Gift for Gab

There are well over 100 million personal blogs. Seriously. Where have I been? While I hammered away at books, put out a magazine, and ran a farm, I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye.


Because I already had an outlet for my photography and writing, it took me forever to turn and look. Okay, should I? Would I love it as much as I love creating books and magazines? Just to be sure, I blogged in private, unplugged. After close to four weeks, I stopped my twice-daily entries when I left town on business.

That’s when I got it.

It, my blog, my journal, had become my friend—a discipline, a comfort, a routine. I’m probably genetically predisposed to journaling anyway. My mother wrote in a journal every day of her life. Her compendiums are one of the most precious gifts she left her children.

When you write about your life, you step out of your life. Looking back in from the outside gives you pitch-perfect perspective. Putting your life on canvas, on display, not only gives you undisguised vision, it gives you a second set of eyes—the eyes of others.

Here’s one of the ways that works for me. I produce a magazine. Every two months, it becomes a rather permanent part of the human record. Half way thru the two months in between issues (I do know the tru spelling of through and I also know I could have said “one month later,” but that isn’t quite right either), I’ll meet someone, let’s say an executive from a chain of retail stores. I know somewhat what she does and what she’s about, but when I get home, I leaf thru my magazine (the same issue I gave her) again, as if I’m her. Why do I do that? I’m not entirely sure (Dr. Phil?) but in doing so, I feel closer to her. We’re “talking” again. After our chat (really just me alone on my couch), we both know each other a little better.

During this second “conversation,” I’m more aware of her. She did say she’d like to retire to a farm someday. Did I respond properly to that? (Here she is with me again, giving me a second chance.) Phew, I did … right here on page 74.

In that ponderous recap we do after meeting someone, I did okay, but the next time I see her (in person for real), I’ll make sure I respond more thoroughly to her love of heirloom quilts. But wait, I already covered that. In a past issue. I’ll write her name on an envelope, put a stamp on it, mail her another issue of my magazine tomorrow, and our consanguinity deepens.

Consanguinity n. kinship, blood relationship, family tie or connection, common ancestry or lineage, cognation; filiation, enation, agnation, sibship; relationship, connection, association, affiliation.

  1. Amy says:

    I, for one, am so excited that you are blogging now!

  2. Katie says:

    Your words of wisdom have filled me since I first started reading them in the first issue 2002 ? I’m now here on my own farm, living off grid, growing my own food, flowers, bread and eggs. Even trying to write as you suggested to me.

    Your voice is gracious and inspiring and timely, yet the best thing is that it feels like I’m visiting with a friend . So consanguinity to all us farmgirls. So glad to read more of your inspired thoughts in these dark days. I hope I can pass it on in my life in even a small way.

  3. Rebekah says:

    All I can say is IT’S ABOUT TIME!!
    Well, that, and also, I’M LOVING it!!!
    Oh! That and that, and also, a big, fat, gi-normous THANK YOU!!!!

  4. Kimberly says:

    Welcome to the world of blogging!
    When I received your Lifebook three years ago, I never thought of where it would lead me. I knew as I read it the first time that I was holding the book that put together the pieces of my random thoughts on the changes my Sweetheart and I were wanting to make in our lives. We were living in a Denver suburb just coasting through life like everyone around us. But we wanted more. A lot more. And it started, oddly enough, with wanting less. Less stuff, less busyness, less buying and more making. We began a massive purge of belongings and felt so much freer for it.
    In our quest to simplify, we looked long a hard and not just our possessions, but what kind of a life we wanted to live. Over the next few months, I read more and more and learned, mostly from blogs, how to make many of the things I had been buying. And I shared what I was learning and doing on my blog.
    Fast forward three years. (Those three years and the changes are listed in blog posts under the page Simple Living Posts at the top of the blog for anyone interested!) We are now living on a farm. In a little town in Idaho, of all places, with our three kids, two goats and five chickens. We moved in January. We’re growing everything organically and loving our new life. It’s hard. Very hard some days. But I’d never go back!
    I now make almost everything we eat and use from scratch. From milling the wheat for all our baked goods, to making our lotions, herbal balms, and more, to milking my goat twice a day, and canning and preserving food, my days are filled with wonder (and work).
    In fact, I have pickles processing right now on the stove and a few gallons of plums I picked to preserve tomorrow. But I make sure to take the time to pick flowers, go on solitary hikes in the forest down the street, forage for food, and relax in my hammock. You’ve inspired me to life a life I had once only dreamed of and to blog about it! Thank you, MaryJane and all the Farmgirls out there who have showed me it can be done!

  5. Welcome to the world of blogging. 🙂

    I just love the birthday message your granddaughter left you!! Soo sweet!

  6. Kathy says:

    I don’t think I have ever heard the word “sibship” before! I like it! Just read every post after having discovered your new blog. Inspiration and so sweet. Thanks so much for sharing – I’ll be watching for you on the airwaves!

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