My blog, for the most part, these past few years, has dealt mainly with life here on Almosta Ranch. Now, like most blog writers, my main source of enjoyment is reading the comments I get whenever I write about everyday life around here and the adventures of the various animals that inhabit our world. Ever so often, however, I find myself worrying, as I read those comments, that I may be giving the wrong impression of life here on the farm.

Every entry gets at least one comment telling me how lucky we are to be living what seems to be such a perfect life. When I read these comments it causes me to pause and wonder if I may be painting an unrealistic picture of farm life. Perhaps it is my habit of trying to put a good spin on life that has caused me to offer up a flawed picture of life here.

The reality of it is that life here on Almosta Ranch is no better or worse than the lives led by all my readers whither they live in small towns or big cities. There are days that just grind you down to dust and then, without warning there are days that lift you up, renew your spirit, and make you say: "It is well, with my soul."

There are days, sometimes in the dead of Winter when the snow is blowing and the temperature has plummeted well below zero, that I am overwhelmed with the feeling that I am just too old, too sick, and too tired to complete the dozens of day to day chores that a farm like ours demands of someone.  Days when there is no way to put on enough clothes to keep warm and days when my feet and hands are numb and my face is frozen and I KNOW there is at least one break in the back fence that has to be fixed.  Days like that leave me feeling weighed down with hopelessness that I'll never get it all done.

Then...there comes a day....still in the dead of Winter, when the snow stops falling and the temps rise above zero and I walk out onto my porch with my morning coffee and, looking back toward my back pasture, I see a sight like this....

The sheer, stark beauty of the ice-encrusted trees, coupled with cold blue skies just washes over me, lifts my spirits and makes me rejoice to be a small part of the naturally beautiful world around me.

The Summer brings its own set of challenges to us here on Almosta. Neither of us are able to stand the heat like we did twenty years ago and once the temperature climbs over ninety the heat beats us down and makes even the simplest of tasks seem like a Herculean challenge. Still, the chickens and the pig, the rabbits and the goat and the horses all need to be fed and cared for so we struggle onward.

It seems that, when we are just about at the end of our rope and our bodies and spirits just want to give it all up.....then.....there are days like this. The sun is setting on another hard, hot day. We are sitting on the front porch sipping glasses of ice tea and we are presented with this gift....

Once again, the sheer beauty of the moment takes our breath away and, at the same time, whispers a promise in our ears:  "Your perseverance is rewarded by beauty....tomorrow will be better."

The thing is always a tiny bit better the next day and so we hang in there. Our old house is a ramshackle old farm house that most people wouldn't want to spend the night in, but it serves us well and maybe one day we will be able to fix it up. We live on a fixed income and every month we struggle to stay within the limits it imposes. In short...we struggle, but we also overcome and we carry on and we are, from time to time, rewarded by those days....those wonderfully perfect days.

So you see, life on Almosta Ranch is no better or worse than the lives each of you live every single day no matter where you live. is perfect...for my sweetheart and me. 


Views: 96

Comment by Tinkerertink69 on July 24, 2014 at 7:54am

Beautiful post! Every life needs a little rain, a little sunshine and a whole lot of manure, to make the flowers grow.  Farm life isn't an easy life, not for everybody, I mean, I'd like to  run off into the mountains and hide away from the world. Can I? SURE CAN!! :D


Comment by JMac1949 Today on July 24, 2014 at 8:03am

Wonderful reality check... More often than not when people ask how I'm doing, I reply, "Surviving" or "I could complain, but it wouldn't do much good."  I've been semi-retired and living on less than $30,000 a year since 1997 so scrapping by has been SOP for me.  I turn 65 this week and that's got me a bit of a twist, Medicare good, less money not so good... but everyday I sit down in front of the laptop and write a few pages, and that seems to keep my brain working.  Who knows maybe HBO will pick up The People of the Book and I'll be able to live out the rest of my years without worry.  R&R

Comment by Arthur James on July 24, 2014 at 11:01am


I been away...

I speak with ` kid '

and FED ` goats '

and arrive ` O READ '

` POPUP ' ` reads '

` You ( me ? ) no be '

congested? ` wifi '

broke as ` normal '


no fret...` be re` burn '

and IF ` hut do ` burn '

trust a  rural ` Community?


I get ` lo ' bad ` our ' &

de` open ' bah` purest '

incarnation? ` as ill '

Greek ` legions ` evil '

comes to inhabit ` ill '

FRAUDS ` as in` ill '

lowly ` poor ' bred ill '

beastly ` guys 

dudes ` sicko '

ill/bred `damon 

Nature ` doom '

evil 's ` principle 

Principalities '

Old ` notion '

Devil` fools '

just ` popping '

off ` human 

heart` seat 

of inner ` aye 

human ` emotion


I'll re ` read later...

` Pine tree needles '

blow in the breeze '

and seem to sing '

and sense ` Holy '

same same ` BCE 

 before contraptions.

Play 1 bamboo flute,

and guard sheep, and

no be Lost ` beast fool '



I'll send after

Cat Nap.

POPUPS read:

You (me ) are 

not connected

to the Internet.


kosher baloney...

Who ill/nasty?

OY! karma cuss.

View individual?

Catastrophe ill.

No blame otters?


I go take cat nap.

I'll resend later.

Nature humbles?


sad demise, and

public ridicule,

humiliation shame...

and? hope we learn?


It's 1: 58 PM EST-

21st ` century AD-

BCE ` same insane-

` Gratitude '

` my wifi '

` not broke'

`1' comment

do go?' aye!

Comment by Arthur James on July 24, 2014 at 6:34pm


... Goon on You...

Sense Blessedness...

I was at "other" site.


I am convinced?

You not blogger




as on ` Ben Sen's post.

I am Sure ` You have ` 1 '

Avatar and not a ` baker '

dozen ` 8 ' fake  ` avatars.

Comment by Arthur James on July 24, 2014 at 6:56pm


AT ` same double post ` Good...




say ` A lots of work

but thats your choice."


Total Delusional

No wonder it's

sich a MESS in

the world? IT

is ` blisters '

who ` sully '

and ` defile '

and are ` sad '

and surly ` lost '

and without ` hope '

and chose ` sick '

authoritarian ` ill '

and await ` perdition '

the path of ` Folly '

` Again ' ` Why '

Respect those 

Who've never

Done Honest

Real Labor?


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