on this lonesome street. So, naturally, he headed in our direction. “Well, this should be interesting,” C.J. said.  “Yep,” I said.

“What’s up, bitch?” the breathy man said, one hand on his belt. I was still sitting on the stoop. An easy target, a sitting duck.

He ran up, stuck his face in mine, and said “What’s up? What you want? Huh!?”

Pritchard’s piece popped in my mind. Time to put it into action.

It must’ve been the Jagermeister in my veins, but I was irrationally placid. Cool as a cucumber.

I said, “Hey, it’s OK.”

He stuck his face closer.

His breath was hot. It stunk of an ancient rage.

My ego almost grabbed me…

There was a loud moment inside my head where I screamed the obvious: “Get out of my face.”

But I didn’t say it. Instead, I tried something else, “Look, you’re a good person,” I said.

Like that weird alien in that Steven Spielberg movie, I reached up and touched his heart with my index finger.

“Here,” I said. “Right here.”

And, you know what, I meant it. I felt it.

It was genuine. I was in the moment. I was with this man, not against him. Not judging him. I felt what’s best described, although the term is lacking, as compassion.

And, some. blessing. how. it worked.  First, he whimpered.  Then, he staggered back and crumpled like a cheap suit.

He fell into a bush and began to weep. I tried to help him up, but his bones had melted into his skin. He slumped to the ground like a bowl of Jello.

This grown man, tattooed from head to toe, possibly gunning for a night gig at MS-13, transformed into a toddler. He didn’t want to fight. He just wanted someone to love him. Be his friend. Tell him everything would be OK. Touch his heart. Teach him how to walk.

“I have no friends!” he shouted. “I want friends,” he cried.

A dark figure emerged from whence he came. A female figure. It approached as C.J. and I hoisted the man on our shoulders.

It was his mother.  “Come on! The cops are looking for you,” she said. “Thank you boys so much. Thank you. Thank you.”

“I love you mom,” he said. “Try to walk, honey,” she said.

We tried to walk with him for a bit, but it proved more difficult than anticipated.

He goose-stepped all over the street. He would extend his left leg in front of me, on his right, and would do the same with his right to C.J. on the left.

We finally carried him, leaving his legs to drag behind. His pants began to loosen, and then dropped right down to his ankles. Cojones exposed, flapping in the breeze.

His mistake that morning to meet the day au naturale was the first of many, it appeared.

“Uh,” C.J. said, “Hey, Mom. This is a job for Mom.”

“Oh, no,” she said, looking back.

We rounded the corner, that blasted corner that started this whole thing, and dropped him in the backseat of his mom’s Buick. We did our good deed for the night, and might have avoided being stabbed.

So, yes, please pay heed. And recognize nothing, not even violence, is inevitable.



Published under a creative commons license here.

The White House Fence

by Anonymous


Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House.
 
One is from Chicago, another is from Kentucky, and the third is from New Orleans.All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.
 
The New Orleans contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil.
 
"Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $9,000. That's $4,000 for materials, $4,000 for my crew and $1,000 profit for me."
 
The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $7,000. That's $3,000 for materials, $3,000 for my crew and $1,000 profit for me."
 
The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, "$27,000."
 
The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other guys. How did you come up with such a high figure?”
 
"The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$10,000 for me, $10,000 for you, and we hire the guy from Kentucky to fix the fence."
 
"Done!" replies the government official.
 
And that, my friends, is how the Government Stimulus plan worked.
 
Remember... Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
 
"I love my country, it's the government I'm afraid of!"

The NFL

by Anonymous


[NFL History...history not often reported or leaked to the ticket holders.  I hope this helps you; it opened my eyes, to understand just when the public's respect for the NFL organization started to crumble...].

* In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off.

* In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.

* In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said "Know Jesus Know Peace" but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.

* In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing "Find the Cure" eye black for breast cancer awareness.

* In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem...).

*In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.

* 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.


So tell me again how the NFL supports free speech and expression, all of a sudden... It seems quite clear based on these facts that the NFL has taken a position against any action by NFL players demonstrating RESPECT for any issue: For God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily for being cops, for the Memory of 9/11...

BUT they will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag, our National Anthem, for America, and for the American People, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters. That is who and what the NFL now is shown itself to be.

Pass this post along to all your friends and family, if you believe it worthy of sharing.

Honor our military; too many of whom have come home with with the American Flag draped over their coffin.




Presenting, Crooked Mouth Farm… The Vision…

by Chris Campbell


In Scotland, many moons ago, a nickname was used for the more… “wry-mouthed” (AKA, smarta**)… of the Scots…


They would call them “cam buel.” “Cam” meaning crooked and “buel” meaning mouth.

Then, along came a waggish clan chief who took his sardonic wit as a source of pride. So proud was he, in fact, he took the nickname (which was hardly ever used as a term of endearment) on as a surname. And, thus, a family was created — the Campbells.

My family.

And, indeed, their mouths are as crooked as ever.

Crooked Mouth Farm

Fast-forward to 2018, zooming into a tiny town in the middle of Nowheresville, Ohio — up pops Crooked Mouth Farm. (Just closed on it three days ago.) Right now, it’s little more than a welcome log, 2 acres and an idea — that EVERYTHING you need can be found on top of the dirt in your own backyard.

There’s a grander vision…This idea, perhaps in the far future, will propagate throughout the lands — “CROOKED FARMS.”

Crooked Tail… Crooked Teeth… Crooked Spine… whatever.  And, the modest farm in Ohio will be like the tiny Starbucks in Seattle. A historic landmark. The beginning. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. (Hey, a man can dream.) getting ahead of myself. (Hey, a man can dream.)

Carved Log

The First Principle…


One of the many goals of the farm is to show how anyone can utilize less than two acres and make a living. (And, why they should begin ASAP.)

It’s also to show anyone how they can live a more self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle — with good, fulfilling work.

The first principle: Kill the “lawn.” Those days are over.

Every square inch of your land can be used for something. It’ll take a lot of time and work, of course. But, I’ve found plenty of people excited about this vision. And, if you start, too, help will always be on the way. The grander the vision, the bigger the hands. Here are just a few ideas in the Crooked Mouth vision…

Camps and Tiny Housers

First, we’ll be open to visitors. Maybe even starting in Spring.  A room will open up in the house for Airbnbers. And then, we’ll have a spot for a tiny home and a “glamping” experience. (Another reason to do this: If people want to help on the farm, there will always be plenty of free beds.)

Tiny houses, if you don’t know, are all the rage. If you have one, you can rent it on several sites… Airbnb, TryItTiny, VRBO, TinyHouseListings, and more.  We’re starting with a vardo (see: gypsy wagon) that’ll sit on the farm — amongst the goats and, perhaps, alpacas. (We’ll fix it up in the meantime.)

Further, anyone with a little bit of land can rent out a camping spot on Hipcamp.  So, we’ll build a couple spots to camp on the farm, too.  One, we plan, will be in an old fort bed we’re building out to be an (extra tiny) “cabin” on a tree mezzanine.

“Exotic” Choices

“Did you hear about that farm with the lavender-flavored snails?”  There are lots of small farms around me. And, of course, they’re all struggling to compete with the big boys. Don’t compete. Be different. Being small and nimble is an advantage. Make the slow-moving big boxers constantly play catch up with the ever-changing tastes.

The trick is, then, getting a sense of what the market wants. And what it’s open to.How? I’ll ask.

 In a couple of weeks, for example, a chef will move in for the winter to teach me the ins and outs of what chefs want from local farms. Trendy stuff… weird, exotic things. Like snails that taste like sage (because that’s all you fed them). Interesting microgreens. Quail eggs. Rare/seasonal mushrooms. Stuff like that.

 Workshops/Harvest Dinners

Talented individuals will be invited to give small workshops in Crooked Mouth Lab, a barn located in the back of the farm. (Which we’ll expand to a bigger barn later… just have to build it first.) Learn everything from bitcoin to woodworking to butchering to blacksmithing…

The classes will focus on how ANYONE can begin living a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle. (Ex. Why Quails Are Better Than Chickens 101)

Keep Your Day-Job/Invest Wisely

With rural areas getting faster and faster Internet connections, remote workers (SEE: HALO-FIFire your ISP for “$7 Internet” — and make a killing), more than ever, can work from anywhere in the U.S. Meaning, digital nomads and creatives can do their full-time jobs from the farm — not having to worry about depending solely on what the farm provides to stay afloat. The opportunities to make money online are nearly endless — we’ll go through no shortage of them in future episodes.

Weddings/Small Events

It’s no small feat…But, build out a space that’s beautiful enough, even if it’s small, and people will be tripping over themselves to have their intimate weddings or kid’s birthday bash there. (As an  aside, schools, too, can get involved, kids can get in the dirt — learn where REAL food comes from.)

Make memories.

Climb in the treehouse. Hang out in the gypsy wagon. Drink wine in the barn. Pet the pigs, alpacas and crack up over the fainting goats.

And tell everyone you meet about that one time at Crooked Mouth Farm.  And how it inspired you to start your own small homestead. And explain how little “leisure” farms are becoming the spark to a wildfire — and creating a mass-resurgence of self-sufficiency in America. Not out of fear, though. Because it’s fun.

That, at least, is the vision.

Until tomorrow,


 


This article published under a Creative Commons License Here



Read more: http://patrioteponym.webnode.com/news/presenting-crooked-mouth-farm-the-vision/

Christmas 1881..

by Anonymous


Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.
 
It was Christmas Eve, 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. ...

I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.   Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. 

"Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight."

I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.

We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house Something was up, but I didn't know what.
 
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy.

When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been abigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.
 
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?

Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" "You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?

Yeah," I said, "Why?"
 
"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.
 
Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.

We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.
 
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?"

"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt... could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out, one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children, sturdy shoes, the best... shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.
 
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up"

I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
 
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."
 
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
 
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit, and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord, that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
 
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. ... They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.
 
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell."

I was the youngest... my two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away
 
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, may the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your Ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny
sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."
 
I understood alright... and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.
 
For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
 
Don't be too busy today... share this inspiring message. Merry Christmas and God bless you!

 





Reprinted for the season from the Old Eponymn site.