- Personal Catch-up
- Name Your Homestead
- What Comes Next
1. If you’ve read the previous post, written earlier this year in January, you know 2023 started with great difficulty and challenges which only increased as the year moved on. The last day of March Mom died and was buried close to my birthday; ironic, because her Mother was buried on my birthday a few years ago. Without laboring the points the family dynamic shifted enormously both priot to Mom’s death and after. If your family struggles emotionally you should know two things: a truly dysfunctional family keeps secrets and doesn’t talk about the elephant in the room. The elephant could be, in the case of Joyce Meyers, a father who sexually abused her and a mother wholooked the other way or, in the case of another friend whose parent was a closet alcoholic or ____…fill in the blank. Not all families suffer and not all families suffer in the same ways but I do know this when I chose to drag my elephant into the light and shine spotlights on it, my life changed. My elephant wasn’t as dramatic as the aforementioned examples but, nonetheless, for decades keeping silent meant decades of emotional hardship. If you have an elephant in your family and choose to break the silence, you’ll probably have blowback. I’ve chosen to live with the blowback and it’s easier than hiding the elephant; Protect Your Peace!
I then entered cardiac rehab and while physically stressful, it also increased my strength which was a very good thing because next I had to have surgery. Another marvelous Doctor who performed successful sucrgery but, unfortunately, my body didn’t respond well. A 90 minute surgery took three hours and recovery room took four hours. I now have to have another surgery to, hopefully, finish what was begun this summer. After, I expect wellness and wholeness to be mine and have my gym membership at the ready!
My advice is lean large into life; don’t let anyone bully you, disrespect you, speak rudely to you or otherwise be a negative influence. Enough is enough and don’t wait until you’re an old person to tell someone, “If you can’t treat me with respect, kindness, with soft words then don’t speak to me. If necessary, ever again.” People might walk out of your life, let them and don’t chase after them. People will treat you the way you allow. Demand the same respect you give and if you’re the person who needs to change, CHANGE! My good news is, after a lot of months, stone cold silence, etc. my family and I are now speaking kindly to each other. I’ve forgiven those who needed forgiveness, asked for same and we’ve slowly moved forward. I’ve forgiven but I haven’t forgotten and will not, ever again, be put in a similar situation. Sometimes one has to take healing into their own hands.
There were pockets of good in the summer; one was Big Atlas, a Belgian former amish work horse who came to live here. I had sworn to not get any more horses and on a lark decided to visit the fb page of a rescue sight here in Virginia. They never have draft horses and I can squint my eyes as I gloss over the sad, sad stories of horses, ponies, mules and donkeys.
BUT, what they had was Big Atlas, a 18+ hand gelding who was thin, too thin, and had a resigned look in his eye. It was as if he knew his future. I sent Kim a note and asked his story; she gave me the particulars she had (always a lie because the amish lied to her) and I asked, “How much? Total. How much?” She gave me a number and added, “Not trying to rush you but he’s on the truck.”
DEAR LORD! that meant he was already being shipped out for slaughter! I said, “YES, YES, YES! When can you bring him?” and she said, “How about tomorrow?” Kim, or her husband, have brought several horses here and knew the way and my set up; she was as thrilled as I to know Big Atlas has a safe, soft home. As to his age? Well, fifteen years is the age given of every draft horse I’ve saved and it might have been true for one of them but Big Atlas is 20, if he’s a day, and probably older than 20. Here he is after months of good forage, grain, oats and farrier care by Katelyn B. She’s a pistol! Katelyn is about 4’10”, maybe 11″, and treats my beasties like her own. She’s fabulous and highly recommended.
After Big Atlas came, I had surgery and now am prepping for another surgery. I didn’t mind turning 70 this year but my body has revolted on me…smile. In between Big Atlas, surgery and another surgery I went to Ireland, Ireland, Scotland and England. I figure if I’m gonna die, might as well get in another trip to the UK and while there stayed with friends (Hi Mags!), visited with old friends (Hi Catherine!) met new friends (Hi James!) and traveled with a Christian Sister (Hi Sadie!) Truth be known the trip took enormous physical endurance but it was paid for and heck! it costs less to be buried in the UK than it does in the US and a friend (Hi Stephen!) is a funeral director! Win Win because there’s always a bright side, eh?
2. When Dave and I bought the original Thistle Cove Farm we talked about naming it. May Day, because we bought the farm in May, was brought up and disgarded as were names that combined our last names. I wasn’t keen on those because the Old Testament says not to name land after oneself; after all, the land already has an owner, God, and we would be stewards only. The Dave said, “What do you want to do with the farm? Do you want to have animals, grow crops, what?” Bless his heart; I though animals were a given and horses needed hay so there we were…two birds with one stone, so to speak. We already had a fine, fine crop of thistles and we lived in the Cove so…Thistle Cove Farm was the name of our next adventure.
On social media people are always asking for help naming their farm, ranch, homestead, cottage, etc. but there’s no need for angst. There are tips for making the job easier while keeping in mind how it all fits together. Start with a list of words that come to mind when you think of your place and what you want to do with it. Think in terms of three. What will you so with the land? How will it be used? If you have favorite words, note them with an asterisk or highlight with a marker. If you’re going organic, you might use the word “organic” in your name or if you’re going to raise animals, use the breed or animal name such as Rising Star Fresian Horse Farm (just an example, no such name but it is a good one, eh?). I’ve heard of a man with the last name Wood whose farm is Woods Tree Farm and he raises Christmas trees. Double easy because his name is what he raises.
Keep the name simple, easy to understand, remember and pronounce. When people are web searching for your farm, it’s more difficult to remember a hard name than an easy one; an easier name to spell than a more diffcult one. Also, write out the acronym for your name. Thistle Cove Farm is TCF which is rather benign but it doesn’t sound displeasing. I ran across Golden Acres Glen or GAG which makes me wince. If you have animals and want to freeze brand, you’ll want a name or acronym that’s easy to read, understand and recognize.
After you’ve finished with names, if nothing jumps out, set the list aside for a day or three and let it percolate in your mind. If nothing sounds “just right” as Godlilocks said, throw more names in the mix. Try out your suggestions on family and friends although I’m not crazy about this idea just as I’m not crazy about strangers naming my place. It’s your farm, your name and the only vote is yours and others who will be directly involved with the farm. When you do have a name you like, do an internet search to find out if it’s in use; if it’s not in use, claim it immediately by purchasing a website address. Name.com and Namecheap.com are two good, inexpensive locations that are easy to navigate. Other options include registering with your state or buying a trade mark.
Next blog post, soon, will give hard core ways to help by dividing your name into three sections. Using the guide, eventually you’ll develop a name that reflects you, your property, your intent and one that will serve you for many years. Thistle Cove Farm was established in 1995 and the name, to my ear, sounds as fresh and fey as the day we decided upon it.