Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anything we do that matters has the ability to paralyze us if we let it.  My husband sent me this quote and it came at just the right time.  I find myself vacillating back and forth between excitement and terror.  There is so much to do and so much to think about.  If you are someone or know someone, who  has started a business or created a product, you know what I am talking about.

This weekend Erik and I attended New England Give Camp. to have our website redesigned professionally.  One of the things that struck me... as we had to change our logo, was how emotional this process is.  Another Non-Profit had the same issue.  Ten years ago they had created an organization to honor their daughter who died of leukemia. Everything they did in the beginning, like their website, their logo etc., came from their own sweat and tears.  When the designer suggested a new logo it was hard for them to let go.  The exciting thing is that their organization has grown and is now serving so many people.  Hopefully, we can look back in a few years and see that same growth.

Each obstacle, each victory has it's own place in my heart.  I know looking back and reflecting on this time and I will always be amazed at what has transpired.  Maybe I will write a book.......

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Are you a Believer?

In this day and age sometimes we convince ourselves that the good in people has disappeared! Turn Back Time has helped me to believe that is NOT true!! Erik and I are camping out at .....120 individuals volunteering their time to serve Non-Profit organizations through out New England. Believers by definition "accept something as true or real".......I've decided to surround my self with believers....believers tend to be authentic and support other believers. They make the world a better place! Do you believe? If not find yourself something to believe in, it'll change your life...... Jim, John, Zak and Erik Thank You for believing!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


We've had a lot of visitors on the farm in the past week and I realized there is something happening in my life and it's about more than just starting a farm. I am making the most amazing connections and building relationships that make every step of this journey a joy!

I want to work with children we all knew that, it's the reason this farm exists. What I didn't think about is how fantastic it is to have so many young professionals come along side me. My daughter Sarah is on the board of directors and is our curriculum director and special education/behavior expert. My nephew Erik is builder, web designer and farmer extraordinaire! We have a young gentleman Mitch who is a senior at Clark University and is helping with our business plan and marketing strategy. My sister Grace and her boyfriend Isaiah have contributed so much helping us to make connections and add dimension to our program. All of this has been done on a volunteer basis. They all act like I'm doing them a favor, letting them help create something like this. I just sit back and think I'd be drowning without each and every one of you.

My husband and I feel that every person we meet that works on the farm, hears our story and offers encouragement , or connects us to someone who can help, it's like they own a piece of what we are doing here. That was my vision, my open the door to this farm and let people in. Maybe farming is not for you, that's ok, you can go sit by the pond and have a cup of coffee and just breathe. I want you to feel the magic though because this has already been a magical, dare I say spiritual experience for me!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I wonder why?

I have a lot of people in my life...I'm lucky that way. Some of them think that what we are doing here on the farm is amazing but some of them just think we are crazy. I am not able to fully explain why Jim and I continue to put ourselves in situations that do NOT point in the direction of empty nest or retirement.

What I can tell you is this, the other day Damion told me he was going to head up to the pig pen and have a staff meeting with the pigs! I'm not sure what went on at a staff meeting between a 10 year old boy with developmental disabilities and a couple of pigs, but I am pretty sure it was amazing!

A couple of days later on Presidents Day we all had the day off and were working outside, not one of us complaining about what had to be done. I know it's a mild year but I have never know what sunshine February brings until we moved here. Even on the coldest days it's glorious! We had let the goats out to graze since they are harmless and dont go to far, recognizing that food comes everyday at about 5. Teddy (the horse) was not happy that his housemates were free and he was not. We decided to let him go run even though we don't have the upper pasture fenced in yet. He bolted up the hill and bucked and jumped, happier than we had seen him since the day he came here. It was one of the most exhilarating things to watch, even Jim who plays his emotions pretty close to the cuff was amazed.

Those little things capture the vision we have for our farm. They don't happen everyday but when they do we know why we're here. We want others to come and feel that even on the smallest scale because it matters. You might not want to go to the staff meeting with Damion but maybe you'll want to sit in the field and let the sun shine on you and you'll understand what I mean.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We knew this day would come....

There is no way around it, animals on a farm die. We knew this day would come...

We lost one of our chickens to what appears to be a prolapsed intestine. This makes me realize what a rookie I really am. I really have no idea what I'm doing but I am very grateful for Google. I am learning every moment of the day. There is a part of me that thinks who do you think you are? You can't just get these animals and start a farm with no experience. Then I talk to people and I read all the books I've read and I learn that this is pretty much how it's done most of the time. You learn as you go and you make lots of mistakes and that's ok. For those of you who know me you can imagine how I feel about that. Mistakes are not something I like to do....and not knowing what I am doing is not a very comfortable place for me. Oh but it is SO good for me!

My two youngest children had a rough start in life. We have had many people ask us how will you deal with death on the farm and process it with two children who have experienced such loss? I wasn't sure and maybe I'm still not sure, but today actually went well. Maybe learning about loss and processing it "on he farm" will bring healing and emotional health not the opposite. Tayler said "its helps that you keep saying this is what happens on the farm. I need to remember that". She did cry at first but was over it pretty quickly. I think we all need to learn not to be afraid of being uncomfortable but as Brene Brown says "lean into the discomfort" and let it teach us and heal us........

Friday, February 3, 2012

Are you a Techo Geek or a Farmer?

Reconciling the farm girl in me and the technology lover isn't easy. I dropped my IPhone in Teddy's water bucket the other day and I Was devastated. :( I love my "techno toys". I have an IPhone, an iPad, cable tv on a flat screen etc. Those things have become a part of my life and I can't live without them. That being said there is another part of me that feels connected to nature and all that entails. I love it so much and feel like it's so important to our health and happiness, that our family has moved to a farm and started a business revolving around it. Can we be both? Can a nature lover and a techno geek coexist?

The name "Turn Back Time" comes from a time in the past when children left the house in the morning and didn't return home until dinner. They played, discovered and negotiated with the world around them in a way that many children have never experienced in today's society. We are a society that is "plugged in" for most of the day from a very young age. It is difficult to imagine that the recommendation for the amount of television watched by young children is less than an hour a day, yet if you speak to many families their children watch five to seven times that amount. If you ask parents if they thought being outdoors would benefit their children the answer would be an unequivocal yes, but the practicality of actually making that happen is too difficult. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends "60 minutes of unstructured free play as an essential part of children's physical and mental health and social development".

Our goal of "Turning Back Time" comes from a desire to bring the children and families who come to our farm back to a simpler life. Adults will find themselves remembering a time when they headed outside in the morning and didn't come home until dark. Children will be able to get dirty and move their bodies, putting aside worries and focusing on the small miracles in the world around them.....then we can send them in to play video games guilt free!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Where have you been!

Something happened on the way to my blog....I got really really busy!

It turns out "Turning Back Time" is not as easy as it sounds. Let's see what's been going on here at the farm. The goats and chickens have company. Teddy the horse arrived in November and the pigs got here in December. Learning to juggle the care of the animals is teaching me that all things in the natural world cannot be learned in a day. I am learning that patience is part of the process.

Erik (our nephew) arrived in October and has been a great help. Farming seems to suit him. He attended the Northeast Organic Farmers Winter Confernce and enjoyed himself. The pigs have been his project and he was excited to attend a class on raising pigs at the conferance.

In case you were wondering we are farmers and will be eating some of the animals we raise here. That seems to be problematic for some people but our philosophy is why would we want to support an industry that treats animals so disrespectfully. Instead we can love the animals and then be so grateful to them for providing food for our family. If you'd like to be enlightened on this subject watch "Food Inc".

Our next step is to finalize the legal process of becoming a non-profit. We have started talks with a lawyer and are in the process of forming our board of directors. I'm in school full time and will graduate with an Associates Degree in May. I will most likely go on to some sort of bachelors degree. The most amazing part of going back to school has been the overwhelming support of our idea. The networking opportunities have been amazing, it has helped us to gain momentum and to feel confident that we need to keep moving forward.

My goal is to do a better job of keeping up with our blog...ask me questions and make lots of comments so I'll know that someone is listening......