Thursday, 19 September 2019

Claim your home

I'm currently reading Boo Walker's beautiful novel Red Mountain, and one passage resonated with me so strongly, I want to share it with you. 
To give you some context, one of the main characters, Brooks, just found out that his fiance cheated on him with his boss' wife. (Intrigue!) Brooks had a rough upbringing and has a hard time trusting people, so this betrayal makes him question everything in his life and he considers leaving and starting new somewhere else. His boss (+ the other betrayed party) urges him to stay, saying how much he is needed and how much he means to all of them. His next words are what has been bouncing around in my head for the last few days:

"At some point in life you have to decide to throw the anchor and accept that your home isn't perfect, but it's home. And your friends and lovers aren't perfect either, but they're what you've got, and you damn well better love them."

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Playing the long game

In 2014, a scandal rocked the blogging world. It wasn't a huge one, but big enough that even newbie bloggers like myself heard about it. A blog called Halfway to Fearless appeared seemingly overnight and was suddenly everywhere. I was still at that stage in my blogging journey where I thought becoming "blog-famous" was a goal of mine, and I eagerly (and often jealously) read every blog that had "made it" for tips how to get there.
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Saturday, 31 August 2019

I got interviewed!

Hi guys,
I'm just popping on here to share that I did an interview with NF Reads that's live now! We're talking about my books, creativity, negative feedback, the best and worst things about book publishing, and what my next book will be about. 
Check it out here!

Also, many thanks to everyone who's shared photos of my book babies out in the wild, I love them so much! Keep them coming!


Happy (long) weekend!
xoxo Miriam



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Monday, 26 August 2019

Relax, darling. You have time.

Have you ever had the panicky feeling that you're behind in life? That everybody around you is further ahead and has their shit together more than you? That you are the only one who can't seem to catch up? 
I know you have. Because here's the thing: we all feel that way sometimes. In a society that values youth above everything, it seems that we only have a limited window to achieve the things we want to do, and that it's all over after a certain age. What age that is changes as we grow older: for kids and teens everybody over 30 is ancient and life is pretty much over. We believe that all the big stuff like career, a house, marriage and kids is happening in our twenties, which of course isn't true. Despite popular opinion, we can't do it all at the same time, and even more importantly, we don't have to. 

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Finding the courage to follow your dreams

Most of us talk about our dreams in a hypothetical way, secretly convinced that we will never achieve them. They seem too ambitious, too crazy to even try, so we don't try, which makes our worst fears come true: we don't achieve them because we don't do anything about turning our dreams into reality.
Putting your energy into something that's important to you is scary. What if you fail? It seems easier to not even try to keep the possibility alive, to make yourself believe that you could always do it *one day*.
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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

My new book is out!

I am thrilled to announce that my second book Quit the Hustle is out now! This book happened accidentally. I had no intention of writing another book so soon. But when I experienced burnout last year and hid myself away in a sleepy little town I wrote it all down to work through it. While I was doing that I noticed that I wasn't the only one who was utterly exhausted: a friend of mine was going through the same process, giving up her side business because she simply couldn't do it anymore. 
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Tuesday, 30 July 2019

194 days of solitude*

*(sort of)
When I'm going to sit in my rocking chair 30 or 40 years from now and look back on the story of my life, the last year will be a special chapter. It will be a chapter of extremes: the most introverted time of my life. The most sleep I ever got. The least physical year I've ever had (I've never spent more time lying down than during the 194 days I will have been away from home by the end of August). It was the year of packing my suitcase and saying goodbye to my husband 27 times. A year of introspection. A year of stillness. 
It's also the most internal growing I've done in a long time, maybe ever. It was the year where I put the pieces of myself back together. 
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Sunday, 21 July 2019

A new favourite spot

Happy Sunday friends!
I'm thrilled to share with you that we found another favourite spot at our place, at least as great as the willow tree at our old one ;-) 
In my experience, special places slowly evolve, you won't find them right away, which is what makes them so special when you discover them one day. 
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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Life lately

How's your summer going? Ours is wetter and cooler than what's normal, which means everything is so much greener than it usually is! True, the green is mostly weeds and not grass, but it's still a novelty to be surrounded by green this time of year in the semi-desert. 
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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

A video of the first 6 months of 2019

As you may know, I'm into the third year of taking a one-second video every day with this app, and I wanted to share the first 6 months of 2019 today! I love this easy way of documenting life, and I'm always amazed at how much of a story you can create by filming just one second. I highly recommend it!
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Monday, 1 July 2019

Body confidence is a feminist act

The bathing suit I'm wearing in these photos (it's this one from Aerie) arrived in the mail about 3 weeks ago. I had been impatiently waiting for it and the bikini I also ordered, and squealed with delight when I saw the package in the mailbox. Ten minutes later, the squeals of delight had turned into squeals of horror, and the old enemy I thought I had left behind for good several years earlier was suddenly back, grinning at me triumphantly in the mirror. Every woman reading this will know whom I talking about: our well-known nemesis body-loathing, causing the unpleasant but oh-so-familiar "I-feel-shitty-about-my-body" sensation that makes us want to hide in a big old paper bag. 
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Friday, 28 June 2019

Summer bucket list

I was curled up in bed yesterday, watching the rain and enjoying that exciting feeling of knowing that summer is still ahead of us. It's one of the best feelings in the world, isn't it? Summer in my mind will always be the season of being footloose and carefree, of long hot days and deep cool water, of letting your hair blow in the breeze and not having a care in the world.  
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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

A birthday to remember

What do you do when you expect 40+ guests to celebrate your husband's 65th birthday and you don't have a fridge or cooler big enough to store drinks in? Two words: booze canoe. 
To get your own booze canoe you fill a canoe with water, throw about 20 blocks of ice in it, and when you release all the beer, wine and soft drinks they will happily bob in the water, staying nice and cold all night long. You heard it here first, folks! 
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Monday, 17 June 2019

June days

June has been hot and sunny, and I'm all for it. Having spent the majority of my life in moderate climates with often rainy and cool summers, I'm still thrilled to have semi-desert heat and sunshine for about 6 months in a row! I can't imagine ever getting sick of it. 
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Friday, 14 June 2019

What is PMDD?

Your alarm goes off and you reluctantly open your eyes. God, you are so tired. It's an effort to even raise your arm to shut off the annoying alarm. You glance over at your husband who's still sleeping, undisturbed by the alarm. A wave of red-hot anger sweeps over you. How can he still be asleep? And his breathing is fucking annoying. You roughly shove him, bend over and yell into his ear: "Wake up! Sleepy time is over!" He wakes up with a start, looking at you with surprise and hurt in his eyes. You feel a twinge of guilt, but it's quickly replaced by more rage. It's not your fault that he can sleep through an earthquake. If he would behave like an adult it wouldn't always fall on you to make sure that everything goes smoothly in your life. Fuck. This day already sucks.

***
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Friday, 7 June 2019

Why you need a mission statement for your life

Do you have a vision for your life? A picture in your head of what your dream life looks like? If not, you need to. Every decision you make, the habits you form and the actions you take should lead you towards the life you want to live. That's where a mission statement comes in. Every company has one, and so should you. Mission statements are like the beacon of light you follow towards creating your best life, designed to help you make decisions and figuring out your path.
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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Stop feeling guilty

You haven't exercised in three months because you needed to rest? It's alright. Stop feeling guilty. You are a good person.
The piece of cake you had at work today (and the second one you sneaked an hour later when nobody was watching) is making you feel like a failure? Stop that. It doesn't make you a weak person, nor a failure, nor is your life ruined. It's cake, not a measuring device of your worthiness.
The nice, warm weather is giving you a panicky feeling because you believe you're not "ready for summer" yet? Be like Celeste Barber:
You better believe this body's ready for summer. 

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Saturday, 1 June 2019

Happy to be alive

It's crazy to think that at the beginning of this week we were sitting around my mother-in-law's old kitchen table, having breakfast where Rich has eaten tens of thousands of meals. Between then and now we have traveled 9,000 km, the temperature doubled, I've done 4 loads of laundry, Rich dropped nearly 10 pounds of salt-induced water weight, I've worked 3 shifts and had 4 call backs, and Rich is on IV-antibiotics because his Lyme doesn't like to travel.
We are hopeful that with the return to our regular, calm life, combined with the drugs, the heat and the soothing nature of our animals we will get this latest relapse under control.
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Friday, 31 May 2019

When you're in your late 30s...


... you have a drawer full of cables that you don't dare throwing out, because you're pretty sure that you still need one or two of them (but you don't know which ones)

... you go to bed by 8pm and don't even feel bad about it

... having matching plates matters to you

... you have a plastic bag full of more plastic bags under your sink 
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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Home is where you feel wild and free

When I was 10 years old, I fell in love for the first time. A boy was involved, sure; but much more importantly, it was a place and a lifestyle. 
My best friend's dad had grown up on a farm, and every vacation the entire family went back there to help his older brother who had taken over. There was no mom but there were 4 kids, and the oldest one, a 14-year old boy named Andy, had to work on the farm like a man. 
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Friday, 17 May 2019

From Russia with love

I'm sitting in the middle of the busy lobby, with different languages flying all around me: boisterous Italian from the big, noisy family next to me; French from the elegant gay couple on my other side; and lots and lots of German.

We are currently on a Baltic cruise, and after having visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Tallinn, we are  now headed full steam towards Germany. 
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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

The secret to living your best life

Do you want to know how you can truly feel at peace? Have you been reading countless self-help books in search of the answer to the eternal question: how can I finally be happy? 
I've found the answer. And I'm about to share it with you.
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Friday, 19 April 2019

Lovin' (farm) life

I open my eyes to the sun streaming in, lighting up my happy pink walls. It's only 6 am, but we have finally reached the best time of the year: the time where you don't have to get up in the dark anymore. For the next 5+ months it will be light already when my alarm goes off, and nothing could make me happier!
Outside my window I hear the pheasant's mating call; the doves are cooing, the birds are chirping, and our roosters greet the new day enthusiastically. 
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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Breathless


It started so slowly that I didn't notice it at first.
I had a bit of a cough, but it was winter, and everybody had a cough. 
I got winded pushing a wheelbarrow up the hill, but I wasn't getting any younger, and it was winter, so I was probably just out of shape. 
I wheezed up a storm hiking up my favourite mountain on the first nice day of spring, but I hadn't hiked all winter, so again, I blamed it on being out of shape. 
(Winter is being blamed for a lot in my world.)
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Sunday, 7 April 2019

A video of the first 3 months of 2019

I'm always happy when the first quarter of a new year is behind us. While I like winter in December, by January I'm usually sick of it, and getting through the next few months is always challenging. What I do to make it more fun is writing down the little and big highlights, taking my 1-second videos, and celebrating every day in some small way. For example, today's celebration included writing in my journal, taking Lily for an early morning walk while the sun was still out (we have rain in the forecast and it is now grey and overcast), eating a warm chocolate croissant for breakfast and making myself a third cup of coffee. Oh yes, baby!
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Saturday, 6 April 2019

The magic of the road

What do you do if your husband invites you to drive 1,400 km with him in two days? If you are adventurous and open for anything, you say "hells YES!" If you are me, you look at him like he lost his mind and politely tell him "abso-fricking-lutely not". But if you have a husband who knows you better than you know yourself, and who knows that you need to get out on the road, he will wheedle and insist and tell you how much more fun it will be when you are there with him, until you are out of excuses and grudgingly agree to come along.
Thank God for husbands who know what's best for you and make sure you get it. 

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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

6 Years of Blogging

Earlier this month this blog turned 6 years old. Happy Birthday dear blog! When I sat down on a rainy afternoon on March 15, 2013 to write my first blog post I would not have believed that 6 years later I would still be doing it. 
Life is what you make of it, and blogging is the same. Many of the OG bloggers that were around when I started have abandoned their blogs in favour of Instagram, have turned into influencers, or have given up altogether. It seems that there aren't very many bloggers like me left anymore: the small ones who still write just for the fun of it, without being Internet-famous.
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Friday, 22 March 2019

Saying goodbye to being a horse woman

We have different personas living inside of us. 
There is the person we want to be: confident, unafraid, strong, independent. 
There is the little kid, afraid of the world and wanting to be loved. 
There is the mess we perceive ourselves to be: the flawed human being we are desperate to change and improve. 

I believe that reconciling all these personas into one and becoming the person we truly are and always have been is the defining step of finding peace within ourselves. It's how we become authentic.
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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Lyme Disease Update

It's been 8 months since my last update about Rich's Lyme disease, and for the majority of that time everything has been really good!
In case you are new around here, let me give you a quick overview: my husband got very sick in the fall of 2017. He had intense joint paint, night sweats, chills, brain fog, insomnia, lost a ton of weight in a short amount of time, and deteriorated very quickly. After the worst 4 months of both our lives where no doctor could figure out what was wrong with him he finally got the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

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Monday, 11 March 2019

Celebrate everyday

There is an old man who walks by my house in Princeton three times a day. He has a tiny white dog, old and slow, and he walks that dog all over the neighbourhood. I see them every day when I'm here, and I often wonder about his life. 
Does he have a wife or is he widowed? Does he ever go away or is he at home 365 days of the year? Is he happy? What will he do when his dog dies? I hope he will get a new one. 

I picture him at home, making coffee in the morning while talking to his dog, telling him how he slept last night and that he has to refill his prescription today, and that there is warmer weather in the forecast. When he makes lunch he gives his little friend some scraps, and after their lunch walk they have a nap together on the couch. He eats a pastry with his afternoon coffee every day and then they watch TV together. Once a week he plays cards with his buddies. 
It's a small life, I imagine, but a good one. He is content. 
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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

When your brain threatens your marriage

Last month I was convinced that my marriage was in serious danger.
I spent all night crying, having terribly dark thoughts about separation, having to start over, and losing my best friend.
I was so worried that I actually contacted a counsellor to make an appointment for marriage counselling.

Had one of us cheated on the other?
Had we fallen out of love?
Had something bad happened?

No, nothing like that.
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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Peeing our pants

Remember when I foolishly proclaimed last week that spring is on its way? Yeah, I may have jumped the gun on that. But it's not my fault, it's the robin's - it lied. Robins are supposed to return when it gets warmer, but it must have been just as impatient as me (I get it, robin) and returned a tad early. Which I can also understand, since there's no place like home, right? Except right now I can think of plenty of places that are better than home, like Mexico, Hawaii, the south of Spain, California, Arizona ... you get the idea.
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Sunday, 24 February 2019

Meet the Second Chance Hiker

I love people who do big, crazy things, and when my room mate introduced me to the Second Chance Hiker, I was immediately enthralled. 
Meet Cory, a man who recently embarked on the biggest adventure of his life: hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to lose 200 pounds. 
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Friday, 22 February 2019

On being whoever you want to be


I keep buying long, flowy dresses, because I want to be the person who wears long, flowy dresses. I don't exactly have the kind of life that makes wearing dresses practical, with wearing scrubs for work and jeans around the farm, but then again, who said that life has to be practical all the time? I'm over being practical. I've always wanted to turn into an eccentric older lady, and I may as well start now. Wearing clothes for the simple reason to make yourself feel pretty seems decadent, but then again, could there be any better reason? 
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Thursday, 21 February 2019

It's happening ...


It's happening. 
Two days ago we saw a robin. 
Yesterday I saw patches of dark peeking through the thinning snow cover on our roof. 

Five lambs were born over the last two weeks.
The dogs are shedding.

The patch of sky and trees I see through the window upon waking up in my little room away from home is getting lighter a little bit earlier every day:

We may barely see it yet, but nature is getting ready ...


...


... for spring!

Trust me, it's happening.

Yay!!!!
xoxo Miriam



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Friday, 15 February 2019

What you can do to support a writer


Many years ago when I first started to blog (which was in March of 2013, so my 6th anniversary is coming up soon!), I read a post from another blogger talking about how you can support bloggers. I don't remember who it was, but I do know that it was one of the "big ones", meaning one of those fabled creatures who called themselves "full-time bloggers" and made money with blogging. At the time, this was a huge, unachievable dream to me, and I was in complete awe of these incredible people who managed to turn their hobby into a business.

Several years (and many a soul-searching session) later, I have found my own recipe for success, which for me is working a job I enjoy, blogging for fun, and writing articles and books because I go crazy when I'm not.
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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Let's all take a break from improving ourselves


I read the most interesting article yesterday: Improving Ourselves to Death by Alexandra Schwartz. The article is from a year ago, but still relevant today, I think even more so. The author is taking a critical look at our current obsession with improving every aspect of our lives: not only the physical (gotta get slimmer, stronger and healthier!) but also the spiritual (align those chakras!) and emotional (hi mindfulness✌) aspects.  
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Saturday, 9 February 2019

Marriage is not all hearts and smiling couple selfies

Marriage is beautiful, but sometimes it isn't.

Sometimes marriage is getting so irritated at the thing he has done a thousand times and you should be used to it by now but today you just can't handle it, you feel like you're going to explode.
Sometimes marriage is wondering how many people have gotten divorced because their spouse never put the cap back on the toothpaste. 
(Is that the 'irreconcilable difference' celebrity couples talk about when they get divorced? Toothpaste caps?)
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Monday, 4 February 2019

How I beat the January-blues

I've just spent my first night in the She Shed! I can't believe that I haven't done it sooner, it was so cozy! We're keeping the cats in there during the arctic temperatures we're having right now (it was -21 degrees Celsius last night/-6 F), and since it's being heated with a wood stove I slept there to keep the fire going all night. It was very much like my old teenage fantasies about rugged-Canadian living, I loved it! Apart from the fact that the cats tried to eat my toes several times throughout the night, and the little boy Louis licked my eyelids this morning which is a very strange sensation 😂  
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Thursday, 31 January 2019

Embracing the middle-age spread

I don't know if it's because I turned 39 last month or the fact that I spent the majority of the second half of 2018 lying supine, eating candy, but one thing is clear: my body is changing. My hips have gotten wider, there's a permanent roll on my tummy when I'm sitting down, and my cellulite is starting to spread to the front of my thighs. I also recently noticed that I seem to have a tiny roll/skin fold/third bum cheek? under my right buttock, which feels very strange but also kinda hilarious.

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Thursday, 24 January 2019

Hey, you gonna be okay

We have reached this stage of winter where crisis mode is setting in. Over the last few days I've had conversations with five different people about how hard everything is, which is a clear sign that everybody is struggling right now.
Here's what I want you all to remember: it will get better. Spring will arrive eventually, and until it does grab your favourite dog/cat/kid/human/pillow and get some extra cuddles in.
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Sunday, 20 January 2019

Yoga for flexibility

As some of you may know, I have two big fitness-goals this year: handstand and splits. I've been working towards both on and off since 2015, but since I barely did yoga last year I have lots of work to do.
A note on that: I don't believe in beating myself up about the past. I could be mad about "putting myself behind" by not practicing last year, but what would be the point of that? It doesn't change anything, except that I'd feel bad about myself.  Nope, there's no point at all. 
We go through different seasons in life, and we won't always be able to do everything we'd like to do, and that's okay. 
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Thursday, 17 January 2019

The Mental Health Tag

Lauren from This Stuff is Golden recently participated in the mental health tag, and I liked the questions they asked, so I'm doing it too. 

1. What is your mental health issue?
I have depression and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Life with Lily

We have a lot of dogs. Always have, always will. Dogs are family to us, and we like having a big family. In my opinion, there's no other creature in the world that spreads as much joy and makes you feel as happy as dogs do. They are exuberantly excited to see you every single day! They never hold grudges! They are the true masters of living in the present and loving life, and surrounding yourself with that infectious quality is life-enriching.

I love them all equally, just like a parent loves their children equally. But just like a parent, I have my own special relationship with each one of them, and today, I want to focus on my relationship with Lily. Because Lily is special.

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